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Hi everybody! Thank you for the advice and stuff. Replying in particular to folks:

TMF Runkle/Bottles: About debt/income ratio: I'm doing pretty well there. as far as the 28%/36% rule goes, my debt amounts to about 6% of my gross. Mortgage dudes tell me I'm qualified on the front end for a $140,000 mortgage - i'm shooting for a $75k mortgage instead, 'cause I don't trust jobs to stay permanent forever.

Bottles: Yes, I did factor in taxes, insurance, PMI, and P+I into the mortgage payment. Thank you for pointing that out though.

ChicagoBob: Interesting about "not getting in at the bottom rung". I was not aware of that philosophy, and I will have to give it some thought. Any interesting books/pages that might help me get insight into that aspect of investing?

Someone (don't remember who): About my credit problems in the past - yes, I am in the process of getting a notarized signed statement from the person who got me in trouble.

CarlosKB/Christine: I appreciate the concept of a mortgage being a big thing - I've been avoiding it for the last two years. However, I'm at a point in my life where I want to settle down. My gf and I plan to get married in 4-5 years (when she turns 25,26). I had the chance to live in a house with some friends who had just bought it. Looking at how little it financially hurt them, and the vast spaces involved, and my current financial situation, I think buying a house for me is an easy decision. (Also, Sara and I have a ton of stuff, and we could sure use the room.)

Mostly, I want to live in one. And if its cheaper spacewise than renting (which it is), then that's cool too. :)

but, all in all, I was looking at my situation again. I recalculated my net income at a little over $1000/mo. AFTER everything is accounted for. I'm going to pay off my debt in 4 months, then start saving towards a house. Sooner or later, my savings for a house will be greater than the downpmt required by FHA.. and a deal will be made.

Thanks for all the input, folks. :)
Sunny the Bunny
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