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When prices are too good to be true

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

A constant stream of headlines about rising foreclosures and falling home prices in many U.S. markets might lead bargain hunters to believe that there are some incredible deals to be had out there. And indeed, there are. But are there really more than 100 homes available in tony Miami Beach, Fla., for less than $100,000? A search for foreclosure properties with an upper price range of $100,000 turns up 126 properties at Yahoo Real Estate. Is the housing downturn so bad that you can now swoop in and buy a house in Hermosa Beach, Calif., for less than $100,000? A search for foreclosure properties on Trulia -- which puts the average sale price of a home in the coastal city at $1.67 million -- might lead you to believe that the answer is yes. The problem is that most, if not all, of these properties aren't officially on the market. They are "pre-foreclosures," meaning that their owners have defaulted on a loan, prompting a lender to begin the foreclosure process. So...