At 30, you may be ready to start a family and buy what you need. According to statistics, 70% of buyers in this age group are married couples and 30% have children. Most lenders require a minimum 10% down payment, but if you can put in 20%, you'll save on mortgage insurance and interest payments. When looking for a larger home, consider the long-term costs.
You'll be making payments for the next 30 years, so assess your primary source of income and future prospects. Don't be too risk-averse, but also don't stretch your budget too thin. As a young adult, you're likely at the beginning of your earning potential, so what may seem like an effort now could be much more comfortable in a year or two. Buying a house is preferable to buying a condo because it accumulates capital faster and you won't have to pay Homeowners Association fees.
When budgeting for a home, set aside what you can reasonably afford without running out of cash or putting yourself at risk in an emergency. Focus on remodeling projects that increase resale value and improve your quality of life. You should also examine your income, savings (for down payment and closing costs), and recurring debt to figure out how much home you can afford to buy. Investing in real estate companies or REIT index funds is another option, as is opening an account with LendingClub and lending small amounts of money to people buying houses or doing renovations.
Finally, if you can't afford a single-family home in this market, consider buying a small condo or more affordable home and asking your roommates to help with the mortgage. Living with your parents until you can buy a house may seem immature, but it's important to be responsible when taking on such a risky endeavor.