With the easy money gone, agents leave the business

From the Press of Atlantic City:

Cape May County realtors deciding to leave industry as housing economy is slow to recover

Leigh Ann Austin is putting her real estate career on hold after 30 years in the business.

Austin, of Cape May, has specialized in new Cape May County construction, but she became discouraged with the southern New Jersey market as it steadily lost real estate jobs following the housing-market collapse of 2007.

“I love real estate. I like the one-on-one with people,” the former professional singer and stage actress said. “It’s like getting a standing ovation when someone loves the house I show them and they buy it.”

Austin said she is going on a sabbatical until the market recovers: “It wasn’t that difficult a decision. I was just burnt out,” she said. “I could see the handwriting on the wall: It’s going to be a while before the market recovers. I’ll just wait it out and see what happens.”

Austin is hardly alone in her decision.

Ocean City’s Board of Realtors lost about a third of its members in the past four years. The board, once 800 strong, now has about 535 members, with another 19 out-of-state members.

The lucrative real estate industry that props up much of the Cape May County economy has seen drastic cutbacks.

“We are hearing that all over,” said Diane Wieland, director of tourism in Cape May County. “A lot of Realtors we worked with to get statistics are no longer with their firms. Real estate agents have changed jobs. It’s all part of that tourism picture. The economy really hit that industry hard.”

Membership rolls at the New Jersey Association of Realtors climbed from 47,000 in 2004 to as high as 57,000 at the peak of the real estate boom in 2006 before falling to 46,000 today, its website shows, representing a membership drop of 20 percent.

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91 Responses to With the easy money gone, agents leave the business

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. Mike says:

    Oh boo hoo go get a job in a car dealership

  3. Mike says:

    Both are lower than whale poo, which is where Osama is now

  4. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Housing’s Good News Is Federal Cash Shortage: Caroline Baum

    With U.S. home prices back down to their 2009 lows, you might be wondering what all the government programs to stabilize the housing market have accomplished.

    And for good reason. Various federal initiatives, especially the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, seemed to put a brake on the three-year dive in prices from July 2006, the peak, to April 2009. Home sales and prices bounced, only to hit the skids when the program ended in April 2010. Which is what you’d expect when the government stops cutting checks for $8,000, payable to the homeowner on completion of his purchase.

    Was the two-year respite worth it? Would prices have fallen harder and faster if left to their own devices and now be showing signs of stabilization?

    The other piece of evidence is a case study by Tom Lawler, president of Lawler Economic & Housing Consulting LLC in Leesburg, Virginia, that, just coincidentally, tests my hypothesis.

    In “A Tale of Two Counties,” Lawler compares two Washington metro areas: Prince William County, Virginia, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. Both counties witnessed rapid home-price appreciation during the housing boom. Both had higher-than-average (for the D.C. suburbs) shares of subprime mortgages. And both saw prices take a dive from their 2006 peak.

    Today, home prices in Prince William County are above the 2009 lows, while those in Prince George’s County still are declining. The difference seems to be the speed with which foreclosed homes were resold.

    Virginia has one of the fastest foreclosure timelines in the nation, according to Lawler. House prices fell faster, and inventories were reduced more quickly, in Virginia than in Maryland, where judicial and legislative actions are drawing out the process.

    Lawler admits his study isn’t conclusive. In an economy, unlike in model-land, one can’t hold everything else constant to determine the effect of one variable.

    It does support the idea that the faster prices are allowed to fall, the faster unsold inventory can be allocated, and the sooner the market will find its equilibrium.

    Maybe their children will live to see equity in the home regained. Once the supply and demand dynamics that affect home values in the short run are aligned, good old-fashioned economic fundamentals, such as income growth and housing affordability, come into play, according to Sam Khater, senior economist at CoreLogic.

    On that score, there’s little reason to expect much of a bounce. Real incomes have been stagnant since the late 1990s, according to Khater. Housing may be affordable now, thanks to depressed prices and low mortgage rates, but interest rates will eventually rise. At the same time, “the rules of the game are changing,” with tighter standards imposed for both underwriting and securitizing of mortgages, he says.

    CoreLogic looked at regions of the country that experienced the biggest housing busts of the past: the oil-patch states, including Texas and Colorado, in the early to mid-1980s; southern California in the late 1980s-early 1990s, following the savings and loan crisis; and New England, also in the late 1980s-early 1990s. In these cases, it took three to five years for house prices to bottom and six to eight years to reach pre- bust levels, Khater reports.

