No. of Recommendations: 2
...Rent payments in this area are ... less than the Mortgage + HOA + Taxes....

Given that it's cheaper to rent than own, why do you want to own?
Potential financial reasons include:
- In the long run, rents will rise more than property taxes, so if you buy now, then at some point your monthly homeownership costs will be less than if you were renting.
- In the long run, you'll be building equity.

What is "the long run"? Probably 10 to 15 years. How long do you plan to stay in the area?

...I have a roommate who I will charge about 40% of the monthly mortgage payment...

I'm not sure whether that counts as income when qualifying for a mortgage (I would guess not), or if it makes you a landlord, or what the consequences are of turning part of your residence into a rental. My knee-jerk reaction is that if you need a tenant in order to afford the house, you can't afford the house, but I admit I haven't thought that one all the way through because what concerns me more is: what is your anticipated timetable, if any, regarding marriage/children? Because:
- If/when you marry, your spouse might feel more comfortable with the two of you selecting a place together, as opposed to moving into "your" house. In which case, the "how long do you plan to stay in the area?" question contracts to "how long do you plan to own the house you're buying now?"
- If/when you marry, your spouse will presumably have income to compensate for the loss of roommate income, but if/when you have children, there will then be some combination of loss of income and day care expenses.

So my opinion is that if you can afford a house on your income alone, and your employment prospects appear stable, and you plan to stay in the house 10+ years, then go for it!
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