It’s a good time … to rent!

From the NY Times:

Renters Find Deals Galore

THE rental market in New Jersey, which up to now has only grown stronger as the sales market declined, is finally showing its own signs of weakness.

And what that means, of course, is that renters are now in a stronger position to get deals.

Average monthly rents are dipping around the state, according to market analysts, as well as some of the more candid building owners.

Also, incentives — like a month or two of free rent — are more commonly available, even at some of the nicest and newest buildings, some of them originally designed to be high-priced condominiums.

In Edgewater, where Savanna Partners put $100 million into converting the Peninsula at City Place from rental to condo just two years ago, units are now being offered as rentals again — with two months free on a 14-month lease.

At a building in downtown Red Bank called the Metropolitan, which opened last year as a 37-unit condominium and switched to rental in late March after only seven sales, a month-free-rent deal quickly drew 15 tenants.

In more suburban Saddle Brook, a rental complex at 140 Mayhill opened in January and is doing well — 90 of 158 units leased (with a month-free-rent option) — but definitely not as well as it would have done even last year, according to the builder, the Value Companies.

“We’ve noticed ‘vacancy creep’ across northern New Jersey,” said Jonathan Moore, a vice president at the Value Companies, which owns 3,500 apartments in four states. “Where it used to always be 99 percent occupancy, now you see 96, 95, 94.”

Value is offering renter incentives at about half its properties, according to Mr. Moore.

Statewide, the average rent dipped 1.2 percent in the first three months of the year, according to the real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap, which found that in 2008, the average rent was up 2.2 percent. The company predicted that for this year, the decline would be 3 percent, to $1,229 per month.

Other estimates of current rental trends vary — some say the average rent decline is more than 1.2 percent so far this year, and the Otteau Valuation Group says it is less — but the overall opinion is that the market is weakening.

Meanwhile, more new units will be added to the market this year than last, according to market analysts — about 2,250 in 2009, versus 1,950 in 2008.

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

153 Responses to It’s a good time … to rent!

  1. Seneca says:

    Westfield RE market is on fire. 12 listings that were available for sale as of May 1st are now under contract. Just saying.

  2. Orion says:


    The same developer who did the Metropolitan in Red Bank also did a new construction condominium project in Asbury, called The Blu. The Asbury bldg. also went half rentals.

  3. grim says:

    Westfield (GSMLS)

    Year to Date (January – April)

    2007 Contracts – 145
    2008 Contracts – 101
    2009 Contracts – 95

    2007 Sold – 106
    2008 Sold – 78
    2009 Sold – 49

    2007 Avg Sale Price – $784,272
    2008 Avg Sale Price – $781,608
    2009 Avg Sale Price – $694,524

    Sales/Asking Price
    2007 – 96%
    2008 – 95%
    2009 – 94%

    2007 Avg DOM – 78
    2008 Avg DOM – 91
    2009 Avg DOM – 87

    2007 April Inventory – 273
    2008 April Inventory – 268
    2009 April Inventory – 255

  4. Seneca says:

    The NYT should have also mentioned Skyview in Rahway. 1BRs are renting for $1250 there. The nearest thing to a luxury apt. in Rahway is at either River Place or the soon-to-be-opened Park Square where the asking rents on a 1BR are $1650. You can get brand new high-rise luxury for 25% less. I suppose you risk that the developer who couldn’t sell the condos and therefore is leasing them out goes broke and you get no service and maintenance but for 25% less, that might be a risk worth taking.

  5. Essex says:

    Leaving New Jersey…..Priceless!

  6. Seneca says:

    grim – Thanks for the Westfield stats. Fair enough. Contracts may be on par with 2008 but sales are down. If you can’t cross the finish line, you got nothing.

    But let’s be honest. We can fully expect lots of GREEN SHOOTS news come time for the pending May home sales report. The media won’t give a rat’s arse if it turns out 1/2 couldn’t close.

    Its never been a better time to buy. Excuse me while I grab my emesis basin.

  7. grim says:

    #6 – No no, not quite what is happening.

    Contracts are future looking, sales are backwards. You can’t compare the contracts to sales numbers over the same period. You need to shift one of those measures by about 1.5-2 months to get the curves to overlap.

  8. RentL0rd says:

    lurker – to your comment in the earlier thread :

    I guess what I’m saying is, why are you taking 5% off? Just because you feel like nobody should pay list no matter how realistic list may be?

    Taking 5% off for several reasons:
    1. That comes to about the price I always had in mind (for last 2+ yrs actually)
    2. The 5% – as small as it is in the big picture, helps mitigate some future depreciation, if any. Ok, maybe I should say ‘when’ not ‘if’!

  9. grim says:


    Added 2007 for comparison.

  10. RentL0rd says:

    One thing that makes me wonder about the sellers/property I was talking about (earlier thread):

    Why are the sellers trying to make a decision in 5 days on the market at a list price that is much less than what they bought for? It is also a little less than the last 6 months comps.

  11. 3b says:

    #10 rebt: Forget about comps from 6 months ago. They are meaningless.

  12. BC Bob says:

    From Ritholtz;

    “OVERALL loan quality at American banks is the worst in at least a quarter century, and the quality of loans is deteriorating at the fastest pace ever, according to statistics released this week by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    The report highlighted that even as the government and major banks have scrambled to deal with the impaired securities the banks own, the institutions have been plagued by an unprecedented volume of old-fashioned loans going bad.

  13. Seneca says:

    #7 grim

    Is it fair to say that for the YTD period of Jan-Apr, contracts declined 6% vs. last year while actual sales are down 23%?

    In light of all the consumer optimism, a small(ish) drop in contracts make sense. But the fact of the matter is that actual sales are down a substantial 23%, at least in Westfield for the first four months of the year.

    If you don’t mind, I might ask you to repost the stats once May comes to a close.

  14. BC Bob says:

    “For the first time since another Democrat occupied the White House, investors from Beijing to Zurich are challenging a president’s attempts to revive the economy with record deficit spending.”

    “The bond-market vigilantes are up in arms over the outlook for the federal deficit,” said Edward Yardeni, who coined the term in 1984 to describe investors who protest monetary or fiscal policies they consider inflationary by selling bonds. “Ten trillion dollars over the next 10 years is just an indication that Washington is really out of control and that there is no fiscal discipline whatsoever.”

    “The U.S. will need to raise $3.25 trillion this year to finance its objectives, up from less than $1 trillion in 2008, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.”

    “Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president is confident that his budget and economic plans will cut the deficit and bring down the nation’s debt.”

  15. Seneca says:

    #10 RentL0rd

    Interesting observation. I have noticed the same negotiating strategy (if you can call it that). List below market price, tell bidders they have a tight timeline to get in their bids and that the best offer wins. Then, when you find that offers are not quite what you were expecting, counter with your top 2-3 bids.

    I think what happens is, you get a few bids that are even less than ask even though your ask is “fair”. You get a few bids +/- 5% which in a stable market wouldn’t be out of line. You hope for and maybe get one bid over ask but the bidder likely has some contingencies.

