READ THE BACKSTORY: Blackstone, other investors snap up thousands of bay area homes Big investors have parachuted into Tampa Bay's shaky housing market, spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy up thousands of local single-family homes. But rather than resell them, investors are fixing them up to rent, part of a nationwide gamble that renting's rise in popularity since the housing crisis will last. Bought as foreclosures or at bargain prices, many of the homes lingered for months without buyers. But seeing the potential for big rent returns, investors have now launched a gold rush. The biggest investor, Blackstone's Invitation Homes, is spending on average more than $800,000 a day. The investor land grab has spread to nearly every local city, from the dense sprawl of Tampa to the rambling suburbs of Spring Hill. A cottage industry of agents, contractors, analysts and managers has responded to the charge, working feverishly for the biggest returns. Scroll to the bottom of this page for an interactive map that shows who bought up homes in your county, city or neighborhood. --> ??