Weekend Open Discussion

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

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411 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From McClatchy:

    Home prices may not rebound till 2010

    U.S. home prices are unlikely to recover until at least 2010, one of the nation’s top housing economists said Thursday, adding that home building this year is likely to post its worst year in five decades.

    Speaking to the National Economists Club, Frank Nothaft, the chief economist for government-sponsored mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, painted a grim picture of today’s housing market.

    Through the final three months of 2007, he said, sales of existing homes were down 29 percent from the same period two years earlier. Forty-six states had falling home prices in the fourth quarter, and prices nationwide were down 9.3 percent. In the Pacific region, which saw the steepest drop, prices fell an average of 17.2 percent, followed by mountain states, whose home prices fell an average of 12.9 percent.

    “I don’t think we’re going to see any improvement in the national house-price matrix until 2010,” said Nothaft, a respected government economist who’s followed the national housing market for more than two decades.

    He projected a 16 percent drop in mortgage originations this year, for new home loans and refinancing. He expects foreclosures, which rose by about 1.5 million in 2007, to increase even more this year

  2. grim says:

    From Thompson Financial:

    Wyeth cutting 1,200 US sales jobs

    About 1,200 U.S. sales representatives at Wyeth have been told their positions are being eliminated as of Monday, the drug maker said Thursday.

    The move is part of a major companywide program, announced nine weeks ago, to cut jobs and other costs and redesign the business of Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth, which is struggling with increased competition and fewer new drugs, like most pharmaceutical companies.

    Wyeth spokesman Doug Petkus said the sales representatives, in both the company’s pharmaceutical and consumer health divisions, were notified Wednesday that their jobs were being cut.

    In its last cutbacks, in 2005, Wyeth reduced its sales force by about 15 percent.

    In late January, Wyeth told managers about 10 percent of its 50,000 employees worldwide might lose their jobs by 2011 under a sweeping reorganization dubbed ‘Project Impact.’

  3. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Real estate agents want Morristown to lift sign ban

    Real estate agents feeling the pinch of a difficult market are hoping the town changes a law banning temporary “open house” direction signs from public property.

    At least two town council members favor the idea, but Mayor Donald Cresitello said the ordinance has been enforced vigorously since he was elected chief executive in 2005.

    “I can’t help it if a prior administration has neglected to enforce the rules,” he said. “And this happens to be one of them.”

    Town Business Administrator Michael Rogers said the ordinance is not meant to be punitive, adding that it applies to everyone. “You can’t just make an exception (for Realtors),” he said.

    He said such exceptions could lead the way for other businesses wanting to do the same thing.

    Cresitello agreed, suggesting it could open a Pandora’s box, with other businesses jumping aboard the temporary sign bandwagon.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Buyers’ Revenge: Trash the House After Foreclosure
    Banks Pay People Off To Deter Home Rage;
    Loose Pets, Paint Spills
    By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS
    March 28, 2008

    LAS VEGAS — Eddy Buompensiero noticed eight pairs of shoes outside the door of the modest house on Mother of Pearl Street, evidence that the former owners were still living there even though the bank had foreclosed.

    Mr. Buompensiero, a gray-bearded inspector for REO Asset Services-1st Realty Group, rang the bell. When no one answered, he taped a letter to the door offering the occupants $1,000 to move out. The catch: They won’t get a cent if they trash the house before they leave.

    “If it was me, I’d take the money,” Mr. Buompensiero said as he drove away. Either way, they’re “going to get thrown out in a couple of weeks.”

    The stucco subdivisions of Las Vegas are caught up in the nation’s foreclosure crisis. These days, bankers and mortgage companies often find that by the time they get the keys back, embittered homeowners have stripped out appliances, punched holes in walls, dumped paint on carpets and, as a parting gift, locked their pets inside to wreak further havoc. Real-estate agents estimate that about half of foreclosed properties to be sold by mortgage companies nationwide have “substantial” damage, according to a new survey by Campbell Communications, a marketing and research firm based in Washington, D.C.

    Cruising the wreckage of the Las Vegas property market every day in his silver Cadillac Escalade, the 38-year-old Mr. Carver has developed a connoisseur’s eye for pointless destruction. Vandals who break into empty houses often smash windows and paint graffiti on the walls, he says. But it takes an enraged, delinquent mortgagor to indulge in a frenzy of destruction, such as the one that took place recently in a three-bedroom, 1,949-square-foot house in a residential and industrial area northeast of the casinos on the Strip.

    Light switches, outlet covers and thermostats were smashed. There was what looked to be crowbar damage along the staircase. A large pool of paint had hardened on the living-room carpet. It appeared that someone had dripped motor oil in a trail that wound its way through every carpeted room. The appliances were gone, as were most light fixtures. A cabinet door had been removed and left soaking in a full tub of water. Not a wall was left without a hole the diameter of a closet rod, including the pink child’s room once carefully decorated with a floral wallpaper stripe. It’s damage that Mr. Carver described as “a vengeance-type thing.”

    “Some people have issues, and need to do what they have to do, I guess,” he said.

    The former owners, who couldn’t be located, paid $261,892 for the house when it was new in March 2006, borrowing $209,513 in their first mortgage, according to public records. Now it’s listed for $149,000 — as is.

  5. crossroads says:

    “I don’t think we’re going to see any improvement in the national house-price matrix until 2010,” said Nothaft

    it seems nobody is talking about the wave of resets that are going to happen 2010-12. I would think this would have a similar result as the subprime resets are having now.

  6. Sapiens says:

    (2) Thanks for the report.

  7. grim says:

    Forecasting flat prices is the safe bet, from both a political and a incorrectness standpoint. Nothaft can’t really come forward with a dire prediction, think back when Carter-era economist Alfred Kahn used the word banana to refer to a recession. If you say it, it must be so. So, if you forecast flat, and prices come in below, you simply use the same excuse as everyone else does, “I’m shocked! No one could have expected this!” If prices come in high, birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and everything is right with the world, who cares what that Norwich guy said.. or was it Norcross.. ah whatever. If prices really are flat, you get voted the USA Today top economist!

    What would you forecast, if your job required it, and you really had no idea?

  8. Pat says:

    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20080328_Subprime_crisis_spurs_sheriff_to_postpone_foreclosure_sales.html

    With growing concern from City Council about the subprime-mortgage crisis sweeping the country, Sheriff John Green yesterday delayed next month’s sale of homes in foreclosure.
    Green said he will ask Common Pleas President Judge C. Darnell Jones for permission to halt sheriff’s sales for six months.

  9. grim says:

    I give it about 3 days before we see the first lawsuit.

  10. Pat says:

    http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080328.wrgemoney28/GIStory/

    As credit crunch dominoes topple financial service victims, the investment community had raised some concerns about General Electric’s financing businesses, which accounted for more than one-third of its profit last year.

  11. Pat says:

    Philadelphia Fed’s Plosser says public expects too much from central banks

    http://www.fxstreet.com/news/forex-news/article.aspx?StoryId=9d52b521-a4be-4662-9144-62af9d50be90

  12. grim says:

    Clifton Comp Killer

    261 Riverwalk Way

    Purchased: 7/18/2006
    Purchase Price: $435,000

    MLS# 2473875

    Sold: 3/27/2008
    Sale Price: $405,000
    7% under 2006 purchase price.

    Loss: >$46,000

  13. thatBIGwindow says:

    When we bought our house in Dec 06 we didnt think we needed to do much to it once we moved in. Since Dec 06 we have spent thousands on things we didnt think of. Expect the unexpected.

  14. SG says:

    Corzine: Aid cuts will be phased in

    By JONATHAN TAMARI
    GANNETT STATE BUREAU

    LAMBERTVILLE — Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Thursday he will phase in state aid cuts to towns and hopes next year to overhaul the system that determines how more than $1.5 billion is doled out to help fund municipal services and offset property taxes.

    Corzine said he wants a new, objective method for handing out that money, to replace a system that includes old quirks.

    “The reality is that there is no rhyme or reason to the formulas which distribute aid to our municipalities,” Corzine said. “It’s all over the ballpark.”

    http://www.c-n.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080328/NEWS/803280315

  15. Pat says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHacfhqvht2Q&refer=home
    Fed May Rethink Greenspan’s Hands-Off Approach Towards Bubbles

    ===
    Greenspan had a Hands-Off approach? I thought he was like a chef with his hands in the cookie dough, squeezing and patting and tasting.

  16. reinvestor101 says:

    Dearest Patricia:

    I plan on posting over the weekend as I’ve done over the past few days. I sure you recall what our agreement was. Please absent yourself and I’ll let you know when I’m done. Thanking you in advance.

    Sincerely,
    R. E. Investor 101

    Pat Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 7:32 am
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHacfhqvht2Q&refer=home
    Fed May Rethink Greenspan’s Hands-Off Approach Towards Bubbles

    ===
    Greenspan had a Hands-Off approach? I thought he was like a chef with his hands in the cookie dough, squeezing and patting and tasting.

  17. BC Bob says:

    Pat [16],

    Hands off while he was flying the coop. Selling dollars, personal investments, and buying currencies. Sound like hands on? AG knew the exact path to this journey.

    Then again, he may have been reading this blog?

  18. BC Bob says:

    50.5,

    Can I buy you a drink?

  19. BC Bob says:

    More shareholder value diluted.

    “Fannie, Freddie May Raise $20 Billion, Regulator Says”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9Hkrda_0pTQ&refer=home

  20. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    KB Homes swings to loss

    Homebuilder KB Homes said Friday that it lost $268.1 million, or $3.47 a share in its fiscal first quarter ended February 29, compared to a profit of $27.5 million, or 34 cents a share a year ago. The firm’s total revenues for the quarter fell $794.2 million, from $1.39 billion. “Until prices stabilize and consumer confidence returns, we believe inventory levels will remain significantly out of balance with demand. We do not anticipate meaningful improvement in these conditions in the near term, as it is likely to take some time for the market to absorb the current excess housing supply and for consumer confidence to improve,” Jeffrey Mezger, president and chief executive officer said in a press release.

  21. IVV says:

    #20:

    As long as it’s not taxpayer money, I’m happy with that. Of course, when the gov has to pick up the tab for the capital infusion because no one else wants/can afford to invest…

  22. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Housing Chief: Freezing Mortgages a Mistake

    There are signs of improvement in U.S. housing markets but the idea of freezing mortgage rates for a period of time would be a mistake, the director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight said on Friday.

    “You’d really cause market dislocations,” said OFHEO director James Lockhart on CNBC television, when asked about a proposal put forward by…

  23. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. real consumer spending flat in February

    U.S. consumer spending was flat in February after adjusting for inflation, the third consecutive month of weak consumer demand, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Inflation moderated in January, with consumer prices rising just 0.1% for the month. Core consumer prices – which exclude food and energy costs – also rose 0.1% as expected by economists. Nominal incomes rose 0.5% in February, driven largely by the timing of some government transfer payments. Economists were looking for incomes to rise 0.3%.

  24. BC Bob says:

    Well, they are expereinced in bidding/offering.

    “Fearful staff sell off their Bear Stearns mementos”

    “Times are hard for the employees at Bear Stearns. First, the Wall Street investment bank’s pride suffered a massive blow when it became America’s most high-profile victim of the global credit crunch and had to be bailed out by the Federal Reserve. Then it was bought by a major rival, JPMorgan Chase, whose initial bid was so low, it was met with ridicule.”

    “Now, many of the beleaguered bankers of Bear Stearns, who but weeks ago funded their lavish lifestyles chasing million-dollar deals, appear to be resorting to selling Bear Sterns memorabilia on eBay.”

    “Do not delay – bail a Bear out today,” declared one ad for a stuffed Bear Stearns teddy bear, on offer at $5.50 (£2.70).”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/fearful-staff-sell-off-their-bear-stearns-mementos-801763.html

  25. Rich In NNJ says:

    Don’t close on your purchase BEFORE any work is completed

    From The Record

    Family trapped in home that reeks of oil

    A family says their dream home has become an unsafe money pit after a ruptured fuel tank unleashed a plume of oil that has contaminated their property.

    Albano Gaba said he and his wife, Arjana Fetahu, were thrilled when they moved into their first home at 60 Center Court last March, proud to finally give their two young boys a yard to play in.


    Now, Gaba is suing the seller, the company that removed the tank and several insurance firms, claiming he’s stuck with a money pit.

    The case against ex-homeowner Nicole Chiarello of Oradell and Majka and Sons Inc. of Clifton, which was hired to remove the tank, is scheduled to be heard next month in state Superior Court in Hackensack.

    According to the suit, Gaba closed on the home last March with the understanding that Chiarello would be responsible for having an aging underground fuel tank removed. Majka and Sons removed the tank two days later, the suit said, but workers quickly noticed that oil was flowing at a rapid pace from the tank, contaminating a “substantial portion of the property, including the water tank.”


    A September report by an environmental remediation company, Roux Associates, recommended that Gaba’s home be “moved off” the foundation so that the entire property could be cleaned up. Roux, which was hired by the former owner’s insurer, noted a strong odor of oil throughout the home and reported structural defects due to the “excavation site opening,” according to the suit.

  26. John says:

    Bear is moving quick with lay-offs, yesterday I heard they told some departments that April 15 is the last day. Departments where chase has a fully staffed department and are a non profit center and would be reduntant are gone. But my friend whose department got eliminated yesterday said he was suprised by two things, how quick his department was eliminated and how generous they were with the severence.

  27. Secondary Market says:

    When I was laid off in November from FCMC, I was told at 2pm and my desk was cleared by 3pm. Now that is quick. Unfortunately, the severance was far from generous.

  28. BubbleYum says:

    as a parting gift, locked their pets inside to wreak further havoc.

    This is unspeakably despicable. What is happening to people . . .

  29. grim says:

    From AHN:

    Long Island, New York Bids To Become 51st State
    Suffolk comptroller Joseph Sawicki is slated to renew Long Island’s bid to become the U.S.’ 51st state at the Friday breakfast hosted by the Long Island Economic and Social Policy Institute of Dowling College. Sawicki first broached the idea of a Long Island secession from Albany in 1991 when he was a state assemblyman.

    Expounding on the idea, Sawicki told Newsday, “Before you dismiss me as being on the fringe of craziness, just imagine: Taxes raised on Long Island would be spent on Long Island.” He pointed out the region, made up of Nassau and Suffolk, remitted $8.1 billion taxes and fees to Albany in 2004, but received only $5.2 billion in services. “I don’t like the way these numbers add up,” Sawicki said, “It leaves Long Island paying for the rest of the state.”

    The New York state had been plagued over the years by calls for separations from various local governments. Among those that had sought separation were East End which wanted to become Peconic County, Staten Island and New York City.

  30. House Hunter says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/23841122
    Countrywide Exec Gets $28 Million from Bank of America

    According to the filing, Sambol would be entitled to a $20 million retention bonus payable in equal installments on the first and second anniversaries of the merger, which is expected to close in the third quarter.

    Sambol would also receive $8 million of restricted stock, vesting in three installments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the merger, the filing shows.

  31. Rob says:

    I have a question about mortgage-backed paper that maybe somebody can answer. Ignore sub-prime, option arm and the rest for a moment. Say I have a MBS made up only of prime mortgages, and that they are going to default at the rate predicted by the model. What happens to the value of that vehicle when the collateral for those mortgages is marked down 20 or 30 percent (or more). Would that be a big hit, or is that not worth considering in relation to the wave of defaults?

  32. gary says:

    Dear Sellers,

    New data from a New Jersey consulting firm suggests over-priced homes not only take longer to sell, they consistently sell for thousands of dollars less than similar homes that were priced lower in the first place.

    Sellers who priced their home below the market from the beginning, often received a higher price and a faster sale.

    “We haven’t hit bottom yet,” said Jeffrey Otteau, a long-time consultant and appraiser. “For every buyer that comes to the market there are two, or three or more sellers who put their home on the market.”

    Otteau estimated home prices in New Jersey will not recover to 2005 peak levels until the spring of 2015, at the earliest.

  33. make money says:

    Il picollo place on Mulberry Street has a sign that they accept Euros. So I said to the owner that I’ll pay in dollars but if he’s give me 2:1 ratio then I’ll give him Euro’s.

    He looked at me and sais”It’s OK, it’ll be 2:1 by the summer time. Give me the Euro’s.”

    Ladies and gents,

    I paid my first meal in US in Euro’s and it was only Pizza and a salad. It was reaaalllllly cheap at 2:1.

    I love EuroPac and Peter Schiff. all disclaimers apply.

  34. NJGator says:

    This photo popped up in my daily listings email.

    http://newmls.gsmls.com/media/getImage.do?mlnum=2501959&num=6&res=highres&imgcnt=9

    1. Would you pay $649k for this?

    2. Would you fire the realtor who posted this pic?

  35. Secondary Market says:

    #34. Head to South Beach. Every restaurant, retail store, hotel has exchange rates advertised. Especially Realty Offices.

  36. grim says:

    NJG,

    $649k is cheap for a home that actually has a chicken plucking room. Those rooms are all the rage nowadays.

  37. Secondary Market says:

    #35: That has to be a joke.

  38. spazz says:

    “But it takes an enraged, delinquent mortgagor to indulge in a frenzy of destruction…”

    These people are just animals.

  39. Shore Guy says:

    # 16 “I thought he was like a chef with his hands in the cookie dough, squeezing and patting and tasting.”
    I thought that was Spitzer, or maybe it was Patterson, or even McGreevy.

  40. John says:

    Speaking of dogs, I went to an Animal Shelter once in August in Long Beach Long Island where there are a lot of Summer Rentals looking for a nice dog to adopt. Was told to come back right after Labor day and they should have a bunch of dogs. I said how do you know that. They said the kids think it is cool to have a dog in their summer house but then come Labor day no one wants it so when the lease is up they just open the door and let it go. Also was told to come back on the 1st of each month. Once again I asked why and she said when lease day is up and people are moving to a coop or apt that does not allow dogs they just let them go. Finally, she said if I was serious enough she would take my name as she gets 5-7 year old pure breads now and them. Once again I said, what, she said yea there are a lot of senior citzen housing that allow dogs, the old widows get a little pet store shih tzu or poodle in their mid seventies and when they drop deak and the landlord calls 911 the supers can’t be bothered so they just open the door and let them out onto the street.

