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There are still bank owned homes for sale, and they are usually offered at very reasonable prices, however the "buyer" interest in these homes is strong. Prices can be in the high $300s up to $600k. Usually they do need work, because by the time the foreclosure process in done, they have been neglected. Best of Luck in your search.
As for the process, most foreclosures that are not sold at the Trustee Sale held on behalf of the lender holding the loan are listed with a real estate agent after the ownership reverts back to the lender. Therefore, if you are working with an agent who is watching the market & MLS, your agent can alert you to bank owned properties (REOs) as they come on the market. Most bank owned properties will wait to review offers until 5-10 days after they are listed to allow agents & buyers to have time to look at the property before making an offer. Lenders seem to be pricing properties more realistically & competitively, which very often generates multiple offers. If you have time to wait, you might be able to get a better price with less competition looking at short sales.
Also, considering other areas of Marin would definitely open up more choices.
Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
I have a lot of clients that purchase homes from Tahoe area (I have a home in Truckee ), I would be more than happy to walk you through the process via phone if you would like.
A great place to search for homes is on CleanOffer.com
it is linked directly to our MLS and is updated within approx 30 minutes of a new home being listed. Multiple offers have become the norm here in Marin sadly so you do have to know of homes as soon as they hit the market. Similar to the tahoe market, we have a serious lack of inventory and it is definitely a sellers market at the moment.