I agree with NeOmega. It does not sound to me like you are in a sound financial position right now to take on a mortgage, and you’re looking at houses which would be nothing but trouble if you bought one. “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.”
I owned a home off-and-on for about fifteen years, buying it at the cusp of a housing bust and selling it with reasonable profit. But I had of course paid about three times as much over the years as what had actually accumulated as “equity” on the home, so I really only got a chunk of that money back. I did not finish, fifteen years later, with more money than I had spent. And I owned it for fifteen years! Furthermore, if I had not bought at the bottom of a housing bust, I probably would have come out about even-steven.
(Naturally, I was never stupid enough to take out any “second mortgage” … “home equity loan” … or any of that riprap. When I sold, the agent told me that she’d seen houses with four “seconds!”) Ain’t no such thing as free money, anywhere.
I wasn’t forced to sell, wasn’t in any kind of economic hardship or other calamity. I simply chose, carefully, to do it. To sell, get out of the market, and stay out for the time being.
Ever since that time, I’ve rented, and I’m happy so to do. I pay less, for a very fine place to live, and I’m not responsible for upkeep or mowing the lawn… and if a puddle suddenly appears underneath the water heater I just call maintenance, not Home Despot. I know exactly what my housing costs will be each month.
Right now I believe that we are at the cusp of a housing bubble that is already beginning to go down. I cannot overlook the “Stop Foreclosure!” advertisements, now painted on trucks that drive through “affluent” neighborhoods as though they were selling ice-cream. If you sign a note for $200,000 and the demand for your home does what every real-estate agent claims it will never do, you can be trapped in your own home! Having bought my previous home off the back of another man’s misfortunes (he did Chapter-7), I know that what goes up will come down and I have no interest in becoming a prisoner of ill-timing. Oh, I may buy another house someday, but not at these prices, and not for these crappily-built shacks!