Real estate recovery and opportunities

According to one data collection group, sales volume of homes in California during September was up 65% over last year. That's a promising sign, although nothing to get too excited about just yet. California was hit very hard by the real estate bubble, probably in large part because of its sky-high property prices in recent years.

Those home values have been cut drastically in the last year, with Los Banos, California as a good reminder of how much. Home prices in that city are said to be down 66% from their peak, which can be a major hindrance in selling a home, paying off a mortgage, or attempting a refinance.

But are decreases in housing prices and increases in foreclosures all bad? Not for some home buyers. Imagine being a first-time home buyer with a small nest egg saved to buy a home. Your money now goes much further, and you're able to get a great deal on a piece of property. The popping of the real estate bubble is a godsend for people in that position.