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Reality TV taps Phoenix-area foreclosures (access required)

Alaska has a reality show about ice truckers trying to survive deadly hauls. New York has Donald Trump's cutthroat competition to be his apprentice. And Georgia has Billy the Exterminator, who battles rodents and alligators.

Soon, Phoenix will be the setting for a new reality show about one of the region's most competitive and heart-racing activities — bidding on foreclosure homes.

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Banks as tenants: Cleaning and maintaining foreclosed properties bad for banks, good for specialists (access required)

The time, effort and money required to upkeep a home that normally would have been put in by the homeowner shifts to the bank when occupants desert their house. Lenders have to pay to clean up their sometimes-trashed properties to get them ready to sell. These properties, which will sell at a drastically lower price than when they were new, are putting a great strain on those institutions’ profitability, which affects their ability to make new loans.

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Building, buying & selling: Contractors, sellers, regulators and unions vie (hope) for positives in 2011 (access required)

From homebuilders to Realtors, representatives of the recession-ravaged construction and real estate industries are doggedly pursuing dual legislative goals.

They’re determined to block legislation that they say would further sink their struggling businesses while supporting measures that might give them a financial boost. Several bills are under consideration that would make it easier to sell homes.

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