I understand the desire to own your own home. It's the American dream. The problem is, if you have to borrow to buy it, you don't really own it, the banks own you. We've seen how that works out.
Yet some people haven't even been kicked out of their foreclosed homes and they're are already talking about improving their credit score so they can borrow to buy a new house. Which begs the question, are you insane?
If there's one thing to be learned from my own financial crisis, it's pay as you go. If you don't have the full price in hand, don't freaking buy it. If you do, you're just pouring money in the terroris...I mean, banks' pockets.
Now you're probably thinking I'm insane. Even with the declining price of homes, how the heck will you come up with the full price of a home or plot of land? It's possible, you just have to think within your means. That 4500 square foot home with a movie theater in the west wing was a little excessive anyways.
For example, you can get a nice 4x9 funeral plot for less than a thousand dollars (depending on the property and location). That's room enough for a bunk bed and you can always build on (or in) it later. Guaranteed you'll have quiet neighbors.
You might want to check and see if you've already got a plot in your family. A friend of mine discovered a family mausoleum his grandfather built and has set up residence there. All my grandparents left were urns which serve no earthly purpose except to take up space in my shopping cart.
You can also get a basic starter doghouse for only $59.00, or something as lavish as a sprawling two floor Spanish hacienda for $30,000 (rumor has it Lloyd Blankfein's dog has one of these).
Tool and storage sheds can be quite economical if you get a kit (from $150 to $500). If your tastes demand something more luxurious, consider having yours custom ordered for $1,500 and up.
If you love the outdoors and live in a warm environment, a gazebo may be right for you. You can get one with UV Guard-protected polyester taffeta side panels to keep out harmful ultraviolet rays for $274 on amazon.com. Target also has several choices, from sleek to rustic. Don't buy the first one you see. Attend a few open houses to get a feel for the market.