Why does the American Dream need to include a deed?

From Pimco:

Are There Any Rungs Left on the Housing Ladder?

From HousingWire:

Homeownership no longer an aspirational goal: PIMCO

The idea of homeownership as an aspirational goal may no longer carry much weight as college graduates enter the work force saddled with high student loan debt and older Americans focus on retirement.

Rod Dubitsky, an analyst with PIMCO, said the overall question that looms large over the mortgage industry is: Who is going to buy housing in the next 10 years?

In a report titled, “Are There Any Rungs Left on the Housing Ladder?”, Dubitsky dives into demographic data, painting a bleak picture for home sellers who are largely dependent on two groups of buyers: veteran homeowners who now have less desire to buy homes as they focus on retirement, and young buyers who are getting paid less while carrying significant student debt.

In downturns, markets generally look to first-time homebuyers to pull the levers of demand, but Dubitsky says the housing economy should not be overconfident when focusing on this group.

Why the change? According to Dubitsky this demographic is struggling financially, pushing them on a lower rung of the housing ladder. While in the past, the young demographic functioned as the market’s first-time homebuyers, today they are more likely to be long-term renters based on their financial situations.

Dubitsky said the ability of these borrowers to make their way into the housing market is contingent on whether they have the opportunity to save money. But the statistics on this point remain grim with the average student debt now equal to a 15% down payment on a median-priced home.

“We believe that some amount of the reduction in graduate earnings power and rise in debt is a longer-term phenomenon that could serve to limit college graduate home purchasing power for the foreseeable future,” the report concluded.

The younger demographic is not the only group falling down the ladder. While young buyers are now more likely to rent than own, older homeowners are less likely to upgrade into larger homes or invest in second properties. Many older workers are aware they have to contribute 10% more of their pay to their retirement savings, which means less disposable income.

“This could be manifested in permanently postponed home purchases, reduced tendencies to upsize, lower likelihood of buying a retirement home, more affordable post-retirement rental choices,” according to Dubitsky. “All of this suggests downsized housing choices — one home instead of two, rent rather than own, smaller place rather than large. These choices could serve to reduce the dollars committed to housing investment.”

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143 Responses to Why does the American Dream need to include a deed?

  1. grim says:

    (we saw a similar piece the other day)

    From the NYT:

    Homeowners in Denial About Value of Properties

    Homeowners, especially those who bought their houses after the real-estate bubble burst, are still having trouble accepting just how much the values of their properties may have fallen, says a new report from the real-estate site Zillow.

    Current sellers who bought their homes in 2007 or later, an analysis of the site’s home listings shows, are overpricing their properties by an average of 14 percent.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Sign of Housing Bottom? Deja Vu All Over Again

    We’ve been here before. Home builders report a spike in activity and hopes build that housing is in recovery.

    The latest signs of improvement came from a 14.6% jump in June housing starts, a 2.5% gain in building permits and a 2-point rise in the July housing market index.

    At best, the latest numbers on housing starts suggest housing is bottoming out–finally. At worst, the June increase in starts is a rebound from harsh weather in the spring.

    Residential construction has been the number one drag on gross domestic product, having subtracted from growth in almost every quarter since 2006. The continued drag over the past two years is in stark contrast with past recoveries, when housing was a leader to growth.

    What could the June starts jump signal?

    At the optimistic end, Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors thinks the increase in multiunit starts might point to the worst being over.

    “The leading light in this sector of the economy, apartment construction, should do well and with even a modest rise in the single-family segment, housing should start adding to growth during the second half of the year,” he says.

    Even he admits, however, that the level of activity is far below what would normally be called healthy.

    On the other hand, Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics doubts the data represent a new upward trend.

    “It might just be a reflection of good weather facilitating catch up activity after the late Easter and severe storms depressed construction in previous months,” he warns.

  4. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Sales of Previously Owned U.S. Homes Probably Rebounded From Six-Month Low

    Sales of previously owned U.S. homes probably rose in June from a six-month low as the industry struggled to overcome rising unemployment and foreclosures, economists said before a report today.

    Purchases climbed 1.9 percent to a 4.9 million annual rate, according to the median forecast of 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The pace matches the total sold in 2010 that was the fewest in 13 years.

    Stricter lending rules, unemployment above 9 percent and delays in processing foreclosures mean it may take years to reduce the number of distressed properties on the market even as all-cash purchases have recently helped buoy demand. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said the decline in confidence and lack of job growth that are impeding consumer spending are also keeping real estate “depressed.”

