'Real Housewife' Averts Foreclosure on O.C. Home
The Bellinos reportedly were behind $83,000 in payments on their Newport Beach home, according to TheOrange County Register. The 4,200-square-foot house was set to be auctioned off on the old courthouse steps earlier this week, but the Bellinos were able to seal a loan modification deal with Chase. The newspaper confirmed the arrangement with Jim Bellino.
Their story appears pretty typical, up to a point.
The Bellinos bought their home at the peak of the market in 2007 for $4.56 million, believing its value could only continue to appreciate. A month after they closed escrow in August 2007, the county's median home price struck an all-time high. Since then, it has plunged 42 percent, which has got to be a slow kick in the gut for the Bellinos and everyone else in the same sinking boat.
What makes this last-minute rescue a bit unusual isn't that a TV personality fell into hard times, but that someone on the planet actually got a loan modification. The federal program has been widely labeled a failure, with about half the applicants aborting the process in frustration and describing it as a bureaucratic nightmare.
The house that was just rescued has five bedrooms and was built in 1951, according to Redfin. It has a workout room, home office, theater, wine room and rooftop deck with views of Newport Harbor. The Bellinos attempted to sell it for $5.8 million in May 2008, indicating that someone wasn't paying attention to the direction of the market.
As for those wild and crazy housewives, Bellino -- the newest cast member, who is described by Bravo as a "32-year-old spicy blonde" -- is just the latest one to stumble and fall into the real estate pit. Housewife Tamra Barney sold her 4,300-square-foot Tuscan-style home in a short sale earlier this year and Jeana Keough avoided foreclosure through a loan modification herself. Maybe the girls can start doing public service ads for the loan-mod program?
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