Irreparable…

From the Wall Street Journal:

Bush to Revive Push for Housing Remedy
By JOHN D. MCKINNON
January 2, 2008; Page A2

WASHINGTON — With public sentiment on the economy still sagging, President Bush will make a new push for congressional action to shore up the troubled housing market, a top aide said.

In an impromptu briefing aboard Air Force One as Mr. Bush returned from his Texas ranch, top communications adviser Ed Gillespie told reporters that the president wants Congress to do more to “help make the market more stable.” The administration sees “an opportunity for bipartisan consensus” on a housing initiative, despite the feuding that erupted last year between the Republican White House and the Democratic House and Senate over issues including the Iraq war, health care, and spending for parks and museums.

Shoring up public sentiment on the economy — especially the battered housing sector — could be vital to staving off a recession as Mr. Bush enters his last year in office. Pollsters say many people who aren’t directly affected by rising defaults on subprime-mortgage loans are feeling the effects anyway, as they see the values of their homes drift downward. Even if Mr. Bush fails to get much more action out of lawmakers, White House pressure could help Republicans’ political fortunes by reinforcing negative public perceptions of inaction in the Democratic-led Congress.

The administration and the Federal Reserve have taken several steps to attempt to address credit-market problems caused by rising mortgage defaults, including an administration-brokered industry effort to help people avoid foreclosure.

A House leadership aide said Monday that Democrats already have been planning to address economic security in 2008, including Americans’ struggles with housing, credit-card and college debt. Congress also will debate measures to combat global warming, putting pressure on Mr. Bush to come up with more specifics of his own.

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248 Responses to Irreparable…

  1. grim says:

    From the Boston Globe:

    Fixes made in 2007 not enough to halt foreclosures

    An estimated 2 million American homeowners face increased monthly mortgage payments this year. Many cannot afford the increased payment, or find buyers for their homes. They face foreclosure.

    more stories like this
    Foreigners buy up U.S. real estate
    Borrowers sue Countrywide Financial
    America’s economic perfect storm
    Lawmaker ire at Fed may imperil Kroszner renewal
    Business Highlights
    Also in 2008, state and federal officials must decide how to regulate subprime loans. The industry is gone for the moment. Lenders sold about $26.3 billion of subprime loans in the third quarter of 2007, down more than 80 percent from the roughly $139 billion sold at the peak of the boom in the fourth quarter of 2005, according to Standard & Poor’s. But its recovery in some form is widely considered inevitable.

    Both issues remain substantially unresolved. The steps taken in 2007 were modest. The problem continues to expand.

    “We have only begun to see the foreclosures,” said Debbie Goldstein of the Center for Responsible Lending, a leading borrower advocacy group. “We have a lot of work to do.”

  2. Richie says:

    Subprime Mess
    Foreclosure Mess…

    What could be next? Bank mess?

    Sad to think that, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.

  3. mikeinwaiting says:

    Rich I thought the banks were already in a mess.How many bil do they have to write off
    to be considered a mess or giving crazy yields while they go around the globe to beg for cash from countries that would like to own us.This is a great idea to sell out our banks to countries that would like to see are demise & or control US.

  4. John says:

    RE: Also in 2008, state and federal officials must decide how to regulate subprime loans.

    WHY – there is no reason. The Fed has made it clear that mortgages belong in regulated banks where it can be regulated. Basically unregulated Mortgage Brokers made crap mortgages that were securitized outside the banking system by BDs and sold off to often unsuspecting investors as low risk loans.

    Bring back confirming doc loans with 20% downs made by a regulated bank. A mortgage broker serves no purpose. It causes higher fees and encourages bank fraud.

  5. kettle1 says:

    Can anyone give an address for MLS # 2464104

    Thank you and happy new year

  6. John says:

    What do all these 65K people have to do with Tiffney’s Peter Lugars or new Mercedes Benz sales? Basically nothing. People in that income range should not be single family home purchasers in a good neighorhood. The problem was when their was easy money they spent 10X income to buy a 650K home. Pre 2000 and I am including myself when I made in that income range stayed in rentals, one or two bedroom coops, two family with the other half rented our or at best a small cape on a 40X100 lot. Now that subprime is dead those people at 65K and under should go back to basics and either save more or earn more till they can afford their own four bedroom two car garage slice of heaven. Therefore I don’t consider the 65K and under crowd at all as an impact on four bedroom NB houses. Also things can work great if we went back to the 1980s or before when kids worked rather than sat on the couch like fat lumps while mexicans did their work. HS/College kids used to bag your groceries, do your dry cleaning, and change your oil and pump your gas. They all lived at home. Now we import mexicans etc. to do work at a salary intended for a stay at home HS or college student and suprise suprise they can’t afford it.
    RE: What do we do with the majority of people in NJ avg income what 65k.Who will fix your car, get coffe at dinner, cut your hair, work at the A&P.Things do not work in a state where most people are priced out that make it work.John just doesn ‘t see this all big money finace people can’t be a functioning society.

  7. grim says:

    ket,

    37 Prices Switch Road

    Purchased: 06/30/04
    Purchase Price: $425,000

    MLS# 2464104
    REO – Wells Fargo
    Current asking: $229,900

    (Was listed for $479k by the owner in 2005)

    Priced 46% below 2004 purchase price… Who said it could never happen?

  8. gulpal says:

    Re #7
    grim – don’t tell me that the street name of that listing is PRICES SWITCH ROAD!!!

    you kidding right?

  9. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    National City Mortgage to cut staffing by 900 more positions

    National City cuts quarterly dividend 49% to 21 cents/share

  10. grim says:

    gulpal,

    No joke, but I wonder who was on the receiving end of the switcheroo: The prior owner, Wells Fargo, or the prospective buyer.

  11. BC Bob says:

    2008’s subprime;

    “Faced with mounting account delinquencies, major U.S. banks are penalizing credit-card customers late on payments by hiking their accounts to maximum default interest rates of 30% and more — even those with good credit records.”

    “Default rates imposed for late payments, exceeding credit limits and bounced payment checks typically are levied on cardholders with poor credit scores, often incrementally. But state banking regulators and watchdog groups report a growing number of complaints of maximum default rates being imposed on erring customers with above-average credit scores of 700 and higher.”

    “We find it totally unfair that if you’re one day late, you get hit with a 30%-plus interest rate,” said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action. “There’s been a pervasive attitude of hands-off the industry because we don’t want to tinker with the marketplace, but some of its practices are just patently wrong.”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/credit-cards-sock-late-payers/story.aspx?guid=%7BB44F88FC%2DF0EF%2D4E09%2D90CF%2D40CFD20762A9%7D

  12. John says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – National City Corp (NCC), one of the 10 largest U.S. banks, on Wednesday said it will cut its common stock dividend 49 percent and eliminate 900 jobs as it stops offering mortgages through brokers, and it plans to raise more capital to cope with weakened credit markets.

    The Cleveland-based company cut the quarterly dividend to 21 cents per share from 41 cents. Chief Executive Peter Raskind said the cut was necessary “to overcome the near-term challenges facing the industry and our company.”

    National City also said it intends to issue non-dilutive, Tier 1 capital by March, and has hired Goldman Sachs & Co as a capital adviser.

  13. John says:

    2008 Dogs of the Dow*

    Dog Symbol Price Dividend Yield P/E P/S
    Citigroup C $29.44 7.3% 7.92 1.81
    Pfizer PFE $22.73 5.6% 10.76 3.21
    Verizon VZ $43.69 3.9% 23.19 1.67
    Altria MO $75.58 3.9% 15.13 2.34
    AT&T T $41.56 3.8% 21.73 3.38
    General Motors GM $24.89 3.8% NA 0.07
    DuPont DD $44.09 3.7% 12.42 1.44
    JP Morgan Chase JPM $43.65 3.5% 9.12 3.01
    Home Depot HD $26.94 3.4% 11.24 0.72
    General Electric GE $37.07 3.3% 17.27 2.38

  14. mr potter says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR SHORT SALE

    This is a nice way to start the year.

    Bought in Nov. 2003 $2,700,000

    Asking Price $2,495,000

    Under Contract (price unknown)

    MLS 20736819

  15. grim says:

    From the UPI:

    U.S. home prices likely to fall 10 percent

    U.S. home prices will likely fall an average 10 percent before the real estate market stabilizes, economists said.

    “We think (the median price) is going to drop probably about 10 percent” over the next few years, Global Insight Inc. housing economist Patrick Newport told The Christian Science Monitor.

    The U.S. median home price is $210,200, down 3.3 percent from a year ago but 7.6 percent above 2004 levels.

    Falling home prices could exacerbate foreclosure rates, economists said.

    The more home prices fall, the greater will be the number of recent buyers whose homes are worth less than their mortgages, prompting some homeowners to walk away from their homes and find a cheaper rental, economists said.

    A rising foreclosure rate could push prices down faster, because a foreclosed home tends to sell at a much lower price than the same home sold under a typical broker listing.

  16. mikeinwaiting says:

    GRIM 7 Thats by me total rehab,mold,freeze damage gut & start over.Nice area & piece of property though.Buy for 2 put in 100 or so might be worth it.Maybe I’ll take a look inside to see how bad it is.

  17. Outofstater says:

    #6 John – It seems you live in a rarefied atmosphere, like a rare orchid. You are very successful because of your own efforts and that is to be commended. Most people have not and will not reach your station in life. The families that make in the neighborhood of 65K are the majority of the nation. They work hard, want the best for their children and they produce the goods and services required by our economy. They are also the people whose sons and daughters volunteer to serve their country so your children won’t be required to. To say they shouldn’t own a house in a nice neighborhood is absurd. I agree that they shouldn’t pay 10x their income for one, but something is grossly out of whack when they can’t afford a nice 3 BR 1.5bath in a safe neighborhood with decent schools. There is nothing wrong with their incomes; there is something terribly wrong with the price of housing.

  18. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Dec. ISM 47.7% vs. 50.5% expected
    ISM lowest since April 2003

  19. kettle1 says:

    Grim, Thanks

    Ot but a question for the resident philosophers…

    What comes after Capitalism? The US and Europe are generally speaking, mixed capitalistic economies. These economic systems are based upon continual growth. Continuous growth is impossible to maintain long term simply due to the consequences of exponential growth. whether you are talking about population of production; at a growth rate of 3% per year, you will double your starting value every 7 years so consider the following generic numbers as an example of growth at 3% per year.

