I second all the things Dale Weir is telling you. One of the things she said was to check your municipality for help. That's where I would start. In Columbia you can call the city and they will hook you up with someone that gets you on the right path and doesn't charge for their services. There are people who want to take your money for their advice but the best place to start is with the city and with one of the local banks. She's right on about getting someone with experience to guide you and unfortunately it probably won't be a quick fix. If you're looking to buy now to take advantage of the first time home buyer $8,000 tax rebate you might still be able to qualify but interest rates are directly tied to your credit score so you'll take a hit. The lower your score the higher your rate. The good news is, as you heal your score you can refinance and your rate will go down. Get solid advice face to face in your community with a seasoned professional and best of luck.
Trisha Lee REMAX Boone Realty, Columbia, MO
(573) 999-1000 TrishaLee@Remax.net
No matter what though, don't rush into buying. While it's a great buyer's market right now you don't want to rush into buying if it means your rate will be substantially higher. A small difference in interest rates can mean a huge difference in your monthly payments.
RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty
56 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Direct: 201 795-5200 x340
Office: 201 795-0100
Fax: 201 795-1245