Dip 2.0 – Homebuyer credit was a waste of money

From HousingWire:

Housing analysts expect home price declines through 2011

Data firm Radar Logic and consultant Capital Economics said Tuesday that they expect home prices to decline further this year.

Their analysis comes in the wake of Tuesday’s The S&P/Case-Shiller composite home price index, which fell 1.6% from a year ago and 1% month-over-month. Prices on homes with mortgages backed by the federal government were unchanged during the same time period, according to the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

“Notwithstanding the deceleration in the rate of home prices, we believe that home prices will continue to weaken on a month-over-month basis until spring, and a year-over-year basis through the end of 2011,” the Radar Logic said.

Radar Logic made a similar assessment when it released its RPX composite price index last week, which showed a 0.3% increase in home prices from October to November.

Research firm Capital Economics also forecasts a price drop. The firm predicts a 5% drop by the end of 2011.

“That will send more homeowners into negative equity and constrain consumption growth,” Capital Economics said.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Home prices fall for fifth month in a row

It’s important to recognize that as we continue to move away from the government’s tax sham, the home sales and price movement fueled by that epic monstrosity are left further and further behind.

Yet, it will be some time before the effects are completely expunged from the CSI as its methodology uses a three month rolling average of the source data and further, as BostonBubble points out, since Congress moved to extend the closing deadline for the credit until September, the CSI data may not be free of the distortion until the February 2011 release!

In any event, you can see from the latest CSI data that the price trends are starting to slump and, as I recently pointed out, the more timely and less distorted Radar Logic RPX data is already capturing notable price weakness nationwide.

From the Daily Markets:

Home Prices Falling Again

In November, home prices continued to slip, and the declines were very widespread. The Case-Schiller Composite 10 City index (C-10) fell 0.37% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and is down 0.43% from a year ago. The broader Composite 20 City index (which includes the cities in the C-10) fell by 0.54% on the month and is down 1.61% from a year ago.

This is the first time in this second leg down in housing prices that the year-over-year change has been negative for both composites. Of the 20 cities, only three — San Diego up 0.52%, Washington DC up 0.51% and Charlotte up 0.07% — posted gains on the month, while 16 saw prices fall. Las Vegas was unchanged on the month. Year over year, four metro areas saw gains and 16 suffered losses.

This is the fifth straight month-to-month decline in the composites. It thus looks like a new downtrend in housing prices is under way.

Eight cities posted new post peak lows. From the April 2006 peak of the housing market, the C-10 is down 30.99% while the C-20 is off by 30.91%.

The Case-Schiller data is the gold standard for housing price information but it comes with a very significant lag. This is November data we are talking about, after all, and it is actually a three-month moving average, so it still includes data from September and October. Existing home sales have been weak relatively weak in recent months (see “Existing Home Sales Rise”). While the inventory to sales ratio is down from the June peak of 12.5 months, it is still elevated at 8.1 months.

The second leg in the housing price downturn is not over. Housing prices are going to fall again in coming months.

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139 Responses to Dip 2.0 – Homebuyer credit was a waste of money

  1. grim says:

    We all saw it coming…

    From the NY Times:

    Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, Inquiry Finds

    The 2008 financial crisis was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry.

    The commission that investigated the crisis casts a wide net of blame, faulting two administrations, the Federal Reserve and other regulators for permitting a calamitous concoction: shoddy mortgage lending, the excessive packaging and sale of loans to investors and risky bets on securities backed by the loans.

    “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done,” the panel wrote in the report’s conclusions, which were read by The New York Times. “If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

  2. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Gov. Christie moves to fire all but one member of Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission

    For decades, the commissioners who ran the state’s largest sewage treatment plant operated it as if they lived in their own kingdom, accountable to no one — not even the governor.

    They hired brothers, wives, children and in-laws; cut sweetheart deals for insiders; gave out lucrative, no-bid consulting contracts, and ran up lavish travel expenditures.

    Today, Gov. Chris Christie said he had had enough.

    He fired nearly all of them.

  3. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Get ready for the spring selling season that was not. POS inventory, tough loan standards, rising rates,foreclosures increasing,unemployment through the roof. Pull up a chair get your popcorn and bev of choice.

  4. Spring selling season DOA. As it has been since 2006.

    20-40 more years in the wilderness still to come. I may yet revise my call to 50-100 years if we keep getting feel-good dog and pony shows like the one we got last night.

    Amerika is a land of innovators. Too bad all of them have been incentivized for the last 30 years to go into financial services and dream up toxic products. Until we jail and/or execute the banksters who caused this mess, banks will still own Amerika.

    As of today, no top bankster has as much as been indicted. Expect the Kongressional Oversight Committee referrals to go nowhere.

  5. gary says:

    This is the fifth straight month-to-month decline in the composites. It thus looks like a new downtrend in housing prices is under way.

    I thought we bottomed out three years ago? Do the little snot-nosed brats on Kannekt know about this?

    Off to work….

  6. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    President say “USA #1, China you go down!”

  7. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    At Least 11 Cops Shot in 24 Hours

    http://cryptogon.com/?p=20130

    Just something to think about.

  8. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Why is everyone getting so excited about the double dip? ny metro is barely participating. 1.6% yoy declines is flat after inflation.

  9. borat obama says:

    First

  10. borat obama says:

    Koodmorninggg njjj

  11. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “Why is everyone getting so excited about the double dip? ny metro is barely participating. 1.6% yoy declines is flat after inflation.”

    It’s different here! Where’d I hear that one?

  12. wheaties says:

    This little map, while not covering the states, speaks volumes:

    http://trulia.movity.com/rentvsbuy/

    I’m renting. In Bergen county I can have a decent appartment near the train station for 1600 a month… or I can pay 1000 a month in taxes WITH a mortgage of 2000 a month for a small little place. They say you’ll never see the money you put into rent. I say you’ll never see the money you put into taxes.

  13. leftwing says:

    Re: PVSC

    It shows how out of touch these ‘public servants’ are that they would contest the blatant patronage and not just step down.

    Well, at least there was a ‘hero’ in there to keep things straight. Oops, he’s the one demanding an apology.

    Wonder what the towns that also employ these bums will do if they are booted off.

    Wasn’t necessarily a big fan of Christie, but I kind of like him now.

  14. veets (8)-

    Oh, what a surprise it will be when the ultra-violence gets going here.

    No one will be spared. No one.

  15. grim says:

    1.6% yoy declines is flat after inflation.

    Check your math, nominal pricing would have needed to increase by the rate of inflation to provide a flat real price change. Nominal prices were down 1.7%, inflation was up by approximately 1.2%, so real prices declined by approximately 3%.

  16. grim says:

    We’re about 2 months away from setting new lows across all the price tiers in the NY metro area.

    Currently, the low tier has hit 187, a new cyclical low, and has completely wiped out any of the artificial gains. Low tier (sub $289k) is down 28% from peak.

    Mid tier is sitting at 172.49, the cyclical low was set in May at 171.46. Mid tier is $289k-$456k, and from peak we’re down 23%.

    The high tier is at 161.29, up roughly a point from the low set in March of 160.21. High tier is $456k and up, and we’re down 17% from peak.

    Aggregate is sitting at .85 points from the cyclical low, set in April, and is down 21% from peak.

  17. leftwing says:

    Grim

    What/when where the peak numbers for the above?

  18. chicagofinance says:

    Debt Supernova says:
    January 26, 2011 at 8:26 am
    veets (8)-No one will be spared. No one.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jCskKc2NqM&feature=related

  19. grim says:

    left, updated

  20. chicagofinance says:

    OK…now we can officially say that the Jersey Shore people are not bottom of the barrel….