    “Housing continues to bounce around the bottom,” said Peter Muoio, principal and chief economist at Maximus Advisors in New York. “We’re not expecting any kind of true upward momentum any time soon. The high inventory of existing homes is going to keep prices suppressed for an extended time.”

    The National Association of Realtors will release the figures at 10 a.m. in Washington. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 4.75 million to 5.2 million.

    Existing-home sales have fallen since reaching an annual peak of 7.08 million in 2005, before the housing boom turned into a subprime-mortgage bust that helped dragged the U.S. into an 18-month recession.

  5. NewinNJ says:

    Buying a home in Essex County and need to line up home insurance. No pool or trampoline. I am not a NJ employee in the public or private sector, non-military, I don’t qualify for NJM for example. Considering Amica. Anyone else I should check out? TIA

  6. What’s that I smell outside? The fetid stench of hot, rotting flesh?

  7. gary says:

    Rod Dubitsky, an analyst with PIMCO, said the overall question that looms large over the mortgage industry is: Who is going to buy housing in the next 10 years?

    Dear Sellers, that offer that was viewed as an insult just a few months ago is starting to look better and better, don’t you think?

  8. grim says:

    Does this dovetail in with the Pimco piece?

    From the WSJ:

    New Kids Paying Manhattan Rents

    After years of dominating the Manhattan rental market, Wall Street dynamos are starting to make way for bloggers and tech geeks.

    Media and technology workers are rapidly gaining ground as a percentage of the borough’s renters—while the numbers of finance workers in the pool shrink, according to a new report by Nancy Packes, a consultant to some of the city’s biggest residential developers.

    Developers have taken note. Wealthy young bankers in the 1980s sought a prestigious pre-war building with a Park Avenue address, and more recently, they were on the hunt for a flashy financial district bachelor pad. A new generation of renters is looking for something different.

    “The demographic they seemed to have in mind was mostly single men, who were living high on the hog and had money to blow,” said David Sigman, a senior vice president at LCOR, which is involved in downtown’s 25 Broad St., a condo-turned-rental.

    “We recognize now that it’s a broader market,” Mr. Sigman said.

    Young media and tech workers flock to neighborhoods such as Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Chelsea, where many of their employers are also moving their offices. These tenants also demand high-tech amenities such as ubiquitous wireless internet access, movie screening rooms and, in one case, a Wii room.

    “The kids that are coming to live today in New York, they want to live with accommodation like they are in a W Hotel,” said Ofer Yardeni, managing partner of Stonehenge Partners, which owns and manages trendy buildings such as Stonehenge Gardens on West 15th Street near Sixth Avenue.

    In 2005, finance workers made up just over 58% of Manhattan renters, while they now comprise 45%, according to Ms. Packes’s report. The proportion of creative workers who make up the market has nearly doubled to 17% from 8.6% in 2005.

    The proportion of renters employed in the technology sector has also risen to 11.6% from 7.2%, partly because Google, Facebook and Twitter have all expanded their Manhattan offices in the last five years.

  9. gary says:

    grim,

    All those wealthy young bankers are making multiple bids over asking in prestigious Ridgewood. A realtor told me.

  10. NJ Toast says:

    Good meat, try Barth’s in New Providence.

  11. AG says:

    The ax is getting ready to fall on the mortgage interest deduction. This is just a baby step. Soon they will be after your IRA’s and 401ks.

    Don’t buy. Rent. There is an organized effort to impoverish you so you will become desperate and accept world g_v via world currency.

    Grab a box of tissues. The crying hasn’t even befun yet.

  12. Mike says:

    AG Don’t forget the tax exempt status on muni bonds

  13. chicagofinance says:

    clot: if you need to open one of those bottles of scotch, please give me a heads up……

  14. NJCoast says:

    One of the LaFriedas live down here at the shore. Good people, good meat.

  15. Shore Guy says:

    Eliminate all deductions and the AMT. It will be easier for people to plan. Tax cap gains at ordinary rates, it will be more fair. Cut, cut, cut.

  16. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Hudson City Bancorp 2nd-quarter net off 33%
    Robert Daniel
    MARKETWATCH — 2 MINUTES AGO

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Hudson City Bancorp Inc. (Symbol : HCBK), the Paramus, N.J., bank-holding company, reported second-quarter net income fell 33%. Earnings declined to $96 million, or 19 cents a share, from $142.6 million, or 29 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. A survey of analysts by FactSet Research produced a consensus estimate of 18 cents a share of profit. Revenue from interest on loans fell 14% to $272.9 million from $317.5 million. The net interest margin, the difference between what a bank takes in on loans and pays out on deposits, was 2.14% versus 2.13% a year earlier. Net revenue from interest on loans after provision for possible losses on bad loans fell 9.2% to $242.9 million from $267.5 million. The provision for loan losses declined to $30 million from $50 million.

