Prices Fall in Bergen, Passaic

From the Record:

Home prices fell 13% in Bergen and Passaic in 2009

Prices of single-family homes fell by an average 13 percent in Bergen and Passaic counties in 2009, according to data from two multiple listing services.

The average price of a single-family home sold in Bergen County in 2009 was about $553,000, down 13 percent from 2008. The median price — the point at which half the prices are above and half below — was $435,000, a 10.3 percent decline from a year earlier. The lower median value reflects the fact that more homes were sold at the more affordable end of the market.

In Passaic County, the average price in 2009 was $330,187, down 12.6 percent.

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343 Responses to Prices Fall in Bergen, Passaic

  1. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Wall Street a Bright Spot Amid Grim Jobless Figures

    The unemployment rate in New York City jumped in December to 10.6 percent, its highest level in nearly 17 years, as hotels, museums and builders eliminated jobs and hiring remained weak in most other businesses, the State Labor Department said Thursday.

    Last month marked the first time since the recession began two years ago that the city’s unemployment rate was significantly higher than that of the United States as a whole, Patrick McGeehan writes in The New York Times. The city’s rate rose from 10 percent in November, while the national rate held steady at 10 percent last month, according to the Labor Department.

    Nearly 425,000 city residents were unable to find jobs in December, easily the highest total in the 33 years those records have been kept. The numbers were announced a day after New Jersey officials said that their state’s unemployment rate hit a 33-year high of 10.1 percent in December. New York State’s unemployment rate also rose, to 9 percent from 8.6 percent in November.

    “The city’s rate is obviously the most disturbing one in the mix,” said M. Patricia Smith, the state labor commissioner. “What this shows is that the economy is still volatile. People are still nervous about the economy.”

    Analysts said the unemployment rate could continue rising and was not likely to reverse direction before midyear.

  2. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Farmland tax break an issue in Mount Laurel

    Former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan is getting a break on his property taxes for his lavish Mount Laurel homestead – thanks in part to his four donkeys.

    Runyan, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House, paid $57,000 in taxes last year on five of his acres, which contain his home.

    But on most of his property – 20 acres – he paid $468 in taxes, according to township records.

    On his application for a farmland assessment in July, Runyan said he uses five acres as grazing land for his donkeys and 15 for timber, harvesting seven cords of firewood that he sold for $810.

    Runyan bought his home and land in 2000 for $980,000, according to deeds. At the time, it qualified for the farmland assessment. Russell argued Runyan was just following the practice of the previous landowner.

    “He considers himself a steward of his land, and that’s what farmland assessment is supposed to do,” said Russell.

  3. grim says:

    From the NJ.com Hudson County Voices:

    Letter: City must cut, just as we do

    I was very dismayed, angered and frustrated to read that Mayor Healy and Jersey City’s council are considering raising property taxes twice during the same fiscal year. It is very disturbing and frustrating to watch the apparent ease with which our elected officials increase our property tax levels. It is insulting to the hardworking Jersey City residents, many who will have to make significant sacrifices to be able to live in this beautiful city. The electorate trusted and elected you after their careful deliberation. But it seems that you vote for tax increases with ease, without any deliberation, and without any effort push a heavier financial burden to already suffering Jersey City residents.

    Currently, our nation is in a deep recession, an economic calamity comparable to the Great Depression. In New Jersey, nearly 10 percent are unemployed. In Hudson County, the numbers are similar. Ten percent of your residents do not have jobs, yet this city’s elected leaders cannot seem to take this into consideration when creating a budget. Raising taxes will make their daily struggle even more difficult.

    My family is very lucky in that both my husband and I have been able to keep our jobs during the recession. But we have not seen any pay raises, bonuses, or other increases in our income. Moreover, we own a multifamily rental building. Last year, we were forced to reduce our rents to keep it occupied, we also have had tenants facing severe economic hardship. As a result of these factors, our income has decreased in real terms; expenses beyond our control have increased, unfortunately.

    Last year, we have had a significant 11.25 percent property tax increase, which amounts to more than $2,500 a year of additional expenses. This year, our water/sewage rates increased by 25 percent, which will increase our expenses approximately another $300-400 this year — we even work with our tenants on water conservation. Learning that you are considering another substantial tax increase, which for us will be more than $1,600 a year, is very difficult to hear. Compared to one year ago, these increased taxes have cut into our daily living expenses by more than $4,500. As a result of these increases, we had to dramatically decrease our contribution to our child’s college fund, our retirement accounts, and any improvements we would like to make to maintain our building, our tenants, and improve our city.

  4. safeashouses says:

    #3 grim

    Jersey City is beautiful? Compared to what???

  5. crossroads says:

    its beautiful if it keeps her taxes down.

  6. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Debt Ceiling Debate Begins

    The Senate voted Thursday to wind down the Treasury’s financial-market bailout plan as part a broader bill that would raise the government’s debt ceiling, but the 53-40 tally serves only as a symbolic show of disapproval because a Senate rule requires 60 votes to pass any amendments to the legislation.

    The proposal was the first of a series Republicans plan to offer as the Senate debates a bill to increase the amount of debt the government can issue by $1.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion.

    The move to wind down the government’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was sponsored by Sen. John Thune and drew support from 13 Democrats along with all 40 Republicans. The South Dakota Republican called for using unspent bailout funds to reduce the federal budget deficit.

  7. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Treasury Weighs Fixes to a Program to Fend Off Foreclosures

    The Obama administration plans next week to revamp its $75 billion program aimed at sparing homeowners from foreclosure, streamlining the documents required of borrowers seeking lowered payments, according to financial industry executives and others who have met in recent days with Treasury officials.

    The latest effort to accelerate the Making Home Affordable program — now widely viewed as a disappointment — comes as the administration faces growing pressure to do less for banks and more for households struggling with double-digit unemployment.

    The changes by the Treasury Department are expected to include greater assistance for homeowners no longer able to make mortgage payments because their paychecks have shrunk, said banking industry representatives privy to the department’s deliberations who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating government officials.

    The Treasury was still debating the method, these banking representatives said, looking at either direct cash assistance or a grace period in which borrowers could postpone payments. That component may not be announced next week, but would follow soon after.

  8. grim says:

    Save housing, at any cost.

  9. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Waste money, at any cost.

  10. grim says:

    Get reelected, at any cost.

  11. safeashouses says:

    #7 grim

    Why not only help the people who bought houses they could afford with proper documentation and are now distressed due to job losses. Tell the NINJA and the negative and opt/arm no money down crew to go pound sand.

  12. Welcome to the first official day of the Fascist States of Amerika.

    Thanks, SCOTUS. You confirmed yesterday what we already knew.

  13. safe (11)-

    Because it would be an exercise of common sense.

  14. I’d say that the Oblivion Express has accelerated in the last week or so.

    We are headed off the cliff at 140 MPH.

  15. As usual, ZH nails it. Love Volcker, but his suggestion is akin to putting a band-aid on someone’s little toe while he’s deflating like a football, due to a puncture wound to the lung:

    Watching the President announcing his proposals to forbid commercial banks from engaging in proprietary trading, I am reminded of the reaction by Washington a decade ago to the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals, namely the Sarbanes-Oxley law. The final solution had nothing to do with the problem and everything to do with the strange politics of the capital city and the national Congress.

    The basic problems of the Enron/WorldCom scandals was financial fraud and the use of off-balance sheet vehicles to commit same. By responding with more stringent corporate governance requirements, the Congress was seen to be responding — but without harming Wall Street’s basic business model. In that regard, note that today former SEC chairman Bill Donaldson was standing next to President Obama on the dais, along with Paul Volcker and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

    “A decade on, we have the same basic problem, namely the use of OBS vehicles and OTC structured securities and derivatives to commit financial fraud via deceptive instruments and poor or no disclosure. Author Martin Mayer teaches us that another name for OTC markets is “bucket shop,” thus the focus on prop trading today in the President’s comments was entirely off target. The Volcker Rule, at least as articulated today, does not solve the problem. And what is the problem?”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/volcker-rule-aig-it’s-not-about-prop-trading

  16. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    If the govt would just step aside, prices would find their natural level.

    At zero.

  17. whoops…moderated @ #15. Don’t know why.

  18. “Since we can’t understand a single word he is saying, we assume it is just the usual worthless drivel we have all grown to love and expect from the adorable megalomaniac. One part we could understand that caused an immediate liquification of our collective frontal lobes: we didn’t feel like proposing the type of sweeping reform seen today, because “how do we not know that the next administration will not undo it and cause the kind of problems we had before.” Then the Frankster says he will push off asset sales for 5 five years – just in time for this hypothetical “next administration” to come in an undo everything proposed by Obama. It is time Barney Frank follow the example of Dodd and spend much more time with his wife and children…”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/barney-frank-backpedals-why-his-proposed-reform-was-thorougly-trampled-obama

    I’d say we should jail Barney, but he’d probably see it as a reward, and not a punishment.

  19. veto (16)-

    I don’t think that’s the case at all. Prices would drop significantly lower, but they would find a level at which inventory would clear. The market would immediately become healthier and some degree of growth and appreciation would probably follow within a couple of years.

    Of course, were this to happen, the 10-15 biggest banks in the US would be up in smoke, so don’t expect this to happen anytime soon.

  20. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Do you have any granularity on the NY/NYC unemployment figures? In particular, does the NY State 9% also include NYC?

    Excluding NYC, the gulf between the City and the rest of the state is something on the order of 17%. IF the NYC numbers are also factored into the overall NY State numbers and one then backs them out, one would expect the overall NY State number to drop to the 81/2 % range, maybe 8%. THEN the gap becomes a gulf, and does not portend good times.

  21. Veto That - aka 'The Operation' says:

    “I don’t think that’s the case at all.”

    Yeah thats me with tongue in cheek bro. Just reminding myself that govt intervention is the market, not some one time interuption that will go away after some preannounced date. Thats why i only expect another 10% drop in prices, even under the most severe armaggeddon scenarios imagined.
    But hey, another 10% wouldnt be too shabby.

  22. “The central battle in our time is over political primacy. It is a competition between the public sector and the private sector over who defines the work and the institutions that make a nation thrive and grow.

    In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy’s order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities.

    This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions—The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers’ National Education Association.

    They broke the public’s bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members’ dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency.

    What an irony it is that in the same week the Kennedy labor legacy hit the wall in Massachusetts, the NEA approved a $1 million donation from the union’s contingency fund to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It is this Kennedy legacy, the public union tax and spend machine, that drove blue Massachusetts into revolt Tuesday.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/01/house-of-kennedy-sinking-like-rats-on.html

  23. “Like rats on a ship made of cheese, unions do not understand that consuming the ship will cause them to drown.”

    Mish

  24. Shore Guy says:

    Did I just hear correctly that B.O. has decided that we cannot fight at night in Afghanistan? It sounds like a bad joke.

  25. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    RE 17,

    Bawny Fwank is a gweat Amewican and I wesent your weckless diswegawd for that iwevocable twuth.

  26. frank says:

    Need a job??? Move to Mexico, their unemployment rate is half of ours.

    Mexico unemployment seen lower in December
    REUTERS FORECAST: Median 5.10 percent in December vs 5.26
    pct November. Fourteen analysts participated in the survey and
    the range was 5.0 to 5.5 percent.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2118580320100121?type=marketsNews

  27. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    My bro works for TRW. Big uptick in order for airbags after cash for clunkers. Need to rebuild inventory. Their primary plant is down in Maquiladore in Chihuahua. They are offering Mexican workers three free meals and time and a half to work on Saturdays and/or Sundays to make up for the backlog. 13 of 300 workers showed up:)

  28. John says:

    I don’t really understand how unemployment hurts home sales. Unemployed people generally don’t buy homes anyhow.

  29. nw says:

    That NAFTA deal sure was a boon for the average worker(Mexican of course).

  30. Brian says:

    Shore #19

    You can see the county by county job breakdown for NYS here – http://www.labor.state.ny.us/stats/Pressreleases/prtbur.txt

    NYC, parts of the Adirondacks and extreme NNY (or home as I call it) are the outliers on the high side.