    So the dog shelter has a policy they will take unwanted dogs for free but they ask the owner to pay for the cost of food and upkeep usually around $50 bucks while they are looking for a home, they waive it if you are poor. She said people don’t want to be bothered and the nicer ones tie the dog to the shelter gate 15 minutes from opening. So I am out front debating what to do with my kids about which one to adopt and I see a spanish couple cirling the blocks a few times, it is a little weird as the animal shelter is in a commerical side of town. So the car stops 50 feet from the shelter and I see them push a beagle/collie mutt right out the window and their was a ten year old boy screaming in the back and they pealed out. I guess they could not wait for me to move. Anyhow we caught that dog and put it in the shelter.

    Now I see why I see so many NJ plates at North Shore Animal Shelter in Port Washington Long Island, which is beautiful and clean and has a huge selection of dogs for adoption. The local public shelters are an insane selection of misfit dogs and very scary people and the smell is overwelming. Anyhow I got a nice dog from North Shore.

  41. NJGator says:

    37 Grim – Thanks, Grim. As a vegetarian, I guess I just didn’t realize the intrinsic value of that.

    Stu and I are both still wondering what they’re shredding.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    # 35

    I just LOVE the ancient oven and, what, maybe 7′ of counter space in the kitchen. Not to mention THOSE kitchen cabinets. I think they must have made them in wood shop in 8th grade.

    http://newmls.gsmls.com/media/getImage.do?mlnum=2501959&num=3&res=highres&imgcnt=7

    Of course, for dog owners, there are LOTS of sticks in the yard out back to keep Rex busy for weeks.

    http://newmls.gsmls.com/media/getImage.do?mlnum=2501959&num=8&res=highres&imgcnt=7

  43. Shore Guy says:

    # 42 “Stu and I are both still wondering what they’re shredding.”
    Gator,

    I wonder if they work for an investment bank, or Countrywide. All they need is Fawn Hall and Olie North with all those shredder bits.

  44. omino says:

    Why is no one talking about the first time buyer who is now sqeezed out of the market, due to the mortgage crisis? Although we made a very good income, and have excellent credit, we dont have the 20%. Second mortgages are no longer available and having to get PMI plus a jumbo loan completely prices us out. We were responsible and waited until we had a respectable down payment and could easily afford the monthly payments. We cant be the only ones who are affected this way….Its going to get worse before it gets better.

  45. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Regulator letter to Fremont orders more capitalization

    FDIC to Fremont: Raise more capital or sell bank unit

  46. schabadoo says:

    45

    I’d think you could still do 10% if your house is in order.

  47. grim says:

    Bank run?

  48. grim says:

    Nom,

    Just as you mentioned earlier in the week. Where did you go? I want to pick your brain on banking regulation.

    Fremont Ordered by FDIC to Find Buyer; Curbs Imposed on Bank

    Fremont General Corp., the California lender forced to exit the subprime mortgage business, was ordered by federal regulators to find new capital or seek a buyer.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Fremont is undercapitalized and told management to take prompt corrective action, according to a statement today on PR Newswire. The FDIC also imposed curbs on the amount of interest Fremont can pay to customers.

  49. kettle1 says:

    So i have to say, that if i could go back to say 2004 knowing what i know now, i would be awfully tempted to by a house for 0 down blow 50K in home equity on buying gold, and then default on the house. if the banks and IB’s and everyone in between acts only in their best financial interest, why should we expect individuals not to do so???

  50. grim says:

    The real question is, if you could go back in time, why would you only go back to 2004? If we’re going to put completely implausable hypotheticals on the table, why not go all out, take over Rome, become a Pharoh, even better, one up Nostradamus, Zell, and the Hunt Brothers in one shot.

  51. Stu says:

    omino,

    Keep saving! You’ll get to that 20% a lot quicker as housing prices begin their rapid decline. Trust me when I say that if you can’t save 20%, then you shouldn’t risk owning a home. Renting ain’t so bad, trust me.

  52. bi says:

    27#, john, not surprised to me at all. quick: james dimon style. generous: government money

    >But my friend whose department got eliminated yesterday said he was suprised by two things, how quick his department was eliminated and how generous they were with the severence.

  53. BC Bob says:

    kettle [51],

    I agree. I will follow. Put 0 down, suck out the equity and then if things get rough walk away. However, you have to move your assets elsewhere.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTj4jgj1s0

  54. why not go all out, take over Rome, become a Pharoh, even better, one up Nostradamus.

    I’d go to the enchantment under the sea dance and help start rock n’ roll!

  55. rhymingrealtor says:

    From Yesterday’s Discussion:

    I would actually take this illustration one step further…..I would argue that dropping income tax rates (holding all other variables constant – ceteris parabus) would actually in the long-run be recaptured by investors, and they would tend to target a certain after-tax return on capital. As such, regardless of taxation, they would reverse engineer a certain net income by focusing on generating the necessary before-tax margin. The only plug would be to offer lower wages to ensure that margin. Since the worker is left in the same postion in terms of take home pay, it presents a long-term equilibrium, basically because workers tend to be less adaptable and mobile (e.g., in experience, skills, geography) than companies in the long-run, and so employers have greater leverage.

    Chi,

    Of course the above is only one paragraph from your counterpoint to yesterday’s discussion, Your point is clear and well taken. Thank you for the way you explained it, I have learned alot from you, BC,Clot & Grim. You’ve almost convinced me. but What is that saying BC and Grim use around here ” You stand where you sit?” Well I don’t sit on any investment capital, I hardly sit with earned income, most of the time when I’m about to sit on it, it’s gone and I fall on my a@@.

    In other words them’s that got it are keeping it and you ain’t getting it, no how no way. (-:

    KL

  56. make money says:

    I’ll just be Heffner and enjoy beautifull bimbos my whole life while I’m making million in my pajamas.

    Just chillin.

    I still can’t get over paying for Pizza on Mulbery street (Il Piccolo’s) in Euro’s at 2:1. I must have told this story to at least ten people this morning. Even my wife was stunned when he took 15 Euros instead of $30 USD.

  57. gary says:

    omino [46],

    I’ve been told numerous times in one form or another that it’s “very competitive” in the NJ/NY area and if one can’t afford to live here, then they are either jealous or looking in the wrong towns and should consider moving further away from the NYC area or out-of-state altogether. I’ve been told this by realtors and by those who’ve bought a home WELL before this scam, swindle, con and rip-off called normal house appreciation was hatched.

  58. RentininNJ says:

    2. Would you fire the realtor who posted this pic?

    Can you just fire an incompetent Realtor® or are you stuck until the contract expires.

    For example, I list my home with an agent. I log onto realtor.com to check out my listing. There is a blurry picture of my home taken through a half open car window and the listing is filled with typos and spelling errors. I’ve actually seen this before. Can I fire my Realtor?

  59. skep-tic says:

    question regarding PMI:

    I’ve heard that if you buy a house that is 20% below assessed value, you do not have to pay PMI even if you put nothing down. This seems hard to believe, but wondering if anyone knows whether this is true

  60. skep-tic says:

    #1

    “I don’t think we’re going to see any improvement in the national house-price matrix until 2010,”

    Grim is like Neo

  61. Mikeinwaiting says:

    omino 46 Just hang tough & keep saving, the numbers posted by Grim are doing the talking.We are in for the biggest correction in re ever. Keep your powder dry & fico up you will reap the reward.

  62. BC Bob says:

    make [58],

    I hope you cut the tip in half?

  63. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob 55

    that is what an offshore shell corporation is for!

    Grim, good point, but i dont really have any aspirations to outshine nostrodomus, i dont have a flair for prose like he did! besides everyone in history would call me a doomsdayer!!!

  64. omino says:

    #59
    Moving away is not an option, unfortunately. My question is this: how many first time buyers can put 20% down without help from their parents? Almost none, I think.

  65. Mikeinwaiting says:

    The March numbers judging from the heads up by Rich should put the nail in the coffin.I can only imagine how the NAR will spin this one.We will see soon.Has anyone ever been to Arkansas?Flying out for a interview.
    Trying to get out of Dodge.(tax state of NJ)

  66. Sean says:

    re: 66 omino, what is your price range?

  67. Ann says:

    66 omino

    20% down is very, very hard to come by for first-time buyers. And yes, you are right, lots of people borrow or receive gifts from the parents to help make it to the 20% or 10% or whatever. If you can get 10% together plus closing costs, you might find that you can buy something over the next year or two, so keep saving. Not sure where you live now, but I know people who have moved into even cheaper, smaller apartments for a year or two, or even back home, and are really trying to sock the money away in the meantime.

  68. Pat says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-oped0327healthmar27,0,7118131.story

    Who really pays for health care?

    “What is labeled as employers’ contribution to the health-insurance premium is really paid for by employees through lower wages and take-home pay.”

  69. Berry says:

    Omino,

    Yes many of us have 20% to put down without help from the parents. What price range are you looking at?

    The wife and I have opted to wait until 2010 at which point we should have at least 30% to put down (renting now). We’re also leaning more towards Connecticut than NJ thanks to this site.

    – Berry

  70. make money says:

    I hope you cut the tip in half?

    I paid the tip in USD. Bergage and the rest of the people responsible for this should be hung for treason. It’s a shame what they have done to the worlds most coveted currency.

    One of the students in my class siad that she’s going to mail the stimulus package back to the fed’s telling them that she doesn’t want it.

  71. TJ says:

    omino,

    10% down is good enough. 20% is a waste when you can invest the other 10% and get a better return, especially now with declining prices. My conservative funds have yielded 3% since Jan ’08 and I would assume that my house price has remained flat b/c of the purchase price.

    I bought a house in Dec. ’07, great deal. Did not have to do a jumbo loan b/c SP: 450,000 – 10 %. Credit score mid 700’s and income ~150. I was approved for a 5.8% loan in no time. Mortgage companies have to stay in business and will issue mortgages to qualified people for homes they can afford.

    Where are you looking for a home, what price range? I am not a realtor, just curious, but have access to GSMLS and am a little slow at work today:)

  72. Pat says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/us/politics/28clinton.html?_r=1&ex=1364356800&en=85e4a5ba0a5555d3&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

    Clinton Details Premium Cap in Health Plan
    “Large companies would either have to offer health benefits or pay into a pool that would finance subsidized coverage.”

  73. Stu says:

    omino,

    You can do it if you really want to. I bought my first home when I was 33 (no help from my folks, by the way). I bet you are a few years younger than me. Forget the flat screen tv’s, fancy cell phones, nice cars and eating out everyday. Don’t drink in bars (too often). Before you know it, you’ll have your DP. It’s not easy, but it is doable. Just set a budget and don’t stray from it. Even if the budget says it will take 5 years, just keep at it. Saving might not seem like fun, until you live in it ;)

  74. BC Bob says:

    “One of the students in my class siad that she’s going to mail the stimulus package back to the fed’s telling them that she doesn’t want it.”

    make,

    Tell her to buy gold coins with it.

  75. Rob says:

    Gee Pat, people are starting to figure this out now? It’s the same with the “employer portion” of the Social Security payroll tax. To the largest extent possible, corporations pass their tax burden through to customers and employees. Same with the corporate income tax. It’s embedded in the price of the products the company makes. But the voters fall for that populist soak the rich sh$$ year after year.

  76. still_looking says:

    Wow. Must be a waft of oxygen reaching the brain cells of recent sellers.

    I have seen a wave of “new” listings – properties that I saw a year ago on gsmls – that are now hundreds of thousands of dollars lower than their “true” OLP from over a year ago. e.g., 2502079 and others.

    Could the epiphanies be starting??

    sl

  77. Shore Guy says:

    A few days ago, someone brought up the issue of people cutting back on living expenses, because either they are living beyond their means or in order to sock away more cash to use when the time is right.

    I did not give it much thought at the time but last night I realized that Mrs. Shore and I have been doing this of late, without giving it any particular attention. For those inclined to play violins and offer snide comments, I acknowledge that we are doing better than most people and this might not sound like a big deal but still I think it illustrates how the psychology has changed, even for people who project earning about $100,000 more this year than we did last year.

    In recent weeks:

    We have been drinking more sub $50 bottles of wine for home consumption than usual, and even rediscovered some $25 bottles that we had stopped buying for the cellar. We decided to take a place in the Caribbean in February instead of going further away. In a few weeks, when we get away for a 5-day weekend, it will be to a good-enough 41/2-star hotel and not a 5-star; something told us the extra couple hundred dollars a day could be better spent elsewhere.

    This may be a variation on the theme that when the shoe-shine person is fully invested in the market, it is oversold. Here, we are a debt free couple, each business owners with better-than-good income, kid’s college money set, yadda, yadda, and WE have subtly cut back, without even giving it conscious thought. If things are such that we are doing so, how much steam can the economy have?

    Who else may have made analogous spending moves of late?

  78. make money says:

    Omino,

    Due to the inevitable hyper inflation on our doorstep withing the next five years, its good idea to be in debt of USD and hold your assets in foreign currency.

    If you can get a mortgage with no money down buy as big of a house as you can afford the mortgage pmnts in the next five years. Put your down pmnt in gold and watch your downpmnt in Gold pay cash for your house. If you can get I/O for the first five years even better as you’ll be able to buy a bigger house(Owe more USD).

    If you don’t then you’ll be kicking yourself in five years when a POS will be worth 2 million and you’ll have $100K in your refrigirator.

  79. make money says:

    make,

    Tell her to buy gold coins with it.

    BC,

    How many coins can you buy with $600 USD?

  80. TJ says:

    Skeptic,

    I think PMI varies from underwriter to underwriter. I purchased my house for less than appraisal value, no shock, but have made more than 50k in improvements. So according to my lender I can qualify for the first option.

    My lender states that if you put less than 20% down (LTV > 80%)you have to pay PMI, for a minimum of 1 to 2 years.

    Option 1: 1 year if you make improvements that makes the LTV (loan to value) ratio greater then it can be reappraised and removed.

    Option 2: 2 years if you make payments making your LTV

  81. TJ says:

    Skeptic,

    Also lenders are sneaky with PMI. If you don’t ask for PMI removal within the first 2 years, some lenders have the right to charge you for an additional 10 years until you ask for it to be removed.

  82. njpatient says:

    10 grim
    “I give it about 3 days before we see the first lawsuit.”

    Yep. Depends only on how long it takes to draft and file the complaint.

  83. Rich In NNJ says:

    Omino,

    Due to the fact that you know nothing about the person giving you financial advice I recommend you visit a financial planner.

    FYI: I’ve been through this myself back in the late 80’s – early 90’s. Never thought I would be able to own a home in this area.
    But I continued to save and lo and behold, 1991 came in with a bang.
    Well, actually the Money Store came along with a foreclosure in Harrington Park.

  84. TJ says:

    Make Money,

    Due to the inevitable hyper inflation on our doorstep withing the next five years, its good idea to be in debt of USD and hold your assets in foreign currency.

    IMHO you are absolutely correct.

  85. Rob says:

    The U.S. Mint produces 1/10 ounce gold coins. I’m sure there are other options.

  86. grim says:

    Who else may have made analogous spending moves of late

    I cut my ties with POTS (land line) phone service. I no longer have a wired telephone in my primary residence.

    This really doesn’t have anything to do with saving money, it only cost something like $30 a month, but I suppose that the amount does add up.

    Why did I do it?

    I think the land line is dead. In the past year, the bulk of the calls received on my land line were telemarketers. Running a close second was my mother in law (Don’t worry, she has my cell number).

    The $360 was completely wasted money for me.

    You know, when Apple released the first iMac without a floppy disk drive I was shocked. I couldn’t fathom a world without a floppy disk. Took me a while, but I finally came to the realization that just because this was the way it was, didn’t mean this was the way it needed to be.

    I was surprised by the number of cellular-only households in Europe the last time I was there. If every member of the household has a cellular phone, what do you need a “home phone” for?

  87. grim says:

    I suppose that would also apply to any of the voip/internet based “home phone” solutions.

  88. kettle1 says:

    Oh,

    and do not keep your gold coins in a safe deposit box. If inflation really hits that bad, expect a reinstatement of the regulations requiring an IRS agent present at the opening of any safe deposit box! (to prevent people from hording precious metals). if you are really buying gold to hedge against a financial collapse of the dollar why would trust a bank to hold it???

    this is not financial advice, just baseless entertainment.

  89. Nom Deplume says:

    Grim,

    I am lurking. This has become my first blogstop each morning.

    Standard FDIC ops for FMT: the PCA regs permit any number of actions that FDIC (or other fed regulators) can impose, and it sounds like they are dropping the hammer. My guess is, unless FMT negotiates a sale in the next few weeks (unlikely), FDIC will put it into receivership. Problem is, you cannot forecast that because we don’t know what their capital is, but two factors tell me that this will happen: First, there’s gonna be a bank run on FMT made up of regular customers (they have branches so they have depositors) and large dollar HNWI or instititutional depositors that can move for higher yields or will bust a CD to get under the 100K cap. Second, no one buys cows when milk is free. So FDIC cannot get some other bank to pay for something that the bank can pick up off the street later. That was what my old bank did when BNE (later Fleet) imploded in the early 90’s. Another reason that banks won’t agree to brokered deals easily was the S&L crisis and the resulting Winstar cases, when the Congress passed FIRREA and burned all the banks that agreed to assume troubled institutions. Congress is still paying for that one, and will for years to come.

    Now, what did you want to know?

  90. Outofstater says:

    A chicken plucking room – now that’s class. Are you sure that house isn’t in north Georgia? : )
    Hey Make – do you really think hyperinflation is on the way? I keep thinking inflation will spike pretty quickly and then we’ll fall into deflation – nothing to back it up – just a gut feeling.

  91. TJ says:

    Here are my personal tips for purchasing a house in this market.

