New Jersey Home Price Tracker

The New Jersey Home Price Index Tracker has been updated to include:

January S&P Case Shiller (Aggregate, Tiered, Condo)
Q4 OFHEO HPI and Purchase-Only Index
Q4 New Jersey Association of Realtors (NJAR) Median Price


(click to enlarge)

S&P Case Shiller NY Metro Commutable Area Home Price Index

Low Tier (Under $308k) – Peaked in October 2006 and is down 18.07% from peak

Mid Tier ($308k-$457k) – Peaked in September 2006 and is down 16.80% from peak

High Tier (Over $457k) – Peaked in June 2006 and is down 12.92% from peak

Aggregate (Overall Market) – Peaked in June 2006 and is down 16.01% from peak

Condo-Only Index – Peaked in February 2006 and is down 7.92% from peak

Q4 OFHEO Home Price Index & Purchase-Only Index

HPI – Peaked in Q1 2007 and is down 6.26% from peak (Includes Refi)

Purchase Only – Peaked in Q2 2006 and is down 9.26% from peak

Q4 NJAR Median Price

Median Sale Price – Peaked in Q2 2006 and is down 13.72% from peak

This entry was posted in Economics, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

864 Responses to New Jersey Home Price Tracker

  1. Gotcha! says:

    frist

  2. grim says:

    Median Sale Price, as reported by the NJ Association of Realtors, took a major dive in Q4 2008, falling a massive 9.28% YOY.

  3. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 7:11 pm
    chi (28)- I know it is killing you that Taleb, Morgan, etc keep getting it right. Maybe they are getting it right for all the wrong reasons and in the wrong way; but right is right.
    Meanwhile, Timmay, Bergabe and crew keep getting it wrong: day after day, month after month.

    clot: what are you talking about? Morgan and Taleb are completely different. My point with Taleb is that he isn’t saying anything new or innovative. He is essentially a nothing. I find it rather silly that he is being introduced side by side with Roubini, who has a tremendous amount of credibility. His pompous vacuousness is also rather grating.

  4. Outofstater says:

    Purdue University announces employee pay freeze.
    http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090401/News01/904019743/1130

    See? It can be done.

  5. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Home Prices: Low, But Still No Bargain
    Forget low mortgage rates and the buyer’s market. Real-estate prices still have a long way to fall.

    Homeowners are watching anxiously for any signs of housing market stabilization. So, too, are all those who believe the market may hold the key to the economy.

    And yet the most recent data makes for more gloomy reading.

    The closely watched Case-Shiller index, which tracks prices across twenty major cities, shows that through January the crash was getting worse, not better.

    And yet, even after these declines, homes overall still may not be that cheap relative to wages. More on that later.

    How much further will prices fall across the country? Nobody knows, of course. But history says the bigger the bubble, the bigger the crash.

    Those “professionals” in the market continue to be wrong-footed. Early last year I wrote that even though prices in Florida and California had collapsed, those markets were still overvalued. Naturally I was on the receiving end of lots of angry emails from real estate brokers who told me I was an idiot (or worse). Events since then have borne out my analysis.

    (Incidentally: During the bubble, did a single broker ever complain to a media outlet that reporters were being “too optimistic” about house prices, or were “talking the market up” during a dangerous mania?)

    House prices nationwide have now fallen about 30% from their 2006 peak. At these levels the contrarian, inevitably, starts to wonder if they have fallen far enough.

    Certainly there are great deals out there. It is a buyer’s market. The aggressive and opportunistic can probably find the worthwhile bargains.

    But for the market overall the picture isn’t as hopeful as you’d like.

    Even today, prices overall have only reverted to levels seen in late 2003. Yet by that stage the bubble was already well inflated. You would expect a crash of this scale to retrace its steps much further. To find pre-bubble prices you have to go back to about 2000 – when values overall were about a third lower than they are today.

    Over the long term, average home prices have tended to track average earnings. And by this measure the market may have much further to fall.

    I looked at Case-Shiller’s index back to 1987 and compared it to federal data on average earnings. The result, rebased to 100 in January 1987, can be seen here. And it’s alarming. By this (admittedly very simple) measure, today’s home prices are actually more expensive, in relation to average earnings, than at the peak of the 1989 property bubble.

    Equally noteworthy is that when the last property bubble burst, it took about eight years before the market showed really strong signs of revival. This bubble was far, far bigger.

  6. stan says:

    outofstater-4

    just push the staples button, that was easy

  7. Outofstater says:

    “pompous vacuousness” Love that phrase. I’m stealing it from you, ChiFi.

  8. grim says:

    As far as Pending Home Sales go:

    http://www.realtor.org/files/research/mintedfssresco123/phs.pdf

    Northeast (SA) – Down 11.2% year over year

    Northeast (NSA) – Down 17.3% year over year

    These numbers are terrible. Who cares about a pop up from the January number, the January number was the worst ever recorded for this index.

    Northeast was the worst performer on a YOY basis out of the group this month. These numbers are downright terrible.

    I found a likeness of Elvis in a Dorito.
    I saw the Virgin Mary in a screen door.
    … and I found a bottom in this set of NAR numbers.

  9. Steve says:

    Clot (45 re: m2m),

    You know, I keep having this recurring quandry.

    Every time I decide I’m all in betting against these scum, the inmates running the asylum do something even more moronic than previously, and I’m so stunned I just have to re-up on principle alone.

    These SOBs haven’t missed a beat. What a complete and utter clusterf-ck.

    Now all our TV pundits are yelling from the rooftops, buy financials! This is great for banks!

    LOL

    Too bad we don’t have avatars. I’d go out get a thumbnail from Night of the Living Dead.

  10. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Grim you are going to need a bigger chart soon to allocate for the further drops.

  11. grim says:

    For those not familiar with reading this style of chart:

    The price bottom is reached once the graph lines move back up to the 0% level from their trough, not when the trace line reaches its lowest level.

  12. grim says:

    Meanwhile, price declines continue to accelerate. Across every index measured, the most recent pricing data point has been the worst measured this cycle.

  13. poor guy says:

    THANKS for the chart
    it seems houses might be teacher-affordable again. Economy downside has its positives :)

  14. Sastry says:

    grim #11

    You forgot match stick people…

    S

  15. Stu says:

    Clot:

    Do you get the feeling that the new market lows are just around the corner? Earnings news continues to be terrible and the unemployment numbers are growing. Housing prices are accelerating downward and the national debt is approaching levels that I never thought we would ever see. I think this semi-soft landing is about to harden.

  16. 3b says:

    #5 grim: This writer must have heard me talking in my sleep. I have been saying most of what he said for the past couple of years.

  17. CAIBC says:

    so continue to wait?

    this first time home buyer needs some advice….

    realtors saying that the time to buy is NOW…also using the interest rate carrot….very tempting carrot with rates below 5 percent….

    also, a bit worried about taxes…if the taxable value is say 300K and the asking price is 600K, isnt that a problem when it comes to taxes after i buy the 600K house? should the home be closer to the assessed 300K value?

    is there anyway to find the true price of said home?

  18. 3b says:

    #15 stu:I think this semi-soft landing is about to harden.

    Not to be dense, but what semi-soft landing are you talking about?

  19. 3b says:

    #17 CAIBCrealtors saying that the time to buy is NOW

    Well there is you first mistake.

    As far as North Jersey property taxes, be concerned, very concerned.

  20. Sastry says:

    CAIBC #17

    Are you seeing many places that have an asking price twice as much as assessed prices?

    My impression is that it is a bit other way round (may be for newer houses). There are plenty of “below assessed value” pitches.

    I have a corollary question. If the assessed value is X, and the house will be sold for 0.75 X, does the new buyer still pay taxes of X, or negotiate it down?

    S

  21. poor guy says:

    CAIBC 17

    You are right that the property taxes must have an effect on price but not in the way you mention. Assessment has no effect in principle if the town budget is not decreased. Everyone will apply for assessment because all houses lost their value.

    HOWEVER I noticed in the towns that I am watching that the tax doubled since 2000, from roughly $6K to $12K for a 4br. I would assume that this increase should further depress prices. Yet those have stuck at a 2004 level. How frustrating.

  22. Stu says:

    3b:

    I honestly think that our current markets are way overvalued. The P/Es over the last few years were artificial as they were based on funny money supported by the financial alchemy of the wizards of Wall Street. Yet the DJIA market p/e is currently 20.1. For some reference, At the 2002 market bottom it was 15.2! This is why I call it a semi-soft landing. And we have paid dearly for it. Without the enormous bailouts, tarps, tarfs, maiden lanes, etc., I fear the market would have dropped straight down to the 4s and 5s. Instead, we have stupidly taxed our future in hopes of the instant gratification of a market rebound. I’ve got news for you all. The market ain’t about to rebound anytime soon. Earnings drive stock prices and from what I’ve been witnessing, they are looking horrible and I would expect them to worsen as housing continues to drop and unemployment continues to grow. Markets rebound based on world-changing technology or easy money. I see neither in the near future. Just a lot more people struggling more and more to get by.

    So semi-soft landing was the government delaying the inevitable through reckless bailouts and pseudo investments. Hard landing is what we will be witnessing in the coming year or two.

  23. poor guy says:

    Stu 22

    you nailed it. In good times their advice is to look at forward p/e (see internet bubble). Now they forget to mention it :)

  24. All Hype says:

    From the previous thread…

    Dissident HEHEHE says:
    April 1, 2009 at 7:05 pm
    Tomorrow will be interesting with the FASB decision. My personal opinion is absent a complete abandonment of mark to market I don’t see any sort of major pop. A modification of current 157 and you see a flat to minor 1-2% pop. If they do nothing you could see an 8% drop.

    Anybody else want to go out on a limb?
    _______________________________________

    Clot gave a response that is totally correct. The bond market just made it way more expensive to insure these securities. I think they went up like 300 basis points.

    These banks can snow the public and people like Kudlow and Kneale but they are getting bent over by the bond market.

  25. yome says:

    #20 Are you seeing many places that have an asking price twice as much as assessed prices?

    Some township have their assessed value different assessed market value.
    eq:egg harbor township assessed value=49% of assessed market value

  26. NJGator says:

    Google Chapter 123 ratio 2009 and the county you are looking in to find the common level ratios of what the assessments are supposed to mean. It is different for every town.

  27. chicagofinance says:

    Poetry really…..

    I was in the wrong place at the wrong time
    For the wrong reason and the wrong rhyme
    On the wrong day of the wrong week
    I used the wrong method with the wrong technique

    It was the wrong plan
    In the wrong hands
    With the wrong theory for the wrong man
    The wrong lies, on the wrong vibes
    The wrong questions with the wrong replies

    I was marching to the wrong drum
    With the wrong scum
    Pissing out the wrong energy
    Using all the wrong lines
    And the wrong signs
    With the wrong intensity
    I was on the wrong page of the wrong book
    With the wrong rendition of the wrong hook
    Made the wrong move, every wrong night
    With the wrong tune played till it sounded right yeah

  28. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Clot gave a response that is totally correct. The bond market just made it way more expensive to insure these securities. I think they went up like 300 basis points.

    These banks can snow the public and people like Kudlow and Kneale but they are getting bent over by the bond market.”

    Yeah but once Citi’s stock goes up to $10 a share they can raise capital by issuing shares (I can’t believe the bozo’s on CNBC actually believe sh*t like that)

  29. Clotpoll says:

    chi (3)-

    Pointing out that the emperor is naked is neither new nor innovative. It doesn’t make for classic CNBC shrieking head decabox wars, which is why Taleb bombs every time they have him on (after about five minutes, the bimbos default to repreatedly asking him for stock picks).

    Morgan and Taleb share grating and bombastic personality traits, but they are very similar in their core message, which is that we are all fuct.

  30. yome says:

    #20 tax assessment ratios to market values by county
    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/lpt/chapter123.shtml

  31. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “after about five minutes, the bimbos default to repeatedly asking him for stock picks”

    I’ve witnessed this time and again whenever somebody gets on there and says something they a)don’t understand, b)don’t want to hear or c)both of the above

  32. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Speaking of property taxes. Spoke to guy who bought the condo from me and my ex-wife in Hoboken. We sold the place in Spring 2006 and our property taxes were about $8500. He told me his are now $12K. RE in Hoboken is toast.

  33. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (15)-

    In a word, yes.

    I kept watching the RBS riot in London today, thinking that it’s a sort of fitting fanfare/prologue to what’s going to be a very hot, nasty and violent Summer.

  34. Outofstater says:

    #29 Clot – Yes we are and Timmy and company know it. They know there is nothing they can do to stop the decline so they are doing what they think is the next best thing – trying to slow it down a little with massive amounts of money, hoping to get the masses accustomed to more and more bad news and more and more debt. It’s the only way they can think of to prevent rioting in the streets. The masses are becoming anesthetized, the stimulus (pardon the pun) no longer elicits a response. It just might work except for one little thing – the pension bomb.

  35. Clotpoll says:

    HE (31)-

    Yeah.

    The standard CNBC question:

    “Well if this is the way I should be thinking, how do I trade it?”

  36. Clotpoll says:

    Sastry (14)-

    And, he forgot the snaggle-toothed, stick-people-eating monster.

    Personally, I want Grim to kick off the next Comp Killers with the John Hancock tower.

  37. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (22)-

    I have a Post-It over my desk not to get long anything until the overall p/e of the DJIA is in the single digits.

    IMO, I think a 5-handle is inevitable, and a 4 is within the realm of real possibility.

  38. Clotpoll says:

    36 moderated. Bad word inside good word: Hanc@ck.

  39. Clotpoll says:

    poor (23)-

    forward p/e = Wil E Coyote, off a cliff

  40. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:37 pm
    36 moderated. Bad word inside good word: Hanc@ck.

    Use Handjob instead

  41. chicagofinance says:

    moderated?

    Use Hanjob…is that better?

  42. poor guy says:

    Speaking of taxes Corzine just announced a 7.5% property tax

    http://tiny.cc/SEteU

  43. A.West says:

    Chifi,
    I agree on Taleb. He creates a lot of pseudo profundities and writes books criticizing professionals, but his real audience is primarily amateurs and beginners – the real pros know he’s not nearly as profound as he imagines himself to be, because pros just deal with uncertainty as best they can, instead of writing books whining about it.

    Roubini is just a capitalism-hating Keynesian who loves reporting on train wrecks. I got a free subscription to his RGE monitor, and it was so full of bs that I told his marketing guy to cram it before the trial was over.

  44. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm
    chi (3)-
    which is why Taleb
    Morgan and Taleb share grating and bombastic personality traits, but they are very similar in their core message, which is that we are all fuct.

    The correct term is “French Connection UK”. We are all French Connection UK’ed

  45. poor guy says:

    property tax CUT that is. Just in time.

  46. Clotpoll says:

    Hype (24)-

    When the bond vigilantes run amok, they overrun everything and everybody (even the Fed) in order to get their way.

    All the financial sophisticates play their shell games and toot the all-is-well horn…while a pack of Visigoths are ready to run riot, steal their women and slaughter their herds.

    And the Visigoths are going to have it really easy.

  47. Clotpoll says:

    Doing away with mark-to-market will turn toxic waste to nuclear waste.

  48. chicagofinance says:

    A.West says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm
    Chifi,
    I agree on Taleb. He creates a lot of pseudo profundities and writes books criticizing professionals, but his real audience is primarily amateurs and beginners – the real pros know he’s not nearly as profound as he imagines himself to be, because pros just deal with uncertainty as best they can, instead of writing books whining about it.

    Roubini is just a capitalism-hating Keynesian who loves reporting on train wrecks. I got a free subscription to his RGE monitor, and it was so full of bs that I told his marketing guy to cram it before the trial was over.

    OK – after feeling the love from West, no more caped crusader crap. My apologies. Yeah, you are probably right about Roubini, but he has been a pop-art favorite of mine for at least three years.

    When you start seeing Roubinator hair cuts on the financial guys, you know that he has jumped the shark.

  49. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm
    Doing away with mark-to-market will turn toxic waste to nuclear waste.

