Last year I helped a relative in your situation buy a home that was a good enough deal that her payments were in that price range. She had been renting for over 30 years and never thought she could own anything.
There may be a way for you to purchase a condo or townhome and keep your monthly payment where you would like it to be and not have to worry about what is available in the rental market.
The first thing you would need to do is contact several local mortgage lenders - I have a list if you would like some help getting started down that path, and see if you could qualify for a loan.
It's at least a thought - and might open up a lot of options for you.