    Van strike is a family ‘splatter’
    Cuz catfight over Facebook boy

    By SELIM ALGAR, JOE MOLLICA and KIERAN CROWLEY

    A Long Island woman allegedly mowed down her cousin twice with a minivan after a Facebook-fueled catfight over a man — leaving the victim helpless in the middle of a busy road on a freezing night, sources said.

    Giselle Penagos, 21, required emergency surgery Monday to fix a broken leg and shattered pelvis after she and her cousin Melanie Spanopoulos sparred viciously over a cyber-Casanova during a wild car ride.

    Luckily, an unidentified man rescued Penagos as she lay bleeding in Elmont early Monday morning and rushed her to her father’s house in Queens.

    “If it wasn’t for the good Samaritan, she could very easily have been hit by another car,” said Nassau County Detective Sgt. Robert Galgano.

    The temperature was in the single digits and Penagos, unable to move due to her injuries, also might have died of exposure.

    “I don’t know what to say, it was just crazy. I was so scared,” Penagos told The Post from her bed at Elmhurst Hospital.

    After watching the Jets game at a bar, Spanopoulos — whose Facebook page notes that her favorite activities are “getting drunk” and “speaking gibberish” — and Penagos headed home on the Southern State Parkway.

    Galgano said that’s when one of the girls found out the other one was in touch with a potential love interest on Facebook.

    Spanopoulos’ lawyer, Dennis Lemke, said the man refused Penagos’ friend request but accepted one from his client.

    Then the fur flew.

    Spanopoulos pulled off the parkway onto a dark street near Elmont Avenue and Penagos got out. When Penagos refused to get back in the van, Spanopoulos allegedly leaped out and the pair wrestled each other to the ground.

    The suspect then hopped behind the wheel and plowed into her cousin with the van, cops said. She then allegedly put the vehicle in reverse and smashed into her a second time.

    Spanopoulos told her cousin again to “get the f – – k in the car,” according to Penagos’ uncle, William Penagos. The victim replied, “I can’t get in the car, I can’t feel my legs,” he said.

    Around that time, the good Samaritan pulled up and asked if he could help. According to Penagos, Spanopoulos offered him $20 to take her cousin to Queens.

    He pulled away, and so did Spanopoulos.

    But about five minutes later, the man returned and took the injured girl to her dad’s home.

    At her arraignment yesterday at District Court in Hempstead, Lemke said Spanopoulos was innocent.

    She was charged with assault and released on $10,000 bond.

    “This sucks,” Spanopoulos said — and then smiled.

  21. Neanderthal Economist says:

    15 – Right. Was just checking if anybody was awake.

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [2] grim

    I predict that all of them sue to get their jobs back, or at least a financial settlement.

    Were I disposed to this sort of thing, I would suggest sending a couple of FMJ slugs whizzing by their ears to reinforce the message (and no, Clot, I don’t endorse actually shooting them yet).

  23. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Yoy declines
    Atlanta -8%
    Chicago -7.6%
    Pheonix -6.4%
    Portland -7%
    Detroit -7.1%
    NY -1.7%
    Its different here. Ny metro is one big train town. Lol.

  24. grim says:

    #23 – What are you arguing?

  25. JJ says:

    Despite Sunday’s crushing defeat by the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and wide receiver Braylon Edwards partied until the early hours at a New York club where they spent more than $2,500, The New York Post reported Tuesday.

    While Jets fans mourned, Sanchez drowned his sorrows by knocking back shots and chatting up the pretty bartender at Chelsea’s Juliet Supper Club after arriving at 3 a.m. ET Monday, while Edwards ordered a $1,100 bottle of Ace of Spades Champagne and tequila shots for his table.

  26. grim says:

    Purchase mortgage apps take a big tumble last week.

  27. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Mortgage Applications in U.S. Fall to Lowest Level in Two Years

    Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level since November 2008, a reminder any housing recovery will take time to develop.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of loan applications decreased 13 percent in the week ended Jan. 21, figures from the Washington-based group showed today. Both refinancing and purchase applications fell.

    “Usually when rates go up, refinancing goes down,” Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, said before the report. “We don’t see existing home sales any higher at the end of the year.”

    Declining home prices and rising lending rates may prompt Americans to hold off on both refinance and purchase applications. Any lasting recovery in the housing market hinges on lowering unemployment, which had been at 9.4 percent or higher for 20 months, the longest since monthly records began in 1948.

    The refinancing gauge dropped 15 percent to the lowest in a year, while purchase applications fell 8.7 percent to the lowest level since October, the mortgage bankers’ group said.

  28. Painhrtz says:

    Hey I liked the homebuyers credit goverment gave me a fence for my dog, on a house I would have bought anyway without the credit.

    Even though listening to clot I probably should have bought assault weapons instead

  29. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Grim im not arguing or responding to anyones posts in particular. the correction in home prices is not that drastic in ny/nj compared to other regions and as a bubble sitter who is priced out of a middle class, suburban town its frustrating to me. I’m not cheerleading a so called double dip until it gets here. We’re still bouncing along a 23% dip. If we get to my projected 30-35% in some delayed crash scenario i’ll rejoice for a return toward affordability.

  30. NJToast says:

    28 – the only thing the credit did was accelerate purchases for some. Virtually no incremental home sales from the credit.

    Kind of like the $1 off coupon at the grocery store – people use it to do a forward buy on product they were going to get anyway.

  31. freedy says:

    wait a minute, Bergen county home values are up ,according to notes on saw .
    what gives grim?

  32. Eddie says:

    I’m glad that everyone is taking note of this nonsense. Since the credit ended, houses here have dropped a non-coincidental 8-10k.

  33. Carlie says:

    I have been a lurker on this blog since trying to purchase a home in the over-priced, in by death, divorce or gift towns along the SE monmouth jersey shore towns-mainly Squan, Brielle and South Wall….anyone want to weigh in on how low this market will go-Spring Lake and SeaGirt are doing just fine on their high end, but the graceland crap boxes are still sitting in the low 5’s and high 4’s-word is no-one wants to lowball and offend anyone…Rates are going up and I need to buy-but when will they reduce??? Will they reduce??? Why oh why will they not conform to the state of the economy??!!!

  34. grim says:

    wait a minute, Bergen county home values are up ,according to notes on saw .
    what gives grim?

    Tax credit had a greater impact on lower priced homes. Since the credit ended, we saw fewer sales of lower priced homes. Remove them from the equation and the average moves upward, even though we’ve sold significantly fewer homes.

    You can’t compare the measures, one is looking at aggregate descriptive statistics of the market, the other is tracking repeat home sales. Apples and oranges.

  35. grim says:

    We’re still bouncing along a 23% dip. If we get to my projected 30-35% in some delayed crash scenario i’ll rejoice for a return toward affordability.

    Is 7% really a deal breaker for you? If a home you liked came across the market and was priced well (say 7% higher than the theoretical comps), are you telling me you’d pass?

    Boy oh boy.

    I used to make fancy spreadsheets for buyers, and highlight the absolute bargain properties (like Stu mentioned yesterday). Properties that were SCREAMING buys, priced well under market.

    Let me tell you, what a waste of time. Nobody ever liked the bargains, despite their better than market pricing and easily correctable defects. Even just showing these homes was a waste of time.

  36. ditto says:

    The tax credit meant little – the income limits made it largely irrelevant to this area.
    While NY Metro as a whole may be 1.7%, prices have clearly been rising in Manhattan and Brooklyn I posted a link just last week. Frustrated by it. Thats the whole reason I’m still having to move to NJ. I sat on my arse waiting for Brooklyn 3-beds to come down, they didn’t.

  37. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    New Homes Sales Hit 8-Month High in December

    New U.S. single-family home sales in December rose faster than expected to their highest level in eight months and prices were the highest since April 2008, raising cautious optimism for a housing market recovery.