  31. Veto That says:

    27.
    John you just answered your own question.

  32. lisoosh says:

    Al – you overestimate yourself.
    I don’t think you are a racist, child molester, dangerous yada yada.

    I think you ARE the sheeple.

    The pseudo survivalist version of the housefrau who puts in granite counters and stainless steel because HGTV told her to. Now thinks she is more sophisticated than her neighbors and an expert on interior design. Just for you it’s bottled water and some gunpowder.

    Did you ever find an “alternative news source” you didn’t like? Have fun on forums congratulating yourself ?

    Just put on your Dick Armey supplied T-shirt, scribble a mustache on your regulation Obama-as-Hitler poster (supplied by a very generous deep-pocketed donor), keep supporting the gutting of the actual constitution and tell yourself you are sticking it to the man.

    Fcukwit.

  33. A.West says:

    Barney Frank isn’t going to be spending time with “his wife and children” unless they’ve changed the meaning of children to mean congressional pages who don’t mind getting rear-ended.

  34. lisoosh says:

    The Condition-Code Red says:
    January 22, 2010 at 6:59 am
    “Welcome to the first official day of the Fascist States of Amerika.

    Thanks, SCOTUS. You confirmed yesterday what we already knew.”

    Unless you are Al “Thermostat” Gore, who thinks the SCOTUS ruling is the first step in “the people” taking back American.

    ‘Cause Michelle Bachman told him so.

    Or he saw it on a forum somewhere.

  35. ruggles says:

    lisoosh,

    Close your eyes and think of England.

  36. Veto That says:

    Lish, Al is about one inch away from being on the 6 o’clock news, after the UPS guy reports his weapons cache to the authorities. Please dont push him over the edge today.

    Not on Bank Failure Friday.

  37. yikes says:

    if it hasn’t been posted, must-read!

    http://www.wbaltv.com/money/22304884/detail.html

    Kid wins lotto. takes 7 figure lump sum payment. invests it before the bubble burst.

    oops.

    “After that, it was about $500,000 to $530,000. Of that, a good chunk was stocks and bond and the rest was low-risk, short-term investments so I could have cash on hand,” Jay said.

    “I have $330,000, or something like that,” Jay told Cavanaugh.

  38. SCOTUS decision = Corporatocracy

    Can’t make it any clearer than that.

    Dems/Repubs…all the same. Positions on social issues are simply to maintain their voting base. In the end, they all rely on lobbyist dollars to determine policy. Unless you can compete with corporate political contributions, then nothing is gonna change.

    Tea parties and healthcare reform is bread and circuses.

    Largest corporate contributors continue to make the greatest profits. Just look at recent earnings. Private healthcare insurers and IBs (minus pitybank) are on fire. What do you know? More executive compensation records. Meanwhile the tea partiers and liberal democrats face benefit cuts, loss of salary, etc.

    Keep up your partisan protesting though. The media loves to sell more adverts but in actuality is nothing more than your run-of-the-mill border collie.

  39. db says:

    Next time we should try to elect a president who has some real experience other than being community organizer …

  40. jamil says:

    lisooh/stu: Ah, the joy and elegance of leftists.

    Just keep insulting tea parties. They are the most authentic middle-class grassroot movement in this country for decades, if not centuries. Compare that to various leftists demonstrations, funded by deranged billionaire (Soros), where T-shirts, banners and transportation are provided by unions and ACORN. At least couple of times the people in leftists gatherings have been recruited from craigslist ($11/hr). Typically they are sent by unions.

    People are fed up with the big government spending and War on Business and War on Americans.

    As for SCOTUS ruling: Last time I checked, Obama got billions for his campaign, most were secretive donations including (illegal) foreign and corporate money (never audited thanks to opting out).

    In the earlier, unconstitutional ruling, a fascist government could for example just declare that Fox News is not a news organization and it can be banned before all elections. (Naturally, NYT and State Media would be excluded from that limitation). Similarly, any document, movie etc could be banned if it were seen a threat to the fascist government (as the hillary document was banned – micheal moore documents were naturally not banned).

    This was victory for free speech and US constitution. Also, its implications are limited. Candidates can already raise billions. The ruling just protects the country from fascist government from banning free speech. I understand why you hate this.

  41. soosh (35)-

    Unlike Al, I will not shoot until shot upon. Once that happens, it’s to the mattresses.

    We’re headed straight for Germany, 1933. And very few people sense it at all.

  42. toyne says:

    #40 Just exactly how are the Republicans/big business any better than the Democrats/big government? They are both rotten to the core.

  43. I present post #41 as absolute proof that listening to Glenn Beck for more than five minutes can make you permanently stupid.

  44. ruggles says:

    “Just keep insulting tea parties. They are the most authentic middle-class grassroot movement in this country for decades, if not centuries.”

    And yet, they are just as totally F’ed as the rest of us.

  45. Amazingly, jamil has also succeeded in becoming more tedious than Glenn Beck…no mean feat.

  46. lisoosh says:

    #41 -Agree. The invective was for Al by the way. He pi$$ed me off yesterday by making things personal. Usually I ignore his drivel.

  47. I also bet Glenn Beck was more fun when he was drunk all the time.

  48. lisoosh says:

    That was for Clot,think the numbers are mixed up.

  49. Shore Guy says:

    “Barney Frank isn’t going to be spending time with “his wife and children” unless they’ve changed the meaning of children to mean congressional pages who don’t mind getting rear-ended.”

    Although I think Barny Frsnk is a world-class scumbag and it is a detriment to the Republic having him in a position of policy-making authority, my recollection is tht he has been in a committed monogamous relationship for far longer than most heterosexuals ever have. If I am missing something, pray tell, but just because the guy is gay does not automatically make him a child predator, the vast majority ow which are heterosexual cretens.

  50. lisoosh says:

    Jamil (I’ll hate myself but what the h@ll)

    Let me say this very slowly…..

    This ruling allows corporations unlimited spending and control of elections. About as unconstitutional as you can get.

    China/Venezuela and a host of other nations own companies and subsidiaries of companies in the US. They can now pump as much money into supporting candidates that support THEM as they want.

    You don’t like foreign influence in elections? You just rubberstamped it.

    Better brush up on your Mandarin.

  51. Bubble Disciple says:

    I heard an analysis of increased NYC unemployment numbers on radio (WNYC) yesterday. While there was a slight increase in number of new jobs, this was more than canceled out by an increase in number of people trying to get back into the workforce.

    About Mexican unemployment rate, I’ll take our 10% rate over their 6% rate. At least we don’t have daily shootouts between drug cartels (yet). Maybe their unemployment rate dropped, because so many of them are here now. Most would argue that NAFTA hurt them as much as us, since it tended to drop wages for everyone; many Mexicans for forced to move from the countryside to cities or to cross the border to find work off the books.

  52. Shore (50)-

    My beef with Barney isn’t that he’s gay. It’s because he’s a corrupt moron.

  53. Soosh, have you ever thought that jamil might just be a fascist?

  54. Shore Guy says:

    “This ruling allows corporations unlimited spending and control of elections”

    Humm, Fedco owns GM, AIG, etc. I wonder where the campaign money from THOSE companies might go.

  55. Mexico is also jam-packed with toxic waste.

    Amazing what you can accomplish with slave labor and no environmental regulations.

  56. From now on, I will refer to O as Il Duce.

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lisoosh@32;

    Just put on your Dick Armey supplied T-shirt, scribble a mustache on your regulation Obama-as-Hitler poster (supplied by a very generous deep-pocketed donor), keep supporting the gutting of the actual constitution and tell yourself you are sticking it to the man.

    Reading this you’d think that vapid comparisons of one’s disfavored political figure to Hitler were simply untolerated before Obama was elected. You speak as if there weren’t 2,170,000 examples of comparing Bush to Hitler.

    I’m not taking a side in your particular dispute with Al, but you didn’t score any points with that shot.

  58. Soosh,
    Jamil is a lost cause. He is threatened by the truth. No one wants to admit that they’ve been wasting their time for years following political drivel. Come on into the barn now Jamil. It’s time to collect your wool.

  59. Bubble Disciple says:

    “Tea Party” – I’m picturing someone sipping tea with their pinky pointed up. That just sounds too elitist to me. I really doubt they’re throwing crates of tea into the water.
    I suggest they change the movement’s name to gas-guzzling party – would reflect the fuel consumption needed to attend a Sarah Palin rally.

  60. Shore Guy says:

    “he’s a corrupt moron”

    Bingo. He is so utterly out of his depth as a steward of economic policy, and we all suffer for the ill sense of the people in his district.

    I just think it is unfortunate that some here focus on the gsy thing. I am as hetero as they come and can’t for the lie of me understand what makes some guys look at another and go, “Oh! I gotta have me some of THAT.” That said, whay did i look across the room at Susie and Janie in 5th grade and suddenly think, “Wow!”? I have no fricken idea what makes anyone’s heart go pitter pat for anyone else and, as long as everyone involved is an adult and human, I don’t really care. If you are my neighbor, keep your place up, keep the noise down, let me borrow tools from time to time, return the ones you borrow from me, etc.

    Liewise, if one is elected to public office, I hope to goodness they are competent and of good will. I don’t know that Barney is either.

  61. jamil says:

    50 lisoosh: “This ruling allows corporations unlimited spending and control of elections. About as unconstitutional as you can get.”

    Where in US constitution is this banned?
    Besides, candidates can already raise more than enough money.

    Let me try this slowly: This ruling makes it sure that (fascist) government can not ban any communication (ie ban talk radio, Fox News, conservative blogs) that threatens the fascist government. High ranking dems have already advocated exactly that and the current fascist administration already declared that Fox News is not legitimate media, in other words, it is a corporation and therefore can be banned by the government. This is Chavez did it in Venezuela. Now O cannot do it here.

    In other words, the ruling protects me from people like you. I have no doubts, that you, if given power, would just ban all media organizations that do not follow the far-left party line.

  62. safeashouses says:

    #60 Shore Guy

    No worries. Frank can just ask Timmay and Bergabe for advice and all will be well.

  63. “I hope to goodness they are competent and of good will.”

    Oh they are. But only the ones that the tea parties support. Right Jamil?

  64. It pains me to see how brainwashed Jamil is. Too bad it’s the Republican party that got him and not the Branch Davidians.

  65. Brian says:

    Question… I can’t seem to square these two data points from the BLS release today.

    “Forty-three states and the District of Columbia recorded
    over-the-month unemployment rate increases, four states registered
    rate decreases, and three states had no rate change”

    “The national unemployment rate was unchanged in December at 10.0 percent”

    80% of states saw unemployment increases, but the national average was unch? I know they massage the national number by removing those that drop out of the workforce, but if that’s the case shouldn’t they do the same for the state data?

    It’s like saying the Vikings lost each quarter to the Saints by 3 pts, but at the end of the game we are tied.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm

  66. Shore Guy says:

    I forget the year but it was in the midle ages in the Balkans (maybe around 1,000) the Byzantine Emperor (Basil I believe) defeated the Bulgers and to make an impression on them blinded all but a handful. The ones who were not fully blinded had one eye put out. Then the Byzantines had the Bulagrians gather in groups of 100 — 99 fully blind and one with one eye, and allowed them to walk home.

    Those groups of poor souls had more vision than Barny, Timmy, and Ben have on economic matters. Tim and Ben are too supportive of existing Wall Street banks, and can’t wait to go back to WS to make hundreds of millions of dollars whrn their terms are up. Barney, wel, is just a buffoon.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Brian,

    If timmy and ben have test scores that go down by 5 points each and Barny’s goes up by 10, the class average stays the same.

  68. House Whine says:

    65- Hey I just came back from dealing with the UI office. They are nice folks, but overloaded at the moment. Honestly, there are so many intricacies involved in all these extensions, and such a lag time in reporting stats that I just don’t know how any of the gov’t statistics can be current. It’s really like going through a maze. The computer systems that the states are using were never designed for all this volume, again contributing to data which I just don’t think can be current.

