In some parts of the country, such as Bakersfield, Calif., Las Vegas and Lakeland, Fla., distressed properties constitute half or more of all sales. So far this year, there have been nearly 411,000 sales of U.S. properties in some stage of foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac, which publishes a national database of homes in default, auctions and bank-owned homes.Those numbers aren’t making it any easier to buy distressed property. Bidding wars are erupting for the lowest-priced foreclosures. Experienced investors with cash are elbowing aside first-time buyers who need mortgages. And banks generally sell property “as is,” without the defect disclosures required of other owners. Short-sale buyers, for their part, often face delays of weeks or months as they wait to hear back from lenders—and from the institutional investors who bought securities based on the mortgages.Vandalized Properties
By M.P. McQueen, Oct. 1, 2009 WSJ

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