Your credit may not be as bad as you think. What you see and hear on the street is not conducive to what really exists.
There are lenders who work with 580 credit scores.
Private money allows scores down to 3 (that's not a typo). If you have money to put down, or the property has equity moving in or combo of both, you can at least buy the property and then refinance later when your credit gets better. Worse case, we'll have someone buy the house for you (must have a certain amount of equity in it moving in) and then lease purchase it back to you. This opens your prospects even more because you don't have to worry about an owner holding out for you.
Do some digging yourself. Ask around in the places you want to live and find people who just don't want to live there anymore but they owe more than the value of the property. Perhaps they'll be more willing to work with you because it gives them an "out". You can also get a better deal with pre-foreclosures or pre-sales as some owners would rather pay a little out of pocket each month than to tarnish their credit or have to pay a full amount each month:
"Would you be willing to pay $100 of the existing mortgage out of pocket if I'm willing to pick up the rest?"
The only issue with lease purchases from someone who owe's money on the loan is that they may spend the money elsewhere and still default. You have to insist that you pay the lender directly each month (with a check). You have to pay with a check to give you proof of payment in case you have to go to court and also to show your next lender that you have been paying rent.
Please, use a Realtor when writing up a lease offer. There are so many ways to be taken advantage of on these deals: Who pays association dues? Who pays repairs and of how much cost minimum? How to get out of the contract if needed?
Get everything in writing. If it's not in writing, it didn't happen.
I have a town home listing coming up in Glenridge Heights that I'll bet you would love. However, this landlord is looking for an October 1st tenant.
As a rule of thumb it is a good idea to start a serious search about 45 days out as most landlords do not want to lose what in this case could be three months of rental income.
I'd like to help you and think it is a great idea to start a conversation at this point so that I can keep a lookout for a home that you will love in the areas you want to live in. Please give me a call if you think I can help.
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Midtown