  69. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Code, 55

    – see China.

    sl

  70. Brian says:

    Shore – Thx, but I checked the states that saw unemployment declines – Iowa down .1, MI down .1, OK down .5 and SD down .2

    There’s no way imo that those little moves can offset the big drops in states like FL, TX, IL, PA, OH, NC, NJ, NY which all averaged .3-.4%

  71. A.West says:

    Though I don’t agree with all of Lishoosh’s views above, I do think that people thinking about cival war and survival bomb shelters should get a grip. There are countries that have gone through worse economic devastation than this, with weaker constitutions than ours, that have avoided general civil disarray.
    If you truly expect the end of civilization, then get far away from it, and try a homestead in Alaska or Canada. It’s a very hard lifestyle, I’ve heard, since you pretty much have to do and make everything yourself, and lose out on the benefits of voluntary trade within the broader economy. I can’t imagine someone able to live a survivalist lifestyle in NJ, it’s just too densely populated.

  72. Alap says:

    Can we do a Best of John blog post one day? I think that would be much more entertaining then comp killers.

  73. A.West says:

    Shore,
    It’s not Frank’s gayness that bothers me. It’s hiring the gay prostitute for government work, pulling strings for him, and then accidentally letting him turn tricks in the basement without knowing it. I guess after that event he decided to go monogamous.
    Reminds me of South Park, when Satan had to choose between two lovers – the demented Saddam Hussein or the caring and sensitive Chris.
    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/152225

  74. Shore Guy says:

    “”I don’t have a very high opinion of Mr. Obama,” Faber told “Squawk Box Europe.” “I was negative of Mr. Bush but I think Mr. Obama makes him look like a genius.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/34996485

  75. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    lisoosh,

    did grim forward?

    sl

  76. Shore Guy says:

    A.W.,

    That was not the same prostitute that Bush let roam all over the West Wing, including overnight, I hope. Or, maybe I do, One would be bad enough, but two?????

  77. ruggles says:

    73- “I guess after that event he decided to go monogamous.”
    Had he been allowed to get married by our fairminded government and not treated like a second class citizen, perhaps he might have made better choices. Like the kind Mark Sanford and John Ensign made.

  78. Veto That says:

    Home Economics: The ‘American Dream’ Is a “Scam”, James Altucher Says

    Jan 22, 2010 10:30am EST by Aaron Task

    The past few years have certainly challenged the idea that real estate prices only go in one direction. But the downside of the “American Dream” is even more pronounced, says James Altucher of Formula Capital.
    Owning a home has “never been a great investment,” Altucher says, noting housing went up a dismal 0.4% annually vs. 8% for the stock market from 1890 to 2004, according to the Social Security Advisory Board.

    Moreover, Altucher says the notion buying a home is a ticket to financial security is a “scam” perpetrated on the American people by corporations seeking to keep us in debt, less mobile and with the storage to purchase all sorts of needless consumer goods.

    That’s a provocative statement, hard to prove, and certainly subject to debate. Such a view also leaves out the intangibles of home ownership, such as the stability and other benefits raising a family in a community can bring.

    Still, it’s hard to argue with Altucher’s main point, as detailed in a recent Daily News article: from a purely economic basis, there’s a lot of downsides and hidden costs to home ownership that get lost in the “American Dream” discussion:

    Insurance premium.
    Property taxes (which usually offset any tax deduction you get from your mortgage interest).
    Maintenance (pipes break, electricity problems, etc.).
    Remodeling costs.
    Utilities (utilities and maintenance for renters is often reflected in the rental price, but it’s not reflected in a mortgage when you own).
    Yard work, pest control, etc. (again, rents usually have this built into the price, but mortgages don’t).
    A down payment of at least 15%, which is $90,000 on a $600,000 home.
    Closing costs, usually 5% of loan amount, or another $25,000.
    Rather than concentrating so much of your wealth in a potentially illiquid asset, Altucher says most of us would be better of renting. If you want to bet on a housing recovery – and he does believe housing is a good short-term bet here – Altucher recommends buying a REIT like the iShares FTSE NAREIT Residential Plus Capped Index Fund (REZ).

    So if buying a house is a bad investment, should the more than 20% of American mortgage holders currently under water just walk away, as some advocate? Check the accompanying video to hear Altucher’s take on this highly controversial topic.

  79. Shore Guy says:

    So, Barny is looking to abolish Fannie and Freddie

  80. toyne says:

    #78 Closing costs, usually 5% of loan amount, or another $25,000.

    That # seems very high.

  81. Shore Guy says:

    “At a rather somber meeting of about a dozen hedge fund traders last night, it was widely agreed that big banks will get much smaller in the next couple of years. Most did not feel that Glass-Steagall would be brought back, but the biggest banks will be forced to sell off pieces as a way to reduce the “too big to fail” conundrum.

    All agreed that Paul Volcker was back in a big way, that he was well liked, had few enemies, and was the intellectual godfather of this proposal, and that the Obama administration had bought into the plan.

    It was also agreed that Timothy Geithner was in deep trouble. ”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/35010224

  82. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    toyne 80 yes, but that is irrelevant let just say they are 15k their point is still made. Let’s not get caught up in minutiae.

  83. ruggles says:

    I thought the American Dream was a government program to populate the countryside so we didnt have so much indefensible open space plus we add the need for roads and cars and other businesses. Idle hands…

  84. meter says:

    @ Schump (12),

    “Welcome to the first official day of the Fascist States of Amerika.

    Thanks, SCOTUS. You confirmed yesterday what we already knew.”

    I can’t figure out if the US is going fascist or communist. The two are sort of at odds, ideologically speaking.

  85. toyne says:

    # 82 lets just say they are 15k.

    That seeems high too, unless you are assuming mtg points in the 15k #.

  86. relo says:

    My political affiliation is better than your political affiliation, proven by the fact that my party has committed slightly fewer,or at least as yet, uncovered (insert indefensible act here).

  87. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Ok we got Tall Paul in favor with Il Duce
    & his band of merry Chicagoans.(Hat tip to clot like that one). Many here were espousing that Il Duce needed to listen to him & the down side of the obvious lack of his impute on policy. Well here we go,hope we get what was expected.

  88. A.West says:

    meter,
    Fascism and socialism are very similar, not at odds at all. Both are statist, with the government directing decisions.
    Under fascism, the government tells you what to do, and you do it, but you get to hold on to a property deed. In socialism, the government tells you what to do, and the government owns the title too.

    I’d say the US is going much more in the fascist direction. Like in NJ, where you “own” your land but you pay massive property tax such that you’re really just renting from the state. And where state, local, and federal government collectively decides where about half of your income goes, and regulates in minute detail what you can and cannot buy, what you can do, how many trees you have in your yard, makes sure everyone you hire is regulated by the state, etc.
    Worried about fascism? As Marge said, you’re soaking in it!

  89. ruggles says:

    toyne – perhaps they’re throwing realtor fees in that number. or they’re talking out of their a$$.

  90. ruggles says:

    86 – relo “My political affiliation is better than your political affiliation, proven by the fact that my party has committed slightly fewer,or at least as yet, uncovered (insert indefensible act here).”

    All distractions. Now, bend over.

  91. Going the Volcker route would be painful, but is necessary. It is because of this that I do not see this as any more than lip service at this point. Wake me up when the FED raises their lending rate. Anything less than this is slow crawl to our inevitable demise. You simply can’t print money with reckless abandon and not have to pay for it. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

  92. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    toyne 85 OK 9k What the dif in the overall premise of the post. “Let’s not get caught up in minutiae.”

  93. SG says:

    Home Economics: The ‘American Dream’ Is a “Scam”, James Altucher Says

    The past few years have certainly challenged the idea that real estate prices only go in one direction. But the downside of the “American Dream” is even more pronounced, says James Altucher of Formula Capital.
    Owning a home has “never been a great investment,” Altucher says, noting housing went up a dismal 0.4% annually vs. 8% for the stock market from 1890 to 2004, according to the Social Security Advisory Board.

    Moreover, Altucher says the notion buying a home is a ticket to financial security is a “scam” perpetrated on the American people by corporations seeking to keep us in debt, less mobile and with the storage to purchase all sorts of needless consumer goods.

    That’s a provocative statement, hard to prove, and certainly subject to debate. Such a view also leaves out the intangibles of home ownership, such as the stability and other benefits raising a family in a community can bring.

  94. Mike (88)-

    I think all we’re about to get is a buttload of unintended consequences.

    With all due respect to Tall Paul, his ideas do not address the OTC derivatives timebomb (aka “nuclear bucket shop”) or fraudulent lending practices.

  95. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Stu 92 Agreed I would guess you saw my underlying skepticism in my close on post 87. You know what Hope gets you.
    Il Duce!

  96. IMHO, the only real advantage of owning a home compared to renting it is that you will never be forced to move against your will. Now is that worth an extra $1500 per month? You decide.

  97. Someone please explain to me why renting a house for say, 10-15 years in a nice community is any less “stable” than owning one.

    Yes, I am still a Realtor.

    We’re not going to be selling any significant number of houses until our industry quits promulgating lies and presents people with something of real benefit. I don’t know how we get out of the current morass, but at least I understand that we’re in one.

  98. Bergabe reconfirmation going down the tubes.

  99. ruggles says:

    “Someone please explain to me why renting a house for say, 10-15 years in a nice community is any less “stable” than owning one.”

    Renting causes cancer in kids.

  100. meter says:

    “Question… I can’t seem to square these two data points from the BLS release today.

    “Forty-three states and the District of Columbia recorded
    over-the-month unemployment rate increases, four states registered
    rate decreases, and three states had no rate change”

    “The national unemployment rate was unchanged in December at 10.0 percent”

    80% of states saw unemployment increases, but the national average was unch? I know they massage the national number by removing those that drop out of the workforce, but if that’s the case shouldn’t they do the same for the state data?

    It’s like saying the Vikings lost each quarter to the Saints by 3 pts, but at the end of the game we are tied.”

    What % of the population do those 20% of states hold? That might be what’s confusing you (though I don’t know if that’s the explanation).

  101. Reading Jamil’s posts causes cancer, too.

  102. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Clot 95 with out draconian measures over a wide scope of are financial system we are F**ked & this country (citizens,politicians,corporations you name it) don’t have the stomach for it hence back to we are F**ked.

  103. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    ruggles 101 has it! New NAR reason # 11 to buy a home , just as plausible as the other 10.

  104. Veto That says:

    I’m so fckng furious today its not even funny.
    This summer i found a house that was asking around 400k. I low-balled them at 315K, against my realors advice, and we finally settled on a contract at 328k?
    We wound up backing out because of an unrelated reason and then it went into contract with new buyers the very next day after.
    We’ll i just looked it up and found that it sold for under $300k! (which by the way is equivalent to a bunker buster comp being dropped into middle of a 400-800k neighborhood)
    And my realtor was whyning to me throughout the whole negotiations that i should not be so severe in my lowballs. He needs a reality check and obviously forgot who he works for.
    I wrote him an email today telling him how unhhappy i was about us leaving that much room in negotiating on the table.
    He needs take the hint because that is the only warning he gets.
    If he even shows the slightest hesitation on my next lowball offer, if he even blinks, or coughs, or does anything besides submit it thanfully, i will dump him faster than a $2 prostitute.

  105. Veto That says:

    I’d have to look further at the comps but im thinking thats about 2003 levels. The first 2003 vintage ive ever seen in that town, since 2003 of course.

  106. veto (107)-

    You should have dumped him by now, because the first and last thing the guy should’ve told you was to go home and go to sleep for 3-4 years if you largest concern was buying a home at the lowest possible point in the market.

    We’re not even close yet. You are getting worked up over nothing.

  107. Veto that.

    You may not even want to give him another chance. I know that I wouldn’t.

  108. Kohn will take over Fed if Bergabe can’t be reconfirmed.

    WTF is the difference?