    Year Value
    1980 2
    1987 4
    1994 8
    2001 16
    2008 32
    2015 64

    Now suppose this is daily global oil consumption. This means that every 7 years we have to be able to provide twice as much as was used in the previous period. Make a graph of the values in the table above to get an idea of how significant that really is.

    Oil is just one facet of a bigger issue and is not the main point. The main point is that the world economy is a growth based economy. The IMF projected a 5% global economic growth rate for 2007 and for the last 20 years the average annual growth has been close to 3%. While there may be large reserves of resources from oil to water to arable land to metals, they are not limitless.

    Ultimately growth cannot be maintained for extended periods of time (on historical timescales, not “human timescales of years or decades). Eventually resources will become limited. So the question is what comes after a growth based capitalistic economy? Personally i do not know, it is something i have been thinking about lately as i have looked at global rates of growth and then put them into mathematical context. It seems to me that we need to consider how to develop a steady state form of society where maintenance of existing populations is the driver, not growth of existing populations.

    If you took the time to read this , thanks i know some on the board do not like the longer posts

  20. mikeinwaiting says:

    John 6 I don’t consider NB the whole world of NJ.But lets just say it is who does all these jobs & where do they live.There are not enough rentals in BC & also they are the majority of people who live there.Home prices should reflect what the majority of people can afford not just top 5-10%.
    So is your premise to have an elitist class
    while the surfs rent that provide you with services.

  21. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. ISM Manufacturing Index Fell to 47.7 in December From 50.8

    Manufacturing in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted last month, showing the housing recession was spreading into other parts of the economy at the end of 2007.

    The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index dropped to 47.7, the lowest reading since April 2003, from 50.8 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Fifty is the dividing line between contraction and expansion.

    Manufacturing is near stalling as the housing recession extends beyond building-related industries to affect credit standards and consumer and business spending plans. Slower factory production and company spending will weigh on economic growth.

    “There’s still not much momentum for manufacturing right now,” Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse Holdings Inc. in New York, said before the report. “Autos are a drag, housing-related manufacturing is a drag and things are kind of stalled right now overall.”

    Economists expected the gauge to fall to 50.5, according to the median of 69 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from 48.9 to 52.

    The group’s gauge of prices paid rose to 68 from 67.5. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the measure to fall to 65.

  22. Al says:

    To Post #19.

    I think that the real driver of the economy growth is population growth. What needs to be done – it limit the population growth. Countries like china and India are working on it. Europe was declining in population untill immigration took over – now it is on uphill again.

    But we need to realize that FOOD resources are not unlimited And at some point HUNGER will hit ANY country.

    I think in hte next 20 years we will see a steep decline in worldwide healthcare and as a result there will be some king of global epidemy – wheither it will be spread of AIDS like it is in Afrika, Hepatitus C, or something new – like highly contageous and lethal Flu virus which will severelly shorten AVERAGE life expectancy.

  23. scribe says:

    Grim,

    That house on Switches Road, from realtor.com:

    Sold “as is” buyer is responsible for c.o & all inspections, possible mold, freeze damage, total renovation needed, assume the septic is bad, great piece of land, possible renovation money avail.

    It sounds like a tear-down, where the price might be for the land.

  24. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Grim-

    What town is Prices Switch Road located?

    I’d like to look up the history of that house.

  25. grim says:

    scribe,

    Judging from the 2004 listing, the home was in good condition when purchased.

    Perhaps the prior owners destroyed the property during foreclosure.

  26. grim says:

    Vernon

  27. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Never Mind, found it….Vernon

  28. stuw6 says:

    Kettle1 (19):

    That was an interesting topic that you brought up.

    My guess is that the limited resources will alter the economy just like the scarcity of food impacts the lower links on the food chain. Eventually, the population growth will slow to counter the limited availability of affordable resources. For example, why would you have a second child if the cost of feeding him or her becomes cost prohibitive. From an economic system, I would guess that growth will continue, but from the creation of alternatives.

    When whale oil was used to create light and the availability diminished, petroleum was discovered as a viable alternative. Well as petroleum runs out, my guess is that Hydrogen will eventually be the next resource we tap for energy. Although, food and water, I believe, will become the hottest commodity of all in the next 100 years. And I’m not referring to corn ;)

  29. kettle1 says:

    John

    Over the last 100 years the strength of this country has been largely predicated on a string an vibrant middle class. What you are suggesting is to use Mikeinwaitings words, a “serf” class. While someone making 65K should not expect to live in a 3000 sqft custom home with plasma tv’s in everyroom, they should be able to live in a modest home and neighborhood with out having to work 80 hours a week just to pay a house note and property taxes.
    The death of the middle class will be the downfall of the US. And while the middle class as the consumption based economic driver is a deadend track, a sustainable middle class is in everyones best interest whether you work on wall street or in McDonalds.

  30. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Price Switch….

    Nice 2 Acre Lot, but it’s about 1 mile from the NY State Line!! $9550 per year taxes.

    Wells Fargo has owned it since 4/24/06 so it’s about to go through the second winter as REO.

  31. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Construction Spending in the U.S. Unexpectedly Rose in November

    Spending on U.S. construction projects unexpectedly rose in November as work on schools, power plants and factories helped overcome cutbacks in homebuilding.

    The 0.1 percent increase followed a 0.4 percent drop the prior month that was smaller than previously reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington.

    The report showed private homebuilding fell by the most in more than five years, a sign the glut of unsold properties will delay a housing recovery until at least mid-2008. Commercial and government projects are cushioning the residential real estate slump and helping ease concern that economic growth may stall, economists said.

    “We’re likely to keep seeing this pattern where growth in business-related and government construction is providing a partial offset to declines in homebuilding,” Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc. in New York, said before the report. “Residential activity will continue to decline.”

  32. Ann says:

    Wow, the Republicans are so going to lose in 2008.

  33. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (5)-

    Dig the $9,550 tax bill on that festering boil…

  34. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    National City Slashes Dividend
    By JOHN FLOWERS
    January 2, 2008 10:11 a.m.

    National City Corp. said Wednesday it will reduce its quarterly dividend by 49% and raise “non-dilutive” capital as the bank moves to shore up its finances amid the credit crunch.

    National City also announced it is getting out of the wholesale-mortgage business, resulting in the cut of another 900 jobs.

    The Cleveland-based financial services company’s dividend is falling to 21 cents a share from 41 cents. The move will save National City some $500 million a year. Before the move, the company’s dividend yield was 10%.

    The firm had already cut 1,700 mortgage-related jobs and entered this year with 3,400 fewer employees.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119928536596462215.html?mod=hps_us_whats_news

  35. Sybarite F.K.A. New Investor says:

    #30

    $9500?? For Vernon? That’s crazy.

  36. grim says:

    Dig the $9,550 tax bill on that festering boil…

    Wells must be loving the REO business. Winterization, what’s that?

    Didn’t we have a troll about a year back that predicted that lenders would stockpile REOs in an attempt to keep values high?

  37. kettle1 says:

    STu6

    I do not disagree with you general premise but consider the consequences. As resources become limited you can either reduce the demand (aka reduce your population) or reduce the quantity/quality of resource provided to each user. You also mentioned switching to alternative resources but this is a short term strategy. Eventually you will overwhelm any/all alternatives. Consider the following example.

    We have a single bacteria (bacteria reproduce in an exponential fashion) in a sealed container with a predetermined set of resources (i.e nutrients)and the double every minute. If it takes 12 hours for the bacteria to fill the container and use all resources available, then at what time is the container only half full? The answer is the container is half full at 11 hrs and 59 minutes!!!!

    While this example does not transfer exactly to humans, it illustrates the point that by the time a problem is looming large on the horizon it may well be to late to do anything. Given a choice would you rather live in a world where unconstrained growth has degraded and significantly limited vital resources or a world where they are managed in a fasion that allows for an adequate supply.

    To address your specific example of hydrogen. We may perfect fusion power and have enough energy for the next 1000 years. But There is a much tight limit to the food production capacity of the planet as well as the environmental carrying capacity. Once again would you want to live in a world where every city is as crowded as mumbai and has the air quality of chinese industrial cities?

  38. kettle1 says:

    #33 Clot,

    I agree, not quite sure how you justify 9K in taxes for that. and as Grim alluded to i would guess that the mold and damage is from the bank just letting heh house sit for 2 years without touching it. I would imagine the neighbors aren’t so happy about the price or the general condition of the house

  39. mikeinwaiting says:

    It would seem I’m in ground zero for RE downturn (Vernon) except for urban war zones.Can’t say I’m upset or surprized just
    waiting it out.As I have posted in the past it will work its way down to BC.Does anyone have a % on what we will see up here I’m at
    20-30 by fall 08 think it will be more or less?Trying to get a feel as there are better # crunchers on the board who are in RE.

  40. Clotpoll says:

    grim (36)-

    Lenders know better than to stockpile REOs. Better to blast them out ASAP, before things get even worse. I don’t know of a single lender “holding back” inventory.

  41. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    #14 mr potter (in Jimmy Stewart voice)-

    MLS 20736819 is 1 Pond Road in Rumson…..nice location, near the river across from McLoone’s.

    Purchased as a new home in Jan 2004 for $2.7Mega-bucks. Says it has 6 beds, 5.5 baths, finished basement and 3 car garage on a 1 acre lot. Current taxes are $37,743 but listing says they have a new assessment!! So what does that make it….$29 large?!?!

  42. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (38)-

    Make Wells an offer, and make it contingent upon a successful tax appeal…to be financed and undertaken by Wells.

    Talk about torture!

  43. grim says:

    mike,

    The bust playing out right now in the fringe areas is a precursor of what is to come for the larger metro area.

    I’m sure you’ve heard about the rolling boom/bust theory, but what we’re seeing in the fringe area seems to support the theory. As home prices jumped in the core areas, buyers moved outwards pushing prices up. As prices rose in the outer rings, buyers pushed further outwards. Now that the cycle has reversed, these outer rings are seeing stresses first. I can cite numerous anecdotal cases of weakening starting from the Northwest and West bleeding inwards.

  44. Clotpoll says:

    Fiddy (41)-

    Isn’t Rumson the Brigadoon of Monmouth?

