Existing Home Sales at 9 Year Low

From the AP:

Existing Home Sales Decline

Sales of existing homes fell for the sixth straight month in January, dropping to the slowest sales pace on record. Median home prices were also down and many analysts predicted further price declines in the months ahead given high levels of unsold homes.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 0.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units. That was the slowest sales pace, going back to 1999, and was seen as evidence that the steepest slump in housing in a quarter-century has yet to hit bottom.

The median price of a home sold in January slid to $201,100, a drop of 4.6 percent from a year ago. Particularly alarming, analysts said, was the fact that the inventory of unsold homes jumped to a 10.3 months’ supply, meaning it would take that long to sell the 4.19 million homes on the market at the January sales pace.

That was up from 9.7 months in December and just below a two-decade high of 10.5 months hit in October. During the peak of the housing boom in 2005, the supply of homes relative to sales stood at 4.5 months.

“With sales weak and inventories at extraordinarily high levels, prices are likely to fall a lot more,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. “Eventually, sellers will end their denial and realize that if they want to unload their homes, they will have to cut prices even more.”

Analysts said one of the problems was a rising tide of mortgage foreclosures, which is pushing even more unsold homes back on the already glutted market.

Sales of existing homes fell by 12.7 percent in 2007, the biggest decline in 25 years, and are down 20 percent from their all-time high set in 2005, the final year of a five-year housing boom that saw sales and prices soar to record levels. Over the past two years, housing has been in a steep downturn made worse by a severe credit crunch as financial institutions tightened their lending standards in reaction to their multibillion-dollar losses on mortgages that have gone into default.

“With prices expected to continue dropping and banks leery to make loans, few prospective homeowners feel now is the time to buy,” said Michael Gregory, an economist at BMO Capital Markets.

“Expect sales and prices to keep falling,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics. “There is no end in sight for the housing disaster.”

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353 Responses to Existing Home Sales at 9 Year Low

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Home Foreclosures Jump 90% as Mortgages Reset

    Bank seizures of U.S. homes almost doubled in January as property owners failed to make higher payments on adjustable-rate mortgages.

    Repossessions rose 90 percent to 45,327 last month from the same period a year ago, RealtyTrac Inc. said today in a statement. Total foreclosure filings, which include default and auction notices as well as bank seizures, increased 57 percent.

    “The most troubling thing is that we are seeing more and more of these properties actually going all the way through the process and going back to the banks,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in an interview.

    Defaults among subprime borrowers and those unable to meet rising payments on adjustable-rate loans drove foreclosure filings to the highest since August and the second-highest since RealtyTrac started keeping records. About $460 billion of adjustable mortgages are scheduled to reset this year, raising minimum payments for borrowers, according to New York-based analysts at Citigroup Inc.

    More than 233,000 properties were in some stage of default last month. Total foreclosure filings increased 8 percent in January from December, RealtyTrac said.

    New Jersey ranked 18th in terms of the proportion of households at some stage of default or seizure, with 1.5 percent. New York was 30th with 0.6 percent of households facing possible foreclosure.

    U.S. home prices fell last year for the first time since the Great Depression. That made it more difficult for homeowners to sell or refinance properties encumbered by mortgages that may be higher than the value of the houses themselves. Sales of existing homes fell last month to the lowest in at least nine years, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday.

    The median price of an existing home fell 4.6 percent to $201,100 from January 2007. The median for a single-family home dropped 5.1 percent to $198,700, and condominium and co-op prices fell 1 percent to $220,400.

    Banks may be forced to resell as many as 1 million foreclosed properties this year, adding to a glut of inventory and forcing prices down even further, Sharga said.

    January was the sixth straight month with more than 200,000 foreclosure filings, RealtyTrac said. The fourth-quarter total of 642,150 filings was the most since the company began records in January 2005. More than 1 percent of U.S. households were in some stage of foreclosure during 2007.

  2. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Soaring scrap metal prices entice thieves

    Any metal that can be carted away, ranging from bleachers at a football field in Summit to wires at electrical substations, appear to be fair game for thieves encouraged by rising prices for scrap.

    Other pilfered items include a church bell in Lodi, street lamps and the stainless steel pieces for an Olympic-size pool.

    “The cost of all metal is up,” Woodbridge Deputy Police Chief Philip Dinicola told The Star-Ledger of Newark. “In a slacking economy, it’s an easy buck.”

    At least 25 cell phone towers in New Jersey have been stripped of the copper grounding bars that protect them from damage during lightning strikes, which phone carriers said will cost them $125,000 to repair.

    Investigators don’t yet know if the thefts are the work of one or more groups, South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka told the newspaper.

    Police from 20 departments in Middlesex, Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties met this month with Verizon, one of the phone carriers affected, about the issue.

  3. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Spending cuts are expected as Corzine unveils NJ budget

    Gov. Jon Corzine will propose a budget today that recommends an unprecedented $1.7 billion in “real cuts,” including slicing the operations of state government by about $350 million, the acting state treasurer said Monday.

    His budget address to the state legislature is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

    He confirmed the cuts will be broad-ranging, leading to “targeted layoffs,” less money for colleges, hospitals, taxpayer rebates, the pet projects of legislators and municipalities.

    “There will be a reduction in municipal aid,” Rousseau said. “Municipalities will have to look at doing the same things we’re doing. They are going to have to look at tightening their belts, doing things smarter, doing things better.”

    He would not provide a number for how much the state payroll would be pared. Sources knowledgeable with the governor’s plans previously confirmed to The Star-Ledger that the administration is seeking to eliminate up to 5,000 positions from the 68,430 full-time payroll, mostly through an early retirement program.

  4. bairen says:

    The fat lady ain’t singing yet.

    She’s not even in the parking lot. She still needs to enter the building and warm up before I buy. (does not need to be to stage though)

    A long way to go before this bust unwinds.

  5. grim says:

    Oh no, a NEW acronym?

    Goldman, Lehman May Not Have Dodged Credit Crisis

    Even Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may find they haven’t dodged the credit crisis.

    The new source of potential losses: so-called variable interest entities that allow financial firms to keep assets such as subprime-mortgage securities off their balance sheets. VIEs may contribute to another $88 billion in losses for banks roiled by the collapse of the housing market, according to bond research firm CreditSights Inc. Goldman, which hasn’t had any of the industry’s $163 billion in writedowns, said last month it may incur as much as $11.1 billion of losses from the instruments.

    The potential for a fire-sale of the assets that would bring another round of charges has “always been our greatest fear,” said Gregory Peters, head of credit strategy at New York-based Morgan Stanley, the second-biggest securities firm behind Goldman in terms of market value.

    VIEs, known as special purpose vehicles before Enron Corp.’s collapse in 2001, finance themselves by selling short-term debt backed by securities, some of which are insured against default.

    Now that Ambac Financial Group Inc. and other guarantors have started to lose their AAA financial-strength ratings, Wall Street firms may be forced to return those assets to their books, recording the declining value as losses. MBIA Inc., the biggest insurer, said yesterday it plans to separate its municipal and asset-backed businesses, a move Peters said would likely result in a lower credit rating for the types of assets owned by VIEs.

  6. bairen says:

    #3 How about making all public employees pay their fair share of benefits?

    Back in the day public employees earned less but had better benefits and vacations. Now they earn more than private employees earn and have better benefits.

    They are overpaid and underworked. They will suck us dry.

  7. bairen says:

    #5 I think Berkshire is about the only big financial institution without any toxic VIE or derivatives on its books. Finished getting rid of all that junk it inherited from Gen Re in 05 or 06.

    Of course it’s also run by a guy name Buffet who has been warning about this stuff for years.

  8. mikeinwaiting says:

    Existing-Homes sales “slipped” some in January, according to the National Association of Realtors [NAR]. The problem, the Realtors point out, is simply that some potential buyers are waiting on sidelines.

    Talk about an understatement. The “slippage” the NAR refers to was a 23.4% year-over-year freefall. The term “slip” might not adequately capture the data. Plummet, plunge, nose-dive, crash, tumble or freefall might work. But “Slip?” Gee, that doesn’t quite capture the true essence of the data…
    LINK to full story
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/65958-existing-home-sales-slipped-23-4

  9. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    Home Depot posts lower quarterly profit

    Top home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc reported lower quarterly profit on Tuesday as the slumping U.S. housing market hurt sales.

    The company said earnings per share could fall as much as 24 percent this year and that it would open fewer stores than last year.

    Earnings fell to $671 million, or 40 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended on Feb. 3 from $925 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.

  10. Essex says:

    #6…back that statement up with figures. It would be interesting to see the numbers on that. For example…how much money do people pay into their pension funds…(they are not ‘free’ money btw)…how much does healthcare ‘cost’ the employee and how much do they get back when they opt out…..then contrast that to the salary adjusted for inflation and the same figures from say….’back in the day’….

  11. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    U.S.’s Swagel: mortgage aid shouldn’t alter contracts

    Efforts to save U.S. homeowners from foreclosure should not unduly alter the contracts behind troubled loans, a senior Treasury Department official said on Tuesday.

    Proposals that “would retroactively change contracts on existing loans” could cause long-term harm to the housing finance system, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Phillip Swagel said, according to prepared remarks.

    Such a move “would make it more difficult for future subprime borrowers to get into a house in the first place,” he said, addressing the Euromoney Bond Investors Congress in London. A copy of his speech was released in Washington.

  12. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    States May Seek Congress’s Aid as Subprime Fallout Boosts Costs

    U.S. governors including New Jersey’s Jon Corzine and New York’s Eliot Spitzer may ask Congress to help reverse rising municipal debt costs stemming from the subprime mortgage market’s collapse, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire said.

    Gregoire, Corzine and Spitzer joined other governors Feb. 24 in forming a group that will “produce something that gets us out of the problem, but most importantly produce something for Congress” to deter a future borrowing squeeze, Gregoire, a Democrat, said during a National Governors Association meeting in Washington yesterday.

    Interest rates on insured bonds sold by local governments have soared as much as fourfold this month as investors shunned the debt or demanded higher yields on waning confidence in the companies guaranteeing the securities. The jump is another consequence of a credit pinch tied to the subprime collapse last year that led to $163 billion in Wall Street writedowns.

    “A lot of governors really hadn’t anticipated that,” Gregoire told reporters in Washington. The group, which plans to meet soon, hasn’t discussed specific solutions, she said.

  13. grim says:

    Case Shiller HPI due out at 9am, OFHEO HPI out at 10am.

  14. grim says:

    Lots of grim news from Gloomberg this morning..

    U.S. Economy Is `Probably’ in a Recession, Stiglitz Says

    Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel-prize winning economist, said the U.S. economy is “probably” in a recession with a housing-market collapse sapping consumer spending.

    “There is a very significant slowdown in the U.S. economy,” Stiglitz said in a Bloomberg Television interview today in London. “The housing bubble has broken and housing prices are coming down. Most experts think they will have to come down substantially more.”

    The spillover from the biggest housing slump in a quarter century, turmoil in financial markets and higher energy prices are curbing growth in the world’s biggest economy. The financial industry is curtailing credit and conserving capital after a decade-long boom in profits went bust in the third quarter.

    Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan “is right that this downturn is going to be the worst downturn in a quarter century, but he’s largely to blame,” Stiglitz added. “It’s not just that he was asleep at the wheel, he actively looked the other way” by dismissing the housing bubble as “froth.”

  15. Confused In NJ says:

    As you likely know, on December 27, 2007, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC)issued a ruling that will allow employers to offer retirees under the age of 65 more comprehensive health care benefits, while also reducing or cutting benefits for retirees who are eligible for Medicare.

    Luckily, this only applies to Private Sector. Public Sector keeps full benefits after age 65.

  16. reinvestor101 says:

    James,

    May I ask you a question about your handle? How did you settle on the handle “Grim”? Could you not have chosen a handle like Happy, Good Tidings and etc.? Why Grim? Whatever happened to Grim’s Ghost?

  17. Just grim news this morning. This is the second article today about this situation that I came across. I work as one of Vancouver real estate agentsand fortunately, here in Vancoucer, or probably in whole Canada, the situation is not as bad as in the United States. Despite the fact that we are neighbours and close trading partners, the housing crisis hasn’t affected our market significantly. Yet. Although there is also a little decline in sales of existing houses. But it looks as though it is only temporary.

  18. Herring123 says:

    Reinvestor

    See http://njrereport.com/index.php/2006/07/25/recession-in-07/#comment-22675

    Grim was a ‘handle’ that I used on BBS systems, many years ago. I’d try to explain what that means, but unless you are a geek over 30 (or know what a 300 baud modem is), you’ll likely have no idea what I’m talking about.

    What you are really wondering is why I picked it. Again, the answer will be meaningless unless you know a little obscure late-80’s collectible card trivia. There was a series of cards that went by the name “Garbage Pail Kids”. They were a gory spin on the Cabbage Patch Kids from a few years earlier. I suppose they were pretty low-brow, but what most people don’t know is that they were produced by Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman. Anyway, one card in the series was aptly named “Grim Jim”. I don’t know how I got the card itself, I think it was given to me (I don’t ever remember buying a pack of these), but I still have it. I suppose if I had to give a reason for the handle, it would be that card.

  19. bairen says:

    #10 Just look at the teachers. They were so poorly paid in the 80’s that NJ passed a law that minimum pay had to be 18,500 (there were teachers with years of experience making less then that. Now teachers in most districts make at least 50k to start. The raise in teachers pay since the mid 80’s is significantly higher then inflation. The impact of compounding raises at inflation plus 1/2 or 1% is huge over a 30 year period. Think how much money you would have if you could beat the s&p 500 index by 1 point a year for 30 plus years. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but over 30 years 50 to 100 basis points extra per year is mind blowing.
    We’re in year 20 or so. Another 10 years kids will want to grow up to be school teachers instead of lawyers of traders.

    Until recently teachers in most districts paid nothing for health insurance That has been negotiated so some teachers in some districts pay some, but its offset by a larger raise. Teachers can also fund something like a 401k (think it’s called 403b) plus they get pensions the tax payers get stuck contributing too.

    The private sector is rapidly raising employees contributions to healthcare while dropping defined pensions and reducing or eliminating the 401k match.

    My contribution for a family insurance plan at my job would be 10k a year (medical, dental, vision). And that’s for a lousy insurance company. Fortunately my wife’s plan is much better.

    At least I get a good 401k match

  20. BC Bob says:

    chicagofinance Says:
    February 25th, 2008 at 9:52 pm
    btw – goofy useless anecdote….was downtown today……………QUIET…you could hear a pin drop….no lunch rush either…

    Chi,

    No different than any other day. Take a walk on the floor of the NYSE, approx 20% of past capacity. After this, wander over to the NYMEX, approx 10% of past capacity. Where is everybody? Bidding on a pos in NNJ?

  21. BC Bob says:

    Canuck Realtor [18],

    Can you imagine how bad this bust, US, would be if it was priced in Loonie’s? At least you have a currency backed by raw materials and energy. We have a currency backed by Wal-Mart shoppers.

  22. Clotpoll says:

    The full faith and credit of a nation composed of Homers and Marges.

  23. Clotpoll says:

    BC (22)-

    Relax. We’ll bomb the loonie, just like we will every other currency on the planet (except the yuan and Swiss francs).

  24. billz says:

    #20…Teachers do get good pay now. But not everyone would be happy to be getting paid 80k a year after 25 years while living in North Jersey.

    They do get a good pension. However, they do contribute 5% of their pay into them…it’s not totally free.

    Teachers can put some money into a 403-b, but the state does not match it like a 401-k.

    Although the teachers deserve a good retirement plan. I think it is time to start a new plan for the incoming teachers. this goes for police and fire too. Businesses and governments can’t support pension systems forever.

  25. John says:

    All that talk about moving down south yesterday has me a little perplexed. The two main components that are causing inflation are food and energy costs, which is a nation-wide issue so moving down south will cause your salary to fall yet the price of a gallon of gas or milk stays the same. In addition commodity costs are through the roof which is raising prices on a variety of things and that will still hit you down south.

  26. John says:

    My sister who is a teach always tell me to work in the city she would need a 100% pay raise to break even. Leaving your house at 7am and getting home at 7pm 48 weeks a year to make 160K is about the same per hour as an 80K teacher.

    billz Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 8:17 am
    #20…Teachers do get good pay now. But not everyone would be happy to be getting paid 80k a year after 25 years while living in North Jersey.

  27. BC Bob says:

    OOPS.

    Producer prices soared in January, pushed higher by energy prices and the biggest increase in food prices in more than three years.

    The January producer price index climbed by 1%, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The PPI had fallen 0.3% in December after a jump of 2.6% in November.

    The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.4%, driven by higher drug and car prices.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B424344AE%2DEB68%2D4BDA%2DB31F%2D4AFFE5506FA3%7D&siteid=mktw

  28. Confused In NJ says:

    USA Article;

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-20-pensions-cover_x.htm

    NJ is much higher then national averages. A teacher retiring at $60K per year cost’s the Tax Payer >$2M over the next 30 years. When AT&T eliminated their Defined Pension Benefit Plan in 1997, it basically gave you 30% of base salary for 30 years work. The NJ Teachers plan effectively gives you 75%. The working salaries in NJ are not the killer, it is the non working salaries for life that are unsustainable. Pensions of $60K to $120K for NJ Public Workers are on par with CEO’s of major corporations (privledged class), not the Private Workers (working class). NJ Teachers & Police & Judges & Politicians should have benefits equal to those they serve, not so excessive, that they become a privledged class.