    The Commerce Department said sales jumped 17.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 unit annual rate after a downwardly revised 280,000-unit pace in November.

    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales rising to a 300,000-unit pace in December from a previously reported 290,000 unit rate.

    Compared to December last year, sales were down 7.6 percent. Overall 2010 sales dropped 14.4 percent to a record 321,000-unit rate.

  38. NJGator says:

    Reposting Stu’s post from last night…I’d also like to add that our per square foot calculations show we got a better price than people buying in the south end (less desireable) in 2003/2004. Also, an identical home to the one we bought, located right across the street, sold in 2003 for $605,000. That’s a drop of just about 30%.

    Libtard says:
    January 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm
    Alrighty then.

    As most of you already know, once we realized that our multi was never going to be our eventual ‘dream’ home, I promised the Gator we would buy something within 5 years. This promise was made back in late 2005. It was our 5-year plan and we first started looking literally in late 2009. The longer we could wait, the better off we would be due to more savings towards the downpayment/improvements as well as the supposed drop in real estate prices that we have all been waiting for pretty much, the last 4 years. Well when 2009 came around I showed Gator the numbers (I’m the finance guy in our family). We were essentially paying $1,100 rent to ourselves every month we stayed. Of course, this is not really true as we ended up paying mostly interest on our now 19 year mortgage. About 15 months ago, we decided to refinance down to a 20-year. It was a pretty good feeling at the refi closing when everyone commented on how everyone usually extends their mortgages. They hadn’t seen someone shorten one in a long while.

    Well we interviewed a few prospective buying agents for our journey and eventually settled with a local agent. Not only was she extremely useful to us, but she really earned her commission as we lead her on a two-year journey that involved way too many crapshack and overpriced home tours. She was really, really helpful and we consider ourselves extremely knowledgeable buyers. It was quite difficult for me to bite my tongue as so many annoying posters here recently have really put down the need for a realtor in a real estate transaction. Unless your a realtor, it really is money well spent. Fortunately, as the buyer, we didn’t have to pay for our agent. And thank the mighty one they don’t get paid by the hour, as we would have had almost no downpayment funds left. I would say that the only negative aspect of going the buying agent route was the disappointment shown in our agents body language and attitude when we looked at homes that were priced over 20% below our price range. This was really pronounced when we actually considered buying a ranch for around 300K and raising it. We didn’t go this route as it was simply too much of a pita.

    So like the rest of the patient folks here, we waited for the right house to show and it seemed like it would never happen. You all know I’m Captain Cheapo, but it was just too damn painful to watch couple after couple bid up crapshacks that we thought had potential. It was also quite disturbing to see a number of homes sell over the 24 or so months that went at decent prices, but weren’t ‘for us.’ Unfortunately, we wanted that open layout for entertaining that so many around here crave. It doesn’t help that property values have really been holding up well in Glen Ridge, especially in our price range.

    So our strategy was essentially this. We downloaded all of the data from every single home in Glen Ridge from the NJ Tax Records Search database. We then took the sales from Sue Adler’s website after asking her to include Glen Ridge and Montclair sales data. We then made a giant spreadsheet which allowed us to track trends and mainly to determine what people were paying per square foot of home as well as compared to the town assessment. We took into consideration that larger homes would naturally cost less per square foot than cheaper homes. Well the first home we put an offer on was a really nice place on Midland Ave. in the South End. We made this offer in November of 2009. The house was listed at 579K and we offered 525K and uncomfortably went up to 535K. This was a really large home but it didn’t have a main floor powder room, which is really a requirement since Gator’s mom has step issues. No first floor bathroom means less babysitting opportunities. We also needed a place that would accommodate Gator’s brother (the one who works for the feds) who will most likely become our responsibility over the next decade as Gator’s folks aren’t terribly healthy. Well the seller didn’t compromise and eventually found a renter at 3K per month and wasn’t responsible for snow removal or lawn mowing. No biggie as I still wanted to wait.

    The second house we put an offer on was on Harvard Street in the north end. It was a pretty tutor but wasn’t well maintained. The deck and garage were rotting and the downstairs was kind of small. It was a 1600 SF home and the seller wanted 479K. This was right at the end of the homebuyer credit madness so there were multiple bids. We went up to 490K and left it at that. Someone outbid us and then pulled out. We then said 490 but wanted to wait a day as another promising home was coming on the market the next day. Well the seller found another buyer just a hair above our 490 so we were a little disappointed, but still no biggie. Deep down I really wanted to see what kind of an impact the end of the tax credit would have on home prices in these parts.

    Well that other home came on the market and it was a memorable tour. The home looked nice enough from the outside, but once inside, it reeked of roasting broccoli and there were stale baguettes in milk crates every where we looked. This home was obviously a rental. The kitchen was awful, the first floor powder room was essentially a phone booth and the place was simply a mess. Needless to say, we didn’t even make it upstairs. When we left, we happened upon another buyer who just got the tour before us and they were just hanging around to see how long it would take us before we exited. It was quite amusing actually. This crapshack listed for 530K. The only thing good about it was the square footage which was 2250.

    Man were we surprised when a month or two later that crapshack went under contract. And soon after the buyer pulled out over inspection items, which is apparently way more common these days. The owner decided to fix these inspection items, redo the floors, paint the walls and get this…raise the price 10K to 540K we suppose to cover his costs. So we plodded on.

    About 6 months later the owner lowered the price to 489K and that’s when we decided to take another look at it. It was now in the realm of value, but not a screaming buy. So we waited and kept looking. It was then lowered again to 460K. Now that’s what I’m talking about. It was time to take another look. So we walked through and realized that the place was actually perfect for our needs, minus the kitchen and bathroom on the first floor. Outside of that, the 2nd floor bathroom had a bidet and was ugly gold-threaded marble from ceiling to floor. It’s in perfect condition, but pretty ugly. The bedrooms had some really nice size to them, the electric was upgraded, the furnace was only 15 years old (some of the ones we saw were 100) nice fireplace, nice open layout, 2 car garage, etc. It’s also in the north end which commands a premium. So we swooped in with a 430K offer. Keep in mind our price range took us up to the mid 500s. They accepted and we were off to the races. Everything was going great until the inspection. That inspector that Chifi recommended was the real deal. Not only was he cheaper than the locals,, but he was 3 times better than the highly touted a-hole we used on our multi. Needless to say, no stone was left unturned and he dug up about $5,000 in items that needed doing to make the house whole. His report was like 92 pages. The main problems were that two old trees needed to come down and there was some rot in 2 x 4s in the back of the garage. We presented this to the seller and they came back and said they’d pay half. We gave a last and final at $3,700 against the wishes of our buying agent and my lawyer, but they bit. The loan was no problem as Gator and I have credit scores in the 800s and enough retirement dollars to buy the home outright. So we go to do the final walkthrough yesterday at noon with a 1pm closing and two things are wrong. First, the snow was unshoveled for the last two storms. Of course before we went into the home, the owner was there in his Mercedes with a plastic shovel. Keep in mind this guy must be 80 years old. He actually planned to shovel the driveway himself. The snow was solidified by now of course and there was no way no how he could have possibly done it without croaking. He also tells us that he recently had a bypass. Fun stuff and only an hour before closing. Then once inside we notice that no water was running through the pipes as the furnace had kicked off due to a leaky radiator valve which steam was escaping from in the dining room. We caught this during inspection (actually I did, but this was before the inspector got a chance to look). So there was no way I was buying a home with frozen pipes. There was actually an icicle running from the spigot in the upstairs bathroom sink. The thermostat read 32 degrees. Thank the lord, they didn’t break. Well it took until about 10pm last night to defrost the pipes (plumber was brought in apparently) and the driveway and walks were plowed this morning. We walked through again at noon today and all was good this time and we were done in under an hour at the mortgage brokers offices.