    We should be so lucky. Almost five years after the peak, home prices are still falling in most areas after a nationwide boom and bust. Unemployment is high at 8.8 percent. And banks are understandably cautious about making new real estate loans.

    It turns out that burst asset bubbles, especially when the asset in question is the major one for most households, aren’t quite as easy to clean up as the Federal Reserve thought.

    The only good news for housing is that Washington is now preoccupied with reducing the deficit. Even if it wanted to, federal government doesn’t have the resources to throw good money after bad.

  5. whipped says:

    Brokers are simply vultures masquerading as glorified door openers. Hopefully in a decade they’ll all be gone, what with all the new web technology.
    I am still looking for a house in Bergen and refuse to use a broker, relying only NJMLS and word of mouth. How many times have I heard this year from seller’s brokers…”now’s the time to buy….we’ve hit bottom!!” They are incapable of not lying.

  6. 30 Year Realtor says:

    #5 whipped said “refuse to use a broker, relying only NJMLS”. Which is it? NJMLS is a broker organization! Who do you call to see the house, the listing agent? If brokers serve no useful purpose, why do you use the tools they have created and call to see their listings? There are plenty of FSBOs out there.

  7. whipped (5)-

    They were saying that in 1995. 16 years later, a succession of internet outfits has tried and failed. The current iterations are likely to do no better.

    There are always new, exciting internet ventures that promise delivery of top shelf results for peanuts. The technology continues to improve, while the skills of the people who actually do the work of internet real estate continue to diminish.

    It’s very, very hard to attract sales talent to a company that promises continually lower pay for working longer and harder.

    “Brokers are simply vultures masquerading as glorified door openers. Hopefully in a decade they’ll all be gone, what with all the new web technology.”

  8. Jets12 says:

    (1) Technology (redfin, zillow, trulia, bankrate, quickenloans etc & speedy online access to detailed local data/demographics/maps/features, etc.) has destroyed any value the traditional model has.

    (2) Virtually no barrier to entry to the profession of any kind causes the ‘car salesman’ & ‘beautician’, Tom, Dick, & Harry to compete against well educated & achieved professionals clouding the business space.

    (3) ONLY in real estate do I see WOMEN basically advertise their LONG BLOND HAIR & BOOBS! Look at their business cards, websites, and ads. I don’t see female accountants or lawyers selling their services like this. It speaks to the integrity of the profession when it selves itself no different than Las Vegas Showgirls.

    The “herd” needs to be thinned out, commissions reduced, it’s a different model going forward. The upside to this economy is how it’s weeding out the clowns.

  9. NJ Toast says:

    With this economic downturn, have residential real estate agents lowered their commissions? I would think this would be a good indicator if the market sees their worth as diminishing.

    All of the online information reduces any value an agent brings in terms of providing analytical data / intelligence (no pun intended) to the table.

  10. 30 Year (6)-

    Some people can only function in gray markets (like the FSBO market), because they cannot interact with people who employ sales skills. Somehow, selling becomes conflated with lying, and this type of customer cannot discern the difference.

    Funny that many who buy from owners selling on their own (I count myself in this group, as I’ve bought a couple FSBOs myself) often view these sellers in one of two ways:

    – kindly and honest; or,
    – greedy, lowlife rubes

    Either way, the buyer’s goal in FSBO transactions is to “beat” the seller by obtaining prices and terms much better than can be had in a conventional deal. I have yet to see one of these transactions in which there was anything other than a clear winner and loser. The best intermediated transactions, OTOH, are ones in which both parties feel a little beat up, yet make the deal anyway because what is gained is greater than what is sacrificed…on either side of the table.

  11. Selling is nothing more than educating and teaching a client about a particular product or service. Generally, goods and services cannot be marketed successfully without some sort of directed, concentrates sales effort.

  12. jets12 (8)-

    Quicken? Bankrate? Zillow (and its oh-so-accurate Zestimates)?

    Have you ever done a loan with Quicken? All I can say is, Dan Gilbert should’ve stuck to bookmaking.

    Bankrate? Nice referral and cross-marketing scheme. They are also pretty good at payday loans, too.

    Zillow? Somebody please explain to me how a company that is openly dedicated to buyer agency can take listings in good faith.

  13. Jets12 (8)-

    I pretty much agree with the rest of your post. However, the thinning of the herd will probably lead to greater competence and higher pay for those who survive.

