I would be working towards becoming a homeowner instead while the economy is giving you the chance to do so.
Rent prices have started to stabilize which is good news for you as a renter. They were increasing very rapidly over the past couple of years due to demand. A lot of new investors have come in to help increase inventory levels.
Of course, anything can be negotiated and other options are available.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
First Look: http://youtu.be/PumYpkgybXE
Rental increases have contributed to the purchase of a home more attractive....the break even point from a financial perespective now occurs in months rather than years as was historically the case.
Best of Luck,
Century 21 Tenace