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 market, 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.

For readers that have never commented, there is a link at the top of each message that is typically labelled “[#] Comments“. Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn’t know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past year. The archives can be accessed by using the links found in the menus on the right hand side of the page.

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332 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. AntiTrump says:

    Richard, your Proctologist was looking for you. Seems there is a problem with your brain.

  2. Rich In NNJ says:

    Firsties!

  3. Rich In NNJ says:

    Damn!

  4. Robert says:

    Why are comments off for the other sections of the site? What is happening? Did I miss something?

  5. James Bednar says:

    I’m sure that in my absense, this thread will deteriorate into the worst this blog has ever seen.

    New readers, please click the back button on your browser and return early next week.

    Heading off to the airport in about an hour.

    jb

  6. Robert says:

    I’m surprised JB was not first to post today!

  7. James Bednar says:

    From the Otteau Valuation Group:

    NEW JERSEY HOUSING MARKET STILL STRUGGLING TO FIND BALANCE POINT

    The results of our latest analysis indicate that contract-sales activity declined by 5% in June, continuing a pattern of inconsistent sales pace. Following 3 consecutive months of increasing sales activity in January, February and March, sales declined in April, then increased in May, only to decline again in June. This uneven performance is evidence that the market has yet to regain its balance and continues to struggle with the effects of diminished affordability following the unprecedented home price increases that occurred between 1992 and 2005.

    From an inventory perspective, while the number of unsold homes continued to rise in June, that increase occurred at a slower pace than in the 4 preceding months. Unsold Inventory increased in June by only 1% suggesting that inventory growth may be approaching the high-water mark. Statewide Unsold Inventory now represents an 8.5 month supply, as compared to 8.1 months in May and 7.7 months one year ago.

    Despite this uneven performance, there are emerging signs that the housing market may be nearing the bottom of its current recession which began in September 2005. The most compelling evidence is based upon submarket trends in northeastern New Jersey that are within commuting range of Manhattan. In these markets, which include the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset and Union, contract sales declined by only 1.7% from May to June (as compared to 5% statewide) and actually ran higher than the June 2006 level. Most notable in this group is Hudson County where year-to-date sales activity is running 12% ahead of last year. The stronger market conditions in northeastern New Jersey serve as a reminder that the strength of the Manhattan real estate market, which continues to experience strong demand levels, is generating overflow demand to nearby suburban locations. Expect this to be a long term trend as communities near to direct Manhattan rail access will see the strongest price increases once the market recovers.

    Looking ahead the housing market still faces significant challenges as sales pace will likely slow during the approaching fall and winter seasons. Given this probability, home prices will be challenged to hold at current levels considering there are presently more than 72,000 homes for sale in New Jersey as compared to only 39,000 in June 2005.

  8. Clotpoll says:

    Grim (5)-

    Don’t you feel like a parent who’s left a house full of teenagers…with the liquor cabinet unlocked?

  9. lisoosh says:

    JB – have a good flight.

    Donald – I would clean up that backyard if I were you. If the people in Alpine find out about it, they might not let you in.

  10. lisoosh says:

    Have a good flight.

  11. Rich In NNJ says:

    In these markets, which include the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Somerset and Union, contract sales declined by only 1.7% from May to June (as compared to 5% statewide) and actually ran higher than the June 2006 level.

    June NJMLS for Bergen County:
    Going back 12 years to 1995, June ’07 is the fourth slowest year for sales (1: ’95; 2: ’96; 3. ’97) and second slowest year for Under Contract (1: ’95).

  12. x53Teter says:

    what if we turn this into a jb-bashing contest while he’s away. kidding =)

  13. Richie says:

    Everyone badmouth JB in the next 8 hours.

    Scumbag!

  14. x53Teter says:

    JB = Troll

  15. Clotpoll says:

    Genius (4)-

    To keep people like you from running amok while he’s gone.

  16. APAULIPTICA says:

    From: Patrick Rucker, Reuters
    Wall Street often shelved damaging subprime reports
    Published: Friday, July 27, 2007
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Investment banks that bundle and sell home mortgages often commissioned reports showing growing risks in subprime loans to less creditworthy borrowers but did not pass much of the information to credit rating agencies or investors, Wall Street sources said.
    The mortgage consultants, known as “due-diligence firms,” were hired by investment banks to make sure blocks of mortgages conform to the mortgage seller’s own standards. The studies provided a first glimpse of loan quality for ratings agencies and investors who do not normally see the full reports.
    As the U.S. housing boom reached its crescendo in 2006 and investors showed a strong appetite for mortgages, lenders relaxed their underwriting standards, and millions of borrowers with poor credit records were able to obtain subprime mortgages as a result.
    Default rates on many of those subprime mortgages are now rising, some borrowers face foreclosure on their homes, and investors in the mortgages face losses.
    “If all the information about these investments was properly disclosed, our client would have made different decisions…and, specifically, not bought these investments,” said Dale Ledbetter, a Florida attorney suing Credit Suisse Group on behalf of an insurer that lost money on mortgage bond investments.
    Now some of the firms that prepared those damaging due-diligence reports say their work should be turned over to investors so they understand the underlying assets better.
    “I am sure there is a value in those reports,” said Joe Andrea, a partner with Opus Capital Markets Consultants of Chicago but due diligence firms like his are not empowered to release the reports, he added.
    While subprime mortgage security prospectuses warned about the perils of such loans in recent years, they did not enumerate the findings of due diligence reports.
    Ledbetter’s suit, filed on behalf of Bankers Life Insurance Co., claims that the investment bank failed to perform or disclose proper due diligence on the mortgages it sold to investors. One of those investments was downgraded five times from early 2005 to late 2006.
    Credit-Suisse has filed a motion to dismiss the case said a spokesman, Bruce Corwin.
    Several due diligence firm executives said that they reported a slide in loan quality to their investment bank clients but that those mortgages were still bought up and passed on to investors.
    “In some cases we felt that we were potted plants,” said Keith Johnson, president of Clayton Holdings, Inc. , a large due-diligence firm based in Connecticut.
    During the housing frenzy, many Wall Street firms appear to have overlooked due diligence warnings about problem mortgages in order to keep up with the market, due diligence executives said.
    “Twelve months ago there was a lot of competition for newly originated loans and the buyer who would purchase more of the (loan) pool was more likely to win that bid. The choices sometimes were business choices,” said Bruce Watterson, the president of Watterson Prime LLC of Bellevue, Washington. Watterson Prime is owned by Fidelity National Information Service Inc. , Watterson said.
    LOAN STANDARDS EASE
    As lenders relaxed their underwriting standards during the recent housing boom, Wall Street firms followed suit by easing the guidelines that due diligence companies followed, several executives said.
    “We got away from where we were in the late 90s,” Clayton’s Johnson said, referring to a time that due diligence firms were expected to give full-throated opinions on the safety of mortgage loans.
    In the last two weeks, major ratings agencies have downgraded subprime mortgage investments and said they expect more such loans to borrowers with shaky credit will fail.
    Moody’s customarily receives summaries of due-diligence studies but not the full reports which might have helped the ratings agency evaluate now-troubled mortgage securities, said Nicolas Weill, chief credit officer for Moody’s asset finance team.
    “It’s difficult to know what would have happened if we had gotten that information,” he said.
    Weill said Moody’s would have welcomed due diligence reports if they had helped them learn something new about the mortgages.
    Standard & Poor’s relies on lenders and mortgage securitizers to conduct their own due-diligence and does not have access to such reports “generally speaking,” said spokesman Christopher Atkins.
    Lehman Brothers Holdings and Bear Stearns Cos , two major underwriters of mortgage bonds, declined to comment on how they handle due diligence reports.
    However, while due-diligence reports may contain facts that ratings agencies seek, they might not be interested in seeing the reports, said Josh Rosner, a housing analyst with independent research firm Graham Fisher & Co. in New York.
    “The International Organization of Securities Commissions code of conduct requires that they use all available information in their ratings process,” he said. “To require them to look at due diligence would move them to another level of responsibility.”
    Mortgage securitizers relaxed their due-diligence tests during the housing boom just as lenders loosened their loan standards in that time but all sectors of the market are retrenching now, Clayton’s Johnson said.
    “We are in a correction process right now,” he said.
    Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley accounted for nearly a quarter of Clayton revenue in 2006, according to the company annual report. Both firms declined to comment on what they do with due-diligence reports.

    © Reuters 2007

  17. bi says:

    can we do a contest on which are top 5 most desirable and undesirable towns in NJ – no matter renting or buying?

  18. Richie says:

    Alright, which one of you stole the pool from Paterson?

  19. bi says:

    with dow down another 1% Friday and oil up $2. Monday is an interesting day to watch

  20. chicagofinance says:

    grim = crapola

  21. chicagofinance says:

    POLSKA KIELBASA

    1 Polska Kielbasa
    1 lb. bacon
    1 bag frozen broccoli cauliflower mixed vegetables
    3-6 fresh carrots
    3-6 potatoes, med. size

    In skillet, saute bacon until crisp; remove from pan. Slice carrots and potatoes and fry in bacon drippings until almost tender; add broccoli and cauliflower mix, cover and heat until warmed through. Add sliced kielbasa and crumbled bacon and mix. Heat well and serve with bread sticks.

  22. Clotpoll says:

    Just picked from one of the shill blogs at Realtor.com. Hey, Ducky…look up the word “libel”:

    Donald Says:

    July 27th, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    Art,

    I agree with what you are saying. How can it be a buyer’s market when inventory is down 4.4% and prices are up .03%?

    Also, please pay no attention to the poster who goes by the name “Clotpoll” He is an unethical reator (sic) who intimidates sellers into lowering their prices by threatening to withdraw their listing. He has admitted to doing this many times on the real estate bubble blogs. It’s a mricale he still has his RE license!

    Keep up the good work!

    As if what you described were even true…1) it is not illegal or unethical, and 2) please don’t tell me that there aren’t about 2,000 other agents who would pick up a listing I dumped, no questions asked.

  23. chicagofinance says:

    IQ

    A popular bar had a new robotic bartender installed. A guy came in for a drink and the robot asked him, “What’s your IQ?” The man replied, “130.” So the robot proceeded to make conversation about physics, astronomy, and so on. The man listened intently and thought, “This is really cool.”

    Another guy came in for a drink and the robot asked him, “What’s your IQ?” The man responded, “120.” So the robot started talking about the Superbowl, dirt bikes, and so on. The man thought to himself, “Wow, this is really cool.”

    A third guy came in to the bar. As with the others, the robot asked him, “What’s your IQ?” The man replied, “80.” The robot then said, “So, how are things in Poland these days?”

  24. Clotpoll says:

    bi (16)-

    Cliffside Park.

  25. chicagofinance says:

    These two Poles are building a house. One of them is putting on the siding. He picks up a nail, hammers it in. Picks up another nail, throws it away. Picks up a nail, hammers it in. Picks up another, throws it away.

    This goes on for a while, and finally his friend comes over and asks him why he is throwing half of the nails away. He replies, “Those ones were pointed on the wrong end.” The buddy gets exasperated and says “You idiot, those are for the other side of the house!”

  26. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (20)-

    Currently short the Kielbasa.

  27. gary says:

    chicagofinance #21,

    LOL!!! JB, ban him!! :)

  28. chicagofinance says:

    Two Poles emigrated to America. On their first day off the boat in New York City, they spied a hot dog vendor in the street. “Did you know they eat dogs in America?” one asked the other. “I did not know that.” “Well, If we’re going to live here, we might as well learn to eat like Americans.” So they each bought a hot dog wrapped up in wax paper and sat down to eat them on a nearby park bench. One Pole looked inside his wax paper, then over at the other Pole and asked, “What part did you get?”

  29. Clotpoll says:

    Why can’t Poles eat pickles?

    They can’t get their heads in the jar.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    clot: NICE

  31. Richard says:

    Antitrump, go play in traffic maybe someone will run you over.

  32. Clotpoll says:

    It’s only taken 30 posts for this thread to hit absolute rock bottom.

    By Sunday, we’ll be talking about pro wrestling.

  33. 3b says:

    #7 JB: Sounds like Otteau’s report is dated already, IMHO. And again with the closeness to Manhattan/NYC, but I have said more than enough on how I feel about that already.

    I would add however, that Manhattan may not be that much of a so called influence, if the amrkets continue their swoon, and sub-prime,and ARM resets,and credit tightening,and all the rest.

  34. 3b says:

    #29 Clot: Any comments on Mr. Otteau’s report?

  35. x53Teter says:

    your posts are “data”. data need storage. unecessary posts take up unecessary space. on one hand, you’re probably helping EMC. on the other hand, EMC uses up energy to manufacture storage devices. more energy, more carbon emissions. so…
    limit your posts, go green.

  36. njpatient says:

    Cheers, JB!

  37. dreamtheaterr says:

    Another mini-blitzkrieg at the end of market close today…. someone should get the CNBC yappers to shut up.

    Clot, by the end of the weekend, we’ll be debating whether Richard’s or Quack’s house is more desirable.

  38. njpatient says:

    “market has yet to regain its balance”
    “Unsold Inventory increased in June by only 1% suggesting that inventory growth may be approaching the high-water mark.”
    “there are emerging signs that the housing market may be nearing the bottom” [“compelling evidence”]

    Mr. Otteau, still as always, putting lipstick on the pig for his NAR masters.

  39. SG says:

    I feel all Reporters have some kind of Excel macro to generate news. They just punch in Market Good or Bad and news comes out. For e.g. Today’s news says,

    “Wall Street extended its decline Friday as investors already anxious after the second-biggest market drop this year cast aside a stronger-than-expected read on the economy.”

    But if market was 200 point up, the macro would spill out,

    “Wall Street extended its longterm updside Friday as investors already anxious after the second-biggest market drop this year cheered up a stronger-than-expected read on the economy.”

  40. RentinginNJ says:

    1 Polska Kielbasa
    1 lb. bacon
    ..
    ..

    1 Cardiac catheter
    2 Lipitors

  41. Richard says:

    >>Clot, by the end of the weekend, we’ll be debating whether Richard’s or Quack’s house is more desirable.

    you couldn’t afford my house but keep dreaming of owning your own one day.

  42. tom says:

    Hi All

    This is for those of you who are familiar with my issues with the Builder.

    Builder sent a reply today basically saying the same thing he has said in the past 2 letters. He is ignoring our valid arguements in the reply letters and trying to stretch the timeline by just saying the same thing in his letters. He has again said in today’s letter that the changes to construction were “explained” to us before we signed the contract !!! And they are extending the deadline for us to accept the home to August 3rd or else they will keep the deposit and sell the home to other parties !!! Builder also mentioned in the letter that as per the contract all conflicts have to be handled in arbitration!!!

    I think this will keep going unless we file a lawsuit to get our money back.

    My questions to you guys are
    1>. Anyone has any experience with arbitrations ? Can we directly file a lawsuit without going through Arbitration ?
    2>. If we get to filing lawsuit, I have to find a attorney who will work on flat fee or a percentage. Anyone knows of a good Attorney and what are the normal percentages or charges they charge.

    Thanks.

