Congratulations on your decision to initiate the process of buying a home and improve your credit scores! The improvement in your scores will benefit you monetarily in many ways during your future, not only during the purchase of your home.
For first-time buyers, there has been no better time in history to purchase a home. There are many advantageous tools available to you right now that will aid you in your quest to buy. To answer your specific question regarding renting vs. buying, I would advise that you buy now or very soon as to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit available to first-time buyers through the new stimulus package. This new tax credit disappears in November of this year and by renting an additional 6 months you might lose out on utilizing its benefits. How else can you save $8,000 so easily?
The low interest rates presently available, paired with the tax credit, add up to great monetary savings to you over the life of your loan. With your FICO credit scores, downpayment ability, and purchase price range, you are a perfect candidate for a FHA loan with interest rates in the low 5 percents. By going FHA, only a 3.5% down payment is required. The $8,000 savings you have already acquired is adequate for the price range of home you are interested in purchasing. I'd suggest you negotiate for seller paid closing costs within any real estate contract presented and that you try to take advantage of the great home buyer's market being found now.
I am a 30 year veteran of the mortgage industry with an office located in Shorewood at the corner of Route 59 and Black Road. I am a life-long resident of the Will County area. To become comfortable and more familiar with my qualifications and expertise, I suggest that you view my website at http://www.genemundt.com.
Within that site, you will also find additional information regarding the First-time Homebuyer's Tax Credit. Please feel free to view and print that information for your use and benefit. If you are in need of a qualified real estate salesperson to work with during your purchase, or other real estate-related professionals, please let me know. I have worked with our area's best and most highly qualified professionals and would be happy to refer them to you for your upcoming purchase.
I hope that I have answered your preliminary questions for you. I'd be happy to answer any further questions you have at your convenience. I can be reached through Trulia, my website, email (email@example.com), or by phone at any time.
I look forward to hearing from you soon, Michael.
Gene Mundt, Professional Mortgage Banker http://www.genemundt.com