Case Shiller March Home Prices

From Bloomberg:

Home Prices in U.S. Probably Kept Falling as Housing Absent From Recovery

U.S. home prices probably slumped in March by the most in 16 months, indicating residential real estate will keep weighing on the expansion, economists said before a report today.

Property values in 20 cities dropped 3.4 percent from March 2010, the biggest year-over-year decline since November 2009, according to the median forecast of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News ahead of a report from S&P/Case-Shiller. Other reports may show manufacturing slowed in May and consumer confidence rose as fuel costs eased.

“Weak demand and a deluge of discounted sales of distressed properties have weighed significantly on prices,” said Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “It’s hard to be enthusiastic about the economy’s prospects as long as house prices are falling.”

A backlog of foreclosures poised to reach the market means prices may stay depressed, dissuading builders from taking on new-home construction projects. The figures come as recent reports on manufacturing and consumer spending show the economy is slowing.

The Case-Shiller report is due at 9 a.m. New York time. Estimates for the year-over-year change in March home prices ranged from declines of 4.9 percent to 2.8 percent. Economists surveyed projected the gauge of residential real-estate values decreased 0.2 percent in March from the prior month, the same as in February, after adjusting for seasonal variations.

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147 Responses to Case Shiller March Home Prices

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Jersey Shore home within reach of more people

    Four years after the U.S. housing market started its precipitous decline, the bar has been lowered for those hoping to purchase a home along the Jersey Shore. With prices down anywhere from 15 percent to 40 percent, real estate agents say retirees and the wealthy are often giving way to younger homebuyers and the middle class.

    The low tide in coastal New Jersey’s real estate market is the result of the nationwide downswing in home prices triggered by the burst of the housing bubble in 2007 and subprime mortgage crisis. High-end, newly constructed homes and condominiums have taken the biggest hit, while older homes — where the value of the land exceeds that of the buildings — have best weathered the storm.

    For homeowners along the state’s almost 130 miles of coastline who bought at the peak, it’s rough news. But for those thirsting to call the beachfront home, it’s a buyer’s market.

    “We weren’t even looking. We were riding our bikes and we just saw something,” said John Holland, who had been renting a one-bedroom bungalow on Long Beach Island for three years, unable to find any homes for sale within his budget.

    Holland and his girlfriend, Lauren Rhatigan, purchased a home in Ship Bottom in March for $340,000. These days, Holland, a personal trainer, carries his surf board the few blocks to the ocean to enjoy the waves.

    The drop in prices has also helped make a Shore home possible for those who had been eyeing more expensive properties but found them just beyond their reach.

    Housing prices in the four counties along the Jersey Shore dropped sharply in 2008 and 2009, then started leveling off, to varying degrees, in 2010, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the New Jersey Association of Realtors. In Cape May County, the southernmost portion of New Jersey’s shore, the median home price dropped from about $354,000 to barely over $280,000 between the first quarters of 2008 and 2009 — a 21 percent drop in just one year.

    New Jersey was shielded from the rest of the country’s decline for the first year or two thanks to its proximity to New York and Philadelphia, said Anthony Graziano, who manages the coastal New Jersey office of Integra Realty Resource, a valuation and pricing firm. Many of the shore’s most affluent homeowners work in the financial industry, which stayed relatively intact until late 2008.

    Foreclosures on the Jersey Shore jumped dramatically in 2006 and 2007, started leveling out in 2008 and 2009, and are only now beginning a very slow decline, according to data provided by RealtyTrac, which monitors foreclosures. The more foreclosures in an area, the more nearby property values suffer, and the easier it gets to enter the market, said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s senior vice president.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. Mikeinwaiting says:

    It would seem our favorite bank is not in such good shape after all.

    “Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) has become an icon of traditionally run, prime-only, safe and sound regional banks.

    Some time ago I took exception with the PR that Hudson City was spinning as it’s CEO, Ronald Hermance, appeared on a multitude of business and non-business media (Mad Money, CNBC, Bloomberg, Barron’s … even NPR) speaking of the merits of his banks “old fashioned” sound traditional lending practices which included never making subprime loans or other toxic affordability products.

    Of course, Hermance downplayed his banks non-performing loan ratio which as of Q1 2011 stands at a not-so-respectful 2.92% of total loans with $886.5 million in delinquent loans, preferring instead to project the picture of a safe bank with only high quality loans and growing deposits.

    While Hermance was making the rounds of media outlets and dropping talking points his banks big mortgages were going bad at a progressively higher rates.

    The “investor” community must have been shocked when in late November of 2008, Hermance disposed of 2,173,847 shares at a $16.48 … very near the peak price ever seen for the stock.

    How could Hermance sell so many of his shares, especially in light of the sound practices and dramatic upside potential? … As Cramer put it, this story was “as Good as Gold”.

    Well … in retrospect Hermance was smart to dump out of this train wreck as the bank’s stock has been, more or less, in the dumper ever since.

    Today, it seems clear that the housing decline did not skip Hudson City Bancorp and although it is true that they did not participate in subprime lending, the bank originated jumbo loans in a market (primarily the New York, New Jersey metro area) that was as overheated as any during the housing boom.

    Big prime loans, even with low loan to values go bust in down economies and our current housing driven bust with significant declines to home prices makes matters worse.

    I’ve been arguing for the better part of three years that although the traditional media and apparently general consensus has focused on subprime and other “toxic” mortgage products as the source for the credit tumult, the historic deterioration would by no means be limited to these “bleeding edge” products.

    Before this massive housing collapse is complete, I expect to see new records set for prime defaults, be they prime-Jumbo ARM loans, prime-Jumbo fixed rate loans, prime-conforming ARM loans or prime-conforming fixed rate loans… we will see historic defaults across the entire spectrum of mortgage products.”

    Check out the charts:http://seekingalpha.com/article/271791-prime-time-hudson-city-bancorp-non-performance-q1-2011

  4. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Last thread:
    Stu thanks for the kind words. Hobo the squirrel was particularly good yesterday, tastes even better when free!

  5. Hudson City doesn’t negotiate short sales. They either foreclose (if they’re in first position) or force a foreclosure if they hold the second.

    They don’t try to arb any kind of foreclosure vs. modification scenarios, and they go for the kill fast. In fact, they don’t even have a FK/workout division; I believe they put the process in the hands of bank officers.

    Now I wonder if they’re simply foreclosing, taking possession of the properties and marking them to fantasy on the balance sheet. I rarely see Hudson City REO on the market.

  6. The best squirrel is free squirrel.

    Same goes for possum, chipmunk and snake meat.

  7. gary says:

    “It’s hard to be enthusiastic about the economy’s prospects as long as house prices are falling.”

    Any questions?

  8. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Now I wonder if they’re simply foreclosing, taking possession of the properties and marking them to fantasy on the balance sheet. I rarely see Hudson City REO on the market.”
    Hobo sounds like a plan, I would say most likely you are correct.
    Gary, “I am not giving my house away” came into my head, don’t know why LOL wife thinks I’m nuts.

  9. gary (7)-

    Ironically, rapidly-falling house prices would be a sign that the economy is getting healthy.

  10. Instead, we just have the stench of death hanging heavy in the rancid, humid air.

  11. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    Free is too expensive for possum. Vile tasting stuff, that.

  12. NJ Toast says:

    HCBK – from the Seeking Alpha charts, looks like the delinquencies peaked Q3 of 09. Hobo, if what you say is true and they don’t deal with these but kill them quick and move on, then based on charts in SA, their bad mtgs are declining rapidly. Their branches are in very affluent areas. Top guys got options (yahoo finance) in the last couple of years at $0 so they appear to have no skin in the game. Might actually be a good time to pick up some shares.

  13. SG says:

    Good Ideas, But I doubt Washington is listening…

    The Good Banker

    It has become a virtual casino,” he replied. “To me, banks exist for people to keep their liquid income, and also to finance trade and commerce.” Yet the six largest holding companies, which made a combined $75 billion last year, had $56 billion in trading revenues. “If you assume, as I do, that trading revenues go straight to the bottom line, that means that trading, not lending, is how they make most of their money,” he said.

    This was a problem for several reasons. First, it meant that banks were taking excessive risks that were never really envisioned when the government began insuring deposits — and became, in effect, the backstop for the banking industry. Second, bank C.E.O.’s were being compensated in no small part on their trading profits — which gave them every incentive to keep taking those excessive risks. Indeed, in 2007, the chief executives of the Too Big to Fail Banks made, on average, $26 million, according to Wilmers — more than double the compensation of the top nonbank Fortune 500 executives. (Wilmers made around $2 million last year.)

    Finally — and this is what particularly galled him — trading derivatives and other securities really had nothing to do with the underlying purpose of banking. He told me that he thought the Glass-Steagall Act — the Depression-era law that separated commercial and investment banks — should never have been abolished and that derivates need to be brought under government control. “It doesn’t need to be studied for two years,” he said. “I would put derivative trading in a subsidiary and tax it at a higher rate. If they fail, they fail.”

  14. 3b says:

    Ultimately it is great to be enthusiastic about the economy with house prices falling, as that will make houses affordable for the upcoming generations.

  15. 3b says:

    #9 Sorry clot you beat me to it with your post at # 9. I will say it again, falling house prices are GOOD for the economy.

  16. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Frist!

  17. NJGator says:

    Shore 11 – Not going to ask how you know that.

  18. 3b says:

    #94 From yesterdays post) Veets: I am not cherry picking on the comps. %00k house in my town are now selling for 400K. Houses that would have sold for 450K or so, down to around 375K> And most of these are in decent to excellent condition.