  43. dreamtheaterr says:

    38 Richard, I have enough gold bars to buy your house in cash. But I prefer gold.

  44. scribe says:

    SG,

    A recent Smart Money article on fighting assessments:

    http://www.smartmoney.com/home/living/index.cfm?story=reassess

  45. scribe says:

    SG,

    Here’s the original Smart Money story I was thinking about. Actually, it was published a while ago. But it includes some links to trade organizations and groups that help people fight appraisals.

    http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=19971002

  46. njpatient says:

    #39
    I’d advise you ask a lawyer. You can usually get an initial consultation for free.

  47. Hehehe says:

    Fascinating article, who would have guessed:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/64fa3b00-3ba6-11dc-8002-0000779fd2ac.html

  48. john says:

    Everyone will be heating their houses with worthless greenbacks come winter and the recession will hit so hard that NYC will look like escape from NY!

    Now I sound like Bill Gross!!!

  49. BC Bob says:

    “That is right 3b! Do you know who else is patient? The sellers!”

    $1.99,

    Go hit the history books and see how patient sellers fared during bubble busts.

  50. dreamtheaterr says:

    bi Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 3:36 pm
    “can we do a contest on which are top 5 most desirable and undesirable towns in NJ – no matter renting or buying?”

    Undesirable:

    9. d
    8. ld
    7. eld
    6. ield
    5. field
    4. tfield
    3. stfield
    2. estfield
    1. (for Richard to fill in)

    Richard, you’re right I cannot afford your place. But I have the brains to avoid it.

  51. BC Bob says:

    “I have enough gold bars to buy your house in cash. But I prefer gold.”

    dream,

    Above ground supplies growing at just 1.5% compared to money supply growing at 10-13% worldwide. I’d buy $1.99’s house, if his backyard was filled with gold bars. However, his mini-me yard would not be big enough to hold what I would require.

  52. BC Bob says:

    John [45],

    Utilize those greenbacks for your fire.

  53. Theo says:

    #29 Clot:

    Superfly Jimmy Snuka!!

    http://www.jimmysnuka.com/

  54. HEHEHE says:

    My personal favorite was Canada’s Greatest Athlete Iron Mike Sharpe, not to be confused with France’s Greatest Athlete Rene Goulet.

  55. Robert says:

    Hey Clot,

    Check out my response to you on that real estat blog you posted last night:

    http://ar3thur.topproducerwebsite.com/read-my-blog.asp?p=3

  56. njhomehunt says:

    Hi All,
    I’m a first time home buyer being hurt by the crazy home prices. Currently sitting on the sidelines.
    Do any of you have any information on this listing. I like it but it I will wait a while before making an offer.
    What do you guys think is a right price for this townhome.

    http://www.lisafriedman.com/listings/stech/index.htm

    THX
    nchez

  57. gary says:

    If we wind up talkin’ wrastlin’, this thread, this blog, would not be complete without mention of this fellow:

    http://www.wwe.com/superstars/halloffame/ivanputski/

  58. Robert says:

    “What do you guys think is a right price for this townhome.”

    That looks like a really nice unit in a really nice gated community. Something like this is not going to go for far below asking price.

    My suggestion is to look at the tax records for comparable units. When you find the prices, plan on pyaing in the higher end since it is obvivous that this unit was renovated from top to bottom.

  59. Robert says:

    How much is Richard’s house? This place sounds really nice.

  60. chicagofinance says:

    gary Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 5:30 pm
    If we wind up talkin’ wrastlin’, this thread, this blog, would not be complete without mention of this fellow:

    gary: did you know Putski’s real last name is Bednarski? not kidding

  61. Robert says:

    one more thing njhomehunt:

    If you are serious about buying in the near future, don’t listen to 95% of the people here. They will tell you to offer 30% below asking and your offer will not be accepted. Do your own research by looking at comparable units that have recently sold and are currently on the market. This should give you a very good estimate of the true value. Unlike most people here, I do not know anything about the area you are looking in so I am not going to make blanket statements out of my a** (are you listening 3b?)

  62. Robert says:

    BC Bob,

    I do not have to clean the “backyard” in question even though I am selling because it is in a desolate part of the property that buyers do not see. The only way to get to it is to walk to the end of the street and then walk dow a 3 flight stair case. My home is on a bluff so it is 20 feet hiher than the street in the back of my house.

    I hate the administration so I want to leave everything alone out of spite. If I was a major contributor to the Democratic party, I could go to the mayor’s office and he would rip up the letter I got. They let one of the devlopers put a sales office right in the middle of a park for goodness sake! And they are complaining about my private property! The nerve of them…

  63. gary says:

    chicagofinance #57,

    I didn’t know his last name until today. I just thought he’d fit in nicely in honor of this weekends subject matter and especially our illustrious blog host.

    When I saw his last name, I couldn’t believe it. What a coincidence.

  64. bi says:

    Robert,
    with the volatility like this in stock market these days and the news that recent inventory down and price up in housing, many people will question where is RE bubble as bubble head talking about here all day. Like any market, RE has up and downs but in long run it is better investment, especially good for your main home.

  65. Pooch123 says:

    dreamtheaterr

    The post re investing my down payment in Richard’s Ivy natural resources mutual fund was sarcastic. I’m a proud vanguard diehard with very low equity exposure for my age and would never touch anything with an expense ratio of 2.25%

  66. Pooch123 says:

    Bi your last post made little sense and is wrong. In the long run, real estate returns barely better than inflation and REIT mutual funds return roughly 8-10%, while total stock market mutual funds and/or S&P mutual funds historically have significantly higher rates of return.

  67. BC Bob says:

    “with the volatility like this in stock market these days and the news that recent inventory down and price up in housing, many people will question where is RE bubble as bubble head talking about here all day.”

    bi,

    We are questioning this now? Where have you been. I have been calling this the biggest bust in our lifetime since I’ve been on this blog, end of 2005/beginning of 2006. Inventory dropping? In relation to sales? Go ahead and believe that prices are rising. I guess that is why H-B’s stocks are down 50-75%. Are the billions that they puked out in land options also rising in price? If the architect’s of the industry and the backone of the financing are getting hammered, how do you think this plays out for existing sellers? They go unscathed? Hah. This trend will go on for years. Drip,drip,drip. All of a sudden you have a flood.

  68. syncmaster says:

    To the poster who asked about the townhouse in Bridgewater:

    http://www.aboutourtown.com/towns/bw/realestate/bw_real_index.htm

  69. Clotpoll says:

    3b (33)-

    Like him or not, Otteau’s stats are clean. If he says prime commuter towns under the “Manhattan influence” are holding up better, that’s entirely plausible. My own market area is either Raritan Valley line, or no line at all, so the NYC commuter thing just doesn’t factor in out here. The sales decline numbers and a lot of the other raw data is pretty much in line with what we’re seeing here.

  70. Clotpoll says:

    patient (37)-

    Otteau is not controlled by NAR. I think his reasoning that the market is bottoming because of the inventory decline is erroneous, though. The inventory build is takng a temporary respite because of seasonality…and seller fatigue.

    Another blast of houses is in the pipeline; trust me.

  71. njhomehunt says:

    #64

    syncmaster,
    Thanks for the info.

  72. Clotpoll says:

    Ducky (61)-

    So your backyard ends in a sheer cliff, which you have allowed to become an eyesore?

    Damn, now I want your house! Full price offer…please take my offer!

  73. Clotpoll says:

    Ducky (61)-

    Is the slope of your backyard too severe to set up a squatter camp?

  74. syncmaster says:

    My own market area is either Raritan Valley line, or no line at all, so the NYC commuter thing just doesn’t factor in out here.

    Clot, is it just me or does living in close proximity to a RARV station not give an area the same bounce that living near a NEC station does? I have heard from realtors (and read on home listings) of proximity to Edison train station being a selling point for homes/condos in southern P-way. However, I have never heard or seen that with respect to homes/condos in northern P-way, which are close to Dunellen or Bound Brook. Any idea why no one seems to care about RARV? I can’t imagine that having to change trains at Newark Penn is such a big deal, or is it?

  75. Pooch123 says:

    Raritan Valley line is inferior from a train perspective bc you gotta transfer at Newark, duh, which is annoying, and of course you’re at the mercy of two train schedules instead of just one. Also Bound Brook is bad news because its in flood plain ground zero. Oh yeah, and they’re far enough out under the Raritan Valley line to make them less attractive.

  76. syncmaster says:

    Yes, there’s a train change involved, but I don’t get the point about distance. People pay a premium to live near the Jersey Ave and Princeton Junction stations.. those are further out than Dunellen, but no change. So it all boils down to the change?

  77. Clotpoll says:

    sync (74)-

    Too damn many stops on a slow train. Like the local to Hell. That’s the RARV in a nutshell.

  78. bairen says:

    #70 I lived in the quailbrook section of Somerset (part of Franklin Twp). After looking at the train schedule and the crappy parking in Bound Brook plus BB isn’t exactly the nicest place to come back to at7 PM or later I stayed with the NEC. Much easier to go to Metuchen. More trains, shorter ride. In bad weather would go new Brunswick. Real bad weather the parking attendant would always leave early so I would park for free. 10 bucks is 10 bucks

  79. dreamtheaterr says:

    “Pooch123 Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 6:55 pm
    dreamtheaterr

    The post re investing my down payment in Richard’s Ivy natural resources mutual fund was sarcastic. I’m a proud vanguard diehard with very low equity exposure for my age and would never touch anything with an expense ratio of 2.25%”

    Pooch, I asked the question in sarcasm:) I know you’re a Boglehead.

  80. bairen says:

    #70 Also the proximity to Edison is pure BS. Try finding a parking spot there fter 6:30 am. Metropark sucked in 98 and has only goten worse. There were times I would spend more timme getting out of that F!@#ing parking deck then on the train. Swithced to Metuchen because I usually would be driving home about 5 minutes after getting off the train. Metropark it’s off to the races when the train doors open. People turn into animals. Very ugly.

    i’ve heard Catching ammtrak in Princeton is the same. My boss said he has seen pregnant women shoved around by the masses. I mean the Salesman and traders. Nice huh. will never work in the Big Crapple again!!!

  81. 3b says:

    #65 Clot: Understood. Although from my observations the “Manhattan Influence” towns do not appear to be holding up well from an inventory perspective, because there is so much inventory available in all these towns. Even Westfield.

  82. 3b says:

    #61 bi? What are you talking about. I am guilty of typos, but you are incomphresensible. “many people will question where is real estate bubble”

    ??? Are all the people now trying to sell asking themselves this quetion.

    Are you sure you not a realtor? Because you sound like one, who is trying to sound like one who knows what she or he is talking about.

    If not a realtor, than definitely a recent buyer,trying to convince us or yourself (more likely) that all is well in real estate.

    Newsflash bi its not;now stop babbling.

  83. dreamtheaterr says:

    I hear waiting for the train in Edison is almost like waiting for a train in Bombay…. no frickin difference. Any truth to that?

    If you’re in the North and South Brunswick/Princeton area, the Coach USA bus to NYC is a better alternative than the NJT north-east corridor trains. It was for me, till I got sick of being stuck on the Sh1tpike and dumped the Manhattan commute for something closer home.

  84. bairen says:

    #79 I have never been to Bombay, but I have seen pitures of the train stations on TLC. Only difference is no one rides on top of the train. Other then that it’s elbow to elbow the length of the cars. People squished into the vestibules, taking a running jump to squeeze into a vestibule.

    I quit working in New York in 03. my friend rode the NEC for 2 more years said it kept getting more and more crowded and the people were ruder and ruder.

    The Midtown-direct is a much nicer ride. Takng the train would still suck, but at least you have a seat and people don’t push and shove like at Metropark and Edison.

    I hated trying to get on the NEC at Newark so much that I would take the subway to Penn Station in NYC so I could have a seat and watch the show as people came off the PATH stormed the train at Newark. Looked like the running of the bulls.

  85. PeaceNow says:

    tom, #39

    You mention arbitration in your post. Is that what your initial contract calls for to resolve disputes? If it is, then you’re not going to court, but to arbitration. I agree that you need to get a consult from a lawyer.

  86. chicagofinance says:

    Pooch123 Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 6:55 pm
    I’m a proud vanguard diehard with very low equity exposure for my age and would never touch anything with an expense ratio of 2.25%

    #1 reech emu’s fund has an expense ratio of 1.25% with a deferred load of 1%. That is eliminated after the lock-up period.

    #2 “I’m a proud vanguard diehard with very low equity exposure for my age” What the hell does this mean? You are proud that your approach is overly conservative and inappropriate?

    #3 Just remember that Vanguard and Bogle are businesspeople and capitalists like everyone else. If you want to believe that there is some wonderful altruism spewing forth or a better mousetrap offered…fine.

    Personally, diehard anything related to investing implies lack of objectivity.

    If you have been diehard Vanguard for more than six or seven years, then you have left money on the table with virtual certainty.

    Word to the wise. Vanguard and Fidelity are opportunists and manipulators. If you want to genuflect in front of a no-load fund family, I suggest T. Rowe Price. Also, in keeping an open mind, I strongly suggest that you review some of the new talent at Janus.

    #4 Finally Vanguard Bogle. Remember, the Vanguard Board got sick of him and kicked him out. Make sure you know your friends.

  87. Robert says:

    What about the bus towns? How do they hold up their value? Was Otteau only talking about the train towns or any town near NYC?

  88. gravitymatters says:

    I found these remarks very interesting… considering they were made by some of the perma housing bears here.

    1)”38 Richard, I have enough gold bars to buy your house in cash. But I prefer gold.”

    2)”Everyone will be heating their houses with worthless greenbacks come winter and the recession will hit so hard that NYC will look like escape from NY!”

    3)Above ground supplies growing at just 1.5% compared to money supply growing at 10-13% worldwide.”

    For those that believe “Cash is trash” like I do… how can you not try & negotiate for a home (hard asset) now, especially with supply & demand (along with the media hyping the slowdown) favoring buyers.

    Reversion to the mean??? A crap box priced @ 250K in 2001 should be worth close to 700K today if priced in GOLD. Think about it… We live in a 100% Fiat currency world. All central bankers understand, inflate or die.

    Savers will continue to get screwed while debtors (not debt for consumption, but for tangible assets or investment) are rewarded within the current system.

    As they say.. don’t fight the Fed!

  89. Robert says:

    “Are all the people now trying to sell asking themselves this quetion.”

    Yes, I am. I have been keeping track of asking prices in multiple towns and everything in my range is frozen. It has been quite a long time since I have seen price drops in the areas I am looking. It has gotten to the point that I now memorize the prices of specific houses. I can look at the picture of a house and instantly know what the asking price of it is off the top of my head. I am a walking MLS!

  90. Robert says:

    “So your backyard ends in a sheer cliff, which you have allowed to become an eyesore?”

    Yes, an eyesore that nobody sees, except the code enforcers! That really got me by surprise… we have a code enforcer? I guess you get busted by them when you neglect to contribute to the Bergen County Democratic Party!

  91. Robert says:

    “I would add however, that Manhattan may not be that much of a so called influence, if the amrkets continue their swoon, and sub-prime,and ARM resets,and credit tightening,and all the rest.”

