Having bad credit can make buying a house much more difficult but certainly not impossible. The standards for being approved for a mortgage are pretty tight so you’ll need to do all the right things to make it happen.
My recommendation is to look at houses that you like and would consider a dream house. Then look at houses that fit your budget. Compare the options and consider the pros and cons of settling for a house you can afford.
Investigate your credit scores and create a plan to improve it. Just because it was bad once doesn’t mean you should give up and let it continue to decline. Sometimes prior credit issues can be mitigated if you can prove and explain that there was good reason for the issue. Search for inaccuracies and file a formal written request for them to be corrected. Even the big credit agencies make mistakes or have incomplete information that shows as a bad mark on your credit. Stay aware of your score and set realistic goals for a mortgage amount and time it will take to get approved. Use extreme caution when it comes to loans available to high risk borrowers and avoid predatory lenders.
The higher your credit score the higher the loan amount and lower the interest will likely be. Often it is necessary to work on improving your credit and saving for a down payment in order to get approved for a mortgage that allows you to buy a house that meets your expectations. This takes time, so you may have to rent and wait a few years before buying a house.
Much of the process is the same, except that you can live in the home as you are improving your credit, saving for a down payment and working toward buying the home.
Find a rent to own home that has the highest priority items and is in your affordable budget range for both rental price and purchase price.
While living in the home, research your credit, resolve any inaccuracies and work out a plan to be fiscally responsible. Rather than find a way to work around bad credit, fix it. With good credit you’ll need to save less for a down payment and you will have the best chance at getting a great mortgage rate and approved loan amount.