  45. kettle1 says:

    42 Clot

    that is actually an interesting proposition. That house could actually be a good fit for me, as i would like to do serious interior changes to pretty much any house i buy (i.e supper insulation and other energy efficient modifications)

  46. Clotpoll says:

    grim (43)-

    Precisely. I’m seeing some big beat-downs in Hunterdon/Somerset, and I figure Sussex today probably represents what we’ll be experiencing here in 6 months’ time.

    Don’t worry, prestigious BC and Brigadoon; you will not be exempt from the scourge.

  47. kettle1 says:

    re # 45

    mmm supper. i actually meant super , i do not plan on putting my dinner in the walls ;)

  48. Clotpoll says:

    Wednesday January 2, 7:37 AM EST

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Centro Properties Group will put itself up for sale ahead of a Feb. 15 deadline to refinance $3.4 billion in debt, the beleaguered Australian shopping mall giant said Wednesday.

    Centro took on enormous debt after an aggressive and highly leveraged U.S. acquisition spree over the past two years.

    The company — the worst performer on Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index in 2007 with an 89 percent slide — had planned to pay off short-term loans that financed the spree by selling long-term debt via the commercial mortgage-backed securities market. There were few takers and Centro sought a two-month extension from creditors.

    Centro has already received “a significant number of unsolicited expressions of interest” from strategic and financial investors, said Chairman Brian Healey in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

    (snip)

    Options include a buyout of the group or sales of assets in Australia and the U.S., Centro said in its statement.

    Chief Executive Andrew Scott said the company was trying to set up a process to evaluate offers. He declined to say how many parties have approached Centro, but did say they were both domestic and foreign investors.

    The Melbourne-based company is the second-largest shopping center owner in Australia. It expanded rapidly through its acquisitions to become the fifth-largest in the United States, where it now manages nearly 700 shopping centers valued at $14.6 billion.

    Centro shares plummeted 77 percent on Dec. 17, after the company cut its earnings forecast by 14 percent, suspended its first-half dividend and said it may have to sell properties as part of a restructure to pay back debt.

  49. Sybarite F.K.A. New Investor says:

    #45

    Hope you don’t have a long commute. One of my ex’s was from Vernon, and it’s truly remote. Pretty inaccessable from most of the major highways in NJ.

  50. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (47)-

    Better to put your supper in the walls than, say, your Mom.

  51. mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle Taxes Vernon the rate changes here not the assesment.That being said the people I know who have tried have done well.

  52. dinra says:

    What do guys think about Mt. Olive? I see a lot of houses listed, but none selling.

  53. mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle 38 you are correct bank screwed themselfs.(per my agent)Taxes in vernon are not that cheap considering our location & no service compared to BC.Pay for well ,septic ,garbage, snow removal if you live in a lake com.no fire just police.Taxes on my old house almost doubled from 98 to 06 when I sold.The taxes on the house I rent are 6300 for a 4 bd 2.5 bath on a small lot 125 by 150.Good deal for me bad for the landlord but no one has the money to rent either up here most just mail the keys & leave the state.

  54. kettle1 says:

    Mike 51,

    I am not sure what you were trying to say……

  55. mikeinwaiting says:

    Reassement advised by Clot.

  56. Sybarite F.K.A. New Investor says:

    #52

    Commuter torture. Arteries are Rts. 80 and 206, both of which are overloaded during peak commutting hours.

  57. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Clot-

    Yes, Rumson has Brigadoon status, along with Holmdel, Colts Neck, and maybe Spring Lake.

    I’d love to know how a new $2.7Meg home in 2003 turns in a negative return over the biggest run-up years on record. We need details here!

  58. mr potter says:

    #41 Fiddy Cents

    “Sentimental Hogwash”

    Yeah, taxes for that Rumson spread will be at least 30k. But the owner is taking a multi 6 figure hit.

  59. mikeinwaiting says:

    56 I do 23 to 287 men & women up here leave real early to bet the rush.Out at 530 work at 7 home 530 600.Thats the norm for most of my friends up here some worse some better.My buddy does city every day now thats a nightmare.

  60. Outofstater says:

    #22 China is facing a problem as a result of their one child policy. Boys are preferred to girls and many female babies were either aborted or “disappeared” after birth. They now have a gender imbalance with many young men unable to find women to marry. Combine that with their unemployment problems and the country has a potentially explosive situation.

  61. njpatient says:

    “men & women up here leave real early to bet the rush”

    Reminds me of that old Yogi-ism when asked about a popular restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

  62. spam spam bacon spam says:

    [19] Kettle

    Soylent Green, baby! Soylent Green!

    ;)~

  63. mikeinwaiting says:

    60 I guess that can solve your population problem.No women.Do they have gov run brothels there?If not, they sure are going to have some big problems.Last thing the gov needs is a bunch of unemployed young men with no sexual outlet.

  64. njpatient says:

    So 2007 is finally done. Is oil at $40 yet? Has the pant-up demand materialized? Has the value of RE in certain towns risen 10%?

  65. dinra says:

    #56…Very well aware, but trying to size up the market there.Any one looking in that area?

  66. Clotpoll says:

    other white meat (62)-

    One day into the New Year, and we have our first Soylent Green reference!

    Soylent Green is people…

  67. Clotpoll says:

    dinra (65)-

    Only Sherpas.

  68. kettle1 says:

    # 62

    Soylent red is my favorite!

    #60

    China has a HUGE problem. Male/female ration discrepancies on the order of chinas (china has approx .8 females for every male, 100 females for every 120 males). Countries that have ended up in situations like this have historically become politically unstable do to the unbalance and the unrest it causes or the county has gone to war in order to kill off the excess male population. So from a historical point of view china has 2 choices, go to war or face political revolution.

    I personally think that we (as in the world as a whole and individual societies) should focus on population control. I do not know what the best method would be but we certainly need to begin discussing it.

  69. Sean says:

    #41 Ara Hovnanian is moving out of Rumson as well.I guess when there are no more good squash or tennis partners left in town it is time to move.

  70. mikeinwaiting says:

    66 Yes Clot great flick.Oil at 40 for bi naaaa its over 99 @ 1200 trying for 100.

  71. Bubble Disciple says:

    solution for problem in China … polyandry

  72. mikeinwaiting says:

    Oil hits 100 on spot.

  73. bulo says:

    kettle1

    #19
    at a growth rate of 3% per year, you will double your starting value every 7 years

    At growth rate of 3% it will take 24 years to double your starting value.

    OR

    For the starting value to double in 7 years it will take 10% growth rate.

    Please check your math

  74. Yankee Gal says:

    dinra (65)-

    My brother lives in Mt. Olive in a very cute, family-oriented neighborhood. Lots of bi-levels. My brother bought his house in ’00 for $213K. At the peak he could probably get the high $300Ks for it but now similar houses in the area (near Mountain View School) seem to be selling in the low $300Ks. The schools are decent but not great – very overcrowded. But his family is happy there. We considered buying out there but I don’t want the hellish commute to Morristown. Also the taxes are pretty high.

  75. mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle you still have that link to the Professor.I remember your #s being correct.

  76. stuw6 says:

    Wow…Market is really roaring downwards today due to that pesky recessionary manufacturing report.

    I’ve been 60% bonds since September and planning on moving up 10% a month until I’m 100% come the Spring and the real housing fallout. If China or India implodes…it will be major recession/depression time.

    Can anyone out there think of any positive economic impetus around the corner?

  77. Mitchell says:

    #6 65K buys a lot of house in other parts of the country still.

    The problem is NJ has priced out the first time home buyer to getting a POS for anyone making less than 150K.

  78. John says:

    65K has not enough to buy a single family home in a nice neighborhood for a very very long time. When I got married in 1998 and our combined gross income was $110K the most I could afford was a one bedroom coop in a decent neighborhood. Even back then the decent homes in that neighborhood were over $400K, which pre-run up was 4x my income. My coop that I sold a long time ago is now worth 250K, so a one bedroom coop is 4x income at 65K. Houses in that same area now run 700K. How the heck can a 65K a year person afford that? When I was growing up one of four kids in a two bedroom apartment my dad used to say it is hard to save for a house as the good neighborhoods are for the wall street and college educated types who make more money. After 16 years in an apartment they bought their first home and my Dad died four years later. All four kids learned their lesson and got their masters degrees so history would not repeat itself. Today is not much different from 50 years ago when a good home in a good neighborhood was also out of reach of the middle class. What is wrong with that? It is a good motivator for these people’s childrent to do something with their lives rather than wait for the govt. cheese truck to come.

  79. kettle1 says:

    Bulo,

    Good catch, i did screw up my math, by the idea remains consistent. Exponential growth may be approximated by dividing 70 by the growth rate percentage. I.e 70/10% = 7 year doubling time. The exact equation would be

    log(2) / Log(1+[r%/100])

    the idea of continued growth every year whether its in GDP or raw material consumption is a very serious co concern because exponential growth can be a very insidious problem because people are not aware of it until its to late. the average person does not realize that continuous growth is analogous to exponential growth. As another example. In the early 80’s it was estimates that the US had enough coal to power all of our electricity needs for 500 years. That estimate was based on the same consumption as 1980 for the entire period, but growth runs around 3% in that field as well Do the math and a very rough estimate is that that 500 years drops to 100years. There were many other issues with that coal estimate but it is a good illustration of the very big yet hidden issue of not accounting for growth

  80. mikeinwaiting says:

    STUW “0” pretty grim he.I’ve been toying with the “D” word in some of my post.I guess I’m not the only one who sees it could be a very real outcome of present sit.In 3-5 monthes we should know how close it will be.I certainly hope not.

  81. kettle1 says:

    STu,

    Well, according to recent reports ( a NY times article) the economic downturn of the US is causing a new wave of illegal immigrants returning to mexico….. That may be positive depending on your point of view.

  82. kettle1 says:

    Mike, stu

    While turmoil in political or economic arena’s may be unsettling consider that change does not usually come without turmoil. The US is most certainly in need of both economic and political change and neither one will happen with out some serious turmoil. So while the interum may be unpleasant and uncertain it can be a gateway for positive change; it can be a gateway for negative change as well, we will have to wait and see.

  83. kettle1 says:

    sorry for the horrible grammar in # 79…. :(

  84. gary says:

    Oil over $100, gold above $860, silver above $15, the 10 yr. yield at 3.90%, property taxes exploding upwards, tunnels at $8, Corzine to double tolls and home prices still at bizarro levels. Fascinating, isn’t it? I wonder what the breaking point will look like? Anybody got any chips and dip?