    3b,

    Perhaps you should learn a little something about the Manhattan market. Credit has been tight there for decades. Why? Because, in order to get approved by the ultra powerful and ever feared co-op boards, you must put down at least 25% and have good credit. That is why there will not be massive defaults in Manhattan.

    Watch and learn grass hopper…

  92. Robert says:

    “Is the slope of your backyard too severe to set up a squatter camp?”

    Yes it is. But the 20 foot drop is great for disposing of realtors who tell you that your house is “unsellable as currently offered.”

    And when I go a few blocks east, there is a 175 foot drop! Fall down there, and it will be days before anyone finds you!

  93. Pooch123 says:

    Chifi, I don’t want to get into a fight over this, but I’ve put a lot of thought into my asset allocation and have certainly “left money on the table” over the past couple years, which is my entire investing history since I didn’t graduate law school too long ago, but given that I’m saving up for a substantial down payment and then some, I’ve decided an asset allocation appropriate for my risk tolerance is 50% equities only. So yeah, I’m proud that I have an asset allocation I’m comfortable with in case the market tanks.

    Regarding Vanguard, I’m aware that its being a non-profit organization does not make it altruistic, I’m not expecting altruism, but there is no denying the index funds offered are cheap, and its been a market leader in that regard for some time. Regarding Bogle getting “kicked out” perhaps the reason wasn’t necessarily that the board was getting “sick of him,” but rather the fact that he was born in May 1929 and is pushing 80.

  94. shaky leggs says:

    hypothetical question…

    you – a home seller looking to unload your house in a short amount of time. You list your house at a “price to sell” number (approx 25k to 30k below other homes in the immediate area)about $600,000. You have an offer from a buyer who first needs to sell his/her current home.

    me – a home buyer with a sizable down payment (approx 200K). I do not need to list/sell my current house to buy.

    question…how much is this worth to you?
    In other words what kind of bargaining power do I have over a buyer who needs to sell?

  95. WickedOrange says:

    blue horseshoe loves anacon steel

  96. UnRealtor says:

    #92 WickedOrange — mixed emotions, like Larry Wildman going off a cliff in my new Maserati.

  97. UnRealtor says:

    “In other words what kind of bargaining power do I have over a buyer who needs to sell?”
     

    If you like the house, make a ‘lowball’ offer and find out.

    Nothing lost if they get ‘insulted’ — you can just pick it up for another $50K – $100K below your ‘lowball’ next year, or any of another few dozen similar properties that will be on the market for less.

  98. Pat says:

    Pooch, maybe CF’s main point was not the specific fund families you’ve selected, but rather the mindset of XYZ company as fund God.

    If an investor developes a blind allegiance to a company or fund rather than peridically evaluating strictly on performance (incl. fees), the investor is no longer an investor.

  99. Pat says:

    periodically.

  100. Marito says:

    I made a reverse commute for years, going from home in Manhattan to work in several different NJ towns (worked as a freelance interpreter for the Superior Court). I can only expect the normal commute from NJ to NY to be even worse.

    For me the train was a lot more reliable than the bus. Getting through the Lincoln Tunnel, both out from and into NYC, was pure hell. My estimate is that crossing the tunnel and then getting into Port Authority can add up to 30 min. to your a.m. commute from NJ. On the way back is a little bit less atrocious. In my case, I hated the bus so bad I ended only going to Courthouses accessible by train.

  101. lisoosh says:

    “For those that believe “Cash is trash” like I do… how can you not try & negotiate for a home (hard asset) now, especially with supply & demand (along with the media hyping the slowdown) favoring buyers.

    Reversion to the mean??? A crap box priced @ 250K in 2001 should be worth close to 700K today if priced in GOLD. ”

    I just sprayed my keyboard reading this. Eagerly await the response of 3b, BC.

  102. Robert says:

    “Nothing lost if they get ‘insulted’ — you can just pick it up for another $50K – $100K below your ‘lowball’ next year, or any of another few dozen similar properties that will be on the market for less.”

    Can you hook me up with whatever your smoking? Thanks!

    Oh, and I am really starting to have it with NJ. Things here are so sleazy. I am seriously starting to think about moving back to Manhattan. That will be really hard… going from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. I looked up the same building I viewed back in 2005 and prices seem to be at least $150,000 more than what they were back then. The 2 bedroom apartments I saw were $800k. Now it is a miracle if I can get the same apartment for under $1 million. Boy did I screw up badly by moving to NJ! I could have had over $100k more in equity than I do now!

  103. Clotpoll says:

    Troll (89)-

    Perhaps you can affix colorful boulder-like appurtenances to your cliff, call it a “climbing wall” and charge admission.

  104. Clotpoll says:

    Troll (89)-

    Or…you can set up targets against the cliff and offer instruction in “urban marksmanship”.

    Is gunfire something that causes your neighbors to take note?

  105. BC Bob says:

    As they say.. don’t fight the Fed!

    [86],

    Sit down and discuss this with Cioffi and his investors. While you’re at it ask why junk bond spreads have blown out 1.50-2.00 basis points, causing deals to be priced approx 8-10% higher. In addition to this, how about structured credit and the ABX pile of do-do. Last call, check on KKR/Boots and Chrysler/Cerebus.

    No need to fight the fed? The fed has lost control. They have created the biggest credit bubble of all time. Currently, their hands are tied, only jawboning.

    How can you not negotiate for a home? Well, I’d rather not try to catch a falling knife. There is no sponsorship for this depreciating asset at this time. The unraveling will pick up this fall, early winter with the mammoth resets coming. That said, I will be interested at 30-40% off 2005.

    From the Reckoning, no link;

    “The very thing that makes gold a bad place for you money most of the time
    makes it an excellent place occasionally. It has no sales or profits; but
    its sales do not decline. It benefits from no technological enhancements;
    but it needs none. It produces no earnings…but it announces no earnings
    disappointments either. It holds no press conferences; but it tells no
    lies. It uses no leverage; but it doesn’t go bankrupt. You can’t buy it
    with No-Money-Down…but it doesn’t get foreclosed. It doesn’t go
    anywhere; but it doesn’t go away.”

  106. Clotpoll says:

    Troll (89)-

    And, finally, you can advance the cause of forensic science by donating your cliffside to be used as a “cadaver farm”…much like at the Univ. of Tennessee:

    http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/10/31/body.farm/

  107. justbought says:

    #98 – this is not as crazy as you might think. I’ve lived through hyperinflation (in another country) and cash indeed can turn to trash very fast. Over the last 5-7 yrs the dollar lost a lot of value in terms of gold, silver, other precious metals, base metals, oil, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP… you get the idea. Why couldn’t we assume that land should move the same way despite the current RE problems. I dont myself believe in that.. but I’d be worried sitting on a pile of cash waiting for prices to come down.

  108. justbought says:

    “Sit down and discuss this with Cioffi and his investors. While you’re at it ask why junk bond spreads have blown out 1.50-2.00 basis points, causing deals to be priced approx 8-10% higher. In addition to this, how about structured credit and the ABX pile of do-do. Last call, check on KKR/Boots and Chrysler/Cerebus”

    BC- So you’ve been reading the news headlines lately.. but please learn what a basis point is and which way deals reprice when spreads blow out

  109. syncmaster says:

    Parking at Edison train station – get there early (before 7) and you can get street parking for free on Kilmer Rd.

  110. Rich In NNJ says:

    Ridgewood:
    ACT E GLEN AVE $619,000 5/5/2007
    SLD E GLEN AVE $520,000 7/26/2007

    Emerson:
    ACT POWELL RD $899,900 4/12/2007
    SLD POWELL RD $775,000 7/27/2007

    Franklin Lakes:
    ACT CREOLE LN $1,199,000 7/23/2006
    SLD CREOLE LN $910,000 7/24/2007

    Harrington Park:
    ACT TAYLOR PL $1,915,800 2/2/2007
    SLD TAYLOR PL $1,600,000 7/27/2007

  111. SG says:

    njhomehunt: About the townhouse in B’water.

    I live in next townhouse complex to Glen brook. Glenbrook is about 5 years newer then ours, but I think that townhouse is overprised. I have seen 3 br, 2.5 bth, garage, basement kind of twnhouse in my complex go for about 430 to 460. Granted the owner has done good amount of improvements. If you need more info about the complex or area drop me an email at skgala at gmail.com

  112. BC Bob says:

    105,

    Headlines? Flows across the desk all day long. Are you saying deals get cheaper as spreads blow out? That’s funny KKR has to offer investors another 0.5%. Who says the pile is in cash? You’re right don’t worry about the falling knife, more like a vault falling from the 50th floor.

  113. Clotpoll says:

    just (106)-

    So, you’re saying that the potential erosion of principal- especially in more illiquid issues- is a good thing?

  114. BC Bob says:

    Justbought [105],

    Spreads not blowing out in CDS? Deals not getting more expensive? I’m all ears.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601009&sid=a9dswSiAng8Y&refer=bond

  115. Clotpoll says:

    BC (112)-

    Guess Bill Gross on Squawk talking about everything junk getting run up to 400-500 bps over LIBOR was just puffery.

  116. BC Bob says:

    Clot,

    Maybe it’s me. Can you expalin to me how these increasing spreads cheapen deals?

    Camden yards tonight.

  117. BC Bob says:

    that’s explain.

  118. bairen says:

    ATTN NNJ SELLERS

    Wake up. We are not going to pay 500k+ 6-10k a year in taxes for your POS. Epecially since it is most likely located on a busy road, under a transformer, or next to the tracks. If prices don’t come down at least 25% over the next 18 months we will move. (By we i mean my family)

    As much as we like many of the things about NNJ, it is simply not worth paying twice the price for half the house you can get in other parts of the US. With the spread of big box stores and chain restaurants, internet, satellite tv, etc anything I am unable to get wherever we move to i can order. Yes I will miss the different restaurants, but i will not miss paying 3k a month for a pos cape and watching my tax bill increase at least twice the inflation rate as NJs bloated, corrupt government work force starts to pull all of us in, like a big black hole eating a galaxy.

  119. Orion says:

    Good Mornin’ all,

    Looks like consumer spending is hitting below the belt:

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/AFX-0013-18435858.htm

  120. BC Bob says:

    bairen [115],

    Or this joined at the hip with the Gold Coast;

    http://www.theobserver.com/articles/2007/07/27/news/doc46a62f53b5c95932816752.txt

  121. bairen says:

    #116

    BC Bob,

    Exactly. Our homeland security is a joke. Instead of pi$$ing away 1 triliion in Iraq we should have all checked bags at airports xrayed/chemically sniffed (Why can’t I put a lock on my checked luggage when non US citizens can check cardboard boxes that are taped/tied shut but never opened). Actually have security at chemical and power plants.
    We have been very lucky so far.

  122. gary says:

    Hurry! Bring Your Checkbook! This One Won’t Last!

    http://homes.realtor.com/prop/1084387075

  123. 3b says:

    Heard through from the street,that Merrill Lynch is laying off people in their mortgage backed department

  124. gary says:

    bairen,

    500K and 6-10K in taxes? My, you’re conservative. How about 650K and 12-15K in taxes for an even bigger p*ss-smelling, carpet-stained, paint-flaking, mold-brewing, roof-peeling, electrical-shorting POS!

  125. gary says:

    3b,

    I’m sure that those being layed off will increase their salary from 150K to 200K when they decide on which of the multiple positions they’ll accept in a few weeks.

    This will enable them to pay full asking on their dream home in prestigious Upper Haughtville.

  126. bairen says:

    gary, I’m an optimist. I still think we’re of of here by spring 09 if prices don’t fall 25%. Besides we’re looking in the area where Somerset, Morris, Union counties meet. Bit cheaper then Montlcair.

    Saw some a$$ clown listing a renovated CAPE on .46 an acre for 699k in Basking ridge. CHC and splits are in that price range now. Bet Lindsay’s sober before someone scoops up that puppy.

  127. bairen says:

    #119 #b,

    Are those ops or the masters of the universe traders and sales getting axed?

  128. chicagofinance says:

    Pat Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    I vote for Pat for greatest value added per post. She is reserved and relevant, but when she is moved to post, common sense or good humor spills out.

    Granted, we have to tolerate all of the Bucks/Lehigh snobbery, but I’ll take it warts and all.

  129. 3b says:

    #103 “but I’d be worried sitting on a pile of cash waiting for prices to come down.”

    Really ? Worried?, not at all, but then again you just bought, guess you have to rationalize that decesion.

  130. justbought says:

    BC – dont misquote what i said. You said spreads went out by 1.5-2.00 basis points. In fact it is 150-200 basis points. Ok, maybe a typo. You said deals are 8-10% higher. In fact they are lower by 8-10%. I.e trade at 90 cents on the dollar. When spreads widen deals get “cheaper”. Funny that you dont know basic market lingo sitting on a trading desk. Also interesting that you say nothing about the real big credit market news of the last 2 days… swap spreads, HVOL8, LCDX.

    Where you are right is that the credit market is in crisis. But this too shall pass. S&L, Russian crisis, LTCM, Enron, 9/11, accounting fraud, gulf wars.. the list goes on and “subprime/LBO” crisis definitely makes the top 5.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    Robert Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 10:48 pm
    Because, in order to get approved by the ultra powerful and ever feared co-op boards, you must put down at least 25% and have good credit. That is why there will not be massive defaults in Manhattan.

    Watch and learn grass hopper…

    guan: Manhattan is a bifurcated market of co-ops and condos. Your co-op comment does not apply to all new construction.

    Watch and learn grass smoker…

  132. chicagofinance says:

    BC Bob Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Bost: if you needed any more evidence, the friggin’ Blackstone guys practically timed the bank heist to the exact day. Absolutely sick…..or not, if you are a cynic.

  133. bairen says:

    #125

    i’d be worried if I was sitting on a pos I had bought since summer of 03. Looks like median price is down to 04 already in a some of the towns we’re interested in. Can not tell though if that’s because no one is buiying the sub 500k ranches/capes or if prices across all levels of houses ae down 15%.

    If I was sitting on a pile of cash I would be highly transient and could easily flee NJ. It’s actually cheaper to be unemployed in some nice area of the US then be a single income family in NJ.

  134. Clotpoll says:

    BC (114)-

    Great ballpark. Wonder what inning they’ll start booing the O’s. I was there in the Spring & watched them play the Indians. The treatment started in the 2nd inning.

    As to the cheap deals…ask Citi, KKR, etc how “cheap” those backed-up deals are.

    Those guys are like Kobayashi in the last minute of a hot dog contest…maws full of dripping wet franks and buns, trying to shove it all down.

    And, this Fall, it’s all gonna get regurgitated in the form of heavily-discounted swill.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much of the deal flow swings over to companies who are flush with cash that decide they’ll just write a check for whatever target they choose to acquire.

  135. chicagofinance says:

    justbought Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 12:36 am
    BC- So you’ve been reading the news headlines lately.. but please learn what a basis point is and which way deals reprice when spreads blow out

    Bost: yeah ya’ friggin’ i-jut….talk ’bout sumthun ya’ know

  136. bairen says:

    #129 i meant no ones buying over 500k. doh!! Anyway I check the listings at least once a week and keep seeing the usual suspects that were out there since Feb/march along with some new wishful thinkers.

