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Granite Countertops Don't Cut It Anymore

If there are two signs the bottom is near, these might be it: 1) homebuyers perched so precariously at cliff's edge that builders are starting to guarantee their mortgages for them, and 2) it's gotten bad enough that a property owner can feel safe in refunding mortgage payments if a buyers' condo value falls below sale price within three years. Cousins Properties Inc is doing the latter in Atlanta, and more and more developers are doing the former, offering to pay homebuyers' mortgages for up to six months if they get laid off. "It's a crazy idea," writes Cousins to Curbed, "But let's face it, granite counter tops aren't going to sell condos in this market." [AP]