    It wouldn’t matter if the Fed were run by the Hamburglar.

  109. make money says:

    Someone please explain to me why renting a house for say, 10-15 years in a nice community is any less “stable” than owning one.

    Clot,

    It’s a forced savings mechanism. Buy a house in your late twenties. In 30 years later you own it outright and have a nice little nest egg retiremnmet. Most people dispose any extra income they have and don’t have disciple for saving. How many people you know put away 200K and then they keep living the same life style and continue saving that $1,000 per month.

    Buying “blue chip” and hold it for the long term is even a bigger myth.

    Leh, Mer, C, GM, GE, are at multidecade lows if not wiped out completely. So for that nurse and mechanic couple paying a fee to be forced to save is actually good investment.

  110. make money says:

    i will dump him faster than a $2 prostitute.

    They don’t exist anymore. Very expensive now.

  111. “It wouldn’t matter if the Fed were run by the Hamburglar.”

    Normally I would have no problem getting behind your suggested candidate, but I ‘Grimace’ at you overlooking the political experience of Mayor McCheese.

  112. Safeashouses says:

    I think it should cost more to rent then own. With renting you usually have little to none maintenance and yard work and costs.

    Plus if you need to relocate i think it is much easier to do as a renter then owner.

    Yet it is still much cheaper to rent then own for the most part. Although now the difference has narrowed and I do see examples of 3 bedroom houses where a 20% downpayment = a monthly PITI about the same as renting. But how many renters looking to buy a 3 bedroom split or colonial have the cash to put 20% down?

    I’m really hoping higher interest rates and lending standards makes housing affordable again.

  113. relo says:

    106: Veet, no offense, you need the reality check. He works for himself.

    He needs a reality check and obviously forgot who he works for.

  114. John says:

    Veto, when you are buying a house you don’t have a realtor. Lowballs work best when you deal with owner or his RE agent directly, putting a buyers broker in middle is bad. On an exclusive the seller realtor can discount commission or might be ok with talking buyer into slightly lower price, when she is doing split commission with your broker, forget about it. Buyers brokers are good for short sales, bank sales stuff like that. But if it is on MLS with an agent assigned it is better to go to listing agent.

  115. “I’m really hoping higher interest rates and lending standards makes housing affordable again.”

    Ding!

  116. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Veto ditto dump him. I’m waiting for my 98 price & will get it to.

    Clot LOL picturing the Hambuglar as fed chair.

  117. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    Clot, 110

    “It wouldn’t matter if the Fed were run by the Hamburglar.”

    OMIFU*CKINGGOD…. I almost fell off my chair laughing!

    Thank you Clot, I needed that like you can’t even imagine!

    sl … still_laughing!!

  118. Safeashouses says:

    #107 veto

    find another agent. There are something like 50,000 of them in nj.

  119. John says:

    Interesting higher rates also can make housing more expensive even if you are paying cash. Lets say I buy a 500K house for cash when rates are 10%. Well I could have also bought bonds at 10% with the 500K which is 50K a year interest. Therefore the home may be a lot cheaper to buy but I am out 50K in interest income.

    I’m really hoping higher interest rates and lending standards makes housing affordable again.

  120. Sean says:

    Goota love how the rats down in DC scurry in a hurry when the voters signal that they are calling in an exterminator.

    Vote Yea or Nay for Bernake may be today.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/35012053

  121. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    113 counter point stu maybe you guys should be in the U.S. Senate.

  122. Safeashouses says:

    #110 clot

    LMAO.

    The hamburglar’s speech is also more intelligible then bergerbe and greenie’s

  123. zieba says:

    RE: 101

    I know plenty of young people, some less intelligent than others, whose parents instilled in them the idea of home ownership as a ticket to financial security.

    I tried to explain that today’s RE market is not the same market their parents bought into but this fell on deaf ears.

    I know of three young couples who simply cannot process the idea of renting when you could buy instead.

    One guy’s excuse was that he and his wife just had a child so they absolutely had to be in a house. WTF?!?
    And so, they went out and chained themselves to a half a million dollar dead weight in a declining school district. Who knows what that district will look like by the time the kid is actually old enough to go to school and reap the benefits of ownership.

    Another couple I know is lamenting the fact that they are both living at home. They can’t afford a stand alone house so they have resigned themselves to buying an attached unit. I suggested they rent for a year or two as a way to mitigate risk, I got the blank stare. Why rent when you can buy? It’s like throwing money down the drain, they said. WTF?!?! Renting is shelter, you either need it or you don’t.

    Cull these folks with the middle aged couple riding high on he hog off of unemployment (article about a laid off banker in NC a while back), extrapolate these attitudes across even a small slice of the population and you have a tidal wave of morons dead set on owning a piece of the american dream at any price.

    We are like five fuc*in years into this sh*t! How can you still not see that this is a different ball game???

  124. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Clot,

    That Hamburgler comment was really funny. Made my day so far.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    Personally, I am holding out for H.R. Puffinstuff. After all, he’s the around when things get tough. Plus, he can’t do a little, ’cause he can’t do enough.

  126. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of puffinstuff, it may explain current economic policy.

  127. Shore Guy says:

    So, do we see 9,000 again before 11,000?

  128. lisoosh says:

    The Condition-Code Red says:
    January 22, 2010 at 10:18 am
    “Soosh, have you ever thought that jamil might just be a fascist?”

    Jamil doesn’t have the charisma to be a fascist.

  129. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Shore H.R. Puffinstuff watched that as a lad, looking back strange show. So it’s H.R. Puffinstuff, Hamburglar,& Mayor Mc Cheese from the stu party for fed chair. We could do worse & probably are.

  130. John says:

    no one backs baby into a corner, 11k before 9k.

  131. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Call a vote let the board decide.

  132. Veto That says:

    Relo, John,
    Explain this to me because i dont know.
    Realtor drives all around the county to show me homes.
    He speaks with the selling agents directly and submits our offer.
    When our deal closes, he gets paid.
    I realize he doesnt care if we overpay but he represents me and works for me, as his client. No?

    By the way the answer to this will not change the fact that he is on my sh!t list for giving me horrible advice on my initial lowball.

  133. Shore Guy says:

    For the economists out there:

    The Fed currently holds $4.785 trillion in USG debt. What is to prevent them from just forgiving it? A federal debtholder writedown, as it were. It does not adversely affect any individual investor, it does not adversely affect any U.S. or foreigh state or investor.

    Why not do it?

  134. danzud says:

    The mindset to owning is unreal. I don’t know if I can hold off my wife after this lease ends up in Nov. The in-laws follow the same mindset.

  135. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    John 132 then 9k ?

  136. Shore Guy says:

    ” he represents me and works for me, as his client. No?”

    Unless he or she is a buyers’ agent, then, no. He or she represents the seller’s interests.

  137. danzud says:

    Who does the Fed owe?

  138. lisoosh says:

    still_looking aka Tan-Less says:
    January 22, 2010 at 11:12 am
    “lisoosh,

    did grim forward?

    sl”

    Not yet, feeling a bit deserted. You could try the same suffice with gmail.

    The films came back with nothing on. Actually a bit worried as he is in pain and I really don’t think it is muscular. He’s 2 minutes from your work. If I had your name, I’d send him to you.

  139. ruggles says:

    hamburglar…haha. doubleplusgood.

    puffinstuff is a b!tch!

  140. Painhrtz says:

    Clot, Hey I came up with the Il Duce name for fearless leader search it, but Hamburglar pure gold! Can we nominate Oscar the Grouch to the EPA next?

  141. relo says:

    He speaks with the selling agents directly and submits our offer.

    Shoud read “conspires with”. Dog & pony show in most instances.

    IMHO, it’s your $$. You should demand he/she do what you want or walk. Conflict of interests is inherent.

    Let me say I’m sure there are repuatable agents who add value to the process. I’ve just never seen or had evidence of one (present company excepted, of course).

  142. Shore Guy says:

    danzud,

    My advice, whether asked for or not is to buy, just not in NJ. Fina a place where prices are depressed and much lower than around here, someplace you like and where you like to vacation. Then buy something, fina a property manager to rent it to tourists. Even if the fees only cover 80-90% of your total costs, think of it this way (instead of you subsidizing others vacatons) other people are covering most of the costs of your vacation home. The IRS lets you use it for several weeks a year for your own vacationa plus any time you are there doing repairs and upgrades.

    Then, you OWN a house, and you can continur renting here without having to worry about the millstone of high/falling values around your economic necks.

  143. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Clot,

    You said:

    Someone please explain to me why renting a house for say, 10-15 years in a nice community is any less “stable” than owning one.

    Rental houses can get run-down. If they’re not owner occupied, there isn’t the same level of care with the lawn, the shrubs, etc.

    My parents’ house has turned into an eyesore in the 4 years since we sold it.
    It’s had 3 tenants, but it’s not the tenants. A lot of the trees were cut down – leaving tree stumps – and the shrubs on two sides were torn out, in anticipation of going to demolition, which still hasn’t happened. The builder takes good care of mowing the lawn, but it’s getting weedy without the usual lawn treatments.

    There are a couple of houses in the area that were purchased for demolition, or as flips, before the music stopped. All are being rented, and have gotten progressively more run down over the last 3 years.

    More debris in the yard, windows that aren’t being cleaned.

    That kind of thing.

  144. Shore Guy says:

    “IMHO, it’s your $$”.

    Nope, in either case it is the seller’s money.

    Where else do you get the choice of someone else paying your representative to either 1) help scr-ew you or 2) look after your interests, and you get the choice. Why would anyone EVER pick #1?

  145. John says:

    He does not work for you, bottom line the seller is paying him. Additionally, RE agents are in cahoots. If the agent who has the exclusive gets a slightly lower bid directly that nets hime a higher commission good luck with your bid. If fact when I sold a house the deal was 4 on an exclusive, 6 on an MLS commission wise. My instructions to agent was to require a 2% higher offer from a MLS bid than an exclusive bid. So if at the open house agent had a 500K bid anyone who viewed house with their own agent had to bid $510. Why should I pay more commission and RE agent get less commission cause you want someone to drive you around to other peoples open houses.

    There is also the worry on a bid the Exclusive agent does no pass on MLS agent bid, or passes it on and says you may be a difficult buyer or may appear to have trouble qualifying. I get two bid on a house. A 500K exclusive which nets me at 5% $25K commssion or a $530 bid from another agent with a 3% commission which nets me $15,900 commssion. Which bid do you think is reaching the seller?

    Veto That says:
    January 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm
    Relo, John,
    Explain this to me because i dont know.
    Realtor drives all around the county to show me homes.
    He speaks with the selling agents directly and submits our offer.
    When our deal closes, he gets paid.
    I realize he doesnt care if we overpay but he represents me and works for me, as his client. No?

  146. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    danzud It’s a long road ,but I did have success with my wife. (Don’t go there John)Forget the out-laws not their business. On the flip side Nov 2010 my not be the worse entree point if you have to buy. DP, interest rates,intented area/town bla bla bla to many variables.
    By Sept you will know a lot more. Keep an eye on your market & be ready to roll if it is good for you.

  147. relo says:

    146: Not following. The commission?

    I was referring to the $$ spent on the purchase and/or accompanying obligation to pay said purchase price.

  148. lisoosh says:

    tu aka The Sausage Party says:
    January 22, 2010 at 11:51 am
    “IMHO, the only real advantage of owning a home compared to renting it is that you will never be forced to move against your will.”

    You sure about that? New London? Eminent Domain? And that is in this country alone.

  149. lisoosh says:

    The Condition-Code Red says:
    January 22, 2010 at 11:53 am
    “Someone please explain to me why renting a house for say, 10-15 years in a nice community is any less “stable” than owning one.”

    It isn’t. My rental is in a stable community, I’ve had many of the same neighbors for years. Kids all play together out in the street (not locked in scared like in McMansionville). Babysitter lives across the street, her sister helps out playing with the kids, Mom is there in case of emergency. We all hang out at the community pool together.