  85. stuw6 says:

    Kettle1 (80):

    I’m not anti-immigration whatsoever. What I wonder though is, who is going to mow our lawns now that nobody born here seems to be willing to get their hands dirty.

    I’m about 6 hours away from boarding my plane to India. It will be interesting to get their perspective on our economy and culture.

    Perhaps I’ll report on my findings over the next three weeks.

  86. PGC says:

    Oil just hit $100

  87. mr potter says:

    #77 Mitchell – the Carolina Realtor back in action.

    GO AWAY ! PLEASE !

  88. still_looking says:

    Happy (belated) New Year everyone.

    Clot: did bristol ct steve bail out for good or waiting to relist?

    RichinNNJ: is 240 Paramus Rd still UC?

    Just wondering…

    Rehash from yesterday: I am seeing far more uninsured, medicaid, NJKidCare (medicaid for kids) patients than ever. More NJ hospitals are in financial trouble- even the ones in good areas.

    sl

  89. kettle1 says:

    Stu

    i wasnt implying you were anti-immigration, just thought i would throw it out there.

    By all means, please do report from india, i would be interested in both your take of them and their take of us.

  90. mikeinwaiting says:

    GARY I’m going with hot salsa & corn chips in honor of are Mexican friends leaving.Don’t let the door hit you in the a** on the way back to Mexico boys.

  91. njpatient says:

    “Perhaps I’ll report on my findings over the next three weeks.”

    stu – please do.

    gary 84
    pass the popcorn

  92. dreamtheaterr says:

    Stu,

    Am curious – which cities in India will you be visiting over the next 3 weeks?

    I will be heading to India in another 3 weeks for vacation.

  93. John says:

    One more thing about the 65K people. I live is a POS 3 bedroom 60by100 split in a so so neighborhood myself, cracked sidewalk, leaky ceiling and 50 year old furnance and I get pissed watching those house hunter shows where in GA, TX or TN they are buying mansions for around 350K. I wanted to trade up and spent a few weeks looking in the fall of 2007. I wanted a four bed, two bath, 80 by 100 colonial type house with a den in good condition in a good neighborhood with good schools and close to the city with a good train line. The cheapest house I saw that met that list was close to 1.4 million. The range was 1.3 to 1.6 to get a nice house. Otherwise I am trading up for not much more so why do it. So even at 4x income you need over 300K to afford a nice house. It is shocking to see a home listed for 990K in November 2007 with 70’s bathrooms and 60’s kitchen with shag carpet being told it is marked down and value priced.

  94. Aaron says:

    mexicans leaving will put even more pressure on the housing/rental market.

    They had a huge impact on prices in Red Bank.

  95. stuw6 says:

    Kettle1:

    Didn’t think you were implying anything. ;)

    Sometimes I wonder if any of the immigrant haters here thought about where they would be today had the country closed their borders in the past.

  96. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re: Rumson

    Next thing you know…Springsteen will be selling his house and leaving town. Hey once his kids are graduated from Rumson Country Day School, he’ll move into his Colts Neck digs for their High School years.

  97. Mitchell says:

    #22 You should look up Lyme Disease.

  98. Clotpoll says:

    still (88)-

    Dunno. I have a call in. Don’t expect that I’ll get a straight answer, though.

  99. Clotpoll says:

    Mitchell (97)-

    “You should look up Lyme Disease.”

    Mitchell, any chance that’s a picture of you?

  100. Mitchell says:

    #28 “For example, why would you have a second child if the cost of feeding him or her becomes cost prohibitive.”

    Some on welfare see another child as an additional income source? Not everyone thinks before they pro create.

  101. BubbleYum says:

    stuw6 Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 12:47 pm
    Kettle1:

    Didn’t think you were implying anything. ;)

    Sometimes I wonder if any of the immigrant haters here thought about where they would be today had the country closed their borders in the past.
    ________________________________________________

    I’m not an immigrant hater, but it does set my teeth on edge when supporters of open boarders refer to work that “Americans won’t do.” Whether you are referring to migrant farm work, animal slaughtering, construction, or anything else, there are Americans not only willing to do those jobs, but American citizens who are DOING them, right alongside illegals. You shouldn’t have to slur citizens or make things up to support the position that we should have unlimited immigration, if that is your belief.

  102. kettle1 says:

    if you guys think oil has been a roller coaster ride , then just sit back and relax…. A lot of the larger oil fields in mexico and the middle east have been using a method of extraction where they drill sideways through the oil field. This allows then to jack up short term production, but it reduces the total amount of oil that can be extracted from that field. Over the next 3-8 years several of the larger fields that are estimated to have huge amounts of oil left are going to start to decline in production very rapidly. Insome ways the oil production looks like the current mortgage game. Some very lucrative short term methods have been used that are very unsound in the long term. So while people are pricing oil at the current supply and reserves. A large portion of the stated reserves may not actually exist due to the method of extraction used. Oh and some of the larger recent find such as the large field off the coast of brazil are so deep in the ground that oil companies have only produced oil from this depth at experimental levels, they have never done large scale production at that depth before, so the actual costs and efficiency of extraction is unknown and is likely to cost more then expected for lower then expected efficiency.

    Oh, and i mention mexico, because they could end up in serious political turmoil if there oil drops off like some people project. The rate of decline of some of their larger oil fields seem to be matching the more severe depletion forecasts that predict their oil production dropping quickly. mexico has the potential to go from a net exporter of oil to a net importer of oil in the near future.

  103. mikeinwaiting says:

    Not all lawns are mowed by Mexicans in my part of the world it is still done by young guys some in school others just starting out.You really don’t see illegals doing alot of the work up here.Thats good by me so my sons can work while in HS & collage.And by the way they do & will no free lunch.I have to agree with you on that John. I have been working since I was 12 & it sure will not kill you.

  104. 3b says:

    #84 gary:I wonder what the breaking point will look like?

    The breaking point will simply be time, all the peices ae falling into place, as we have been discussing here.

  105. Shore Guy says:

    # 17 “something is grossly out of whack when they can’t afford a nice 3 BR 1.5bath in a safe neighborhood with decent schools.”

    The issue is NOT affording such a place it is the location of said home. Such homes are available in Upstate NY, in the western part of Mass., etc. The problem is too many people think there is no decent life out of where they grew up that they fail to look at how good life can be elsewhere. The sub $100k earners may not be able to afford to live in a town with a good school district in NJ, which also allows them to commute to N.E. NJ or NYC; however, there are pleanty of places where, even earning 40% less, they could get those things, and have a better lifestyle.

    The refusal to see the benifit of living elsewhere puts demand on housing, which puts upward pressure on prices. If one cannot have a good life in NJ on one’s income it is time for one to look elsewhere, or stop kvetching.

  106. Mitchell says:

    #99. Your so funny. Were are you performing at?

  107. Sybarite F.K.A. New Investor says:

    #100

    And we still have major religions prohibiting contraception.

  108. kettle1 says:

    Ybarite,

    There is a correlation between people who have fewer children and them being less religious. Contraception is a losing proposition for most major religions

  109. mikeinwaiting says:

    Legal immigration fine sneaking in along the border not.Watch the fur fly when Americans are desperate for these jobs as they have none.The politicos will ship them out faster than you can blink or get voted out.Not going to be pretty or our finest hour but survival trumps all.

  110. Sybarite F.K.A. New Investor says:

    #108

    Agreed. I wish they could see the correlation between contraception and the death rate due to AIDS and other STD’s.

  111. Mitchell says:

    #105 Haven’t your heard anything outside of NJ is trailer parks and toothless hill billy’s who marry back into the family. You also cant possibly have more money at the end of the year making 40% less in other places. Its just not possible. What you speak of is heresy. Places where blue collar people can buy a home surely these places don’t exist. What next your going to say some commuters can reach the speed limit when going to work? I would move but I’m not sure life is worth living without an Ez-Pass.

  112. still_looking says:

    thanks Clot!

    sl

  113. 3b says:

    #109 mike: You try hard to be sympathetic, but then you read stories like the one I did yesterday, where Mexican kids are crossing the border every day to go to school for free, and then return home to Mexico at the end of the school day.

    That is just not right.

  114. mikeinwaiting says:

    Merrill to start layoffs tomorrow C. Gasperino CNBC also sources anthor 10 bil in write offs.Thats real big for a small firm like Merrill.

  115. Imus says:

    Not clear where this economy is going and whether it is irreparable, but the NYC bankers KILLED it this year. Bonuses are HUGE. Secretaries pulled down 6 figures. Go figure…

  116. grim says:

    Lawyers gearing up..

    http://www.dsnews.com/view_story.cfm?id=1905

    The New York City Bar Association has organized a seminar for the benefit of default servicing attorneys who will inevitably find themselves dealing with the many legal and ethical issues surrounding the subprime lending crisis.

    The New York Bar Association says its seminar, titled “Ethical Issues in the Subprime Mortgage Lending Arena: What Lawyers Need to Know,” will cover everything from the fundamental differences between subprime lending and predatory lending and the legal steps lawyers should follow when detecting fraudulent practices on the part of their clients.

  117. lisoosh says:

    “kettle1 Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    “Well, according to recent reports ( a NY times article) the economic downturn of the US is causing a new wave of illegal immigrants returning to mexico…..”

    Heard the same. The fact that the downturn has affected the undocumented first has masked the recessionary effect so far – true drops in employment are not registering in the statistics. Plus, those workers bought stuff – food, clothes and other items and their leaving will cause drops in sales and further pain.

  118. 3b says:

    #115 Imus: Secretaries pulled down 6 figures. Go figure…

    That my friend is a myth, which is one of the many spread by people who do not work in the industry, yet seem to know everything about the “street.” Do not believe it.

  119. John says:

    The problem with kids are that the families who should be having them don’t. Plenty of educated rich people with 4-5 bedroom houses stop at two and leave an empty bedroom, empty seat in the 4by4 cause they are too selfish and lazy to do the work required to have a third one. Those children if born would be productive tax paying citizes who would benefit the world. Instead countries with no food, extreme poverty or terroist nations seem to have no problem bringing ten kids into a family without even enough food to feed one kid.

    Out in NJ someone on welfare in newark with no husband and a boyfriend out in parole has no problem having a fourth child (when they should not), but a big four partner or trader in upper saddle river with a seven figure house and bank account often stops at two. Long term that is bad news.