    1) Do a simple appreciation calculation. Take the real value of the home in 2000 and do a 4-5% YoY price appreciation for 7 years
    2) Use that value in a GOOD rent vs. buy calculator (one that factors in tax benefit and cost of owning)
    3) Use that value to more than likely lowball.
    4) Put down no more than 10%. Invest the cash in other places.
    5) Take on US debt you can afford. Leverage hyperinflation.
    6) Enjoy the never ending list of projects you will have as a homeowner.

  92. kettle1 says:

    grim

    I do not known many people with POTS still in their home. Most of my friends and family (except for the older parents on both sides) dropped POTS in the last several years for VOIP/Cell

  93. Sean says:

    re: (19) TJ no mention of a 15 year mortgage?

  94. skep-tic says:

    just have to say that it is a bad idea to put your downpayment in gold. flame away

  95. TJ says:

    Grim,

    Hah.

    “I cut my ties with POTS (land line) phone service. I no longer have a wired telephone in my primary residence.”

    The first thing I did when I moved into my new house is remove every last phone jack and piece of phone line. I have not had POTS in 8 years but being a mobile telecom consultant and moving around the country may have had something to do with that.

    Just wait until 4G mobile networks are deployed. That is when I rip out the cable and fiber. Bandwidth from 100mbps to 1gbps on your mobile device. 10 years and the infrastructure will span the entire US. HDTV in your house or your car brought to you by your mobile phone.

  96. John says:

    Cutting a landline is not that big a savings, I got rid of my long distance and state to state and all features and it is basically for incoming calls only, it is like 15 bucks a month, mortgage aps, credit aps ask for a home number and may ding you otherwise and many security alarms and 911 is tied to the landline plus in a pinch you can do dial up and fax with it. Also I do all my local in area code and 1-800 calls on the landline and I have the older relatives call me on the land line, if I canceled those minutes would go to a bigger cell phone plan which would cost me more anyhow.

  97. grim says:

    ket,

    Voip at home is just fancy POTS (FOTS – Fancy ol’ telephone service), which I feel falls into the same camp. Why bother if the bulk of your voice communications are already over cellular.

  98. John says:

    BTW it is silly to rip out all your landlines, most people don’t know this but without phone service 911 and 1-800 calls still work if you leave the phone connected in most states. Call 911 on a cell phone and by the time you give directions you could be dead of a heart attack. Plus when you sell the house maybe the next guy would at least like a connection for his phone.

  99. Rob says:

    What would be a source of data for historical home prices in a particular area? I was not living in NY metro in 2000, so I don’t have any knowledge of the going prices at that time.

  100. Sean says:

    re: best way to save on internet and telecommunication cost is to have your company pay for it.

  101. skep-tic says:

    I haven’t had a landline in years but am planning on getting one strictly for 911

  102. grim says:

    just have to say that it is a bad idea to put your downpayment in gold. flame away

    Absolutely terrible idea.

  103. Orion says:

    “Who else may have made analogous spending moves of late?”

    I’m combining errands to drive less (did not do last year).
    Purchased lower-priced cleaning materials.
    Holding off on furniture purchases.
    Holding off on vehicle upgrade.

    Not that I have to do these things, just not real enthusiastic about consumption. It really has more to do with psychology than economics. Guess I’m guilty of contributing the low consumer spending numbers.
    But I am thinking of buying gold.

  104. Stu says:

    “Who else may have made analogous spending moves of late?”

    I have stopped using toilet paper.

    Can’t wait to shake your hand at the next GTG.

  105. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Vacation Home Sales and Prices Tumble as Buyers `Wait and See’

    Sales of U.S. vacation homes tumbled 31 percent last year and real estate bought for speculation dropped 18 percent as mortgage lenders tightened standards, the National Association of Realtors said.

    Vacation home sales dropped to 740,000 from a record 1.07 million in 2006, the Chicago-based Realtors said in a report today. Sales of investment properties, which typically are resold without the buyers ever living in them, dropped to 1.35 million from 1.65 million a year earlier.

    Even as Baby Boomers, the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, approach their peak earning years they are holding back on purchasing a vacation home as the U.S. real estate slump enters its third year. 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.

    “Some buyers simply adopted a wait-and-see attitude,” Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist, said in the report.

    The median price of a vacation home was $195,000 in 2007, down 2.5 percent from $200,000 a year earlier, the report said. The price of an investment property was $150,000, unchanged from 2006.

  106. njpatient says:

    34 make

    That’s a riot!

  107. Orion says:

    #105

    In that case, everyone should wear rubber gloves at the GTG.

  108. Shore Guy says:

    # 103 “grim Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 10:59 am
    just have to say that it is a bad idea to put your downpayment in gold. flame away

    Absolutely terrible idea.”

    CDs are the way to go. I prefer a mix of 1940s swing era bands, classical masters, and a sprinkling of Led Zep, Sabbath, Stones, and, for those of us in or with NJ roots, a bit of Southside Johnny and Springsteen.

  109. skep-tic says:

    re: expenses

    used to go out to eat about once a week, reduced to about once a month starting late last summer

    used to go through 2 bottles of wine per week at roughly $30-40 total. switched to 1 bottle per week (weekends only) and set a $12 limit. There are enough good cheap bottles out there to keep things interesting, plus cutting back on drinking is healthy

    wife and I agreed to stop buying gifts for each other as we don’t really need anything. We started with my birthday, of course

    started buying cheaper cuts of meat at the grocery store (e.g., chicken thighs instead of breasts). I’ve learned that I actually prefer the cheap cuts so long as they’re cooked right.

  110. omino says:

    I dont think some of you are seeing my point, which is that a home purchase is now very very expensive to finance if you dont have 20% down, due to the unavailability of piggy back mortgages. Our purchasing power has dropped by about 60k as a result of this. We are very financially conservative, have been saving for years, and have excellent credit and we can do it. If we cant, then there cant be very many first time buyers that can, unless they are buying very small homes. We were looking to purchase in the 500k range, as we have now outgrown the typical “starter” home.

  111. Ann says:

    “Who else may have made analogous spending moves of late?”

    I have turned down the heat quite a bit, become really picky about keeping lights off, etc. For the environment, but also for our outrageous energy bills.

    I used to just buy paperbacks whenever I felt like it. One or two a month. Now I force myself to go to the library, and I am realizing how bad the library sucks and how they never have the book you want.

    I cancelled HBO right after The Wire was over.

    I lowered my cell phone plan since I had more minutes than I was using.

    I’ve stopped using paper towels and bought a whole bunch of kitchen rags instead for super cheap. It’s amazing how many paper towels you go through with kids.

    We never order takeout anymore, ever. We’ll still go out to eat if we can get a babysitter, but no more ordering. Make an egg instead.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    # 105

    Whay would you have ever started using it? It has always been an unnecessary expense. In Iraq, the sewer system collapsed once Americans got there and started using it. There is a reason right-handed people used to look negatively upon left-handed people as the left hand was generally put to, ummm, less savory uses.

  113. BC Bob says:

    “How many coins can you buy with $600 USD?”

    Make,

    $600 worth.

    Bad idea to to use gold as your dp. Use dollars, they’re depreciating. Hold onto appreciating currencies/metals. Why not get a balloon, borrow in yen and pay the balloon off in gold.

    In the future, coming soon, the dollar will be the new carry trade.

  114. Stu says:

    “If we cant, then there cant be very many first time buyers that can, unless they are buying very small homes.”

    Ain’t that the truth my brother!

    Welcome to the cause of this Spring/Summers bloodletting of residential home prices.

  115. skep-tic says:

    oh yeah, I was also planning on getting a new TV this year but held off on doing that, despite the fact that my TV no longer can change channels via remote (problem is with TV itself– even universal remotes don’t work). I might as well be living in a 3d world country given that I have to get up off the couch to change the channel

  116. Shore Guy says:

    Re. cutting back:

    It is my impression that this board attracts more financially-prudent people. Inasmuch as there are a bunch of people here cutting back, and we are likely the ones who actually have some income to spend, I am left with the strong sense that the recession will neither be short nor shallow.

    Thoughts?

  117. Shore Guy says:

    # 116 “I might as well be living in a 3d world country given that I have to get up off the couch to change the channel”

    Wasn’t there a commercial with Sally Struthers some years back that dealt with just this very sad issue?

  118. John says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Home builder KB Home (KBH) posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday as the U.S. housing market continued its steep decline, and said it did not expect conditions to improve any time soon, sending its shares down 3.3 percent in early trading.

    “Until prices stabilize and consumer confidence returns, we believe inventory levels will remain significantly out of balance with demand,” CEO Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement. “We do not anticipate meaningful improvement in these conditions in the near term.”

  119. kettle1 says:

    skeptic 102

    DO NO GET A LANDLINE FOR 911. You can dial 911 from any landline anywhere in the US without paying for it. By law phone companies have to allow 911 to got through.

    I have an old landline phone in the house plugged into he phone jack and 911 will work, but that is it as i i have no landline service.

    Check the jack with a voltmeter. As long as there is a voltage at the jack, then 911 will go through! If a phone guys disconnects the land line from the house altogether that is a different story.

  120. Pat says:

    Shore, I live in PA, but this should hold true for NJ, as well, per my neighbor who is an opener/regional mgr. for the W store you like.

    Try shopping in a grocery store that’s rated in with a lower cost zip. We moved our shopping from 19067 to 19030 and noticed a definite savings in perishables/transportables/meat prices. NY strip went down by at least four dollars a pound. We buy it rarely…maybe once a month, but that one’s for you. Half price on roasters.

    Of course, everyone else must’ve figured this out as well. The parking lots are packed down there.

    Now this is a secret, so I know all you readers of NJREREPORT won’t pass this one around. [Don’t look at OlvGdn Website.]

    For cheap table wine when a lot of folks are drinking, at $10 for 1.5L, try Principato.

  121. Stu says:

    “Who else may have made analogous spending moves of late?”

    Who needs 911? I plan to send smoke signals if caught in an emergency. If that fails, then my dog can go seek help. That is, once he learns how to turn the doorknob without thumbs.

  122. John says:

    How hard is it to save for a starter home. Find a RE0 or estate sale for $400K. Which should be easy by early 2009. 20% is just $80K. While saving you should be living in the cheapest dump possible, and since a house will run you 4K a month and a dump will run you 1K a month you have 3K a month to save. That is less than three years of savings. That is how I saved and it took about that much time once I was married. People today want a fancy rental which cuts into their savings. It there are no roaches in your building or mice dropings in the lobby you are paying too much rent.

  123. Shore Guy says:

    # 122

    Re. dog as substitute for 911:

    It worked for Timmy each time he got stuck in a well.

  124. jlx says:

    my basic landline service is ~$18 per month… i like having the reliability of a landline when i need a clearer connection… my crappy tmobile svc is quite poor in my own house, so i have people call me on my landline at home…

    plus with verizon dsl, it’s only another $18 or so for “broadband”…

  125. omino says:

    123: When you have kids that need good schools, living in the “cheapest dump possible” isnt a great option.

  126. pretorius says:

    “Rob Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 10:57 am
    What would be a source of data for historical home prices in a particular area? I was not living in NY metro in 2000, so I don’t have any knowledge of the going prices at that time.”

    Grim, did you post the file that I sent to you the other day?

    It contains historical price info for NJ (NAR, OFHEO) and NYC area (S&P/C-S).

    Rob, check out:

    http://www.njar.com/research_statistics/housing.html

    and

    http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers go to “Home Sales” section

  127. BC Bob says:

    “20% is just $80K.”

    John [123],

    Stop being a d*ck.

    Many posters are just starting out, first jobs. Did you have 80K to put down for your first house/condo/apt? If yes, 2-3 years out of school?

  128. Stu says:

    omino,

    Here is what John is suggesting:

    MLS ID# 2488328

  129. make money says:

    Omino,

    Face it you missed the boat and a chance to ride the wave. Don’t compound your situation by purchasing a home in this environment.

    This is not like anything you have ever seen. hyper inflation is like a wild fire once it grows it can’t be stopped untill it burns everything(wipes out all US debt).

    Federal reserve thinks Inflation is its best friend. Have you ever seen the fed lower rates by 75 points and intentionally debase the US dollar which was already on the ropes.

    Call a Financial Advisor with Europac and they will explain this to you.

    I love owning real estate but real estate in US could fall up to 80% in real terms even with inflation. which means in real terms you could buy your house with your 20% DP if you invest it away from th eUS dollar. it’s ok if you don’t like gold, Swiss francs, Australian dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euro’s, anything but US dollar assets.

    I’ve said my piece. Do your research and see for your self.

  130. kettle1 says:

    disclaimer: i am a financial dummy…

    Now, while i do not necessarily disagree with with TJ or Make Money about loading up on US dollar debt and let inflation kill it, i have to say that this idea smacks of the same hubris and consumerism that got us into this mess in the first place.
    I understand that this concept is sound assuming that inflation really does skyrocket (i am inclined to think it will). It was only 1 – 2 years ago that all you heard from realtors was ” buy as much house as you can, appreciation will allow you to refinance”.
    Killing debt with inflation will work for some people, but many people are not financially savvy enough to understand the details.

  131. BC Bob says:

    John,

    Besides their 80K dp, they better have 10K for closing and 6 months living expenses, in the bank. In addition to this, they will incur house expenses, right from the beginning, that they never imagined. Now we’re talking maybe a total of 120-140K. Come again, regarding somebody just starting out?

  132. Shore Guy says:

    Puerto Rico Governor Surrenders to FBI on Corruption Charges

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=4542575

    Humm, a governor in trouble with the law. What are the odds?

  133. Stu says:

    Of course, you’ll have plenty of dough left over after plunking down your $30K DP to purchase a machete. You’ll need it to cut your way to the front door.

  134. Pat says:

    Yes, it is. You can still arbitrage using private schools. Find the cheapest dump to rent with the best but lowest-cost private school. It’s usually a good, subsidized Catholic school for a few grand a year.

    You rent for $1200 (instead of $3k) pay 200 hundred a month tuition, and so what if your kid starts bringing home prayer rocks? You sock the fifteen hundred bucks a month extra you would have paid for a premo rental, plus the two grand you save every year on clothes (kid only needs a uniform) and you’re out of there in two years.

    Problem is, you might find out you like your poor neighbors, and when you head over to buy your house in the rich hood, you can’t stand them.

    If that happens, you’ve gone native.

  135. Pat says:

    was for omino

  136. kettle1 says:

    what is europacs minimum balance/investment?

  137. Rich In NNJ says:

    Omino,

    …due to the unavailability of piggy back mortgages. Our purchasing power has dropped by about 60k as a result of this. We are very financially conservative,…

    Financially conservative but looking for a piigy-back mortgage?

    Anyway, everyone here DOES understand. Yes, it’s difficult for first-time home buyers. Nothing anyone says to you can change the fact that you can’t afford what you want right now.

    I’ll assume you’re new here and haven’t read many previous posts.
    Prices are coming down, prices will continue to come down.
    For how long and how much… who knows. But in the mean time continue to be financially conservative (well, the true definition) and save. Period.
    As I mentioned earlier, I have been there. Many other here have been there too.

  138. BC Bob says:

    kettle [137],

    Your passport.

  139. House Hunter says:

    Shore..we are doing some of the same things. Not eating out as much, liking that $12 Malbec lately..didn’t over do the easter stuff either. Next big move is a home, we are currently renting, no cc debt and only one car payment, decent combined salary….curious what vehicle you used for college savings? I am looking at 529’s just need more time to review all of them..other people say it is not the best way..seems good from a tax base.

  140. Sean says:

    This list is getting awfully long.

    http://www.bcsd.us/sheriff_sale.aspx#sales

  141. skep-tic says:

    thanks for the info on 911. the phone company just lost a potential customer

    #117

    “It is my impression that this board attracts more financially-prudent people. Inasmuch as there are a bunch of people here cutting back, and we are likely the ones who actually have some income to spend, I am left with the strong sense that the recession will neither be short nor shallow.”

    Debt spending has been the real driver in consumer spending for years— in other words, it is the people without surplus income who do most of the spending. I think there aren’t enough prudent people left to tilt the economy in one direction or another. We are a fringe group.

    For example, have you seen the Chase commercial where the guy goes shopping for a new flat screen TV and has to text Chase to see if he has enough juice left on his credit card to afford it? This is your typical American consumer– maxing out the revolving debt to buy TVs and the like. When this guy gets cut off, we are in trouble.

  142. Shore Guy says:

    For college, when they were young, we put it in savings bonds, and stocks. Now, since we will need it in fewer than 10 years, we are putting it aside in cash.

  143. thatBIGwindow says:

    #141: Impossible. NYC bonuses shall get these houses back!

  144. kettle1 says:

    i have seen the following info on several sheriff sale listings can some one explain what it actually means.

    Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee of Agrent Securities, Inc. Asset Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2006-M1 Under the Pooling and Servicing Agreement Dated as of June 1, 2006 Without Recourse
    $100.00 | 8/23/07

  145. 3b says:

    #144 tbw: 2 of those foreclosures are in prestigious River Edge.

  146. grim says:

    Kettle,

    DB is the trustee
    Ameriquest is the servicer
    Argent is the originator
    “Asset Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2006-M1” is the pool/securitization

    http://www.secinfo.com/dqTm6.v2c4.htm#1stPage

    The $100 means that they took position of the property, no bidders, REO.

  147. make money says:

    If the American Dollar was a consumable goods item, it would be under a mandatory recall as poisonous. If ingested please induce vomiting immediatlly and seek medical attention.

    Grim,
    #147

    Does that mean that DB is left holding the bag while everyone else made money of the poor shmuck?

  148. chicagofinance says:

    Regarding wireless phones…..the most recent rounds of research are beginning to suggest that people under 18 should not use cell phones for two reasons: (1) skulls are thinner and allow more microwave radiation to penetrate brain tissue; (2) the most complex of the brain’s wiring occurs during the teenage years and microwave radiation would tend to sabotage this process.

  149. House Hunter says:

    thanks shore, I am trying to sort out if 529’s are just the next gimick for fee’s or they really benefit someone from a tax perspective.

  150. make money says:

    http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/news.html?news_id=47884

    You mean to tell me that the prices have come down so much that due to inflation of the materials it’s no longer worth to built new projects.

