If Gen Xers are too risk averse to buy the Boomers homes, who will?

From the WSJ:

Come On Gen X, Take Some Chances

Many of Andy Tilp’s Generation X and Y clients live for the adrenaline rush they get from outdoor sports like snowboarding and white-water rafting.

When it comes to their money though, many of those younger clients—roughly age 45 and below—aren’t seeking any thrills. They’re opting for what they see as safe investments, such as certificates of deposit and savings accounts.

Among those who do venture into some of the more traditional portfolio assets—stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities—many are shying away from equities and are more concerned about protecting their principal than growing their money.

“They’re leaning toward really conservative portfolios—similar to some retirees,” says Mr. Tilp, a financial planner based in Portland, Ore.

Such risk aversion is understandable, given the two nasty bear markets already this century and the current depressed job market. Many Generation X and Y investors have watched plunging financial markets destroy their parents’ retirement plans.

But many advisers are concerned that the low risk tolerance of some of these investors may ruin their retirements too, by leaving them short of funds when they get there. These advisers are encouraging young investors to rethink their views.

A recent survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that 59% of affluent investors ages 18 to 34 who responded sought relatively low risk when choosing investment strategies, and that a higher percentage were risk-averse than in all other age groups, including investors their grandparents’ age.

Investors of all ages may have been spooked by the most recent market downturn in particular. “When you’ve been burned and there is great uncertainty, it’s a natural inclination to withdraw,” says Yuval Bar-Or, an expert on decision-making and an adjunct professor of finance at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School.

But that inclination may be tempered among investors who have weathered previous bear markets—a perspective that many younger investors don’t have. If investors haven’t been in the market long enough, Mr. Bar-Or says, they may not see the “wisdom” of investing for the long term and therefore may shy away from what they perceive as higher-risk investments.

The stock market isn’t the only thing that’s making these young investors jittery. After seeing friends get laid off or getting fired themselves, some Generation X and Y investors may be keeping more cash on hand in case of an extended period of unemployment.

“Generation X and Y see their careers as more tenuous than their boomer parents,” says Rand Spero, a Lexington, Mass.-based certified financial planner.

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150 Responses to If Gen Xers are too risk averse to buy the Boomers homes, who will?

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    How Miserable? Index Says the Worst in 28 Years

    When it comes to measuring the combination of unemployment and inflation, it doesn’t get much more miserable than this.

    In fact, misery, as measured in the unofficial Misery Index that simply totals the unemployment and inflation rates, is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how far there is to go.

    The index, first compiled during the soaring inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7—9.1 percent for unemployment and 3.6 percent for annualized inflation—a number not seen since 1983. The index has been above 10 since November 2009 and had been under double-digits from June 1993 through May 2008.

    The good news, of course, is that the Fed-led Paul Volcker embarked on a highly successful inflation-slaying campaign that brought the level of misery down sharply through the rest of the ’80s recovery decade.

    The bad news, of course, is all the bad news.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Buyers call the shots in spring market

    Home sales traditionally rise in the spring, because many buyers want to be in their new homes before the school year starts. But this year’s spring market wasn’t enough to revive a housing market burdened by high unemployment, tight mortgage standards and a large number of distressed sales.

    “To improve significantly, the housing market is going to need significant job growth, and we’re not seeing it,” said Jeffrey Otteau of the Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick, an appraisal firm that tracks the market statewide. From January through April, the state added 19,800 private-sector jobs, though cash-strapped governments cut 3,600 public jobs in that period.

    “It’s definitely a buyer’s market, and buyers are behaving that way,” said Carl Nielsen, manager of the Mortgage Master office in Wayne. “If somebody’s asking 500 [thousand], people aren’t bashful; they’re offering 400.” Mortgage Master saw a big drop-off in the number of loans this year.

    “What we’re looking at is a lot of way-too-tentative buyers,” said Maria Rini, a Re/Max agent in Oradell. “They’re just not pulling the trigger.”

    “People are taking their time; they want to look at everything,” said Judy O’Brien of Liberty 100 Realty in Waldwick.

    The number of sales dropped 25 percent statewide in the first four months of this year, compared with the same period last year, Otteau said. But that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, because sales were artificially pumped up in early 2010 by an $8,000 federal tax credit.

    Prices also have declined this year, although the drop was greater in Passaic County (down 1.9 percent) than Bergen (down 0.8 percent) in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the same period in 2010, according to Otteau.

    The Olivers, who have two sons and a price range of $550,000 to $750,000, have been in the market, off and on, for two years. Though they haven’t found big bargains, they have seen prices drop — one reason why they’re nervous about buying.

    “We’re afraid to overpay,” Oliver said. “If I pay $500,000 for a house today, and it drops 10 or 15 percent, how long before I get back to even?”

    That’s a fear that is holding back many potential buyers, analysts say. But real estate agents argue that buyers would do better to focus on interest rates and lock in a mortgage at the current low rates below 5 percent. Buyers who wait may find that even if prices fall further, their monthly payments could be higher if interest rates rise.

    As the Olivers’ experience shows, even after several years of declining prices, there’s still a gap between what many buyers are willing to pay and what sellers are willing to accept.

    “This is an extremely unforgiving market, but there’s still a lot of overpricing,” said Barbara Weismann, a Weichert agent in Tenafly.

    “The seller thinks, ‘This is what I need to get,’ not, ‘This is what the market dictates the property is worth,’ ” said Dave Duffy of Terrie O’Connor Real Estate in Allendale.

    Cutting the price is especially painful for sellers who bought five or six years ago and will have to sell for less than they paid — or even less than they owe on their mortgage.

    Those lower prices, of course, are good news for buyers.

  4. Mike says:

    In reference to last week’s forclosure breathing room (49 years) The waiting has to be worst than the noose around your neck

  5. Dissident Hehehe says:

    Two words for Boomers wanting me to buy their house: blow me!

  6. Dissident Hehehe says:

    Interesting chart?

    http://www.financialarmageddon.com/2011/06/which-one.html

    Bye bye stock market gains.

  7. Japanese PPT.

    “Japan’s stock investment community is buzzing with rumors about the Bank of Japan’s “1% rule.” These rumors suggest that the BOJ has been following a single guideline in its purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) under a new, unorthodox program it launched last Dec. 15. The rule is that whenever the Topix index of all issues on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange ends a morning session 1% or lower than the previous day’s close, the central bank will try to prop up the stock market by purchasing ETFs in the afternoon session. The BOJ official in charge of such matters has refused to comment on the criteria the bank uses for its ETF purchases. But the numbers appear to confirm the chatter emerging from the rumor mill. Since Dec. 15, the BOJ has purchased ETFs through trust banks on all of the 18 days when the Topix index fell by 1% or more in the morning session.” And since Vincent Reinhart has certainly noted in some of the recently unembargoed Fed minutes over the past decade precisely this simplistic (and last ditch) plan for market manipulation, we can’t wait when the Fed, shortly after the failure of QE 7, announces publicly this time, that it will proceed to buy the SPY whenever the S&P drops more than 1%.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/japanese-plunge-protection-team-exposed-bojs-1-rule-or-shirakawa-put-practice

  8. gary says:

    Gen Y has no idea what the term “investment” means. They know the terms “text messaging” and “Lady Ga Ga.” And the notion that there is someone in their late teens and twenties classified as affluent is laughable. Unless Daddy suddenly died and Josh and Princess were willed the warehouses up in Westchester, they’re not affluent.

  9. Looks like all the financial sharks are worried that they can’t turn the next generation into victims and debt serfs for life.

  10. The goddamn prices are too high. That’s why people won’t offer.

    “What we’re looking at is a lot of way-too-tentative buyers,” said Maria Rini, a Re/Max agent in Oradell. “They’re just not pulling the trigger.”