    One came on the other day, on one of the nicest streets in town; pristine condition. List price 399K would have sold for 500k or more at the peak. We also have listings now in the 200K’s range. Grant it these need work, but still a far cry from the peak, when a Realtor told me you would never see anything in my town again for under 500K. And this is a Bergen Co blue ribbony train town.

  19. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Nothing to See Here? – from Panzner

    It’s a good thing Washington bailed out the banks and rescued the financial system with all those trillions of dollars. Otherwise, we might have to take the following articles seriously:

    “Mobius Says Fresh Financial Crisis Around Corner Amid Volatile Derivatives” (Bloomberg)

    Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s emerging markets group, said another financial crisis is inevitable because the causes of the previous one haven’t been resolved.

    “There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis,” Mobius said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo today in response to a question about price swings. “Are the derivatives regulated? No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes.”

    The total value of derivatives in the world exceeds total global gross domestic product by a factor of 10, said Mobius, who oversees more than $50 billion. With that volume of bets in different directions, volatility and equity market crises will occur, he said.

    “Carl Icahn Confesses That The ‘System Is Not Working Properly’, Warns Of Another ‘Major Problem’ Coming” (Zero Hedge)

    “I do think that there could be another major problem. Now, will it happen next week, next year, i don’t know and certainly nobody knows, but I don’t think that the system is working properly. I really find it amazing that we’re almost back to where it was, where there’s so much leverage going on in the investment banks today. There’s just way too much leverage and way too much risk-taking, with other people’s money. I know a lot of my friends on Wall Street will hate my saying this, but the Glass Steagall thing or something like it wasn’t a bad thing. In other words, a bank should be a bank. Investment bankers should be investment bankers. Investment bankers serve a purpose, raising capital and whatever, but I think today, and I know a lot of people won’t like hearing this, what’s going on today, I think we’re going back in the same trap, and I will tell you that very few people understood how toxic and how risky those derivatives were. CDS were extremely risky the way they were used, and you look at Wall Street and you say, hey, they did it, but then you can’t really blame the Wall Street guys. You can’t blame a tiger. If you take a fierce man-eating tiger and put him in with a lot of sheep, you can’t blame the tiger for eating the sheep. And that’s the nature of the tiger. And that’s the nature of Wall Street. I’m not saying they’re bad but that’s their nature, and the government should regulate finance.”

    “We Will Have Another Crisis…” (Money)

    Few mutual fund managers could pull off what Robert Rodriguez did. During the tumultuous 2000s, his FPA Capital stock portfolio, which is closed to new investors, managed to earn an annualized 9% even as the S&P 500 lost money.

    At the same time, he also co-managed FPA New Income, a bond fund that earned a spot on our Money 70 list of best funds.

    Rodriguez, 62, is known for thinking big: In early 2007 he laid out a detailed case for why housing debt could trigger a crisis. Now he’s just as worried about the federal debt.

    Rodriguez took a sabbatical in 2010 — he traveled the globe, read about the fall of Rome, indulged his car-racing hobby — and has returned to FPA as CEO, with an advisory role on the funds. He spoke with editor-at-large Penelope Wang; the conversation has been edited.

    Before my sabbatical, I told clients that if present trends in government continue, we will have another financial crisis within three to seven years — by 2018. I still believe that. We still have time to start the process of fiscal rectitude. But the window of opportunity is shrinking because 2012 will be an election year, when nothing happens.

    “Bond Expert Gundlach: Housing Collapse to Spark Second Financial Meltdown” (MoneyNews.com)

    The housing meltdown hasn’t ended yet, and it could ultimately spark another financial crisis, says renowned bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach, CEO of DoubleLine Capital.

    “The housing market is dropping . . . and about to go to a new low,” he tells CNBC. “I think we’re looking at some type of echo in the credit crisis coming up here. That’s what I’m afraid of.”

    “Banks Warned Impossible to Prevent New GFC” (Business Spectator)

    Basel Committee for Banking Supervision secretary general Stefan Walter has warned that it will be impossible to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis that rocked global markets in 2008, according to The Australian Financial Review newspaper.

    Mr Walter told the newspaper that regulators should take measures to strengthen the industry so it may withstand such events in the future, a process that would inevitably lower returns for bank investors.

    “As long as we continue to have rapid innovation, I think in the future we’re again going to have some very complex interactions which we won’t understand,” Mr Walter told the newspaper.

    “Still Too Many Latent Triggers of Next Crisis” (Financial Times)

    How long before we confront a new financial crisis? Usually a severe shock to the financial system damps risk appetite for some considerable time. Economies have to recover, bank capital has to be substantially rebuilt and debt workouts, which can take 10 years or more, have to be far advanced before trouble brews anew.

    However, if the core ingredients of a financial crisis are boundless optimism, excessive leverage and overpriced assets, then we are already in dangerous territory less than three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

    Consider the state of asset markets. Commodities remain overblown despite the setback that recently overtook silver and subsequently spread to other markets. Developed world government debt markets look seriously overpriced in the light of the slow response to spiralling fiscal deficits in the US and elsewhere. While US house prices have collapsed, those in the UK look far too high in relation to earnings.

    In equities, we have a new internet bubble with shares in the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Renren trading on absurd multiples of revenue. As for credit markets, lending standards are falling and covenant-lite lending has staged a comeback.

    This is largely the work of developed world central banks, whose monetary policy response to the last crisis threatens to sow the seeds of a new crisis, just as Federal Reserve policy did in the US after the dotcom bubble burst. Meanwhile, the banks remain vulnerable. While modest progress has been made in deleveraging, the capital regime proposed by Basel III looks inadequate to anyone other than a boundless optimist and banker.

    “Take Back the Future” (Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Newsweek)

    In 2008, when we were hours away from ATMs running out of money, small businesses being unable to pay their staffs, and schools and hospitals closing down through lack of cash flow, it felt as if the crisis of the century was upon us. But if the world continues on its current path, the historians of the future will say that the great financial collapse of three years ago was simply the trailer for a succession of avoidable crises that eroded popular consent for globalization itself.

    Those who believe that the world has learned from the mistakes that led to the crash are mistaken: on the contrary, Prof. David Miles of the Bank of England now predicts not just one further financial crisis but three in the next two decades; and Andrew Haldane, also of the Bank of England, is already charting the volatile and unsustainable wave of speculative capital flows that are still not fully monitored and operate with no early-warning system, no global financial standards, and no consensus on capital and liquidity requirements for banks.

    “Sprott Says Banks Have Too Much Leverage on Balance Sheets” (Bloomberg)

    Eric Sprott, the Canadian money manager who in 2008 predicted banking stocks would collapse, said U.S. savers will eventually pull their money out of banks that are carrying too much leverage on their balance sheets.

    Banks are levered 20 to 1 and their portfolios are mainly comprised of government bonds and mortgages, the founder of Sprott Asset Management Inc., said today at the SALT, or SkyBridge Alternatives, Conference in Las Vegas.

    “House prices keep going down, the number of people under water keeps getting worse,” said Sprott, 66, who is chief executive officer of the Toronto-based firm. “That leverage is going to work massively against anybody whose lender is in that area. The dominoes are starting to fall.”

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    http://www.financialarmageddon.com/2011/05/nothing-to-see-here.html

  20. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Perused the listings walking down Washington St in Hoboken this morning. For a lot of units that went up in the 2002-2003 time frame I am seeing prices in the low $500K’s for a 2bd/2ba with parking. I’d put the purchase price of the initial purchasers around $420-450K from my own experience.

    Now how is anybody who bought in 2005-2007 expected to compete with that when their purchase price was in the $650-750K price range. There are some people out there that are either locked in for life or are going to take a serious bath when they are forced to sell.

  21. Kettle1^2 says:

    3b 14

    Chinese finger trap…. The boomers are depending on housing equity to fund a non-trivial portion of their retirement. Sustained drops in home prices will probably end up shifting the retirement burden onto government programs which are in just as bad a shape. Either way the boomer generation and those bracketing them were sold on a ponzi scheme and the money doest exist anymore.
    No matter which way this goes we are virtually guaranteeing substantial pain for one group or another.

  22. Kettle1^2 says:

    3b

    Not until we cut out the ponzi games. otherwise it is just one bubble after the next trying to keep the ponzi inflated.

  23. JJ says:

    The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 3.6 percent from March 2010, the biggest year-over-year decline since November 2009, the group said today in New York. At 138.16, the gauge was the weakest since March 2003.

    Now buying a house last year and losing 3.6% sounds a little bad, but remember you borrowed at around 4.75% which makes the real loss 8.35%. However, for someone who would be a cash buyer if they liquidated stocks their loss would be the loss of the 17% gain in SAP plus the 8.35% which is 25% or for someone like me who does a lot of bonds my loss would bet the 8.35% plus the 8% I made on bonds or a little over 16%.

  24. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Baby Boomers = Friskies Eaters

  25. 3b says:

    #21 Kettle: Understood. However these boomer’s should not have been counting on over inflated values to fund their retirement. What were they doing before the massive run up in prices. Most never in their wildest dreams thought that prices would get to where they got at the peak, so in my opinion counting on these grossly inflated values to fund their retirement is misplaced, not to mention incredibly selfish. So too bad boomer’s, it is now time for the next generation/s to have their shot. You guys messed it up, and expecting future generations to pay for your stupidity is wrong. And I am a tail end boomer, and IMO boomer’s are the most self absorbed, shallow, and over medicated/therapy prone generation to have existed.

  26. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “What were they doing before the massive run up in prices”

    Buying internet stocks on margin?