  29. chicagofinance says:

    John Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 8:24 am
    All that talk about moving down south yesterday has me a little perplexed. The two main components that are causing inflation are food and energy costs, which is a nation-wide issue so moving down south will cause your salary to fall yet the price of a gallon of gas or milk stays the same. In addition commodity costs are through the roof which is raising prices on a variety of things and that will still hit you down south.

    JJ: housing cost dominates….food and energy though hit you every day of the week and multiple times a day…as a result, it is always on people’s minds, even though it is not as impactful…..try to explain that to someone, and they look at you cross-eyed…

    I have a client that owns enough food and energy to offset inflation. They start complaining about food and energy inflation, and I say that it is GOOD for them as they make more money….doesn’t compute….so it seems that what they really want is a reason to complain…ok, but at least be honest about it.

  30. Sean says:

    re: (26) John You forgot about taxes. NJ has the highest median property taxes in the nation.

    If you rank the entire country by county Hunterdon County ($7,999) ranked number one nationally. Follow that up with fourth-ranked Somerset ($7,318), fifth-ranked Bergen ($7,237), sixth-ranked Essex ($7,148), eighth-ranked Morris ($6,852), ninth-ranked Union ($6,703), and tenth-ranked Passaic ($6,663). The other three members of the top ten are from metropolitan New York: number two Nassau ($7,706), number 3 Westchester ($7,726) and number 7 Rockland ($7,041). Obviously, New Jersey and New York are at the epicenter of the nation’s property tax problem.

    The Taxes collected are the issue. If the taxes were lower NJ would not be losing businesses and people, especially when you consider a POS Cape Cod that has not had any updates in decades can cost over 7k in some towns.

  31. John says:

    BOSTON (MarketWatch) — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is working on a deal with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would call for their lending partners to have independent home appraisals, according to published reports Tuesday.

    Under the agreement being hashed out, home appraisals would be required to be performed by assessors that don’t have connections with a lender or mortgage broker, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The deal could be completed as soon as Tuesday, according to the report.

    The plan would also require Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) to create an independent clearinghouse with information on appraisers. The new rules could be implemented by September, the report said.

    In November, Cuomo asked for information from mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in part of his wider probe of the mortgage industry. New York’s attorney general was investigating whether loans were tainted by inflated appraisals.

  32. John says:

    RE taxes don’t mean anything if you have kids in a great school district. My friends moved to Atlanta and pays 2K in property taxes and 18K on elementary school tuition as the schools in GA rank something like in the bottom two or three states. I pay 8K taxes big deal, I get 20K worth of education plus police, fire and sanitation.

  33. kettle1 says:

    Ot

    A friend and i are having a debate. I would like to try a little experiment….if you would be so kind please try to answer the following question without google.

    how long will it take to cool down the kitchen if you just leave the freezer door open? assume an average kitchen on an 80 deg day.

    A) 1 hour
    B) 6 hours
    C) 12 hours
    D) more then 12 hours
    E) never

    if you are feeling ambitious feel free to explain your answer

  34. lostinny says:

    Ask yourself honestly, if you had 2 master’s degrees or the equivalent in graduate level credits and had to work 30 years to make 90K would you think it was all that wonderful? If someone told you to go f yourself on a regular basis (parents, students and maybe even a supervisor) how quick would you sign up for it? Yes there are some great things about teaching- time off, benefits. But only people who really don’t know what its like make comments about teachers making too much or taking away their benefits or how little they work.

  35. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch:

    New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is working on a deal with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would call for their lending partners to have independent home appraisals, according to published reports Tuesday.

    Under the agreement being hashed out, home appraisals would be required to be performed by assessors that don’t have connections with a lender or mortgage broker, Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The deal could be completed as soon as Tuesday, according to the report.

    The plan would also require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create an independent clearinghouse with information on appraisers. The new rules could be implemented by September, the report said.

    In November, Cuomo asked for information from mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in part of his wider probe of the mortgage industry. New York’s attorney general was investigating whether loans were tainted by inflated appraisals.

  36. VMC says:

    Teachers work about 75% of the year (summer off). 90K doesn’t sound so bad in that case. Equivalent to year-round work at 120K.

  37. kettle1 says:

    Watch those grocery bills…

    Wheat Nears Record on Supply Concerns

    By STEVENSON JACOBS – Feb 5, 2008

    NEW YORK (AP) — Wheat prices soared near their highest levels ever Tuesday on concerns that growing demand in Asia coupled with dwindling stockpiles could lead to a grain shortage in the United States.

    http://tinyurl.com/2a5q3p

  38. lostinny says:

    I have a paycheck question for you all. If you live in NJ and work in NJ, do you pay fed, state and local (city) tax? If you work in NY but live in NJ what are the taxes taken out of your check? I’m trying to get a picture of the differences. In NYC, I pay fed, state, local taxes. I don’t think the local taxes I pay from my paycheck would be the equivalent in the difference between NYC (outer borroughs) and NJ property taxes.

  39. lostinny says:

    VMC you only look at part of the picture. You’re not taking into account how much education or how long working it takes to get to 90K. I’m sure a lot of people would think it’s fantastic to get that salary with just a BA and maybe 10 years in experience.

  40. Confused In NJ says:

    If someone told you to go f yourself on a regular basis (parents, students and maybe even a supervisor) how quick would you sign up for it?

    Someone working in retail for minimum wage gets this same abuse.

  41. mikeinwaiting says:

    KET not enough info,cool down to what,where are you talking the readings,is it a sub-zero huge freezer the size of a frig. or a
    small frig/freezer.Avg. kitchen for what?IS the freezer full of frozen product or empty
    (Full wood be better for cooling).As I know your background I gather this is a trick ?.
    Why would you debate about something that can’t be answered.

  42. kettle1 says:

    John

    i think you are missing the point about taxes. The quality of schools is indirectly inked to taxes. The “good” schools generally have a high level of tax revenue because of the people who live in the area tend to be more affluent and these families tend to have a much stronger focus on education then lower income areas. So the money is a side effect of having a highly educated and relatively successful parental base in an area.
    jacking up taxes does not make a school better. what makes a school is the parents not the money. The problem is that you cannot run a fat cat political platform off of pushing for an educated and education focused parent base. A perfect example of this is the after school programs that focus on the parents and students as a team. these programs have been very successful, but they arent very glamorous as they point out some of the dirty truths that people like to ignore and just throw money at.

  43. lostinny says:

    Confused
    I’m well aware of that. Did they get a master’s degree to get that job?

  44. Essex says:

    41…..teaching? You’ll never get rich….never. In the private sector you can work for firms that go public….pay 7x that $50k salary….and yet….teachers will get a decent consistent wage….and then retire. I always get the feeling that the people who think teachers are overpaid are bagging groceries at Shoprite.

  45. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. home values fall 8.9% in 2007, Case-Shiller says

    Home values in the U.S. fell 8.9% in 2007, the largest decline in at least 20 years, Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday. The Case-Shiller national home price index fell 5.4% in the fourth quarter alone. The 20-city index fell 2.1% in December and 9.1% for the year. The 10-city index fell 2.3% in December and 9.8% for the year. Prices in 17 of 20 cities were lower at the end of 2007 than at the beginning.

  46. Confused In NJ says:

    Most police have a reasonably difficult job, but much less difficult then a IRAQ soldier’s coming home continually without arms or legs for a stipend of the wages and benefits.

  47. Al says:

    All I am saying – teachers always complain. But when My wife tried to get into a schools system in NJ which HAD THE NEED FOR A SCIENCE TEACHER – IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE.

    It is all reserved for RELATIVES and FRIENDS.

    If teacher’s life is soo bad – why don’t they all quit???

    Everybody who say’s teachers life it tough – well go to private industry – I work my secons years under stress – nobody knows what is going to happen IN A MONTH. I might be unemployed. Teachers have JOB SECURITY.
    PUT a price on that!!!
    Put a price on 9 month work year.
    Put a price on incredible benefit plan (I can put a price for my family it is 4000$ – my Private employee plan contributuins from my paycheck)
    Put a Price on Full pension at 55!!!!
    Put a price on Dental/vision coverage.
    Put a price on extra holidays days (I get 7 holidays)

    SO don’t complain about poor underpaid teachers – if they are unhappy they are always welcome to REAL LIFE. NOBODY HOLDS THEM at their teacher’s jobs. As the matter of fact I will take their job. Too bad it is impossible to get one in NJ. (I think I can get in in NEWARK school district.)

  48. kettle1 says:

    Mike.

    it is not meant to be a trick, it is an honest question and i will explain later as i would like to see a few answers.

    mike, assume its your fridge in your kitchen with the doors left open, and how long would it take to coll the room to a noticeable degree.

  49. Confused In NJ says:

    45. Your feelings are wrong.

  50. Essex says:

    48. Half of all new teachers quie in 5 years….NEA statistics….

  51. Essex says:

    Oops, make that ‘quit’ in 5 years….probably skewed toward really bad districts…but still a big number.

  52. make money says:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/02/evidence-of-walking-away-in-wamu.html

    WaMu Alt A borrowers are walking away.

    Look at this most recent jump from December, 2007 to January, 2008. Foreclosures increased a whopping 4.92%, yet in December, 2007 the 90 days delinquent bucket was only 3.79% (If every 90 day delinquent loan went to foreclosure, the jump would only have been 3.79%) How could this happen? The evidence suggests that people are walking away 30 days or 60 days delinquent without even waiting for foreclosure.

  53. Al says:

    Essex Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 9:17 am
    Oops, make that ‘quit’ in 5 years….probably skewed toward really bad districts…but still a big number.

    I am more interested in different statistic: what % of people in private industry get’s lid off every 3 years (not int he first 5 years – throughout their careers??

    Also what % of teachers quite after they have being at their job for more than 5 years??

    What % of teachers in NJ gets laid off once they have tenure – I know this answer – it is 0!!

  54. kettle1 says:

    Mike,

    regarding my post at 34,

    I am currently having a debate about what level of physical concepts (as in physics concepts, how the world works) people from a general mix of backgrounds have. This board seems to have above average critical thinking skills, so i thought i might pose my question to the group.

  55. Clotpoll says:

    lost (35)-

    “If someone told you to go f yourself on a regular basis…how quick would you sign up for it?”

    For years, I’ve been looking for a profession where this doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, I haven’t found it yet.

  56. prtraders2000 says:

    Edison Metro Area

    Trend 02/25/2008

    Median Price $359,000 1 month +1.1%; 3 month -1.6%; 6 month
    -4.8%; 12 month -6.8%

    Inventory 11,580 1 month +3.4%;
    3 month -6.1%; 6 month -11.6%;
    12 month +19.4%

    from housingtracker.net

  57. TB says:

    kettle1 Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 8:57 am
    Ot

    A friend and i are having a debate. I would like to try a little experiment….if you would be so kind please try to answer the following question without google.

    how long will it take to cool down the kitchen if you just leave the freezer door open? assume an average kitchen on an 80 deg day.

    A) 1 hour
    B) 6 hours
    C) 12 hours
    D) more then 12 hours
    E) never

    if you are feeling ambitious feel free to explain your answer

    Never, You are pumping the heat back into the room.

  58. IVV says:

    Hello!

    I’ve recently moved to NNJ from the Stockton/Modesto area (new job). Based on that area, I gotta say… there are no bloodbaths here. Paper cuts and rug burn, maybe.

    One thing I’m curious about: are all new(ish) single family homes over 3500 square feet? I’m looking for a smaller home that doesn’t require updating, and that market appears rather empty. I’m not asking for “granite countertops and stainless steel appliances,” but when I have to start wondering about asbestos, wiring not up to code, and significant cracks and insect damage in the walls, I worry.

    By the way, what does “POS Cape” mean? I think of POS as Point Of Sale, as in advertising/marketing done where the product will be purchased… but the examples I see here don’t have that advertising.

    Pleasure to meet you all, and all the best!

  59. lostinny says:

    Teachers jobs are not as secure as you think they are. They also get laid off. Oh and teacher jobs are so great, everyone should be running for them. If someone is close to NYC why don’t they work for the NYC system? It’s far easier to get in there. How come that isn’t an option? Do you know how many people leave teaching for private industry?

  60. JBJB says:

    And the hits just keep on coming. Montclair to raise taxes, again. How about an extra $586/yr for those great Montclair schools! There is no such thing as enough, and no end in sight… We get the government we deserve.

    http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/essex/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1204004802205390.xml&coll=1

  61. lostinny says:

    IVV POS means Piece of Sh!t.

  62. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (55)-

    Considering the significant number of creationists there are in America- and the pitiful level of science teaching in general- I’d say most people have either:

    a) no grasp of physics concepts (including gravity)
    b) view physics as “magic”, and possibly “evil magic”

    Using people who frequent this board as your sample will yield results that are skewed way too high.

  63. Clotpoll says:

    IVV (59)-

    Welcome. I think you’ll find our Peoples’ Republic similar to the one you’ve just left.

  64. Ann says:

    “I always get the feeling that the people who think teachers are overpaid are bagging groceries at Shoprite.”

    Really, I always get the feeling it’s the people making at least three, four, five times as much as a teacher makes complaining about how much teachers make. And they are usually the same people who hardly hang out with their kids, yet they think the people who hang out with their kids all day are worth nothing.

    I applied to be a science teacher via Alternate Route once, and I had the science lead calling me non-stop, saying just take the Praxis and you’re in. No, it wasn’t atop-tier school, but that’s understandable, as I wasn’t trained as a teacher yet, and those schools have a hard time recruiting.

  65. kettle1 says:

    IVV

    to elaborate further, POS generally refers to homes that are a POS relative to the price that is being asked for them. i.e when a 1500 sqft 150’s cape that needs extensive updating is put on the market for 500,000 that is a POS at 200K it may be an opportunity.

  66. lostinny says:

    Clot
    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen anywhere else. Of course it does. But it’s a little different when you ask a kid where their homework is and they tell you to piss off. If I screw up at work I expect someone to tell me off. I shouldn’t be told off when asking something routine and normally expected of a student.

  67. kettle1 says:

    correction, 150’s should be 1950’s

  68. Rich In NNJ says:


    SUBPRIME TODAY:

    U.S. foreclosures up 57% from last year, 8% from December
    Shake-up calls grow as UBS seeks funding
    Germany’s HSH Nordbank takes UBS to court over subprime hit
    MBIA, Ambac jump on positive S&P actions
    FDIC to add staff as bank failures loom
    Citi’s hits: 15 times $100 million
    Bernanke, Greenspan faulted as U.S. faces slump
    States seek Congress’s aid as subprime boosts costs
    NY attorney general near Fannie, Freddie deal
    Mortgage aid shouldn’t alter contracts

  69. Clotpoll says:

    lost (67)-

    I could never be a teacher. The minute some brat tells me to pi$$ off, he’s getting a mouthful of Chiclets.

  70. lostinny says:

    Ann 65
    I get the feeling those people think teachers should pay them for the privilege of teaching their children.

  71. Al says:

    Teachers jobs are not as secure as you think they are. They also get laid off. Oh and teacher jobs are so great, everyone should be running for them. If someone is close to NYC why don’t they work for the NYC system? It’s far easier to get in there. How come that isn’t an option? Do you know how many people leave teaching for private industry?

    Teachers in NJ have tenure… They do not get laid off. I am talking about NJ teachers not about WISCONSIN teachers.
    There are teachers in ANY school district in NJ make over 100K.
    Schools administrators often make over 170K.

    As far As POS – I think it was posted earlier – NJ POS cape refers to not necessarily even the state of a house but house VALUE.
    When you have 800SQFT un-updated cape going for 700K. Or same cape in central/south Jersey going for 300K++ – and it need a lot of work -that’s POS cape.

    I think the issue of lack of starter home in NJ is well-documented. Between al new construction being TH/COndos/million dollars SFH and tear downs of old smaller homes to build Mc-Mansions – starter single family home is a rare commodity and apparantly command a premium for being STARTER!!!

  72. grim says:

    From Dow Jones:

    S&P Case-Shiller 4Q US Home Price Index Down 8.9%

    Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a measure of U.S. home prices, slid 8.9% in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in the series’ 20- year history.

    The 10-city composite home price index declined 9.8% in December, while the 20-city composite index recorded an annual decrease of 9.1%.

    S&P, McGraw-Hill Cos.’ (MHP) financial market intelligence unit, said 17 of 20 major metropolitan areas posted an annual decline in December. S&P said 14 of the metropolitan areas reported record lows, with eight posting double-digit declines.

  73. RentinginNJ says:

    All that talk about moving down south yesterday has me a little perplexed. The two main components that are causing inflation are food and energy costs, which is a nation-wide issue so moving down south will cause your salary to fall yet the price of a gallon of gas or milk stays the same.

    John,

    As far as energy goes, electricity in NJ is expensive because of environmental regulations and the taxes and social programs that get embedded in NJ electric rates. Moving to NC will cut your electric rates by a third.