  11. One day closer to doom.

  12. gary says:

    Hobo 10,

    But I understand interest rates are at historic lows! :o

  13. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Way too tentative = tire kickers.
    These kids don’t want an albatross, they want ipads and resume building experiences that involve exotic travel. How is a $400k 3/2 brick ranch with shag carpet, paneling and rotted windows going to excite them when it needs $50k just to make it liveable?

  14. House Whine says:

    8- Mostly you are right. But personally I know more than a handful of twenty-somethings earning a really decent salary. No, they are not even on Wall St. Granted, they are kind of the “cream of the crop” and nice people to boot. They do exist and I am glad they do.

  15. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Even gen x is too smart for the nar… if they wanted the old ball and chain they could have just married their hs girlfriend. It would have been way cheaper.

  16. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Drove through some local neighborhoods perusing some open houses for an hour yesterday. Im shocked that asking prices are still rediculously high. Saw one nice place, 20 years old, 2,200 sq ft on postage stamp yard, we loved it but price is insane at $450k. Plus $13k taxes no thanks. These are the same places that were selling for $300k in 2002. The older neighborhoods are showing their age. 50 year old ranches that have been neglected for more than 10 yrs. Huge yards and nice bones but your weekends are shot for an eternity the minute you sign for one of those puppies.

  17. gary says:

    But personally I know more than a handful of twenty-somethings earning a really decent salary.

    Big hat, no cattle.

  18. Barbara says:

    Most houses I see need 80-100k in work. That’s not snobbery talking, that’s truth. These houses that exchanged hands during the peak were bought by people with no money to put back into them. So they buy a few cans of pain and replace some wall to wall. If they are real ambitious, they will paint the faux wood kitchen cabinets, circa 1973. These houses were neglected 10 years ago, by at least 20 years. Now make that 30 years of neglect. That’s what I am seeing.

  19. Barbara says:

    Also, pecan cabinets put in in 1993 is not an “updated kitchen” any more than my Power Mac 1800 is an “up dated computer.”

  20. House Whine says:

    18- Actually, they are darn savvy for young people. Two of them already started their own businesses and are doing better than ever. And they do have money in the bank and almost no debt. Not all young people are spendthrifts!

  21. gary says:

    House [22],

    What businesses did they start?

  22. Never mind that stench of death.

    Pretty soon, we’ll all get used to it.

  23. Shore Guy says:

    Clot,

    Is that a new scent from Estee Lauder?

  24. Shore Guy says:

    From # 27 yesterday ““In the food safety world we say, ‘don’t eat poop,’” said Douglas Powell, a professor of food safety at Kansas State University. “But if you’re going to, make sure it’s cooked.”

    Is this from the Onion? This cannot be real. It just can’t.

  25. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore

    I have read that the SFP fire at Calhoun was worse then has been publically acknowledged. It may just be hype given the recent fukushima event but sa the report in a few different non-us websites. I also say claims that there has been an intentional media blackout of the event in the US.

    Interesting but not enough info to determine the veracity if said reports.

  26. 3B says:

    #5 Well they did it for you. The prices are high and the property taxes are high all so they could give you a wonderful Blue Ribbon education; the least you can do is give them their price.

    Shame on you!!!

  27. 3B says:

    #10 That Realtor is located in Oradell, which you shuld know is located right next to the town where prices are up 26% in the last year.

  28. gary says:

    3b [29],

    Is it true that every new kindergarten student in River Edge gets a unicorn pony?

  29. 3B says:

    # 12 gary:But I understand interest rates are at historic lows!

    And property taxes are at historic highs, which cancels out the benefit of low mtg rates, which only means that sellers will have to drop their prices even more. Perhaps I should explain this concept to Ms. Rini. That is why Oradell is fighting with the land of Unicorns to change the funding formula with the land of Unicorns so that they pay more of the regional school funding, thus lowering the tax burden on Oradell.

    Ms. Rini some of us do know what is going on.

  30. 3B says:

    #13 And they all want to live in the city.

  31. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Well their are no unicorns in Vernon, I gather the bears find them tasty. Two reductions on the hot sh*t sheet this weekend 400 to 350k & 350 to 330, nice homes by the way.
    You can have a nicer larger newer one asking 319, they’ll get where they need to be to clear. Tick tick tick, time is on my side, Oh yes it is.

  32. 3B says:

    #15 And most probably want to live in the city.

    I was in my 20′s when I got married, and had my first child in my 20′s, which was not that long ago, and most of my friends were doing the same thing today. I know lots of 20 somethings from right out of college to late 20′s, and none of them are getting married any time soon; forget about houses and kids.

  33. 3B says:

    #22 I do not doubt you, but they would appear to be the exception, and not the norm.

  34. 3B says:

    #31 Yes. And thye use fairy dust instead of finger paint

  35. JJ says:

    Gen Y is plain stupid. Parents have coddled them, eliminated part time jobs, drove them around, paid for their college and many literally their first job is after college after their mommy and daddy wrote the resume and applied on-line for the job, drove them to interview and coached. them.

    Gen Y leases cars cause ownership is too complicated plus they can’t fix a car anyhow. Gen Y calls a repairman to change a washer, Gen Y can’t even figure out how to add chlorine to a pool so they join a pool club. Gen Y needs a washer/dryer off master bedroom in their mcmansion with a master bath. Meanwhile their 80 year old parents somehow make it to basement to do laundry, they have maids, lawn service, tons of take out, $4 cups of coffee, Accountants, Lawyers, Architects, General Contractors, Nanny’s, Summer Camp, Day Care, expensive vacations to Beaches, Atlantis, Disney World, zero down balloon loans and they sit and wonder why do I am my wife have to work full time when my Mom was a stay at home Mom, things must be so expensive. Meanwhile Mom and Dad had a cape and a used Chevy and they did all the repairs on both and never went out to eat. The hopes is Mom and Dad squirrled away lots of tons of cash living so modestly so they can use their inheritance to bail themselves out and leave their own children without a pot to pee in.

    Thank Got the Millennium Generation is so much better, Gen X and Gen Y were toxic spoiled useless brats whose purpose on earth has yet to be seen.

    Other thing that drives me nuts about Gen Y is at work, OMG when I used to send them on business trips, it was like I need a car rental, I need car service, I need non-stop flights on the right airline I get points on, I need so and so hotel, I need expensive meals and then they come back and put on their review how they took a trip and they should be rewarded come bonus time. You sucked up my TE budget like a Vegas gold digger, that was your reward. You don’t get a bonus for drinking 15 dollar drinks at the W after a steak dinner. That is your bonus.

    One second cousin this weekend was telling me she bought an 8K rug and is doing a 30K patio remodel and btw the way his wife has to work because she can’t afford to stay home and the stupid mother in law runs over there and baby sits for free because they are soooo poooor.

  36. JJ says:

    Yes it is 100% true and the homeowner, when he gets his school tax bill gets the unicorn’s horn jammed right where the sun don’t shine.

    gary says:
    June 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

    3b [29],

    Is it true that every new kindergarten student in River Edge gets a unicorn pony?

  37. Mikeinwaiting says:

    JJ That is the mind set.
    ” One second cousin this weekend was telling me she bought an 8K rug and is doing a 30K patio remodel and btw the way his wife has to work because she can’t afford to stay home and the stupid mother in law runs over there and baby sits for free because they are soooo poooo.”
    She most likely could have stayed home if they didn’t blow the 38k (that is if they didn’t borrow it) or god forbid save it. Work consume , consume some more borrow, we are F**ked as a nation.

