What Recovery? New Home Sales Dive.

From the Wall Street Journal:

New Home Sales Plunge to ’63 Levels

Sales of new single-family homes plunged last month, underscoring the fragility in the housing market.

Sales dropped 11.2% in January from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The decline brought sales to their lowest level since the government began tracking the numbers in 1963. Sales were 6.1% lower than in January 2009.

This gauge of new-home sales is particularly volatile because it is based on a very small sample size and carries a wide margin of error. Still, the sharp decline is an indication that the housing market remains feeble, despite improvements in the past year fueled by low mortgage rates, reduced home prices and a government tax credit for home buyers.

The tax credit, which was expanded and extended, is set to expire April 30. It could lead to an upturn in sales in the next couple of months as buyers rush to take advantage of it, analysts say.

The drop in sales in January triggered an increase in the backlog of unsold new homes on the market, pushing it up to the equivalent of what would normally be sold in 9.1 months versus eight months in December. And the abundance of homes on the market continued to bring prices down. The median sales price for new homes fell 2.4% to $203,500 in January, compared with a year ago.

Faltering demand in the housing market also led to a drop in mortgage applications for both new and existing homes. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 7.3% for the week ended Feb. 19 from the prior week, the advocacy group that represents the real-estate finance industry said Wednesday. It is the index’s lowest level since 1997.

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431 Responses to What Recovery? New Home Sales Dive.

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Real estate developers indicted in alleged $3M mortgage scam in Orange, East Orange

    A trio of real estate developers defrauded banks out of $3 million by enlisting the help of unwitting home buyers, who took out loans on properties in Orange and East Orange at the height of the housing boom, according to a federal grand jury indictment released yesteday.

    Shaheid Bilal, 33, of Lawrenceville, Ga.; Rhonda Payne, 36, of Queens, N.Y.; and Richard Britt, 48, of McDonough, Ga., were arrested Tuesday on charges stemming from a scam involving at least a half-dozen mortgages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said yesterday.

    From 2005 to 2007, the defendants falsified loan applications using “straw purchasers” — unsuspecting home buyers — as a means to obtain home loans, the proceeds of which they eventually pocketed, according to the indictment, which was filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

    The group, incorporated as Nuface Investors, paid the home buyers thousands of dollars in fees, while telling them they weren’t responsible for the loans, according to the indictment.

    Nuface told buyers it would pay the mortgages by renting the properties. Instead, the buyers were left on the hook. As a result, some of the buyers defaulted on their loans, sending some of the properties into foreclosure, the indictment said.

  2. grim says:

    Snowmageddon!

  3. njescapee says:

    not here!!

  4. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Contents of Bernie Madoff’s homes to be auctioned in Morris

    Some of convicted Wall Street swindler Bernie Madoff’s swag is scheduled to be auctioned off in Morris County.

    Morris County Sheriff Edward Rochford said Wednesday that the U.S. Marshal’s Service is working with Daniel Colucci, administrator of the Morris County Public Safety Training Center to select a date for the auction, probably in late April.

    Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty last year to running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that defrauded thousands of investors small and large. He was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison.

    James Plousis, U.S Marshal for the New Jersey District, said the auction will feature the contents of Madoff’s three-bedroom Manhattan penthouse, a home in Montauk, N.Y., and the contents of the New Jersey home of Madoff’s chief financial officer, Frank Di Pascali. The bulk of the auction items will be furniture and items from the home and home offices, he said.

  5. grim says:

    From NBC:

    AT LEAST 30 WILDWOOD CITY EMPLOYEES LAID OFF

    Mayor Gary DeMarzo confirmed Wednesday evening that at least 30 city employees received layoff notices Wednesday.

    Speaking to nbc 40 prior to the city’s bi-monthly commissioner meeting, the mayor could not release many details, however he says the layoffs span throughout the city’s numerous departments.

    Mayor DeMarzo was sworn into office in December after a special election recalled former mayor Ernie Troiano after residents complained of high taxes and wasteful municipal spending.

  6. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Two police recruits axed in Glen Ridge layoffs

    Two Glen Ridge police recruits will graduate from the Essex County Police Academy Thursday, but they won’t have a patrol job to go to.

    The officers found out today the council had decided to lay them off to help bridge a $520,000 revenue shortfall in this year’s budget, said Glen Ridge Police Chief John R. Magnier. The borough, however, is allowing them to return to their previous jobs as dispatchers.

    “This is the first time it’s happened in Glen Ridge, to my knowledge,” said Magnier, who has worked for the department for about 25 years. “Glen Ridge has always been financially prudent, so it’s a shock to everybody that the town is in the financial lows that it’s finding itself in.”

    But, Magnier acknowledged, many municipalities in New Jersey are finding themselves in similar predicaments.

  7. serenity now says:

    Hey Grim , possible weekend discussion topic….
    A Commercial Dead Pool
    Some contestants for consideration
    1)Citibank
    2)US Post Office
    3)Fannie Mae
    4)MTA
    5Xanadu
    6)Hovnanian
    Winner gets free bottle of Knob Creek.

  8. grim says:

    House of the day – New Jersey Retreat – WSJ

    Purchased: $2.15 million
    Upgrades: $400 thousand

    Asking: $1.795 million

    Reason for selling: Leaving NJ and willing to take a $700,000 loss to do it.

  9. Scofflaw Pete says:

    “Bernie Madoff’s swag is scheduled to be auctioned”

    Swag: Noun, from the acronyms “stuff we ain’t getting” and “stuff we all get.”

  10. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Sick of snow, Shore-goers locking in summer rentals

    Despite the snow – or maybe because of it – the number of Jersey Shore vacationers who have locked in their summer rentals may actually be up, say coastal real estate agents.

    Lousy weather “inspires more people to think about the summer and get going on finding a rental property for their vacation,” theorized Deedra Bowen of Ocean City’s Berger Realty, which has the keys to roughly 2,500 units.

    The resort has 15,000 rental units, more than any other Shore town. Weekly rates run from $1,500 several blocks from the water to $15,000 for multistory beachfront luxury, Jacuzzi included. The average three- or four-bedroom place a few blocks back is $3,200, said Bowen, who is the rental manager at Berger.

    Folks “get finished shoveling that driveway and say to themselves, ‘That’s it. We’re going to the beach this summer,’ ” she said.

    Berger and her colleagues from Long Beach Island to Cape May say that after a slow start made worse by the snowstorm double-whammy before Presidents’ Day weekend – the traditional launch of search season – the number of bookings in June, July, and August is up about 10 percent over last year at this time.

  11. veto that says:

    if this economy officially turns into a depression, do we switch from bottled to tap water?

  12. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    McCann: 1,500 layoffs if Christie cuts school aid
    | | JERSEY CITY — The Jersey City Board of Education at their Feb. 18 meeting saw school board member and former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann announce a doomsday scenario for the Jersey City school district: 1,500 school employees would have to be laid off before the next school year.

    He was referring to Gov. Chris Christie’s recent announcement that school districts across New Jersey should brace themselves for cuts, as much as 15 percent, in school aid for the 2010-2011 school year to tackle a $11 billion budget deficit in the next fiscal year.

    “We need to understand that this is a serious problem that we are facing,” McCann said.

    To put Christie’s proposed 15 percent cut in perspective, if the state aid amount for this school year stays the same next year, the Jersey City school district could potentially get $62 million less in the next school year’s budget. The budget for the next school year is usually approved by the board then voted on by the public at the April school board election.
    http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/6441236/article–McCann–1-500-layoffs-if-Christie-cuts-school-aid-?instance=up_to_the_minute_jersey

  13. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (8)-

    This guy is right up the hill from me. The place is like a hotel in the Catskills. Ugly as homemade sin.

  14. confused in NJ says:

    The National Weather Service is projecting a high of 23″ in Sussex County. Snowmaggedon.

  15. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (8)-

    Whoa! Wrong house…these guys are NEAR the ugly one, and the exteriors are eerily similar. This one is at least nice on the inside.

    The ugly one has a ballroom that looks like Leonard’s of Great Neck.

  16. Final Doom says:

    serenity (9)-

    You left out Abe Vigoda.

  17. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    “It is conceivable that housing will not go much lower from here if Bernanke continues on the path of fiscal stimulus.

    If I had 1 million dollars and had to choose between cash, US bonds, or real estate. I would pick real estate.”

    Marc Faber 2/24
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkuwZ5xKJ3I

  18. Final Doom says:

    Al (14)-

    Cut, cut, cut. Force this thing to a head!

    If the only way to get things done in NJ is to force showdowns, so be it.

  19. Final Doom says:

    al (19)-

    That is not necessarily a good thing.

  20. Shore Guy says:

    “The decline brought sales to their lowest level since the government began tracking the numbers in 1963”

    Is this in terms of units sold or has the population increase since 1963 factored into the calculation?

  21. Cindy says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704240004575085344139674042.html

    This is filed under “Did you know?”

    In a 3-2 Vote, SEC Limits Short Sales

  22. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto

    we are already in a stealth depression. The general definition of a depression is a 10% drop in GDP. We would already have a 10+% drop in GDP without the TRILLIONS in govenment money dumped into the market.

  23. john says:

    Newsday reported today that houses in Nassau country are rising in value, same for NYC, low rates and 17% higher bonuses are helping. That plus there is a lot of unvested retention bonuses and stock grants from early 2009 that are making people feel richer on paper.

  24. Yikes says:

    financial woman on GMA absolutely clueless. she advises to be in 80-90% stocks.

    anchor says, ‘80%? after what we’ve seen the last few years?’

    financial woman: ‘absolutely. stocks outperform everything else in the long term.’

    that, of course, was the ‘last word.’

    no mention of what gold has done in the last 10 years vs. stocks.

    speaking of … WHERE’S BC BOB???

  25. Final Doom says:

    cindy (23)-

    the SEC just unwittingly packed another basketball-sized chunk of plutonium into the trip-wired bomb.

    When this thing finally blows, it’s back to the 16th century.

  26. Final Doom says:

    The Olympics still seem like a desperate singles’ weekend.

