Northeast sales fall 13.4%, prices down 12.5%

From the AP/APP:

Northeast home sales, prices drop in May

Home sales in the Northeast declined more than 13 percent in May from year-ago levels, the worst showing in the country, as the specter of job losses loomed over the region.

The median sales price in the Northeast dropped almost 13 percent to $243,600, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Nationally, sales of existing homes tumbled 6.6 percent in May from the previous year, without adjusting for seasonal factors. The U.S. median sales price slid almost 17 percent to $173,000.

But James Diffley, group managing director of IHS Global Insight’s regional services group, focused more on the 7.6 month-to-month sales gain in the Northeast.

“The numbers are giving some comfort that we’re at the bottom,” Diffley said. “We have a more optimistic view than just a few months ago.”

In fact, all nine major Northeast cities tracked in the Associated Press-Re/Max Monthly Housing Report showed monthly gains in home sales. But compared to last May, sales were down across the board with with seven metro areas recording double-digit declines.

Jitters are still running high in the suburbs of New York, where sales fell by 30 percent, the worst decline in the region. Excluding New York City, the median price in the area fell almost 8 percent to $388,000 as job losses on Wall Street rippled through the local economy.

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247 Responses to Northeast sales fall 13.4%, prices down 12.5%

  1. grim says:

    GTG!

    This Friday, don’t miss it.

    When: Friday June 26th, 7:30ish

    Location: Fitzgerald’s 1928 http://www.fitzgeralds1928.com
    13 Herman Street (off Bloomfield Ave)
    Glen Ridge, NJ 07028
    Google Maps Link

    For drivers, this is right off exit 148 on the Parkway.
    For those looking for mass transit, Fitzgeralds is 2 blocks away from the Glen Ridge Station on the Montclair Boonton Line.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Low Appraisals Threaten U.S. Property Rebound by Cutting Prices

    There may be another culprit scuttling a U.S. housing recovery: low home appraisals.

    Flawed appraisals are derailing real estate sales and depressing values across the U.S., the National Association of Realtors said yesterday as it reported that existing home prices declined 17 percent in May from a year earlier.

    “It’s pointing to thousands of delayed or canceled transactions,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Chicago- based Realtors group, said in an interview. “We’ve had a massive inundation from members saying this is a big problem.”

    Appraisal rules that went into effect on May 1 require lenders that sell loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to set up a firewall between appraisers and loan officers to prevent improper influence. The rules are the result of an agreement between the mortgage buyers and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who said an investigation found appraisers inflated values under pressure from lenders.

    The agreement mandates that banks order a second appraisal on 10 percent of the loans they sell to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and warns against accepting the higher of any two valuations. The guidelines have led to more conservative valuations by many appraisers and a “chill” in lending, according to John Brennan, research director at the Appraisal Foundation, a Washington-based trade group.

  3. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Citigroup Halts Some Mortgage Applications, Cites Missing Data

    Citigroup Inc. suspended loan applications at a unit that produced half of its $115 billion in mortgages last year after a review found that some property appraisals and income-verification documents were missing.

    The correspondent division, which buys loans from banks and independent mortgage firms, stopped accepting new loans at 5 p.m. yesterday and will restart July 6, Citigroup said in a June 22 letter to clients. The New York-based company said it will use the time to change procedures and fix the omissions.

    “There remain key areas that fall short of our quality- control process,” according to the letter, signed by Brad Brunts, a managing director at the bank’s CitiMortgage division. “We ask you to review your processes and join us in this effort to collectively address these areas of concern.”

  4. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    New Rules on Home Appraisals End Up Thwarting Many Sales

    I hate to say I told you so, but on May 1st and again on June 1st, I told you about the potential negative ramifications of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct. Today the Realtors confirmed what I had been hearing all across the mortgage industry.

    “In the past month, we have suddenly been bombarded with many stories of, at the last moment, transactions falling apart because appraisals are coming in unrealistically low,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “As a result it opens up a new round of negotiations between a buyer and a seller or in many cases the buyer just steps away.”

  5. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    FHFA Data May Signal False Bottom in Housing

    The latest U.S. home-price data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency may be a false signal that the housing market is bottoming out.

    The agency reported Tuesday morning that its price index in April was down 6.8% from a year earlier, but showed a decline of only 0.3% in the first four months of 2009. “We may be starting to see signs of stabilization in prices for houses” funded by mortgages guaranteed by government-backed investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the FHFA said.

    New data from the National Association of Realtors Tuesday showed that the median price of homes in May was $173,000, down 17% from a year earlier. That’s roughly in line with an average 16% drop from a year ago in the first four months of this year.

    The Realtors’ data cover a broader range of the market than does the FHFA index. For instance, the Realtors’ median price includes low-end foreclosed homes bought by investors for cash, while the FHFA index involves only purchases financed by Fannie or Freddie mortgages.

    But the Realtors’ median price is skewed by changes in the mix of homes sold each month. If home sales have been concentrated at the lower end of the market, as has been the case in recent months, that drags down the median. When sales of higher-end homes increase relative to those at the low end, that will pull up the median –even if prices of the higher-end homes are down sharply from their levels for a year ago. That’s because there will be more relatively fancy houses in the overall mix.

    The FHFA index, like the S&P Case-Shiller index, is based on repeat sales of the same homes and so avoids the distortions of a shifting mix in sales. But the Case-Shiller index includes more foreclosure-related transactions and gives more weight to higher-priced homes than to lower-priced ones. Thus, when sales of higher-end homes increase, the Case-Shiller index is likely to look much worse, even as the Realtors’ median price will look better. Stand by for more confusion.

  6. grim says:

    From the SF Gate:

    Housing, unemployment woes leave movers shaken

    Sinking home prices and a weak job market have forced normally restless Americans to stay put in an uncharacteristic shift that has, among other things, clobbered the moving industry.

    “Property values have dropped so much, people can’t pick up and move the way they used to,” said Michael Hicks, a demographer at Ball State University in Indiana who has tracked the nationwide slowdown using data from several sources, including moving companies.

    That industry data mirrors a Census Bureau report that looked at moves in 2008, said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

    “The annual migration rate has gone way down to historic low levels,” Frey said. “This includes long-distance moves and moving across town.”

    During the 1950s and 1960s, Frey said, as many as 20 percent of Americans moved in any given year. Mobility rates slowed to 15 percent to 16 percent during the 1990s. But in 2008, only 11.9 percent of Americans moved, he said.

  7. stan says:

    ‘Unrealistically low appraisals’

    F- u Yun.

  8. Shore Guy says:

    “Flawed appraisals are derailing real estate sales”

    Ahhhh. I get it. appraisals that overstate a property’s worth are good, as they allow a sale to go through and a re agent to get paid but an accurate one that prevents people from making a foolish decidson and a bank (you and me, as it turns out) from taking a bath is bad?

    Cry me a bloody river.

  9. Greg says:

    What is GTG? I live over in Montclair and am very familiar with Fitzgeralds. Great burgers.

  10. 3b says:

    #4 GRIM: appraisals are coming in unrealistically low,”

    Unrealistically low? Says who Larry Yun?

    Based on what?

  11. #9 – Greg – GTG is a Get-together for posters.
    I should really go to one, as I would like to meet all the regulars. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can make this GTG.

  12. cooper says:

    so right now the market is 20-25 percent off peak? or 15-20? I’m having trouble keeping up with all the static from the media…
    I’m with Stan… F Yun!

  13. stan says:

    GTG- get together. It is where all the mild mannered accountants by day, njrereport super hero’s by night expose their true identities.

    Stan and Stannetta woul have to shift some plans, but are trying to make an appearance.

  14. Unrealistically low appraisals

    I really like this. It’s rare to find actual doublespeak as good as the fictional stuff.

  15. cooper says:

    #10-3b
    ” Based on what?”

    his decrease in salary

  16. stan says:

    3-b exactly. This guys an economist, show me some figures why they are unerappraised…

    Grumbling realtors who lost sales b/c prices are declining is not a statistic I can quanify.

  17. #2 – Yves Smith at NakedCapitalism has an interesting close reading of that Bloomberg article.

  18. traveljerk123 says:

    grim, you have more info on freddy flake?

  19. silera says:

    Why don’t lightrail stations have turnstiles? I started taking it this week as opposed to the bus and until today no one has checked a ticket. This morning two police officers came on and announced they were checking which prompted one passenger to leave. They followed him off and the rest of us were left unchecked.

    It seems not cost effective to rely on the honor system for this.

  20. grim says:

    When the entire industry has known nothing but unrealistically high appraisals and “hitting the number” was the norm, I suppose a return to normal could be a painful proposition for some.

  21. traveljerk123 says:

    lunchtime read: from the BBC

    Disabled woman sues clothes store

    A woman claims clothing firm Abercrombie & Fitch made her work in the stockroom because her prosthetic arm did not fit the shop’s image.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/8116231.stm

  22. DL says:

    Spain a location for the Nompound?

    “Marion Atkins has lived and worked in Spain for over two decades, most recently as an estate agent in Torrevieja. She drives up and down the deserted streets of a once-popular development. Many of the houses carry “For Sale” signs. She points to one and says: “These little houses with one or two bedrooms were 120,000 euros. Now I’d be lucky to get 75,000.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8115973.stm

  23. Sean says:

    Shadow Inventory.

    “Almost one-third of homeowners (31 percent) said they would be at least somewhat likely to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they saw signs of a recovering real estate market according to Zillow’s first quarter Homeowner Confidence Survey.”

    http://www.zillow.com/blog/when-the-bottom-arrives-a-flood-of-shadow-inventory/2009/05/19/

  24. Essex says:

    Happiness
    More or less
    It’s just a change in me
    Something in my liberty
    Oh, my, my
    Happiness
    Coming and going
    I watch you look at me
    Watch my fever growing
    I know just where I am

    But how many corners do I have to turn?
    How many times do I have to learn
    All the love I have is in my mind?

    But I’m a lucky man
    With fire in my hands

    Happiness
    Something in my own place
    I’m stood here naked
    Smiling, I feel no disgrace
    With who I am

    Happiness
    Coming and going
    I watch you look at me
    Watch my fever growing
    I know just who I am

    But how many corners do I have to turn?
    How many times do I have to learn
    All the love I have is in my mind?

    I hope you understand
    I hope you understand

    Gotta love that’ll never die

    Happiness
    More or less
    It’s just a change in me
    Something in my liberty
    Happiness
    Coming and going
    I watch you look at me
    Watch my fever growing
    I know
    Oh, my, my
    Oh, my, my
    Oh, my, my
    Oh, my, my

    Gotta love that’ll never die
    Gotta love that’ll never die
    No, no
    I’m a lucky man

    It’s just a change in me
    Something in my liberty
    It’s just a change in me
    Something in my liberty
    It’s just a change in me
    Something in my liberty
    Oh, my, my
    Oh, my, my
    It’s just a change in me
    Something in my liberty
    Oh, my, my
    Oh, my, my

  25. gary says:

    Jitters are still running high in the suburbs of New York, where sales fell by 30 percent, the worst decline in the region. Excluding New York City, the median price in the area fell almost 8 percent to $388,000 as job losses on Wall Street rippled through the local economy.