    You sound as one of short-sitting pundits.

  50. Clotpoll says:

    HE (28)-

    At some point, Citi will pass the point of simply diluting guys like Alwaleed. Once there, it would be more fitting to say that he’s being dilated. Rect@lly.

  51. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm
    chi (3)- (after about five minutes, the bimbos default to repreatedly asking him for stock picks).

    clot: You know that the CNBC-speak for the audience is French Connection UK-ing naive and/or retarded.

  52. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm
    HE (28)- At some point, Citi will pass the point of simply diluting guys like Alwaleed. Once there, it would be more fitting to say that he’s being dilated. Rect@lly.

    Isn’t Alaweed marijuana laced with PCBs…

  53. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:49 pm
    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm
    chi (3)- (after about five minutes, the bimbos default to repreatedly asking him for stock picks).

    clot: You know that IS the CNBC-speak for the audience is French Connection UK-ing naive and/or retarded.

  54. Clotpoll says:

    chi (48)-

    Hey, you know me: always talking my book. :)

  55. Clotpoll says:

    The only way to make yourself look like Roubini is to go on a four-day crack binge.

  56. safeashouses says:

    I’ll take Giada or Padma over the CNBC crew.

  57. Clotpoll says:

    Next Mike Morgan doomfest. Feel the dread:

    “Mike Morgan will be holding his monthly Open Conference Call for the general public on April 19th at 4PM Eastern. Mike’s Open Calls generally last 3-5 hours, so feel free to join the call whenever you have the opportunity. You may participate via telephone or online.

    Mike will discuss the current events framing the financial crisis, and where we are headed. Mike will also take questions from attendees.

    Questions may be presented in advance via email to Mike@Morgan7.com or via an online chat window during the call or you may speak live on the call.”

    If you’ve never heard this guy go on a five-hour tear, it’s great. Sort of like having someone read Revelations to you while you’re getting waterboarded.

    This one’s on a Sunday night. Talk about getting a case of Monday dread…

  58. Clotpoll says:

    Giada’s a lightweight, and Padma’s a ho. She’s also into really old, decrepit guys.

  59. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm
    A.West says:
    April 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm
    Chifi,
    because pros just deal with uncertainty as best they can, instead of writing books whining about it.

    West: The Black Swan is encapsulated in the concepts of kurtosis and also assuming the normal curve for returns that do not follow such a distribution. Those lessons were possibly in the 3rd or 4th finance lectures I had a Chicago.

    The reason that this guy is given kudos is that he bet the house – documented – at the right time. Well, Abby Joseph Cohen made a 20 year career out of one call. A broken clock is right twice a day.

    I take issue with Taleb not because of his background or methods, but rather his presence. What a clown! His self-congratulatory manner is idiotic. It is exascerbated by the fact that he says nothing.

    Hello. Yes, I am here on your show.

    So Mr. Taleb, what is a Black Swan?

    Well, I would tell you, but I rather just enjoy you enjoying my beard. Little do you realize I have serious halitosis and body odor, but I am so great, you do not care.

  60. chicagofinance says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm
    Giada’s a lightweight,

    clot: not with those yaboes…

  61. safeashouses says:

    So are you saying I have a shot with Padma?

  62. safeashouses says:

    Ever see what Giada does with a lemon?

  63. Revelations says:

    “crossroads says:
    April 1, 2009 at 7:25 pm
    my life doesn’t suck but some people who are in foreclosure could have used a better math teacher.”

    I’ve read some really funny stuff on this board, but this was the first that actually had me laughing out loud!! Nice!

  64. safeashouses says:

    Saw a great sign at the G20 protest

    “Bankers are Wankers”

    Beauty

  65. Revelations says:

    Grim @5,

    Nice find (and timely). Was actually looking at BEA regional stats today for Monmouth County to see how per capita incomes and population changed over 2000-06. Marginal growth in both, but nothing to sustain the shock to demand that drove up prices. I think cheap and loose credit, no DPs, and a overly exuberant psychology did the driving, and now that their gone, we’re back to fundamentals of wages and credit worthiness. I think the NY Metro region isn’t near its worst.

  66. Shore Guy says:

    “IMO, I think a 5-handle is inevitable, and a 4 is within the realm of real possibility.”

    4,800 would not surprise me.

  67. Revelations says:

    CAIBC @17 (& Sastry)

    3rd para of this explains a bit about the “avg ratio” to apply to the assessed value to determine “true value” (my favorite hardware store).

    http://www.njlawblog.com/2008/01/articles/real-estate/correcting-mistakes-in-tax-assessments/

    Hope it helps.

  68. Revelations says:

    #66 follow-up: Also great article on the process to calc yourself and be prepared to appeal. Note the towns’ allowed margin of error regarding “true value”.

    http://www.njlawblog.com/uploads/file/DUG%20-%20Star%20Ledger%20-%2011_22_08.pdf

  69. Revelations says:

    Also note the link in the article for getting the “avg ratio”.

  70. Revelations says:

    So quiet after 11:30 …

    I hear an echo every time I post.

  71. Qwerty says:

    Slicing the chart to include only Jan 2005 to Jan 2009 would illustrate how we’ve “hot bottom” and now is “a great time to buy” as “affordability is at an all time high” and “real estate is a good investment over time.”

  72. DL says:

    “The state Department of Education said Wednesday that five tri-county school districts can tax their resident property owners beyond the state-regulated levy cap of 4 percent.”

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20090402/NEWS01/904020347

  73. DL says:

    Gloucester County budget holds line on taxes

    Officials said the elimination of positions between last year and this year has saved $5 million in salaries and benefits. County Administrator Chad Bruner has said 80 other positions have been targeted for elimination “if conditions are right in an attrition plan through retirements,” which would save $4 million.

    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20090402/NEWS01/904020352/1006/RSS01

  74. DL says:

    “The (NJ) state Department of Education said Wednesday that five tri-county school districts can tax their resident property owners beyond the state-regulated levy cap of 4 percent.”
    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20090402/NEWS01/904020347/1006/RSS01

  75. DL says:

    “A consultant’s presentation to the State Planning Commission that projected it may take a decade to return New Jersey employment to its 2008 level has critics again questioning the state’s affordable-housing plans.”
    http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20090402/NEWS01/904020354/1006/RSS01

  76. DL says:

    Bidding Wars Over a House? Real Estate Pros See Bottom
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/29995211

    I’ve lost track of how often these clowns have called a bottom.

  77. Essex says:

    This just in! Took a relative on a tour of the are where ‘I’ live….and some surrounding neighborhoods….no for sale signs….gorgeous homes….I guess everyone is not bailing…yet.

  78. Essex says:

    are=area…..doh!

  79. Clotpoll says:

    safe (62)-

    Nigella Lawson is carrying a couple of extra pounds, but she’s by far and away my favorite food p0rn queen.

  80. DL says:

    “Spend It in Vegas or Die Paying Taxes”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123863067877680693.html

    This would make a good t-shirt slogan.

  81. reinvestor101 says:

    That school doesn’t need to exist anyway. It’s outlived it usefulness because no one is farming anymore and we don’t need agriculture courses. Plus, their basketball teams always suck.

    I hate Purdue and most people I know do too.

    Outofstater says:
    April 1, 2009 at 7:33 pm
    Purdue University announces employee pay freeze.
    http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090401/News01/904019743/1130

    See? It can be done.

  82. New in NJ says:

    Clotpoll (80)-

    Here, here!

  83. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Geithner’s Gift To Pimco

    Geithner’s Heist America Plan is receiving words of self-serving praise from Pimco’s Bill Gross. Indeed, Geithner’s Non-Recourse Gift Keeps on Giving to Bill Gross.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/geithners-gift-to-pimco.html

  84. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Manhattan Apartment Prices Fall in First Quarter

    Prices of existing Manhattan apartments fell by double digits in the first quarter, according to several market reports released Thursday by New York City’s biggest real estate brokerages

    The median resale price of an existing Manhattan apartment fell 11 percent to $749,000 in the first quarter, according to a report from PropertyShark.com, a foreclosure data Website and The Corcoran Group, New York City’s largest brokerage.

    “Prices still have downward pressure on them, and you’ll see lower prices in the next quarter than you’re seeing now,” said Corcoran Chief Executive Pam Liebman.

  85. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Manhattan Co-Op Prices Fall Most Since 1995 as Demand Plummets

    Manhattan co-op prices dropped the most since 1995 and transactions for all apartments plummeted 48 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as the recession and Wall Street unemployment cut demand.

    The median price for co-operative apartments fell 22 percent to $587,500, according to a report today by New York appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The median for all apartments rose 3.1 percent to $975,000, led by sales of new luxury condominiums.

    “The crisis on Wall Street took a lot of our buyers out of the market,” said Chief Executive Officer Pamela Liebman of property broker the Corcoran Group. “We didn’t have the bonuses that we had in the last couple of years helping to drive the prices up.”

    New York City has been girding for a drop in property values since three of the five largest investment banks collapsed last year. Banks and securities firms eliminated more than 180,000 jobs in the Americas so far, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while mortgage-related asset writedowns and losses now top $1.29 trillion. Wall Street bonuses declined 44 percent, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

  86. grim says:

    (cont)

    Luxury apartments on the Upper West Side at 15 Central Park West pushed condo prices to record levels in 2008. With initial sales there now finished, the average price per square foot for the neighborhood fell 25 percent, according to broker Brown Harris Stevens.

    “It happened very quickly,” said Gregory Heym, chief economist for Terra Holdings LLC, which owns Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property LLC. “Most of this is going from a pretty strong market to a dramatic slowdown in a matter of couple of months.”

  87. Victorian says:

    Chi –
    “The reason that this guy is given kudos is that he bet the house – documented – at the right time”

    I think that is incorrect. His portfolio allocation was 90% Treasuries and 10% highly speculative OTM options.

  88. House Whine says:

    #82
    Are you kidding?! They have a renowned engineering program and it’s actually affordable to go there. Not that I would want to be in the Mid-west for too long either but it isn’t just about farming.

  89. Stu says:

    #82

    I never did make the connection between “chicken” and “boilermakers”.

  90. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Chi is jealous of Talib! Chi is jealous of Talib!

  91. Clotpoll says:

    Words of infinite wisdom, from a local King of Real Estate.

    Geez, I hadn’t thought of any of this before. :)

    I’m going to do these things TODAY and achieve the wealth and success I so obviously deserve:

    Attitude:

    • Remember who you work for – yourself.
    • The best thing you can do is work. Ask yourself, “When does my business open?” and “When does my business close?” Make sure you show up early and stay late.
    • Work “on” your business in the morning and “in” your business in the afternoon. Develop your marketing strategy, systems and dialogues in the morning. Spend your afternoons on the telephone, at interviews and prospecting.
    • Wait one hour before opening your e-mail. This gives you time to work “on” your business.
    • Create your own happiness. Stay upbeat. The most important thing you say is what you say to yourself about yourself.
    • Create a tracking sheet and write down what you’re doing every day to stay positive. Track your intentions, actions and the tasks you’ve completed every day. Focus on your successes.

    Skill set:

    • Find a mentor. Study what top producers are doing and then do it.
    • Improve your skill set daily. Read. Take classes. Open your mind, learn and implement new ideas.
    • Get the CDPE designation. Create a marketing plan around it. If you help people in times of trouble, they’ll be your clients for life.
    • Train your team members for this market.
    • Review and update your scripts and dialogues.

  92. Clotpoll says:

    The above is the kind of crap you cook up when you have an office of 50 people who spend most of the day staring at each other and checking the job openings at Home Depot.

  93. safeashouses says:

    #80 clot,

    Nigella’s one of my favorites too.

  94. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise 12,000 to 669,000

    U.S. 4-week average initial claims rises 6,500 to 656,750

    U.S. ongoing jobless claims rise 161,000 to record 5.73 mln

    U.S. 4-week avg ongoing claims up 163,500 to record 5.5 mln

  95. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose by 12,000 to 669,000 Last Week

    The number of Americans filing unemployment claims unexpectedly rose to the highest level since 1982 last week and those staying on benefit rolls jumped to a record as companies kept cutting jobs to trim costs.

    Initial jobless claims swelled by 12,000 to 669,000 in the week ended March 28, topping 600,000 for a ninth straight time, after a revised 657,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The number of people staying on benefit rolls soared in the prior week to 5.73 million.

  96. Essex says:

    82…yeah and I suppose “engineering” is passe in the conservative economy as well.

  97. Outofstater says:

    #82 Dude, you’re stupid.

  98. grim says:

    I guess everyone is not bailing…yet.

    Realize that only a small percentage of homes trade hands in any given year. It is these few transactions that set market prices.

    During the boom, it only took a few sales to drive up comps, and drive up prices. We didn’t need to sell every home to establish a higher market price.

    Just like a few comps set higher prices during the boom, a few comps will set lower prices during the bust.

    We don’t need to have every home for sale to set lower prices, just a handful, just like every other year.

    Given the total number of homes in NJ, and the percentage sold every year, seeing one or two for sale signs in your neighborhood, over the course of a year, is really all you need to set those comps.

    Likewise, this is the same reason we don’t need to see foreclosure rates in even the double digits to have a major downward impact on prices.

    Home prices are set by comp.

    All it takes is one sale to reset comps for an entire neighborhood. One house on the way up, one house on the way down.

  99. Essex says:

    99. Great information. I think also in the far western suburbs (not that I go there) you might see more carnage. Perhaps. Lower taxes though. (LOL)

  100. tbiggs says:

    #13 poor guy – As Lew Rockwell says repeatedly, “That’s why they call it a ‘correction'”. It’s getting prices back to where they should be.

    #92 clot – I actually think most of that is sensible… if it’s not used as a “denial shield.” I was unemployed for over a year after the dot-bomb crash, and I found that I really did have to make a conscious effort to maintain a positive outlook. Usually I mock Candide-like “this is the best of all possible worlds” thinking – I was a cynic from the womb – but spending all my time thinking about the negatives really hurt my motivation to look for a job.

    Obviously those rules should include ” – give SERIOUS consideration to the possibility that there is no future here.” But I’m sure that’s at the back of their mind all the time anyway.

  101. grim says:

    According to the 2000 Census, NJ had 3,310,275 total housing units.

    We’ve done some building since 2k, so lets say we are up to 3.4 million units at this point.

    Roughly 110,000 homes traded hands in NJ in 2008.

    We’re talking about 3% of the total housing stock (non-rental), turning over in the past year.

    3% in 2008. Was closer to 4% in 2007, but still a small number overall.

    Let’s say, in your neighborhood, there are 100 homes.

    We’re talking about 3 of those selling, over the course of last year.

    Over a 12 month period, we’re talking about 1 house in your neighborhood of 100 homes being sold, every 4 months.

    Would you even notice a sign?

  102. NJGator says:

    Revelations 69 – There is one flaw in that article that is a little misleading. The upper limit is never more than 100%. Using the Millburn example of 104%, on reading you would think that if your house were assessed at 103% of value that you would lose an appeal. That is false. The state’s documentation explicitly states that “RATIOS IN EXCESS OF 100% ARE TO BE CONSIDERED AT 100%”

    In fact if you are marginally overassessed in Millburn, it is a very attractive time to appeal. If your appeal is successful, instead of reducing your assessment to 100% of market value, you would reduce the assessment to 90.54%.

  103. yome says:

    financial W@rfare

    Financial Warfare?

    China to Boost Yuan Swaps, Payments on Dollar Concern
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aoASp7xRlFjs&refer=home

    China on US Neck
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRHLMXClcDM&feature=related

  104. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Delinquency rate on consumer loans rises to record 3.22%

    Delinquency rates increased in the fourth quarter for almost every category of consumer loans, the American Bankers Association said Thursday. The composite ratio of eight loan categories rose 32 basis points to a record 3.22% of accounts, the ABA said. “The wheels just fell off the economy in the fourth quarter of 2008,” said James Chessen, chief economist for the trade group. “The amount of job losses dealt the economy a severe shock, and that continues to be the biggest driver for delinquencies.” Delinquencies on home-equity loans rose 40 basis points to a record 3.03%. Credit card delinquencies increased by 32 basis points to 4.52%, not far above the long-term average of 4.47%.

