If you were to purchase this home at Stratford Lake: http://tempo.carolinamls.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=842258646&a your monthly expenses would look about like this, assuming you have 580+ FICO no lates in 12 months, no recent foreclosures or bankruptcy and assuming the below FHA insured loan.
$105,000 purchase price
$3,675 total downpayment (depending on your income, there may be ways to get this lower)
$101,325 Loan amount
$124,800 tax value
5.00% Interest rate
$30 yr mortgage term
$139 HOA fee
$544 Principal & Interest
$43 Mortgage Ins. (PMI)
$907 Total monthly investment
However, if you are not required to stay within the city limits, there are 450 townhomes and condos currently for sale within 5 miles of Carolina Place Mall, Pineville. They range in price from under $50,000 to over $650,000. At $50,000 purchase price, your monthly payment could be in the low $600's. At $180,000. it could be about $1,350 a month.
If your monthly rent or lease payment is more than a house payment and you plan to stay here for at least 2 years (to get the capital cains exemption) buying might make sense for you. Some of the higher value homes are short sales, so if you are needing to move quickly, the long approval process for this type of sale might not work for you.
If I were buying, I'd take a closer look at these "favorite 2+bedrooms homes under $180 within 5 miles of the mall": http://tempo.carolinamls.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=294710125&a
If you have a full time agent with a Masters degree in Planning with Finance and over two decades of experience, working for you, you will likely do better in negotiations. I'd be pleased to provide that service. ...and if you like this answer, please give it a "thumbs up". .