  14. toast (9)-

    RE information is both ubiquitous and worthless. Agents who only traffic in information (or the withholding of same, in order to force customer loyalty) long ago donned their blue and orange smocks.

    Agents with skill are beginning to be able to enforce higher commissions, especially in the short sale arena. Sellers in these deals understand that the lender is paying the commission, and Treasury guidelines now prohibit lenders from trying to negotiate commissions down at the 11th hour, as long as the stated commission doesn’t exceed 6%.

  15. grim says:

    Trulia and zillow? These sites are supported by real estate industry advertising.

  16. grim (15)-

    They long ago stopped being mavericks.

    Eat my bread, do my will.

  17. Good God.

    “Today SNAP released the most recent food stamp numbers. Not surprisingly, we just saw another all time high 44.2 million poverty-level Americans relying on government funding for day to day sustenance. Granted the number appears to be plateauing, so all those who bought the change if not the ho[y]pe, can rejoice as it may start declining next month: a development that is sure to be herald for Obama a 4th Putin-esque term. That said, another number that has to be kept in perspective and for which we have to thank none other than Pauly-K is that offsetting these 44.2 million of impoverished Americans who can get a tax refund for writing off the American dream, are 400 Americans who accounted for 10%, or $91 billion of total, in capital gains taxes, or said otherwise, 400 US taxpayers account for 10% of all capital gains in 2007! We are currently going through old issues of Pravda to see if the Communist empire ever achieved this kind of social disparity between the nomenklatura and the proletariat (it didn’t). If we find confirmation we will post it, and lose a sizable bet which will certainly deny us any possibility of every being among the abovementioned 400.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/food-stamp-recipients-hit-new-record-400-americans-account-10-capital-gains

  18. Fabius Maximus says:

    My personal observation is that there seems to be a thinning of the herds at the likes of Coldwell and Weicert. The ones staying in the industry are moving to the independents. Every few weeks I seem to get a “I’ve moved” from another one.

    The one that makes me smile is the Rottweiler that bad mouthed Re-Max to me, guess were she ended up.

  19. Most big-franchise offices feature 10% of the agents doing 90% of the business.

  20. Juice X says:

    Re: 15 Grim they turn a profit? I thought is was the VC startup money that keeps them afloat.The SEC-1 filing for Zillow show allot of losses now both Zilow and Trulia are rushing IPOs when they should have done it 5 years ago. we will see consolidation soon and it will become subscription eventually.

    JJ – I buy research all the time I pay gladly, for that helps me be a successful investor, good information has a price, Realtors have plenty of information that you cannot get online at any price.

  21. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Re,

    “ONLY in real estate do I see WOMEN basically advertise their LONG BLOND HAIR & BOOBS! ”

    For the female agents in Hoboken: place the realty signs with pictures of your face higher off the ground at the properties you are listing. All it takes is one dog to whiz on your face picture and then they all let loose on it. I am beginning to think some of you have a fetish.

    Ps. I wouldn’t handle those signs with your bare hands afterwards.

  22. Jets12 says:

    Zillow & Trulia are often terrific to learn of the history of a property, in seconds, free., and to get a ‘snap shot’ of the area (properties, sales, etc.) in seconds. Of course you don’t rely on any one, and they are not always complete or accurate, but as a tool of guidance, very decent in many situations and far better than a real estate agent (to discern history).

    EXAMPLE: Trulia & Zillow v. Real Estate Agent:
    It’s very easy to forecast an impending short (or great deal for a buyer).

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/248-Van-Buren-Ave-Teaneck-NJ-07666/38035248_zpid/

    Sold for $550K in ’07, a Greedy FSBO effort took place (look at all the entries), just look at the 3 year sales effort around that very nice home with the greedy buyer of ’07. This is a property that ‘descended’ to short status over the years. I’ve been watching this house for 1 yr since it was listed at $559K (now it’s at $449K).

    The point? Last Fall, thanks to Zillow it took 60 seconds for a person to forecast this was a short in the works, it was just a matter of time. You look at the buy year and price, and the asking price, the seller was trying to cover their nut/mortgage and not meet the market. The property finally came out, about 3 months ago, when the clock ran out and it had officially enter ‘short status’ requiring a 3rd party (bank) to okay a deal.

    There are lots of properties like this. Properties who’s documented history can be used for insight and leverage in a buy. You can forecast shorts, before their technically shorts, and make aggressive buy offers. Show me a property that’s been handled by 3 different brokerages in 12 or 18 months and I’ll show you a property you should stay away from….there is some kind of problem lurking around it. This all takes SECONDS to discern, thanks to Zillow and the like.