    Tick…. tick…. tick…. tick….

  26. gary says:

    “It’s pointing to thousands of delayed or canceled transactions,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Chicago- based Realtors group, said in an interview. “We’ve had a massive inundation from members saying this is a big problem.”

    Hey Lawrence, F*ck you, tought sh*t. You didn’t say anything about bloated appraisals on the way up.

  27. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Orders for Durable Goods in U.S. Unexpectedly Jumped in May

    Orders for U.S.-made durable goods unexpectedly jumped in May, adding to signs the economic slump is easing.

    The 1.8 percent gain in bookings for goods meant to last several years matched the previous month’s increase, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Economists projected orders would drop 0.9 percent, according to the median of 75 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

    The economy is projected to return to growth in the second half of the year, and sustained gains in consumer spending may encourage businesses to boost investment and production after having slashed inventories earlier this year. Still, rising unemployment and tight credit will temper the recovery.

    “New orders are beginning to stabilize,” Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc. in New York, said before the report. “The economy seems to be on course for a gradual turn.”

  28. Shelly says:

    Think about this. The median income in many of these train towns is around $100,000. How does one afford a mortgage on a million dollar house when they will be paying $20,000 or 20% of their annual income in property tax and 30% or so in income taxes. Basically it leaves them $50K annually or $4000 per month for everything they need to live including their mortgage.

  29. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (14)-

    Think Yun is sweating? The people who are really on the hot seat now are those holding MBS.

    Low appraisals = declining prices = write downs.

    Mr. Market wins. Every fcuking time.

  30. Shelly says:

    # 19, in Bayonne the police department has an officer designated for just checking light rail tickets. You would not believe the amount of tickets they write.

  31. chicagofinance says:

    116.Shore Guy says:
    June 24, 2009 at 12:38 am
    Ahh, the Peoples’ Republic of Ithaca.

    I just wish it was 30-45 minutes closer to anything. As they say, it is “centrally isolated”.

  32. Shelly says:

    #4 the appraisals in towns like summit, Chatham and Madison are coming in so low that most people need to put down 50% in order to get their loans. When that stops you will see a free fall in these towns.

  33. PGC says:

    #22 DL

    The big issue with Spain is that the Gvmt is finally getting around to checking building permits. If you br1bed the local planning officer to get your little villa approved, the Gvmt has a nice little bulldozer to reduce it to rubble.

  34. Sean says:

    re #34 – what no shoot first ask questions later?

  35. PGC says:

    Pack in 2 hours, couple told . . . then their home was bulldozed
    http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/overseas/article3168519.ece

  36. Silera says:

    Interesting article regarding stalled development around stations.

    ‘Transit Cities’ Face Roadblocks
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/realestate/21njzo.html?ref=realestate

    The actual train towns’ house values- as per the article, are losing less than other towns.

  37. Silera says:

    PGC- what an awful story.

    “They gained planning permission for their project from the town hall but the regional government of Andalusia insisted that the home had been built on protected greenbelt land and had to be demolished. ”

    From the article it seems like the town and the county are in a dispute over the land and these poor people were victims of the dispute.

  38. #34 – Signs that the old NYC is returning.

  39. John says:

    BOSTON (MarketWatch) — The Banker magazine in its annual rankings released Wednesday said J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was the world’s strongest bank based on Tier 1 capital, according to reports. Bank of America Corp.was second on the list.

    OK, I see JPM Morgan Chase being number one, no prob but Bank of America second strongest bank in the world!

  40. CAIBC says:

    low appraisals? i am getting very upset now at all this double talk….the NAR and that Yun never complained on the way up that appraisals were too high and that a bubble was being created….now they want to keep the appraisals overvalued?

    can anyone (grim?) explain how these appraisals are done? whats the process, who pays these appraisers for their work? what do they base their appraisals on?

    you guys can look up my posts from 2+ years ago when i started blaming realtors and appraisers for where we are today…the banks follow but i put full blame on realtors and appraisers how were in on the scheme together to make money….now that there are some appraisers out there that figured out the scheme cannot work anymore, they are starting to be honest about their work…

  41. safeashouses says:

    #28 shelley,

    Exactly. I don’t think median income should equal median priced house, but median income should at least allow a family of 4 to buy a cape/ranch/small split in good shape. In 07 it wouldn’t allow you to even buy a tear down.

    And also I’ve looked at median income demographics by age for some of the train towns, and the seniors are not exactly dragging down the stats. In Summit or Madison the median income for those over 65 was 85k. They aren’t exactly living on social security and widow benefits.

  42. CAIBC says:

    i cant belive that there are actaully any sales being made in this environement? arent buyers out there smarter than this? how are any sales being made? i cant believe that buyers are this stupid to buy at such prices!!!

    disclaimer : i am speaking about NNJ only….

  43. John says:

    What is the big deal about home prices, I have a couple 401Ks floating around,bonds, stock, cash and RE us just one portion of a persons investements.

    If someone put 100% of their assets in any one asset class, commodities, Junk bonds, stocks, Beanie Babies whatever, and they got wiped out we all would have yelled diversify you idiot. Yet people in 2006 rolled up every nickle in their sock drawer and cashed out ever CD and 401K and bought their 959K toll brother mansion. Now they are broke. How is that anyone else’s problem. We didn’t bail out the folks in 2000 who lost their life savings in the internet stock meltdown, why should we start now.

  44. CAIBC says:

    how can we expose this realtor / appraiser fraud? HELP…

    ok…i need to come down now….sorry for the rants all….

    back to lurking…..

  45. Clotpoll says:

    tosh (39)-

    I’ll know the old NYC is back when Robin Byrd is at Show World and Al Goldstein & Crazy George are on public access TV.

  46. ruggles says:

    43 – unfortunately buyers are stupid. remember most of them turn into sellers at some point. and we all know what they’re like.

  47. Clotpoll says:

    John (40)-

    JPM and BAC are just two blood-drinking, semi-dead zombies.

    All the others are complete flatliners.

  48. #46 – I’ll know the old NYC is back when Robin Byrd is at Show World

    Oh good lord I had forgotten about Robin Byrd. Per her wiki entry she’s still doing her public access show.

  49. gary says:

    The old NYC:

    Don’t forget Jimmy Breslin! I would love to see him at a ground-breaking ceremony for a XXX venue at the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue!

  50. The global recession claims coach-builder Karmann.

  51. Sean says:

    re; #41 CAIBC – Don’t think the gang of 535 down in DC did not know about the chicanery during the housing bubble.

    The appraisers themselves petitioned Congress, the Fed etc for years to no avail it fell on deaf ears. You can read all about it here.

    appraisers forum dot com

    There is already a petition with 39k signatures to repeal the Home Valuation Code of Conduct or HVCC

    http://www.hvccpetition.com

  52. Clotpoll says:

    It will be amazing to see transaction volume return to RE markets…and know that the volume will not be supported by fraudulent lending practices.

    Lookout below.

  53. gary says:

    CAIBC [43],

    i cant believe that buyers are this stupid to buy at such prices!!!

    LOL!! Oh, you best believe it! The masses get their information from their cousins and neighbors in the car on their way to Olive Garden!

  54. zieba says:

    RE: 55

    Sad but true.

  55. kettle1 says:

    DL 22

    bad idea. Spain has very serious water issues and at least 3 different “ethnic” groups that have historic conflicts with each other that are still fresh in many peoples minds. (basque/catalan/western spain)

  56. x-underwriter says:

    Clotpoll says:
    It will be amazing to see transaction volume return to RE markets…and know that the volume will not be supported by fraudulent lending practices.

    I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen with all the over $500k properties on the market. There’s just not enough people that make enough money to qualify to buy them that don’t already have one.

  57. Seneca says:

    Shelly [32]

    Is your anecdata on appraisals in Summit/Chatham/Madison coming in low from first hand accounts? Interested to know the source. I have seen some homes get withdrawn and others under contract for over 3 months and I am wondering if there is a connection. Thanks.

    Unless people had over 90-day+ rate locks, a lot of these under contract homes that people could afford the payment on at 4.x% are going to fall through.

    What is the average rate lock period that a borrower try to lock in?

  58. Seneca says:

    New home sales unexpectedly drop of 0.6 percent in May as demand for housing remains sluggish

    Sales were down nearly 33 percent from May last year.

    May’s results missed economists’ expectations of a 360,000 sales pace, according to Thomson Reuters.

    The median sales price of $221,600 was down 3.4 percent from a year earlier but still up 4.2 percent from April.

  59. kettle1 says:

    Safe 42

    There is a well established historical trend between median HOUSEHOLD income and median home price. at the national scale the historical average is about 2.5X

    While that certainly varies at more granular levels, it tends to hold down to the state level and lower in the range of 2X – 3X.

    the ratio’s seem to get very noisy with the introduction of lax lending practices and the rise of consumer credit securitization. that would suggest to me that the recent trends may be driven by excessive leverage. and that will face a reversion to mean at some point

    lets frame the question in a different way. if the average family does not have the financial resources to act as the prime buyers, then who is, as they must have greater financial resources to drive the price upward?

    In the case of many NJ towns it seems to be a combination of high levels of leverage, Boomer retirement money ( a fleeting effect)and the concentration of high earners in a smaller area.

    The leverage and the boomer effects are temporary, as they act to siphon future value to the present. While the high earners are not in large enough numbers to drive the high level of prices across such a large area. They may drive places like basking ridge or mendham to maintain a high ratio, but not entire counties. The high earners now also face the prospect of a decrease in average income and a decrease in the # of high earners as high paying industries shrink in the NY/NJ area.

    The price is set by the buyers. in the last 10 years buyers had access to huge amounts of leverage. once that goes away so does the support for the high prices.

  60. gary says:

    x-underwriter [58],

    Nonsense, we live in a very competitive area, so I’ve been told! If one can’t afford to live here then one needs to consider moving out of state. A realtor told me this a little over two years ago.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    @ Shelly [28]:

    Don’t forget that most of the people who bought in those towns bought when the inflation-adjusted prices were much lower, representing a much lower percentage of a family’s income.

    I see the real estate bubble as a naked generational transfer – a straight-up smash and grab job on the Generations X and Y. Ma and Pa kettle don’t have two plug nickels saved for retirement (outside their expected SS benefits, funded from current income taken out of my paycheck – trust fund my azz).

    So they come up with a plan – they look at each other and say “You screw my kids and I’ll screw your kids, an we’ll all retire in Boca together.” Problem solved, right?

    Greatest generation? More like the greatest aberration.

  62. John says:

    http://www.priv.njmls.xmlsweb.com/Reports.asp?CMAID=7912416&Date=6/23/2009&Time=18:21&ReportID=c_full

    Things have changed, this tudor style home on a dead end in uppersaddle river can’t even get a bid with a 200K price cut, 4 years ago people would have camped out to pay full price.

  63. Shore Guy says:

    Kettle,

    How does the old saying go?:

    Give me enough blockheads and enough leverage and I can move the world’s markets.

    Apologies to our ancient Greek friend.

  64. kettle1 says:

    Anon 63,

    a and Pa kettle don’t have two plug nickels saved for retirement

    I resent that and demand an apology!!! You have impinged my families honor and will expect you to face me in a dual at sunrise on a date to be determined!

    i believe that Nom De Plumme and Clotpoll can officiate.

