If you are not sure where you stand with your credit, get the exact number. Call and meet with a reputable lender and figure out what your credit score is, what your debt to income ratio is (this will affect the amount of money the lender is willing to loan you), etc.
You may be ready to buy if your credit is descent enough, if your debt to income ratio is descent, if you can organize your bills and finances to where you can comfortable afford a home.
The bottom line is that it is always a good idea to buy your own home--if you do buy, stay in it 3-5 years minimum and you should see it appreciate. I hope that you find out soon about your ability to buy...good luck with that!
If you can improve your score in the upcoming months, it may be worth it to wait. If you have no reason to expect any changes, see a lender and ask them what you might qualify for now.
FHA will allow you to put down less $$ and be less strict on the credit scores. Your desired purchase price points will make a difference in your options.
Only a lender can give you an accurate answer and guide you according to your income, down payment monies, and credit history.
Depending on just how bad your credit is, you may or may not be able to obtain financing, for one. Even if you are able to obtain financing, you may not be able to obtain the best rate available to you.
IS it a good idea? Well, it depends on your situation outside of your 'bad credit'.
Are the circumstances that impacted your credit negatively now under control? Are you able to now repay your debts in a timely and responsible manner so that taking on yet another financial commitment will not further impact your credit? Are you actively taking steps to improve your credit?
It is hard to say whether or not it is a good idea to attempt to buy a home without knowing more about your specific situation. You can meet with a lender that can help you honestly assess whether or not buying a home right now will not only be feasible, but a good idea.
The best thing you can do is to work towards improving that score. In the case you have not already been counseled on how to improve your credit score, here is an article that may be a good start: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/YourCreditRatin
If are actively working towards your goal of improving your credit, and your creditors can see and attest to this, you will be on your way.
Good luck to you.