    Then you can go back to your top bidders and claim you have 6 bids (even if 3 you are going to toss) and try to get the no contingency bidders to beat your ask. Maybe they teach this to Realtors in RE101?

    I think many sellers end up in a tizzy wondering if they should go with their contingency buyer who is offering 5% more in price, or, take the no contingency buyer and less cash. In my experience they go for the cash and by the time they discover that deal will never close, they lost their other bidders.

    Disclosure: my sample size (N)is not large enough to be statistically significant; anecdata shmanicdata

  16. lurker til now says:

    Rent @ 8,

    If 5% off is what you’re comfortable paying, then that’s absolutely what you should bid. But if you know there are other offers then you should just be prepared not to get the property. That’s all I’m saying. But best of luck! Exciting stuff :)

  17. CAIBC says:

    listening to FOX news right now….they are talking about the govt putting into law a new incentive of $8K cash to put towards the payment of a house! in addition to the $8K credit?

    anyone have any thoughts or even can confirm this?

  18. CAIBC says:

    oh, also someone please confirm that the 8K credit has a salary cap to it right? anyone making over 150K (family) does not qualify?

  19. grim says:

    #17 – Only thing I’ve heard is that they are trying to monetize the existing $8k tax credit so that it can be used towards the purchase of a property, with an FHA loan. However, that $8k wouldn’t be able to be used towards the 3.5% minimum DP. It could be used for closing costs, or to increase the DP, but not towards the minimum.

  20. stan says:


    12% drop, sales down by half.

    I passively follow westfield, those that have gone under contract are priced lower than competition.

    easy formula.

    saw that thing on fox, was a bit alarmed, But it sounded like it was either/or for the tax credit. take the cash or the credit.

  21. grim says:

    oh, also someone please confirm that the 8K credit has a salary cap to it right? anyone making over 150K (family) does not qualify?

    Full credit up to $150k agi. Partial credit over, phases out at $170k.

  22. grim says:

    family that is, not individual.

  23. grim says:

    John, comments?

    New York Blower lays off more employees

    Another round of layoffs will go into effect today at New York Blower.

    Executive Vice President of Operations Bob Korfmann said the number would be less than 10. The company doesn’t have any plans for any future reductions, but added it can’t make any promises.

    The company has laid off nearly 100 employees since October. It now has about 210 employees, Korfmann said.

  24. chicagofinance says:

    Essex says:
    May 30, 2009 at 5:48 am
    Wow….”Frank”….seems you might be a poster boy for Douche.

    SX: I have the perfect pin for a lapel…

  25. chicagofinance says:

    Essex says:
    May 30, 2009 at 5:48 am
    Wow….”Frank”….seems you might be a poster boy for Douche.

    SX: I have the perfect pin for a lapel…

  26. Sean says:

    Another Tusanmi Wave Chart on Mortgage Interest Rate resets from Credit Swisse.

  27. it is interesting that while everybody else is discussing the financial crisis you are taliking about it. Very well done.

  28. Frank says:

    So Westfield is selling at 5.74 times income 694,524/120,978.
    Where’s the recession I ask?? This is the greatest housing boom Westfield has ever seen. Homes would need to drop by 50% just to get to long term average. Assuming that all those Wall St. people keep they high paying jobs. No likely.
    Looks like housing boom continues in Westfield.

  29. Firestormik says:
    Paper runs ad urging Obama’s assassination

    WARREN, Pa. – The local newspaper apologized yesterday for running a classified advertisement calling for the assassination of President Obama.

    Publisher John Elchert said the ad appeared Thursday in the Warren Times Observer. It read, “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!” All four presidents were assassinated.

    Elchert said the advertising staff did not make the connection. The paper removed the ad yesterday and turned the information over to police.

    Elchert said an agent from the Secret Service office in Erie was investigating the person who placed the ad. A note in yesterday’s paper said: “The Times Observer apologizes for the oversight.” – AP

  30. schabadoo says:

    “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!”

    Murtha got some press describing western Pa…

  31. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Fed already losing the battle on rates.
    Looking at the chart linked in post 26 courtesy of Sean what a blood bath. By the time these loans reset rates will be higher than they are now and or dollar collapsed & are AAA rating will be history. How do they propose to keep rates down so these resets aren’t crippling I wonder. Principal forgiveness just down the road? Will incomes rise so much that they can be payed, nope. With so many out of work it is an employers market. This will take a while to play out not a good sign for future re prices. In any event this will not end well for the county as a whole.

  32. 3b says:

    #19 grim: That is how I understand it as well.

  33. safeashouses says:

    Anyone notice the rent vs buy gap is narrowing?

  34. yome says:

    Get your $8,000 HUD tax credit now
    HUD tweaked stimulus tax incentive so first-time home buyers get instant assistance with down payment and closing costs.

  35. yome says:

    To be sure, the case for renting is largely short term. Over the long haul the arguments favor ownership: You get to enjoy tax breaks, build equity, and take pride in a place that’s yours.

    Renters also run the risk of faulty market timing. Few expect real estate to bounce back swiftly, but if it does, prices could jump before you buy again. With that in mind, here’s how to decide whether renting is the right course.

  36. CAIBC says:

    its too bad that CNN money doesnt profile someone from our area here….they always put up stats from places like Kansas City where 150K gets your 4bd, 3bth!!!! then an 8K break actaully gives you a break…out here, 150K is the downpayment you need to come up with to actaully buy something!!!!

  37. chicagofinance says:

    As a member of FPA, I receive a free copy of Money. I use it to wipe my ass when we run out of toilet paper.

    yome says:
    May 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm
    To be sure, the case for renting is largely short term. Over the long haul the arguments favor ownership: You get to enjoy tax breaks, build equity, and take pride in a place that’s yours.

    Renters also run the risk of faulty market timing. Few expect real estate to bounce back swiftly, but if it does, prices could jump before you buy again. With that in mind, here’s how to decide whether renting is the right course.

  38. Mikeinwaiting says:

    U.S. housing-sector “stability”
    dependent on “vultures”

    In recent weeks, U.S. propagandists have (once again) mouthed-off about a “bottom” forming in the U.S. housing sector – despite data which confirms the market is still plummeting downward. Furthermore, the collapse is guaranteed to get much worse in 2010-11 (see “U.S. mortgage-crisis to get MUCH worse in 2010-11”). The spike in U.S. interest rates is just another nail in the coffin.

    On what are the talking-heads basing their ludicrous optimism? In some of the most-decimated markets (which have already seen price declines of 40% to 60%), there has been a surge of buying – though not enough to stop the downward plunge in prices.

  39. Mikeinwaiting says:

    So ChiFi 37 I gather you are for renting , as you do?

  40. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle, when you get a chance read this, let me know what you think or anybody else who is interested.
    Clot I already have a good idea!

  41. Frank says:

    NY state has fired most of their hedge funds:

    NJ has doubled our assets and increased our fees.
    Thank you NJ taxpayers.

  42. confused in nj says:

    “May Obama follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!” If they actually prosecute this person, it will be a sad commentary on Free Speech. Similar to the President of Brazil recommending Prison Incaceration for anyone speaking out against Homosexuality. Scary.