    We’re talking about ‘fact based historical data’ here. Real Estate agents often ‘color, or frame knowledge they have in a manner to facilitate a transaction, they’re usually biased in favor of a transaction happening’. For example, thanks to Zillow or Trulia or the like, in SECONDS you can discern the amount and measure of ‘turnover’ on the block you’re considering buying in – over time. A real estate agent may not disclose this fact about a block their client is about to buy into….heavy or active ‘turn-over’, etc. That says something about a block, active turn over, and that’s an example of fact based data Zillow and the like can inform you of, in seconds, that an agent won’t necessarily as it may not facilitate a transaction happening.

    You have to know how to use these sites. Just because Zestimates can be wildly off does not mean these sights are not incredibly valuable in what you can learn, in seconds, about a property, where a buy point may be, or where you may want to avoid.

    A friend graduating from college with plenty of debt wanted to buy something near NJ Transit for less than $200K, showed me this house. On first blush $169K looks like a great deal.
    http://www.trulia.com/property/1041902747-737-Vose-Ave-Orange-NJ-07050
    Between Zillow and Trulia it took me 15 seconds to see the house has been resold every 2 years for the past decade, literally. Do you think a selling or buying agent would share that fact with a potential buyer? Nope. I don’t know what it is about that location, but I would not advise anyone buy a property that’s had that much turnover in a decade. There is something with that house, or that location, to where you’re not going to want to be there. Again, takes seconds to learn this from Zillow or Trulia.

  23. Jets12 (22)-

    There has always been some sort of something-for-nothing model in RE since the end of WWII. What is the common thread amongst all of them?

  24. Juice X says:

    Re: 22 JJ – Realtors are similar to matchmakers who have suvived on variable commissions for centuries matching up the less disirable and less marketable people with each other. I don’t think people would stand a chance otherwise. Few men like me were ever chased by dozens of prospects offering their service for “free” year in and out. I am just lucky I did did not die from all of that price discovery.

  25. kettle1^2 says:

    Hobo 7

    It’s very, very hard to attract sales talent to a company that promises continually lower pay for working longer and harder.

    That sounds like a perfect opportunity for outsourcing to “john” Mumbai, India !!!

  26. kettle1^2 says:

    17 Hobo

    If we can get that number down to 300, we have a whole new world of memes open up!

    To the point that nom has made many times, what happens if 10% of those 400 decide to take their capital else where and say signora to US citizenship…..

  27. whipped says:

    my point is that I would never have a broker as a buyer. If I did than two brokers would have to split their commission and there would be less room to bargain with the seller. I get so many calls from brokers saying “let me show you this house or that house. ” I usually respond that I am aware of that house already b/c its on NJMLS….I don’t need a second vulture in play when I already have to deal with the seller’s broker. Aren’t there any FSBO sites?

  28. danxp says:

    22 jets12…

    that’s really great food for thought that i hadn’t considered about trulia and zillow… i usually go to the monmouth county tax records database to get a history of sales and taxes paid… how ’bout a free ipad 2?

  29. JJ says:

    If you got to propertyshark.com it goes a step further and gives homeowners names, address and phone number. Just call homeowner directly. If listing is soon to expire as long as you do not contact realtor first you can put an offer in contingent upon the RE listing expiring. With linked in and facebook, if you want you can easily track down homeowners email address and contact them that way if you want.

    whipped says:
    May 3, 2011 at 9:59 am

    my point is that I would never have a broker as a buyer. If I did than two brokers would have to split their commission and there would be less room to bargain with the seller. I get so many calls from brokers saying “let me show you this house or that house. ” I usually respond that I am aware of that house already b/c its on NJMLS….I don’t need a second vulture in play when I already have to deal with the seller’s broker. Aren’t there any FSBO sites?

  30. Libtard in the City says:

    Jets12 (22):

    #1 the house is located virtually on the railroad tracks.
    #2 the house is located exactly where the trains must sound their horns by law when approaching the train station.
    #3 the house is on a very busy road.
    #4 the area is lousy.

    You don’t need a realtor to tell you that the house changes hands every two years. You just need some common sense.

  31. d2b says:

    Hobo-
    The food stamps number does not include many that lost their jobs. Food stamp limits are so low that many laid-off employees don’t qualify for much. Then they come back in when they have exhausted savings.