  150. toyne says:

    #111 That worked when house prices were 150-200k. Not now when many are still 400-500k, and with high property taxes.

  151. ruggles says:

    147 – “bottom line the seller is paying him.” – with who’s money?

    Veto, if you insist on buying, don’t be afraid to insult til you feel insulted. if they come back with anything other than yes, walk away. and if they come back with yes, your offer was too high.

  152. toyne says:

    #146 I see alot of owner occupied houses looking the same way. No money for upkeep perhaps?

  153. Justin Wetherell says:

    #65 (Brian): Question… I can’t seem to square these two data points from the BLS release today.

    maybe this has something to do with it.
    “The unemployment rate managed to hold at 10% in December only because of an extraordinary shrinkage in the labor force: Some 661,000 gave up looking for a job.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703837004575013592466508822.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion

  154. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    ruggles 141 The Waiting party is firmly behind the Puffinstuff nomination & with the support of the vacation home minded Shore wing are confident of him getting through committee to a general vote.

  155. lisoosh says:

    Good news is that if Jamil wants to have the same level of speech as corporations now, there is an easy answer – join a union!

    Bwahahahahaha!

    Or should that be Baaaaaaaaa!

  156. Veto That says:

    Buying is way better than renting when home prices appreciate at 10% per year over inflation. No brainer.

    When prices are flat or negative it prob doesnt pay to own.

    Problem is you will never know what prices will do. If i can give you that part of the equation, then your rent to own calculator will actually be relevant.

    Although the calculator does work in arrears – so you will be able to verify if you made the right or wrong decsion after you already did it.

  157. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    lis,

    sent.

    I have an appt – gotta run will text you if I can.

    sl

  158. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    toyne 152 ding ding give the man/woman a cigar.
    Ditto JW 155.
    Going to run out of cigars.
    Veto 158 “after you already did it” that’s the fly in the ointment.
    “Something must be left to chance”

  159. lisoosh says:

    sl – got it. Thanks.

  160. Veto That says:

    “if you insist on buying, don’t be afraid to insult til you feel insulted.”

    Relo, actually i do insist on buying but at more reasonable prices. The problem is that the comps have always been strong, so when i offer a 2002 price and the lowest comp in the town is early 2004, the realtor is kind of right for telling me im going in way too low.

    im glad i vented this out on the board. Your (everyone’s) comments have helped convinced me that ive got to take responsibility for even considering his advice in the first place. So, now im as mad at myself as i am at him.

    And now i know in the future to make absolutely certain that everyone at the closing table are as miserable as possible.

    With this new comp that i have in my back pocket, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

  161. lisoosh says:

    A. West.
    Not sure what there is to disagree with. I don’t really care where people stand as long as a. their position is well thought out and b. they don’t view ad hominem attacks as reasoned debate.

    What bores me is drones regurgitating a party line all the while driveling on about the “sheeple” and how much smarter they are than everyone else (while denigrating those who disagree as elitist). No originality, no actual independent though process.

  162. toyne says:

    Vacation houses?? So what? Whooo Cares!!!

  163. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Veto 162 That’s the spirit. Wife will not go car shopping with me after last time said I was going to make the salesmen cry.
    Got a great deal.
    Recently went alone. Oh well. Leave them miserable you will be happy in the long run.

  164. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    toyne 164 people who want vacation homes.

  165. Veto,

    You think you’re mad. The one house we put an offer on was not even a low ball compared with comps in the area, but we actually bid at a price that was extremely fair to the seller. It was the sellers only offer probably because their list price was on the insane side. Essentially, we offered $500 for a house listed at $580. We stupidly (and uncomfortably) went up to $520 and they came down as far as $560. We told our realtor to let it rot. They then listed it for rent at $3K per month and did not include pool maintenance, lawn mowing or snow plowing. I told Gator that no one is that insane to throw away $36k per year for what amounted to a 3BR with no powder room on the main floor. Heard back from our realtor two weeks later that they got a tenant who just signed a 3-year lease. Wow…that’s 108K net dollars!!!

    You win some, you lose some and you move on. As usual, in retrospect I’m glad we didn’t get it. Will do much better a little later this year. Won’t go up above comps again. Hated that feeling of overpaying. Especially considering that we are now solidly in a loss for our Montclair multi. We are far from underwater unfortunately, so we can’t jingle mail.

  166. Veto That says:

    Mike, Making the selling agent cry seems mean.
    Not wrong, just mean.
    Reminds me of something Clot does for enjoyment.

  167. Outofstater says:

    To re-cap the last couple of days: Houses are too expensive, college is too expensive, unemployment is too high, public employees’ salaries and benefits are too high, property taxes are too high, China is (or is not) a bubble, the AMT sucks and the dollar is in the crapper. So, what is the solution? Seriously, what should be done? Gradually raise interest rates? Persuade the banks to lend to small businesses? Ideas?

  168. toyne says:

    #160 So What? Whoo Cares!!!

  169. toyne says:

    #166 I know, I was kidding. So What? Whoo Cares!!

  170. Veto That says:

    169 – OOS – Nice recap –
    But you forgot to mention, Obma is a bum, AMT is unfair, glock 9 is way better than remington 464, Al is a ‘f*ckwit’, frank’s condo is on fire, and john got with all the girls within a four town radius from his high school.

  171. toyne says:

    #172 And Snookie has some hygiene issues.

  172. Outofstater: We blew it when Paulson decided that kicking the can down the road was the best method out of the crisis. We are now left in a slightly better economy than we were in in March of 2009, but with a gargantuan public debt that will somehow have to be repaid. The time for options has past us by. We will eventually do what we should have done back in October of 2008, experience the same pain we would have felt back then, but with a public debt that is now 6 trillion dollars larger.

  173. Safeashouses says:

    #169 outofstater

    letting tall Paul pick the next fed chief and treas sec would be a great start.

  174. zieba says:

    RE: 174

    Stu,

    Your assessment is entirely too reasonable. It is also exactly the reason why it will not come to pass. Welcome to the post 2007 twilight zone.

  175. relo says:

    Hope they weren’t counting on this to lessen any budget gaps.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a4rjcxA0eeMQ&pos=1

  176. Clotpoll says:

    veto (162)-

    One comp is not a trend. Go back to sleep.

    Can’t get tomorrow’s price today.

  177. Outofstater says:

    #172 Veto – Right! I also forgot that tosh needs to get laid. Wait, maybe he’s already taken care of that. SEE??? We’re on the road to recovery already!!!!

  178. relo says:

    180: 178, Now that’s a trend.

  179. You know, looking at that debt chart, first two years of Clinton’s debt looks like the first two years of Obama’s debt. Perhaps we too will balance the budget? :P

  180. toyne says:

    #178 One comp is not a trend.

    Well it has to start somewhere. First one, than two,etc. etc., than trend.

  181. leftwing says:

    “JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force”

    Another reason to dislike this media glorified family of criminals and sociopaths.

    Second only to the five families, although I think the old man ran with even them in his early days of bootlegging.

    And for all the class warriors, Joe P. was the original predatory financier. No one else comes close.

  182. Veto That says:

    “One comp is not a trend.”

    Maybe not but i will present it as such to start the negotiations.

    And its better than having no comps that support the lowball.

  183. toyne says:

    #186 Totally agree.

  184. jafo says:

    The american dream actually started as a civil defense strategy.

    Eisenhower wanted to distribute people and industry away from many target centers.

    The interstate highway system was an enabler, but early on most folks stood close to urban centers.

    It’s interesting how civil rights movement and white flight provided the motivation, to move out along those highways and make use of expanded credit.

  185. leftwing says:

    “This ruling allows corporations unlimited spending and control of elections. About as unconstitutional as you can get”

    I’ll offer something else up.

    How about mandatory union dues used to support political campaigns and donations?

    I’m not right of center by background. My father was in a union. We grew up Rust Belt – both parents blue collar working, coupon cutting, second hand store shopping, praying the car lasts through the winter normal people.

    Both Left and Right are corrupt multi-billion dollar enterprises.

    The difference to me is I am not required to participate in the fraud of the Right – I can walk away from their products or stocks.

    The Left, however, fleeces me through the power of the State and threatens my freedom should I choose to walk away. Very scary indeed.

  186. A.West says:

    Veto,
    This past year we made 5 offers.
    First one got turned down for being too late, good because we offered too much.
    Second one they just wouldn’t counter, and fell off the market (I did hear a rumor about the owner getting dragged into a police car in his underwear).
    Third one we were overpaying for the neighborhood, and were about to go forward, but broke it off when we learned about the artificial stucco.
    Fourth one we thought were getting a good deal till the inspection turned up over $75k of repairs, and had to walk away from that.
    Fifth and looking like the last one, seller took down the price $500k from silly OLP over a year ago. Only caught our attention at the next to last price, only got a bid from us at the last price, and the inspection wasn’t bad enough to drive us away.

    One time I got in an argument with our realtor about what houses were likely to sell at, using a quantitative technique of my own, looking at discounts to assessed values. Most of my predictions worked out.
    My realtor concentrated on what she was good at- showing us homes that fit our pretty clear specifications, communicating our bids to the sellers, handling paperwork. We did all the pricing and bargaining decisions ourselves. As she said “I’m not going to spend your money for you”. She stuck with us as we walked away 4 times from her payday, never put pressure on to “buy now or…”

    In summary, you’re in charge of pricing and negotiations. Your broker can hint at what they think the seller will entertain, but these days it’s buyers who set the price on completed transactions. As long as your broker will stick with you and help you find appropriate targets, will put in low initial offers, and doesn’t mind you rejecting counteroffers, and makes the process work, then they’re doing their job. A broker isn’t going to negotiate good deals for you though, that’s your job, and your main bargaining power is to say “no thanks, good luck” to sellers.

  187. Fitch: Credit card delinquencies rise in November
    Fitch: Credit card delinquencies hit record high in November; sees chargeoff trend continuing

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fitch-Credit-card-apf-3047636654.html?x=0&.v=1

    “Balances that were 60 days or more late reached a record 4.54 percent. That surpassed the previous high of 4.45 percent set this past June, according to the report.”

  188. Stock market is selling off again.

  189. leftwing says:

    “I can’t figure out if the US is going fascist or communist. The two are sort of at odds, ideologically speaking.”

    There is no political spectrum, as a spectrum is a line with opposing endpoints.

    There is a political ring (a circle) with freedom and self determination on one side and most -ists and -isms meeting on the other side.

    History has proven that the fascism and communism are alternative routes to the same destination. Kind of like using Mapquest versus Google.

  190. John says:

    Stu, I guess another week or two of correction makes the decision to do whole 401k match out of bonus an easy one. Plus the GS, MS and JPM boys restricted stock has not priced yet, they only got the $ amount of shares they are getting. If they are getting 500K worth of shares a quick 20% dip gets them 20% extra shares. Plus their choice of vested restricted stock pay the tax or net gets easier. If this sell off came two months from now the average MD at GS would be out a few 100 grand.

  191. relo says:

    192: Curious to see if it end much above daily lows, as in last two days. Who wants to be holding over the weekend?

  192. John,

    Do you truly believe that the IBs can and manipulate the indexes to benefit their equity compensation?

  193. Veto That says:

    “A broker isn’t going to negotiate good deals for you though”

    Nice. I like the home alot.
    inherently, i knew this. I always knew he wasnt going to push as hard as i would like him to. But i never gave thought he actually might be forced to work against me in order to get the deal done. Just because he and i both want to get the deal done doesnt mean our interests are necessarily aligned. Here i thought i was hiring him, but when it comes down to it, we min as well be on two different sides of the negotiating table.

  194. leftwing says:

    Veets 106

    With all respect and no insult intended to the realtors on this board, who seem in addition to being decent folks are also well-informed, honest, and knowledgeable…

    Wake up! Get with it! Don’t you know it’s the banksters that caused the housing crisis?

  195. leftwing says:

    Shore 144

    Neat idea on the vacation home as ownership. Best move we made was selling our primary when we went overseas for a few years and buying a ‘second’ home.