  27. Cindy says:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a7ZeWzn42KX4

    Clot – If you liked that one – You’ll love this….

    Opinion: Jonathan Weil – Bloomberg

    “Suing Wall Street Banks Never Looked So Shady” – FASB-

  28. Final Doom says:

    yikes (26)-

    Just another ratchet up in the pump cycle.

    The next dump is gonna be epic.

    RE always goes up…stocks outperform in the long term…gold is for nutjobs…

    All we can do is slay the shibboleths, march to the beat of common sense and prepare for final doom.

  29. frank says:

    Cut, Cut, cut, it’s about time. Lay them all off.

  30. Cindy says:

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/02/25/88382/massachusetts-lawsuit-claims-banks.html

    Massachusetts lawsuit claims banks not helping with mortgage modifications

    seeking class action status….

  31. Cindy says:

    The salary cuts and furlough days I am looking at will take me back to the year 2000…my own lost decade.

  32. still_looking says:

    must.not.feed.the.troll.please.help.must.not feed.the.troll

    sl

  33. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (32)-

    Starving hyenas fighting over crumbs.

    The empire is dead. We are Haiti with building codes.

  34. still_looking says:

    in case it’s not obvious, 34 is for 31.

    sl

  35. Final Doom says:

    Cindy (33)-

    For most of us, it’s economic “game over” for the rest of our lives.

    I feel like my kids might be overcoming this when they get to be around my age.

  36. Final Doom says:

    sl (36)-

    My idea of fun would be watching you handle frank in a triage situation.

  37. Final Doom says:

    “Tube him!!!!”

  38. Cindy says:

    Before anybody gets on me …Let me be clear:

    I am lucky to have a job…I have no idea what grade level I will teach or what school I will be assigned to but…I have a job. For that – I am truly grateful.

  39. Final Doom says:

    …or just toss him in a corner and let him die.

  40. safeashouses says:

    Any chance the e-con-omists will figure out the drop in new home sales is caused by a combination of 10% unemployment and in some of the collapsed housing areas reos and short sales are going for less then replacement value.

  41. 3b says:

    #19 I would pick real estate.”
    Why? the property taxes kills it.

  42. Final Doom says:

    safe (42)-

    Only positive spinning of the facts is allowed in the joyous new Amerika.

  43. The empire is dead. We are Haiti with building codes.

    Alright, you made me LOL at that.
    And the empire is dead, the corpse is going to stick around for a while though.

  44. still_looking says:

    Final,

    You got something against a nice large Foley?

    sl

  45. still_looking says:

    Also, death not an option. Not worth the paperwork.

    sl

  46. Mr Hyde says:

    Yikes

    bc is on a beach with a fruity drink

  47. Mr Hyde says:

    Tosh doom

    the corpse has been put on a heart-lung machine so that it appears to still have a pulse

    …SL,
    Yes I know there is no pulse when you use a heart-lung machine

  48. Final Doom says:

    Strategic default, CRE-style. You can apply this scenario to virtually every stripmall/small office bldg CRE owner in NJ. This is one of the big chunks of plutonium in the “Back To the 17th Century” machine:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/02/commercial-real-estate-deal-gone-sour.html

  49. renter says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/35545569?__source=RSS*blog*&par=RSS

    The Mortgage Walkaway Number
    “Negative $70,000.”

    I thought it would be higher than this.

  50. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 48

    they are the innovators. If we were smart nj would have already started bulldozing Camden, Newark, and a whole list of other towns

  51. Has anyone posted the
    Michael Lewis Portfolio
    article on the end of investment banks yet?
    If not, click away. Long but good.

  52. Final Doom says:

    sl (46)-

    Hit him where it hurts. :)

  53. Final Doom says:

    veto (48)-

    Like Dresden after the bombs.

  54. Shore Guy says:

    “a nice large Foley?”

    Some people would take this as a compliment: “they hadto use the JUMBO sized one on me.”

  55. Final Doom says:

    “The rise in negative equity is closely tied to increases in pre-foreclosure activity and is a major factor in changing homeowner default behavior. Once negative equity exceeds 25 percent, or the mortgage balance is $70,000 higher than the current property values, owners begin to default with the same propensity as investors.”

    Long walk home…

  56. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    43.

    I think Faber is referring to farm land. Any hope for NJ is resting squarely on the Fat Mans ability to cut spending massively.

    Were probably looking at a 30-50% dollar devaluation by the end of the year with a total collapse of the dollar by 2012. What replaces it is up for speculation but a new fiat wont work.

  57. Veto That says:

    “We would already have a 10+% drop in GDP without the TRILLIONS in govenment money dumped into the market.”

    Ket, if there wasn’t any traffic in the morning, i could get to work in twelve minutes. But there is traffic so it takes me forty minutes. Its really not worth mentioning my first sentance since it will never happen.

  58. Final Doom says:

    Remember, kids, Ron Paul is crazy and not to be trusted.

    “Today, Ron Paul accused the Federal Reserve of having a hand in nefarious plots such as Watergate and arming Saddam Hussein.

    A 1992 article in the Los Angeles Times reports that the Fed had only a minor, indirect role in providing loans to Saddam (it was mainly the Department of Agriculture which made the loans, with backing from the State and Treasury Departments). The Times article also appears to say that most of the government officials involved thought that Saddam would use the loans for humanitarian purposes, and paints the Fed as the most reluctant of the involved agencies.

    However, in 2008, the University of Texas published a book by Robert D. Auerbach – an economist with the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee for eleven years, assisting with oversight of the Federal Reserve, and subsequently Professor of Public Affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin – which seems to support Paul’s questions.

    In Deception and Abuse at the Fed, Auerbach claims:

    Major instances of Fed mismanagement and abuse of power that were exposed by [House Financial Services Committee Chairman/Ranking Member Henry] Gonzalez, including:

    Blocking Congress and the public from holding powerful Fed officials accountable by falsely declaring—for 17 years—it had no transcripts of its meetings;

    Manipulating the stock and bond markets in 1994 under cover of a preemptive strike against inflation;

    Allowing $5.5 billion to be sent to Saddam Hussein from a small Atlanta branch of a foreign bank—the result of faulty bank examination practices by the Fed;

    Stonewalling Congressional investigations and misleading the Washington Post about the $6,300 found on the Watergate burglars.

    [snip]

    Moreover, a 1982 article from the Miluawakee Sentinel alleges:

    Police who searched the room the Watergate burglars used found $4,200 in $100 dollar bills, all numbered in sequence. [Senator] Proxmire asked the Federal Reserve Board where the money came from. As he explained in a letter to the late Rep. Wright Patman (D-Tex.), chairman of the House Banking Committee: “I got the biggest run-around [from the Federal Reserve] in years. They ducked, misled, lied, and gave me the idiot treatment.”

    I don’t yet have an opinion as to what this means, whether Auerbach has his facts right, or whether his allegations – if true – really amount to proving that the Fed had a major role in arming Saddam or stonewalling Congressional investigators about Watergate.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/did-ron-paul-just-play-clever-game-fed

  59. still_looking says:

    shore,

    we use the big one to get thru the big prostate….we have the “shorty” ones for those with…[ahem]…shorter urethras.

    need a gauge? Google jonah falcon. there’s your gauge.

    sl

  60. Veto That says:

    Ket i would pay money for a ride on the bull dozer that blights anything on hlasey street. I used to work for a bank with a branch there and you could set a watch to a robbery every two weeks.

  61. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Anyone else think the future of US auto industry rests in DC’s ability to torpedo the competition? First we piss off China with Taiwan and Tibet. Now we are hammering the Japs with Toyota while building bombs for Iran.

    The Great Game. Excellent marketing technique to get Asia to keep buying treasuries.

  62. Final Doom says:

    I’d say when you have Congress testing cars like they were Consumer Reports, you have a massive gubmint effort to destroy an industry competitor.

    Gubmint Motors is more than a catch-all punchline. It’s serious business, playing for keeps. More troubling, it’s also confirmation that we’ve become a completely fascist state, with gubmint hand-in-hand with chosen and favored industries.

    The pace of victim testimonies and tearful tales of unwitting victims only grows.

  63. #65 – Anyone else think the future of US auto industry rests….

    Honestly, I don’t think there is a future. Chrylser is dead, GM has a decade and Ford is becoming the Rover group of the US.
    Maybe Ford can pull it out, but as nothing more than an ‘also ran’. Maybe the Jeep brand can survive on its own, maybe.
    But GM or Ford compete with VW/Renault/Toyota and the rising Chinese makers? Nope.
    The current flap with Toyota isn’t enough to fundamentally hurt the brand. Not like Audi’s ‘unintended acceleration syndrome’, which almost killed it.
    Suppose Toyota does lose a lot of sales in the long term, why think these would be picked up by US makers? Why not Hyundai and Honda?

    Also, Toyota could just start pulling plants out of the US well before any treasury action.

  64. Final Doom says:

    Susceptible public? Check.

    Gubmint direction of industry (and, vice-versa)? Check.

    Suppression of dissent? Check.

    Compliant media, bolstering the cult of personality? Check.

    Italy, 1936.

  65. Final Doom says:

    tosh (67)-

    Honda has pricing power and a more reliable product. Toyota was an easier target. Nice for the gubmint to get an easy win and get some practice in the art of sinking foreign competitors.

    I’m sure we’ll find a way to torpedo Honda eventually.

  66. #66 Gubmint Motors is more than a catch-all punchline. It’s serious business, playing for keeps

    No argument on that. The problem is perception though. Perception of quality and value. GM is still perceived to be cheap and bad. GM has done almost nothing to really counter this. Witness the cheapness to the interiors of Cadillacs (I’m talking about the quality of the materials used as well as fit and finish). Until they fix issues like that it’s a no go. Getting Congress to traumatize Toyota just delays the inevitable.

  67. Painhrtz says:

    Clot I’m sticking by my Il Duce nametag for glorious leader. Canada has a nicer version of socialism maybe I’ll try them instead

  68. #69 – Nice for the gubmint to get an easy win and get some practice in the art of sinking foreign competitors.