  105. DL says:

    “Leaders of the most powerful nations are meeting amid signs that the world economy is stabilizing after months of freefall.”

    “The number of Americans filing unemployment claims unexpectedly rose last week to the highest level since 1982 and those staying on benefit rolls jumped to a record as companies kept cutting jobs to trim costs.”

    Both the above from Bloomberg’s web site. I wonder if these guys read their own postings.

  106. A.West says:

    Taleb is essentially a Kantian, epistemologically speaking, meaning he believes the human mind is incapable of grasping reality.

    He is anti-induction, meaning that he thinks one cannot ever reliably form concepts from observation (no matter how many white swans you observe, you might encounter a black one). And he is also virulently against rational system-building. So what’s left? I recently heard a recording of him advocating blind experimentation and giving up thinking entirely and abandoning one’s mind to religion. (A recent interview with Russ Roberts).

    On the actual technicalities of finance, as Chifi said, he’s said nothing new. CAPM was shown to be incapable of explaing returns long before Taleb started railing against it. Fat tails have been known for a long time before Taleb.

    What I like least about Taleb is that in finance, I have to hear about him from people who read his book, but never actually studied the underlying issues that he claims to cover. Well I have. It’s like studying a novel, writing reports on it, and then getting a lecture on it from someone who glanced at the Cliffs Notes for a few minutes but never read the book.

  107. 3b says:

    From CNBC to Bloomberg to the WSJ, to the NYT, to The Post all are hailing the uptick in pending home sales as a sign that we may have bottomed.

    Pretty amazing to me.

  108. Sean says:

    Heard a pretty frightening scenario about Japan and their debt this AM from Bloomberg Radio.

    As of Jan this year Japan is holding 634.8 Billion in US treasuries but they may need to unload them by the end of this year because Japan’s Debt Ratio is set to rise to 197% of GDP as compared with with 71.9 percent in the U.S. and 113.1 percent in Italy.

    There is also talk of bringing in the IMF to clean up Japan and force the politicians to lower their deficit and increase taxes.

    This could get messy.

  109. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Boats Too Costly to Keep Are Littering Coastlines

    Boat owners are abandoning ship.

    They often sandpaper over the names and file off the registry numbers, doing their best to render the boats, and themselves, untraceable. Then they casually ditch the vessels in the middle of busy harbors, beach them at low tide on the banks of creeks or occasionally scuttle them outright.

    The bad economy is creating a flotilla of forsaken boats. While there is no national census of abandoned boats, officials in coastal states are worried the problem will only grow worse as unemployment and financial stress continue to rise. Several states are even drafting laws against derelicts and say they are aggressively starting to pursue delinquent owners.

    “Our waters have become dumping grounds,” said Maj. Paul R. Ouellette of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “It’s got to the point where something has to be done.”

  110. House Whine says:

    #97
    I hope they are not passe. We really need them – they study hard and actually contribute something useful, with very little glory most of the time. Wish I had the skills to be an engineer, but math is just not my thing.

  111. sas says:

    “Taxpayers make up the losses in public pension funds’ portfolios”

    http://tinyurl.com/cxb6me

  112. grim says:

    From CNBC to Bloomberg to the WSJ, to the NYT, to The Post all are hailing the uptick in pending home sales as a sign that we may have bottomed.

    Maybe in Arizona, but not here.

    See comment #8.

  113. Clotpoll says:

    biggs (101)-

    I wholeheartedly agree that all those are- as components of a plan of action- great steps for any agent to take.

    What I find appalling are brokers who constantly bombard their agents with “success lists”, as though you can keep yourself going with a “throw it against the wall, and see what sticks” approach.

    I find it’s much more practical to encourage my agents to discover what their “unfair advantage” over competitors is…then focus the agent on building that advantage even greater and leveraging it whenever possible.

    If you subscribe to the idea that success is an accrual of advantage, it’s much better to focus on one or two processes that work for you than spreading yourself too thin or blindly following a checklist.

  114. 3b says:

    #108 sean: Oh stop, everything is going to be OK, we are at the bottom. Go out buy a car a house, or another house. Do your part to help the turn around.

  115. sas says:

    “Merrill Lynch Bonus Payments Dwarf A.I.G.”
    http://www.truthout.org/033109J

  116. Sean says:

    re #106 SaS – I did work for the NY Pension system a few years back, it is written into law in NY State that that taxpayer must make up the difference if the fund does not return at least 8% a year. Same is true for allot of states.

    The website pensiontsunami.com does a good job of covering the coming pension bubble implosion, some scary stuff.

  117. 3b says:

    #112 grim: Oh I know. The trouble is sellers seethese headlines and believe this to be applicable to our area too.

  118. grim says:

    From Monster.com:

    Monster Employment Index Dips Slightly in March

    The Monster Employment Index fell 4 points in March, and is now down 29% year-overyear, indicating a continued deceleration in online recruitment activity at the end of the first quarter.

  119. Clotpoll says:

    MTM revisions don’t allow retroactive application.

    Nice to see FASB hasn’t created a time machine.

    Now, how do you convince banks to market toxic assets, when they can essentially mark them as high as they want, with no real present-time downside?

  120. All Hype says:

    Clotpoll says:
    April 2, 2009 at 9:08 am
    MTM revisions don’t allow retroactive application.

    Nice to see FASB hasn’t created a time machine.

    Now, how do you convince banks to market toxic assets, when they can essentially mark them as high as they want, with no real present-time downside?
    ______________________________________

    Clot: They are voting on the issue of distressed assets later this morning. If they vote to have the banks mark these to model then the USA has officially become a banana republic.

  121. Clotpoll says:

    3b (117)-

    They would be seriously mistaken. I did a price opinion on a pretty expensive home last night in which I couldn’t produce any pending sales comps and only found two sales comps within the last year.

    Those two sales were over six months ago, so not only are they not applicable, but an appraiser wouldn’t consider them in the event of a sale.

    I did, however, find 37 competing active listings within a tight price band. Of those 37 listings, 25 of them had been on the market over six months.

    Told my client that was a classic case of a market unable to clear/no price discovery. My take is that the next “big economic event” forces the weak hands to capitulate, thus dragging the whole market segment down to a new low.

    If a family in a 700K+ home loses a salary, they don’t call the Realtor the next day to fire sale the house. The owners seem to have the wherewithal to draw on other resources while they pass through their seven stages of grief. Then, they run out of money and get serious.

    If my theory holds water, upper managers/execs who began getting canned in Q4-08 have a little while longer to go before they have to start dumping their homes.

  122. chicagofinance says:

    Qwerty says:
    April 2, 2009 at 2:32 am
    Slicing the chart to include only Jan 2005 to Jan 2009 would illustrate how we’ve “hot bottom” and now is “a great time to buy” as “affordability is at an all time high” and “real estate is a good investment over time.”

    Q: you have invested a new bi-ism…congrats…truly excellent….I would put it up there with the pant-up….

  123. chicagofinance says:

    invested = invented….Freudian slip…

  124. Clotpoll says:

    Hype (120)-

    FASB has now declared that assets in an illiquid market environment should not automatically be labeled as “distressed”.

    Too bad they didn’t come up with a new “misunderstood” classification, as in “Joey repeatedly stabs himself with scissors and fondles the girls in class, but it’s because he’s misunderstood”.

    Banana republic, all the way…

  125. grim says:

    Why even bother with financial statements at this point?

    Can we suspend the need for public companies to report financials?

    Wouldn’t this just make the whole problem even easier to deal with?

  126. grim says:

    Even better, suspend any fiduciary responsibility executives might have.

  127. Clotpoll says:

    I will now reiterate that my house is worth $900,000.

    Don’t believe me? Prove me wrong.

    BTW, my car is also appreciating on a daily basis.

  128. Clotpoll says:

    grim (126)-

    I think you could take that idea and make a game show out of it.

    “Balance Sheet Roulette”?

  129. chicagofinance says:

    grim says:
    April 2, 2009 at 9:19 am
    Why even bother with financial statements at this point?

    Can we suspend the need for public companies to report financials?

    Wouldn’t this just make the whole problem even easier to deal with?

    grim: you know that there a REASONABLE fact based arguments as to why mark-to-mark SHOULD be suspended…..yeah some of the criminals and pickpockets will be laughing all the way to the bank (no pun intended). However, there is certainly a good reason to prevent needless capital raising and capital structure balancing for held-to-maturity assets.

    It is not a black and white issue.

  130. chicagofinance says:

    mark-to-market

  131. DL says:

    Clot: Ref 127. Next step is gov’t will issue currency printing presses under the Currency Print Press Program (CuPPP) to all individual households, so they can print their own money supply, thus eliminating the Fed’s requirement to monitor and control.

  132. Al says:

    House Whine says:
    April 2, 2009 at 8:13 am
    #82
    Are you kidding?! They have a renowned engineering program and it’s actually affordable to go there. Not that I would want to be in the Mid-west for too long either but it isn’t just about farming.

    As long as goverment does not make resurrection of MANIFACTURING based economy as a top priority for the USA Engeeneering is DEAD field.

    You study hard, have to be quite smart, and get crappy (believe me) salary not even close to salary and potential for career and earnings growth from MBA, LAW or MD.

    Even worse, engeeneers are expendable as we finding out right now – there are 100 million of them in India and China.

    In 1970 and before there was a career path for engeeneers to become top managers in their companies, even CEO or VP.s Not anymore, now once you pass first line technical managers you hit a wall. It is all about Finance and MBA.

  133. DL says:

    Clot: with housing market jammed up the way it is, it would seem it will take a sesmic event to get things unstuck. We may be looking at a crash of historic proportions.

  134. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (129)-

    The issue here isn’t the quality assets that will be quietly held until maturity at par.

    The issue here is that we’ve now created an illusion that virtually all these issues are quality assets that should mature at par, and that distressed assets are somehow misunderstood. The implication is that the market is wrong…simply because the holders of the questionable assets don’t agree with the market’s judgment.

    I guess all the delinquencies and FK’s tied to those securities are an error or an illusion, too.

    Were any of this so, there would be an active market in those issues. Of course, there is not. So the official response is to pretend all is well.

    We are so fuct.

    BTW, Chi, ONLY the criminals and pickpockets will be laughing all the way to the bank. The rest of us (and our kids) will be recovering from the hiding we’re about to take.

    “…yeah some of the criminals and pickpockets will be laughing all the way to the bank (no pun intended). However, there is certainly a good reason to prevent needless capital raising and capital structure balancing for held-to-maturity assets.”

  135. grim says:

    It is not a black and white issue.

    Unfortunately, it has been shown time and time again that companies refuse to follow the “spirit” of regulation and instead follow the “letter”. The entire industry is focused on gaming the loopholes.

    This opens yet another loophole that is just begging to be gamed.

    However, there is certainly a good reason to prevent needless capital raising and capital structure balancing for held-to-maturity assets.

    Held-to-maturity makes a massive assumption that the firm doing the “helding” will be around to “maturity”.

    C’mon Chi, you know as well as I that assets are held-to-maturity, until they aren’t.

  136. Clotpoll says:

    DL (133)-

    Exactly. And I think the suddenness and severity will trigger a complete breakdown of society.

    That’s been my call from the beginning, and things keep happening that will make this outcome a lock.

  137. Clotpoll says:

    DL (131)-

    Wrong. The gubmint will never do anything to actually benefit an individual or a family.

  138. Doyle says:

    #121

    Clot: In the BC Town I am keeping an eye on, there are 32 homes for sale in the $700k-$1Million range, and 25 homes in the $1Million+ segment. They have all just been sitting there. I don’t see any possible way that people are going to swoop in and buy up these homes until they drop substantially. That seems like a lot of inventory for homes that cost a lot of money. Granted these are listing prices, but I have not seen all that many sales come through lately either.

  139. Al says:

    Funny – IN 1999 I talked to few up-high people in my industry about decline in manufacturing jobs in USA and how US economy can not exist without manufacturing.

    I was told that I do not see a BIG Picture – We will outsource all Low-Tech Manufacturing and keep R@D here, and China and India will work and pay us for our IP rights – thats what I was told.

    “KEEP R@D HERE, in USA” They said!!!

    We will only outsource low profit margin, low tech applications. USA will be Brain of the World…

  140. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    FASB Eases Fair-Value Rules Amid Lawmaker Pressure

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board, pressured by U.S. lawmakers and financial companies, voted to relax fair-value rules that Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. say don’t work when markets are inactive.

    The changes approved today to fair-value, also known as mark-to-market, allow companies to use “significant” judgment in valuing assets to reduce writedowns on certain investments, including mortgage-backed securities. Accounting analysts say the measure, which can be applied to first-quarter results, may boost banks’ net income by 20 percent or more. FASB approved the changes during a meeting in Norwalk, Connecticut.

  141. Clotpoll says:

    Doyle (138)-

    Those aren’t overpriced listings. They’re misunderstood.

    You are a fool not to immediately pick a house you like and pay full price for it…even if it’s vacant and been sitting on the market for a year.

  142. Clotpoll says:

    grim (140)-

    And what great judgment these companies have shown over the past three years.

    “The changes approved today to fair-value, also known as mark-to-market, allow companies to use “significant” judgment in valuing assets to reduce writedowns on certain investments, including mortgage-backed securities.”

  143. Clotpoll says:

    If I drink whisky for lunch, does that mean I have a drinking problem?

  144. 3b says:

    #121 clot: obviously youa r seeing this first hand on a daily basis.

    But Like I have been going on about forever, the denial this time around IMO is massive.

    You do your best to convince sellers of the new reality, but they will keep saying , but Kudlow says, and the WSJ says, and CNN says, and it would seem that is all they want to hear.

  145. Clotpoll says:

    Cramer now on CNBC, claiming “the depression is over”.

    Somebody shoot this idiot.

  146. Clotpoll says:

    Cramer says you can’t call them “toxic” assets anymore.

    They are now “bargain basement” assets.

  147. Doyle says:

    #141

    Clot, the scariest part is that when a new listing hits, I am always optimistic that they will have noticed the other listings rotting for months. But no, they list in the same ridiculous price range and join the charade.

    Same old, same old.

  148. Stu says:

    “Held-to-maturity makes a massive assumption that the firm doing the “helding” will be around to “maturity”.”

    Not just around, but you are assuming that the value of these MBS will actually recover to par! What if they don’t? Then what happens?

    I suppose if you polish a turd for long enough, it will become a diamond. No wait, that’s coal!

  149. Clotpoll says:

    3b (144)-

    The only hope I have is that my sellers are- almost to a man- quietly agreeing with me and following my lead. We are getting the listings sold, for the most part.

    My clients live the reality much more than I. They aren’t following my advice just because I say so.

  150. 3b says:

    #142 clot: to use significant judgment in valuing assets to reduce writedowns on certain investments, including mortgage-backed securities.”

    Than it would appear to me, at least that any hope of reviving the securization market is dead.

    What potential investor/s will want this stuff, if many of the same clowns who created this mess, are now going to decide what these things are worth?

    They have no credibility.

  151. 2 Cents says:

    A new bull market has begun!! BUY BUY BUY!! Rally Monkeys in the house!

  152. Clotpoll says:

    9:48, and I want a double Knob Creek.

  153. 3b says:

    #145 clot:Cramer now on CNBC, claiming “the depression is over”.

    So what is coming.

  154. Clotpoll says:

    Stu (148)-

    I’d like somebody to show me how a MBS with a current 10% underlying default rate will mature at par.

  155. 3b says:

    3147 doyle:But no, they list in the same ridiculous price range and join the charade.

    Yep. It is almost funny, or actually pathetic.

  156. Clotpoll says:

    Hey, I know: time to buy some more SRS!

  157. 2 Cents says:

    Now that MTM has been suspended, maybe now we should refer to the economy as an “Enronomy” ??

