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New real estate poll: Foreclosures and short sales

Start looking at homes on the market, and it won't be long before you come across foreclosures and short sales. In early July in Howard County, for instance, four out of every 10 homes for sale under $200,000 fell into those "distress" categories.

So -- who's buying?

You tell me:

I am ...(opinion)

Investors are the traditional buyers for distress properties, but first-time buyers have looked at this market post-bubble in hopes of getting a deal (or something in their price range).

The "yes but" I often hear is condition -- and for short sales, the uncertainty. Short sales require a lender's OK, and lenders sometimes take months to respond to an offer ... even if that response is a simple "no." (Real estate agents expect first-timers to stop considering short sales now that the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit is approaching.)

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