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Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension; Hidden Treasures in Your House Could Be Worth a Small Fortune; Buying Groceries for Less; Tips for a Great Fourth of July Party

Aired July 3, 2010 - 09:30   ET


POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: Well, good morning. I'm Poppy Harlow and this is YOUR BOTTOM LINE. Coming up, the hidden treasures in your house that could be worth a small fortune. Plus, how to buy $150 worth of groceries for less than a buck. Really, we're not kidding on that one. Also straight ahead, all of the tips you need to have a killer 4th of July party from food to beer and wine and decorations all for less than you think. It's the show that saves you money and it starts right now.

Big news on the housing front this week. Congress passed a bill to extend that $8,000 homebuyer tax credit for three more months as long as you signed your contract by April 30. Now, April home prices were up slightly, that is one good sign for the market. But RealtyTrac reports that more than 30 percent of all home sales in the first quarter of this year, they were foreclosures. Also pending home sales plunged 30 percent in May after rising 23 percent between January and April.

There's a lot to break down here folks when it comes to housing. Here to help us do that is Ilyse Glink author of "Buy, Close, Move In" she joins us from Chicago.

Ilyise, thanks for being here, appreciate it.


HARLOW: Let's talk first about Congress acting this week on extending the home buyer tax credit. It'll go to the president's desk now likely signed into law. What does it mean for the average person?

GLINK: You know, I think for the 180,000 people who had valid contracts by April 30 and have been sitting on pins and needles wondering if they were going to get everything done by June 30th. You don't have to worry so much anymore. Now you're going to get three more months to get your short sale deal closed, make sure your financing plays, have the appraisals done.

I think it's a huge relief. I mean, 180,000 people who were missing out on those home buyer tax credits not a good thing.

HARLOW: You know, and of course people that are selling their homes right now or at least trying to were optimistic when they got the report this week that said home prices rose about 3.8 percent in April. You know, good news on the surface, but you dig deeper and not so much, right? I mean, there's a lot of tough news out there still.

GLINK: I think this is a housing market that's in real trouble. The 3.8 percent, sure, you get a crush of home buyers trying to make that April 30 deadline.

HARLOW: Right.

GLINK: And, yes, home prices are going to go up a little bit. You can also skew that number, though, by having more higher priced homes sell and fewer lower priced homes sell and I think a lot of people don't understand that. The real problem is that since April 30 home buyer interest in buying homes has plunged 40 percent to 50 percent depending on where you live.

If you look at the number of people applying for purchase mortgages it's about 40 percent less than what it was. You're looking at numbers from 13 years ago. I think this is a market in real trouble and it's going to be in trouble the rest of the year.

HARLOW: And there are some well respected analysts that say, look, there's still a lot of down side to this housing market. Home prices, they say, could fall another 10 percent in the next six months or so. Looking at the foreclosed homes, accounting for 31 percent of those total sales in the first quarter, that's down 37 percent from a year ago. That's good news, slightly good news. What's the broader implication here do you think, though?

GLINK: Boy, are we really grasping for silver linings?

HARLOW: Just a little bit.

GLINK: There is nothing normal about 31 percent of all home sales being foreclosed properties. That number should be tiny like single digit tiny. And yet, it's a huge number and we'll see millions more foreclosures come on the market.

What we're seeing now already that the New Hamp (ph) rules that have gone into effect for the Making Home Affordable Loans, lenders are not allowed to keep homeowners in purgatory. What they're doing now is starting to process through those foreclosures much faster. Number of foreclosed homes is going to grow dramatically. Home prices are probably going to come down.

HARLOW: And banks are getting much more aggressive when it comes to foreclosing on those delinquent borrowers not working with them, some say, as much as they maybe should be.

Finally Wall Street reform headed to the president's desk sometime after the 4th of July. What does it mean for people on the mortgage front?