  27. Kettle1^2 says:

    3b

    That is very honorable of you, but most of your piers take the staunch position of “but i was promised”. Most of them drank the coolaide with abandon and have no concept of the error being theirs. It doesnt help that all of the “professionals” were pushing them right along the path as well.
    It is also a matter of political influence. The boomer generation still has one of the larger political voices, larger then the other demographic groups.

  28. Kettle1^2 says:

    3b,

    i agree that the home price drop will happen one way or another ( i.e we return to historical home price ratios)), but it is going to be a clawing spitting fight every step of the way.

  29. 3b says:

    #27 I ahve had numerous battles with my peers on this subject, well I used to, but now I do nto have to as they are watching prices fall every day, and now no longer wnat to talk about it. Ironically I don’t get grief any more either. But exactly who promised them that prices woudl go up??? These are the sam boomers that lived through the late 80’s bubblne and bust,

  30. sas3 says:

    Gary, clot and 3b’s said this also…

    When the housing prices were zooming up in (during 2003-2006 time), it was not a great time to be a first time buyer — too much anxiety [I used to joke that we keep saving a big chunk of salary just to keep up with the increase in the required 20% payment — and finally will have enough to get a 2 bedroom condo in Piscataway]. Overall lower house prices probably help people focus on other things and not worry way too much about housing.

    Though, our frantic saving helped us in the end — with a big down payment, no contingency, all credit and pre-approval paperwork done, etc., we were able to convince the bank to give us the house, *ahem*, relatively quickly. We would have been the first ones out of contention in case there was a bidding war.

    Plenty of squirrels and starlings around here, so nice meals for some :). The place now looks nice with the effort and money we put in the last year. If not for the fear of a GTG turning into a disaster I’d try my hand at it (my lifestyle is very b..o..r…in..g, no booze, vegetarian, and milder than my posts here indicate). May be start with someone that has low expectations and if they survive the hardship?

    S

  31. sas3 says:

    grim, unmod pls…

  32. Kettle1^2 says:

    3b

    At the end of the day we cant just blame the boomers. most of the population has been involved int he ponzi one way or another and many are scrambling to get theirs just like the boomers did. The boomers are ultimately a symptom and not a cause.

  33. Happy Renter says:

    “Weak demand and a deluge of discounted sales of distressed properties have weighed significantly on prices,” said Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “It’s hard to be enthusiastic about the economy’s prospects as long as house prices are falling.”

    It is not hard to be enthusiastic in Brigadoon-on-Hackensack, a beautiful, vibrant community where denizens have discovered a way to reverse aging, defy gravity, and increase home prices 26% year-over-year.

    Brigadoon-on-Hackensack, the Little Community That Could! (TM)

  34. Libtard in the City says:

    Was in BOH last week. Couldn’t believe the traffic. The only two positives I could find was proximity to the GWB (NY) for a shorter commute and if you are a retail whore, every damn chain store ever incorporated is within a 5-mile radius. As are all of the shoppers clogging up every artery around the prestigious town.

  35. ricky_nu says:

    Ket 31 –

    none of this was the boomers fault, it was all the fault of the bankers, eat them!

  36. Juice Box says:

    Tard – BOH is the red headed step child compared to it’s neighbor Paramus. The Rt 4 and Rt 17 corridor in Paramus is a shoppers Mecca $5 billion in retail sales annually and they are closed on Sunday. Paramus gets over 50% of it’s city taxes from the stores and commercial space, their property tax rates are much much lower than BOH.

  37. Libtard in the City says:

    So BOH get’s all the traffic and Paramus gets all the traffic, but the tax revenue. I’d prefer neither. Plus, I buy virtually everything online anyway due to convenience, price and rewards programs, such as Upromise.

  38. Kettle1^2 says:

    Look at the bright side, we have a new record in food stamp usage.

  39. Juice Box says:

    Tard, everyone east of BOH cuts through their streets to get to Paramus, they don’t even stop to patronize the gas station in that town. The only thing BOH has going for it is the Diner and the Train Station, and at the edge of town is one of the few “men’s” bars in Northern NJ where you can find 3B at happy hour.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/feathers-river-edge

  40. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Happy you also forgot is filled with pink unicorns and leprechauns

  41. 3b says:

    #38 Juice: Iam always there at happy hour, because I know I can always find you behind the bar.

  42. 3b says:

    #33 and BOH, gets none of the benefits of being close to Paramus tax wise. Ironically speaking of being a step child, BOH residentss turn their nose up at Paramus, because of the malls.

  43. Libtard in the City says:

    One could easily reduce the number of people on food stamps by hiding the vouchers in workboots when they are mailed to the recipient.

  44. nj escapee says:

    3B, please speak for yourself. I don’t know any Boomers depending primarily on home equity for retirement. Maybe it’s just your crowd in NNJ.

  45. 3b says:

    #43 I did not necessarily say they were. Ket said many boomer’s are relying on their home equity to fund their retirement, and I responded as noted in whatever number that post was.

    However, there must be some truth to that, because so many of the boomer’s (and older), at least in NNJ, are the most vocal in screaming about not giving their houses away. The ones that theoretically at least should be the most flexible on pricing appear to be the worst from what I have seen.

  46. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Consumer confidence falls unexpectedly in May”
    Gotta love the UNEXPECTEDLY!
    “NEW YORK — Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving, according to a monthly survey.

    The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 60.8 from a revised 66 in April, a sign of the toll that high gas prices, a choppy job outlook and a moribund housing market are taking on people’s psyches. Economists had expected an increase to 67. It was the lowest reading since November.”
    http://seekingalpha.com/news-article/1191048-consumer-confidence-falls-unexpectedly-in-may

  47. Libtard in the City says:

    RE: Unexpectedly.

    At least they didn’t try to blame it on the weather.

  48. 3b says:

    #45 Mike: It is always unexpectedly!

  49. gary says:

    WASHINGTON – Home prices in major areas have reached their lowest level since the housing bubble burst in 2006, driven down by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes and the reluctance or inability of many to buy.

    tick… tick… tick… tick…

  50. Mikeinwaiting says:

    3b 47 that is for bad news, good news well that’s not “unexpected”, like I said gotta love it.
    stu 46, I am somewhat surprised they didn’t get the weather in there, somebody is falling down on the job. Latest indeed job posting: Creative writer needed to spin bad news to the sheeple. Those with even a shred of integrity need not apply.

  51. The Original NJ Expat says:

    I’m at the tail end of the Boomer gen and I’m getting the feeling that some of my acquaintances, those with good finances, pretty good jobs and significant equity in their houses are kind of sauntering towards the exits. I don’t think any of them are planning on retiring just on their $200-$300K equity in their Newton, MA homes but I think they’re getting a little nervous about having that equity shrink to a level where they are “priced in” forever and paying pretty high taxes for the privilege. People I know with 7 figure equity stakes are clearly making a mad dash for the exits, just check the listings in Weston, Brookline, Wellesley, Wayland, etc. The median price of listings is way, way up because estates that have been family held for generations are suddenly going up for sale in droves. In the past if you were looking for a 3-12 million dollar house, you never had so many options as you do today.

    nj escapee says:
    May 31, 2011 at 11:30 am

    3B, please speak for yourself. I don’t know any Boomers depending primarily on home equity for retirement. Maybe it’s just your crowd in NNJ.

  52. NJGator says:

    Hacking Away at Two Hundred Thou of College Debt

    To some she’s just a suburban kid asking for a handout. But Kelli Space, who graduated from Bloomfield High School in 2005 and from Northeastern University in 2009, sees herself more as an evangelist for awareness about the crushing burden of college debt.

    Last June, Space set up a Tumblr site called “Two Hundred Thou,” asking people for donations to help her pay down her $200,000 college loans. Nothing much happened until she reached out to Gawker last November. Since the Gawker write-up she’s raised $10,430, which she’s applied straight to her debt, and attracted the attention of EduLender, a website that serves the college loan community, and which asked if they could host her site. That’s where “Two Hundred Thou” now lives.

    Space, who has a full-time job working as an office manager for internet company near Wall Street, has an $800/month debt payment that she says will balloon to $1,600 a month next November. She lives with her parents in Bloomfield.

    Although she loved her experience as a sociology major at Northeastern, she now believes her decision to go there, utilizing college loans, was a mistake. Her education cost about $150,000 but, with interest, it’s up to $200,000. “It was nowhere near worth $200,000,” she says. “It might have been worth $20,000.” If she had it to do over, she says she’d go to community college for two years then transfer to someplace like Montclair State. But, she adds, “Tuition is high, even for public schools.”

    With college debt expected to top $1 trillion this year — topping even credit card debt– Space says, “It’s definitely going to be the next crisis.”

    “I think we should monitor how much we’re lending to 18-year-olds,” she adds.

    She points out that while high school students get the message that they should go to the best college they can get into, they get nothing in the way of a personal finance education. She says her own high school guidance counselor suggested vaguely that she look into college loans.

    “You get people high on these dreams of going to a great college,” she says. “Then in five years, they’re [Sallie Mae] going to hunt you down.”

    Space says she was initially unprepared for the hostile comments from some complete strangers about her unconventional approach to paying down her college debt. Now she understands it comes with the territory, and she’s become philosophical about it. “I get what they’re saying,” she says. But she adds that she doesn’t expect anything from anybody. “You owe me nothing.”

    http://www.baristanet.com/2011/05/hacking-away-at-two-hundred-thou-of-college-debt/

  53. Kettle1^2 says:

    Gator 51

    With college debt expected to top $1 trillion this year — topping even credit card debt–

    And the best part of that is that the 1 trillion+ is virtually 100% non-dischargeable.

  54. Happy Renter says:

    [51] “Last June, Space set up a Tumblr site called ‘Two Hundred Thou,’ asking people for donations to help her pay down her $200,000 college loans.”

