CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Home prices are up in Virginia and Charlottesville's prices are even higher than the state median. The average listing price in Charlottesville is almost $436,000. There are plenty of people, especially young people, who are worried they can never buy a home. 

The May 2023 Virginia home sales report shows the median home price in Virginia is up to $410,000. In 2019, it was $310,000. That's a 30% increase. With higher home prices, come higher mortgage payments.

While some homebuyers are just waiting for something they can afford, Jamie Yowell, a mortgage loan officer in Charlottesville, said it doesn’t have to be that way.  

"And so our prices for housing higher than they were in the past. Yes. But is it still attainable? For everyone? No, but it's never been attainable for everybody."

Yowell said affordable housing has a simple definition.

"Is there available housing that fits people's income criteria of where they're at in the moment?" he asked.

Yes, he said, for two reasons.

First, there's a misconception about needing to pay 20% down on a home.

"There are other down payment options that could really make them a homeowner now, instead of thinking they have to save and save and save, he said, and while they're saving and saving and saving, housing prices have increased, increased, increased, increased."

Veterans are able to buy a house with no money down, for example.

And Michael Eaton with the Piedmont Housing Alliance says they can help people find programs from HUD that work for them, and also help them plan.

"Financial literacy, credit issues, how to build your credit, they work with you on how to save money for a first-time purchase of a home,
 Eaton said.

They also have land trust and rental properties.

Second, Yowell suggests looking beyond the city. There are cheaper houses in surrounding counties. He said if you lived outside a big city, you wouldn't think twice about driving 45 minutes to work. 

With rent constantly going up, Yowell said buying a home might be the best choice for some people regardless of if they're a first-time buyer at 20 or 70. He said home ownership could give stability.