  17. Shore Guy says:

    “Good people, good meat.”

    Which brought to mind, “Ummm. That’s good bass.”

  18. Shore Guy says:

    Then there is this SNL gem — Pre-Chewed Charlies:

    http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/24333633

  19. Shore Guy says:

    Neither is as good as the Royal Delux, but top notch anyway.

  20. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Trouble with cap gains at corp rate is it will kill stock rally. I am ok with that. But every union member in USA with a defined pension plan needs to agree to take a cut in their pension to offset the fall.

    Shore Guy says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Eliminate all deductions and the AMT. It will be easier for people to plan. Tax cap gains at ordinary rates, it will be more fair. Cut, cut, cut.

  21. 3b says:

    And how long have we been talking about this very topic(who is going to buy, college students with debt etc.), on this blog??

  22. 3b says:

    #12 I do not think they will touch the mtg int deduction, possibly limit it to a certain amount, and maybe eliminate it for second homes.

  23. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    Right now ther diffirentiated rates just allow for verbal class warfare. It is a societial toxin, as well as a drain on the treasury. if we want to exempt from taxation the first $10,000 in wages and the first $10,000 in cap gains, or just the first $10,000 in income, regardless of source, I would not object. But a huge problem arises when the CEO pays a lower tax rate than his/her administrative assistant.

  24. 3b says:

    #22Wait and see…

    Wait and see what??

  25. Shore Guy says:

    Ummm, from Grim’s link:

    The other LaFrieda signature is dry-aged steak. In a corner of the building, about 4,000 New York strip steaks, porterhouses, rib-eyes, prime ribs and even some lamb loins sit for weeks in a 35-degree room with fans running, keeping the air dry, so that moisture disappears from the muscle and the flavor concentrates.

    Where are the steaks going? LaFrieda starts pointing: “Minetta Tavern, Zylo here in Hoboken — Zylo uses a ton of dry-aged meat. On this side you’re talking about Porterhouse New York, BLT Steak, BLT Prime … These are mostly for Manzo and Del Posto, Mario Batali’s restaurants.”

    The company keeps benchmark standards for all of its meat. It is all humanely raised; “If the animals are not stressed, it’s a completely different product,” LaFrieda said.

    Much of it is sourced from family farms. Except for organic beef from Uruguay that was requested by Fresh Direct, the vast majority is domestically raised.

    His beef contains no growth hormones, and is grass-fed for at least 85 percent of its life. About 25 percent of the meat he sells is all-natural and antibiotic-free, another 2 percent is certified organic.

  26. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Total tax rate is issue. There are so many credits now that people get paid to file a tax return. You can file one with zero income and make a good refund. Also the 40K secretrary with four kids could be getting subsidized lunches, and full financial aid for college and partial food stamps and multiple child and student credits. Also school tax relief. All things the the rich boss does not get. She might be in the 20% rate at work. which is 8K.But she could be getting 40K in benefits based on her income.

    I did a bunch of returns for low income people a few years ago and most got lots of money back. Biggest scam is community college kids who don’t work with illegimate babies getting big refunds without paying any taxes.

    When I started college my Mom income was way less than the tuition for school we were paying. She would have to spend 150% of her gross income to pay for just tuition. As such we all got financial aid. Even if she paid 100% tax rate she was ahead. Heck if I was smarter I would have got subsidized Mitchel Lama housing or low income housing in NYC right when I left school. People forget the low income people may seeming have a high tax rate but with credits and back-door govt programs most are paying zero taxes or are coming out ahead.

    JJ – AKA Two Hands says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Trouble with cap gains at corp rate is it will kill stock rally. I am ok with that. But every union member in USA with a defined pension plan needs to agree to take a cut in their pension to offset the fall.

    Shore Guy says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Eliminate all deductions and the AMT. It will be easier for people to plan. Tax cap gains at ordinary rates, it will be more fair. Cut, cut, cut.

  27. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    “Trouble with cap gains at corp rate is it will kill stock rally. I am ok with that. But every union member in USA with a defined pension plan needs to agree to take a cut in their pension to offset the fall.”

    In a few more years those pensions are worth paper their written on.

