First, pick an area on which you'd like to focus and learn more about it than other potential investors. Drive the neighborhoods, check the public records, and use the search engine at http://www.nickwoodard.com/ to see how long properties stay on the market and what they eventually fetch. Also get to know the contractors and real estate agents; there's a good chance you'll eventually want to negotiate with one of them. Get up to speed on the local building permit and coding process, too.
Meanwhile, learn everything you can about home buying and remodeling in general. It helps keep costs down, but isn't mandatory, if you're able to do at least some of the remodeling work yourself. Refer to my "preferred partners" section for a list of trusted remodelers, drywallers, and painters. Read books, lurk in the real estate forums online and talk to people with experience about potential trapdoors and hidden hurdles in the business. In fact, you might want to partner with someone more experienced for your first deal or two.
Then be patient. When and if a good opportunity does come up, you'll be ready. You'll know the market well enough to gauge the value, you'll have your financing already lined up, and you'll know what you need to do to make a profit. If you are interested in seeing what good deals might be out there, give me a call. I drive the areas everyday and can point you in the direction of some very profitable locations.