  32. 250k says:

    Absurd brigadoon listing of the week:
    http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/Westfield-Town_NJ_07090_M58025-71479

    Not a single comp available to support this nonsensical asking price on a very old, no central air, oil tanked hot mess of a house. You can buy new construction for less than this POS. And current owners have been there almost 30 years without bothering to improve or update just about anything as best I can tell. Another home for sale thats not really for sale.

  33. 3b says:

    #30 #1 the house is located virtually on the railroad tracks. Yes, but it is a great coomute to NYC.
    #2 the house is located exactly where the trains must sound their horns by law when approaching the train station. See number one, oh and you won’t need an alarm clock.
    #3 the house is on a very busy road. Yes but it is conveniently located to shopping and area malls, and if it is in Bergen Co, it is only busy Monday through Saturday, as the malls are closed on Sundays.
    #4 the area is lousy. Well maybe, but it is located next to a really good area, so you can get to say you are on this towns or that towns border, so that makes it better.

  34. Libtard in the City says:

    250K…you forgot to mention the wallpaper in nearly every room as well as the green carpeting. That vent over the ancient stove though is easily worth $200K

  35. A.West says:

    J.J. (29),
    Propertyshark is pretty cool, but really expensive. Way too much for a non-pro.
    Might be worth using for 3-6 months while you’re intensively searching for a house.
    I used the free sample to find out the address of some recent buyers, new Chinese friends for my in-laws. A cross check with linkedin suggests that biostatisticians really like my neighborhood. I see that my name and and purchase price is there, the mortgage mail spammers must use this tool to send me refi letters.

  36. kettle1^2 says:

    250K 32

    How about pic 10 of 20, a sink in the master been room is a hot feature right now. Definitely worth 800K.

  37. Shore Guy says:

    Stu,

    The velour couch in thr House of the Seven Gables, oy! The cart in the kitchen SCREAMS “no frickin’ counterspace, and the sink in the bedroom SCREAMS “undersized bathroom.” Actually, i bet it is just a toilet. I also bet there are not enough closets in the MBR. But, at least, it has a room ac unit.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    You beat me to it. One finds that in OG with all the old bording houses.

  39. NJSerf says:

    How did Ford and GM blow this one?

    Nissan Wins NYC Taxi Contract: Report

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/42877618

    Japan’s Nissan Motor won New York City’s 10-year contract to build the next generation of taxis for the city, a deal estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

  40. 250k says:

    Lib and Ket,
    In general, I maintain that the Brig is commanding some premium prices but even I gotta call a pig a pig. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall as the agent discussed pricing with the owners. All I can think is that people who own a home that is walking distance to the train in a town where there is a long waiting list to get a parking spot add on $300k to their ask as a matter of course.

  41. kettle1^2 says:

    Shore 38

    I have stayed in a few shady hotels where the sink in the bedroom was the case as well. very classy.

  42. kettle1^2 says:

    NJSerf,

    Do they come with Geiger counters built in?

  43. Rev. Al says:

    36 – Sink in bedroom.

    Brilliant! If I need to shave and someone else needs to ummmm take care of business, no contention there. Although I think in more recent years, the commode has actually made its way to a somewhat sectioned off part of the bathroom so the same can be achieved.

    Not so sure a sink mounted atop the wall to wall carpeting is the best of ideas, however.

  44. kettle1^2 says:

    Rev al,

    wall-2-wall under the sink; why not you find prestigious homes in montclair and Brigadoon with wall2wall carpeting int he bathroom. if the carpet isnt a problem next to the commode then why not under a sink?

  45. Jets12 says:

    When I am serious on a property I don’t rely on the free services (zillow, trulia, etc.). This is not spam, just sharing, I use melissadata.com. It’s cheap($1 to $10 or so in most cases), accurate per public records, & fresh per the last 24 hour cycle. (closing price, financing means and identity, people, etc.). You can buy the details on 1 address, the block, the zip code, you define how broadly you want to go in placing a magnifying glass onto a property.

    I will also note, lots of property owners and agents who list a property for sale on their regional MLA, contact Zillow and Trulia and other sites and seek to *REMOVE* their property from the site as ‘for sale’. Why? They don’t want these sites publishing the asking price next to the “zestimate” if you will. You’ll see this frequently when the published and marketed asking price is significantly above the “Zestimate” for example.

    There are properties out there where owners and agents make an effort to ‘scrub’ info about that property from zillow and trulia. Draw your own conclusions on their motivations….

