It is not a secret, but many people don't know that HUD has a great program call Good Neighbot Next Door, GNND. This program allows Teachers, Police Officers, Fire Fighters and EMTs to purchase selected homes for half price.
I used to be a teacher before I got into real estate and I purchase my house at half price and I still have good equity in it. I help other teachers in my school and that is how I changed careers. I built my real estate business helping teacher, police officers and fire fighters purchase HUD homes at half price.
Some houses are in livable condition or need minor repairs, some need complete renovations, but either way they are very good deals. Some lenders have special financing program for GNND and some municipalities have grants for down payments or closing cost for their employees when they purchase a new home.
The way the program works the selected homes go into a 10 day bidding period, you have to bid the asking price and the winning bid get the house at half of the asking price. The key things are like every HUD home buyer has 48 hours to submit offer to HUD after notice of bid acceptance. Also buyers must use a real estate agent, and HUD doesn't pay for tranfer fees or real estate commission, the buyer has to pay for both. But still it is a good deal.