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Corn: A Bright Spot In World Of Real Estate

Here is Des Moines, especially in West Des Moines, there's a building boom. Lots of new construction. It looks like the corn economy is trumping the subprime meltdown. Zillow.com says home prices this city are holding steady.

People want to blame ethanol for raising prices, but it is creating prosperity in a part of the country that hasn't always known good times. The National Association of Realtors say Des Moines home prices are up about 2 percent in a year. Up.

That's not to say there haven't been foreclosures here. An April story in the Des Moines Register says:

"Almost every neighborhood in Polk County has had at least one foreclosed home in the last three years. Some have had more than 50...Iowa's foreclosure process - from the first notice delivered to a delinquent borrower to repossession by a lender - takes an average of nine months. That's three months longer than the national average of six months...Only Vermont, Ohio and Maine take longer, the data show."

Meantime...

I consider myself a relatively nice person (don't we all?). I wave hello to people driving down my street, I always say "Hi" when passing someone on the sidewalk, I try to smile and be courteous. Well, by California standards I'm really nice. I've learned that by Iowa standards I'm pushy and impatient. My nodding pleasantly and smiling to strangers here comes across as hurried and insincere compared to their good manners. I need to work on that.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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