    Agreed, I just think it’s too little far far too late.

  69. Veto That says:

    This all out lambasting of Toyota is nothing more than a trade barrier by another name.

    The only thing that has me scratching my head is why Toyota is so agreeable to their own flogging.

    If I was Toyota CEO, i would respond, “Umm hello?? have you tested the safety and reliablity of american cars lately?”

  70. #73 – The Toyota execs could have volunteered using the TN or AR plants to hold the hearings in. They could even clear out enough room for everyone, might require some layoffs though.

  71. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Activate the PPT.

  72. Bystander says:

    Cor-slime says we are all envious of Goldman. How did we elect this POS??

    Goldman Is Unpopular Because ‘It Brings Envy,’

    By Michael J. Moore and Deirdre Bolton

    Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, is unpopular because some people envy its performance, said Jon Corzine, the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer.

    “When you’re successful it brings envy,” Corzine, 63, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview. “People are broadly frustrated with the financial institutions, and since it is the leader of the industry and has shown great success over a long period of time, I think it’s more vulnerable.”

  73. Final Doom says:

    pain (71)-

    Canada is proof positive that soci@lism makes people dull and listless.

    An entire nation of pie-faced mooks, if you ask me. And still, they are nearly as degenerate as we are.

  74. Veto That says:

    If someone can get a clip of the fat man adddressing the conference of mayors yesterday, you will ROFLYAO.

    It was basically like a comedy schtick, when he says,
    “i wish i could tell you our finances are going to get better, (long pause).
    But they’re not…(with small smirk)”

    And then he looks at all of them with a priceless stare while the whole room is completely silence and the tension could be sensed from a mile away.

  75. Final Doom says:

    Corslime should’ve died in that car crash. What a pompous sack of shit.

  76. Ben says:

    “If I was Toyota CEO, i would respond, “Umm hello?? have you tested the safety and reliablity of american cars lately?””

    A better way to put it is to state the statistics on deaths by car model. I’m pretty sure that the Corolla with the sticky gas pedal still ends up being safer than most models.

    My gas pedal got stuck once in my mustang. I was getting onto Rt 18 and I floored it. By the time I hit 4th gear, I was up to about 65 mph. I let go of the gas so that I wouldn’t much beyond 75 mph. Next thing I know, I’m at 95 and my engine is close to redlining. Breaking did nothing. The pedal was stuck on the carpet. I threw it into neutral and hit the breaks while I reached down and pulled the carpet back. Problem solved. I don’t understand how it doesn’t occur to any of these people to throw the car in neutral or at the very least, turn the friggin thing off.

  77. Veto That says:

    Al –
    The PPT had delayed opening this morning because of snow. They will be in around 12:30 to turn this thing around.

  78. Final Doom says:

    Corslime should also add that the most ruthless and successful at GS all conspired to kick his sorry, loser ass out the door.

  79. Ben says:

    Real estate will end up being a winning proposition for most people that buy in the next year or two. It doesn’t matter that it’s overpriced. With the inflation that will hit in the next 5 years, as long as you finance your purchase, you’ll see the debt you owe on your house wiped away. The only thing that has kept me from pulling the trigger is that there have been much better opportunities to make money elsewhere.

  80. Yikes says:

    Comrade – (from yesterday)

    So if you move to PA to NJ (which is an entire discussion itself), you dont have to register your weapons?

    scenario: You don’t register them. An intruder comes into your house and you shoot them and kill them.

    Then what?

  81. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    76.

    Bystander,

    Dont forget they are doing God’s work.

  82. Ben says:

    “I think Faber is referring to farm land. Any hope for NJ is resting squarely on the Fat Mans ability to cut spending massively.

    Were probably looking at a 30-50% dollar devaluation by the end of the year with a total collapse of the dollar by 2012. What replaces it is up for speculation but a new fiat wont work.”

    Faber is hyperbullish on farm land but he was referring to real estate in general. At this point, most people are forced to choose between stocks, bonds, cash, or real estate. Their idiot financial advisers still don’t know what gold and silver are. His message is that real estate will easily outperform cash over the next 10 years. Even if it’s real estate that has another 20% to fall.

  83. Final Doom says:

    yikes-

    One should have a handgun, passport and at least $1,000 in their glove compartment at all times.

  84. 3b says:

    #83 Maybe where you are, but where I am we are looking at 10-12K a year in property taxes and rising. In fact the preliinary numbers they are talking in my town so far this year would indicate an increase of over 10%.

    That is why I am looking at property taxes first

  85. safeashouses says:

    Dubai springs another leak.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100225/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_dubai_mall

    The big aquarium at the mall of Dubai is leaking.

  86. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    87.

    Dont forget the potassium iodide, hand sanitizer, 1 oz Kronas, and surgical mask.

  87. Yikes says:

    Morpheus says:
    February 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    305 Veto:
    the weapon will be 9mm carbine. Probably hi-point firearms…Cheap, lifetime warranty. . .made in USA. People love ‘em or hate ‘em.

    lemme know when you step into the Bigs and grab a Sig Sauer 40 cal. if there’s a cop at the range when you’re there with that gun, chances are he’ll compliment you on it. it’ll be better than whatever he’s packing

  88. Final Doom says:

    My pal at the SEC probably needs to be looking for the exit.

    “The now-legendary whistleblower who first exposed Bernard Madoff’s massive $65 billion Ponzi scam is back and he’s full of righteous rage.

    Harry Markopolos, who avoids the limelight and tends to hang up on reporters, is lashing out at the new leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator which notoriously ignored his warnings for years and has apologized for its failure to detect Madoff’s fraud.

    Asked about SEC chair Mary Shapiro and her stated determination to catch fraud on Wall Street, Markopolos tells the upcoming New York Times magazine that “she has the wrong staff. They’re a bunch of idiots there.” In particular, he criticizes the five commissioners of the SEC, who are securities lawyers, claiming that they don’t understand finance and that the agency is over-lawyered.

    He also was not impressed with Schapiro when he met with her last year, calling her “coldly polite” and saying that her general counsel David Becker “was getting ready to come across the coffee table and strangle me.”

    Markopolos does praise the SEC’s new head of enforcement Robert Khuzami. He also adds that he was once invited to meet Madoff but that he’s not interested in hearing “his lies.”

    Markopolos’s new book about how he uncovered Madoff’s fraud, “No One Would Listen,” which contains a foreword from famous short-seller and Greenlight Capital president David Einhorn, is due to be released next week.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/24/madoff-whistleblower-slam_n_474908.html

  89. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [10] grim

    If the seller has income of 1MM per year, and leaves NJ for FL, he recovers that loss in about 8 years, just on the tax savings.

    And that doesn’t factor in eventual inheritance tax savings, and the fact that they may be replacing a 40K property tax bill with a 10K one.

    Consider those factors, and the homeowner recovers the loss in 6-7 years (assuming 1MM in taxable income).

  90. Painhrtz says:

    yikes I’ll take my 870 marine model for the close range stuff. I’ll be cycling it before the perp even raises that pistol.

    a shotgun with buck shot from hte hip is beeter than any handgun. Handguns are weapons of last resort

  91. Final Doom says:

    Ben (83)-

    RE’s cost-of-carry is too crippling to make it a decent investment vs anything. Also, way too illiquid for these dangerous times.

    If you can’t touch it, transport it in your car it or sell/trade/barter it immediately, don’t own it.

  92. Painhrtz says:

    and my spelling still sucks

  93. Veto That says:

    Ben.
    Remember our conversation about Agg Demand?
    you should look into the ‘crowd out’ model. It addresses the neg effects of govt spending/intervention and admits to the long run risks to private industry.

  94. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [84] yikes

    My understanding is exactly that. There is no registration requirement in NJ (you can register what you already own, but its voluntary). So if you move here, and you already own guns, you need not do anything.

    Regulation is on purchases. You need an id to purchase anything, even ammo.

    One problem however is that NJ bans a lot of guns that are legal elsewhere. Even a common .22 that was given to 12 year olds back in the day is banned here because it is a “tube loader” and the magazine holds more than 5 rounds. Also, the law is written so that the cops can essentially ban anything they like if it has features in common with an assault rifle (like a barrel or trigger–see where I am going with this?), or if it could hold a magazine with more than 5 rounds. So my Mini-14, which is not on the banned list, could be banned because other Ruger .223s are on the list, if the judge says it resembles the banned guns, or they could ban it because it will accept a larger magazine (even though I don’t have one). Given the vagueness of that provision, I expect it would be challenged successfully though.

    Full disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice, or is intended as a legal interpretation of N.J. law. Readers are not intended to, and may not, rely on the foregoing as legal advice. Readers interested in this topic should consult their attorneys.

  95. 3b says:

    #95 Thats why I think if one is still inclined to buy, than go FHA (assuming that does not blow up in the next year or so).

  96. Final Doom says:

    yikes (91)-

    If Morph’s wife is Asian, I wanna watch her fire that 9mm.

    Asian women firing guns is sexy.

  97. Veto That says:

    3b – 3% down fha increases the cost to carry – by a lot. Plus they double the closing costs when they see you are a 3% down dead beat.

    I know alot of people like the idea of setting themselves up for strat default ‘just in case’ but im against that 3% down strategy.

    if the chance of walking away is really that high, then renting is prob the best option.

  98. Final Doom says:

    Veto (101)-

    I’ve had the uneasy feeling for the past few months that the current crop of FHA borrowers has immediate default in mind as a possible strategy.

    I got a short sale prospect call yesterday from an FHA borrower who closed in Dec ’08 and only made payments until April ’09. The minute she and her hubby hit a rough patch, they stopped paying the mortgage. FIVE MONTHS IN.

    You don’t do something like that unless you’ve thought about it ahead of time.

  99. Final Doom says:

    Staying in your house for up to two years- at the cost of only a 3.5% DP and keeping the power and heat on- is cheaper than renting. Getting into a program that gives you cash-for-keys at the end is also a big plus.

    All for a 50-100 point hit to FICO that you can begin to erase within 24 months? Best deal going.

