From what you have described, you are now at the starting point of exploring the real estate market hear in Marin county. You have great income, steady jobs and wonderful credit scores. You probably should check with a mortgage broker and find out about your options. FHA loan requires a 3.5% downpayment, but you can ask for credit bacck to cover your closing costs. Wellfargo just came up with a program for buyers with great credit score and good income - they require 5% loan for 30 year conventional loan.
And believe or not, my nephew who works in DC told me just last night that one of his young colleagues got a loan for 0 % down. I asked him to double check and report back to me - that's the first I have heard recently and I sure would like to know about those options for my clients. .
In the mean time, you should be talking to a Realtor and find out about the market in the areas that you are interested in and/or find out from the Realtor where might be the best place for your family.
Your Realtor, of course, can recommend mortgage brokers to you.
I am not sure if you will be ready, but if you get into contract by 04/30 and close escrow by 06/30, you can still enjoy the up-to $8,000 credit back from the government (you can even claim that on your 2009 tax return).
Sometimes the situation helps us decide where / how we are to proceed in life, and this might be one of those for you.
I would love to be able to help you, so please do give me a call â€“ you will not lose anything by start finding out your options. (BTW, there is a free MLS search on my site)
Sylvia Barry, MAS, ePRO
Frank Howard Allen Realtors