ok im really confused here. I am installing mint first right with 3 partitions, one for/ one for home and one for swap. I will install windows 7 in a few months. Now if I install grub to MBR i no 7 will overwrite it so my plan was to install it to the / partition so that i can just configure 7 bootloader with bce and all will be good. however im unsure as to whether or not if i install grub to / now if i will be able to even boot my system? Doesnt GRUB have to go on MBR if its the only os on the drive?
Go ahead and put GRUB on / and you should be fine. GRUB is too big to fit in the MBR and is actually moves out of the MBR to the partition you specify before it boots. To put things simply GRUB is installed halfway on the MBR and halfway on a partition.
When you install 7 or Vista the MBR will be wiped out and so that first stage of GRUB will not load. To fix that just burn a copy of the Super Grub bootable disc and it has utilities that will restore GRUB back to the MBR which will then allow it to reach its second half on /