There is no perfect answer to the question of when and how to buy a home, and if at all. There are many factors that come into play, including the state of the real estate market, the buyer's financial capacity and future plans among other things. Most important of all is the planned usage, which varies from a primary residence to a vacation home or just as an investment.
Buyers who are constrained by a budget and their credit score may not have too many options such as the property size, location and other details. The real estate crash of 2007-08 has made it almost impossible to get subprime mortgages quickly and easily. However, it is still possible to buy a home instead of renting one with just a month's rent and deposit.
Renters may have no financial headaches or maintenance issues to deal with, but they also end up with zero assets when they leave the home. On the other hand, being the owner of a property offers all kinds of financial security and earnings. To begin with, mortgage payments are tax-deductible, while paying monthly rent offers no such benefits.
Secondly, a wise real estate investment can be leveraged into significant gains. This may be in the form of capital gains associated with appreciation in the value of the property. It can also become a rental income, or savings accrued from not having to pay rent once the mortgage is cleared. There are many such benefits to being a home owner, but the key question still remains - are you capable of buying a home in the first place?
If you have a credit history that's not very impressive, the best way to find out is to apply for a mortgage with a subprime lender. Unfortunately, most of them do not publicly advertise their services any more. The only way to find them is to go to a traditional lender and enquire about a subprime loan even if the lender does not offer it. As a customer they will direct you to an affiliated subprime specialist.
If the subprime lender also rejects your application, try applying through a state or federal program. There are many schemes available to help people buy homes. The government provides a guarantee, which reduces the risk for the lender, allowing ineligible buyers to get a loan with little or no down payment and easy repayment options.