Archive for August, 2009

Location, location, location even for burial spots

Location, location, location may be the mantra of real estate folks everywhere, but it takes on a whole different meaning with this latest item from ABC-TV.

The crypt over Marilyn Monroe has sold for $4.6 million by the widow of the man currently buried there — apparently enough for her to pay off the mortgage on her Beverly Hills home.

Once the deal is legally signed, sealed and delivered, Elsie’s deceased husband, Richard, — who is presently occupying the crypt face-down over Monroe — will be moved to the adjacent crypt.

via Sold! Crypt Above Marilyn Monroe Sells for $4.6 Million | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

Although Asheville cemeteries may not have the same celebrity draw as LA, burial plots draw a regular reselling crowd on


Poll shows Americans adopt a more frugal lifestyle

Zogby International today documented America’s trend toward a more frugal lifestyle with poll results showing that the recession is affecting more than just discretionary spending.

Pollster John Zogby said:

Increasing numbers of people have become less materialistic and more interested in other, simpler forms of personal fulfillment.

via Zogby International.

The survey asked questions about economic lifestyle changes and found that cost-cutting is prevalent in all demographic groups — even those making over $250,000 a year. Americans are not just driving and eating out less, but they are reducing their housing expenses and are purchasing more second-hand apparel.

Iwanna has been the primary source for frugal shoppers in the Carolinas for more than 30 years. Now it is the area’s largest online user-generated shopping network.

How to track boats live all over the world

Ship Tracker

Live Ships Map – AIS – Vessel Traffic and Positions. — a service of the University of the Aegean — provides a live ship tracker that provides up-to-the-minute locations of vessel positions around the world. You can search by area or ship name, and it even color codes the types of vessels from cargo tankers to yachts.

When you’re done dreaming about sailing the sea thousands of miles away, you can log in to the boats and trailers section of to find your own vessel of choice. Some of the most popular searches on Western North Carolina’s largest online classified database this summer have been boats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes, etc.

The switch to cheaper groceries

For more budgeting and investment info visit data suggests that consumers are shopping less for high-end groceries and more for affordable grocery options. Locally, that would include Go Grocery outlet. Check out their latest specials in this week’s print Iwanna or just click here.

Housing prices falling in Asheville but not like Atlanta ‘zombies’

Biltmore Forest home prices

The impact of falling housing prices is illustrated in this chart showing plunging home values in Biltmore Forest. Asheville seems to be holding together comparatively well, however, and Zillow reports some North Carolina communities such as Fayetteville are actually seeing housing appreciation.

In the South, nothing may be as bad as Atlanta, where failed housing developments and failed banks have left “zombie” subdivisions forming a “ring of death” around the city, according to the local newspaper.

To say the market has been sluggish would be an understatement. The main problem is sheer volume – a staggering 150,000 vacant housing lots across metro Atlanta are available, more than a decade’s supply at current absorption rates.

via Volume of ‘subdivision’ vacant lots overwhelms banks |

There are reports that Reality TV star Lisa Wu Hartwell and husband, former Oakland Raiders linebacker Edgerton Hartwell, have lost their home to foreclosure in Atlanta.

Experts say the bottom in housing prices may still be a long way off. Analysts at Deutsche Bank in New York are saying that 48 percent of mortgaged properties will eventually be underwater as they expect prices to drop through the first quarter of 2011.

We haven’t seen a bottom in home prices, and it could take into 2011 before we see equilibrium in the market,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New York.

via Underwater Mortgages May Reach 30% |

The good news is for first-time home buyers and investors with liquidity. Now is probably as good a time as any to look for housing deals.

Update: Data in distressed areas is showing that most housing sales indeed involve first-time home buyers using government assistance programs and investors using cash.

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August 2009
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