    Unexpectedly, all of these beggar-blog sites are run by smiley-faced recent female college graduates.

  55. 3b says:

    #51 And she probaly would have turned her nose up at Montclair state when she was a senior in HS. I guess the folks at Northeastern will not be happy with the comment that she does not think the education they provided is woth $20,000.

  56. Bob Shiller just blundered on Fox Business when he let the interviewer goad him into saying that he’s “optimistic” that the housing market will go into a 20 year Japan-like downturn.

    He’s in a deep puddle of sh!t and he doesn’t have the shoes for it. Hope he doesn’t hurt himself back-tracking off that statement.

  57. 3b says:

    #48 gary There is a place……… Shall I continue???

  58. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #51..Exactly! Looking at schools with my son..tuition is a big bubble, NPV just is not there.

  59. sas3 says:

    Seems like more and more doctors have started thinking about patients instead of business. Coming from someone that heard a pediatrician doc acquaintance (plenty of doc-family-friends as spouses of South Indian IT professionals) lamenting that there were not enough flu patients one year!

    Doctors Soften Their Stance on Obama’s Health Overhaul
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/health/policy/30docs.html

    Because so many doctors are no longer in business for themselves, many of the issues that were once priorities for doctors’ groups, like insurance reimbursement, have been displaced by public health and safety concerns, including mandatory seat belt use and chemicals in baby products.

  60. scribe says:

    What does sociology have to do with being an office manager?

  61. Al Mossberg says:

    Younger folks seriously need to consider just renting for the foreseeable future while finding a way to preserve their savings. Home ownership is over rated. You spend the first 21 years of your life gaining freedom and you spend the next 21 giving it all up. Kids, mortgage, home, job etc. One less chain on your limbs when you scrap the pink house and the white picket fence.

  62. Al Mossberg says:

    58.

    Sas3,

    “Seems like more and more doctors have started thinking about patients instead of business. ”

    Wipe the soap suds out of your eyes. Are you on a permament trip to Disney World or what?

  63. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    SAS3 haha haha ha thanks I guess you don’t work with the number of physicians I do.

    Last Dr I was at questioning their office practices in a midwestern hellhole, this is a direct transcription

    me- While I understand the difficulties in performing the trial and appreciate your efforts in gaining compliance, ultimately acting in your patients best interest is what is really important. Especially considering the lack of access to this type of treatment due to economic circumstances

    Physician (female doc) – Yeah that is great but I’m really just interested in the research and how this product works

    me (dumbfounded as this is not the first time I’m having this conversation) I understand but having your patients improve their health and well being is also a great benefit to them

    Physician – I guess

    Are there a lot of Docs who do not fit this mold? Sure there are, I have had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with a great many of them. Unfortunately, over the last 6 years of my career there have been a lot more who fit the mold of self absorbed indignant moron. Who could care less about their patients.

    Some of it is the doctor, some of it is the idiotic patients they are forced to deal with. throw in a lack of social skills and being paid less than a common mechanic after what is for all intents in purposes indentured slavery after medical school. the last thing on most docs pic list is the patients.

  64. hughesrep says:

    NJGator-

    Is the tax appeal process an either / or process? I just got my appeal response back. They offered to cut my valuation about 10%, I was asking for about 24%, although I may have gotten a bit greedy. I do honestly believe a 17% reduction is warranted. If I go before the board do I get my ask or nothing or can they value the home somewhere in between?

    Some of the comps the local assessor used are way off, extra baths, 10% more sq ft, multiple issues. I’m hearing the township also just allocated money for a reassessment as well. It may be worth it to take what they offer and fight the fight again next year. Right now I’m only out a bit of time and a $25 filing fee.

    During the process do they come out to look at the home?

  65. 3b says:

    #60 Could not agree more.

  66. livinginpa says:

    ok, so the double dip is confirmed which is no news or surprise to those of you here who have provided great insight. http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/31/real_estate/march_home_prices/index.htm

    The question is how much lower will this dip be in terms of time and vale? Any predictions to share?

  67. livinginpa says:

    of course that’s supposed to say “value”

  68. JC says:

    Ket #27: I have an old Tom Toles cartoon from the 1980’s at home. It’s called “The Reading of the Will”, and it’s the bequeathment of the WWII generation to its children. It now reads like something that boomer’s children say about them. It is the curse of every generation to be treated like greedy pigs by the next one.

  69. A.West says:

    Gator (51),
    I wonder what job Kelli thought she would get with a sociology degree?
    $200k for a degree that doesn’t qualify one for any conceivable productive career is a scam.
    Of course the schools claim that sociology is a field that richly prepares one to venture out in society. Here’s an inspiring quote from Rutgers’ sociology website:
    “What is the future of sociology?
    The future is bright for sociology. The next century may be the most exciting and critical period in the field’s history. People increasingly realize that we must renew attempts to understand, ameliorate, or solve problems in the United States and around the world–problems that affect individuals, like alcoholism or unemployment, and problems that affect societies, like ethnic conflict or environmental pollution. Some of the best employment prospects may be in policy research and administration, in clinical and applied sociological practice, as well as in the traditional areas of teaching and basic research. “

  70. Libtard in the City says:

    Hughes…Gator should double check my answers, but here goes.

    What the town offered is inconsequential if you choose to go before the board. We absolutely kicked the ass of the town lawyer and tax assessor when we went in front of the board easily discarding their 3 comps and providing 3 of our own that were iron-clad. The town defense team was literally stumped. When we got the final settlement from the board, it was significantly higher than the last and final deal offered from the town which was good, but not great (kind of your situation). We have learned our lesson. Will never ever let it get to the county board. We are appealing to the state since it just didn’t make sense how the county screwed us. I’m guessing that no one involved in the process wants to work with people not willing to pay for lawyers, even though we had a professional appraisal performed and were by far, the most prepared of every appeal we witnessed argued (and there have been a lot of them). We are hoping the town offers us their original offer to avoid going to the state hearing. We’ll know soon. I think in July.

    To answer your other question, the town technically could inspect your home, although it is quite unlikely. It’s a risk you take when fighting the unjust system.

    Ultimately, I think what we learned about this process the most is to come up with a defense strategy that costs the least out of pocket. Make your greatest effort researching comps. I don’t even think the appraisal helps much, although it does give you a gauge as to what your home is truly worth (since most live in denial). Then take whatever the town offers and repeat the same process the next year. Don’t let it get to the county. Think of the county as the ‘man’. The ‘man’ will always keep you down.

  71. chicagofinance says:

    Real estate’s has a new theme…..the oldest one….

    Welcome ladies

    By MANDY STADTMILLER and JULIE EARLE-LEVINE

    When it comes to attracting women, 42-year-old New York bachelor Jim Norton has his charm. His sense of humor. But most of all, he has his Upper West Side apartment, purchased five years ago in a Trump building. Oh, did he mention it’s got breathtaking views through floor-to-ceiling windows?

    “Women see windows — and skirts come off,” he says of his large one-bedroom pad, which also features a state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless-steel appliances.

    “This one businesswoman, she came over, and she said she was ‘not like the other girls,’ ” he recalls of the guest, who announced that she did not sleep with men on the first date.

    “Well, fast-forward an hour after seeing the apartment, and not only was she like the other girls, she was worse. They like the view.”

    That certainly comes in handy when other elements of his seduction technique fall short.

    “I remember another woman . . . I knew she was impressed with the place and decided to sleep with me,” says the comedian.

    “I gave a horrible [sexual] performance. She walked around the apartment a couple of times before she left — almost reminding herself that this is why she just put herself through that.”

    TOO SEXY FOR YOUR PLACE?

    Norton, who has written two best-selling memoirs detailing his sexual exploits, points out what many men — and the brokers who sell to them — are realizing in the current economic climate. The right apartment can get you laid.

    “With so many people out of work,” he says, “if a woman sees a nice place, that makes her much more willing to take the chance and sleep with you.”

    Dolly Lenz, vice chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman, has been noticing an increased emphasis among bachelors on what she calls “the sexy factor.” Rich guys — some of whom are fleeing life in the burbs after a divorce for the freewheeling life in downtown Manhattan — are increasingly buying lavish apartments to woo women.

    “The swagger is back in the market,” she says.

    And let’s face it: In New York, our standards — for dating and real estate — are different from what they might be elsewhere in the country. With space at a premium, most New York women aren’t expecting anything palatial — they’ll settle for the aforementioned view. Perhaps some parquet floors and a doorman.

    “In New York, when you say porn, more people are likely to think you mean real estate,” says John, a multimillionaire financier who asked that his real name not be used. “Every two-bit banker at Goldman Sachs can buy you an expensive dinner or have a $175,000 Ferrari, but how many can have the $10 million trophy pad?”

    John frequently lets his friends borrow his 5,000-square-foot Upper East Side apartment so they can bring home the ladies while he’s away on business. After letting a London hedge-funder borrow his flat for a few days, the financier reported that his friend was able to score every night with three women (though not at the same time). “He told me: ‘They were excited when they got to the door — and when they saw the view, it was a done deal.’ ”

    But while ladies do love a room with a view, there’s something else they love — anything in the apartment that lends the man an air of domesticity. While the trophy apartments of yore might have been all about flashy effects — think shag carpets and wall-to-wall mirrors — these days, there’s a more subtle aesthetic at work. “We’ve gone from trophies that scream ‘bachelor pad’ to ones that scream, ‘There’s room for both of us here,’ ” says John.

    Indeed, while Norton has a stunning state-of-the-art kitchen, he never sets foot in it to actually cook. He even keeps clothes in the oven.