GLINK: You know, there's a little tiny, you know, addendum in there about how mortgage services have to keep five percent of the loans that they do on their own books when they go out and syndicate these loans and do mortgage backed securities, securitize them. They're going to have to keep a five percent chunk on their own books. That's supposed to make them keep skin in the game, as Warren Buffett likes to say so that they don't go and make these crazy loans.

But what it really could do is it could slow down the process even more. It could wind up -- people might pay more money for these loans. It's really going to mess things up and I'm not saying we shouldn't do it. I'm just saying there could be all kinds of unintended consequences. We won't even know until the law goes into effect and this stuff starts playing out in real time.

HARLOW: Sure, one thing we do know it's going to be harder for people to get mortgages than it was just a few years ago, but that could be a good thing. Ilyse, thank you. We appreciate it.

Well, coming up next the treasure hunt. Find out why some of the stuff you might consider junk could actually be worth a whole lot of cash.


HARLOW: As the saying goes one person's trash, another person's treasure. And if you think you've got a piece of history that could net you a nice chunk of change, you're going to want to listen to our next guest. Here with a few pricey auction items and advice on turning your closet clutter into crash is David Hunt, president of Hunt auctions. Thanks for being here.

DAVID HUNT, HUNT AUCTIONS: Appreciate it. Absolutely.

HARLOW: Love what you've got here. It's baseball season, baseball the American pastime. Let's start off with the baseball cards over here. You've got Honus Wagner, nicknamed the "Flying Dutchman." Right on in here, this card is, I would guess, worth a pretty penny.

HUNT: Just a few dollars. This is kind of the most iconic baseball card. There's been movies written about it, there's been books. And Honus Wagner objected not to tobacco products but to children buying tobacco products to get his card. This is an actual proof strip of that card about 1909 to 1911, should be about $200,000 to $300,000, so an incredibly scarce piece.

HARLOW: Two to three hundred thousand dollars for that. Amazing. Right here, Joe DiMaggio's legendary Yankees bat.

HUNT: When you're looking for iconic things again you talk about Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and this is an actual game used bat from the 1940 to '42 periods. Could have even been used in the famous 56-game hit streak. This is estimated $30,000 to $40,000. This came from an actual teammate of Joe's to a family friend. So again, that's how some of these things can end up down the line not exactly from the player, but sort of indirectly.

HARLOW: I assume you get things from people's attics all the time.

HUNT: We do, I think that's what's so interesting is that really any of these objects, these are exciting and expensive things, but there are lots of things people have that can end up being worth money and even if they don't want to sell them they should educate themselves as to what they are.

HARLOW: Of course, you've got a baseball glove, still looks like the ones that we use today. This is Roberto Clemente's glove, right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the '60s and the '70s. a picture of him with it, here. How much would something like this go for?

HUNT: Again, to have this piece, it's a game use, that's one of the more desirable pieces because not everybody could have that. You had to have a relationship with the player. Came from a person that was affiliated with the team, went to all these games, got the glove and it's actually photo matched, which for authenticity is huge, so this is about $30,000 to $40,000, as well. Pretty exciting piece.

HARLOW: Well, you know, you care about items that you find in your attic or in the basement, you're moving and something turns up, that you really shouldn't waste your time shopping it around.

HUNT: Yeah, I mean, unfortunately, we find many more things that are not valuable, you know, as opposed to some of these that are, but you should always check into what they're worth because it costs nothing g to get that appraisal done by firms like us. Just to send an e-mail, send a picture, say I have this, I've got this baseball, I've got this pin, or card or whatever it may be and find out what it's worth because if nothing else these things should be preserved whether you want to sell them or not.

HARLOW: Well, it's just like selling your gold necklace these days, you want to make sure you get the best price. How can you make sure without spending tons and tons of time that you're getting that price?

HUNT: Well, I think that's a good point. There's a limit to it. I mean, because the extra time that you invest may cost you more than the fraction or percentage more that you'll get.

HARLOW: Right.

