Here are a couple of boats in your area:
- I like these boats. My first boat was a C&C. They are well built and REALLY fun to sail. It has a tiller but does have an inboard. If the condition is as good as it looks, it could be a real deal. I would suspect you could get it for around $5500-6000.
Hunter - Good boats. I personally don't like the look of the new traveler arches but do like there function. This one looks to be in OK condition but you have to go inspect it to really tell. Wheel and diesel but hankon jib.
- This one has it all. Wheel, diesel, roller furler, etc. but might be too much for budget.
- Really nice solid boats. They have a tiller but hits on every thing else. This is heavier then the others and would be more of a cruiser then racer/cruiser.
- One of my favorite all time boats. The Tartan story, the boat itself, everything. Great sailing and solid. Cheap but may need some significant work. Might be worth the $400 to have a surveyor look it over if you like it just to make sure there isn't anything real major.
- Looks OK and it is cheap. You might have to put a lot of work into something like this or the Tartan.
I think your budget is OK for a first boat but you will need to put in some work at that cost. My first boat was $3,500. It was great to get us on the water and make sure that we really liked sailing as a couple. Then we jumped to a much more expensive boat.
The key is have fun, look at a lot of boats to see what you think you want. As others have said, don't fall in love with any particular boat for the first one.
Good luck in your search.