How hard is it to buy an older worn out house for cheap?

I am not rich and have no illusion that I can afford to build or buy a nice house, I suspect my best course is to purchase a fixer upper on the cheap, but I read even older honestly crap houses are expensive due to the debt that the property often picks up over the years by unpaid taxes and so on, so or even crap houses very expensive?
I just think paying rent forever is a rip off, rather pay to own one day and would rather a house to a trailer.

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