I often hear people say they'd like to buy a house,"but everything's so expensive now." It's true that median sale prices of detached homes in Portland are around $300,000, but there are plenty of nice homes for less, sometimes a lot less.
Yesterday a friend was amazed at a listing I showed him for a very nice 1120 SqFt 2-BR condo – $150,000. It had granite & stainless upgraded kitchen & bath, two decks and is in a very attractive neighborhood. My penciling some numbers showed you could probably buy this home for mortgage payments of less than $1400, and if you didn't have a lot of other debt (like huge car payments or whopping credit card bills) you would likely qualify if you made about $55,000.
So don't let the "everything's so expensive now" trap keep you from buying now. The place to start is with a good lender, and I'd be happy to introduce to a great one.