Burt Reynolds Seeks Deliverance From The Evils Of The Foreclosure Crisis

by:  Peter J. Gallagher

Is no one safe from the foreclosure crisis?  Various news outlets are reporting that Burt Reynolds is on the verge of losing, not the Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, but his Florida mansion to the bank (click here, here, here, and here for stories).  Apparently, the bank is looking to pull down the Evening Shade on the actor because he has not made a mortgage payment since September 2010 and owes approximately $1.2 million on a home valued at $2.4 million.  (For those of you who are curious, the house has a swimming pool, private beach, boat dock, cinema and, of course, its own hair salon.)  Reynolds has enjoyed many Boogie Nights in the property and on its Longest Yard since he purchased it for $1.5 million in 1994.  However, Smokey now appears to have caught up with the Bandit and Reynolds finds himself in the Sharkey's Machine like so many other residents navigating through foreclosure in Florida.  Unless there is another Cannonball Run sequel in the works, it looks like Reynolds may find himself Starting Over in a new home.

As Real Estate Market Continues To Struggle, A Ray Of Sunshine Emerges From, Of All Places, Florida

by:  Peter J. Gallagher

The most recent Case-Shiller index suggests that home prices ticked up in May ("U.S. Housing Prices Rise Slightly, But Remain Weak").  While this might sound like good news, experts were hardly celebrating.  Most attributed the rise in the composite index to "seasonal factors" (i.e., demand is typically strongest in the Spring) and pointed to other negative signs – "contract cancellations, tightened lending standards and sales of new homes in June" — as better examples of the overall health of the market. 

Against this grim news comes surpisingly good news from the usually bad news rich housing market of Florida.  In "Affluent Buyers Reviving Market For Miami Homes," the New York Times notes that sales in Miami, particularly on higher end properties, are up more than 16%, with more than two-thirds of those sales being all cash deals.  While this revival is obviously limited to the wealthy, it is at the very least a small ray of hope in an otherwise downtrodden real estate market.