    Now that it’s over it’s nice to know that we really got an amazing deal. Keep in mind, this was the case when we brought our multi. Look where we are now. So far, have taken a 75K loss on it easy. But then again, we have been paying $1100 rent to ourselves for six years so you can do the math. So it appears that this is the 4th cheapest price paid per square foot of home in Glen Ridge over the past two years. This is really not bad considering what some of those crapshacks looked like that sold. We now have enough money to put in a kitchen and a real bathroom and it will still be $75K less than the top of our price range. So it’s getting late and I need to work tomorrow, so fire away with your questions if you have any. By the way, I seriously considered working with Grim, but this deal came together right about the time I started feeling him out. Quite frankly, I didn’t think there would ever be any deals to be had. I can’t believe we ended up buying the broccoli and baguette house after looking at at least 60 homes over the past two years. Good night all and sorry I didn’t even reread this. Just don’t got the time. Donations to the ‘we be broke’ fund are now being accepted.

  39. Painhrtz says:

    Grim as you so aptly pointed out a long time ago, some people will never buy. Lemming behaviour works both ways, 2004-2006 evreyone had to buy, now everyone has to wait until the absolute bottom.

    When we bought we bought a house well priced at the market conditions of the time, got 12K off of the sale price which was still 30K below other houses in the area, minimal updates required, and a mortgage rate around 5%. Waiting was not economically feasible considering market volatility and fit into our plans for the future.

    Carlie a deal today is a deal today. Will it be better next year, probably, but looking at the quality inventory decline, as well as the creep in mortgage interest rates. Nobody can give you a concrete answer. If your planning to buy, then buy. Make sure that the house fits your plans for today and can grow with you tomorrow. Consider carefully the financial impact of all associated costs with home ownership, job stability and current mortgage rates. If it fits into your plans then you will have the answer. No hidden gremlin with a screen name can help you with the decision, your own due diligence will.

  40. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Libtard, Gator

    Conragts, and enjoy!

  41. ditto says:

    I’ve been looking in Glen Ridge – I don’t know how much emphasis I’d put on $ per sq. ft. I saw an absolutely horrendous large square footage rabbit warren with blind corridors and mishapen rooms that you couldn’t make me move into if you had a gun to my head, but it was a steal if you were looking at $ per sq. ft.

  42. JJ says:

    A deal today is only a deal today depending on asset allocation.

    Lets say it is March 2009 and you buy a house for 500K that costs 2.5K a month in a town that rents for same unit are 3.4k a month. Wow, you have saved 24K on rent in first two years.

    However, lets say you put down 20% or 100K and you had the money in stocks and missed the 90% run up. Well you are out 90K, which makes your 24K in rent savings seem like a bad deal, however, if you had it your 100K deposit in at Chase in checking at .001% 24K in rent savings is a great deal.

    Until homes demostrate a few month over month increases I won’t buy. Why, cost to carry higher priced home and loss of interest income on downpayment savings will run me 10K a month. Buying too soon is a far great risk than buying a little too late. Hence the problem in the upper end homes, no one needs them, they just want them.

  43. Libtard says:

    “Let me tell you, what a waste of time. Nobody ever liked the bargains, despite their better than market pricing and easily correctable defects. Even just showing these homes was a waste of time.”

    Yup. In our 2-year long search, we found lots of homes with beautiful kitchens and baths but they were always priced between 550K and 700K. The rest of these homes had tiny rooms and many had basements with ceilings so low you couldn’t stand up in them. Others had driveways that couldn’t hold more than one car. Somehow we found a place for 430K that has the 2 car garage, long driveway, nice quiet location, big rooms and open layout. What will a new bathroom and kitchen cost us? I’m thinking 35-40K. So for 470K we easily end up with a home that others are willing to pay closer to 600K for. We just saw a flip on Oxford go for a hair under 600K. No central air, not a great layout, but it has a nice kitchen and bath. Who knows, if the market turns sour, maybe I’ll flip this new purchase?

    And I’m not surprised people aren’t interested in the hard data Grim. Time after time we witnessed these foolish buyers overpaying for freshly painted crapshacks. Trust me. I would tell Gator there’s now way a place will sell for over 575K and then the two months later we’d see the sale listed in the paper at 620K. I suppose there are still enough people who brought their lousy little Park Slop places in the early 90s so they have money to burn today. I’m not that lucky though. I have to dollar-cost-average into real estate now.

    If anyone wants to see the crazy spreadsheet, I can post it tonight to Google Docs.

  44. Juice Box says:

    re #1 – “wide net of blame”

    Baloney —> all roads of blame lead to DC.

  45. Libtard says:

    Ditto (42):

    Price per square foot wasn’t the only consideration. If it was, we would have bought one of those near condemned places down by the East Orange border. The home had everything we were looking for and the excellent price was the dealmaker. Might have paid 20 to 30K more if the seller wasn’t so desperate to unload.

    Now it’s on to contractor madness. Probably going to go with this Italian couple who did work in one of our friends new homes. They don’t want plans or architectural drawings. They also don’t want to buy the supplies. You simply pay their labor. They will move in when they do the work as they are from Connecticut. Now where to buy the kitchen cabinets? Any good ideas anyone. I really don’t want to do the Lowe’s/HD thing. They were fine for the countertops in our multi, but way way overpriced for the cabinets.

  46. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [44];

    I’d be much obliged to see your analytical approach.

  47. Juice Box says:

    re # 44 – Lib & Gator – Congratulations….. you finally purchased a home that reaches you level of mediocrity. Can you now get on to sticking it to Mayor Fraud? How about we all chip in for a nice full page advertisement in The Montclarion?

  48. Painhrtz says:

    Lib and Gator after reading the details nice work. Lib must have been a great place to get you to open the wallet. congrats again.

  49. Painhrtz says:

    Man the spammers are having a bad babel fish day

  50. Libtard says:

    I am not cheap when it comes to value. I buy expensive shoes and take lots of vacations. Being cheap allows me these luxuries.

  51. ditto says:

    Libtard – I’m with you on the contracor plan – never go with a contractor unless 1) you’ve seen their work, 2) you know the person who paid them and they confirm the contractors didn’t do any shenanigans like suddenly asking for 50% more halfway through when the bathroom looks like a bombsite.

    If the Italian live-in contractors do the cooking it could be sweet.

  52. scribe says:

    This came through this morning in the Media Bistro daily email.
    If blogs are eligible, let’s all nominate Grim!

    Wonder what the prize is?

    The Sidney Hillman Foundation is now accepting nominations and submissions for the 2011 Hillman Prizes, honoring investigative journalism that fosters social and economic justice.

    Categories include: books (non-fiction), reporting in newspaper, magazine, and online (including blogs), film and broadcast journalism (includes television and radio), and photojournalism. Click here for more information and to make a nomination.

  53. Dink says:

    Stu & Gator,

    I imagine that the house’s tax bill allowed you to get even greater value than otherwise expected. I think Gator’s skills would be quite a competitive advantage over other buyers in the market. I assume most people view the total cost of the house inclusive of the current tax rate, not the potential lower tax rate. I may be wrong though.

    Stu,

    Also since I trust that you did all the research, what are the best shoes dollar for dollar?

  54. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [36];

    It really depends on what you consider a fixable defect. Kitchen & bath,
    frocked wallpaper, roofing and siding, fence and landscaping, even antique single pane windows and 80-yo mechanicals – sure, that’s nothing price can’t fix (thought it sure adds up quicker than even the bargain the asking prices acknowledge). Bad layout, bad land, bad location (relative to schools/shopping/transit-commute), frontier neighborhood/schools, and (if we don’t all have Gator on out side) out of control tax assesment can’t be fixed at any price.