  38. livinginpa says:

    I’m so tired of hearing from realtors/NAR and the like about how these low interest rates make it imperative to buy now and not wait for more price drops. One particular seller’s realtor keeps ignoring the recent comps and uring us to agree to a price that is 120k more than it’s worth because “these interest rates won’t last.” Another ploy of his is to try to get us to agree to his price suggestion (telling us without any reference to date that our price is just too low) using the “appraisal” as our insurance policy. Yet, he goes out and hires the appraiser and basically rigs the results. One recent appraisal didn’t use any recent comps in the neighborhood, but rather sales from 3 miles away that better supported his price conclusion. I have no idea what can be done about this, but it’s fraud for sure. I just pray a listing we like will come up and not be listed with this bozo and his friend bozo #2. Renting looks better every day. As one of those cautious gen x-ers, I’m not eager to overpay for a “luxury” home.

  39. livinginpa says:

    of course that is supposed to say “urging” and “without reference to data”

  40. 3B says:

    #39 I have to agree with you on msot of this, howver, I see alot of that same behavior with the over 45 year old crowd as well.

    Peopl do not want their kids to have aprt timr jobs, becasue they think that people will think they are poor.

  41. Al Mossberg says:

    There are plenty of Gen X er’s that have money they just arent willing to put it into the baby boomers Abe Lincoln, over taxed, crap shack. Boomers bought into the great lie now they want the younger generations to bail them out.

    To all the X er’s out there.

    1. Stay mobile
    2. Cash is trash
    3. Markets are a fraud
    4. The illuminati are real
    5. Public school indoctrinates it doesnt educate
    6. Work for yourself

  42. whipped says:

    The housing market won’t recover until we get jobs…we won’t get jobs until we the country produced something other than insurance policies
    We are a service economy…we produce services…what a buch of bs..

  43. Mikeinwaiting says:

    You can’t made this stuff up, circle jerk in Europe who would have thought.
    ” Of interest regarding the EFSF – between them, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal guarantee €30B or nearly 7% of the currently sized €440B fund, i.e. the countries that are being bailed out, are backing the fund set up to bail them out. Circular would be a polite term to describe the arrangement.”
    http://seekingalpha.com/ (currents)

  44. Happy Renter says:

    [47] Who knew how many economic references the Human Centipede would be good for?

  45. Happy Renter says:

    [3] “What we’re looking at is a lot of way-too-tentative buyers,” said Maria Rini, a Re/Max agent in Oradell. “They’re just not pulling the trigger.”

    Wow. The “trigger” metaphor is just too rich.

    “What we’re looking at it a lot of way-too-tentative suicidal people standing on the GWB,” said a Re/Max agent in Oradell. “They’re just not jumping.”

  46. Happy Renter says:

    [39] “Thank Got the Millennium Generation is so much better, Gen X and Gen Y were toxic spoiled useless brats whose purpose on earth has yet to be seen. ”

    You can’t be serious. The so-called “Millennium Generation” is far worse than Gen X or Gen Y in terms of being coddled.

  47. Mocha says:

    #45 Spot on.

  48. Mocha says:

    #42 Similar story for me and Mrs. M. in Monmouth County. Saw a house that was owned by a relo company. Inquired about recent comps. Our realtor provides us with a list of current listings to support her price. Not sure who she thinks she’s fooling but it sure as hell isn’t me. Same story, we MUST capitalize on low rates and buy now. I should remind her that low rates are favorable to sellers and those looking to refinance.

    Since when is realtor capitalized on spell check?

  49. JJ says:

    I saw a presentation on generational issues in the work force. The Millenniums raised during 9/11 and the economic meltdown are grounded. The kids raised in the go go 80′s and 90′s are useless. He explained kids raised during depression were best workers as it was forged in their heads growing up during hard times. The baby boomers are fairly useless, but at least Mom and Dad who grew up in depression kept them grounded. The early baby boomer kids who raised kids in the 80′s and 90′s have created worthless blobs of fat that cannot be saved. The later on baby boomers and gen X who encountered 9/11, two wars, two economic meltdowns while raising kids over last ten years have raised grounded kids. As employers best to just hope for the barbell effect at work, good older workers with a strong work ethic over 45 and good younger workers under 25. The 25 to 45 years old cannot be saved.

    #
    #
    Happy Renter says:
    June 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

    [39] “Thank Got the Millennium Generation is so much better, Gen X and Gen Y were toxic spoiled useless brats whose purpose on earth has yet to be seen. ”

    You can’t be serious. The so-called “Millennium Generation” is far worse than Gen X or Gen Y in terms of being coddled.

  50. NWNJHighlander says:

    I’m in my early 30′s.
    Most definitely one of the white water rafting adventure sports types.
    Will not buy a house in North NJ right now for any reason.

    I see in my age cohort a sense of nihilistic “self-genocide” by sloth and leisure. (Something the Catholic Church has lamented, I’m not religious, however)
    If the future turns out bright in NJ through some miracles, there still will never be enough affluent married families waising more than 2 kids to fill up those big bomber center hall colonials and other 4 and 5 bdrm houses in North NJ.

    And ALOT of the affluent GEN X men have now rode the rollercoasters of the tech bubble, stock bubble, RRE bubble, and resultant collapse. At age 24 I lost $180k in short term equity paper profits in a day… but at least I knew up front I was gambling the money, and I couldn’t lose more than my principle.

    Buying a house in North NJ could see me lose more than the principle once the total total costs are added up. Until that equation changes, nothing will change.

    The financially illiterate will continue to buy in to the big lie, perpetuating the collapse, forcing more and more of the productive out of the state.

    preaching to the choir.

  51. Thundaar says:

    Selling Grandma’s house in Woodbridge, NJ. Tiny two bedroom on an oversized lot(for Woodbridge).
    Put on market Friday for $185,000. Got two offers one-accepted one at $192,000. Person is putting 20% down and closing is July 18th.
    Two concerns I have:
    1. Oil tank in ground. Was abandoned in 1994 (oil removed, nothing leaking) but I would assume buyer’s attorney will want it pulled. Anyone know what that will cost approximately?
    2. I am afraid the appraisal will come up less than contract which could kill the deal.

  52. make money says:

    I’m hearing that Frank-Dodd is making selling my shiny to Joe six pack illegal. Should I be worried about this or just another annoying mosquito type thing.

  53. Happy Renter says:

    [53] “I saw a presentation on generational issues in the work force. ”

    Sorry JJ, but if the basis for believing that the “Millenniums” are grounded is a presentation on generational works issues, that explains why it is so divorced from reality.

    Do you really think that Graydon and Ellery and their all-hat-no-cattle housing bubble deadbeat parents are “grounding” their precious little Millenniums? Please. The coddling and helicopter parenting gets worse with every generation. You think you’ve seen too much mommy-and-daddy reliance by Gen Y? Just wait.

    By the way, Gen X is probably one of the least coddled generations in recent history; they’re the latch-key kids of the selfish “me me” Boomer generation (you know, the one that squandered America’s position of worldwide preeminence in a single generation).

  54. All Hype says:

    “The Millenniums raised during 9/11 and the economic meltdown are grounded.”

    That is without a doubt the biggest bunch of BS I have ever read on this blog. Al the milleniums know what to do is add programs to their iPhone. They are good at working at the Apple Store.

    Grounded huh? Sure, I do not any of them in jobs to help out with their 100k student loans. They sit home all day and dream about how they are going to hit it big with their new comparative literature degree.

  55. 3B says:

    Best thing I ever did for my kids was to have them get part time jobs. They saw the real world,a nd were/are amazed that these low level /low pay jobs are for many adults all that they have.

    I know lots of kids today in their earlky to almost mid 20′s, who have never, ever worked in any capacity. They dream about “getting away from it all” and living on their own terms. What nonsense.

  56. 3B says:

    Can someone tell me why I see 5 and 6 year olds in strollers in Tribeca???

  57. JJ says:

    How would person know their is a oil tank in ground? Back then there were no abatement rules, just emptied them filled them with sand and called it a day. Where is tank now? Or is it gas. Did you already tell them there was a tank?

