Asking a Realtor if one should buy is tantamount to asking your hairdressor if you new a new hair style. LOL. I usually suggest to my clients that they consider larger condo complexes because there is an ecomomy of scale. For example if you live in a "cute" fourplex that has been converted into condos, should the roof need replacing, there are only four owners to split the costs. Find the neighborhood that fits your living, shopping, commuting requirements. Travel around to various open houses. Take in the costs versus convenience of living in DC versus Virginia. Note: New construction costs more than resales.
If there should be an issue as to down payment, there are many first time homebuyer programs. Your REALTOR should assist you selecting one or more. Always use an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR). They are certfied and know how not only to obtain the best deal, but to give you valuable counsel with the transaction including protecting your interests in preparing and bargaining the terms of the contract.
Please let me know if I may be of assistance. Both my wife & I love to sell condos.
Best regards - Bob Lepelletier - Associate Broker, REALTOR, ABR, GRI & SFR at Keller Williams Realty Alexandria/Kingstowne Office (703) 310-7880 & firstname.lastname@example.org