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Top cities for ‘absentee buyers’

Investors compete for cheap homes in hard-hit markets

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Recently, when my refrigerator was on the fritz, I called my local appliance repairman, a guy who has been keeping every mechanical/electric thing in my house, including dishwasher and washing machine, running smoothly for more than a decade.When we spoke, I asked, "Since you are coming out here anyway, could you just do a diagnostic on my two rooftop air conditioning units to make sure they are ready for the Arizona summer?" "No can do," he apologized. "I'm just too busy." My repairman had a contract with an investor group buying homes throughout the Phoenix metro area and was having trouble keeping up with all the repair work since the investors were on a tear, adding more and more acquisitions to a portfolio that already numbered in the hundreds. I've touched on the subject of investing in single-family homes in a number of columns and it seems the one trend line that keeps turning up is that families losing their homes are simply looking ar...