Poll: How long has your home search taken (or is taking so far)?

How long has your home search taken (or is taking so far)?

  • Less than 1 month (2%, 3 Votes)
  • 1 to 3 months (7%, 10 Votes)
  • 3 to 6 months (6%, 8 Votes)
  • 6 to 12 months (16%, 23 Votes)
  • 1 to 2 years (15%, 21 Votes)
  • Over 2 years (54%, 76 Votes)

Total Voters: 141

This poll was active 01.15.2012 through 01.21.2012

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Ray Pepper says:

    Well, the last home search took me 40 min at Trustee Sale Friday. I said “I’ll be back.” Cruised over, knocked on door….raced back…In time to qualify… heard SOLD Pepper…..Then the “mysterious” oh…didn’t hear bid….Lousy, unethical, Trustee. He is on my list of people, along with many agents, and parents of kids I Coach, that are NOT getting a 500 Realty shirt or pen EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 2
    whatsmyname says:

    I think you should have a box for “Over 5 years”.

  3. 3
    Jonness says:

    I started looking in 2005. It took about 5 years for prices to begin heading lower than where they were when I began looking. But, I managed to save up a sizable down payment while waiting. I expect lower prices in the near future with continued YOY declines in 2012.

    On another note, if you are in need of a mortgage, next week, taking out a loan will probably cost an extra $50/mo or so in order to pay for 2 months of social security tax cuts.

    See page 17.


  4. 4
    Ben says:

    I am currently renting. I owned a townhouse when I started reading this site, but decided to rent when I moved a couple of years ago.

    I have looked around, but as the bubble has popped and the prices have come down, the quality of what is on the market has dropped considerably. There are some Eastside neighbourhoods that I keep an eye on, but the really good stuff never has anything on the market. I think it is because the owners are underwater and will only sell if forced.

    New construction has also slowed a ton. Not much out there that I like still being built.

  5. 5
    Hugh Dominic says:

    8 years. This bubble sucked. Those who saw it have had to wait for the fools to lose their money. Painfully long process, thanks to our government.

  6. 6
    Scotsman says:

    Almost 5 years of trying to buy the same house. The good news is the price has been cut in half. The bad news is that may not be enough given what the future holds. Fun, fun, fun!

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I looked off an on for four years, but I really only got serious about it for two, and with a long break thrown in there as well. I went months without even doing any drivebys because the selection was crap. Ultimately, I bought the second house I actually looked at with an agent, about two years apart. My bar was very high for dragging Ira out of bed to look at one. =)

  9. 9
    bob says:

    It took us less than a month, but that’s because we were looking for a home, not a commodity, and we’re also not stuck up pricks.

  10. 10
    Amy says:

    Kinda depends on what counts as “search.” we spent about 2 months online, getting a feel for the market. Then spent 2 weeks visiting open houses, 1 week visiting with agent, and then bought. Our up-front research shortened our legwork significantly.

  11. 11
    Peter says:

    Sold in 2005 and rented. Started looking in 2009. Bought in August 2011 (at 1999 prices).

  12. 12
    Peter Witting says:

    I’m not in the market for buying, but I am always looking to see what’s available in certain neighborhoods….

  13. 13

    many of my clients have been passively looking for a couple years.

  14. 14
    David Losh says:

    RE: bob @ 9

    I’m always in trouble here because I say the family home is an investment.

    You did things correctly. You went out, and bought a home. That’s what people do, and there is nothing wrong with that. It really doesn’t matter what you pay, or how you play the game. Your home is your sanctuary.

    What I also encourage is that people think before they buy about how they will pay off the house. It takes a plan, and it can be a simple plan.

  15. 15
    mmmarvel says:

    Well, it really counts as to what qualifies for looking? We ‘looked’ for almost 2 years, but the serious looking was a 6 month period and the very serious looking (as in our lease is about to expire in two months and we need a place to move to) was 2 months. We weren’t forced, we could have gone to a month to month rent, we could have signed a new lease, we could have found a new place to rent. But I was tired of renting, I was tired of where I was living – we lucked out with a 3.75% interest rate on a 30 year fixed (no didn’t buy points) and prices were pretty low. We bought October of 2011.

