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Flipping Goes Pro

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The LA Times checks out the ever-increasing numbers of professional investors in the flipping game, following them from the courthouse steps to the garbage-strewn front lawns. The competition seems to be hurting the profits--discounts are down from 28% in January 2009 to 21.6%--but there's also the cutthroat atmosphere: "[Investor Bruce] Norris unwittingly bought a house that was the site of a gruesome double murder. No one else bid -- a rare occurrence that showed others knew the history -- leaving Norris with less cash to bid for other houses." [LAT]