Alan, how I miss Kihei! Believe it or not, it was a choice between Kihei and Austin when I made a move from the East Coast. Nevertheless, I do have a couple of excellent lenders who may be able to talk to you to help you raise your score enough to qualify for a mortgage. That would probably be the best route versus paying higher fees and interest rate for a lower score. Feel free to contact me and I will be happy to refer you to them. I am one of the busier agents in Austin and since I send them a good deal of business, they do not charge you anything for the preapproval process, will help guide you to a better score, and they give my clients preferential treatment with with regard to rate, fees, etc.I will be in my office today from 12 PM central standard time on if you would like to give me a call so I can determine which lender would be best suited for you.
As far as which area might be best for you, Austin is a very liberal city in general and most areas would be more than welcome to have you. I would be happy to discuss that further with you as well.
Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Company, Ranked #1 by Buyers and Sellers (JD Power & Assoc. 2012)