Recently I've been working with a young single father looking to buy a home. It is critical that his payment stay in an affordable range near his rent payment. He is admittedly living in a less than desirable location on a main road in a duplex but he makes only so much money and is afraid of getting in a bad situation. Due to some health issues with his child he is reluctant to spend what the mortgage companies say he can. I say good for him. But, my job is to prove to him that renting is getting him no where and rents will only go up.
Right now the programs are in place for 100% financing and with extremely low pricing and interest rates, not to buy will cost him a ton. These programs are ready to go away. If you are thinking about it yourself, don't hesitate time is up in September.
With interest rates still low and foreclosures in Cape Coral and Fort Myers so plentiful it only makes sense to buy NOW to secure a future for himself and his child. He can lock in a payment, have a good location to live and gain equity over time. If he continues to rent he is standing still.
The rent vs. buy calculator helps put the whole thing into perspective. http://www.ginniemae.gov/rent_vs_buy/Rent_vs_buy_calc.asp?section=YPTH
If Lawrence Yun (NAR's chief economist) is right property values should go up 30% to 50% in the next few years.