There are so many portals to search for properties the question is where to start. With sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com just to name a few, a newbie investor can be overwhelmed with choices.
What's a newbie to do?
That is a good question, where do you start? if you have the money, in my opinion start with a realtor, of course you must start networking on a regular basis to find that realtor you feel comfortable with. Since you must pay a commission to them, but if you don't want to pay the fee, then I suggest look at Zillow, Trulia, and all the free portals that are available.
One site I suggest is to look at forsalebyowner.com, here you will deal with the owner of the property, like you, the owner does not want to pay a commission either.
You can also look at listsource.com, usleadlists.com, these sites you can you to send direct mail to the owner(s) of properties they own.
With experience and help from mentors, this process will become easier, so for now just go to Real Estate Meetups, Reia's, etc, remember !! Network, this is a must, you have meet people in the industry in order to make or find deals.