I want to start by telling you that there will be plenty of agents and loan officers weighing in here to tell you that prices are at their lowest point in years and that interest rates are inredible and this alone justifies the purchase.
Please don't buy a house right now. You can certainly qualify for a loan, but that doesn't make it the right move. There are too many risk factors in your situation that could throw you into a tail spin if you own a house. The time will come, but for now you should rent and save up some money and pay off your debt. When you buy a house you want it to be a blessing, but if you buy now, you will be one layoff away from complete disaster.
Merry Christmas and Good Luck
Rates and prices are very low but that alone should obviously not be your motivating factors. Then there are the intangibles. Do you want the pride of home ownership, do you want to be able to do whatever you want to your own home, do you want to pay the plumber when a pipe breaks, do you want to pay for water and trash.
There are so many things that go into this decision that you really should speak with both a great Realtor and a great Mortgage Planner. This may be the best time ever for you to buy a house and it might be the worst. But you wont know if you dont investigate.
That actually matters more than the total amount of debt.
My wife and I (combined) have about $45,000 of student loan and other debts. But we also make about $7000 per month. We were able to afford a house with no problem.
that said, you definitely want to save up more for your down payment. $9000 in savings is not enough. You'll want to have enough to put 10% down on a house (at least!!!) and have an adequate cash reserve for backup in case something goes wrong (around 6 months' worth of mortgage payments, for example)
You will find a lot of people willing to sign you up and help you "get a home" but that does not mean it is a good decision. Take this time to learn as much as possible about what's going on in the RE market, read through the blogs and Q&A, look at everything you can about everything...
The last thing you need in life now is to make a financial committment for a large property purchase and find out you can't meet your obligations..You have time, the houses are not going anywhere, more will be for sale, and you will have the time to inform yourself so you can make a good solid decision..
Just my 1.7 cents worth.........Good luck, Dunes
It's best for you to talk to a lender who will take the time to review your monetary situation over all, rather than just running numbers to tell you what you qualify for. I would recommend Alec Grebis at Cornerstone Mortgage. Try his website at http://www.themortgagescoop.com or http://www.mnhomeloan.com. They have services that can give you a more well rounded picture of what your best financial moves should be.
They will also provide you with the necessary pre-approval letter you will need to get the process started. Let me know if you need a buyer specialist. That's what I do!