I will disclose that I am a Realtor in California. The market finally hit bottom in mine and many others' opinions. The interest rate could not be lower, and California is helping low income people with up to 3% for down-payment. You can buy a house roughly $200,000 for 1 income or $220,000 for 2 incomes with 1% out of your pocket (3 bed in some areas of LA). The mortgage + mortgage insurance + home insurance + home maintenance would be less than the rent for the same size house and even for a larger one.
The real dream is of 2 years of W2's and a fico above 640. Anyone can improve his/her credit. Check www.annualcreditreport.com for free credit report and start achieving your dream. Income is important also and staying in the same job/activity for 2 years should be everyone's goal now that employment started to improve.