All this commotion in the news lately about the $8,000 tax credit and foreclosures and great deals and falling prices has put the idea in my head that it might be time for me to become a homeowner.

Under normal circumstances, my finances would tell me to steer clear of a mortgage. But I figured that all the hubbub must mean I could find something that would make it worth my while, in comparison to a monthly rent payment that doesn’t earn me any equity. Some states are even kicking in extra money on top of the cash from Uncle Sam, as an incentive for buyers.

I started browsing around the local real estate listings, and was extremely disappointed in what I found. Single-family homes and townhomes were averaging around $500,000 for 3 bedrooms. Condos were cheaper, but not by much. Now granted, I live in Chicago, where property values are a bit higher, but I was expecting fall-down-to-the-floor low prices. Even the few foreclosure and REO properties listed were still in the $200,000 area, and needed a bit of work.

What I found very funny was that a few of the homes had snow on the ground in the pictures! Maybe they’d sell the place if they were be willing to budge a bit more on the price.

What’s a girl who just wants a nice 2 bedroom house with a yard and a mortgage payment in the same range as my rent to do?

Have you been seeing dramatic price drops in your neighborhood? What kind of signs of this “buyer’s market” are you seeing? Have you found any great deals?

Read More: Some Local Real Estate Markets Showing Improvement