    While natural gas rates may differ less, you will need less gas for winter heating due to the warmer climate.

  74. lostinny says:

    Clot, I had a friend that was special ops at one point. He’s a little f’d in the head from doing that. He was a teacher for a short time later. He had a kid who’s father beat him regularly. The day he quit teaching, he went to the kid’s house and beat the pi$$ out of the father.
    While I think many teachers might like to follow through on either one of our scenarios, they have enough self control to know these people aren’t worth the jail time.

  75. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Home Prices Post Broad Tumble

    A closely watched gauge of U.S. home prices showed broad-based declines in the prices of existing single family homes, marking 2007 as a full year of declining home prices.

    Home prices in 10 major metropolitan areas in the fourth quarter were down 8.9% from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes, released Tuesday by credit-rating firm Standard & Poor’s. That was largest decline in the measure’s 20-year history.

    “Wherever you look things look bleak, with 17 of the 20 metro areas reporting annual declines and the remaining three reporting flat or moderate growth rates,” said Robert J. Shiller, professor at Yale University and chief economist at MacroMarkets LLC. Shiller added 14 of the metro areas are also reporting record declines, with eight being in double digit decline.

    The 10-City composite also set a new record, falling 9.8% in 2007; the 20-city index fell 9.1%.

  76. Rich In NNJ says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell in December by the most on record, reflecting the deepening housing recession, a private survey showed today.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 9.1 percent from a year earlier, after a 7.7 percent decrease in November. Nationwide, home prices fell 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline in 20 years of record keeping.

    Prices may fall further as would-be buyers hold out for bargains and foreclosures add to the glut of unsold properties, extending the worst housing slump in a quarter century. Shrinking home values and credit restrictions threaten to reduce consumer spending and push the economy into a recession.

    “Home prices are headed lower,” Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc. in New York, said before the report. “With demand soft and inventories still high, there will be pressure on prices to keep declining.”

    December’s drop was the 12th monthly decline in a row and the biggest since the group began keeping year-over-year records in 2001.

  77. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home prices fall 8.9% in 2007, Case-Shiller says

    Home values in the U.S. fell 8.9% in 2007, the largest decline in at least 20 years, Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday.

    The Case-Shiller National Home Price Index fell 5.4% in the fourth quarter alone, S&P said.

    “Wherever you look, things look bleak,” said Robert Shiller, chief economist for MacroMarkets LLC and co-inventor of the index.

    National home prices were down 10.2% from the peak reached in late 2006. Some economists say home prices will fall about 20% to 30%.

    Between 2001 and 2006, home prices rose an unprecedented 63%.

    The 20-city index fell 2.1% in December and 9.1% for the year. The original 10-city index fell 2.3% in December and 9.8% for the year.

  78. Clotpoll says:

    lost (75)-

    “Clot, I had a friend that was special ops at one point. He’s a little f’d in the head from doing that.”

    Come to think of it, I’m a little f’d in the head from doing what I do, too. Better stick to the day job.

  79. kettle1 says:

    63 clott,

    i agree but that is also the point, to sample the “high” end of the spectrum.

    Part of our debate was that the average person alive today including all the nations of the world are not significantly different from the time of the pyramids. There existed technology then as there does now, that a small group of knowledgeable people understand , while the general population knows how to use. Today as in the time of the pyramids, modern tech is essentially “magic” to joe sixpack. I dont expect someone to build their own computer from scratch, but you should ideally have a basic understanding of the underlying concepts of the tech you use.

    The fridge question in an example/test of this idea. it is not meant to insult anyone or as a trick, it is just a way to investigate the above hypothesis.

  80. still_looking says:

    79: me too Clot… you wouldn’t believe the crap I put up with each day. It messes you up.

    sl

  81. lostinny says:

    Al
    Tenure means nothing when the budget is cut. Teachers can be excessed. What happens to the teacher when they are excessed depends on the district. Some just lose their jobs. Some must be placed somewhere else. Yes I know its hard to believe but budget cuts do happen. And if the principal just doesn’t like a teacher he/she can play with the budget to make it look like they don’t have the budget to support the position and out they go.
    BTW, I mentioned the NYC teaching system, not Wisconsin. And NYC teachers most certainly do have tenure and absolutely lose their jobs.

  82. Mike NJ says:

    Kettle

    My answer would be never. I don’t think the freezer’s compressor has enough punch to cool anything noticeably bigger than the sq footage of the freezer itself. To get that freezer down to zero takes plenty of time and that is a small space. I would think the cold would dissipate into even an average kitchen rather easily.

  83. still_looking says:

    it is worthwhile noting that David Walker, the head of the GAO (gov’t accountability office) resigned?

    [snip]CORRECT: The ultimate sell signal
    By Bill Donoghue, MarketWatch

    Last Update: 12:33 PM ET Feb 25, 2008

    A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the Government Accountability Office. The story has been corrected.

    SEATTLE (MarketWatch) — The resignation of America’s unheeded and under-funded chief accountant and watchdog, along with the billion-dollar bullhorn he’s been given, are the ultimate sell signals for America’s stock investors.

    David Walker, comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has since 1998 been the objectively informed and outspoken critic of America’s balance sheet. He has criticized supporting Iraq’s dysfunctional government, pork barrel spending by Congress, unrealistic “universal health care plans” we can ill-afford or support, the escalating risks of huge deficits, fiscal vulnerability to hostile foreign governments, and a lack of will to reform our government.

    “David Walker has proven that one person can make a difference,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said in a release. “As Comptroller General for the last decade, he has been a tireless and effective advocate for the need to make our nation’s long-term fiscal situation a priority.”

    Facing indifference on the Hill and unrealistic spending promises, Walker is resigning with five years still remaining in his term to head the newly formed Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Peterson, senior chairman of The Blackstone Group and Commerce secretary in the Nixon administration, has pledged an astounding startup budget for the foundation of $1 billion.

    That money will attack what the foundation considers “the most substantial economic, fiscal and other sustainability challenges of our current age” — including federal entitlement programs, health care, unprecedented trade and budget deficits, low savings rates, mounting foreign debt, soaring energy consumption, an uncompetitive educational system, and the proliferation of nuclear warfare materials. Maybe Congress will listen this time.

    “I have been around a very long time, and I have never seen so many simultaneous challenges that I would describe as undeniable, unsustainable and virtually untouchable politically,” Peterson said in a prepared statement.

    [snip]

    with sincere apologies re: length

    link:http://www.sharebuilder.com/sharebuilder/Research/News.aspx?GUID=%7BD566230C-F9D9-4384-B64E-E9B480D2B23F%7D&Source=TopStories

    sl

  84. Mike NJ says:

    Kettle,

    Even if you vented the compressor to another physical area I think that in the average kitchen you would not even cool the room by barely a degree.

  85. Clotpoll says:

    sl (85)-

    Oh yeah. Was noted here on Sunday.

    Talk about a guy who got tired of being told to pi$$ off…

  86. kettle1 says:

    sorry for all the OT today, but…

    you might find this interesting clott

    Protocols For Economic Collapse In America
    http://tinyurl.com/yv2vsa

    you can google for other websites if you dont like this one… please consider this nothing more then entertainment

  87. Artemis says:

    From the New York Times:

    Foreclosure Aid Rising Locally, as Is Dissent

    As the Bush administration and Congress consider proposals to ease the home foreclosure crisis, local governments across the country have been lending money to imperiled homeowners and confronting some opposition.

    Some of these municipal and state efforts have met resistance from people who consider the assistance undeserved and adamantly oppose anything that resembles a taxpayer bailout.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/26/us/26backlash.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=dissent&st=nyt&oref=slogin

  88. Al says:

    lostinny Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 9:48 am
    Al
    Tenure means nothing when the budget is cut. Teachers can be excessed.

    Please let me know last time there were NJ teachers laid off (not early retirement, not volunteer lay-off).
    How many were laid off and what % of total teacher’s workforce??

    Again stop with NY teachers – I am talking about NJ.

  89. Rich In NNJ says:

    From Reuters via Yahoo:

    Home price drop sets record in fourth quarter: S&P

    Prices of existing U.S. single-family homes slumped 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter versus a year earlier, the largest decline in the 20-year history of a national home price index released on Tuesday.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of 10 metropolitan areas fell 2.3 percent in December versus November, to 200.55, and fell 9.8 percent year-over-year, S&P said in a statement.

    The composite index for 20 metropolitan areas fell 2.1 percent to 184.86 in December from November, and fell 9.1 percent year-over-year.

    —-

    New York, down 5.6%

  90. Mike NJ says:

    Kettle,

    Not to get off the RE topic but do you read Ray Kurzweil? I am just finishing up “The Singularity is Near” and have already gone through his “Age of Machines” series. If what he says is correct even Joe sixpack will be packing some serious mental horsepower in the next 50 years (aided by machines of course)! I do agree that there is a large disparity between those who go through life without asking one question to those who actively wonder about what makes stuff work and seek to understand this knowledge. It is as plain as the difference between those who are glued to PBS’ Nova, The History Channel, the Discovery Channel and those who watch E, Access Hollywood and American Idol non stop.

  91. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. February consumer confidence plummets

    U.S. consumer confidence plummeted in February, continuing its downward slide, the Conference Board reported Tuesday, as expectations hit a 17-year low. The February consumer confidence index fell to 75.0 from a revised reading of 87.3 in January. February’s level is the index’s lowest is almost 15 years, with the exception of the Iraqi War in 2003, according to the Conference Board. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a February reading of 82.0. “With so few consumers expecting conditions to turn around in the months ahead, the outlook for the economy continues to worsen and the risk of a recession continues to increase,” said Lynn Franco, director of consumer research at the private Conference Board.

  92. BC Bob says:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. consumer confidence plummeted in February, continuing its downward slide, the Conference Board reported Tuesday, as expectations hit a 17-year low. The February consumer confidence index fell to 75.0 from a revised reading of 87.3 in January. February’s level is the index’s lowest is almost 15 years, with the exception of the Iraqi War in 2003, according to the Conference Board. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a February reading of 82.0. “With so few consumers expecting conditions to turn around in the months ahead, the outlook for the economy continues to worsen and the risk of a recession continues to increase,” said Lynn Franco, director of consumer research at the private Conference Board.

  93. Joeycasz says:

    Now teachers in most districts make at least 50k to start.

    I wish my wife made 50K to start!

    Ask yourself honestly, if you had 2 master’s degrees or the equivalent in graduate level credits and had to work 30 years to make 90K would you think it was all that wonderful?

    My wife teaches in a section 8 housing district. The pay was OK to start ($37,000) but she’s close to tenure (she’s in her second year). what she gets paid for what she does is not enough in my opinion. It aint easy, that’s for sure. She wants her masters but when you look at the big picture she probably wont get all that much more for it. We looked into NC, Wake county to be exact (Highest paid i believe). Teachers are in huge demand down there but they start pay at around $28,000 for one or two years experience…

  94. par4156 says:

    Re #20
    Click on NJ on this map-
    http://www.aft.org/presscenter/releases/2007/salary_map.htm

    Also, here’s some stuff on public sector salaries –
    http://www.aft.org/salary/2006/download/PECompSurvey06.pdf

    As you can see starting salaries for NJ teachers is not over 50K (admitedly this is from ’04, however, based on my knowledge of public sector pay scales I don’t think the average starting salary increased by 12K over the past 3 years). In fact average salaries for teachers ion NJ in 2004 was about 56K. That average includes teachers with several years of service earning “top” salaries.

    I’ll admit that public sector costs are a concern, but blindly jumping on a bash the public sector worker bandwagon is a bit naive. A good starting point for understanding this issue is grasping the fact that there are three unique tiers of public sector employment. 1. exectutive, 2. managerial, 3. professional and 4. clerical/support. Once that is understand, take a look at the four pay scales and perhaps a better understandiung of public sector salary and benifits cost will emerge.

  95. Rich In NNJ says:

    U.S. 2007 OFHEO home price index falls 0.3%

  96. kettle1 says:

    Mike,

    I am familiar with kurzwell. I personally think that he is to optimistic. His ideas are feasible with regard to singularity and amplified intelligence in my opinion, but are unlikely to occur for a number of reasons. But he has been more successful then me, so who am i to shoot him down….

  97. Al says:

    And We are finally there:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23349559/

    U.S. producer prices soared in January

    WASHINGTON – Inflation at the wholesale level soared in January by the fastest pace in 16 years, pushed higher by rising costs for food, energy and medicine.

    The Labor Department said Tuesday that wholesale prices rose 1 percent last month, more than double the 0.4 percent increase that economists had been expecting.

    LET’S CUT THE RATES AGAIN!!!

  98. lostinny says:

    Al
    Weren’t there layoffs in the 90’s in Piscataway and Patterson? I never mentioned voluntary layoffs or early retirement.
    If your wife wanted to teach that badly she could have come to NYC was all I was saying. Chill out.

  99. Mike NJ says:

    Regarding teaching, from what I heard, If you are a guy and want to teach science you can write your own ticket. If you are a girl it is “get in line” for most of the good school districts in NJ. My neighbor is an analyst at a hedge fund and she is quitting soon to go back to teaching. If I was able to I would go into teaching science to kids as that has always been a dream of mine. The issue is I am locked into my job just by the pure pay scale factor. No way could the wife be at home with the kids and could we afford our house and town if I went into teaching. I think my wife will go into teaching after the kids are a few years older. It is a slam dunk second job/earner for a family.

  100. IVV says:

    About the kitchen/freezer question:

    TB is right, never. The heat energy removed from the freezer is dissipated out the back of the freezer, back into the kitchen. Furthermore, since the freezer process isn’t 100% efficient (nothing ever is), some electrical energy is lost at the freezer. That energy escapes–as heat.

    Also, since no kitchen is air-tight (at least, I hope not), there will be some convection–hot air flowing back into the kitchen from outside, like the other rooms of the house.

    If you can find a draft–even a hot one, then a tub of ice placed by the draft will work better. It’s also cheaper, usually.

  101. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. home prices fall 0.3% in 2007, OFHEO index shows

    U.S. home prices fell 0.3% in 2007, the first annual decline in home prices in decades, according to the purchase-only home-price index released Tuesday by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. A broader index that tracks both sales and refinancings showed a 0.8% increase in home values in 2007. In the fourth quarter, the all-inclusive index rose 0.1% and the purchase-only index fell 1.3%. Prices of homes that were sold in the fourth quarter fell in every state except Maine.

    (Nothing sold in Maine… I keed, I keed.)

  102. Artemis says:

    #99 – “Regarding teaching, from what I heard, If you are a guy and want to teach science you can write your own ticket. If you are a girl it is “get in line” for most of the good school districts in NJ.”

    Mike: What if you are a girl who teaches science? Not sure if you are implying women don’t teach science often or that schools participate in gender discrimination.

  103. Clotpoll says:

    Mike (92)-

    Ray Kurzweil also thinks people can live forever.

  104. jcer says:

    NYC is tougher on teachers than suburban NJ, or even Urban NJ. In NJ teachers and education have been given a high priority, as they should. Is teaching in NJ a decent job, yes, are teachers in NJ better off than people in the private sector, possibly but maybe not. I don’t think cutting teachers salaries accomplishes what we want, nor do I think cutting police officers salaries, or firefighters. Those are the tough government jobs, we need to cut the paper pushers, the overpaid under worked administrators, the made up jobs doled out as political favors. Then the benefits are what needs to be reformed, and it should be required that any retirement benefits should be funded and budgeted as a current cost. As for layoffs, it might happen but for the most part teachers do not fear layoffs as we do in the private sector.

    Like everyone else I think government workers need to get used to the idea that times are tough, things are getting more difficult and government jobs should not be safe from belt tightening. It is crazy that 50 yr retired police officers have been on the force for 30 yrs, collect 80% of there salaries and will collect for at minimum another 20-25 years, the retirement age should be set higher at least 65 for workers who are capable of continuing to work.

    Also don’t discount that in NJ/NYC area private sector workers almost never have a 40 hour week and always are salaried so no overtime and are asked to work weekends frequently. Yes it is a lot like office space.

  105. skep-tic says:

    people have a problem with teachers because the unions protect and actually reward mediocrity. raises and other perks are based on seniority only. going above and beyond gets you no where, so after a few years many of the most capable teachers take it down a notch because there is no reward.

    most people if they thought about it would not want their children to be taught by the cheapest possible person.

    Think about how much people pay for nannies and this is just for babysitting. Then think about the fact that teachers babysit 25 kids at a time and instruct them as well.

    The ones who are good at it and dedicated in my opinion are not underpaid at all, and if not for the perverse compensation system the unions have set up, would probably earn far more.

  106. still_looking says:

    thanks Clot! (I didn’t see it)

    Is it me or are Hunterdon County home prices barely budging. I keep seeing listings but the asking prices are ridiculous. We’re happy to wait but…egads.

    sl

  107. kettle1 says:

    artemis,

    I think mike is saying that there are very few guys in teaching and schools would love to find more male teachers to hire. Its not sex discrimination. Its a wish to have a mix of sexs as teachers instead of 1 guy out of 50 teachers.