    My brother did his in 1996 and converted to gas. No evidence house even had oil. Just curious how would buyer know and why would he care? In NY up till 2000 all you had to do was fill it with sand or whatever and cap it, no rules. Now it has to be properly abated. From 1995 to 1999 tons of old tanks in NY got abated quick and cheap. But something done 15 years ago that at the time was a rusty 60 year empty oil tank how do you even put it up and why, at this point it is just scraps of rust metal.

    Thundaar says:
    June 20, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Selling Grandma’s house in Woodbridge, NJ. Tiny two bedroom on an oversized lot(for Woodbridge).
    Put on market Friday for $185,000. Got two offers one-accepted one at $192,000. Person is putting 20% down and closing is July 18th.
    Two concerns I have:
    1. Oil tank in ground. Was abandoned in 1994 (oil removed, nothing leaking) but I would assume buyer’s attorney will want it pulled. Anyone know what that will cost approximately?
    2. I am afraid the appraisal will come up less than contract which could kill the deal.

  58. All Hype says:

    3B:

    One of my best friends is high up in the administration at a local college and his is told to hire a recent graduate for a summer internship. My buddy asks to see his resume. His bosses told him no need, this kid is hired cause he was the president of the student governance organization. So the kid shows up at the interview with a new suit and a resume. My buddy looks through it and asks about his work experience. The kid says he never had a job. My buddy asked what he did for 5+ summers when there was no school. The kid said he played video games.

    So my buddy tells him show up to work Monday by 9 am and do not be late. So for the next 3 months the kid shows up late 95% of the time, unshaven and in wrinkled clothes. My buddy had to tell him at least a dozen times to be on time. The funny thing is kid lives no more than 5 minutes from campus. At the end of the summer the kid has the ball$ to ask for a reference. My buddy said no way and listed out the reasons why he was not suitable for a reference.

    That my friends is the millenium generation.

  59. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [39];

    Very entertaining anecdotes, as always, but the elephant in the room is the mortgage nut (with the property tax nut pulling away from teh field in second). Price-to-income ratio data doesn’t lie. http://www.deptofnumbers.com/affordability/us/

    Besides, you’re the BSD — the travel budget is entirely within your control.

  60. 3B says:

    #62 All Hype: I have heard the same type of story over and over. A friend of mine was instrumental in having a relative hired for a summer internship; two available slots. The relative showed up late left at 5, the other kid came early left late, and did whatever he was asked to do and then some. The relative complained about the work ( a graduate of one of the its almost like an Ivy League school), as it was below him what with him being a college grad and all.

    Long story short they hired the other kid for the one permanent spot. The family is not on speaking terms with my friend now, as they claimed he should have done more to get the relative the job.

  61. JJ says:

    I always control the budget. Come raise or bonus time I always “normalize” it anyhow. Mortgages are very quaint, do people still get them?

    Anon E. Moose says:
    June 20, 2011 at 10:47 am

    JJ [39];

    Very entertaining anecdotes, as always, but the elephant in the room is the mortgage nut (with the property tax nut pulling away from teh field in second). Price-to-income ratio data doesn’t lie. http://www.deptofnumbers.com/affordability/us/

    Besides, you’re the BSD — the travel budget is entirely within your control.

  62. Deb says:

    Thundaar–buyer’s attorney will definitely demand pulling of the underground oil tank (even the possible presence of which MUST be disclosed by seller, so no hiding it from potential buyers, JJ, that would be grounds for a nice lawsuit that Thundaar would lose)…this will cost a couple thousand

    they will also demand environmental testing, i.e. testing by a qualified company to make sure no contamination of the ground where the tank has been buried has taken place…this costs some money too

    if contamination HAS taken place they will demand remediation…this can cost up to $100,000! but is probably not going to be an issue…

    the appraisal is a read concern…many many low-end homes are NOT appraising, banks seem extremely reluctant to allow these homes to be sold for prices buyers are willing to pay…it doesn’t even necessarily help if the buyer is putting 20% or more down…if the appraisal comes in lower than the contract price, you are going to have to sell at the appraised price or not at all, unless somebody comes in with a suitcase full of cash and wants to pay more than the appraised value (very very unlikely these days…)

  63. MaplewoodVisitor says:

    Need a new roof for a basic 1500 sq’ Colonial in Maplewood. I guess the roof surfaces is about 800 or so sq’. Anyone know a good reputable roofer in the area? Looking for a ’25 yr’ class roof. Ball park on what to budget? tia!

  64. Shore Guy says:

    “”One particular seller’s realtor keeps ignoring the recent comps and uring us to agree to a price that is 120k more than it’s worth because “these interest rates won’t last.”

    Who cares if the rates go up? Overpaying the purchase price is forever. Intertest rates? Not so much. Also, if one has the choice of overpaying $100,000 today at 4% or paying $100,000 less at 8%, I will take the latter. Besides, if one pays cash or a substantial downpayment, the interest rate is not the key factor.

    Emphasizing the interest rate as a reasdon to buy reminds me of those rent-to-own places or car dealers where they emphasize the monthly cost and ignore the long-term cost of the lease/purchase.

  65. 3B says:

    #69 As I have always said, you can never refinance the purchase price; Maria Rini are you listening??

  66. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore [69];

    But Harry and Hilda Howmuchamonth fall for it every single time. Not just rent-to-own and tote-the-note car lots, Best Buy is selling $2000 flat screens for $24/mo. — and the people who take the bait are sure fire suckers for the extended service protection plan. I was in Staples the other day and I could swear the cashier offered me a 1-yr. extended service plan on a case of paper.

  67. Shore Guy says:

    Anon.,

    Don’t even get me started on the how-much-a-month thing. I knew a guy who was up to his underarms in mortgage, who quit is job, and then, with nothing in savings, bought a new car. When I expressed surprise that he did this, all while trying to start a (undercapitalized) business, he said: “It is okay, as long as thinks stay as they are, I can make the monthly payment.”

    At multiple times his income, I would have been uncomfortable with his debt level.

  68. 30 year realtor says:

    #55 Thundar – If tank was properly abandoned, permits taken and inspected by municipality there should be no tank issue. Without proper paperwork, I would withdraw the listing, abandon tank in place according to the law and put property back on market. Doing tank work with a buyer looking over your shoulder is not advisable!

    Abandonment in place is always the superior option for the seller. Hole is dug. Tank is cut so workman can access interior, tank is scrubbed and inspected. No visible signs of leak and tank is filled with a material that prevents possible future sinkhole.

    If you pull the tank out of the ground the inspection will include hitting the tank hard to loosen attached dirt. Any pin holes will be visible. Inspection under tank is also possible due to removal. Defects unlikely to be noticed while tank is buried in the ground may become justification for an environmental clean up.

    If the buyer says your paperwork from the municipality isn’t sufficient and he wants the tank removed, tell him to go fcuk himself! If he wants to do testing, tell him he can pay for it.

    Had many failed tanks over the years on REO properties I have handled for banks. ALL of the failed tanks were pulled, not abandoned in place.

  69. Shore Guy says:

    BC,

    A new gift from Clarence:

    http://www.clarenceclemons.com/main.htm

  70. chicagofinance says:

    Based on the things I see, when those Gen Y’ers hit their early 40′s, it will be a shocking dose of reality. Not only will they have to deal with the emotional trauma of needing to end their extended adolescence, but also they will find themselves unemployable……you think it is annoying dealing with a 25 year old bozo….how about a 40 year old one….

    JJ says:
    June 20, 2011 at 10:05 am
    The 25 to 45 years old cannot be saved.

  71. Jethro says:

    To Hobo with a shotgun, Your comments are accurate, blunt, and entertaining, tell it like it is brother. I only disagree with you on one point. The other day you mentioned gold silver and a . 223 , you can keep the gold and silver, I’ll take the .223 with lots of brass!

