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Hey O.C. Housewives, Is This What You Call Cutting Back in a Tough Economy?

Fri, December 18, 2009 4:53pm EDT by Add first Comment


Are you feeling the pinch of the poor economy? The R.H.O.C. ladies are right there with you … only they’re coping with it a tad bit differently.

Looks like the terrible economy is hitting everyone, even Orange County’s elite, who have made to make some – er – difficult sacrifices and cutbacks to their posh lifestyles.

Fans of the Real Housewives of Orange County can definitely identify with their favorite California girls this season, because the ladies have realized how tough pinching pennies can really be. Tamra Barney broke down when she had to put her house up for sale, while Lynne Curtin also got sad when she had to move out of her posh Laguna Beach abode … and into a smaller (yet still gorgeous) place. Jeana Keough even shopped at (gasp!) budget friendly H&M instead of high-end boutiques.

“Downsizing is taking place, there’s no doubt about that,” Gary Watts, a real estate economist in Orange County, tells “Even those who have businesses that are doing well, they’re not living the opulent lives that they used to because they’re being careful.”

Watts, who’s worked on several homes in the Coto de Caza community where the Real Housewives of O.C. is frequently filmed, says many people in the O.C. community are leaving their 7,000 sq. feet home for more modest (at least in their eyes!) 4,000 sq. feet places, not eating out as much and “not getting a new Mercedes every two years.” Instead, they’re opting for more reasonably priced rides.

While there’s a select group of people who are still well off, Watts says that for the most part, all of Orange County got the wake up call about the plummeting market and know they’ve got to be a bit smarter with their money.

Unfortunately for reality TV stars, “these desperate housewives are going to still be desperate a bit longer,” Watts, who works Impact Real Estate, predicts.

What have you done to deal during these tough times?