http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311190471660457654...Last year, Kelley and Jeff Barton bought their first vacation retreat in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., a ski-resort area about 350 miles from their home in Seal Beach, Calif.At $200,000, the condo unit was a bargain considering it had been priced at more than $400,000 in the past, says Ms. Barton, 52. Plus, since the couple rent out the home when the family isn't using it, they're able to cover their mortgage payments and all their expenses -- and make a profit.Lately, more people are wondering if the market is ripe for turning the dream of owning a vacation retreat into a reality.Even though we are very specific on our requirements, I have been finding many interesting properties available at prices I'm willing to pay. N GA in particular is very cheap right now. Not all properties are yet listed to reflect the current market, but if you do your research you can find bargains.We just had an inspection of a property we are under contract for in VA, now waiting for it to pass the appraisal hurdle.IP
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