    In an interesting twist, I can count three people in town who substantially downsized in the last two years (all with young kids) and bought second homes elsewhere. For two of the three, the vacation homes are much nicer and more expensive than the new downsized home in town.

  196. relo says:

    Here’s something you don’t see every day.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4849432

  197. relo,

    Maybe he’s gay?

    Sorry…that was a Johnesque comment.

  198. A.West says:

    Here’s my rule of thumb on offers.
    Forget about making a first, last, and final offer. That’s not how the courting game is played. It’s like going up to a gal for the first time and saying “let’s f**k”. Only works on girls you don’t want to be with anyway.
    Look at their asking price. Mentally note what price you really think is your last and highest offer. Make an opening bid that puts your last and highest halfway between your bid and their price. If they nibble at your bait, good, because there’s lots of room for bid and counteroffers. If they don’t counter, then they probably aren’t psychologically ready for your last and highest either.

  199. John says:

    No, but it is good luck if you were told you are getting one million of chase stock on Feb 1st and the price falls ten bucks share before the purchase goes through

    Stu aka The Sausage Party says:
    January 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    John,

    Do you truly believe that the IBs can and manipulate the indexes to benefit their equity compensation?

  200. NJGator says:

    How about 1474 SF of pure Millburn paradise right next to the Fire Dept for only $579k! This property last sold in 12/07 for $480k.

    It’s palatial (1595SF) next door neighbor sold in Sept 09 for $472,500.

    http://emailrpt.gsmls.com/public/show_public_report_rpt.do?report=clientfull&Id=50982490_6166

  201. Thanks John. It good to see that you are not a complete loon.

  202. Gator (204): Be careful. Realtor with a fancy collection of camera lenses.

  203. A.West says:

    Gator,
    “Will appeal to Starbucks lovers” is one I haven’t heard before.
    Sound appropriate though – a person willing to overpay day after day for a pseudo-superior basic consumable.
    I hear the rich girls will write nasty things about the kids who try to buy their way into their high school and can’t afford different pairs of Uggs for each weekday.

  204. Sean says:

    John – sure stock grants with a 5 years holding provision. Bet they can get a nice loan on it. Not quite the same thing as vesting.

  205. wallies says:

    Two houses that I looked at are back on the market again in less than a year, one as a short-sale. They sold for egregious prices that I never would have paid and are now listed lower, but still way too high. Most likely, these houses will sit empty for a while, potentially causing neighborhood blight just as much as rentals. I can also imagine the drama that probably went down during the owners’ one-year stint in the house, from throwing a drunken house-warming party, having wild sex in the master bedroom, nicking the woodwork moving furniture in and out, losing their job, fighting with the mortgage company for a ridiculous year before they realized they made a huge mistake. Knowing some idiot mucked about in the home right before me really turns me off to properties with that kind of a legacy.

  206. leftwing says:

    John, 194:

    Worked for a European outfit overseas and became very friendly with the guys on the floor.

    Like clockwork, the stock would come off sharply during the ten day options pricing period and then revert to norm. Swiss securities laws didn’t limit activity in your own stock. Go figure.

    It’s hilarious that with the h@rd on the Great One has for banker bonuses he doesn’t get that his populist rants are teeing the bankers up for a banner payout one/two years down the road.

    I learned that nearly the hard way. My best year ever came when our firm had absolutely the worst results. Boss knew he was at risk of losing me and didn’t have the cash available in the bonus pool to hit my number so he comes up with a boatload of options. I told him to shove them, I was leaving. Three times. He ups the number of options each time apologizing. Decided to stay but seriously told him I didn’t care about the options – I was ‘insulted’. Long story short obviously they hit my account. At a strike of $16. Stock went to $128 (split adjusted) two years later. Ooops.

  207. John says:

    Sean, 5 year is a new thing, used to be 2 or 3 years, so the trader gets a whole new batch on Feb 2010, but his Feb 2007 or 2008 vests. Now when it vests the trader has choice of netting to cover tax or cover his tax bill by cutting a check. If there is a short correction at time of vesting and trader things it is going up he cuts check, if trader thinks it is fully valued or is above fair value he nets. Now this is restricted stock, so even if stock has fallen 40% since grant is is still a lot.

  208. njescapee says:

    was wondering what the heck you’all were talking about: we don’t get to see them in the Keys. Uggs are butt-ugly

  209. wall-e (211)-

    After 3+ years of dealing with trashed/abandoned houses, I have an internal smegma detector that is the equal of any blacklight device known to man.

  210. No, that’s not library paste on the master bedroom wall.

  211. relo says:

    211: Houses don’t have a legacy, people do. Unless, of course, it’s haunted.

  212. Sean says:

    John we both know they can escalate the vesting or shorten the holding whenever they want to. One unnamed bank did just that when a bunch of their execs were getting called and had to make margin or get liquidated.

  213. relo says:

    or 210

  214. danzud says:

    Hmmmmm. I guess all those retail investors sitting on the sidelines are still sitting there as the brokers are scrambling to sell their crap to someone new. Or is Goldman just shorting everything?

  215. leftwing says:

    “Sean, 5 year is a new thing, used to be 2 or 3 years”

    Used to be tiered vesting over three years at my place. One-third each year from date of grant.

    What is it for the JPM, MS, etc guys from last year? There are some serious gains built up, especially since they were forced to take a bunch of stock, not cash.

    Even with MS coming off 6% today it is still 50% higher than where these guys got their shares.

    Which means they could have taken a 30% pay cut last year from record 2007 levels and as of today it’s like nothing happened.

    And the Community Organizer in Chief thinks he can outsmart these guys….he’s a lightweight.

  216. Juice Springsteen HEHEHE says:

    Looks like the rollover has begun. Sell the news, sell sell sell sell sell

  217. Sean says:

    leftwing – For JPM bonuses that were paid in stock priced on Wednesday around 43. So the move down in financials means everyone’s deferred comp is immediately 10 pc lower this week.

  218. zieba says:

    Clot/Pain et al;

    Q: Is the public allowed to purchase fighter jets?

    http://www.prideaircraft.com/flanker.htm

    Looks like a really fun thing to have in a compound/air strip combo.

  219. leftwing says:

    Sean

    One day pricing period, are you sure? Usually you see a week to ten days. Was Wednesday the day grants were made v. pricing?

    What about last year, what restrictions are on the shares granted then? How do they vest, and when are they free and clear to the recipient?

  220. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    WTF with all the other Carribean nations with state of the art hospitals and what not (medical tourism is big down there) not rushing to help Haiti. Lot of wealth down there.

  221. Sean says:

    Zieba – The last CEO of GM Bob Lutz has a similar fighter jet.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123419352332763859.html

  222. meter says:

    @200:

    “Here’s something you don’t see every day.”

    I thought for sure that link would take me to an article about the Mets having won something. Like maybe a charity bowling event or something.

    -Phillies fan

  223. Sean says:

    re: #224 – Leftwing see for yourself on last year, One day pricing @ $19.49

    http://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/19617.htm

    SARs Amounts Name of Exercise Value 2/4/09
    Granted Grantee Price

    700,000 Winters 19.49 $11,300,000
    700,000 Black 19.49 $11,300,000
    500,000 Staley 19.49 $8,100,000
    300,000 Scharf 19.49 $4,890,000
    250,000 Drew 19.49 $4,075,000
    200,000 Miller 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Rauchenberger 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Smith 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Zubrow 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Bisignano 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Mandelbaum 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Cavanaugh 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Cutler 19.49 $3,260,000
    200,000 Maclin 19.49 $3,260,000
    100,000 Daley 19.49 $1,630,000

  224. John says:

    1/3 vesting does not work with IFRS so most international bnaks changed it so all locations get same vesting, plus the big o wanted longer vesting periods.

  225. leftwing says:

    “The last CEO of GM Bob Lutz has a similar fighter jet”

    He should have flown that (in)to his meeting with the Great One way back when.

  226. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    I’m so unemotional now about this house hunt. I was really hot on a new listing that looked great and was bank owned, finally got a call through and found out it had about 200k in repairs and despite its size, a pull down attic. Two years ago I would have been really mopey about it. Today, I just got back to my lunch and NJREREPORT.

  227. leftwing says:

    “1/3 vesting does not work with IFRS so most international bnaks changed it so all locations get same vesting, plus the big o wanted longer vesting periods.”

    Gotcha. I left the industry in 2005.

    One third vesting was an anomoly even then. Our guys did it because we tended to underpay on the cash side so had to make it up elsewhere.

  228. Veto That says:

    question about tax filing software. Im thinking of using turbo tax this year. I usually just do them manualy.
    Does Turbo tax pick up all your deduction and maximize your return amount? or is it like going to hr block, which basically should just change their name irs?

  229. SS says:

    190 – AW:
    How can you tell false stucco from the real stuff? How about those “stone” entryways? It feels real but how do you actually tell?

  230. John says:

    Best part of turbo tax is smith barney, fidelity, most banks, W2 has ability to pull info in so you don’t have to type in all that stuff, I did around 200 trades last year, that is a pain to type in. Also saves basic data year to year, I can do taxes in like 30 minutes. Then you have to play to max your deductions. But it gives you hints

  231. John says:

    As they say in Vegas, it is real if you can touch it.

  232. House Whine says:

    225- Why should those countries bother to help?? They know that the good old U.S. of A is there, as always, to help out first.

  233. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    SS in my experience when you touch & see the real stuff you will know. Bring a hammer the no doubt test. Might piss someone off but what the hell.

  234. Sean says:

    re: #234 – SS drill a small hole if styrofoam comes out it is EIFS.

  235. leftwing says:

    Sean

    Thx. I need to dig into last year’s payouts more. Partners in building from a couple of years ago are scratching to get back in given the abysmal existing inventory at the top end and the highly discounted knockdown availability.

    I think they’re premature but there may be an angle given all the big gains from the stock grants in Jan of last year. When those vest there is going to be alot of liquidity kicking around.

  236. John says:

    2009 restricted stocks when they vest for GS, MS and JPM employees will be the bomb. Also some firms have not set 2010 grants yet so maybe they will also catch a break. The worst is 2007 grants vesting now. That is worth peanuts

  237. SS says:

    So I’m going to drill a hole or take a hammer to someone’s house that I’m looking to buy?

    Should I throw an M80 or Blockbuster into the toilet to test the septic too?

    Any other idea? Is there a different feel between the false & real stuff? Even if it’s fake – is the stucco garbage?

  238. leftwing says:

    John, agreed on the ’07s, that’s gotta hurt. That tiered vesting was great, rather than the three year cliff, especially in rapidly rising volatile markets. :)

    Sean, are you part of JPM? Good link. Heidi Miller, there’s a blast from the past. Given the push to get some high heels in the executive suite I’m surprised she’s not higher up.

    Best info on comp is in the proxy.
    http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/19617/000119312509069444/ddef14a.htm#toc55810_10

    Don’t have time to decipher now. Heading out to the Devils game.

    Against my better judgement I’ll strip away my anonymity for anyone watching the game on MSG+. We’re the seats right behind LeMaire on the glass. My wife, two boys and I. Go Devs.

  239. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    sounds like fun, leftwing. Enjoy

  240. Outofstater says:

    #234 SS – The EIFS I’ve seen is put on in panels. Look at the biggest continuous surface of the house – if you see a seam, it’s EIFS. Also, you don’t necessarily need to drill a hole – you can try to jam a thin screwdriver into it – if it goes in, it’s EIFS.

  241. Yang Habben says:

    -That’s a pretty damn big deal. First of all, I highly doubt the UFC would pay QJ anything near what he gets paid in Pride (which is probably most likely in the healthy 6-digits over a handfull of fights)

  242. John says:

    Heidi has a potty mouth, was at a meeting where she went to head of TSS if you are right I will get right up on the table hear and F you. Sr. Partner and CEO was in room. She is nas-T

    Sean, are you part of JPM? Good link. Heidi Miller, there’s a blast from the past. Given the push to get some high heels in the executive suite I’m surprised she’s not higher up.

