If you are paying $1200 rent and have no extra money at the end of the month to save for a home, Then all you can afford for a mortgage is a $1200.
1. be able to save money is the 1st test in seeing if home ownership is for you.
you will need money for emergencies to fix things.
2. Create a budget for your self so that you can see where the money is going and see where you can cut to save some money.
3. Speak to a mortgage financial person who can show you ways to improve your credit score and show what you need to do with your credit cards and any other outstanding bills and loans.
4. There may be assistance programs to help with the down payment.
5. speak with a local realtor that can help you find a mortgage person and might know about these programs.