I suggest you speak with a mortgage professional in your area about your options. There are lenders who offer FHA loans with below 600 credit scores.
C2 Financial Corporation
What is going on with your "not good" credit? Are you having issues making your payments/paying your bills lately? Was it awhile ago? What has changed, and how long has it been since things have changed?
Have you attended a homebuying class and completed a detailed budget to determine what type of expenses you could expect and how much you can afford to spend on those items? HomeHQ in the Syracuse area offers one for $50 per couple (both of you should go no matter if only one of you makes income) - http://www.homehq.org/
Alternatives to getting a traditional mortgage:
1. Seller financing - this is where a seller owns their home free & clear (no mortgage), and they play the part of the mortgage lender. This does limit the homes you can purchase to homes that are owned outright by sellers & are willing to do seller financing. In slow markets, where the transient rate is low (meaning people stay a long time in their homes/own their homes for awhile), I have found these to be more common. Usually need a nice sized down payment (5-10%) and often you will need to refinance/pay off the mortgage within a few years.
2. Contract-for-deed/land contract - this is like you buying the home with a mortgage from the seller, but the title stays in the seller's name, and often sellers still will owe a small mortgage on their home (smaller than the land contract amount you have taken out with the seller). Puts you into a vulnerable position because the title is not in your name, you don't know if title will be clear at the time you refinance the home into your name.
3. Private/hard money - available on non-owner occupied homes primarily, some lend on primary residences, significant down payment (35%+) is needed and interest rates & costs are very expensive, typically require you to refinance/payoff the mortgage within a few years.
4. Lease option to buy - like a rental contract with an upfront down payment, and you have the option to purchase the home by a certain point in time for a predetermined purchase price. Can put you into a tight spot since you are using a purchase price that may not be able to be supported by an appraisal when you exercise the option to purchase the home.
5. Investor financing - becoming more popular, which is where a real estate investor buys a home for you and then sells it to you using one of the above methods.
Real estate investing clubs would be a good source for alternative financing sources, http://reicny.org/ is one that meets in Syracuse.
If you can negotiate the price and/or terms you might be able to work something out. I think it might become more popular in the near future. A lot of people don't have stellar credit these days. So stay positive and l know your not the only one. I like how you are thinking outside of the box . A lot of people are afraid to do this. So congratulations
My first suggestion is to consider addressing the issues with your credit. Getting a loan with credit issues already will come at a high expense if it's possible. Your options would likely require a larger down payment and higher interest rates over a shorter term.
Rather than do all this and then still have to improve your credit to refinance the home at a later date, consider getting your financial situation in top shape. Pay down any revolving balances, use your credit, but keep everyone paid on time, dispute any inaccurate information you find on your credit report in writing with each of the agencies that report it.
It may only take a few weeks or a couple of months but you can make a big difference and help yourself in the long run.