  28. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    sorry, they are written on

  29. Juice Box says:

    lol – giv the libs some respect to go along with a trillion in tax increases.

  30. Michelle says:

    We pay $1950 for a rental and are finally at the point, after many years of renting, we could get a mortgage for a decent house in the same neighborhood for equal or less than that. Doesn’t it make sense to buy? Rents certainly are not going down.

  31. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    “Rents certainly are not going down”

    Sure they will.

  32. Shore Guy says:

    Michelle,

    It might. But then again, it might not. One thing that many people do not focus on are the incidential costs of home ownership, as well as the time/effort obligations. We own, we are happy owning, and we put up with all of the things that go along with owning but, it is far more than a calculation of whether the costs are about the same.

    One factor that seems to be more and more important in recent years is the freedom vs. anchor consideration. We are anchored in place and do not intend on, or foresee needing/wanting to, packing up and moving to a different area to generate income. Were we 20 years earlier in our careers or were things somewhat different, we might make a different calculation in the rent vs. buy question.

  33. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Always makes sense to buy if owning is a decent amount less then renting and you plan on staying put long term.

    For most people when they buy that is not the case.

    Michelle says:
    July 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

    We pay $1950 for a rental and are finally at the point, after many years of renting, we could get a mortgage for a decent house in the same neighborhood for equal or less than that. Doesn’t it make sense to buy? Rents certainly are not going down.

  34. BC Bob says:

    “Who is going to buy housing in the next 10 years?”

    Sell? Sell to whom?

  35. Shore Guy says:

    I tyhink HeHe is right. At the moment, there is a lot of activity in the rental-housing construction market. Face it, builders build. If SFHs are where the money is, that is what they build, if apartments are where the money is, that is what they will build. If there is any kind of apartment shortage, more will come online. Also, as boomers try to bug out, and are unable to “get their price,” I suspect that many more SFHs will also come onthe market for rental.

    Also, do not forget, as rents rise, taxes on SFH’s will rise too, and, I would bet, at a greater rate.

  36. Shore Guy says:

    Hoses, shovels, lawn mowers, tools, plumbing repairs, replacing rotting trim wood, weeding the garden, trimming trees and bushes, yadda, yadda. FOr some, it is relaxing and worth the expense, for others, these things become millstones.

  37. Shore Guy says:

    “Sell? Sell to whom?”

    People with pockets filled with Au anf Ag.

  38. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of Gold, Nompounds, etc. I suspect that in the event one believes things are going to collapse, in addition to guns and ammo advocated by some here, things like salt, sugar, vinegar, flour, and spices (not to mention pain killers in tablet form) would be great things to have in bulk. The could always be traded.

  39. Anon E. Moose says:

    Michelle [33];

    we could get a mortgage for a decent house in the same neighborhood for equal or less than that.

    If that were true,

    — including property taxes and maintenance (both of which are going up in the future, just like rent might … don’t fall for the used house sales trope that ‘you’re fixing your living expenses’, you’re only fixing one portion of your living expenses;
    — AND you plan to stay put for a decade or more and will not incur transaction costs of 5-6% realtor fees plus closing costs on the buy end of your next move;
    — AND your savings can fund your living expenses in case of a six-month interruption of your income stream so that you won’t be forced to sell in a panic for something as silly as overtime hours that you were counting on being cut or a bonus not materializing;

    If (and only if) all of those things are true, then it MIGHT make sense to buy. I suggest you check some of the assumptions, however.

  40. Juice Box says:

    re: Question = Sell to whom?

    Answer = Immigrants – There were 203 million people living in the US in 1970, there are now 40 years later 308 million. You can expect another 30-50 million new mouths yearning to be free over the coming decades will buy up the excess homes.

  41. BC Bob says:

    Oops. Lower prices beget lower prices. The same fear greed that propelled this market to unsustainable heights will decimate it further. This will continue for a much loner time and declines will be much deeper that most can imagine.

    “Roughly 16 percent of home deals were canceled last month, the highest level since such records began being kept more than a year ago. It was unclear what the chief reason was for the high rate. But some buyers have canceled purchases after appraisals showed that the homes were worth less than the buyers’ initial bids”

    http://www.barchart.com/headlines/story.php?id=1520949

  42. BC Bob says:

    longer

  43. Michelle says:

    Thank you all, very good points! We plan on staying here until retirement (we are in our late 30s). We always factor in taxes and maintenance in our calculations. Actually, we take care of all the maintenance (lawn, gutters, etc) on our rental and pay every bill (sewer, water) so we already have a good idea of how much that is. We just need to keep in mind things like the water heater breaking down!

