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People who went through foreclosures or short sales during the housing crisis have been gradually returning to the Orange County, Calif., market for at least a year, according to real estate industry observers.

Buyers generally must wait at least three years to qualify for a government-backed Federal Housing Administration mortgage, and it can take seven years to get a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Real estate professional Andreea Stucker, who lost a condo due to a bad loan she could not afford, is among the emerging ranks of “boomerang buyers.” She believes that experience has made her a better practitioner.

More than three-fourths of those who lost their homes will try to become homeowners again, says Paul Scheper, division manager for Greenlight Financial in Irvine, Calif. Nationwide, more than 3.4 million households have completed the minimum waiting period.

Source: “Boomerang Buyers Making a Comeback,” Orange County (Calif.) Register (Feb. 15, 2013)

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