Definitely talk to the VA to see what they can do and renting it out might not be a bad option. I would think that the income from the rent would get you under the 40%. Find out if your state is a deficiency state. If it is, the bank may or may not come after you for the shortage - depends greatly on your income and assets.... more
An average property would cost $100 - $150 per square foot for a newer home (home built within the last 20 years).... These homes will be energy efficient, have larger windows so one could easily escape in case of a fire, high efficiency windows, insulation, and furnace.... A quality home will have ceramic tile, hardwood flooring, and six panel doors, gas fireplace, whirlpool tub in bath.. These types of homes will sell for more and because they are efficient, will save you money in the long run when you get your utility bills..
Older homes that have not been upgraded will sell for less than $100 per square foot and generally will be converted cottages that do not have a basement
Lake front property is generally more, depending on the home's condition and if it has been upgraded... I would start from the base listed above and take each property on a case by case basis.... The closer to population, the more one is inclined to pay...... more