I moved from the D.C. area in 2001 and I think you will find the Triangle a great place to call home.
You are very wise to enlist the help of a buyers agent especially as in our state the seller pays for this for you.
Good Luck let me know if I can be of assistance.
I lived off of York Road in Baltimore years ago and loved it, but I think you'll find the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) is a great place to relocate to. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about the area.
Triangle & Coast Realty
I would love the opportunity to assist you in the process. I work with a lot of first time home buyers and folks that are relocating to The Triangle. Please take a look at my Buyer Guide available at http://www.southernsavvyconnections.com/p/house-hunters.html.
Feel free to call or email me at your convenience.
It's A Good Day,
Stacie Dye, Broker, Realtor
Good idea on getting guidance for buying a home. This is a major purchase and takes several steps to get to home ownership.
The first step is to get in touch with a good lender. I have several recommendations to help guide you through this first step. The lender will help you decide how much you feel comfortable spending on your new home by estimating a monthly payment based on the estimated purchase price. Also, this step takes time and a pre-qualification letter from your lender is required to make offers on properties.
I will be glad to go over the steps in purchasing a home with you. just give me a call or you can email me at email@example.com.
I live here in Durham and know it well. Anne Aylin who first answered your question is a team member and you should feel free to speak with her as well.
First thing you should do is get pre-approved for your loan (unless you're paying all cash). This will let you know your price range and most (if not all) sellers request your loan pre-approval letter be submitted with your offer.
Once you have your loan pre-approval, contact a local Realtor to assist you in finding your new home. This shouldn't cost you anything as the seller usually pays all commission - both the listing agent's and the buyer's agent's.