  65. Shore Guy says:

    Chifi,

    Ithaca is indeed about a half-hour too far from anyplace most of us would want to be. Still, it is a great college town (notwithstanding Collegetown). Did you ever cruise by the Adams Family house?

  66. Clotpoll says:

    x (58)-

    A quick review of the situation shows that something’s gotta give…and two of the three elements in the equation are fixed.

  67. gary says:

    Anon E. Moose [63],

    The greatest generation was the WWII generation. The ones who grew up with no electricity, in a cold water flat, with one pair of shoes, with a hole in both soles, got thrown into a world war just when they were about to catch a breath, beat back not one but two formidible foes, came home, built the greatest country the world has ever seen and put the finishing touches on their masterpiece by placing a man on the moon. And they did it all without a peep. Please don’t confuse the boomer generation, which I’m a part of, with the greatest generation, which I wish I was a part of.

  68. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (66)-

    I’d also be happy to help avoid the entire duel by shooting both the participants in advance.

    “i believe that Nom De Plumme and Clotpoll can officiate.”

  69. Shore Guy says:

    Concerning appraisal techniques, during the boom years, I believe that three methods were most frequently used:

    1) Sacrafice a goat or sheep and examine its guts for guidance;

    2) Inhale the vapors from Delphi (or some other readily-available vapors);

    3) Identify the negotiated selling price and add 5%.

  70. Safeashouses says:

    #61 kettle

    I was thinking median income should buy a house in the bottom 35 to 40% price range. There are retired people who have paid off their homes and now have lower incomes. You also have to factor in roommates/housemates.

    Even with the recent price drops, median income still only let’s you buy one of the cheapest 3 bedrooms in town. It is still much cheaper for us to rent.

  71. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    It is innovative thinking like that that clearly marks you as a problem solver.

  72. chicagofinance says:

    toshiro_mifune says:
    June 24, 2009 at 9:27 am
    #34 – Signs that the old NYC is returning.

    tosh: they have some footage from the chase…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu3GmRQ-U9k

  73. x-underwriter says:

    Clotpoll says:
    A quick review of the situation shows that something’s gotta give…and two of the three elements in the equation are fixed.

    I don’t know if you saw my posting to you from yesterday regarding your Staats Farm listing. My brother bought the identical house over on Thoroughbred Drive. I’ll be interested to see how much that goes for. Yours has a lot more upgrades plus the living room expansion though. He bought his for $315k in 1998.

  74. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy says:
    June 24, 2009 at 10:45 am
    Chifi,Did you ever cruise by the Adams Family house?

    ??

  75. x-underwriter says:

    gary says:
    Nonsense, we live in a very competitive area

    If NY ever comes back around, you might actually be able to make a case for that in NY towns due to the number of people. West/outside of 287, however, that’s a different story. Jobs are disappearing for good and people won’t want to commute to NYC with $4 gas or $400/mo train fare.

  76. Shore Guy says:

    On Albany Street. It was used for the exterior shots in the old Adams Family TV show.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    Chifi,

    I have to get back to work. Feel free to e-mail. Grim may give you the address.

  78. Seneca says:

    http://tinyurl.com/nf3kfq

    “Expect More Bankruptcies”: Worst Yet to Come For Retail, Says CEO of Inventory Liquidator

    Circuit City, Mervyns and Filene’s Basement; just a few of the many recent retail casualties. If you think it’s bad now, it’s only going to get worse, says Jeffrey Hoffman.

    …Hoffman thinks many companies didn’t anticipate the size and scope of the recession, leaving them with way too much inventory. The result: his liquidation business is booming. For his clients, it’s a different story.

    Recently, Hoffman’s become a popular guy with attorneys and bankers representing companies on the verge of bankruptcy. They turn to him, he says, in hopes of selling their excess merchandise online. He can’t disclose which retailers are in dire straits, but says “there’s a lot more brand names we grew up with that are just not going to make it.”

    Of course, this means great deals for consumers, especially in apparel, jewelry and consumer electronics, as Hoffman details in an upcoming segment.

  79. #76 – That was such a good movie.

  80. John says:

    Should be median household income for people between 30 and 50 years of age who are currently employed.

    That is the core of homebuyers, adding in retirees, college students and welfare mamas into median income is why we get to a 60K median income in NJ, back them out and it is higher.

    Safeashouses says:
    June 24, 2009 at 10:50 am
    #61 kettle

    I was thinking median income should buy a house in the bottom 35 to 40% price range. There are retired people who have paid off their homes and now have lower incomes. You also have to factor in roommates/housemates.

    Even with the recent price drops, median income still only let’s you buy one of the cheapest 3 bedrooms in town. It is still much cheaper for us to rent.

  81. NJGator says:

    Citi boosting salaries to offset lower bonuses

    By STEPHEN BERNARD, AP Business Writer Stephen Bernard, Ap Business Writer – 29 mins ago
    NEW YORK – Citigroup Inc. is increasing base salaries for many of its employees — reportedly by as much as 50 percent for some workers — as it restructures its compensation program amid new restrictions on bonus payments.

    The increased salaries will offset lower bonuses, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because the plans have not been made public. The higher salaries are not the equivalent of annual raises, the person added.

    Citi faces restrictions on bonuses as part of a new government compensation oversight plan because the bank received bailout funds from the Treasury Department.

    By shifting the mix in compensation packages, it will allow Citi to pay most employees as much as they received in 2008 while adhering to bonus caps.

    “Citi continues to examine ways to ensure its employee compensation practices are competitive in this very challenging market environment,” Citi said in a statement Wednesday. “Any salary adjustments are not intended to increase total annual compensation, rather to adjust the balance between fixed and variable compensation.”

    A New York Times report published Wednesday said some employees salaries will rise by as much as 50 percent because of the change in compensation structure.

    The New York-based bank has been among the hardest hit by the credit crisis and ongoing recession. Citi has reported six straight quarterly losses totaling nearly $30 billion. But, it would have posted a profit in the first quarter had it not been for dividend payments on preferred stock. In recent months, the bank has been reducing staff and selling assets in an attempt to streamline operations and return to profitability.

    The bank has received $45 billion in loans from the government. A portion of those funds will soon be converted to common stock, giving the government a 34 percent stake in the bank.

    Bonuses awarded to employees at financial firms that received government bailouts have come under heavy scrutiny in recent months. Earlier this year, American International Group Inc. came under fire for bonuses it paid to employees at one of its most troubled divisions. AIG was rescued from the brink of collapse by the government last fall.

    The Obama administration has blamed compensation plans for encouraging excessive risk-taking that pushed the financial services sector into chaos last year.

    The administration recently named Kenneth Feinberg a “special master” to oversee compensation packages awarded to the seven companies that have received the most government support, including Citigroup. Feinberg can reject pay plans he deems excessive and review compensation for the top 100 salaried employees at those companies.

    Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp., which received $45 billion in government support, is among those facing additional scrutiny about bonuses and executive compensation.

    Bank of America was not immediately available to comment on whether it also is planning to alter its compensation program.

    Ensuring compensation for employees by increasing salaries could be a move banks facing government restrictions take to avoid losing workers to competitors. Some banks that received government loans during the mushrooming credit crisis last fall have already paid back their debt, and are no longer subject to compensation oversight. That could allow them to offer lucrative deals to entice employees away from banks where restrictions are still in place.

    Aside from the boost in salary to offset the lost bonuses, Citi is also planning to award new stock options to employees to help ensure they remain at the bank, according to the Times report.

    Shares of Citigroup rose 3 cents to $3.04 in morning trading. Bank of America shares rose 12 cents to $12.35.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090624/ap_on_bi_ge/us_citigroup_compensation

  82. landshark says:

    [66] kettle

    speaking from my alter ego “pen name” (hint, hint), I accept as your second.

    For location, I suggest Weehawken.

    Let me know if I need to supply ordinance.

  83. Hubba says:

    #63 Moose poop

    Boomers were not labeled the greatest generation, it was the WWII generation. Most of them are too busy pushing daisies to steal from Gen X & Y.

  84. landshark says:

    For most people, this first phone call of the day would not be a good start:

    “Hi, this is Chris, and I’m calling from the Internal Revenue Service . . .”

    Was all good though. FWIW, I actually like dealing with folks from IRS. Much more helpful than a lot of folks in government.

  85. kettle1 says:

    John 83

    Should be median household income for people between 30 and 50 years of age who are currently employed.

    That is the core of homebuyers, adding in retirees, college students and welfare mamas into median income is why we get to a 60K median income in NJ, back them out and it is higher.

    That is irrelevant. those segments are already accounted for in the historical trends so backing them out wouldn’t make any sense. The historical trends include those groups. You are essentially arguing against a reversion to mean.

    What about supply and demand. if the pool of available buyers shrinks, then what happens to the home prices? power shifts to the buyer and prices come down as well.

    What you are looking for is the trend based on the population income stats broken in to quartiles. That doesn’t change the large scale historical trend it only increases granularity and allows you to zoom to a lower level.

  86. kettle1 says:

    Sir landshark,

    I would be honored and do indeed recognize the quality of your character.

    Weehawken would have a nice historical flair about it.

  87. chicagofinance says:

    fcuk!

    WSJ
    REAL ESTATE
    JUNE 24, 2009

    Behind a Bankruptcy Brouhaha
    Extended Stay Hits Snags as Creditors Cry Foul; Lichtenstein as ‘Bad Boy’?
    By LINGLING WEI and KRIS HUDSON

    David Lichtenstein is facing challenges to the plan that took his Extended Stay Hotels chain into bankruptcy protection. At stake for the real-estate investor: Whether the filing could trigger $100 million of personal liability that he has tried to avoid.

    The controversy over the bankruptcy filing and Mr. Lichtenstein’s potential liability has thrown the commercial-property world into an uproar, because the filing also is laying bare many of the technical features of commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, that have never before been tested on a large scale. As the Extended Stay case is showing, the protections for investors may be less solid than expected, according to CMBS lawyers and bankers.

    The case could have repercussions for the broader economy. Without clarity on their rights and recoveries, hundreds of billions of dollars in CMBS loans could be caught in legal limbo. This could, in turn, hamper banks’ ability to clear bad paper off their books and jump-start this $700 billion securitization market, market participants said.

    Under a reorganization proposal endorsed by some creditors, including Cerberus Capital Management LP and Centerbridge Partners LP, Extended Stay would wipe out $4.8 billion in existing debt. This stands to benefit holders of the four most-senior slices of Extended Stay CMBS bonds, which were divided into 18 different components. The deal also helps Mr. Lichtenstein because it would indemnify him from making $100 million in “bad-boy” payments. Such payments are supposed to incentivize borrowers to avoid bankruptcy, by making them personally liable for debts owed.

    Defenders of Extended Stay’s bankruptcy filing argue that the complex debt structure made it all but impossible for the company to get all its creditors to agree on a plan. In the days leading up to the filing, the company was running out of money. That left Mr. Lichtenstein with a dilemma, these people said: File for bankruptcy protection and trigger the “bad-boy” clause or close the company and risk being sued for failing to fulfill his duty as a company director.