    The amish, hasedics, extreme muslims or even devout Jains are not going to get many converts so their way to grow is though children. Problem is the nuttier the religion the more kids they pop out while mainstream catholics, christians, jews and hindus seem to be ok stopping at less kids. With that model the nuts not the meek will inherit the earth.

  120. Rich In NNJ says:

    Still Looking,

    Yup, 240 Paramus Rd still show Under Contract. The listing should have expired in August but the history doesn’t show the expiration and the listing is stil UC.
    Nothing new in the tax records.

    Happy New Year, Rich

  121. John says:

    Yea but like a major league catcher or a wall to wall carpet installer their knees are shot by 40!

    #115 Imus: Secretaries pulled down 6 figures. Go figure…

  122. John says:

    Re 113, the border is so loose that my friend owns a nightclub in Austin and he has illegals who cross the boarder almost daily to work in his club. Even more funny all the smoking crazy hot mexican girls near the boarder cross it every saturday night to go to his club where they get in free and the gringos have no problem buying them expensive drinks everynight. Meanwhile the mexican bus boys get the chunky monkeys the gringos don’t want.

  123. mikeinwaiting says:

    3b I here ya.I have enough on my plate to help my kids with college with out paying for foriegn kids.And that is what they are they are here against our laws & deserve nothing.Its a hard cruel world we have to take care of our kids first.We just can’t afford to support the world. Just in case these bleeding hearts haven’t looked at our
    nat’l debt lately we are beyond broke.

  124. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Concerning these $65K people that keep being mentioned….

    I think folks in that income bracket are going to be priced out of the coming market. They are simply not going to qualify for financing under the new rules. These are people that are clearly better off renting.

    The tradesmen with most of their income under the table, the Single Income with 2 kids, the non-degreed, non-professionals….they will not be able to meet the down payment and asset requirements. Even a 10% DP on a $350K home is out of their reach.

    The low-end homes that might have been available to them will be snatched up by investors and turned into cash-flow positive rentals. The prices at the low end will not fall far enough to benefit the 65K folks. They will be forced to rent or move out of state. NJ will become too expensive for their means.

    Here’s a tip for anyone in that price range….the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce phone # is 404-223-2264

  125. kettle1 says:

    John
    Plenty of educated rich people with 4-5 bedroom houses stop at two and leave an empty bedroom, empty seat in the 4by4 cause they are too selfish and lazy to do the work required to have a third one. Those children if born would be productive tax paying citizes who would benefit the world.

    Are you being serious?? The steady state replacement birth rate is 2.1 kids per family. Why should we be increasing population? While i personally think we should be DECREASING our population i can at least understand wanting to maintain steady state. Why am i selfish for not having more then 2 children???

  126. Shore Guy says:

    #101 “I’m not an immigrant hater, but it does set my teeth on edge when supporters of open boarders refer to work that “Americans won’t do.” ”

    In a free-market economy, the refusal of people to do work at a given wage rate is a reflection that the wages are too low. Once wages rise, the number of people willing to do the work will rise. The porus boeders, in addition to being a security nightmare, allow companies to be freed from the necessity of raising wages in order to attract employees.

  127. Clotpoll says:

    shill (106)-

    “Your so funny. Were are you performing at?”

    Mitchell, the above is, sadly, funnier than anything I could ever cook up. Been taking writing classes at your local HS?

  128. schabadoo says:

    Ahhhh Mitchell,

    Is that your collection of cookie-cutter real estate sites I saw?

    I heard an funny one about a cyber-squatter and a HOA down your way…

  129. Shore Guy says:

    As for Bruce leaving Rumson. Didn’t he do that years ago before he moved to Calif? My recollection was that he now has a place in the Howell/Wall Twp area.

  130. John says:

    I think it is funny when you see this in an 8k. Sovereign’s Business Model Increased emphasis on core commercial and consumer, franchise based businesses; Sovereign does not have any lending units whose principal focus is on sub-prime lending Core Commercial: Commercial Real Estate Mini Perm Conduit C&I Lending Business Banking Branch Business Banking SBA Centralized strategy with a de-centralized delivery structure Community Banking delivery model, each with a Market CEO Local decision making by experienced commercial/retail bankers Core Consumer (within footprint): Home Equity Lending Residential Mortgage Retail Banking

  131. Clotpoll says:

    John (122)-

    Austin is nowhere near the Mexican border.

  132. stuw6 says:

    I was thinking the same thing Clot.

  133. Clotpoll says:

    I call bullshit on John.

  134. Sean says:

    illegal immigrants returning to mexico? I heard they were leaving because Corzine and Spitzer are trying to make them citizens and hense taxpayers.

  135. Shore Guy says:

    Even a fast bus couldn’t get to Austin in time.

  136. John says:

    If you have the means to do it and would turn out a college educated normal boy or girl who gets a good job pays a lot of taxes and engages in meaningful productive work you should do it. To kill your unborn third child cause it is convient for you is not nice. That 2.1 rule is on a macro basis. Welfare moms turing out welfare kids and criminals giving bith to criminals is the problem. Your unborn kid is someone’s future spouse who would marry the love of their life and turn out equally great grandchildren. What is wrong with having that third kid. I know the one and done crowd would kill me for saying to have a third or fourth kid but our problems are the millions of people in jail and on welfare not that we have too many nice people.
    kettle1 Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 1:27 pm
    “Why am i selfish for not having more then 2 children???

  137. John says:

    Does 63 impalas with the hyrdolics don’t have 120 mph speedometers for nothing.
    Shore Guy Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 1:41 pm
    Even a fast bus couldn’t get to Austin in time.

  138. kettle1 says:

    for john

    from: austin tx to: piedras negras
    about 3 hrs 50 min

    from: austin tx to: laredo
    about 3hrs 30 min

  139. Sybarite F.K.A. New Investor says:

    #136

    Crazy talk. The solution is NOT to try and force educated/affluent people to have more children.

  140. Outofstater says:

    #105 Agreed, but when all of those people leave NJ, won’t you end up with just two classes in the state – the rich and the serfs? How would that work out? Seriously. I don’t have the answer but am interested to hear your thoughts.

  141. Shore Guy says:

    137, (spits out coffee laughing so hard). I would think the time would be better spent in a border-town bar instead of paying $3/gal of gas and spending hours each day outracing or avoiding the Texas Rangers, or whatever the highway patrol is called down there. Of course, Austin is a liberal town, by Texas satandards. Maybe the chicks in the bars are just that much more of an attraction.

  142. stuw6 says:

    About the immigration stuff. Go live in Southern California like I did for a few years. It might completely change your perspective.

    If you are worrying about the costs involved? Start investigating what Iraq is costing us. Illegal immigration costs us approximately 20 billion a year. The Iraq war (conservatively) costs us 7 billion per month. I realize that these are two different issues entirely, but before we start bitching about how much it costs us, perhaps we should put some math behind it.

  143. kettle1 says:

    John #138,

    Hey 250 miles is just a
    Hop salto y un salto right???

  144. make money says:

    Complements of mlimplode.com

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=36480&sectionid=3510203

    Interesting predictions from a swedish bank!!! I have no idea what their motivation is but if half of this is true it’s gonna be ugly.

    GLD looks beter and better everyday. Agree?

  145. schabadoo says:

    Crazy talk. The solution is NOT to try and force educated/affluent people to have more children.

    I wouldn’t sweat it. He’s getting too over-the-top to be taken seriously.

    John, you’re at an 8.
    I’d ratchet it back to a 5.

  146. mikeinwaiting says:

    Fiddy 124 You may be right but this isn’t desirable.A state,region of haves & have nots.We need a middle class & those who work in areas that don’t pay as well are needed to make it work.So they can only rent & live in crap towns with bad schools.
    This is a long term formula for the demise of our country & social order.We are on the road down & its to late, the damage is done.

  147. grim says:

    CNBC reporting Merrill layoffs to begin. Number is around 1600.

  148. kettle1 says:

    stu,

    its not just the math, We are supposedly a nation of laws ( i know haha) and yet large numbers of people just hop across the border and are to be welcomed with open arms????? I have no problem with immigration, i fully support it when do legally. If the system needs correcting, then mass illegal immigration is not the solution. You do not deserve handouts or sympathy just because you came here illegally

  149. Shore Guy says:

    149 Handcuffs not handouts

  150. mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore can I use that as a bumper sticker.
    Handcuffs not handouts.Love it.

  151. FH NJ says:

    RE #129

    Colts Neck

  152. schabadoo says:

    We are supposedly a nation of laws ( i know haha) and yet large numbers of people just hop across the border and are to be welcomed with open arms?????

    As long as the corporations(you know, the people who run the country) want it this way, who’s going to stop it?

    Look at who is the illegals best friend–our fine republican president. Democrats are just going to pander to the latino vote, so I see no political incentive to changing anything.

  153. stuw6 says:

    Kettle1,

    I agree with you on illegal immigration, but until the borders are closed, it pains me to think of what the affect on the economy would be without the local source of cheap labor. Listening to the stories about how it is killing us is just blue collar conversation fodder. Want to know what is killing our economy? Plain and simple, Bush’s tax cuts.

    Perhaps if we all have another kid, we’ll steer this economy in the right direction.

    Didn’t California vote against immigration reform relatively recently?

  154. Mitchell says:

    #128 yup it is. The Free Real Estate sites help me learn PHP when I am not being lazy. They get free advertising and I get some additional education in another language.

    Cyber-Squatter and a HOA. LOL. Would be funny to hear what was said.

    If you want to pretend to know much about me tell me what and who my connections are with the CIA/FBI? Who is my father? I’m betting at least 95% of the people on this board has seen my fathers work. What do my brothers do? ;)

  155. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Yeah, Bruce is in Colts Neck now.

    He is buying up vacant land in Colts Neck at a phenomenal rate. He owns well over 400 Acres at last tally. It’s held in the name of a trust and not in his name.

    Wow, 400 acres of Colts Neck real estate….pretty good for a boy from Freehold Boro.

  156. John says:

    Hey didn’t anyone read rich dad poor day? The rich have rich kids and the poor have poor kids. I can’t sterilize the poor. So the only way to raise NJ incomes from 65K is to have the rich have more kids.

    My friends club is only open weekends and some of the mexicans come Friday afternoon and leave Monday morning. He lets them flop in the club or stay in the car. They get several weeks of mexican pay for just one weekend’s work. The hot girls stay over at the gringo’s house and what happens outside the club stays outside the club. If I could get paid two months salary for one weekends work I would be doing a 700 mile round trip all the time.