  72. Happy Renter says:

    [74] “Abandonment in place is always the superior option for the seller . . . . Defects unlikely to be noticed while tank is buried in the ground may become justification for an environmental clean up.

    If the buyer says your paperwork from the municipality isn’t sufficient and he wants the tank removed, tell him to go fcuk himself! . . . . Had many failed tanks over the years on REO properties I have handled for banks. ALL of the failed tanks were pulled, not abandoned in place.”

    Everything you wrote from the seller’s perspective is spot-on. However, it just clarifies why any would-be buyer who purchases a house with an underground oil tank — whether “abandoned in place” with paperwork or not — is a fool.

    I would never buy a house with an underground oil tank still in place, no matter what paperwork exists. You never know when NJ will pass a law requiring removal of all oil tanks and then find contamination on your property that will NOT be covered by homeowners insurance and WILL be your responsibility to clean up.

    Never buy a home with an underground oil tank in place.

  73. JJ says:

    In NY you must disclose all issues with house unless you pay a $500 fine to buyer at closing for not doing so. When we sold a house lawyer made us pay the fine at closing as he said he has seen people live in house 30 years no problem and then new buyer finds and old oil tank, cell pool, absestos etc. and makes a stink. He said best $500 you can spend. Doesn’t NJ have something like that. In NY every lawyer makes seller pay the $500.

    Deb says:
    June 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Thundaar–buyer’s attorney will definitely demand pulling of the underground oil tank (even the possible presence of which MUST be disclosed by seller, so no hiding it from potential buyers, JJ, that would be grounds for a nice lawsuit that Thundaar would lose)…this will cost a couple thousand

  74. 30 year realtor says:

    #78 Renter – I was going to add a paragraph explaining what to do from the buyer’s perspective and then I figured anyone with sense would reach the same conclusion you did.

  75. Happy Renter says:

    [80] Understood. But as a community service, I figured I’d make it explicit. I’m always amazed how often this question comes up, and usually it’s from a buy and phrased along the lines of “If the seller has a piece of paper saying that the oil tank was decommission but left in the ground, is that OK . . . ?”

  76. Happy Renter says:

    [81] buy = buyer

  77. JJ says:

    And then they end up at 50 starting a second career as a realtor with a capital R.

    chicagofinance says:
    June 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Based on the things I see, when those Gen Y’ers hit their early 40′s, it will be a shocking dose of reality. Not only will they have to deal with the emotional trauma of needing to end their extended adolescence, but also they will find themselves unemployable……you think it is annoying dealing with a 25 year old bozo….how about a 40 year old one….

    JJ says:
    June 20, 2011 at 10:05 am
    The 25 to 45 years old cannot be saved.

  78. ditto says:

    They don’t want to buy until they have kids (whats the point of doing it beforehand – most are moving around too much for it to make anysense). See the world, have your fun, then have kids and buy house when you’re 40 (of course you’ll marry a younger wife). Anyone who buys a house when they’re under 35 is nuts or boring as hell.

  79. Samivel says:

    Gen X here too. Debt free. All loans paid off.
    All money in CDs. No plans for house or family here
    anytime soon. Things are good but everytime I want
    to “pull the trigger” & invest I’m paralyzed by the financial
    destruction and bleak future in NJ.

  80. JJ says:

    I was over 35 when I bought my house. The best is my friend who got married for first time one week after 25th HS reunion and a few days after his last conquest, a sweedish nanny. He said men need a good 25 years after HS to get the partying out of their system. He was right. And a wife 10 years younger to have kids with. Which he had and which he did.

    ditto says:
    June 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    They don’t want to buy until they have kids (whats the point of doing it beforehand – most are moving around too much for it to make anysense). See the world, have your fun, then have kids and buy house when you’re 40 (of course you’ll marry a younger wife). Anyone who buys a house when they’re under 35 is nuts or boring as hell.

  81. ditto says:

    “I was over 35 when I bought my house. The best is my friend who got married for first time one week after 25th HS reunion and a few days after his last conquest, a sweedish nanny. He said men need a good 25 years after HS to get the partying out of their system. He was right. And a wife 10 years younger to have kids with. Which he had and which he did. ”

    That guy has a clue.

  82. JJ says:

    All CDs is insane. What rates are you getting? Hope you are least are getting above 2%. This year alone 1-15-2011 muni bonds steal of the century, 4-1-2011 2 year t-bills a great buy, now dividend stocks a good buy. Also Ally bank five year cd with only a 2 month penalty for breaking is a good deal. One can be risk adverse but you need to grow you money. CDs are taxable and don’t even keep up with inflation. You are losing 1-2% of your money every year. You can hide there for one to two years but over time you will lose your money anyhow.

    Samivel says:
    June 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm
    Gen X here too. Debt free. All loans paid off.
    All money in CDs. No plans for house or family here
    anytime soon. Things are good but everytime I want
    to “pull the trigger” & invest I’m paralyzed by the financial
    destruction and bleak future in NJ.

  83. Essex says:

    Meh.

  84. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    JJ no matter the investment no one is keeping up with inflation these days

  85. Mike says:

    lets not forget arthritis in their thumbs from playing all those video games

  86. NWNJHighlander says:

    You can buy India Central Bank Treasuries yielding 7 to 9 % and arbitrage the currency risk (as in spend all the money on holiday in India/Nepal/Maldives or import/export Indian/Paki crap to resell here)

    It’s possible to escape the Bernank inflation, you have to spend lots of time thinking it through.

  87. jamil says:

    Don’t you dare to question the integrity of people working for the IRS.

    “Former IRS Commissioner Who Impregnated Married Subordinate In Adulterous Affair Blames Lawyers’ Lack of Integrity For Financial Crisis.”
    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/06/former-irs.html

    Naturally, NY Slimes op-ed is the place for this guy. Guess John Edwards was unavailable.

  88. DL says:

    Read a piece on CNBC where the CEO of Siemans USA basically said ey can’t find anyone to hire in the US because our education system is spitting out a bunch of retards. (OK, he was a bit more diplomatic.) How can that be with so many blue ribbon schools?
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43459947

  89. livinginpa says:

    A serious question for you experienced realtors out there, referring back to my post #42 and 43, is it common for a selling agent to hire an appraiser to establish value when price negotiations are far apart and put a word in with said appraiser as to where the value should come in? I have heard of 3 incidents in the last month where this seems to be happening. Thankfully, at least 1 underwriting dept flagged the appraisal as not using true comps and made the appraiser go back. Not sure what happened with the other two. Any thoughts or opinions? Any way to control how the appraiser is selected? All of this if hypothetical for me at this point b/c I refuse to negotiate against myself, but am concerned about this as a practice seemingly to keep prices afloat despite market.

  90. 3B says:

    #94 DL: It is Blue Ribbony. And whether BR makes a difference or not, is hugely debatable ( I believe it does not). However, keep in mind not all BR schools are the same. Some are more bluer and ribbony if you will, or better than others. You have to look behind the ribbon so to speak.

  91. Essex says:

    Yawn.

  92. We’d be better served turning all our public skools into military academies, especially the inner city ones.

    The ability to kill lots of people and maintain high function is still highly underrated.

    I think it is 100% baked in the cake that we eventually repudiate our debt and declare war on China. We better pack a lunch before taking off on that adventure.

  93. JJ says:

    I did work over at Siemans many years ago. The German GE. They would do stuff like build million dollar CAT Scan Machines then sell to hospitals though complex leases that required finance knowledge to access the credit worthiness of the hospital, then enter the sale into the complex SAP system and book the sale in accordance with GAAP and IFRS while managing the credit, legal, operational and FX risks until lease was complete and then they would decommission asset at lease end.

    Where do you learn any of this in NJ schools?

