I am not familiar with rental prices in Hillsdale, but I will tell you this much, here in Morris and Sussex Counties home prices have gone down and rental prices have gone up. It is almost as affordable now to rent as to own. of course one needs to qualify for a mortgage and have something of a down payment saved, but right now, in general, home prices and interest rates are so low it really makes sense to at least look into buying.
I would be happy to put you in touch with a good lender. At least that way you would know what you could qualify for and afford to pay as a monthly mortgage payment. Then you can compare that number to rental prices and investigate the size and condition of homes for sale in your price range.