  157. John says:

    Do they work in Austin?

    If you want to pretend to know much about me tell me what and who my connections are with the CIA/FBI? Who is my father? I’m betting at least 95% of the people on this board has seen my fathers work. What do my brothers do? ;)

  158. stuw6 says:

    the Fed noted that consumer spending is slowing more than thought. The Fed also there is a chance of a rapid market rebound, and reversing rate cuts.

    I’m surprised by the initial market reaction.

  159. kettle1 says:

    Schab,

    I agree, the immigration issue has been driven by businesses. They love illegal immigration it reduces their costs! Oh and we pretty much live in a corporate republic. When the supreme court ruled that money was equal to speech, the horse was out of the barn, as businesses who are legally recognized as people will always have a much louder voice ( i.e much more money) then 99% of the population. heck some companies such as ExxonMobile are financially larger then most countries.

    Stu,

    Growth is not the answer. The answer is to shift our society/economy that is not sustainability ( not just the GREEN kind). for example SS is based on growth i.e. a continuously growing younger population to pay for the older one.

  160. Mitchell says:

    #159. Nope. Cold Very Cold.

  161. BubbleYum says:

    Shore Guy Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 1:28 pm
    #101 “I’m not an immigrant hater, but it does set my teeth on edge when supporters of open boarders refer to work that “Americans won’t do.” ”

    In a free-market economy, the refusal of people to do work at a given wage rate is a reflection that the wages are too low. Once wages rise, the number of people willing to do the work will rise. The porus boeders, in addition to being a security nightmare, allow companies to be freed from the necessity of raising wages in order to attract employees.
    ________________________________________________

    Summed up perfectly.

  162. schabadoo says:

    #155

    I’m probably missing the point of your interest in talking about your family.

    But, down in the Carolinas, lot of fighting with HOAs, right?

  163. Clotpoll says:

    shill (155)-

    “If you want to pretend to know much about me tell me what and who my connections are with the CIA/FBI? Who is my father?”

    Your connection to FBI/CIA: you’re on a watchlist

    Your father: X-Files agent Fox Mulder

  164. grim says:

    stu,

    I would have guessed a rate cut rally on those minutes..

  165. kettle1 says:

    stu

    The Fed also there is a chance of a rapid market rebound, and reversing rate cuts.

    there is also a chance that G.W. will have a live press conference saying that iraq was a bad idea oh, and this no child left behind thing probably wasn’t so bright either

  166. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    States Plan to Boost Regulation of Mortgage Brokers

    State bank supervisors unveiled a nationwide licensing system for U.S. mortgage brokers, aiming to close a regulatory gap blamed for opening the way to record defaults and foreclosures among subprime borrowers.

    The Internet-based system, modeled on the registry for securities brokers and dealers, went online today, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators announced in a statement released in Washington. The program will track licensing, employment history and enforcement actions.

    “This significant and necessary step forward should better protect borrowers by bringing greater consistency across the states to the supervision of mortgage lenders,” Federal Reserve Governor Randall Kroszner said in a statement. “Nationwide licensing should prevent lenders who run afoul of authorities in one state from simply moving and doing business in another.”

    The licensing effort will help government watchdogs monitor state-regulated brokers and lenders who aren’t overseen by the Fed and other U.S. agencies. Regulators told Congress in hearings last year that brokers were responsible for most subprime loans, those made to borrowers with weak or incomplete credit histories.

  167. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN0240149520080102

    so whatg are the odds Bloomberg is NOT going to run — 5% maybe?

  168. BC Bob says:

    From Agora Financial, no link.

    “We end this morning with exceptional malaise… this week marks the first time baby boomers will be granted Social “:Security benefits.”

    “Those born in 1946, the first “official” generation of baby boomers, will turn 62 this year, and thus become eligible for government promised retirement benefits.”

    “Some 80 million U.S. citizens were born between 1946-1964. The government has estimated that payroll taxes will be unable to cover promised benefits by 2017 and that the trust fund set up to support such entitlements will be bankrupt by 2041.”

    “Toss in benefits promised by Medicare and Medicaid and… well… we’re screwed.”

  169. mr potter says:

    #169 Shoreguy

    Bloomy will run it appears. What is interesting is that he can throw 150M of his own money at the election. Whacko Ross Perot got 19% of the vote. Guiliano and Clinton would be the big losers if he jumps in as I would imagine he would take NY

  170. BC Bob says:

    make [145],

    To the moon.

  171. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob,

    There is no “trust fund”. All of this money was placed into the general coffers of the government and spent. The so called trust fund is money that the government owes to the program…..

    We are screwed on SS and and severely screwed with medicaid/care

  172. Shore Guy says:

    171

    The two questions for me are whether Hagle runs with him and whether his running will throw the election to the House?

    If Bloomberg runs, I can see him winning at least one state. Any single state, taken from the winner of the last two elections would have denied the 270 electoral votes necessary, and would have thrown the race to the House. Beyond winning a 3-electoral-vote state, I can see the possibility of Bloomberg winning NY, NJ, Fla. THAT totally messes up the electoral college. THEN, the question is whether the House Dems give the votes to their nominee or whether they look to someone else. It could be a fascinating election.

    If Chuck is his running mate, Bloomberg may even be able to pull off some “big square states” and the combination of the two may appeal to the PA-VA area.

  173. Shore Guy says:

    #173 “There is no “trust fund”. ”

    Sure there is. It works like this. “Trust us,” we will find a way to “fund” social security when you are old.

  174. Shore Guy says:

    JIA currently down to 13, 023. It will be interesting to see if there is a bit of an uptick at the end of the day or if it drops to 12,9XX. I for one would not be surprised to see the DJIA at 12,000-12,250 on 12-31-08.

    Any of you who live the market have any thoughts on this?

  175. Shore Guy says:

    oops, 12,994. I would love to keep watching it today but need to go oppress the masses for a bit.

  176. kettle1 says:

    anyone see “calculated risk”s story on housing today? it nothing we havent discussed for a while but it puits all the pieces togather.

    SO 1. housing is screwed 2. the economy is screwed.

  177. BC Bob says:

    “It works like this. “Trust us,”

    shore [175],

    Like our currency; good faith and credit.

  178. John says:

    Where do you get this myth that the Iraq war (conservatively) costs us 7 billion per month?

    We would still have a miltary and a large presence in the Middle East waiting for the nuts to attack if the war was not on. Plus the death rate in milatary is pretty high even when there is no war on. Plus where exactly would all those GED boys in Iraq be working right now if there was no war. War is business and usually good for the economy.

  179. kettle1 says:

    SHore guy,

    Ohhhhh, i didnt realize that you were referring to that particular “TRUST Fund”

  180. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of getting screwed. I heard a radio report last week and they were talking to someone in India about how the US housing market is screwing investors. His comment was something to the effect of, “you think the United States is bad. This is tha land of the Kamma Sutra. Here we know more ways to screw you than anywhere.”

  181. mr potter says:

    #174

    Interesting, was unaware of what would happen. NY/NJ/PA/FL are all possible for Bloomy which would be 98 electoral votes. I think this can get interesting in a hurry. He has no baggage and 5 Billion in the till. To run he would have to give up interest payments for a few months.

  182. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob,

    Like our currency; good faith and credit.

    haha, can i have my salary in gold or silver bullion please?

    John,

    We would still have a miltary and a large presence in the Middle East waiting for the nuts to attack if the war was not on. Plus the death rate in milatary is pretty high even when there is no war on. Plus where exactly would all those GED boys in Iraq be working right now if there was no war. War is business and usually good for the economy.

    Your trollfu is strong today!

  183. Shore Guy says:

    #181

    YES. Just like the other three big lies:

    1) This won’t hurt a bit;

    2) Of course I will respect you inthe morning; and,

    3) I am from the government, I am here to help.

  184. Shore Guy says:

    # 183, even if things broke down more or less like the last two elections, even a state like Montana could end up throwing the election to the house, were it to go for Bloomberg.

  185. John says:

    Male Belly Dancing Makes Comeback in Egypt, Defying Suppression

    By Daniel Williams

    Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) — Farid Mesbaah, male belly dancer, hopped on a car in Cairo’s Shobra district and strutted his stuff.

    He clanged metal castanets, magically converted his hips into pistons and twirled his head around like a centrifuge. The crowd at tables lining a dirt alley clapped rhythmically. Young men in jeans jumped up to wiggle along.

    Mesbaah was performing at the opening of the Old-Time Moon Cafe, a gig that — along with weddings, birthdays, night clubs and circumcisions — is typical for belly dancers. Untypical, at least in recent years, are performances by men.

    Rakia Hassan, 62, a retired dancer, recalls that in her childhood, males peddled their skills along with women on Muhammed Ali Street, then a one-stop shop for belly-dancer hires.

    No one knows the number of male — or for that matter, female — dancers now. There is no belly-dance association, an indication of the profession’s seedy reputation. (Belly dance is a Western term invented by the French; Egyptians call it simply Oriental or “homegrown” dance.)

    Male dancing, along with officially proscribed activities such as open prostitution and smoking hashish, goes on in some nightclubs. Mahmoud Karim, 20, who dances in discos along Pyramids Street, says he pretends to be an enthusiastic customer but actually gets paid by clubs to perform.

    “I’m careful not to look like I’m seducing customers,” Karim says.

    “I don’t believe that a male belly dancer should imitate a woman,” says Seif, 35. “We should not forget we are men and dance in a manly way.”

    Mesbaah jokes that women dancers are jealous of the men. “We can do more with our muscles,” he says. He turned his passion into a profession 10 years ago after ending a career as a metal worker.
    He dresses in loose black trousers and T-shirt; no pantaloons, vests or skirts recalling the khawal past. The only accessory linking him to belly-dance dress is the waist scarf.

    His family accepts his profession, except for an older brother who, Mesbaah says, is a devout Muslim and has stopped talking to him.

    “Some people think it’s forbidden, but we Egyptians like to have fun,” he says.

  186. John says:

    I love the fact they have male belly dancers at brisses in Egypt!! Do the dancers work for tips?