  158. Clotpoll says:

    3b (150)-

    Gubmint and the banks have now painted themselves into a corner with a sort of conundrum that old-school cancer treatments used to pose:

    To cure the patient, you have to kill the patient. The needle-eye you have to thread to get to a successful outcome is so narrow that failure is virtually guaranteed.

  159. skep-tic says:

    #3

    “My point with Taleb is that he isn’t saying anything new or innovative. He is essentially a nothing. ”

    *********
    I find his books entertaining, but his only real point is that the past does not predict the future. His posturing as a philosopher is a little much. Hume summed up his entire body of work pretty well in 1722:

    **************

    “All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, relations of ideas, and matters of fact. Of the first kind are the sciences of geometry, algebra, and arithmetic, and in short, every affirmation which is either intuitively or demonstratively certain. That the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the square of the two sides, is a proposition which expresses a relation between these figures. That three times five is equal to the half of thirty, expresses a relation between these numbers.

    Propositions of this kind are discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe. Though there never were a circle or triangle in nature, the truths demonstrated by Euclid would for ever retain their certainty and evidence.

    Matters of fact, which are the second objects of human reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing. The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible, because it can never imply a contradiction, and is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness, as if ever so conformable to reality. That the sun will not rise tomorrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction, than the affirmation, that it will rise. We should in vain, therefore, attempt to demonstrate its falsehood. Were it demonstratively false, it would imply a contradiction, and could never be distinctly conceived by the mind.”

  160. 2 Cents says:

    RE: “Holding assets to maturity”

    Isn’t there already a provision in accounting rules to assign such assets to that silo and only other assets are marked to the market? Would appreciate if anyone can clear this up for me.

  161. yikes says:

    safe to say that detroit is a notch below civilization?

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20090402/METRO08/904020395/To+urban+hunter++next+meal+is+scampering+by

    i’d sell michigan to canada for $1
    i’ll miss the Wolverines fight song, but that’s about it. well, let’s keep Tom Izzo, too

  162. hughesrep says:

    152

    When drinking whiskey in the AM I’ve always figured it is not so much as the time where you are that is important, it is the time of day where the product was produced.

    So no Knob Creek yet, however scotch thinks it is mid afternoon.

  163. Sean says:

    133 & 136 – DL & Clot – Just like gamblers allot of people are going to go for broke before they give up.

    Right now I am hearing about massive amounts of filings for 401k hardship withdraws. (this is not anecdotal).

    My take is people will run up credit where they can and draw down savings and retirement to nothing before they are totally broke.

    By then it will be too late to act, the house will be foreclosed, the cars will be towed away in the middle of the night, the wife will have filed for divorce, the children will have to drop out of college and the dog will have run away.

    More like a whimper than a bang, things will get rough but it won’t be Mad Max. There won’t be roving gangs and warlords running the neighborhoods, this isn’t Beirut after all.

  164. grim says:

    In other news, FASB will allow companies to submit reports in crayon. FASB is also instituting a new requirement requiring CEO to provide an accurate illustration of the company.

    No, really, they want the CEO to draw a picture of the company, in crayon.

    FASB will issue a gold star if the CEO can stay within the lines. Extra credit for including a puppy or a smiling sun.

  165. Shore Guy says:

    Yippee!!!! Mrs. Shore and I decided that a piece of property we own will someday be worth $3,000,000.00 Now when that will be is a bit up inthe air, but, mark my words… um…..my assessment, it will come to pass. I think. Anyway, I think it is time to use that land, ando our assessment of its value as collateral for a loan on a beachfront place in Mantoloking. If we default, the bank gets the land, valued the same as the beachfront place, and we are all happy.

  166. HEHEHE says:

    You know the end game is now they are going to pay Bill Gross and a few other selected souls a bunch of taxpayer money now to buy this sh*t from the banks at these new inflated prices.

  167. 3b says:

    #158 clot: I just wonder how this whole publci private partnership purchasing of toxic (sorry, I mean misunderstood asets) is going to work now?

    Will the private investors want these at the banks imaginary prices, or will they not care, as the losses will be borne by the taxpayers.

  168. grim says:

    House financial services committee debating this morning. Barney Frank is pushing to allow for executives to perform an interpretive dance in lieu of submitting financial statements. A number of executives have been complaining to congress that accounting rules are simply too stringent to allow for an accurate view of the firm.

  169. implosion08 says:

    Two questions:
    (1) Most of us originally were attracted to this site for its ability to see reality through all the spin through critical thinking. Can anyone use those skills (as an intellectual endeavor) to make a compelling bull case for real estate or equities or society? The facts are completely one-sided to me but I am always looking to challenge my view.
    (2) My FIL heard on NPR yesterday a story about sellers using actors to pretend to be neighbors of houses that have vacant houses next door. So potential buyers would see families BBQing next door and then when they moved in they would find out the home was and had been vacant. Did anyone hear that? Was that an April Fool’s joke or has the world gotten to be that pathetic?
    Thanks

  170. Shore Guy says:

    “stay within the lines”

    Grim,

    Clearly you have no appreciation for the new accounting rules.

  171. comrade nom deplume says:

    [161] yikes

    You could say that. In fact, several notches.

    But this killed me:

    “He believes coon meat tastes something like mutton or pork, but to the uneducated pallet, it has the aroma and texture of opossum.”

    I sooo don’t wanna know how the reporter knows what possum tastes like.

  172. Shore Guy says:

    “So potential buyers would see families BBQing next door and then when they moved in they would find out the home was and had been vacant. Did anyone hear that? Was that an April Fool’s joke or has the world gotten to be that pathetic?”

    Two thoughts:

    1) Whether or not it was a joke, yes, things are that pathetic;

    2) It is, actually, a pretty innovative idea.

  173. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    U.S. Jan. factory orders revised down to -3.5% vs. -1.9%

    U.S. Feb. durable-goods orders revised to 3.5% gain vs. 3.4%

    U.S. Feb. factory orders rise 1.8%, first gain in 7 months

  174. Shore Guy says:

    “aroma and texture of opossum.”

    Nom,

    I have eaten many things in my day, but can honestly say opossum is the WORST tasting thing I have ever eaten.

    It tastes worse than it looks.

  175. Stu says:

    So the fox isn’t just in the hen house now. He has now duplicated his keys and has given a copy to all of his brethren as well.

  176. grim says:

    It is, actually, a pretty innovative idea.

    Technique was used to sell “upscale” urban condos at the peak.

    Developments would host catered parties at opening. Models would be brought into mingle with single male buyers.

    If you buy a condo here, you’ll have beautiful women hanging off you most every night…

    Suckers.

  177. comrade nom deplume says:

    [124] clot

    “FASB has now declared that assets in an illiquid market environment should not automatically be labeled as “distressed”.

    Too bad they didn’t come up with a new “misunderstood” classification, as in “Joey repeatedly stabs himself with scissors and fondles the girls in class, but it’s because he’s misunderstood”.

    _______

    I can hardly type because I am STILL LMAO.

  178. Shore Guy says:

    We will know the end is near when Fed and Treasury officials ask to be paid in either foreign currency, metals, or flour.

  179. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Just an excitible boy?

  180. Shore Guy says:

    “Technique was used to sell “upscale” urban condos at the peak.”

    Also sounds like Capitol Hill or Agency parties.

  181. Shore Guy says:

    Interesting unemployment numbers. It should be good for a further upward spike in the Dow.

  182. we says:

    169, all the dissidents have been crowded out of this board. Good news are not allowed on this site, only doom and gloom. If indeed, we are going back to stone-age, I would rather have a house than a rental. Nobody is coming to evict me.

  183. comrade nom deplume says:

    [172] shore

    Years ago, Chevy Chase made a movie where the NYC yuppies yearning for country life moved to Northern NE. When they wanted to sell, they promised the townfolk that they would pay them not to act like themselves so other NYC yuppies would buy into the town. The locals made the place look all Currier and Ives, but then rioted when Chevy’s character decided to stay.

    Can’t remember the name of the movie.

    and I don’t want to know about the possum.

  184. DL says:

    First we had liar loans, not we have fantasy accounting.

    Ref 169: here’s your opposing view on RE. Compliments of CNBC of course.
    “Dennis Gartman foresees a housing shortage!”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/29993390

  185. Hard Place says:

    Why even bother with financial statements at this point?

    Can we suspend the need for public companies to report financials?

    Wouldn’t this just make the whole problem even easier to deal with?

    Very well placed sentiments on FASB…

  186. grim says:

    I’d have liked to see the FASB require that any company holding securities in this category and marking them to model, also require them to list out all such assets in their financial statements.

  187. Silera says:

    Chi- 27-

    Thanks for the Carlin! Amazing how he’s considered a comedian and not the politicians…

  188. 3b says:

    #182 we: What good news is that? Did I miss something?

    I would rather have a house than a rental. Nobody is coming to evict me.

    Oh yes that is a very mature statement.

    Why not just use I know you are but what am I, or how about nah-nah a pooh-poo.

  189. 3b says:

    #181 shore: Interesting? What makes you say that.

  190. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    And when I say they taste worse than they look, I mean taste worse than the mangled ones at the side of the road.

    Given the choice between possum and grubs, go for the grubs.

  191. 3b says:

    Grim: There was a house in River Edge I was following, and for the life of me I cannot find the listing number. Anyhow it dropped off the mls apparently yesterday.

    Is there any way you can tell me if it went UC or was withhdrawn/expired again.

    The house is on Monroe Avenue.

  192. Hard Place says:

    I will now reiterate that my house is worth $900,000.

    Don’t believe me? Prove me wrong.

    BTW, my car is also appreciating on a daily basis.

    Clot,
    I am going to a bank and apply for a loan. I’m claiming as $10,000 of assets my 10 pairs of $300 jeans, 10 $700 suits. I will apply for a loan at a bank that claims $10 billion of RE assets that are actually worth $4 billion. In the end it is a wash.

  193. DL says:

    Clot: drinking before lunch? Bloody Marys.

  194. Shore Guy says:

    3b,

    Because the behavior of the Dow seems to bear no rational connection with the state of the economy. No matter how bad the weight of economic news, one small bit of non-negative news sends the market soaring.

  195. skep-tic says:

    #169

    “Most of us originally were attracted to this site for its ability to see reality through all the spin through critical thinking. Can anyone use those skills (as an intellectual endeavor) to make a compelling bull case for real estate or equities or society?”

    Don’t know anything about equities, but I do think there is a bullish case for RE in places like south florida and parts of california right now due to the massive volume of foreclosures. I honestly do not see any solid argument for buying in and around NYC unless it is a totally unique situation.

    on a society level, things may not be so bad. maybe we just go back to a 1970s lifestyle. not the end of the world

  196. Shore Guy says:

    “my house is worth $900,000”

    Not if you try to sell it today, perhaps, but if you wait long enough to sell, someday it will. Same logic as the banks.

    Bad assets plus some magic dust, oh, magic dust, and it is worth whatever it needs to be worth.

  197. Shore Guy says:

    Skep,

    We can skip the polyester, perms, and leisure suits, right?

  198. Jill says:

    Revelations #69: My town is full of #$$&%^@&*. According to the average ratio, my POS cape is woth $20K MORE than what I was assessed at peak — and there is no way that my house would sell for $480K, not when comparable homes are selling mostly in the high threes to very low fours — except for that honking POS on the next block that went a couple of months ago for $450K (but it’s on a 10,000 foot lot instead of a 7500 foot one). So what do you do when your town’s ratios are so obviously skewed by bash ‘n’ build McMansions?

  199. Stu says:

    I’ve eaten plenty of rabbit and it is pretty damn tasty.

    Never had any species of rodent though.

    I still wish venison would be eaten more commonly around here. Lord knows, there is plenty of it and I think it’s absolutely delicious.

  200. DL says:

    Ref 1970s. Do I get to expose chest hair again?

  201. grim says:

    Don’t know anything about equities, but I do think there is a bullish case for RE in places like south florida and parts of california right now due to the massive volume of foreclosures.

    Agree, still tremendous opportunity for those who are looking to retire in Florida or Arizona.

    Play the geographic arbitrage game and you can still sell your home in the northeast for a premium compared to the discount you would receive in Florida or Arizona.

    It might not be a bad time to pick up a vacation property in those destinations as well.

  202. Richie says:

    Years ago, Chevy Chase made a movie where the NYC yuppies yearning for country life moved to Northern NE. When they wanted to sell, they promised the townfolk that they would pay them not to act like themselves so other NYC yuppies would buy into the town. The locals made the place look all Currier and Ives, but then rioted when Chevy’s character decided to stay.

    Can’t remember the name of the movie.

    and I don’t want to know about the possum.

    Funny Farm. Great Movie.

  203. Hard Place says:

    It might not be a bad time to pick up a vacation property in those destinations as well.

    Typically the properties in these areas are not the prime properties everyone wants. I was just in Northern Calif and the foreclosures are very limited in the prime areas, but the majority are in the fringe neighborhoods.

  204. Hard Place says:

    Lots of deals in Oakland and the East Bay. The core city prices are lower and crumbling, but have not hit bottom.

  205. Stu says:

    As long as we are removing mark to market on MBS, shouldn’t we remove the reserves that the FDIC requires banks to maintain on deposits as well?

  206. Shore Guy says:

    tu,

    Goat is also wonderful.

  207. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Who needs reserves whan one has assets valued at such high levels?

  208. grim says:

    Stu,

    Maybe not remove, but I see no reason why banks shouldn’t be allowed to “state” capital reserves.

  209. ricky_nu says:

    is the downturn finished around here in NJ? I doubt it, wait till the labor pool of Wall St is repriced (going on right in front of your eyes). It is just going to take a little more time.

    I work with a chap who has been looking up in Fairfield county in CT…..the Wall Street towns are being hit pretty hard (your New Canaans, Stamfords, etc). Still way overpriced, but momentum is down, and not sure if I see anything that will arrest the fall.

  210. grim says:

    Question for those much brighter than I.

    Will the new FASB MTM change result in zombie banks?

    Instead of clearing bad assets, companies would instead “hold-to-maturity”. This would result in capital being tied up in illiquid assets far into the future, instead of being pushed into more productive pursuits.

    So instead of clearing, this will just bind up the current situation tighter, no?

    Japanification? Zombification?

  211. Karthik says:

    So according to all of you if I am looking at buying a house in Somerset, North Brunswick area should I wait or go for it? when would be the best time to buy a house. Realtors say now is the time every time I ask them. Its confusing

  212. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    “Liar” reserves, what a fantastic idea. We need more innovation like this in our financial markets. After all, it is innovation in the financial sector that made the country what it is today.

  213. Shore Guy says:

    “Realtors say now is the time every time I ask them. ”

    Ask anyone who works on commission when you should buy their product and they will tell you, “now.”

  214. Sastry says:

    #212: I saw this on CNN — Edison expected to bottom out in Quarter 1 of 2011 (I think the only major point shown for Central NJ)!

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_realestate/2009/maps/states.html

    Don’t know where they get the underlying models. I suspect they may be some statistical models or regression models that have no underlying “reasoning” behind them.

    S

  215. stan says:

    Cue the deer!!!! Funniest part of the movie, and along the lines of the fake neighbors mentioned above.

    Chevy stopped being funny in 1990, it was unreal, it was like somebody just took his mojo.

  216. ruggles says:

    Its never a good time to buy in Somerset/North Brunswick.

  217. Sastry says:

    #211…

    If I were a bank CEO and have “legacy assets”, I’d milk the government loans at 2.5% and gamble with that money (will take as many risks as possible). If the bank goes belly up, no problem. If there are big profits, I’ll take big bonuses.

    It’s like gambling with the money of a rich, elderly grandmother. I’d get a percentage of winnings, and do not have to pay if there are losses.

    The grandmother will end up in the poor house very soon.

    S

  218. Karthik says:

    #215
    Thanks for the info. Seems like a long time to go till 2011. I am actively looking on the market around Somerset and No Brunswick and most of them are still priced high!