    In all, holders of about one-quarter of the $4.1 billion in first-mortgage debt supported the deal when it was pitched by Extended Stay before it filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

    But now, some creditors are saying the deal is invalid. Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, an investor owning $77 million of a junior piece of Extended Stay CMBS bonds, argued in a New York lawsuit that the deal Mr. Lichtenstein struck with creditors, including Cerberus and Centerbridge, awarded these creditors “a higher rate of return” at the expense of other bondholders. The CMBS loan agreement “makes clear that no individual may take any action…in an effort to improve its position vis a vis the positions” of other bondholders, the suit said.

    Proponents of the deal argue that the lawsuit has no merit because there is no legal contract binding Cerberus and Centerbridge to the plan proposed by Extended Stay, even though they verbally agreed to it.

    For Five Mile and others, this is a technical, but crucial point that undergirds the CMBS market. Under most CMBS loan agreements, a borrower is supposed to negotiate only with an issuer’s loan servicer, which is responsible for looking after the interests of all investors. Owners of the most risky slice of the CMBS debt also have special rights to appoint the servicer for the entire group when the debt goes into default. Citigroup Inc., which owns a portion of the $100 million junior-most slice of the Extended Stay CMBS bonds, has appointed TriMont Real Estate Advisors as special servicer.

    The likes of Cerberus and Centerbridge had no standing to speak for all the first-mortgage holders, according to the lawsuit. In general, to make any loan modifications, a servicer must win the support of the vast majority, if not 100%, of bondholders, according to lawyers not involved in the case.

    “The [bankruptcy] filing surprised no one,” said Moody’s Investors Service in a report on the deal. “It was who appeared in bankruptcy court claiming to represent the securitized lenders that raised eyebrows.” Supporters of the plan said the creditors who agreed to the company’s proposal were the only ones who were willing to talk to the company.

    This is different from most other situations, where borrowers have latitude to negotiate with whom they choose. And they also can win concessions without unanimous support.

    “Back in the 1990s, we were in most cases able to get all the lenders in one room and talk about restructuring,” said Alan J. Pomerantz, a partner at law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who represented bank lenders to Donald Trump and other developers in the last real-estate collapse. “Today, because of the way the CMBS debt was structured, you don’t even know who holds the debt if there is a problem.”

    Extended Stay’s woes also highlight the complicated way Mr. Lichtenstein financed his buyout of the 680-property hotel chain from Blackstone Group LP two years ago. Besides the first mortgage, the $8 billion deal was funded with a $3 billion mezzanine, or junior, loan, which also was carved up into slices with different levels of risks and returns. Wachovia Corp., now owned by Wells Fargo & Co., Bear Stearns Cos., Bank of America Corp. and its Merrill Lynch unit provided the original financing and still hold billions of dollars of the debt. Bear’s stake was taken over by the Federal Reserve after the firm collapsed in March 2008, potentially exposing U.S. taxpayers to the outcome of the restructuring talks. Defenders of the deal said the company is valued at far less than even its first-mortgage debt, and the proposal is an attempt to salvage some parts of the company. The company itself estimates its value at $3.3 billion.

    “Any bankruptcy is a deal where there is not enough money to satisfy everyone,” said a person involved in negotiating the transaction. “It simply is not worth the mortgage debt. We are trying to elevate substance over form.”

    If the court strikes down the proposed restructuring plan, Mr. Lichtenstein could be back on the hook for the $100 million, according to lawyers not involved in the case. That would imperil the rest of his real-estate empire, which includes outlet centers, office buildings and warehouses throughout the country.

  88. Clotpoll says:

    x (75)-

    Missed that post. Should be interesting indeed. My listing was a beast to price because of all the upgrades (all of which were way above Expo-grade slop).

  89. Clotpoll says:

    Weehawken. Dueling capital of America.

  90. safeashouses says:

    #89 kettle1

    Alexander Hamilton would be so proud of you.

  91. syncmaster says:

    x-underwriter #77,

    West/outside of 287, however, that’s a different story. Jobs are disappearing for good and people won’t want to commute to NYC with $4 gas or $400/mo train fare.

    Outside 287, as in the Router 1 corridor from the Brunswicks to Princeton?

  92. Clotpoll says:

    I’d like to see a duel between Hamilton and Timmay.

  93. John says:

    kettle1 there you go talking smack again. Let me give an example. If I live in a town where there are 20,000 homes and lets say there are only 500 high end homes, the heck with median income all I need it 500 families with a high income. The mediam could be 50K, as long as 500 earn over 250K I can sell my home. The problem is not median income, the problem is most towns had a precentage of those high end jobs in wall street jobs and that is killing high end sales.

  94. Aaron Burr says:

    Hamilton should have stayed in Nevis and not messed with another gun packing guy from Newark.

  95. John says:

    BURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    safeashouses says:
    June 24, 2009 at 11:24 am
    #89 kettle1

    Alexander Hamilton would be so proud of you.

  96. x-underwriter says:

    Clot (90)
    Man, there’s a lot to chose from in that price range. My money would go to Readington instead (supposedly better schools).
    My brother is contending with the fact that his taxes are $12,000/yr and his kids get to go to Somerville high for that money.
    This is a classic episode of pimp that house….lots of extras that only specific buyers will appreciate

  97. tbw says:

    Hey, I have a question for those willing to respond. I would like to build a sunroom in my backyard attached to my house. I have alumimum siding, I don’t want this room to have alumimum siding in it. What materials are good to use? I do not want to use brick, concrete, etc. Any suggestions?

  98. x-underwriter says:

    syncmaster says:
    Outside 287, as in the Router 1 corridor from the Brunswicks to Princeton?

    Should have put in that footnote LOL.
    The indian immigrants will prop up the pricing in that region…they have been for over a decade now.

  99. Shore Guy says:

    The new NJ Motto:

    Vice presidents from here have killed more people than the Veeps from every other state combined. You wanna make something of it?

  100. kettle1 says:

    John 95

    We are saying the same thing.

    the only difference is that i am also saying the the other 500 houses in town that are trying to price similar to the 500 that are actually worth the higher price will revert to a norm that is lower then the current as the median earners were driving prices up through excessive leverage

  101. syncmaster says:

    x-underwriter #100,

    You know it, homeboy.

  102. John says:

    Maybe, but in the hamtons high end where most homes were cash sales they still are falling, no job, no house.

    kettle1 says:
    June 24, 2009 at 11:31 am
    John 95

    We are saying the same thing.

    the only difference is that i am also saying the the other 500 houses in town that are trying to price similar to the 500 that are actually worth the higher price will revert to a norm that is lower then the current as the median earners were driving prices up through excessive leverage

  103. John says:

    Actually, indians on avergage pay the lowest per occupant of any race. A one million dollar home divided by 50 people works out to only 20,000 a person, even the man at the slurpee machine can afford to pay 20K for a place to live.

    x-underwriter says:
    June 24, 2009 at 11:30 am
    syncmaster says:
    Outside 287, as in the Router 1 corridor from the Brunswicks to Princeton?

    Should have put in that footnote LOL.
    The indian immigrants will prop up the pricing in that region…they have been for over a decade now.

  104. jay says:

    “Flawed appraisals are derailing real estate sales”

    flawed = realistic appraisals without improper influence from self-interested parties.

    can you believe NAR’s transparent B.S.

  105. syncmaster says:

    To date, none of my close friends have lost their jobs during this recession.

    The dot-com bust was way worse for us.

    This is just your turn, Wall Street.

  106. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 24, 2009 at 11:20 am

  107. syncmaster says:

    John #105,

    Actually, indians on avergage pay the lowest per occupant of any race.

    Hell no, the Messikans have us beat.

  108. C Dawg says:

    Hey, guys: I have a question: What are the chances of a successful tax appeal in Mt. Olive for a purchase of a home for around $370 when it was assessed a few years ago in the $480s? We’re looking to buy this summer (because we need to, not as an investment; we don’t care if we don’t buy at the absolute bottom).

    Thanks in advance! C Dawg

  109. C Dawg says:

    And as a follow-up, what kind of tax break can one expect given these facts?

  110. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re: Adams Family House on Albany Street-

    What town is that in ?? Just curious.

    Along those same lines….I was up in Caldwell earlier in the week and found the house they used in the Soparanos. I thought I saw Tony walking down the driveway in his bathrobe to pick up the Star Ledger. I got the hell out of there.

    Andiamo Rapidimente

  111. Happy Daze says:

    Jay (106)
    can you believe NAR’s transparent B.S.

    Altogether now : YES!!!

  112. Sean says:

    re #64 – John’s

    Last Sale was $670,000 04/10/2001

  113. Shore Guy says:

    Dawg,

    If you unleash a Gator on them (or at least listen to her), pretty good I would venture.

  114. John says:

    Crazy huh.
    Sean says:
    June 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm
    re #64 – John’s

    Last Sale was $670,000 04/10/2001

  115. NJGator says:

    I’d say pretty good C Dawg if the sale is an arm’s length transaction. You might not get all the way down to the purchase price, but you should get a hefty reduction. Are sales prices for comps coming in similar to your purchase price? If they are significantly higher, that would work against you.

    FYI – Our town has been settling claims at the purchase price for the last 2 years.

  116. x-underwriter says:

    syncmaster says:
    You know it, homeboy.

    I guess the one big variable is if the immigration patterns/volume will continue. Many people are now getting jobs back in the homeland at the company they would have worked for in NY and are skipping the hassle of getting a visa

  117. NJGator says:

    C Dawg Re the tax break – what is the tax rate? There is no way to guesstimate your tax savings without knowing it – or at least knowing what the annual tax is based on the current assessment.

  118. John says:

    World’s rich lost 20 percent of wealth in 2008: report
    REUTERS — 10:32 AM ET 06/24/09
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The world’s rich lost nearly 20 percent of their total wealth in 2008 as volatile markets wiped out two years of growth, a Merrill Lynch study showed on Wednesday.

    The total value of the wealth of people with net assets of more than $1 million, excluding their main home and consumables, dropped to $32.8 trillion — below 2005 levels, the 13th annual Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report showed.

    The number of people with more than $1 million in net assets fell 14.9 percent, while the number of people with fortunes of more than $30 million fell by a quarter, the study showed.

  119. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    $1 networth is “rich”? No way. Tripple that, and maybe one is scraping the bottom of the rich category.

  120. 3b says:

    #117 NjGator: At what point do you think Montclair will just raise the tax rate, in order to collect the same $ ammount?

  121. John says:

    Depends how they count net assets. This version does not count Real Estate. However, most hedge funds and AWM places also do not count 401Ks. They also do not count iluiquid assets, only readily tradable exchange tradable stuff and cash.

    Pretty much if after the market meltdown of 2008 you are a millionaire not counting cars, boats, houses, 401Ks pensions, whole life policies, trusts, 529 plans etc. Just a million liquid I think you are pretty rich even today.

  122. cooper says:

    I cant believe there’s not more talk of shadow inventory… It is such a big variable considering that regular transactions are not the only contributor, there’s the glut of abandoned homes that have yet to be foreclosed on.

    Sean says:
    June 24, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Shadow Inventory.