    As Sean Connerey once said in a pos movie “I’m waiting to be impressed”

  137. Clotpoll says:

    justbought is treading on shaky ground…

  138. bairen says:

    #133 ditto.

    Anyone who really just bought and claims to understand markets/finance is questionable. unless he dumped one pos for a similiar priced pos for a better commute etc doesn’t make sense to buy right now IMHO

  139. bairen says:

    Clot,
    How does the Bridgewater school system compare to Warren’s and it’s affiliates?

  140. chicagofinance says:

    bairen Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 8:36 am
    ATTN NNJ SELLERS
    Wake up. We are not going to pay 500k+ 6-10k a year in taxes for your POS. Epecially since it is most likely located on a busy road, under a transformer, or next to the tracks.

    bairen: Think out-of-the-box…living under power lines is cheaper than getting a vasectomy.

  141. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 9:10 am
    Those guys are like Kobayashi in the last minute of a hot dog contest…maws full of dripping wet franks and buns, trying to shove it all down.

    clot: this must be ripped from somewhere…..absolutely captures every descriptive aspect from the literal to the figurative; the pragmatic to the visceral.

  142. justbought says:

    bairen – completely agree with 129. I’d be ultra worried to be a RE seller, POS or mcMansion. However you are wrong in 134. A lot of finance guys bought RE recently. I know more at least 6-7. That’s why Manhattan and top commuting towns hold well in the higher ranges. You know why? Because one thing you learn is that you can’t time the market. The price is what it is and if it makes sense you go for it. Ok off for the weekend

  143. chicagofinance says:

    #138……unless you lose your job.

  144. CB in SJ says:

    As we all know, the foundation of the Real Estate Religion is, “R-E values NEVER go down.” So now that the foundation is crumbling, what’s a true believer to think? Here’s Art the Realtor’s spin: With “lower” prices (not actually lower, but either at the true market or reduced from previous highs to the true market)…”
    http://ar3thur.topproducerwebsite.com/read-my-blog.asp?p=3

    So, lower is not actually lower. I need to meditate on that. Once I understand it, will I attain Nirvana?

  145. bairen says:

    #138

    I remember hhow worried traders and salemen were when the axe man was roaming the floor. After the Nasdaq crash in 2000, after 9/11 anotherround in 02. the lowest producers were gone.

    also remember one trader had to sell his house. He took out a home equity loan so he could buy tech stocks on margin in Fall of 99. Was forced to sell his house in summer 2000.

  146. schabadoo says:

    Could someone give me info on mls# 2373071?

    Thanks

  147. dreamtheaterr says:

    A lot of folks are in form this morning; guns out blazing. Time to digest the comments while we’re out raspberry picking in Princeton.

    Anyone visiting open houses to tease the hopefuls?

  148. Bubble Burst says:

    Very interesting article on Wall Street Bonuses.

    My RE agent was talking up Wall Street bonuses last spring and how that was keeping the market strong. What will she be saying in Spring ’08? Thankfully, we decided to wait and NOT buy.

  149. chicagofinance says:

    BB: f—!?!

  150. bairen says:

    gary,

    Go to Realtor.com and look at the houses in Round rock Texas from 200 to 250k. Unbelievable. Yes prop taxes are 3%, but your prop tax will be lower then Jersey’s.
    Round Rock is a nice suburb of Austin.

  151. Bubble Burst says:

    chicagofinance,

    sorry, the link to the article is below my post

    Enjoy!

  152. chicagofinance says:

    Bubble Burst Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 10:14 am
    chicagofinance,sorry, the link to the article is below my post Enjoy!

    bb: my response was to the content of the article at the end of the link

  153. chicagofinance says:

    stuck in moderation….I will break this up

    chicagofinance Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    July 28th, 2007 at 10:17 am
    WSJ
    Eating Out

    Where Ribs Are an Art Form Readers weigh in on our critic’s search for the best barbecue, sending him to Alabama’s top pits

    By RAYMOND SOKOLOV
    July 28, 2007; Page P8

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Shortly after I reported the results of my 12-state tour to assess the state of our barbecue nation last month, I received an impassioned email from one Charles Perry of Birmingham, Ala. He and many dozens of other readers wrote to tell us about favorite Q haunts I had neglected to mention (Read “The Best Barbecue”).

    All of you who wrote in tied for first in the high quality of your recommendations, and I intend to keep trying them out as long as life and gut allow. But Mr. Perry rose to remarkable heights of eloquence in praise of his region’s hickory-smoked ribs.

    Here is some of what Mr. Perry said:

    “In a small town outside of Birmingham, Cahaba Heights (now part of the suburb of Vestavia), there lies a dark, carbon encrusted pit…surrounded by a quaint brick structure with concrete slab floors and grease stained walls from years of preparing some of the best slow-cooked swine one could ingest. Miss Myra’s BBQ awaits your review…. Miss Myra has truly captured the essence of the Southern palate and adorns her ‘joint’ with historical memorabilia of bygone days of Tuscaloosa football when Bear Bryant showed the rest of America how football should be played. Not to be totally one-sided, she has provided a small space (approximately two feet square) to the other school in our state — the Cow College we now know as Auburn.”

    Who could resist such a pitch? Not me.

  154. Bubble Burst says:

    GS has $78 Billion of “junk” on their books and they have nobody to sell it to at par. Discounts=Big Losses

  155. 3b says:

    #134 AGrreed, and has probably never seen a down market on Wall Street. They know it all when things are booming, they are crying when things take a crap. Unless a person has ssen both sides, they have no idea.

  156. BC Bob says:

    “You said deals are 8-10% higher. In fact they are lower by 8-10%. I.e trade at 90 cents on the dollar.”

    justbought,

    HUH?
    Not discussing the trading desk. Deals, I’m talking financing deals. CDS spreads, junk bonds, etc. widening, correlation with libor. All blowing out, financing deals are more expensive. Investors are demanding a larger spread over libor.

    What did you think I was referring to regarding Chrysler/Cerebus and KKR/Boots? ABX tranches?

    By the way, I never said that I sit on a trading desk. Those are your words.

  157. 3b says:

    #126 justbought: You are right, it will all pass, and the housing bust will pass too, once it is finished correcting. Just like the last time.

    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that we can hase all thes other crises/issues, and that yet houisng will remain abov it all.

    Well that is simply not true.

  158. BC Bob says:

    “Bost: if you needed any more evidence, the friggin’ Blackstone guys practically timed the bank heist to the exact day. Absolutely sick…..or not, if you are a cynic.”

    Chi,

    Why would anybody sit on the other side of the table and buy what they are selling? It certainly was an indicator for many.

  159. Bubble Burst says:

    BC Bob,

    Timing was perfect. Steve S can buy it back for 20% less than he sold it for a MONTH AGO!

    It is the worst performing IPO of the year

  160. BC Bob says:

    3b,

    It is true it will all pass. However, buyers strikes can last a day, a month, a year, etc.. Buyers return when the risks are accurately priced into the market. Until that time, prices get marked down. That is of course, unless it is priced to a model. Marked down to what?

    Off to Yankee Stadium south.

  161. 3b says:

    #158 BC Bob Agreed. It appears that justbought assumes somehow this does not apply to real estate, but it does. He/she and many others will learn that lesson.

    Sadly some people will have to relearn it. Enjoy the game!!!

  162. 3b says:

    #88 Robert: Grasshopper, I know much about the Manhattan market, and it too will correct, as it did before. Watch and learn grasshopper.

  163. Pat says:

    Why do wieners always make for good comparative market analysis around this blog?

    Empty stomach and right before grocery shopping, too.

    Hmm….how many pound of wurst and ribs am I going to come home with today? You’re all secret agents for Oscar Mayer and/or Jenny Craig. Pump and dump.

  164. reinvestor101 says:

    ha!

    I’ve requested that Pat leave this forum many many times. It’s not just all the snobbery, but the pure mean spiritness she’s exhibited toward yours truly whenever I’ve posted anything. She has the distinction of being rivaling Booya Bob in his incessant ranting about wanting home owners and investors to experience pain. She gloats just like Bob does over the misery of others. Fortunately, she’s cut down on the number of posts she makes here. I hope that continues.

    chicagofinance Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 9:03 am
    Pat Says:
    July 27th, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    I vote for Pat for greatest value added per post. She is reserved and relevant, but when she is moved to post, common sense or good humor spills out.

    Granted, we have to tolerate all of the Bucks/Lehigh snobbery, but I’ll take it warts and all

  165. Rich In NNJ says:

    reinvestor101,

    You stay away for SO long and that is all you have to post about?
    A girl on the internet hurt your feelings?

  166. schabadoo says:

    mls# 2373071

    Anybody? Curiosity is killing me.

  167. Rich In NNJ says:

    schabadoo,

    Can’t help you if it’s listed with GSMLS, NJMLS only.
    And JB’s away in a far off land.

    Rich

  168. still_looking says:

    how about the sold price for 240 paramus rd ridgewood??

    sl

  169. syncmaster says:

    Hints of Broader Problems Arise in Real-Estate Loans
    By Ryan Chittum and Michael Hudson

    Delinquencies on loans that back commercial mortgage-backed securities rose for the first time since 2003 in the second quarter, potentially a sign that real-estate problems are broadening to the commercial sector.

    CMBS delinquencies rose 13% in the second quarter to $1.65 billion from $1.46 billion in the first quarter, according to a new report by Standard & Poor’s, which attributes the rise to overaggressive loans made in 2006, as well as increased problems in the retail sector.

    It is too early to say if this is a serious problem.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118554771673180353.html

  170. schabadoo says:

    That’s cool Rich, thanks for the heads up.

  171. scribe says:

    bairen, you said:

    I quit working in New York in 03. my friend rode the NEC for 2 more years said it kept getting more and more crowded and the people were ruder and ruder.

    The trains to Metropark have been getting better since then. They keep adding more trains and more express trains that go straight from NYC to Newark to Metropark.

    They’re finally getting starting on the re-vamping of Metropark – a lot of construction.

  172. syncmaster says:

    Yeah, NJT says outside of NY and Newark, Metropark is their busiest station. So they’re spending a lot of money on expanding it. Platforms will be longer, there will be more waiting areas and more parking.

  173. syncmaster says:

    Also, Edison station will be getting a new parking lot with a lot more parking spaces. I don’t know if it’ll be enough to cut down on their current 2-year waiting list for parking spots.

  174. chicagofinance says:

    RE: Metropark/Edison…can they also get more of their customers to bath more regularly, wear deodorant, and take dietary steps to reduce halitosis :(

  175. scribe says:

    Chi,

    #172

    Is that an anti-Indian slur?

    Or are you still on the anti-Polish slurs?

  176. lisoosh says:

    reinvestor 101, You’re still around?

    How are your investments doing these days?

  177. gravitymatters says:

    Justbought… exactly what I was trying to point out.

    “Over the last 5-7 yrs the dollar lost a lot of value in terms of gold, silver, other precious metals, base metals, oil, EUR, CAD, AUD, GBP… you get the idea. Why couldn’t we assume that land should move the same way despite the current RE problems. I dont myself believe in that.. but I’d be worried sitting on a pile of cash waiting for prices to come down.”

    Most here seem to be focused on nominal prices, instead of “real” prices resulting from monetary inflation.

    Heck.. the DOW (in terms of GOLD), would probably need to reach 30,000+ to equal the same purchasing power it had in 2000 @ 11,700 (peak before bear mkt).

    Anyone who is sooooo confident in their predictions of future outcomes in the markets…. is someone i’d run away from quickly. Only a matter of time before they eat a nice chunk of humble pie.

  178. bairen says:

    scribe and syncmaster,

    Thanks for your updates on metropark/Edison. i’ll have to take your word for it since I have no interest in going there again. It was truly an awful lifestyle. I rode the NEC for 5 years. Even if the NEC is fixed, it wil still suck. I’ve been on 4 other lines and all are much better with a much more relaxed atmosphere then the most pleasant ride I ever had on the NEC.

    Free at Last

  179. rhymingrealtor says:

    schabadoo,

    Can’t help you if it’s listed with GSMLS, NJMLS only.
    And JB’s away in a far off land.

    Rich

    I’m still here schabadoo
    Rhymingrealtor to the rescue

    MLS # 2373071
    15 Excelsior Place
    Butler NJ
    499,000
    Status – Under contract
    DOM 170
    OLP $569,000

    KL

  180. REBear says:

    reinvestor 101, You’re still around?

    How are your investments doing these days?

    What do you mean? RE always goes up.

  181. Marito says:

    I’ve paid attention to the ranting about the NJT NEC line. What about the Pascack Valley Line and the Bergen and Main Lines? Are the ones headed to Hoboken less crowded? Does anybody have any experience with those? It is pretty easy to cross over from Hoboken to NYC.

  182. John says:

    I am laughing to the bank that everyone thinks wall street will get screwed on the bonuses this year. My company made the most in its history on Thursday, in fact NYSE made the most in a single day since it started 200 years ago last Thursday. Play the Volatility index in Chi-town or the Schwabs where who cares if it is up or down all that matters is that everytime someone sells or buys they get a buck, it is called commission. Volumne is the key, talk to precious metals trader and they will tell you how to play Volatility. What kills Wall Street is decades like the 70’s where stocks dont go up or down, no one trades and there is no commission. This time the banks like chase took it in the shorts on Chrysler and the mortgage related hedge funds and mortgage shops that had subprime on their books that were not hedged.

  183. reinvestor101 says:

    I couldn’t be doing better with real estate!

    There remain opportunities abound for those who believe in the resilency of the free markets of this great nation–something many people here seem to be dead set against. There are many opportunties out there if one is willing to get out there and buy rather than sit around spouting off a lot of gloom and doom. Some of you guys need to lighten up, be happy and start buying. You have a choice: you can believe in the economic greatness of America or you can sit around trying to sabotage the market with all the doom and gloom.

    lisoosh Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 12:38 pm
    reinvestor 101, You’re still around?

    How are your investments doing these days?

  184. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (137)-

    My .02: Bridgewater-Raritan HS stomps all over Watchung Hills.

    Somebody the other day described part of the student body at Watchung as Beavis & Buttheads. Not many of those at Bridgewater.

  185. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (139)-

    Only ripped from the sick, not-yet-caffeinated jar of mayonnaise that is my brain.

    And…I managed to use the words “hot dog” in reference to high-yield debt!

  186. Pat says:

    Oh, right, J.B. I go grocery shopping. You are apparently on your way to the big Kielbosa train in the sky.

    Reinvestor101 magically shows up.

    You were supposed to use the phone booth for DUCK moments.

    Last time I give you a Polish phone booth.

  187. ACME Financial Engineers & Co says:

    If you want to get a handle on the true magnitude of the non-prime mess. Keep an eye on like every pro is going to be doing on Aug 8 as American Home Mortgages reports the required SEC filing.

    This corp has behaved exactly like all those hedge funds except that unlike the hedge fund, it has to mark to market and public it reported, and this info is verified by an independent auditor. These SEC filings will give a good snapshot of what is actually happening and the performance of those secretive hedge funds and black boxes.