  219. Hard Place says:

    Instead of clearing bad assets, companies would instead “hold-to-maturity”. This would result in capital being tied up in illiquid assets far into the future, instead of being pushed into more productive pursuits.

    So instead of clearing, this will just bind up the current situation tighter, no?

    Japanification? Zombification?

    This is all new territory, but wasn’t our lending problem due to transparency of pricing in these assets? Now that pricing is becoming more firm, it seems they don’t like what they see. Their solution? Make the pricing more opaque. So how does this make the lending problem better? Banks can not trust each other again. LIBOR goes through the roof again? We are back to square one.

    Just my stream of conscious thought about the issue.

  220. Stu says:

    Karthik,

    IMO, now is not the time. If you believe that the northeast will be different than the rest of country in regards to RE prices, then go ahead and risk it. I for one, think it will eventually be equally as bad here is at has been nearly every where else. I bought in 2004 and regret the decision immensely. And trust me, those same realtors were saying, “Now is the time to buy before you get priced out.”

  221. Stu says:

    “Banks can not trust each other again. LIBOR goes through the roof again? We are back to square one.”

    I was thinking the same thing. I will be watching the LIBOR closely.

    In other news DJIA is approaching 8,000 again.

  222. Steve says:

    Grim (211),

    That’s exactly what I believe is going to happen. Hello Zombies!

    Plus, now Timmy’s going to have an even tougher time convincing them to sell – why would they admit any losses now? Of course the hedgies will be upset, too, since their ability to rip us off with govt subsidies to buy the stuff will be curtailed.

    From every angle, bad decisions being made. I despise the terms of the “PIPP” or whatever it is, but at least it would have gotten some type of m2m going, and forced someone, somewhere, to admit banks carrying at 90cents/dollar is a complete joke – insolvency is rampant.

    It’s a shell game, pure and simple. You either take the pain now, or you drag it over a decade and watch the economy do absolutely nothing for years on end.

    No smart money will invest in an opaque entity (banks), which is why the govt was forced to step in with OUR money in the first place.

  223. grim says:

    Is this bullish for Northern NJ real estate?

    From the WSJ:

    Manhattan Real-Estate Market Skids as Sales Slump

    Manhattan’s real-estate market has come crashing back to earth.

    Sales of units in newly constructed buildings dropped 67% in the first quarter, and closings slid 52% compared with a year earlier. Inventory climbed 29% to 12,336 listings in March, the highest level in more than eight years, according to a report by real-estate brokerage The Corcoran Group and PropertyShark.com.

    Reports due out Thursday provide more evidence. Real-estate site StreetEasy.com says that more than a third of listings shaved prices in the first quarter, with the average cut topping 9%. Halstead Property says that apartments sold during the period stayed on the market 18% longer than a year ago.

    “I would describe this as a new market — we essentially hit a reset button. It wasn’t like it declined in a slope; it declined in a step,” said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Manhattan real-estate consulting and appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc.

    New York City had long withstood the prolonged downturn gripping the nation, but that strength crumbled along with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September. The ensuing financial meltdown erased thousands of high-paying jobs and slashed Wall Street bonuses. Those losses, along with tighter lending requirements and a strengthening dollar, have removed a chunk of the world-wide buying pool and halted price increases.

    “The crisis on Wall Street is certainly showing itself in New York City’s real-estate numbers,” said Pamela Liebman, Corcoran’s chief executive. “The market now is very different.”

    It is a region in transition, with buyers and sellers trying to determine values. “Buyers and sellers are on opposite sides of a river, and they’re yet to find a bridge,” Ms. Liebman said.

    To be sure, Manhattan prices remain well above the national median price, which was $165,400 in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. According to StreetEasy.com, Manhattan median condo sales fell 4.7% to $895,000 and co-op resales slipped 11.3% to $550,000 in the first quarter from a year earlier.

    Falling prices are good news for potential buyers long priced out of the market. The price tag for an alcove studio on the Upper East Side fell 47.5% to $199,000. A co-op on Park Avenue saw $1.1 million shaved off the price in a single day, Ms. Kim said.

  224. Shore Guy says:

    Okay, so now the banks mark to fantasy values, and their numbers “improve.” Then the market rewards them by driving up their value. What next? Do they ship some inflated-value shares to the Fed to pay-off TARP and then grant cash bonuses to the CEOs for steering the banks through the rapids?

  225. Zack says:

    What’s a good investment strategy if the stock market/job market will be in zombie mode for the next decade? I have to buy another matress for stuffing my cash because my current mattress is stuffed with cash resulting in an uncomfortable sleep.

  226. we says:

    Meanwhile, the median sales price of all condo and co-op apartments sold rose 6%, to $907,500, in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008, according to New York City brokers Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens. Prudential Douglas Elliman’s report showed an increase of 3.1%, to $975,000.

    During the boom years, Manhattan was churning out double-digit price increases, with a 20% jump, for example, during 2005.

    The Corcoran Group was the only broker that reported falling prices, noting that the median sales price of apartments tumbled 2%, to $925,000.

  227. grim says:

    169, all the dissidents have been crowded out of this board. Good news are not allowed on this site, only doom and gloom.

    Apologize for not being in the category of individuals that believes that “hope” is a valid strategy. Nor am I part of the ilk that believes that “the power of positive thinking” can fix our current situation.

  228. RayC says:

    Clot,

    If you run out of Whiskey, then you do have a drinking problem. You will either have to switch to Gin or find more Whiskey. Some problems practically solve themselves.

  229. lena says:

    So, I live in South Florida (Ft Lauderdale area). I’ve been following this site since I lived in NY, contemplating a move to Jersey.

    Anyway, one of the themes I’ve notices as our economic crisis became worse and worse were predications on increases in crime (common sense… but something clearly not reported in mainstream media).

    Well, I have now seen, first hand, a HUGE increase in crime down here, an area hit pretty hard by the downturn. Burglaries are up significantly with many of my neighbors now having been burglarized. Even the cops of our small city are telling civilians to go out and get a gun.

    Unbelievable. This makes me sick to my stomach.

  230. RayC says:

    Doom and gloom? Why does wanting houses to be affordable make one gloomy? Or doomy? I got all excited when gas prices dropped 50%, imagine the fiesta of happiness and sunshine if house prices follow. I hear birds chirping, it must be open house month!

  231. Shore Guy says:

    C’mon Grim, “Keep hope alive” because, after all, “Yes we can.”

  232. 3b says:

    #229 we: Did you read the article, did you understand it, or did you just post it?

  233. chicagofinance says:

    implosion08 says:
    April 2, 2009 at 10:09 am
    Two questions:
    (2) My FIL heard on NPR yesterday a story about sellers using actors to pretend to be neighbors of houses that have vacant houses next door. So potential buyers would see families BBQing next door and then when they moved in they would find out the home was and had been vacant. Did anyone hear that? Was that an April Fool’s joke or has the world gotten to be that pathetic?
    Thanks

    imp: I’ve experienced first hand organizations that were attempting to recruit new members put plants and/or actors posing as recruits. I backward engineered in my own mind the whole thing and was absolutely shook to the core at the level of manipulation.

  234. Pat says:

    tosh, was it you who posted a link to a chart that tracked equity lost by msa? Maybe it was yoy equity.

  235. Shore Guy says:

    “Why does wanting houses to be affordable make one gloomy”

    I am not sure that everyone here is shooting for “affordability.” Although it is a nice goal, houses have never been affordable to most. What I would hope for is that we achieve rational pricing. In the end, this will bring increased affordability; however, the quest for affordability got us where we are today, via exotic loans that persuaded people who could not afford to own that they could.

  236. #237 – Pat, I may have but currently don’t remember doing so.

  237. comrade nom deplume says:

    [204] Richie

    “Funny Farm”

    Thanks. Think that will have to be the name for the Nompound.

    Or I could go with that old law school test-taking theme and name it Nomacre (I think I just heard skep groan).

    And if I plug a few deer on the nompound, I know Stu will be there for some BBQ.

  238. grim says:

    Doom and gloom? Why does wanting houses to be affordable make one gloomy?

    Good point.

    I suppose the situation might be gloomy if you purchased a home with the idea that it would make you wealthy. Now with prices falling, and that dream not realized, I might be kind of gloomy too.

    But on the positive side, many first time buyers will find good deals. They’ll be able to get into nice homes at affordable prices, and ensure themselves a solid financial future that isn’t predicated on ponzi-like appreciation.

  239. 3b says:

    #239 shore; They should be affordable in our area, just as in any other area, relative to income. They were very affordable in the late 90’s.

    However, it’s not just prices, but our of control property taxes.

    Every spending referendum was sold on the fact it will increase your property values.And of course the majority of clueless people voted yes. Anyone who urged caution was subject to ridicule or worse.

  240. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Just remember that timeless advice when it comes to small creature BBQ: “Look at the paws.”

  241. grim says:

    I get all giddy when I read an email from a reader that was able to negotiate a great deal on a property, purchase or lease.

    Feels good knowing that I was able to help someone out.

  242. grim says:

    On the other hand, I’m giddy when I read emails from readers that have walked away from bad deals too.

  243. Pat says:

    DL, regarding unemployment readings. Know that unemployment historically continues on an upward trend for years after the nadir of an economic downturn.

  244. Al says:

    To be sure, Manhattan prices remain well above the national median price, which was $165,400 in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. According to StreetEasy.com, Manhattan median condo sales fell 4.7% to $895,000 and co-op resales slipped 11.3% to $550,000 in the first quarter from a year earlier.

    Once again what is central/north NJ/south median Prices now – ??

    165K simply sounds unbelievable when you live on the east cost.

  245. chicagofinance says:

    grim & clot: everything is business as usual; you just have a better vantage point and have interest in paying attention…..

  246. 3b says:

    #248 grim: can you take a look at post #293 when you get a chance. I would appreciate it.

  247. chicagofinance says:

    You recognize that the Internet has allowed your view to be enhanced….what is happening on this blog is intellectual alchemy….

  248. Shore Guy says:

    This FASB change to M2M has just stuck in my craw. It brings back memories of the ratings agencies going along with the Alice-in-Wonderland practices before the bubble burst. Now, once again, the folks who are supposed to be setting the standards necessary to protect investors and the economy are giving into pressure from the regulated.

  249. grim says:

    is the downturn finished around here in NJ? I doubt it, wait till the labor pool of Wall St is repriced (going on right in front of your eyes). It is just going to take a little more time.

    Given the ever increasing pace of job losses in the state, it doesn’t appear that we’ve seen peak unemployment yet. If this pace continues we are looking at statewide, double digit unemployment this year.

    I can’t imagine the real estate downturn would be anywhere near bottom with unemployment rising so quickly. Would be hard to imagine a situation where home prices would form a bottom anywhere near current levels in a high or rising unemployment scenario.

  250. skep-tic says:

    I like when realtors use the word “prestigious” as an adverb.

    As in “Prestigiously located in _____.”

    But sometimes this does not convey the full measure of the prestige in question. On occassion, then, it is preferable to describe the location as follows:

    “Prestigiously located in the most prestigious corner of _______, where prestige first appeared in America after descending from the Mayflower and before embarking on a storied squash career at Groton and, later, Harvard.”

  251. grim says:

    Know that unemployment historically continues on an upward trend for years after the nadir of an economic downturn.

    Nominal home prices fell for at least a year following the end of the recession (March 1991) during the last down cycle.

    Real home prices fell for years following the official END of that recession.

  252. grim says:

    Based on the prior housing downturn, if the recession ended TODAY, nominal home prices would continue to fall over the next year. Given that real home prices bottomed around 1997, 6 years after the end of the recession. We should be looking for a bottom in real home prices in, hmm, 2015?

  253. Hard Place says:

    I was thinking the same thing. I will be watching the LIBOR closely.

    Stu,

    Last year o/n LIBOR was in the 2’s & 3’s. Yesterday there was an article in Bloomberg about increased activity in basis trading. People swapping s/t libor and l/t rates. Sounds like people positioning for the move.

  254. Pat says:

    How did I know that coon would show up in MSM article before long?

    How did I know?

  255. Shore Guy says:

    Has anyone here ever heard of the two-fleets rule?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123853988781575499.html

  256. Hard Place says:

    Well, I have now seen, first hand, a HUGE increase in crime down here, an area hit pretty hard by the downturn. Burglaries are up significantly with many of my neighbors now having been burglarized. Even the cops of our small city are telling civilians to go out and get a gun.

    Better watch out for those fringe neighborhoods and new developments. Could easily evolve into the newest ghettos as moneyed flight from this area will probably happen first. That’s why the frontiersman always carried guns. I guess that is essentially what the cops are saying, “Welcome to the Wild, Wild West”.

  257. Pat says:

    And didn’t we already learn that a turd can, indeed, be polished?

    After all, it was proven on the TeeVee.
    We watched this after eating dinner.

    http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbusters-polishing-a-turd.html

  258. comrade nom deplume says:

    [245] shore

    If I shoot it and it has paws, I know it isn’t a deer. Then I am not sure I can get stu over for BBQ.

    Generally, I know my small mammals pretty well. Large ones too. Don’t have to look at the paws. And if I can’t hit it with my Ruger mini-14, it’s too small to eat.

  259. implosion08 says:

    OK the actor report seems to be an April Fool’s joke. Apparently cuts too close to the truth though.

    http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/04/01/pm_new_staging/

    Does anyone else think of Baghdad Bob when they see that woman in the NAR commercial?

  260. Pat says:

    Maybe Nigella can work the paste into a coon recipe.

  261. make money says:

    Recession buster!!!

    NEW YORK–APRIL 2, 2009– Fly to San Francisco from New York City for just $14 each way! This is NOT a mistake, but there is one catch: the $14 fares are only for travel today through April 8. That includes flights this weekend.

    The sale ends tonight at midnight EST.

    With taxes, this comes to a mere $49 roundtrip. That’s about the same price as a cab to the airport.

    Seats will fill up very fast at this price. We recommend booking soon to find the best availability. Many dates may be unavailable soon after this email goes out.

    To book directly through JetBlue Airways, click here:
    http://www.travelzoo.com/Newsflash.ashx?564007-24904979

  262. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    Thinking like that leads one to miss a world of culinary opportunities.

  263. comrade nom deplume says:

    [262] shore

    Doesn’t this op-ed cut against your thesis that the O-man will come down hard on the UAW?

  264. HEHEHE says:

    Nationwide Layoff Watch: 135 Down At Mayer Brown
    Thursday, April 2, 2009 11:53 AM – By Elie Mystal

    This is just coming in over the wire. Mayer Brown is letting go 135 people today: 40 lawyers, 90 staff.

    http://abovethelaw.com/2009/04/135_layoffs_mayer_brown.php

  265. comrade nom deplume says:

    [269] shore

    I think I speak for the assembled when I offer up a mea culpa for ever reading that article and posting more from it, and now move we drop it.

    Some of us are going to lunch soon.

  266. make money says:

    we says:
    April 2, 2009 at 11:51 am
    http://www.zillow.com/local-info/NY-New-York/Upper-East-Side-home-value/

    They’re dumping hamptons but keeping their NYC roof. That’s all.

  267. comrade nom deplume says:

    [271] HE

    “Mayer Brown”

    Another of the places I nearly was offered a position, and for which I am grateful I was ultimately passed over.

  268. we says:

    make money says:
    April 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm
    we says:
    April 2, 2009 at 11:51 am
    http://www.zillow.com/local-info/NY-New-York/Upper-East-Side-home-value/

    They’re dumping hamptons but keeping their NYC roof. That’s all.

    ———————————–
    The Nesting instinct is taking over? If so, good for housing, bad for stocks.

  269. Shore Guy says:

    Simply amazing, and more proof that we are NOT in a recession:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090402/us_nm/us_hunger_usa

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A record 32.2 million people — one in every 10 Americans — received food stamps at latest count, the government said on Thursday, a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month.

    Food stamps are the major U.S. antihunger program and help poor people buy groceries. The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January.

    The January figure marks the third time in five months that enrollment set a record.

