Where are today’s best real estate bargains?

Look for areas with good transportation, growing population

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The housing market is soft. Hard times for some can mean opportunity time for others. Could now be a good time to step into the housing marker and pick up a bargain? Generally, it is a better time to be a buyer than a seller, but this is not so in every market. In San Francisco, for example, there are still more buyers than sellers for prime upper-end properties. You're not likely to pick up a bargain there. Many more markets are suffering from too much inventory and too few buyers. These markets would seem to offer the best opportunities. However, this is not necessarily so. Even though the price you pay is relatively low, it could take some time before the value of your investment increases. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the best housing investments are properties that are always in demand. These are well-planned and well-constructed homes in prime locations that appeal to a wide cross section of home buyers. In a strong seller's market, virtually all listings sell...