One Man's Foreclosure, Another Man's Steal

In California, it's a new kind of land rush.

One-thousand homes lost in the real-estate wreckage are auctioned off to a crowd of thousands in Los Angeles - up to 40 percent off, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

"Sold!" said one auctioneer with a gavel bang. "$170,000, sir, you're the buyer."

In Stockton, Calif., bargain buyers tour foreclosed homes courtesy of the repo-bus.

"Obviously we've got a full house," said one bus driver.

Debra Knowles, a home loan consultant said: "They're reaping the benefit, unfortunately, of someone else's loss."

New numbers out today show California among 10 states hit hardest by foreclosures in 2007. That's 250,000 homes taken by the bank.

Osmar and Norma Canas are newlyweds buying a foreclosed home in Southern California - and they got it for $40,000 off the list price.

"I always believe there is better room to negotiate with the bank than going through a private party," Osmar Canas said.

If you're in danger of losing your home, many banks will negotiate with you as well.

Banks generally don't want another home to sell. But, if you're a buyer, the more foreclosures in a neighborhood, the better the bargains.

"If somebody buys something today, within reason, in 10 years it will look like the smartest financial decision of their life," said broker Geoff McIntosh.

And with the housing market showing no signs of hitting rock bottom just yet, there may be plenty of time to get an entire house at a basement price.
  • Ben Tracy

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