The large number of bank-owned properties nationwide has popularized a new kind of real estate tour: the foreclosure bus.

A recent Chicago Tribune article described a tour where shoppers were helped along not just by agents but by an attorney and banker who specialize in foreclosures, and by day's end, the would-be landlords, flippers and homeowners had put in several bids. A Chronicle article from a few years back said one tour guide even incorporates entertainment and a luxury bus.

In the Bay Area, Hastings Reality Group, for one, drives Saturday foreclosure buses through San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.

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