  46. 3b says:

    #44 if the carpet isnt a problem next to the commode then why not under a sink?

    That is so, so very,very gross and disgusting.

  47. Libtard in the City says:

    My guess is that the owners of that crapshack probably used the sink as the commode.

    “Aim high gramps!”

  48. Rev. Al says:

    Because the rug sets that go next to a toilet and cover the seat (never could figure out the appeal of that) are generally the type with rubberized backing that can be tossed in a washing machine for those of us with questionable aim at 3am. Or just out of general good hygienic practices.

  49. A.West says:

    That house looks like one blue barn t-boned another blue barn driving through an intersection. That sale price looks like a hail mary pass from someone whose finances are about to collapse. Why isn’t there a BMW SUV in the photo in front of the yard?

  50. Happy Renter says:

    On a related note to the discussion of the Brig gem brought to us by 250K …

    A million dollars for this crap shack?

    http://globalgrind.com/news-politics/house-real-big-osama-bin-ladens-pakistani-compound-photos

    Definitely 2005 bubble prices on that POS. In addition to every other derogatory name in the English language, OBL was also a bagholder.

  51. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    You can’t make this stuff up:

    Osama Death ‘Gamechanger’ for U.S. Outlook
    This was the assessment of CNBC Analyst and Commentator Ron Insana, speaking at the SIFMA conference.

  52. NJGator says:

    Can’t wait to see this one when the pics come online. 3BR/ 1 1/2 BA in GR. 1697 SF, 50×103 lot. Asking price $699k.

    Lib – Maybe we do need to flip our place :)

    http://www.century21.com/search.c21?l=GLEN+RIDGE%2C+NJ&lid=CNJGLENRIDGE&t=0

  53. 3b says:

    #51 You can’t make this stuff up:

    You can, when you look at the source

  54. Libtard in the City says:

    Come on Gates, it backs up to the Golf Course and the listing says it has granite that your neighbors can easily see through their side windows located just feet off of your kitchen.

  55. kettle1^2 says:

    Silver at 42

    Any late comers jumping off bridges yet?

  56. A.West says:

    Kettle,
    I can’t believe that I actually sold SLV on the peak day, just under 48. No regrets. Told my wife to note the future tax liability on our household balance sheet.

  57. prtraders2000 says:

    shorted both zsl v. agq 2x silver spread not working. Put it on on Friday and ZSL is down 29% while aqg is up 27%. May need to rethink.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Cover story:

    FWIW, I had this interesting leading indicator that the bubble was going to deflate: A friend of mine and my father both started taking classes to get into real estate. Neither was remotely suited to do this, but they saw all the money.

    That was when I knew the market was waaaay too bubbly–when people who have no business being agents try to get in. Kinda like the rule about getting out of the stock market when cabbies start giving investing advice.

  59. Lone Ranger says:

    [59],

    Shorted zsl?

    Hopefully your terminology is wrong. If not, why would one short and not buy an ultra short if you’re bearish?

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [50] happy renter

    I am sure that a decent portion of that money bought silence and a blind eye or twelve.

    What do you wanna bet that the original contractors, who were likely brought in from parts unknown, are buried underneath the compound yard?

  61. Libtard in the City says:

    Nom…I knew RE was bubbly when I turned to Gator in 2006 about 18 months after we bought our place and said, “If the pace of property value increases keep up for one more year, our POS that we paid $480,000 in 2004 will be worth over a million!” She then turned to me and said, “No way that will ever happen.” Now, it’s probably worth about $440,000 and we have sunk over $75,000 into it.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    SLV has broken below where I got stopped out before. Wondering if I should get back in.

    Also sold out of portion of gold; good move but deciding whether to increase back or not.

    Decisions, decisions.

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [63] Lib

    I sold in Philly in early 2008. Market was off, but the relo incentives more than made up for it, so it was like selling at the top.

    We bought in the brig just before the crash. I was nervous about the market, and had considered renting, but I figured that the balloon had deflated a lot, and would not deflate much more. Also, I was getting a great deal of heat from the spouse about not being an owner.

    Should have gone with my gut.

  64. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Okay, fun’s over. Back to work before the toddler wakes up.

  65. kettle1^2 says:

    64 nom

    No, and no. both will fall further before another growth phase.

    -any opinion i express on investments is about as reliable as a magic eight-ball and will probably cause a net loss.

