I think its reasonable. I tell people not to buy if they don't think they will want to own for AT LEAST 3 years, but depending on your specific circumstances, maybe 5. Here's the thought process:
1. If you don't buy what will you do?
2. If you're renting, what will you pay and how will it "feel" to be there? (i.e. a studio might save you some coin but make you miserable)
3. If you don't own, how much additional will you pay in taxes?
4. If you do own, what will it cost you (monthly - and include expected maintenance costs too) and how will it make you feel?
Once you know the monthly cost and the emotional part of it, then you add in upfront costs to purchase and lease. Then add in the cost to sell a home (assume 8% of the sale price - and for purposes of this assume the market is flat). Now you have a reasonable understanding of the cost differences.
Now, best guess, what do you think the market will do? My best guess - depending on what you buy - the prices in Centreville will go up about 10% in that time frame. So if you were planning on spending $400K for a house there, then it will go up about $40K. Now you know what you *should* do. Then play the "whatif" game.
Whatif the market doesn't go up 10%? What if it's flat? What if it declines? Will you be able to stay, to rent it out or will you be financially ruined if things don't go as you expect? If you'll be financially ruined if prices decline 10% from where they are now - and you will NOT be able to make payments if you have to rent it and you will NOT be able to sell without doing a short sale... well then, rent. If you can stomach the risk and the up side is promising, buy.
I am happy to do this with you in person if you like.