One mans foreclosed home is another mans treasure

Star-News reporter Melissa Pamer wrote a really interesting story in Sundays paper about a bus tour that takes prospective buyers house-hunting for foreclosed homes.

According to Pamer, about a dozen people took the weekly tour on Saturday, which featured homes in Northwest Pasadena, unincorporated Duarte, Covina, West Covina and Monrovia. They were all under $350,000.

This is the fourth weekend that the eight-month-old firm has run the tours, a phenomenon that began in foreclosure-plagued Stockton in September and is spreading across the country.


The national housing crisis has hit California particularly hard. The state’s foreclosure rate – 1 for every 242 households – ranked only behind Nevada in February 2008, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine-based company that tracks foreclosures nationally. Seven of the country’s top 10 foreclosure markets were in California last month, the company reported.

The worst of the state’s problems have been in the Central Valley – in Stockton, Modesto and Merced. That’s where real estate agent Cesar Dias launched his brainchild, a branded tour of foreclosed homes in Stockton that gained national and international media attention.

Now Dias sells the concept – which LTV bought for $20,000, including a logo-wrapped used bus, training and marketing materials and a Web site – to real estate companies across the country. He’s in the process of trademarking “RepoHomeTour,” he said this week.

Uhh, where do I sign up again?