Don’t listen to the “gloom and doomers.” Buying a home today is not an unreachable dream. However, it takes a lot more ingenuity than it used to. If your financial condition will not allow you to settle in one of the affluent suburbs forget about looking there. Start looking in areas where prices are more in line with what you can afford. Also, housing values can be much better the further one goes from metropolitan areas. True — commuting time and gasoline might be more expensive, but the extra cost may be far outweighed by the saving in monthly payments and initial down payment.

The more repairs a home might need, the better the price should be. A handyman can proceed at his own pace and financial condition. Even a non-handyman can stretch out non-emergency repairs until financial conditions permit. Don’t forget family help. Last year, over 30% of first time buyers received half or more of their down payment from relatives.