HUNT: So I think the first step is to find a legitimate source you can trust that information, kind of corroborate it with a little homework yourself and then really just go with the gut common sense. I think actually many times items end up being a better source than just kind of searching of all kind of things and confusing the issue.

HARLOW: Yeah, do your research online, so you can do that yourself. Thanks so much, David, appreciate it.

Absolutely. Thank you, good to be here.

HARLOW: Thanks for being here.

All right, do you want to save a lot of cash? Well, if so, grab a pen and paper. We're going to show you how to get almost 150 bucks worth of groceries for less than a dollar. We are not kidding and that's straight ahead.


HARLOW: All right, As you well know groceries can really add up, hundreds of bucks sometimes. But no one knows how to clip a coupon better than the "Coupon Mom." We asked HLN's Rafer Weigel to tag along with Stephanie Nelson as she hits her local supermarket.

Take a look.


RAFER WEIGEL, HLN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Poppy. We're here at the Kroger in Roswell, Georgia where the "Coupon Mom" is going to show me and everybody how we can save big bucks on our grocery bill.

Hi, Stephanie.


WEIGEL: I'm rafer. Nice to meet you.

NELSON: Nice to meet you. Are you ready to save a lot of money?

WEIGEL: I am. I'm excited.

NELSON: Good. Well, let's go. OK, now it's all about strategic shopping. Strategic shopping is when you combine promotions with coupons and sales, and this is a good example of understanding how your store works. This says 10 for $10. You don't have to buy 10. You can just by one for $1. What I'm trying to do is save the most with coupons today and I have a coupon for $2 off two. So, I can get two absolutely free. So here we are.

We're at the baby products. If I got the item pictured I'd get a dollar off, I'd pay $2.19.

WEIGEL: Which would seem like a good deal.

NELSON: Yeah, but you know what I like?

WEIGEL: You can do better.

NELSON: Nine cents. That's what I like. Here's a bar soap that is the same brand and it applies. It's usually $1.09, if you take the coupon, now I'm get it for nine cents. Most people wouldn't know you could get that because they're going by the picture, but when it comes to coupons always go by the words.

WEIGEL: She's like the coupon ninja.

NELSON: I buy three copies of the newspaper because if you're a coupon user if you have three sets of coupons you'll save a lot more, you're going to get a lot more free stuff.

WEIGEL: Oh, my goodness. A whole $1.19. NELSON: No. I'm looking for free. We're looking for free.

WEIGEL: Wow. All right. You've got high standards or low ones. I'm very impressed.

NELSON: Here's a great example of what I call stacking the savings. That's when you can buy more than one savings program. In this case there's a special promotion, so this item is instead of $3.79 it's $2.29. I also have a coupon I printed for a dollar so that brings it to $1.29. But, I can use that along with an electronic coupon. I'll pay 29 cents instead of $3.79. And I think we have everything on the list.

WEIGEL: $130.

NELSON: So before any savings at all we're at $130.21.

WEIGEL: Which is an average week at the grocery store.

NELSON: That's for some people.


NELSON: Not for us. But I start out by doing the store card which gives us the sale prices, all the sale price tickets. That brought us down to $72.87.

WEIGEL: So, right now the computer is in disbelief.

NELSON: Right. Al though you didn't do anything wrong it just...

WEIGEL: As am I.

NELSON: OK, good. I'm happy. For a varsity shopper this is the kind of number we want to see.

WEIGEL: Look at that. 89 cents. That is insane. That's insane. That's crazy.

Well, Poppy, there you have it, $130 worth of groceries for 89 cents. I would say that is a job well done, "Coupon Mom." I am blown away by you.


HARLOW: Very impressive. So are we. For more tips and tricks from someone who is clearly earned herself the title expert, you can pick up a copy of Stephanie's book "The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half or More" it's online or at your local book store.

All right, coming up, time to have a drink and do a little grilling. Paula Dean shows us why the perfect barbecue requires a little bit of butter.

