Everything depends on your situation --- your financials, your plans to stay put, etc.
Depending on what you're paying in rent and what your income is, you may find the current market favors the buyers because of two very important factors
1. The lowest interest rates in 40 years --- you may even qualify to get a loan for less than 4%
2. Lower prices than they were at the peak of the market. In some markets, including Hercules, prices have come down significantly, by 30-50% (especially if you are able to find a foreclosed home in good condition)
If you are planning to move away in less than 5 years, however, consider the costs you will incur in selling your home.
Home ownership may still be advantageous if your property values improve during that period of time and you can build up equity. There are other advantages to owning such as tax right offs.
In the meantime, you may have also noticed that rents have gone up, and in many cases, there seem to be fewer rentals available.