  43. Frank says:

    Has anyone noticed the recent string of robberies in Maplewood and South Orange??
    It’s not helping the housing market, lenders took massive losses on properties in those towns in the last few months. Close to 100%. Ouchhhhh.

  44. crossroads says:

    could you give me a rundown on Sparta market? please.
    It seems there is a lot selling and I have a wife reaching panic mode to hurry and buy. I’m thinking it’s spring season and naturally more houses are selling. Also inventory seems high.


  45. reinvestor101(the real one) says:


    Needless to say, I’m rather shocked at this admission. Well, at least you’re not using a damn corn cob like another poster here does.

    chicagofinance says:
    May 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm
    As a member of FPA, I receive a free copy of Money. I use it to wipe my ass when we run out of toilet paper

  46. kettle1 says:

    Mike 40

    Sorry if i was a little long winded, a lengthy response follows at:

  47. kettle1 says:


    the blog post crashed/corrupted on me. here it is (a little long)

    Mike 40

    If we use the authors definition of inflation and deflation

    Deflation. A decrease in the prices of goods and services, usually tied to a contraction of money in circulation.

    Inflation. An increase in the prices of goods and services, usually tied to an increase of money in circulation.

    then I would not debate many of his points. The problem is that the definition the author uses can be “problematic”. Using his definition I could write an article on cookie price inflation (mmmmm cookies!) due to cookie prices rising as a result of a reduction in wheat production.

    Cookie inflation/deflation is nonsensical, prices are simply the end result of supply and demand factors. Supply and demand of both the materials needed for the manufacturer the material being discussed (i.e. cookies) and the supply and demand of the currency involved.

    BLS definition of inflation: A time of generally rising prices for goods and factors of productions.

    In my opinion a more rigorous definition of inflation/deflation, and what I mean when I refer to it my posts, is the increase or decrease in the overall circulating money supply. And yes the money supply is considered in the standard definition of inflation/deflation, but it is not the primary aspect as I tend to think it should be

    If we use the standard inflation definition, then a rise in energy prices due to peak oil (for the sake of discussion) could be called inflation, when the increase in prices would be due to demand staying stagnant or increasing as supply decreases.

    The FED has printed huge amounts of money already, but the catch is that the “hot” money has not been allowed to circulate freely in the marketplace. The surge of hot money has been primarily locked up by banks who are trying to build reserves and stay solvent. So while the printing has gone on and is indeed highly inflationary in nature, the end effect to date has actually been more deflationary. Yes, deflationary.

    Here is how. The FED prints massive amounts of money. The banks hoard because most of them are insolvent. Since the majority of the hot money doesn’t enter the open market and is locked up in bank holding accounts, it cannot circulate through the market place and cause an increase in prices.

    Think of it in terms of Velocity of Money. While there is some contention as to how useful this concept is, just think of it as how fast money moves through the system. The fast it moves through the system the more it can impact the system. Well the to use a mixed term, the velocity of the hot money is very low since most of it never enters the open market and due to that it has little over all impact. This aspect, however only prevents the inflationary effects from appearing in the economy. The deflationary effects come from the consumer and can be amplified by the small portion of hot money that does enter the open market.

    There has been a substantial uptick in the decrease of consumerism and the effort to retire debt (i.e. pay it off). Since the current global economy treats debt as a form of money, every time you pay off a debt you are essentially decreasing the money supply. Normally the rate of debt creation Vs debt destruction (retiring debt) is close to being balanced with slightly more debt being created then destroyed.

    However, since about the late 80’s debt expansion has been accelerated with the resoling debts collateralized and leveraged. Around 95 this process accelerated and shortly after 2000 it went into overdrive. Anyone and everyone was offered debt, and as much as they wanted, no pulse required. Of course then bankers who packaged and sold these debts lived like minor gods and the governments loved it because the reaped massive tax windfalls from the debt orgy.

    Then when the FED and treasury lost the ability to keep rates suppressed to artificially low levels and still sell adequate quantities of treasuries, things got ugly and now here we are in the current financial crisis. Due to the current financial crisis a significant number of people have begun to pay down debts as quickly as possibly. There is a 2 fold deflationary effect here. A significant portion of economic growth around the world was being built upon the rapid expansion of debt without regard to risk. Now that the rapid growth in consumer debt has ground to a halt the economic activities that were fueled by that debt expansion are grinding to a halt. Remember that debt is money in the current global fiat system. As such, the inability to create new consumer debt is essentially deflationary because as people pay off their existing debt there is no new debt to take its place in the economy.

    This effect is magnified now that people have accelerated their efforts to retire debt. The average consumer has now reduced consumer spending while at the same time increasing savings and increasing the rate at which they pay their debt.

    One last point is to not forget the write downs and defaults that are occurring globally, from corporations to consumer credit cards. Every write down, every default is essentially destroying money. When housing values drop by 20% you are seeing deflationary action. The collapse of the automakers is deflationary as the debt that would have been created when they sold their cars and the buyers took loans, will now never exist.

    There are very strong and growing inflationary forces at work in the market place, but they cannot become the dominant force until deflation, more specifically the rate or debt destruction slows to point where the inflationary effects are greater then the debt destruction.

    An easy example would be if Obama decided that the US government was going to give every US citizen a 1 million dollar check and use the fed to print they money to cover the checks. This would produce instant and shocking levels of inflation, possibly Weimar 2.0

    Short of such drastic actions my opinion is that deflation will rule until sometime around 2012 and then we will see a very rapid switch to very high inflation with a real threat of hyperinflation. Although I think it more likely that the US government would reissue a USD2.0 before allowing hyperinflation to take place.

    Lastly, remember that while generally prices increase in inflationary periods and decreasing deflationary periods, that is not set in stone, you can and will still see price fluctuations due to supply and demand and with global shipping ground to a halt it very easy for supply and demand to rapidly drop out of balance and cause potentially substantial prices fluctuations.

  48. 3b says:

    #45 reinvestor: There you go with your anal fixation again. Are you potty trained yet?

  49. 3b says:

    #44 crossroads: Tell wife to chill. Panic mode? Over what? Absolutely nothing to panic about.

  50. hamma says:

    dittos for me too, Summit, NJ


    could you give me a rundown on Sparta market? please.
    It seems there is a lot selling and I have a wife reaching panic mode to hurry and buy. I’m thinking it’s spring season and naturally more houses are selling. Also inventory seems high.


  51. Pat says:

    gary, they need you over at kw.

    I just did a property search and got every rental listing surrounding where I live, since like 1996. Cool.

    Shouldn’t oughtta be this easy to make somebody like me laugh in this hell forsaken world.

  52. BklynHawk says:

    What are people seeing for mortgage rates for purchases?

  53. Stu says:

    John asked this question a few days ago. Here is a decent answer.

    “Of the single family owner-occupied homes in the United States, about 70 percent were mortgaged and 30 percent were not.”

    Source: US Census Bureau, 9/2004

  54. chicagofinance says:

    I said “wipe”, not “roll up and insert” :-P

    reinvestor101(the real one) says:
    May 30, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Needless to say, I’m rather shocked at this admission. Well, at least you’re not using a damn corn cob like another poster here does.

    chicagofinance says:
    May 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm
    As a member of FPA, I receive a free copy of Money. I use it to wipe my ass when we run out of toilet paper

  55. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle 47 Thanks , needed some balance on that guys position ,new you could provide.