    For Ralph Sutton, 41, the appeal isn’t so much his Midtown West apartment, but rather his elevator — which opens straight into his loft. “If I wasn’t a single man, maybe my wife and I wouldn’t pick this apartment,” says Sutton, of radio show “The Tour Bus” and allaccessapp.com. “But being single, you want a place you’re proud to bring a girl home to. I think a guy who lives on the top floor of a sixth-floor walk-up better have some immaculate game.”

    Jaf Glazer, a SoHo real estate broker with a roster of celebrity clients, certainly uses sex as part of his sell. His real estate signs proclaim “SoHo is sexy,” and when he describes the neighborhood to prospective (male) clients, he emphasizes that the district is teeming with models and beautiful women. He knows they’re on the hunt — and not just for real estate. “The spaces in SoHo we represent often fulfill the void people have in their life,” he says.

    Mara Papasoff, managing director at Brown Harris Stevens, says that in the past, bankers looked for classic Park Avenue apartments, but now her clients shop for penthouse lofts. Lenz, who says that most of her clients could afford to buy in the Plaza, has also noticed this trend. “Today it’s a little ostentatious to be buying a Ferrari,” says Lenz. “But a trophy apartment says you’ve arrived.”

  72. CB in SJ says:

    Re: Boomers using house as retirement.

    If a home can be lived in for 20-30 years, then sold for an amount that equals the purchase price, plus inflation, then that does not seem to be a bad deal. If one rented the same house, would the difference be invested or spent on nicer cars, vacations, etc.? I suspect the latter for most (at least that is what I most likely would have done). Of course, this theory doesn’t apply to those who bought between 2000 and 2007, but many boomers probably bought before that time. I bought in 1993; if I had to sell now, I could pay off the mortgage, buy a nice condo in Florida, and still have about $100k in cash. Not such a bad thing.

  73. sas3 says:

    Pain, fully agree… there are many docs that want to focus primarily on the research part than on the patients (taken to the extreme, it reduces to a fascination with solving some puzzles). Though that is as bad as doing it purely for money, there are jobs that focus primarily on research or teaching — and those do pay less than private practice. Some people choose that option or combination of two.

    The best clinicians would be the intersection of those that aren’t in it solely for the money, and those that aren’t in it solely for the fun part of it.

  74. chicagofinance says:

    chicagofinance says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:36 pm
    Real estate’s has a new theme…..the oldest one….

    Welcome ladies

    By MANDY STADTMILLER and JULIE EARLE-LEVINE

    When it comes to attracting women, 42-year-old New York bachelor Jim Norton has his charm. His sense of humor. But most of all, he has his Upper West Side apartment, purchased five years ago in a Trump building. Oh, did he mention it’s got breathtaking views through floor-to-ceiling windows?

    “Women see windows — and skirts come off,” he says of his large one-bedroom pad, which also features a state-of-the-art kitchen with stainless-steel appliances.

    “This one businesswoman, she came over, and she said she was ‘not like the other girls,’ ” he recalls of the guest, who announced that she did not sleep with men on the first date.

    “Well, fast-forward an hour after seeing the apartment, and not only was she like the other girls, she was worse. They like the view.”

    That certainly comes in handy when other elements of his seduction technique fall short.

    “I remember another woman . . . I knew she was impressed with the place and decided to sleep with me,” says the comedian.

    “I gave a horrible [s-xual] performance. She walked around the apartment a couple of times before she left — almost reminding herself that this is why she just put herself through that.”

    TOO S-XY FOR YOUR PLACE?

    Norton, who has written two best-selling memoirs detailing his s-xual exploits, points out what many men — and the brokers who sell to them — are realizing in the current economic climate. The right apartment can get you laid.

    “With so many people out of work,” he says, “if a woman sees a nice place, that makes her much more willing to take the chance and sleep with you.”

    Dolly Lenz, vice chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman, has been noticing an increased emphasis among bachelors on what she calls “the s-xy factor.” Rich guys — some of whom are fleeing life in the burbs after a divorce for the freewheeling life in downtown Manhattan — are increasingly buying lavish apartments to woo women.

    “The swagger is back in the market,” she says.

    And let’s face it: In New York, our standards — for dating and real estate — are different from what they might be elsewhere in the country. With space at a premium, most New York women aren’t expecting anything palatial — they’ll settle for the aforementioned view. Perhaps some parquet floors and a doorman.

    “In New York, when you say p-rn, more people are likely to think you mean real estate,” says John, a multimillionaire financier who asked that his real name not be used. “Every two-bit banker at Goldman Sachs can buy you an expensive dinner or have a $175,000 Ferrari, but how many can have the $10 million trophy pad?”

    John frequently lets his friends borrow his 5,000-square-foot Upper East Side apartment so they can bring home the ladies while he’s away on business. After letting a London hedge-funder borrow his flat for a few days, the financier reported that his friend was able to score every night with three women (though not at the same time). “He told me: ‘They were excited when they got to the door — and when they saw the view, it was a done deal.’ ”

    But while ladies do love a room with a view, there’s something else they love — anything in the apartment that lends the man an air of domesticity. While the trophy apartments of yore might have been all about flashy effects — think shag carpets and wall-to-wall mirrors — these days, there’s a more subtle aesthetic at work. “We’ve gone from trophies that scream ‘bachelor pad’ to ones that scream, ‘There’s room for both of us here,’ ” says John.

    Indeed, while Norton has a stunning state-of-the-art kitchen, he never sets foot in it to actually cook. He even keeps clothes in the oven.

    For Ralph Sutton, 41, the appeal isn’t so much his Midtown West apartment, but rather his elevator — which opens straight into his loft. “If I wasn’t a single man, maybe my wife and I wouldn’t pick this apartment,” says Sutton, of radio show “The Tour Bus” and allaccessapp.com. “But being single, you want a place you’re proud to bring a girl home to. I think a guy who lives on the top floor of a sixth-floor walk-up better have some immaculate game.”

    Jaf Glazer, a SoHo real estate broker with a roster of celebrity clients, certainly uses s-x as part of his sell. His real estate signs proclaim “SoHo is s-xy,” and when he describes the neighborhood to prospective (male) clients, he emphasizes that the district is teeming with models and beautiful women. He knows they’re on the hunt — and not just for real estate. “The spaces in SoHo we represent often fulfill the void people have in their life,” he says.

    Mara Papasoff, managing director at Brown Harris Stevens, says that in the past, bankers looked for classic Park Avenue apartments, but now her clients shop for penthouse lofts. Lenz, who says that most of her clients could afford to buy in the Plaza, has also noticed this trend. “Today it’s a little ostentatious to be buying a Ferrari,” says Lenz. “But a trophy apartment says you’ve arrived.”

  75. Libtard in the City says:

    Kelli should have gone to Montclair State. I got out without a penny of loans. What I learned as manager of the resident assistants, supervisor of the computer lab assistants, radio station general manager and college newspaper writer, is probably twice as valuable as anything she learned at Northwestern. My tuition, food and dorm was covered as well as I got paid $50 to $100 per week. Most of these jobs allowed me to study when I was technically ‘on the clock.’ By the time I graduated, I owed nothing. My parents made me put every gift I ever received when growing up that was over $10 into a college fund. This covered my freshman year. I used to buy my books at half price by paying the EOF kids cash for their unused portion of their $1,000 book stipends. I would give them half of what the books cost and they would go to the bookstore and buy them for me. I would also write papers (or download them from Compuserve and claim I wrote them) for many of the footballers. The funny thing is, all of my siblings went to Rutgers and it appears they used the same books that they taught from at Montclair State. I bet they used the same books at Northwestern as well.

  76. Confused In NJ says:

    PARIS: The use of cell phones and other wireless communication devices are “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, the World Health Organisation’s cancer research agency said on Tuesday.

    The radio frequency electromagnetic fields generated by such devices are possibly cancer-causing “based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer,” the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said in a statement.

    A group of 31 experts meeting in the French city of Lyon over the past eight days “reached this classification based on its review of the human evidence coming from epidemiological studies,” said Jonathan Samet, president of the work group.

    Two studies in particular, the largest conducted over the last decade, provided evidence that cell phone use was associated with higher rates of glioma, “particularly in those that had the most intensive use of such phones,” Samet said.

    A number of individuals tracked in the studies had used their phones for 10 to 15 years.

    “We simply don’t know what might happen as people use their phones over longer time periods, possible over a lifetime,” he said.

    There are about five billion mobile phones registered in the world. Both the number of phones in circulation, and the average time spent using them, have climbed steadily in recent years, the working group found.

  77. Happy Renter says:

    Someone please introduce Kelli Space to Jim Norton.

  78. sas3 says:

    #69, West…

    I wonder what job Kelli thought she would get with a sociology degree?
    $200k for a degree that doesn’t qualify one for any conceivable productive career is a scam.

    A B.S. “manager” job that involves being a task master handling techies and generating reams of documents in Comic Sans Serif font? Especially if she has good “high school debating skills.”

  79. Libtard in the City says:

    She must also learn to use the laminating machine.

  80. Kettle1^2 says:

    Libtard 73

    On the book front, the “digital age” has changed the game for creative students. A group of students in the same program can all go in on 1 set of books and then cut the bindings off and scan (and OCR) them in the course of 1 evening, or scan them non-destructively if you don mind the extra labor. There are of course a 100 variations of this but the jist is there is no longer any reason to pay 200 – 400 per semester in books. You can usually find a few of the latest versions online for free if you know where to look as well. In the end you can get away with paying 10% – 20% of what they would cost you otherwise.