    So 8/9/07 will be a big day, up or down.

  188. Pat says:

    I used “Wunderbar Bologna” the other night as reference, but I think the post never showed up, so I got no wurst points.

  189. Clotpoll says:

    reinvestor101= Duck’s evil twin.

    Please crawl back into your hole.

  190. bairen says:

    #182, clot that Beavus and butthead commentor was me. It’s funny how people in Warren look down on Bridgewater. I think Warren is pretty nice, but the sending districts for Watchung are probably not as nice as Bridgewater.

    Just asking cause I think if we stay in Jersey we may wind up in Bridgewater. Alrady did Somerset in Franklin Twp (Quailbrook section). Wife doesn’t want to move back there. Doesn’t want the kid(s) going to school there.

  191. chicagofinance says:

    John Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 2:13 pm
    My company made the most in its history on Thursday, in fact NYSE made the most in a single day since it started 200 years ago last Thursday.

    jj: 2 things
    #1 ever heard of inflation?
    #2 you can’t work on the Street and be this clueless unless you are a newbie

  192. chicagofinance says:

    scribe Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 12:24 pm
    Chi,#172 Is that an anti-Indian slur?
    Or are you still on the anti-Polish slurs?

    s: back-off

  193. Clotpoll says:

    Kielbasa
    Sludge
    Slop
    Bologna
    Hot Dogs
    Wurst
    Franks
    Bits of Gristle
    Sausage
    Run thru Grinder

  194. Robert says:

    just testing

  195. Robert says:

    If you like the house, make a ‘lowball’ offer and find out.

    Nothing lost if they get ‘insulted’ — you can just pick it up for another $50K – $100K below your ‘lowball’ next year, or any of another few dozen similar properties that will be on the market for less.”

    UnRealtor, tell us who you buy your dope from in Jersey City? Thanks!

  196. Robert says:

    “ATTN NNJ SELLERS

    Wake up. We are not going to pay 500k+ 6-10k a year in taxes for your POS. Epecially since it is most likely located on a busy road, under a transformer, or next to the tracks. If prices don’t come down at least 25% over the next 18 months we will move. (By we i mean my family)

    As much as we like many of the things about NNJ, it is simply not worth paying twice the price for half the house you can get in other parts of the US. With the spread of big box stores and chain restaurants, internet, satellite tv, etc anything I am unable to get wherever we move to i can order. Yes I will miss the different restaurants, but i will not miss paying 3k a month for a pos cape and watching my tax bill increase at least twice the inflation rate as NJs bloated, corrupt government work force starts to pull all of us in, like a big black hole eating a galaxy.”

    ATTENTION NNJ BUYERS:

    If you do not like NJ and our property values, move to Georgia. We are not going to drop our prices and charge the same prices as those in red-neck states.

    I hope you enjoy your move! Let us know how much you can buy a home for in North Carolina that WAS NOT made in a factory!

  197. dreamtheaterr says:

    Why does Robert’s first post start with a ‘test’? Maybe his brain cells are like a diesel engine – they need time to warm up before the verbal diarrhoea starts.

  198. Robert says:

    Why? because almost every other day my posts get stuck in moderation so I want to make sure my posts appear before I spend time writing them.

  199. Robert says:

    I left so much money on the table buy buying in NJ instead of Manhattan. There was one large complex that had many 2 bedrooms for $800k back in 05. I look up the listings for that building today and there is only ONE 2 bedroom for sale. Price: $1,199,000!!

  200. Robert says:

    I had something funny happen today…

    My neighbor, a real estate investor, offered to buy my house for $700k. He said that anyhting in this town over $700k is oveprriced and will never sell. Here is the funny part: He just bought a teardown in town for $550k and he is going to replace it with a McMansion and charge $1.5 million for it!

    Looks like I know whose front lawn my dog is going to c**p on tonight!

  201. Robert says:

    Having trouble affording a house in NJ? Save money and sew your own clothes!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/realestate/29cov.html?ref=realestate

  202. Pat says:

    Robert, why are you now advising buyers to lowball?

    I understand that you’ve adjusted a little. You’re willing to accept a lower bid than ask.

    But what exactly was the one event that changed your mind about lowballers?

  203. syncmaster says:

    Pat, see unrealtor #94. Robert doesn’t know how to italicize or even indent.

  204. njrebear says:

    700/869 = 80%. 20% off 2005 prices looks about right. I would however wait for 2008 to get an additional 10% off.

  205. Pat says:

    Yikes. Thanks, sync. No more sun, pool and cheap wine for Pat.

  206. WickedOrange says:

    Sweet Web Site Alert:
    http://macromarkets.com/csi_housing/MSA/new_york.asp

    Check out the ten year chart.

  207. Clotpoll says:

    There may be a day a year or so from now when Ducky will wish he could draw a 700K offer.

  208. Smart Buyer says:

    To the guy who posted about buying a house now: the smart move is to wait until this winter.

    Depending on the town you’re looking at, asking prices are dropping $6,000-10,000 per month. I would advise finding a few homes you really like, and charting them on a weekly basis.

    You will smile as the asking prices go down with each passing month. The key word here is patience.

    Please remember that the summer is when most houses are sold; come winter, buying is far less frequent and the sellers who really need to unload will be dropping asking prices even more.

  209. Pat says:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/offbeat/2007/07/28/wkyc.cutout.kids.wkyc

    How come I think if this was done in NJ, drivers would just speed up?

  210. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Yet another reason why Rich in NNJ is one of the smartest posters on this board …

    yeah, asking prices aren’t budging at all!! If you want to move your house, people LOWER THE PRICES!!!!!

    Ridgewood:
    ACT E GLEN AVE $619,000 5/5/2007
    SLD E GLEN AVE $520,000 7/26/2007

    Emerson:
    ACT POWELL RD $899,900 4/12/2007
    SLD POWELL RD $775,000 7/27/2007

    Franklin Lakes:
    ACT CREOLE LN $1,199,000 7/23/2006
    SLD CREOLE LN $910,000 7/24/2007

    Harrington Park:
    ACT TAYLOR PL $1,915,800 2/2/2007
    SLD TAYLOR PL $1,600,000 7/27/2007

  211. lisoosh says:

    Time magazine has an article about the housing market in Southern California. I hadn’t realized they had finally started to nosedive over there:

    http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1647607,00.html

    “But this week’s spate of gloomy housing data included ominous reports from the West Coast. Led by an astonishing 799% rise in Los Angeles County, foreclosures in southern California jumped 725% in the second quarter, to a record 9,504, from 1,152 a year ago.
    “We thought the upper end of the market was immune,” says Steve Johnson, of real estate consulting firm Metrostudy.

    The statistics show that subprime-caliber borrowers weren’t the only takers for those notorious no-money-down, interest-only, adjustable-rate mortgages. Purchasers with high credit scores, who could have qualified for the standard 30-year mortgages, were also enticed by the exotic loans because they offered substantial initial tax deductions and freed up cash for other big-ticket purchases.

    Foreclosures in San Bernardino shot up 987% to 1,489 in the second quarter. In Riverside they jumped 793% to 2,509. That stock will soon be competing with a 13-month supply of unsold inventory that’s already on the market. Santoro is braced for the worst. “There’s a tsunami coming and we’re going to get slammed,” he says. “

  212. Pat says:

    If someone is banned from the K-site (Kool-Aide, Koboken) is that something to be ashamed of, or proud of?

    I’m having konflikting feelings.

  213. Clotpoll says:

    Pat (211)-

    Banned from Kannekt?

    Badge of honor.

  214. syncmaster says:

    Pat 209,

    As I see it, the only honorable thing to do now is go back with a new screen name (if possible – if not, log in from your public library) and tell them how wrong you were. In fact, go and predict that prices will double all across the tri-state by 2009… and if anyone disagrees, call them a communist and talk up a storm about how great this nation is. That’ll show ’em.

  215. Orion says:

    NovaStar Financial Reverse Stock Split

    NovaStar Financial Common Stock Will Trade Adjusted for a One-for-Four Reverse Stock-Split on Monday, July 30, 2007

    KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — NovaStar Financial,
    Inc. (NYSE: NFI), a residential lender and mortgage portfolio manager,
    today announced that it effected a one-for-four reverse stock split of its
    outstanding common stock. NovaStar’s common stock will trade, adjusted for
    a one-for-four reverse stock split, on Monday, July 30, 2007 under a new
    CUSIP number — 669947889.
    As a result of the reverse stock split, every four shares of common
    stock were changed into one share of common stock. No fractional shares of
    common stock of NovaStar were issued upon the effectiveness of the reverse
    stock split. Instead, each stockholder otherwise entitled to a fractional
    share is entitled to receive in lieu thereof cash in an amount equal to the
    product of the fraction of a share multiplied by the closing price of
    NovaStar’s common stock as reported by the New York Stock Exchange on July
    27, 2007. Stockholders will be receiving information from NovaStar’s
    transfer agent regarding the mechanics of exchanging their share
    certificates and receiving cash in lieu of fractional shares.
    Immediately after the reverse stock split, NovaStar had 50,000,000
    shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, authorized,
    approximately 9,469,910 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share,
    outstanding, and approximately 40,530,090 shares of common stock, par value
    $0.01 per share, authorized but unissued. No changes were made to the
    number of outstanding shares of NovaStar’s 8.90% Series C Cumulative
    Redeemable Preferred Stock or NovaStar’s 9.00% Series D1 Mandatory
    Convertible Preferred Stock as a result of the reverse stock split.
    About NovaStar
    NovaStar Financial, Inc. (NYSE: NFI) is a specialty finance company
    that originates, purchases, securitizes, sells and invests in nonconforming
    loans and mortgage-backed securities. The Company also services a large
    portfolio of residential nonconforming loans. NovaStar specializes in
    single-family mortgages, involving borrowers whose loan size, credit
    details or other circumstances fall outside conventional mortgage agency
    guidelines. Founded in 1996, NovaStar efficiently brings together the
    capital markets, a nationwide network of independent mortgage brokers and
    American families financing their homes. NovaStar is headquartered in
    Kansas City, Missouri, and has lending operations nationwide.
    For more information, please reference our website at
    http://www.novastarmortgage.com.
    This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the
    meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
    regarding management’s beliefs, estimates, projections, and assumptions.
    Actual results and operations for any future period may vary materially
    from past results. Some important factors that could cause actual results
    to differ materially from those anticipated include: our ability to
    consummate our recently announced transactions, our ability to generate
    sufficient liquidity on favorable terms; our ability to sell loans we
    originate in the market place; the size, frequency and structure of our
    securitizations; impairments on our mortgage assets; increases in
    prepayment or default rates on our mortgage assets; increases in loan
    repurchase requests; inability of potential borrowers to meet our
    underwriting guidelines; changes in assumptions regarding estimated loan
    losses and fair value amounts; finalization of the amount and terms of any
    severance provided to terminated employees; finalization of the accounting
    impact of our previously announced reduction in workforce; events impacting
    the subprime mortgage industry in general, including events impacting our
    competitors and liquidity available to the industry; the initiation of
    margin calls under our credit facilities; the ability of our servicing
    operations to maintain high performance standards and maintain appropriate
    ratings from rating agencies; our ability to generate acceptable
    origination volume while maintaining an acceptable level of overhead; the
    stability of residual property values; our continued status as a REIT;
    interest rate fluctuations on our assets that differ from our liabilities;
    the outcome of litigation or regulatory actions pending against us or other
    legal contingencies; our compliance with applicable local, state and
    federal laws and regulations or opinions of counsel relating thereto and
    the impact of new local, state or federal legislation or regulations or
    opinions of counsel relating thereto or court decisions on our operations;
    compliance with new accounting pronouncements; the impact of general
    economic conditions; our ability to adapt to and implement technological
    changes; our ability to successfully integrate acquired business or assets
    with our existing business; and the risks that are from time to time
    included in our filings with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form
    10-K, for the year ended December 31, 2006, and our quarterly report on
    form 10-Q, for the period ending March 31, 2007. Other factors not
    presently identified may also cause actual results to differ. Words such as
    “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “promise,” “plan,” and other expressions
    or words of similar meanings, as well as future or conditional verbs such
    as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may” are generally intended to
    identify forward-looking statements. This press release speaks only as of
    its date and we expressly disclaim any duty to update the information
    herein.

    SOURCE NovaStar Financial, Inc.

  216. syncmaster says:

    Sorry, if this has already been posted:

    Stocks and high-yield corporate bonds are back to appropriate levels, the world’s biggest bond fund manager said on Friday, a day after fears of spreading problems in the housing market triggered a rout in global stock and credit markets.

    Speaking on CNBC Television, Bill Gross, chief investment officer for Pacific Investment Management Co., also said he does not believe an economic recession is looming.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN2727678920070727

  217. syncmaster says:

    Since we were discussing the RARV earlier..

    Signal and communication work on a passing track along New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line is nearing completion, which is another step toward enhanced service for Hunterdon County residents, according to the agency.

    There is only one track on the line after the Raritan station in Somerset County, meaning only one train can head out to the last stop in High Bridge before coming back, said Joe Dee, a New Jersey Transit spokesman.

    The passing track, much like the shoulder on a highway, will allow one train to step aside to let another pass. The passing track is just west of the Whitehouse Station stop in Readington Township, Dee said.

    The agency has said it hopes to add eight additional trains — four in each direction during peak travel times — on the line that runs to Newark Penn Station. Two sets of tracks are between Newark and the Raritan station.

    A trip from High Bridge to Newark takes about an hour and 15 minutes.

    http://www.nj.com/news/expresstimes/nj/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1185250058250720.xml&coll=2

  218. Clotpoll says:

    sync (214)-

    “A trip from High Bridge to Newark takes about an hour and 15 minutes.”

    Yeah…1 1/2 hours, as measured in dog years.

    By the time you get to Newark, you need to cut your toenails and get a haircut.

  219. syncmaster says:

    Clot,

    With a journey that long, NJT should provide free Ethernet and/or WiFi so commuters can start their workdays when they get on the train.

  220. reinvestor101 says:

    Who or what, praytell, is duck? I’m not evil and I have no twin.

    What may be characterized as evil however, is the consistent and unceasing negative talk here about the real estate markets. I believe it’s evil to hope that financial ruin befall your fellow citizens. I believe it’s evil to gloat over those who have run into financial difficulties. I believe that the external enemies this nation has must be gleeful as they observe us destroying our own real estate markets. There are some who have plenty to be ashamed of.

    Clotpoll Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 2:48 pm
    reinvestor101= Duck’s evil twin.

    Please crawl back into your hole.

  221. Clotpoll says:

    From what I can tell, many of the people who travel regularly from the end of the line don’t even go as far as Newark.

    Anyone who takes RARV from HIgh Bridge or Annandale to Newark/NYC has an EEG that’s flat-lined. I’d rather ride a donkey every day.

  222. syncmaster says:

    Yeah, I know some people who take the RARV to Bound Brook and ride the DASH to work.

    The DASH actually seems to be a well-utilized service. It connects to both BB and New Brunswick stations.