  187. Shore Guy says:

    # 188 which reminds me of a joke about a moyle, a wallet, and a suitcase.

  188. Mitchell says:

    #164.
    Yes HOA headache in a few developments but most are pretty good. The problem is our developer dropped the ball and never enforced any of the rules in the development and the HOA formed later in the game trying to enforce the rules but does so in a poor method trying to boss the residents around and lacking open communication. Our HOA made board member changes and didn’t notify anyone or does it without the interest of the development. Like people not voted in got positions months down the line. The HOA has the best intentions they don’t have the best execution which is what I criticized them on. The developer kind of screwed them initially and still does. I owned the website for the development which then got caught in the middle between the development and the HOA. Then they tried bossing me around when the website was the money from my own pocket. Now I hear cyber squatter and I have to laugh because for months I tried selling them the site and they danced around completing the transaction with some lame excuses that only worsen their situation.

    HOA is supposed to enforce rules to protect the development from rif raff coming in an say putting up plastic pink flamingo’s or in one case plastic deer in the front yard or like in NJ big statues of Jesus or Gaudy water fountains. Your neighbor puts a useless car in his driveway its the HOA’s job to get them to remove it not yours. Someone doesnt clean up after their dog the HOA goes after them. Tries to keep out renters. etc. All good for house values.

    If you read through its a good thing because it can keep your neighbor from having a car in cinder blocks or an RV parked in the street for months on end.

    But I got labeled as a cyber squatter because I had people saying the website should be owned by the HOA and the residents who don’t like the HOA who don’t want them to have full control or the website. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t move.

    The second level to that happens when they failed to renew the .com and I bought it. Technically they don’t have any use for it which is probably why they let it expire because our part of the development was completed. They hadn’t updated it since the development was created some 5 years ago and the information on it was useless so I used it to jumpstart the real estate sites so you could sell your home in the development directly on the website for the development. Oh boy that got someone in an uproar. They act like you hijacked e-bay because they have no concept of the internet. One claimed I was somehow making tons of money on the development when it was an ad free website. LOL. Again no concept of how any of the internet works.

    The reality is there are 2 realtors on the HOA board so it may be that they are ticked off I beat them to a good idea. If not well I support their competition then.

    Who knows and who cares I think they want to feel important sometimes. Bully syndrome? Not sure.

    Essentially an HOA tries to prevent your neighbors from doing stuff that would devalue homes in the neighborhood which is a good thing. We get a pool with lifeguards, well maintained lawns, and several development events. All good. The problem were having is we should have had our boat ramps to the lake by now and a dry storage facility but they have been dragging their feet. So on the website we went after the developer.

    Lesson Learned if your going into an HOA development and all the amenities listed aren’t in yet ask to have the HOA dues put into escrow until the amenities are established and in use. Get something in writing with a deadline that you get to keep the cash if they dont move at a fair pace.

    There are some developments with HOA’s dues and don’t have any amenities which I cant understand. Change the street light for $650.00 a year no thanks.

    My HOA dues are $650 a year. That includes the pool, walking trails, hopefully soon the boat ramps, Plus 3 or 4 events some at the clubhouse which can have free food or amusements for the kids. Plus it keeps boneheads from doing stuff like chain link fences. I don’t disagree with HOA dues when you get what your paying for but we want the boat ramps sooner than another year out.

    In all my Taxes and HOA dues is less than $3,000 a year.

  189. mr potter says:

    Dow experiencing worst opening day trading session since 1932………..

  190. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 3:11 pm
    JIA currently down to 13, 023. It will be interesting to see if there is a bit of an uptick at the end of the day or if it drops to 12,9XX. I for one would not be surprised to see the DJIA at 12,000-12,250 on 12-31-08.

    Any of you who live the market have any thoughts on this?

    Shore: possible but I would tend not to think so

  191. gary says:

    I find it absolutely astonishing that with every indicator pointing towards a protracted down cycle, I’m still receiving listings on a daily basis with prices completely and utterly misaligned. It’s almost satirical. I look forward to opening my email on a daily basis as if it was the joke of the day. It’s like a little kid who cranks the arm on a jack-in-the-box waiting with eager anticipation for the clown to jump out.

    This is so, so fascinating. The economic indicators are deteriorating rapidly and these mindless @ssbags are listing their bland, dank smelling, pile of dog sh*t heeps for absurd levels, still hoping to cash out just so they can blow it on nonsense. Wow.

  192. 3b says:

    #193 gary: Do you ever respond to those e-mails with comments, if so what kind of comments back from the Realtors do you get?

  193. mr potter says:

    #193

    Wait…time is on your side. The economy is unravelling in front of us. Prices will be back to 2002/2003 levels by end of year

  194. 3b says:

    #192 chgo: You do nto belive the Dow could drop another 800 points or so between now and the end of the year? I think it is very possible.

  195. Outofstater says:

    #164 Yup. HOA’s can be a nightmare. I would never live in a large subdivision down here for that very reason. Some of them are like power-tripping stormtroopers telling you that your house is just the wrong shade of beige and change it or we’ll fine you daily. Some of them even have a list of “approved plants” for your landscape. Yuck. Oh, and some of them also have a lawyer on retainer. Nice and neighborly.

  196. John says:

    Just for fun, most trading volume in 2007 PowerShares QQQ Trust
    SPDR Trust Series I
    iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund
    S&P 500 Index (Operating Basis)
    Apple Inc.
    Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund
    Citigroup Inc.
    Research In Motion Ltd.
    Google Inc. (Cl A)
    Microsoft Corp.
    CBOE Market Volatility Index
    Yahoo! Inc.
    Russell 2000
    General Electric Co.
    General Motors Corp.
    Countrywide Financial Corp.
    Diamonds Trust Series I
    Intel Corp.
    Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (ADS)
    Cisco Systems Inc.
    EMC Corp.
    Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.
    Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund
    Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
    Bank of America Corp.

  197. gary says:

    3b [194],

    I do respond once in a while. I do so in a tactful and respectful manner, I don’t want to sound like a j*rk as the realtors that are currently sending me listings are actually very nice. The majority I met s*ck to high h*ll and they don’t send me anything nor do I want them to.

    The responses I get back sympathize with me for the most part but I always get it with a little sales pitch attached, too. I understand they’re trying to make a living but I do let them know that things are still out of whack.

  198. Sean says:

    re: 169 Shore Guy — Bloomberg is being very sly.

    He already has a campaign and personel in every state to get the signatures for the petitions needed to get him on the ballot in alll 50 states.

    In states like Texas he needs 70,000 + signatures which is not an easy feat. So they will have to start right after the Feb primaries once the main Dem and GOP candidates are chosen.

  199. Mitchell says:

    #197 Its funny you use the Storm Trooper remark I said the same thing to the wife once but in a way they have to be. Some people are clueless when it comes to what looks good on or around a home.

    But then one of our HOA members sticks his foot in his mouth every now and then. Even stating the HOA board members are the elite people in the neighborhood.

    Overall our HOA hasn’t been bad they aren’t good speakers and say things out of context which doesn’t help but overall they are good for the development. For rentals they enforce they do background checks, don’t allow commercial work trucks to be parked in the neighborhood, No boats on the side of the houses, no project cars outside the garage, or gaudy water fountains.

    Overall they have a suck job they don’t get paid for.

    They keep the nut cases from painting a house pink or neon blue in a sea of neutral colors.

    Back in NJ we always had that one house that made nearly every inch of their grass concrete and with some silly lion statues, Jesus or Mary fountain, bright blue exterior painted color, Weird addition that doesn’t match the house, etc. You know the house that the Realtor tries to avoid by driving in the development the back way or takes you to it when its gets dark.

    The nice part is with an HOA you don’t have that house in the development that ruins it when your looking to sell.

    The down side is you need their approval to put in a shed.

    I’m also for moving to a development when you move to a new area. This way you get to meet new people and make new friends outside the office. Community pools and parties are a great place to figure out who is who. Lot of parties down here about one a month if not more.

  200. Mitchell says:

    #201 didn’t mean to sound totally illiterate been sick lately. I was a healthy person until I had kids.

  201. chicagofinance says:

    3b Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 4:07 pm
    #192 chgo: You do nto belive the Dow could drop another 800 points or so between now and the end of the year? I think it is very possible.

    3B: to be clear, the Q was 12-31-08, so I specifically responded….there is a possibility of a downdraft, but if it happens, it will be well before then, and I would expect a bounce up from down there……

  202. chicagofinance says:

    BTW – a little surprised how bad the indeces were for the 4Q07…..

    yan, once again, indexing sucked the big pipe….did you see how much the American Funds crushed?

    For the record 2007…
    DJIA 6.4%
    S&P 3.5%
    Wilshire 5000 3.9%
    Yan Designated Asset Bloat Fund of America 11%

  203. Imus says:

    118: 3B, you mean I cannot believe what I read in the Post?!!!! My world is shattered…haha Cheers.

  204. Bubbles says:

    199 Gary and others!
    In Essex county RE must be slowing down. Went to exchange some presents few days ago to Willowbrook mall and realtors were passing flyers around.
    You think times have changed? Remember the times they would not return calls?

  205. dreamtheaterr says:

    Chifi, when comparing, please include returns after dividends were reinvested for all.

    Can we please smoke the peace pipe? You’ve made your point as to why investors should cough up 5% for the privilege of a load fund, when there are plenty of other actively managed funds that can do as good a job.

  206. njpatient says:

    “Some on welfare see another child as an additional income source? ”

    Gee, Mitch – I’m glad you put a question mark on that one, as that’s a theory I’ve never seen any actual evidence for. I assume you haven’t carried a fetus for 9 months?

  207. kettle1 says:

    NJpatient,

    My wife has worked with poor parents extensivly and according to her that sentiment really does exist.

  208. njpatient says:

    oddly so does mine, and i’ve been given to understand that that sentiment exists among foster parents but not biological parents (which makes sense on a cost/benefit basis) – I simply cannot imagine carrying a baby for 9 months and going through the birth process merely for a few extra thou in deductions and some food stamps. That’s a lot of work for very little benefit.

  209. mark says:

    i agree with kettle1. It is viewed as
    a paycheck.

  210. chicagofinance says:

    dreamtheaterr Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 6:16 pm
    Can we please smoke the peace pipe? You’ve made your point as to why investors should cough up 5% for the privilege of a load fund, when there are plenty of other actively managed funds that can do as good a job.

    yan: you don’t have to pay a load….I have SMA’s where we use the no-load versions of these funds…we still collect a 12-b(1), but it is fully disclosed and netted off the fee…

  211. chicagofinance says:

    dreamtheaterr Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 6:16 pm
    Chifi, when comparing, please include returns after dividends were reinvested for all.

    are you questioning what is the WSJ C section?