    Stu as far as multi refis check out Hudson city bank. They are doing one now for my Mom. Some had posted that it was hard but they said no problem. Small amount, plenty of equity,great credit, good income so I guess that’s the ticket.

  56. Mikeinwaiting says:

    new = knew

  57. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Kettle considering that the banks will surely get hit again in the next foreclosure wave. I would think that they will be hoarding what they have for a while & needing more tax payer money so I would agree we have some time.

  58. Qwerty says:

    Rents for Single Family houses are still sky high in NJ.

    In a decent town you’re looking at $3,000 / month for a 3 bedroom. Plus utilities.

    That’s $40,000 / year in housing costs.

    In a town with no rail access, and longer commutes, you may get away for $2,500 a month for a decent 3 bedroom, which is a bargain at $36,000 / year.

    The NY Metro area is off the wall. The best option is to jump ship for another state, or country.

  59. Groundballgolfer says:

    I have enjoyed reading this blog the last year. My friend’s father passed away a few months ago and he and his sister inherited a 3 0r 4 bedroom house about 5 miles down Easton Ave from Rutgers. It is close to Rutgers Prep. The house was build in the late 50’s and has not been updated. He wants to sell very quickley. The sister wants to fix it up and rent it for a few years until the market comes back. She says with the college and hospitals there should be a nice demand and it’s only a matter of time before things spring back. Any ideas? Thanks

  60. safeashouses says:

    I read this thread on trulia and am speechless. Where’s gary when I need him?

  61. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    Apparently I wasn’t the only one banned by 411. He apparently is preventing people posting anything negative re Cammarano.

    “Permalink Reply by AndThenOneDay 8 hours ago
    Hah, I left today (as did Katie Scarlett last night). Just got tired of having my every utterance go to moderation. I became persona non grata when I listed recent incidents of bias on the site and concluded ‘fair and balanced’. It was posted, then deleted, and then everything went down the ‘awaiting moderation’ hole. Katie put a note in the Rant section that he subsequently deleted. No doubt he would rather have people think she just wasn’t posting than that she got disgusted and left. By election day it will just be an echo chamber for Cammarano. Talk about ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’.

    Bri777 said:
    I am happy to say as of yesterday I’ve been banned by the Mason Nazi’s over at the ol’ 411. Good ol’ Red Haven, Perry and the rest. Who needs them. Not even a warning. All of a sudden no more freedom to post. I don’t work for anybody’s campaign even. All I tried to do is clarify some garbage they were allowing to be spread about Carol Marsh.”

  62. Sastry says:

    #60 Groundballgolfer:

    My thought would be to fix it up and rent to some grad/undergrad students. However, be aware that at the time of selling, you’ll need another minor fixing up.


  63. yome says:

    I will agree with S.If there is no mortgage on the house.I’m sure the insurance and the township needs to be notified on change to rental property.It might be wiser to rent each room or get two person for each room to get more cash flow.Downside is the headaches of being a landlord.Being a do it yourself is a +.

  64. stu says:

    Thanks MikeinWaiting. If the rates somehow come down again, I’ll add them to my list of refi options.

  65. yome says:

    House prices have returned to 2002 levels, but mortgage debt hasn’t deflated from its bubbly highs.

  66. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    Thanks for clarifying that and yes, that would definitely distinguish you from that damn corn cob user whose behavior can be characterized as “irregular” when it comes to these matters. It is truly a sad day when someone has to hide all of their veggies at the sight of this individual. The man knows no shame.

    chicagofinance says:
    May 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm
    I said “wipe”, not “roll up and insert” :-P

  67. safeashouses says:

    Yo re101

    Don’t look now, but a building swiped your handle. Or did you copy from the building?

  68. 3b says:

    The neighbors ont his block will not be happy abou the listing below.

  69. BC Bob says:


    That looks nice. What are peak comps?

  70. yome says:

    119 Jefferson Ave River Edge NJ 07661 — beds, — baths, 2,359 sq ft
    Recently Sold: $348,500
    closed 3/09

  71. yome says:

    Recent nearby sales
    Sold 03/04/2009: $389,000
    117 Adams Ave, River Edge, NJ 07661
    Sold 03/19/2009: $325,000
    636 Bogert Rd, River Edge, NJ 07661
    Sold 04/07/2009: $643,000
    168 Concord Dr, River Edge, NJ 07661
    Sold 04/23/2009: $205,000
    167 Tenney Ave, River Edge, NJ 07661

  72. grim says:

    210 Wayne is 4br/2ba, 119 Jefferson is 3br/1ba. Jefferson does have nicer curb appeal though. Jefferson came on the market at $459k, crazy, sold $100k under the original asking. Talk about pricing error.

  73. yome says:

    i think this is a better comp killer

    Zestimate A Zestimate home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value. It is not an appraisal. Use it as a starting point to determine a home’s value.
    Learn more

    The Value Range is the high and low estimated market value for which Zillow values a home. The more information, the smaller the range, and the more accurate the Zestimate. See data coverage and accuracy table Value Range: $395,840 – $686,535
    30-day change: $6,500
    Zestimate updated: 05/29/2009
    Last sale and tax info
    Sold 04/07/2009: $395,000
    2009 Property Tax: $11,128

    Sold 05/19/2009: $644,000
    237 Beech Ct, River Edge, NJ 07661
    Sold 04/07/2009: $643,000
    168 Concord Dr, River Edge, NJ 07661
    Sold 04/21/2009: $815,000
    370 Valley Rd, River Edge, NJ 07661
    Sold 02/17/2009: $800,000
    211 Berkeley Rd, River Edge, NJ 07661

  74. grim says:


    Peak comp?

    Similar home, both in size and proximity, 234 Wayne Ave, sold for $519,000 in 2005.

  75. grim says:

    207 Wayne, also similar and even closer than 234, sold for $310k in *2000*.

  76. 3b says:

    #74 grim:Wayne is a nicer backyard, property size layout. And the bedrooms are bigger than 119 Jefferson.

  77. BC Bob says:

    JB [70],

    Thanks, I figured 500-550K. So asking is approx 30% off peak in a nice Bergen town.


    Are you paying attention.

  78. 3b says:

    #79 BC Bob: Thanks, I figured 500-550K. So asking is approx 30% off peak in a nice Bergen town.

    And you have been saying at least 30% off peak prices. And there were those on this board who laughed at you.

  79. grim says:


    You are familiar with the area, how comparable is 234?

  80. 3b says:

    Than we have this listing. It needs work, but 4 beds 1 bath asking 319K

  81. yome says:

    #82 is that trailer house? j/k

  82. 3b says:

    #81 grim: I will be checking 210 out later, and report back. I believe most of the original houses on Wayne are capes, so I would imagine they are similar.

  83. 3b says:

    #83 yome: they would have been asking north of 400 for that 2/3 years ago.

  84. yome says:


    Zestimate is $618,500 Sold 04/07/2009: $395,000

    Is zillow that off the mark?

