Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing bubble, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

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226 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    Give it Grubbers house prics are tanking. No more entitlements.


    Be really worried.

    Tick Tock Tick Tock..



  2. James Bednar says:

    From CNN/Money:


    Like many other California renters in early 2005, Nick Basile and his fiancée, Jackie Neuffer, felt the pressure of ballooning home prices.

    The couple, fresh out of college, decided to act. They snapped up a house last summer in the San Joaquin Valley town of Visalia where prices had already spiked 40 percent in the prior 12 months.

    “We figured we better buy before things really got out of control,” says Basile.

    “We decided it was now or never,” says Basile.

    The Visalia homes were being sold in a lottery process. “It was unreal,” says Basile. “There were 50 families packed into a model home. We were shaking.”

    The couple ended up spending $329,000, which they financed with an interest-only ARM with a home loan for the down payment. They knew their salaries would cover the monthly payments and they reasoned that if they ever got in trouble they could always sell – at a profit.

    What they didn’t count on was that they soon began to miss their native East Coast. This past summer they decided to move back and they put the Visalia house on the market in August.

    “The builder can’t give away the houses,” says Basile. “He’s selling them for $324,000 with swimming pools, granite counter tops, spas, landscaping – all things we didn’t get.”

    Basile and Neuffer are still betting that their house can command a higher price than the builder’s because their home is in a better part of town and a more-in-demand school district.

    But they kept dropping the price in $10,000 increments as they only attracted showed two showings in three months. They held an open house and nobody attended the first day and three couples came the second.

    Then, a couple of weeks ago, they both got confirmations of job offers back in Saratoga Springs, New York. That added some urgency in their quest. They hired a real estate broker and lowered the price to $364,900, which, even if they get, will probably still leave them with a net loss after commission and other closing costs.

    Plus, they’ll be out a total of about $10,000 in prepayment penalties for paying off their mortgage and home equity loan early.

    Finally, last week, the agent showed the house four times, telling the couple that two of the buyers expressed interest. They’re keeping their fingers crossed because they can’t afford to keep up two households and don’t want to be long-distance landlords.

    Even if they rented the place, the numbers wouldn’t add up. “Our payment is about $1,700 and we could only get about $1,500 for it,” says Basile.

    That doesn’t even take into account property management fees, taxes, lawn service and other expenses. They’d be awash in red ink every month.

    The ordeal may have made them a little more real estate savvy – and gun shy -but they seem remarkably serene. Basile is not exactly kicking himself.

    “I still think it was a good idea at the time,” he says.

  3. SAS says:

    “The couple, fresh out of college, decided to act. They snapped up a house last summer in the San Joaquin Valley town of Visalia”

    Right out of college and kids are buying houses?
    Is this really the norm these days?

    When I graduated college, I was dirt broke, because any money I had went to paying for college. (it also went to a few blackjack games and women…wink…wink….)


  4. James Bednar says:

    Roubini is always a good read..


    Just saw the PBS piece where they let Nouriel and Ed Yardini go head to head.


  5. BC Bob says:

    In any market mania/bust, there are different stages that define the whole move;


    I feel that the sellers, not H-Builder’s,are in stage 1. There seems to be a very lackadasical attitude, take the listing off, put it back on in the spring, things will be better then, rent it out until it’s a better time to sell, etc,etc…

    If I am right about what stage we are in, it is incredible that we are down 12% in median prices in BC (RichNNJ) and Pat states that in her area, they are 20% off the 2005 highs. Many of you are frustrated that we are not down by a larger %. On the contrary, I feel this is a huge move for the 1st stage. In bubbles/bust, usually 30-50% of the entire move will occur in the last 10-20% of the total time of the entire move. For ex, if you expect 40% off 2005 highs in a total of 4 years, 12-20% of that will occur in the last 5-10 months. Why???? The last stages are the biggest, fear/panic. This is when capitulation occurs. It’s worked this way since Tulip Bulbs, it won’t change now.

    Out of curiousity, what stage does everybody feel that sellers are in?? Maybe we can take a poll.

  6. It's crashing says:

    Old School—SAS

  7. It's crashing says:

    Sellers are concerned but still in denial. A few months of no bids will do the trick. And when they do their first token reduction will bring more concern. No interest then even more concern. Then then real scared.

  8. It's crashing says:

    Ditech is better. Heard from other fools who are already in the ponzi scheme

  9. Al says:

    And BTW the rates are at the lowest in 8 month…. Once real Inflation kickes in (dollars falls relatives to other currencies we will see rates in double digits again…. my prediction by 2009 rates will be in 12+%)

    My company – record profits this year solely due to price increases – and NO CUSTOMER COmPLAINED ABOUT IT – the all made it up by passing the buck onto consumers…. no volume increase of quality of the products increase. King of hard to increase quality on oil industry….

    So refinance now, if you are planning to stay for over 7 yeaars – buy points. ALWAYS GET OPTIONS FROM AT LEAST 3 LENDERS – 2 big companies and one small – recommended by someone you know.

  10. Pat says:

    BC Bob

    I think there is concern (2), but not among more than 50% of sellers. “Nobody else is selling, I’m not either, so I’m just going to do whatever the rest of them do.”

    The 20% drop off high that I see is not a majority of new listings across the board, only the smart ones. The older listings that drop, are dropping a lot. So a minority of sellers seem to be making a play.

    Many, many stale listings seem to be holding their maginot line and taking their casualties.

    I’m watching to see how those new cheaper listings fare (weeks to sale) and what happens to comps in the next three months. So far, these homes are still not in contract, either.

  11. Al says:

    wow, Friday night and 3 beers – feels good….

  12. Pat says:

    Oh, that reminds me. A week ago, November 9th, I received a card from a sales agent, with a “just sold” successful sale listed on it. It was a request to list with that agent.

    I just looked it up on my list of all sales in Bucks County PA.

    The darn thing was from almost a year ago!

    Does that count in real life? Like a born-again virgin?

  13. ADA says:

    but doesnt this cut toward buying with a a fixed rate mortgage?

    if the dollar is worth less but your payment stays the same, every year you pay less of your income toward housing i.e the house gets cheaper to live in every year.

    Al Says:
    November 17th, 2006 at 7:45 pm
    And BTW the rates are at the lowest in 8 month…. Once real Inflation kickes in (dollars falls relatives to other currencies we will see rates in double digits again…. my prediction by 2009 rates will be in 12+%)

  14. It's crashing says:

    wow, Friday night and 5 beers – feels good….

  15. BC Bob says:


    There is no correlation between the flucuations of the dollar and your house payments, unless you have an arm and interest rates react accordingly to the volatile dollar, or if you are getting paid in a foreign currency. If this is the case your payments in dollars have been going down the past 4 years. However, as the dollar falls the cost of imported goods go up, inflation. Our corporations will not seize the opportunity and grab domestic market share. Our exec’s comp is tied to quarterly results, they’ll raise prices, short term profits. The bottom line the US consumer pays more with a falling dollar. On the flip side, our multinationals are enamored with a falling dollar, look at the Dow. Great for multinationals, s*it for the US consumer. Will be a major concern for homeowners if interest rates are forced up to support it.

  16. Al says:

    Actually the more dollar goes down the more competitive US Companies are on the international market. And in realiity may be it is time Chineese goods will finally cost more???

    US producers determine their costs in US dollars so. IN THEORY price of the FOOD, SERVICES AND HOUSING WILL NOT RAISE WITH FALLING DOLLAR…. (sice THEY ARE AL PRODUCED IN US)


  17. Al says:

    As I said my Company doing great – all of our client are in Asia , Europe and Japan… hey are loving weakening dollar, as we can raise prices in dollars and for them costs stay the same.

  18. v says:

    Someone on kannekt.com posted that property taxes may not be fully deductible because of AMT. Is this right?

  19. SS says:

    Does anyone know how ditech home appraisal calculator generates the high and low values?


  20. Clotpoll says:

    To SS (from #27)-

    They have a cage full of monkeys roll dice and run the outcomes through a “special proprietary alogorithm”.

  21. BC Bob says:


    Hilarious, sounds like a Career-Builder commercial. You are right about the lending business, the fraud involved will make the S&L crisis seem like a walk in the park.

  22. Seneca says:

    Interesting situation here. Made a very specific offer on a FSBO a few months ago. (Specific meaning it was not a round number, it was something like 432,650.) Let’s call the owners the McGillicuddys. Mr. and Mrs. McGillicuddy responded with “we already had an offer 60k higher than that and we rejected it.”

    Fast forward a few months and husband and I looked at some newer listings with an agent last weekend. As agents go, he was a decent guy and actually encouraged us to make lowball offers on anything he showed us or anything else we see of interest. “I am not afriad to go to sellers with what may sound like a ridiculous offer.”

    Same agent, five days later, has been retained by the McGillicuddys to sell their house. This is after almost a full year of them trying to sell the house themselves.

    What do you think we should do here? Part of me is tempted to make the same specific offer so that the owners realize its “us” again and this time, they lose the 6% they are going to pay the agent if they take our offer. I mean, I know they still won’t take our offer because they are still asking the same ridiculous inflated price. I am just wondering if there is any benefit to disclosing to the agent that we already know everything there is to know about this house and have already made an offer. Is it ok to tell him this or should we pretend like this is the first time we have seen this listing. Its got a new MLS# and all that so…. please share your thoughts, I would love to hear your advice dear NJRE Report blog.

  23. bubblewatcher says:

    BC Bob,

    You are right – we are dropping a great amount in the early stages – which will be interesting in the later ones.

    I think there are some parallel markets going on. Different types of sellers and different types of buyers acting differently – that are confusing the general numbers. And allowing the realtors and builders to choose their story based on where they want to look.

    I’ve stated before that this cycle is different from prior – as is everything in the US economy – it’s all contrived, with tons of data and different groups (social / economic / regional)acting differently.

    An organized poll and maybe a graph of the proposed vs. the actual for where we are in the stages – would be fun.

  24. Clotpoll says:

    “Eat my bread, do my will.” So saith a very popular book.

    Your agent (or should I say, former agent) is now in a position in which he cannot ethically help either you or the seller in a possible agreement, since he shouldn’t disclose contents of prior conversations or knowledge to EITHER principal. Flowing from that, he cannot claim to be able to function as a disclosed dual agent, because he just knows too many intimate details of both parties. He’s just in too deep to be able to maintain the appearane of impartiality…and that’s what the spirit of the law requires.

    To go a step further, any meeting of the minds between you and the seller that might ensue if he acts as a dual agent could bear the taint of his own self-dealing. It could be argued that the only way he could bring buyer and seller together is through selective manipulation of his prior knowledge of both parties and their positions.

    If this agent is an honest dealer, he should advise you to seek out another agent from a completely different brokerage.

  25. Clotpoll says:

    My #33 was to Seneca’s #31.

  26. Homer Simpson says:

    I think you should offer less than you did.
    I mean if you offered
    432,650.00 and they said the rejected an offer at
    492,650.00 (give or take a few)and lets say you make a offer at 390k maybe they will get the idea that they better accept something before they lose even more.
    I mean I would think they would want to get as much money as possible for the place.
    But I would also reccomend possible waiting until its been on the market with a realtor for a few month before making a 390k offer, just becuase to the homeowner they now think they are getting into some untapped resources of buyers, and they have the mentality of a person who just list there home brand new on the market without trying to sell it themselves first. But once they see that nothing is happening after a few months they maybe willing to accept an offer at 390k
    Hope this Helps.

  27. Pat says:

    Seneca, your story has a vague familiarity to me. Maybe Clotpoll can help out here.

    Did you tell Agent Decent about your original lowball on McGillicuddy?

    Back in March, we told our then buyer’s agent about a house that was FSBO going on 7 months, and what we thought it would go for. I watch the listings. Not three days later, house shows up on said agent’s office’s new listings. Voila, we get an e-mail with the house, and listed $10k less than the FSBO price.


  28. Pat says:

    Oooh, Clotpoll, beat me to it on typing.


  29. Homer Simpson says:

    Anyone provide me with info on this place in Hillsborough
    MLS Number: 2343195

    I am still looking in North NJ but I like these specific townhomes
    Thanks :)

  30. Clotpoll says:

    Yo Homes (from #38)-

    #2343195 should be a non-starter in your book. Today is also its first day on market, so they need to feel the pain. Hillsborough is glutted with townhomes in this range.

    Check #2331089, #2332528 and #2333954 in Hillsborough…and think of them at a price of 255K- tops! You can get a garage, better community and possibly a finished basement in this range. I just sold the best available unit in this community (perfect…AND vacant!) last week at 255K.