    Mike the other issue to consider is can you handle the politics and the current child worship that exists in the schools

  108. Clotpoll says:

    sl (106)-

    Look at the other side of the equation…barely anything here is selling, either.

    Asking price means nothing. Only sale prices count.

    Today’s quality buyers can stay solvent longer than asking prices can remain at unrealistic levels.

  109. Rich In NNJ says:

    Hate to go off-topic here at the New Jersey Teachers Salary * Benefits Report but did anyone even see this?

    U.S. home prices fell 0.3% in 2007, the first annual decline in home prices in decades, according to the purchase-only home-price index released Tuesday by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

    Coupled with the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report… oh never mind.

  110. Mike NJ says:

    Women definitely do teach science and do it as well or better than men. I was purely relaying what a teacher told me point blank when I said I wanted to teach science as a career one day. Is this gender discrimination? Absolutely. It does not however make it any less real. At the end of the day you need men in the classroom as much as women because you need to show the students that both men and women have different and equally important points of view.

  111. paul says:

    Same here in North Edison. I am searchign for 5 months and prices are same as 2006 and ridiculous. In the last month, in fact the prices increased by 4% may be due to low mortgage effect.

    Can somebody say statistically how North Edison is doing. I read everday house prices gone down and my bad luck nothing happens to North Edison.

  112. Clotpoll says:

    However, Sam Zell thinks residential RE is about to start recovering. Didya see him on Squawk Box this AM? Jack Welch was there, too, acting as Zell’s shill.

    I don’t see it, but I don’t scoff at anything Sam Zell says. However, my first instinct is to try and figure out what he has to gain by making such a statement.

    I’d guess that the residential RE industry is the Chicago Tribune’s biggest advertiser, and leave it at that.

  113. Rich In NNJ says:

    U.S. banks’ ’07 reported net income off 27.4% vs ’06:FDIC
    Higher loss provisions, falling trading revs hit banks:FDIC1:FDIC
    Q4 U.S. bank profits lowest since 1991:FDIC

    Hmmm… what happened back in ’91?

  114. Artemis says:

    #110 – thanks for responding Mike. I thought that was what you meant – I just wanted to make sure.

  115. Mike NJ says:

    Clot,

    Ray thinks that in approximately 30-40 years it will be possible to live forever, but that most people will chose at one time or another to die eventually. I actually believe what he says has merit. He may be off by a decade but he is right on in many respects. Think about it, there is a good chance that my children (3 months and 3 years old) will have the option of choosing when to die (if at all). I actually think this it is hilarious and rather ironic because he is the father of this thinking yet his life span will more than likely end right about the time this all comes to fruition (he is in his late 50’s I think). Is is because of this that he basically does not eat like a human being and only ingest massive amounts of herbs and other super low calorie foods in order to slow his metabolism enough to live to the great singularity. He was smart enough to see it coming but too human to last until we perfected the science, too funny.

  116. skep-tic says:

    my guess is that the main reason men do not teach is money. great as a second job in a family with kids, but it requires a much bigger commitment to teach and be the primary earner. secondary issue is that many people perceive men who want to be around kids as suspect. another issue is that women may have more tolerance for kids’ and parents’ BS.

  117. kettle1 says:

    So BC Bob, Clot etc.

    if we have a real financial crash (ala 1929) then how long after that before the US Gov outlaws private citizens holding gold (Executive Order 6102 http://tinyurl.com/2bgn4z) ?

  118. Clotpoll says:

    Mike (115)-

    A regular friggin’ Moses:

    “He was smart enough to see it coming but too human to last until we perfected the science, too funny.”

    There was a time in my life when I ingested massive amounts of herb…er, herbs…too.

  119. Clotpoll says:

    Choose to die?

    Hell, I choose to die 3-4 times a day. :)

  120. IVV says:

    I’d love to see the new financial problems that surface from immortality.

    What happens to investment time horizons?
    What happens to retirement ages?
    What happens to inheritance and probate?
    What happens to loan maturities?

    Because, hey, if you can just keep working, you never need to save for retirement…

  121. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (117)-

    If history is any teacher, the gold confiscation would start right away. That’s why I think it’s a mistake to hold ducats and Krugs in safety deposit boxes, as several of my friends are doing. Once federal marshals secure the banks against massive withdrawals, you can’t access your gold.

    Physical gold should be kept at hand, or secured in a pre-determined hard location.

    The gubmint will get my gold…out of my cold, dead hands.

  122. pretorius says:

    Paul,

    Go to the tax records and make a list of repeat sales in North Edison – say homes that have sold twice since 2004.

    There isn’t a shortcut. You need to go transaction by transaction to identify the repeat sales, remove the sales from other parts of town, and take out the noise such as $1 sales between family members.

    You’ll end up with matched sample set of data. It will be clear what is happening to prices.

  123. Jill says:

    John #26: You make a valid point about some costs that don’t change. One thing I notice when I go to NC is the huge difference in food prices. Groceries are MUCH more expensive there. Here I go to any of a number of Asian produce markets and buy beautiful produce for half the price of what the same stuff, from the same countries, would cost me in NC. Last time I was there I was amazed to see the same Braeburn apples selling for $2.99/lb. that were $1.69/lb. here.

    Gasoline prices are also significantly higher because NC has a higher gasoline tax. And of course they pay sales tax on clothing. The main differences are housing, property taxes, and car insurance, though even car insurance isn’t that much less anymore.

    Property taxes are going to become a problem there if development keeps going the way it is. The local governments are in the pocket of the developers, who talk about “ratables” but neglect to mention that a house which brings in, say, $3000/year in property taxes may house 3 or 4 children, each of which costs, say, $8000-$10,000/year to educate.

  124. lostinny says:

    Who the hell wants to live forever? I mean how much can a person sag before their skin just drags along the floor?

  125. Al says:

    Immortality – what a bunch of …..

    I think life expectancy will start to actually decline starting in about 2020…

    Quality of life will start to decline and overpopulation will lead to more deseases.

    Right now there is nothing in biology/chemistry development/healthcare to suggest even modest increases.

  126. skep-tic says:

    So what is the relevance of the OFHEO index at this point? Does anybody actually believe that prices have only fallen 0.3%?

  127. Clotpoll says:

    pret (121)-

    Yeah, right. What you’ll get is a matching set of late-boom flips and recent distress sales, all lumped together. That’s a helluva accurate measurement!

    How about going back to late-05, calculating list vs original asking price on all sales, then calculating the expired/withdrawn ratio vs all listings? You won’t come up with a definitive “number”, but you’ll sure as hell have an idea of the current trend.

  128. athos says:

    Could someone please get me the history on the following MLS number:

    2468178

    Thanks.

  129. Clotpoll says:

    Drat. #121 moderated.

  130. Everything's 'boken says:

    re 34
    This is not just a simple ‘something for nothing question because a refrigerator stores some cold. Just as if you brought in a large chunk of ice.

    If the refrigerator has no frozen contents, then the answer is: It heats the room on average, though the heating will be mostly near the ceiling so the floor may be cooler.

  131. Jill says:

    Welcome, IVV!

    In answer to your question, yes, new construction of single-family homes in northern New Jersey seems to be exclusively 3500 square feet plus.

    POS has already been explained to you, so I won’t go into that. You’ll find that the denizens of this board are equal opportunity bashers — they bash the POS Cape and then turn around and bash the 4000 square foot McMansion.

    But as the owner of a POS cape myself, I can tell you that there are any number of expanded capes and ranches that have already had significant updating done. Some of us are taking longer than others to do it, because some of us didn’t succumb to the siren song of home equity loans and don’t do anything we can’t pay outright. My house needed a new electric panel when we moved in 11 years ago, so we did that. We’ve also replaced the oil burner, water heater, windows, siding and roof, and somewhat updated one of the bathrooms. And with all that, if we were to sell, we would probably have to put another $20K minimum into it.

    Are you looking to buy? If so, in what towns?

  132. kettle1 says:

    124 al

    i disagree, there is some interesting early research that suggests that life extension may be possible in humans. its still very early and may not pan out, but there is some basic research to support the idea

  133. Al says:

    Kettle – based on what – general Idea – GENE therapy??
    PLEASE…

  134. Clotpoll says:

    (128)-

    25 Schwin Dr, Clark, 71 DOM. In attorney review.

    Expired previously after 136 DOM, OLP $649,900. Reduced to 599K before expiration.

  135. Spelunker says:

    From the movie “School of Rock” with Jack Black.

    “Those that can’t do, teach. Those that can’t teach, teach gym.”

    Does it offer anything meaningful to the conversation? probably not, but it was funny as hell when i heard it!

    According to the CDC —>

    Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs Top
    1. Inner City HS Teacher
    2. Police Officer
    3. Miner
    4. Air Traffic Controller
    5. Medical Intern
    6. Stockbroker
    7. Journalist
    8. Customer Service/Complaint Worker
    9. Secretary
    10. Waiter

    Top 10 Least Stressful Jobs
    1. Forester
    2. Bookbinder
    3. Telephone Line Worker
    4. Toolmaker
    5. Millwright
    6. Repairperson
    7. Civil Engineer
    8. Therapist
    9. Natural Scientist
    10. Sales Representative

  136. BC Bob says:

    kettle [117],

    I do believe we will see this in the future. Everything old is becoming new again.

  137. athos says:

    Clot (133)

    Thanks. My wife had remembered that house being on the market for ever but we couldn’t remember the original price.

  138. Ann says:

    71 lostinny

    Exactly. They think their kids are so wonderful that teachers should be jumping at the bit to hang out with them all day, meanwhile, they are the same parents that have spent as little time as possible with their kids since the day they were born.

    I really don’t get this whole teacher thing. If the field is so great, why isn’t there a mad rush into the profession? And why is there is a mad rush out, as most don’t last five years?

  139. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (117)-

    Moderated at #121…I think the word, h@rd, got me caught:

    If history is any teacher, the gold confiscation would start right away. That’s why I think it’s a mistake to hold ducats and Krugs in safety deposit boxes, as several of my friends are doing. Once federal marshals secure the banks against massive withdrawals, you can’t access your gold.

    Physical gold should be kept at hand, or secured in a pre-determined h@rd location.

    The gubmint will get my gold…out of my cold, dead hands.

  140. Essex says:

    Mike said it…..teaching is a great SECOND income….when the primary breadwinner gets the axe….the teacher cannot afford to carry a mortgage on that fat $50K SALARY.

  141. skep-tic says:

    it is hard to get a teaching gig in good school districts and in places where there aren’t a lot of other high paying jobs left (Michigan). It is easy in crap school districts. These are where a lot of the turnover is. The high turnover overall is also probably influenced by the fact that most teachers are women and they often drop out of the workforce when they have children

  142. Rich In NNJ says:

    I just love this one.

    Glen Rock
    NEW CONSTRUCTION (FOUNDATION FROM PREVIOUS HOUSE WAS USED)
    SLD 542 ACKERMAN AVE $810,000 6/28/2005

    SLD 542 ACKERMAN AVE $790,000 6/22/2006

    SLD 542 ACKERMAN AVE $782,000 8/22/2007

    2802998
    ACT 542 ACKERMAN AVE $819,000 1/22/2008
    PCH 542 ACKERMAN AVE $799,000 2/26/2008

  143. Clotpoll says:

    Ann (138)-

    The same reason there isn’t a rush into the other “easy money” business: real estate sales.

  144. hughesrep says:

    137 Ann

    I think to some degree it is jealousy over all of those days off.

    My wife is a teacher and I’m jealous when she stays home on random days and I have to go to work.

    I don’t think it helps when teachers give all the lip service about how hard they work, and then I remind them it is essentially a part time job.

    180 days * 7 hours a day= 1260 hours a year. And that is assuming they don’t take any of the 13 sick / personal days.

    Not bad for the pay and benefits.

  145. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (117)-

    This is getting fun. The word that caught me was confisc@tion…go figure (eewwww):

    Moderated at #121…I think the word, h@rd, got me caught:

    If history is any teacher, the gold confisc@tion would start right away. That’s why I think it’s a mistake to hold ducats and Krugs in safety deposit boxes, as several of my friends are doing. Once federal marshals secure the banks against massive withdrawals, you can’t access your gold.

    Physical gold should be kept at hand, or secured in a pre-determined h@rd location.

    The gubmint will get my gold…out of my cold, dead hands.

  146. Sean says:

    re: (117) Kettle1

    Peter Schiff says to go international and put it in the Peth Mint. The Peth Mint has the only government guaranteed gold certificate program in the world.

    I personally don’t think anyone would need to be that extreme. I don’t see the USA ever going back on the gold standard since the US only has a fraction of
    what is needed in reserve. We have printed and inflated all f the net US wealth to be worth somewhere in the range of 45 trillion. Inflation will keep going up the dollar will continue to weaken and gold will increase in value, but the very nature of our fiat currency entangled in nearly everything will take many years to unwind if it ever happens at all.

    Speaking as someone who bought in on gold years back with a few coins and some recent purchases of gold related investments I am happy to hear that some mainstream financial advisors have finally been recommending that investors hold gold stocks in their portfolios.

  147. Confused In NJ says:

    Seven things Corzine won’t cut
    Posted by Paul Mulshine February 26, 2008 9:45AM
    Categories: Politics
    During his budget address today, Gov. Jon Corzine will do a lot of poor-mouthing, if I may employ an expression I heard often from my old Irish mother, God rest her soul. Poor-mouthing is the art of pretending poverty in one area while spending like crazy in other areas. You go to the neighbor and borrow some money because the baby needs formula. Then you head to the pub and get sloshed. That’s poor-mouthing.

    Corzine is going to get up there and tell us that the state is broke because of excessive borrowing without voter approval and because of the need to pay for the future retirement costs of public employees.

    Meanwhile, he plans even more borrowing without voter approval. And he refuses to make the obvious reforms in the pension system that would bring costs under control.

    Instead he’ll make some token cuts. Then next year he’ll be back poor-mouthing us again. But if the former head of Goldman-Sachs were serious about keeping his promise to run the state like a business, here’s what he’d do:

    1) Phase out the pension system

    Ever seen photos of a snake that has swallowed a rat? The rat’s body slowly moves through the snake until it is digested. The state budget is like that snake. The pension debt is like a rat. But it is a rat that will just keep getting bigger until the snake explodes.

    The solution is simple: Keep the pension system for the current employees. End it for all new hires. They would get defined-contribution plans similar to the 401(k) plans so many taxpayers have. Now the snake can eventually swallow the rat.

    2) Raise the retirement age for public employees to the retirement age for the rest of us.

    The other big problem the state faces is the cost of lifetime medical benefits for retired public employees and their families. If Medicare is good enough for the public, it should be good enough for public employees. Raising the retirement age to 65-plus would cut tens of billions in future health insurance costs for retirees below Medicare age.

    3) End breathing bonuses.

    Public employment is based on the premise that the longer people work, the better they perform. This is not the case. Some people do indeed improve with age and should be compensated accordingly. But some people just sit back and collect those annual longevity raises until they’re eligible for those oversize pensions.

    Even unionized employees in private industry don’t get longevity pay, as ironworker Steve Sweeney, also a state senator, pointed out to his fellow Democrats during debate on the property tax reform plan of 2006. Sweeney’s sensible stance prompted the governor to go before a rally of public employees in Trenton and proclaim, “We will fight for a fair contract.”

    Start fighting for the taxpayers, guv.

    4) Revoke the 2001 pension increase.

    Another subject of poor-mouthing at those town meetings is the 9 percent increase in public pensions passed in 2001 by a Republican-dominated Legislature. If Corzine dislikes the law, he should call for it to be reversed. According to Rick Merkt, a Republican assemblyman from Morris County who was one of the few to vote against the hike, such a reversal would represent a big savings for the state.

    “This was something that was not negotiated,” says Merkt. “It was a gift of the taxpayers courtesy of the Legislature. And what the taxpayers giveth the taxpayers can take away.”

    5) Revoke project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws.

    When Goldman-Sachs or any other private firm contracts for a new building, the lowest bidder gets the job. When New Jersey does so, the bidder has to follow union rules and pay union scale. That greatly inflates the cost of the project, a factor that created the next problem.

    6) Stop borrowing without voter approval.

    At every “town meeting” on his failed toll-and-spend plan, Corzine has promised that he will no longer borrow without voter approval. Yet on Feb. 19, Corzine promised the state Supreme Court that he would do just that. The governor pledged to get the Legislature to borrow $2.5 billion to finish the school construction that should have been funded by the prior $6 billion in bonding. The Democrats squandered that dough and now want more.

    Put that new bonding on the ballot as you promised, governor.

    7) Eliminate state aid to the Abbott cities.

    Trenton Democrats love to argue that they can’t cut funding to the so-called Abbott school districts because of a court order. But the court never ordered the state to fund the municipal governments in the 31 Abbott districts. Cutting that funding would free up hundreds of millions a year. Of course, such cuts would mean a lot of loyal Democrats would have to be laid off. But times are tough.

    And times will be tough again next year — and every year after that until we finally get a governor who puts the public interest above the special interests

  148. Clotpoll says:

    Fun word of the day:

    “downer”- a slaughtered cow that cannot walk at the time of slaughter.

