Perhaps, instead of looking at what you may be able to purchase with your current CS today, think about what you may be able to purchase with a higher CS and more downpayment in the near future? I would not settle on a property because it is all your CS will afford you right now. Your choices will be far greater financially if you continue to work toward a higher credit score and downpayment. I think the housing market will continue on its current path. Please, do not settle. Good luck!
I completely agree with every answer thus far. There are many reasons to look into buying now. Fond du Lac is a very stable area and there are many potential ways to get additional closing cost help and possible down payment assistance or grants in this current real estate market.
down payment: I think you will find that the additional 2-4% down is going to have a very minimal affect on your monthly payment at the current interest rates. a slightly higher interest rate over 30 years will have a much more significant negative affect.
credit score: in talking with one of the lenders i use often, the discount in interest rates for having a higher score really don't have a lot of impact until you are around 740 score. Feel free to contact her anytime at 608-212-9305... just tell her I sent you over. She specialized in first time home buyers.
We cannot predict what the market will be like 2 years from now but i can tell you that in the last year Fond du lac, as a whole, has had a .2% increase in home prices. some specific neighborhoods, of course, have declined. If you want to let me know the neighborhoods or areas you are looking at in Fond du lac I would be happy to assist you in any way i can.
Buy a home after foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu-of or bankruptcy
Helping families/people that have lost their homes get back into another in as little as 6 months
The one thing you can depend on is an opportunity that exists now....planning on what the housing market will be like in 2+ years will likely only present you with speculation at best with no guarantees.
Our recommendation is to begin by visiting several mortgage representatives to find out if and what you may qualify for. Having an accurate appreciation for the programs and rates for which you qualify may clarify your options.
There is no time like the present but being practical involves becoming involved with resources within reason and currently at your disposal.
I really do think, however, that you have answered your own question and made some valid points for yourself about buying.
Prices are very low right now. I do think the market has began SOME stabilizing which doesn't necessarily mean that prices will jump up, but it doesn't mean that they will go any lower either. Mortgage rates aren't very high at all right now. Between that, home prices being low and the ability to buy with several low down payment programs, I don't see any reason not to buy. You already know that renting is quite possibly costing you more, and even if it was costing you the exact same amount, you're paying someone else's mortgage.
With rent vs. buying there are pro's and con's to each. You may not want to deal with big repairs and other issues that could arise from owning. Then again you may not want to deal with a landlord, changing rent rates, the potential of not getting a lease renewal the following year, etc.
In my opinion, I say go for it. Buy.
Get to a mortgage professional and see where you stand. See how much you qualify for and do some looking around at houses. This might give you a much better insight as to whether the market has what you are looking for right now, with what you can afford.
Best of Luck!