    Not even finish the existing one’s. In th enext few weeks you;ll see some builders file for protection.

  151. d2b says:

    On the 529-

    We are in PA’s guaranteed college savings plan. I probably left some money on the table by not going with a stock plan. However I liked buying four years of public university tuition and knowing that the money was there for the long run. I don’t have to worry about performance and tuitions rise between 5% and 7% every year.

    Works for me. Unless the kid wants to go to Harvard…

  152. TJ says:

    kettle1,

    I stated:
    5) Take on US debt you can afford. Leverage hyperinflation.

    Many people took on debt that they could not afford and that is what got us into this mess. But yes, your comment is true. Excessive leveraging is what got us into this mess.

  153. make money says:

    ChiFI,

    Tale a walk to your nearest public HS and if you find 6 teens without cellphones then I’ll buy you pizza at il picollos

    50% discount..wink wink.

  154. kettle1 says:

    looking at recent forclosures in morris county i came across this…

    18 NORTH GATE RD
    REO on 10/30/06 @ 588,099

    then purchased on 3/21/07 @ 820000.
    for tax year 08 the house is appraised @ 1.1 million w/ 18K in taxes?

  155. Mike NJ says:

    Kettle,

    Thanks for the tip on the reverse osmosis filter. I installed it over the past week and I love it. We got the one you recommended and the total all in cost was ~$300. $~150 for the filter and I needed about ~$150 worth of plumbing work since my drain was a bit messed up. Other than my drain issue it was a very simple install and well worth the peace of mind.

  156. Zack says:

    Question on Buffett,
    I know he is sitting on $47 Billin cash ready to invest. Where is he parling his money in the meantime. Where can I find that out.

  157. Zack says:

    parking

  158. kettle1 says:

    ChiFi

    think of cellphones as simply another opportunity for evolution. Kind of like high pollution levels are shown to effect/affect ( both work i believe) increased levels of infant mortality. So in about 5,000 years humans should be highly resistant to chemical pollution and microwave radiation

  159. thatBIGwindow says:

    #146 3b: 2 of many many more to come….

  160. kettle1 says:

    MikeNj

    glad to help :)

  161. grim says:

    Mike,

    If you have kids, realize that RO water is stripped of fluoride. You might want to bring this up with your Ped., he may recommend a fluoridated bottled water or other supplement.

  162. 3b says:

    #160 tbw: Agreed.

  163. njpatient says:

    41 John
    That was one of your better efforts.
    I feel for that crying kid.

  164. make money says:

    Great newsletter and definitively worth the read from John Browne at EuroPac.

    Can This Rally Last?

    As the markets closed on Friday, March 14th, the $50 billion hedge fund, Carlyle Group, had collapsed, and questions were being asked about the viability of Bear Stearns. Having realized that Bear was close to insolvency, the Treasury and Fed worked overtime during the ensuing weekend to cobble together a bail out scheme that has since calmed the markets and encouraged a tepid rally. The salient question now is whether the rally can last.

    With a counter-party involvement in a significant amount of the $43 trillion derivatives market, the collapse of Bear Stearns would have been the financial equivalent of an atom bomb. Its failure threatened not only the U.S. financial system, but also sophisticated financial markets in most of the world.

    On March 17th, the Fed’s emergency action to rescue Bear Stearns took most people by surprise. It gave rise to a sigh of relief from Wall Street and other financial markets, which expected a full one-percentage point drop in Fed rates the next day. Apparently, the foundations of a market rally were laid. The Fed cut its rates by 75 basis points to 2.25 percent and announced massive new financing arrangements. Although the measures were temporary, they nonetheless placated shattered nerves. But was that any justification for a real rally?

    The feeling of relief extended to mild euphoria. For example, three major Wall Street investment banks reported earnings falls of between 42 and 57 percent…and the news was greeted as positive! The falls, after all, were less than fanciful Wall Street “estimates”. Since then, possibly led by the mythical “Plunge Protection Team”, stock markets around the world began to rise in thin trading. But the underlying issues remain extremely troubling.

    It is true that markets had fallen significantly and under normal conditions a rally should be expected. The S&P 500 put in what appeared to be a convincing technical bottom. However, technical analysts forecast a volatile sideways trading band for the S&P 500, between 1,270 and 1,400, with a downward breakout being a cause for alarm.

    Some two weeks into the rally, a series of statistics are emerging that point to increasing signs of economic recession in the United States.

    On Monday, March 24th, the market welcomed the news that sales of existing homes had risen by 2.9 percent in February, on an annualized (forecast?) basis, which was the first gain since July. Given lesser play was that the factual year-on-year figure, which showed a drop in existing home sales of some 24 percent. House prices also fell. But it appeared that Wall Street was unwilling to focus on the truth, apparently preferring to cling to straws of seemingly bullish information, even if grossly misleading.

    The next day, The Wall Street Journal reported on how dependant the housing market is on jobs. It highlighted the Case-Shiller findings that U.S. housing prices had risen by 74 percent between 2000 and 2006. Over that time, “median household income rose just 15 percent,” a discrepancy that “made housing unaffordable for many Americans.”

    That same day, it was reported that American consumer confidence was far weaker than expected, falling to the lowest levels since 1973, adding yet more fuel to the forces of recession.

    Perhaps the worst set of recent statistics is the little discussed size of total residential housing debt, which is in the midst of a massive financial ‘deleveraging’. Management of this process debt will easily overwhelm the relatively modest financial resources of the U.S. government. Unless this enormous disparity is appreciated, investors are vulnerable to being suckered into ‘dead cat’ bounce rallies.

    Professor Robert Shiller has determined that house prices rose in line with inflation, between 1900 and 1995, at 3.3 percent per annum. Beginning in 1996, the Greenspan property bubble drove average house prices to a position where, by 2007, they were some 40 percent above their aggregate century-long ‘trend’ value.

    To “deleverage”, as Treasury Secretary Paulson so soothingly describes it, will require the squeezing out of this 40 percent of price inflation; or some $12 trillion! This figure, which excludes the deleveraging of other debt-ridden areas such as commercial real estate, credit cards and auto loans, is just $2 trillion short of our entire annual GDP! It is a gigantic figure, of which there is understandably little or no mention.

    When note also is taken of the $436 billion the Fed has recently injected into our economy and the fact that it represents some 50 percent of the Fed’s balance sheet, a massive problem of relative size is manifest. It begs the question of whether the Fed has the resources to do anything but make a dent in the crisis.

    Faced with these realities, it is unlikely that the Fed has much chance of averting a serious recession. If Congress fails to act soon, depression will threaten. The earnings of many corporations can then be expected to plummet, leading to a serious erosion of stock prices.

    Congress now needs to find a ‘cause’, that is politically attractive, in order to stall a depression, by boosting it into a recovery bubble. Green alternative energy, for example, would provide an attractive political cause, justifying the authorization of massive government spending on an unprecedented scale.

    The Fed will have to reduce interest rates still further and stand ready to fund many troubled banks to justify even a nominal rally in U.S. stock markets.

    In short, if we are to stall a depression, we must necessarily experience both far greater inflation and lower interest rates. The result will be renewed downward pressure on the U.S. dollar and the unseen erosion of U.S. dollar based wealth.

    Many dollar assets can be expected to fall in price, even in depreciating dollars. Investors should be skeptical of any intermediate dollar-based market rallies. Instead they should arm themselves with advice as to how to avert the serious dollar erosion of their portfolios.

  165. TJ says:

    Rich In NNJ Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 11:35 am
    Omino,

    …due to the unavailability of piggy back mortgages. Our purchasing power has dropped by about 60k as a result of this. We are very financially conservative,…

    Financially conservative but looking for a piigy-back mortgage?

    Omino,

    You are slightly contradicting yourself.

    Piggy-back mortgages and 0% downs fueled easy financing, excessive purchasing and low inventory all creating higher prices.

    You do not want these products available to the masses as they will keep home prices inflated.

    Welcome back to the good old days where you need a down payment.

    Not that I think I am an ultimately saver, but 7 years out of college and my wife and I have saved 100K. That is 20% down of 500K or in my case 10% down with 50K for renovations.

    The point I am trying to make is, if housing drops another 20% – 500K to 400K, are you going to have 80K instead of the 100K to put down.

    If not, you should start looking for a lower priced home or start saving more as the piggy back and 0 down mortgages will not be available. That is what being “conservative” is all about.

  166. kettle1 says:

    ChiFi,

    regarding environmental risks to kids…. Cellphones are just the tip of the iceberg my friend! If you new what even a fraction of the known effects are from chemicals you exposed to on a regular basis yopu would go live in an igloo.

    Start with
    1. brominated flame retardants
    2 BPA, Bisphenol-A
    3. Pesticieds! ( most current ones are based off of WWII chemical weapons and there is very little testing required for human effects before they are allowed to be used..

  167. 3b says:

    #155 kettle: looks like the buyer made a huge mistake.

  168. still_looking says:

    disclaimer: I’m an ER doc.

    911 fine for most emergencies but,

    to survive a cardiac arrest?

    – buy (and learn how to use!!) an AED (automatic external defibrillator)

    – keep the batteries up to date.

    – learn CPR (and review a simple reminder index card every other month)

    – always keep chewable 81 mg baby aspirin in the house. (Not the enteric coated ones.)

    For bleeding related emergencies:

    – never remove the impaling object EVER.

    – if an extremity is bleeding put compression over the site. Still bleeding badly? Press on the artery closer to the body. Leg? Femoral artery, Arm? Brachial artery.

    – elevate the bleeding part above the level of the heart.

    For 91, Nom. Please help with the uninformed (me!) with the ‘alphabet soup’ FMT, etc. Please? Just not familiar. Thanks.

    sl

  169. kettle1 says:

    Grim Mike 162

    The DR will probably recommend a fluoridated multivitamin. Thats what my kids pediatrician did. But it depends on you view of fluride. SOme people are against it as there is data suggestiving that the positive effects are countered by negative effects

  170. TJ says:

    Still,

    disclaimer: I’m an ER doc.

    911 fine for most emergencies but

    I choose the following alternatives.

    1) Eat heart healthy
    2) Stay away from objects that may impale me

    :)

  171. ricky_nu says:

    Rob #32

    I can’t imagine you could dis-entagle the value of the collateral and the projected default rate. My guess would be that no matter what, if collateral value dropped by 50% (house prices), defaults would rise (the “walk away” syndrome). There has to be some positive correlation.

    So my guess would be that your model would need to factor in collateral value projections, at least into the default projections (or perhaps it is alreay embedded in there).

  172. njpatient says:

    46 omino
    You’re in the exact category of people who get the most sympathy around here, and you (and many of us with various levels of down-payment lying around) are the folks that would be most unfairly affected by a bailout.
    Now, at this point, I’m more convinced than ever that there is no variety of bailout that can be contrived that would actually serve to prop up housing prices. It’s the “make-whole” payments for debtors and/or creditors that will come out of the wallets of the small number of innocents such as yourself that gall me.

    I’d like to go to Vegas insured by the US gov’t (as backed by the Chinese), but haven’t been able to arrange it yet.

    At this point, it’s an issue of your grandkids being taxed to pay for billions being spent now. Not new.

  173. kettle1 says:

    169 looking

    OT,

    but what do you think of the experimental protocols of cooling someone in extreme medical emergencies? National guidelines distributed in November 06 urged hospitals to start cooling some heart attack patients for 24 hours to try to prevent brain damage. They have also extended this to chilling the person and replacing their blood with ice cold saline while they fix critical damage such as a gunshot wound, then pumping the blood back in and reheating the patient. I read in nature about a patient that this was tried on and was successful.

  174. d2b says:

    I’m not sure if we a cutting back on spending or just consuming less as a family as part of a cycle. My wife and I are eating more at home and packing lunches because we are tired of eating out. We are buying less clothes because we don’t need anything right now. I feel that maybe we over-consumed in the past and I sick of too much crap.

    It appears that we have lees money to spend because we have a few forced savings vehicles that deduct money from my paycheck. If that’s causing us to spend less it’s probably a good thing.

    However, at the next GTG take up a collection for the guy without the remote control. Not sure that I could be that frugal.

  175. Shore Guy says:

    # 176 “However, at the next GTG take up a collection for the guy without the remote control. Not sure that I could be that frugal. ”

    Maybe we can buy him a long stick.

  176. grim says:

    I’ll probably be cutting my gym membership too.

    Now that I’m married, I don’t need to look good on a beach.

    I get enough cardio chasing the dog around the block.

  177. grim says:

    re: dangerous cell phones

    What is the transmit power of a handheld phone anyway? 0.5-1w at 800-900mHz?

    Why not just use a wired hands-free? Or a Bluetooth headset (higher freq, lower power)

    Just make sure you clip your phone as far away from the boys as possible..

  178. njrebear says:

    BC Bob/others,
    About Europac…

    Is this like a brokerage place like etrade/scottrade?

    Thanks

  179. Mike NJ says:

    Grim and Kettle,

    Thanks for the advice on the fluoride. I will look into it and talk with my kid’s doc about it.

    As for cutting back, we started doing this when we started a house saving plan and have changed it into a way of living. VOIP at $20 a month, very little going out to eat (3 kids will do that to you!) one car instead of two, cheaper vacations that we drive to, etc. Get rid of HBO and any premiums, you can get all those shows via bittorent anyway. Come to think of it, you can get everything via bittorent! One day we may even be able to download a new granite countertop via these wonderful series of tubes that I call the internet ;)

  180. BC Bob says:

    “The price of basic staples-wheat, corn, rice-are at record highs, up 50 percent or more in the last six months. Global food stocks are at historic lows. The causes range from rising demand in major economies like India and China to climate and weather-related events such as hurricanes, floods and droughts that have devastated harvests in many parts of the world. High oil prices have increased the cost of transporting food and purchasing fertilizer. Some experts say the rise of biofuels has reduced the amount of food available for humans.”

    “The effects are widely seen. Food riots have erupted in countries from West Africa to South Asia. Communities living in countries where food has to be imported to feed hungry populations are rising up to protest the high cost of living. Fragile democracies are feeling the pressure of food insecurity. Many governments have issued export bans and price controls on food, distorting markets and presenting challenges to commerce.”

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/03/16/dealing-with-new-face-global-hunger.html

  181. RentininNJ says:

    I dont think some of you are seeing my point, which is that a home purchase is now very very expensive to finance if you dont have 20% down, due to the unavailability of piggy back mortgages.

    Omino,

    I do understand. I have friends that just went to get pre qualified for a mortgage. They have excellent credit and 10% down. They were quoted a rate of 6.4% for 90% down and 5.8% if they put 20% down. That’s a big diff in purchasing power.

    On the bright side, everyone is going through the same thing. This will accelerate the drop in prices.

  182. John says:

    If you are 2 or 3 years out of school YOU SHOULD NOT BUY A HOUSE! Houses will fall for another few years, you should rent. Up to around 8 years ago no one under 30 ever bought a house. Who in their right mind in 1992 to 1999 young and newly married would want to buy an expensive money pit. All the people my parents age rented for 5-10 years while they scrapped together enough to buy a house and they usually put down a way more than 20%. I am not being a d*ck, a house is not an investment it is a luxery item. Plus I know how to save. You don’t, I switched jobs in 2001 and took a pay cut. On 69K a year I paid a mortgage, had a stay at home wife and two kids and still saved. I laugh at people with a cell phone, cable, internet connection and a car who CLAIM they are saving. I walked in the freezing cold to the train and skipped all of the above. I still paid cash for everything and was saving money each month. Actually only last year did I stopped buy used tires. 80K is nothing, I see recent imigrants working in dunkin donuts at min wage with 100K to put down. The secret is don’t spend a cent. To this day I save 50% of my net income each month. If you want a place buy the cheapest one bedroom coop you can find and save save save.

    Funny thing about the kids 2-3 years out of school they all want a raise yet they walk around with four dollar starbucks cause it is beneath them to drink the free cofee at work.

    BC Bob Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 11:29 am
    “20% is just $80K.”

    John [123],

    Stop being a d*ck.

    Many posters are just starting out, first jobs. Did you have 80K to put down for your first house/condo/apt? If yes, 2-3 years out of school?

  183. Clotpoll says:

    Found an answer to the credit scoring question as to the difference among deed-in-lieu, short sale and foreclosure. Posted at end of the “Short Sale” thread…

  184. Nom Deplume says:

    still-looking,

    FMT is the ticker symbol for Fremont.

    pca is “prompt corrective action” which is a series of austerity steps FDIC can force you to take.

    FDIC is, well, the FDIC

    HNWI – High Net Worth Individual

    BNE – Bank of New England

    FIRREA – Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act

    Hope this helps.

  185. John says:

    http://www.freecycle.org/

    Now if you want to really save join freecycle, everything is free, clothes, boats, cars etc. You are not saving money if you are spending money, even if it is half off.

  186. Clotpoll says:

    Gator (35)-

    Is there another photo with a chalk outline on the floor?

  187. Nom Deplume says:

    BC Bob,

    Much of this is the result of the ethanol hype (worst scam perpetrated on the world in recent memory).

    Curious aside: a couple of years ago, WSJ reported investors starting to snap up midwestern farmland. It caught my attention but I thought nothing of it until everyone and their cousin started planting corn for ethanol. Think they knew something the rest of us didn’t?

  188. make money says:

    John #185

    Great Point. You’re not financially conservative if you are looking for a second mortgage. House is a luxury and in NJ it’s a luxury to pay property taxes.

    I see Albanians who work cleaning and doorman, coming here with 20K in debt and putting away 100K in 5 or six years for a DP.

    I asked one why does he work the second job at Donkin Donuts when pay is not great and he said” It keeps me away from spending. I get to eat for free and save on food”

    Thats working to save. I love it.

  189. BC Bob says:

    Kettle,

    Can we start cooling Hank, 24 hours before he starts to yap or is it too late to prevent brain damage?

    “Stimulus plan to create up to 600,000 jobs: Paulson”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSWAT00920220080328

  190. BC Bob says:

    Nom [190],

    Yes, and of course our dollar.

