By the way, I was a state math champion in high school and scored an 800 on my math GRE, so I'm pretty good with numbers :-)
You are way ahead of the game in terms of understanding lending. I'm just here to chime in on Deborah...Dee Dee. I use Dee Dee for many of my clients and she is great. She has access to all the programs available and has great ideas.
I would recommend that you contact her and start talking about options. :)
Good luck with the loan,
Another factor you have to realize now is that certain properties that you may be interested in would NOT qualifiy for an FHA loan so my advice to you is, if you can get a pre-approval for both types of loans that way you can pick and chose. Also work with an agent and lender that has done many FHA loans. The lenders are getting tighter and tighter on what they require in or to under write a loan. ( FHA or comforming loans). It is very good that you are working this all out now, it is the best way to do it.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
At your service,
In addition to your calculations, focus on your goal. Is it to keep your payments down, increase your equity, repay your loan? In Real Estate the advice is to use other peoples money and leverage your own money. So the deciding factor is going to be personal.
All the best to you.
If your main reason for concluding FHA is better than conforming is you get to keep and invest a greater amount, then why not go even further down to a 3.5% down payment instead of 20% down?
With FHA you can put 3.5% or 20% down. But with FHA no matter how much you put down , you have to pay Mortgage Insurance (MI). No matter what, you'll have to pay MI for a minimum 5 years or 78% Loan to Value (LTV) whichever comes later.