Third time was a charm--mostly

Buying house No. 3--a 1,500-square-foot place in Rancho Santa Margarita--went smoothly, says Scott Farlow.

He, his wife, Caren, their new baby, and their German shepherd, Bandit, are living comfortably now in their three-bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom home.

The Sears salesman and the second-grade schoolteacher only have minor complaints about their real estate transaction, but mostly they are pleased.

Farlow said things got backed up in escrow and they waited 45 days before escrow cleared. "My other two houses [one in Rancho Santa Margarita and Corona] took under 30 days."

Still, the Farlows figure they got quite a deal at $230,000.

"This is a big step up," Farlow said. "We bought a larger home because of our child."

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