  100. Final Doom says:

    BTW, all this is a great entree into HUD/FHA for organized crime (as we discussed yesterday).

  101. relo says:

    93: Plus, they can have thier pick of similar FL houses at 50% less than what their eventual selling price is on the NJ home.

    And they’d be at the beach today.

  102. Veto That says:

    “Staying in your house for up to two years- at the cost of only a 3.5% DP and keeping the power and heat on- is cheaper than renting.”

    Clot, no way is this true by me. Maybe your market is different.
    A 3% down mortgage would put my monthly nut way beyond anything i could rent in similar size/condition. For the rent/own ratios to even look reasonable, all in, you need 25-30% down.

  103. Ben says:

    “Remember our conversation about Agg Demand?
    you should look into the ‘crowd out’ model. It addresses the neg effects of govt spending/intervention and admits to the long run risks to private industry.”

    Any decent person who has been trained in science (cough…cough…me) would immediately dismiss the idea of aggregate demand from the get go. It makes the assumption that our entire economy buys and sells a single product.

    An economy grows by shifting production in to the sectors that are in demand and bringing new products to the market. How can we bring new products to the market with a policy that assumes all products are equal?

    Any model of the macroeconomy that is constructed fails right away. The economy is a system that evolves and the brilliant mathematicians who try to model have consistently demonstrated throughout history that despite their superior mathematical skills, they are completely devoid of logic and common sense.

  104. Veto That says:

    “It makes the assumption that our entire economy buys and sells a single product.”

    That is not what ive gathered at all. there is a different supply/demand curve for every product and that is discussed ad naseum in any eco book ive ever seen.

    also, while you may be a superior scientist, lets remind ourselves that economics is not an exact science.

  105. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 106

    “Staying in your house for up to two years- at the cost of only a 3.5% DP and keeping the power and heat on- is cheaper than renting.”

    I think you missed clots point.

    Staying in a house for 2 years (Without paying the house note) and only heat, power and the original DP is cheaper then renting for 2 year

    The other nice aspect is that in todays world, sudden unexpected unemployment happens, and its tough to find ANY other job.

    In a rental your out in 6 months tops if you run out of money. While ina house you can probably live for 2+ years without paying. Its a hedge of sorts

  106. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto,

    Did you ever read that Von Mises article i linked for you? It addresses the debate between you and ben.

  107. Veto That says:

    109, ok i see. thats definately cheaper. lol.
    thanks,

  108. Veto That says:

    hyde no but i meant to. i will drudge it up and print.

  109. I’ve been debating the FHA route versus conventional for a while now.

    I’m in the Veto That camp on this one. FHA is an expensive insurance policy. The MIP is 1.5%, so on a 500K loan, you are talking about $7,500. Then you must pay the extra .5% above the conventional interest rate, which works out to $155 per month or almost another $2,000 per year. After one year, you will have paid almost $10,000 for strategic default insurance.

    So if your ultimate goal is to F the banks, then Clot is right. It’s probably your best move and significantly cheaper then renting. Especially if your credit is already somewhat tarnished.

    If your goal is to plan to buy a home to live in for at least the next 7 years, rather then planning to get one over on da man, then you are probably better off renting until home prices bottom and then consider purchasing one conventionally.

    Of course, the smaller the loan, the cheaper will be the cost of the strategic default insurance (FHA) so it might make more sense as a hedge against falling home prices.

    Ultimately, the real issue is, until the rent vs. own cost equation gets closer to even, one should probably just rent and save the difference.

  110. Ben says:

    “That is not what ive gathered at all. there is a different supply/demand curve for every product and that is discussed ad naseum in any eco book ive ever seen.

    also, while you may be a superior scientist, lets remind ourselves that economics is not an exact science.”

    I agree, there is a supply/demand curve for the thousands of products/commodities on the market today. What Keynesian theory does is try to group all those supply/demand curves into a single curve. Theoretically, it would be a linear combination of every single supply/demand curve in existence. To get an accurate aggregate supply/demand curve, you would need to employ the labor of a few thousand analysts and hope they are good at their job. But even when you do, the idea of stimulating aggregate demand is flawed from a basic perspective. By stimulating aggregate demand, you pump prime demand in industries that need to contract. This is incredibly inefficient. In order to properly stimulate demand, the government needs to clearly understand the supply/demand fundamentals of each and every industry and act according. For example, right now, they shouldn’t be stimulating housing, but they possibly should be stimulating something like oil exploration. Unfortunately, no person or group of people is smart enough to actively figure out every industries fundamentals. The only force that has ever naturally corrected the supply/demand fundamentals of every industry is the power of the market.

  111. Mikinwaiting says:

    Snowing like the end of the world up in Northwest Sussex.Expecting over 20 in, not fun.

  112. Ben says:

    John P. Hussman described the average Academic Economist by saying that they don’t actually study the economy. They think of an economy as “Two islands, a bridge, and 5 guys named Jack. One of the guys named Jack is the government, but no one knows it.”

  113. In other news, the teachers union in Montclair has decided to reopen their contract to salary negotiations now that the BOE has threatened to lay off fifty of them.

    If I were them, I would demand that the administration must also cut their salaries at least an equal amount in proportion to what the teachers commit to.

    Unfortunately, I already know how this ends. Teachers give up .5% of their 2.5% increase. Administrators end up cutting all of their unnecessary secretaries and assistants and the town will raise property taxes to make up the other 80% of the gap.

  114. safeashouses says:

    #100 Doom,

    “Asian women firing guns is sexy.”

    If my MIL ever comes over another visit, feel free to take her to the range.

  115. Ben says:

    “also, while you may be a superior scientist, lets remind ourselves that economics is not an exact science.”

    This is my main point. There are some things in economics that are very scientific. For example, the Law of Supply & Demand is one that is pretty set in stone.

    When we get into the field of “macroeconomics”, it’s a complete garbage science filled with garbage theories, assumptions, and equations. None of them work and most of them don’t even hold up when you back test them against historical economic data from the 1800s. The entire field is filled with a bunch of Academics who are completely intellectually dishonest and refuse to acknowledge whenever they’ve been proven wrong. Macroecon will never be a science simply because you cannot take an evolving system involving billions of unique individual actors and constrain it to a fixed model.

    It’s like assuming that you 100% every single detail of the Human body (from every organ to every single strip of DNA) based on the idea that we understand nearly everything about a small bacterium.

    As a side note. One week, I buried myself in the Rutgers public library and read economic texts dating back to the 19th century. I even found some price data and currency values on old microfilm that was recorded before America gained it’s independence. You would be surprised to see what Keynesian economists were predicting in the 1940s. When WW2 ended, they were predicting a World Wide Depression. During the 1970s, they were writing how the US government needs to print money and run large deficits to get us out of recession. In the early 1980s, they predicted massive inflation along with economic recovery. In the beginning of this decade, they were screaming deflation. They have been consistently wrong 100% of the time. Through some miracle, they somehow still manage to exist and stay employed by Universities. Oh wait, they get grant money from the Federal Government. Nevermind…

  116. 3b says:

    #113 Of course, the smaller the loan, the cheaper will be the cost of the strategic default insurance (FHA) so it might make more sense as a hedge against falling home prices.

    That is the way I am looking at it,as the loan I will be taking will be relatively small (assuming we still want to even buy a house in this area we have already decide not to purchase in pur current town). Plus I would rather hoard the cash,and pay it out in increments as an insurance premiu over the years, rather than put it all down in the form of a down payment. I do think your time frame of 7 years is way too short however; I would double that time frame at a minimum.

  117. Ben says:

    FHA was doomed from the get go. 20% isn’t a magical number we invented for a down payment. It was a number that has been consistent for hundreds of years that ensured a low probability of loan default. Every time the banking industry has dipped below that, it has always ended in prices spiking and then crashing.

  118. 3b says:

    #106 A 3% down mortgage would put my monthly nut way beyond anything i could rent in similar size/condition. For the rent/own ratios to even look reasonable, all in, you need 25-30% down.

    That won’t last.

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [95] doom

    “It don’t signify to you with your brilliant look-out, but … as to myself, my guiding- star always is, ‘Get hold of portable property.'”

    Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.

  120. Mikeinwaiting says:

    My town Vernon is filing for bankruptcy.
    Looked at budget the other day posted here it showed a 174k surplus. It would seem they built this huge sewage waste site (septic) & it was off the budget now broke.
    Now it keeps getting better school system will lose 5 mil in state aid on a 70 mil budget. So glad I rent, now looking to other towns in area in better shape to buy. Taxes will go through the roof. This will be fun to watch from my low cost rental

  121. 3b says:

    #101 I would not do it to walk way, but rtaher simply to hoard my cash,and pay out the insurance premium in increments over the years, vs. putting 20% or more down on a house,and having that money gone for years, perhaps forever. Keep in mind I purchased my first hosue during the last bubble,and sold it 10 years later for #2500 less than I paid for it,and that was with some substanial improvements (in a bergen co, blue ribbon train town).

  122. 3b says:

    #124 We recently made a decesion to leave the town we have been in for years, due to the tax situation, have one child left in the school system, who will be finished shortly. There is no real reason to stay, except that we were here for so long.

  123. veto that says:

    “Staying in a house for 2 years (Without paying the house note) is cheaper then renting for 2 years.”

    Hyde, Clot, 3b,
    Stupid me. i’ve been focusing on the rent/own ratio when i should have been looking at the rent/default ratio.

    you’re right, its cheaper every time to not pay.

    This relationship also applies to credit cards and student loans. lol.

    Next model im looking at is desk job / bank heist ~ bang for buck. Havent worked out all the calculations yet but from the initial data it seems like the bank robbery is the way to go since you are only looking at 2-5 yrs in the klink if you dont shooot anyone. And then you can go dig up the buried $1M gold bars whereas most people can only make $300-500K in that time period. plus, gold price will triple by then.

    Strat def bank heist combo is the new dollar cost avg into the 401k.

  124. veto that says:

    “I purchased my first house during the last bubble,and sold it 10 years later for #2500 less than I paid for it”

    3b wonder why nobody was doing strat defaults during early 90s if they were underwater then too? Was that something you considered back then?

