Sorry to hear about your troubles! It is pretty bad up in the bay area, too -- we spent 5-6 months looking for our place, and that was a very small amount of time compared to many of our friends. I second the advice to increase the DP as much as you can -- we were at 10%, and were told frequently that a seller would take a slightly lower offer with a higher DP.
That being said, our agent told us 1/3 of the transactions out here fall through because of financing. So we put in an official backup offer on a house we were outbid on. Sure enough, the first buyers fell through, and the sellers then acted on their right to enforce the backup contract with us. You should talk to your agent to see if that might be a viable option for you -- though there is some risk involved, because you're basically keeping an option on a contract open for the seller (though you can probably vary the timeframe this is done for). I'm obviously not an expert on the matter -- this is just what worked for us.
Best of luck!