I'm right around 25%. I wish it were lower, but heating and electricity costs in my area are so expensive that I'm actually getting away with a bargain in many respects.
Help: What percentage of your income do you pay on rent/mortgage?
Over the years my wife and I have accumulated a lot of good camping gear. Tents, cots, camp chairs, etc. We can set up in a campground for a few bucks a day and that includes an electric hook up and a cold water tap. Most camps provide a communal shower with hot water. Evenings we go dumpster diving and bring back a nice selection of produce and past dated cheese/lunchmeat etc. Life is good.
Please, continue house hunting. Think of widening the net. Did you also tried houses owned by government and banks that are up for aunction? Why only focus on one friend help? Look for mores and compare notices. Do you really need a pool? How about using public pools? Resources for house buying are so many around the internet but can be confusing. Please, read this article : http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/Story?id=6613814&page=1
Please, do not forget to Check Out ABC News' Online Rent or Buy Calculator
Good luck Dan