    [snip]

  270. Shore Guy says:

    Something worth considering for IRAs, which a few of us were talking about a few weeks back:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/ira/2007/07/20/you-can-put-real-estate-in-your-ira.aspx

  271. 3b says:

    #258 grim: Tell “We”.

  272. Herring123 says:

    Biglaw firms are run so backwards, it’s ridiculous. These layoffs should’ve been happening many moons ago, when their bank clients were doing the same. If 50% of your work is transactional, and your transactional clients wipe out entire departments and trading desks and publicly announce that they’re not doing new business, you shouldn’t wait until your year-end financials come in before firing staff.

  273. make money says:

    This is all new territory, but wasn’t our lending problem due to transparency of pricing in these assets? Now that pricing is becoming more firm, it seems they don’t like what they see. Their solution? Make the pricing more opaque. So how does this make the lending problem better? Banks can not trust each other again. LIBOR goes through the roof again? We are back to square one.

    HardPlace,

    Money goes back to t-bills and our dollar remains strong. We get to finance our budget for cheap and can tell China and Russia to go to hell for a while.

  274. 2 Cents says:

    So, if this suspension makes everything hunky-dory, then no more bailouts are needed, right?
    So Geithner can go ahead and cancel his PPIP program, correct?

  275. Shore Guy says:

    “Doesn’t this op-ed cut against your thesis that the O-man will come down hard on the UAW?”

    B.O. will NOT come down hard on the UAW; however, he will allow the BK court to do so. In the alternative, he will allow them to eviscerate themselves at teh bargaining table in an attempt to avoid the same thing in BK court. My thesis was that B.O. threw the UAW under a bus, and I stand by that assessment. He may express great sympathy for them and he may make a show of trying to help them but he will not do anything to stand in the way of the UAW/automaker contracts, as they currently stand, from being shredded.

    That said, it likely becomes more of an imperative for the Dems to pass EFCA.

  276. make money says:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A record 32.2 million people — one in every 10 Americans — received food stamps at latest count, the government said on Thursday, a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month.

    10% of our nation receives food stamps!!Does anyone really think that this is sustainable? This is what Morgan, Schiff and Rogers are refering to when they talk about food riots coming in the next few years.

  277. Shore Guy says:

    Make, link at 276

  278. 3b says:

    grim re my post at #252, the address is 265 Monroe Ave RE.

  279. make money says:

    The banks were bailed out, and automakers got help, too. Even some people who bought more house than they could afford are getting relief.

    But as the economy still sputters along, Robert Applebaum thinks he has a better idea: Cancel all the outstanding student loan debt. The impact would be immediate, he says, as people paying hundreds of dollars a month on their student loans could instead spend that money elsewhere.

    The seemingly fanciful idea has hit a nerve. Since Applebaum, a New York lawyer, started a Facebook group on Jan. 29, more than 156,000 people have joined and 40,000 have signed a petition intended to be sent to Congress. Applebaum, who owes about $96,000 on law school loans, has become a full-time spokesman for the cause.

    “I see it as targeted relief to people who are obviously lower and middle class, and it rewards responsibility,” said Applebaum, 35. “These people didn’t take out these loans to live high on the hog. They did it to better themselves.”

    This is a bailout that makes sense to me. Instead of paying off my loans I was able to start a new path in my life and career.

  280. chicagofinance says:

    Job lead:

    Actively seeking chemists/ChemEs and polymer scientists/technicians with experience in formulating consuctive adhesives, inks, coatings.

  281. Zack says:

    Homeless people in this country should be lucky to recive foodstamps. Consider what other people are going through in other countries..
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Rajkot/Jobless-workers-wife-drowns-daughters/articleshow/4320090.cms

  282. 3b says:

    This just came on the market. This IMO is what asking prices should be for a decent (did not say great)in a good town with good schools.

    The only drawback for me is yes a dead end street, but feeds into a very major intersection, and depending what side of the street it is on, it may back up to the train tracks.

    But at least the asking price is much more reasonable vs 2 years ago.

    http://www.njmls.com/cf/details.cfm?mls_number=2914650&id=999999

  283. kettle1 says:

    Clot 128

    my car is also appreciating on a daily basis.

    How about that, so is my 1999 saturn with 190K miles!!!!

  284. Sastry says:

    Zack #289…

    I hope it is an isolated incident — though the reality is that suicides based on financial situation are frequent in India (google farmers suicides for example).

    It’s sh.it all over. The diamond industry is the devil. It kills people on the way up, and now on the way down too!

    S

  285. yome says:

    Where is the recession

    MIDLAND, Mich. – Having completed its $16.5 billion buyout of Rohm & Haas, Dow Chemical Co. said it will sell Morton Salt to German fertilizer maker K+S Aktiengesellschaft in a deal valuing the former Rohm & Haas unit at $1.675 billion.

    THATS HOW MUCH MONEY IN SALT?

  286. Sastry says:

    And… before someone says “dishonest discourse”, my opinions of the diamond industry are mine only, and have remained the same for as far as I know. :)

  287. grim says:

    You know, back in the middle ages, salt was currency.

    Maybe they are on to something there…

  288. 2 Cents says:

    Wow! This is a “Red” letter day for my brokerage account.

  289. HEHEHE says:

    Wow man apparently the bulls really like this FASB

  290. Hard Place says:

    Money goes back to t-bills and our dollar remains strong. We get to finance our budget for cheap and can tell China and Russia to go to hell for a while.

    Make,

    For short term maybe, but not long term. With a strong dollar, wouldn’t the foreign holders be eventually selling? I would.

  291. comrade nom deplume says:

    [297] HE

    Check back with us at 3:31. Something tells me we won’t be up 3.5% on the DJIA.

  292. Sastry says:

    Any suggestions on SKF or SRS after the recent run up?

    S

  293. 2 Cents says:

    “Any suggestions on SKF or SRS after the recent run up?”

    If you want to share in our pain, please buy ’em :)

  294. kettle1 says:

    HEHE

    to bad i already have my funny money committed elsewhere or i would have played this spike per our discussion the other day

  295. HEHEHE says:

    Don’t forget FXP. Come feel the pain of the China play. Though I think Confuscious said something about patience.

  296. HEHEHE says:

    Staff Layoff Watch: Hogan & Hartson Lays Off 93 Staff

    Remember back in February when Hogan & Hartson offered a “voluntary” buyout of a number of staffers? Yeah, well, apparently that didn’t work so well. After a tepid response to the buyout plan (Hogan chairman Warren Gorrell explains that only 28 staffers accepted the plan out of the 250 people that were offered the buyout), Hogan is bringing the hammer down on its staff. From an internal memo that employees at Hogan just received

    http://abovethelaw.com/2009/04/staff_layoff_watch_hogan_harts.php

  297. 2 Cents says:

    HE (303) –

    Did Confucius say anything about Chinese torture?

  298. HEHEHE says:

    New signs emerge that recession may be near bottom

    WASHINGTON – New signs that the recession could be nearing a bottom emerged Thursday, as factory orders were far better than expected and the Dow industrials surged over 8,000 for the first time in two months.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090402/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/economy

    Does this mean they are cancelling the stimulus plans?

  299. chicagofinance says:

    Anyone interested in real live financial aid packages from NYU, Boston College and Wesleyan University?

    You may find them a combination of informative and nauseating. NOTE: I would characterize these offers as generous; trying to entice interest in matriculation.

    I have eliminated all identifying information to protect the privacy of those involved.

    Contact me…..

  300. Ben says:

    Can we just knock it off the with government subsidies for these giant farms? Stop paying them to not grow food and then maybe we’ll be able to stop paying for all these people who need food stamps. Maybe they won’t actually need them anymore because they’ll be able to afford the food. Damn man, I’m a student on a stipend. I know for a fact that I don’t qualify for food stamps. These people on food stamps obviously are not working to hard. My younger siblings seem to have no problem getting multiple jobs that pay slightly above minimum wage right now. Maybe if you actually cut off the food stamps and unemployment payments, they might be inclined to go out and do the same.

  301. yome says:

    Lenders Struggle to Find Cash to Quench Growing Demand for Refinancing

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/01/AR2009040103553.html?wprss=rss_business

    WHERE IS THE MONEY?

  302. Shore Guy says:

    “Did Confucius say anything about Chinese torture?”

    Channelling John: “$250 an hour for one torturer dressed in either latex or leather, $400 an hour for two torturers dressed the same.

  303. Shore Guy says:

    woops, too many letters there

  304. Clotpoll says:

    grim (210)-

    I second that. And, if a bank is allowed to state those assets, we should then allow them to leverage 31x against those assets.

    We must re-crank the sausage machine at all costs.

  305. Clotpoll says:

    grim (212)-

    Mummification.

  306. 3b says:

    #306 hehe: And the recovery will take years.

  307. Qwerty says:

    Chi at 9:18 am / at 9:19 am —

    Indeed, invested in hot bottoms.

    So much there to work with…

  308. Shore Guy says:

    Enough looking for bottoms. The only bottom we are going to see soon will be at Gunnison Beach.

  309. Clotpoll says:

    Ray (231)-

    Thanks. I think my problems are all solved now.

    I think I am rich, so in America I can now claim to be rich.

    Proof? You want proof? I think I’m rich, ergo, rich I am.

  310. House Whine says:

    #304
    Well, after reading the abovethelaw site I am now getting more discouraged about finding another job in the legal field. Hopefully, my skills can carry over into a different field in business because it looks like law is undergoing some kind of major upheaval. Once I figure out what that field is, I might be relieved because working in the legal field is not really a bed of roses.

  311. Clotpoll says:

    lena (232)-

    No time for stomach aches. Get out and get that gun!

  312. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (251)-

    Funny. I was always the kid singled out in class for not paying attention.

  313. Shore Guy says:

    Will the shortage of warehouse lenders tend to force banks to increase their own cash balances?

  314. Clotpoll says:

    This ain’t no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.,
    I ain’t got time for that now
    Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
    Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
    You oughta know not to stand by the window
    somebody might see you up there
    I got some groceries, some peanut butter,
    to last a couple of days
    But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no
    headphones, ain’t got no records to play.

  315. Kanan says:

    Re: 290

    3B, good find….I hope it’s a trend. Most prices here in Northern NJ are beyond belief and I just moved here from Los Angeles!

  316. Clotpoll says:

    Chi (253)-

    Or, its close cousin, Mental M@sturbation.

    “…what is happening on this blog is intellectual alchemy…”

  317. Qwerty says:

    RE: “The crisis on Wall Street is certainly showing itself in New York City’s real-estate numbers,” said Pamela Liebman, Corcoran’s chief executive. “The market now is very different.”

    Who knew “It’s different here” could have dual meanings.

  318. Outofstater says:

    Re: Food stamps – and keep in mind that to qualify, one must not have more than $2,000 in “countable assets.”

  319. Clotpoll says:

    He (297)-

    There’s a reason they call it bullshit.

  320. Clotpoll says:

    sastry (300)-

    Buy them.

  321. Qwerty says:

    Nigella Lawson? Forse.

    Giada De Laurentiis. Si.

  322. Sean says:

    re#287 make money

    So our newly minted debt serfs don’t want to foot the bill for their education. I paid for mine so should I ask for a refund? (Don’t answer that one)

    You would think with all of that high fa-looting education these students have earned they would have learned that you will always have to pay the piper, and the 80-200k in debt these former students are in is pittance compared to the debt the rest of society is now expecting them to shoulder. I want my social security, my medicare and my pension when I retire so these little turds better get to work in the salt mines and pay their debt and taxes already.

    Here is the face book page.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=46657437878

  323. Clotpoll says:

    sean (331)-

    Absurd enough to make you think it’s the end of days, isn’t it?

  324. grim says:

    Some great quotes from CR:

    Paulson also said the fallout in subprime mortgages is “going to be painful to some lenders, but it is largely contained.”
    March 13, 2007

    “All the signs I look at” show “the housing market is at or near the bottom,” Paulson said.
    April 20, 2007

    “In terms of looking at housing, most of us believe that it’s at or near the bottom,” [Paulson] told Reuters. “It’s had a significant impact on the economy. No one is forecasting when, with any degree of clarity, that the upturn is going to come other than it’s at or near the bottom.”
    July 2, 2007

  325. grim says:

    The quotes above are the direct result of “hope” as a strategy.

    The words “I hope” should have been inserted into each of the quotes above.

  326. HEHEHE says:

    Grim,

    What you have against Hank “Strong Dollar” Paulson?

  327. grim says:

    Paulson also said the fallout in subprime mortgages is “going to be painful to some lenders, but I hope it is largely contained.”
    March 13, 2007

    “All the signs I look at” show “I hope the housing market is at or near the bottom,” Paulson said.
    April 20, 2007

    “In terms of looking at housing, most of us believe we hope that it’s at or near the bottom,” [Paulson] told Reuters. “It’s had a significant impact on the economy. No one is forecasting when, with any degree of clarity, that the upturn is going to come other than we hope it’s at or near the bottom.”
    July 2, 2007

  328. Qwerty says:

    RE: Boats Too Costly to Keep Are Littering Coastlines

    A heartwarming story. Another sign we’ve hot bottom.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/106846/Boats-too-Costly-to-Keep-Are-Littering-Coastlines

    The owners cannot sell them, because the secondhand market is overwhelmed. They cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars a month mooring and maintaining them. And they do not have the thousands of dollars required to properly dispose of them.

    When Brian A. Lewis of Seattle tried to sell his boat, Jubilee, no one would pay his asking price of $28,500. Mr. Lewis told the police that maintaining the boat caused “extreme anxiety,” which led him to him drill a two-inch hole in Jubilee’s hull last March.

    Mr. Santos, 50, grew up in this well-to-do community on the northern side of Charleston harbor. In his youth, he never saw an abandoned boat. As recently as a decade ago, they were no more than an occasional nuisance.

    Now they are proliferating. Crab Bank, a protected bird rookery in the harbor within sight of Fort Sumter, is home to a dozen derelicts — two sunken, two beached, the other eight still afloat. They range from houseboats to a two-masted sailboat.

  329. Sean says:

    re: #334 – Grim

    To think Time Magazine almost named Paulson the Person of the Year in 2008! He was a runner up but it was close vote.

  330. grim says:

    The technique is a good way to understand Geithner as well.

    To understand Gross, you need to insert the modifier, “it would be good for my portfolio if”.

  331. RayC says:

    Sean says:
    April 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    re: #334 – Grim

    To think Time Magazine almost named Paulson the Person of the Year in 2008! He was a runner up but it was close vote.
    ——————–

    Who says he wasn’t? It isn’t the nicest person of 2008. Check out the Man of the year in 1938.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,760539,00.html

  332. Herring123 says:

    Some interesting comments on calculated risk re FASB 157:

    People need to read the specifics of the FASB rule change, available at http://www.fasb.org/fasb_staff_positions/prop_fsp_fas157-e.pdf. It does not eliminate mark to market, it says that if a company passes a two pronged test, they can choose not to use recently traded (quoted) prices to value an asset and instead rely on other valuation techniques.

    Thus, they must prove that the quoted prices are in a distressed market and if the market for securities does come back, well no more judgement. And if they do prove that the market is distressed, they still have to base asumptions in the DCF method on some basis of external measures. The new examples inside the FASB rewrite seem to suggest they cannot simply take the best or most favorable of these outside assumptions.

  333. 3b says:

    #324 kanan: It is a trend, sellers don’t like it, (denial dies hard) but that is the reality;the party is over.

    I have to say I was impressed by the listings agents comments, that it was “priced to reflect today’s new market”. At least he has a clue,as opposed to so many others.

  334. skep-tic says:

    #341

    NSFW!

  335. Shore Guy says:

    Time also named Hitler as Man of the Year once, so it is not always a positive thing.

  336. grim says:

    Please tag not-safe-for-work links as such

  337. Qwerty says:

    RE: “I thought these two were more your type”

    Ouch, visual birth control.

  338. Sean says:

    The Hidden Credit Crunch.

    Just image if manufacturers, distributors and retailers had to pay COD or even had to pay in full in advance for all orders.

