I always recommend to my buyer they look to get pre approved with an MHP Soft Second loan(below market interest rate, no PMI even without 20% down and they LOVE deed restricted property). Even with your larger down payment, it would be a good choice. For more information, visit my website and click on MHP Soft Second
I suggest you attend a CHAPA approved First Time Home Buyer class (you will need the certificate for the MHP loan). You will probably need to contact the Boston Home Center for a list of area classes, if you need help with that, check out my website for class dates. I teach several classes a month for several areas non profits, so finding one that fits your schedule should not be too hard.
Given current market conditions, it is possible that you could find a home/condo that suits your needs that does not have the deed restrictions. Therefore when you think of reselling (especially given your time line) you have a larger net to cast when seeking out potential buyers. It is possible to get a good deal in today's market. The MHP Soft Second loan does not need to be coupled with deed restricted property!
I suggest sitting down with someone who specializes in First Time Home Buyers and understand all of your options, that way you can make the best decision for you!
Hope that helps,
4 years is not a reasonable amount of time to be buying a home. Most of your interest is front-loaded and you would pay down very little equity in 4 years. In addition, there is very likely restrictions on renting that type of unit. The best, and most honest advice? Don't buy it unless you play on being here longer than that.
You are wise to consider getting a house or condo and creating equity, rather than throwing the money away on rent.
Please consider that, with the real estate prices falling, there may be now affordable options even without such restrictions--especially if you find a roommate that will offset some of the costs.
A friend of mine, in grad school, had wisely purchased a home with family help. There were other grad students who then lived with that individual, making for a very positive environment, helping both her recoup costs and providing reasonable rent for the fellow students. Ultimately, it was a real winning situation for all involved.
Properties that have affordable-housing restrictions may not be as desirable, though, unless you are certain about being able to handle the restrictions related ultimately to the sale. However, you may be able to get a better deal on the price.
Note that, after 8 years of renting in Brighton, I ultimately bought not my ideal, but a reasonable old house in another nearby city that needed some work. In retrospect, the amount of money spent on the rent was unwise.
Please consider thinking creatively, see if you can find some fellow students interested in living in a home or an affordable option, and try to establish equity rather than rent early on. You may be able to make a difference in your life and in the lives of other students as well.
Even if you end up having some roommates driving you crazy, having the mortgage paid would perhaps compensate for the increased troubles. As Mr. Shapriro mentions, the 30-year mortgage may be a better option as well, although I'd add that no prepayment penalty would be helpful to allow you the flexibility of paying the mortgage down quickly.
Kudos on your willingness to think creatively, and hopefully establish a better living and equity situation for yourself.