  66. Libtard in the City says:

    Speaking of bubbles, we expected a pop in 2004, but due to the private sale in which we purchased our home, we figured we had a good 50 to 75K worth of downside protection since we got our multi at a great price. No amount of downside is really ever enough. When it’s all said and done, we really haven’t done that badly compared to so many others when you factor in what 7 years of rent would have cost us. Just no gains, yet.

  67. Dink says:

    Comrade #66,

    I was heavily involved with my friends moving in to the brig a few months back. I examined every closed sale for the past year. If you bought in 2008, I doubt your house is down any more than 5%. Not to say it wont trend downwards, but you may be overstating how much prices have deflated to this point.

  68. JJ says:

    Actually, in 2008 you could have bought 30 year muni for 6% tax free. Or a investment grade corporate for 9% or a junk bond for 20%, or stocks in late 2008.

    Even at the low end the muni, you would be up 18% in three years, add in the 5% you would have lost on house and you are out 23%. Homeowners often forget cost of dead money. People who bought a house in the 1987 housing bubble would say who in 1997 I final broke even, see I did not lost money. Meanwhile risk free 10 year treasuries paid 8% in 1987 or so. You actually lost 80%. Also what about mortgage. Back in days of no money down and 6% mortgages for all. For that to work homes would have to rise 6% a year for 30 years straight for you to make money. Meanwhile historical homes return 3% a year, huh, borrow at 6% to invest at 3%.

    Dink says:
    May 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Comrade #66,

    I was heavily involved with my friends moving in to the brig a few months back. I examined every closed sale for the past year. If you bought in 2008, I doubt your house is down any more than 5%. Not to say it wont trend downwards, but you may be overstating how much prices have deflated to this point.

  69. Libtard in the City says:

    But JJ…we are only talking about 3.5% of most sale prices that people put down. Small beans right?

  70. JJ says:

    I am sure that hot girl does not pay for much. Twice, I dated girls who weres super super super super super hot but very very broke. Both times not too long as I also was broke. Trust me they don’t pay for much. If I was richer I would have gladly paid for everything. That model girl who is 27 in that article I know like 100 middle aged men who would pay 100% of her rent for a few visits each month. I know 100 middle aged men who would take her to dinner in a nice place and give her cab money just to be seen with her. What bs showing smoking hot girls who are broke. Are they ever broker. The one girl I dated, wow was she super hot. So hot I brought her to my Hampton house as a guest and the guys were mumbling and the clubs I took her too let me in for free. I had to pick her up in city, drive her to hamptons, pay for everything and drive her home. I kept thinking she has no money but what does she need money for. Only interesting part of story is her room mate was a nympo with a thing for basketball. One time in early 90s or late 80’s, cant remember I was at her apartment, she slept in fulton on this one bedroom rent controled apt and the room mate was doing Wilt Chamblin in the next room. Sounded like he was killing a chicken when he was in her. Meanwhile talk about performance anixity, Wilt the Stilt had nothing to do with his height.

    nj escapee says:
    May 3, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    New York City prices up by 14% since last year

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/big_apple_gets_price_clubbed_BYF1ApF3ol3i4CuiQbDEoM#ixzz1LJlFWb8g

  71. 3b says:

    #70 Zillow (for what it is worth) says different.

  72. scribe says:

    Jets #22

    About that house that turned over every 2 years …some houses or apartments just have weird vibes.
    Or there’s a chronic problem. I would check with the local police to see if that house has been robbed repeatedly, or there’s some sort of weird history.
    Other than that, some houses are poorly made in ways that aren’t immediately obvious.
    Talk to the neighbors and try to find out what the story is.
    It just be that a succession of owners had to move for different reasons.
    But that kind of turn-over definitely raises a flag.

  73. Essex says:

    Oh life is sweet — oh life is sweet.

  74. chicagofinance says:

    Man I really liked these guys before they putzed out and turned all fruit loops on their sound. These songs were re-recorded 10 years later with fairy dust. They sound good here….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzoZ_b8L6Hk&feature=related

  75. sas3 says:

    nom, plenty of news articles saying that torture didn’t produce the intel that led to the UBL’s killing, so it is a good opportunity to bury that policy at sea!

  76. Barbara says:

    ChiFi, something about the mid 80s killed all the best music. Was it the cocaine or the cheesy sax that permeated every song from 83-89? Perhaps both. 1977-82 were the best years for music imho.