  125. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [124] mike

    Maybe time to offer to enter into a longer lease? (and make sure it doesn’t have a tax escalator clause).

  126. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax News of the Day:

    (you heard it here first, folks)

    “Increasing Taxes on Multinational Companies Would Be Counterproductive, Panelist Says

    A panelist at a discussion on valuing U.S. global investments said Feb. 24 that the administration’s policy of increasing taxes on multinational corporations “doesn’t sit well” and will not double exports in the next five years.

    Gary Hufbauer, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C., addressed two situations involving taxes. The first is the situation where foreigners pay less taxes than Americans. Certain foreign investors do not pay taxes on capital income derived from the United States, Hufbauer explained, which “invites capital inflow on a large scale.”

    The second situation was increasing taxes on U.S. multinational corporations. Hufbauer said that for the last 30 years many of the large multinational corporations are directly responsible for a majority of sales in the country and if these multinational corporations are taxed at higher rates, a number of these corporations will move their headquarters out of the U.S.
    One example cited by Hufbauer was that a corporation could move to Toronto.
    Hufbauer said that the administration should change its rhetoric about taxing the multinational corporations before Congress does it for them.

    Hufbauer said that liberalization has been responsible in the last 20 years for direct investment in the United States, but he added that the future “does not look good.”

    In an article that Hufbauer co-authored, he said that the United States should “say farewell to tirades” against the multinational corporations and instead the U.S. tax system should be reformed to create a more business-friendly environment.

    He said that simplifying the tax regime and cutting the statutory tax rate to 25 percent made more sense than singling out U.S. multinational corporations for tax punishment. . . .”

    Now, the board’s liberals have castigated me for suggesting such heresy (and some others have said, good, companies that want to leave should leave). Be careful what you ignore or wish for; you just might get it.

    It’s funny he mentioned Toronto. Has anyone noticed the full-court press that Ontario has put on to entice US companies to move there?

    A nompound in Canada is sounding more and more attractive.

  127. Shore Guy says:

    NJC,

    How in the worl are you putting up with being in the USVI? It is SOOOO fr from Manhattan that it is hard to believe one can find the will to even get out of bed in the morning.

  128. veto that says:

    “For example, right now, they shouldn’t be stimulating housing, but they possibly should be stimulating something like oil exploration.”

    Ben, i see your points,
    I get the impression that you are more against keynesian economics as opposed to all economics, which is how i interpreted your original idea on the subject. But dont forget that Keynesian eco is held hostage and conveniently chopped up and recited for political purposes. It now has been reduced to the mantra that we should “spend as much as possible at all times”, when that was never the intention.

    I agree with the idead of your example quoted above but propping up housing has is not really keynes eco. It has more to do with saving the banks that are so big that their failure would take down the whole economy, food supply, etc.

    I realize there are some economists who actully think this would be the best solution in the long run. Maybe they are right but i dont think 10 yrs of russian winter misery is politically viable for a country like us.

    And i guess the rebuttle is that we will go there anyway, just with more debt and over a longer period of time.

  129. Shore Guy says:

    far, even

  130. veto that says:

    Terror as mall shark tank cracks in Dubai

    SHOPPERS fled in terror today after a giant aquarium filled with 400 SHARKS and stingrays cracked and began gushing torrents of water.

    Horrified holidaymakers were among those left fearing that they were about to be engulfed by 10MILLION gallons of water — holding 33,000 sea creatures.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2868305/Terror-as-mall-shark-tank-cracks.html#ixzz0gZDidUAk

  131. Shore Guy says:

    For anyone in Atlanta who likes this sort of thing, this just came to me via an ASCAP newsletter:

    This week ASCAP has something planned for just about everyone! Our iamHip-Hop Showcase tonight in Atlanta promises to pop and to top it off, all proceeds for the event benefit UigNite Haiti.

  132. Shore Guy says:

    Veto,

    Hand me a hook and a worm, dude.

  133. veto that says:

    Oooohhh,
    Princeton NJ taking a small jab on the chin.

    this piece of junk 3/2.5 bath is asking $325k
    Sold in June 2005 for $372k
    sold in Oct 2004 for $270k

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/202-Birch-Ave_Princeton_NJ_08542_1115981057

  134. veto that says:

    “Hand me a hook and a worm, dude”

    Shore, if you really want to catch a hammerhead, a fishing pole will do you no good, you’ve got to wrestle it – toe to toe.

  135. Shore Guy says:

    I am just picturing the character Jeff Spicoli being there when the tank broke.

  136. freedy says:

    now who here would have the nerve to stiff
    a credit card bank payments?

  137. veto that says:

    oh, i dont remember that scene, but i like when he orders the pizza

  138. veto that says:

    140 – youd be surprised, we get all types in here…

  139. Shore Guy says:

    There was no such scene, I was envisioning him, and that dumb-as-dirt and high-as-a-kite look, watching such a tank breaking.

    I cn fix it. My brother is a TV repair man and has an awsome set of tools.

    One thing was for sure, he was not a “Single, successful guy”

  140. Shore Guy says:

    Make up your mind dude, is he gonna $hit or is he gonna kill me.

  141. 3b says:

    #128 No, not at all,and I do not recall hearing of anyone who ever did;in fact the term strategic default was not even in use, or discussed in the media.

    We just stayed and aggressively paid, like most other people did. Others who could not, lost the house to forclosure, simple as that. That is how it was supposed to work this time around, until the gov’t decided to manipualte the market.

  142. Shore Guy says:

    Via the NY Songrwriters Circle, this could be a nice cheap evening out for anyone in the area on March 1:

    Monday 1st March, 2010 07:00 pm

    Hey songwriters! Join us for a special showcase on MARCH 1st featuring:

    Ida Ostergaard (2009 NYSC Songwriting Contest International Winner)
    Jane Kelly Williams
    Charlotte Sometimes
    GIO
    Rob Mathes
    Tina Shafer
    Mieka Pauley (2008 NYSC Songwriting Contest Winner)

    The Bitter End, 147 Bleecker Streets (between Thompson and LaGuardia streets)
    8 pm
    $10 at the door (please bring VALID ID; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult)

  143. Shore Guy says:

    Off to shovel.

    NJC, shovel some sand for me and then eat your heart out that you can’t drive in the snow today. I bet you regret going south, huh?

  144. d2b says:

    I’m thinking that we are seeing more strategic defaults for two reasons.

    People are pissed/desperate. People losing jobs are realizing that they are gone for good and they require a lifestyle change. Everyone is leveraged higher.

    People are more informed today. The Internet has removed the negative connotation from such a move. Strategic default/walkaway is way to fix the problem. Problem is a cash flow problem and the house is now a negative.

  145. serenity now says:

    Clot -35
    “We are Haiti with building codes” PRICELESS!!

  146. freedy says:

    i would agree , many people are pissed as we all should be for what has gone on. Does anyone think that the gov. both state and fed
    has our best in mind? I don’t think so.

    the banks could care less. the loan mod
    program is a failure, and now the credit card bust is next as more and more begin to
    get the drift.

  147. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re: Strategic Defaults —

    That is an interesting discussion. In the last housing recession, I don’t think people considered Defaulting because the mental image was still…..Debtor’s Prison. Nobody imagined that if you stopped paying your mortgage, they wouldn’t come after you for years. That you could actually stay in your house without paying !?!?!

    So folks would pay the mortgage every month, while they let their credit card debt mount by making the minimum payment (or skipping it altogether). The interest rate on the CC was burying them….but they kept the house.

  148. Final Doom says:

    veto (106)-

    Not if you’re not too bright, and not if strategic default is in your mind as a potential strategy.

    You’re looking at this as an honest person who wants to pay your mortgage. Get outside that frame of reference, and a world of possibility opens up.

    A low/no DP mortgage is, after all, a call option, not a true “ownership” vehicle.

  149. Final Doom says:

    Ben (107)-

    I am really beginning to like your posts. You have hit this one out of the park.

    The only reward in this economy goes to malinvestment. That’s why we keep hearing the gobbeldygook you reference.

    You can actually take the well-stated idea below and apply it to politics, education and foreign policy. The assumption of everything being equal and the suspension of judgment leads to a bollocks-up of everything that follows.

    “An economy grows by shifting production in to the sectors that are in demand and bringing new products to the market. How can we bring new products to the market with a policy that assumes all products are equal?”

  150. Final Doom says:

    I’d take that one step further and posit that LTCM should’ve been a warning shot to the world.

    Instead, it was an all-clear signal. The sausage machine was ramped up after that event, rather than being shut down.

  151. Final Doom says:

    …and the final proof that Robert Rubin and Larry Summers are the children of Satan.

  152. veto that says:

    “You’re looking at this as an honest person who wants to pay your mortgage.”

    yes, i realized later thats where i was oing wrong. ha.

  153. Ben says:

    “I agree with the idead of your example quoted above but propping up housing has is not really keynes eco. It has more to do with saving the banks that are so big that their failure would take down the whole economy, food supply, etc.”

    Yes, but when you stimulate aggregate demand, you stimulate everything, especially housing. It’s like a no child left behind approach to the macroeconomy.

  154. veto that says:

    Ben, 157 – i guess there are unintended consequences.
    the low st rates are meant to stimulate everything – that part is not a mistake on the feds part.
    The tax credit and the mortgage backed security support is meant to isolate demand for housing.
    I think they are injecting the money in the proper places but it takes time and its a good way to slow the collapse to make it orderly. Whether it will stop it all together over the long term – i dont think so. But right now we just need to buy some time.
    Also – the fed is for the first time fighting so hard to spark inflation. thats got to be very frustrating for them. I belive they can do it in time.

  155. Final Doom says:

    Drat. A really good snip of Reservoir Dogs, moderated.

  156. Shore Guy says:

    Good for a laugh, but use common sense viweing at work as it is the Onion and the target is Tiger Woods:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/tiger_woods_announces_return_to

  157. Shore Guy says:

    A sample:

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL—In an announcement highly anticipated by s-ex fans around the world, Tiger Woods told a small gathering of reporters, family, and lovers Friday that the most dominant fornicator on the planet would soon return to s-ex.