    If you’ve got the guts to wait longer, you can get into Bridgewater or Branchburg under 300K. Much easier trip up and down 287 from there…Hillsborugh is a traffic nightmare.

  31. Danielle says:

    SAS says:

    Right out of college and kids are buying houses?
    Is this really the norm these days?

    SAS, it can be done and in NJ. My husband and I did it, but we were more informed than that couple. We both lived @ home for a year and practically saved everything we made. I was 21 years old when we signed the contract for our new home in 1999 and, we did it the old fashion way and put down 20%. I thank my lucky stars we did b/c we have a managable low fixed rate and the equity we have is still plenty even with prices falling. (Not that we are even thinking about selling anytime soon!!) There are kids @ there that can get it right!!


  32. ck986 says:

    Here is the mother of all delusional sellers. This house was put on the market for $765K on May 2005 with MLS# 2513540, 3 relistings and 17 months later it is down to $549K mls# 2643983. This is a house located in Midland Park and has had a significant amount of work done to it since being bought in 1/02 for $245K. It looks like the house was knocked down and rebuilt. Per the MLS taxes were 5K in 05 and are 10K currently. We are talking about 28% off OLP.

  33. afe says:

    Hi all (especially those who have signed real estate contracts before),

    A friend of mine is trying to sell her house. She has had no offers so she wants to take it off the market for the winter and put it back on in the spring. She is even willing to use the same real estate agency, she just does not want folks walking into the house for the winter (on an upslope, driveway gets very icy) and falling and it causing liability issues for her (she no longer lives in the house, so snow removal happens less often than usual). Her contract extends from Sept 2006 to Mar 2007. Can she get out of it and relist in the spring? Her contract only states that she has to pay costs of advertising and commissions. What does that entail? Thanks for your input.


  34. James Bednar says:

    Here is a transcript of the PBS Roubini/Yardeni interview mentioned before:


  35. Common Cent$ says:

    Ed Yardeni, that name sounds familiar, is he not the charlatan that just seven years ago was calling for economic and social chaos brought on by Y2K. Seems like he was shown the door at his prior more reputable firm.

  36. twice shy says:

    Listings will start to disappear now thru Dec. Already seeing it in my local inventory. Only the “must-sells” will remain on the market, and these generally seem less appealing, i.e., they usually have problems of one kind or another.

    Spring 07 will be worth watching. I feel there’s a lot of pent-up inventory that will hit then. Could be a blood bath, as other, more outspoken posters have opined.

  37. rhymingrealtor says:

    Her contract only states that she has to pay costs of advertising and commissions. What does that entail? Thanks for your input.

    Great contract, that’s never been in any of my listing agreements and it’s not in the garden state standard listing agreement. Did she sign something over and above what she should have??

    She can ask for a temporary withdrawl.


  38. rhymingrealtor says:

    Sorry if this was already posted
    Good article



  39. 4kids says:

    Have a question. I sold my home in Jan 2006, took the money and am now renting, i have 4 kids which is not easy but i could not resist the profit we made on the house. This is the time my husband and i have been waiting for. The question is on a low ball offer. Would like some opinions. There is a house im interested in Berkeley Heights and the asking price is around $750,000 and need lots of cosmetic work, at least $75,000. I want to make a “low ball” offer and my realtor said 20% off asking tops if you want to be taken seriously. I was going to offer $550,000, cash deal and able to close immediately. What do you think am i pushing it with this price????????????? Just want some feedback. Another problem its only been on the market 3-4weeks or so. Help?

  40. rhymingrealtor says:

    Biggest problem is cash deal….. Everybody thinks that excites the sellers, it does’nt it used to, but with mortgage money so easy to get its all cash to them at the closing.

    I am not having any luck with my lowball offers at all, in fact I am getting a lot of flack!
    ( for my clients)

    Of course I still think you should try. Then try, try again.


  41. Homer Simpson says:

    #2343195 should be a non-starter in your book.
    How so CLot? Becuase its at 277k? That won’t stop me from putting in a reasonable fair market value offer. But I will probably wait a few weeks before doing anything

    As far as the other listings, I do like that development, I have seen plenty of those townhouses, but I really do need a 3-4 bedroom. With twins on the way and the fact my mom spends a few months out of the year with us a 2 bed will not cut it.

  42. Homer Simpson says:

    2343195 is listed at a 2 bedroom but I know that development well enough that its actually the same size as the 3 bedrooms its just the 3rd bed is considered a loft but I can change that :)

  43. skep-tic says:

    I think we are in the Concern stage (#2).

    I say this because I’ve seen inventory continue to increase in my area even into November. Local realtors were quoted in the paper saying they’ve never seen inventory this high this time of year.

    I’ve also started to see widespread price cuts in the past 2-3 weeks. Little ones– as if the seller thinks, “Well, I could wait till spring and get my full price, but I’d rather sell now and be done with it before the holidays.”

    Still a misunderstanding of just how bad the market is among these people. But if they were totally sanguine about it, they wouldn’t have their houses listed just before Thanksgiving

  44. bubblewatcher says:

    twice shy,

    The question will be – When these same listings (and more) reappear in the spring, do you think they will come back at the same price?

    Or will the next phase of drop hit by then, after poor sales all winter for the junk?

    Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 – I already know your answer….
    I think it will depend on the general econom

  45. SAS says:


    You have the upper hand in this situation and the Mcgillicuddy’s balked at you in the first place. If you are like me, and IF, you are still interested in that house, I would get them in the corner and go for the jugular and low ball even lower than your original offer.

    Houses are for sale all over the place.

    But than again, I wouldn’t buy right now either, I would wait till this time next year, because 07 is going to be the year where the market psychology REALLY starts to change.


  46. bubblewatcher says:



    Flipper investors are in 3 to 4
    Builders are in 3
    Long time owners are in 1 (except those who took lots of equity out – who may be going past 2)

    And it depends upon whether you are taking about SFH, Condo, secongd homes, what region…

    The market is fragmented – which is the most interesting part.

  47. Tarkus says:

    What is the best site to search a MLS # for NJ? nmls.com did not find 2343195.

  48. SAS says:

    I wonder how many of these kids are buying these PlayStation 3 consoles with credit.

    I would bet 99.9% of them are paying with some form credit cards. I think the price of this gadget is btw $500-$600? Not even including the price of one game, which can be $100, and all the wasted time.

    These kids will be paying for that thing forever with interest. That console will end up costing them instead; 5-6 thousand.


    But, I have to give SONY credit, their marketing of that product was perfect.


  49. SAS says:


    I would have to disagree with ya..

    I don’t think anyone is in #3 or #4.

    I think that is what 07 & 08 will bring.


  50. Seneca says:

    Thanks to the responses thus far on the McGillicuddy house.

    Clot and Pat,
    I would not say that this agent has been retained in any way as my buyers agent. In fact, when he offered to start sending me listings so I didn’t have to check the MLS everyday myself (groan), I explicitly told him I quite enjoyed watching the MLS several times a day to see who has dropped their price by $10k here and $20k there. I told him we were not looking for an agent but that he could contact me should he find something that was not on the MLS.

    Agent Decent does not know that we are even aware of the McGillicuddy house. He does not know at all that we have already bid on the McGillicuddy house.

    So I am still not certain how to play this out. Homer makes an excellent point in that the McGill’s are now going to reject any lowballs because they will think they have access to a much larger audience of homebuyers. So I am not sure it makes any sense to contact the McGills directly and make the same offer.

    I am just wondering if there is any benefit at all to making the same offer or lower to the McGills VIA Agent Decent. I don’t think I have any obligation to tell Agent Decent anything about the fact we already bid although I don’t know how it would hurt us at this point. Husband and I think the McGills are the least savvy FSBOs we encountered in the 9 months we have been looking (never staged the home for open houses at all and terrible marketing attempts). So it could help them to have an agent telling them, you really need to consider lower prices because no one is going to pay your ask.

    I guess the bottom line is, is there any advantage here I am missing out on? I don’t think so but I thought I would tap into the realtors and knowledgable readers of this blog.

  51. bubblewatcher says:


    You don’t think the Flipper investors (speculators) are actually in the OH #$%@ stage(even thought they may be acting more calm).

    Also – arent the builders seeing the handwriting on the wall – trying to unload? They may not be in #3 but they are anticipating #3 and taking action now – does that put them in #3?

    I guess I am pushing too quickly – maybe the anticiaption of #3 and 4 is there – but the actions are not quite there.

  52. skep-tic says:

    haven’t seen any real panic yet. even builders in my area seem to be holding pretty firm with their prices. Kind of hard to understand how you can market a house for a year and not substantially cut the price, but that’s what I’m seeing.

    we kind of take for granted on this board that the housing market is hosed, but not everyone is convinced. people are looking for any reason to be optimistic. I know everyone thinks these are anomalies, but builder sentiment did go up slightly last month and starts did go up in the NE.

    but anyway new homes are a small piece of the pie around here and the big picture won’t really change until existing homesellers start to feel some pain. Another year of ridiculous taxes, rising inventory and a slowing economy will do the trick. these people are not going to sell for less until they absolutely have to

  53. SAS says:


    “You don’t think the Flipper investors (speculators) are actually in the OH #$%@ stage(even thought they may be acting more calm)”

    I don’t this so. I think MOST flippers & sellers are still in la la land, and think there will be a so called “spring & summer bounce”. Yes, there are some flippers & sellers that have diarrhea in their shorts.

    That is why I think the next few months are really going to give us our crystal ball for the next few years. If there is not a bounce, but yet a steady decline.. wow, then we will see the panic buttons pushed by everyone. Should be ALOT of fun if that happens.

    If we do see a “light” bounce, I think the bubble may play out longer… i.e… still put up a fight before it goes down.

    Either way, its going down. The velocity at which its going down is really going to a tough one to call. But like I said, in the nest few months, we should have our crystal ball.

    Better place your bets now.
    I have mine placed.


  54. Al says:

    SAS, it can be done and in NJ. My husband and I did it, but we were more informed than that couple. We both lived @ home for a year and practically saved everything we made. I was 21 years old when we signed the contract for our new home in 1999 and

    Well there are two key Items here: first of alll you bought your house in 1999. second – living with your parents (I assume) – kind of hard to do, if parents live 2000 miles away…. So new Paradigm: New Jersey Is state for new Jersians and nobody else will be able to move in????

  55. chicagofinance says:

    v Says:
    November 17th, 2006 at 9:40 pm
    Someone on kannekt.com posted that property taxes may not be fully deductible because of AMT. Is this right?

    correct – also State Income Tax Paid

    IF you are hit with AMT, THEN they are not deductible at all.

  56. SAS says:


    “We both lived @ home for a year and practically saved everything we made”

    Good catch, I missed that one. Yes, this seems to be a common events with kids FROM this area. They tend to live at home alot longer than most places in the country. Not saying its a bad thing, but just so common out here.

    But honestly, how many young people come to NJ to look for work (not counting the Mexicans)?
    I would say none. Unless you count Hoboken area, but all that crowd is the “I want the NYC lifestyle, but I can’t afford Manhattan” crowd.
    And they all work in Manhattan anyways…

    The state of NJ, as a whole, its future is very bleak because it can’t attract young talent.

    As you know, buisness need young talent.


  57. AntiTrump says:

    Property Taxes and AMT:

    If you get hit with AMT you won’t get a tax benefit on your property taxes.

    Spring 2007 Inventory = (Spring 2007 Inventory + 2005 & 2006 unsold Lala Inventory)

    Dont’ event want think of 2008 winter !!

    I just renewed my lease for a year. They raised my rent a 100 bucks. This is the first time since I moved in two years back. Looks like the rental market is picking up.


    Post # 49 4kids:

    I have been looking at berkeley heights, New Providence, Summit, short hills, millburn etc etc. Many homes that I saw listed in Berkely heights listed for $1M is now in the market from the mid to upper 800s. From doin my research on the sales from 1999/2000 about 500K to 650K should be a fair price for these homes. The other thing I noticed is that since there are some really nice homes gathering dust in the market above 800K, I see a lot of decent listings come into the market in the upper 600s and mid 700s. I would recommend waiting for another year. But if your personal situations requires you to buy a house now, I would suggest not going above 550 to 600K if a house needs work.

    I have been watching this market for over a year now and I can tell you what I know about specific listings if you like.

  58. AntiTrump says:

    # 58 Tarkus Says:
    Look at http://www.realtor.com. The advanced search lets you put in a mls number.

  59. v says:


  60. BC Bob says:


    From a past post;

    Nobody is making any claims regarding commercial real estate. Hell it should be on fire, foreigners are having a field day,buying on the cheap. What impact does CRE have on the f***ed borrower, who’s subject to a 50% payment increase??? What impact does CRE have on the 12-27 months absorption rate??? ZERO!!!!!