    DL says:
    June 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Read a piece on CNBC where the CEO of Siemans USA basically said ey can’t find anyone to hire in the US because our education system is spitting out a bunch of retards. (OK, he was a bit more diplomatic.) How can that be with so many blue ribbon schools?
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43459947

  94. Give any skool a blue ribbon that can turn out 100 graduates that notch 100+ kills.

  95. Juice Box says:

    Looks like little Jimmy can make fun of his teachers now with no consequences.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2078636,00.html

  96. joyce says:

    99
    In my day, the nuns at least taught us proper grammar/spelling.

  97. JJ says:

    Most higher quality junk bonds are still beating inflation. However, the risk of another meltdown and inflation is always a concern. But with fairly short maturities and yields several hundred BPs over the same maturity treasury inflation or rate hikes are pretty meaningless, it is more of will a BK take you out. Leucadia is not a household name but it is run by folks as smart as Warren Buffet. The MBNA bond is callable, but I doubt BAC would go BK and any coupon above 8% is golden as that is a very high coupon for a decent B rated or higher company. More likely to be called or go up in value than a BK. Trouble is to get yield you need to go outside your comfort zone

    LEUCADIA NATL CORP JR SB DEF DB 8.65000% 01/15/2027
    Price (Ask) 102.355
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 8.059%
    Yield to Maturity 8.375346%

    MBNA CAP A CAP SECS-A 8.278% 12/01/2026
    Price (Ask) 102.300
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 7.542%
    Yield to Maturity 8.014705%

    BANKAMERICA CAP II INCME PFD 8.000% 12/15/2026
    Price (Ask) 102.350
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 7.056%
    Yield to Maturity 7.736583%

    EASTMAN KODAK CO SR NT 9.20000% 06/01/2021
    Price (Ask) 93.000
    Yield to Worst (Ask) 10.342%
    Yield to Maturity 10.341771%

  98. 3B says:

    #97 Essex: My apologies in advance, but if the Yawn was directed at my post in 96, you do not have a clue. Try putting 3 kids through a blue ribbony school, and then come back and talk to me. How can you comment on something that you know nothing about?

  99. Essex says:

    This folks is where the action is. Everything else is a distraction. You are fighting over crumbs and the elites are laughing at you.

    In 1975, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners garnered about 2.5 percent of the nation’s income, including capital gains, according to data collected by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez. By 2008, that share had quadrupled and stood at 10.4 percent.

  100. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    NBC Apologizes for Omitting ‘Under God’ From Pledge During U.S. Open Broadcast

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/19/nbc-apologizes-for-omitting-under-god-from-pledge-during-us-open-broadcast/#ixzz1PqJhqKbT

    Who cares if they cut out God. This clip is so over the top I was surprised I didn’t see goose stepping and a parade of tanks and missiles. Earth to NBC it’s a friggin’ golf tournament not a Fascist flag waving event.

  101. nj escapee says:

    esx, 105, no doubt

  102. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    JJ, for the risk averse there is no such thing as a safe junkbond. You step up the plate everyday looking for singles and the occasional home run, most investors are recreational softball players who never look at a bat except for 12 sundays a year.

  103. Anon E. Moose says:

    HEHE [106];

    And they’ll apologize for it to those who notice each and every time it happens until no one notices anymore — Mission Accomplished.

  104. homeboken says:

    108 – Don’t try to explain facts to JJ. By his logic, we should all be willing to invest in the corporate paper markets, because he posts some bond yields.

    If a brain surgeon came on the boards and explained how easy surgery is to perform, than by JJ’s logic, we should all be willing to saw open our own skulls and poke around a bit, if we don’t, we are risk averse pu$$ies.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (College Student Edition):

    How College Students Feel About Debt
    on June 17, 2011
    Campus life, College Life, Money, Student Loans

    I read something crazy this week about how young Americans feel about all their credit card balances and the student debt they’ve racked up.

    Apparently, the majority of them feel “empowered” by all that money they owe lenders. The average student loan borrower, who graduates from college, owes $23,000 or $24,000. And the typical graduating senior with one credit card has a balance of more than $4,100.

    Here’s the part that I can’t wrap my mind around: The more college and credit card debt a young adult has, the more control they feel over their lives. Debt, in other words, is a positive not a negative.

    “Empowered” isn’t the word I’d think of if I was leaving college owing $28,000. And yet this is the amazing finding of a new study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University that relies on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  106. 3B says:

    #11 Did the article explain how could they possibly see this as empowering???

  107. JJ says:

    But the catch 22 is there is thing as a safe CD? A CD is only one type of fixed income instrument. You have TIPS, Floating Rate Bond Funds, CD Ladders, Annuities, Munis, T-bills, Savings Bonds, Dividend Income Stocks, MBS, CMOs, International Bonds, Money Markets, Investment Grade, Junk, Preferred, Closed End Funds, Fixed Income Mutual Funds, Distressed Debt, Step-ups, Inverse Floaters, Z-Coupons, even rental properties heck even the tickets I scalp are all income producing. If you want to be safe you have to invest in what makes most sense at time you make investment. Always with eye of fact you have to beat inflation after tax otherwise it is not an investment as an investment implies you have a chance to make money.

    That said I may buy the ALY Bank 5 year CD with the 2 month penalty as it is double the interest of the one year and I need some part of portfolio in a 100% safe investment. CDs are only insured up to 250K per depositor per insurance so with a CD I would need multiple accounts anyhow.

    BTW I would be more than happy to practice brain surgery on anyone on this board.

    Painhrtz – Salmon of Doubt says:
    June 20, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    JJ, for the risk averse there is no such thing as a safe junkbond. You step up the plate everyday looking for singles and the occasional home run, most investors are recreational softball players who never look at a bat except for 12 sundays a year.

  108. x-everything says:

    Chi 111
    That’s the same as having bullet wounds gives you more ‘street cred’

  109. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Chi came out of Grad school with 50K in debt the one thing I did not feel was empowered, kids today are idiots

    Since most kids can’t do math I’m not surprised, the idiocracy of the populace is nearly complete. Now where are my cheetos American Idol is on?

  110. Shore Guy says:

    If they really want to feel empowered they should take on a $400m mortgage.

  111. Shore Guy says:

    The simple fact that those with the most debt felt tue most empowered tells s all we need t know.

  112. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Voted for hope and some spare change

  113. JJ says:

    Guy beats a four year old till blood is shooting out of her mouth cause she licked his finger. The cops should have burned him alive on the spot.

    Kettle1^2 says:
    June 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Doom

    the farewell letter from the guy who torched himself on the NH court house steps the other day

    http://m.sentinelsource.com/mobile/news/local/last-statement-sent-to-sentinel-from-self-immolation-victim/article_cd181c8e-983b-11e0-a559-001cc4c03286.html

  114. Essex says:

    I liken the reluctance of gen Xers to invest in equities and the like to a younger sibling watching their older brother getting the shit beat out of them at every interval growing up. Eventually the younger kid wises up and doesn’t make the same mistakes.

  115. Essex says:

    Rich Chicks are diff’rent than you and yours.

    BACK in 2007, when Jenny Salomon and her longtime boyfriend began house-hunting in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, the two seemed poised on the brink of a golden future together.
    Multimedia
    Slide Show
    Habitats | Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
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    More Habitats Columns

    They had met during their student days at Brown University 15 years earlier. Ms. Salomon was a visual artist who was also deeply involved in the world of nonprofit foundations. And thanks to her paternal grandfather, Richard B. Salomon, who had been the chairman and chief executive of Lanvin-Charles of the Ritz, and her father, an investment adviser, she had the resources to buy and renovate a magnificent century-old brownstone on Washington Avenue, steps from Pratt Institute.