    “Not being able to get out there and have s-ex has really been tough on me,” Woods said. “I’ve missed it. I love fcuking with all my heart.”

    Woods said that during his brief time away from s-ex, he couldn’t stop thinking about one day resuming his daily regimen of s-exu-al inter-course with random women who look vaguely like his wife, only skankier.

    “When I am out there having s-ex, I am in complete control,” said Woods, an acknowledged master of the long game who claims he is only truly at peace when he is between the legs of a woman. “It’s just me and my thoughts. And a high-end escort. And the lounge dancer. And sometimes [caddie] Stevie. And probably some stewardess I just met.”

    snip

  158. Ben says:

    Creating inflation is easy. Creating inflation while trying to convince the rest of the world you aren’t going to erase the money you owe them is difficult.

  159. sas says:

    i gotta bad heartburn today.
    ugh..

    SAS

  160. Final Doom says:

    safe (118)-

    As a shooting partner, or as a target?

  161. Shore Guy says:

    This one is also worth a read, and, aster seeing some people like this at a recent reunion, it hits the mark pretty well:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/former_prom_king_now_living

  162. Final Doom says:

    plume (123)-

    My favorite writer, no less.

  163. Shore Guy says:

    What is going on over at the Treasury auction? Is Mr. Market rearing his ugly head again?

  164. Final Doom says:

    mike (124)-

    I think within five years you could buy that whole town and enslave the population.

  165. sas says:

    “Latvian ‘Robin Hood’ hacker leaks bank details to TV”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8533641.stm

  166. sas says:

    Errol Flynn was a great actor.

    SAS

  167. Final Doom says:

    Veto (127)-

    One thing the FBI doesn’t tell us about bank heists is how easy they are to pull off and (no surprise) how many people actually get away with it.

    Crime that pays is crime that stays.

    “Next model im looking at is desk job / bank heist ~ bang for buck.”

  168. sas says:

    “Freddie Mac to Resume Treasury Aid as Accounting Rules Change”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=agr9q7s4QsL8&pos=5

  169. sas says:

    “One thing the FBI doesn’t tell us about bank heists is how easy they are to pull off and (no surprise) how many people actually get away with it.”

    true. Its not the first time crook who gets caught. Its the crook who get too bold or repeats way to often that probability numbers start to kick in.

    got some FBI friends out in LA who run the bank squad units. interesting stories.

    SAS

  170. Final Doom says:

    162- post of the day

  171. Anon E. Moose says:

    What are strategic defaults more prevalent (or at least more discussed)?

    Because the last time around, notwithstanding the bubble, price-to-income ratio was reduced. Substantial downpayments were the overwhelming norm, not the exception. People were not allowed to borrow to 10x annual income, nor ‘state’ their income without verification. Loans did not exist that allowed unpaid interest to be added to the original principal (I’m ignoring interest-only, because even fully amortzing does little to reduce the principal balance in the first 5-7 years).

    All of this reduced the likelihood that people were udnerwater at all, much less underwater by multiples of their annual income, which presents little hope of digging out from under.

    More likely, notwithstanding declines, ther was at least SOME equity in the house, and that would be evaporated because of the discount taken by selling at foreclosure.

  172. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 168 Sounds like fun.
    Special snow day rules all can start drinking early!

  173. 3b says:

    #176 Oh many of us were underwater, and big time, with our 20% down pymts wiped out and more. We stayed and paid, because that was what we were supposed to do.

  174. njescapee says:

    3b (178) thanks to moral hazard created by all these recent bailouts has shited the paragdigm to you gotta be crazy to stay and pay. now you must squat and stiff.

  175. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 124 I would love to,but my buddy is taking such a beating on it I feel bad.(no mortgage just taxes)
    I pay very very little consider myself a caretaker of the place. Taxes 16k I pay 8k
    3800 sq ft. in-ground pool ,office,wet bar, wine cellar, great lot W/views, its surreal. Then I go look at a ranch for more money piti & say F that.

  176. sas says:

    “Sate pension fund gap grows to 46 BILLION!”

    the future looks so bright.
    I gotta wear shades.

    SAS

  177. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nje 180 Squat & stiff , there’s a joke in there somewhere. I guess John stayed home today.

  178. Mikeinwaiting says:

    SAS 182 Sh*t now that song will not get out of my head.

  179. Jim says:

    I hate to see anyone lose their job, especially in this economy, but I’m glad some workers are being laid-off in NJ. The system has to fail at some point no matter what. 46 Billion! How in the world could that ever work out?

  180. Mikeinwaiting says:

    New Home Sales Hit Record Low

    “It’s awful. This is with the home buyer tax credit. I don’t understand people who say the housing market is turning,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/190521-new-home-sales-hit-record-low?source=email

  181. sas says:

    “How in the world could that ever work out?”

    robbing peter to pay paul.

    SAS

  182. 3b says:

    #186 Joe Saluzzi is a smart man!! Can we get him on CNBC??

  183. relo says:

    179: Read the comments. The boys at public works aren’t going to take it quietly. Interesting observation yesterday about public workers and ramparts and such.

  184. Ben says:

    Every pension fund I have ever seen is a ponzi scheme where the first people to collect their pensions loot the crap out of it.

  185. Barbara says:

    all of this talk about rentals and property taxes and “looking at it all go to hell in my cheap rental” surprises me. Talk about a blind spot. Folks, you are renting from a homeowner, who will buckle when the tax bill maxes out all profits (already happening) so when that oil burner goes on the fritz, he won’t have the 300 coin to fix it. That whole in the roof after the storm? You’ll be living with buckets of filthy water in your kid’s bedrooms. Have fun getting the kids ready for school in your 40 degree cheap apartment while calling The State about you rights as a tenant.
    There’s no gaming this.

  186. Final Doom says:

    relo-

    The further we get into this thing, the more I’m convinced the public unions will do all the shooting and rioting for us.

    They are like narcissistic ADHD children who become violent during tantrums.

  187. Final Doom says:

    barb-

    Yes, there is a way of gaming this. I post here too much as it is, but rest assured I could give infinite real-life examples of how the smart and the crooked (often one in the same) among us are two steps ahead of the game at all times and will continue to be.

    That’s ultimately how I know the US economy is doomed to complete and utter destruction.

  188. john says:

    Before my NJ staff start whining about snow and I need to go home soon cause I take buses blah blah blah, how is it out there?

  189. Barbara says:

    doom,
    buy and squat?

  190. relo says:

    194: Clear sailing @ GWB.

  191. Final Doom says:

    Perhaps the gubmint will, in the end, turn John Q against the public unions and then encourage both sides to battle it out to the death.

    When you go to a lot of blogs (even this one), it’s easy to get the feeling that Civil War II will be between the rank-and-file public vs. private sector.

    TPTB may sense the advantage that accrues to them of stepping aside and letting this battle go to the death.

  192. Final Doom says:

    barb (196)-

    Squat, period.

    “Buy and squat” implies that an actual purchase is attempted. The sham of a purchase, in this case, is the setup for the scam.

  193. Barbara says:

    Doom, so no 3.5%? Where’s the DP coming from?

  194. safeashouses says:

    I laugh when I see a listing marked “new” and the grass is green and all the trees still have green leaves.

    Note to RE agents, that should mean the pics were taken no later than mid September. If you really want to earn that commission, how about retaking the outdoor shots to match the season? Or are you to busy cooking ramen in a can over a campfire?

  195. john says:

    How dare John Q. turn against the public onions.

    Final Doom says:
    February 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm
    Perhaps the gubmint will, in the end, turn John Q against the public unions and then encourage both sides to battle it out to the death.

    When you go to a lot of blogs (even this one), it’s easy to get the feeling that Civil War II will be between the rank-and-file public vs. private sector.

    TPTB may sense the advantage that accrues to them of stepping aside and letting this battle go to the death.

  196. Final Doom says:

    barb (199)-

    Remember that the 3.5% DP comes back from the seller as a concession at closing toward points, prepaids and closing costs.

    When you walk out of the closing, it’s a 100% financed deal. Actually, you are most likely underwater, as the actual LTV exceeds 100% within days, due to the continued deterioration of the market.

    I look at the 3.5% DP as the chump change you lay out for your call option.

  197. Final Doom says:

    I knew John couldn’t lay off for a whole day.

    Now, back to writing some updated lyrics to “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”…

  198. Final Doom says:

    You can also fraud your 3.5% FHA DP as a cash advance off a credit card on which you eventually default.

  199. Final Doom says:

    Don’t even ask about the time I saw that one…

  200. Barbara says:

    202. doom,
    forgot about the rebates, now I get it.

  201. prtraders2000 says:

    Out my window, Passaic Ave in West Caldwell looks pretty bad. And it is coming down heavy.

  202. Barbara says:

    Final Doom,
    but its only for the sociopath who is willing to put young kids through some serious upheaval. I think my point stands that this blog takes a misty eyed view of the rental option. If it gets any worse, and it will, your rental is gonna sucked haaaaad.

  203. Barbara says:

    sucked = suck.

  204. Jim says:

    Barbara,
    I think you make a good point. Someone owns what you are renting. I don’t know how people make any money on a rental property in NJ. The property taxes alone would eat up any profit you might make. We own a house in Hawaii that we rent out. The only way we make any money is because the house is paid off. The property taxes there are also much lower than in NJ.

  205. Mr Hyde says:

    Barb,

    One option is that you can withold rent or pay for repairs and deduct it from rent.

    So in the case of a landlord refusing legitimate repairs, you can pay for out of the rent money.

    Its not completely that cut and dry but not far from it. I have actually dealt with that before.

  206. Barbara says:

    Hyde,
    I’m a landlord, you can do that on the fly but technically you have to go through some red tape or find out how to do that correctly without risking an eviction, good luck at 2am with a busted frozen pipe. Having said that, in such a situation its is unlikely that a landlod would seek eviction since he’s lucky to be breaking even on rent. Point is, renting an unmaintained property can get pretty loathsome pretty fast.

