I was really happy to see someone asking a “planning to buy” kind of question at the Craigslist Housing Forum. It’s great to plan for buying a home; I highly recommend it. Although, sometimes things kind of catch up to you and you want to strike while the iron is hot, as it were.
Here are the links to two conversations at CL. One is the person planning to buy, preparing carefully. The second thread is similar, but with a good dose of the “circumstances say I should buy soon,” bug thrown in for good measure.