    BTW, what’s with the old site auto-forwarding here? I was trying to peruse some of your archive writings to see if I am right in my perception of a contrast with today.

  55. Libtard says:

    what are the best shoes dollar for dollar?

    For sneakers go with the North Face. I wear them everyday and they always last at least a year. You can get them on clearance for about $40.

    For boots, get the last model of Vasque that is still made in Italy. They used to be called the Sundowner. Now I think they are called MX3. I’m not sure as I doubt the ones I’m wearing will ever wear out.

    For dress shoes, there is none more durable than a good pair of Johnston & Murphy’s. Hard to find under $80 though and often you will have to pay $100. Treat the leather to real conditioner (none of that junk they sell in the shoe store) once a year and they will last forever. If you get a wood sole, the sole will wear out pretty quickly, but get them resoled for about $20 at any local shoemaker.

  56. grim says:

    #55 – I’m talking about properties that have curable defects where the net investment (purchase and repairs) would still represent a greater value than comparable properties on the market.

    Two similar homes, same street, same style. One with 50s kitchen and 2.1 baths, carpets needing replacement, compared with the other with 70s kitchen and 2.1 baths, newer but still used carpets. Property with the older kitchen and baths priced $50k less. Lower priced property showed very poorly, as a result of the packrat elderly owners. It smelled like old people, had filthy light switch covers, and the paint was in very poor condition (staining up near the ceiling).

    Which is the better deal?

  57. Juice Box says:

    re # 53 + 56 – Those are nice shoes? If you don’t you get them handmade by heroin addicted orphans in Portugal they aren’t fashionable or nice. Try picking up a pair of Berlutis at Barneys with all of that extra coin you saved on your new place.

    http://www.barneys.com/Berluti/BERLTSHOES1,default,sc.html

  58. JJ says:

    Last week I looked at a fixer upper in a rich neighborhood, was mint from outside but inside boxes everywhere, realtor told me he could not get front door open when he got listing and he moved around 100 boxes from entry way himself. Owner came home mid tour while I was looking at a room with boxes of junk so high you could not get into room more than a few feet, mater of fact homeowner goes I never got around to unpacking those boxes when I move in. She moved into house in 1996. All this joy for an asking price of 1.4 million but she would take 1.1. million which is 300K off.

    grim says:
    January 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

    #55 – I’m talking about properties that have curable defects where the net investment (purchase and repairs) would still represent a greater value than comparable properties on the market.

    Two similar homes, same street, same style. One with 50s kitchen and 2.1 baths, carpets needing replacement, compared with the other with 70s kitchen and 2.1 baths, newer but still used carpets. Property with the older kitchen and baths priced $50k less. Lower priced property showed very poorly, as a result of the packrat elderly owners. It smelled like old people, had filthy light switch covers, and the paint was in very poor condition (staining up near the ceiling).

    Which is the better deal?

  59. Painhrtz says:

    Grim former rather than the latter both will need updates, but some things to consider types of pipes and electrical. If they are 50’s vintage plumbing and electrical. I’m probably going with the 70’s house, but some other things that are often not considered with a home of that vintage asbestos insulation remediation and lead certs. If there are no major mechanical upgrades needed and all certs are in place I stick with my original pick.

  60. Libtard In the City says:

    Good luck getting lead and asbestos certs on any home built 50s or earlier. We simply paint regularly and soffeted in our Asbestos covered pipes. The cost for remediation must be upwards of 20K for these two issues. Really, it’s not worth it.

  61. Painhrtz says:

    Juice

    These are quite possibly the ugliest over priced pieces of leather I have ever seen.

    http://www.barneys.com/Scritto-Driver/500728341,default,pd.html

    Lib your right if I have to deal with the asbestos head ache, no deal

  62. grim says:

    I would generally agree, but both houses were built in the 50s, one was updated some 25 years later, the other wasn’t.

    Man, I walked into an estate sale house a few months back, stepped into the master bedroom and I swore I’d find a dead body in bed. Turns out the owner passed away, EMS took her out of the house, family never even came to clean up, etc. Was like walking into suspended animation, food rotting on the stove, etc.

    Sold for a major discount, similar home two houses up sold for $200k more in 2006.

    Had they just cleaned out the house, they’d probably have netted $25-50k more.

  63. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:
  64. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [57];

    That’s too easy. But to take the buyer’s side for a minute – the X-factor is the unknown unkowns. What maintenance bill is waiting to clobber the buyer over the head? Maybe a 30-yr old kitchen inspires more confidence than a 60-yr old one that the owner kept up things like they should have. “Staining up near the ceiling” usually means water leaks.

    Plus you’re forgetting one thing – “People are dumb, panicky animals.”

  65. grim says:

    That’s too easy. But to take the buyer’s side for a minute – the X-factor is the unknown unknowns.

    But this applies to every transaction. Caveat emptor. It doesn’t matter how polished or unpolished a home looks, you simply can’t know. Nothing like a granite countertop and stainless appliances to give a buyer a completely false sense of security.

  66. make money says:

    Lib,

    See Timmy at Milhursts Mills of route 33 in Manalapan. I love that place, they have everything and always shave taxes if you pay cash. Or anyone of those chinese cabinet places in Brooklyn. There is one that I used to use right by the three guys fruit store. HD/L is way to overpriced and its still junk.

  67. Libtard In the City says:

    make…maybe I will take the trip this weekend. Thanks.

  68. poor guy says:

    Libtard, Njgator

    Gongrats for your purchase–hope you have good times in your new home.

    I know this house. It is huge and an amazing bargain for location and size. Good luck with the renovations.

  69. Qwerty says:

    http://nymag.com/news/politics/70829/index2.html

    The president’s friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett sometimes pointed out that not only had he never managed an operation, he’d never really had a nine-to-five job in his life. Obama didn’t know what he didn’t know, yet his self-confidence was so stratospheric that once, in the context of thinking about Emanuel’s replacement, he remarked in all seriousness, “You know, I’d make a good chief of staff.”

    Those overhearing the comment somehow managed to suppress their laughter.

  70. Al Mossberg says:

    Things are looking ugly in China. There are reportedly unreported riots and demonstrations due to rising food costs.

  71. Al Mossberg says:

    Where has Wantan been? Options expiry today.

  72. make money says:

    Lib,

    I bought this exact marble fireplace for an apartment in Manhattan last year at Timmy’s for $625. Although I had to pay my guy $1K to haul it and install it. (weighted a few tons), however, you should have seen everyone’s face as they thought it was worth tens of thousands. You never know what you find at millhurst mills I always end up buying something that I didn’t go there for.

    http://tinyurl.com/6gmrfj7

  73. Al Mossberg says:

    Things are looking even worse in Egypt. Riots have frozen the stock exchange there after a 6% drop. Lamar, this is great ultra violence for your viewing pleasure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8GnQ0tGsBI&feature=watch_response

  74. Painhrtz says:

    Al China is not the stable raging asian tiger that it is made out to be. There is a lot of public disssent that goes unreported even to the Chinese. Then again what would you expect, they are a totalitarian communist country. By creating a middle class they are hoping to cultivate American style middle class malaise. Unfortunately when you have a populace of over a billion people, the number of those left behind is exponentially greater than here in America. I would not be shocked to see another Tiananmen square incident in the next few years. The unwashed classess in the red giant are getting mad at being left behind, and there is concern for those who are enjoying their new found prosperity.

    I have had boots on the ground in Shanghai, Guanzhou, Hong Kong and Beijing there is an undercurrent of it could all fall apart tomorrow everywhere.

