Buying a house can be very worth it but it takes a lot of effort and money.
The home inspector if worth every penny. Frequently they are able to point out valid issues you may not realize which will let you renegotiate the sales price. Be aware that they work for you and may say a small crack is a huge problem in order to help you save money, but realize they could be lying for your benefit.
Closing costs can cost tens of thousands of dollars in some places (like nyc). find out what they are on a house to help you determine what you can afford.
Mortgage are very low now. In a few years they probably will be double what the are now. Get in now if you can. There are some mortgages called "arms" which are cheaper than fixed rate morgages. Do not get one to save yourself $20 a month for five years; the rate will readjust in the future and probably be much much higher then.
If you want to buy because you "dont want to keep on throwing money out " by renting, that is a good reason but keep in mind you pay a ton of interest and dont start getting a lot of equity for quite a while. After the first year of a 30yr mortgage you have only paid off 1% of the loan the rest goes to interest.
Buying a house that needs work can save you a ton of money. However you need to be able to go through the "hock" of doing more repairs and work. (if you are reading this blog then by definition you are a bit of a "hocker" so it shouldnt be a problem). Things like carpet and painting are only cosmetic issues and easy to deal with but structual and extension issues require a pro. If the previous owners just redid a kitchen within the past few years then you probably are paying for all the time and money they put into it and then some. Not that you shouldnt buy a house with a new kitchen but just realize the sales price will reflect that.
If you want to buy a foreclosure, chances are you want to live in a frum neighborhood too and everyone else wants that one foreclosed house. You wont get it.
You need to have a reserve for repairs. they always need to be done. I heard someone say budget $100 a month for them. That seems a bit high to me but boilers and roofs (and everything else) need to be replaced and they cost lots of money.
Good luck. All in all its worth it but "marbeh nechasim marbeh daygeh."