    Can you please explain the genius of Karatz with his stock options??? He selected the dates on which the options were granted over a seven-year period from 1998 through 2005.

    A little about backdating;

    A stock option allows the option holder to buy shares at some point in the future for a fixed price. The option price is almost always based on the stock’s price the day the option is granted. Backdating involves manipulating the issue date, often after a run-up in the price of the stock, so the option becomes more valuable for the holder. In some cases, executives have been awarded options backdated to the day the stock hit a low for the quarter.

    How does this constitute vision??. Also,what makes you think that H-B’s are market timers??? They have repeatedly expressed that they have never seen anything like this!!!

  61. BC Bob says:

    The real storm;

    “Rubin, Volcker Say Investors May Avoid Buying Dollars”


  62. Hopefully Buying in Late 07 says:

    Anybody making and lowball offers this weekend?

    I noticed on price reduced that many of the homes being sold are in the 800k and up range …

    is anyone actually buying houses in the 300-450k range? When those start going at 20% off, we’re jumping in the pool …

  63. 4kids says:


    Thank you for your feedback. So if i
    understand you correctly you think i would have a chance in “you know where” offering a house $550 that is asking 750. And yes it needs much cosmetic work and seems abandoned. Do you think you could get away with asking $200 less??? I am in no rush to move but am tired ready to move. Do you believe the market is going to magically imrove in the spring? I truly do not. Ill try to find MLS# and maybe you could give me some info. Thanks!!!!!!

  64. anonymous says:


    I’d offer $500k. You can always bid higher. If your realtor won’t submit your bid, then do it yourself directly. Hopefully it’ll be clear to the seller that their property is not worth that much considering it needs work. If they really wanted to sell it, they’d fix it up themselves.

    As far as the timing, I’d wait until the dead of winter after there’s been no activity for several weeks/months. That’ll make your offer look more inviting.

    Just my .02.

  65. twice shy says:

    Lot of interesting posts today, with good diverse viewpoints. In terms of psychology Jan – March is key leading into the spring season. If spring is still soft, look out below, it will set the tone for the next couple years.

    I have a gut feeling it’s gonna be some exogenous shock (see #74) that plunges all the hold-outs into fear/panic. Could be the dollar’s crash, which will spike interest rates, could be another oil price spike big time due to Iranian or other meddling, could be a big hedge fund or two going under, or one of the big three US automakers, could be a totally unexpected surprise from left-field, but I have the feeling we’re due. As far as the dollar’s fall, that should come as no surpise to most, and whenever Rubin and Volcker offer opinions, I tend to listen.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is money to be made in the capital markets if you are nimble, but the risks in real estate (as an investment) are growing, not moderating, IMO.

  66. lisoosh says:

    SAS –

    I would hire Grandma Sally. Of course, as a woman, I would have absolutely no interest in Suzies boobs, so that may cloud my judgement.

    I’ve recently been working with a group of retired executives who are assisting me with setting up a business – it is the best thing I ever did, the breadth of expertise is phenominal. To my way of thinking there is no point in making the same mistakes someone else already learned from.

  67. Hopefully Buying in Late 07 says:

    If the house is 750k, and you offer and get 550k, you should be fine.

    Assuming, of course, that you checked what it was bought for, and when …

    But good luck with that. 200k off? I just can’t see people selling that low UNLESS they really need to move.

  68. BC Bob says:

    twice shy,

    Totally in your camp. There are a slew of powder kegs.

    If/when this spring doesn’t provide the spark that the industry/sellers requires, it will really start to unravel. I feel that the fear/panic will begin in the last quarter 07, into 08.

  69. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    “It’s incredible people have gone on so long holding dollars,” Volcker said during a panel discussion at the event. “At some point, you will get a situation where people have had enough,” he said. He added that he wasn’t ready to “extend” a previous prediction of a crisis within two and a half years.

    His last warning was March 2005 so 2 1/2 years later. so he believes a crisis in the next year.

    The economy is phoney. Paper money gobs of it printed and printed by greenscammer and the phoney/liar mtg loans allowing people that make very little money to add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the economy.
    Prepare for lean times especially you starving realtors.




  70. Jennifer says:

    Ive been following this blog for a while. If i could get some opinions I would really appreciate it. I am planning to buy a house in 3 years from now. Will I be buying at a good time or will prices start to go up. I will have a tremendous downpayment at that time also. I might not even have to finance. So is Spring of 2010 a good time to buy, or should i purchase earlier. THanks for your time.


  71. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    Jen, Noone knows exactly how this bloated overpriced housing market is going to take take to deBLOAT. I believe that this housing market is going to unwind much more faster and harser than in past bubblemanias. One thing I will say is that you are sitten pretty…yousa in the driver seat. Do not let anyone ever convince you otherwise.

    Start bleeding’em dry in late 2007 – 2008.
    Remember at least at a minimum 25% off peak 2005 prices 30% preferably just to FAIR VALUE!

    It’s payback time BABY!



  72. Jennifer says:


    Thanks I know house prices are dropping fast. Even on the News they talk about it, but they also say that 2007 is looking better and should stabilize, i am just hoping for 400k i can get a dream home by 2010 if this bubble is similar to the Japan bubble you guys talk about. Know one that I know can afford a house without some lottery winnings or they eat macaroni and chez and drive an 80 cutlass.

  73. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    “..Even on the News they talk about it, but they also say that 2007 is looking better and should stabilize, i am just hoping for 400k i can get a dream home by 2010 if this bubble is similar to the Japan bubble you guys talk about…”

    This is not going to play out like Japan imo. The price drops will be severe and in much shorter time frame. IMO I believe the bulk of the drop will happen by end 2008. Then grind down at the bottom for a while.

    who is saying stabilizing the Mouthpiece shill of the NAR???
    Or that Crummy Printing Press Madman Fed Chairman that has a vested interest in seeing housing stabilize so people do not start pointing the finger in his direction?

    It’s not good. The phoney economy’s foundation is shaking. Can’t print and print and print money and hand out mtg loans like crack addicts to solve problems.

    Reason will win in the end.


    Housing Bust



  74. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    Crummy Printing Press Madman Fed Chairman=GREENSCAM

  75. skep-tic says:

    very tricky to pinpoint when housing will stablize. already people are starting to look foolish trying to call the bottom too early.

    some things about this housing bubble are the same as prior bubbles. some things are different. so far, things appear to be heading down faster than most people expected. I take this as an indication that those aspects of this bubble that are “different” make this time worse, not better, than prior bubbles.

    on the other hand there is a difference between the movement of the market correcting and the market long term.

    take as an example the junk bond crash at the end of the 80s. junk got hammered but didn’t go away.

    I think the same thing may happen with all of the creative mortgages we’ve seen in the past few years. They might bring about a hell of a correction in the short term because people haven’t figured out how to use them responsibly.

    yet over the long term, these things aren’t going away. in that sense, they may have permanently altered our affordability metrics.

    it’s impossible to sort these sorts of issues out while the market is correcting as it is now. the best thing is to wait until we start to see some stability, and then make a decision based on what you can afford

  76. BC Bob says:


    Loved this one; “deBLOAT”…. This should be the new ism for 2007. There is a certain ring to it, deBLOAT.

  77. housingcrash says:

    hello all, have a question about preforclosure. There is a house in scotch plains that is in preforclosure and was just put on the market by a realtor. what is up with that? Could the bank possible own it? Why did the listing agent not disclose this? I just happended to find out by looking on realtyrac. So what a good asking price here could this open doors for some “low balling action”. Even they listed it at so called “market value”. The house in 800ish and i want to ask 600 and why wont the realtor discolose what is up with this house. i do not get it. Dumby just asking a question, help?

  78. twice shy says:

    Like “just off debloat” with bags of cash to buy distressed properties? Next fall/winter is when the rubber hits the monetized road.

  79. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    “There is a house in scotch plains..”

    Inside scoop by starving 12 year veteran realtor in scotch plains area. It’s dead. It’s really bad and prices will be going lower.

    just a heads up.



  80. SAS says:


    lol, thats a good one.


  81. housingcrash says:

    who is the 12 year veteran realtor???

  82. Homer Simpson says:

    If a house in pre forcilosuer they can have a realtor help them sell it although its prolly overpriced.
    Its interesting to look at how fast or slow people thin pricses will fall.
    A townhouse in 2001 that I like went for 130K than in 2002 it went for 240k so if in 1 year it can rise over 50 percent than in retrospect prices comming down that quick should not be ruled out. Now its priced at 277k so a normal price gain it should be worth 150-160k
    And realtors are claiming the prices are correcting themselves so in truth they are not ling about that just about where prices will end up. I also strongly believe with all the nonsence and sellers and realtors say they will make the market worse in the long run

  83. SAS says:


    That is smart that you just hold on the RE market. Best to raise cash, and get out of any and all debt, reduce your lifestyle to meet you financial objects (i.e make a budget).

    This market ran up for 5 years, it could go down for 5 years…easy…

    The other questions you should ask yourself:
    How secure is your job?
    If their is a recession, and you lose your job can you pay your bills? i.e. have a reserve cash for emergencys.
    Are you funding your retirement plans to the max?
    the usual questions…

    Get your financial house in order, for when there is a nice drop in prices (nice drop = 30-40% from todays prices) you can sweep up a nice house for yourself with a huge down payment and just get yourself a 15yr fixed.

    You can always refinance an interest rate, but the purchasing price will not change.

    Key thing to remember, and everyone on this blog whom is looking to buy RE when the bust happens, is to have cash and be cash ready.

    Because what good is a price reduction IF you don’t have the cash to buy.

    And the last thing….Jennifer….that you should always remember in your daily life, and on all your transactions, no matter how large or small.. always remember this:



  84. SAS says:

    Way…way..off topic…

    But as I was walking down the street today, I saw a sign, that was for “The Association of Black Social Workers”.

    wow, never seen that before.

    I wonder what would happen if there was a sign that read “The Association of White Social Workers”?

    Actually, I know what would happen, because this is America, and by golly, in America only whites are racist. and also, if you are going to commit a crime….by golly…better make sure its against your own race, or thats a “hate crime”.

    Also, if you know your history, before WWII, if you spoke out against Nazism, you were said to have naziophobia and considered a racist.

    Yup, true.

    ok, I will shut up now and drink my mid day tea.


  85. kc2nj says:

    post #68 said:

    >> Try ingdirect.com. They have 700 dollar closing cost loan

    ING Direct only offers ARMs :(

    Their rates used to be great and did not charge for escrow in the past. They recently changed policy, they are not as good anymore

  86. HSD says:

    Regarding #76

    Not really lowballing, but I bid for a place in Hoboken this morning, thinking that 15% off the LP (high $600s) makes sense given the comps around the neighborhood with an additional 5% shave given the downward market trend.

    Needless to say, I got outbid a few hours later when someone offered to pay 5% off of the LP. I think the seller is waiting for other bidders out there who may go beyond the LP.

    Lucky person!

    I am a bit infuriated with how people are approaching their home purchases. I understand that NJ market is fragmented, but it seems like realism still has not settled in for others (and that there are still people out there with cash to burn, or rich parents’ cash to burn).


  87. James Bednar says:

    On another note, there is a mortage broker that reads, but seldom posts, I’m surprised she hasn’t chimed in yet.


  88. Analysis Guy says:

    See Bakersfield & Los Angeles reports on my site at


    Also, if interested I’ll perform a New Jersey report.

  89. James Bednar says:

    Spent some time talking to a broker of 25+ years this afternoon.

    I asked him all sorts of questions, one in particular stood out. I asked him how often selling agents falsify other bids. His response?

    “There is always another offer.”


  90. InvestorDavid says:

    About 2 weeks ago, I visited an open house. While I am there, the agent told me that she has an offer and waiting for another offer soon. She asked me whether I was interested in. I said, I was, until you told me there was an offer. I didn’t wan to get into a bidding war.

    Today, I called her and she told me that the seller accepted an offer. But since it’s in attorney review process, I can offer a bid. I told her, No. I don’t want to get into a bidding war.

    I wonder whether she was telling me the truth or as James said, “There is always another offer.”

  91. d2b says:

    I’m a terrible negotiater. I never care if there’s another offer. I generally have a take it or leave it approach, selling and buying large equipment. It’s amazing how many times that other offer falls through. It’s also amazing how many times I need to decline, because another seller/buyer comes to the table.

    I never lie when I need to decline. But just once I would love to decline a counter offer just to be a *****.

