How much house can you buy for less than $50K?

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(MoneyWatch) The blitz of foreclosures that followed the housing crash has left thousands of low-priced properties around the country.

Here is what $45,000 can buy you in the most active metropolitan regions in the U.S. for foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac. The real estate research firm ranked cities ranked based on four criteria: months' supply of foreclosure inventory, percentage of foreclosure sales, foreclosure discount and percentage increase in foreclosure activity in 2012.

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5. Lakeland, Fla.

Ranked No. 5 on RealtyTrac's list, Lakeland, Fla., has a 33-month supply of foreclosure inventory, with foreclosures accounting for roughly 24 percent of all sales. On average, foreclosure sales were discounted 15 percent. Foreclosure activity increased more than 95 percent in 2012.

Listed at $41,500, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo offers 816 square feet of living space, modern finishes and a lake view.


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4. Jersey City, N.J.

The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y. metro area has a whopping 97-month supply of foreclosure inventory, more than any other metro area in the top five, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosures accounted for 7.7 percent of all sales, and foreclosures were discounted an average of 40.3 percent. Foreclosure activity increased nearly 28 percent in 2012.

As prices rise throughout New York and New Jersey, residents are looking to more affordable areas to purchase homes and investment properties. This two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo, located in Jersey City, features hardwood floors and modern finishes -- but is listed at $50,000. But there's still room to haggle and get closer to the $45,000 price point.

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3. Troy, N.Y.

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. metro area is home to an 86-month supply of foreclosure inventory. Foreclosure sales accounted for 3.2 percent of all sales, and those foreclosures usually sold at a discount of roughly 35 percent. From 2011 to 2012, foreclosure activity increased nearly 108 percent.

Listed at $44,900, this three-bedroom, one-bathroom home is the perfect starter home or investment property. It needs some love, but features a full basement and hardwood floors. Plus, the mechanicals aren't that old -- according to the online listing information, the furnace and hot water heater are seven and eight years old, respectively.


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2. Rochester, N.Y.

The Rochester metro area has a 78-month supply of foreclosure inventory, and foreclosures accounted for 3.2 percent of all sales. On average, foreclosures were discounted 25.8 percent in 2012. Foreclosure activity increased roughly 133 percent in the same year.

This four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is a steal at $42,000. It features more than 2,300-square-feet of living space, natural woodwork and a large yard.


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1. Palm Bay, Fla.

There is a 34-month supply of foreclosure inventory in the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. metro area, with foreclosures rising a staggering 309 percent from 2011 to 2012. Foreclosure sales accounted for nearly 24 percent of all sales, and those foreclosures were discounted an average of 28.05 percent.

All that activity means you can get a lot for your money in Palm Bay. Listed at $41,500, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is the perfect starter home or investment property. It features a large yard, 882 square feet of living space and has central A/C -- a must-have for those humid Florida summers.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns ThinkGlink.com, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.