A new study reported that it's 32% cheaper to buy in DC compared to renting.  The reason why? Historically low interest rates and relatively reasonable homeowner association fees. However, don't go rushing to buy a home just yet. It only makes sense if you're going to keep the place for 5+ years. The study was based on a 30-year fixed mortgage with a 20% down payment, but there are many lenders who can work with lower down payments.  

Buy vs Rent - What It Cost Over the Years

32% cheaper to Buy vs Rent

Key Takeaway  
If you're currently renting your place, and know you're going to be living here for a while, you may want to consider buying. However, no matter where you're at in the process (and even if you've never considered purchasing a home), you should contact a good agent who will guide you through the entire process, not just when you're ready to go house hunting.