    If I’m outbid on a project, I accept it because I know that they have seen my best offer.

  92. rhymingrealtor says:

    I have been told by other agents there was “another offer” and have responded by not bidding or bidding. I have lost to other offers, more times than not. So I am not sure that they were not true.


    PS: Homer your posts are harder to read that my son’s myspace. Is that some kind of code your using?

  93. SAS says:

    hey Analysis Guy ,

    Where is your report? Lets see it.


  94. HSD says:

    Not saying it happens all the time, but I can see this to be another approach for seller’s agent (or even worse, the buyer’s agent) to generate additional incentives for themselves, particularly given the recent price pressure.

    This artificial prop hurts everyone (both buyers and sellers) in the long run.


  95. Homer Simpson says:

    Rhyming realtor I am on my pda today and I never did well in spelling, grammer or punctuation
    I will try to have my posts make more sence in future posts

  96. SAS says:


    U check this site mobile on your PDA…
    lol.. you are a NJ blog addict.


    on second thought…. I think I am too…


  97. BC Bob says:


    On your PDA?? I thought I was nuts blogging during commercials of Oh St.vs. Mi.

  98. AntiTrump says:

    Can someone give me the address of this listing?

    MLS#: 2318860


  99. AntiTrump says:

    If you don’t need a train-station you should consider Mountainside next to Berkeley Heights. Nice town and there is over 10 months of supply on the market. This home is a nice home and has been listed from the upper 600s for many months and is now down to 599K. You will probably get this in the 500s:

    MLS#: 2322521

  100. kc2nj says:

    this is about low-balling and losing a house.

    I think I mentioned before that I bid 560K on a house OLP 649k reduced to 629K.
    Seller countered with 609K. I did not respond.

    After I made the offer, my agent mentioned that they have another offer but it’s contingent on another sale. I thought it was all BS.

    Two weeks later, the house is under contract.

    This is in south brunswick.
    I have seen 2 other houses I was interested in go under contract in the last month.

    Is south brunswick somehow different from the rest of NJ? No bubble here?! Or just crazy pre-thanksgiving buyers?

  101. Clotpoll says:


    Sorry on that Hillsboro thing. Didn’t know you needed so many bedrooms. Still, that 277K oughta be about 249K tops right now.

    To Seneca (from #61)- Just get your offer and credentials airtight, and blow it thru that agent right to the seller. Don’t say anything. Let them figure YOU out.

    I’d make that my blanket advice to all asking for help on submitting lowballs. The quiet, inscrutable, disciplined party can pull these off. A little courtesy and manners goes a long way, too. The minute any kind of back-and-forth begins, even if it’s thru an agent, you’re scre**d.

    My point on commercial RE isn’t that it somehow covers the downturn created by the upside-down residential borrowers out there…just that the pure economic activity (materials consumption, spin-off econ. stimulus and employment) is a nice offset.

  102. Al says:

    Needless to say, I got outbid a few hours later when someone offered to pay 5% off of the LP. I think the seller is waiting for other bidders out there who may go beyond the LP.

    Lucky person!

    I am a bit infuriated with how people are approaching their home purchases. I understand that NJ market is fragmented, but it seems like realism still has not settled in for others (and that there are still people out there with cash to burn, or rich parents’ cash to burn).

    As long as there is no huge economy crash and depression on the wall street housing in NJ will bre expensive and ut of normal person reach…

    thats why I have come to realization in tha last 6 month that thee only chance I have is to buy foreclosed property in 2008…If there will be nothing available -well good buy NJ.

  103. BC Bob says:

    “My point on commercial RE isn’t that it somehow covers the downturn created by the upside-down residential borrowers out there…just that the pure economic activity (materials consumption, spin-off econ. stimulus and employment) is a nice offset.”

    The offset is not even close. Materials consumption is not even a pimple on a cow’s a** compared to consumer consumption and the multiplier effect that housing has created. As a matter of fact, housing was responsible for a 40% lower GDP last month. We will require increasing exports/capital spending and a monumental increase in the #’s of govt workers to offset the housing factor and GDP, not commercial RE. I know, don’t underestimate the “creation” of those govt jobs.

    “The housing bubble spurs the economy directly by increasing home construction, renovation, and sales and indirectly by supporting consumption. The run-up in house prices has created more than $5 trillion in real estate wealth compared to a scenario where prices follow their normal trend growth path. The wealth effect from house prices is conventionally estimated at 5 cents on the dollar, which means that annual consumption is approximately $250 billion (2 percent of GDP) higher than it would be in the absence of the housing bubble”


  104. AMS In NJ says:

    Twice Shy,

    Thanks for your response back on Monday, on another thread, re: 2004 comps & the Burgdorff realtor. I checked back on Wed. & never responded, then let it go…

    If every listing in my area abided by that guideline, we’d actually see some sales. But HO’s don’t want to hear it, regardless of when they bought and the equity they’ve earned.

    Thanks again!


  105. Home Seller says:

    I’m actually selling my home and have it listed on the MLS. Saying its a bad time to sell is an understatment! However, I’ve been a lurker on this site & do respect the opinions of alot of folks on this site. I like to ask if anyone has any suggestions on advertising I can do besides the normal channels (ie newspapers, realtor reviews, etc). Thanks for any inputs.

  106. v says:

    “have seen 2 other houses I was interested in go under contract ”

    I guess this is the first of the false bottoms some on this site had predicted. IMO, this false bottom has been induced by either
    1] Liereah’s “spring come back” propaganda. or
    2] ARMers trying jump ahead of banks implemention of Fed loan guidelines.

    To all those wanna be bag holders, there must be some reason why all those 30K+ folks desperately want to sell thier house. Think,Think,Think!

  107. Pat says:

    Home Seller:

    Do you have social contacts within your community? Church, vol. firemans’ newsletter, bulletin boards at the store/library? Trust is hard to get on your own, but easier with a common ground.

    You’d be surprised at the waiting buyers who look at that stuff.

  108. Pat says:

    Assuming you wouldn’t be breaching any contract, of course.

  109. Sagi says:

    Hello all-
    I’m looking to lowball this property-

    MLS ID#: 705219

    Any suggestions? Doing my little research through the tax records (thanks to JB for the info), owner bought this house for 162k in 2000. He now wants to sell for 369,900 (OLP was 379,900)

    There is another property listed in the same development for 339,900, same size, #of rooms, but this one looks a little cleaner.

    I’d appreciate any piece of advise that you can provide.


  110. Pat says:

    Sagi…cleaner to me is a Saturday with a bucket. Not $30k. What makes this one worth your future kid’s college education [compounded annually]?

  111. Homer Simpson says:

    Hey no prob, I wish I could say I don’t need that many rooms. I know that this place has been on the market for like uh 2 days right now. I did find out that it was purchase in 1999 for 125,000.00
    I wish I was a little older and could have purchase in 1999 but I had just graduated highschool in 1998. I mean I honestly believe that this properties fair market value is 155K. Now maybe I am crazy and I will get an offer rejcted if I put it in right away, but to me none of the typical rules of realestate apply to the housing market any more. Especiall becuase I know that from 1997-2001 that these townhouses stayed in the general 125k price range, so I thin if you add about 30k for 6 year apprication from 2000 to 2006 thats 155k. Now I know this silly bubble happened, but the bubble is gone and its time to move on.
    Realtors keep quacking out that the prices have to adjust themselves…Well if they are going to adjust themselves back to normal than we have to start at 2000 prices and adjust 3% appreciation for 6 years.
    As much as economists say theres all these jobs in NJ, all I see in the news is companies laying off people left and right.
    The economy has not adjusted to the housing market, and without the help of crazy loans I honestly believe the bubble would have ended in 2004. So really forget 2005/2006 prices those prices are nonsence. I mean maybe its casue I am only 27 but come on now I mean how many people pay all sorts of money for other old things? I mean do you see people paying 100,000.00 for a 1980 Honda accord? I mean to me buying a house at these prices seems as dumb as buying a 1980 beat/rusted to hell 1980 civic with 900,000k miles on it, for 100k.

  112. AMS In NJ says:

    Post #119

    Never mind advertising. What $$$ is your home listed at? If you’ve come away from anything on this blog it should be that price is EVERYTHING. Further to that, I have a suggestion. Ask your LA to escort you to the competition. Every property offering similar to equal amentities and rate your home that way. Is your price in line w/what other HO’s are offering? How will your home rate after buyers have seen everything else in that price range? You might be surprised, pleasantly or otherwise, after taking a tour.

    When all else fails, bite the bullet and lower the price as much as you can. Sometimes the ability to move on with your life is worth the $$$ that’s holding you back from making a sale and doing just that. Hoping you bought at a point where you’ve gained your equity.

    It’s all about the price. I’ve fired 3 HO already this year b/c they wouldn’t listen to me. I’ve lost numerous listings b/c of my reality based pricing. The same properties I presented to have expired or are now, 3 months later, at the price I suggested they start at. Guess I didn’t lose anything…but they certainly did. Unlike some realtors/ agents/ whatever, I won’t carry unsalable listings.

    Have the LA recalculate the comps based on sales 3-6 months back, then take the (generous) reasonable price reduction off that #. Harsh reality but nothing else will work for you.

  113. AMS In NJ says:

    Post #125

    Sagi, I totally agree w/Pat. If not you + family and a sponge/bucket, hire Merry Maids to come in and do a thorough cleaning, while you + family go out and enjoy a long lunch. I betcha they won’t charge you $30K for the job.


  114. AntiTrump says:

    #114 kc2nj Says:

    If you really want to go into contract go ahead and make the sellers day. If you are desperate to buy don’t try to low ball and loose the house and then agonize.

    Offer the asking price or maybe 10% more. You may pay a couple of grand more but atleast you get the house and most important you get to go into contract in the next couple of months.

    Low ball is only for people who are willing to let a bad deal go and have no regrets of not getting the house.

  115. att says:

    v (post #120)

    2] ARMers trying jump ahead of banks implemention of Fed loan guidelines.’

    When is Fed going to come out with guidelines? Is there a offical deadline for getting these guidelines out??

    It they are gonna be coming out, there’s no sense in buying before that. If there arent any ARMs, Interest only, the prices might come down even more than 25-30%.

  116. Clotpoll says:

    To Home Seller (in #119) and- indirectly- AMS (from #127):

    Price is NOT everything. If price was everything in getting your home sold, why not hire an appraiser, get a valuation, then sell it yourself?

    Why doesn’t everybody do this? Because price is part of marketing, but marketing is NOT part of price!

    There are several factors that determine whether or not homes sell; location, the terms of the deal offered, the quality of negotiation on your behalf and, yes, marketing all play a part.

    Far too many agents and sellers take the “all about price” cop-out. There’s nothing worse to me than hearing an agent tell someone to just keep lowering the price and eventually the sale will happen. So, just what IS within the direct control of the agent? Just WHY are we asking for surgeon-like fees?

    If your agent is not a professional marketer, find one who is. Our profession is woefully late to learn the marketing game, but there are some good agents out there doing great work.

  117. Clotpoll says:

    To Seneca (from #122):

    Let me fill in some blanks here. I guess I was being way too general in my earlier comments.

    In your situation, I’d resubmit the offer thru the agent. Might as well tell him about your previous offer, since the seller would inform him of that, anyway.

    What I would NOT do is get into any real conversation with the agent over the who, what, when and where of the backstory. Ultimately, he probably doesn’t care. His actions indicate he’s in this to crank out a sale…no matter to him if some party may be disadvantaged. Your silence will allow his lack of character to work on your behalf. My guess is that he’ll take your offer and attempt to shove it down the seller’s throat…or, at least he’ll use it to start working on lowering their expectations.

    Just sit tight and let things smolder. The more time that passes, the more that seller will see you as their only salvation. Then, you’ve got them!

    The sellers most susceptible to lowball offers are the most egregiously overpriced. Overpriced homes virtually always get LESS than market value when they eventually sell.

  118. Clotpoll says:

    BC Bob (from #117)-

    With you on the domino effect of residential RE and the wealth effects, too.

    However, cap ex and exports ARE picking up a lot of economic slack right now, and commercial RE is a little more than a drop in the bucket. I think it can also be safely said that many “hot” residential concepts such as European models, infill and urban/transit center development straddle the line between commercial and residential RE.

    At the end of the day, if residential RE goes from 4% of GDP to 2%, it’s not good…but it’s way short of a decline that throws the whole economy into recession.

    The only way I see all the doomsday theories here playing out is if that recession hits. And, it had better be a bad one!

  119. SG says:

    Analysis Guy: Liked your reports.

    Can you try to same for NNJ area.