    On another note, our landlord is interested in selling the house to us when our lease is up towards the end of the year. She is not in a rush to get rid of it but since we are interested she is considering it. It’s a four-bedroom, three-bathroom bi-level (but a good bi-level – it has a very open layout), a big yard, on a dead end with has woods across the street. However, it has not been updated since it was built in 1987 – every bathroom needs to be gutted, needs all new flooring, new driveway, new stairs… plus it doesn’t have a deck or patio. It is also a pain to cool in the summer since it doesn’t have central air. Our price was originally $350K but now I’m thinking we are going to offer her $299K! (A smaller, but updated house on our block sold about a year ago for $355K.) This house would have sold in the high $400s at the peak of the market. We have no idea what price she has in mind.

  44. Juice Box says:

    re: Sell to Whom =

    For example Bergen County population has been pretty stable over the last 50 year, waves of successive immigrants have been coming in and buying up the American Dream there. First is was the Irish and Italians, then came the Asians and now perhaps other ethic groups will filter into Brigadoon on the Hacky and other sleepy Bergen County suburban towns.

    Here is a nice interactive map using Current 2010 Census data.

    http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/embedstate.html?state=NJ

  45. make money says:

    Michelle,

    Out of that $1950 per month you’d be paying in mortgage, your proncipal payment is around $580. This + tax benefits+ 2% annual apprciation(CPI) will pay for taxes and repairs. Its not an investment but not a drain its made out to be either.

  46. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [12] AG

    The mortgage deduction isn’t dead, but it will lose a few limbs. However, deductions for second homes are going to go away, so look for a lot of activity along these lines. Either the residence will go on the grid as an LLC or trust owned property (and thus able to write off expenses), or go completely underground with no deductions taken or income declared. Both raise a myriad of new, unexpected, tax issues as well, however I think the LLC offers the best planning and tax-savings oppportunity.

    If the second home has a mortgage, there are ways to convert that mortgage to a debt on the primary residence. Most obvious is to take a second mortgage on the primary and pay off the second home. This assumes one can do this.

    What I don’t know is whether family structures can be gamed to show that the home is a primary residence of someone. For example, suppose the Deplumes own a ski chalet in Vermont and a house in the Brig. If the deductibility for the VT house expenses goes away, the Deplumes could “separate” and one spouse relocates to the second residence. Provided they are still married filing jointly, IRS doesn’t require them to live apart. The question then becomes can the Deplumes claim both homes as “primary” residences? I honestly don’t know the answer because there has never been a need to ask the question.

    Another thing I want to look into is whether an IRA (notably, a Roth) can own shares in a small business, including a business that makes a portfolio investment in loans on real estate. I havent’t looked at this before but my gut tells me the answer is no, it cannot. If it could, however, it raises a neat tax avoidance opportunity, assuming you can avoid any disqualification due to attribution rules.

  47. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    I wish I had a bi level in my house. A little GOG action all in the comfort of my own home would seem to be a big selling point.

  48. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    As for the premise of the story, I think that the American Dream does involve a deed, but it does not involve a mortgage.

    The more relevant question is whether the American Dream involves a home in a bedroom community that becomes cement shoes in the event of job loss, or is it a homestead that forms the gravitational center for the family, regardless of everyone’s circumstances.

  49. BC Bob says:

    Juice,

    In 1970 there were jobs. Now, more Mexicans are crossing the Rio Grande, going back to Mexico, than coming here.

    Granted, those carrying real, loonies, etc, are buying in the sunshine state. I don’t think they are interested in a pos cape in BC saddled with 12-15k in taxes.

  50. Sterling Grey Matters says:

    From CNBC: June Existing Home Sales Drop, Cancellations Up

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/43823424

    Sales of previously owned U.S. homes UNEXPECTEDLY fell in June to touch a seven-month low as cancellations of pending contracts surged, an industry group said Wednesday.

    But what I thought was really clever and caught my attention was the comment, posted by defenestrate, shown below.

    Defenestrate | Jul 20, 2011 10:17 AM ET
    SELL NOW OR BE PRICED IN FOREVER!!!!

  51. 3b says:

    #48 Assume a tax increase every year of 5 to 7% in thsi area.

  52. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Don’t worry about jobs, just buy your kids the Spanish version of Rosetta Stone so when they turn 18 you can have them sneak across the border to Mexico to steal their jobs.