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/04/02/54377/the-invoicing-crunch/

  339. confused in nj says:

    The interesting thing about Business Degrees is they are Generic and rarely can be applied on a practical level to any specific business. Classic example was a Coopers & Lybrand auditor not understanding certain financial transactions in an AT&T audit. After I explained to her FCC Regulated Part 32 Accounting and how it differed from the GAAP Accounting she learned in school, she no longer criticized my Liberal Arts Degree in History. Originally, she couldn’t understand my qualifications for working in Finance, because she had no reference for learning Business on the Job. A different world is not necessarily better. My work career spanned Industrial Design, Electronics, Banking, Telephone Networks, Accounting, Finance & Computer Systems, although my College Level Education was Liberal Arts History. Never considered any of my jobs as requiring a Degree in the specific discipline. They did require intelligence however.

  340. SG says:

    confused in nj: Thing with MBA, G W has one from Harvard.

  341. W8TING says:

    Any suggestions on where/who I should go to for a pre-approval on a mortgage?

    I was talking to a buddy and he said with all of the demand for refis right now, going directly to banks is a better bet than dealing with mortgage brokers.

  342. #352 – going directly to banks is a better bet than dealing with mortgage brokers

    This will depend on the brokers and the bank. My general experience is that you can find better rates via brokers, but you actually have to shop it. This may have changed in the past few months. YMMV, etc.

    Do you need a pre-approval or a pre-qual letter?

  343. still_looking says:

    giada? nigella? rachael?

    Nothing spells hot like a french raised, former heroin addict/drunk turned chef and former Bergenite spoiled brat, Anthony Bourdain.

    Jamie Oliver – feh, Emeril – feh, Alton- feh, Guy – meh, Flay? I’d turn gay before I’d hit that.

    sl

  344. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Atlantic City casinos’ profits dropped in final quarter of 2008

    New Jersey’s Casino Control Commission today said gross operating profits at Atlantic City’s casinos were down nearly 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

    Casino operations made $132 million in the last three months of the year — down from $244 million in the same period a year earlier.

  345. Sastry says:

    How is Weichert financial for pre approval or pre qual? I don’t know the difference, but… I’d like to know the one where they just do the credit checks, and the one where they take copies of W2’s, bank statements, etc.

    S

  346. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    “Real Housewives” In Real Estate Trouble

    There’s simply no way to sugarcoat the data, although to be frank several NYC real estate firms are trying to do just that.

    Manhattan real estate is in deep trouble, as trouble from Wall Street seeps upstairs into the co-op and condo markets. Some firms are giving a total picture of all sales, and claiming that it’s not so bad, but Prudential Douglas Elliman does a really good job of breaking down and breaking out the sales of condo vs. co-op and re-sales vs. sales of new developments.

    Right now far fewer co-ops are selling than condos, which is not the norm; co-ops make up 75 percent of the Manhattan market. Co-op sales are down 58 percent just in the last quarter and prices (median) down 21.7 percent year over year. Condo sales are also down, but prices show an increase of 5.8 percent. Why? Because the bulk of these condo sales are in new developments, where the deals were made 12 to 18 months ago.

    Now, as goes Manhattan, so go the Hamptons.

    “You’re already seeing it in the rental market where you’re seeing a reluctance of people to do seasonal rentals,” notes Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm. “So I would expect to see a lower level of sales activity and commensurate price cuts.”

  347. grim says:

    Sastry,

    Will you be getting financing through them? If not, don’t bother. I won’t even bother asking why on earth you would use them for a loan.

    Find your lender first, and work with them.

  348. Sastry says:

    #346… Of late, times POY has been more geared towards popularity rather than influence. So, Giuliani got it for showing up to work on 9/11. Though there were more people who made big impact (positive or negative).

  349. grim says:

    I’ve sent lots of folks over to Clot’s guy. I get nothing but good feedback from them.

    Bob Farrell, President
    First Valley Funding
    (908) 565-1640

  350. #356 – A pre-qual is where they look at some W2s and run the credit and that’s about it.
    A pre-approval generally means you have a Commitment Letter in hand and the property is TBD. In other words you’ve already done everything for the loan other than pick a property.
    I have no experience w/ Weichert one way or the other. This will almost certainly be a broker though.

  351. Sastry says:

    Grim,

    How is Weichert in terms of buying agent realtors? I picked a seller agent as my buying agent for low balling a property. Suggestion from the agent was that I should get a pre approval and verification so that I can be presented as a strong buyer. So, I got some verification done by the Weichert person.

    If there is a red flag, please let me know (either publicly or in private). Looks like I am a total noob :)

    S

  352. W8TING says:

    toshiro – Thanks. It’s for a pre-approval. I am potentially looking to buy my first home this summer. My rental lease ends at the end of July so i have about 4 months to either find a new rental or buy a place.

    To give some background, married with 2 boys (3 and 1 yrs old), my fico score is 784 and the only debt i have is one credit card with an $8k balance (APR fixed at 2.99% til paid off). My gross income for 2009 will be about $115k. I have $11k cash in the bank and have available to me $18k to borrow off of my 401k. I am looking to spend about $275k on a home.

    If anybody else can chime in with some advice, i would really appreciate it. this is my first time ever even considering to buy a home (lifelong renter) so i don’t have a clue of where to begin.

  353. grim says:

    How is Weichert in terms of buying agent realtors?

    Hard to make a blanket statement like that. They’ve got some great folks, and they’ve got not-so-great folks, just like every other agency.

    You are probably in good shape, I’m sure we’ve prepared you adequately.

  354. Sastry says:

    Grim and Clot…

    Correct me if I am doing anything reckless. The point of doing paper work was to act quickly if there is a compelling case to buy. Otherwise, idle and renew lease for a year.

    Of course, I get this advice from the agent that money is cheap, and this is a good time to buy!

    S

  355. Stu says:

    “If anybody else can chime in with some advice, i would really appreciate it.”

    1) Pay off that credit card debt.

    2) Don’t borrow from your 401K

    3) You should not buy a 275K house until you have $54,000 saved + closing costs + one year of survival expenses.

    Otherwise, save 44 cents for a stamp. You’ll be needing it to mail your keys to the bank.

    Seriously W8TING, you are in no position to buy. Rent and save for a few more years.

    I don’t think you would qualify for anything but FHA anyway and I don’t want to have to pay for you as well :P

  356. Sastry says:

    At times, I think ‘to hell with it. wait for a couple of years to buy’, and at the same time, I get these emails from the bank saying, “your interest rate is cut from [4 to 3.5] [3.5 to 3] … and latest [2.15 to 1.9]”.

    I don’t have a good record with the markets [one can say horrible record], and not into gold [though I think if I invest in gold, it will crash the next week or so].

    My default action so far has been “do nothing” [and I am very good at it].

    S

  357. Sastry says:

    W8TING and Stu #366 …

    My noob advice based on general advice I received: Have 20% down (to take care of PMI), and have 6 months expenses in savings [may be a bit less depending on income situation].

    Raiding the 401k is probably not a good idea. If you fall back in house payments and cannot pay back the 401k loan, you can get hit with penalties and taxes (since it would be considered a distribution). Even though it is not a likely scenario, you may end up losing a lot of sleep.

    That said, 275k loan with 115k income is a fairly conservative approach, and you should be able to do just fine.

    S

  358. W8TING says:

    Stu: Thanks for the sobering advice. isn’t FHA what i want (being that i’m a first time homebuyer)?

    damn…having to save another $51k sounds like such a monumental task.

  359. W8TING says:

    Sastry: Yeah i thought i was being conservative with how much i want to spend but i guess not having enough cash for a 20% DP and emergency cash is a deal breaker for me. i just figured if i could find a place that is comparable to what i pay in rent ($1600/month), i’d be better off just buying now. are fha loans that bad? should i avoid it like the plague? will i not get a favorable rate if i take out an fha loan?

  360. Clotpoll says:

    Herring (342)-

    Why does it feel like I’m the one getting the “two-pronged test”?

    One in the mouth, and one in the arse.

    “It does not eliminate mark to market, it says that if a company passes a two pronged test, they can choose not to use recently traded (quoted) prices to value an asset and instead rely on other valuation techniques.”

  361. Clotpoll says:

    sastry (365)-

    Check #360. Your Weichert pal is running a dialogue on you.

    I should know. Weichert taught me the same dialogue about 220 years ago.

  362. ruggles says:

    If you are getting pre-approved now for a future purchase thats fine. Just be careful about how often you go back to the banks for updates over the months before you actually buy–if you get credit pulled every couple of months that might ding your scores. you can get a lot of pulls in a short period of time (within 2 weeks to 1 month) but stringing it out and getting credit pulled every few months isn’t so good.

  363. Sean says:

    W8TING – I would not be running into the burning building while the fire still rages.

    I think your young boys can wait a little longer for a yard, and you should build up a bigger cash cushion for there are most assuredly curve balls that come with home ownership.

  364. W8TING says:

    Ruggles: i’m just curious to see what i get pre-approved for so i can take that info and go out and lowball the heck out of some homes. maybe i’ll get lucky and find the deal of the century?

  365. Sastry says:

    W8TING:

    I think grim can provide more insight if you share with him your details. General advice without considering full details usually is conservative.

    I think a lot depends on what sort of a position you are in: A state employee (even that is getting iffy these days) vs a bank employee… A citizen with financial support from extended family in case sh.it hits the fan vs a first generation immigrant (with a kingdom back home to fund!)…

    S

  366. grim says:

    i just figured if i could find a place that is comparable to what i pay in rent ($1600/month)

    Based on what you’ve said, you are looking at closer to $2000/mo all said and done.

  367. skep-tic says:

    W8TING–

    Personally, I wouldn’t worry about saving a 20% downpayment. Tons of people use FHA and it is not a big deal provided that you plan to stay in the place you are buying long enough to build some equity (at least 7 yrs I would say).

    That said, I do think borrowing from 401k is a bad idea. Closing costs with FHA will probably run over 3% of the cost of the place, so you will need to have about $20k in cash just to close the deal and then you would be completely wiped out once you moved in. Doesn’t seem smart.

    Given that your monthly payments would be something like $2000, I would say you should have a minimum of an additional $10-15k in the bank after you close. So basically, IMO you should not buy this $275k house unless you can pull together $30k in cash beforehand. And I am sure a lot of people on this board will say I am being way too aggressive even with that figure

  368. Sastry says:

    Ruggles: “getting credit pulled every few months isn’t so good.”

    I swear the guy told me that it is fine if we pull credit every few months (versus having a lot of credit checks in a short time).

    Is there a chance I am getting readied for a prong test? :)

    S

  369. Sastry says:

    W8TING #375:

    “maybe i’ll get lucky and find the deal of the century?”

    Caution my friend. If something sounds too good to be true, seek plenty of advice. Temptation is difficult to resist though.

    S

  370. grim says:

    Someone we know?

    From Bloomberg:

    UBS Client Is First to Be Charged in U.S. Tax Probe

    A Florida accountant became the first U.S. taxpayer accused of hiding money in a UBS AG account after the Swiss bank provided U.S. authorities with information about some account holders.

    He is accused of withdrawing $3 million to purchase property and build a home in Boca Raton, the government said in a statement. He is also accused of depositing more than $2 million worth of South African Krugerrands in the accounts and selling them.

  371. ruggles says:

    well if you can get the $275 house for $225 AND its in Short Hills, then maybe.

    I do agree that more cash in the bank is the best position to be in these days. and there’s no hurry to buy something. looking is fine but dont get tempted.

  372. W8TING says:

    Grim: i was planning to rent a bigger place if i end up renting again (which is why i’m considering buying instead) so i already budgeted $2k towards rent (or PITI).

    skeptic: i know borrowing from 401k is never good but right now, i’m pretty much invested in treasuries and some TIPS. i foresee more pain in the equity markets which is why i’m really conservative right now. with the 401k loan, i’ll be paying interest on it (4.25%) but it’s interest i’m paying myself so i don’t see it as being that big of a deal. i don’t see this market turning around til sometime next year. As for closing costs, aren’t the sellers paying closing costs these days? That’s what i see on HGTV all the time. =P

  373. randy says:

    /depression off

    wow, that was easy!

    i mean, the IMF has such a sterling track record, we all should have known that their increased involvement would solve all of these problems ..!

  374. Sastry says:

    W8TING:

    “with the 401k loan, i’ll be paying interest on it (4.25%) but it’s interest i’m paying myself so i don’t see it as being that big of a deal.”

    If you miss a few payments on the 401k, you will get hit hard. The loan is only for five years, so you may have a few hundred per month payment.

    S

  375. ruggles says:

    379 – getting credit pulled a lot of times quickly (I;m not sure if its within 2 weeks or a month) are counted as 1 pull–someone looking for a mortgage. once you go over that time frame, then another pull is another pull.

    Research it on the internet and check with a few mortgage people on this topic–I am not an expert. I think a lot of brokers tell people that lots of checks quickly are bad so they don’t shop around. I absolutely know that is wrong information.

  376. I'm a Putz says:

    “ebt i have is one credit card with an $8k balance (APR fixed at 2.99% til paid off). My gross income for 2009 will be about $115k. I have $11k cash in the bank”

  377. HEHEHE says:

    It still amazes me the rosy headlines with the lousy stats buried.

  378. we says:

    379 – sastry.

    A credit pull every few months will have negligible impact on your credit report.

  379. poor guy says:

    pat 249

    “regarding unemployment readings. Know that unemployment historically continues on an upward trend for years after the nadir of an economic downturn.”

    This might have been true in the past. But isn’t unemployment a bigger factor in a consuming, real-estate based economy? Unemployment will drag this economy further down–seems to me. But then I am not an economist.

  380. skep-tic says:

    “skeptic: i know borrowing from 401k is never good but right now, i’m pretty much invested in treasuries and some TIPS. i foresee more pain in the equity markets which is why i’m really conservative right now. with the 401k loan, i’ll be paying interest on it (4.25%) but it’s interest i’m paying myself so i don’t see it as being that big of a deal. i don’t see this market turning around til sometime next year. As for closing costs, aren’t the sellers paying closing costs these days? That’s what i see on HGTV all the time. =P”

    *********

    I do not think sellers who pay closing costs are very common in this area of the country at this point. Maybe this will change in the coming months, but I wouldn’t count on it right now.

    I have no idea what the stock market is going to do, but if you are convinced that you do not want to be in stocks, how much does it hurt you to simply build up some cash for another year and continue renting? The real estate market as you can see from Grim’s great chart above is not stabilizing presently. If you wait a year, you will probably be able to get a nicer house for the same price and you will not be cutting it so close cash-wise.

  381. grim says:

    which is why i’m really conservative right now. with the 401k loan, i’ll be paying interest on it (4.25%) but it’s interest i’m paying myself so i don’t see it as being that big of a deal.

    This isn’t the problem with 401k loans.

    The issue is they need to be paid back, in full, upon termination.

    God forbid you lose you job. Imagine how much worse the situation would be when you found out you needed to repay the remaining balance on the loan within 60 days.

  382. Shore Guy says:

    “ebt i have is one credit card with an $8k balance (APR fixed at 2.99% til paid off). My gross income for 2009 will be about $115k. I have $11k cash in the bank”

    You don’t have $11,000 saved, you have $3,000 — the 11-8 in 88 debt.

    $3K is inough to put down on a $15,000 loan, not 100K or 200K.

    I suggest you listen to Stu’s sage advice. Save for another couple years (prices are not going up anytime soon), both for a downpayment and an emergency fund.

  383. Sastry says:

    Ruggles #386:

    Thanks. Looks like the guy was partly BS’ing me. Sometimes these serve as unintended litmus tests.

    Clot & grim: thanks for the info on #360. Will check with him (though we are not even sure about buying this year — unless a good deal comes across).

  384. Outofstater says:

    #393 Have to agree with Shore and the others. You have just $3,000 and I wouldn’t touch the 401K for an optional purchase like a house. To fund a bone marrow transplant? Yes. Remember, the only money you can be sure of having is the money you’ve already got. Just out of curiosity, where are you house-hunting? I thought $275K wouldn’t buy much in NJ.