    “Almost one-third of homeowners (31 percent) said they would be at least somewhat likely to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they saw signs of a recovering real estate market according to Zillow’s first quarter Homeowner Confidence Survey.”

  123. traveljerk123 says:

    Buffet U-Turn…..

    from MarketWatch

    Buffett says he has trouble seeing ‘green shoots’

    By Alistair Barr

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Berkshire Hathaway /quotes/comstock/13*!brk.a (BRK .A 86,700, +900.00, +1.05%) s: brkb]Chairman Warren Buffett told CNBC Wednesday that he has trouble seeing so-called green shoots of economic recovery in the U.S. The risk of a collapse in the financial system has past, but “we haven’t got the economy moving again,” he explained. When asked whether Ben Bernanke should be re-appointed as Federal Reserve Chairman, Buffett said “I don’t see how you could do better.” He also said the stock market is attractive versus other types of investments over a long-term period such as 10 years. Fixed-dollar investments will be eaten away by inflation over the long term, Buffett added. “We could see a lot of inflation,” Buffett warned.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/buffett-says-he-has-trouble-seeing-green-shoots

  124. NJGator says:

    3b – In a way they already do. The town is facing significant appeals, but not everyone who should appeal does. They are letting the assessments stand for those who do not file.

    When we went to the County tax board a few days ago, every matter scheduled where the petitioner was repped by an attorney had a stipulation of settlement before the hearing. Pro se applicants who presented a logical coherent case for a reduction at hearing were given settlement offers by the town as soon as they presented their case. Only the truly unprepared folks are losing before the Board of Taxation.

    But our spending is not reduced. Each year, the overall valuation of property within the town gets lower, spending is going up and the overall tax rate is rising. While the overall budget may go up only 3%, those who do not file a successful appeal will see their taxes go up by much more.

    Not only does the tax rate reflect the reduction in valuation, but included in the town budget is now money to refund to successful appellants. Part of that money is actually the school and county overpayments for successful appellants. I think the town borrowed north of $1M for this last year.

    It’s a pretty frustrating situation for us. Each year we overpay our taxes by about 10% and incur litigation costs plus significant amounts of research time since we self represent. While we do this, there are many homeowners of luxury properties that are paying taxes on assessments significantly below market value (1/3 of properties sold above $750k last year had assessments below the lower limit for the tax year) while the town has no problem allowing my senior citizen neighbors living on fixed incomes to keep paying taxes on assessments that are easily $150-200k above what they could reasonably expect to sell their homes for – and in Montclair that is some serious cash $3500-$4700/year at this year’s tax rate of 2.38.

  125. x-underwriter says:

    cooper says:
    “Almost one-third of homeowners (31 percent) said they would be at least somewhat likely to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they saw signs of a recovering real estate market according to Zillow’s first quarter Homeowner Confidence Survey.”

    “Latent Bagholders”

  126. Stu says:

    Another rather large round of layoffs occurred today at my company. I survived the axe yet once again. Phew!

    Now back to work for me.

    See you all at the GTG on Friday ;)

  127. traveljerk123 says:

    good job done there, Stu….

  128. 3b says:

    #127 NJ Gator; Thanks for the explanation.It is amazing to me that more people do not appeal. Ignorance, stupidit, don’t care?

  129. landshark says:

    [99] tbw

    “I don’t want this room to have alumimum siding in it. What materials are good to use? I do not want to use brick, concrete, etc. Any suggestions?”

    Yes. Wood. By default (unless you prefer plastic).

    This has been another edition of Easy Answers to Easy Questions.

  130. NJGator says:

    3b 131 – Ignorance I guess. The system is also set up to not make it easy to understand.

    My neighbors are mostly elderly and not tech savvy at all. They do not have ready access to all of the information that we have. In order for them to appeal, they would have to hire an attorney. While in the long run it would make sense, many of them do not have the cash available that it would entail. We were quoted $100 for filing fees, $750 for appraisal and then 1/2 of the first year’s “savings” as the attorney’s fee. If they are overpaying by $4k, that’s almost a $3,000 bill.

  131. landshark says:

    [122] shore guy

    Remember, as long as you have 250K in gross (not net) income per family, you are now “rich” according to the Messiah.

    Doesn’t matter if you have the net worth of a Newark crack addict with a fistful of credit cards, you are Rich. Now pay up.

  132. Sean says:

    Re: #116 – John the new price is not that crazy.

    If the house last sold for 670k in April of 2001 than inflation adjusted those dollars are now about $816k.

    Factor in improvements like the new kitchen and new baths then the house could be near 900k.

    The price is now 1.1 million so another
    200k price drop should be about right.

    http://www.priv.njmls.xmlsweb.com/Reports.asp?CMAID=7912416&Date=6/23/2009&Time=18:21&ReportID=c_full

  133. Stu says:

    3b,

    Pure and utter ignorance.

    There is so much money to be saved by the average individual. Even if you don’t understand the process, hire a lawyer and they’ll take half of this year’s rebate and the rest is yours. There is absolutely nothing to lose.

    Unfortunately, like doing one’s own taxes…it really is easy, but the government does not go out of the way to let you know that. Gotta keep H&R Bloch in business ya know.

    I suppose I could be like my fellow Americans who spend their free time watching American Idol rather than figuring out ways to get ahead, but I want to retire sooner, with a larger accumulation of wealth, rather than a mind filled with the useless memories of mediocre amateur singers.

  134. nwnj says:

    Sean says:
    June 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm
    Re: #116 – John the new price is not that crazy.

    Not as crazy as specing on Jets tickets in this environment.

  135. jim says:

    134. landshark says:
    June 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm
    [122] shore guy

    Remember, as long as you have 250K in gross (not net) income per family, you are now “rich” according to the Messiah.
    —-
    landshark,
    I just finished watching The Manchurian Candidate. Maybe Barry is one of those guys? He certainly parrots all the same words all the time. Barry wants to remake the market in his image, healthcare, and who knows what else. This is one scary dude!
    Jim

  136. Qwerty says:

    RE: “We’re looking to buy this summer (because we need to, not as an investment; we don’t care if we don’t buy at the absolute bottom).”

    Sounds like rationalization…

    Spending six figures — on anything — is an investment.

    Finding the “absolute bottom” is NAR-speak — we’re not even close to the bottom.

    Have you run the rent vs buy numbers on the houses you’re considering?

  137. stan says:

    Frank. This is a pre-emptive strike against your post that will be coming in over the next few hours, Hoboken # ‘s are out, I looked briefly @ the closed sales.
    Two of the closes, they were people who bought in 2005-2006. They got crushed. Lost tens of thousands on price alone.

    Here is the recession.

  138. Silera says:

    I think it’s nice to wax nostalgic about a different time with different values but the conditions available to income earners a generation and even two generations ago don’t apply anymore.

    In 1947 Lower Middle Class (2nd Quintile) earned minimum $2,556.00. With the average new home at $6,600.00, they could easily afford to buy in that range and be at 2.5 times income.

    In 1977 Middle Class (3rd Quintile)earned minimum $26,096.00. With the average new home at $57,600.00 they could afford to buy in that range and be at 3 times income.

    In 2007 Upper Middle Class (4th Quintile)earned minimum $112,638.00. With the average new home at $284,400.00 they could afford to buy in that range and be at 2.5 times income.

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f01AR.html

    Obviously, not everyone should own a home and their advantages as investments are limited at best, especially in NJ with the property tax situation. However, most people aren’t getting the opportunity to choose not to own, they are simply shut out or overextend to do so.

    With every generation, the ability to own a home has been pushed further up the income totem pole. Household income has lagged behind cost of living. The inevitable was put off first with dual income families and then with credit.

    I know that for myself and many like me the prospect of saving a lifetime’s worth of rent, is more than enough incentive to want to buy. Even if I bought today and never sold, and left it to the kids. It’s more than my parents will be able to leave to me.

    I hope that in my lifetime median income will be able to afford a SFH in a decent place that I’d want to be in for a long time and not a trailer in Mahwah.

  139. 3b says:

    #133 NJ Gator: For any one, but especially those on a fixed income/retired, it makes absolute sense to appeal.

  140. yikes says:

    Clot, you gonna watch the game? Come on, you know us has a chance!

    /takes off optimistic hat

    im excited, even though it’s going to be a bloodbath. mostly because i love how announcers pronounce DAVID VILLLLLLLA

  141. Seneca says:

    x-under [118]

    >>Many people are now getting jobs back in the homeland
    >>at the company they would have worked for in NY and
    >>are skipping the hassle of getting a visa

    My strongest staffer tells me he is tired of waiting for his Visa. He was just informed that his “date” has been pushed back by over 5 years! Something about the number of visas being issued to those in line for an EB-3 having increased and resulting in a shortfall for certain countries.

    He says he can get a better job in India now with more responsibility and in his preferred field, especially with all his years of US-based experience.

    Is this true far and wide? He would have me believe that more and more of his late 20-something and early 30-something friends are making the same decision with very few opportunities here and many more back in the homeland. Also, those still working here feel like their current employer has them locked up until they get the Visa and with another 5-years wait on the horizon after all this time, they don’t think its worth the wait anymore.

  142. skep-tic says:

    re: the affordability issue in top towns:

    one thing that plays a huge role I think is gifting from parents/grandparents. Every single couple I know who bought houses during the bubble had substantial down payment and even income assistance from parents.

    I think there has been a cultural change with the children of boomers in that there is no longer any expectation in many families that adult children will be self sufficient. Thus, household income does not tell the full story re: affordability.

  143. Sastry says:

    Seneca:

    …informed that his “date” has been pushed back by over 5 years!

    It is technically not equivalent to another 5 years wait. It means that “right now” they are ignoring anything applied *after* that date. However, at the beginning of the new fiscal year (october), they may be able to move it a bit ahead.

    Of course, it sucks. Been through it myself — got through just a few months ago.

    S

  144. x-underwriter says:

    Seneca says:
    He says he can get a better job in India now with more responsibility and in his preferred field, especially with all his years of US-based experience.

    I was laid off from JPM this spring. I was floored by how many mid to senior level positions were posted on the careers website overseas and very little here.’
    It’s like the whole company up and moved over to India.
    I heard that employess were told at a townhall after I left that 50% of the jobs here that don’t involve direct touch with customers will be offshored and the incumbents let go.

  145. John says:

    The Federal Reserve has not adjusted the target rate for Fed Funds

    I already sold all the games at face I don’t want to go to or scalp to a trader.
    Here is my schedule

    Preseason
    Aug 14 St. Louis Sold 4 at Face
    Sept 3 Phil will go with 2 sell 2 at face

    2009 New York Jets Schedule
    Sept 20 New England Will Scalp all 4 stubhub
    Sept 27 Tennessee Sold 4 at Face
    Oct 18 Buffalo will Scalp all 4 stubhub
    Nov 1 Miami Will go all 4
    Nov 15 Jacksonville go 2 scalp 2
    Nov 29 Carolina 1:00 PM sold 4 at face
    Dec 20 Atlanta sold all 4 at face
    Dec 27 Indianapolis sold all 4 at face
    Jan 3 Cincinnati – 2 are donated to a charity who wants to auction off my two front row seats to last Jet game in Meadowlands and two I sold at face.

