Many thanks to T.M. for sending me the following article with the comment, "This is why it is taking such a long time for house prices to fall here in California."
This is the story of the divorce squabbles of Debbie Matenopoulos, host of E! and her estranged husband. They can’t seem to come to grips with a realistic selling price for their $4.3M home. People magazine is a bit of a change from my usual sources, but if John can quote Vanity Fair, I can use People.
Debbie Matenopoulos’s estranged husband is seeking spousal support from the E! host, saying she "pays for nothing" related to their multimillion-dollar Los Angeles home after the pair "continuously lived beyond our means," court documents show.
Jay Faires, 45, an L.A. music executive who makes $37,500 per month before taxes, is demanding that Matenopoulos, 33, either help pay the mortgage, agree to refinance, or move out and sell the home, according to his filing.
"Notwithstanding the fact that [Matenopoulos] earns at least $225,000 annually, she had her lawyers send my lawyer the cable bill and her cell phone bill to pay," Faires says. "If [she] wants to continue to live [in our home] and won’t agree to sell, she should be paying all expenses associated with her use and occupancy, i.e. the mortgages, property taxes, utilities, insurance, gardener, pool, alarm, etc."
Faires, who filed for divorce on Nov. 12 after five years of marriage, admits that the couple have "continuously lived beyond our means during our marriage."
He says he has moved out of the residence, and that Matenopoulos "has changed the locks and the alarm code so I can’t enter the house." Faires says they owe approximately $1.5 million on the home, which carries a monthly payment of $11,671.
He adds that he’s had the property appraised recently at $4.3 million, but alleges Matenopoulos "won’t even consider selling [the home] unless we receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 million."
"[She] apparently believes that at some point in time [the home’s] value will increase by some $3.5 million," Faires says. "She also apparently believes that I … pay all expenses … while she lives there and pays for nothing, and waits for a real estate miracle to happen."
I’m sure a similar tale is happening in other homes- it’s just that for most people, the home price has fewer zeroes in it.