Realtor.com is what I'm using with great results.
I need to fix my income (crappy) before I buy but I'm close to buying right now.
I've squirreled about $15k away for a down. Not huge, but better than nothing.
I sold a ton of stuff to get that money & I suggest the same for anyone.
We love out toys, but a home is far harder to replace than toys are.
I also busted my ass for 2 years to eliminate all my credit card debts by working 2 jobs.
I paid minimum on all but the highest interest rate one which I paid everything I made at the second job, then the next highest card, etc...
It's surprising how fast you can wipe out your credit load by doing this.
Keep looking, you never know when something will drop in your lap if you're ready to pull the trigger.
Good luck, JJ
Here in^^^^^^^ lies the answer. S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E, skimp, and save.
Bubba(JJ) wanted a house bad enough to do what he needed to do, to get there.
Sit down with your wife(do this together), and start working on a budget.
Start with the last couple of months, and see if you can account for every dime you brought home, and where it went. You want to see how much just slipped through your fingers.
Next, itemize all of those monthly expenses you have to pay...rent, insurance for renting and vehicles, gas for vehicles, groceries, utilities, phone(how often do ya'll buy a new phone? did you need to, or was it trendy?), cable bill, etc..
Next, try and decide how much you spend on clothes and other non-monthly 'essential' items in a year, and divide that by 12.
This will give you an idea of the absolute maximum you can possibly put away every month. That's your goal. Paying your bills is expected. You should know just what it 'really' cost to live, and not just how much a month you've managed to spend.....if those two are the same, you can't afford a house.
Skip vacations, and any other types of frivolity. Cut back on the nights out with friends etc. to once a month(at most). Eat at home more. If you smoke, quit, and put that money towards your house. Recreational meds? avoid them. How bout that cable bill, do you need HBO, and ball games. How new are/is your car(s)? Start cutting up all your credit cards but just one, and pay it off every month(18%+ interest is a deal killer. Banks love it).
You say you have a 100 dollars a month for I'm guessing a second?? bike, when you have a Roadie now? That payment, would allow you $600 a month when added to your current rent
. If you just bought the bike, or are thinking about it, then your priorities are messed up. You didn't want a house, you wanted a new bike. I remember eating alot of mac and cheese, hamburger helper, and driving older dependable vehicles(not a motorcycle in sight), when I was starting out and looking for a home.
You need to decide if you really want a house. Owning a home is a life style, just like new bikes. You can't mow a lawn with a motorcycle. Party with friends, or put in a garden and or plants/shrubs??? When the wife wants a deck, do you have the skills and tools, or will you have to hire it done? Its something your stuck with once you buy it. It's a commitment.
I'm just guessing, but if you sat down and really went over what you spend unnecessarily(waste)every month, then the money is probably there. Start putting it away now, and in a year or two, you may actually have a decent down payment.
If nothing else, when the bank sees that your saving $$$$$$ every month instead of spending it on credit card bills..or new bikes, they might think your serious enough not to default, and leave somebody else holding the bag.
That's why banks like bigger down payments...the borrower, has skin in the game. You stand to lose big if you default.
The days of easy money in the mortgage game where you could buy a house with no money down etc. are gone(it was a mistake to go down that road starting in the 70's, and all of the politicians who thought it was a great idea to force the standards down, are idiots).
I'm gonna harp on that KLR650 again. You took out a loan for a toy??????
Toys are frivolous. Never borrow money for toys or vacations. If you don't have cash in hand, the rest of the bills already paid, and some emergency cash set aside, forgetaboutit!!!!. Banks aren't your friend, lending you money, is how they make theirs. They'll eat your lunch everyday that you let em