  149. YankeeGal says:

    Re: teachers being overpaid

    What about school secretaries? The school secretary in my son’s elementary school makes $57K/year. This is around what mid-level secretaries make in private companies, or at least in the company I work for. And they don’t get summers off, not to mention free health care, a pension and those other school holidays off. To be that’s a lot more ridiculous than what teachers get paid.

  150. pretorius says:

    Skep-tic,

    The OFHEO index is a genuine national index, although it excludes transactions financed with non-conforming loans.

    The Case-Shiller index includes 20 cities comprising only 30% of the country’s population and a significantly lower % of the country’s single family homes.

    Case-Shiller excludes most of the country’s strongest housing markets, especially those exposed to the natural resources sector. Many major cities like Houston and all Mountain West markets (except Denver) are simply ignored.

    At the same time, housing bubble markets in California, Florida, and the Southwest are overrepresented. Las Vegas, for instance, isn’t close to being a top 20 city but is nonetheless included in the index.

    The OFHEO and Case-Shiller indices measure single-family home prices. Neither index includes condos.

    Both indices are useful indicators, despite their imperfections.

  151. kettle1 says:

    Al,

    one example

    http://tinyurl.com/2w3zwg

    another examples involves hydrogen sulfide, and then there are a few genetic manipulation ideas.

  152. BC Bob says:

    “I am happy to hear that some mainstream financial advisors have finally been recommending that investors hold gold stocks in their portfolios.”

    Sean [144],

    That’s worrisome, if you are bullish.

  153. Mike NJ says:

    Al,

    Take a look and you would be surprised what is out there right now (admittedly far from living forever). Tricking cells into repairing the damage time and continual replication does to DNA/RNA is one of these advances. We are far from understanding the entire process of aging but what is indisputable is that we are advancing right now at exponential pace. It is a common mistake (and decidedly human attribute) to take the last 50 years of advances and apply that to the next 50 years. Research shows though that this is completely incorrect. The human race will innovate as much in the next 25 years as it took 100 years to do over the last century. Innovation is speeding up exponentially. Again, way, way too much to cover on this blog. Read a few of Ray’s books to get an idea on his theories. He backs everything up with hard data. He does extrapolate decades into the future which as we all know is problematic with human culture/norms changing all the time as well. That being said, all things being equal it is good, good stuff and gives one plenty of food for thought.

  154. jmacdaddio says:

    Extended or indefinite lifespan has a lot of implications for our legal system and healthcare. Will immortality become the exclusive domain of the rich? Right now death is the great equalizer. I don’t think the treatments will be cheap.

    Even with energy depletion staring us in the face, I think the lifespan will stay the same however. We won’t be able to eat ourselves into diabetes and obesity with skyrocketing food and fertilizer prices. My exhaustive public health research concludes that the advances with the biggest direct impact have already been done. Basic sanitation has done more to expand the lifespan than any pharmaceutical or high-tech device.

  155. Doyle says:

    Don’t you guys have this Teacher Fight every couple months? You should just copy and paste.

  156. BOOOOOOOYAAAAAABob says:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080226/home_prices.html

    YIKES!
    One word of advice to sellers lower your price and fast….real fast. just sell it now. The bloodbath of 2008 will continue into 2009.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAA

    Bob

  157. pretorius says:

    “Clotpoll Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 10:59 am
    pret (121)-

    Yeah, right. What you’ll get is a matching set of late-boom flips and recent distress sales, all lumped together. That’s a helluva accurate measurement!

    How about going back to late-05, calculating list vs original asking price on all sales, then calculating the expired/withdrawn ratio vs all listings? You won’t come up with a definitive “number”, but you’ll sure as hell have an idea of the current trend.”

    How do I get the data you recommend? How do I identify the distressed sales?

    I hear your point about the flips. However, if one follows his local submarket, he can identify most of the the flips. Plus, the recording dates in the tax records make it easy to identify the quick flips.

  158. skep-tic says:

    #148

    pretorios– the NAR’s own national index is showing a far greater decline than the OFHEO index. Don’t you think that limiting the data set to conforming loans only is a fatal flaw at this point given that it completely excludes all transactions from the economically vital portions of the country? I agree that Case/Shiller is unreliable as well.

  159. kettle1 says:

    Sean, 144

    I am not suggesting that the US is going to go back to a a non-fiat currency. I am suggesting that if we have another crash similar to 1929 that i believe there is a good chance that the government would ban private citizens from holding gold. In such an environment as 1929 if people have an option of an alternative currency market, they will use it. that is one of the big reasons that gold was outlawed. the Government was afraid of loosing control of its currency. I believe the same thing could happen again.

    Clott i agree, safe deposit box is not the best option. I keep mine on the cookie jar, because no one would ever look there.

  160. BOOOOOOOYAAAAAABob says:

    The misery index has blown off the charts.

    It’s going to get real miserable before this toxic bloated housing market bottoms.

    bababababa………

  161. BC Bob says:

    “Ben S. Bernanke, who has reduced interest rates faster than any Federal Reserve chairman since 1982, is failing to bring down the cost of credit for most American homeowners.”

    “The average fixed rate for a 30-year home loan rose more than half a percentage point during the past four weeks to 6.04 percent, according to Freddie Mac, the world’s second-largest mortgage buyer after Fannie Mae. The increase occurred after the Fed lowered its benchmark rate by 0.75 percent on Jan. 22 and cut the rate by a further half-point eight days later.”

    “About 55 percent of U.S. banks tightened underwriting standards on prime mortgages in 2007’s fourth quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey, published in January. That’s up from 40 percent in the October survey.”

    “The report showed 85 percent of banks raised qualifications for so-called non-traditional loans, such as interest-only mortgages, compared with 60 percent in the October survey.”

    “Everyone is afraid,” said Shaughnessy of Foundation Mortgage. “The mentality is: when in doubt, reject the loan.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aH.LU2m93S88&refer=home

  162. RayC says:

    Kettle1

    Does this mean your cookies are not secured?????

  163. grim says:

    pre,

    I’ll add the fact that the OFHEO headline index includes values that were derived from refinancing appraisals in the measure. The OFHEO purchase-only index (which was basically a footnote in the past), wasn’t widely used until it was the measure was criticised in the press/media.

  164. Sean says:

    re: 150 (Bob) please elaborate?

    or shall I take a shot.

    Are you saying that banks and Hedge Funds and the talking heads are trying to inflate a commodity bubble, and people could possibly take a big haricut in their retirement savings?

  165. Clotpoll says:

    pret (157)-

    “How do I get the data you recommend? How do I identify the distressed sales?”

    Get an agent to geek it out for you and provide copies of the listings (there are more than a few of us with lots of time on our hands). Assume any sale/resale of a home within a three year window that is not a relocation- and results in a net loss to the seller- is a distress sale.

    I do this when running the stats I use for my own purposes.

  166. BklynHawk says:

    Booyaa Bob/154, 158-
    Is that really you?! Where have you been? Buying toys on the cheap from greedy grubbers, Ramen eating bag holders, etc.?

    JM

  167. BOOOOOOOYAAAAAABob says:

    Good point. 30 year mtg has skyrocketed last few weeks upward. Another spike in the heart for sellers.
    Sellers face hurricane winds and they are not going to let up for some time. So do not think you can just relist later and back to bubble frenzy again.

    Read My LIPS: It’s over for many years. if you want out and need to get out within the next 5-6 years better unload now and fast. hehehehehe

    The tide has turned dramatically.

    hang in there greedy buyers. It’s payback time.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAA

    Bob

  168. kettle1 says:

    if anyone is interested in a story about immortaliti in the near future try reading this ( a short story i found interesting)… the linked website is the authors website and is SFW

    down and out in the magic kingdom
    http://www.craphound.com/down

  169. kettle1 says:

    if anyone is interested in a story about immortality in the near future try reading this ( a short story i found interesting)… the linked website is the authors website and is SFW

    down and out in the magic kingdom
    http://www.craphound.com/down

  170. Read My Lips: Do not even think about it says:

    Good point. 30 year mtg has skyrocketed last few weeks upward. Another spike in the heart for sellers.
    Sellers face hurricane winds and they are not going to let up for some time. So do not think you can just relist later and back to bubble frenzy again.

    The tide has turned dramatically.

    hang in there greedy buyers. It’s payback time.

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAA

    Bob

  171. gary says:

    Fridge question:

    Awesome! As a Civil Engineering major, this is right up my alley. How many people are in the room? The average person will diffuse 400 BTUs/person/hr so if you have a party going on in that kitchen, it ain’t dropping the temp. What’s a BTU? Glad you asked. It’s the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of 1 lb. of water by 1 degree farenheit. How about it’s cousin, the calorie? This is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1 ml. (or 1 cubic centimeter) of water by 1 degree celsius.

    How about passive cooling? Run a maze of pipe approximately 4 feet below grade powered by a fan. The temperature at this depth is approximately 54 degrees at all times. You can utilize this cool air to drop the temperature in the kitchen and close that fridge door!! Besides, who wants to eat spurled ham!! :)

  172. Clotpoll says:

    skep (158)-

    All these indices aren’t worth jack, because they understate the downside and allow anomalies in location, price range and financing terms to skew the results.

    Grim’s stuff here is the best I’ve seen if you want to get a clear idea of what’s up. I also think that the attempt to track RE asset markets on anything larger than a local basis is an easy path to obtaining some very murky results.

  173. kettle1 says:

    Ray,

    that depends, do you consider bouncing betties and claymores unsecured????

  174. Sean says:

    re: (157) kettle1

    If anything we are in an electronic world now and private debit cards or gift cards would become the new alternative currency if the dollar hits the skids.

    Just about every store or business on the planet can accept these types of electronic transactions.

    I don’t think every shop owner is going to go out and buy scales and equipment to test the specify gravity or purity of any metals presented as a currency for purchase. It is just too labor intensive.

  175. gary says:

    SG of Mercury = 13.6

    Am I correct?

  176. par4156 says:

    #96 in moderation. Grim, is my name putting my posts in moderation???

  177. Clotpoll says:

    grim (163)-

    “I’ll add the fact that the OFHEO headline index includes values that were derived from refinancing appraisals in the measure.”

    Oh, yeah…refi appraisals always give you a good, clean number. Look how well CDOs of 2nd mortgages are doing. :)

  178. Aaron says:

    I think the schools in NJ are overrated as well. Part of the reason for this is that the school districts are small and the good ones stand out.

    In Albuquerque we have one school district which is not well rated, but there are dozens of sub-districts within Albuquerque.

    There are sub-districts here where the children score very well on SAT and elementary testing…you just need to do a little research to find where to go.

  179. par4156 says:

    btw – four not three tiers…

  180. kettle1 says:

    sean 172

    i somewhat agree. people will not use gold/silver as daily money, but how do you store your life savings when you no longer trust your countries currency (including the electronic system). GOld/silver in this extreme scenario would be used primarily as a store of value not for regular transactions. This has happened over and over throughout history.

    gift cards and the like are not as safe as you may think
    http://tinyurl.com/yw6rar

    gift cards have no inherent value unless the vendor says so. commodities do

  181. Clotpoll says:

    BTW, in between posts today, I had a lender holding a 2nd give me permission to proceed with a short sale…even though this lender will get bupkus at the closing.

    I think they are going hard- via back channels- after the holder of the 1st for some sort of token payment, but no one will admit anything to me.

  182. Read My Lips: Do not even think about it says:

    Booyaa Bob/154, 158-

    Do my best in distressed situations. Keep your eyes wide open and be real patient…… something may just fall into your lap….. that wish list or researched list should have been built already, if not work on it. Be prepared when the time comes. financial, housing, toy any market.

    bababababababa

  183. Rich In NNJ says:

    170,

    Agreed, all the indices are flawed.
    But I feel most here (NNJ) haven’t a clue as to where housing prices are headed. If it wasn’t for these national reports being released and then covered in the media most (buyers and sellers) would think the market was still climbing or at worse flat.

  184. skep-tic says:

    #170

    Clot– so what would you say is a reasonable (and recommended) level of detail of data one should request as a buyer with respect to a local area? How much do you break it down for people? thanks

  185. Clotpoll says:

    Pick up any toys lately, Booyah?

    Talking to any banks who are choking on vacant houses?

  186. Sean says:

    re: (178) – store of value.

    I would argue that oil in the ground or gasoline storage would be a better store of value than gold.

    I could see a large company setting up an electronic debit card to process tranactions based upon some kind of redemption center where you would bring your precious metals, diamonds etc to recieve credit on a card minus a transaction fee.

    Perhaps a pawn shop in every town?

  187. Clotpoll says:

    skep (170)-

    Anything I can figure out, I’ll share it with a buyer. I’m no quant, though.

    I also tend to shy away from buyers who look at a primary residence in purely investment terms. Too many requests for OFHEO, Case/Shiller and other geek stuff gets me itchy. A buyer who’s all cranked up over things like that shouldn’t be buying into this market. I’m not even dealing with current buyers who have less than a 5-6 year occupancy horizon. I’ve managed never to get sued, and I’m not about to get sued in a few years by some dope who wants to blame his negative equity on me.

  188. skep-tic says:

    #185

    clot– your approach makes sense. one more question– if you’re aware of the circumstances of some sales that appear to be outliers, do you share them with your clients (e.g., this sale was the result of a divorce or death in the family) or is this considered to be out of bounds?

  189. Clotpoll says:

    (186)-

    “I could see a large company setting up an electronic debit card to process tranactions based upon some kind of redemption center…”

    Kinda Mad Max, dontcha think?

  190. Clotpoll says:

    skep (188)-

    I don’t buy the theory of “outliers” in tracking RE sales. Everybody’s got a story…but, the number is the number.

    The same people who tell you outliers shouldn’t be considered are the ones who say foreclosures only fractionally bring down the value of surrounding properties.

    Try telling that to a seller in Detroit or Cleveland.

  191. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (186)-

    I stripped a cell tower the other night. Where can I take all this copper?

  192. kettle1 says:

    the fridge question.

    the answer is that you cannot use the refrigerator to cool the kitchen no matter how long you keep the door open. The fridge is a heat pump and moves heat from point a to point b while generating waste heat at the same time. so by keeping the door open you are pumping cool air out of the front while you are pumping a larger volume of hot air out of the back.

    Now, you could respond by saying that if you vent the hot side of the fridge to the outside of the house you could cool the kitchen, and this is true, this is the same method of operation as your air conditioning (pump heat from the inside of the house to the outside). The point however was the “average kitchen” in which the fridge is entirely contained in the room. Thanks for being good sports :)

  193. kettle1 says:

    to clarify the fridge answer.

    by keeping the door open you will increase the AVERAGE temperature in the room. the inside may indeed stay cool, but the room temperature will rise

  194. d2b says:

    Just wondering what would have happened to me if I told Sister Margaret Ann to pi$$ off. When I went home my Dad would blacken my other eye.

    I try not to worry about teacher’s salaries. But my seven year old has a technology teacher. That guy is stealing money. He’s teaching kids how to use Nick Jr.com.

    As far as teacher’s with two Masters, some are legit. But most teachers do not need a masters to teach elementary or middle. They get it because of the pay bump. In nice districts like ours, teachers have it made. There is a volunteer parent in the room everyday.

  195. kettle1 says:

    gary

    how do you handle condensation and mold/bacterial growth in earth pipes? i am intrigued by them, but am not sure the moisture issues have been adequately resolved. But by all means, please educate me.

  196. Clotpoll says:

    From NAR prez Dick Gaylord (yes, that’s his real name), to the stiffs in my biz who slurp this stuff up like hot bowls of money soup:

    Dear REALTOR®:

    I recently recorded a special video message to all REALTORS® about the Economic Stimulus Package. This is the one of the most exciting accomplishments we have achieved in years, and I want to make sure that every member of the REALTOR® family understands the positive impact this important new law will have on the housing market and our businesses.

    Please take just a few minutes now to watch the podcast and find out when the new FHA and GSE loan limits will take effect and how you can help pass FHA Reform and GSE Reform this year. And, please, forward this message to colleagues in both your offices and your local and state associations.

    http://www.realtor.org/about_nar/presidents_report/_video/president_s_podcast_video_february_2008.html?fbr=1203012969531

    This remarkable achievement would not have been possible without your help. Thank you all for your participation. Now, let’s keep the momentum going!

  197. kettle1 says:

    clott 189,

    so you are the reason i wasted my time last night??? i got to the cell tower and all i found was a hole where the grounding strip had been :(

  198. Rob says:

    e-gold has already been tried. I’m not sure if it’s still in business but you could check.

    Electronic transactions don’t mean squat. The transactions have to be denominated in something, and as soon as you want to convert that something into a foreign currency to trade with it you are right back to square 1.

    Gasoline would not be a good long term store of value; it degrades fairly rapidly.

  199. kettle1 says:

    clott,

    isnt there a large steeple right off of 280 in orange that is sheathed in copper????? want to play roofer for a day errr night

  200. Clotpoll says:

    Vodka (199)-

    Got a box truck?

  201. kettle1 says:

    rob the e-gold people are being charged by the federal Gov and have had their reserves seized!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR2006100900993.html

  202. BC Bob says:

    Clot [194],

    Your response to Dick Gaylord;

    Hi-Ho.

