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Market's recovery in parts of Arizona years away, but deals, tax credits entice first-time owners

MESA, Ariz. -- Kathy Willis has lived in her east Mesa neighborhood long enough to be able to easily rattle off names of pretty much each family living on her street. Over the last couple of years, she's also witnessed some of them become foreclosure victims, their empty homes a reminder of the sign of the times.

But in recent months, Willis, 48, said the for-sale signs in the Superstition Springs subdivision seem to be disappearing as buyers take advantage of the bargain-priced homes.

"And that's a good thing, isn't it?" said Willis. "I love my neighborhood and I hated to see so many of my neighbors leave."

Gesturing with her arms wide open as she stood in the front lawn of her nearly 3,300-squarefoot home, Willis said with a note of optimism: "All these properties around us are finally getting new owners, so things definitely seem to be leveling."

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