  223. syncmaster says:

    BTW, this conversation about the 1:15 trip from High Bridge to Newark just reminded me of something a realtor in Lower Macungie PA told me about the commute from there to Manhattan… she told me it was “well connected” to the city and I called her on it. She explained herself by naming all the different bus lines that run from the Allentown/Macungie/Emmaus area to Grand Central. I asked her how long the bus rides are, she said 2 hours or so “but it’s very comfortable, it barely feels like it”.

  224. reinvestor101 says:

    I know you’d like to attribute certain qualities to me, however the sleight of hand belonging to a magician does not relate to me. I lurk on this board on occasion to monitor what is going on here and there are occasions where I choose to speak and others where I don’t. I suppose you want me to clear all of this with you so I just don’t appear out of nowhere (or like “magic”). Ha!

    Pat Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Reinvestor101 magically shows up.

  225. Clotpoll says:

    RE (217)-

    You do have an evil twin. He was separated from you at birth.

    I help people buy and sell houses every day. You don’t. You may choose to wrap yourself in the flag and beat the dead horse of the current market ’til kingdom come. It doesn’t change the fact that we are on the cusp of the biggest residential RE bust in American history. I came to that conclusion kicking and screaming; but, when I did, I started doing what I get paid to do: helping people.

    It is cruel, mendacious and fraudulent to tell a seller in today’s market that “prosperity is just around the corner”. A young couple, in over their heads, or a soon-to-be retiree, who’d like to sell and scale down, both have a similar need: to get things done quickly and either cash out as much equity as possible, or stanch the bleeding as soon as possible.

    We’ve had an 11-year unabated run in this game. Anyone who says the worm can’t- or shouldn’t- turn is a Pangloss of the worst variety. RE is an excellent long-term investment for any responsible adult, and the day is closer than we may think when the American public does a simultaneous core-dump of memory and rushes back into the game, guns ablaze. Pretty much the only thing you’d hope people would learn is that a slow-moving, sui generis asset class would not attract so many short-timers and grifters the next time around.

    However, I doubt that will be the case.

  226. syncmaster says:

    the day is closer than we may think when the American public does a simultaneous core-dump of memory and rushes back into the game, guns ablaze.

    From your keyboard to God’s ears.

  227. Frank says:

    Don’t buy a house in Mahwah unless you want skin rashes, nose bleeds and bronchitis.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/business/yourmoney/29spill.html?ref=business

  228. syncmaster says:

    Frank, It’s not just Mahwah, this entire region is full of that. It’s like this whole state is toxic.

  229. gravitymatters says:

    Marito (179)

    “What about the Pascack Valley Line and the Bergen and Main Lines?”

    My experience on the pascack valley line has been pretty good. They are building a passing track set to open towards year end from N. Hackensack to Secaucus(?)… this should add more express trains (hopefully).

    Currently the 1 express train during rush hr & the couple of locals that bookend it, tend to be crowded. Not a big deal unless you get on from River Edge on in (mornings), then you may stand or sit in the middle of a 3 seater.

    For the most part it is reliable & somewhat comfortable IMO.

  230. reinvestor101 says:

    Evil twin? Please. I’ve not stated or suggested anything evil and I’d rather have the flag of this great nation wrapped around me than the cloth of pessimism that goes against the very grain of our free market system. We have the greatest economic system in the world, but it’s being rent by many here with all the negativity.

    You used to be balanced, but you let them (Booya Bob, Pat and others)get to you. Now you’re one of them. I’m disappointed.

    Now I don’t deny that there are a small number of people in trouble, but they’re always there, so let’s not overstate the problem. The bottom line is that they’re not making anymore real estate and in the long term, it’s an excellent investment. All people have to do is ride out the exisiting short term blip; a problem I might add that’s wholly attributable to the actions and talk of a certain group of people who have negatively impacted market psychology. Yes, markets do have a psychology and the main difference between this year and last is the turn in the psychology.

    Prosperity will return to the markets for those who are patient. Everyone needs a house and folks will have to buy at some point.

    Clotpoll Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 10:29 pm
    RE (217)-

    You do have an evil twin. He was separated from you at birth.

    I help people buy and sell houses every day. You don’t. You may choose to wrap yourself in the flag and beat the dead horse of the current market ’til kingdom come. It doesn’t change the fact that we are on the cusp of the biggest residential RE bust in American history. I came to that conclusion kicking and screaming; but, when I did, I started doing what I get paid to do: helping people.

    It is cruel, mendacious and fraudulent to tell a seller in today’s market that “prosperity is just around the corner”. A young couple, in over their heads, or a soon-to-be retiree, who’d like to sell and scale down, both have a similar need: to get things done quickly and either cash out as much equity as possible, or stanch the bleeding as soon as possible.

    We’ve had an 11-year unabated run in this game. Anyone who says the worm can’t- or shouldn’t- turn is a Pangloss of the worst variety. RE is an excellent long-term investment for any responsible adult, and the day is closer than we may think when the American public does a simultaneous core-dump of memory and rushes back into the game, guns ablaze. Pretty much the only thing you’d hope people would learn is that a slow-moving, sui generis asset class would not attract so many short-timers and grifters the next time around.

    However, I doubt that will be the case.

  231. Robert says:

    just testing.

  232. Robert says:

    Well, I had some fun today! I taught my crazy neighbor who thought he can buy my house for $700k a lesson. Let’s just say it involves dogs and the excretion system!

  233. Robert says:

    “700/869 = 80%. 20% off 2005 prices looks about right. I would however wait for 2008 to get an additional 10% off.”

    I hope you are patient. Forget 30%, I will sell my house for 50% off 2005 prices, just as soon as the Rapture comes. Why hold out then, I won’t need the house anymore!

  234. Robert says:

    For 99% of the posters on this site, there are 3 things that are guaranteed in life: Death, taxes, and getting banned from Kannekt!

  235. Robert says:

    “There may be a day a year or so from now when Ducky will wish he could draw a 700K offer.”

    If I ever sell my house for $700k or less, you better call the police because it means that I am committing fraud and selling the house to multiple buyers at the same time. I actually heard of something similar happening recently. A guy got 5 mortgages to buy one house and then fled the country with the money.

  236. Pat says:

    For each one of these, there’s a local story. Maybe more south. Or in upstate NY. There are a lot of poeple going through these troubles.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/29/PITTS.TMP

  237. Robert says:

    The market is not looking so goood. Lenders are really tightening their standards:

    White House Denied Third Mortgage

    WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recent budget concerns, President and Mrs. Bush attempted to take out a third mortgage on the White House Monday, but were denied. “Unfortunately, we’re unable to serve the president’s needs at this time,” Washington Mutual loan officer Judy Schamanski told reporters.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/32275

  238. Robert says:

    Just curious Pat, did you get banned from Kannekt after you posted on the thread titled “Market Slump is Almost Over! Renters Running Scared”? I created that thread as bait for all the renters on that site to get them hyped up and banned! It looks like you ate my bait… Time for me to get some revenge for not selling my house this year!

  239. Pat says:

    Something I noticed at the water holes the last three weeks.

    Not at the bars. The town pools and down by the river.

    There’s a place above Trenton where you can park and side-step down the bank to get to the old “beaches” where they would swim in the 1800’s, before cars took them off to the shore. The Delaware was the water hole. There are old stone steps and crumbled pavilions grown over with honeysuckle and poison ivy. I took my daughter last week and let her walk across the river. A couple of people were tubing.

    What’s different from May is no illegal immigrants. Nobody swimming in clothes.

    At our community pool, immigrants speaking Spanish kept to themselves, up the hill and under the trees. Maybe a few dozen stayed in one far end of the pool together. The lifeguards let them be enought to cool off, but eventually one kid would go over and tell them they needed bathing suits because of health department rules.

    Last weekend, nobody was there. Today, nobody was there.

    The last two weeks, no white vans at the Quickie Mart filling up on coffee.

    Maybe it’s some kind of traditional month off.

  240. Pat says:

    No, Robert, I tried to post on the reasons higher floors sell at a premium.

  241. Pat says:

    I said because of the insurance savings for jumpers….no surgery, pins or rehab needed.

  242. Robert says:

    240 Paramus Road, Ridgewood:

    07/23/2004: $640,000
    05/19/1995: $200,000

  243. Rich In NNJ says:

    still_looking Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 11:56 am
    how about the sold price for 240 paramus rd ridgewood??

    Still under contract…

  244. Robert says:

    “I said because of the insurance savings for jumpers….no surgery, pins or rehab needed.”

    Good one! I am not sure why you would get banned for that. You did not bash the market. There are peopele writing all sorts of crazy things on kannekt, like A Rod buying at Velocity, a condo complex right next door to housing projects.

  245. bi says:

    85# gravitymatters Says:

    Reversion to the mean??? A crap box priced @ 250K in 2001 should be worth close to 700K today if priced in GOLD. Think about it… We live in a 100% Fiat currency world. All central bankers understand, inflate or die.

    I really like this comparison. many bears here only see big RE jump from 2001 to 2005. after including 2006 and 2007 and extending it to 90’s, it is just normal return.

  246. UnRealtor says:

    REInvestor writes in #227:

    I’ve not stated or suggested anything evil and I’d rather have the flag of this great nation wrapped around me than the cloth of pessimism that goes against the very grain of our free market system. We have the greatest economic system in the world, but it’s being rent by many here with all the negativity.

    As you may or may not be aware, a “free market system” moves both upwards and downwards, based upon supply and demand, as well as speculation.

    Your expectation that the system should move in only one direction, is Soviet-esque.

    You’ve profited (?) from the mania-driven madness these last few years, and now it’s time for the free market to cleanse itself.

    Buy low, sell high:

    http://graphics.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/26/weekinreview/27leon_graph2.large.gif

    The music stopped in 2005, hopefully you found a chair.

  247. RentinginNJ says:

    Reversion to the mean??? A crap box priced @ 250K in 2001 should be worth close to 700K today if priced in GOLD. Think about it… We live in a 100% Fiat currency world. All central bankers understand, inflate or die.

    It’s an interesting point. If you price homes in terms of ounces of gold or barrels of oil, then the prices of home have not gone up over the past 5 years. A decent home cost about 1,000 ounces of gold in 2001 and that same home still costs about 1,000 ounces of gold today.

    Basically, the argument goes that we are going through a worldwide “stealth hyperinflation”. It’s not that the value of homes, gold or oil has gone up, as much as the value of fiat currencies hace dramatically declined.

    If true, this also means that real incomes (which have about kept pace with official inflation) in reality have dropped by about 50% over the last few years. Hence, we have a problem, since mortgages are serviced out of income.

    At the end of the day, people aren’t paid in gold or oil; they are paid in fiat currency. What really matters is the delta between incomes and home prices, which has clearly grown to unsustainable levels.

  248. RentinginNJ says:

    I really like this comparison. many bears here only see big RE jump from 2001 to 2005. after including 2006 and 2007 and extending it to 90’s, it is just normal return.

    This is a specious argument. By using 1990 as the staring point, you are picking a point in time when homes were overvalued, making the average annualized increase in home prices between 1990 – 2007 appear more reasonable. During the early 1990’s, home prices dropped and then flattened for a few years as the historical relationship between prices and income levels were restored.

  249. still_looking says:

    thanks – will check back for sold price.

    sl

  250. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Here’s what’s funny: idiots promoting the ‘gold coast’ as the 6th borough of manhattan. What a joke. Whoever is spewing this garbage clearly smoking the best crack Jersey City has to offer.

    If you’re dumb enough to pay $950,000 for a condo in NJ … why not just live in Manhattan?

    At any rate, I’d just like to say I just finished the 500+comment thread and laughed my ass off as stock prices tanked. When i got married a few months ago, we decided to buy stock in what we like. I finally bought Apple. Fun ride this week. The new iMac comes out August 7 (ish) and I’ll be buying one!

    Last comment is that this blog has been about six months ahead of the RE curve. You guys have been saying cash is king for that long (or longer). Here’s to scooping up a primary home and a rental this winter!!

  251. still_looking says:

    I’m willing to bet there is still a whole lot of up and down volatility to go. But who knows…. I cashed out last month (thank god!) but kept a few long, long investments.

    Just more cash for the downpayment.

    sl

  252. reinvestor101 says:

    Don’t try to act as if this problem is more than what it is. These people made some inprudent decisions. I see that the one guy has kept his end of the bargain and will be able to refinance at the lower rate. The others are sure to get loan modifications to help them out. This is not the debacle that you’re attempting to imply here and the so-called subprime market does not constitute the vast majority of the mortgage market anyway, so the hiccup here will be muted in the overall economic picture.

    Pat Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 11:09 pm
    For each one of these, there’s a local story. Maybe more south. Or in upstate NY. There are a lot of poeple going through these troubles.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/29/PITTS.TMP

  253. reinvestor101 says:

    Yes, I have profited from real estate because I bought at the right time. I didn’t let gloom and doom rule my actions. I didn’t wring my hands moaning about the impending collapse of the real estate markets. I believe in the greatness of our economic system; a system that has created unparalleled wealth since it’s existence.

    You call me “Soviet-esque” for believing in America. Tell me, can you identify any period of time where this country has had a consistent downward projectory economically? Outside of short interuptions characterized by events like the great depression, it has not experienced this. As a matter of fact, these events could be best characterized as aberations in a stready upward trajectory of economic growth. Your problem, along with others here, is that you get caught up in the “hiccups” along the way and can’t see the big picture.

    UnRealtor Says:
    July 29th, 2007 at 12:54 am
    REInvestor writes in #227:

    I’ve not stated or suggested anything evil and I’d rather have the flag of this great nation wrapped around me than the cloth of pessimism that goes against the very grain of our free market system. We have the greatest economic system in the world, but it’s being rent by many here with all the negativity.

    As you may or may not be aware, a “free market system” moves both upwards and downwards, based upon supply and demand, as well as speculation.

    Your expectation that the system should move in only one direction, is Soviet-esque.

    You’ve profited (?) from the mania-driven madness these last few years, and now it’s time for the free market to cleanse itself.

  254. reinvestor101 says:

    And I suppose this is being offered as anecdotal evidence of a slowing housing market vis a vis the fact that immigrant workers are no longer here to work on home construction?

    There’s a very simple explantion for this. Many migrant workers follow the weather and move south as the year advances to follow the harvests.

    Pat Says:
    July 28th, 2007 at 11:32 pm
    Something I noticed at the water holes the last three weeks.

    Not at the bars. The town pools and down by the river.

    There’s a place above Trenton where you can park and side-step down the bank to get to the old “beaches” where they would swim in the 1800’s, before cars took them off to the shore. The Delaware was the water hole. There are old stone steps and crumbled pavilions grown over with honeysuckle and poison ivy. I took my daughter last week and let her walk across the river. A couple of people were tubing.

    What’s different from May is no illegal immigrants. Nobody swimming in clothes.

    At our community pool, immigrants speaking Spanish kept to themselves, up the hill and under the trees. Maybe a few dozen stayed in one far end of the pool together. The lifeguards let them be enought to cool off, but eventually one kid would go over and tell them they needed bathing suits because of health department rules.

    Last weekend, nobody was there. Today, nobody was there.

    The last two weeks, no white vans at the Quickie Mart filling up on coffee.