    Farmland was a great play a couple of years ago. The next best thing is to own the crop.

  191. Secondary Market says:

    Omni- I feel your pain. All around me friends and clients my age have received large amounts of gift money to buy homes or have lavish weddings or other newlywed type expenses. My wife and I paid for our own wedding (made nothing) I know, I know, that is not the “point” of a wedding but the fact is we literally started our life together at ground negative 0. Although we are not even close to having the conventional dp needed for a home we can stay and grow into, we have resigned to the fact it will need to be done the old fashion way: “we eeeeeeeeeearned it”.

  192. bi says:

    a lot of talk on savings here today. it surely makes sense. but more importantly, watch out your career and investments. former bear stearns chairman and long-time ceo ace greenberg used to ask employees save paper clips in his published memo. i guess cayne’s loss in last 6 months could buy up all paper clips for all offices in the world for at least a year.

  193. kettle1 says:

    Nom, 190,

    Do a search on this website for ethanol and you will see a post i put together this past monday i believe. The summary is that 100% of our corn crop would replace about 15% of the energy currently supplied by oil in a best case scenario

    Watch the food supply of net food importers. As BC bobs article before pointed we will soon see massive amounts of hunger in these countries as food crops are now being used for energy. Once again best case estimate show that there is not enough food for both keeping people fed and for bio-fuels. Biofuels can work on a small scale and in some cases link brazil, but not on a large scale.

  194. TJ says:

    John,

    I laugh at people with a cell phone, cable, internet connection and a car who CLAIM they are saving.

    Your statement might be applicable to some, but definately not all.

    I save. And I sure don’t buy used tires. I have one SUV on a lease, one car purchased outright and have all the the things mentioned above and I am a smidge under 30.

    You can buy a house 2-3 years out of college, IF you don’t live in NJ. I lived all over the country and know plenty of people in their early 20’s who own homes, it is not a luxury to them. Owning a home is a luxury if you live in a luxury town or the city.

    Like I said, I bought 7 years out of school and saved 100K.

    I say we start a list of things you shouldn’t buy used:

    1) Tires
    2) Toothbrushes
    3) Mattress

  195. BC Bob says:

    OOPS, Sorry. We really thought we had a deal.

    OK, M&A is dead, PE is dead, underwriting is dead, housing is dead, securitization is dead, the consumer is dead.

    Is anybody alive out there?

    “Clear Channel says buyout may not close”

    “In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Clear Channel said it has agreed with Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital Partners LLC that all closing conditions had been satisfied.”

    “But the private equity firms said they couldn’t close the deal on time — originally expected by March 31 — due to the failure of banks to provide the required financing.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN2634354520080328

  196. BC Bob says:

    I say we start a list of things you shouldn’t buy used:

    1) Tires
    2) Toothbrushes
    3) Mattress

    TJ,

    4) A wife.

  197. Rob says:

    Thanks for the links pretorius. I am really interested in Westchester NY. Which NJ towns do folks think would be most comparable for the purpose of finding representative ante-bubble pricing estimates?

  198. BC Bob says:

    kettle [196],

    Buy the crop before it is planted.

  199. NNJJEFF says:

    In terms of diversifying to non-US assets, would ADR of euro based companies be a good place to start?

    -signed long time lurker and finanical illiterate

  200. Secondary Market says:

    #199: 5. Underwear

  201. Clotpoll says:

    grim (52)-

    “Nostradamus, Zell, and the Hunt Brothers…”

    Wow. My three biggest heroes (actually four), all in one sentence!

  202. gary says:

    A question for those investing in gold: Are you purchasing gold to hold for a long period of time, say, 10 plus years or are you looking to take the gains from this current bull run and then dump it?

  203. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob,

    My bet for the next “big thing commodity wise is…. WATER!

    if you look at fresh water supply/demand numbers around the world, they do not match up. most large population centers are using up their clean aquifers faster then they can be replenished and on top of that you have climate shifts to drier weather in places like the south east and south west US etc.

    Fresh water will be a commodity like corn or wheat within 5 – 10 years.

  204. Clotpoll says:

    ohh nooo (46)-

    Why, as a first-time buyer, do you need a jumbo mortgage? Did you just win the lottery?

  205. House Hunter says:

    d2d
    thanks, I am thinking of the stock plans. Some of the plans have adjusing plans that get more conservative as you get closer to the first year of college. Other saving vehicles are not paying too much, worth looking into

  206. Shore Guy says:

    # 204

    Ahh, the Hunt Brothers. They showed the world the fastest way to get a million is to start off with a billion.

  207. kettle1 says:

    Gary 205,

    50/50

    but remember i am a financial moron…

  208. Clotpoll says:

    kl (57)-

    “Get rich or die trying.”

    50 Cent.

    “In other words them’s that got it are keeping it and you ain’t getting it, no how no way.”

  209. kettle1 says:

    Clott,

    i have noticed that the process of gaining real wealth may not be exclusive of reasonable ethics, but the two often part company. In general ones success at gaining wealth seems to be somewhat inversely correlated with ethical behavior; assuming you did not start out in a wealthy family.

  210. Willow says:

    #181

    Mike,

    Talk to your dentist about the fluoride. Our dentist does not recommend fluoride supplements and says that only topical is needed. My son had fluoride in his vitamins as an infant and young child and now has fluoridosis – white spots on his permanent teeth.

    If they are using fluoride toothpaste, that is probably enough.

    FYI – alot of people use reverse osmosis systems specifically because they eliminate the fluoride that is added to drinking water.

  211. kettle1 says:

    excess fluoride can cause developmental issues

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation

    take with a pound of salt, but this link talks about some of the issues

  212. kettle1 says:

    the kettle family decided against fluoride supplement for baby kettle

  213. BC Bob says:

    kettle [206],

    I agree. I am trying to decide which are the best stocks/etf’s in that group.

  214. BC Bob says:

    Gary [205],

    Both.

  215. Stu says:

    BC Bob,

    Invest in the pipe builders!

  216. Hehehe says:

    cgw

  217. kettle1 says:

    I have dabbled in PHO

  218. TJ says:

    Kettle1,

    In general ones success at gaining wealth seems to be somewhat inversely correlated with ethical behavior

    In general, or in a specific industry. Because I find contractors and the sort to be a whole lot less ethical than my peers and bosses who make much more.

    Or is this scalar? The higher the salary the greater the amount of capital influenced by unethical behavior. Which would make sense seeing how your average plumber doesn’t have access to millions of dollars.

    But I don’t believe that those who make more money are prone to be less ethical. I actually think the opposite. Those with better education and jobs have played by the rules for the most part, ethics included.

  219. kettle1 says:

    TJ,

    I suppose i was referring more to a scalar model. But i was also referring in a general sense to a hypothetical individual moving up from an “average” income to being truly wealthy. Such an upward move seems to be significantly easier the less ethical you are about it. Just a general observation from my personal experience. My experience may not apply to the real world, but looking at our government and our financial markets leads me to believe that ti is.

  220. Stu says:

    Kettle, Hehe, BC:

    Why don’t ya just invest in real estate. Probably anything you buy within the next year or so will be under ‘water’ before you realize it. Then you can sell the water for great gains!

  221. BC Bob says:

    Stu [218],

    Looking at that also.

    hehe,

    Go Musketeers!

  222. BC Bob says:

    Stu [223],

    LMAO.

  223. John says:

    Usede tire makes perfect sense on a leased car that is going back or a junk station car. Or a car you are selling. The last car I sold I replaced the bad tire with a used one the week before I sold it. It also makes sense on high end cars where tires run $250. If one tire has 20K miles you can’t throw a new one on as it will be mismatched. They have to be replaced in pairs.To replace both at dealer with tax would be $550. A used tire place can put on one for $40 cash with 20k miles to match the other. I see lots of high end cars at the used tire place. But a basic toyota used every day where tires are cheap it makes no sense to buy used.

  224. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (149)-

    Thanks. You just explained my teenager to me.

    She’s obviously cooked her f*&^ng brain.

  225. John says:

    ISE has a Water ETF

  226. Clotpoll says:

    House (150)-

    I thought about going that route and decided against it several years ago. Way too many hidden/unintended consequences for my taste.

    I set up straight brokerage accounts for both my kids, with me as custodian. They have to monitor the accounts, help with picks and justify their picks to me before we buy. When they turn 18, the loot is theirs…for better or worse.

    So far, so good. At the least, I’ve got two kids with a big jump on understanding the markets. Both of them have at least one stock-picking contest a year at their schools, and they win them every time.

    No disclaimers. I have now firmly established that God speaks through me.

  227. Hehehe says:

    Thanks BC,

    They can beat UCLA as long as it doesn’t come down to coaching. That Miller is a great recruiter and good game prep coach but sucks making adjustments during games.

  228. kettle1 says:

    BC Bob,

    Are you also keeping an eye on Zimbabwe? Apparently the mining industry in Zimbabwe is poised to significantly ramp up production the minute Mugabe leaves, and recent news is that even if he is re-elected his own party is going to force him out as big global money is waiting for him to leave before they jump on the mining industry there

  229. skep-tic says:

    John– just curious– what year was it that you supported a family and saved money on $69k?

  230. kettle1 says:

    # Clotpoll Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    No disclaimers. I have now firmly established that God speaks through me.

    Dad?

  231. Clotpoll says:

    sl (169)-

    “For bleeding related emergencies: never remove the impaling object EVER.”

    Thanks, sl. It’s info like this that keeps me coming back here.

  232. RentininNJ says:

    10 resumes a day, no takers

    Mortgage underwriter Joshua Hager saw the writing on the wall and started looking for a new job in November. Now out of work, he’s trying to get his foot back in the door of a financial firm.

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A week ago, Joshua Hager was despondent. Laid off by a mortgage company, he has looked for jobs ranging from bank teller to risk analyst. He was sending out as many as 10 resumes a day but was getting barely a nibble from employers or recruiters.

    This week, things are are looking up. Hager, a Jersey City, N.J., resident, went on one interview for a fraud investigator job at a mortgage insurance company and another for a position underwriting employee dishonesty insurance. Executives at the latter told him they’d make a decision within 10 days.

    He doesn’t know what next week will bring.

    Hager has joined nearly 125,000 others on Wall Street and at mortgage firms and other financial companies who received pink slips since the start of 2007. It seems that nearly every week another financial firm lets go of thousands of workers at all levels. With the market flooded, it’s hard for the unemployed to land a job, experts said.

    Every time he turns on the television, Hager worries that he’ll hear of morelayoffs. He shuddered when he learned that JPMorgan Chase would acquire Bear Stearns, which employs 14,000 staffers.

    “How many people will be swamping the job market?” he said. “Everybody in finance will be looking for a job.”

    Not too long ago, it was easy to land work in real estate or finance.

    For instance, during the mortgage frenzy’s height, when stated-income loans became all the rage, one applicant he reviewed said that he was a school engineer making $5,000 a month. A quick call revealed he was actually the janitor making about $1,600. Hager said hedid not approve the application, the same decision he made on about half those that crossed his desk.

    Last February, Hager transferred to a Countrywide office in New Jersey to be closer to New York City and to relatives. He moved in with a friend, who owned an apartment in downtown Jersey City, a suburb of the Big Apple.

    By the fall, it was clear to Hager that his job was in trouble. Lehman had shuttered its subprime mortgage unit and he figured that his division, which handled so-called Alt-A loans that required little or no income documentation, was next.

    As someone who always plans his next step, Hager didn’t want to wait until he was laid off to start looking for another job. So he began sending out resumes in November, staying clear of the mortgage and real estate industries. Instead, he focused on insurance underwriting positions.

    After applying for more than 100 jobs and getting only two interviews, he realized he had to broaden his search. By that time, he was out of a job, one of 1,300 people at Aurora that were let go in late February. Starting to get more desperate, he branched out to consumer credit analysis at companies such as American Express or Mastercard.

    With the job fairs, networking events and resume blasts yielding little, Hager found he had to set his sights lower and lower. In mid-March, he began exploring bank teller postings.

  233. Sean says:

    There’s a new Sherrif in Philly town and it ain’t Reggie Hammond.

    Perhaps sheriff Robin Hood?

    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20080328_Subprime_crisis_spurs_sheriff_to_postpone_foreclosure_sales.html

  234. Clotpoll says:

    Nom (190)-

    “Think they knew something the rest of us didn’t?”

    Nope. They just knew an election was coming up. One where the first big contest was going to be in Iowa.

    McCain was on the record for years as calling ethanol a monumental boondoggle…until, that is, he decided to run for prez again. Look at his most recent statements.

  235. John says:

    2001 I did it.

    skep-tic Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 2:18 pm
    John– just curious– what year was it that you supported a family and saved money on $69k?

  236. skep-tic says:

    #238

    Impressive

  237. TJ says:

    Kettle1,

    I would say in some of the financial markets, yes. I bust my butt at work and buddies of mine who work for certain financial firms in the city make 2-5 times more, work just as hard; so I can not see how what they are doing is ethical. It may be (I really don’t ask), but I know that doing lbs. of blow and drinking profusely on the weekends is an escape from something.

    I also find it funny how unethical a government employee will be for a 100K a year job.

  238. TJ says:

    John Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 2:29 pm
    2001 I did it.

    If no one from the IRS where on this board, would you revise that number upward:)

    So I am going to take a crack out how you saved.
    69K, pre-tax. With 2 dependants a stay at home wife, and mortgate (150K my estimate) you were taking home 62K (5200/month).
    Taking into account your frugality lets Subtract:
    1000 mortgage and taxes
    500 food
    50 phone
    50 basic cable
    15 dial-up internet
    250 Utilities
    100 Entertainment/Hobbies
    100 House Maintenance
    25 Used Tires
    150 Car Insurance
    200 2 used cars and maintence over their life
    150 Medical Expenses
    200 Childern clothes and school stuff
    = ~$3500.00

    You still have 1700.00 more a month to go.

  239. thatBIGwindow says:

    We save so much money by not having car payments. You end up saving on insurance costs as well. Another is we do not have Cable or Internet or land line at our house. People look at us oddly, but we get along fine without it.

    Finally, we budget $100 for groceries a week (use tons of coupons) and $40 per car per week.

    This allows to put money in savings, money towards the principal of our mortage, and money towards house repairs/upgrades.

  240. Ed Sanders says:

    A couple of things:

    As TJ and Rich noted, something is up w/ omino, “fiscally conservative/longing for a piggy back” don’t add up. Also, if you have been saving for a DP and prices are dropping (which they are, see the comp killer/low ball posts) the trip to 20% shouldn’t be all that long.

    Chifi,

    I know it seems odd, but my kids don’t talk all that much on the phone, they text (text is a verb, who knew?). It’s weird, my soon-to-be 14-yo almost never talks on the phone.

  241. Mike NJ says:

    TJ,

    There was no internet when John was saving up. Imagine those days huh!

    John was client #8, that is where the $1715 went

  242. x-underwriter says:

    RentininNJ Says:
    Mortgage underwriter Joshua Hager saw the writing on the wall and started looking for a new job in November.

    That was me in 2005 but I saw this coming then and got out…knock on wood I’m sorta safe in I.T. now

  243. Pat says:

    1000 mortgage and taxes? Where’s that at?
    Delaware?

  244. skep-tic says:

    still very impressed by John’s frugality, but I think you might have to revise that figure up to $100k to have a similar outcome today. housing prices (both to own and rent) have gone up a lot since then, as have food and energy. also, people are coming out of school now with lots more debt

  245. Sean says:

    JOhn, Did you raid the 401k?

  246. thatBIGwindow says:

    Because of texting….
    1. Kids are using abbreviations in their school reports. How will this effect them when they enter the workforce?
    2. Easier to text than to talk face to face. How will this effect them when they enter the work force?

  247. Secondary Market says:

    #245. Me too (but in November) and I beat the rush down the turnpike and happily landed in Philly. I feel like I was one of the few that got off the beach before the Tsunami.

  248. John says:

    OK here was my monthly budget back in 2001 then.

    $1600 mortgage and taxes
    $300 food
    $30 phone
    No cable
    No internet
    $250 Utilities
    No Entertainment/Hobbies
    $75 bday gifts etc for nephews/nieces
    $100 House Maintenance
    $50 Car Insurance
    $20 cars maintence
    $10 Medical Expenses
    $30 Children clothes and school stuff
    $21 meals outside the house, a few $7 dollar pizza coupons
    I had one car insured for $550 basic and since my second car was a 1975 believe it or not rust and all I registered it as a historical car with historical insurance and annual insurance and registration was $50 a year. For kids b-days I told family to skip buying toys and get them clothes.

  249. Stu says:

    Here’s another good way to save. Every time you get a raise, simply increase the direct deposit amount into your investment account.

    You’ll never know the difference.

    Take your tax refund and deposit it into your child’s 529.

    And use those coupons and awesome credit card rebate offers.

  250. TJ says:

    thatBIGwindow Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 2:58 pm
    Because of texting….

    As always, communication and language is always evolving.

    This same argument was made for the telephone, television, computer, IM, texting, etc.

    I remember when computer spell checking was an issue and that no one would know how to spell. It turns out spell checking helps people spell and with the advent of preditive text on mobile phones, maybe that will.

    BIGWindow, that is the argument for the ages with each new communication medium that is developed.

  251. TJ says:

    Now blogs are the real downfall to grammar.

    “communication and language IS always evolving”

  252. Stu says:

    I didn’t have a family and all, but the best my Montclair State College degree could get me back in 93 was an $18,000 salary in New York.

    Sure I had no family to support, but I did have to buy food, clothes and shelter. I inhabited a basement in Clifton in a sort of frat house situation. I think I paid $250 rent. Most of us commuted into the city, so we would take turns buying our $80 NJtransit rail pass and would make duplicates for each other.

    And you know what? I still maxed out my IRA and still contributed to a taxable investment account.

    I did not have a car nor even a TV at the time. Quite frankly, I didn’t need either as all I did was work.

  253. Willow says:

    #249

    My dentist told me about a teenage girl who came in for teeth whitening. The girl was told she had to stay still while the stuff was in her mouth or the device could slip and her gums would be burned. The girl kept moving because she wouldn’t stop texting. Even though she was told repeatedly and her mother was right there, she just wouldn’t stop. She did wind up with a patch on her gum that was burned.

