FHA mortgage loans are very good. The one draw back I have against a FHA mortgage loan is there is MIP sorta like PMI, that last the life of the loan no matter the balance of your mortgage loan.
Your MIP might be tax deductable depending on which tax bracket you are in.
For all tax and legal matters you should consult with your tax consultant and attorney.
Once you reach 80% of the value of your property I would consider refinancing to a conventional mortgage loan thus taking away the MIP and since the refinance would be for less than 80% of the value of the property your new mortgage would not have PMI.
Of course you would have to sit down and do the numbers to see if they match the cost versus any possible savings you might make from the refinance.
I would be reluctant to put down 15% with the housing market the way it is today. Once you purchase your property if could lose value thus your down payment would have been for naught and gone until the property appreciate in value. Presently, still in certain parts of the country properties are still losing in value.
Now your house is less than what you purchased it for and you have lost your down payment with the lost.
Therefore I would put down the minimum and leave my cash liquid in whatever instruments you presently have them.
You should ask and inquire about all the possible mortgage loans you are approved for.
You should ask as many questions as you can.Asking questions might conjure up more that you had not thought of. Don't leave your mortgage broker/bankers office until you are pleased with what they are telling you and you have all the answers to the questions you asked.
There are many things you should do, but the first thing you should do is contact a mortgage broker that does FHA mortgage loans and get pre-approved. This is the first step. Once you have your pre-approval then contact a real estate agent to look at house based on what you are qualified to buy.
You will need proof of income so have available pay stubs, w-2, bank statements and other items your mortgage broker will require.
He will inform you of what is necessary once you contact him.
This pre-approval will tell you the amount of house you are qualified to purchase as well as the interest rate, monthly mortgage payments and other necessary things you need to know about your mortgage.
Your pre-approval should indicate the interest rate, monthly mortgage payment and how long you have to pay the mortgage off (Terms). You should get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and a Truth in Lending (TIL) once you have beem pre-approved. As soon as you get these two documents call your loan consultant and ask questions about the numbers, what they mean, closing cost you are required to pay.
Make sure once you have seen a property that you inquire of a roof cert(even if the lender does not require one), an inspection report, an appraisal. A sales contract the give you the right to back out based on your inspection report.
To avoid a horror story don't sign anything unless you know exactly what it is that you are signing. Once you have signed your loan docs it is too late 2-3 years later to find out that what you thought you were getting you are not getting.
So if the interest rate, mortgage payment and terms on the mortgage docs you are about to sign do not match what you were told prior to you getting and signing your mortgage docs STOP and get an explanation from your mortgage consultant.
I hope this has been of some benefit to you, good luck.