A 'deal' is tied to the work and $ youll have to sink into the thing. If you plan on extended stays, size might be a consideration... anything under 27' means a lot of hunching. For the me 30' worked out just right with 6'4 headroom for one guy and occasional guests
I managed to get a pretty good deal, what i found is that the marina had boats they had taken out of receivership... so were motivated. they wanted 5k, so i offered them either a lowball cash bid or a deal... the deal we worked was 2500 down, 500/mo for 6 mo during which time no slip rental/no elec bill... so it ended up working out to about 4000 all said and done.
that being said, i need a new stove 429. needed new running=hundreds.needed/wanted computer/tv/new stereo= hundreds.etc.
the other thing to consider is how much work you can/want to put in. i had to totally tune up the a4, which included 12hrs with a qtip cleaning and rebuildingthe carb. ive rebuilt the cabin, new cabinets and finish work, and the galley is next. i rebeded all the ports. the whole thing needs rewired and surely a bottom job.
the only deal in boats is that you are gonna be dealing cash out of your wallet. and dont bother to close it, but if your handy and willing--go for it, i wouldnt trade it for anything. considering similarly sized boats i saw were going for 10k+, part of the deal i got was knowing that the 4 i laid out was to be followed by significantly more, and built it in to my plan.
oh, it also helps if you make pals with the marina yacht broker. mine helps me constantly, and even lets me beg parts. marina mechs arent cheap at 80 and hour, and that adds up. think about pals you have that have the expertise in specific areas (ie my buddy works on big trucks... all dc12) AND BRIBE THEM WITH BEER!
good luck and have fun.