  85. yome says:

    #85 i guess land is that valuable in that area.

  86. grim says:

    Zillow is crapo. Nice for searching and looking at tax records, but the zestimates? Don’t bother.

  87. 3b says:

    #75 yome: I think this is a better comp killer.

    That house was originally listed I believe at 749K. All brick, but a very odd lay out, some poorly thought out additions over the years, no real backyard all side and front property odd flow on the inside, but big.

  88. confused in nj says:

    ALBANY — The state pension fund lost a record $44 billion last year, or 29 percent of its value, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced yesterday as he warned taxpayers will soon have to pay up to keep the fund balanced.

    As of March 31, the state’s Common Retirement Fund had plunged to $109.9 billion, down from $153.9 billion last year and its lowest value since 2003.

  89. yome says:

    # 90 Why does tax payers always pay for their mistakes?What happened to no risk funds?

  90. kettle1 says:

    yome, 91

    you missed the memo. The new US business motto is

    Privitize Gains, Socialize Losses

  91. NJGator says:

    Foreclosures add to hurricane hazards

    LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – Mike Manikchand points toward his neighbors — a half-dozen empty, foreclosed-upon homes, sitting on weed-strewn yards — and he wonders: What will happen if a hurricane slams into southwest Florida this year?

    His simple answer: “A lot of these places will get destroyed.”

    Unoccupied, these homes would be defenseless in a storm; there will be no one to put up shutters, batten down garage doors and otherwise secure homes. But that’s not all. Nearby homes and their residents would also be at risk from wind-propelled debris.

    Lehigh Acres and other communities at the epicenter of the nation’s housing crisis are coming to realize that this year’s hurricane season, beginning June 1, represents yet another pitfall. Hurricanes could make hazards of thousands of foreclosed-upon houses, and their diminished value could decrease even more.

    “Here’s your choice,” said Julie Rochman, president of the Tampa-based Institute for Business and Home Safety. “Spend a little bit of time and money to secure the properties to withstand wind and water or not do the right thing and have the homes become damaged and are valued less.”

    The Associated Press Economic Stress Index — a month-by-month analysis of foreclosure, bankruptcy and unemployment rates in more than 3,000 U.S. counties — confirms that some of the areas most likely to be stuck by a hurricane are suffering the most in this recession.

    In March, there were 281,691 homes in foreclosure in Florida and coastal counties in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    Lee County, where Manikchand lives, is among the hardest-hit counties in the country. A 22-year-old pharmacy student, he took advantage of a dismal housing market and bought a foreclosed duplex for $36,000.

    In coming months, he and millions of others along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts will dutifully track tropical weather forecasts and stockpile batteries, flashlights and tins of tuna, hoping that hurricanes blow harmlessly out to sea.

    But who will secure all the foreclosed homes if a storm does approach? No one really knows.

    In some cases, a property management company hired by the bank could do the work. Or it could be a real estate agent, a homeowners’ association or even resourceful neighbors who clear debris from yards and board windows. Yet no state laws mandate who prepares buildings before a hurricane; even officials from the Florida Division of Emergency Management say that securing foreclosures isn’t a concern.

    “It’s not an aspect that we really deal with,” said John Cherry, the agency’s external affairs director. “Our No. 1 concern is life safety.”

    Quick evacuation will be the priority, not securing vacant homes, if a major storm looms, others say. But shutterless homes can be a major safety hazard in a hurricane. And a region full of destroyed or heavily damaged homes would depress real estate values even further.

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters have projected a near normal year for hurricanes. They predicted nine to 14 named tropical storms, including four to seven hurricanes. One to three of the hurricanes are expected to be major.

    Randall Webster, director of the Horry County Emergency Management Department in South Carolina, said if a storm does hit, properties in foreclosure could slow recovery if the county can’t immediately find the owner, “especially if it were in a neighborhood where others around it were taking care of business and this one gets in rough shape,” he said.

    The issue of who cares for vacant homes during a time of crisis seems simple: The legal owner is responsible for securing the property. But communities are already struggling to get banks to mow lawns, much less put up hurricane shutters — if they weren’t swiped from the foreclosed home, along with appliances, copper wiring and air conditioners.

    If the bank hasn’t yet taken the title of a home, the property is in a kind of limbo, and local officials or homeowners associations may have no legal right to trespass and secure it. And many hard-hit counties don’t have the money or manpower to do it.

    “Simple logistics tells me (the banks) don’t have the staff to follow up,” said Kenneth Wilkinson, property appraiser for Lee County, which in March had the third-highest foreclosure rate in the United States, after California’s Merced County and Nevada’s Clark County.

    There are some places that are trying to board up windows and batten down garage doors, although largely to stave off crime. Wellington, in Palm Beach County, has gone to court to receive the legal OK to board up homes. And in Cape Coral, city officials have passed an ordinance that requires the owner of a foreclosed home to pay $150 to register the address and provide a contact number for the person who will maintain the property.

    Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson has asked county attorneys to research whether it is legal to board up empty homes.

    “If we board them up, we’re protecting them,” Aaronson said. “Hopefully we will be able to keep some of the value up.”

    Aaronson contends that the banks don’t always maintain the homes and doesn’t expect that they will in the days before a storm — and if the county takes over that responsibility, then he wants the banks to pay.

    “We want to use the full power we have as a government to levy the greatest fines that we can to penalize banks for not taking care of the properties,” he said.

    Horry County’s Webster says there might be another way for public officials to take matters into their own hands.

    “If it became deemed a public health issue or public safety hazard, the county would have some legal recourse to secure it in terms of making it off limits or safer,” said Webster, whose county includes Myrtle Beach and has seen foreclosures rise over the past year.

    Some banks say that they have a plan for hurricanes; JP Morgan Chase says it will use property management companies and bank field employees to make sure properties are storm-ready. And if the homes are damaged or destroyed during a storm, said Michael Fusco, a spokesman for JP Morgan Chase, the bank “acts just like a homeowner” and will file an insurance claim.

    Debora Blume, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo Bank, said her company hires local real estate agents who have been assigned to market bank-owned properties to secure homes against hurricane damage.

    But one real estate agent in the Fort Myers area said the process of putting the maintenance work out to bid and then getting approval from the bank that owns the property might not be workable as a storm bears down.

    “During a hurricane, we need to get out of town, not wait for approval for funding to secure a building,” said Suzanne Sherer, president of the Realtors Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beaches. “I won’t have time to get a bid from a handyman.”

    In Lee County, metal hurricane shutters cover a few new, unsold homes. Many empty homes have swing sets in the yard, garbage cans strewn in the driveway and loose roof tiles, all of which could become projectiles during a storm.

    Sherer said it would be “devastating” if a powerful storm similar to Hurricane Charley, which hit nearby Charlotte County in 2004, struck Lee County.

    In Galveston, Texas, where more than 17,000 home were damaged by Hurricane Ike last year, there are still many empty homes — but not because of foreclosures. The properties were damaged during the storm and owners don’t have the money to rebuild.

