Though your "ideal scenario" may not seem to materialize in the immediate, you may want to consider the option of purchasing a home for the $50,000 you have on hand, I recently worked with my client to find a suitable home for them to purchase for lLESS THAN $50,000 in a neighboring suburb and the home had many updates such as new roof, furnace, and updated electrical...If you can purchase the home with no mortgage you can then begin to build equity and you are avoiding paying rent as well ...
Option # 2 may be to find a Seller who is willing to aid in a "rent to own" scenario where a portion of your rent would go towards eventual ownership of the property-bear in mind however that often there are stipulations which could include a sizable downpayment as well as voiding of the option to purchase if your rental agreement is not fully satisfied (example: rent payments are delinquent, etc...)
These options may not be a good fit for all, though some have benefitted greatly from these strategies.
Let me know If I can be of assistance!
Ken Chambers, Realtor