8 or 10 years ago, money was "looser" and there were a lot of creative was to do what you're talking about. Nowadays, the best you can do is to #1) Find a house as close to what you want in your price range, and #2) Purchase it for as low a price as you can. A lot of sellers these days have more money in the house already than what they can sell it for, so they aren't going to be very willing to do any more than sell "as-is". Case in point, our last house we purchased for $90+k. We just got an offer for $43K (the only offer we've gotten in 2+ years). You KNOW we're not going to do anything at all to it. Totally as-is sale. That said, you can always ASK. Better off to buy something you can live with just like it is for awhile, and then in a year or two you can do some remodeling when you have some money put aside for it.