    BTW I have not delivered the face sales yet, are there any games I should hold back from face and try to scalp?

    j says:
    June 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm
    Sean says:
    June 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm
    Re: #116 – John the new price is not that crazy.

    Not as crazy as specing on Jets tickets in this environment.

  146. Qwerty says:

    RE: “I know that for myself and many like me the prospect of saving a lifetime’s worth of rent, is more than enough incentive to want to buy. Even if I bought today and never sold, and left it to the kids. It’s more than my parents will be able to leave to me.”

    This is bizarre thinking. Saving a “lifetime’s worth of rent”? What about ownership costs such as property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, repair costs, heating, cooling, opportunity costs, and transaction costs?

    Someone who buys a house near this startlingly insane peak level, and “leaves it to the kids” in ten years, will probably leave those kids a liability, rather than an asset.

    Why not leave those kids the money not spent on property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, repair costs, heating, cooling, opportunity costs, and transaction costs?

  147. John says:

    Stu if everyone grieved their taxes then they would raise tax rates wiping out the savings you acheived through grieving. I greived and won and have good taxes, I certainly would not encourage anyone else in my town to do the same. I would just end up paying for it.
    Stu says:
    June 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm
    3b,

    Pure and utter ignorance.

    There is so much money to be saved by the average individual. Even if you don’t understand the process, hire a lawyer and they’ll take half of this year’s rebate and the rest is yours. There is absolutely nothing to lose.

    Unfortunately, like doing one’s own taxes…it really is easy, but the government does not go out of the way to let you know that. Gotta keep H&R Bloch in business ya know.

    I suppose I could be like my fellow Americans who spend their free time watching American Idol rather than figuring out ways to get ahead, but I want to retire sooner, with a larger accumulation of wealth, rather than a mind filled with the useless memories of mediocre amateur singers.

  148. Silera says:

    Skeptic- I think affordability is an issue in most towns in North Jersey and New York. I’ve seen prices in Union City, Newark and Jersey City (not the pretty part) that are criminal.

    I don’t look at train towns because I;m not delusional about where I want to be. The prices in blue collar Bergen are just as ridiculous. On njmls, of the 3906 single family homes with minimum 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, 70 are under 250K.
    Median Income for Bergen County is 80K. Who is going to by the other 3800 houses?

    I guess there may be good portion of buyers that get downpayment help or an inheritance that offsets costs, but I don’t think it’s enough to make a dent in that kind of crazy inventory.

  149. Shore Guy says:

    ““I don’t want this room to have alumimum siding in it. What materials are good to use? I do not want to use brick, concrete, etc. Any suggestions?”

    Cedar clapboard. It is rot resistant and it is easy to repair. One can change the color easily and it requires no special tools to install, and will not crack like cement “clapboards.”

    I would consider doing the whole house this way.

  150. skep-tic says:

    #141

    “With every generation, the ability to own a home has been pushed further up the income totem pole. Household income has lagged behind cost of living. The inevitable was put off first with dual income families and then with credit.”

    Silera– this is very perceptive. Wealth has been concentrating over the last 30 yrs. Wealth also tends to compound itself within families as children who grow up wealthy tend to become high earners themselves.

    Now that credit is being cut off, we are rapidly heading back to a society where there are far fewer owners. I think we will see the median income of homeowners rise even more rapidly than before.

  151. Shore Guy says:

    “Remember, as long as you have 250K in gross (not net) income per family, you are now “rich” according to the Messiah.”

    I know that Mrs. Shore and I are blessed. That said, we would have NOTHING but for sacrafice and hard work. Despite being “rich,” according to B.O., and having a decent net worth, we must carefully consider large purchases, vacations, etc. When I can replace a car without giving it considerable thought, or can figure out how we will pay for multiple children to go to college, then I will feel, and in fact be, rich. Until then, we are just a couple of professionals trying to eek out a living and sock-away enough money to avoid eating cat food in retirement.

  152. Silera says:

    Qwerty- I’m not imagining buying at peak prices in my rent vs buy dream. I wouldn’t/couldn’t buy under my current circumstances and the way the market has been.

    Unfortunately, I think many that did buy had the same train of thought regarding rent and unfortunately not enough knowledge, good advice or research to come to the same conclusion I did.

  153. GerryAdams says:

    Sean – 135

    The issue is not the house, it is the over abundance of homes for sale in that price range. The market is saturated with 800k+ homes, and now that the financing has been pulled out from underneath buyers, the high end market will plummet. What is the absorption rate for homes over a million? 10+ years?

    ChiFi – meant no offense with yesterday’s post. In fact, I drop my wife’s college in conversation pretty quickly. Just detected a bit of irony.

  154. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    If it were not for the Pinochet years, I might be inclined to agree. If it comes to hunkering down, I want to disappear, not be disappeared.

  155. John says:

    The Fed will remain accommodative. Energy and commodity prices have risen but inflation will remain subdued. All programs remain unchanged.

  156. skep-tic says:

    “The prices in blue collar Bergen are just as ridiculous.”

    #154

    I am sure they are. Then again, there are far more foreclosures in these areas, so pricing seems to be correctly more rapidly there.

    I am just going off of what I see among the people I know. I know 2 couples who got downpayments for starter homes AND for move up homes a couple of years later, after selling the starter places for a loss. These are people who are in their 30s and make well into 6 figures. I get the impression that this sort of thing is the rule among top town buyers, not the exception.

  157. chicagofinance says:

    x-underwriter says:
    June 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm
    Seneca says: I was laid off from JPM this spring.

    sorry to hear it

  158. John says:

    The bar is actually 250K+ not including your wife’s income. Two blue collar workers with good union jobs hit 250K in these parts. I am pretty sure in my brothers country clubs the guys in the locker room ain’t bragging about their wive’s income or including dividend and interest income, I think when they say I am bringing home 700K large that is just his W-2. Heck my unemployed brother in law could brag he brings home six figures if he counts his wife income.

    Shore Guy says:
    June 24, 2009 at 2:46 pm
    “Remember, as long as you have 250K in gross (not net) income per family, you are now “rich” according to the Messiah.”

    I know that Mrs. Shore and I are blessed. That said, we would have NOTHING but for sacrafice and hard work. Despite being “rich,” according to B.O., and having a decent net worth, we must carefully consider large purchases, vacations, etc. When I can replace a car without giving it considerable thought, or can figure out how we will pay for multiple children to go to college, then I will feel, and in fact be, rich. Until then, we are just a couple of professionals trying to eek out a living and sock-away enough money to avoid eating cat food in retirement.

  159. Silera says:

    Correction – 41 Single Family Homes (including 1 trailer in Moonachie) that are under 250K vs 3096 SFH’s on the market in Bergen.

    Skeptic, I think the value of homes will most likely go back to somewhere in the 2.75x income range as I don’t see incomes rising that much in the my lifetime. I hope to be proven wrong.

  160. John says:

    JPM is doing in-sourcing and looking for lower cost locations than India right now. Now that salaries and rents have fallen in NYC, Delaware and Ohio they can in-source an outsourced job or re-located it to a cheaper country. Also Chase does not really outsource too much as they own the firms in India so they are actually Chase employees, however they should sell those things if they prices goes up and then in-source or re-locate to save money. India salaries have doubled in the last few years, they are no longer cheap,

  161. x-underwriter says:

    chicagofinance says:
    sorry to hear it

    Thanks, it was such a long slow painful death that I was actually relieved when it happened.
    I started there in 2006 supporting one of the subprime mortgage origination systems. That plug got pulled (go figure) and I was one of the two in the whole group that survived that round of layoffs. In all, I think I made it through 4 rounds of layoffs and in the end, they were just wacking everyone. I found something else and never went a day without work though so it hasn’t been too bad.
    I really feel for the people who are sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. It sucks out there, especially in the NY area.

  162. x-underwriter says:

    John says:
    JPM is doing in-sourcing and looking for lower cost locations than India right now.

    In my experience, there is no substitute for having everyone under one roof. You can hire these guys over there for 1/3 the cost but I think there’s a lot of downtime due to time difference and distance. In the end, outsourcing makes the accountants happy at the expense of crappy results

  163. Sastry says:

    South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits to extramarital affair

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-sanford-argentina25-2009jun25,0,6844581.story

    Wow! Sanford/Palin 2012.

    S

  164. Shore Guy says:

    Sastry,

    A governor caught with his pants down? What were the odds? WHat a putz, goes off for a “lost weekend” over fathers day?

  165. Shore Guy says:

    For what it is worth, there should be some interesting aviation anti-terrorism news to come out of Isreal tomorrow.

  166. Al says:

    John says:
    June 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm
    JPM is doing in-sourcing and looking for lower cost locations than India right now. Now that salaries and rents have fallen in NYC, Delaware and Ohio they can in-source an outsourced job or re-located it to a cheaper country. Also Chase does not really outsource too much as they own the firms in India so they are actually Chase employees, however they should sell those things if they prices goes up and then in-source or re-locate to save money. India salaries have doubled in the last few years, they are no longer cheap,

    you mean they have doubled from 200$ to 400$/month???

    not cheap???

    1000$ is still VERY HIGH salary in India.

  167. Seneca says:

    chifi [163]

    Just for clarification, x-under was saying s/he was laid off from JPM this spring in response to my question about an employee who claimed he will be better off just moving back to India at this point due to Visa delays.

    I remain gainfully employed at a firm that actually manufactures and distributes product right here in the good ‘ol USA.

    For now.

    John [166]
    >> India salaries have doubled in the last few years

    This is the point my staffer is making to me. He is telling me that the incentive to stay in the US is almost completely gone now. (a) he is almost done with the NYU Part-time program and had hoped to switch careers from Supply Chain to Finance, no chance of doing that here now; (b) opportunities are much better in India for him, even if he wants to make a career change and (c) the pay is actually decent considering the cost of living in India. He still can’t afford to buy a crappy 1-BR here in Manhattan but back home, he could live like a king, and eat his mom’s home cooking on a regular basis.

    What will corporate America do when the South Asian community decides to repatriate themselves back home and we have only a small pool (or no pool at all) of candidates here who have the skills to replace them?

  168. x-underwriter says:

    Can anybody reccomend a good Presbyterian church and some italian restaurants in Bombay?

    I might be relocating the family there soon

  169. syncmaster says:

    Seneca,

    You’ll always have me and Sastry.

  170. Seneca says:

    sync – don’t be surprised when I post the job description here later this year. You better come through for me!

  171. John says:

    I thought the whole point of being Presbyterian is so you don’t have to go to church. There are two good italian places in India they are called Pizza Hut and Dominos.

    x-underwriter says:
    June 24, 2009 at 3:36 pm
    Can anybody reccomend a good Presbyterian church and some italian restaurants in Bombay?

    I might be relocating the family there soon

  172. Sastry says:

    Seneca:
    What will corporate America do when the South Asian community decides to repatriate themselves back home and we have only a small pool (or no pool at all) of candidates here who have the skills to replace them?

