Hi Tania, I just skimmed through the replies but didn't really see anyone mention programs for first-time and low income homebuyers. I am a single professional living in Oakland, CA and I, too, am struggling with where to buy that I can afford. I really want to stay in Oakland but I can only afford $250k. I know that because I went with a program called NACA, they can help you buy a house with little, to no, down payment and low credit score. I went through them for a while and they are really helpful. Its a mostly free service, you just pay a $25 registration fee. Or, since you do have down payment money saved, you can do a first-time homebuyers program so that you qualify for an FHA loan for low-income folks. I'm not sure if you NEED to do the program to get an FHA but it is a free program you can find at HUD or most community centers. I did my program at SF LGBT Center so I know there are quite a few places that offer it. There are also credit unions that will work with you to get an FHA or other low-income/low down payment mortgages. 1 example is SF Credit Union. I have not talked to lenders, real estate agents or anything yet. I started with those 2 programs (NACA and First-time Homebuyers Certificate, you can google both) and gained a lot of knowledge. I'm still working on saving but will most likely be going through NACA to get my mortgage by the end of the year. Good luck to you and your family!