  120. BuyNextYear says:

    “Price is NOT everything. If price was everything…” (from #131)

    As a potential buyer, price is everything for me, if there are only two factors (price, marketing). I could care less about how it is marketed. I can pre-screen using GSMLS or personally take a look. Most homes will become attractive to me given the right price drop.

  121. v says:


    I’m not sure what the enforcement deadline.

    Following sep 29 report indicates some mortgage companies were still “analyzing” guidelines.


    The last i heard, the state banking supervisors guidelines were easier than what feds had put together.
    Mortgage Bankers Association was all out backing the state guidelines. comptroller of the currency has asked state supervisors to match fed guidelines.

  122. v says:

    “Price is NOT everything. If price was everything..”
    That strategy may hold good if the buyer desperately wants to be a bag holder.
    For all others, price is priceless.

  123. twice shy says:

    AMS #118,

    Glad you picked up my response. The realtor even e-mailed me second half 2004 comps! They are fascinating to study. DOM from 4 days to 30, usually, and lots of transactions of some very attractive properties. Ah, the good ole days.

    As you pointed out, sellers are NOT there. Pricing is soft, so deals can be made, but I’m about ready to pack it in until next year. Better opportunities ahead, at least I hope so.

  124. Michelle says:

    Little lowballing story…

    So my sister made a lowball offer on a house last week, which was countered at $2K under the LP. So then she countered at about 15% under current LP. Her counteroffer was actually 35% under the OLP when this place first went on the market last winter (different MLS number of course).

    We thought it was a good deal at her original offer price and even at her counter which was $10K more, but also we were worried about a couple of things about the house (like it has flood risk, some rot issues, etc). Well we went to the listing agent’s office in person to make the counteroffer. I pulled comps and used data from this site to justify why she was offering the 15% under current LP. (I also ran the numbers to see the avg actual price paid in 06 vs. the assessed values that were just done, which was interesting.)

    The listing agent was extremely adversarial and pulled out such gems as “you know, there are very few houses on that market like this one” and “you just can’t build 2br houses anymore” etc.

    I had printed out 3 pages of info that I wanted the seller to see (he did not want to come to the meeting — he’s a flipper and is evidently above that). I told the agent that our offer was to be presented along with the 3 pages I had printed. She said OK and proceeded to walk out the door to supposedly fax them.

    She came back in 3 minutes later and said that she had spoken with the seller and that he was not even going to dignify my sister’s current offer with a counter offer.


    She had not faxed him the paperwork at all, which pissed me off, and of course the seller’s reply was pathetic. To put it in real numbers, we’re talking about a difference of $37K between my sister’s last offer and the seller’s current counter…and he wasn’t willing to go any lower, evidently.

    SO I said “Well, I guess we’re done here” and we started to pack up, and then I said “You know, what a horrible way to conduct business. You have a buyer here willing to negotiate who has not yet given you her best and final offer, and yet you and your seller refuse to even negotiate. I suppose you’re not anxious to sell that house. I’m sure another buyer will come along in the dead of winter.”

    So then the agent was all “well, um, you know, if you want to make a higher offer…I just think he was insulted…I bet I could sell in a slightly higher offer…” backpedal backpedal.

    My sister said that she would think about it and maybe get back to the agent at some other time, and we walked out the door.

    My sister planned on thinking about what it was really worth to her but because life is busy hadn’t had time to do so right away. She had a number in mind that she would go up to (still 10% under current LP) but wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to offer it or not…

    So fast forward 2 days after we were in the office presenting the offer – and my sister gets a call from her agent (who was present during this whole thing but is utterly worthless). Well, the seller thought about it and countered – at $5K UNDER what my sister was going to offer!!!!!!!!

    So we went to take another look at the house before accepting. My sis asked an engineer friend of hers to come along, and long story short, he looked at the lake, the crawlspace, the foundation, the joists, and the attic beams and said — RUN, do not walk, AWAY from this house.

    She was devastated, but he was adamant. None of the stuff he pointed out or measured was anything we had considered, but clearly this transaction would not have passed the inspection phase anyway so he saved her a lot of trouble. Her friend said he wouldn’t take it for free — and he is not a man of hyperbole.

    SO – ha ha to the seller and hooray that he came groveling back to us. Boo hoo for my sister (and me I suppose) for having to continue to look and deal with this issue and the myriad idiots associated with it (read: most agents).

    Back to scanning the mls……..

  125. Homer Simpson says:

    There are several factors that determine whether or not homes sell; location.

    I have tos say this but Location is a bunch of crap now a days. If I see that as part of the description I don’t even bohter. Even if its 2 hours outside NYC, to me when I see “Location, location, location and its far outside the city I assume that they are greedy and all they are targeting is people on a NYC salary not NJ. Too me I see thats a seller and/or realtor trying to justify an extremely overpriced home. Maybe that worked for the past 5 years and maybe it still works in Bergen county and even in parts of Morris county, but most buyers in NJ do not care about closeness to the city. Most people I have talked to looking to buy work in NJ and dont have huge salries. So I think thats something affecting the market right now. Yes there are people from NYC looking to move to NJ, but just a small % compared to the passed 5 years. Once sellers and realtors accept that, I think that is another stepping stone to help the prices correct themselves.

  126. AntiTrump says:


    I agree i search by price on mls and then short list my house. I won’t buy a overpriced home because the marketing package is excellent. That’s not to say there aren’t suckers around who might fall for the package.

  127. AntiTrump says:

    Berkeley Heights:
    MLS#: 2329090 Price: $569,000
    Price reduced to $424K. That’s a nice lop. From looking at the pictures this new construction town home is complete. The builder is probably getting desperate to bail.

  128. Homer Simpson says:

    I know what you mean, I can relate accept the place I made an offer on looked like hell. The place needed tons of work. It was in Flood zone, I had asked the agent and they seller (who was there at the time we saw it) if it floods there, they both said NO. My Father in Law lives in the next town over. I talked to him about it and he knows that specific are quite well and says it does flood bad there. So I had the agent and seller both lie to me, laugh at my offer and not take my offer serious. Well that was a few weeks ago, house is still on the market it prolly been close to about 300 days on the market, and I do not forsee them ever selling. In a way I am glad that they rejected my offer, I would want to get stuck fixing my house every year.

  129. BC Bob says:



    Almost a 30% drop, WOW!! Builders get it,individual sellers will get it real soon.

  130. AntiTrump says:

    Homer Simpson & Michelle

    I think the house has to sit on the market atleast for six months before sellers will consider a really low-ball offer. I don’t bother to waste my time on lowballing homes that:

    1. Have just come on the market.
    2. When the asking price is not withing 20% of my lowball price.

    I don’t have the time to waste my time trying to convince a delutional seller.

  131. AntiTrump says:

    Article from Today’s Star Ledger:

    NJ makes it’s way to the top ten states on the forclosure list. Nice !


  132. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    Michelle Says:
    November 19th, 2006 at 9:15 am
    Little lowballing story…

    It’s Payback time. Time to start abusing a few realtors and delusional sellers.

    Keep the stories coming. BLEED”EM DRY!

    I expect to hear more of these stories within the next 6 months. Sellers will be running scared soon.





  133. BC Bob says:

    Go read the post under weekend discussion, don’t just look at the charts. Simply the best written article about this bust and the consequences it will bring. After you read this, you won’t worry about your lowball not being accepted, because in time it will!!!!

  134. zack says:

    2006 was the year of the builders. 2007,2008 and 2009 will be the year of homeowners. I am not buying until I see
    1. “flip the House” show taken off from TV
    2. I see sad homeowners being interviewed on TV
    3. Congress has started to figure how this whole mess happened and David Liar from NAR is brought in to testify

    When all the above 3 has happened and during a moment of silence ( say 4 -6 months), I will buy my first house. I am not in a hurry like others, so I can wait. After all, ths is is the biggest decision of my life.

  135. Nothing less than 25% off peak 2005 says:

    zack Says:
    November 19th, 2006 at 10:45 am
    2006 was the year of the builders. 2007,2008 and 2009 will be the year of homeowners. I am not buying until I see
    1. “flip the House” show taken off from TV
    2. I see sad homeowners being interviewed on TV
    3. Congress has started to figure how this whole mess happened and David Liar from NAR is brought in to testify

    I approve this message!



  136. SAS says:

    interesting read out of NYT, although I had several problems with it. Still worth reading.

    “Changing Course to Avert a Glut”


  137. SAS says:

    another article, thats just plain funny.
    ha ha California…….sucks being you.

    “The Signs of a Cooling Market in California”


  138. SAS says:

    Last, but not least. A must read.

    “Definition of Irrational Exuberance”


  139. Ramesh says:

    AntiTrump Says:
    November 19th, 2006 at 9:42 am
    Berkeley Heights:
    MLS#: 2329090 Price: $569,000

    I just called the. It is still 569. What is going on?

  140. Politely says:

    From #129: “Low ball is only for people who are willing to let a bad deal go and have no regrets of not getting the house.”

    I agree completely AntiTrump. Buyers shouldn’t be surprised or get upset if their offers are rejected. On the contrary, the buyer should go in expecting a rejection. That’s why it’s a “lowball”.

    The seller may be unrealistic or naive about the market, but there’s no point in getting angry at them. It’s their property, they can try to sell it for whatever they want. If you don’t want to pay the ask, then you should be prepared to lose. And, the sad truth is, that if you do lose the bid, then you were not market. Whether that closing price was a “good” one for that purchaser is a different question.


  141. BC Bob says:


    Can’t find much about Citadel;

    “Hedge fund talk weighs
    Analysts at research firm Action Economics said there’s talk that the hedge fund in question is bailing out of currency carry trades — in which speculators make profits by borrowing lower yielding currencies such as the yen and the Swiss franc and reinvesting in high-yielding currencies and assets.
    “Reports are the fund in question could be diverting capital to cover losses in wrong-footed energy trades,” Action said. “Dealers report good dollar/yen selling from large U.S. names.”
    “Rumors of a major U.S. hedge fund collapse appear to be behind the dollar’s dip,” said Brian Dolan, director of research at Forex.com, a division of Gain Capital. But “you have to take it with a grain of salt. It smells a bit fishy to me to be honest.”


  142. AntiTrump says:

    Ramesh Says: BH Town Home.

    Pick up the star ledger and see the add listed under Town Homes Berkeley Heights.

  143. SS says:

    To post #150,

    I’m in the same boat as you! I looked at this townhouse back in 2003, 2 bedroom 1.5 bath not a very big place in north brunswick LP $185K. I thought it was only worth $125k at max. and placed my offer at 125k with a $500 check. Ofcourse my offer was rejected. So I stopped looking since 2003 and started searching for answers, and recently found this great site. I live in Edison (since 1989, renting), middlesex county and back in 1996 you can pickup a nice size house (built 1950’s) for $160k, fast forward to 2006….same 50+ year old POS is 400k+ with 7k in property taxes. not worth it!

    btw I mean $160K in north edison (if you know about edison) which is better then south edison. Maybe someday when prices comeback to earth I will buy something, that is, if i’m still in NJ.

  144. AntiTrump says:


    There is an open house today from 1-4 pm.
    This is the add from the Star Ledger:
    OPEN SUN 1-4 pm
    60 Authurs Court $424900
    Reduced 3BR 2.5BA T’whse
    Call for details or search our open house online
    908 464 5200.

    I suggest going to the open house or calling the prudential office directly. They haven’t updated the MLS yet.

  145. InvestorDavid says:

    I tried to post something, which I consider not offensive at all, at kennekt (sp?), but never got approved.

    That website put Nazi Germany censorship to shame.

  146. Clotpoll says:

    So many marketing-resistant people here! Were you all raised in caves? If you watched Saturday AM cartoons, you are susceptible to basic marketing techniques.

    My definition of marketing is NOT putting lipstick on a toad in order to dupe the public. My definition of marketing IS about using every available means to get a home exposed so that the buyer pool and buyer flow is maxed for the seller. That’s how properties get onto everyone’s “short lists”.

    If you’re like the 80% of all buyers in the US cruising Realtor.com or similar sites, you’re in the sweet spot of RE marketing. Most of what’s done is awful (dark photos, no photos, deceptive descriptors, etc). However, there are means of optimization available here just like at Google or Yahoo. Note the agents and companies who repeatedly grab those optimized spots…it is no coincidence that these are the guys doing whatever deals there are to be done.