    I have been looking at adds for used cars on Craigslist and Ebay and they are illiterate. No capital letters, punctuation or complete sentences. I can’t even figure out what they’re trying to say but, then again, I don’t text.

  254. TJ says:

    For kids b-days I told family to skip buying toys and get them clothes.

    Did you contemplate becoming and athiest so you wouldn’t have to buy your kids Christmas presents?

  255. TJ says:

    Willow,

    Texing at the dentist office. WTF!:) Aren’t there signs posted about mobile devices. But go back 10 years and replace the phone with a game boy or 50 years with slinky (best guess at a 50 year old toy).

    IMHO, effective communication defines how successful you will be in life. If you are trying to sell something (especially a car), you want to use a communication method that teens to senior citizens can understand.

    I text, IM and e-mail during much of my work day. If I don’t short hand these conversations I would waste most of my day communicating. When delivering a presentation to an executive or client, I make sure it is clear, concise and well-written.

  256. bi says:

    252#, stu, any pitfalls on 529?

    > Take your tax refund and deposit it into your child’s 529.

  257. mark says:

    im calling 1888 995 hope

    i need help over here

  258. mark says:

    Tony Orlando is on the phones

  259. NJGator says:

    Can someone with GSMLS access please give me the address of MLS#2501055 in Montclair? Thanks!

  260. kettle1 says:

    Supermarket faces stampede after bread goes on sale at just $7 million a loaf

    HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The word is out: The Spar supermarket has bread at only $7 million a loaf. People rush to the shelf duly marked $7 million, but by the time they reach the till with their hyper-inflated Zimbabwean dollars, the price is up to $25 million.

    That equals just 62 American cents, more than a teacher makes in a week. “How can we afford to eat that?” a woman exclaims. Customers leave their loaves at the counter and walk out with their brick-sized bundles of bank notes, angry and disconsolate.

  261. gary says:

    So, let’s see… that 69K salary in 2001 would become 82K today with a ‘generous’ 3% raise per year. And that 215K starter home would of course become $402,000 today based on “normal” appreciation because let’s face it, we live in prestigous Northern NJ.

    In case you didn’t know, the population in Bergen County is growing by 10% per year and they’re not making any more land and real estate never goes down and it’s very competitive here. Just in case you forgot.

    So anyway, let’s break down the monthly numbers based on 82K base, shall we?

    5500 – Net Pay
    2700 – PITI w. 20% DP
    500 – Food
    100 – Phone
    65 – Cable
    35 – Internet
    250 – Utilities
    175 – Car Ins.
    250 – Commute/lunch

    Well, looky here, you have about $1425 left for the whole month and you haven’t even factored in a kid, or a car payment, or a Saturday night out, or the hot water heater blowing up, or a gallon of sh*t paint from Big Lots or clothing, or the other 436 things I can’t think of at the moment.

    Pretty, isn’t it? The whole real estate industry made out like f*cking thieves and the majority of people got hood-winked, swindled and pilfered on their behalf. This is the cost of a starter home living on the balls of your @ss.

  262. Sean says:

    Nothing gets my goat more than a cashier or retail store employee texting while they are helping me out.

    One time in a bar at an airport the bartender handed me her phone and asked me to read the text message back to her because she wasn’t allowed by management to text while working, I read the message and then was given a response to type back in.

  263. Pat says:

    Hey, Hey. Grammar patrol on deck, I see.

    I like putting the extraneous “at” at the end of my “Where” sentences.

    Please don’t take away my simple pleasures.

  264. chicagofinance says:

    make money Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 12:19 pm
    ChiFI, Tale a walk to your nearest public HS and if you find 6 teens without cellphones then I’ll buy you pizza at il picollos
    50% discount..wink wink.

    mm: 3 or 4 of them will have a glioblastoma in their 60’s….

  265. bi says:

    the equity market will get worse before getting better.

    here is what i said 2 days ago. we have more to come next week.

    > bi Says:
    March 26th, 2008 at 12:46 pm
    fasten your seat belt, the market starts to get ugly…

  266. grim says:

    167 Claremont

  267. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
    ChiFi, regarding environmental risks to kids…. Cellphones are just the tip of the iceberg my friend! If you new what even a fraction of the known effects are from chemicals you exposed to on a regular basis yopu would go live in an igloo. Start with 1. brominated flame retardants 2 BPA, Bisphenol-A 3. Pesticieds! ( most current ones are based off of WWII chemical weapons and there is very little testing required for human effects before they are allowed to be used..

    ket: my wife is all over this stuff….you have no idea….MY WORLD is liquified Worm-Poop for the lawn and Whole Foods enemas….

  268. Stu says:

    529 is really a good program.

    http://www.savingforcollege.com/intro_to_529s/

    There are so many things to consider when determining the best way to save for college that you should read a book on it or seek out a financial advisor.

    The prepaid tuition plans are actually the best bargains around, but your child has to want to attend a very limited group of colleges.

    As usual, NJ offers no real incentive to open a NK 529. I think they give like a $250 discount or something if your kid goes to a state school here. A real joke actually.

    My money is in a Nevada 529. Ultra low management fees and great investment options.

    The other thing you can do is tap your IRAs or 401k deposits without penalty. You just can’t hit the interest earned.

    A lot depends on how much dough you think you’ll be earning when your kids approach their college years. If your smart, you ship your kids off to live with grandma for the last 2 years of college and don’t claim them as your dependent. Then they’ll get financial aid out the whazoo. Of course, you also don’t get to enjoy your kids. This is why I plan to have my little guy covered fully, well before he’s 16.

  269. Stu says:

    I really should proof read my posts, but I’m real busy today at work.

    Last 2 years of college should have been high school and NK 529 = NJ 529.

  270. Stu says:

    Today, thanks to a revolutionary new process pioneered by TerraCycle Inc., all the benefits of solid worm poop are now available in convenient, ready-to-spray, liquefied form.

  271. Rich In NNJ says:

    Delete the insecure narcissist’s post at 268

  272. John says:

    Let me revise your numbers for 82K.
    5500 – Net Pay
    900 – Bronx Coop City One bedoom coop all maint included
    500 – Food
    40 – Phone
    0 – Cable
    0 – Internet
    500 – elect only
    0 – Car Ins.
    250 – Commute/lunch

    Now you can save 3k a month.

  273. short sale says:

    Kettle/Mike:
    I could not find your post about your tip on the reverse osmosis filter. I am looking for one and is not sure which one to buy. could you post that again?
    thanks

  274. chicagofinance says:

    Regarding 529’s….if you draw income from a New York state source (i.e. file a NYS return), then use one of the two NYS plans…period.

    PA residents receive a tax benefit. PA & NJ should use the best plan they can find. Neither of these is any PA or NJ plan.

  275. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (276)-

    That’s Trenton’s own TerraCycle.

    The founder dropped out of Princeton to start the company.

  276. Mike NJ says:

    Kettle recommended the GE model. I purchased exactly the same price and function Whirlpool model at Lowes. The online price was actually $20 HIGHER than the in store price.

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=129808-43353-WHER25&lpage=none

    All I had to do was make a small change in my kitchen sink drain piping and everything else was super simple. Coffee tastes better to boot!

  277. Willow says:

    Re: Texting, etc.

    This is what I’m talking about:

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/car/619300614.html

    “whats up i got a 95 civic coupe dx primer
    jdm sohc vtec turbo runing 13 pounds of boost
    550 injectors with the resistor box for more fuel 255 walboro fuel pump stage 4 clutch net clutch lighten flywheel full msd system greddy type s blow off valve dsm turbo custom intercooler piping 3inch down pipe straight pipe the car also has jdm headlights with city bulbs jdm corners 00 si side skirts ex cluster chiiped computer with crome also has plug for labtop…..the car doent come with the swirlies but does come with polished hammers the interior is clean 8 out of 10 needs a vac the body is a 9 out of 10 ready for paint stock suspention also i have aside the full power window set up with door panels thats all i can really think of might be more

    im open for trades and price is neg give me a call 8627555144 if not email me”

  278. Mike NJ says:

    short sale,

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=129808-43353-WHER25&lpage=none

    It was cheaper in the store by about $20 for me.

    Works great and easy to install.

  279. Clotpoll says:

    bi (268)-

    You should buy a Ouija board, tarot cards and a crystal ball, then set up shop in some tenement.

    I’m sure you’d be a hit with crazy old ladies and college kids.

  280. chicagofinance says:

    Stu Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 3:56 pm
    My money is in a Nevada 529. Ultra low management fees and great investment options.

    ???
    when you index, you get what you pay for……
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=BSC

    note: TOP MUTUAL FUND HOLDERS

  281. 3b says:

    #278 John: Those Co-op City aparmtents were nice, very spacious. My older brother lived in one back in the mid 80’s Section 5 in Coop-city I believe.

  282. bi says:

    who is insecure?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=%5EIXIC&t=5d

    > Rich In NNJ Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:01 pm
    Delete the insecure narcissist’s post at 268

  283. Clotpoll says:

    OT…here’s something to send everybody running for the closest vomitorium:

    “The New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported Thursday that owner James Dolan’s preference is to keep Thomas on the sidelines, even after he hires a successor to Thomas to run the organization.

    “There isn’t a basketball executive alive who would keep Isiah as head coach, but Jim is telling whoever he interviews, ‘I would prefer to keep Isiah but you do what you have to do,'” the source close to Dolan told the Daily News. “If Isiah isn’t the coach, Jim still wants him to stay in the organization in some capacity.”

  284. Clotpoll says:

    (288)-

    I’ve got it…bi is Isiah Thomas!

  285. bi says:

    286, acctually, it does not matter that much. take State street for example, its loss in bsc took down its performace by only 0.03% (their total asset is about $1T)

    STATE STREET CORPORATION 3,550,715 3.01 $313,350,598 31-Dec-07

  286. lisoosh says:

    My food expense is way over $4/500 a month and that is with hubby and kids taking packed lunches, never eating out and sale shopping. And I go to Shop Rite and Stop and Shop, not Whole Foods.

    Probably closer to $800.

  287. Clotpoll says:

    Bill Bradley
    Willis Reed
    Dave deBusschere (spinning in grave)
    Dick Barnett
    Earl Monroe
    Walt Frazier
    Bernard King
    Patrick Ewing

    These guys can’t be happy. If I were one of them, I’d be forming a posse.

    BTW, none of the NCAA games have been 1/10 as exciting as the two Lakers/Warriors games last week.

  288. kettle1 says:

    Mike NJ

    if you havent already, buy the $20 shower filter at lowes (i think its a GE also), its a carbon filter (like a brita but for the shower). Your skin will e much happier without all the chlorine. Its a cheap filter that works well.

  289. House Hunter says:

    thanks Clot, great idea having the kids involved..my pee wee has project this year as well. When we were in NY a few weeks ago we took him to the fast money set…he really doesn’t have much interest at this point, but hey it’s more than I got at his age. Hope it sticks. Just one question…what are the tax issues and how much can then have/make a year without issues?

  290. Jaw says:

    Did any one catch this piece about Freddie Mac saying housing prices may not rebound until at least 2010. Links to some nice graphs and charts also. I apologize if it’s a repeat.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/31828.html

  291. House Hunter says:

    lisoosh, take another look at whole foods, not everything is out of wack there. We find extremely good buys on many things like frozed chicken, even turkey, rices and their 365 brand is economical as well

  292. chicagofinance says:

    Morningstar is due for a new list, but from 2007

    The Best
    Best 529 College Savings Plans
    Colorado Scholars Choice* Legg Mason
    Maryland College Inv Plan T. Rowe Price
    Nebraska College Savings Union Bank & Trust
    Utah Educational Savings Utah (Vanguard)
    Virginia CollegeAmerica* Virginia (American Funds)
    * Broker Sold

    The Worst
    Worst 529 College Savings Plans
    Alabama Higher Education 529 Van Kampen
    Alaska John Hancock Freedom 529 John Hancock
    Missouri MOST 529 Advisor Upromise
    Nebraska AIM College Saving AIM
    West Virginia Cornerstone SMART529 Hartford
    West Virginia Leaders SMART529 Hartford

    Note: in most states, there is is usually more than one plan

  293. chicagofinance says:

    unmod 299

  294. ADA says:

    CF,

    I also have the Nevada 529 for my 2 year old, courtesy his grandpa. But I draw income from a New York state source. Does the NYS 529 offer a deduction which makes switching worth it?

    thanks,

  295. lisoosh says:

    Take that back, around $550 a month to feed 4. Husband spends around $350 a month on gas though, I spend around $100. Not good.

  296. chicagofinance says:

    House Hunter Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:30 pm
    lisoosh, take another look at whole foods, not everything is out of wack there. We find extremely good buys on many things like frozed chicken, even turkey, rices and their 365 brand is economical as well

    hh: we economize by shopping for groceries at a combination of Whole Foods, local independent organic food store, Target and regular supermarket. If you know how to shop at Whole Foods, it can be very economical. Conventional meat but suiting their standards can really shave a lot of money off the bill.

  297. Essex says:

    Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
    Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

  298. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (296)-

    Your kids make money, they pay taxes. Every year. I make the kids sit with me and walk thru their tax returns, too (I have a 14 and 10 y/o).

    As long as I go fast and stick to the big picture, their eyes don’t glaze over.

    However, having a 10 y/o who’s conscious of capital gains is a little freaky.

  299. chicagofinance says:

    ADA Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    CF, I also have the Nevada 529 for my 2 year old, courtesy his grandpa. But I draw income from a New York state source. Does the NYS 529 offer a deduction which makes switching worth it? thanks,

    Yes, ($5,000 a year or $10,000 for a couple) x (your marginal tax rate). Maximum possible is $10,000 x 6.85%/ = $685.

    There is direct-Vanguard and broker-sold Columbia.

  300. Jaw says:

    Wow I feel stupid the very first post is about the article I posted. Please ignore/delete 297.

  301. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (296)-

    Come to think of it, I don’t have much interest in Fast Money, either.

    That Karen lady picks stocks like my grandma.

  302. gary says:

    Clotpoll,

    Isiah has pictures of Dolan w. a gag ball in his mouth and a couple of chicken hawks ala Pulp Fiction style.

  303. Clotpoll says:

    The options guy on that show looks like a bookie, too.

    Never trust a guy with a pony tail.

  304. House Hunter says:

    280 chicago..I live and work in Jersey…reviewing the plans last night made my head spin..I save a bunch of links to go back to. the direct sold plans look the best..PA has a link to upromise. I am no looking to lock into a school/state. so far going back to look at NJ PA NY MI Nebraska and Virginia. Feedback has been good on this site. I am leaning towards doing possibly two different accounts. I like Clot’s idea of having him involved, just keep that fund low based on limits for under age accts

  305. chicagofinance says:

    ADA: to be clear….the owner of the plan (i.e. you) must be the only funder of the plan. The administrators will only accept checks from accounts with an identical SS#…grandpa can give you the money (up to $12,000/$24,000 married) a year, and then you write the check off an account with your SS#.

  306. Clotpoll says:

    gary (308)-

    It’s gotta be something pretty bad.

    Of course, they also have a multi-million dollar civil suit loss in common, too.

  307. John says:

    If you really want to save get your kids and hubbie to become Freegans, will free up tons of money to save and to spoil yourself.

    http://freegan.info/

    lisoosh Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    Take that back, around $550 a month to feed 4. Husband spends around $350 a month on gas though, I spend around $100. Not good.

  308. Clotpoll says:

    John (313)-

    I wondered when you were going to bring up the dumpster diving.

  309. House Hunter says:

    274 Thanks so much Stu! I will review your suggestions

  310. ADA says:

    Thanks CF, for your time and advice.

    Grandpa started the plan and currently is the owner, however I’ve been funding it lately. I guess he’ll have to turn ownership over to me before I can switch over to get the NYS deduction.

    Do you like one NYS plan more than the other?

  311. BubbleYum says:

    gary Says:
    This is the cost of a starter home living on the balls of your @ss.

    Balls of your @ss?

  312. John says:

    Complmentary Al Fresco dining is more politically correct.

    Clotpoll Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:41 pm
    John (313)-

    I wondered when you were going to bring up the dumpster diving.

  313. Rich In NNJ says:

    Bi (288),

    You. You are. You are insecure.

    If you weren’t you wouldn’t have this need to post your predictions about stocks or the market at a site that is centered on NJ real estate.

    “Look, look at me. Look. See, see what I did?! See what I said?!! Look!”

    Your like a 5 year-old. Which, to me makes you narcissistic as well.

    Find a stock and/or politics blog and bugger off. Posting off topic once in awhile seems fine to me. But you, you are now dubbed the King of Non Sequiturs!

  314. chicagofinance says:

    If you DIY, look at the fees….pull up the prospectus and look at a chart. It makes it very clear.

    Fees:
    1. state takes some money for itself fee
    2. open the account/maintain the account fee
    3. underlying asset management fee
    4. portfolio option/age-based option aggregation fee

    As an example, Vanguard is offered through many different states, so you may as well find the state with the best combinations of its funds and lowest fees. Some states only offer Vanguard index funds, so screw those….honestly, I think you can get Fidelity’s plan (NH?), but I don’t remember the fees.

    NJ is Franklin-Templeton…forget it. It has maybe one or two good funds that I would use.

  315. gary says:

    BubbleYum [317],

    It’s an expression some old timers used in the bars in Jersey City. I grew up the son of a tavern owner. lol!

  316. chicagofinance says:

    ADA Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:44 pm
    Do you like one NYS plan more than the other?