  77. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [4] grim,

    “In “A Tale of Two Counties,” Lawler compares two Washington metro areas: Prince William County, Virginia, and Prince George’s County, Maryland. Both counties witnessed rapid home-price appreciation during the housing boom. Both had higher-than-average (for the D.C. suburbs) shares of subprime mortgages. And both saw prices take a dive from their 2006 peak.

    Today, home prices in Prince William County are above the 2009 lows, while those in Prince George’s County still are declining. The difference seems to be the speed with which foreclosed homes were resold.”

    Anyone that has lived in the DC area knows that there is a lot more to this contrast than the speed of foreclosures. But any other explanation is taboo.

  78. nj escapee says:

    76, Essex, how’s that Giffin?

  79. sas3 says:

    Barb, late 60’s and early 70’s — Hendrix, Page, Townshend, Allman, Morrison, Waters, way too many to name. Some of them were even able to stand up to the war pigs.

  80. chicagofinance says:

    For me the best of music was 1991-1995…..probably the peak was 1994…..

  81. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [78] sas3

    I saw those stories. Unfortunately, some of them (Isikoff’s for example) rely on false premises, and Isikoff’s own explanation was laughable for its illogic. I’d like to believe them but I can’t, and here’s why:

    Isikoff (whose political leanings are not in doubt) said that no actionable information came from torture because they did not have the courier’s name until well after torture ended. Yet Isikoff admitted that the existence of the courier was seen as important because prisoners at Gitmo confirmed his existence while KSM and other high-ranking AQ guys said never heard of him. This fact was seen as important well before they knew the guy’s name. So, naturally, they would seek to identify him.

    Now, it may well be that the information obtained from lower levels at Gitmo, which was the genesis of the thread that resulted in the double tap heard ’round the world, was not obtained from torture. But that isn’t stated anywhere in this narrative (we don’t know if torture was used, or when the intel was developed), and instead we get this ridiculous assertion from Isikoff and others that nothing mattered until they learned the name. If the mere fact that they knew there was a courier wasn’t important, why were they interested in the name?????

    Further, and not to suggest some conspiracy theory here, but I recognized right away that UBL’s killing would put the Administration in an uncomfortable position vis-a-vis the torture issue. So just like an informant that gets quid pro quo from prosecutors in exchange for testimony, the Administration has an incentive (and in this case, a very strong incentive) to lie. Not saying that they did, but they have an incentive, and lying is not unprecedented for this Administration. I demonstrated earlier this year, in one small area in which I have knowledge, that the Administration will withhold or delay uncomfortable facts. So I am not entirely convinced that this narrative that, conveniently for the Administration the public cannot verify for itself, is accurate.

    Now, in light of the above, and this administration’s past behavior, are you absolutely convinced that the Administration’s and MSNBC’s premise is the indisputable truth? I’d like to believe, but I can’t. There are too many holes in the narrative, and the Administration has a strong incentive for the story to come out as it did.

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [70] dink

    I appreciate that sentiment, but I think I may be off at least 10%, based on comps in my area. Considering that it is a desirable area of the brig, and near one of the best and most sought-after elem schools in the brig, I hope that I can get out without much of a loss, but I am not optimistic.

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [68] kettle,

    That’s what my gut tells me also. So I’ll wait.

  84. Theo says:

    Nope, best music era was late 63-mid67 til the Beatles effectively killed rock music for a decade with the wasteland left in the wake of Sgt. Pepper’s.

  85. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I think I heard another canary develop a slight cough. . .

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/158623-trade-group-administration-wants-to-expand-corporate-tax-umbrella

    According to this, the Administration is thinking of ending pass-through taxation for LLCs and partnerships over a certain size.

    Yeah, this will end well.

  86. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    And this is just plain embarrassing. Not for the law professor, but for the law school. Guess having a lower standard for some posts has its drawbacks.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/05/law-prof-.html

    But at least now she is qualified to run for Congress in certain districts.

  87. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [167] [prior thread] schababoo,

    Your “argument” is a little light on specifics. My point is that the seeds of the actionable intel may (repeat, may—if you know different, you either have a much higher security clearance than I did, or you are living in an alternate universe) have derived from torture, or it may not have. I don’t know, but as I explained in response to Sastry, the attempt to sanitize this intel issue has a few holes.

    Now, I know where you come out on the issue, and you have as much credibility as Isikoff because I am pretty sure that the Pentagon and CIA did not show him any intel that they did not want him to see. But if you know (and I mean know in the commonly accepted and physical sense) that none of the intel came from torture sources, do tell me.

    Even if you have to kill me after you tell me (yeah, good luck with that).

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