Last night, we got a glimpse of what happens when people invest in appearances more than their future. The economy is really affecting the Housewives, forcing them into short sales and yard sales to make ends meet.
Tamra seems to have been hit the hardest. She and her husband Simon owe more money on their home than it's actually worth. (They bought it in 2005 for $1.3 million, invested $400,000 in upgrades, and were forced to list it in a short sale for $1.149 million this summer.) As Vicki—the only cast member who is doing well in this market with her insurance business—points out, why are Tamra and Simon not working? Especially considering that Simon was sued by a collection agency for owing $24,000 on a 1989 Ferrari.
Although Lynne was optimistic about her cuff business in he first episode, she was actually evicted from her rented home this summer. Instead of paying rent, she and her daughter got a face lift and a nose job.
Gretchen, whose fiancee died last year (reportedly leaving her $1.7 million from an insurance policy), doesn't seem to have a job, and held a garage sale with her boyfriend Slade to make ends meet. Gretchen was just ordered to pay the legal fees (nearly $20,000) of her ex-boyfriend, after bringing on what a judge ruled to be a frivolous lawsuit.
Her current boyfriend Slade is also broke. His house was foreclosed on, and he was arrested for civil contempt earlier this year for nonpayment of child support (to the tune of $80,000) for his terminally ill little boy.
Jeana—who in previous seasons mentioned that she was in the top 3% of realtors—is really feeling the crunch. She needs to sell a $12 million residence for the commission (in this market? good luck!) just so she can afford to keep her own home. She mentions that she's had to sell her watches, jewelry, and cars, and we saw her shopping at H&M. Jeana will be leaving the show next week, because she's "over it." Interestingly, Jeana points out that Vicki is the only person who is financially stable at the moment, and says that it's because Vicki works "15 hours a day, and that's not the way to do it, either." Really? It seems as though it is. Vicki's two children are college educated, she's able to take European trips with her family, and her marriage seems to be thriving. It would appear that hard work is the only way to do it. Maybe it's just sour grapes because Vicki wouldn't lend her money?