  147. holey_money says:

    The tangibility of real estate makes it a harder asset to throw in front of the bus. Stocks and casino gambling wins have chicanery implicitly underlying their boom and bust swings. Also, pure luck works with those too. The general public just assumes that real estate functions on some certainty that is carved in stone. I still say that you have to live somewhere but you do not have to own stocks or bonds or even become rich. So, there is a mindset that may develop that expenditures for housing may only reach break-even status for future abode sellers. Factor in possible inflation, and sellers may sell a house for what they paid years earlier. I have read about sellers that wait out a market, waiting to “break even” on a house they bought in a hot market. Seems like there is a popular benchmark of having to break even on prices before moving on. I think that sellers will be happy to receive enough from a sale in the future to pay off a mortgage and not anticipate making extra money on a home sale. The depreciating asset aspect of a house plus cost of property tax and insurance just amount to income diversion from growth stocks and other investments.

  148. v says:

    “That’s how properties get onto everyone’s “short lists”.

    The criteria that goes into my search on realtor.com is location, price & year built. If there is a match, i go look at the house first hand. I don’t give much about doctored pictures.

    IMO, your stategy ‘may’ help someone convert a short listed house to a buy, but not convert “another brick in the wall” into a short list. Your startegy might have worked in the pre-internet age where buyers saw only what the realtors wanted them to see.

  149. kc2nj says:

    Regarding my post in #114 and comments from AntiTrump and Politely…

    I am neither surprised nor disappointed that my offer of 560k (for $609k) was overbid.

    I am more curious about South Brunswick. Since it doesn’t normally come in the numbers posted here, I am seriously wondering if the market is stronger here.

    Or maybe it’s stronger just within my search criteria:
    4Br, colonial, basement, under 600k with decent yard, blue ribbon schools.

    This is just my drive-around experience. I don’t have access to all the fancy mls details that you may have.

    I don’t want to be carried away by anti-trump err.. anti-RE rhetoric.

  150. AntiTrump says:

    #162 Clotpoll Says:

    I don’t disagree with you regarding marketing a property well. I see a lot of lousey listings on the realtor.com where the agent has not made the slightest effort to make the property apealing. What I am saying is that price is the most important factor for most people when they buy a house.

    And yes, I was raised in a cave !

  151. skep-tic says:

    as I understand it, there are two basic aspects of marketing:

    1. identify your market.
    2. publicize the product to the market you’ve identified.

    to the extent that most current homesellers have a problem with “marketing,” I think it is with #1. most of these people just don’t seem to understand WHO might be interested in buying there home.

    If everyone in your town is a cop, fireman, teacher, etc, then why would you expect that Wall Streeters will descend on your area in droves to snap up every $1M split level?

    In other words, the price is the main aspect of marketing. It shows you’ve done your homework and know what type of person will be interested in what you’ve got to sell.

    As for #2, most people who are seriously looking for a house will see everything that comes up on Realtor.com in their chosen town and price range. You can fiddle at the margins by taking better pictures, writing a relevant description, etc, but the effect of this seems minor compared to price

  152. AntiTrump says:

    #165 kc2nj Says:

    If you look at the otteau report for South brunswick:
    2005 Unsold Inventory= 157
    2006 Unsold inventory= 309

    The inventory in South Brunswick is almost double according to the Otteau report. But then again what the hell does otteau know. It might just be his n antitrump.. err ante RE Rhetoric.

    They best way to prove me wrong is to go ahead and buy the house you want at the asking price. Maybe be I will a converted looser when I am still renting next yer.

  153. kc2nj says:

    I agree that price is the most governing factor.

    Then there is the ‘condition’ of the house.

    A realtor once told me that if something that ought to be fixed isn’t fixed (like crappy carpet), it affects the seller 3 times:

    1. initial talking point of buyers,
    2. home inspection,
    3. negotiation.

    ie., everything else being equal, it costs the sellers 3 times the price of fixing it.

    I look around at houses in NJ, and 0.5 Million dollar houses are kept like crap. It seems to be something specific to NJ.I have bought houses in GA and KS before, and have never seen such complacent sellers!

  154. kc2nj says:

    AntiTrump, just fyi – I just extended my condo for another 6months.

    v, thanks for the Otteau report link. I saw it first when Grim posted it.

  155. BC Bob says:

    “Were you all raised in caves?”

    I certainly have a good idea where the destination of the subprime/flippers will be!!!

  156. BC Bob says:


    Please stop trying to dazzle everybody with your rhetoric. Do something constructive, read the Gary Schilling article, comment on that.

  157. Homer Simpson says:

    I honestly have seen the same marketing everywhere in NJ that I look.
    So if I get the “Marketing Tactics” realtors use,
    Everywere in NJ is a great location to live
    Every Town in NJ has the best schools
    Every house is such a great deal
    Every house has nice size rooms

    There is no good marketing in real estate.
    Clot please show some examples of good marketing in the hosuing market right now.
    Remember I don’t care about proximty to NYC and I dont care about public transportation.
    I would be looking for a 3 bed 2 bath house on a NJ salary, so if you were my realtor
    how would you market homes to me that I cannot clearly afford. I also have a 1250 square foot 2 bed apartment right now, so i would need someonething with good size rooms.
    Bed 1- 16′ x 12′
    Bed 2 12 * 12 ‘
    Bed 3 15′ x 12′
    Livingroom 21 x 12
    Dining room 16x 12
    Eat in Kitchen 18 x 10

    Thats about the size of my apt except I added a extra foot on Bed 2 feet onto Bed 2 and 1’ 4″ to the kitchen so its about the same as my apartment only a smidge bigger with one extra room, thats the minum sizes I would be intereted in.
    I have funiture that fits my apartment so I cannot downzize space, as one realtor told me people buy to own not to upgrade space I told her she was smoking crack and walked never dealt with her again.
    So seeing how big my apartment is and the fact of what I would be looking for, most things in that price range would be in the mid to upper 300k
    So what would be your tactics to me spending 1230.00/month on rent, to 2300-2400 on a mortage? I am comfortable around that size payment, especially with 2 kids on the way 2 vehcile payments, no credit card debt and the fact that my wife will be a stay at home mom. What can I buy that size in a nice area making about 55k per year?
    ABsolutly NOTHING. With average taxes being 6000.00/year thats 500.00/month
    So if I spent 1300.00 on a mortage that already 500.00 spent on property taxes. So than that 800.00 left to spend on an actual mortage payment So thats a house costing 126,500.00. So for my price range where can I buy a home how can your justify these “Marketing Tactics”? NO where in this state.
    All marketing is, is a way to con you out of spending more money.
    Now I know if this were 1999 Clot you would be able to show me hundreds of places in my price range. Nothing has changed accept the scams from the realtors and mortage companies. And property taxes have gone up.
    So when marketing how is 300k a great deal on some rinkie dink shack, thats half the size of my apt?
    Interstly enough a few years ago I actually considered becoming a realtor. Being able to help a family find a nice affordable home would be a great thing to do, yes I could make money, but I thought it would be great to help a first time homebuyer purchase there home.
    I was always good selling things I liked and know a lot about, but I decided against it for the fact of I would not be able to live with myself selling people homes at these Jidiotic prices. Even if the people are willing to pay most realtors encoruaged this nonesence and helped to fuel the bidding wars. And I guess thats why I can never get into sales, I am too honest and do not believe in ripping people off even if they are willing to pay these prices.

    So Clot I have real no justification of why realtors use the minimal marketing tactis that they use, other than to get commuters and people with a lot of money to purchase homes and to forget about the honest hard working Jerzian who live and work in this state, but do not make all sorts of money to be able to affod these prices.

  158. Al says:

    To message 174 from Homer – Excactly my thinking – it is like NJ is all of the sudden in some magical cloud wher everybody making 200K+…….

    Come on – Condos are Glorified apartments and some of the recent conversions are a lot worse that average apartments….. And They are still running for 250K/obe bedroom….

    NOTHNING, I Repeat NOthing Justifies these prices…

  159. att says:

    Prices in north edison still seems to be in stratosphere.

    A decent 4bdr/1.5bath is still not below 0.5 million.

    When will prices fall there to 300-350K levels? Anyone familiar with this area – Any guesses/insider infos?

  160. SAS says:

    “Condos are Glorified apartments and some of the recent conversions are a lot worse that average apartments….. And They are still running for 250K/obe bedroom….

    NOTHNING, I Repeat NOthing Justifies these prices…”


    I second this post.


  161. Annamelbourne says:

    Clotpoll said: “At the end of the day, if residential RE goes from 4% of GDP to 2%, it’s not good…but it’s way short of a decline that throws the whole economy into recession.”

    Clot, I wish you were right but I (and much smarter people than me) think you are wrong. I second BCBob’s suggestion that you read the Gary Shilling research (posted by Grim right below this weekend open discussion). Shilling’s track record for economic forecasting is among the very best in the nation. He says the downward spiral in housing will throw the economy into a serious recession soon and he provides a ton of solid evidence to back it up.

  162. SS says:


    It’s going to take time to bring prices down in north edison. From what i can see, most people in edison are commmuters to NYC via metropark or by car via GSP, NJTP or whatever (drop by metropark at 7AM and you’ll see what i mean). I give edison 5 years before people can’t take the commute anymore…spending 1.5 hours in traffic oneway to and from work in NYC. Edison is now populated with lots of people from NYC who for whatever reason (maybe 9/11) left NYC for safer grounds…who knows…but its just my observation when i drive around…lots of NY plates, not seen b4.

  163. UnRealtor says:

    Several new posts up over at Another F@d Borrower:


  164. Homer Simpson says:

    Honestly think about it for a minute…What will happen if the commuter say screw it we want to move to NYC we just dont want to have the upkeep of our mansion. Or people say well lets move to Bergen county to cut our commute in half. I mean from what I can see the only thing holding this market is Commuters and Pharma companies.
    I mean can anyone provide a report of the number of commuter from NJ to NYC from 1997-2006? I bet anything after 9/11 there was a rise in commuters. Now the problem is is less commuters are moving here and people that are buying are in my situation. I mean honestly what if developers figure out how to make a man made island and built the Island of Bob right off NYC? And lets say for the heck of it, It was the size of Bergen/Morris/Hudson/Sussenx combined. I would bet a bajillion to one that the commuters would move there cause it would be designed for the NYC commuter with Highspeed train lines and trains glaore, who knows.
    But my point is it seems if Pharma companeis left NJ and 75% of commuters left NJ, no one could afford to live in NJ. So the prices would have to drop. I just think the whole location bit can only work so far out of NYC
    I mean if I was a NYC commuter I would have to live in Bergen county. I would not want to deal with the commute, I lived in Lawrcenville and drove to Morristown everyday for 6 months, Lived next to rider college and had to take Route 206 all the way up to somerville circle and get on 287 there. I could only stand 6 month of that and now I have my nice 15-20 minute ride from Somerset to Princeton everydays. 12 miles each way, its a beautiful thing.
    I just think commuters buy into this Real estate scam a little to esasy.
    If you live in Bergen county it will prolly cost around 100/month to commute or if you live in let say Somerset where I live (and we have tons of commuters oozing everywhere) and I would assume it prolly costs around 400/month to commute. And you are spending an extra 300.00/month to commute so that an extra 60k you could have used on a house, but I guess the commute is much more fun and that 2 hour bus ride is so exilerating.
    I mean maybe now the prices are not worth it for commuter but before they were. But again real estate has to rely on Commuters.
    And just one funny thing I saw a few months ago to prove my point why realtors are scam artists and only care about commuter and pharma workers. In a property desciption in a house in Flemington it stated great location, very close to Ortho-McNeil. Thats fine and dandy but not everyone who lives there works at Ortho. That realtor was only targeting Pharma workers not Jersey workers.

    THATS WHY ALL WILL COME CRASHING DOWN. Salaries have not come up that much and there are not many new jobs being created only people getting laid off, J & J route 1 Brunswick location closed a few months back.
    So if you want a fair priced market, and affordable for more people to start buying the market needs to be about 10-15% over 2000 prices. People can still tell me I am nuts but most people I know make less than I do. Well excluding the rich people on this board, HAHA but really if prices can rize they can tumble down. Even if prices fall 25%-30% most people will still not be able to afford homes in this state, espeially with the high property taxes. People think that everyone can afford these prices…NO they cannot. 130k is an affordable price for me a little high but I could manage that. People can say well why dont both me and the wife work? Simple: first off its imprortant to always have 1 parent to be around for the kids. 2 even if I had no morals it cost aboout 15-20/k year in NJ for child care. 2 kids 30-40k, So really 2 pay check would go to cover the cost of day care. People need to get the idea out of there head that every one makes over 100grand that lives in NJ. Just like I understand that not every NYC worker does not make 150-300k or even 100k. I mean we have been known as Rubberneckers in this state, I think Jerzians have earned the title the state of Assumptions. I am not saying I dont’ assume casue I do.
    But in Real Estate do not assume everyone is a commuter, do not assume everyone makes a nice 6 fig salary, do not assume that beacause you invested 30k into your house you will get it back. And dont assume becuase I am a guy I am good with tools and I can remodel a kitch all my myself.

