Dot is correct. There are home loans specifically for teachers. For example, I know Wells Fargo has such a program. You should contact a few mortgage specialists or bank loan officers from different institutions and inquire.
I think waiting and saving up for the down payment and closing costs would be best. The seller may pay closing costs. Ask if they will because it is a buyers market. Remember, get your credit as good as possible so you can get the best interest rate. Pay off your cards if you can and don't buy a new car or finance anything big before purchasing.
Prices are falling like a rock and they have a long, long, long way to go...
Check out this article:
Prices will fall to get in line with Home Price vs. Rent and Median Home Price vs. Median income ratios. You will probably kick yourself if you buy a home anytime soon. Renting is your best bet right now, and wait to buy in 2011 or 2012.
If you bought a home for $300,000 and next year, you saw an identical home across the street selling for $240,000, would you kick youself? You are in a prime position to rent a great place and negotiate a great price for that rental. Save your money and buy in a few years.
As for moving to another area of the country...ONLY if you want to! Housing may be cheaper but wages most likely will be too. It's all relative.
As a single person this may not appeal to you, especially if safety is an issue. However, I would consult a local lender and see what other programs might be available to persons in your situation. Hope this helps?
How is your credit? Do you have any money saved up for closing costs and other expenses.
Let me know if you would like for me to refer you to a loan officer.