Our mortgage is about 20% of our take home pay, but it didn't start out that way. We bought at a good time and dh's income has gone up as he has advanced at work over the past 8 years. We started at over 40% of our take-home pay and it was painful for many years.
This is the internet, so of course it is hard to give a full picture of our reality, but I can say this:
I am older than many here. We didn't buy until I was 30 and dh was 35. We have a lot of education between us -- that education has opened up more work opportunities. We spent a lot of years renting and working and saving and living very, very frugally. We saved and saved for a down payment. We moved a lot so that we could both work our way up in our careers. I am not working now as we have 3 almost 4 kids, but the effort that we made early in our marriage has paid off with a good, secure job for dh and a comfortable lifestyle. We will never be rich, but we will always have enough.
Buying a house that will cost you half of your income is very dicey. And I would be surprised if you could find a bank willing to give you a loan right -- mortgage regulations have changed and it is much more difficult to get a loan. I would worry that one small housing disaster would sink your family into debt. Houses can be very expensive to repair -- a plumbing leak, a roof leak, a sewage issue -- all can cost large amounts of money.
I just don't think home ownership pays off for everyone. I would think a decent rental in a decent school district and an aggressive savings plan would benefit you more in the long run.