    “The plan was for us to put down roots and eventually to have a family,” Ms. Salomon, 35, said. “But once I bought the house, exactly the opposite occurred. We found a home together, we worked on it together, but at a certain point it became clear that he and I were going in different directions.”

    Yet the next chapter was unexpectedly happy. “There was this dying building, and the relationship was dying, too,” Ms. Salomon said. “But along the way I met Reggie, my contractor, who eventually became this new person in my life.”

    Reggie was Reggie Young, whose company, Brooklyn Lime Works, specializes in historic preservation and green technology. And while theirs was a professional relationship, as they worked together to rescue the brownstone, they became as close as siblings. In fact, Mr. Young grew so enamored of the block that he rented an apartment in the brownstone next door, where he lives when not at his home upstate.

    Though within in the Clinton Hill Historic District, the house was hardly magnificent when Ms. Salomon bought it in April 2008 for just under $1.7 million. Like so many of the neighborhood’s brownstones, it had fallen on hard times, its grand gestures hidden beneath layers of neglect.

    Shutters framing oversized windows were buried under dozens of coats of paint. The winding mahogany staircase had caved in, and linoleum concealed its once lustrous steps. The foyer was as dark as the cellar. The fir floors had been sanded within a millimeter of their lives and were so filthy that the wood inlay around their edges was invisible.

    “There were lots of surprises,” said Ms. Salomon, who sank a considerable amount of sweat equity into the renovation, “some great, some not so great.”

    Yet the house’s assets were considerable, among them pocket doors, soaring arched doorways, original brick walls rosy with age, marble fireplaces topped with ornate mirrors, and embossed neo-Classical detailing on 10.5-foot ceilings.

    Mr. Young sought to rescue the house’s once-glorious past using environmentally gentle ingredients and going as green as possible. The inside of the roof was sprayed with soy-based foam insulation, and a green product called Big Wally’s Plaster Magic was injected into the sagging walls and ceiling of Ms. Salomon’s bedroom to keep them from buckling. Vast quantities of lead paint were removed.

    Thanks to these efforts, which cost $700,000, the house looks in many respects much as it must have when the first residents swept in.

    The carved wood mirror above the fireplace in the living room, in place for a hundred years, has been finished with graphite to give it the look and feel of pewter. “When that got done,” Ms. Salomon said, “the whole room came to life.”

    The foyer, once a windowless nook painted a muddy brown, was opened up via skylights and a fresh coat of nontoxic paint. More light streams in through the frosted glass panels in the pocket doors that lead to the dining area, exposed after decades’ worth of grime and gunk were scrubbed off.

    The ceilings, Ms. Salomon’s pride, got extra love. The one in the living room was painted the palest of pinks, and the one in the bedroom is the silver of a foggy Brooklyn morning.

    The chandeliers, while not original, look as if they had been in place forever, among them the antique Russian fixture hung with loops of crystal and bronze that belonged to Ms. Salomon’s father. Two other chandeliers, a Moorish cast-iron creation in the front hallway and a blue glass wedding cake in Ms. Salomon’s bedroom, were found by Mr. Young upstate, “just screaming to be here,” he said.

    Partly because the architecture is such a showstopper, the furniture is relatively subdued. It includes pieces like a chestnut Shaker table, made without nails, and a blanket chest in which Ms. Salomon stores photographs.

    But the house is filled with art and often functions as a de facto exhibition space. For the Clinton Hill House Tour, it featured such standouts as Ms. Salomon’s grave rubbings and Rachel Owens’s scary and seductive sculpture “Closer,” a pair of cow skulls studded with shards of glass.

    The rounded cutout in the staircase known as the coffin niche is home to Gisela Insuaste’s assemblage of chips of painted wood, although Ms. Salomon was saddened to learn from Mr. Young that the niche was not, in fact, intended to make it easier to carry coffins up and down the stairs.

    Nor was the house tour the brownstone’s only moment in the limelight. Last June it was the site of an event called “Single Lady,” with proceeds going to help Afghan women learn embroidery through an organization called Afghan Women Leaders Connect. A few months later, an organization called Metropolis Ensemble transformed the house into a concert hall. A string quartet and a harpist were stationed in the parlor, percussion and vibraphone could be heard on the second floor, and a violin and a woodwind trio occupied the third floor.

    “You could feel the walls vibrating,” Ms. Salomon said. “Each room had a different voice. It was as if the house was singing.”

  116. evildoc says:

    —-“What we’re looking at is a lot of way-too-tentative buyers,” said Maria Rini, a Re/Max agent in Oradell. “They’re just not pulling the trigger.”—-

    Always a good idea, when said gun is pointed at one’s own head or wallet ;)

  117. toomuchchange says:

    94 — Worker Shortage?

    I’d have to know more particulars before I’d believe what this guy claims.

    It’s possible that we’ve closed enough factories connected with heavy industry and enough older workers have retired that certain skills a company like Siemens needs are becoming scarce.

    But what has become very prevalent in recent days is a desire of companies to greatly expanded their list of “must have” job requirements, expect people to walk in and know everything, and have generally unrealistic expectations. Plus many of these companies want perfection while paying less and/or expecting people to work harder. And finally lots of these companies keep saying they can’t find workers here to support their requests for temporary work visa for foreign workers.

    I also find these kinds of claims from big multinational companies somewhat suspect because I figure they must have realized years ago that the labor pool they needed was shinking. Why wait until it’s gone to speak up? It doesn’t make sense to me.

  118. Essex says:

    Siemens is a crap company filled with failing bidnesses.

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [119] kettle

    I know a lot about what went into that piece (I may even know the judge), and while it is easy to dismiss the rantings of a snapped mind, his complaints, while misguided, are not devoid of basis.

    He will not be the first.

  120. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [127] redux

    Meant to say “last”

  121. Essex says:

    127. Slapping your daughter before she goes to bed, 2 years without a paying job, and I bet his mom still thought he was a catch. Or not.

  122. JJ says:

    I love the smell of a bull market in the morning!!

    (Reuters) – Municipal bonds are leading other asset classes in performance so far this month, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report released on Monday.

    The investment bank’s U.S. Municipal Master Index also found growing demand for lower-rated munis.

    “We think the outperformance of BBB-rated munis and long-term munis for the month can be partly attributable to a desire on the part of investors to reach out to the BBB sector and long-term bonds for yield,” BofA said in the report.

  123. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “Price-to-income ratio data doesn’t lie.”
    Moose maybe the ratio doesnt lie but it doesnt tell you what you think it does either… the only thing that chart shows you is that interest rates are at all time lows.

  124. evildoc says:

    —That my friends is the millenium generation.—

    Nah, that’s a single datum, an anecdote citing one person from what, ten million (thirty million?) in that age range. Poor science at best.

    Cite me a major anthro/social paper screening thousands of people across socio-economic, ethnic, religious groups, and then maybe we can talk trends or even (gasp!) “generations”.

    Certainly, though, there never were any slothful bad attitude fellows prior to ten years ago. Snort.

  125. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “The 25 to 45 years old cannot be saved.”
    You oldies are way too critical of gen x and gen y. Don’t forget that learning and working is changing dramatically in age of computers. As a result the guage by which companies judge performance is changing. Arriving early to work is much less of a value add than it was for factory workers and accountants, internet is 24/7 now, emails and blogs make production and meetings a constant process, not a point in time event. cigarette smoking in the board room with the rest if the automons is yesterday’s corporate hero, not todays. Video games and oversleeping are not criticisms, theyre things that you put on resumes.

  126. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Now, failing all of your classes is a different thing althogether.

  127. All hype says:

    Nah, that’s a single datum, an anecdote citing one person from what, ten million (thirty million?) in that age range. Poor science at best.

    Please, show me a bunch kids now and days who worked the hellhole jobs my friends and I had to make a buck to pay for school and rent. When I start hearing about kids working as black tar roofers in the heat of the summer or digging friggin ditches in 100 degree heat to make the monthly nut then I will be a little more forgiving.

