"There's another 203k" was a common statement from my wife for over twenty years as we were riding around the country. It didn't make any difference what state we were in if there was an obvious fixer she would be sure to point it out. Why then is it so hard for Realtors, people in the business to see them?
I find that odd but understandable if you have never done a 203k project before. You likely have heard old war stories that weren't too flattering. More than likely you heard them from some other Realtor who hasn't ever had any direct experience but heard stories from around the coffiee machine of some problem someone had thirty years ago.
If it ever had a residential use with a certificate of occupancy issused at least one year prior to the renovation it is a 203k prospect.
What can you do to ensure you don't have any issues with your project? Easy to answer... use a "Team" approach. I just heard of a project from a client where the lender was doing their first 203k, they hired a new 203k consultant, and the contractor had never done one and got cold feet at the closing and pulled out so we had to find another contractor at the last minute... delay, after delay, after delay.
Using a "Team" approach you need to find a knoweledgeable lender. A team might look like this in NorCal...
Tom Huntley Team with Prospect Mortgage
The Mike Young Team
CCAR - California Construction and Renovation