I would concentrate on resolving your credit issues. Having your rent paid in advance for a year might sound good, but you may find your perfect home during that year and want to close before the year end. That extra rent money could be used for your closing costs. You may want to check your lease agreement to see if you can break the lease prior to the years end if needed and what your costs for doing that might be. This is a great time to find and buy a home. Interest rates and home prices are great! If you wait, prices may go up along with interest rates by the time you are ready.
All the best,