    ADA: I use the Columbia plan, but it is broker sold. If you want to DIY, you need to use UPromise….
    http://nysaves.uii.upromise.com/

  317. House Hunter says:

    ADA take look at the rules on closing out one 529 and switching to another, there are fees in some cases. If you leave the one, I think you can open another one as I don’s see that they have too many limits on having separate one’s

  318. chicagofinance says:

    NYS fees is page 18 of the electronic document, but page 15 of the hardcopy.
    http://nysaves.uii.upromise.com/nytpl/literatureforms/getPDFForm.do?pdf=programDescription.pdf

  319. House Hunter says:

    320 Chicago..I saw many fidelity plans for various states. Good info on the index funds. I think one good 529 and another acct like Clot does may be a good plan, heck anything is better than the nothing I have done yet! thanks again

  320. make money says:

    John and everyone else that actually saves,

    Assuming your not 100% diversitfied into non-dollar denominated assets, Why are you not MAD, and FURIOUS, and marching to washington and demanding Bergabe, Hank, Bush and the rest of the inflationary bandits be hung for treason? You’re savings a being robbed and you can’t call the cops.

    MM

  321. Mike NJ says:

    Kettle,

    Thanks for the shower advice. I will work on it this weekend.

    As for 529s, I use the one at chifi’s link above. I think it is a very solid offering with minimal fees. NJ sucks as far as state sponsored 529s and they give you no state tax benefit so I kept everything in the NY plan after I moved. I have three accounts rocking for my three kids and so far so good. Although I am actually negative on my twin’s account since I only started it in January and the market has been brutal. Thankfully I have 18 years to go.

  322. chicagofinance says:

    529 overall note….IF you derive income from a NYS source…use one of those two plans…case closed…

  323. BubbleYum says:

    gary Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:50 pm
    BubbleYum [317],

    It’s an expression some old timers used in the bars in Jersey City. I grew up the son of a tavern owner. lol!
    ________________________________________________

    Okay–I’m not from around here, so I wondered if it was another “New Jerseyism” I needed to add to my dictionary!

  324. chicagofinance says:

    make money Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 4:54 pm
    John and everyone else that actually saves,
    Assuming your not 100% diversitfied into non-dollar denominated assets, Why are you not MAD, and FURIOUS, and marching to washington and demanding Bergabe, Hank, Bush and the rest of the inflationary bandits be hung for treason? You’re savings a being robbed and you can’t call the cops. MM

    MM: I consider myself savvy. Market dislocations create opportunities for me to increase my RELATIVE wealth……honestly, I understand trying to be strategic with investing, but for most people, you life, work and breath in USD, so you are messing with your livelihood when you cross currencies….if you know what you are doing, then more power to you.

  325. House Hunter says:

    clot, karen just bought JP Penney LOL

  326. House Hunter says:

    She also took a huge hit on croc’s

  327. SaveMore says:

    #278

    Continue revising…

    A couple just moved from Asia to Brooklyn:

    The husband made more than 82K
    5500 + Net Pay
    400 – Shared a house, all utilities included.
    300 – Food, no eat out
    0 – Phone (covered by the rent)
    0 – Cable (covered by the rent)
    0 – Internet (covered by the rent)
    0 – Car Ins.
    150 – Commute
    150 – Entertainment/Other costs
    2000 + wife works as waitress.

    Now they save 6+k a month. I am sure they will have the DP for a 700K house within 2 years.

  328. stu says:

    ChiFi: I wasn’t aware of the tax deductibility against NY State taxes for non-resident income earners from NY. That is a very powerful nugget of information. I must thank you for it. I’ll have to buy you another drink at the next GTG. Now about your indexing comment. How do you avoid indexing in a 529? I see you seem to like the age-based fund options. I am 100% aggressive growth at this point. My son is not even 3 yet ;) Also, can you open multiple 529s? I couldn’t find any documented restrictions and I doubt I would eligible for the state income tax deduction if I transferred my NV money over to the NY plan.

    Thanks for any and all advice. You be good people!

    “Contributions to a 529 college savings plan are
    not deductible for federal income tax purposes but up to $5,000 ($10,000 if
    filing jointly) of such contributions may be deducted on your New York State
    income tax returns if you are subject to income tax in New York State. New
    York State non-resident taxpayers should consult their tax advisors regarding
    whether to deduct contributions on their New York State tax returns or to
    forego the deductions in order to take, if available, an increased credit in
    their home state for taxes paid to New York State.”

  329. chicagofinance says:

    clot/HH: I hate to break the news to you, but I would bet that she outdistances the entire desk with Macke losing by a nose. I think she does a crap job of explaining herself, and she is not “good TV”, but she teaches the rest of the guys a lot (except Macke). You can see their reverence. They wouldn’t be that way for nothing. She has poor presence on the desk, so you know her competitive advantage is what you don’t see and hear on the show. She came with goods on LEH and FLS.

    Personally, I think the key issue in dispute is the K-Fine/Pretty Boy coupling-decoupling argument. It is a huge issue to consider at this juncture.

  330. chicagofinance says:

    stu Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 5:13 pm
    ChiFi: I wasn’t aware of the tax deductibility against NY State taxes for non-resident income earners from NY. That is a very powerful nugget of information.

    stu: if you transfer your NV plan to NYS and you never recieved a tax-deduction for those contributions, REMEMBER TO TAKE IT, even though it isn’t new money. If you have the leeway, then move the money across in stages to maximize the income tax savings. If you maxing out anyway, then forget it.

  331. chicagofinance says:

    stu Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 5:13 pm
    ChiFi: Now about your indexing comment. How do you avoid indexing in a 529? I see you seem to like the age-based fund options. I am 100% aggressive growth at this point. My son is not even 3 yet ;) Also, can you open multiple 529s?
    yes – you need a unique one for every kid anyway

    I couldn’t find any documented restrictions and I doubt I would eligible for the state income tax deduction if I transferred my NV money over to the NY plan. yes you would be as I above noted.

  332. chicagofinance says:

    NYS + DIY = indexing

  333. stu says:

    Chifi:

    Thank you mightily.

  334. ADA says:

    yeah CF,
    Thank you mightily.

  335. Al says:

    The husband made more than 82K
    5500 + Net Pay
    2000 + wife works as waitress.

    I obviously doing something wrong with my taxes…. Like paying them.

    Also
    400 – Shared a house, all utilities included.
    300 – Food, no eat out
    0 – Phone (covered by the rent)
    0 – Cable (covered by the rent)
    0 – Internet (covered by the rent)

    Can I get an address of this place??

    How about Health Insurance??

    Come on, when you post BS numbers, specify: I am talking about illegals who pay no taxes and live with somebody in the family, who take them in for what is basically free rent.

    So somebody is paying, just not them.

  336. Al says:

    Also – what stops me from starting 529 – it that it will be couinted agains my kids when it will be time for them to apply for scholarships/financial aid.

  337. movinBC says:

    I’ve been lurking here as us newlyweds prepare to move to Bergen County, which is where I grew up. First, thanks for all the info and sobering outlook on the market. This blog is hugely helpful.

    Just wanted to weigh in and say I feel Omino’s pain.

    We’re in the Bay Area now, which is actually more insane cost-of-living-wise than NNJ/BC. Houses are often older here, and can easily cost double NNJ prices… with crappy school systems and high gas prices… we’re over it. The run-down condo situation is our only option here.

    Renting is a nauseating idea for me – we want to be able to start a family, do what we want with the place, have some stability.

    So I understand that someone with a family would prefer to have a bit more control over the family living situation, and to own a home and protect more of your income from taxes.

    Our income is at ~$150k/yr combined, with only $20k or so saved for our starter home. No debt, tho, other than one small car payment that will end in about a year. We’re tightening the belt and saving up for the move East and for the DP, and it’s easier when you cut from monthly expenses (gym membership, cable, etc) and stop going out for dinner all the dang time. ;)

    Our budget is lower than Omino’s – I want to get below $415k financed (or even lower, hopefully) so we’re avoiding a jumbo… though we might get hit with mortgage insurance fees for a year or two with our skimpy DP.

    That price range should be able to get us a 3br/1.5ba+ that we can live in for 10+ yrs, though – good school system and everything. I love that about BC.

    Prices are only coming down, right? So the houses that we’re interested in that are going for mid-high 400s should definitely come down to our range soon. Might as well wait if you can, and save up in the meantime. Living frugally for the next year will pay off big later on.

    It’s important to balance want with need. Everything is a trade-off.

    Best of luck, Omino… wish us luck too…

  338. Clotpoll says:

    make (326)-

    Exactly. “Savings”, in this environment, is synonomous with “losing”.

  339. Clotpoll says:

    Hunter (331, 332)-

    That’s just ugly.

    CROX? Even my 10 y/o knew when to bail on that dog.

  340. House Hunter says:

    335 CF, I agree, jsut joking around…Macke is first with me on the team and she is no dummy, they just play in a way different field than me…thxs for the 529 thread

  341. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (335)-

    “clot/HH: I hate to break the news to you, but I would bet that she outdistances the entire desk with Macke losing by a nose.”

    Faint praise, indeed. Although I enjoy it when Macke gets down on a retailer. That seems to be the only sector he truly gets.

  342. Jaw says:

    Clot,

    What did you tell your kids about how to evaluate stocks?

  343. Frank says:

    How about we recall NJ governor??

    http://www.recallcorzinenow.com/

  344. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll Says:
    March 28th, 2008 at 5:49 pm
    Chi (335)- Faint praise, indeed. Although I enjoy it when Macke gets down on a retailer. That seems to be the only sector he truly gets.

    clot: go here…check out the video at the bottom…go to minute 2:50 “…glaucoma medication…” pure Macke…f’ing hilarious
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/23829193

  345. lisoosh says:

    John – I’ve heard about freegans. Can’t say it is really for me.

    Other than that I have to agree with you on the basics.

    We moved here as newlyweds from a country where $15k was a really good salary and living expenses are high. We had $10k to our name, half of which went on buying in to a business for my husband. He started working immediately for peanuts. It took me a while to get organized.

    We rented an apartment for $725 a month (the complex owner is from the same country as my husband so he trusted him on the credit as we had no credit history). After the deposit we had enough money for a TV and a bed and a few pots and pans. We had one old car, liability insurance only, no cell phones, no cable. As the money increased we did eat out a bit and travelled quite a lot.

    Within 3 years we had $60,000 in the bank. From scratch, no parental backup or other assistance. We did start house hunting but our credit history wasn’t extensive enough for a solid mortgage and by the time it was I was pregnant with our first and the housing bubble was beginning.

    As it is, we have managed on one sub 6 figures income for the past 6 years. We have money in the bank, own two relatively new cars outright and our kids both have gone to a private nursery school. So on the whole we are fine.

    Now the younger one is about to enter preschool. I’ll be starting to bring in a second income and our school related outgoings will go down so with our modest standard of living we will be able to pile up the cash again.

  346. lisoosh says:

    Make – I am P.O.’d. And actually I do have money in foreign accounts though I am sorry it is not more.

    I am planning on taking on some of that inflationary debt reasonably soon, so maybe there will be some balance eventually.

  347. Hobokenite says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601093&sid=ajnLhO1KBtms&refer=home

    In East Hampton, Long Island, among the most sought after summertime resorts for wealthy Manhattanites, prices dropped more than 10 percent in the first two months of this year to a median of $985,000 compared with $1.1 million last year, according to Suffolk Research Service Inc., a real estate data company.

  348. lostinny says:

    Wow. I thought we were frugal with many things but apparently, we aren’t frugal enough. Reading these stories inspires me. But I’m not sure we’ll any more then we already have. As a matter of fact, our dog is ailing and I can see having to hit the e-fund shortly.
    OK enough of the sad story. When is the next gtg?

  349. RentinginNJ says:

    JB (or anyone),

    Can you please give me an address, OLP & DOM on MLS# 2483985

    Thanks

  350. chicagofinance says:

    Holy F—

    WSJ
    UBS Cutting Value
    Of Auction-Rate Securities
    In Brokerage Accounts
    By EVELYN JUAN, JED HOROWITZ and ANDREW DOWELL
    March 28, 2008 3:40 p.m.

    TORONTO — In the first confirmation that problems in the auction-rate securities markets has eroded the principal holdings of individual investors, UBS AG is marking down the value of the securities in its brokerage customers’ accounts.

    Until now, customers who were unable to sell securities in regularly scheduled auctions were told that the securities retained full value and would receive higher interest rates.

    UBS, however, using an internal model to value the securities, will mark them down this afternoon and inform clients via their online statements shortly thereafter, people familiar with the matter said. The markdowns will range from a few percentage points to more than 20%, the people said.

    UBS confirmed that it will mark down the value of the securities. The losses won’t be realized immediately, as investors are currently unable to sell the securities for lack of a market. But the unilateral move is sure to roil relations between brokers and their clients, who generally believed they were buying investments that were about as safe as cash while offering a slightly higher yield.

    The markdowns reflect the estimated drop in value of the securities now that the market has seized up. UBS isn’t offering to buy the securities at the new prices, the people said.

  351. lisoosh says:

    lost – sorry about the dog. Those vet’s bills are a b***ch. The last year of my dogs life ended up costing us almost $2k. In increments just small enough that I didn’t draw the line.

  352. lisoosh says:

    Just to be clear how spoiled people here are. In the country we moved from cars are taxed to the extent that they cost 3-4 times what they would cost here. My 25k one is $80k there. As a result, younger people buy used cars and really make them last. Our first car there was an old 4 cylinder Ford Escort (European model) with only 3 cylinders working. It would heat up really badly when going up hills so we would have to turn off the engine and coast down the other side in order to let the wind cool it down again.

    No joke. And we were happy to have it because before that we borrowed an old VW bug that would slow down to 5 miles an hour going up hill. It would never stall, but living in a hilly town, wasn’t a very speedy form of transportation.

  353. lostinny says:

    lisoosh-
    Thanks about the dog. She’s a great girl, still has a lot of spunk. But she is having more and more health problems as she ages. The pet insurance I have has been sucking this year. If they don’t reimburse a healthy amount during this round of illness, I’ll be cancelling.
    As far as the cars go, I’ve heard prices in Europe can be ridiculous. And I have to say, those are some great car stories! I have some but I’m too lazy to type them. Maybe at the next gtg. :)

  354. Orion says:

    Re: Auction-Rate Securities

    On a recent flight this guy next to me from Rumson started telling me about the ton of money he was unable to access due to auction-rate securities failures. He also told me about a few acquaintances in similar situations. He said the only reason he had invested was he thought it was very safe.

    To be honest, I didn’t know wtf he was talking about, these auction-rate stuff.

    CF – Thanks for posting that article.

    In layman’s terms, how does this affect the market and/or economy?

  355. movinBC says:

    We’re also “spoiled” because our food supply is robust, our water is drinkable, our literacy rate is high, our health care system is one of the best… The US is not a Third World country (yet), and I think we can all appreciate that. Especially those of us who have visited or lived in a depressed country.

    But we also work our b*tts off to keep the US moving, most of us taking no handouts and paying our taxes. There’s no reason we shouldn’t keep hoping and working and striving for more.

  356. SaveMore says:

    #341
    I obviously doing something wrong with my taxes…. Like paying them.
    Al, they are legal immigrants and they paid the taxes.

    Can I get an address of this place??
    You can find those places in Brooklyn. Bronx and Jersey City.

    How about Health Insurance??
    Covered by the husband’s full time job.

    Come on, when you post BS numbers
    Not BS. This is real.

    I am talking about illegals who pay no taxes and live with somebody in the family, who take them in for what is basically free rent.

    So somebody is paying, just not them.

    You made too many assumptions. Legal immigrants like them pay more taxes than lots of citizens. As a matter of fact, those legal immigrants finished their educations in their home countries. Think about how much tax-payers money is spent on a child for his/her K12 and college educations.

  357. Secondary Market says:

    #354, yes it’s motivating to be frugal from reading these posts, but i will say some times it does get a bit overboard. like when there was a discussion about dishwashers and not having one because they are loud and cost too much due to water and energy.

  358. rhymingrealtor says:

    Clot,

    Thanks I found your comment to my question regarding short sales, that is what I had read but not what I am being fed. And of course you insight from fiddy explains it all, though ChiFi explained it well, and the part about how the number is going to be hit if not by lowered taxes then by lowering wages, I’m still not sure what happens if they hit the number do they raise wages? Yeah thats what they do.

    KL

  359. gary says:

    I mean, seriously…. if you were to tell these sellers that they’re at least 25% over-priced, would they believe you? Would their jaw hang open and shake?

    Would they be appalled? Do they take anything the realtor says as gospel?

    Do they really, really want to sell? Are they that hard-up for cash or just hoping for a sucker to come by?

    I’m willing to wait this whole f*cking sham out for as long as it takes. As many of you have said here before, I can stay solvent wayyyyy longer than these f*cking mor0ns can and I have patience that would impress Warren Buffet.

    This one will wilt and wither for months. Un-f*cking-real.

    http://www.realtor.com/realestate/fairfield+twp-nj-07004-1097641667/

  360. movinBC says:

    What I don’t get is how people think they can just put their house on the market and demand ABOVE market $ for it, even when it’s obvious that the place has fallen into disrepair.

    In another case of “if you don’t have anything nice to post, don’t post photos at all”:

    http://www.realtor.com/realestate/hillsdale-nj-07642-1097461774/

    Shame… I guess it’s a lack of vision on my part?!

  361. All Hype says:

    chicagofinance (356):

    Holy F— is right. This may lead to a run on UBS funds come next week. If this puts panic in high net worth and institutional investors then UBS will be out of money pretty fast. Look for UBS to start freezing some more accounts if it gets bad enough

  362. Laurie says:

    MovinBC
    That house in Hillsdale is hideous!!

  363. lostinny says:

    366 Movin-
    How did you find that piece of crap? I don’t know what’s worse- the kitchen, complete with some kind of towel or sheet falling off the window or the room with the rust carpet/floor and blue painted trim. Uggh!

  364. spam spam bacon spam says:

    [116]Skeptic

    Jeeeeeeee sus, man…. we can put up with a lot but not with that!

    We need to take up a collection to get you a new teevee!

    I mean, we just can’t let you go on like this… it’s just, well, unAmerican…

  365. rhymingrealtor says:

    Gary,

    You would like to tell the seller they are over priced by 25% and you don’t beleive anything realtors say? What would you do if the seller was a realtor?

