The District woman who so far has been frustrated in her dream of buying a home for no more than $49,500 was given an extension on her quest yesterday by the city office that assists low-income residents in purchasing houses.

Lois Ross, 55, is paid $10,000 a year working in a dry cleaning shop and has managed to save $2,000 toward the purchase of a house. Under the city's Home Purchase Assistance Program, she would receive financial help for a house that meets city code and does not cost more than $49,500. But Ross's deadline for concluding her four-month search for a home at that price was to be tomorrow.

She is determined to buy a house so her daughter and two grandchildren will always have a home. The house she has rented for six years is on the market and the landlord said she will have to move.

"I want something to call my own," she said recently.

Yesterday, Robert K. Jenkins Jr., the program's director, said through a spokeswoman that Ross will have more time to search for what some real estate agents say is the impossible: a three-bedroom home that meets District code and fits Ross's price range.

Ross said she is very pleased about the extension, which is for at least 30 days. She had spent weekends and evenings looking at houses for sale, all of which turned out to need extensive work.

"Now it may happen," she said.