Jared brings up a point that I believe hits home for most of America which has been overlooked by economists and why the DNC is so popular right now (I'm a Republican).
The issue with the economy isn't just "being employed". It's that when you are employed you make enough money that you can afford a decent home in a decent area, which is Jared's situation.
In Arizona we are selling homes here. We had 6,100 sales last month and the majority of those were 150-200k, 1st time home buyer range.
There are two things that need to be said here that we as Americans do which also effects home buying. We spend too much on things that don't truly benefit us and we don't save "anything".
If Jared had a substantial savings, he could place more down payment on his home which would lower his payment.
So sacrifice needs to be brought to the table as part of his formula in order to solve his home buying problem if he wants to live in California.
Jared, stop spending and Start saving. No more ipods, new plasma tv's and 2008 Toyota Prius.
Take the bus, read some books and learn to play the guitar. This example may sound like I'm being a little snide, but in reality that's what most of America needs to start doing.
Of course, you could move out here to Arizona and I could help you purchase a nice 2 bedroom 2001 home in surprise ;-)
All The Best!
Inspire Realty Group