Overseas investors buying metro foreclosures

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ATLANTA,None — With foreclosures flooding the real estate market, some investors are finding nice returns converting foreclosures into rentals and many of them are now coming from outside the United States.

According to REALTYTRAC.com, over one-third of all homes sold this year were foreclosures. In the Atlanta area, a good number of those foreclosures were purchased from investors from Australia, the agency says.

Bronwyn Douglas moved to the country with her business partner Mike Collins a few years ago from Australia. With property levels at record lows, investors from Australia, Asia, and even Canada are finding they can stretch their dollars a lot farther over here

"Over the last two years, we've bought over $11 million worth of foreclosures" Michael Collins of Top Rental Returns says.

The company buys foreclosures on the cheap and converts the properties into rentals. They only deal with foreign investors and they only deal in cash.

"We had a client from Hong Kong who was tossing up whether to buy a studio apartment in Hong Kong or come to the United States and buy ten properties," Douglas says.

Channel 2 consumer advisor Clark Howard wants Americans to get in on the action but you have to follow some key rules.

Look at a lot of different properties and make sure you're allowed to rent the place out, Clark says.

A lot of home owners associations and condo associations limit the amount of renters. There's no use in buying a property, if you can't rent it out, Clark warns.