    Maybe it’s some kind of traditional month off.

  255. Clotpoll says:

    RE (229)-

    Are you Larry Kudlow?

    Booyah, 3b, Pat and others had nothing to do with my growing realization of what’s about to happen. I got all the info I needed by just going to work every day. And, lest you claim my experience is too anecdotal to be reliable, eleven other agents work in my office. Their recent experiences parallel mine. And…we also have a mortgage company in my building, so we get a front-row seat for the carnage on that side of the biz, too. Every day, they get a steady stream of refi inquiries on properties that are so underwater, you wonder why some of these people are still in them. I grew up in a RE family, and I’ve seen two major busts in my lifetime. I know what they look like, and I’d be remiss if I just went along for the ride and kept my mouth shut.

    I’m not suggesting that every homeowner in the US is going under. I’m not suggesting that RE isn’t an excellent long-term investment or that the market will never come back. What I AM suggesting is that if you’re a seller right now- for whatever reason- you’ve got some tough sledding ahead.

    I’m neither optimistic or pessimistic. People hire me to give them a plan and deliver a result. Last time I checked, neither optimism nor pessimism is a plan.

  256. Clotpoll says:

    Ducky (234)-

    When’s your closing?

  257. TJ says:

    reinvestor101

    “This is not the debacle that you’re attempting to imply here and the so-called subprime market does not constitute the vast majority of the mortgage market anyway, so the hiccup here will be muted in the overall economic picture.”

    http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers/

    Home Sales –> Subprime Lending

    Pretty pictures with some text. Keep in mind this doesn’t even include Alt-A.

    Synopsis – 5 largest cities in NJ, 50%+ subprime loans.

    Also, can you provide NJ with a link to that loan modification place? I am sure New Jersians would be eager to click and get out of their “so-called” subprime mortgages.

  258. TJ says:

    reinvestor101

    As a casual observer of this board and an infrequent commentor, I do not have the right to say “Stopping Talk…Now”. Can someone else please do it. I mean, give me some substance, facts,something and stop with the contradictions and economic cheerleading.

    “Your problem, along with others here, is that you get caught up in the “hiccups” along the way and can’t see the big picture.”

    – You got caught up in the U.S.’s greatest “hiccup”. This all being based on how you have been defining hiccup.

    “Tell me, can you identify any period of time where this country has had a consistent downward projectory economically?”

    – No, no one can. This isn’t Ethopia for God’s sake. But I am sure someone will find err in this statement regarding Ethopia’s economic growth.

  259. Pat says:

    But reinvester, isn’t now the supposed big construction season in the north? Shouldn’t those folks all still be cooling off on a Sunday right here? Wouldn’t they be getting their coffee in their white vans during the week on their way to work?

    After all, aren’t there those multiple shore houses that are being built every morning at 7 a.m. on LBI? Pound Pound… 7 am on the dot. Oh, wait. That was TWO years ago.

  260. Pat says:

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18640636&BRD=1769&PAG=461&dept_id=74969&rfi=6

    “MORTGAGE recording tax receipts fell in nearly all Dutchess County municipalities in 2006, leaving no doubt that the housing market has cooled and sending a signal to local officials to lessen their dependency on those revenues to balance their budgets.”

  261. Bugd says:

    Hi I’m sort of new. I’m a lurker that now lives in Glen Ridge that got a low-ball house that I plan on living in until retirement. I’m not worried about the market anymore and won’t for another 20 years or so.

    I am a real estate fanatic and became one when we bought our first house in Los Angeles in 2000 and I saw it appreciate 100,000 a year. The equity we walked away with was a once in a lifetime thing, that I know and I feel lucky that we got in when we did, when we were both totally ignorant to what was to come.

    Anyway, that’s my intro. I’m going back to lurkdom.

    Bugd

  262. rhymingrealtor says:

    Hmmm.. Reinvestor101 back
    JB gone

    Anyone feel the Clark Kent/Superman connection??

    KL

  263. profuscious says:

    In Morris, home prices decline 4% in one year

    More houses put on the market; finding buyers also taking longer

    BY WARREN BOROSON
    DAILY RECORD
    Sunday, July 29, 2007

    Post Comment
    Morris County home sale prices have continued to slide, with the average price down 4 percent during the first half of 2007 compared with the same period last year.

    The average sales price was $558,626, compared with $581,893 last year: a drop of $23,267, or 4 percent. The figures are from the Garden State Multiple Listing Service, provided by Weichert Realtors.

    The county’s average sale price had fallen 3.5 percent during the first quarter, the first decline in 16 years.

    The inventory of houses for sale has climbed, from 9,251 to 9,624, a 4 percent increase.

    The number of days that houses remained on the market before being sold has ballooned, from 67 to 82. That means houses on average are taking 15 more days to sell — 22.3 percent longer.

    One slightly favorable sign: The number of houses sold went up, from 2,580 to 2,622, a 1.6 rise.

    Of the 39 communities in the county, the average home price fell in 28.

    The biggest loser: Harding, with its many expensive estates, where the average price dropped from $2,014,476 to $1,477,119, a decline of 26.67 percent.

    In second place: Riverdale, where the average price fell from $443,885 to $357,288, down 19.51 percent.

    In Florham Park, the average price sank 19.39 percent, from $751,170 to $605,526.

    These numbers don’t necessarily mean that the average house in these communities lost value; perhaps the houses that sold were lower-priced.

    Compared with many other communities in the country, such as in Florida and California, Morris County home prices have held up pretty well, real-estate experts report, perhaps because county residents are so affluent and the local economy remains healthy.

    In Westchester County, N.Y., just north of New York City, the median home sale price of $700,000 from April through June was 2 percent below the second- quarter a year ago, according to the Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service.

    Bought a condo

    One recent home buyer and seller is Jim Neidhardt, 51, president of Renaissance Executive Forums in Parsippany, which creates and leads executive advisory boards for top executives.

    He bought a condo in the Whippany section of Hanover in May after selling his house, also in Whippany.

    He and his wife recently were divorced, and each bought a condo after selling their house.

    Neidhardt said he made good deals in the sale of his house and the purchase of his condo — for a good reason: “I’ve been in sales all my life.”

    He bought a unit in the Condos in Eden Lane for $392,500. The seller had asked for $419,000, then dropped the price to $409,000 after a month and a half.

    Neidhardt told the seller that he wouldn’t be interested until the price dropped to $399,000. His buyer’s agent told him, “That’s too little. You’ll lose it.”

    But he waited, and when the price dropped to $399,000. He offered $380,000.

    The condo later was appraised for more than $400,000.

    It has two bedrooms along with a basement room that doubles as a third bedroom.

    The divorced couple sold their small three-bedroom ranch house for $509,000, although their original asking price was $556,000. They bought the home 24 years ago for $119,000.

    They put it on the market at the beginning of the year but didn’t “get serious” until a month later, so they effectively sold the house in three months. Neidhardt used newspaper and Internet ads.

    The Internet has changed real estate sales, he said. Buyers and sellers are more sophisticated: “No one is getting a steal these days.”

    His advice to buyers and sellers: “If you’re in a hurry, you’ll lose. You’ll save money and get more value the less rushed you are. Timing is everything.”

    More advice: Be a contrarian.

    The conventional wisdom is that hardly anyone is buying in this down market. “Ignore that,” Neidhardt said. “You’re looking for only one family who will look at your house as their dream house. Target them and wait for them.”

    So, if a buyer sneers that your house is overpriced, don’t automatically lower the price, he advised.

    He also suggested that sellers clear their houses of clutter, take down family photos and paint the rooms with light colors.

    At open houses, they should have visitors sign in, with phone numbers and e-mail addresses, so they can contact them later (if they lower their price, for example).

    When visitors come, stay a room away from them: “Don’t sit on top of them and don’t keep saying, “There’s this and there’s that.”

    ‘Worst may be over’

    Richard Murgittroyd, a sales associate at Prudential New Jersey Properties in Morristown, assessed the local real estate market this way: “The worst may be over.”

    “Sellers are beginning to believe that there’s been a correction, that this is a buyer’s market, and that well-priced houses will sell,” he said. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand, and interest rates are still low.”

    His advice for sellers: “In pricing your house, don’t just look at similar houses for sale and that have just sold in your community. Look at houses in nearby communities, too. Not just in Florham Park, for example, but in Hanover, Morris Plains and Madison.”

    Another sales associate, Nancy Doyne of Weichert, Realtors, Corporate Headquarters Residential Sales Office in Morris Plains, reports that she is having “a great year.”

    If a house is priced right, it should sell within 30 days, she said

    The market may be unusually slow, but Paul and Carlene Seppala sold their house in Mountain Lakes within 11 days of putting it on the market.

    They bought a house in Montville the same day they saw it, paying the asking price: $899,900. (Doyne was their agent.)

    Why pay the asking price?

    Because they had looked at some 30 houses and finally found their dream: a big house (3,400 square feet) on 5 acres, with two fireplaces, a cottage, a pond, a stream, plus a lovely 30-foot-by-30-foot garden.

    The price seemed a good value, and the place was unique so they were afraid they might lose it.

    It was a house especially for people who loved the outdoors.

    “Finding it was a miracle,” Carlene Seppala said. “It was above and beyond anything we had been looking for.”

    She had spent an hour checking out the house one morning, then phoned her husband to drop by on his lunch hour. He spent an hour looking over the place; by 8 p.m., they were the new owners.

    Their Mountain Lakes house was something of a mistake: They had downsized too much. It didn’t even have a garage.

    Also, they had to rent a storage facility for possessions that didn’t fit in the house. And when their two children and grandchildren visited, they were crowded.

    “We downsized but actually we have a growing family,” she said.

    The cottage, which has a bathroom, kitchen and washer-dryer, will be fine for relatives and guests. And the house has a two-car garage.

    They sold the Mountain Lakes house for $15,000 below their asking price of $775,000.

    A few years ago, the Seppalas were living in Minnesota, in a huge house with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a three-car garage and a piddling $2,000 a year in taxes.

    They moved to Boston, then to New Jersey, acquiring smaller and smaller garages and higher and higher taxes. “We were shocked,” she said.

    Paul Seppala is a vice president of accounting at Colas, a worldwide construction company with offices in Morristown, and the new house adds only two miles to his commute.

    Carlene Seppala was a choral director, music minister and soloist before coming to New Jersey.

    Her advice to buyers: “Know what you want in your heart, and don’t compromise.”

    Her advice for sellers: “Be practical. Sellers can’t get the ridiculous prices they were getting two or three years ago. But have a positive attitude. It’s not really a terrible market.”

    Rose the most

    The Morris County community where the average sales price rose the most — 19.21 percent — during the first half of 2007 was Chester, where prices climbed from $478,538 to $570,454.

    Other gainers: Boonton Township, up 18.03 percent, from $708,627 to $836,362; and Montville, up 13.55 percent, from $659,395 to $748,732.

    Close behind were Mendham, up 13.11 percent, from $807,176 to $913,000, and Mendham Township, up 12.95 percent, from $1,217,064 to $1,374, 661.

    For the first time, Mountain Lakes had an average sale price of more than $1 million, joining Harding and Mendham Township in the million-dollar club. The average price in Mountain Lakes rose 7.95 percent, from $934,236 to $1,008,521.

    The lowest average sale price was in Victory Gardens, where the average house (of just two) was $242,500. Next lowest: Netcong, with eight houses selling for an average of $307,485. Third from the bottom: Dover, at $323,813.

    Houses remained on the market longest (139 days) in Chester, despite the robust increase in its average sales price: 19.21 percent. Sales came most quickly in Victory Gardens: 39 days.

  264. profuscious says:

    Good morning,

    Anyone here from Chester?

    What’s happening there, prices up 19% in the first half of the year?

    Someone please explain…

  265. profuscious says:

    Coining a new re term for Chester: drunk astronaut prices

  266. chicagofinance says:

    mix

  267. Robert says:

    “If you’re dumb enough to pay $950,000 for a condo in NJ … why not just live in Manhattan?”

    Because a $950,000 condo in Manhattan is a POS broom closet while for the same price you get a brand new condo on the GC. THe median sales price in Manhattan is $1.3 million.

    Oh, and a wealthy New Yorker who was originally shopping for condos in Manhattan recently purhased a $4.5 million penthouse at the W Hotel in Hoboken.

  268. gary says:

    Another family moved in two blocks up from me yesterday. Took a walk up the block out of curiousity ’cause I saw the moving truck. They’re of Middle Eastern decent (based on the womens garb), many members of the family, and New York plates on the two cars in the driveway and the moving truck. Just an observation, nothing more, nothing less.

    My sis-in-laws Mom asked me (they live in Bergen County) a few weeks ago why the tsunami of New York plates over the last few years and also stated that she feels like a stranger when she goes to the mall. This is a very sweet, naive woman who volunteers at a hospital with no agenda.. just her observation.. and mine.

  269. gary says:

    4.5 million purchase in Hoboken… as Bugs Bunny would say, “What a Ma-roon!”

  270. Robert says:

    And two penthouses were sold at Trump Plaza Jersey City for $2 million each.

  271. Robert says:

    And here is my favorite: A penthouse was sold in Jersey City for $2.3 million at a condo complex that is a converted hospital!

  272. REBear says:

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,,2136736,00.html

    Market fall puts EMI bid in jeopardy

    Hands may be forced to pull the bid because it is believed that Citigroup, which is arranging the debt finance, will have to pay an extra £150m because of the increased risks now associated with highly leveraged bids.

    Sources in Canary Wharf say that Citigroup’s US boss, Chuck Prince, has personally intervened by contacting senior staff at the bank in London to warn them of his concerns.

  273. 3b says:

    # 257 tj another desperate all is well real estate bull.

  274. 3b says:

    #180 john;Wall St bonus’s can suffer, and they have in the past. Equities do well, bad year in fixed income, everbody suffers, although the fixed income people more, and vice versa.

    I have lived through some ugly times on the St, I gurantee you there will be more, and another generation will learn.

  275. UnRealtor says:

    “And two penthouses were sold at Trump Plaza Jersey City for $2 million each.”

    For aspiring bagholders, $2M buys a great view of an abandoned power plant. Estimates are up to $80M to clean up the abandoned plant.

    Enjoy the view.

  276. UnRealtor says:

    “Outside of short interuptions characterized by events like the great depression…”
     

    Why would you exclude a period of speculative mania and decline, when evaluating the largest speculative bubble the world has ever seen (2000-2005)?

    http://graphics.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/26/weekinreview/27leon_graph2.large.gif

    Your conflating ‘belief in America’ with markets moving up and down is misguided.

    Markets move up, and down — that’s the American way. Nothing wrong with that.

    But buying at these brain-dead prices (see chart) is unwise for the bottom line, and most rational people can clearly see that.

  277. Frank says:

    Inventory hit another all time high this week to 99,060 units for sale. Sellers nightmare continues. When will the prices drop enough to entice some buyers? Any buyers?

  278. gary says:

    Frank,

    Where are you getting the inventory numbers from?

  279. Frank says:

    #278,
    Realtor.com for 625 zip codes in NJ.