  81. JJ says:

    An old buddy had a kick butt condo years ago on a top floor with water views and a deck. When he did on-line dating he would find out the best moments in their life, prom night, favorite food, drinks, favorite color, prom song, song that was popular at best part of life.

    He would invite them over around sunset, prepare a picnic on his balcony overlooking water and mix in their favorite, taste, smell, color into background. Then when he was going in for kill he would have on his stereo set up something like their prom song.

    He explained women are very sub-concious, they have to be put in the mood. Thinking you are rich, great apartment, their favorite food, colors, smells and taste all at once they want you. Mind you my buddy was half way between sienfeld and costanza. He actually sold garbage bags for a living. But man oh man.

    Men think different. Hot broke girl in a dirty studio apt. or rich ugly girl in a penthouse. OMMM, lets see which 99% of men choose.

  82. hughesrep says:

    69

    Lib-

    Thanks. My gut feeling was to take the 10% this year and hit them again next year.

    Damn “The Man”.

  83. Kettle1^2 says:

    of course if you want to go the true Capt Cheapo route, buy them, scan them non-destructively, and return them the next day for a full refund.

  84. A.West says:

    Libtard,
    Your story deserves sincere admiration, and more widespread emulation (well, except for the grey market stuff). Too many people sneer at this as “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” talk, but America is a place where people can succeed with hard work intelligently directed.
    I’ve got to remember not to cripple my kid’s self-reliance by paying for everything.

  85. JJ says:

    Actually sociology changed my life. I learned in my sociology class in a crowded bar women who like you pass you face first women who don’t like you pass you butt first.

    Saves a lot of time knowing stuff like that.

  86. JJ says:

    Or you can buy and sell them on half.com
    Kettle1^2 says:
    May 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Libtard 73

    On the book front, the “digital age” has changed the game for creative students. A group of students in the same program can all go in on 1 set of books and then cut the bindings off and scan (and OCR) them in the course of 1 evening, or scan them non-destructively if you don mind the extra labor. There are of course a 100 variations of this but the jist is there is no longer any reason to pay 200 – 400 per semester in books. You can usually find a few of the latest versions online for free if you know where to look as well. In the end you can get away with paying 10% – 20% of what they would cost you otherwise.

  87. Kettle1^2 says:

    JJ 84,

    getting a group of people together for the purchase and scan is cheaper, but takes a little more effort.

  88. NJGator says:

    Hughesrep 63 – If you go before the County, they can value you wherever they want. Your ask and the town’s offer do not necessarily factor in. When you get your judgment 4 weeks after the eharing, they will give you zero explanation as to how they arrived at the number.

    As part of the appeals process, you must allow the town to inspect your home if they request to do so. In our 4 years of litigation against Montclair, we’ve never had such a request. However I do understand that they have inspected some homes for appeals, as in our revaluation for 2012, those homes will not be inspected again.

    What is the difference in taxes between the number you truly think is fair and what the town is offering? If you are reassessing next year, I would seriously consider taking it and calling it a day. If there is even one comp sale that tilts in the towns favor (even if you have several others that are in yours), the County could use that to return a higher judgment number.

  89. Kettle1^2 says:

    No this isnt from the Onion…..

    TOKYO, May 31 (Xinhua) — Operator of the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant found that oil has been leaking into the sea close to the facility, the Kyodo News reported Tuesday.

    The operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said the oil leaks were possibly from nearby oil tanks that may have been damaged in the March earthquake and tsunami, and it would set up oil fences to prevent the liquid from pouring into the Pacific Ocean.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-05/31/c_13903549.htm

  90. Juice Box says:

    Confused – re: Cellphones…. Do you enjoy eating?

    http://www.fastcompany.com/1752894/are-cell-phones-killing-all-the-bees

  91. Libtard in the City says:

    Ket,

    I had Xerox machine privileges since I worked at the school and did take advantage of it for a few books. I was actually pretty cool as I could reduce the pages leaving much more room for notes in the margins. I always photocopied the workbooks of which there were few as they were no more than 100 pages. It was the economics books that were like 800 pages and $80, that were simply too large to photocopy unfortunately.

  92. Kettle1^2 says:

    when does the plague show up in fukushima?

  93. Libtard in the City says:

    Gator, check your work mail!

  94. Kettle1^2 says:

    Lib 89

    the entire process is now very easily automated, including OCR if you are willing to cut the bindings off. So whether a book is 80 or 800 pages becomes irrelevant at that point. You can run the scanning/ocr process while you drink beer and play Xbox while posting on f@cebook

  95. Kettle1^2 says:

    Lib 89

    the entire process is now very easily automated, including OCR if you are willing to cut the bindings off. So whether a book is 80 or 800 pages becomes irrelevant at that point.

  96. Libtard in the City says:

    Kettle. I work for a printer. I was using OCR before the acronym was even penned. :P

  97. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Jim Norton needs a great apartment to get laid. He is so ugly, funny and rich is just not enough. Am I the only on ewho thought of JJ in the above article when they mentioned the millionaire power broker with the alias of “John”

    Someone should tell Kelli, with an I, that while it is unfortunate that she decided to pursue a ludicrously expensive and useless degree at a pseudo ivy league school, begging would probably be more lucrative in NY subway stations with less ridicule. She did have a great line though, too bad common sense came to her later in life.

  98. Sara1966 says:

    Q. Would you buy a Bergen County home heated/fueled via oil tank in the basement?
    If no, what is a fair discount to negotiate for the removal of the tank and conversion of the house to gas? $15K? (The 2400′ house is on the grid and has a gas oven-stove).

    Thanks in advance!

  99. JJ says:

    Or make friendly with ugliest girl in group who went in on the scan to get a copy for free. Then turn around and give it for free to the best looking girl in class.

    Actually, sharing never worked well. I recall some geeky guy in college did some god awful BASIC or FORTRAN thing. I was doing it too and I asked him a question, guy was all hedgy on helping me, answered one little questions and then goes look go read the book, I was like that will take me all night, I don’t own a computer at home and this is due tomorrow. Guy goes this took me many tries to get it perfect would love to help but I am done and he hits print. Then I go hey just hit print twice so I can hand it in. Guy gets all snooty with me. Dope leaves and one minute later I realize did he just say he did it several times to get it perfect. Go to garbage can and low and behold there it is a prior version. I hand it in and it was like a B+, he of course got an A.

    Amazing how many people in school won’t help. College teaches you to be selfish and not a team player. Not good for your career after school.

    Kettle1^2 says:
    May 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    JJ 84,

    getting a group of people together for the purchase and scan is cheaper, but takes a little more effort.

  100. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Ket 90 I’m hoping for Harpies and a Kraken. Or Sigmund the Seamonster saves Fuk-u-shima

  101. hughesrep says:

    86

    Gator-

    Thanks. The difference between their offer and what I think is fair is about 7%.

    I don’t necessarily want them taking a look around either. I think if they wanted to hassle me they could find some things that were done before we bought it without the proper approvals. Getting things approved retroactively would most likely eat up the tax savings.

  102. JJ says:

    Painhrtz – Salmon of Doubt says:
    May 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I don’t think it is crazy. I am married and no longer can hook up. If I was single again, I would rent a great place in city, get a great summer place, convertible, new clothes, hit the guy etc. Not because I am ugly, but if I want hot girls ten years younger then me that is what is expected. I had a buddy who two best friends were straight male models who did magazines etc. Male models make a fraction of female models. They could take home any girl they wanted from a club. But they owned no cars, lived in a shared apt in NYC and bummed on peoples Hampton houses. Rich extremely good looking women wanted nothing to do with them. Also female models wanted nothing to do with them. But hot girls from humble backgrounds they could have all day long. Even a male model needs a good apt and car to reach is A game.

    Back to RE, the house I ratted out on CO violations a few weeks ago agent calls and tell me big price cut, I go why? She goes I don’t know but last week all at once he was motivated to sell. Ha Ha

    Jim Norton needs a great apartment to get laid. He is so ugly, funny and rich is just not enough. Am I the only on ewho thought of JJ in the above article when they mentioned the millionaire power broker with the alias of “John”

    Someone should tell Kelli, with an I, that while it is unfortunate that she decided to pursue a ludicrously expensive and useless degree at a pseudo ivy league school, begging would probably be more lucrative in NY subway stations with less ridicule. She did have a great line though, too bad common sense came to her later in life.

  103. west (68)-

    You don’t need a sociology degree from Northeastern or Rutgers to pick up an M-16 and spray a Third World village with continuous fire. Which is our country’s idea of “applied sociology”.

    “What is the future of sociology? The future is bright for sociology. The next century may be the most exciting and critical period in the field’s history. People increasingly realize that we must renew attempts to understand, ameliorate, or solve problems in the United States and around the world–problems that affect individuals, like alcoholism or unemployment, and problems that affect societies, like ethnic conflict or environmental pollution. Some of the best employment prospects may be in policy research and administration, in clinical and applied sociological practice, as well as in the traditional areas of teaching and basic research. “

  104. Old Army joke:

    Join us, travel the world, meet new people…and kill them.

  105. stu (73)-

    Probably the same books at Hahvad and Yale, too.

    Just taught at the Ivies with twice as large a dose of bad attitude.

  106. OK. I’m now pretty sure jj is Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

  107. His command of bad vernacular English is amazing.

  108. A.West says:

    Hobo,
    Apparently sociologists haven’t noticed that a heavily indebted society that owes far more than it can repay has a problem. (Nor have most economists). But they’re ready to get paid a fee to spend someone else’s money “diagnosing” unemployment, pollution, and ethnic strife. The typical answer from sociologists? It’s all capitalism’s fault, and we need more sociologists in control of government to fix all these problems.