  207. Mr Hyde says:

    Barb

    It can go both ways, but i ended up in court over such an issue, and from my experience if you have it well documented and can show goog faith effort on the tenets part, then the judge is very likely to side with you.

    I documented everything including recording phone calls (notified the landlord said phone calls were being recorded)

  208. Final Doom says:

    Jim (211)-

    No one really “owns” a property whose debt exceeds its market value.

    Final “ownership”- if that’s even the right word (probably “repsonsibility” is the word)- rests with the lender who repossesses the collateral then has to deal with the aftermath.

    That’s why you see lenders trying to walk away from their collateral.

  209. Final Doom says:

    Once you know your LL is going into foreclosure, you can refuse to pay the rent and squat for free.

    In states like NJ, you get to stay all the way through the FK process and even after…until whoever gets the property in FK can obtain a writ of eviction and a marshal to execute it.

  210. Final Doom says:

    Taping convos with landlords?

    Remind me never to get on the phone with you, Hyde. :)

  211. Final Doom says:

    I’d love to see a LL in foreclosure in NJ go to court in an attempt to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent.

    Most Special Civil Part judges here would throw a gavel at the plaintiff.

    Nom, Morph…please correct me if I’m wrong.

  212. Final Doom says:

    Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. My advocacy of armed overthrow of the US gubmint is, however, the best advice I can offer as a card-carrying Realtor.

  213. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [217] doom

    The fact that a LL is in foreclosure doesn’t affect the contract (the lease) between the LL and the tenant. The LL is still the owner, and still has the right to enforce property rights in the property.

    Now, can the bank intervene in an action by the LL? Sure, if only to claim any rent recovered, which makes the LL’s actions futile.

    That said, these judges make up the law as they go along, so the LL would be an idiot to try it. Were I the LL’s attorney, I’d bring a motion in limine to keep the foreclosure out of the eviction proceeding, if I thought I had a reasonably fair judge (ha!).

  214. Final Doom says:

    Speaking again only as a Realtor, my advice would be that the best resolutions of residential landlord/tenant disputes occur “off the grid”, in an unrecorded fashion, with the final arbiter being Mr. Louisville Slugger.

  215. sas says:

    Final Doom,

    “I picked a bad day to give up sniffing glue”

    SAS

  216. Final Doom says:

    So, do it some other day.

  217. Barbara says:

    213 Hyde
    100% understand and agree, but you miss my point. Imagine a 100 year old multifamily unmaintained for say a year. BTW, I’m not just going with the foreclosure/landlord scenario. I have neighbors who are not in foreclosure but are just breaking even, can’t maintain the property, so Doom’s above point it moot.
    Anyway, I own a few of these old boys. In year, here’s what you can expect: non functioning furnace, roof leaks due to NEers, thick ice in the winter, resulting in deteriorating front steps in the spring and summer. Bugs (not roaches, out door bugs coming in like ants, stink bugs, etc.) Overgrowth. Depending on trash situation, squirrel and rodent infestation. That’s in just 1 year. For a landlord breaking even or just pocketing say 500 a month, forget seeing any of that mess maintained.

  218. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barb 191 since you quoted me I will respond. I have no “blind spot”. My landlord is a friend of mine who is very wealthy. He would have left empty rather than rent out but as I was willing to take it he was happy. I can buy at will.
    It is a unique situation, so i can “look at it all go to hell in my cheap rental”.
    If you look at my post 181 you may get a better idea. Read threads thoroughly know who you are quoting.

  219. sas says:

    Final Doom,

    Its a line from that movie airplane back in the 70s.

    loved that movie.

    SAS

  220. Barbara says:

    mike,
    first of all, I paraphrased for a reason, your post reflects a general attitude on this blog about the rental option. I’m not saying its all bad, just saying that it comes with its real risks in this real estate market and state fiscal situation. Yeah, its a blind spot on NJRERE, the specifics of your unique situation aside.

  221. Morpheus says:

    217:
    Sorry: too busy clearing snow with a shovel to give legal advice.

    Ah. . .back to snow removal operations.

  222. We act as the landlord of a home that currently collects $1,800 in rent and we should be able to collect $3,800 in rent once we vacate our owner occupied unit. Our 30-year loan w/escrow was $3,400(we refinanced recently so now it’s $3,600 but we took 5 years off it). Figure $200 a month for maintenance and sewer/water and that leaves us with $400 left over. A $1,000 per year tax increase equates to a rental increase of $42 per year for each unit, which is a 2.3% increase. Keep in mind, there are some serious tax benefits to playing landlord, right Nom?

    So in the short run, we’ll be alright. I figure the whole large government/huge tax thing should collapse under its own weight soon enough. The real question though is, what will the future value of the property be worth?

  223. john says:

    I loved that movie, at stony brook they used to show it with 50 cent beers and back then you could smoke in a movie so everyone was smoking pot. They showed it like three Fridays in a row. Each time the same people laughed just as hard as they were so stoned last time they forgot the jokes.

    sas says:
    February 25, 2010 at 4:05 pm
    Final Doom,

    Its a line from that movie airplane back in the 70s.

    loved that movie.

    SAS

  224. Barbara says:

    Stu,
    either you are really handy or that house is in amazing condition. That budget for maintenance and sewer seems really low. Our water bills are 300 or more per quarter.

  225. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barb 227 Good enough. But I did recognize the quote as coming from one of my posts.
    I would agree overall last landlord wasn’t so good on repairs, I did them took off rent.Let him try to take me to court if he likes. Parade the 3 kids & wife with no heat, water or whatever in front of judge. I would win.

  226. Mr Hyde says:

    Barb

    I know my days in my current rental are numbered. The landlord is clearly underwater and has 3 rentals plus his primary residence. I Aldo know enough to see that he clearly lied on some of his loan documents that I pulled up.
    He also has helocs out the wazoo on each one. He does this “on the side” and is clearly not a professional. I check public records every so often to see if any of his properties are in foreclosure.

    At this point I have a good price on the monthly rent so will casually look for something else until gongs heat up with my current landlord

    there is no “safe” choice in this mess

  227. I’ll look it up Barb and I am handy. Key is to do your own plumbing and electric. The moment you need to call in outside help, you’ve just blown your monthly profit. Cause I like you Barb, I’ll look up my sewer and water. I’ll tell you what thought. Gator has us paying in property taxes now, what we did when we brought the place back in September of 2004. This is quite helpful. It’s a good thing that less than one in a hundred sheeple realize how the process works.

  228. Barbara says:

    Stu,

    “Gator has us paying in property taxes now, what we did when we brought the place back in September of 2004. This is quite helpful. It’s a good thing that less than one in a hundred sheeple realize how the process works.”

    Not clear on this, what do you mean? I may be a sheeple.

  229. Sewer and water are currently $685 per year. The home is in decent condition. Keep in mind, we did sink about 75K into the joint since we bought it to get it here. My profit mostly comes from depreciation and other tax advantages.

  230. Mikeinwaiting says:

    By the way over a foot in my area already.

  231. john says:

    where is that?

    Mikeinwaiting says:
    February 25, 2010 at 4:26 pm
    By the way over a foot in my area already.

  232. Barbara says:

    685 a year! Dang, do you people shower? ;P seriously, do you provide laundry for your tenants? I’m closer to 1200 a year.

  233. Mikeinwaiting says:

    John Vernon, Sussex County NJ.

  234. Mr Hyde says:

    Clot

    If this isn’t an invitation to default then I don know what is

    Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) — The Obama administration may expand efforts to ease the housing crisis by banning all foreclosures on home loans unless they have been screened and rejected by the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

  235. Mikeinwaiting says:

    John did you let your people go home.

  236. d2b says:

    Stu-
    As a small time landlord you are especially screwed when a tenant falls behind in rent. This happens even in the best of times and I can’t imagine what the percentages look like now because many LLs are small timers.

    My Dad was a landlord to about eight properties and seemed like someone was always behind.

    A best case scenario eviction would take 6 months. There is no chance that a tenant that does not pay even calls you about the small leak. By the time you throw them out the small leak is a big one.

    You need economies of scale in that business to make any money. Property is still too expensive to make that happen.

    This is another side of the RE bubble. Investors have to be able to buy, renovate, and rent for a profit.

  237. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Ket 241 They will drag this out forever.

  238. Barb,

    Our neighbors are all subsidizing our property taxes by not appealing them. In a market where your property values have declined 30% from your last revaluation date, for the most part, the neighbors are overpaying by 30%. Those that appeal their property taxes successfully are paying close to 30% less than their neighbors. I would bet that less than 20% of the population here have appealed their taxes since our town reval in 2006. It’s true that the town will still take in the same amount of tax revenue by raising everyones taxes equally, but the 20% who appeal will end up paying a much smaller share of the increase than their unaware (sheeple) neighbors.

    Gator can explain it a lot better than I ever could, but you’ll just have to trust me on it :P

  239. d2b:

    I am aware of the potential for a vacancy, but we have been blessed with a tenant of over five and a half years who have never been late even once on the rent. I can’t emphasize the importance of the screening process. Thank heaven for 1800 credit report dot com.

  240. Barbara says:

    db2
    well said, this is why I got out in 1999 (hold but stopped buying). After the tech bubble, in came all the Wall Street cash and the stupid equity game. They didn’t know what they were doing and as a result my business plan was put on hold. I’m still waiting to get back in and will do so fearlessly when I hit that number. This isn’t the first time I was put “out of business” by dumb wallstreet money.

  241. Barbara says:

    Stu,
    I got it, the appeal. I thought you had some other secret weapon :) Sorry to make you type all that out.

  242. gary says:

    The decline brought sales to their lowest level since the government began tracking the numbers in 1963.

    Dear Buyers,

    Go ahead… buy the f*cking house. Pay for fat Nicky and Helen’s retirement as well as some @ssholes lease payment. Anyone with so much as a fleeting thought of making a bid on a house should be tied up and slapped repeatedly. I don’t blame the sellers or RE industry anymore; I blame the weak, uninformed buyer whose stupidity is still very evident. Let…. the….. f*cking….. houses…… sit.