  280. reinvestor101 says:

    Allow me to disabuse you of the notion that I’m masquerading as someone else. I have no earthly idea why you’d even suggest this other than to co-sign with Pat who appears to have started this baseless accusation.

    I’m quite busy, don’t have limitless time and on many occasions, I simply don’t have time to post nor read this blog. Besides which, I can be gone for a couple of months and come back to the same sorts of conversations.

    There’s nothing “magical” about my appearance and no relationship to anyone else’s absence. Please stop with the speculation and conspiracy theories.

    rhymingrealtor Says:
    July 29th, 2007 at 9:30 am
    Hmmm.. Reinvestor101 back
    JB gone

    Anyone feel the Clark Kent/Superman connection??

    KL

  281. Frank says:

    Can someone educate me on the current state of NJ real estate, inventory is at all time high but prices are rising (based on my informal survey on Realtor.com)? What’s going on?

  282. chicagofinance says:

    Gotta like a good pun…

    ‘The Simpsons Movie’ Earns Big Doh!
    Sunday July 29 1:29 PM ET

    Woo Hoo! “The Simpsons Movie” turned doughnuts into dollars over the weekend, raking in $71.9 million to debut as the top movie this week.

  283. Rich In NNJ says:

    There’s nothing “magical” about my appearance and no relationship to anyone else’s absence. Please stop with the speculation and conspiracy theories.

    Have you no sense of irony or humor?
    For someone who claims to not be “doom and gloom”, I think you’re overly serious and it makes you… well, cantankerous.

  284. bi says:

    281#, frank,
    you can estimate inventory level by surveying each town (county) in realtor.com but how can you gauge price increase (decrease) from that website? you could try to find median by setting different price level in minimum/maxmum field but i would think it is very tedious at best.

    My sense is that current market is kind of dead lock, especially after entering summer season. I expect you can find good bargain in fall and winter. but next spring will be a totally different picture. think about it. many people on the side line lined up 3-5 year of savings and many have big equity. I will not be surprised that the price will be 20% higher in certain areas 18 months from now.

  285. 3b says:

    #284 bi: Take off you gold jacket and say good night.

  286. 3b says:

    # 281 franj: Prices are rising? do you mean some sellers delusional asking prices?

  287. Frank says:

    I monitor house prices in few towns and some sellers are asking delusional prices, but others are willing to pay them, so that’s the market.

  288. 3b says:

    #287 Well what they ask and what they actually sell for are 2 very different things. I would not be surprised to continue to see houses allegedly sell,a nd then come back on the market as the financing falls through.

    Unless money is of absolutley no concern it makes absoultely no sense to buy now.

  289. RentinginNJ says:

    think about it. many people on the side line lined up 3-5 year of savings and many have big equity.

    The bears that frequent this blog are the minority. While there may be some pent up demand here, in the big picture, the idea of pent up demand is a myth. Up until a year ago, the idea of a housing bubble was dismissed by the majority of people.

    The combination of no money down ez-financing along with the fear of being “priced out forever” meant that buyers have been borrowed from the future (as evidenced by the record high ownership rate).

    For those buyers truly priced out today. What makes you think next year they will be able to afford a 20% price hike?

  290. Robert says:

    test test

  291. Robert says:

    Great news. Property values are going to flourish on the Gold Coast and I am going to make a huge profit. Why? Because the mayor’s real estate mogul son said so!

    “Manhattan looks a lot more beautiful from this side of the Hudson,” says Gerald Calabrese Jr., a Bergen County Realtor with 25 years of experience, looking at the Manhattan skyline from Edgewater’s River Road. “Any investment in property with such close proximity to New York can’t be anything but a sound investment.”

    http://www.edgewateronline.com/forum/index.pl/noframes/read/4332

  292. RentinginNJ says:

    Anyone here from Chester?

    What’s happening there, prices up 19% in the first half of the year?

    Someone please explain…

    It’s not statistically significant. There were 20 sales in Chester last year. Assuming sales are on-pace with 2006, this statistic is based on about 10 sales. You can’t draw a conclusion one way or the other based on 10 sales.

  293. Robert says:

    Frank and 3b:

    Aren’t there also plenty of buyers out there who offer “delusionla” prices? Why stick all of the blame on the sellers?

  294. Robert says:

    “You can’t draw a conclusion one way or the other based on 10 sales.”

    Oh really? If 10 comparable homes in my area sold for 19% more than prices last year, I am pretty sure that my property value just skyrocketed. How many homes need to sell for 19% more for you to get out of denial? 100? 200?

  295. BC Bob says:

    “All people have to do is ride out the exisiting short term blip; a problem I might add that’s wholly attributable to the actions and talk of a certain group of people who have negatively impacted market psychology.”

    The most absurd post that I have read anywhere, rationalizing this bust.

    Talk among a certain group has blown out over 100 mortgage lenders? I guess Mazillo can breathe a sigh of relief since this whole bust is simply the inner workings of a certain group and constitutes a short term blip. Maybe a tsunami can also be attributed to a leak in the pipes?

    From Agora, regarding Countrywide, no link;

    1. Earnings declined for the third straight quarter.
    2. Second-quarter net income fell 33% from a year ago.
    3. Revenue fell 15% from a year ago.
    4. Countrywide lowered its full-year earnings estimate 23%, to a $2.70-3.30 per share range from its $3.50-4.30 per share estimate given in April.
    5. The default rate on its prime mortgages, loans given to people with good credit, has more than doubled, to 5.4% from 2.2% a year earlier (this is what spooked the market on Tuesday).

    “For those of us who have been following the bursting of the housing bubble,” writes Mish Shedlock, “news like this from the biggest U.S. mortgage lender comes as no surprise. What is a surprise is how anyone thinks the fallout from the largest housing bubble in recent history will be absorbed in just a year or two.

    “Homebuilding stocks such as Hovnanian Enterprises are now down 80% from their 2005 high. Declines in this range are indicative of a major bubble bursting, like we saw with Internet stocks.”

  296. Robert says:

    Frank,

    Prices are going “up” because, rather than sell cheap, sellers are choosing to take their homes off the market and ride out the storm. Sellers are much pore patient than the people on this site would like to beleive.

  297. gary says:

    Growing up in Hudson County, I just can’t believe people are buying in the so-called gold coast. The schools are horrible, you have to pay for parking (this one is really unbelieveable) and the crime rate skyrockets 10 blocks west of the Hudson River from Bayonne to the GW bridge.

    People, do yourself a favor; if you have kids, DO NOT buy on the waterfront in Hudson and Bergen, you will be making a huge mistake. Look at Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, the western part of Clifton, Little Falls if your looking for affordability and commute. Even Secaucus is an option.

    I lived here my whole life, my family owned a business in Jersey City and members of my family and myself worked for municipalities in Jersey City and Hudson County. Don’t listen to the nonsense… stay out of Hudson County, it’s a scam.

  298. Robert says:

    Gary,

    Most people who buy on the Gold Coast do not have kids. It is DINK heaven!

  299. RentinginNJ says:

    Oh really? If 10 comparable homes in my area sold for 19% more than prices last year, I am pretty sure that my property value just skyrocketed

    Duck,

    This doesn’t mean that all 10 homes sold for above last year’s comps. It’s an average price of all homes sold.

    With only 10 sales, one very expensive home (or one very cheap home) could swing the average.

    By the way, the median sale price in Chester dropped 18% in 2004 and another 2% in 2005. Do I really believe that home prices in Chester dropped by 20%? Of course not, there aren’t enough sales to draw a statistically significant conclusion one way or the other.

  300. gary says:

    Probably so Robert, just some advice for those with family or soon to be expecting.

  301. RentinginNJ says:

    Great news. Property values are going to flourish on the Gold Coast and I am going to make a huge profit.

    A Bergen County Realtor® with a vested interest in selling homes in Bergen County said it, so I guess it must be true.

    It’s too bad your place isn’t really on the Gold Coast, more like Gold Coast Adjacent. Those new high rise condo developments blocking your view of the NYC skyline are on the Gold Coast.

  302. Frank says:

    #295,
    Sellers are not taking their properties off the market, that’s why you have inventory at all time high, but at the same time you’re seeing a lot of under contract signs. In my neighborhood I am seeing houses being sold for outrageous prices after few weeks on the market. Someone is buying them. Since subprime /dumb money is gone, it’s all real this time.

  303. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    The Gold Coast is a joke. $950,000 will get you a nice two-bedroom condo in NYC. I would much, much rather take the 2 bedroom condo in Manhattan rather than a $950,000 4-bedroom condo in NJ looking at Manhattan.

    The real truth, of course, is that unless your net worth is $5 million or more, either option is foolish.

    If you’re looking to buy a house, the smart move is to wait. In fact, right now, it’s the only move. Can you imagine having the pick of the litter in Dec/Jan when the banks take over more homes from GREEDY bagholders who have to walk away?

  304. profuscious says:

    RentinginNJ no 298,

    thanks for the answer about Chester RE going through the roof like a drunk astronaut…..for those ten sales in 2007. The author of that piece in the Daily Record was pretty lazy, eh? Looks like he must have just looked it up on Trulia and slipped in there. What a hack.

  305. On the water? says:

    Clot – Just wondering if any of your real estate buddies deal with waterfront property. I’m thinking along the lines of bodies of water in NJ. Difficult to find on realtor/trulia.

  306. Robert says:

    “A Bergen County Realtor® with a vested interest in selling homes in Bergen County said it, so I guess it must be true.”

    The Bergen County Realtor® who siad that also owns a house in Cliffside Park with an AMAZING view of NYC. Unlike most realtors, he puts his money where his mouth is. And his view is unobstructed, thank you very much. At night, I frequently see people from out of town park their car on his street to take in the view.

  307. pretorius says:

    Gary #296,

    For a growing proportion of prospective homeowners in and around New York City, proximity to Manhattan jobs and exciting nightlife matters more than public school rankings.

    This trend is obvious. Witness the type of housing that has been built in northern New Jersey recently. Condos along the Hudson River waterfront comprise a large majority of the new supply, and these homes are selling for double the price per square foot as new construction homes in nice New Jersey suburbs.

  308. Duck says:

    another test

  309. Duck says:

    “The Gold Coast is a joke. $950,000 will get you a nice two-bedroom condo in NYC. I would much, much rather take the 2 bedroom condo in Manhattan rather than a $950,000 4-bedroom condo in NJ looking at Manhattan.

    The real truth, of course, is that unless your net worth is $5 million or more, either option is foolish.

    If you’re looking to buy a house, the smart move is to wait. In fact, right now, it’s the only move. Can you imagine having the pick of the litter in Dec/Jan when the banks take over more homes from GREEDY bagholders who have to walk away?”

    Wow, someone certainly did not do their homework on the Manhattan market. For $950,000 in manhattan, you will either get a POS in a good neighborhood or something nice in a marginal neighborhood, like the Lower East Side. I lived in the Lower East Side and fully renovated units in my old building (surrounded by housing projects) are going for right under $1 million. If you don’t like high crime neighborhoods, then there are always broom closets on the upper east side with views of brick walls that need to be gut renovated.

    Or you can buy something nice in a safe neighborhood in NJ!

  310. bi says:

    301#, frank,
    >Since subprime /dumb money is gone, it’s all real this time.
    are you sure it’s all real this time? not 20% to 30% off from asking?

  311. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Or, somebody lived in Manhattan recently for two years and knows what they’re talking about.

    The comparison between the GC and Manhattan is a joke anyway … i can’t believe i spent any time on it at all.

    Let’s get back to the bagholders, and how asking prices in NNJ are going down every month (in some cases, each week!).

    Just a quick reminder to anyone actually thinking of purchasing a house … if you can hold off, be patient. Prices are going down, and those who MUST sell will be lowering the asking price.

    And do your homework, people Find out what the owner bought for, and crunch the numbers … there’s no reason anyone who bought in 2004/2005 should be selling their house for 50% more. Real estate does not go up 15-20% in a year. Also keep in mind, what goes up, MUST come down.

  312. RentinginNJ says:

    Since subprime /dumb money is gone, it’s all real this time.

    Subprime and Atl-A is wounded, but not dead.

    I just saw a commercial…”How would you like a $100k mortgage for only $600 a month…use the extra cash to pay off credit card bills”…. It was a commercial for an I/O loan…bad credit okay.

  313. syncmaster says:

    312 rentinginnj-

    yup, i still see those banner ads on yahoo. bad credit OK!

  314. RentinginNJ says:

    US subprime crisis shows signs of spreading

    American Home Mortgage Investment (NYSE:AHM) said it is delaying paying dividends on its common stock and may delay payments on its preferred shares because banks demanded it put up more cash after the Melville, New York-based mortgage lender wrote down the value of its loan and security portfolios significantly.

    The move represents one of the first indications that the crisis facing sub-prime mortgage lenders in the US is expanding to affect lenders like American Home Mortgage whose borrowers tend to have higher ‘prime’ ore ‘near prime’ credit ratings.

    In a statement issued late on Friday the company said the moves were necessary, “in order to preserve liquidity until it obtains a better understanding of the impact that current market conditions in the mortgage industry and the broader credit market will have on the Company’s balance sheet and overall liquidity.”

  315. syncmaster says:

    Just saw this ad on yahoo – saved it and uploaded it – coolest thing is, this company wont even ask for an SSN for a mortgage!!

    http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/7420/nossnsb7.gif

  316. REBear says:

    Duck,
    Do those ‘tests’ confirm that you are awake and crashing RE is a reality?

  317. Clotpoll says:

    water (304)-

    That’s one of the few categories in which I don’t know an agent who specializes. Sorry.

  318. Pat says:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20070729_SPREADING_SUBPRIME_PAIN.html

    “In 2005, more than half – 1,409 of 2,716 – of the mortgage loans made in Willingboro were high-cost loans, based on a federal benchmark.”

  319. 3b says:

    #301 Frank Have they actually closed yet?

  320. ADA says:

    In Harlem maybe.

    Bloodbath in Winter 2007 Says:
    July 29th, 2007 at 9:14 pm
    The Gold Coast is a joke. $950,000 will get you a nice two-bedroom condo in NYC. I would much, much rather take the 2 bedroom condo in Manhattan rather than a $950,000 4-bedroom condo in NJ looking at Manhattan.

  321. john says:

    You know what a real joke is, Newsday had an article today, how buyers are putting up much larger downpayments that two years ago, in fact once couple “gasp” had to put up 10% recently while just two years ago 0-3% would do. The couple commented on their committment to savings, huh?

    a split in 2000 that cost 300K required a 20% downpayment or 60K leaving the owner with 240K to pay back.

    That same split in 2007 is 550k, so 10% down would be 55K or almost a 500K mortgage to pay back. More than double 7 years earlier. That is nuts. If houses double they should be putting down double the amount, not half the amount. Lets see if a camry is 20k I put down 4k, but if a lexus is 40K I only need 4k. What kinda of nutty math is this?

  322. denise says:

    predatory lenders are a big reason for the huge increase in defaults. adjustable rate mortgages can rise 30,40 or 50%
    there is a way to stop foreclosure now,and
    get rid of the adjustable rate mortgage.

    http://www.freedomforeclosure.com/psantiago

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