Plus the best beer and wine for your buck this 4th of July weekend.


HARLOW: All right. Well, let's be honest, no Fourth of July barbecue is complete without a good burger or veggie burger for all you vegetarians out there, so who better to show you how to make a great one than the queen of butter, Miss Paula Deen? Our Christine Romans tagged along with Paula and her sons, Bobby and Jamie, to the Food Network kitchen where they did a whole lot of cooking and a little bit of talking. Take a look.



PAULA DEEN, "PAULA DEEN'S HOME COOKING": Let's make some hamburgers.

ROMANS: This is an economical thing to cook if you've got a family of four, you want to grill some burgers, you want to throw a nice dinner on. So what are you doing?

JAMIE DEEN, "GOOD COOKING" MAGAZINE: This is something that we did a lot growing up. We always had the money for hamburgers and wasn't always able -- wasn't always able to do steaks and things like that.

ROMANS: Right.

J. DEEN: So, this is a pepper jack burger, and it's really simple. We're taking -- this is, like, cans of fried onions from the grocery store, a little bit of cumin -- this is a great flavor that I love in here...

ROMANS: Cumin?

J. DEEN: Yeah. A little bit of salt. We're going to do a little bit of pepper. Now, this is the part that's going to be up to y'all. I've got a -- I've taken a jalapeno, I've taken the seeds out. So depending on how spicy you want these, you know, you might only go a little bit...

P. DEEN: You know how we'd bump that up a little bit?

ROMANS: What would you -- OK, Mom. How's Mom going to improve upon the recipe? Go for it.

P. DEEN: Well, I would take a stick of butter, real, real cold butter.

J. DEEN: She's not kidding.

ROMANS: Wait a minute! News flash! Paula Deen wants to add sticks of butter!


P. DEEN: I would take it and I would cube it up. I'd throw it in the freezer, and then I would mix it up in with that hamburger meat. And with the jalapenos and the butter melting, y'all, that's a hamburger...

J. DEEN: And so good for you, too!

P. DEEN: It is outrageous.

J. DEEN: And so good for you.

ROMANS: And you -- you will have a lifelong relationship with your cardiologist with that...

P. DEEN: It is outrageous! No, butter is safe, honey. It's that other stuff you don't want to eat.

J. DEEN: My favorite thing to eat with burgers (INAUDIBLE) potato salad. And Bobby's got my favorite recipe...

ROMANS: Let's do it. Let's do it.

BOBBY DEEN, "GOOD COOKING" MAGAZINE: This is a little different recipe than what you would normally do, or what you normally think when you do potato salad. We're going to use a grill basket and about three pounds of fingerling potatoes.

ROMANS: Do you do anything to them?

B. DEEN: Didn't do anything to them.

ROMANS: Did you boil them first? Did you put any...

B. DEEN: Didn't do anything to them.

ROMANS: No olive oil, just...

B. DEEN: Didn't do anything to them.

ROMANS: ... straight potatoes.

B. DEEN: They're just raw, just raw like that. So we're going to -- it would take about 20 minutes, probably, to cook these all the way. All right, this is an ultra-creamy potato salad, really, really simple. It's got exactly what you think, about-and-a- half cup of mayo to start. And I've chopped up some fresh basil and parsley.

ROMANS: So those -- this is the finish part. These are just roasted on here for 20 minutes?

B. DEEN: Exactly. And then cut. Going to eyeball a couple of tablespoons of olive oil here.

ROMANS: Excellent.

B. DEEN: All right. Some whole grain mustard, Dijon.

P. DEEN: And that's really a whole, whole grain.

B. DEEN: Exactly. It is. It's very chunky. Little bit salt and pepper just to taste. And the juice of about half a lemon is going to end up in here. And that's what's going to make it so creamy, is that lemon juice.

ROMANS: Oh, the lemon juice makes it creamy?

