"Why rent when you can buy?" was a favorite pitch of Realtors when prices were going bonkers. Purely on a financial level over the last couple years, renting looked cheap and more stable. However, buying for the numbers and lifestyle of owning is making a lot of sense again in Ravenswood. If you can pony up the scratch, buying and letting a room mate (that you would have anyway) pay some of your mortgage is a great option in Ravenswood.
There are about 17 two bedroom condo options up to $250,000 in Ravenswood that are as nice or much better than rental units I've had... and owning with 10%-20% down will cost near the same as renting with a room mate. Even at a little more money, you may improve your quality of life if owning is your goal and the condo building association is solid.
In fact, I saw two units under $200,000 I consider solid buys and would be perfectly nice places to live. The readers of this blog know how I feel about the quality of life in Ravenswood... buying a home under $200,000 is an affordable option that comes with many neighborhood amenities (and great neighbors).
Under $200K will get you a small courtyard building, washer/dryer in unit or in building laundry, steam/radiator heat, window air conditioners, an Ashland Avenue address.... but overall you'll get surprising quality and condition in the unit for a really centrally located and desirable neighborhood. This is the type of investment I would do with an older child living with a room mate. But, it's an affordale price for many looking to get their own place too.