Parents are in FL, right? You want to be in Georgia? I think a house with room for a single room-mate makes great sense, but only you can decide if that works for you. First and foremost, you need a state and then a designated locale that will fit your needs for your ST. The mowing is great exercise, so a healthy benefit. I had a couple of houses when in school - I don't think I ever had an apartment once I was out of undergrad. Figure in things like homeowners insurance, too, since there can be damage from leaky pipes, hot water heaters, and the list goes on. It is the cheapest way to maintain your sanity when the unexpected happens. I will say that older houses may be less adequately insulated, which would influence utility costs. A lot that I might suggest would depend on whether or not you have secured a student teaching position, which impacts the state and consideration of your commute. Lots of pros and cons, but only you can crunch the numbers and your concrete plans.