  75. grim says:

    I might have to drive over there too..

  76. onthebrink says:

    Gator and Stu,
    Congrats on your new home! Sounds like you got a great deal. Reading your story reminds me that Im not alone in my year-and counting search. Maybe one day we can all get together and tell our home-buying stories and laugh about the long road there.

    Would you mind sharing your (and Chifis) inspector name? You can get my email from Grim if you would rather not post it online. I would like to have an inspector, loan agent and lawyer all vetted out and ready to go, so theres no scurry when we do find the house we are able to get.

    Thanks!

  77. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    If over a trillion in counterfeit bonds has been caught, how many trillion in counterfeit bonds is actually floating around the global market?

  78. Libtard In the City says:

    I have no issue posting his name online. Peter W. Bennett, Owner
    A Full House Inspection Co. LLC

    http://www.afullhouseinspection.com/

    Seriously…this guy looked everywhere. The inspection took at least 4 hours so be warned. He is tech savvy which is a plus (uses email) and if you are an energy geek, the thermal scan he performs for an extra $100 or so is well worth it if you want to make your home energy efficient. He did the inspection on a Friday and the 92-page report was returned to me on Monday evening. He get’s the coveted Captain Cheapo full 5-star recommendation.

  79. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    “If over a trillion in counterfeit bonds has been caught, how many trillion in counterfeit bonds is actually floating around the global market?”

    Ask Marc Dreier

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [64]nation

    Unless we are planning for future invasions of Toronto, why do the Marines need an urban training facility when we are not remotely engaged in any countries that have large urban centers?

    Would love to have a look to see if the urban training facility resembles Tehran or Cheyenne.

  81. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    HEHEHE

    I linked an article about another 20 billion in counterfeit bonds being found in Italy today, but it landed in moderation.

    so far the history is

    May 2008 – $900 BILLION
    June 2009 – $134 BILLION
    Dec 31 2010 – $147 Million
    January 26, 2011 $20 Billion

  82. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Nom,

    if you want to put on the tinfoil hat you could start talking about NorthCom

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Chowchilla, CA dips into the bond reserve fund for its latest payment. That is a technical default. Stay tuned.

  84. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [83] cat

    Yup, looks very sandy. Should be helpful for Baghdad, if we plan to stay there.

  85. Al Mossberg says:

    84.

    Welcome to FEMA region 2.

  86. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Nom 88

    The base tactis for urban warfare wouldn’t be significantly different between central bagdad, downtown LA, Tehran or Toronto.

  87. grim says:

    Maybe one day we can all get together and tell our home-buying stories and laugh about the long road there.

    Someone bring tissues, my stories stink. You’ll all love the one where the sellers asked us to pay off their HELOC..

  88. Schrodinger's Cat says:

    Pain

    Did you see this

    Wal-Mart Fined In China For Deceptive Price Practices To Mask Inflation

  89. Painhrtz says:

    No Cat I didn’t, send one of the Walton clan over for summary execution

  90. chicagofinance says:

    Stu: my wife found him when we moved into our place in Colts Neck and we had some issues. He is a Colgate grad. I am surprised he was willing to go up to Essex. He is based in Little Silver and used to only cover Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex.

    79.Libtard In the City says:
    January 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm
    I have no issue posting his name online. Peter W. Bennett, Owner
    A Full House Inspection Co. LLC

    http://www.afullhouseinspection.com/

    Seriously…this guy looked everywhere. The inspection took at least 4 hours so be warned. He is tech savvy which is a plus (uses email) and if you are an energy geek, the thermal scan he performs for an extra $100 or so is well worth it if you want to make your home energy efficient. He did the inspection on a Friday and the 92-page report was returned to me on Monday evening. He get’s the coveted Captain Cheapo full 5-star recommendation.

  91. Juice Box says:

    re: #89 – Grim based upon your recent experiences would you even bother looking at homes anymore that have second and third liens? Would it be less painful to perhaps do a title search before you even visit a property? How cheap can you get a title search these days anyway?

  92. chicagofinance says:

    BTW – Peter is such a nice guy. The thermal and motion scans let him detect stuff such as moisture, heat/cold sources and vermin in the walls….it’s insane…

  93. NJGator says:

    Chifi – He goes everywhere. He does a lot of work apparently up in Essex/Union/Bergen and the like. He was a really great guy to work with. Not only is his work solid, but he actually takes the time to explain things to the client while he is working. It’s something our agent pointed out right away as a plus. She doesn’t see that too often with other inspectors.

  94. chicagofinance says:

    Carlie: Everything you need to know you can get from NJCoast…..please be patient and try to track her down….she has MLS access and is extremely knowledgeable about the area…..as well as the Boss’ food preferences………

    33.Carlie says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:33 am
    I have been a lurker on this blog since trying to purchase a home in the over-priced, in by death, divorce or gift towns along the SE monmouth jersey shore towns-mainly Squan, Brielle and South Wall….anyone want to weigh in on how low this market will go-Spring Lake and SeaGirt are doing just fine on their high end, but the graceland crap boxes are still sitting in the low 5′s and high 4′s-word is no-one wants to lowball and offend anyone…Rates are going up and I need to buy-but when will they reduce??? Will they reduce??? Why oh why will they not conform to the state of the economy??!!!

  95. JJ says:

    I like to point the thermal and motion scan on his noggin and see what it looks like.
    chicagofinance says:
    January 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    BTW – Peter is such a nice guy. The thermal and motion scans let him detect stuff such as moisture, heat/cold sources and vermin in the walls….it’s insane…

  96. chicagofinance says:

    Stu & Gates: congrats on the house BTW

    97.NJGator says:
    January 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm
    Chifi – He goes everywhere. He does a lot of work apparently up in Essex/Union/Bergen and the like. He was a really great guy to work with. Not only is his work solid, but he actually takes the time to explain things to the client while he is working. It’s something our agent pointed out right away as a plus. She doesn’t see that too often with other inspectors.

  97. NJGator says:

    Re our purchase, I’d also have to say that the realtor used by the owners likely cost them a huge amount of money on this sale. The owners went with a small outfit in Bloomfield likely because they would take a 4% commission instead of the usual 5% on the sale. This agent did absolutely nothing to move this house. She could barely be bothered to return our agent’s phone calls.

    The house was listed as a rental with no interior pics and showed horribly. This was one of the few homes in GR that did not move when the tax credit was offered. When the tenants moved out, they upped the LP by $10k under the original listing and still added no interior pics. Absolutely nothing was done to stage the place for showing either.

    If you were a new buyer in the area and got listings from your realtor, all you’d see is a home with 200+ days on market with no pics in a town where anything decent went right away. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t even bother looking at the place because of it. And when they finally started cutting the price, it was right before the holidays when almost no one was looking. Sad thing is if they took the time to put up a fresh listing on the GSMLS and brought in some Pottery Barn-esqe furniture to stage the place they could have sold it much earlier, for quite a bit more. Even without a mortgage on the place, the taxes, insurance and utilities had to cost the sellers a minimum of $1500/month in carrying costs.

    We’ve been working with our agent for a long time and she represents a lot of area sellers. There have been so many times where we’ve seen her run off to baby sit inspections or other tests on her listings to make sure deals wouldn’t fall through. This agent couldn’t even be bothered to check once a week on a vacant house in the winter knowing that the 80 year old sellers wouldn’t.

  98. chicagofinance says:

    JJ : from yesterday….no comment?

    63.chicagofinance says:
    January 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm
    JJ for you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sz8Sx5KzHc

  99. Essex says:

    Pricing in the HELOC. Heck yeah. Want the house? Pay for the improvements or buy a fixer upper.