  165. BC Bob says:


    One more point, don’t assume you (realtors/marketing) can sell ice to eskimos.

  166. FirstTimeBuyer says:

    Can anyone please look up the history of 2281759? Thanks!

  167. AntiTrump says:

    The price seems within a negotiable range.

    However, I would suggest trying to get a place with atleast 1.5 baths. I bought my first home with 1 bath and totally regreted it. It’s a reall pain when you have guests staying over and and even if I had people visiting they had to keep going upstairs to use the bathroom when needed.

  168. AntiTrump says:


    Did you go for the open house for the Townhouse in Berkely Heights? I am curious to hear their story !

    That unit is under contract. We have another one for 50K more. etc. etc

  169. Home Seller says:

    wow, thanks for all the responses. I tend to agree that price ultimately is most important, however its NOT the only reason to buy. You could have two almost identical houses. One is 30K cheaper because its not updated inside. Ok, you can buy on price but just think how much time and money you are going to spend on fixing/updating the house.

    Also, a house could be cheaper because its on a steep hill or an extremely busy street. A house could have more value because you are walking distance to mass transit or local schools… Pictures/Price don’t always tell the whole story.

  170. Jenn. L says:

    Just some brief thoughts on ARM refi’s. We are going to get more into the season once the New Year passes.

    Stay away from internet lenders at all costs. Most just have brokers who purchase zip codes, lead routers, etc. Besides, why in the world would you fill out an online application with a social security number for them to run your credit and give it off to anyone else they want to do the same?

    Service sucks, you’ll never talk to the same person twice and fees will rack up (“but you can roll them into the loan…”), and good luck finding anyone once your package comes with at least a point and rate far high than you were quoted.

    Always look closely at your Good Faith Estimate. Remember too, that with a broker you’ll get one seperate from the lender’s. That’s why most people are blown away at the table. They always assume the brokers disclosures include lender fees. And a broker can promise anything because it’s just an “estimate” and they are shopping it around on the warehouse side.

    New Jersey lenders/ borrowers do not need an attorney to close a refi. So if the bank is charging one for “its attorney” that fee is probably a point built in to justify the amazing rate they want to give you to flip to fixed. You choose your title company to close the refi. A good lender will recommend three. Internet shops only use their own, but will still charge the same premium.

    Bottom line, shop around. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But on the bright side, watch for lenders to do ARM refis at fixed for “no fees”. For existing customers, this may include title which is always the biggest fee.

    I’ll be happy to review any GFE point out the holes and where you’re getting rooked.

  171. Pat says:

    Homer, geesh. I didn’t know you worked in Princeton. I know you’re trying to stay close to the parents for the twin’s, but for heaven’s sake, you can move over here to Bucks on your salary and just commute to Princeton.

    Why don’t you go look at that $245k ranch on a half acre I posted. Best elementary in Pennsbury schools(and a 20/25 minute, 14 mile commute to Carnegie Ctr. if you leave by 7:30). Taxes are really low..I think they were $2800 a year on that one. The tax difference could make the difference in your mtg. pmt.

  172. scribe says:


    Are you aware of how the train service between Metropark and Penn Station improved after 9/11?

    Right after 9/11, the NJ Transit trains were jampacked. They were running very long trains that took too long to load and unload – the trains were consistently behind schedule.

    So they started re-doing the schedule to include more frequent trains and more in the way of express trains. With time, the service to Metropark became more and more like the NYC subway. When I’m going out there to visit my family, I don’t bother to carry a schedule anymore – more trains so if I miss one, usually, the wait isn’t that long.

    So I think the other poster is right – that the area is probably attracting a lot of NYC commuters.

  173. ck986 says:

    I did a search for Berkley Heights as I had never heard of it and found some really nice town homes in the area. After some further research Microsoft Maps showed that there is a wastewater treatment plant or some type of chemical facility in the backyard. Sorry, but for $400K I will not live with the scent of shit lingering in the air. The townhomes I was looking at were not the ones posted here but some others built in 95. Purchased for 230K and now asking for 400-500K.

  174. Homer Simpson says:

    you can move over here to Bucks on your salary and just commute to Princeton
    I would not live in PA if my life depended on it. I lived there for 1 year and it was like a bad epsiode of Bugs bunny with the guy that went “Which way did he go George, Which way did he go.”
    No offense. Plus my jobb is a contract job and is set to end in the next few months. Thats the crappy side of being in the computer industry. Most jobs are contracts, so I have to go from job to job to job.
    So I am looking more in North for a new job.
    And some people may say look in NYC, A: I am not to fond of NYC and 2: I am clostorphobic and my luck I will get stuck on the 50th floor.

    Right after 9/11, the NJ Transit trains were jampacked.
    This is my point everyone and there brother hightailed it out of NYC, but since than it has gone back to before 9/11 for the amount of commuter moving to NJ. So this is why the percent of property sales has dropped and will keep dropping. There is an over abundance of MCMansions and not enough decent price homes for NJ workers left. I bet if prices would go to about 15% over 2000 prices I know hundreds of people who would be able to afford. The only way I can see us having a mild depression is if home prices fall faster than they have been. If prices do not fall to a normal prices not just 30% there will be thousands and thousands of people who will never get the pleasure of owning a home. And for the people who overpaid well I guess they are just in for a loss. Hey everyone has been treating it like the stock market, and the stock market prices fall well so can home prices. I have no symathy for any greedy grubbers, for any real estate agent who do not manage there money and are struggeling now and for years to come and for anyone who bought in this bubble and is set to lose money becuase they were also part of the problem and this coutry will see great devistation over the next 5-10 years because of the stupidness. I guess no one learned from the last bubble. It just amazes me to see how many people there really are out there who lack common sence with this bubble. I mean anyone with half a brain would have said “Hey wait a minute” WHo is going to be able to afford these prices if they keep going up and up?
    People say well its not that there stupid its the fact that there gredy and thats what people were getting for there homes so no one thinks about what can or will happen.
    Greed is the same thing as lacking common sence, you do stupid things and greed always get you in the end. Hence the end of the bubble and high prices as we know it. So buckle up we are in for a bumpy road…we should be used to it with our lovely crooked NJ roads

  175. Central NJ says:

    I am looking for houses in Bridgewater. There are several houses in the price range of $549K to $649K for a more or less 4 bd, 2.5 bath. They have their own features, but they are the standard 4 bd single family homes.

    I am thinking giving $500K for a listing that currently asks for $599K.

    I don’t know if the seller is willing to sell.

    Also In the mean while we are trying to give $750-780K for a house in the basking ridge development, called “hills”. That house asks for $900K now. Don’t know what will happen to that one either.. The listing realtor said she is going to call us but haven’t so far.

    What do you guys think of the price I am offering?

  176. Al says:

    what I do not get is what have changed in US that people are expecting to get paid 50-100K a year!!! for living in theri house???

    When I hear I am looking for houses in Bridgewater. There are several houses in the price range of $549K to $649K for a more or less 4 bd, 2.5 bath. They have their own features, but they are the standard 4 bd single family homes.

    I am thinking giving $500K for a listing that currently asks for $599K.

    500K for it – in 1999 this houses were 200K. Do you expect to sell your house (after you buy it for 500K) in 6 years for 900K??? if not – that do not pay 500K for it. IF you do – well good luck.

  177. v says:

    “If prices do not fall to a normal prices not just 30% there will be thousands and thousands of people who will never get the pleasure of owning a home.”

    20% down from 2005 highs will put 2004 ARMers in a spot as they will have to
    1] pay more to offset rate reset
    2] pay cash to cover gap between purchase price and comps.

    I feel #2 will have a bigger effect than rate resets.

  178. scribe says:


    The reason the NJ Transit trains in and out of Metropark were jampacked after 9/11 – people couldn’t take their cars into NYC. All of those roadblocks and checkpoints leading into the Lincoln Tunnel and even the Verrazano Bridge. That’s why the trains were so crowded, even on Saturday and Sunday.

    It was always true that people go along that rail line and look first at the towns that have train stops. I think it just became more the case because of the combination of faster service via Metropark and a lot of building in North Edison.

  179. Clotpoll says:

    BC Bob,

    Did my homework & read the Shilling article. Compelling argument, well-reasoned. Let’s see how good his crystal ball is.

    Amusing to see all the “price is everything, location is nothing” posts here. Like a nation of robots.

    If location is nothing, why not move to Irvington…or Trenton…or Iowa?

    Nice, safe communities and good schools are big factors in the concept of location. And, location will always be a driver of price…as long as people can make a distinction and say to themselves “I prefer location x to location y”.

    I’ve lived all over the US and have seen intrepid homeowners pioneer into urban and suburban transitional areas, get involved in schools and politics and become a big part in making a wasteland a viable- and valuable- community.

    However, hoping for some giant economic tsunami to level the playing field so that prime locations fall into the affordability range of Everyman reeks of Mad Max.

  180. SS says:

    I just don’t understand how people can buy a 700K+ house? Are they doctors, lawyers? People with cash savings (hard to believe)? Do both husband and wife work full time pulling 100k? And what employer is paying that kind of money? Well whatever it is, personally I could never sleep with that kind of debt, my job is not that reliable so that i can carry that kind of debt.

  181. chicagofinance says:

    Clot: Just my opinion, but maybe tone down the hubris just a smidge. Every once in a while, it begins to cloud your strong arguments.


  182. AMS In NJ says:

    When one door closes, another opens…enough said…

  183. Clotpoll says:

    Hubris implies a lack of self-awareness that I’m not going to cop to. I’m arrogant, and I know it. I have skin in this game, have played it for a long time and will be playing it long after everyone here has either settled into their subterranean bunkers for life or finally purchased a home. Like I’m not the only person here who has strong opinions and voices them…

    The best stuff here is full of rant and rage. I really like Homer…I think he’s channeling Huey Long.

  184. chicagofinance says:

    You guys liked that article?

    First off, it is a GOLD website. It is bearish everything except UST, so it is a little self-serving.

    Second, for most of the readers here, it must seem to be rehash. Nothing new there really.

    Third, you could build the case that the functioning of today’s MBS markets and the loosening of lending standards is a PERMANENT change in the way that mortgages are originated. If so, we are in a state where people who have no business owning a home are allowed access. Also, the conventions of years-gone-by such as fixed rate ammortizing mortgages cease to be the driver of consumer behavior. As a result, you will never again find individuals who have “paid off the house” entering retirement.

    Ultimately, you can build the case that these price levels will drop to some extent, but more importantly, we’ve borrowed appreciation for the next 5-10 years. As a result, you can basically expect a flatline instead of a crash.

    We are due for about a 20% off coupon, but beyind that is not really realistic. However, I will say that expecting a capital gain on any property purchased in a conventional way is unlikely until 2012 or later.


  185. v says:

    Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, will on Monday say what the US needs to do to ensure that its markets remain globally competitive in a landmark speech on capital market regulation.

    Mr Paulson is understood to be aware of the need for a re-examination of US regulation in the light of international competition, cross-border merger of equity and derivatives exchanges and competition between public and private enforcement efforts, which have led to over-zealous corporate litigation


    Sarbox out of the window? My company has spent quite a lot trying to implement this crap.

  186. chicagofinance says:

    grim: you should give me an answer on the thing….

  187. UnRealtor says:

    “Amusing to see all the ‘price is everything, location is nothing’ posts here. Like a nation of robots.”

    Better a robot, than a straw man.

    No one wants a bad location, but the price of that location is key. NY City hadn’t moved one inch closer to Northern NJ, yet the prices had about doubled by 2005.

    The right location, at the right price, is all anyone can ask.

  188. chicagofinance says:

    to counter my above arguments:

    Portfolio Insurance
    November 20, 2006
    The world is awash in credit. For the sake of investors, it had better be awash in good credit analysis, too.

    So far this year, a record $2.3 trillion in investment-grade bonds have hit been issued globally, according to Thomson Financial. This already tops last year’s $2.1 trillion.

    The rise in bond issuance is a trifle compared with what is happening in credit-derivative markets. The issuance of credit-default swaps, which are basically insurance contracts written against debt default, is soaring. As of the end of June, such contracts had been written against a total value of $26 trillion in debt, according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. That was up from $17.1 trillion at the end of 2005 and $8.4 trillion at the end of 2004.

    Banks and other debt holders can buy credit-default swaps to limit risk. If a borrower goes into default, debt holders will lose money on the debt, but the default swaps they hold will rise in value, helping to mitigate the loss.

