Thanks guys. I appreciate the info.
I understand that there may be a difference between agencies, but why would MY results differ from HIS results? We are both querying the same agencies...?
I'm definitely not looking at flipping a house. We (my soon to be fiancé and I) are in it for the long haul. This is all so overwhelming, I can't imagine going through this again in a few years.
As far as the down payment, I'm going to be completely honest. We don't have 20% to put down. Realistically we're looking at probably 5% down in cash. My employer and the city of Baltimore has a few programs (loans and grants) to assist with downpayment and closing costs also.
I wouldn't say my credit is destroyed, I'm 29, and I do have a few small items that are in collections which need to be dealt with. It has also been suggested to me to get a small, secured, credit card and make minimum monthly payments (on time) to establish those green blocks.
I know time will help me, but unfortunately my lease is up in July. Right now i'm paying about $1300 a month in rent. I DO NOT want to sign another 1 year lease at my current place, and they almost DOUBLE my rent if I want to go month to month. Catch 22, I suppose.
The mortgage guy i'm dealing with specializes in first time buyers and says getting my credit up to snuff is do-able by mid summer. I guess it all depends on how quickly I can pay off these items that are in collections, and establish a few (6?) months history of on-time payments.