B. DEEN: Absolutely.

ROMANS: Now, when you go with a restaurant with your mom, I'm just wondering, does Paula Deen, like, comment on what she's eating at the restaurant?

B. DEEN: Oh, Lord, yes!


B. DEEN: Yes, she's...

P. DEEN: Do I what, Christine?

B. DEEN: Comment on what you're having. Are you opinionated about what you're being served in most restaurants?

P. DEEN: Yes. In fact, they have told me before, Mama...

B. DEEN: Please!

P. DEEN: ...this is just a meal. Just eat it. Don't critique it!

J. DEEN: Are y'all ready for a burger?

ROMANS: Let's do it! Now you're all working together. You're doing this together right now. What's it like working as a family?

J. DEEN: I'm thankful that we're able to spend so much time together. I'm 42 this year. My brother will be 40. And we see each other a lot. You know, we still interact...

P. DEEN: And I'm 46, y'all!

ROMANS: Let's have a drink to that.


P. DEEN: Let's have a bite of burger to that, y'all!



J. DEEN: Thanks for having us. ROMANS: You're welcome.

J. DEEN: Cheers, Mom.


HARLOW: You know everything's better with a little bit of butter. If you want to print out the dean family recipes for yourself, you can do that on-line at While you are there, you can check out recent highlights from the show, even send us an e-mail about personal finance questions that you want answered.

All right, we have got you covered on food, but come on, what about the drinks for the fourth of July barbecue? We've great made in the USA beer and wine choices for you, and guess what, they're all under 20 bucks. Ray Isle is the executive wine editor for "Food & Wine" magazine. He joins us now with a lovely selection.

RAY ISLE, "FOOD & WINE" MAGAZINE: Absolutely. Great selection of beer and wine pretty much anything you might want to grill. Because everybody's going to be out there grilling this weekend.

HARLOW: They will.

ISLE: And it's around the country and so...

HARLOW: What about burgers, I mean, that's what everyone grills.

ISLE: Burgers, yes, that's the classic. So, with burgers, what I'm suggesting is a couple things, one, you know, always have a beer and a wine. Just same way you're going to have people who want burgers, people who want chicken, you're going to have people who want beer, people who want wine. Wine, zinfandel, not the pink kind, but red zinfandel, rich, spicy, dark, this Ravenswood Lodi zin is about, you know, 15 bucks, but you can usually find it for less. And that's a fantastic burger wine.

For beer, for burgers, I always go for something a little darker. I like Shiner Back, they're up in Texas. I mean, I'm a Texan, it's one of my home state beers, and it's got a nice sort of multidark, you know, rich character and that, you know, with char grilled meat, dark beer...

HARLOW: Makes that dark and heavy and all that...

ISLE: And heavy and spicy and good and all that kind of thing.

HARLOW: What about for chicken, obviously, lighter fair there, you got white wine, a lighter beer?

ISLE: Yeah, for chicken, you know, chicken, I kind take wine and beer that splits the difference, goes one way or the other and so for wine, I use my go-to, like, you're tired of chardonnay, you want something different, something that's not quite as big and buttery, a little more fruit character. Pinot gris, which is the same grape as pinot grigio, but pinot gris from Oregon...

HARLOW: I wondered if they were the same.

ISLE: They are the same. They are exactly the same, it just depends on where you grow it, how you want to make it. In Oregon, they great pinot gris. This one, Willamette Valley Vineyards, again, it's about a 15 buck wine. You can find it for less, depending on where you shop. And it's just, you know, bright, clean, zippy. Not as like tart a sauvignon blanc, we're going to get to that in a second, but really good.

And then summer ale from, in this case, from Sam Adams. You know, the summer ales are modeled on the old Belgian wood beer style, so they've got a little spice, coriander. In this case, Sam Adams, what they use lemon peel and Grains of Paradise.

HARLOW: Can't get more American than Sam Adams.