  16. 16
    BillE says:

    Wow. I started looking around 2005. I’d have up and down periods when I’d go look with an agent, then I’d back off and wait because prices were ridiculous. After all those years I FINALLY bought this summer and couldn’t be happier. I’m sitting by the wood stove now and was out in the woods behind my house this afternoon looking at fresh deer tracks in the snow.
    I bought with 50% down and paying it off soon isn’t out of the question.

  17. 17
    Erik Heiberg says:

    Been looking for the past couple years, probably only seriously this past year. I’ve used this time to save up a hefty down payment (as I believe Ray is always suggesting), just so I’m ready to pounce when the right house comes along, at what I believe to be a just price.

    However, this recent news of the federal government exclusively unloading bulk foreclosures to private investors has me a bit upset, and may force me to sit on the sidelines longer than I’d like. As long as the government is in the business of trying to maintain artificial prices, and not letting the marketplace work itself out without intervention, I don’t think it makes sense to pull the trigger. (especially as a first time home buyer)

  18. 18
    geon says:

    Going on year seven. Pressure is building from the wife, again. Down payment, or full payment, in the bank earning jack.

    In that time, we’ve searched daily for new houses listed and seen many sell and come back on the market.

  19. 19
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: Erik Heiberg @ 17

    good call Erik..I also advise you to get with Vestus or Data Snap type companies. You get a FREE meal on Tuesday Nights and all the info you can handle. Only costs you when you buy (about 3% of tax assessed-UNLESS you bargain with them–I can fill u in on that later)

    Part of doing your due diligence is seeing what ACTUAL properties are getting sold for at the Trustee Sales..It will help educate you how much you maybe over-paying for your purchase conventionally.

    You may NEVER end up buying through them but it will empower you ALOT more with your Agent…The last few weeks have displayed more and more GEMS that are starting to pop up…I can only imagine how 2013 forward will look…

    Good Luck!

  20. 20
    Keith says:

    We’ve put in offers on three houses in the last year or so. This is a search for a second/upgrade house and we have narrow area Ballard/Magnolia and style (mid century) contraints. Generally we are looking at places that have style but need some work to get where we want because we ARE stuck up pricks (to quote another poster.)

    That said — we have put in three offers.
    #1: Bid $425k on house that we were planning on putting a lot of work into. Outbid by cash in a bidding process on foreclosure — house sold for $385 cash. Constructions vans were there a week after close. I think the buyer actually may have moved in. Who has $385 cash?

    #2: Bid under on a house that is way out of whack on $/sq foot. Seller unwilling to come down enough to justify a higher bid from us. We are waiting this one out and may re-bid — so I’ll keep details out of it. This process has being going on for months… we are trying to wait them out.

    #3: Bid $460k on a house that was listed for $450k the first weekend. We were planning to do relatively little to this house. Someone came in with a lot more cash than us (possible 50% or more) bid the same and beat us out on their offer strength. Somehow the owners stole this property in October for $420k. That is an actual flip!

    The biggest problem is lack of inventory. Any time we are ready to make a bid and a seller is actually pricing the property to sell — we are competing with at least 5 other bidders (#1 had 7 bids and #3 had 5 all on the first weekend.) Its bizzarre considering how awful the housing market supposedly is.

    Seems like the intersetion of interest rates and prices can only drop so much further — I’ve turned bullish on the 5 year RE outlook based on my experiences in Seattle proper (I can’t speak for anywhere else.) I bet people who buy now will make a killing on the 10 year outlook. The thing those 20 year graphs can’t show is how much Seattle neighborhoods have grown as destinations and in desirability. Apart from the bubble — some of those hoods should have naturally gone up faster in value than the long term rate.

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