(b) You are correct that multiple credit checks will adversely affect your credit. However, getting a baseline now for the purposes of buying a house in two years is probably not going to hurt you much, if at all.
Get a copy of your credit report, whether it's through a lending institution, a credt counseling or repair organization or something like freecreditreport.com.So how do you research what you can get, without hurting your chances for getting that when you are ready?
Another option is to apply for a credit card and get denied. Based on the credit denial you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report.
granted, if your credit is good, then it's probably harder to NOT get an approvaly than it would be to get an approval.
That's really not a bad situation to be in.