  243. Barbara says:

    Mr Hyde,
    we are the only freaks I know that did not HELOC our places. I did lines of credit for future investments but they never transpired due to the bubble, so they went unused. I have mixed feelings about it. I’m pretty sure we won;t be rewarded for good behavior, maybe a few deluxe vacations were in order.

  244. Barb (250):

    I am so with you on all of this. No debt (outside of mortgage), no fancy cars, no fancy digs and vacations on the cheap. The moral hazard in all of this is astounding.

  245. NJGator says:

    Couple sued for installing ‘ugly’ IKEA kitchen
    Renovations by renters unsuitable for posh NYC building, landord says

    NEW YORK – A wealthy Icelandic couple is being sued for installing a cheap IKEA kitchen into an apartment they rented out at a swank hotel in New York City.

    The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Wednesday alleges that Jon Asgeir Johannesson and his wife installed an “ugly” kitchen from the low-cost household furnishings store into the 16th-floor apartment at the Gramercy Park Hotel.

    The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Paramount Realty Group of America Corp. claims the couple rented the apartment out for about $300,000, then failed to make promised renovations on time.
    Story continues below ↓advertisement | your ad here

    When they did, the lawsuit claims the kitchen was unsuitable for such a luxurious home.

    Johannesson helped turn investment company Baugur Group into a powerhouse of retailing in Europe.

    There was no phone listing for Johannesson at his home.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35583786/ns/business-us_business/

  246. 3b says:

    #205 And for those that qualify you can get the 8k tax credit, which will probably be doubled as the current 8k nears expiration.

  247. 3b says:

    #208 Not mine, the owner purchased almost 30 years ago.

  248. Final Doom says:

    barb (228)-

    Last I looked, even in the worst rental scenario possible, one can walk away without incurring lifetime financial damage and wrecked credit.

    Physical discomfort and even some temporary and de minimus financial loss trumps FK or BK any day of the week.

    I’m a Realtor, and if you gave me a do-over, I’d rent in a walkup in Irvington before buying any of the underwater RE I currently own. Between my home and my office bldg, I have probably permanently lost over 250K in DP and improvements.

  249. Final Doom says:

    Barb-

    You should’ve maxed those LOCs and stripped every penny of equity out of those places.

  250. Final Doom says:

    The RE market isn’t coming back in our lifetimes.

  251. Barbara says:

    256 Doom
    you aren’t going to believe this. For the hell of it, I just called on both lines to see if the full original amount was still available…..it is! Holy C. I just assumed they ajusted the lines to reflect market declines. Bad thoughts……bad thoughts…

  252. Barbara says:

    Doom,
    point taken on 288. I know I’m fortunate.

  253. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    197.

    Even more reason to defeat gov run healthcare. When the tit suckers are wounded by 556 the medical establishment will be on our side.

  254. southoftheborder says:

    Pitman’s Sony DADC plant to discontinue DVD manufacturing, will lose 160 employees

    PITMAN, NJ — The Sony Corporation has announced it will be moving any DVD production efforts occurring at its DADC Pitman plant to Terre Haute, Indiana, where a majority of DVD manufacturing is taking place already.

    The move means 160 of the plant’s 570 employees will be losing their jobs, though the plant will remain open in other manufacturing capacities, continuing to produce CDs and video games.

    http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2010/02/pitmans_sony_dadc_plant_to_dis.html

  255. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:

    Christie proposes cuts to N.J. unemployment benefits

    Citing the state government’s fiscal emergency, Gov. Chris Christie Thursday unveiled proposals to reduce benefits for future unemployed New Jerseyans and the amount of money employers must contribute to the jobless fund.

    Christie said part of his action is to “stave off a devastating tax hike for New Jersey employers” that could increase an automatic payroll increase of as much as $683 per employee. The state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is presently insolvent.

    The governor said the proposal would give small businesses some flexibility

    Muhahahha! The Fat Man strikes again. Im really starting to like this guy.

  256. renter says:

    Proposed Bridgewater-Raritan School District budget makes deep cuts
    By Amanda Peterka / Messenger-Gazette
    February 24, 2010, 5:41PM

    “Even though this would be the first budget decrease in at least eight years, school officials expect the total property tax levy on residents will be increased to the 4 percent cap maximum allowed by the state for that part of the school budget financed solely by property tax revenue.”

    http://www.nj.com/messenger-gazette/index.ssf/2010/02/proposed_bridgewater-raritan_school_district_budget_makes_deep_cuts.html

  257. lisoosh says:

    Barbara – It depends.

    A renter can walk out of an unmaintained rental easier than a landlord can find another tenant for aforementioned unmaintained and leaking rental. Especially in this market. It would be a foolish landlord indeed who risks losing a solid renter.

    Plenty of landlords are also professional corporations. I rent from one. This place has more than paid for itself over the years so no worries there. Onsite maintenance crew available 24/7 , when my AC died last summer it was replaced within the hour. Now I am getting a brand new bathroom just to keep me happy.

    And my rent is only $400/month more than my friend around the corner pays in property taxes.

  258. Anon E. Moose says:

    Clot-Shump-Doom[256];

    http://www.emobilez.com/iphone-wallpapers/data/media/29/scarface_tony_montana_cocaine.jpg

    I always knew that used house sales flacks were too heavy into their own product.

  259. Barbara says:

    264. Plenty of that but my point was, you can’t have the real estate market completely crumble and expect to find solitude in a rental. Rentals are not magically exempt from all the headaches that are coming from NJ State financial situation and real estate market crash. I don’t know of any landlords (and I know many) who did not heloc in 05-06.

  260. Anon E. Moose says:

    Barb[266];

    When those LLs FK too, just more selection on the market to choose from for bottom fish fillet (rather appropriate during lent, no? ;-) ). Besides, I think squatting former tenants will be in a similar position as the defaulting OOs were. Banks have to get their sh!t together to evict the tenants. Taking title and taking posession are two separate things. I’ve seen (mostly unattractive) REO that are tennant (more likely squatter) occupied.

  261. Bystander says:

    A friend of mine bought a 500 sqft studio three years ago for $485K on UES (81st). Building has doorman, high end finishes etc. and place is very nice. His mortgage(s) plus maintenance is $3600/mo. He can’t save a dime and was underwater to the point where he could not refi until recently. Chase scr*wed him on points and fees stating his LTV was 87% but finally it done. His went rate down to 5% from 6.25%. I literally rent across the street in a very nice doorman with same space for about 1/2 price (with all util. included). He wants to get out from the crushing monthly nut. Realtor says he can “list it for $599K. Comps in the building that sold for 600K+. NYC Market has low inventory and his business is so busy he had to hire more people. He had cash offer last week”. Chase would not refi him three months ago. WTF??? I’m trying to tell him to sell and get a similiar place for 1/2 cost and realtor is filling his mind with sh*t. He is now fearful that he will lose a good investment. How can people still pay 600K for studios?? Can’t wait for it to all implode.

  262. safeashouses says:

    Deja Vu all over again.

    “AIG to take a big hit”

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/25/news/companies/aig/index.htm

  263. PGC says:

    This snow is a pain to clear. It has a lot of water in it. If it freezes tonight, tomorrow will be fun.

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  264. d2b says:

    Barb 247-
    It’s not just housing. Since I don’t trust the markets anymore I would love to buy a business. Problem is that everybody seems to think that this new economy is temporary and 06-07 are right around the corner. Some businesses don’t even give you 08 or 09 numbers since they were ‘off years’. Of course they all give them when pushed.
    It’s hard to find a business that will generate the cash needed to service the debt.
    An agent in the paper made a great point. He said a listing that is on the market without serious interest for over a week is overpriced.
    Most sh1t is so overpriced (homes, businesses, and investment properties) that there is no place to start.

  265. Yikes says:

    citibank, DEFINITELY the devil (sorry if previously posted)

    http://blog.fabulis.com/post/409789428/citibank-is-so-not-fabulis

  266. Barbara says:

    d2b,
    there does seem to be an very broad staring contest going on out there. clot says the same, one week- then lower the price.

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  268. lisoosh says:

    d2b says:
    February 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “Most sh1t is so overpriced (homes, businesses, and investment properties) that there is no place to start.”

    Bears repeating.

  269. Barbara says:

    db2
    and whats REALLY a bitch is that I am mostly cash, sidelined, earning nothing when I’m at a point in my life where I should be really seeing the rewards in the form of a 5% rate. Sickening.

  270. Yikes says:

    i know everyone bashes detroit frequently, and rightfully so.

    but this is worth reading.

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20100225/METRO08/2250419/LeDuff–Blue-collar-workers-hanging-on-by-thread

  271. Sean says:

    Another day another edict…

    Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) — The Obama administration may expand efforts to ease the housing crisis by banning all foreclosures on home loans unless they have been screened and rejected by the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ahuuwBS8KYq8&pos=2

  272. Stu says:

    Barb. I’m a landlord who never even opened a heloc. :P

  273. confused in NJ says:

    270.PGC says:
    February 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm
    This snow is a pain to clear. It has a lot of water in it. If it freezes tonight, tomorrow will be fun

    The wet snow is like glue, it even sticks to vertical surfaces. I bought silicon spray this time to spray the snow blower & shovels just to void the snow glue.

  274. Barbara says:

    279. stu
    you are hardcore, no doubt !

  275. Yikes says:

    clot, if you found out your daughter did this, what is the punishment?

    http://www.theluxuryspot.com/2010/02/23/i-got-vajazzled-and-had-a-camera-crew/

    “vajazzled” is a new one on me

  276. Shore Guy says:

    Yikes,

    Egads! I think the punishment comes when the jazzler rips away the hair witth the wax.

  277. Shore Guy says:

    BTW,

    Who else is wondering whether Turkey is about to go haywire?

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  279. Juice Box Sean says:

    re: #284- Shore better hope the secular establishment backed by the military wins this one, otherwise a much bigger badder Iran?

  280. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [278]

    Sean,

    If that comes to pass, let all who are foreclosing know that I am admitted in the US Court of Federal Claims for those 5th Amendment takings cases.

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