  109. NJGator says:

    A. West – but how can I be out of money if I still have checks or credit cards?

  110. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hobo 105 “His command of bad vernacular English is amazing.” That is why I do not tell stories, don’t want to steal JJ’s thunder. I would make him look like a Rhodes Scholar.

  111. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gator 107 LOL, so true, so true.

  112. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Hobo SIL is a psycologist/social worker I actually have more respect for politicians than that cabal of fools.

    So lets solve all the aformentioned problems shall we

    1. unemployment – lower taxes, raise tariffs on imports, low and behold jobs will reappear here

    2. pollution – we need to burn things to make your ipod have power and chemicals are needed to create it. That are not shat out by unicorns then polished by whistling elves. Electricity doesn’t magically appear from a socket nor is generated by lightning bolts from Zeus’ a$$. Unless you want to live like the amish. pollution is going to happen we will mitigate it as best as possible, or continue to produce the widgets you can’t live without in 3rd world countries which affects point number 1.

    3. Ethnic stife – we are tribal mammals so we tend to fight with each other, as long as we are continuing to wussified by you so called sociologists no one is going to stand up to the bullies in the room. Especially when we katow to barbarian cultures hoping that someday they will become civilized or apologize for western civilization being evil.

    Sociology and Psyhcology, we added ology to make it sound like a science but it isn’t – Attributed to one of my professors, don’t remeber which one but I liked him he was a nut libertarian who made fun of the civics department

  113. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Greetings from Central NJ. Who turned up the F’ing heat???

  114. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [97] JJ

    “Or make friendly with ugliest girl in group who went in on the scan to get a copy for free. Then turn around and give it for free to the best looking girl in class. ”

    That is similar to a trick my old college roommate used to use to get into Smith parties. I learned a lot about being sleazy from him.

  115. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shocking!

    “If we do not see a meaningful recovery in home prices by the end of the year, we may need to contemplate impairment charges on first liens owned by banks and wholesale write-downs of second lien exposures. This implies solvency issues for BAC [BAC 11.675 -0.015 (-0.13%) ] , WFC [WFC 28.19 0.05 (+0.18%) ] , JPM [JPM 42.91 0.12 (+0.28%) ] and C [C 41.11 0.14 (+0.34%) ] , and big losses for the U.S. government and private investors,” says Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics.
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43224167

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [1] grim

    “Jersey shore within reach of more people”

    All the more reason not to buy there (unless you are renting to Snooki)

  117. JJ says:

    My favorite thing was we had a five foot six inch non-descript fried who charged one free drink for his service. Which was we dropped him off at back of a long line for a night club while we parked car. Slowly since he was little he would move through line un-noticed till he was at front. Once at front he would let next set of people in saying he is waiting for someone, that way they can’t complain how he got in front, then we would join him at front and go right in. Crazy it worked every single time. He really should have charged more. Sometimes he went right in and paid cover if they did stamps. Then the old lick and roll. Sometimes if we had a girl with us we would copy a stamp on her hand with markers I had in car. I also had an UV lamp in car for the invisible stamps. Club covers are not really ment to be paid. But funny part is every nickle I ever saved getting in was spent at the bar anyhow.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    May 31, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    [97] JJ

    “Or make friendly with ugliest girl in group who went in on the scan to get a copy for free. Then turn around and give it for free to the best looking girl in class. ”

    That is similar to a trick my old college roommate used to use to get into Smith parties. I learned a lot about being sleazy from him.

  118. 3b says:

    OUCH!!!! The listing below sold for 680K in 2006, just came on at 399K, taxes are over 11K. And this is in that place……..

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1121493&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  119. 3b says:

    #113 And can one really see a reasonable turn around in prices over the next 6 months??

  120. JJ says:

    I can see after conforming mortgage limits are lowered in the fall and we get a series of rate increases housing finally bottoming. May be only 1-2 years away. We are five years in. Get ready to buy.

  121. Juice Box says:

    JJ – conforming? Who gives a flock when the government is the buyer. My broke A*ss BIL is jumping up and down this week because he got approved for his 3.5% down FHA to buy a 1940s house in a Detroit suburb. If they gave him a Mortgage than anyone can get one.

    Got demand? Seems like we have finished our first lost decade on only 5 short years, the next two could be even quicker decline if there is no volume.

    Tuesday, May 31st, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Mortgage originations in the first quarter fell 35% to $325 billion, breaking three consecutive periods of growth and threatening to plunge the market back to 2000 levels, according to a report from Inside Mortgage Finance.

    The first-quarter drop is the worst experienced since the onset of the recession when mortgage originations plummeted 31.5%, according to a new research report from Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland researchers Yuliya Demyanyk and Matthew Koepke.

    The same report cites Mortgage Bankers Association projections which estimates mortgage originations could fall to $1.05 trillion in 2011, the lowest level in 11 years.

    The report blames a decline in refinancings for the dip in originations. Since refinancings generally contribute to higher origination activity, a drop-off in that segment negatively impacts originations as a whole.

    The Cleveland Fed Bank report concludes that the only way around declining activity in the refinance segment would be to generate more activity in new home originations—a development the report doesn’t foresee when considering the current lull in home starts and the state of the overall housing market.

    Mortgage originations in the first quarter fell 35% to $325 billion, breaking three consecutive periods of growth and threatening to plunge the market back to 2000 levels, according to a report from Inside Mortgage Finance.

  122. JJ says:

    how ugly is your sister that she married a broke guy from Detroit. No offense, but you seem like a playa, and playas should have playa sistas

    Juice Box says:
    May 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    JJ – conforming? Who gives a flock when the government is the buyer. My broke A*ss BIL is jumping up and down this week because he got approved for his 3.5% down FHA to buy a 1940s house in a Detroit suburb. If they gave him a Mortgage than anyone can get one.

  123. vodka (113)-

    Will never happen. TPTB has proved they can run this housing value levitation scam ad infinitum. I have full faith that they will out-Japanese the Japanese in denial, lying, fraud, deceit, double-dealing, self-dealing. Even in the face of complete societal collapse, they will crank the extend-and-pretend machine until it finally explodes in a white-hot plasma ball of extinction.

  124. ditto says:

    “he got approved for his 3.5% down FHA to buy a 1940s house in a Detroit suburb.”

    3.5% 0f $5,000 ain’t much even for a broke guy.

  125. If the Japs can go 20+ years with extend-and-pretend, I figure we can easily go 50+.

  126. Hell, you can make an argument that our extend-and-pretend actually started in 1913.

  127. 5k will buy you two whole blocks in Detroit.

    You just have to provide your own infrastructure.

  128. 5K will get you three blocks in Memphis, and if you play your cards right, the MS13 will ring fence it.

  129. Wow. The CME has now invited all suckers and latecomers to pile onto the 44-car chain collision…in the most worthless paper going.

    It’s not going to end in tears. It’s going to end in gunfire. I am now absolutely convinced.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/and-scene-cme-lowers-es-sp-ym-margins

  130. The new policy of US marketmakers is to shank PMs in any way possible.

  131. chicagofinance says:

    clot…..NICE!

    WSJ
    NY SPORTS
    MAY 31, 2011
    1,500 of New York’s Craziest Fans
    By KEVIN CLARK

    Forty minutes before a Red Bulls game, some of the craziest sports fans in the New York area meet at the corner of Market and Jackson streets in Newark. There are hundreds of them, most of whom have been singing for three or four hours in the bars near the stadium. They don’t look the same. They aren’t from the same places, but they live by the same edict: Do. Not. Stop. Singing.

    These are the inhabitants of the “South Ward” of Red Bull Arena, a three-section area made up of three groups—the Empire Supporters Club, the Garden State Supporters and the Viking Army. Together, they fill 1,500 seats and create quite the commotion, setting off flares and smoke bombs while wearing their ski masks and viking horns.

    From their meeting place in Newark, they cross a bridge, begin the first of their intricately choreographed songs—in this case called “We Will Not Be Moved” as they block traffic—and the chaos continues until the final whistle of that night’s game.

    There may be bigger fan bases in New York—but few are more organized and none are more psychotic.

    “They have all what we have in Europe,” said Thierry Henry, the French star who played for Arsenal, Barcelona and the French national team among others in his European career. “Since I’ve arrived it’s been great…they are getting very close to the European style.”

    Insane supporters’ groups aren’t rare in Major League soccer—Henry mentioned Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Houston, among others. But this type of mania is unique to New York sports, where relatively tame acts like Fireman Ed of the Jets typically take the “best fans” title.

    “You’ve got 50,000 people at a Red Sox-Yankees game, but you don’t have one big section that’s setting off smoke and singing and banging on drums for three hours,” said Corey Vezina, one of the leaders of the Empire Supporters Club. “You’ve got the Bleacher Creatures clapping here and there, but it’s pretty quiet…until there’s two strikes.”

    The South Ward is a fan’s holy land. Tickets can’t be purchased online—they are either handled through the clubs or can be bought on the phone, with an explanation from the team of what goes on in the section. Ticket-takers are strict about keeping non-South Ward residents out of the sections—which tend to shake during the most intense moments.

    The most basic requirement to belong is singing. That’s easier said than done since it becomes more about endurance than passion. The three groups each have at least one leader on a ladder with a megaphone—with his back to the play, leading the chants.

    Those chants range from Red Bulls-themed bends on rap songs or oldies hits to Spanish songs—and are picked up quickly by every fan, regardless of language.

    Vezina estimates that 30% to 40% of the group’s chants are in Spanish. He said the Beatles and ’80s pop music are the usual favorites that are turned into Red Bull-centric classics.

