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May 22, 2012 7:58 PM

Tucson real estate is becoming a seller's market

TUCSON - Tucson's housing market is on the upswing, and many people are getting excited to buy. The problem is, competition is fierce.

Eddy Garcia and his family experienced this first hand when they found their dream house on Orange Grove, near La Canada. "It was just perfect for us, but unfortunately it's just a dream now."

The Garcias put an offer on the house, but were outbid by $10,000. They found a second home, only to have the same situation occur. According to his realtor, inventory is low and investor activity is high.

"It was frustrating because you see something you like and you get your heart set on it and you make an offer, and then you don't get it," Garcia said.

Last month, www.realtor.com named Tucson as the top spot for real estate investment, which may put families like the Garcias at a disadvantage.

On the other hand, it gives current homeowners a boost since investors who rehab foreclosed properties help raise the value of the neighborhood around it. They also create jobs with each home they fix up.

Carrie Wilbur is a real estate investor, and has purchased 13 houses in the last year. She usually buys homes that are bank owned or up for auction.

"Investors are quick. You make a decision, you look at the house once and you say 'Ok i'll buy it.' You see a person that's going to live in the home, they kind of want to sleep on it. The old saying 'If you want to sleep on it, you'll never sleep in it,' really applies."

Being able to pay with cash, and the ability to bypass a lot of the formalities work in favor of investors. Even so, they don't always have the advantage.

Wilbur speaking about one home she recently purchased said, "We were one of 3 buyers and it was listed 8 thousand dollars less than what we paid for it!"

But regardless, Wilbur admits her return on investment is often high, and she's not planning on slowing down anytime soon.

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