  100. Al Mossberg says:

    Can someone talk me out of putting in a paver patio/walkway and to buy bullion instead?

  101. Juice Box says:

    JJ – who is running Long Island these days?

    New York State Takes Control of Nassau’s Finances

    By DAVID M. HALBFINGER

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. — A state oversight board has seized control of Nassau County’s finances, saying the wealthy and heavily taxed county had nonetheless failed to balance its $2.6 billion budget despite months of increasingly ominous warnings.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/nyregion/27nassau.html?_r=1&hp

  102. Juice Box says:

    New Home Sales Fall to Lowest Level in 47 years

    January 26, 2011 – Consumers bought just 321,000 homes in 2010, the lowest reading in almost half a century.

    ut there was some positive news in the ugly results: new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 329,000 in December, an 18% jump from November, and the best showing in eight months.

    Also, the supply of new homes for sale fell to 6.9 months, compared to 8.4 months in November.

    Economists believe it could be years before sales hit a healthy rate of 600,000 units a year.

  103. JJ says:

    Sorry, utube is a blocked site, no clue what you attached.

    Nassau is the richest broke town in America. The Nassau portion of property taxes is only 16%, for me big deal as I have low taxes. It is like only $1,400 of my taxes. Even if it went up 20%, big deal. However, the overtaxed mcmansions houses that pay 30k in taxes already that 16% going up could be straw that breaks camel back.

    chicagofinance says:
    January 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    JJ : from yesterday….no comment?

    63.chicagofinance says:
    January 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm
    JJ for you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sz8Sx5KzHc

  104. JJ says:

    NJ Gator, I knew a guy who every few years would buy a run down crapbox in a good neighborhood that needed a complete overhaul. He would offer a $500 bounty to the agent to assembly the worst group of tenants possible, think Jersey Shore on Crack. Then he would rent to them and take out best renters home owners insurance possible and then not check on them whole year or until police called him, of course nature takes its course and they destroy house and he files insurance claims gets house all re-done for free and sells for big profit. Guy did it a few times.

    Maybe rent half house to JDL, half to Neo Nazes or MANBLA and boy scouts, something where you whip up trouble like a reality TV show.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    Stu….for you….

    WSJ Blogs

    The Frozen One? Jewish Hockey Player Files Discrimination Suit

    By Nathan Koppel

    Quick disclosure: We have never played professional sports and do not know what passes for bonhomie or hard-edge humor in a locker room.

    So, we have little context to bring to this post about a suit filed by 23-year-old Jewish hockey player Jason Bailey (pictured), who claims that certain coaches with the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL subjected Bailey to a hostile and discriminatory work environment.

    After signing a 3-year contract with the Ducks in 2008, Bailey was assigned to play with the Bakersfield Condors in the minor leagues. The head coach there allegedly demeaned Judaism, claiming that Jews “only care about money and who’s who,” Bailey’s complaint alleges, according to this report from The Orange County Register.

    The Condors’ assistant head coach also allegedly made derogatory remarks; both of the team’s coaches allegedly later wrote apology letters to Bailey, his lawyer, Keith Fink, told the Register. (Here’s a report on the suit from TMZ.)

    The Ducks traded Bailey to the Ottawa Senators franchise, and he current plays for the team’s Binghamton Senators, TMZ reports, noting that he has scored zero points and compiled 11 penalty minutes in 17 games this season. (Here’s Bailey’s bio page on the Senators’s website.)

    Bailey is seeking unspecified damages for religious discrimination.

    We have a call into the Ducks for comment.

    Quite apart from the Bailey suit, we pause to wonder about diversity in the NHL. We know of at least one high-profile black hockey star: former goalie Grant Fuhr. Are there other minorities in the NHL? And is the overall level of diversity in the league relevant to a particular suit?

  106. Barbara says:

    I’m going to pen a C&W song titled “All I Ever Wanted Was A Fixer Upper With Potential.”

  107. grim (36)-

    Your post, in a nutshell, is why I returned to the wine industry.

    “Is 7% really a deal breaker for you? If a home you liked came across the market and was priced well (say 7% higher than the theoretical comps), are you telling me you’d pass?

    Boy oh boy.

    I used to make fancy spreadsheets for buyers, and highlight the absolute bargain properties (like Stu mentioned yesterday). Properties that were SCREAMING buys, priced well under market.

    Let me tell you, what a waste of time. Nobody ever liked the bargains, despite their better than market pricing and easily correctable defects. Even just showing these homes was a waste of time.”

  108. JJ says:

    So the Jewish hockey player who is claim he was descriminated at work as his coach said “Jews only care about money” is suing him for money.

    Chicagofinance says:
    January 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Stu….for you….

    WSJ Blogs

    The Frozen One? Jewish Hockey Player Files Discrimination Suit

    By Nathan Koppel

    Quick disclosure: We have never played professional sports and do not know what passes for bonhomie or hard-edge humor in a locker room.

    So, we have little context to bring to this post about a suit filed by 23-year-old Jewish hockey player Jason Bailey (pictured), who claims that certain coaches with the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL subjected Bailey to a hostile and discriminatory work environment.

    After signing a 3-year contract with the Ducks in 2008, Bailey was assigned to play with the Bakersfield Condors in the minor leagues. The head coach there allegedly demeaned Judaism, claiming that Jews “only care about money and who’s who,” Bailey’s complaint alleges, according to this report from The Orange County Register.

  109. grim (66)-

    Right you are. All the nightmare homes I know in my area are all recent-vintage KHOV and TOL shitboxes.

  110. JJ says:

    “Would you like something to read?”
    “Do you have anything light?”
    “How about this leaflet, ‘Famous Jewish Sports Legends.'”
    — “Airplane”

  111. Congrats to Stu and Gator! Somebody should warn the tax people in GR that you just moved in. :)

  112. Neanderthal Economist says:

    For me another 7%-10% is worth waiting for. That extra $30-50k is needed to get into something we would keep for a long time plus there is always the chance that prices come down further than what I expect.. and I don’t make tons of money so $30-40k after tax cash takes us a number of years to save after all family and living expenses are factored in. Also wife wants move-in condition home and im not that handy and have little time for side projects so im limited on that option. But we actually have been very close to closing a contract twice in the last two years. When the right place at nice price comes along we have gone for it and will continue to but they are few and far between in my town. Unfortunately.

  113. Sepp says:

    Fewer Snouts in the Trough, Less Crime in the Streets:

    What happens when you lay off nearly half of the police in one of the most dangerous cities in America?” begins a recent account of personnel cutbacks by the municipal government of Camden, New Jersey.

    My guess would be this: The crime rate — as experienced by the affected public, rather than measured by the local government — will go down, and the public appetite will be whetted for further personnel cuts. This is because the Camden Police Department — which has laid off 167 of its 360 officers — has long been a major source of crime, rather than a deterrent to the same.

    http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2011/01/fewer-snouts-in-trough-less-crime-in.html

  114. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Preliminary estimates of census show that my town had one of the highest population growths of the entire state during last decade. And I’ve been wondering why 15 year old townhomes with no upgrades still sell for mid 2005 prices.

  115. Barbara says:

    Neanderthal, Edison?

  116. Sepp says:

    Damn hard to find a good barbarian these days….

    We know the phrase, “the barbarians at the gates.” It conjures up an image of imminent destruction. The armed barbarians outside are about to rape and pillage the sophisticated people inside. The imagery is based on the story of the fall of Rome.

    It was never that simple in the later Roman Empire in the West. From the point of view of taxation, the real barbarians were inside the gates. We face a similar problem today.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north934.html

  117. Anyone who chooses to live in Middlesex Co. deserves whatever comes their way.

    High taxes, shit schools, horrible traffic, ugly. What’s not to like?

