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Real estate lessons from The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Sheree Whitfield is one of several women from the Atlanta franchise of Real Housewives of Atlanta to go into foreclosure or have other real estate problems
Photo by Rick Diamond

For a lot of people watching The Real Housewives shows is a guilty pleasure. If you really pay attention you could also learn a lot from these ladies. Lessons in real estate is one thing a viewer can gain by watching their favorite show.

Most cities in the Real Housewives franchise have one or more cast members with real estate issues. The city with the most cast members in real estate hell is Atlanta, Ga. Telegram posted an article by Michelle Singletary that expresses my sentiment. In her August 5 article she talks about being addicted to watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. She is amazed at the materialism of these women, including their homes. Michelle tells her readers that money and materialism will not make a person happy.

Curbed is reporting one of the first Atlanta cast members to go into foreclosure in Atlanta was Lisa Wu. Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Rodney Ho did an interview with Lisa as she and her husband Ed Hartwell were losing their home in Duluth, Ga. She told Rodney “Ed and I are not ignorant of the state of the economy. We chose to move. We were not evicted. It was a decision we made. It was not made for us.” Rodney's article goes on to say the Hartwells did a short sale and they were not in foreclosure. When asked why she didn't just stay in the house until the market recovered Lisa said "Why throw around $30,000 a month and wait for the market to come back if it comes back?” It sounds like the situation was overwhelming and they just wanted out.

The most sensational story about an Atlanta housewife's real estate woes is that of Sheree Whitfield. Sheree began construction on her dream home Chateau Sheree while she was still a cast member. Viewers wondered how she was going to pay for the house, being that she was constantly after her ex-husband to pay child support. Sheree's son didn't even have a bed to sleep on in their rental home. The camera caught a small glimpse inside his bedroom and revealed an air mattress on the floor. Sheree's clothing line She by Sheree crashed and burned. Her single "Who's going to check me, boo?" was a complete flop. Sheree also spent a large sum of money on attorney's fees. She alleges three Atlanta bloggers trespassed on her property in order to take pictures for her website. One case was thrown out, the others were dismissed. A few years after the start of construction the house still wasn't done and she lost it in foreclosure.

It will be interesting what will happen next for the Atlanta cast. Season seven is filming now. I'm sure we will hear about someone's real estate dealings. Last season Porsha Williams rented a house but was looking to eventually buy something. She recently got a new gig hosting Dish Nation. Porsha is not the sharpest knife in the drawer i.e. the underground railroad incident in Savannah. Hopefully she will have some help picking out her next home so she doesn't fall victim to the housewives curse.