As you know, we are experiencing what is known as a buyer's market.
Here in the SF Peninsula, there are plenty of good buying opportunities for people with good credit.
You can get started with a Condominium....!
As I write this response, I am lookiing at the results I got out of a quick search with your price range.
The lowest priced CONDO in the San Francisco Mid-Peninsula is located in San Mateo, Ca.
Go to http://www.mlislistings.com
and search it by MLS (Multiple Listing Service) number using #766110.
It has several photos that show you what you can get for that amount. It is priced at $199K.
Night life from this Condo is 20-30 minutes away (SF) or less (Downtown Redwood City, Palo Alto).
The second lowest priced CONDO is located in Mountain View priced at $270K and the MLS number is 774305. Find the listings and map them on http://www.google.com.
On top of that, if you are a first-time home buyer you may qualify for a California Home Financing Assistance Program to get a low interest rate loan.
Go to http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/
for more information.
You do need to contact a lender who is knowledgeable about the program.
There are a couple I know who can help you with that..
Good luck with your search!