  128. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “In my day, the nuns at least taught us proper grammar/spelling.”
    Joyce not sure what posts you’ve had here recently or ever but im pretty sure the content of jjs posts are about 100x more useful and insightful than anything you can find in real time with proper grammar plus they’re way more entertaining than anything I ever read from a nun. If spelling is really an issue I guess you gotta go back to nytimes. Im not even sure this fon types proper spelling so im sorry if it doesn’t pass spellcheck..

  129. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “In 1975, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners garnered about 2.5 percent of the nation’s income, including capital gains…By 2008, that share had quadrupled and stood at 10.4 percent.”
    Essex prob you’re best post ever. By far. And one of the few that wasn’t complete pompous sarcastic sh-it.

  130. Punch My Ticket says:

    Moose [71],

    Best Buy is selling $2000 flat screens for $24/mo.

    You’re pulling our legs.

  131. evildoc says:

    me (on your complaint on “millenials:)

    Nah, that’s a single datum, an anecdote citing one person from what, ten million (thirty million?) in that age range. Poor science at best.

    you
    ————–Please, show me a bunch kids now and days who worked the hellhole jobs my friends and I had to make a buck to pay for school and rent. When I start hearing about kids working as black tar roofers in the heat of the summer or digging friggin ditches in 100 degree heat to make the monthly nut then I will be a little more forgiving.===

    First, I don’t need to cite anything. I made no claims about generational trends, behaviors, attitudes. You did that. I merely pointed out a core flaw- or at least caveat- to your approach. I don’t need to cite any proof as I’ve made no assertions, other than to note that you cited a datum, one example from amongst millions of people, which clearly is a true assertion on my point. If you wish to present further information regarding *your* claims, I will be more than happy to consider them.

    Second, the “back in my day” lament you offer has been true of pretty well every parent-child stereotype relationship since dawn of humanity. No doubt our kids will also not walk 6 miles each way, uphill both ways, in the snow to get to school.

    Still, I am more than happy to entertain notions of generational differences. I await actual useful info, not singular anecdotes.

    regards

    evildoc

  132. 3b says:

    #32 evildoc: Every kid I knew when I was a kid had a part time job. Almost every kid my oldest childs age never worked a part time job period. That is ll the science I need.

    And these are all middle/upper middle class kids.

    When I worked at Goldman for many years, all the partners that I knew, there kids worked during the summer, or taught English in Central America. The rich know the value of a dollar.

  133. joyce says:

    136
    Jokes aren’t allowed anymore? Playing on the old generational stereotype… the nuns beat the shit out of us and we’re better for it.

  134. All Hype says:

    Still, I am more than happy to entertain notions of generational differences. I await actual useful info, not singular anecdotes.

    Look up the unemployment for 17-21 age bracket. It’s the highest it’s ever been.

    Second, the “back in my day” lament you offer has been true of pretty well every parent-child stereotype relationship since dawn of humanity.

    I have no kids. I just get to see things like this….My old fraternity had a fire last year. There are issues with getting the insurance money and so the work stopped. So the house got rewired and just needs the outlets to be wired up for inspection. Can 50 young adults find it within themselves to go down to the inspector’s office to get the code to complete the job? Nope. They will wait until they get the money to hire an electrician to complete the job. My fellow alumni friends and I offered to help but they did not want to do it. They were facing fines from the town cause things needed to get cleaned up around the yard. It took a concerted effort to get the following completed:
    1. Get traffic cone out of a tree
    2. Cover a window
    3. Cut the grass
    4. Move the garbage cans to the back of the house.

    I am an extremely fair person, almost to a fault. No offense but most of the 16-25 year olds in this country really suck.

  135. Let’s take some of those 16-25 y/o’s, conscript them into infantry service, then send them overseas to get killed.

    Problem solved.

  136. The Belgians are swimming naked. And, the tide’s about to head out.

    “Some very disturbing revelations from CLSA’s Chris Wood who in his latest Greed and Fear note discusses an event that may be all to prevalent within the central banking community: the less than overt lending out of central bank gold to “other entities” in return for picking up nickels in front of a steamroller. In this case, the central bank of governmentless Belgium, which had 41% of its gold out at the end of 2010 on loan. Naturally, the lent out gold is being used by some other key entity, potentially to mask its own inventory deficit, in exchange for the paltry sum of 0.3% on the total loan. Wood’s conclusion: “This is a reminder that the paper gold market is significantly larger than the physical market. Just like a run on a bank in a fractional banking system, GREED & fear suspects it will be very hard to settle all the paper claims to gold physically in a real scramble for the metal. This is why in a parabolic spike physical gold is likely to trade at a significant premium to paper claims.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/41-belgian-central-bank-gold-has-been-lent-out

  137. jmw977 says:

    #55 Thundaar,

    We sold my late mother’s house in March of 2010. There was an underground oil tank on the property that had been cleaned and filled with clean fill in 1996, we had all the paperwork that showed the work had been done acccording to the regulations in effect at the time. It didn’t matter. The buyer’s attorney insisted that we do a soil test, which came back with very slightly elevated levels. Then we had to pull the tank, which was full of holes.

    Long story short, we had to do a soil remediation. Thankfully, the contamination hadn’t gotten into the ground water. Even so, the whole ordeal wound up costing us $17K plus we had to put $12,500 in escrow at closing pending the No Further Action report from the state, which took almost a year.

    Considering some of the horror stories I have heard about remediation costing more than the value of the property, $17K seems like a bargain. Hopefully you’ll be able to avoid any tank drama, but I’d be glad to give you the name of the remediation company I used if you need it, just ask Grim for my email address.

    Good luck!

  138. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (HFCS Edition):
    Forget cotton candy, funnel cakes, and deep fried snickers and oreos, this year’s latest fair-food craze is… deep fried Kool-aid balls.

    “Chicken” Charlie Boghosian, the inventor of the Kool-Aid ball, started working fairs when he was 14 as a summer job. At age 22 he went into business for himself, selling pressure-fried chicken and his self-created deep-fried delicacies as desserts.

    Now at age 42 Boghosian has invented more than 100 deep-fried treats to sell at fairs in California. Although he offers a myriad of other food, (charbroiled chicken,kebabs, rotisserie chicken and salads to name a few) deep-fried food and desserts are his passion.

    “I really love what I do,” said the deep-fry king everyone calls Chicken Charlie told the Star from the San Diego State Fair. “I wouldn’t want to change what I have today . . . there’s no better place than the fair.”

    So how are the deep-fry king’s Kool-aid balls doing at this year’s San Diego State Fair?

    In the opening weekend alone, Boghosian plowed through 150-pounds of Kool-Aid powder and 1,500 pounds of flour, as hungry fairgoers gobbled down his latest deep-fried delicacy. No word yet on how many packets of Tums were sold during the same period.

  139. evildoc says:

    —-I am an extremely fair person, almost to a fault. No offense but most of the 16-25 year olds in this country really suck.—-

    Hmmm… let’s substitute for “16-55 year olds”…

    Howzabout Blacks? Whites? Muslims, Jews, Asians, Women…

    Seems consistent with your analysis. I still await demographic studies. All that has been provided is one datum, a story about one kid, and now one fellow’s sweeping claims about a group. We know how that is

  140. Essex says:

    140. “…when I worked at Goldman…” that says enough about you than I care to know. Say hi to Corslime.

  141. 3B says:

    #48 Actually Corzine was a decent and honorable man, although he failed miserably as governor. As far as GS don’t paint with a broad brush, you get quite annoyed when others do it. It is hypocritical. Or maybe your just jealous that you could not get a job at GS, in fact that is the real reason isn’t it?

  142. Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/WordPress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask! Flammable storage