    “These homeowners have the biggest hurdles as far as getting back into their homes,” City spokeswoman Alicia Cahill said. “A lot of the homes that were affected were lower income to moderate income families who didn’t have a huge insurance policy or a lot of extra cash lying around to make repairs.”

    Tybee, Ga., mayor Jason Buelterman says officials there haven’t considered potential problems with foreclosures during storm season. Their first priority, he said, is assuring the safety of island residents and tourists if a hurricane heads their way. Dealing with foreclosed homes will be an afterthought.

    Yet residents throughout the hurricane zone are worried, especially those who live in foreclosure-dotted neighborhoods. Armando Gonzalez, 72, retired from Miami to Lehigh Acres five years ago.

    He and his wife moved to a small home a few blocks from the city center, in a quiet yet thriving neighborhood. But in the last two years, his neighbors left, either because of foreclosure or job loss. Now he’s the only one on his block; the home next to him has a broken window and the one across the street is only half-built.

    When asked what would happen to all the nearby, dilapidated homes if a hurricane hit, Gonzalez shrugged and grinned.

    “I can’t do anything,” he said. “Maybe I’ll pray. God will save me.”

  92. chicagofinance says:

    Reese Witherspoon with kneepads…..torn from John’s playbook

  93. Safeashouses says:

    I’m in the belly of the beast.

    Going to some open houses in Brigadoon.

  94. gary says:

    GM’s stock tumbled to the lowest price in the company’s 100-year history on Friday, closing at just 75 cents after trading as low as 74 cents. In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, the shares would become virtually worthless.

    Thank goodness we live in prestigous North Jersey and are insulated!

  95. veto that says:

    Im considering making an offer but am hoping to get some advice from this crew to determine a good offer price. Here are some details.

    A 4 bed 2.5 bath house sold here in solid neighborhood in mercer county for 365K in Jan 2009, so that is the comp. We’ll call it ‘comp house’.

    Across the street is almost the exact same house, and it was just put up for sale, we’ll call it ‘for sale house’. There are some major differences so im wondering how to adjust the value:
    1- Comp house had fully renovated kitchen with granite and decent appliances, whereas ‘for sale house’ has original kitchen that is smaller and not as open. @30k value towards comp home
    2- Comp house has 1.5 more baths than the ‘for sale house’ and all 2.5 baths are redone, whereas the ‘for sale house’ has one original full bath. $20K value
    3- Comp House is brick, whereas the ‘for sale house’ is vynal siding. $10k value
    4- Comp house was built in 1970, whereas the ‘for sale house’ was built in 1940. $10k value although arguable as some might want an older home.
    5- Comp house has .75 Acres, whereas ‘for sale house’ has .30 Acres. $30k value.
    6- Comp house has dining room, whereas ‘for sale house’ only has eat in kitchen. $15k value.
    7- Location and condition are the same.

    I did this for all features and find that total value is 120k less than the Comp Home.

    The comp home sold for 365K. So I think that the ‘for sale home’ is worth $250K, even though they are asking $370K.

    My realtor thinks the ‘for sale home’ will sell for $320 and doesnt want me to offer anything less than $300k. What am i missing? And where is my analysis flawed? I cant leave my realtor as i am loyal to a fault and he works hard for us even though we never pull the trigger. thanks in advance for any feed back.

  96. veto that says:

    also, new house has same number of bedrooms.

  97. lurker til now says:

    “What am i missing?”

    The sum is worth more than its parts. Doing the math that way works in your favor, but the bottom line is that there is no “inherent” value to a house. Sooo . . .

    Offer what you want, but if the seller doesn’t accept it then all the analysis in the world is meaningless.

  98. yome says:

    I always thought that assessment value comparison is due to sq.ft. not what is inside the home.Granite counter,brick siding don’t come in to play in pricing the home.I might be wrong.

  99. stan says:

    Safe- give. Report when u can. Thx

  100. lurker til now says:

    Yome has a good point. You can look at the assessed value of each house ( to see what the town thinks their relative worths are.

  101. yome says:

    #100 There is depreciation value on Granite tops,brick siding,what the heck the house has a depreciation value usually they are designed for a life span of 30 to 50 years.

  102. grim says:

    My realtor thinks the ‘for sale home’ will sell for $320 and doesnt want me to offer anything less than $300k. What am i missing? And where is my analysis flawed?

    You are overestimating the value of the home. The dirt below the home is likely worth $250k, the house atop it, much less.

  103. confused in nj says:

    National sales tax mulled to offset debt
    by Lori Montgomery / Washington Post
    Saturday May 30, 2009, 12:00 PM
    With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo: a national sales tax.

    Common around the world, including in Europe, such a tax — called a value-added tax, or VAT — has not been seriously considered in the United States.

    But advocates say few other options can generate the kind of money the nation will need to avert fiscal calamity.

    At a White House conference earlier this year on the government’s budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress.

    And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama’s policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee declared a VAT should be part of the debate.

    “There is a growing awareness of the need for fundamental tax reform,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in an interview. “I think a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table.”

    A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by the consumer.

    Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer. It is also hugely regressive, falling heavily on the poor. But VAT advocates say those negatives could be offset by using the proceeds to pay for health care for every
    American — a tangible benefit that would be highly valuable to low-income families.

    Liberals dispute that notion. “You could pay for it regressively and have people at the bottom come out better off — maybe. Or you could pay for it progressively and they’d come out a lot better off,” said Bob McIntyre, director of the nonprofit Citizens for Tax Justice, which has a health financing plan that targets corporations and the rich.

    A White House official said a VAT is “unlikely to be in the mix” as a means to pay for health care reform.

    “While we do not want to rule any credible idea in or out as we discuss the way forward with Congress, the VAT tax, in particular, is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers,” said Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for White House Budget Director Peter Orszag.

    Still, Orszag has hired a prominent VAT advocate to advise him on health care: Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and author of the 2008 book “Health Care, Guaranteed.” Meanwhile, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, chairman of a task force Obama assigned to study the tax system, has expressed at least tentative support for a VAT.

    “Everybody who understands our long-term budget problems understands we’re going to need a new source of revenue, and a VAT is an obvious candidate,” said Leonard Burman, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, who testified on Capitol Hill this month about his own VAT plan. “It’s common to the rest of the world, and we don’t have it.”

    The surge of interest in a VAT is testament to the extraordinary depth of the nation’s money troubles. While some conservatives have long argued a consumption tax would provide a simpler and more efficient alternative to the byzantine U.S. income tax code, this time, it’s all about the money.

    The federal budget deficit is projected to approach $1.3 trillion next year, the highest ever except for this year, when the deficit is forecast to exceed $1.8 trillion. The Treasury is borrowing 46 cents of every dollar it spends, largely from China and other foreign creditors, who are growing increasingly uneasy about the security of their investments. Unless Congress comes up with some serious cash, expanding the nation’s health care system will only add to the problem.

    Obama wants to raise income taxes for high earners and impose new levies on business, but those moves would not generate enough cash to cover the cost of health care, much less balance the budget, and they have not been fully embraced by Congress. Obama’s plan to tax greenhouse-gas emissions could raise trillions of dollars, but again, Congress is balking.

