The story

The two-story homes on Fir Circle in an upscale Lake Elsinore, California, neighborhood tell two stunningly different tales.

Some are vacant, bank-owned and beat-up inside. Others are filled with kids' laughter and the sounds of boxes unpacking and families moving in.

Mary Ann Lepley, her husband, Derrick, and their 2-year-old daughter, Melody, have been in their 3,000 square-foot home here for about three months. They bought it for about $250,000. Just two years ago, amid California's housing boom, the same house sold for nearly $550,000. Read full article »

CNN's Wayne Drash contributed to this report.

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