    All said, this guy is *threatening* to leave because his permanent residency is not coming in soon enough. So, no need to worry about the dire consequences. I mention this again, even under W, the US was statistically by far, the best country for immigrants. O’s election really further sweetens the deal — except for Indian physicians that complain about taxes :)

    S

  173. John says:

    Staying rich in this future world will require strategies that reflect this altered vision of global economic growth and delevered financial markets. Bond investors should therefore confine maturities to the front end of yield curves where continuing low yields and downside price protection is more probable. Holders of dollars should diversify their own baskets before central banks and sovereign wealth funds ultimately do the same. All investors should expect considerably lower rates of return than what they grew accustomed to only a few years ago. Staying rich in the “new normal” may not require investors to resemble Balzac as much as Will Rogers, who opined in the early 30s that he wasn’t as much concerned about the return on his money as the return of his money.

    William H. Gross
    Managing Director

  174. John says:

    If it helps I can go down to the battery park and build a big sling shot and shoot them all back home.

    Sastry says:
    June 24, 2009 at 3:44 pm
    Seneca:
    What will corporate America do when the South Asian community decides to repatriate themselves back home and we have only a small pool (or no pool at all) of candidates here who have the skills to replace them?

    All said, this guy is *threatening* to leave because his permanent residency is not coming in soon enough. So, no need to worry about the dire consequences. I mention this again, even under W, the US was statistically by far, the best country for immigrants. O’s election really further sweetens the deal — except for Indian physicians that complain about taxes :)

    S

  175. Al says:

    What will corporate America do when the South Asian community decides to repatriate themselves back home and we have only a small pool (or no pool at all) of candidates here who have the skills to replace them?

    May be companies would have to get back to basics of hiring and training people for the job???

    All I see right now is complete unwillingness to invest into employees – I guess if you train somebody well they will just leave for higher paid position??

    Anyways replacing people who left with 10%+ unemployment should not be that hard…

  176. Ray says:

    Love the look of your site – are you having fun with it? Keep up the good work and good luck with your site!

  177. safeashouses says:

    #169 sastry,

    I thought what happens in Argentina, stays in Argentina.

  178. Sastry says:

    Ray #182… I have so much fun with this site that I have a stack of tissues handy! You seem to be a nice bot, send me you IP address.

  179. Apparently Matt Taibbi has a piece on Goldman Sachs in the new Rolling Stone. I don’t have a link but it seems to be generating some buzz.
    I’ll have to get it on the way home. Taibbi is a lot of things, but dull isn’t one of them.

  180. Sastry says:

    Shore,

    This guys should have at least timed it a little better. Spend time with family (especially on Father’s day — even though it is a symbolic day), and apologize to family, then let the news out, and then take a trip to Argentina for a farewell f.k.

    The only thing that can spice up the story is if the woman turns out be have had a stint as an illegal alien domestic help at Sanford’s house — and the next twist is if it turns out to be an illegal alien guy!

    S

  181. homeboken says:

    During lunch I looked at the line and saw USA + 950 and thought, no chance I’d throw money away. Espicially since I’m not able to watch live.

    …kicks self…

  182. sastry says:

    Homeboken… If it happens, it would probably be one of the biggest upsets.

    S

  183. sastry says:

    I was saying after seeing the score of 1-0 at half time. With 2-0 and five mins to go, Clot, start your celebrations.

    S

  184. homeboken says:

    Agreed. This squad has been lack-luster in WC qualifiers and let’s not even talk about how the back-doored into the semi’s here.

  185. sastry says:

    Not to jinx it for the US, but if they go all the way, it would rival Euro ’92.

    S

  186. Secondary Market says:

    Along w/ the 1st time home buyer tax credit I’m sure this well wipe away all the inventory in Philly (from random Realtor):

    I am writing to you to let you know that you have personally been selected from hundreds of our clients to take part in a promotion that the Atacan Group is having right now. We are testing our very own housing stimulus program. We are offering a 25% commission rebate on any home that you purchase by the end of this year. This rebate is 100% tax-free.

    So if you buy a $300,000 home

    With a buyer’s agent commission of 3%

    You will receive a $2250 rebate at settlement.

    PLUS, If you qualify for the 1st time buyer’s tax credit you can receive an addition $8000 tax credit.

    This is a savings of over $10,000, just for purchasing your home this year through the Atacan Group!

    To lock in this saving, just reply to this e-mail and say I’m in! This is required so you can be logged in as part of the promotion group.

    So if you purchase a home by December 31 your commission rebate is guaranteed, if you do not that is fine too, no obligation, no loss.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  187. Shore Guy says:

    Is John Dice Clay?

  188. meter says:

    Can’t believe the US won that game. Wow.

  189. sastry says:

    Meter… Next stop, Brazil!

    Clot, congrats!

    S

  190. chicagofinance says:

    Shore Guy says:
    June 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Is John Dice Clay?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9kHQRRfRVo&feature=related

  191. veto that says:

    SAS, you are always missing when stuff like this goes down…

    Iran minister says CIA funding “rioters”: report

    TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s interior minister on Wednesday accused U.S. spy agency the CIA of helping to fund “rioters,” stepping up accusations of Western involvement in street unrest following the country’s disputed election.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSTRE55N27920090624

  192. jcer says:

    The whole india salary thing is interesting, I find that the salaries equate as follows 4-5x more costly in salary to hire an American in an avg. cost of living place, in NJ/NYC are 6-8x. Cost of doing business sucks, real estate costs are very high, and the talent pool varies widely, it is not easy to find and retain the best people. By the time you duplicate management chains, set up all of the infrastructure your savings is whittled down to 2-3x more costly for a stateside worker. At my company managers are offered 3 offshore resources or 1 stateside. The time difference kills, unless your resource is willing to work alternative hours, many will not, many want more money to do so. When all is said and done i don’t think the savings are that great as in all businesses some amount of staff must be in contact with the business and offshore resources tend to be too disconnected. Don’t get me wrong there are some great employees over there but that seems to be the exception not the rule. Given the employee rush there is a real lack of ownership shown with offshore resources as they often have no intention of staying with the company over the long term. To me the rust belt, sun belt, even some parts of the eastern US are more appealing to move labor to, than india.

  193. Sean says:

    I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today..

    California to Pay Creditors With I.O.U.’s

    “An attempt to borrow money to cover the shortfalls, which is usually done as the legislature bickers its ways to a budget this time of year, was impossible this June because the banks that usually make such loans are unable to do so, and the Obama administration refused a request to back loans as well.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/us/25calif.html?hp

    How did Corzine get a 2 Billion dollar line of Credit from JP Morgan/Chase if California cannot?

  194. Silera says:

    This is pretty neat.

    “New Construction circa 1955 — One-owner home that’s never been lived in!
    Circa 1955: The best way to describe this awesome find? “NEW CONSTRUCTION FROM 1955!”

    This awesome 50’s bungalow, located on a quiet, cul-de-sac street on the Hill, has seriously never been lived in… at least on the main level. This ONE-OWNER home was resided only in the lower level during their stay here, so the main level has been frozen in time and perfectly preserved. ”

    http://www.2204stephen.com/index.shtml

    Why anyone would not actually live in their home, I don’t know but the photos are like the “Blast from the Past”.

  195. Shore Guy says:

    “Iran minister says CIA funding “rioters”: report”

    One would sure as heck hope so.

  196. landshark says:

    [192] 2ndary

    Re: Atacan group.

    Get it in writing and signed by the party to be charged.

  197. landshark says:

    [185] tosh,

    When I was in college on summer breakI moonlit as a security guard at Channel 7 and the affiliated radio station. Mike Taibbi (I think Matt is his son, or vice versa) was a reporter there, and he was always, always, always telling jokes. And if he wasn’t telling jokes, he was asking you if you knew any, especially dirty jokes. I get the impression he was probably called down by HR on a few occasions because he was always telling the kind of jokes that would get you fired today.

  198. landshark says:

    well, this didn’t take too long:

    “Tax on health benefits likely, key senators say
    Posted: 05:36 PM ET

    From CNN’s Dana Bash and Ted Barrett

    WASHINGTON (CNN) – A controversial new tax on employer-provided medical benefits is gaining traction among Senate health care negotiators as a way to help pay for a $1 trillion reform package moving through Congress, two key senators said Wednesday.

    Bipartisan Senate negotiators are “starting to coalesce” around the idea, according to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana.

    Any tax is controversial — but this proposal is especially politically charged, since President Barack Obama opposed the idea when he ran for president. White House officials from the president on down have sent mixed messages in public in recent weeks about whether he’d accept such a tax.

    Baucus says the president has told him he is “flexible” on the proposal.

    Leaving a closed-door negotiating session on health reform, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, said, “It’s hard for me to see how you have a package that is paid for that doesn’t include” the new tax.

    Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the tax would be based on the value of a federal employee’s health benefits package plus 10 percent, meaning a family of four would pay income tax on health benefits valued at more than $17,000. Currently employer-provided health insurance is tax-free, regardless of its value.

    Baucus and Conrad also said they are considering other tax increases not related to health care, including an early proposal form President Obama to reduce tax deductions for wealthier people. Many lawmakers panned the idea when Obama first floated it.

    “That’s on the table and variations on the theme are on the table,” Conrad said.

    “There’s no free lunch,” Baucus said, when asked about other options.”

    Now, for a set of steak knives, tell the audience what presidential candidate promised the American people, that no one earning less than 250K would see their taxes increase by “one dime”? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    Actually, that was an accurate statement. Our taxes won’t increase by one dime. A “sh1tload of dimes” maybe, but not one.

  199. #203 – landshark – Matt is indeed Mike’s son. Matt isn’t very HR friendly either. It would seem it runs in the family.

  200. Shore Guy says:

    “A controversial new tax on employer-provided medical benefits is gaining traction among Senate health care negotiator”

    Finally, a tax proposed by this crew that I won’t have to pay.

  201. Alexnyc88 says:

    Vigilantism?
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/zimmer-frame-gang-tortures-adviser-who-lost-4-million-20090624-cw44.html
    I hope this will happen here so WS executives are more careful.

  202. Shore Guy says:

    Shark,

    I wonder if all those green shoots are just bits of shredded dollar bills?

  203. Barbara says:

    shore guy,
    as a self employed individual, you can be sure those health benefits you buy yourself will be taxed twice, as employee and employer.
    I’m not kidding.

  204. landshark says:

    How did I miss this story back in May, about PA eating NJ’s lunch in the warehouse business?

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2008/03/jersey_gets_ditched_as_warehou.html

  205. veto that says:

    ashame i cant make that gtg this fri. was hoping to meet some of you. next time though.
    i wonder how much the web personas differ.
    for example, if sas shows up and turns out to be a 16 yr old pimple face video game addict, please do report that back to the board.
    thx,

  206. kettle1 says:

    veto,

    actually that would be me….

  207. kettle1 says:

    veto,

    havent forgotten about our project, work got nuts….

  208. grim says:

    i wonder how much the web personas differ.

    You know, we’ve done this about a dozen times now since ’05, and each time has been great. Only negative comment I get is that we don’t do it more often.

  209. grim says:

    From NJBIZ:

    Two big-name companies announced planned exit from N.J

    New Jersey will be out a total of 225 jobs in July, when two big-name companies shift select operations to other states, according to filings with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The state’s heavy tax burden may have helped to drive them out, according to one Rutgers University economics professor.

