Two of the actor's New Orleans homes are now in foreclosure and will be auctioned Nov. 12.
Maybe it won't be quite as easy to get your attention with news about a haunted house hitting the auction block the week after Halloween, but to some of us, haunted houses are always cool.
Haunted house in question: The LaLaurie Mansion, which Diane Tuman of Zillow writes is "possibly one of the most haunted houses in New Orleans." The history is too gruesome for this family-friendly blog, but you can read all about "Mistress of Death: The Haunted History of Madame LaLaurie" at PrairieGhosts.com.
The French Quarter home was up for grabs for $3.55 million, and another home of Cage's in the city's Garden District was for sale for $3.45 million. But those days are over. Now both homes are set for a foreclosure auction at noon Nov. 12.
But not everybody agrees it's the best use of taxpayer money.
With powerful lobbying groups behind the push to extend the homebuyer tax credit, dissenters likely will have little sway as the expanded version of the measure makes its way through Congress.
The New York Times reports that a final decision by the Senate is likely today, and that the House is expected to also accept it this week.
But the $8,000 tax credit, which would be extended until April 30 to more than just first-time homebuyers this time around, isn't getting much praise from Jack Hough with SmartMoney:
Don't let thieves steal your house from underneath you.
Think you're safe from mortgage fraud because you pay the bills on time every month? Think again. Criminals have expanded well beyond duping borrowers seeking loan modifications or money-laundering schemes paid for by innocent investors.
Now, it appears fraudsters also can steal your house from right underneath you.
The New York Times writes about this growing trend, literally called "house theft," but in the spirit of thinking positive, it also writes about a Web site that aims to keep you from becoming its victim: ePropertyWatch.com.
One professor defends the rising number of strategic defaults as more homeowners struggle to pay mortgages that are worth more than their homes.
When homeowners reach a point where they're considering walking away from a mortgage on an underwater home that they no longer can afford, one professor suggests that maybe they should do just that.
The Wall Street Journal recently spoke with Brent White, a professor of law at the University of Arizona, regarding his recent discussion paper (.pdf file) titled "Underwater and Not Walking Away: Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis." To sum it up, from WSJ:
"The real mystery is not — as media coverage has suggested — why large numbers of homeowners are walking away, but why, given the percentage of underwater mortgages, more homeowners are not," the professor says.
Don't force your contractor to play the role of counselor during your next home-improvement project.
Now may be a good time to remodel with prices down an average of 5% to 10%, but before you embark on that ambitious project, ServiceMagic.com warns you to make sure you're aware of some of the emotional risks beforehand.
Yes, you read that correctly. It's not just your house you have to worry about, but also your family and relationships while the project is taking place.
"When going through a stressful home improvement project, people either roll with it or endure," said David Lupberger, the company's home-improvement expert. "But for some, having their routines disrupted can put them, and perhaps even their relationships, on edge.”
According to a recent survey, ServiceMagic.com found that 78% of remodeling professionals have witnessed an argument during the past year between a couple either in the planning stage or during a home remodel project, and that 64% of them even had to play the role of relationship counselor.
The cyclist is partnering with his agent and business manager as the market leans more and more in favor of buyers.
When seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong sets out to do something, success usually follows. So his recent foray into the world of real estate could very likely result in success not only for the company, CSE Realty Partners, but also for the future of real estate.
The privately held investment company, based in Austin, Texas, is setting its sights on central Texas, with a focus on buying and developing office, industrial, retail, hotel and multifamily commercial real estate.
Which means it also has location working in its favor. In the most recent home price indexes from Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller, Dallas is one of only two cities whose annual losses in home prices have nearly leveled out. Not to mention that Austin itself recently was one of the top cities to which people still were relocating.
But as is too often the case, you have to move the century-old homes yourself.
In an era where recycling is the trendy thing to do, it's no wonder the University of California at Berkeley is hoping somebody will take two Victorian homes it no longer needs off its hands for $1 each. And by off its hands, I mean off its campus.
Stacey Delo with MarketWatch reports that the university purchased the two homes in 1939, and has since used the main house as graduate student housing and office space. But now it has a new plan for the property where the two neighboring houses are located, and is hoping some eager buyer will come up with a brilliant plan to move the two structures elsewhere.
As often tends to be the case, that just could be the show-stopping catch.
One insider hopes other professionals will spend their upcoming bonuses on helping homeowners who have lost or soon could lose their homes to foreclosure.
We've already learned that government programs to save the housing market may have artificially boosted home prices by 5%, but now BusinessWeek writes that Wall Street professionals also are expected to make big profits because of that government support.
And that might be hard for much of the public to swallow, it writes, since they're blamed "for creating the loose lending standards and securitization of loans that fueled the housing bubble."
But one economist isn't going to let the whole industry go up in flames. Instead, Katerina Alexandraki is urging those Wall Street professionals to donate a part of their bonuses to help the people they may be responsible for putting out on the streets. From Bonus for Homes, her Web site:
“Bonus for Homes” is a new initiative to address the inherent discomfort many of us (should) feel about the widening gap in the fortunes of Wall Street professionals and the poor of Main Street facing foreclosure.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.