Try taking a look at different mortgage options.
For example: If you can buy/live on the out skirts of Granite City, like Maryville or Troy, check out the no money down USDA mortgage.
One of the best things about this mortgage is the monthly mortgage insurance is substantially less than an FHA or conventional mortgage and that's with no money down.
Here's an example: An FHA mortgage of $200,000 is going to have a monthly mortgage insurance payment of $208 but on a USDA mortgage it's only going to add $67 to your monthly payment so by switching to a USDA mortgage you could increase buying power.
The other nice thing is you can actually roll your closing costs into the loan as long as the appraised value supports it.
Please feel free to contact me for more information or help. You can also find info on my USDA Mortgage website by clicking the link below.
Senior Mortgage Banker