Take Christina Huang. She fell in love with a $969,000 house in Northern Virginia. She could picture raising a family. But there were a few red flags after an inspection, and she realized it wasn't going to work.
It took her several months to go on a proper date with her husband. Her housing search has taken considerably longer.
Huang flirted with buying a house before the recession four years ago. She sat it out and dodged a bullet. Since then she has survived layoffs that cut half the staff from her division.
"The great recession has emotional damage," she says. "We are facing a world with great uncertainty. So are you going to feel comfortable to make a commitment?"