  203. kettle1 says:

    so how about friday night clott, you me and a box truck

    put these into microsoft live maps bird eye view

    maps.live.com

    40.780346,-74.225006

  204. kill the boomers says:

    Just finished watching Gov Corzine speech on the budget.

    Big one is aid to muncipalities is frozen to last year, BUT NO state aid for towns with less than 10K population. $32Million fund for regionalization.

    Expect a few more small community hospital to close. Hospital aid with be geared to “safety net hospitals” – essentially big teaching hospital that can afford the hits.

    Speech did not have many details. But if you live in a small town expect your taxes to go up dramatically.

  205. Imus says:

    Anyone know what has been the % price drop in NNJ home values? Sorry if already discussed. Cheers.

  206. profuscious says:

    can gubmint satellites spot ur g@ld? Now you’re making me p@r@noid…exactly how far will I have to dig?

  207. CB in SJ says:

    Re: #194

    I was just reading the latest press release on the Realtor®.org site. According to Gaylord, help is on the way. To paraphrase, the big declines are in the high-cost areas because loan limits are low. Now, with the stimulus package and higher loan limits, the pent-up demand will be released and sales will climb again. Don’t you feel better? I knew these people are smart; after all, who else could come up with such brilliance as “Mrs. Clean lives here!”?

    I see that Gaylord is a Realtor® in Long Beach CA. I just returned from there. To me, it looks like a pig that someone put lipstick on (like Atlantic City in the early days of casino gambling)–with a number of condo projects in various stages. I did notice at least one sales office that appeared to be closed, even though none of the condos appeared to be occupied. But, I am sure that will change now that “help is on the way”!

  208. John says:

    NJ is 18!!!! GO NJ!!!!

    New Jersey ranked 18th in terms of the proportion of households at some stage of default or seizure, with 1.5 percent. New York was 30th with 0.6 percent of households facing possible foreclosure.

  209. Everything's 'boken says:

    re 192
    The problem with theoretical answers to real world questions is that theories usually ignore significant conditions that occur in actual cases.

    I suspect that the real results will approach the theory asymptotically, but due to the enormous difference in the heat content of the air in an average room (40% humidity 1700J) compared to the latent heat o fusion of even a small amount of ice in the freezer, I would expect the temperature to drop initially.

  210. gary says:

    kettle1,

    Ahh… the downside to our earth cooling system. A dehumdifier is most likely needed as condensation will form. As to how to eliminate moisture completely, I don’t know if you can and thus, the issue of bacteria and mold is always present. They only thing you can do is to ensure that you have proper drainage around the system to alleviate it as much as possible. You probably would want to use PVC pipe as opposed to anything else so corrosion becomes an non-issue. Also, you create a highway for Mickey and Minnie so that’s another factor to consider.

    We designed passive heating/cooling systems in school (a hundred years ago) so it’s been a while and I forget a bit. I’ve been doing programmer/analyst work for many years now so I’ve been out of the loop. I suspect the technology has improved and some of these issues have been tackled.

  211. mark says:

    corzine may have gotten the message.

    question: do we have the nerve to stop
    free medical for the illegals which have helped bk the hospital system.\?

  212. BC Bob says:

    “Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said turmoil in credit markets and the possibility of even slower economic growth pose a “greater threat” than inflation.”

    “I do not expect the recent elevated inflation rates to persist,” Kohn said in the text of a speech to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. “The adverse dynamics of the financial markets and the economy have presented the greater threat to economic welfare in the United States.”

    “We have the tools,” Kohn said. “We will do what is needed.”

    [Edit] The dollar, getting obliterated today, agrees.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amYmnsEFTEf8&refer=home

  213. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (203)-

    Whoa! I figure I’m gonna have enough to answer for one day. I don’t think I can ‘splain away stripping a church steeple of copper. :)

  214. still_looking says:

    omigod Boooooyah is Baaaaaaaaack!

    I’m starting to feel like the member of a support group….

    (shaking and twitching): But, man, I like, NEEEEEED a fix…. please, lemme look at just one POS cape! I…. I….. I… promise… I’m just gonna LOOOOK at it… Pleeeeeeeeze man… just one… or maybe a little Center Hall…you know, with a sun room and some granite…(oooh……oh….oh…you know….mmmmmm granite… aaah.. yeah.. granite!)? Okay??? Huh? Please??

  215. Clotpoll says:

    BC (207)-

    Neither Gaylord nor most of the paramecium that form the rank-and-file of NAR seem to have figured out that the “stimulus” plan is actually a giant bailout for NAR’s biggest enemy: the banks.

    Banks have been lobbying for years for modifications to the Commerce Clause that would allow them to get into the RE sales game. Up until the latest unpleasantness, most of NAR’s considerable lobbying $$$ have gone toward buying off Congress and preventing the banks from getting their way.

    Now, we’ve unintentionally helped bail out our biggest competitor. Good times.

  216. BC Bob says:

    JB,

    210 in moderation. Kohn not expecting elevated inflation conditions to persist?

  217. Pat says:

    sl, calm down. It’s almost time.

    On Sunday morning, we drove from PA over the toll bridge on Route One into Trenton.

    The bridge is being completely reconstructed. Imagine the job, the materials….the opportunity! Now that would make someone drool if they needed a fix.

    On the on-ramp just before to the bridge in PA, there were three police cars. There was also one large old reddish/brown van with the back doors wide open…backed up in the grass into the construction zone. All kinds of metal was hanging out the back.

    A couple of people were doing the “I dunno whose van that is, occifer” jig.

    I was surprised only that anybody who lived right there called the cops.

  218. kettle1 says:

    gary,

    I would use earth tubes with a concentric tube heat exchanger, that way the moisture and micky are physically isolated from the house. i do not know if that setup actually exists in the residential market, but is a tried and true industrial method

  219. BC Bob says:

    Clot [213],

    My Hi-Ho reference was pertaining to the Lone Ranger, not Gaylord.

  220. Ann says:

    Teachers and days off

    Days off could have something to do with it. But if having that many days off a year was important, then we should have all become teachers. Why didn’t we?

    I also don’t get these stories that this one wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t. Again, I practically walked on to a teaching job in a second-tier town (third, fourth?) via alternate route. If it’s such a great job, then even working in Newark or Camden would be worth it?

    And why would anyone would be a lawyer or Wall Street guy or other business type when they could have been a teacher. I can’t imagine why.

  221. Rich In NNJ says:

    Bob (216),

    I thought it was pertaining to Ed McMahon

  222. pretorius says:

    What is typical salary bonus for National Board Certfied Teachers in New Jersey?

  223. lostinny says:

    I apologize if this has been posted already:

    Confidence plunges, inflation rate soars
    NEW YORK – No good news today on the economic front. Consumer confidence plunged, the wholesale inflation rate soared, the number of homes being foreclosed jumped, home prices fell sharply and a report predicts big increases in health care costs.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080226/ap_on_bi_ge/economy_rdp

  224. d2b says:

    Pat-
    Are you planning on stealing the Trenton Makes bridge and selling it for scrap? If you do can I have the big letters? I couple of cuts and a quick weld here and there and I’d have my first and last on the front lawn.

  225. Rich In NNJ says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Credit costs seen hitting Fannie, Freddie results

    Mortgage-finance giants report latest earnings this week

    Both companies are reporting results for the full year of 2007. Fannie Mae is up first on Wednesday morning. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are expecting the Washington, D.C.-based company to report a loss of $1.21 a share in the fourth quarter.

    Freddie Mac reports its latest results Thursday morning. Analysts expect the McLean, Va.-based company to report a loss of $3.07 a share in the fourth quarter.

    Worsening housing-market conditions and credit-market turmoil dragged down Fannie Mae’s earnings in the first three quarters of 2007. In the fourth quarter, analysts are expecting some of the same factors to hit the company’s earnings.

    “We believe that the fourth-quarter results will reflect a continuation of the same trends announced in the third quarter, primarily heightened credit costs and mark-to-market adjustments for balance-sheet items,” wrote analysts for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on Tuesday.

    The same trends will also impact Freddie Mac, the analysts said.

    Shares of Fannie and Freddie have reeled as the U.S. housing market has sunk and credit worries have spread throughout the financial system. Over the past 12 months, Fannie Mae’s stock is off 54%. Freddie’s is down 61%.

  226. gary says:

    kettle1 [215],

    Sounds ok to me but the cost to install even a bare bones version of this system isn’t too cheap. Add the bells and whistles version and it sure as heck better offset the cooling bill of an active system. The tube alone is the heat exchanger, so I would think that would be sufficient. If that doesn’t work, just get a couple of those industrial fans with a five foot diameter and tie the kids to the nearest piece of furniture. lol!

  227. Confused In NJ says:

    The Patterson NJ 2008 Pay Scale shows teachers above 15 years making $85K – $93K, depending upon degree, for the 180 day work year. This appears to be a very reasonable salary for the number of days, especially considering that with tenure they don’t have the stress of multiple life time career changes, as in the private sector, and their benefits are superior to the private sector. Where it becomes non sustainable is the same point the NJ Legislature keeps making, 3/4 Pensions for life coupled with Life Time Medical. The Generous Pension allowance never existed in the Private Sector (average was 1/4) and the type of Medical where it existed, was eliminated in the 1980’s because of cost. The same Cost Constraints effecting Business since the 1980’s is applicable to Government. The Federal Governments concerns on Social Security & Medicare Funding, are significantly worse at the State Level with Public Pension & Medical Funding. This is not a criticism of what people felt they were owed, it’s simply the realism of what is, and is not, “not affordable”. A Bankrupt NJ may have to default on it’s promises, in a manner similar to Big Business defaulting on theirs. I’m sure Corzine can apologize profusely, just like the CEO’s when he say’s; Sorry, we simply haven’t got the money. Those who promised it were short sighted.

  228. Pat says:

    d2b, not a bad idea.

    Those letters would look awesome in a neighborhood Christmas display.

    I also can do a bit of stained glass, and would love to make a giant window, backlit with the flash of giant…”LMAO” for the night after we close on our house. So you can have everything but those letters.

  229. Mitchell says:

    Anyone think ERA will be changing their slogan?

    We Will Sell Your House, Or ERA Will Buy It!

  230. kettle1 says:

    d2b,

    be careful it might not be a joke…

    Railroad bridge stolen in Czech Republic
    Police say they’re trying to figure out who made off with a 4-ton railroad bridge in the Czech Republic.

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2008/02/railroad-bridge.html

  231. Sean says:

    Story about metal theft.

    A neighbor and also a good friend of mine is renovating his home, he had moved out so the contractors could gut the place. Well one night someone broke in and stole a load of copper wiring. So a few weeks pass by and then on one Sunday I am headed out and I see three men standing on the front steps of my neighbors house playing with the lock box. They were not dressed like contractors, they had baggy jeans and jackets with sneakers and baseball caps on. I stood there for a few minutes watching as one of the men spent about 10 minutes struggling with the lock box, walking back and forth and making calls as the other two stood there like they were keeping an eye out. He finally got it open, took the key and the three men went inside.

    I called up my friend to ask if he was expecting any contractors today. He said absolutely not as it was Sunday and no work was supposed to be going on. He then proceeded to call the Police.

    I waited out in front of my home until the Police arrived and then I told them what I saw, three guys in baggy clothes, sneakers and baseball hats struggling with the lock box and that the owner said nobody was supposed to be working etc. One officer went in and yelled very loudly at the three men to come out and to keep their hands where he could see them. They looked scared, and one spoke up and said he was a contractor. I say the owner said nobody was supposed to be working today and he was on his way over now. Cops ask for IDs etc.

    Owner arrives and with me and the cops looking on the owner says sorry to the three guys, they turned out to be the flooring contractors who stopped by on a Sunday to take measurements! The GC was called and it turns out he changed the lock box code and they called to get the new one that is why it took them 10 minutes to get it open!

    Oops!

  232. Clotpoll says:

    BC (213)-

    Change in policy at the Fed: from now on, all US inflation is measured against Weimar. Argentina, circa 1999, will be used as a secondary metric. Any rate of inflation less than those two indices? No problem.

  233. Mitchell says:

    #122 Food costs are pretty much the same in NJ and NC. Did you try buying the apples out of season?

    Gas is 10 cents a gallon higher in NC than NJ. I hardly call that significant.

    $8000-$10,000/year to educate is what NJ tells you it should cost so they can jack up your taxes.

  234. Stu says:

    Oil is at 101.5

    All economic numbers looked terrible today.

    Market is in rally mode ;)

  235. gary says:

    Stu,

    f*cking amazing, isn’t it?

  236. kettle1 says:

    this has been asked before,

    but what is the best way, if possible to find how much the current mortgage or heloc on a home is?

  237. kettle1 says:

    to all

    i suggest you start saving now for your heating bills next winter, it is going to be ugly even if we have a “normal” winter, and dreadful if we have a cold winter.

  238. BC Bob says:

    kettle [235],

    I also suggest you store grain.

    Clot,

    Any luck with my silo? I have a feeling you’re slacking, playing Tonto these days.

  239. Stu says:

    Actually…it doesn’t bother me at all Gary. The sheeple live for the lottery and American Idol. If the people on TV say we are almost near bottom, then gee, we must be close. Day to day is just noise. Look at the longer trends and history. Look at Japan and the Case/Shiller chart. Look at the tech bubble. All of them burst and this one hasn’t even gotten started.

    Days like today are opportunities to get out alive.

    BTW, Montclair BOE just announced that they are proposing a 7.2% increase to their budget, locals want the trains to stop blowing their whistles which will cost the town upwards of another 2 million to build better gates at rail crossings, Corzine just announced that the rebate is over for me. Pretty soon, NJ is gonna be a ghost town and I’m gonna buy a really really really nice home for pennies.

    Maybe I’ll buy REinvestors crib after he moves into the refrigerator box. Where did he say he lives?

  240. BC Bob says:

    kettle,

    One other thought. Don’t store dollars. Get rid of them.

  241. par4156 says:

    wow. # 96 still in moderation. hhhmmmmmmm….

  242. lostinny says:

    Par
    Grim isn’t back yet to check posts

  243. kettle1 says:

    bc bob,

    well the wheel barrows full of dollars could be used for heating or as cellulosic sinsulation…..

    re grain
    and you wouldnt be referring to the fact that we may have sold more grain then we will actually produce this year due to shortages around the world, are you??? ;)

  244. Stu says:

    It’s not just grain too. Look at soy, rice or corn. On the bright side, you can get a 99 cent latte at DD until 10pm tonight ;)

  245. njrebear says:

    New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine proposed a $33 billion budget that would reduce spending from the current year by cutting at least 3,000 jobs, eliminating three state departments and scaling back property-tax rebates.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aDXfbuuYPQ0g&refer=home

    >>
    Sorry if this is a duplicate.

  246. kettle1 says:

    I will say it again, say hello to peak oil/energy. food markets simply the end product of energy markets due to the fact that modern farming methods are very energy intensive. while energy markets may be elastic, food is not. things are going to start getting very ugly in countries that are net food importers.
    While the US may be a net oil importer, at least we are the largest food exporter in the world. although we could see a reduction in exports in the next couple of years, although we may see a spike first as food is shifted to export do to the price premium the export demand has generated

  247. Mitchell says:

    #26
    Quick Comparison of NJ/NC costs and living.

    NC Compared to NJ

    Food costs equal
    Taxes 1/4 to 1/3rd of NJ
    Car Insurance 1/2 of NJ
    Gas 3% higher than NJ .10 cents a gallon more in NC.
    Tolls 100% higher in NJ we don’t have them.
    Water significantly cheaper than NJ
    Electric about the same
    Gas (Heating) about the same
    $200,000 can get you a 2,000 – 2,500sq ft house NEW

    Job Pay Rate 85% of NJ

    ———————————-
    Still not cheap enough?
    SC Compared to NJ

    Food costs equal
    Taxes 1/4 to 1/8th of NJ Recently decreased because of income from lottery.
    Car Insurance 1/3 of NJ
    Gas 3%-5% less than NJ
    Tolls 100% higher in NJ they don’t have them.
    Water significantly cheaper than NJ
    Electric about the same
    Gas (Heating) about the same
    $200,000 can get you a 2,500 – 3,000sq ft house NEW

    Job Pay Rate 85% of NJ

    ———————————-

    Schools like anywhere you just need to shop around.

    Food like people rambling off good places in NJ there are plenty of good places pretty much anywhere you just probably wont know those places on day 1. Big whoop. Explore.

    Six Flags Carrowinds. Nice clean park.
    http://carowinds.com/

    NC Zoo
    http://www.nczoo.org/map/

    Demographics
    10 hours to Disney
    10 hours to Jersey
    7 hours to Florida
    3.5 hours to Outer Banks
    2-3 hours to Skiing
    2-3 hours to real Mountains
    Several very nice lakes
    Real Canoing
    Real Kayaking
    White Water Rafting Real and Fake
    http://www.usnwc.org/
    Lots of places to go camping and fishing.
    FREE PARKS (No season passes or gate fees)
    3 hours to Charleston (Cruise Ships)
    Real fireworks you can buy for the 4th of July. Every street is shooting off fireworks and its the big stuff not bottle rockets.