  243. Stu says:

    Turbo Tax is the shiznit for self filers but you do have to play around a bit to find your best deductions. Stick with regular unless you have rental income in which you will need Premier.

  244. jamil says:

    Sounds promising (until you read the last sentence – parasite party will block this)

    http://www.my9tv.com/dpp/my9_news/new_jersey/My9_Christie_Releases_Review_Of_State_Government
    The review, consisting of 19 reports submitted Friday by the 21 transition team subcommittees, suggests consolidating several agencies and authorities and eliminating others.

    Among the highlights are suggestions that the state stop subsidizing horse racing and its public television station; that a sales tax holiday be enacted to spur consumer spending; and that affordable housing requirements be relaxed.

    Among the findings and suggestions:

    — Transportation: Recommends consolidating and downsizing many authorities, halting all long-term projects that don’t deal directly with safety or consumer use and requiring salaries for Authority chiefs to come in line with state workers. Currently, 27 authority heads make more than the governor.

    — Gaming: Create a public/private venture to market Atlantic City as a destination resort; reorganize the Sports and Exposition Authority’s financial structure; restructure the horse racing industry — projected to lose $22 million in 2010 and facing a $38 million deficit; privatize the lottery.

    — Corrections: Recommends increasing prison space by double-bunking inmates and diverting nonviolent drug offenders to community programs.

    — Taxes: Recommends a sales tax holiday to spur consumer spending, as 16 other states have already done.

    — Housing: Recommends doing away with the Council on Affordable Housing, the agency that determines how much affordable housing towns and cities must provide.

    — Community Affairs: Suggests more accountability for the billions in municipal aid that the Community Affairs department oversees, including having the Treasury Department enforce compliance.

    Many suggestion would require action by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

  245. Pat says:

    John complains about potty mouth on a female.

    Does that mean you would respect her

    1. Less in the morning.
    2. More in the morning.
    3. Ask me again after I first ascertain if she’s a morning girl, too.

  246. leftwing says:

    Wasn’t Heidi maried to Wilbur Ross at some point? There’s a visual.

    If anyone else is at the game tonight and wants to hook up for a drink post it here.

  247. chicagofinance says:

    If you have a basic return, then use Turbo Tax. If you are focused, detail oriented, and somewhat analytical, you should be fine. I work with a tax preparer and she says repeatedly that the programs out there do an OK job, but they often give the illusion of being really thorough and sophisticated. Be careful of GIGO. It will not prevent that contingency.

    Her argument is that she pays $5,000 a year for her software, so how can one that costs $50 compete? Fine. I can still argue back “economies of scale” and “fly with a sledgehammer”. She is correct about the GIGO though, and it happens more often than you would think. However, if your situation is basic, then I wouldn’t sweat it.

    Veto That says:
    January 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    question about tax filing software. Im thinking of using turbo tax this year. I usually just do them manualy.
    Does Turbo tax pick up all your deduction and maximize your return amount? or is it like going to hr block, which basically should just change their name irs?

  248. relo says:

    252: Agreed.

  249. A.West says:

    On EFIS they should tell you if you ask, a good inspector would catch it as well. Experienced people can tell by knocking on it, but I can’t. Too much uncertainty for me to deal with those houses. My sister in law just bought one decorated like a wedding cake with EFIS, she’s spending about $100k to replace it all with brick.

  250. NJCoast says:

    SS-

    You can tell an EIFS system by knocking on the surface. You’ll hear a hollow sound.

    EIFS is not a bad system when applied correctly. Venting is key. If applied to plywood or particle board (worse) the foam has to have vertical channels in the back facing the sheathing so moisture that collects can run down and out. If not the moisture eats at the sheathing and mold develops. Also the foam should be screwed into the sheathing not glued. Caulking around windows and exterior doors should also be maintained.

    EIFS is best applied to concrete.
    exterior walls.

    Unfortunately many Mcmansions have EIFS systems that were applied wrong.

  251. yikes says:

    market down like 500 points this week.
    NICE.

    wouldn’t mind if it dipped down again. the lower we can buy in, the better.

    all i ask is that we’re up up and away by may-june-july …

  252. onthebrink says:

    wth?

    I asked our realtor to show us 3 houses that came on the market this month. She just called saying she had made an apoointment for 1 house – the other 2 were under contract. And these are houses that came on the market on the 13th and 18th of this month!!

  253. yikes says:

    looking at some of the houses you guys linked up yesterday … rough.

    i promised not to be ‘that guy’ after moving to Bucks two years ago … but my goodness you can get way more house and yard out here.

    the key, of course, is where you work.

  254. left (231)-

    You mean flown it into the building, right?

    “He should have flown that (in)to his meeting with the Great One way back when.”

  255. yikes says:

    Mr Hyde says:
    January 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Al

    Those plans sound good until you realize that in such a SHTF scenario you and 500 people will be eying up that 10 acres of wood.

    Bunker? if you need a bunker, a stick-built home basement sucks. 1 or to molotov’s will send you whole house up with you stuck in the basement.

    sounds like a good start though

    that’s why i love this place.

  256. gary says:

    How many f*cking times do I have to hear these 1diots in the RE industry say, “NOW you’ve reached bottom.” Fuck1ng news flash: We haven’t reached bottom, houses are losing 1% per month… indefinitely… still. NJ is at 10.2% unemployment and still losing blood and anybody who does have money has it for a fuck1ng reason; because they won’t fall for any lame @ss sh1t from used car salesmen, used clothes salesmen, used washing machine salesmen and definitely not used house salesmen.

  257. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    Stevie Wonder put a little too much soul into that one, sounded like a dying animal.

  258. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    toyne, #154

    I notice that, too, with the new McMansions. Just very basic lawn mowing, cheap drapes/window coverings.

  259. gary says:

    Prices of single-family homes fell by an average 13 percent in Bergen and Passaic counties in 2009, according to data from two multiple listing services.

    I want you all to pretend you’re the head of the NAR and you have to come up with talking points and spin to explain what this statement above means. Ready… set…. GO!

  260. Pat says:

    gary, c’mon … it’s too easy. I’m up for a challenge.

  261. gary says:

    C’mon Pat, let me hear your best sound bite as head of the NAR! :)

  262. danzud aka D-Train says:

    Where’s Grim and his Bank Failure Friday announcement. He should be having a field day!!!!! Five states!!!!

  263. Pat says:

    Well, since NAR is now the underdog, I suppose I’m not exactly gonna get pinworms if I help them out a little.


    Negative detractors will point to recently reported price drops as a reason not to buy your dream home right now. Any advisor who’s “worth their salt” will tell you the truth: Buy a home immediately if you can afford it, if the price is right, and if it speaks to you.

    I’m not talking Poltergeist.

    You know when it happens. You see the listing and feel your breath intake. You need to reach out and gently brush your fingertip down the screen. The browser frustrates and takes too long as you urgently rush through the images for the first time. Have to see it, be in it. Then you slowly and methodically return to the main page, then move again, and again, taking your time…enjoying.

    Don’t let these perfect prices slide away..

    There’s never been a better time.
    You can afford it.
    $8,000 – everybody else is getting it.
    And it’s O.K. to just walk away later.
    Everybody’s doing it.

  264. Pat says:

    I think JB must’ve had to take his velvet pants to the cleaners or something.. Here:
    http://www.fdic.gov/

  265. Barbara aka B-Cat says:

    Pat, I need a cigarette!

  266. gary says:

    Pat [269] – Excellent! :)

    Barbara [271] – I laughed out loud! :)

  267. Shore Guy says:

    Laughed or cried?

  268. Shore Guy says:

    Bank Closing Information – January 22, 2010
    These links contain useful information for the customers and vendors of these closed banks.

    Columbia River Bank, The Dalles, OR
    Evergreen Bank, Seattle, WA
    Charter Bank, Santa Fe, NM
    Bank of Leeton, Leeton, MO
    Premier American Bank, Miami, FL

  269. Shore Guy says:

    Battling,

    That is funny, in a painful sort of way lol

  270. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    The Jersey Shore Phenomenon is tonight’s “sign o’ the times” on Nightline, if any of you are still up

  271. Mikeinwaiting "Bicep" says:

    Pat 269 I’m with Barbara on that need a cig & a drink. John is not working so he can’t take that one to it’s usual course.

  272. I like your style, the fact that your site is a little bit different makes it so interesting, I get fed up of seeing same-old-same-old all of the time. I’ve just stumbled this page for you :-D

  273. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    34.

    I didnt tell you to come out of your room man child. You really want me to spank your bottom dont you.

    Please give me the opportunity communist.

  274. Dr. Doom says:

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/012210_Wells_Fargo_and_Co_closing_Carlstadt_check_processing_center.html

    Wells Fargo & Co. is closing a check-processing center in Carlstadt and laying off the 86 people who work there, because of a drastic drop in the number of paper checks as consumers increasingly turn to online banking.

    The employees were given 60 days notice last week, said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Fran Durst. The decision to close the office also was triggered by the fact that the bank’s lease for the processing center, as 450 Commerce Blvd., expires in May.

    Volume at the center had dropped from 40 million checks a month at the peak, to 8 million a month currently, Durst said.

    The decline in check writing has been going on since at least the mid-1990s as debit cards, ATMs, direct deposit, and electronic banking grew in popularity. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, check volume fell 33 percent between 1995 and 2006, the most recent data available.

    Durst said the decision to close the office was not related to the company’s merger with Wachovia in 2009. Durst said the processing work will be outsourced to third parties. Some of the work will be done in South Plainfield and a small percentage of specialized work will move to Philadelphia.

    Durst said the bank will help the laid-off employees find other jobs with the bank or assist them with their external job search.

  275. Essex says:

    The thing that gets me is how em embarrassing this whole ordeal is for the country. We are in a world of hurt and since 9/11 really look like bumbling morons.

  276. freedy says:

    its ok. the people who voted for Barry wanted change. they got it. Barry woke up and has
    finally seen how he got screwed.

  277. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704509704575019162391608940.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLTopStories

    “Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Should Be Eliminated, Frank Says”

    “A top House Democrat on Friday said his committee was preparing to recommend “abolishing” mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and rebuilding the U.S. housing-finance system from scratch.”

    Oh…I get it. You ruin something…run up a 5 trillion dollar bill – pawn that off on the citizens – then start all over from scratch….

  278. ruggles says:

    264 – “Prices of single-family homes fell by an average 13 percent in Bergen and Passaic counties in 2009, according to data from two multiple listing services.

    I want you all to pretend you’re the head of the NAR and you have to come up with talking points and spin to explain what this statement above means. Ready… set…. GO!”

    Northeastern New Jersey: now 13% less cunty.

  279. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704509704575019162391608940.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLTopStories

    This may end up as a double post –

    The other seems to have disappeared…

    “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Should Be Eliminated, Frank Says”

    His committee is to recommend abolishing them and starting over from scratch…

  280. Cindy says:

    Grim – 284 – in moderation – Just this article @ 286 – You can eliminate it…

  281. Find Jobs says:

    Hey man. Sending this from a Mobile. thanks! very helpful post!! like the template btw ;)

  282. scribe (264)-

    The best, IMO, are the 700K McMansions with sheets in the windows.

  283. You can tell the kids’ rooms, because they have Disney sheets in the windows.

  284. gary says:

    The average price of a single-family home sold in Bergen County in 2009 was about $553,000, down 13 percent from 2008.

    The bottom is in… I’ve heard this f*cking term a dozen times from every rah-rah, wannabe pretender in the industry for the past 2 years. Dear sellers and realtors, here’s my pom-pom, kool aid prediction: you’re going to continue to lose 1% of the value of your house per month for the next 18 months followed by a flat line for 5 to 7 years. Kids, when a 4bd/2.5bth in Graydon’s town is clinging to a “4” handle, then it’s time to start looking.