    Key lawmakers are considering other ways to pay for health reform, including new taxes on sugary soda, alcohol and employer-provided health insurance. The last proposal could raise a lot of money — nearly $1 trillion over the next five years, according to White House budget documents. But options on the table would raise a fraction of that sum. And while it might pay for health care, it would barely dent deficits projected to total nearly $4 trillion over the next five years and to grow rapidly in the future, as Baby Boomers draw on Social Security and Medicare.

    Enter the VAT, one of the world’s most popular taxes, in use in more than 130 countries.

    Among industrialized nations, rates range from 5 percent in Japan to 25 percent in Hungary and in parts of Scandinavia. A 21 percent VAT has permitted Ireland to attract investment by lowering its corporate tax rate.

    The VAT has advantages: Because producers, wholesalers and retailers are each required to record their transactions and pay a portion of the VAT, the tax is hard to dodge. It punishes spending rather than savings, which the administration hopes to encourage. And the threat of a VAT could pull the country out of recession, some economists argue, by hurrying consumers to the mall before the tax hits.

  104. confused in nj says:

    Actually a 25% Vat Tax could solve the Deficit Issue, if they actually stopped running it up further. Ha, Ha, Ha.

  105. yome says:

    And the threat of a VAT could pull the country out of recession, some economists argue, by hurrying consumers to the mall before the tax hits.

    Is it still fear that keeping the consumer out of the malls or fear is a reality at 9% umemployment and growing.Tax us more will solve the government problem not the citizen

  106. yome says:

    Buy a house at 500 Grand add VAT tax on it that will solve the housing crisis.

  107. GerryAdams says:

    In an alternate universe where my opinion was worth something, I would say…

    Realtors say alot of things, BTW, like housing never falls in value, its a great time to buy and it will sell for 320k, but in the end you buy it, not them. From experience I know that one bath homes are a pain to live in and to sell.

    I like your analysis. Why not wait til another one similar to the comp home is for sale?

    What do people think about looking up comps from 2002-03, to judge where the market is heading?

  108. confused in nj says:

    They can implement a VAT tax to pay down the defecit, and a FAT tax to pay for Universal Healthcare. VAT would be 25% of all transactions. FAT would be $10/lb, every pound over BMI.

  109. 3b says:

    #81 grim: From earlier. 234 has been significantly altered from 210, howevwer do not know if that was before or after purchase in 2005.

    207 appears to be the exact same house.

    By the way 210 is neat and clean, the kitchen is small and the 2 bedrooms up stairs need work. But all and all a nice house with alot of potential.

    That being said. there were no crowds banging down the doors to see it, at least when we were there.

  110. BC Bob says:

    Do the communist’s give Timmy a good old fashioned Bronx cheer?

    “I will of course make it clear that we are committed to a strong dollar, that we are committed to bringing our fiscal deficits down over the medium-term to a sustainable place,” the Treasury chief told the Chinese press, according to a transcript Treasury first provided U.S.-based reporters on Saturday. “We believe in a strong dollar. A strong dollar is in the U.S. interest.”

  111. cobbler says:

    VAT could be quite productive if its introduction is coupled with reduction or elimination of business and payroll taxes, and relieves businesses from paying for health insurance (assuming it is one thing VAT pays for). Then, it puts the domestically produced and imported goods on more of an even footing; moreover as in most countries if the goods are exported VAT is refunded it works like a subsidy while staying legal under WTO rules.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    I dont know if these have been posted yet, I have not had a chance to check in, but they should be of interest:
    The U.S. Federal Reserve’s program to keep mortgage rates low by buying securities and Treasury bonds so far has been costly and seems to be having a fleeting impact.

    An analysis of the timing of the Fed’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. shows the Fed is “under water” on its portfolio by about 10%, and it would have to take about $5 billion in losses if it were to mark its portfolio to the market.

    Since last autumn, the Fed has purchased more than $480 billion, out of an allowance of $1.25 trillion, in mortgage-backed securities and more than $130 billion, of $300 billion, in Treasury bonds to help keep mortgage rates low. Keeping rates low lets people refinance their mortgages to reduce payments and stay in their homes. It also encourages them to consider snapping up bargains in the still-ailing housing market. Many analysts believe the Fed plans to hold these securities until they mature in 10 years or so, with no plans to sell them into the market, so the losses will probably never be realized.

    The central bank owns the majority of securities sold in 2009, with interest payments of 4%, 4.5% and 5%, according to J.P. Morgan’s research. As interest rates rise, the value of these securities falls because new bonds are backed with higher-interest mortgage loans and thus pay higher coupons.

    The Fed has spent about $2,500 per borrower, by J.P. Morgan’s analysis — more than it costs a typical mortgage borrower to refinance their debt. Higher fees and adjustments based on a borrower’s credit score or home’s value have been an impediment to borrowers looking to refinance a mortgage, damping the refinancing wave the Fed hoped for, analysts say.

    The Fed’s purchases have enabled about two million borrowers to refinance who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, J.P. Morgan estimates


  113. Shore Guy says:

    Federal Reserve puzzled by US yield curve steepeningBuzz up!
    Digg it
    Reuters, Sunday May 31 2009 By Alister Bull
    WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is studying significant moves in the U.S. government bond market last week that could have big implications for the central bank’s strategy to combat the country’s recession.
    But the Fed is not really sure what is driving the sharp rise in long-dated bond yields, and especially a widening gap between short and long term yields.
    Do rising U.S. Treasury yields and a steepening yield curve suggest an economic recovery is more certain, meaning less need for safe haven government bonds and a healthy demand for credit? If so, there might be less need for the Fed to expand the money supply by buying more U.S. Treasuries.
    Or does the steepening yield curve mean investors are worried about the deterioration in the U.S. fiscal outlook, or the potential for a collapse in the U.S. dollar as the Fed floods the world with newly minted currency as part of its quantitative easing program. This might be an argument to augment to step up asset purchases.
    Another possibility is that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury debt, has decided to refocus its portfolio by leaning more heavily on shorter-term maturities. ID:nPEK173435
    With officials still grappling to divine the factors steepening the yield curve, a speedy decision on whether to ramp up the Treasury debt purchase program or the related plan to snap up mortgage-related debt seems unlikely.
    “I’m in wait-and-see mode,” said one Fed official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We laid out the asset purchase plan and we’re following it. That is going to have some affect on various interest rates, but together with a hundred other things. So I don’t think we should be chasing a long-term interest rate,” the official said.


  114. kettle1 says:

    any recommendations for good deals on hotel rooms in NYC on a friday night?

  115. kettle1 says:

    specifically looking at june 26th

  116. nj escapee says:

    try Hotwire. Been pretty lucky with that site.

  117. confused in nj says:

    VAT could be quite productive if its introduction is coupled with reduction or elimination of business and payroll taxes.

    The VAT being evaluated is in addition to current taxes, not in lieu of. Congress is a hungry beast.

  118. kettle1 says:


    the only way that “the people” could gain control over the beats is to starve it and remove the majority of taxation.