    Personally
    Better work environments.
    Significantly cleaner.
    Everyone is already from NY/NJ/PA so you have something in common.
    My internet connection is even faster.

    I shoveled NO Snow in the last 3 years. But we did get just enough that the kids had a day or two making snowmen and snow angels.

    As for heat in the summer there will be maybe 10 days more than NJ you will think its too hot to be outside. However you get probably 30-60 days more in the winter months where you can go outside that it would be too cold in NJ.

    Realistically it costs you gas and a weekend to drive to NC and see for yourself. It costs you nothing to post a resume and talk to recruiters about a job. See for yourself why people who leave NJ aren’t returning.

  248. Mitchell says:

    #26
    Quick Comparison of NJ/NC costs and living.

    NC Compared to NJ

    Food costs equal
    Taxes 1/4 to 1/3rd of NJ
    Car Insurance 1/2 of NJ
    Gas 3% higher than NJ .10 cents a gallon more in NC.
    Tolls 100% higher in NJ we don’t have them.
    Water significantly cheaper than NJ
    Electric about the same
    Gas (Heating) about the same
    $200,000 can get you a 2,000 – 2,500sq ft house NEW

    Job Pay Rate 85% of NJ

    ———————————-
    Still not cheap enough?
    SC Compared to NJ

    Food costs equal
    Taxes 1/4 to 1/8th of NJ Recently decreased because of income from lottery.
    Car Insurance 1/3 of NJ
    Gas 3%-5% less than NJ
    Tolls 100% higher in NJ they don’t have them.
    Water significantly cheaper than NJ
    Electric about the same
    Gas (Heating) about the same
    $200,000 can get you a 2,500 – 3,000sq ft house NEW

    Job Pay Rate 85% of NJ

    ———————————-

    Schools like anywhere you just need to shop around.

    Food like people rambling off good places in NJ there are plenty of good places pretty much anywhere you just probably wont know those places on day 1. Big whoop. Explore.

    Six Flags Carrowinds. Nice clean park.

    NC Zoo

    Demographics
    10 hours to Disney
    10 hours to Jersey
    7 hours to Florida
    3.5 hours to Outer Banks
    2-3 hours to Skiing
    2-3 hours to real Mountains
    Several very nice lakes
    Real Canoing
    Real Kayaking
    White Water Rafting Real and Fake
    Lots of places to go camping and fishing.
    FREE PARKS (No season passes or gate fees)
    3 hours to Charleston (Cruise Ships)
    Real fireworks you can buy for the 4th of July. Every street is shooting off fireworks and its the big stuff not bottle rockets.

    Personally
    Better work environments.
    Significantly cleaner.
    Everyone is already from NY/NJ/PA so you have something in common.

    I shoveled NO Snow in the last 3 years. But we did get just enough that the kids had a day or two making snowmen and snow angels.

    As for heat in the summer there will be maybe 10 days more than NJ you will think its too hot to be outside. However you get probably 30-60 days more in the winter months where you can go outside that it would be too cold in NJ.

    Realistically it costs you gas and a weekend to drive to NC and see for yourself. It costs you nothing to post a resume and talk to recruiters about a job. See for yourself why people who leave NJ aren’t returning.

  249. hughesrep says:

    .
    .
    .
    Job Pay Rate 85% of NJ

    Inbred neighbors? Priceless.

    Somethings you just can’t buy, for everything else…

  250. BC Bob says:

    kettle,

    They are dancing on Lasalle and Jackson St.

    “Ag economist: World grain demand straining U.S. supply”

    http://www.enn.com/business/article/31487

  251. Mitchell says:

    #248 spoken like a true person who has never lived out of NJ.

    Are you inbred to make such a comment?

  252. dreamtheaterr says:

    #236 Stu,

    Even though NJ will be a ghost state where you might be able to buy a home for pennies, but your monthly mortgage will equals your monthly property tax bill. NJ is slowly getting to that tipping point.

    Also, food prices are through the roof. I’ve tried to blunt the increase to our budget by buying DBA last spring. I ain’t complaining…… so far :)

  253. hughesrep says:

    Mitchell

    I’ve lived all over the US. I’ve lived in the south, grew up in the midwest, have seen every state except Alaska, and have lived in Jersey for less than 20% of my life.

    Jersey isn’t the only place I would live, but it is amongst my favorites.

    One place I could not live is the The South. I don’t like anything south of I-70.

  254. kettle1 says:

    BC bob,

    the real fun starts when one of the major grain exporters experiences poor harvest conditions (whether drought blight, etc is irrelevant). then we start talk about what used to be common place, period food shortages around the world. no one remembers that that was common place 60+ years ago.

  255. BC Bob says:

    “I’ve tried to blunt the increase to our budget by buying DBA last spring.”

    dream [250],

    Great move. Congrats.

  256. BC Bob says:

    kettle,

    The bean harvest is late in Brazil, approx 30% behind.

  257. kettle1 says:

    commodities may be the next bubble, but if they are then the question is how does it pop. commodities are being driven by global growth as well as the global debt markets. does the commodities market deflate or skyrocket upwards when credit markets fall apart ( they may be in trouble but they havent collapsed yet).

    buckle your seat belt kiddies :)

  258. BC Bob says:

    “but if they are then the question is how does it pop.”

    kettle [255],

    When Big Paul brings his cigar back to DC.

  259. CB in SJ says:

    The next bubble:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) — Spending on health care in the United States could double by 2017, reaching $4.3 trillion and accounting for 19.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, a new government report shows.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
    So, all that money we’ll be saving by buying cheaper homes in the future (or moving to NC) will be handy for paying for Health Care coverage.

  260. Rich In NNJ says:

    Mitchell,

    As for heat in the summer there will be maybe 10 days more than NJ you will think its too hot to be outside.

    10?
    More like 62 for me.
    If I eat a heavy lunch make it 92.

  261. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob,

    do you work in commodities?

  262. Clotpoll says:

    BC (235)-

    Every time a talking head says the word “inflation”, I get an uptick.

    Hi ho.

  263. Sybarite says:

    Stupid question: Can one deduce that if food/energy prices continue to climb, that associated stock indices/funds/ETF’s will mirror such increases?

  264. Sybarite says:

    Follow up to 260. And if so, aren’t XLF/XLE/DBA no-brainer buys?

  265. kettle1 says:

    mitchell

    we will see how cheap your water remains. the south east US is predicted to become drier over the next 10 years and may become more akin to montana moisture wise. Georgia has already had water issues this past year and the trend is likely to continue in the long term. The southeast is not prepared for a reduced water supply as they have developed in a manner that has no regard for it. NC and SC are already having court battles over the catawba river and georgia is trying to change its state boundaries to snatch water from tennessee.

    Just wait until the project forest fires start showing up….

  266. kettle1 says:

    that wasnt meant to read,

    projected forest fires

  267. BC Bob says:

    kettle [259],

    No. FX. However, I did work on a futures desk for a number of years. Heavy energies, grains and metals concentration.

  268. Mitchell says:

    #242 I don’t know how long ago you lived in the south but in the last 3 years I have been here even then a lot has grown. There is a lot still going in. New Developments still coming. Charlotte might not be NY when it comes to size but its certainly a better city than anything in Jersey. Newark, Camden, Trenton, and AC are all beautiful places right? Suburban areas in NJ have nothing on NC.

    The point is why try killing yourself to make ends meet in NJ when there are many other better places to live which wont tap you out of every dollar.

    NJ is a mess economically. Its not improving but getting worse. Its not Hollywood and people are aware that is cant hold Hollywood prices. But still you have Hollywood+ taxes, insurance, etc.

    Corzine will cut staff and put freezes in place and take away homestead rebates. How is that going to improve your way of life in NJ? He isn’t cutting your taxes he’s cutting the overhead in NJ states budget and increasing the unemployment by laying off state workers probably so he can just vote himself a nice raise.

    I honestly cannot name one single thing that NJ has going for itself. What else does NJ offer in the way of overall lifestyle?

    The beaches are even overpriced. What would it cost you to take the kids to the beach for a day in the sun?

    Other than the people what is special about NJ any more?

  269. CAIBC says:

    you gotta read this!!!!when you put it in this prespective i am surprised that no one is talking DEPRESSION!!!

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/bernankes-recession-here-11-reasons/story.aspx?guid=%7B39D13A23%2D5028%2D4976%2D9883%2DBB1975099038%7D

    CAIBC

  270. Bubble Disciple says:

    Re: 34,
    I think the answer is “never”.
    Basically, the compressor will try to pump heat out of the freezer, but the heat leaving the coils at the back of the refrigerator will eventually recirculate back into the freezer.
    In order to cool the kitchen, you would have to vent the exhaust heat outside of the kitchen and insulate the kitchen from the outside.

  271. par4156 says:

    thanks lostinny. i was starting to worry…

  272. Mitchell says:

    #264 Thats more south into GA. Were getting close to having the water reserves back to normal. A few more good rain storms. Been raining a bit here lately.

    Even if water costs increased to match NJ its still drinkable. In NJ I had to have bottled water delivered to the house otherwise it was like drinking chlorine and god knows what else. I remember getting the water report in NJ to have every chemical at the border line of acceptable limits. That was the testing day how many days exceed the acceptable limits?

    My water costs really are next to nothing.

  273. John says:

    Ever since I saw Deliverance I can’t live down south, too creepy.

    Also I plan on living forever, so far so good.

    Yes I do believe that 85% or even 100% stat for salary when moving down south, but it is only a bargain depending on how old you are. My friend moved down south when he was 30 years old. making 75K a year 12 years ago and was living the lifestyle/ Promotions are harder to get down south and raises are like 3% a year. Now he is making a little over 100K a year. Meanwhile all his friends who are like 42-45 are now making 250K a year in NYC. The advantage gets pissed away as the raises are less each year. Now I know people who managed to do this at 50 and it worked out great. But at 30 he has 35 years of peanut raises ahead of him, not a good deal.

  274. ledward says:

    244, 266

    “$200,000 can get you a 2,000 – 2,500sq ft house NEW”. Mitchell, do you mean townhouse? SFH seems to be $300k or higher.

    “Other than the people what is special about NJ any more?”. Easy to commute to NYC.

  275. BC Bob says:

    syrabite [261],

    The Gold ETF, GLD, mirrors the physical. It’s 1/10 the size. If the physical moves $5.00, the etf moves .50.

    The stocks in the sector are a different animal. They can lead or lag the commodity. There are too many variables that don’t align. You would have to comb thru annual reports to ascertain the miners level of;

    -Forward sales
    -Naked selling
    -Production costs
    -Intrusive Govt’s
    -Stock Overdilution
    -Etc, etc, etc.

  276. pretorius says:

    “I honestly cannot name one single thing that NJ has going for itself. What else does NJ offer in the way of overall lifestyle?”

    1. Access to lots of jobs that pay lots of $.

    2. Nightlife is a lot better.

    These things matter to a lot of people.

    New Jersey and North Carolina have similar populations. Three times as many New Jersey households earn $200,000 each year, while only half as many New Jersey households rely on food stamps.

    There is more action in New Brunswick and Hoboken (pop. 40,000) than any North Carolina city.

  277. Pat says:

    So, BC… Are you rooting for the bees, or rooting for the virus?
    http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/commentary/dissection/2008/02/dissection_0222

  278. kettle1 says:

    BC,

    do you think the mine closures in South Africa are going to have anything other then short term effects?

  279. kettle1 says:

    Mitchell,

    my comment were not meant as an attack towards you, just bringing up various points. NC can be a great place, it just depends on your personal tastes and needs.

  280. Mitchell says:

    #274 Realtor.com Do a search on Fort Mill, SC. Good school system there. Start at $200,000. Keep in mind the property taxes will probably be a whopping $1,000 or so.

    MLS ID# 738753
    $208,565
    4 Bed, 2.5 Bath
    3,375 Sq. Ft.
    0.14 Acres

    Single Family Property, Area: YORK COUNTY, Subdivision: Baden Village, County: York, Approximately 0.14 acre(s), Year Built: 2008, Two story, Central air conditioning, Dining room, Laundry room

    —————————-

    Fort Mill, SC 29715
    MLS ID# 1045500

    $209,900
    4 Bed, 2.5 Bath
    2,396 Sq. Ft.
    0.33 Acres

    Single Family Property, Area: FORT MILL, Subdivision: Legacy Park – Lan, Approximately 0.33 acre(s), Year Built: 2001, Central air conditioning, Community swimming pool(s), Dining room, Laundry room

  281. Sean says:

    Mitchell,

    There may have been a housing boom there in
    North Carolina just like every where else in this country including Alaska but the fact reamains nearly 1-5 homes more than 649,000 units about 17% a large percentage for any State are trailer homes scattered across 4,000 communities in the State.

    And who could,forget Billy Joe Bob Beaumont-Terwilliker Guthrey from Hickory, North Carolina?

    http://images.wikia.com/uncyclopedia/images/8/8e/Redneckontoilet.jpg

    No matter of cajoling with stats on your state overcome the redneck sterotype since it is not a sterotype!

  282. Sean says:

    Grim 279 in moderation

  283. Ann says:

    I’m confused about all of this NC talk.

    If it’s so great, why not keep all the cheap real estate and great jobs to yourself?

    If we all start moving down there, the good jobs will become more scarce and the housing prices will rise.

    There are reasons people live in NJ, we’re not all crazy. If NC appeals to any New Jerseyite, they would go.

  284. Ann says:

    Also, I always thought NC was where lower-income people moved to.

    I knew someone who managed an Applebees who relocated to NC to manage another Applebees. Again, a rational decision on her part.

  285. John says:

    NC is a great place, Lots of Hooters restaurants and golf courses.

  286. kettle1 says:

    john

    plus the strip clubs are generally better then NJ……

  287. JBJB says:

    Pret [274]

    The one (and maybe only) thing that NJ has going for it is that parts of the state happen to be very close to NYC.

    Nightlife? In New Jersey? I see this common theme by many to equate NYC w/ NJ. NYC is a cultural mecca, NJ is a cultural wasteland. There is more action in New Brunswick, what the hell does that even mean? NJ is a giant strip mall from the Lincoln Tunnel all the way to Philly. NJ is a national joke for a reason, it’s only the die hard born and bred who don’t get it.

    You might be correct about salaries, but these demographics are certianly changing. There are very few people or corporations who would choose to open a new business in NJ. This is evident by the flock of pharma and biotech companies either leaving NJ, or choosing to open new facilities in RTP, Boston, or San Diego. I am sure the situation is similar for other industries. Why do you think that is? It was not long ago that the population of NJ was much greater than NC, it wont be long before NJ is on par with Rhode Island or Delaware in terms of national clout.

  288. skep-tic says:

    NC is just the proverbial cheaper / better lifestyle place these days. Used to be Florida. In reality, many people who live in the tri-state area could move just about anywhere and find a better income/cost of living balance.

  289. pretorius says:

    JBJB,

    I agree the only reason to live in New Jersey, unless you have family here, is proximity to New York City.

    As a big pharma vet, I witnessed my company scramble to buy companies and build labs in the markets you mentioned when they realized they couldn’t attract scientists to New Jersey anymore.

    I wrote that New Jersey nightlife is better than North Carolina, not New York, nightlife. I stand by this statement.

  290. Mitchell says:

    #279 I agree kettle. I’m not attacking just pointing things out that most people wont bother to look into themselves.

    Most people will just say NC is VCR’s, trailers, welfare, Applebees, etc and the sheep will just believe because they don’t think for themselves. I’m a former Jersey guy who now lives in NC and really its the greatest thing I ever did. I had no idea how bad NJ was until I didn’t live there any more.

    While I would like to think NY made a difference. I would go into NY maybe 3 times a year. Usually for a baseball game. I find NJ pays better than NY and without the double taxes and added commute.

    As for the people claiming so called 250K jobs in NY. Really stop lying that isnt the median income and what your saying is that if you dont make this you should move. Go ahead that will help NJ tax problems. I love the people making up lies about how they make so much less than NY for the same job. I make nearly the same as I did in NJ in fact most places that call me from NY/NJ try offering less than I make in NC. Try lying your way out of that. Maybe I will start recording the messages for humor reasons.

    #273 look at John there. Deliverance? Cant come up with a better joke than something from what the 70’s? Live in the now John not a 30 year old movie. Get out a little more. A lot has changed in 30 years since deliverance.

    Trust me you wont know how much is wrong with NJ until you don’t live there any more. When you go back you will wonder why you lived there for so long the way you did.

    As for night clubs. Really I will take a southern bell over big hair any day.

    The more everyone realizes we live in a Virtual world with Virtual money at Virtual jobs the sooner you realize why tech was able to be outsourced to India. Because it didnt matter where they were located it mattered what the service costs. The sooner they cut those 250K NY jobs the sooner they can hire the same guy in TX for much much less.

  291. Mitchell says:

    #290 2004 trailer data in a 2008 world. Would be interesting to see 2004 compared to 2008 data.

    Camden, Newark, Trenton, Atlantic City really are these areas better than a trailer park?

  292. skep-tic says:

    one of the running subplots here seems to be nightclubs. It’s funny to imagine a group of people whose main interests are real estate, peak oil and disco-dancing.