  285. Essex says:

    Crash Course
    Review by John Gapper
    Published: January 22 2010 23:20 | Last updated: January 22 2010 23:20
    Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster
    By Paul Ingrassia
    Random House $26, 320 pages

    Japanese car companies, which overtook US ones in the early 21st century, leading to the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler last year, used a method of industrial innovation called kaizen, usually translated as “continuous improvement”. From a humble start, the Japanese companies had got better and better at making cars that were economical and reliable.

    Meanwhile, Detroit perfected the technique of occasional improvement. As the Big Three – GM, Ford and Chrysler – slid deeper into trouble over decades of complacency, union obstructionism and mismanagement, they would occasionally stage a temporary recovery, with some new car or initiative prompting books and magazine articles about a Detroit revival.

    This all proved to be illusory, with Detroit’s detour from making cars (ground that it had in effect ceded to foreign rivals by the mid-1990s) to producing “light truck” sports utility vehicles as the biggest deception of the lot. These were just upward blips on a long, steady descent from technological dominance to global laughing stock.

    This is a familiar story adroitly retold by Paul Ingrassia, a veteran Wall Street Journal reporter who has written about Detroit over the years but maintains his sympathy for the human beings whose lives were crushed by this vast systemic failure.

    In his effort to isolate what went wrong, Ingrassia goes back to the early 20th century, when Detroit was a “Mecca for automotive entrepreneurs” such as Henry Ford. Things had clearly gone downhill by the 1970s, when Detroit’s quality standards suffered: cars such as the Chevrolet Corvair and Ford Pinto had reportedly broken down and exploded.

    There were, however, warning signs before that, when Detroit’s early focus on technology began, by the 1950s, to give way to an obsession with marketing and design. Ingrassia makes an entertaining journey into the history of tail fins. In 1948, these were borrowed from a Lockheed fighter by Harley Earl, GM’s chief designer, leading to a stylistic arms race.

    One could trace it back further. Ingrassia’s account led me to wonder if GM was an aberration from the start. It sounds like heresy to even suggest it: business schools still study how Alfred Sloan turned Billy Durant’s rag-tag collection of brands into the epitome of the professionally managed US corporation.

    A 1964 advertisement for General Motors’ new Cadillac
    Sloan was, as Ingrassia says, “low-key, methodical and prudent” and shaped GM into a portfolio of car brands, including Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Buick, intended to serve “every purse and purpose” in the US postwar market. He also pioneered techniques of marketing and design – the latter under Earl – that lured customers away from the boring, technology-oriented Ford, with its black-only Model Ts. GM overtook Ford and became the car industry’s dominant institution.

    Yet Sloan’s vision of turning cars into dream machines, embodiments of their owners’ aspirations, left a gap that the Japanese, and later Korean, automobile companies later exploited. Unfortunately, Detroit came to believe that sizzle sold, while technology and reliability were of secondary importance.

    Two other factors made Detroit vulnerable. One was its provincialism. Michigan became a one-industry state, dominated by the Big Three and hundreds of auto parts suppliers. It became unthinkable that auto companies could be run by anyone but Midwestern “car guys”.

    A second vulnerability was the grip of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, led by Walter Reuther, who exploited the complacency of the Big Three in the 1950s and 1960s, when money was flowing, to hammer out labour deals that later produced vast pension and healthcare liabilities.

    Such forces not only made Detroit underestimate the Japanese invasion but also prevented it from responding effectively when it woke up. The Big Three maintained the comforting mantra that the plain, reliable cars being built by Nissan and Toyota – the Model Ts of their day – were alien to American tastes.

    Ingrassia describes the moment in 1979 when Detroit should have ceased kidding itself: when Honda built its first US plant in Ohio and showed that American workers could make high-quality cars. It was not a matter of nationality, it turned out, but of good management.

    The SUV boom of the 1990s brought a stay of execution, allowing the Big Three to prosper by switching from a losing struggle to produce decent cars and instead make bulky, highly profitable, light trucks. Eventually this avenue would be closed off by surging oil prices.

    The tragic figure in this account is Rick Wagoner, an amiable, intelligent executive who was appointed chief executive of GM in 2000 and eventually led it to near-bankruptcy. Wagoner baulked at confronting GM’s structural problems head-on, and instead tried to make the best of them.

    Such complacency in the face of trouble finally backfired at last year’s disastrous hearings in Washington at which the Big Three’s chief executives – and the head of the UAW – arrived on private jets to plead for a bailout of $25bn and were unable to answer even basic questions.

    Despite this, GM’s board continued to back Wagoner until he was fired by Barack Obama as the price of a government bailout. “GM executives had come to believe that solving their problems was impossible and living with them was inevitable,” Ingrassia writes.

    The question now is whether outsiders, helped by debt-shedding bankruptcy (resisted by Detroit until the end) can do better. Fritz Henderson, Wagoner’s successor, has been pushed out by Ed Whitacre, a former chief executive of AT&T and now GM’s chairman. Ford is being run by Alan Mulally, a former Boeing executive, and Sergio Marchionne, the head of Fiat, has taken over Chrysler. The line-up in Detroit, redoubt of the Midwestern “car guys”, is now one telecoms guy, one aerospace guy and one Italian.

    A changing of the guard may not be enough. Ingrassia shows convincingly how Detroit’s problems built up, even during decades when it seemed to be doing well. It allowed Asian and European companies to shove it aside in its own heartland, and now the Chinese are coming.

    Detroit was not always a basket case. It was the Silicon Valley of the early 20th century, a crucible of US product innovation and flair. All good things, however, come to an end.

    John Gapper is an FT columnist

  286. lexdino says:

    I appreciate the nice posts you have on this blog lol. I found your blog while surfing for paid surveys and other money paid related websites and have been reading some of your other posts here and they were pretty nice. Already bookmarked it and I just wanted to acknowledge you for maintaining a blog like this. Great job, keep it up.
    will return for more next time

  287. Sean says:

    Ohh Barry is PO’ed

    “But Larry you said the recession would be over!”

    http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/456/callieshell2.jpg

  288. Schumpeter says:

    I think the average BFF goes to about 10-12 a week pretty soon…

  289. yikes says:

    re: mindset of own vs. rent

    Things i’ve seen/noticed in the last year since we bought:

    1) Definitely more expensive, on every front imaginable, to own. Crucial to have at least 20k AFTER you buy the house. stuff adds up, quick. (We recently lost a tree, for instance. installed recessed lighting. mounted a TV. things just add up.)

    2) We entertain way, way more at our house (previously in townhouse). had people over frequently during the holidays. in townhouse couldn’t host 10-20 people comfortably, didn’t have a fireplace, and didn’t have the kitchen/basement to store things/have extra fridge. (basement not complete.) also, we can easily fit 6-8 cars in our driveway; townhouse parking can be a mess around the holidays.

    3) i know you’ll laugh, but there’s something for the cliche pride of ownership. there were a few minor problems at the townhouse that we didn’t want to bother the landlord with (leak, cracking wall, drafty door etc) that we pounce on immediately now. i won’t trouble you with other nerdy things like nice neighbors and fun (!) community association meeting.

    obviously owning isnt for everyone. 1 yr in, we’re happy. year 2? who knows.

  290. reinvestor101 says:

    Haven’t been here for awhile to read damn terrorist rantings and couldn’t get more than 12 damn posts in before I see something that pisses me off.

    Hey Jerk, America is spelled with a damn c not a damn k. Tell you what, if you don’t like the damn country, why don’t you just get the hell out? And take that filthy mangy ass flea bitten sniveling damn dog of yours with you.

    Neither one of you appreciates the damn country.

    12.The Condition-Code Red says:
    January 22, 2010 at 6:59 am
    Welcome to the first official day of the Fascist States of Amerika.

    Thanks, SCOTUS. You confirmed yesterday what we already knew.

  291. frank says:

    Buy a home now, before CA buying frenzy reaches NJ and you’ll get outbid on 37 properties.

    “The return to the kind of bidding wars that marked the state’s boom years in some coastal cities hasn’t been welcomed by home buyers. In Orange County, graphics designer Scott Butler put in one of 37 offers on a three-bedroom, two-bath home listed for $350,000 in early September. Mr. Butler bid full price for the home in Mission Viejo, Calif., and offered to put 20% down, but the winning bid went over $430,000, said his agent, Michael Caruso.

    Mr. Butler, 39, who has since given up his search, said he was outbid on more than 20 other homes since early 2009. “It’s very discouraging,” he said.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703822404575019302869755306.html

  292. Morpheus says:

    As I have said before:
    Re 101 is entertaining. Frank is just annoying.

    Well, the impending layoff has not occured as of date. Boss took the “candidates” into his office and told us to “remain calm”.

    I could not stop smirking as this was running through my mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

  293. Morpheus says:

    of course, If I survive, I am sure work will be like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdFLPn30dvQ&feature=related

  294. morph (301)-

    Just more time for you to find your next job and/or steal as many office supplies as you can.

  295. I just have to tell you all how awesome SL is. If you don’t agree, you’re a d!ck.
    Thanks.

  296. Shore Guy says:

    Job-loss “candidates”? That is just plain sick.

  297. Shore Guy says:

    “fun (!) community association meeting”

    No associations for me.

  298. Mocha says:

    out of the NYT today:

    “For the first time in American history, a majority of union members are government workers rather than pirvate-sector employees”

  299. Morpheus says:

    304:
    my words “candidate”, not the boss. There are only 3 of us that are being considered. Only one will be laid off.

    My performance is not at issue. They gave me a bonus approximately 2 weeks before the SHTF.

    as to looking for another job: this is worst hiring environment the legal profession has seen in decades. It will not be easy.

    might as well wait for the axe to fall and then start to look. I have looked at the job listings, but pickings are very, very few.

    Perhaps I am in denial. After working for 22 days straight, perhaps I am just very tired.

    Now let me go clean my house so I brew a belgian wit tommorrow. After all, one must set their priorities.

  300. Morpheus says:

    actually,
    I did not see anything that I qualifed for when I looked last week.

    Hey nom, how’s VT? I will having a “guys” weekend with my son next week (not a John type of weekend!). More skiing instruction for the little guy.

  301. PGC says:

    The wonderful night life in Montclair. You dopn’t get this in Ridgewood.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/01/fists_fly_at_montclair_club_wh.html

  302. d2b says:

    Morph 300-
    This is the first time in 15 years that I feel like I would have a difficult time finding a position. One has a whole new level of appreciation for their present employer when job leads dry up.

    Same thing goes for my wife. We took for granted that jobs would always be there. We are employed, but its different right now.

    The Internet has made it easier for companies to screen. Companies used to advertise for Bookeepers. Now the ad reads bookeeper with XYZ experience with ABC companies.

  303. chicagofinance says:

    The new NAR commercial to be launched during the Superbowl….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trHep0bV8hQ&feature=related

  304. Essex says:

    309. I read NJ.com for the comments alone.

  305. Cindy says:

    @ 313 One-liners? –
    That uncovered this gem…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK-Dqj4fHmM&feature=related

  306. chicagofinance says:

    Relaunching this campaign…

    RE/MAX
    Outstanding agents. Outstanding Results.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su54aO1muOg

  307. Barbara says:

    313.
    Essex

    same

  308. Morpheus says:

    ah. . . beer good. thinking bad.

  309. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    morph, 317

    man.. one little glass of wine and I wake up to this

    WTF just happened??

    sl

  310. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    lost,

    thanks…*blush*.

    sl

  311. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    For a look into the life of the ER doc just see here

    Yes. This happens. Way too often.

    sl

  312. PGC says:

    #318 SL

    Welcome to the United Corporation of America.

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  325. Ahhh Da Colts defense has been playing without three main starters for a while. It’s obvious Powers didn’t play against the Jets to get better. Brock is still a starter just not at DE because Mathis and Freeney are so good. The Saints on the other hand have a bad defense and Manning will light them up. Everyone knows Brees will fumble atleast once. He lost 6/10 fumbles for the season. The saints defense will blow it for them. It’s obvious The Colts defense has gotten better each game. The saints arent very good closers, the Colts are the best at playing 60 mins. Colts by at least 2 tds.

  326. Ceola Poch says:

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