  212. kettle1 says:

    NJ patient.

    I am not saying that that is the only reason. My wife is a PhD child psychologist and works with poor families and their children on a regular basis in newark. She does see the paycheck mentality but it is just one facet of a very complex matter. Some of the younger women/girls see it as a way to find love. They never felt loved by their parents or by their boyfirends/husbands so they get pregnant on purpose reasoning that a baby will love them no matter what. Its a very complex and somewhat disturbing environment, but i think and my wife confirms that the paycheck aspect is indeed real.
    I do not know what groups your wife works with, so i cannot speak for her experiences and i am not saying that she is wrong.

  213. Shore Guy says:

    “We see the fall in housing prices following a similar pattern to the Nasdaq off its heights. Even now, with the decline in housing prices, prices are still higher than they were five years ago. It’s going to take some time for this excess to work itself out, and by the time it’s finished, we’ll see prices down by 40 percent to 50 percent, especially in places where prices were extremely overvalued, such as Atlanta and Dallas.”

    http://www.bankrate.com/cnbc/news/FinancialForecast/expert_predictions_Harry_Dent_a1.asp

  214. kettle1 says:

    in regards to my earlier post on oil, # 102

    i came across this headline today

    Mexican Oil Output Could Drop by One Third

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/mexico-oil-47010204

    i know, they may not the financial times but they arent the inquirer either.

    Note that mexico is the No 2 supplier for the US

  215. thunderbolt says:

    #191 – worst opening day since 1982…

  216. Neel says:

    Just a question:

    When a seller sells a house in NJ there is something called “seller disclosure”. In NJ is it mandatory. I mean I asked that from a listing agent and she will not give me and my agent said it is not mandatory.

    Thanks in advance.

  217. Clotpoll says:

    neel (218)-

    Seller disclosures are not mandatory in NJ. There is no mandating provision within RE statute, and I don’t think the statutes even reference seller disclosures.

  218. dreamtheaterr says:

    #213, Chifi

    I think WSJ might have stated market returns, but not included dividend returns.

  219. dreamtheaterr says:

    Chifi, I think you misconstrue how an index fund or an ETF might be being used by us mediocre investors. I am an agnostic indexer; I use a combination of index funds, ETFs, and actively managed funds BUT with certain criteria: No loads, low expenses, no 12b-1.

    This year, it was bone simple for a portfolio to thrash the S&P 500 index on a risk-adjusted basis; just have a dollop of bonds.

    Any one with an inkling of the equity market would have tilted to growth and knocked the socks off, relative to the market. My biggest US large-cap growth mutual fund returned 25+%. If I go international, way much more.

    So I really don’t see what your point was in stating the returns of an American Funds fund viz-a viz the Total Market Index. I could say that hey, the Vanguard Growth Index trumped your fund….but that again puts us into the circle of active versus indexing, which is something you and I should respectfully disagree to, at least on this RE blog.

  220. Neel says:

    thanks Clotpoll

  221. BC Bob says:

    “#191 – worst opening day since 1982…”

    thunder[217],

    In % terms, worst opening day since 1983. However, the total point loss was the worst ever.

  222. mikeinwaiting says:

    Neel Demand it if not tell them to keep the house unless its the deal of a life time.In this market they should bend over backwards to get a buyer.I gave one when I sold its not that big a deal but it makes me think what do they have to hide.Buyer beware guy.This is your single biggest purchase of a lifetime so push see why they are unwilling to supply.

  223. mr potter says:

    223 BC Bob

    Correct……a sh#t show by any measurement.

    Will be interesting to see if there is a bounce back like most of 2007.

  224. Essex says:

    #223…..g@ddam teachers! It’s all their fault.

  225. Ann says:

    218 Neel

    Perhaps it is true that sellers disclosures aren’t mandatory. So if you do buy something without a disclosure, you need your lawyer to be a shark.

    Get a copy of a disclosure and make sure all of the points are in the contract and if evidence of anything is found during the inspection, the deal is off (radon, asbestos, that crazy stucco EIS, fire retardant plywood, underground oil tanks, water in the basement, termites etc.) In fact, get that stuff in any contract regardless.

    I believe if there is an underground oil tank, the sellers can’t sell it now anyway without getting it taken out and cleaned up and the town can help with you that, making sure it got the DEP approval for that.

    But I agree with Mike overall. Even though they are not mandatory apparently, they are customary. Tell them you won’t put an offer down with a disclosure. Of course, take it with a grain of salt and also do all the inspections you need.

  226. Ann says:

    218 Neel

    Also, I would be very suspicious of a house that didn’t have a disclosure. What are they trying to cover up? When we got really serious about buying, I wouldn’t even go see a house until I had seen the disclosure first or I would ask that they leave it on the table.

  227. Confused In NJ says:

    I’ve gotten many Disclosure Statement’s over the years, none of which were accurate, “Caveat Emptor”.

  228. chifi - CFAs do it better says:

    My biggest US large-cap growth mutual fund returned 25+%. If I go international, way much more.

    Yan: did they cheat?

  229. mikeinwaiting says:

    Confused 229 granted, so I reiterate why not supply.Something is rotten in Denmark.Maybe maybe not I would be real sure.

  230. Clotpoll says:

    mike (224)-

    The most common reason sellers don’t offer disclosures is in situations where they never lived in the subject property.

    Investors, estate administrators, etc generally balk at doing this.

    BTW, even the most well-meaning seller disclosure isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The biggest reason for the popularity of seller disclosures is that they take the Realtor off the hook for the potential liability of unseen/invisible defects. Once the Realtor can prove- via the seller disclosure- that he has done everything possible to have sellers disclose material defects in a home for sale, he can’t be touched in any legal action that might be brought at a later date.

    Inaccurate statements within a disclosure cannot be used as grounds for legal action against a seller, unless it can be proved that the seller’s statements were a blatant, fraudulent attempt to hide a visible defect.

    I counsel my buyers to read all disclosures but rely only upon the results of a home inspection as the final word on the condition of a home.

  231. Clotpoll says:

    In short, seller disclosures don’t mean jack. Better you spend your time finding a good home inspector; if that guy messes up, that’s when you’re really screwed.

  232. Essex says:

    229….NO SH*T…..bottom line, you buy…you deal with it…..”Buyers Disclosure Statements”…are like guarantees…..FROM THE MOVIE TOMMY BOY:

    Ted Nelson, Customer: But why do they put a guarantee on the box?
    Tommy: Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That’s all it is, isn’t it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer’s sake, for your daughter’s sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.

  233. mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot Not knowing if this is a traditional sale home owner to buyer (Live in property).As I said no big deal so why not supply,makes me nervous
    about home so play hard ball shake a few trees & see if anything shakes out.Seemed like prudent advice to me.

  234. mikeinwaiting says:

    Essex Must be one of those under worked bene rich TEACHERS selling that house.

  235. Bloodbath in Winter 2007 says:

    Chifi, were you the one who earlier in this thread talked about loading up on bonds? Not sure who it was, but curious why bonds, and why now.

    it’s probably too late to ask this … will just try tomorrow

  236. Orion says:

    Found this on Implode-o-meter:

    To our valued business partners,

    Effective at 5:00 PM on Friday, January 4, 2008, First American Bank will discontinue our wholesale mortgage broker program due to unstable market conditions and the declining real estate values that our economy is facing.

    We will accept applications until 5:00 PM on January 4, 2008 and will work with you on all loan requests currently in the pipeline. After 5:00 PM on January 4, 2008, we will not process any new referrals, fee paid or otherwise. Existing loan customers will continue to be serviced by our branch network and our Loan Call Center, (847) 952-3620.

    We have worked closely with everyone for many years, I truly thank each of you for the business you have referred to us. This was not an easy decision to make, but the soft market, increased portfolio delinquency, and increasing losses makes this the most prudent path for us to follow.

    Thank you for understanding and we wish you all the best!
    First American Bank

  237. mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot agree get a pit bull then you can see what you want to live with.They tore my house apart
    but the buyer was only worried about oil tank & septic and I honestly tried to make it perfect to get out before the market went south.100% return on purchase price after 9 years even minus what I put in to improve.When you do the math mtg & taxes I lived for free.Right place right time.Plain dumb luck thank god.
    For all you first timers be happy you are going to buy at the right time just be patient not to long now 1 year means shit in the big picture.

  238. afe says:

    Just say ‘no’ to indexing: Just got back from Nicholas for a birthday dinner…WOW!! afe

  239. mikeinwaiting says:

    OK afe I’ll bite whats a Nicholas a Rest. in city,I guess.

  240. afe says:

    no in middletown..chifi had suggested at some point on here.

  241. Shore Guy says:

    243

    It looks like it has a decent menu

  242. Confused In NJ says:

    My last home purchase, 2006, included a “No Problems” Sellers Disclosure, and an “Eight Problem” Home Inspection Inspection Report. The truth turned out to be Sixteen Problems, after the Close. Eight were remedied from the Inspection. The other Eight, cost me $7K. The worst being a poured concrete foundation vertical settlement crack, which did leak, and cost $4K to remedy. The Seller said, didn’t leak for me, Inspector said no evidence in inspection, but the truth is Caveat Emptor. The Builder “Toll Brothers”, was willing, under NOW Warranty, to do an Epoxy Surface Patch, but I opted to pay for a permanent correction, which included digging outside down to the footings. Bottom line, once you own the house, you own the problems. Annoying, but not a reason not to buy, if it’s the right house, and if you can afford the repairs. Also note, I paid $1.2K for the Inspection, from an Engineering Firm, with specific instructions to check basement for leaks. On a dry day there was no evidence of a leak. The leak was behind a wood support for the basement stairs. Inspect it yourself, on a very rainy day, anything else is a waste of time and money.

  243. afe says:

    Shore Guy- If seafood is your thing, the nova scotia lobster melts in your mouth. I would never think to pair it with polenta but I have to say, it was divine! Service is immpeccable.

    a definite must try for a special occasion.

  244. Shore Guy says:

    Good service is important.

  245. Ann says:

    You can’t rely on the disclosure for everything, obviously. You can’t rely on your home inspector either for that matter.

    But there is a lot of good info on disclosures regardless. If there was ever termites in the house, how old the roof is, if there was ever a problem in the basement, sometimes you’ll see they installed french drains, was there an underground oil tank, did they get all the permits…on and on.

    In any case, I would be very suspicious of an owner-occupied house that didn’t offer a disclosure.

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