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Real estate moguls in the making

These real estate investors are buying up properties as fast as they can, taking advantage of rock-bottom prices (and mortgage rates) with the knowledge that the markets have to recover at some point. While they wait, they're making a pretty nice return on their investments as landlords.

Jeffrey Lehman
Jeffrey Lehman
Where they're buying: South Florida
Number of properties: 60

Never have the pickings been better for Jeffrey Lehman, who has been buying condos, townhouses and single-family homes in South Florida and renting them out for decades.

Lehman just closed on a 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom foreclosed home in Homestead. The price: just $38,000 -- low even by Florida standards. The place sold for $140,000 seven years ago. Post-bubble, Zillow, the online real estate website, estimates its value at about $100,000.

It does need a new roof, however, which Lehman says will cost around $6,000, and he'll put in new kitchen cabinets for another $1,500.

"I can easily get $1,000 [a month] in rent," he said. "Everyone says I could get more but I know the economy and I just want to relax and have a good tenant who's going to pay the rent every month."

He figures the house will return 20% a year on his investment -- after property taxes and other expenses. That's a Warren Buffet-type return and it doesn't even include potential appreciation.

By Les Christie - Last updated November 07 2011: 5:13 PM ET
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