Thanks for all the replies! Want to daysail and occasionally spend a few mights on the boat. Will be kept at a mooring/slip somewhere near falmouth. As far as luxuries on the inside for comfort, not much is needed. Also not sure what type of motor i would really need. Inboard/outboard. Most boats in my price range seem to just have some small outboard motor on it but if I'm going to be ocean sailing do i need something more? Not that I'm circumnavigating the globe here but i just want to be able to go out with a few friends, maybe stay out a couple nights with someone and have some fun experiences.
Welcome to sailnut dan!
The good news is that you are in a great area for a variety of places to sail. There are also a variety of boats <= 25' that might fit your budget. Also, since you are a resident (presumably) you may be entitled to mooring rights in your local harbor (which may be the cheapest way to go).
The bad news is that slips in a marina may cost you as much for 1 season as the $3K you want to spend on a boat. The hobby of boating is designed to make your wallet a lot thinner; the bigger your boat is, the thinner your wallet.
Usually, the cheapest way to approach the hobby of sailing is with a trailer sailor sailboat; meaning a boat on a trailer, meaning you need a vehicle with a towing hitch and a deep enough ramp to launch from, plus a driveway to keep your boat & trailer when not in use. If you have all or most of the above available now then you are ahead of the game.
As for which type of engine is best for ocean sailing, inboard is generally better in the larger surf offshore versus an outboard which can come out of the water when the boat goes over larger waves. As you noted though, most boats in your price range and size will not have inboard engines but outboards. For a first boat and getting your feet wet though I wouldn't worry about what is best; just keep a weather eye out and don't go out when it is blowing stink off the water.
Happy boat hunting.
Edit to add: the Bristol 24' that gedagget linked above would be a good choice as the engine is in a well instead hanging off the transom. Nice find Gary.