Note: I've read a few similar questions around the site but many are investment focused only and don't factor in housing questions.
Right now, my husband and I are pulling in about $50k/year. My husband is self-employed and I work full time. We're young (22, 26) and have no significant debts, but we live in Los Angeles so cost of living is high. No kids, don't want kids.
At the moment in time I probably have $2000 in savings total, and just received a raise at work (included in $50k estimate) so I would finally start considering myself stable and can really start budgeting efficiently. I have created an account on betterment.com because I've heard great things about it, but haven't quite started investing money yet.
We're looking to move, as I currently live 42 miles from work. Just to see, I applied for California's CalHFA low income housing and we are pre-approved for around a 200k house with no down payment. This is enticing because 2 bedroom apartments tend to be out of our comfortable price range ($1500+) and we'd like to have 2 bedrooms for my husband's music studio (he is a musician - and this would be a tax write off). Those familiar with CA/USA tax laws will also know the other tax benefits to owning a home.
Because he is a musician (and I am too, part time) and we love sun, we're sure we want to stay in LA for at least the next 10 years. After that, we may move to Germany with his family, with possibility of taking over a farmhouse. Renting out our condo in LA while living in rural Germany would give us a very comfortable lifestyle without doing any work.
What is the best way for us to get ahead financially? Should we take the plunge and get a condo in our price range to keep and rent out, or stay in an apartment where payments would be lower and budget for other investments?