  119. reinvestor101(the real one) says:

    What?? Let’s get something straight. I’m the damn originator, not the imitator, so this building is named after me. That’s no surprise considering my prowess at real estate investing prior to the terrorist takeover.

    safeashouses says:
    May 31, 2009 at 9:52 am
    Yo re101

    Don’t look now, but a building swiped your handle. Or did you copy from the building?

  120. BC Bob says:

    “any recommendations for good deals on hotel rooms in NYC on a friday night?”


    Back room, Blarney Stone?

  121. safeashouses says:

    Went to 6 open houses in Westfield and 1 in Cranford.

    Asking prices are down significantly, at least 25% since same March-April of 07.

    3 agents told me just make an offer, everything is negotiable. Another agent told me prices are dropping 1% a month.

    The quality of the houses in the under 450 range was much better than what was 550k 2 years ago.

    We saw a very nice split for 555k (too high for us).

  122. kettle1 says:


    nope anniversary

  123. BC Bob says:


    If you don’t mind downtown, try Embassy Suites, I think North or North End Ave. It’s right by the MERC and WFC. When my brother goes in on weekends, he stays there, about 1/2 the price of midtown.

  124. NJGator says:

    Kettle – My friend did well with her room through Priceline. We have frequently used them – but we only bid for 4 star rooms.

    I have found this message board useful to see what hotels participate as well as for bidding strategies and to see what other people bid successfully for rooms. It makes it less likely that you will overbid.

  125. veto that says:

    thanks for the advice all…

    Kettle, stayed in Helmsley midtown recently. They were not booked sat night short notice, was pretty cheap too.

  126. veto that says:

    if you are going to use or priceline thats fine but make sure you call the hotel directly too. Sometimes the rate is cheaper if you book direct.

  127. veto that says:

    99) Lurker says: The sum is worth more than its parts. Doing the math that way works in your favor, but the bottom line is that there is no “inherent” value to a house.

    Lurker, There has to be a way to compare values of two comps right next door to each other. Maybe its not an exact science but there should be at least some logic involved.
    For example, if someone were to buy the house and then upgrade it to be on par with the comp house… how much would it cost to do that? By my calcs, it would cost 120k to upgrade to that level but the realtor and i disagree on asking price by a margin of 70 grand. thats alot of difference. One of us is living in a dream world.
    But this neighborhood has proven me wrong many times before so it may be me who is dilusional. If it sells for 320, i’ll be scratching my head yet again, wondering why the housing bomb hit every town in the western hemisphere except for the one that i want to buy in…

  128. chicagofinance says:


  129. Firestormik says:

    Tomorrow is Monday :( I still don’t understand how you guys manage reading and posting here during the day, but anyway I hope you had as good weekend as I had:
    (warning, not kosher :) )

  130. chicagofinance says:

    First Reese Witherspoon in kneepads, and now John scales the steps to Nirvana….
    JUNE 1, 2009 Playboy Expected to Offer CEO Job to Outsider

  131. chicagofinance says:

    Book smarts only gets you so far…stop believing your own bull$hit….

  132. lurker til now says:

    “There has to be a way to compare values of two comps right next door to each other.”


    Yes and no. I think the best way to compare two houses is to look at the assessed value as I mentioned before. The assessed value is based on a pretty exhaustive inside examination by a professional. If the assessed value of the comp is x% different than that of the for sale house, then that is a good ballpark to work from when comparing one price to another.

    But after that it’s more art than science. It depends on how motivated the comp seller was compared to the current for sale seller. It depends on how motivated the comp buyer was compared to current buyers. And it depends on all those bits and pieces of the house itself. Even though you had a really nice list of tangibles above, there is in actuality an almost infinite list of items, personal to each buyer. You are more likely to focus on things you want to change while taking for granted things that are ok. For instance, a buyer who needs to repaint and carpet will mentally deduct $$ versus another buyer for the same house who is happy with the paint and carpet and will deduct nothing. Some buyers will put a premium on an unfinished basment, while other buyers will deduct thousands for a house without one. It just depends.

    If you feel the house is worth $250 (although I agree with grim that that barely covers the land) then offer it. But odds are they won’t accept. You won’t have lost anything but, on the other hand, you won’t have gained anything either.

    Since you were looking for 2002 prices, are there perhaps comps available for that time period that you can work off of? I don’t know how close they’ll get you, but hopefully you’ll fall somewhere between 250 and 320 and maybe the seller will bite. If not, there’s not much else you can do other than to pay their price or keep looking.

  133. Revelations says:

    Yome @35,

    Sorry, I hate going back 100 posts, but I have to comment.

    “Over the long haul the arguments favor ownership: You get to enjoy tax breaks, build equity, and take pride in a place that’s yours.”

    Borrowing a ton of money to benefit from tax breaks can be penny wise, pound foolish. Plus, I’d wager that tax breaks have been factored into prices by now. And what if RE isn’t appreciating in real terms? -You can also build ‘equity’ with savings.

    “Renters also run the risk of faulty market timing. Few expect real estate to bounce back swiftly, but if it does, prices could jump before you buy again.”

    This assumes renters want a home and are timing entry. Renters have more mobility and covered maintenance. They also do not have property tax risk. Sure it’s paid indirectly, but rental rates have to remain competitive.

    And renting may not be short term.. I know folks that had saved so much for a house that most their rent was covered by 4-5% interest. Of course, rates are lower now, but planning helps there.

    One should back up a ‘buy’ recommendation with more than ‘prices could jump’. This is a fear trigger. It’s vague and not backed up with explanation.

    I honestly don’t mean to pick on you (and I like your posts), but it just reminded me of the realtors of ’05/’06. They kept saying “buy now or be priced out forever.” This kept me from buying b/c I couldn’t imagine how a market worked when everyone was priced out. I soon learned that it doesn’t. I don’t see a price rebound anytime soon in NY Metro.

  134. Revelations says:

    Plus there will be a new thread tomorrow, and no one will read this anyway.


  135. safeashouses says:

    #138 revelations


    I’m last!

  136. lurker til now says:


    Just one comment. I have no opinion on whether people should buy or not, and I would never advocate buying solely as an investment, but the fact is that it can be a good investment (again, not something I would count on, but it can be). So my comment is that, while you say you can build “equity” with savings, the one perk of RE is that you’re leveraged. So if you put 100k down on a 500k house that goes to 600k, then you’ve doubled your money. Yes, I know there are carrying costs and fees, but I’m just trying to make a point. Your savings, on the other hand, aren’t leveraged. So, unlike savings, you can build equity faster with RE because you’ve borrowed. Again, this is not a given, but if you generally believe that RE appreciates, even modestly, and if you have a long time horizon then it is not a bad thing to take into consideration.
    Just $.02 worth . . .

  137. Qwerty says:

    Revelations, Yome had simply copied and pasted from the CNN/Money article linked below the text

    “When it makes sense to rent”

    Your response was excellent, though. The CNN/Money clowns are still recycling the tired NAR cliches of “owning” a house.

  138. Qwerty says:

    lurker til now, leverage works on the way down, too.

    One can put even zero down on a house and find themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars underwater in short order.

    Add in an unexpected job loss, or illness, and those unrealized losses become real — checks must be written, or bankruptcy filed.

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