    Here is a price history of a home of a realtor here in town.
    Listed 10/06 $509,000

    reduced 499,000 489,000 479,000 469,000
    Expired 10/07
    Active 2/2008 429,000 reduced 3/08 399,000

    This is a very nice home, and I currently have a home undercontract that started at 399,000 and is under contract for 360,000 that above home is definitly worth more than 30,000 more than this home. This should have been priced at 439,000 last year and it would have been sold by now and for more than the current asking.

    KL

  366. movinBC says:

    #368-369

    I was wondering the same thing about the towel/rag hanging over the window. Why are there blackout shades or drapes over EVERY window (or – all windows that aren’t covered by a dirty rag), anyway?!

    Just on my usual search on Realtor.com, it fits the criteria of what we’re looking to buy sometime this year. So in that respect, what a shame. Good town, good schools.

    But we have no interest in spending our first days in our first home painting over a kelly-green ceiling! Hoo-wee. I honestly wonder if it’s some sort of practical joke.

  367. ledward says:

    #371, could you post mls number for that long history house? thanks

  368. Fank says:

    Another week another 1000 new homes on the market in NJ, close to all time record. Is anyone buying homes in NJ?

  369. Fank says:

    Hoboken inventory is approaching the magic 600 number and prices are dropping.

  370. gary says:

    rhymingrealtor,

    Yes, I think the sellers are insane for asking that price and the realtor listing that house is nuts if she thinks she’s going to swindle someone into buying that house. It’s ridiculous.

    And I think I’m missing your point about the example you gave above. Can you explain?

  371. HEHEHE says:

    I just received the following email from Toll Brothers:

    SPRING SPECTACULAR
    SALES EVENT!

    For a Limited Time Only
    $1 Option Sale
    March 28 through April 15, 2008!

    ——————————————————————————–

    Taking place at Hudson Tea
    Hoboken’s Spectacular Waterfront Loft Condominiums

    ——————————————————————————–

    You won’t want to miss this event!

    For just $1 each, you can choose from one of the three exciting options below to create your dream home!

    ——————————————————————————–

    Cutting Edge Appliance Package color Including Bosch Dishwasher, Viking Range and Microwave

    Imported Stone Bath Package color Including Elegant Stone Tile On Floors and Walls, Stylish Vanity with Marble Top

    Contemporary Stainless Steel Loft Lighting Package color

    ——————————————————————————–

    Hudson Tea Sales Center
    1500 Washington Street
    Hoboken, NJ 07030
    Mon-Fri 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
    Sat/Sun 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
    201-795-1960
    HudsonTea.com

  372. Hobokenite says:

    HeHeHe,

    I got that email too. I’m sure they just have too many Viking appliances lying around and need to get rid of them somehow.

  373. rhymingrealtor says:

    Gary,

    Sorry, I was just pointing out an irony, you said you would like to tell the seller there home was overpriced and you were wondering what realtor would think, I was thinking and giving an example to how both the sellers and realtors are clueless at times. And when the realtor is the seller… oh boy
    KL

  374. spam spam bacon spam says:

    [283] Willow

    Re: Texting, etc.

    This is what I’m talking about:

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/car/619300614.html

    okay…lemmee try….

    “whats up i got a 95 civic coupe dx primer a piece of crap car painted with a rattle can (spray paint)/ spray bomb in primer…

    jdm sohc vtec turbo runing 13 pounds of boost single overhead CAM with bolt on turbo with 13 lbs of boost

    550 injectors with the resistor box for more fuel 550 litre per hour (?) flow rate injectors

    255 walboro fuel pump WALBRO electric pump

    stage 4 clutch Centerforce clutch

    net clutch lighten flywheel aluminum flywheel

    full msd system capacitive discharge ignition system

    greddy type s blow off valve Greddy brand dump valve for turbo

    dsm turbo brand of intercooler piping

    custom intercooler piping pipe from turbo to aftercooler

    3inch down pipe pipe from turbo out

    straight pipe exhaust pipe

    the car also has jdm headlights with city bulbs jdm corners lights

    00 si side skirts body parts from a newer car

    ex cluster from another car

    chiiped computer computer chip that changes operating parameters

    with crome also has plug for labtop….programmable chip so you can write to it

    .the car doent come with the swirlies but does come with polished hammers bling wheels

    the interior is clean 8 out of 10 needs a vac dirty inside but not trashed

    the body is a 9 out of 10 ready for paint primer

    stock suspention also i have aside the full power window set up with door panels basketcase parts (extra) come with car…

    Ready for my next translation….

  375. gary says:

    rhymingrealtor,

    Got it. ;)

  376. njpatient says:

    149 chi
    Agree, and add that during the NYC blackout a couple of years back only landlines worked.

  377. t c m says:

    #367 – all hype –

    i understand that is big news, but i don’t understand why it would cause a run on ubs funds. i’m probably missing something, could you explain it?

    on a totally different note, with regards to saving money, i have comcast for cable and internet. i bundle them because it was supposed to save me money. i now pay around $165 a month with all the fees, taxes, and a soccer package my husband wants – am i getting ripped off? does anyone have a better/cheaper way to do it?

  378. Pat says:

    Should I trade that guy for my new Honda that was hit on the side of the rear bumper? I just picked it up at the dealer and they painted the new bumper different color.

    Now, I could move into a double wide with my head held high.

    Hubby says I should take it back and have it repainted. I’m thinking it has some character. It almost looks like I asked for it to be painted that way.

    whats up i got a 08 civic rockin
    custom paint dudes heavy metal iron butt fades to original buff steel on panels.

  379. Pat says:

    Gotta laugh or you cry.

  380. Pat says:

    I am so glad I bought a car for $20k instead of $40k.

  381. Pat says:

    CF…watch M&T with me after UBS next week.

    I’m worried about the buggers.

  382. chicagofinance says:

    Water anyone….

    WSJ
    Water’s Slippery Seduction Investors Flood Sector Amid Economic Falloff, Limited Opportunities
    By CAROLYN CUI and ANN DAVIS
    March 29, 2008

    Water may be the world’s most critical commodity. But it has been a tough market for many investors to tap profitably lately.

    Since last summer, a flood of investment vehicles have hit the market, seeking to capitalize on the rising global need for clean water. But many of these investments have proved disappointing in the past few months, just as Wall Street has piled into the sector. For one, water-oriented stocks — from big conglomerates like General Electric Co. to water utilities to equipment suppliers like Mueller Water Products Inc. — also are exposed to broader economic problems, including the housing slowdown.

    The economics of water treatment and delivery itself look compelling. An acute shortage of clean water in many regions has been worsened by population growth and by competition from industry and agriculture.

    More than one in six people lack access to safe drinking water, according to the World Water Council. Global spending to treat and purify water, and to improve the often-dilapidated infrastructure that stores and distributes it, amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and rising.

    Investors can’t trade water like other commodities, because it isn’t priced on a global market. It is heavy and the cost of transporting it is many times its value, so it lends itself to regional markets.

    Some of the best water stocks already are expensive, because investors have been forced to pour into a relatively small set of opportunities.

    Many investors in the initial public offering of Mueller Water Products in 2006 expected demand for the company’s valves, hydrants and pipes to hold up as long as water systems needed improvements. But since last June, amid a downturn in housing construction, Mueller’s stock has plunged by roughly half. Still, it trades at a relatively pricey 32 times last year’s earnings.

    “What you’re buying is essentially a supplier to residential construction companies,” said Rod Parsley, portfolio manager of the Perella Weinberg Partners Oasis Fund, an approximately $500 million hedge fund focused on water, clean technologies and alternative energy. Mueller also sells to municipalities.

    Water use drops in a recession: 40% of fresh water in the U.S. is consumed in industrial applications. That is why many water utilities have fallen recently on recession fears.

    Two of three exchange-traded funds that track water-related stocks have sunk since their mid-2007 debuts. The third, First Trust ISE Water Index, is up 4.1% since its May 11 launch. But measured since June 13, after all three began trading, it has posted a gain of 1.9%. Over that period, Claymore S&P Global Water ETF has lost 6.3% and PowerShares Global Water Portfolio dropped 11.9%, compared with the S&P 500-stock index’s loss of 13.2%.

    This year, only PowerShares Global Water is underperforming the S&P 500. First Trust and PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio, an ETF launched in 2005, are leading the group, although both have fallen in value.

    Actively managed funds focused on the water sector have fared slightly better. The Kinetics Water Infrastructure Fund is down 1.8% since its July 2 launch. Its drop of 3.5% this year is well ahead of the S&P and other water ETFs.

    A publicly traded portfolio of water hedge-fund investments organized in July, Australia’s 20 million Australian dollars ($18.4 million) MFS Water Fund has beaten the MSCI World Index by about five percentage points from inception through January, the last month for which performance is available, though in January it didn’t outperform the index by much.

    Other scarce commodities have soared: the Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Index has risen about 16% since mid-June.

    “There’s a lot of money to be made in water, but it’s a lot trickier than just picking a basket of companies ostensibly participating in the sector,” said Mr. Parsley. Oasis doesn’t disclose returns. But MFS, which invests in Oasis, calls it one of its best performers.

    “Just because something calls itself a water company or ostensibly makes something associated with water, are you really buying a water play?” he said.

    Over the longer run, it is a better story. Water-focused investing was a niche in 1999, when John Dickerson started San Diego-based Summit Water Equity Fund. The hedge fund now has $600 million in assets. The fund has more than tripled in value during that time, according to Mr. Dickerson.

    The United Nations Population Fund sees global consumption of water doubling every 20 years. In 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that aging systems in the U.S. will require $277 billion in investments just to upgrade and maintain drinking-water quality over the next 20 years.

    The power industry is one of many big users; water is critical in hydroelectric dams, cooling processes at fossil-fuel and nuclear-power plants. So is the food industry. It takes 260 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of wheat and 3,380 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef, according to the World Water Council.

    Of the hundreds of large municipal U.S. water utilities, only about 10 are publicly traded. Water utilities are natural monopolies, tend to show steady growth and returned 383% from 1996 through 2006, beating the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s return of 135%. This year, water utilities have lost 7%, while the S&P 500 lost 10%, according to Smith, Moore & Co., a brokerage firm.

    Only a trickle of other water-related companies have recently gone public. Among the next IPOs: American Water Works Co., which could become the biggest publicly traded water utility in the U.S., and Energy Recovery Inc., a desalination-technology firm.

    Many big companies in water treatment and distribution are conglomerates whose stocks move on many other factors. General Electric and Siemens AG are two of the holdings in PowerShares’ water portfolios.

    William Brennan, portfolio manager of the Kinetics fund and former adviser to Summit, the hedge fund, said investment dollars dedicated to the water business surged to nearly $20 billion in 2007 from $1.5 billion in 2005. He contends that has made water stocks more volatile and reduced chances of finding new gems.

  383. bairen says:

    #366 That hillsdale house is hideous. Maybe it ca be rezoned as a bad taste museum?

  384. Clotpoll says:

    Jaw (348)-

    At their ages, it’s strictly “go with what you know”. Their instincts run toward AAPL, GOOG and teen retailers, but they have learned to like the returns generated by metals, oil services and giant infrastructure companies.

    Watching Zumiez and Crocs self-immolate has been quite a lesson for them.

  385. Pat says:

    bairen, don’t you think it has potential?? (seriously chewing my gum.)

  386. Firestorm says:

    Re: [380] spam spam bacon spam Says:
    There is nothing there related to SMS. If you don’t understand it, it just means you know nothing about cars besides how to drive from point A to point B

  387. bairen says:

    #391 That house is awful. I don;t think I could make it worse if I tried.

    It has potential to become a skit on the comedy network.

  388. Pat says:

    http://cbs3.com/topstories/president.george.w.2.687260.html

    At least he had the decency to go gray over the last couple of years.

    I try to find the silver lining.

  389. Confused In NJ says:

    March 28 (Bloomberg) — Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each claimed they would be stronger than the other in an economic crisis, arguing they had better advisers.

    Clinton named former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin as representative of the quality of an economic team that Americans and markets will trust.

    “People like former Secretary Rubin are pretty hard to beat when it comes to managing the economy,” Clinton, a New York senator, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” to be aired today.

    Obama, in a separate interview as he campaigned in Pennsylvania, noted that former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, a supporter, was advising him on the financial crisis and said he also speaks to billionaire investor Warren Buffett “on a regular basis.”

    Buffett hasn’t endorsed either candidate. The Volcker endorsement sets up a dueling ex-Fed chairman rivalry of sorts between the two Democratic contenders.

    Clinton, in response to a question, defended former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, whom she has said she would tap for advice. Critics say the Fed’s monetary and regulatory policies under Greenspan contributed to the current crisis.

  390. Happy Camper says:

    Much of the info provided about savings ratios has been bogus.

    $80,000 salary
    what tax rate do you like?

    If 20% tax rate (including federal, state, social security, etc) then,
    $64,000 take home $5,300 a month. This is not possible (nor legal) in the US.

    If 40% tax rate, all in, (including federal, state, social security, etc) then,
    $48,000 take home $4,000

    what gives?

  391. Clotpoll says:

    Hype (367)-

    An investment that got sold as though it were a money market fund…and now, assets are illiquid and marked-down?

    This is the beginning of the endtimes.

  392. Pat says:

    In case you’ve been living in a bubble, another criteria for calling bottom on housing prices is Hud homes.

    When HUD sales again show the same inventory as 2002-2003, we’re O.K. Nobody needed HUD for a while. So HUD inventory is doggie doo right now.

    http://hud1.towerauction.net/NJ.htm

  393. Pat says:

    Clot, don’t call end yet.

    I just checked with Madame Poot. She’s being a bit ambivalent.

    The first time I asked if this was the end of times, she said, “Sure thing.”

    The second time I asked if this was it, she said, “Nothing is impossible.”

    The third time was the charm:
    “Outlook not good… but it can still change…”

  394. bairen says:

    #395 Buffet and Volker is a great combo.

    I once farted on Rubin. I cut the cheese in front of an elevator at a NY office. As I walked away the elevator opens and out walks Rubin right dead center. Bullseye!!

  395. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (388)-

    I still think the foreign water companies are the play here. Suez and Veolia (SZEZY & VE) are excellent plays. There’s also a waste treatment component, which I think is necessary in playing water investments.

  396. Pat says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSN2829988520080329?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

    “Many of these companies knew or should have known that housing prices don’t just go up and up and up forever,” said Larry Rittenberg, an accounting professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The companies did not have any financial controls in place to systematically test the values of these securities.”

    Larry, you sound really familiar.

  397. bruiser says:

    The entire 2nd shift network ops staff is laughing hysterically over that Hillsdale house. It looks 10x worse up on the 50 inch lcd’s at the front of the room, but 20x as funny.

  398. still_looking says:

    hillsdale house looks like Andy Warhol painted it. (it that a rat on the kitchen floor?)

    all hype, going to Ag Field Day?? you and G for dinner next weekend?

    clot, getting impaled is serious…no joking now… hmmph. ;-) the establishment frowns on bleeding in public!

    nom, thanks for the clarification. Wish I knew more…

    grim, when/where IS the next GTG, I gotta request the day off??

    good grief! Venture off for a few hrs and come back to over 400 posts… sheesh.

    Finally. Living cheaply is an art. I had over 85K of student loans to pay off. Lived in a $750/mo 1 BR apt scrimped and saved til it was gone. Most of that saving was done on a resident’s salary

  399. still_looking says:

    wow. got cut off at the “less than” sign.

    Resident’s salary ie less than 40K/yr.

    Grateful to be debt free for sure!

    sl

  400. mikeyboy says:

    398

    Bullsh!!ters is what gives.

    Nice life you live(d) and provide your family with JOhn.
    Would love to be one of your kids.

    What happens if you die tomorrow? Was living in the bronx with cockroaches and waiting to get mugged again worth it?

    My wife and I are still saving. had nothing when we got married 5 years ago. Now have $70k in cash, save about $2k month in cash for DP.
    1 11 yr old son (who will mostly be on his own for college-good think he is VERY good student).

    We do have cable, phones, 1 car payed off, 1 lease.

    Last year bought a boat for cash to use as a family (and I enjoy fishing).

    Cost me $400 month to maintain the boat for the year and you know what? I am still going to pay it because it is something the wife (and son) can do together on the weekends in the spring, summer and fall.

    If it takes me another year or 2 to buy a house (we rent 2nd of 2 family now for $1300), then it takes us another 2 years.

    We area live today and who knows if we will be in 10 years, so we do not have to live with bugs, get mugged leaving our house, stare at the walls at night, or dive into dumpsters on weekends to find our food.

    We are still saving at a nice clip & have no debt. Could we save more? Absloutely, no doubt.

    DO we enjoy living our lives today? Yep and to me, that is worth saving a little less (obviously it is not at the expense of NO savings at all.

  401. mikeyboy says:

    Please excuse all the typos :)

  402. Tim says:

    Sorry for change of subject.
    But does this bother anybody. Or is it just me? Not my quote but researched and found it was true. God help us.

    OBAMA TIES TO HAMAS TERROR

    The Jewish Telegraphic Agency today reports that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr., long-time pastor of Barak Obama, published an op-ed piece signed by a Hamas leader. The item appeared in the July 22, 2007 edition of his Trinity United Church newspaper on the “Pastor””s Page.” The op-ed piece justifies attacks on Israeli civilians, and carries a supporting introduction by Mr. Wright.

    Barak Obama issued a statement strongly condemning these views of his pastor. “I certainly wasn’t in church when that outrageously wrong [Hamas] piece was re-printed in the bulletin,” Obama added.

    Obama is a long-time member of Trinity United, and his financial contributions to his church are reported to be substantial (“All told, the [Obama] couple gave $27,500 to [Trinity United] in 2005 and 2006,” according to the New York Times of March 26). His moral support to the church has been unwavering. As more and more and more details of the extremist political positions of the church are revealed, Obama””s response has been to distance himself from these, but also to repeat, over and over, that he didn””t know, that he wasn””t there.

    I find it very difficult to believe that an intelligent, energetic, and very political man like Obama is perpetually ignorant about what goes on in the church to which he devotes so many of his resources. If he does get to the White House, will he be in similar ignorance about the goings on of his administration ?

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