    On the other side of the trade, sellers of credit-default swaps have a nice source of income, as long as the issuer whose debt they are backing doesn’t go belly up.

    The boom in credit-default swaps, as well as other derivative instruments that allow creditors to mitigate risk, and the run-up in bond issuance may not be unrelated. The decision to buy or underwrite a bond is easier to make if you can offload some of the risk associated with it. By diffusing risk, the chances for financial blowups seems to be diminished.

    But in the process of spending so much brain power slicing and dicing risk and passing it around, Wall Street might miss more fundamental questions about the underlying health of companies issuing bonds.

    Frank Partnoy, of the University of San Diego, and David Skeel Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania Law School illustrated this point in a recent paper by pointing out that the banks that financed Enron’s debt used massive amounts of credit derivatives to limit their own risk of the company going into default. That is one reason they might have fallen asleep at the switch.

    The real test for credit derivatives might not come until the next recession, when the chances of corporate debt defaults will rise. Nobody can say when that downturn will come, but when it does, it will be a nail-biting time.

  189. Homer Simpson says:

    t was always true that people go along that rail line and look first at the towns that have train stops. I think it just became more the case because of the combination of faster service via Metropark and a lot of building in North Edison.
    No there is a big difference I dont care about Edison nor is that what I am talking about. If you want to talk about Edison its one big indsutrial park. Anyone who buys a house in an idsutrial area, well the must have left there common sences at the Zoo. Yes maybe there are some who dont care, but my dad owned a factory for long before all the houses went up and they moved in and had the nerve to whine like children saying all the stuff comming from the factory smells. Boo hoo people moved there cause it was a little less cheap, well live with it, Edison is always going to be industrial more the residential.
    But I am reffering to towns that there were little to no commuters. Now every place in NJ is a great commutable place. But before 9/11 only Bergen, Hudson and parts of Morris , and Essesx were easy commutes to NYC, now Sussex it east bibble jip is? Come on now Sussex, most of somerset accept for some nothern towns, hunterdon are not easy commutes you poopie realtors. I know there have always been commuters but not as many as there are now. And you say
    All of those roadblocks and checkpoints leading into the Lincoln Tunnel and even the Verrazano Bridge.
    There are more cars on the road now commuting than there were before 9/11 and I know many trains and busses are jammed packed. But the point I am getting at is the commuters wanting to move here is decreasing and realtors are still targeting them, becuase many commuters make a lot of money and can spend 300-500k+ on a house.
    But now since there still are commuters moving to NJ but just not as many as there have been in the past 5 years, is exactly why real estate has slowed down so much. People cannot afford these prices, if prices dropped to 10-15% above 2000 prices I know a few hundred people who would finally be able to afford to purchase a home, and I bet there are thousands of others who would be able to also. But until that happens the market will be very slow and not pick up for years. Yes there are a good amount of commuters in NJ, but there are more people who live in work in this state. So as slow as the market is right now, if the prices do not come down to where most people can afford than this housing market will never recover and be like this forever !!!!

  190. Homer Simpson says:

    I think he’s channeling Huey Long.
    I didnt know who he was so I googled him. I think he has the right idea, about the few things I read about him.
    I just believe that in order for everything to fix itself we need balance and as of now we have absolutly no balance at all.
    I am not asking houses in wealthy ares drop, I refer to places that are nice, but not upper class. As of right now every area is a rich area in NJ. Rockaway, Boonton, Flanders, Chester, Mount Olive, Fairflild, Wayne etc are nice areas, but not rich areas.
    Even the town I grew up in was a very wealthy town, but it had all different price ranges in differnt part of the town. But go ahead laugh at me, think I am crazy, but when the market adjust itself out to where most people in this state can afford, well I will have to tell you your crazy and I will alugh at you, and say HAHAHA

  191. Clotpoll says:

    Every man a king!

  192. Homer Simpson says:

    I just think more people besides commuter should be able to afford homes in this state, is what I am getting at

  193. Clotpoll says:

    Homey, I agree with you. I just think that’s a thing of the past.

    The middle class in this country is being systematically killed off. It is a trend that is irreversible. I hate to say it (because I don’t like admitting it), but scores of folks in places like India and China are better-educated than us and work within an economic infrastructure that allow them to perform highly-skilled work at a fraction of our middle class wage.

    However, there are still many places in the US that allow a smart, hard-working guy like you to live well and get a “leg up”. There are great cities and towns all over the South and Midwest where you could do great…why not check out some of these alternatives?

    You won’t have the parental support there every day…but, you will be able to live well and get on with your life.

    The day prices in NJ get to where you want them to be is the day you shouldn’t want to live here anymore.

  194. scribe says:


    I asked you this question on another thread, and I guess you missed it – what do you mean by “European models”?

    All the best builders out there are deep into European models, infill, renovations near transit centers and other next generation-type projects. Short them at your peril!

  195. Clotpoll says:

    I guess the best short description of European model is high-density, urban residential living, close to mass transit.

  196. scribe says:


    Thank you. I’ve never been to Europe :)

  197. Al says:

    The middle class in this country is being systematically killed off. It is a trend that is irreversible. I hate to say it (because I don’t like admitting it), but scores of folks in places like India and China are better-educated than us and work within an economic infrastructure that allow them to perform highly-skilled work at a fraction of our middle class wage.

    What Clotpoll forgets to add is that Highly skilled folks living in india pay 100$ for huge apartment for rent, they pay 5$ for dentist visit, and new car in india cost 3000$.

    What it tells me is that US dollar is artificilally high compare to the other currencies. if it drops copmare to Rupy (not sure how to spell indian currentcy) than US workforce will be competitive again. And it will not lead to raise in prices in goods produced in US – such as healthcare, housing, food. And I do not care if Flat screen TV will be x10 price – nobody NEEDS to have 60″ plasma TV to live.

    However, there are still many places in the US that allow a smart, hard-working guy like you to live well and get a “leg up”. There are great cities and towns all over the South and Midwest where you could do great…why not check out some of these alternatives?

    thats my plan once my contract is up – please substruct two more Middle class taxpayer fom private industry from NJ taxpayers in 1 1/2 years. GOOD luck NJ – State of Govermental workforce and wall street daytraiders.

  198. Homer Simpson says:

    The day prices in NJ get to where you want them to be is the day you shouldn’t want to live here anymore.

    Why? It was only 6 years ago where prices were wear most people could afford. Rich upperclass people account for a small percetange of the country. And I am sorry they are not going to buy every house out there. So middle class people need a place to live to. I quite enjoy hearing what your ideas for me are. Pack up and leave NJ. I hate to burst your bubble but the average NJ household income is 65,000.00
    So that being said that means there are more middle class people in NJ than rich. Most people cannot just pack up there bags and hit the road. So for the people who rent or live with parents, its either pack up and leave NJ or mybe in there 40’s or 50’s they can buy a home?
    Clot its thinking like: The middle class in this country is being systematically killed off

    That is the biggest pile of _ _ _ _ I have ever heard.
    ITs thinking like that why the market is in trouble. I think your logic is complete crap. You do have very good views and ideas on many things but please tell me where all the middle class people will have to go who work in NJ and cannot leave? PA?? I dont think so most people I know hate PA and wouldnt move there, nor should we have too leave.
    The only people who need to leave are all the useless Pharma companies, cheap jidiots outsoruceing all there jobs more than just computer jobs oversees. I just tend to notice that since more and more of these pharma compnaies have moved into NJ the worse and worse this state has got. So I say we tax them out of NJ. Once we get rid of Pharma companies I think that will be the start of balance in this state.

  199. Al says:

    The only people who need to leave are all the useless Pharma companies, cheap jidiots outsoruceing all there jobs more than just computer jobs oversees. I just tend to notice that since more and more of these pharma compnaies have moved into NJ the worse and worse this state has got. So I say we tax them out of NJ. Once we get rid of Pharma companies I think that will be the start of balance in this state.

    Do not worry Pharma companies are leacing the a=state on their own… Plus PhD researcher in Pharma company gets 70-85K year MAX (not manager, researcher) so it s not like they are the ones who are driving the prices up. Once Pharma leaves the state – than the misery will really settle in….. NO Manufacturing jobs, no Pharmaceuticals – Farming has been shot in last 20 years – How will NJ survive again???

  200. BC Bob says:


    Schilling’s article was posted on a gold website site. This is not his website. He has been very accurate over the past 10 years.

  201. ithink says:

    Why would someone sign a mortgage or loan as a “non-vested spouse”? Is it like extra assurance to be able to do power-of-attorney type stuff? Or more like a continuation of a prenup? Or for the credit qualification purpose?

  202. AntiTrump says:

    Agree with Clotpols Recommendation about considering other places to live.

    Unless you have a really high paying job or other family/personal committments that require you to live in New Jersey, people should seriously consider other up and coming towns and cities.

  203. AntiTrump says:

    What drove up housing prices is not wall street or pharma companies or any employer for the matter. I joined wall street before the dot com boom and our bonuses as a percentage was about the highest until the last year and probably this year.

    But housing took off after Greenshap opened the free money tap and lenders took his cue and flooded the market with creative financing that allowed people to pay more for homes than they can afford.

    Beleive me, you don’t want any emplyer, pharma or otherwise leaving our state. If you want someone to burn on the stake, start with Greenspan !

  204. Homer Simpson says:

    Unless you have a really high paying job or other family/personal committments that require you to live in New Jersey, people should seriously consider other up and coming towns and cities.

    Why? I have lived in NJ since I was 8 years old. NJ is my home, why should I be forced out of NJ? Becaause I dont have some big salary? NJ had a houing balance before the bubble and thats where it needs to go back to for everything to be corrected out. Anyone who says the prices are only going to drop a small percent are mostly realtors, sellers, banks etc the people it will really effect the most if prices go 10-15% above 2000 prices, which is where they should be.
    There are hundreds of thousands of people in NJ who cannot afford these prices. I will re state what I have said before, if someone making 95k thought in 1999 that 150-200k was too much for a house and the only thing that has changed is property taxes have gone up, what makes people think we can magically afford it now? There are more middle class people than rich, you can try to drive us out, but most are like me, we are NJ. So go ahead think what you will, tell us that prices cannot drop that far, just like realtors say home prices never decrease.
    Look at the last bubble, prices raised x % and than they went down to around where they were before that last bubble give or take. So if a house went for 100k and during the last bubble went for 160k prices went back down to around 100-115k where people can afford.
    So why can’t they do that now? Why becuase there was to big of a % of increase? Becuase we have to adjust for the last bubble and this bubble? Come on now, prices have to go to where most people can afford, and I just see people on this site assuming that people can afford 300k, or look at me like I will never afford NJ becuase I make 55k and I can afford 130-140k with property tax. Well Like I said average household income is 65k in NJ. So that means most of NJ is just like me, so if majority of NJ is just like me well than prices have to fall to where people like me can afford otherwise Jerzys housing market will never recover. But hey you pay 25% off that house and you keep telling yourself that you got a swell deal

  205. FirstTimeBuyer says:

    AntiTrump- We haven’t seen a house in our price range with a half bath downstairs. All the houses in this area, in that price range, are older, with one bathroom on the second floor.

    Anyone know anything else about the sale history? I can’t find anything. The house is empty and we’re trying to find out more about the current owner/situation. 2281759. Thanks!

  206. Al says:

    Unless you have a really high paying job or other family/personal committments that require you to live in New Jersey, people should seriously consider other up and coming towns and cities.

    Well according to official statuistics 56 thousand!!! high-end middle class jobs from private sector left the state last year. So it is happening full speed. In two years I am leaving, that is unless: my employer raises my salary 25% – or house prises drop 30% or more.

    Why I am here??? Because when you are leaving in the other state you do not reaize how expensive NJ is, you come to visit for few days and sign a contract for 2 years. Then, you come to NJ and find out that 70K here is nothing!!! (before you sign up you check the average HOUSEHOLD INCOME and SEE that is it 63K/years – so you think you will be ok Making 70, you also looke for housing and see some homes for 140K for sale in Union county – but you do not know WHERE They are and have no idea of a neighbourhood).

    NOw my salary would be almost the same in any other state – may be 1-2% less… SO right now I do feel like an Idiot because I accepted this job offer and that is considering that I like my job!!!

  207. AMS In NJ says:

    First time buyer,

    Sales on that street for same type houses from $310 to 463K. Subject home seems original owner; refinanced 3x (’02, 04, 06). OLP = $419K, DOM 181. If you want full sale info on the street let me know, but warning, I am a sporadic poster!!! :)

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