Suze Orman
The steep rise in home prices during the past few years has made it tough for first-time buyers or those looking to purchase a vacation getaway. It's tough—but far from impossible. If you don't have the income to buy a home alone—and with the typical house now selling for more than $200,000, you have plenty of company—consider buying with someone you know well, trust and respect.

I call this the "One-Plus-One Home Ownership Solution."

Now, I know this is a radical idea. In the past, I've lobbied against going Dutch because of the potential problems. But I'm a realist. Many of you face being shut out of homeownership if you stay solo. And while doubling up does have possible pitfalls, if you and your housing pal craft a careful contract together, you can become successful homeowners—and keep your friendship.

Join forces with a friend, but be smart, too