Do you really WANT all the extra baggage that comes with owning a house?
Taxes, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc...
Not to mention how bad the housing market is right now.
With a house you can't just pick up and leave it because YOU have to SELL IT.
Apartment living may mean living closer to your neighbors but moving again wouldn't be a hassle like it would be if you owned a house. And if anything breaks down in an apt., you just call the manager and they fix it or give you a new one FOR FREE! There are large apts and smaller ones. YOU decide how much room you need and how much you're willing to pay monthly - WITHOUT taxes!
NOTE: In New Jersey it's hard to find an apartment under $1000 unless it's a studio.
Then again, that may be all you really need.