  293. pretorius says:

    Wal-mart Supercenters

    New Jersey: 0
    North Carolina: 45

    Helps explain why living costs are cheaper in North Carolina, but not something that makes me want to move there.

  294. chicagofinance says:

    JBJB Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 4:32 pm
    Why do you think that is? It was not long ago that the population of NJ was much greater than NC, it wont be long before NJ is on par with Rhode Island or Delaware in terms of national clout.

    JBJB: I don’t give a whit about defending NJ, but in terms of NC….if it wants to see its future, it would do well to look at NJ. NC has nothing going for it except that it is cheap and uncluttered. It sounds like NJ 20 years ago. Once that ends, it will have nothing to prop it up. At least NJ has NYC and Philly….

  295. Mitchell says:

    #290
    2005 Murder Rate in Cities
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934323.html

    7. Camden, N.J.
    12. Trenton, N.J.
    14. Newark, N.J.
    47. Jersey City, N.J.
    60. Elizabeth, N.J
    66. Paterson, N.J.

    73. Charlotte, N.C.

  296. Essex says:

    Mitchell…..get a clue. There ‘are’ people making $250k in NJ, believe it. And much. much more in NYC….it is the cashola that keeps us here.

  297. mark says:

    try Lodi,Garfield,Passaic,Dover, Wallington,Elmwood Park, wonderful

  298. skep-tic says:

    #293

    Chi– the analogy is off. Charlotte is like ATL 15 years ago. It is a fact that the South and West are growing much faster than the Northeast and Midwest. Once the people and business relocate to these regions they are gone for good. If costs become too high there the businesses are going abroad– not back to places like Philly. And the populations of the NE and MW are just going to get older and require more resources, with fewer workers to fund them. NYC is unique in that it is gaining population, esp among young people. The rest of the aging industrial areas are not well positioned

  299. Artemis says:

    I can’t stop laughing about NJ nightlife. NJ has a lot of great attributes, but nightlife would not be on that list. Unless a bar full of women wearing Juicy sweatsuits turns you on.

  300. John says:

    Last time I was in NC was in 2000, best place to eat in town was TGIF. Lots of fat drunken businessmen from NYC on golf junkets, blue collar salt of the earth workers and some banking mid level people. It was ok I guess, I want my children to grow up with some drive and be go getters, my one fear of going down south is they end up bible thumping thumblweeds with office space type jobs. Hard to make c-level working in myrtle beach slinging drinks to tourists.

  301. John says:

    If I can quote the Stealer’s Wheel song I think it can be used to describe the fruitlesness of continuing the NC/NJ discussion.

    “‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you!”

  302. Sean says:

    Mitchell,

    You state did not get rid of 4,000 trailer parks comprised of 649,000 trailer homes in 4 years! If anything there are more now than a few years ago.

    There are also about 40,000 abandoned ones littered througout the state. So much so somebody made a calendar about it.

    http://calendars.lulu.com/content/302986

  303. pretorius says:

    “NJ has NYC and Philly”

    I agree. The Boston-Washington corridor is an ocean of wealth. This supports places in between like Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Philly, despite their anti-business governance. Meanwhile, poorly governed states like Michigan and Kentucky are screwed.

    “Charlotte is like ATL 15 years ago.”

    And Nashville is the next Charlotte. All 3 are successful cities, but I hate suburban sprawl so wouldn’t be comfortable in any of them.

  304. profuscious says:

    for you Carolina fans, you might find this amusing:

    http://www.gobacktoohio.com/

  305. Mitchell says:

    #297 Stop it the people making 250k statement is moronic at most. We have them here too. Every city does. Get over it. You could make 250k anywhere if you wanted to. But the days of your 250K jobs are ending.

    Trust me your job has a number on it and when we get to it were going to hire it in Texas for a lot less or Charlotte at 85% of that 250K. Its all about the bottom line.

    Keep on track that 250K is not any state or city’s average median income.

  306. chicagofinance says:

    skep-tic Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 5:01 pm
    #293 Chi– the analogy is off. Charlotte is like ATL 15 years ago. It is a fact that the South and West are growing much faster than the Northeast and Midwest. Once the people and business relocate to these regions they are gone for good. If costs become too high there the businesses are going abroad– not back to places like Philly. And the populations of the NE and MW are just going to get older and require more resources, with fewer workers to fund them. NYC is unique in that it is gaining population, esp among young people. The rest of the aging industrial areas are not well positioned

    skep: short of Houston, Atlanta is probably considered the biggest failure as a metro-area…if NC aspires to that, you just kicked it down about 10 notches….

  307. Mitchell says:

    #305 Thats awesome. Yes we get a lot of people from Ohio moving here. Highway runs straight down.

    We get a lot of Atlanta moving here too but the majority still come from the North East. NY/NJ/PA.

  308. skep-tic says:

    #302

    Cleveland to Milwaukee was very prosperous 50 yrs ago. I am not saying Washington to Boston will suffer the same fate but nothing is guaranteed. Especially given the fact that this region is aging faster than most and losing young people. Again, if you look up and down the NE corridor, the places with long term growth prospects solidly in place are clearly outnumbered by areas with stagnant or contracting economies and populations

  309. skep-tic says:

    #305

    Atlanta definitely has problems, but it has grown to be a solid regional city. It has definitely blown the doors off of many similar sized cities in terms of attracting/retaining business and population. Houston is also very successful in this regard. My guess is the criticism is based on the fact that the cities aren’t dense in the way Northeastern cities are. This will become an obstacle to further growth at some point, but the beauty is that these cities can always build more densely toward their centers and construct public transportation. It seems to me that they are in a much better position to adapt long term because of their demographics (which translates to better finances long term) and comparative lack of beaurocracy/regulation.

  310. pretorius says:

    Chicagofinance,

    “short of Houston, Atlanta is probably considered the biggest failure as a metro-area”

    Maybe from the perspective of urban planners. But Houston residents like it that way. On numerous occasions, they’ve voted down referendums to implement zoning restrictions.

    My vote for #1 failed metro area = Detroit. That place is truly hopeless.

  311. Confused In NJ says:

    LONGYEARBYEN, Norway – Norway opened a frozen “doomsday” vault Tuesday deep within an Arctic mountain where millions of seeds will be stored to safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe.

  312. skep-tic says:

    #310

    Pretorios– I agree about Detroit, but it is simply the most extreme example of what is happening in many places. The least productive citizens gain more and more power as the most productive are chased out. It is very difficult to stop this process once it begins

  313. chicagofinance says:

    pretorius Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 5:27 pm
    Chicagofinance, “short of Houston, Atlanta is probably considered the biggest failure as a metro-area” Maybe from the perspective of urban planners. But Houston residents like it that way. On numerous occasions, they’ve voted down referendums to implement zoning restrictions.
    My vote for #1 failed metro area = Detroit. That place is truly hopeless.

    Pret: Detroit is an economic failure. Atlanta and Houston are cesspools of living, culture, and population. The biggest black eyes of America. Detroit has nothing going for it. Houston and Atlanta are just mass wads of incompetence.

  314. Mitchell says:

    #303. Wow you know so much more about North Carolina than a true resident of North Carolina. And you did this all from your computer? Did you use that Internet Super Highway thingy? I would but I’m not sure where it is off the highway. Yuk Yuk.

    I guess being a former NJ resident and now a NC resident that I don’t know what I am talking about when it comes to comparing living in both places.

    I sure do miss all my friends with 250K incomes in NJ. Well off to buy cigarettes and beer with my food stamps before Jerry Springer comes on and a tornado hits my double wide and I git one them fancy FEMA trailers.

  315. Essex says:

    Uh, Mitchell…..my sister still has that nice home on the Golf course in Davidson….$500k range….no takers….one low ball offer…the market aint that great there honey.

  316. skep-tic says:

    #313

    Chi– Venice is pretty nice too, but most people have to live where opportunity takes them.

  317. JBJB says:

    “I want my children to grow up with some drive and be go getters, my one fear of going down south is they end up bible thumping thumblweeds with office space type jobs.”

    I love these idiotic stereotypes. Let me ask you, do you have any involvement in your children’s lives? If so, do you really worry that they are going to be so influenced by such fictional bible thumpers? This is absurd on its face. If your children end up like this, it’s more likely because you are like this.

  318. spam spam bacon spam says:

    http://www.drbukk.com/gmhom/gmindex.html

    Some juicy excerpts:

    This is a good start. A little rust is evident around the edges, corrugated aluminum is set against the skirting and some trash is piled around the well-weathered porch. This home is well on its way to becoming a redneck castle, but would never qualify for a FEMA loan.

    Now, look what adding some dogs, a chicken and a Trans-Camaro can do for a mobile home! No, the car isn’t up on blocks (yet) but it still adds that extra touch that only the Trans-Camaro can. The film classic “Smokey and the Bandit” lives on in the heart of every mobile home dweller. Other notable features of this home include the custom-built air conditioner support and the fine use of windows. Adding too many windows to a mobile home makes them far too bright on the inside, fading the rugs and uphostery.

  319. spam spam bacon spam says:

    ooops, better linkie here

    http://www.drbukk.com/gmhom/park.html

  320. SG says:

    Here is my take on Location debate.

    I think it depends on your personality.

    Aggressive Type A Personality
    => NYC, Boston, SFO gives more than NJ.

    Defensive, Conservative, 9 to 5 personality
    => NC, SC, Most of Midwest, Texas. You will be among similar kind of folks and will get better life style compared to NJ

    NJ is probably decent for someone is between those 2 extremes. I think there are similar areas around the country as well like Chicago, DC etc…

  321. Outofstater says:

    #313 “mass wads of incompetence” Maybe, but we’re not $32 billion in debt and our local hospital is expanding, not closing.

  322. chicagofinance says:

    Outofstater Says:
    February 26th, 2008 at 6:14 pm
    #313 “mass wads of incompetence” Maybe, but we’re not $32 billion in debt and our local hospital is expanding, not closing.

    Out: I hate to break the news to you, but NJ/Trenton’s problem is not incompetence. It’s pretty simple, people get into power and funnel as much money into their own pockets either directly or indirectly.

    The reason it hasn’t been fixed is because people actually make enough money that they don’t have the time to waste or inclination to fix it.

    Yes they complain. Yes they are annoyed. However, when push comes to shove, they have the money, they pay the money, and they have enough left over to spend money on other stuff.

    People who can’t deal with it leave. You pat yourself on the back, but you fail to see the logic in the fact that you don’t belong in NJ and all the other people you meet who have fled NJ didn’t belong here either. Congratulations. You have made an excellent life choice. Don’t get all defensive when you claim all kinds of things and it is painfully obvious to us that it is all about the money.

    Make any excuse you want…..you demand certain things from your life and surroundings, and you could afford to pay for it in NJ so you left. Fine.

  323. chicagofinance says:

    COULD NOT

  324. lostinny says:

    326 Hehehe
    How is that Martha Stewart went to jail but those f@(kers are riding high?

  325. d2b says:

    kettle-
    NC has to have better strip bars than NJ. NJ’s are the worst that I’ve ever seen. We should march on Trenton and get this fixed!

  326. Sean says:

    Primtime news.

    CBS news right now doing a story foreclosure scammers. Katie Couric also mentioned realtytrac stats on foreclosures are up 57% this year.

    http://www.foreclosurepulse.com/archive/2008/02/22/5253.aspx

  327. lostinny says:

    Wasn’t there some talk at the last gtg about having the next one at a strip club? Why don’t we do that so we can see how terrible they really are in NJ.

  328. lostinny says:

    Now this is funny. Read the sign on the building:
    http://newyork.craigslist.org/stn/rfs/587684066.html

  329. Aaron says:

    “There is more action in New Brunswick and Hoboken (pop. 40,000) than any North Carolina city.”

    OMG just shoot me….

  330. Confused In NJ says:

    333.chicago

    Out: I hate to break the news to you, but NJ/Trenton’s problem is not incompetence. It’s pretty simple, people get into power and funnel as much money into their own pockets either directly or indirectly.

    The reason it hasn’t been fixed is because people actually make enough money that they don’t have the time to waste or inclination to fix it.

    Yes they complain. Yes they are annoyed. However, when push comes to shove, they have the money, they pay the money, and they have enough left over to spend money on other stuff.

    Similar to HG Wells Time Machine. The Morlocks run the state and the Sheeple are blissfully ignorant, while the Morlocks eat them periodically. But because the Sheeple have plenty of fruit, between feeding times, they don’t complain. One wonders are the fat sheeple who get eaten, better off then the sheeple who left? Or will they wake up one day and realize what they are?

  331. Orion says:

    I think the new bubble might be Teflon DJIA.

  332. Sean says:

    I would think that some of NJ’s problems stem from the “great migration” that occurred early in the 20th century do to Jim Crow laws.

    Just like a South Park episode, but instead of blaming Canada blame North Carolina.

  333. Pat says:

    Mitchell, I don’t think anybody told you what it costs in NJ to take the kids to the beach.

    If you want beautiful, clean, empty, drive a 4WD, like to fish, are a good swimmer, and can carry in your stuff, it’s ten bucks a car load. But you have to poop in a Job Johnny.
    http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/island.html

    Real downside there is riptides. My husband, daughter (then 3) and I got taken out once at 8 am, and I’m pretty good. The only thing that saved my daughter was that she knew to stretch out flat and do donuts until we got to her.

    Otherwise, it’s still ten bucks a carload at the guarded beaches, but there are way more people. There are clean bathrooms, showers, hot dogs/pizza and lifeguards.

  334. Clotpoll says:

    skep (319)-

    “The least productive citizens gain more and more power as the most productive are chased out.”

    True in Denmark, true in Detroit, true in NJ.

    The meek don’t inherit the earth…the indolent do.

  335. Outofstater says:

    #333 ChiFi – You’re so funny – I just love reading your stuff, really! Sorry I didn’t respond sooner – I was attending the science fair reception the the local elementary school. My youngest won for her Creationism project. (KIDDING, JUST KIDDING!!) Have a nice evening.

  336. bi says:

    Michael Jackson faces foreclosure on Neverland

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23359218/

  337. 3b says:

    #241 stu: How can anyone even think we ar near the bottom.Its just finally starting to get ugly.

    And many sellers are in complete denial, somebody forgot to tell them that 05 is over.

    Their over priced listings will continue to rot on the market.

  338. Home Seller says:

    Lived in NJ and now live outside of Charlotte. Reading alot of false stereotypes and completely untrue statements. Probably from people who haven’t lived here.

    Look NC is not a utopia and I can understand if people wouldn’t want to live here, however we do and love it compared to NJ. Life is so much easier. Especially when you can golf year round.

  339. Shore Guy says:

    # 33 “I pay 8K taxes big deal, I get 20K worth of education plus police, fire and sanitation.”

    True, but, one only needs to pay private school tuition for a limited number of years. The taxes are forever.

  340. Yes, I suppose that the decline of sales will continue. However, I don’t think that they’ll go down much more. There are many potentional buyers who are just waiting on sidelines, but when they realize that the fall off in prices is not as notable as they’ve expected, they’ll start buying again. I am dealing with Forest Hill real estate and fortunately the situation here is not as bad as in New Jersey.

  341. Jill says:

    Mitchell: “why try killing yourself to make ends meet in NJ when there are many other better places to live which wont tap you out of every dollar.”

    Uh…because you’re 50 and currently employed in NJ and you have to work and your likelihood of getting a job elsewhere is virtually nil?

    I’m no NC basher, but there’s NC and then there’s NC. I could very happily live in the Durham/Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Pittsboro area. Those are, however, the more expensive parts of NC (though still less for housing than here). If you like jam bands and bluegrass (which I do), the nightlife in Chapel Hill and environs is just fine.

    Here’s where some NJ folks have problems in NC though, and I know this from direct testimony from someone who moved there:

    Here in NJ, let’s face it — we live in a segregated society. Where there are black people in a town, there’s a “black section.” Houses may be just as expensive as elsewhere, but there’s a “black section.”

    At least in the Triangle area of NC, you will run into black Americans far more in day-to-day life than you do in NJ. In many ways northerners are far more bigoted than southerners because of this de facto segregation. It’s one of the ironies of the new south, that at least in the more cosmopolitan areas of the south, there is more intermingling than here in the north.

    This person who moved there has had a very hard time adjusting to this. I’m not condoning this attitude one bit, but I think it’s something that people moving to NC ought to think about. If you’re going to be a racist bigot because up here your town is lily-white, then don’t move there.

  342. Ron Holland says:

    From Wolf Laurel in the NC mountains – The housing recession is negatively impacting property sales in Florida and across the south as well as slowing sales in NC mountain resorts that depend on Florida buyers.

    Still the downturn in prices and building of inventories is starting to attract second home buyers from Florida looking for cool temperatures in our mountains. Also the dramatic decline in the dollar combined with weakness in American real estate markets are beginning to interest some bargain hunting European investors.

    Ron Holland, Broker/Realtor with Wolf’s Crossing Realty. Ron markets resale mountain and ski resort properties in Wolf Laurel and The Preserve at Wolf Laurel. The credit crisis and housing meltdown offers serious risks but also some opportunities to Americans. He has a free report on the crisis titled “From Real Estate Bubble To Buyers Market”. See http://www.ronaldholland.com for more details.

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