ISLE: Than Sam Adams, I mean, founding father, why not.

HARLOW: Based in Boston.

ISLE: Based in Boston. And, you know, one of the great American craft breweries. And you know, it's spicy, but not overly spicy. It is not heavy, but it's not really light beer at the same time. It's just a great summertime beer.

HARLOW: You know, I have always wondered that if friends -- because I like sauvignon blanc and I like pinot grigio, but they are a little bit different and you say the sauvignon blanc's going to go better than fish.

ISLE: Absolutely, yeah, I think, you know, sauvignon blanc is more of kind of a citrus tone to it, it's more like, it's almost like a grapefruit character to sauvignon blanc, and a little bit of lemon and what I say with sauvignon blanc is that, you know, anything you can squeeze lemon onto, like fish, tastes good with sauvignon blanc. That's your basic sauvignon blanc rule.

HARLOW: Go-to test.

ISLE: Your go-to test. If you can squeeze lemon on it and it's good, you know, pour sauvignon blanc, you know, iced tea, I don't know. But, in any case, this Honig sauvignon blanc from Napa valley, it's rare to find a Napa Valley wine for under 20 bucks and this sauvignon blanc is fantastic wine for the price.

HARLOW: It is about 16 bucks.

ISLE: It's about 16, again, if you shop somewhere that is a fairly large, you may find it for less. Really lovely. But, you know, any good sauvignon blanc with fish on the grill, is good.

HARLOW: Good, and finally for the beer.

ISLE: Wheat beer. And again, it's a little bit, you know, you've seen wheat beer, they you know, squeeze a lemon in it. It's a little bit the same kind of principal as sauvignon blanc, wheat beers are a little tarter, a little more zingy and so they go really well with fish, really well with shelled fish particularly, a grilled shrimp and that kind of thing, like if you are doing shrimp brochettes. That's a great combination with wheat beer.

And this one, you know, the Pyramid is pretty widely available, is really good, it's one of the first American wheat beers that was out there and it's just tasty stuff.

HARLOW: These wines are under 20 bucks, but you said you can get a pretty good bottle of wine for $10 or less, right?

ISLE: Oh yeah, there's a lot of good wine out there. We are kind of living in a golden age of wine, there's a bottles of 10, nine, eight that are really good and case in point, you know, Ravenswood, even though this one's about 15, they make a great California zin that's $7.99. And same thing with whites, you can find terrific stuff and it's not too pricy to experiment.

HARLOW: No, and you're going to get about four glasses a bottle, so that's right equivalent to some beers.

ISLE: Yeah, maybe less in my house, but...

HARLOW: Oh, you pour those big glasses. I know you do. Ray, thanks for being here. Have a good fourth.

ISLE: Thanks Poppy, bye.

HARLOW: All right, so throwing a fourth of July party, it does not have to cost you a fortune. Coming up next, we're going to have the tricks of throwing the best party on your block on a budget.


HARLOW: Well, in this week's "Free-for-All," it is not just about red, white, and blue this weekend, it's also about being green. You want to keep this weekend's holiday barbeque eco and budget friendly by ditching the disposable partyware, try to use regular plates, silverware, glasses, that sort of thing. and if you have to go disposable route, do your best to wash and reuse as much as possible. The same goes for those decorations. The Fourth of July streamers or table toppers, they can be used next year, so don't trash them at the end of your party.

And also, don't forget to recycle. If you end up using plastic dinnerware, it can all be recycled. Remember, though, if you use paper plates, you need to throw those out or compost them because of all that food residue. If you've got any questions about what you can recycle and what you can't, you can contact your local recycling program or your county recycling coordinator.

All right, we will see you back here next week for YOUR BOTTOM LINE, the show that saves you money and also don't miss, YOUR MONEY today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, tomorrow at 3:00. Right now, though, it is time for a check of your top stories this morning. CNN SATURDAY continues with T.J. Holmes. Happy Fourth of July, everyone.