  118. Then, there are the charming boroughs, such as Dungellen, Mebuttshcen and Middlesucks.

  119. Fort Apache, New Brunswick.

  120. Burn mf’er, burn!!! Wait until the Algerians decide to jack Europe.

    “Tunisia’s uprising has democracy watchers wondering if the instability will spill over into neighboring North African countries, but really that instability is already there. In the first week of the year, Algeria experienced violent protests after the government hiked prices for staple foods like milk, sugar, oil, and flour. Some 800 people were injured in several days of rioting, prompting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to cut costs on some foods and lower import duties on others. The rioters went home, but odds are they will return to the streets when prices rise again. But Algeria is not poor – an OPEC member, it is the ninth largest crude oil producer in the world. More importantly for this conversation, Algeria is the world’s sixth largest natural gas producer, pumping out just over 3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas in 2008. At the beginning of 2010, the country’s proven natural gas reserves stood at 159 Tcf, the tenth largest in the world, and notably, Algeria exports some 3.6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas each day to Europe. On top of the natural gas flowing to Europe through pipes, Algeria has become a key supplier of liquefied natural gas, or LNG. In 2008, Algeria exported 711 Bcf of LNG, and 90% of it went to Europe.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-why-europe-should-pay-attention-algeria

  121. Algerians worried about eating.

    “Dow Jones reports that wheat futures just hit a 29-month highs on “strong global demand.” Per the newswire, Algeria bought 800,000 tons of milling wheat, with traders estimating the nation’s purchases for January at about 1.8M. Turkey and Jordan bought wheat last week after rising food prices helped fuel unrest in Tunisia. “They’re saying, ‘Boy we’ve got to eat. We don’t know where wheat is going to be in a month,’ says PFG Best. CBOT March wheat ends up 18 1/4c at $8.56 1/2 a bushel, while KCBT March climbs 22 1/2c to $9.40 and MGE March jumps 21c to $9.77. The chart below shows the UBS Bloomberg constant maturity Wheat index which confirms the vicious loop of what surging prices and geopolitical instability means to wheat prices. The higher the prices, the greater the scramble by developing (and soon developed) countries to acquire as much wheat as possible and hoard it, hoping to avoid Tunisia’s fate, which of course will lead to even greater price surges. And all of this ignores the impact of the Goblin in Chief, whose money printing fetish has earned him, in our books, the adjective ‘genocidal’. Once China figures out what is going on, and rice prices finally explode as we fully expect they will, the world will figure out just why…The only silver lining – soon farming will be the most profitable profession in the world. And as bankers only go where the money is, Bernanke’s strategy may in fact lead to the first net natural outflow of bankers from Wall Street in history.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/wheat-futures-29-month-high-developing-country-demand-surges-aftermath-tunisia-revolution

  122. NJCoast says:

    33.Carlie says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:33 am
    I have been a lurker on this blog since trying to purchase a home in the over-priced, in by death, divorce or gift towns along the SE monmouth jersey shore towns-mainly Squan, Brielle and South Wall….anyone want to weigh in on how low this market will go-Spring Lake and SeaGirt are doing just fine on their high end, but the graceland crap boxes are still sitting in the low 5′s and high 4′s-word is no-one wants to lowball and offend anyone…Rates are going up and I need to buy-but when will they reduce??? Will they reduce??? Why oh why will they not conform to the state of the economy??!!!

    Carlie-
    Most recent sales in your towns. These people were not afraid to lowball.

    Manasquan
    370 Pine- Listed-5/18/09- $949,900
    -Closed-1/04/11- $730,000
    106 Curtis Pl- Previous sale-5/21/06- $500,000
    – Listed- 6/03/08- $525,000
    -Closed-12/18/10- $395,00
    10 Pearce Ave.-Listed-8/02/10- $549,000
    -Closed-11/24/10-$422,500
    WALL
    3224 Ridgewood-List-4/17/10-$748,950
    – Closed-1/4/11-$635,000
    2306 Orchard Crest Blvd.-List-3/20/10-$794,900
    -Closed-1/4/11-$630,900
    1635 18th Ave-List-8/04/10-$375,00
    -Closed-12/30/10- $265,000
    BRIELLE
    1009 Shore Dr-List-11/03/10-$899,000
    -Closed-1/08/11-$899,00
    618 Isham Cir.-List-4/23/09-$745,900
    -Closed-12/16/10-$575,00
    401 Osborn-List-4/1/09-$2,750,000
    -Closed-12/3/10-$2,000,000

    Bon Jovi rehearsals tonight at the Starland Ballroom and show tomorrow. His food preference-homemade chicken soup. Don’t like his music but he sure is cute.

  123. NJCoast says:

    Congrats Stu and Gator.

  124. coast (124)-

    If they played Bon Jovi every day at Gitmo, they’d all be Christians by now.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    Njc,

    Do you put sage in your chicken soup?

  126. Libtard says:

    Thanks for all the kind words ya’all.

  127. Neanderthal Economist says:

    nah barbs not edison, or middlesex county.

  128. veets (129)-

    Paterson?

  129. NJCoast says:

    Clot-
    Ha.So true.
    Shore-
    Yes I do along with fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme when making the stock. Just parsley in the finished soup. I have to use lots of herbs because none of my clients will ingest any salt for fear of becoming bloated (like their egos).

  130. nj escapee says:

    Congrats to Stu and Gator. You guys must really love Jerzee

  131. Libtard says:

    “You guys must really love Jerzee”

    Nah, we both have good jobs with decent salaries.

  132. Libtard says:

    And we just love D’Jais. You can’t get this anywhere else in the country or the world.

  133. Shore Guy says:

    During the 2008 financial crisis, the federal government reacted in a frantic, ad hoc fashion, tapping taxpayers for bailouts galore, running roughshod over the rights of bondholders and catching the American people unaware and unprepared. In contrast, we still have time to prepare for the looming crisis threatening to engulf California, Illinois, New York and other state governments.

    The new Congress has the opportunity to prepare a fair, orderly, predictable and lawful approach to help struggling state governments address their financial challenges without resorting to wasteful bailouts. This approach begins with a new chapter in the federal Bankruptcy Code that provides for voluntary bankruptcy by states, a proven option already available to all cities and towns across America.

    The figures for next year’s budgets are staggering. California, which faces a $25.4-billion budget shortfall, will pay $100,000+ pensions to more than 12,000 state and municipal retirees this year. A Stanford study puts the state’s unfunded pension obligations at more than half a trillion dollars. Illinois has a $15-billion budget deficit, prompting its governor and lame-duck Legislature to hike its personal income tax rate by 66%. New York, where 73% of the government workforce is unionized, is staring at a $10-billion deficit.

    snip

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-gingrich-bankruptcy-20110127,0,4958969.story

  134. blurb says:

    37 Stephen Street?

  135. still_looking says:

    Congratulations Stu and Gator! You guys must be thrilled!

    I definitely agree with Stu about being frugal most areas then splurge on vacations, footwear and good food! Kudos!

    sl

  136. still_looking says:

    Debt Super,

    My sister is a wine-nut. She got me started on some wines. She showed me a Robert Craig 2007 Cab. Do you sell it? Also a Napa Cab called Quintessa – she gave us a bottle but I haven’t tried it yet.

    I have a great Hardin 2007 Cab that I am in love with… never disappoints me.

    Some wine guy convinced me to try Caymus Cab 2008? It sucked. Not sure if it needed time or is just plain ole yucky.

    sl

  137. still_looking says:

    Stu, grim, make,

    I want to see this place, too – I really love that style — it looks so cool for a fireplace.

    BTW. I need a decorator. Yes. I admit that I am too time constrained and stooopid to decorate my own place. Reasonable suggestions anyone?

    sl

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