When it comes to purchasing a home and comparing it with an apartment A LOT of people forget that buying the house WILL be more expensive monthly. If a house is 600-700 dollars a month for just mortgage and an apartment the same price per month you have to think about other things. Just because the MORTGAGE is that price that does not include PMI insurance (if you pay under 20% downpayment on the house you WILL have to get PMI insurance). Also, property taxes per month, house insurance per month, utility insurance (as in EVERYTHING in the house, washer/dryer, fridge, dishwasher, etc. is covered in case of breakdown), electric/gas, water. All these ARE NOT apart of the mortgage per month. So if you are getting a house for 700 dollars in actuality you WILL be paying 350-400 more per month on just the taxes and insurances ALONE! So you need to think about that, with an apartment you just pay the apartment rent, electric (which is sometimes included), water (which most definately is sometimes free), and OPTIONAL rental insurance. You WILL be paying less for an apartment if you are basing it solely on that the house and apartment will be the same rate.
Most people forget about that, some do not know what PMI insurance is, its for people who pay LESS than a 20% downpayment. You need to talk to a realtor about not the price of the house per month but EVERYTHING else that will be added to the price. Remember that... a lot of people foreclose on houses because they forget about the other things that are added to the price of a house. You will be owning the house so YOU have to pay if you need a new roof, or theres a pipe leak, or the plumbing is bad. You don't worry about that nor pay for that with an apartment. If you can afford all the other things per month, and you are ABSOLUTELY positive you can, then buying a home is a GREAT investment because homes appreciate every 2 years by 3-4%. BUT if you can not afford it don't bother with it, you don't want to put yourself in debt and have that on your credit, especially if later on you CAN afford a house.