  385. make money says:

    You don’t have $11,000 saved, you have $3,000 — the 11-8 in 88 debt.

    $3K is inough to put down on a $15,000 loan, not 100K or 200K.

    I suggest you listen to Stu’s sage advice. Save for another couple years (prices are not going up anytime soon), both for a downpayment and an emergency fund.

    Have to agree. Earning over 110K and all you have is 3K put away?

    Write up your budget and start drawing some lines on it. Wait 2 yrs and then jump in.

  386. Punch My Ticket says:

    “Today’s decision should improve information for investors by providing more accurate estimates of market values,” said Edward Yingling, president and CEO of ABA (and graduate of the Doubletalk School of Business).

  387. Outofstater says:

    #397 Okay, that HAS to be a late April Fool’s Day joke. We are so – what Clot says.

  388. Qwerty says:

    W8TING, this doesn’t “add up”

    Gross income: $115k
    Savings: 11k
    Credit card debt: $8k

    Net worth: $3,000

    You’re living far beyond your means and can barely afford to rent. Definitely not ready to buy.

    When you have $50k in cash, you might be ready. Maybe.

  389. Shore Guy says:

    yikes, “inough”??? Darned thumb keypad. Enough, enough, enough….

  390. A.West says:

    If you buy a $275k house (in NJ), I suspect you’ll easily find $5-$10,000 of stuff to fix in your first couple of years. Something else to think about before you think about buying a house with a low cash balance.

    Time is on your side, build up the cash and pay off the card.

  391. Stu says:

    I don’t ever agree with QWERTY, but this time I will make an exception.

    The beauty of the 20% down requirement is that it requires one to make a budget and stick to it for a while before assuming the risk that comes with home ownership. There is no risk involved in renting whatsoever. You also won’t believe the enlightenment you’ll feel when your money is making you money. If you are making 6 figures and have less than 1 paycheck’s worth saved, then you are completely unprepared for the risk of home ownership. Then to raid your 401k with no fall back plan is just insane. People have really forgotten what a 401k is for these days.

    My boss (financial nitwit) suggested that the government should allow people to put their 401k towards paying of mortgages with no penalty. I countered with the argument of how do you then plan to retire?

  392. Shore Guy says:

    $275k with $60k down, and 5% mtg leaves P&I of about 1,200 for a 30 month conventional loan. If you pay an extra $250/month during the first few years, you can shave years off the loan and save tens of thousands in interest.

    So, call it $1,500 a month in mtg, add insurance, taxes, utilities (another $1,500 a month) that is $36000 a year in housing expenses. There is no way to have other debt and still be comfortable. Heck, I don’t even know if this is even doable.

  393. Punch My Ticket says:

    #398, no joke (except for the name of his alma mater).

    Meanwhile, in the ongoing saga of W8TING, I guess I’m just a little bit weird. Never in my life have I put away less than 20% of my paycheck. Yes, sometimes I draw on that stash if it’s absolutely necessary, but mostly it just piles up and gets invested. I’m just wide eyed that someone who makes six figures has a tangible net worth of basically zero excluding retirement accounts.

    Not a condemnation, just a comment. Where’s the money going?

  394. sas says:

    “Powdered Cow’s Milk Formula Contains Thyroid Toxin”

    http://www.ewg.org/report/CDC-Scientists-Find-Rocket-Fuel-Chemical-In-Infant-Formula

    SAS

  395. Rich says:

    355
    From the same article.

    “All 11 casinos still managed to have positive gross operating profits for the year.”

  396. RU says:

    W8ting,
    I have to agree with everyone else. Your best bet is to wait until your CC is paid off and you have more in savings. I recently bought a house after waiting on the sidelines for about 3-4 years. I knew going in that it needed work and factored that into my offer for the house. Once I started opening up walls, it just spiraled. I was only going to demo two bedrooms on the second flr but decided to gut the whole second flr including a bathroom. Luckily I’m handy enough to do it all myself but it takes time. You never really know what you’ll find until you start opening things up!!!

  397. Shore Guy says:

    W8,

    If you have a spouse who can earn as little as $40,000, that should result in takehome of $24,000. Take out travel costs and you are left with $15,000, maybe. In just three years that gives $45,000 towards the downpayment. Of you are putting away $20,000 a year from your salary, that gives you two $60,000 for downpayment and a one-year buffer for the mortgage and other housing expenses in case of job loss, and a few grand in reserve in case the furnace goes one cold evening.

    Frugal should be your guiding word for the next three years, and don’t worry, prices are not likely to go up over that period.

  398. grim says:

    355
    From the same article.

    “All 11 casinos still managed to have positive gross operating profits for the year.”

    3 are in bankruptcy, 1 is almost there, and 1 is in foreclosure.

    AC is prime.

  399. Punch My Ticket says:

    This just crossed the transom. We really are doomed.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a1yQ6SYGfUqo&refer=home

  400. Sastry says:

    #404… Re… W8TING

    May be a W8TING recently entered the work force? There have been several times when my net worth was close to zero (mostly one-time expenses).

    W8TING… I think you should get rid of the CC balance (I think even if it very low… 2.99%).

    If you are paying 1600 for a “small place”, may be you can move to places that have better rental deals?

    S

  401. Sastry says:

    #410

    Really big bank robbery [as in robbery *BY* bank]

  402. poor guy says:

    I really have a new esteem for the blog regulars. Instead of being annoyed by W8TING, you give your best advice. W8TING reminds me the early stages of the bubble. Congrats!

  403. Shore Guy says:

    In Chicago, the Justice Dept. is getting ready to announce that Bloggo is scre-wed.

  404. Sastry says:

    #408 Shore

    “If you have a spouse who can earn as little as $40,000, that should result in takehome of $24,000. Take out travel costs and you are left with $15,000”

    Daycare for two kids => “No go”.

    S

  405. skep-tic says:

    I assumed W8TING was fresh out of school or jail.

  406. Punch My Ticket says:

    May be a W8TING recently entered the work force?

    Maybe. And maybe there are other good explanations.

    Even so, Stu @ 402 is dead on. There’s no emergency here. Work, save some money, look again when you’ve got a little more put aside.

  407. chicagofinance says:

    Punch My Ticket says:
    April 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm
    #398 Not a condemnation, just a comment. Where’s the money going?

    PMT: Either up your nose or through your vein, with nothin’ to gain ‘cept killin’ your brain……

  408. Matthew says:

    W8TING – Where are you looking to buy for 275K? Just curious.

    Sastry – haven’t heard anything bad about Weichert Financial, but wouldn’t be my first choice if only because I would want to keep my financing and real estate agent separate. There are some brokers or Wells Fargo guys I’ve worked with before — what town(s) are you looking in?

  409. Sastry says:

    Matthew:

    Areas of Green Brook, North Edison, Berkeley Heights, etc. [very different places, I know :) — these are townships I am a bit familiar with]. Got Weichert person and financials (with a verbal agreement that there is no commitment from my side to finance with them).

    “Clot’s guy” (from #360) seems like a good option too. Right now there is nothing ongoing.

    S

  410. sas says:

    “Burnin’ Down the House! Part Two: Wall Street has a Weenie Roast With Your 401k”
    http://tinyurl.com/covgml

  411. Sastry says:

    Just curious… What is the advantage of keeping the real estate agent and the financing separate?

    The obvious disadvantage I sensed are that the agent knows that I am being a bit conservative (in agent’s opinion, not mine!) and will push for higher bids.

    The advantage (pitched to me) was that there is a “discount” if we have multiple things from them — I assume all financial related (insurance, loan, etc., so realtor does not fit in)…

    Any other disadvantages?

    S

  412. poor guy says:

    What do you think?

    1) can we have an economy rebound before an unemployment rebound

    OR

    2) employment increase is instrumental to leading the economy back

    I think that this time employment is very important. This is very similar to what an economist said I don’t remember who -rubini, krugman, ?- that economy will not come back if housing doesn’t rebound

  413. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    When we bought, close to 20 years ago, we looked both at what the broker associated with our RE broker could offer as well as some other brokers and banks. In oir case, the mtg. broker assocuated with our RE broker was the best deal.

    I would be inclined to look at both and pick the best.

  414. sas says:

    “that economy will not come back if housing doesn’t rebound”

    housing is just chicken scratch.

    alot more to this economic problems, many more shoes will fall.

    SAS

  415. yikes says:

    bummer that i missed this

    Clotpoll says:
    April 2, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Cramer says you can’t call them “toxic” assets anymore.

    They are now “bargain basement” assets.

    how did they shed the toxic label all of a sudden? fairy dust from summit?

  416. Essex says:

    SAS are you still predicting complete anarchy?

  417. NJGator says:

    Jill 200 – Apologies if someone has already responded, but I’ve been in meetings all day and have not caught up.

    What is your house really worth? Divide your assessment by the market value of the house. Compare that number to the Upper Limit. If your assessment to market ratio is above the upper limit than you potentially have a viable appeal.

    Here’s the only problem. The deadline to file an appeal for this tax year was yesterday. If you are overassessed, you no longer have any recourse to challenge your assessment for this tax year.

    The average ratios and upper/lower limits are adjusted for each tax year based on the previous year’s sales. When the 2010 tax year ratios are released early next year, you will need to do the same comparison to see if a 2010 tax appeal is warranted.

  418. Sastry says:

    Poor Guy:

    “1) can we have an economy rebound before an unemployment rebound
    OR
    2) employment increase is instrumental to leading the economy back”

    Where does “housing” factor into this? Housing, in some sense (my opinion), is an end point or an effect [people have good jobs, more income, and hence buy bigger houses].

    The last few years have been other way round: people pick a house they can (or even can’t) afford, gain equity because of the bubble, refinance, have more cash on hand, and spend [on big tvs and hummers (avoid reference to spitzer)].

    S

  419. sas says:

    “SAS are you still predicting complete anarchy?”

    you got me confused bloke.
    I think that no matter what the shake out, there won’t be too much violence.

    too many non lethal weaponary & FEMA camps to make sure of that.

    also, there is always psych warfare.
    i.e create an enemy, so that people can align and rally to fight an enemy, rather than quarrel in the street.

    hence. when the economy really starts to meltdown, look for false flag terrorism & BS stories for a war.

    SAS

  420. Matthew says:

    “What is the advantage of keeping the real estate agent and the financing separate?”

    In addition to pressure from your agent to show more expensive homes, or make a higher offer, etc., I get the feeling that despite their obligation not to disclose any information to the other side, agents talk.

    It might only be a casual comment, but if your agent lets on to the other side that you’re being conservative (in seeking a home for 500K when you could be approved for 700K) then it might be a negative (albeit minor) influence on your negotiating position.

    I don’t really see any upside to user a real estate agent + lender from the same outfit.

  421. yikes says:

    grim says:
    April 2, 2009 at 10:14 am

    It is, actually, a pretty innovative idea.

    Technique was used to sell “upscale” urban condos at the peak.

    Developments would host catered parties at opening. Models would be brought into mingle with single male buyers.

    If you buy a condo here, you’ll have beautiful women hanging off you most every night…

    Suckers.

    michael scott fell for this. the office is a great show.

  422. poor guy says:

    I think that the domestic economy is a vicious circle: housing goes down, debt goes up/equity less, less consumption, more unemployment. housing goes down.

    If housing prices had not gone down wouldn’t those toxic assets value enough for no bailouts?

  423. sas says:

    “If housing prices had not gone down wouldn’t those toxic assets value enough for no bailouts?”

    its not as simple as it sounds.
    this is a complex question with a complex answer.

    but both sides of the coin can be summed up in one word:

    fraudulent inducement

    fraud-houses were never worth as much as they were “pumped” up to be. Hence loser loans and easy credit.

    fraud-packed up loans in securities and sold under false ratings.

    i can fo on forever, but that pretty much sums it up. Top down and bottom up fraud knowingly and unknowingly.

    sooner or later someone has to apy the piper. i.e that sheep tax payer.

    question to ask yourself is, where did all the profits go? and to whom? and how do we get it back in a form of compensation?

    if you have those answers, lets schedule for a meeting cause many people would like to meet you.

    SAS

  424. sas says:

    “fraudulent inducement”

    at every angle, there was fraud.

    thats why this is larger than a subprime problem.

    the term “subprime” is a scape goat term to project the blame on some dumb sap or mislead sap.

    keep in mind, as people made a sh*t load of money on the “pump”…right now.. as we speak… many of the same charaters are maken money on the declines “dump”

    but, what do I know, I am 20 year old fist pumper that blows smoke in my parents basement.

    SAS

  425. sas says:

    apart from RE

    there is commercial RE bubble
    credit card bubble
    student loan bubble
    etc.. etc…

    you can have your sucker bear rally on the street, but its a mirage.

    this shakeout is far from over.

    is it henny penny? no.. well I hope not.
    I’ve learned things never get as bad as you think they do. however, there will be severe ramifications of a deflating bubble.

    many shoes will fall, just hope none are yours.

    SAS

  426. sas says:

    “I’ve learned things never get as bad as you think they do”

    i take that back, I lived through operation hastings.

    SAS

  427. I’m pretty sure this is the most number of comments I have ever seen a real estate blog. WOW!

    I think every buyer wants to catch the market at the very bottom, not wanting the value to ever go down. But look at this way – you certainly aren’t buying at the top like people did a few years ago.

  428. sas says:

    also, keep in mind too that the RE bubble was used as a vechile to centralise capital.

    i.e pull it from local communities & municipalities and funnel it too a few hands.

    those hands can be found in NY & London.
    (should help you narrow down where the missing profits went)

    SAS

  429. Barbara says:

    wow
    trying to refinance my residence. Relatively small loan, no cash out, credit score in the 8s and I’m being jerked around by Quicken and Wells Fargo. Quicken tried to get me to sign onto a lame deal last week, 2.3 points and fees up the wazoo. I didn’t bite and they called me every day until finally I picked up. Sudenly they can offer my one point and maybe less fees after this weekend when they meet about the Obama plan and see if they can wave the appraisal.
    I told him Wells overed me no fees or points in exchance for a .25 increase in rate. He said it couldn’t be true and besides, Wells Fargo has a reputation of not being truthful, blah blah hard sell, blah blah.
    Its not helping that Wells is taking their sweet time getting my paperwork going.
    Buying a car is easier than this sh*t.

  430. Barbara says:

    overed = offered

  431. yikes says:

    Well, I have now seen, first hand, a HUGE increase in crime down here, an area hit pretty hard by the downturn. Burglaries are up significantly with many of my neighbors now having been burglarized. Even the cops of our small city are telling civilians to go out and get a gun.

    i feel bad for some relatives in Fla. the good news is, a couple of them live in a gated community. lotta foreclosures in the neighborhood, but so far, they’re maintaining the men at the gates. area’s not terrible (orlando-ish) but these people aren’t packing heat.

  432. sas says:

    “DEPUTY MAYOR: NYC GOING THE WAY OF GM”
    http://tinyurl.com/df2pll

  433. Pat says:

    poor guy, I will think about your chicken and egg employment dilemma. I have not been thinking for a while, and this will take some steam.

    I’ve been forming my ideas about this recovery by viewing our future as more dependent more on how well we can facilitate the flow of resources to alternate uses, rather than how much overall employment we can generate by saving housing.

    How many months of increasing unemployment will follow the end of the recession (* or housing decline, here), will not be determined by building a floor under housing.

  434. Pat says:

    more, more!

  435. chicagofinance says:

    Matthew says:
    April 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm
    I don’t really see any upside to user a real estate agent + lender from the same outfit.

    grim says:
    April 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm
    I’ve sent lots of folks over to Clot’s guy. I get nothing but good feedback from them.

    Bob Farrell, President
    First Valley Funding
    (908) 565-1640

    Welcome: Yeah, I always though clot was an a%%hole too.

  436. Clotpoll says:

    sastry (422)-

    That’s bullshit.

  437. Steve says:

    So much wisdom…. in so few syllables ;)

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Comments are closed.