    There are some songs that stay the same. Then there are times when a player loses a shoe, “and we sing, ‘He only needs one shoe,’ ” Vezina said. “We try to get into people’s heads.”

    The ultimate goal is for the entire stadium to be loud. With that in mind, a song called “The Whole Stadium Sings With Us” leads to a conventional “Let’s Go Red Bulls!” chant that can incorporate the entire fan base.

    Attendance in the rest of the stadium has been sparse this season, which makes the antics of the South Ward, which has been sold out for three of the first five home games, even more noticeable.

    “Even if the whole stadium is not full, it could be a little over 10,000 and it still feels crowded because of the noise,” said Jan Gunnar Solli, who played in Norway before moving to the Red Bulls this season.

    Fans say they have seen an explosion in interest in the group since Red Bull Arena opened last season. Red Bulls managing director Erik Stover remembers a game two years ago in Giants Stadium when only about 20 of the most extreme fans were in attendance. They have hit 1,000 for every game this season.

    According to Vezina, the Empire Supporters Club predates the actual team. In 1995, the group formed in anticipation of New York’s Major League Soccer franchise—which was thought to be called the Empires. The Viking Army and Garden State Supporters grew out of the original groups.

    These Red Bulls fanatics aren’t full-time fans, even if it seems that way. Benny Lopez, the leader of the Viking Army, is a 36-year-old property manager from Wayne, N.J. Vezina is a 35-year-old account executive for an Internet company. But each member of the group puts hours into the production.

    Vezina misses the pregame pub singing in favor of setting up banners and drums at the stadium. Lopez says he probably puts 70 hours a week into all things Red Bulls—not to mention road trips. Trips to D.C. have included as many as 15 busloads of fans.

    Such dedication is setting the standard for fan behavior in the league, said Mike Petke, a former Red Bulls defender who retired last year and is now on the coaching staff. Petke is responsible for communication between the South Ward and the team.

    The Red Bulls’ Stover said the key to the team’s role in the groups is to “let it all develop organically and support them.”

    One supporter who has a fan in the organization is Nuno Rodrigues, who’s the head of the Garden State Supporters. He “spends every game with his back towards the play, with a megaphone, urging these guys on,” says Petke. “He loves this team so much that he doesn’t watch any of the game. That’s dedication.”

  132. chi (129)-

    Feh. In Rome, the ultras just wait outside the Stadio Olympico and stab anyone they see in the other team’s colors.

    I’ve also been to Toronto-Red Bull games here where the Toronto fans both outnumbered and shouted down the goofballs behind the South goal.

  133. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (115) jj

    Funny, he did that too. He would keep a set of markers in his car so he could forge the dorm party marks. Another trick was to call the social chair and pretend we were from a Harvard frat. We would give them a list of names of friends and that was that.

    I remember the lick and roll too; we did that to get in, but also for some clubs, we could get in but were underage. The older guys would do that so we could drink.

    Never went so far as to do the UV thing, but I ain’t a play like you.

  134. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [131] redux

    Damn android. Should be “playa”

  135. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    “ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Four years ago, some Atlantic City casino customers were shelling out $1,000 for a brownie sprinkled with edible gold dust in a Baccarat crystal they could take home.

    Nowadays, some wait until 11 p.m. to eat so they can get a steak dinner for $2.99.

    At the beginning of 2007, Atlantic City’s 11 casinos were at the top of a wave of prosperity. Starting with the 1978 opening of Resorts, the nation’s first casino outside Nevada, Atlantic City for years was the only place to play slots, cards, dice or roulette in the eastern half of the United States. The cash kept pouring in, the busloads of visitors kept coming and the revenue charts went one way: straight up.

    And then, they didn’t. Now, battered by competition from casinos all around it, Atlantic City is in a fight for its very survival. . . .”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110531/ap_on_re_us/us_reshuffling_atlantic_city

  136. Pat says:

    Off-topic question. We gotta buy one. Have it narrowed down. Anybody have any comments or insights into pros/cons of corporate
    s y m @ n t e c v. w 3 b r 00 t

    Thanks to any goofy geeks to might know something before I just flip a coin.

  137. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Fiddy, Bob didnt blunder, he just doesn’t give a rats @as. He says stuff like that all the time now. The man is a stand up, intelligent, straight talking gentleman.
    “Bob Shiller just blundered on Fox Business when he let the interviewer goad him into saying that he’s “optimistic” that the housing market will go into a 20 year Japan-like downturn.”

  138. Neanderthal Economist says:

    116 – im glad you’re digging deeper on the comps but that thing was built in 1800’s. Can we at least find one built in 1950s -80’s? Also, saw your previous post and I believe you but it was a fixed upper. Let’s try to find a decent, modern comp, with pics if possible. Not a comp killer distressed sale either, an avg 4/2 comp that didn’t need $30k work before buyer could move in…

  139. Al Mossberg says:

    Rates are looking good again.

    4.375 30 year conforming.

  140. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Your are right sir, but pay special attention to platinum and stock KBX.

    Hobo With a Shotgun says:
    May 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm
    The new policy of US marketmakers is to shank PMs in any way possible.

  141. Shore Guy says:

    Gator,

    All I can say is that I have firsthand knowledge of the vile taste of those creatures, which look bettter than they taste.

  142. Shore Guy says:

    Grim,

    Possible topic for Wednesday?

    Leaving North Las Vegas no option for many ‘underwater’ homeowners
    In parts of North Las Vegas, more than 80% of homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Staying is expensive, but many can’t afford to move.

    Charles Mills can barely afford to stay here. But he also can’t afford to move.

    That’s why the 44-year-old heavy-equipment operator was preparing to leave his wife and young daughter here and go where he could find work — the Oklahoma oil fields. Mills has a mortgage to pay, even if its size pains him.

    He purchased his house in 2006 for $308,500. Current value: $105,797.

    “We talked about it: What can we do with the house?” Mills said. “Nobody’s going to buy it. Nobody’s going to rent it. If we walk away, my credit’s shot. We’re stuck.”

    In some parts of North Las Vegas, more than 80% of homeowners have plunged “underwater,” meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth — a stunning concentration of aborted plans and upended lives.

    Mobility in search of new opportunity has long been a cornerstone of the American economy, much the way homeownership has long offered a path to firmer financial footing. But the housing bust has left tens of thousands of homeowners across Nevada essentially trapped.

    They’re considered the new normal here. They turn down higher-paying jobs elsewhere because they can’t move.

    snip

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-underwater-homeowners-20110531,0,6176564.story

  143. Shore Guy says:

    When I get to the bottom
    I go back to the top of the slide:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/business/01housing.html

  144. Shore Guy says:

    This is interesting. What were the odds that banks would find a way to scr-ew people:

    Beware of Business Credit Cards: A Consumer Protection Loophole

    When the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress enacted the Credit CARD Act of 2009, the goal was to make credit cards safer and their rules more transparent for everybody. But leave it to banks to find the loopholes. Those new consumer protections weren’t extended to cards designated for business or commercial use, and as a result, millions of American households are at risk from business credit cards, warns the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.

    According to Pew, 40 years ago, business credit cards were excluded from federal consumer protections because policymakers concluded that business owners were in a position to analyze their risks. But banks are casting a very wide net in their search for new “business” customers. Between January 2006 and December 2010, American households received more than 2.6 billion mailed offers for business credit cards, Pew found. And whether the recipient was a large company, the owner of a small company, or just an employee, they’re personally liable for all charges — and again, they aren’t protected by the key provisions in the Credit CARD Act.

    As a result, practices that federal regulators deemed “unfair” or “deceptive,” such as hair-trigger interest rate hikes and unpredictable rate increases, remain widespread for business credit cards that are regularly offered to American households.

    “Every month, more than 10 million business credit card offers are mailed to households at all income levels. The sheer number of offers that are sent to homes all across the nation represents a risk to millions of American families,” said Nick Bourke, director of Pew’s Safe Credit Cards Project, in a prepared statement.

    You Don’t Have to Be a Business

    There are all sorts of ways people end up on a mailing list to receive a business credit card solicitation. If you’re are a doctor, lawyer, or other professional, issuers may guess that you might have your own business. Sometimes, they rely on demographics: If your neighborhood is home to entrepreneurs, you could get put into that category by association, Bourke explained to DailyFinance.

    While the total number of individuals who actually hold business credit cards is unclear, there are at least 11 million “small business” credit card accounts, with an average of 1.4 cards per account, according to Pew’s research.

    “To better protect individuals, families and small business owners, we urge that the safeguards found in the Credit CARD Act be extended to any card on which the cardholder is personally liable,” says Pew.

    Boosting Their Profits Any Way They Can

    The report’s findings show that banks are pretty much doing whatever they want when it comes to business credit cards.

    For example, 80% of business card accounts had an “any time change in terms” clause with no right to opt out, which means that the banks can change the account terms with little or no notice. By contrast, under the CARD Act, terms on consumer cards cannot change during the first year; after that, 45 days notice is required, and consumers generally may opt out of the changes. Existing balances are also protected from arbitrary rate increases.

    Further, 67% of business card contracts stipulated penalty interest rates for late payments or over-limit transactions. Issuers can apply penalty rates immediately and without notice for any violation, and those high rates can last indefinitely on any balance. Under the CARD Act, penalty interest rates may not be applied to existing balances on consumer credit cards, unless an account is seriously delinquent.

    With business credit cards, penalty fees are virtually unrestricted and may not be reasonable and proportional to the violation. Late fees (median amount $39) can be assessed on 73% of business cards , while 67% were subject to over-limit fees (median amount $39).

    snip

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/05/26/beware-of-business-credit-cards-a-consumer-protection-loophole/

  145. Shore Guy says:

Comments are closed.