    E-Trade Financial will close its 171-person Jersey City customer service unit July 5, according to the financial service’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act filing with the state. Garden State employers generally must give at least 60 days notice before a plant is closed, or when mass layoffs — usually defined as targeting 50 or more employees — are planned.

    Another 54 jobs will be lost beginning July 31, when Archer Daniels Midland Co. shutters its Glassboro cocoa facility, according to the company’s WARN filing.

    “The company is in negotiations with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152 regarding the effects of the closing,” said ADM spokesman Roman Blahoski. “Production at the Glassboro facility will be transferred to a new ADM cocoa facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.”

  210. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    States Given Leeway in Tallying New Jobs from Stimulus

    The White House is giving states a break when it comes to counting the number of jobs created or saved with the help of federal stimulus money.

    President Barack Obama had promised that the stimulus plan would save or create 3.5 million jobs. Republicans have criticized the plan and the reliability of the administration’s numbers.

    Meanwhile, some state officials worried about how they were supposed to count jobs credited to the stimulus. Now, the White House Office of Management and Budget has given states guidance calming these concerns.

    “All we’re asking them to do is a simple headcount; tell us how many people you hired,” said Rob Nabors, the deputy director of the office, in an interview.

    Recipients won’t be asked to grapple with complicated estimates, he added. Instead, they may use their best guess whether a job would have been created or saved in the absence of a recovery plan, and to not count it if they are uncertain.

  211. grim says:

    …and we open the door to a whole new era of econometrics.

    I suppose it really isn’t much of a stretch, after all, banks get to guess the value of their assets.

    Really is a shame that I can’t guess myself into a millionaire.

  212. Sean says:

    Beatings by walker? Retirees get revenge

    Retirees in Germany were so upset with their financial adviser that they ambushed him outside his home and beat him with their walkers, the adviser claims. Then they taped his mouth closed and hauled him into a car.

    “It took them quite a while because they ran out of breath,” the financial adviser, James Amburn, told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. The kidnappers ranged in age from 60 to 74.

    Amburn said they eventually got him to a house, where they chained and tortured him for four days. Two retired doctors also reportedly participated.

    Amburn said the group chained him, burned him with cigarettes, broke two of his ribs and talked repeatedly about their money. Apparently, they had invested in properties in Florida and lost it all.

    “I told them what I had told them before, that due to market conditions, unfortunately it was gone,” he told the Daily Mail.

    This story — as Amburn tells it — just gets crazier. He convinced the group to let him send a fax to a Swiss bank asking for a money transfer, but he wrote a secret message on the fax asking for police help. Then he escaped, only to be chased down the street in a car by his elderly captors. They grabbed him and dragged him back to the house.

    Finally, 40 German special commandos stormed the house. They brought a doctor to help the captors into police vans because of their infirmities, the Daily Mail reports.

    http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/topstocks/archive/2009/06/24/beatings-by-walker-retirees-get-revenge.aspx

  213. tostayornottostay says:

    I just spoke to our landlord to negotiate our lease extension. We’ve agreed to terms, but am wondering if there’s a standard “extension-of-lease” form we should be filling. Where can I get one? Free, preferably?

    Thanks in advance!

  214. Firestormik says:

    landshark:
    RE: Warehouses
    I’m in the process of moving a warehouse as of now. We are moving into brand new 500K sq ft building, which has been sitting empty for 2 year (exit 7A for 2 years). Robinsville township doesn’t allow to run cat5 without PERMIT. Unbelivable!
    Brand new 1M sq ft across the street from the same developer is still sitting empty. Here in Edison, my guesstimate is every other warehouse building has a sign “for lease”.
    Green shoots for NJ indeed.

  215. james says:

    This healthcare reform just gets better and better. Private hospitals will be the next real estate boom. All the government titsuckers can goto the warzone hospitals while the private sector will take care of real Americans.

    You want a glimpse into government run heatlhcare? Go travel to your local VA hospital. Sure the old WW2 vets think its great. Those vets would be happy with a warm meal and a cot. Its a crying shame the way this country takes care of its soldiers.

  216. PGC says:

    One point I think people are missing in this 3X income vs median price argument.

    The big point here is that the 3 X income vs Median, can only come into play, AFTER you factor in the downpayment. It’s not the price of the house that counts, but the size of the loans against it.

    Say you earn $100K, back in 2000 you earned $70K and bought a $250K with 10% down and PMI.

    Today your mortgage principal is $190K.

    How much house can you afford now? Well if you sold your house for $500K you can buy another for $500K and eat the cost of the commission and still pay the same nut.

    If you have nothing to sell, it is still 3x vs median after down-payment. If you sell for $400K roll $200K from your sale, down on the $500K you still make the 3X rule work, but you carry a larger mortgage

    Looking forward to the GTG. Mrs PGC is a maybe depending on the sitter.

  217. Clotpoll says:

    x (98)-

    I’d lookout for Readington. It is the most litigation-happy township in NJ, and Hunterdon Central is a gulag.

  218. Firestormik says:

    You shouldn’t be filling anything. Landlord should provide you with a document stating “if you agree to extend the lease, sign here”

  219. Clotpoll says:

    Somerville HS is a very good school. The facility is a worn-out POS, though.

  220. Silera says:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376238,00.html

    VA hospitals are much improved since the 90’s. I think there’s a huge misconception regarding the quality of care provided.

    I remember as a kid, we used public hospitals and I really don’t ever feel I received worse care than my kids do now with private. Besides regular checkups and vaccines, my mom was also able to afford glasses, and regular dentist visits on a factory worker’s salary.

    I was really healthy, but even when I tested positive for TB- in 1990 – the 7 month course of pills that I had to take in the presence of a nurse was also done no problem. There was a wait sometimes for appointments and even at appointments. I have a 30-60 day wait for yearly check ups for the kids now with private. Usually, a scheduled appointment for 10 am means that I’ll be seen anywhere btw 11 and 12. Not that much difference either.

    I don’t know if they’ll get healthcare right, but I do know that it’s currently not right.

  221. Clotpoll says:

    Finally…a US national team that plays a proper game of football.

    The red on Bradley was even worse than the two last week. Pure garbage. I’m now convinced all the refs have it in for us.

  222. nwnj says:

    PGC says:
    June 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm
    One point I think people are missing in this 3X income vs median price argument.

    The big point here is that the 3 X income vs Median, can only come into play, AFTER you factor in the downpayment. It’s not the price of the house that counts, but the size of the loans against it.

    And interest rates and taxes. I’d like to see a historical PITI to income chart if it exists. I couldn’t find one through google.

  223. Clotpoll says:

    Mikey, lucky to be alive.

    “As painful as it is, stay short the markets. We are at a point now where the pension funds will soon have to admit just how bad things are. Once that snowball starts to unravel, things will get very ugly. The three pension funds that objected to the Chrysler deal were just the tip of the iceberg. The real problem for pension funds will come in the next round of stock losses and commercial real estate losses. They will also be clobbered by the deals they struck with the residential home builders . . . both single family and multi-family. This may start to unravel over the next six months, but more likely this tsunami will not crush the markets for 12-24 months. Obama has done an excellent job at dragging things out so he can continue to pump money into the pockets of the Wall Street Gang.

    One more note. The garbage we saw with Chrysler and GM is not over. As this mess unravels, our country will begin to feel the effects of the excesses we have enjoyed over the last three decades. By the way, you’ve gotta laugh when you listen to the guys at Ford. They really think they will come out smelling like a rose . . . even though they are up against two competitors with government money, and two competitors that are in the process of dumping billions of debt. The boys and girls at Ford may have something up their sleeves, but it’s not going to be easy competing with two companies that have huge pension, debt and labor advantages. As we have seen, this might take time to unravel, since we have companies like Goldman Sachs pumping Ford stock into as many fiduciary accounts as they can.”

    http://realestateandhousing2.blogspot.com/2009/06/mike-morgans-heart-attack-update.html

  224. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    Oh, kickball. I thought you meant football. :)

  225. Shore Guy says:

    “as a self employed individual, you can be sure those health benefits you buy yourself will be taxed twice, as employee and employer.
    I’m not kidding”

    You are likely correct. Thanks for the slap back to reality.

  226. Shore Guy says:

    “Obama has done an excellent job at dragging things out so he can continue to pump money into the pockets of the Wall Street Gang”

    Two important dates: November 2010 and November 2012. Kick the can past those dates and B.O. will be happy.

  227. confused in NJ says:

    The largest selling drugs in America are Anti Depressants, with side effects like Suicide. If “O” wants to cut medical costs, he’ll stop all Snake Oil Sales. If young people are depressed, Draft them and they won’t have time to feel depressed. Pills for depression should only exist for bonafide chemical imbalance. Anything else is non beneficial Snake Oil.

  228. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

    The U.S. soccer team is in the final of the Confederations Cup, beating mighty Spain 2-0.

    Even more stunning, the Americans were on the verge of elimination and ready to head home last weekend before a reversal of fortune. On Wednesday, goals by Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey led to an upset of the planet’s top-ranked team.

    Call it a miracle on grass—maybe not the World Cup, but still an American soccer echo of the U.S. hockey team’s upset of the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

    By winning, the maligned United States advanced to its first men’s FIFA final since starting play in 1916.

  229. jerseycityguy says:

    Silera #141,

    You speak frustration quite, quite well to go back a couple weekends!

  230. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [227] clot

    Imagine how hard they will be in a title game. will be like playing vs. 13.

  231. chicagofinance says:

    230.Clotpoll says:
    June 24, 2009 at 10:56 pm
    Mikey, lucky to be alive.

    Too bad for people who actually consult for a living versus spewing useless garbage. He would have done his followers a favor if he had a stroke that impeded his ability to type, or else dictate his disposable diatribes for transcription…..

  232. chicagofinance says:

    Check out my craigslist add for the w/d:

    http://cnj.en.craigslist.org/hsh/1235809765.html

  233. Firestormik says:

    http://www.craiglook.com/
    Chi and guys.
    Check it. A friend of mine did that.

  234. Craiglook says:

    I’m working on “Average Price” feature which will let u check average Craigslist price for items matching your criteria – within Zip/Radius or across all Craigslist sites.

    I would appreciate if you guys can share some ideas and leave feedback on the site – what else you would like to see and what tools will be useful for you.

    http://craiglook.com

  235. skep-tic says:

    more from the above post:

    “Our results demonstrate that homeowners in high house price areas borrowed heavily against the rise in home equity from 2002 to 2006. We also provide evidence that real outlays were a likely use of borrowed funds. Money withdrawn from home equity was not used to buy new homes, buy investment properties, or invest in financial assets. In fact, homeowners did not even use home equity withdrawals to pay down expensive credit card debt! These facts suggest that consumption and home improvement were the most likely use of borrowed funds, which is consistent with Federal Reserve survey evidence suggesting home equity extraction is used for real outlays.”

    clearly these people deserve help from the feds

  236. Tea Time says:

    State shutdowns loom as deadlines near

  237. I think comparing the real estate market to previous years is not what we should be looking at. We know for a fact that this year was worst than last year. Every month is going to show a negative result which is not going to inspire people to buy homes. A month to month comparison would be better.

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