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It’s a gimmick, but a good gimmick.
To publicize its website, apartments.com is running a contest between three twenty-somethings who want to move out of their parents’ homes. The Chicago-style balloting (“vote early, vote often”) allows website visitors to vote for the person with the best sob story as often as once a day until June 16. The winner gets $20,000-plus in cash and prizes for his or her own place. Pictured is finalist Amber, 24, of Jacksonville, Fla., who complains that her father had the dining room themed in Captain America. She writes: “As you might gather, this can be quite embarrasing. I’m twenty four now, and I need some help to get out of the weird world that I have become so accustomed to.”
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.