You have come to the right place to find a professional in your area. We may be able to help you if we knew more about the location of the property which you are currently interested in selling. Please provide more details such as the city and state.
There are options out there for you to consider. Depending on the location you are looking as well as your income, a USDA loan may be a good loan to meet your needs. However, it does literally take an act of congress for USDA to get funding. This is usually the biggest challenge. I am in the Lufkin area and would love to help find the best venue for you in this economy. Feel free to contact me directly. Jill@GoNavarro.com.
There are several loan opportunities. A really great one is USDA direct loan which may allow you to roll in the cost of repairs as well. There are certain restrictions pertaining to the home itself as well as the location of the property but they work with buyers who have little to no conventional credit history. They will consider unconventional credit history such as utility bills. Look for an office in your area.
School performance is a great indicator, however, I always recommend to check the crime rates and sex offender list for each neighborhood.
I hate to hear about your circumstances. What is your interest rate currently? Perhaps a re-finance with today's current lower rates could be the answer to your situation by bringing down your monthly payment. There will be a small chunk of change for another closing cost but could easily be recovered over the length of the loan.
Every new home has a "punch list" meaning things that were overlooked or in need of minor attention ranging from items in need of a little caulking to major code issues. Inspection may give you a little leverage with the contractor in getting these things without negotiating price. Good luck and congratulations on your new home.
I have sold flooring for 25 years and I am a real estate broker as well. I have wood in my kitchen because I love the look and feel. I have no regrets. I do have some scars of living on my hardwood but that is simply managing your expectations to know this is furniture on your floor. There are some styles that are more user friendly than others. Handscraped styles offer a fashion which is current as well as a look that will endure the bangs of life happening without "ruining" your new floor. I clean mine with Windex original formula only and no knock off brand. It doesn't leave a film and will typically work well with any greasy mess.