  53. Anon E. Moose says:

    Michelle [46];

    In what part of the world does a 1987-built “a four-bedroom, three-bathroom bi-level (but a good bi-level – it has a very open layout), a big yard, on a dead end” go for $350k?

  54. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    If you can’t sell an house or condo, and you want to buy another one you must rent it out. Sales overhang is going to add to rental stock. Housing bust is creating almost as many landlords as it is renters.

  55. 3b says:

    #44 BC Nobody wants to talk about real estate any more at any social gaterhing.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [49] redux

    Anyone looking to answer my hypothetical question at the end of 49 should assume I am aware of the prohibited transaction rules and limits described in Pub 590

  57. 3b says:

    # 43 Possibly, but at what price and how wil they afford the taxes.

  58. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    To show how much homes have fallen.

    My neighbor who bought at the exact month and year of peak paid 629K for a mint all re-done 1955 split on a 70xby100 lot.

    Last week three houses away an identical split built on a 70×100 plot by same builder in 1955 that was in terrible shape, original handicaped owner with out of state kids died in it of old age. Saw inside, wow horrific. Nothing changed or maintained since 1955 sold for $310K.

    Technically that was not a distress sale, no REO or Short Sale. Imagine the comps on the 629K house now. Plus worst case new owner drops 140K in house and makes everything brand new before move in date. He is only at $450K for a totally brand new house top to bottom. Even worse. The new owner gets super low taxes. His house is assessed at market price 310K, while my neighbor who bought at peak is assessed at around 500K. Insult to injury.

    Around a year or so from now when we finally a get a firm bottom. Estate sale houses are going to be super comp killers. They all get marked as a normal MLS sale. Many are in poor conditions in towns where homes were all built in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s where large amount of original owners are dying off.

  59. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    second home mortgage? most are bought for cash.

  60. 3b says:

    #47 Juice: Alot of Bergen towns are not so sleepy any more, and are starting to acquire many of the downsides of urban living.

  61. Michelle says:

    Thanks for all the good points.

    This blog is such a breath of fresh air. No one, NO ONE, besides what I read on this blog, tells me that renting is a good idea. Everyone buys and thinks I am nuts for not doing so as well. Even those that bought during the peak think I am crazy.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [62] JJ

    I would not assume that, and if there were so few 2nd home mortgages, why would the IRS issue rules and pubs to deal with it?

    Not everyone has their 2nd home in the Hamptons with you, JJ.

  63. BC Bob says:

    “Estate sale houses are going to be super comp killers.”

    JJ,

    Yep. There is one by me that will probably go for 180K. Peak comps were 450-500K.

  64. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [64] Michelle

    Don’t assume that buying something is always wrong, but treat it like a potential investment. Do your diligence on the financials and the future of the property and economy, and consider what happens if you lose/change jobs.

    Were I to do it again, I would buy a beach house or ski chalet/Nompound, and rented in Brigadoon.

  65. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [66] BC

    Agreed, though I think the damage will be local. Towns like a Roselle or Clark will be savaged, but a Summit, Millburn or Brigadoon will weather it better.

  66. Juice Box says:

    re # 49 – “The mortgage deduction isn’t dead.”

    The numbers I am seeing floating around are a cap of a Mortgage Interest deduction at $7k interest a year. A 30-year fixed loan at 5% fixed interest this cap would only allow the interest on the first $140,000 to be deducted. That is fine for the average homes in a Red State where people don’t itemize and take the standard deduction etc. The Blue States like NJ, NY, CT, and CA are going to get hit hard with Federal tax increases of several thousand $ per year.

    I gather there are quite a few other deductions that are going to be removed, what remains to be seen is if AMT will get pulled back somewhat.

    Bend over folks.

  67. hughesrep says:

    I’m suprised Boomsday has never been brought up here. Decent book, its a good flight with a couple of drinks read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boomsday_(novel)

    Plot synopsis

    Cassandra Devine, “a morally superior twenty-nine-year-old PR chick” and moonlit angry blogger incites generational warfare when she proposes that the financially inviable Baby Boomers be given incentives (free Botox, no estate tax) to kill themselves at age seventy. The proposal, only meant as a catalyst for debate on the issue, catches the approval of millions of citizens, chief among them an ambitious Presidential Candidate, Senator Randolph Jepperson.

    With the aide of PR guru Terry Tucker, Devine and Jepperson attempt to ride “Voluntary Transitioning” all the way to the White House, over the objections of the Religious Right and the Baby Boomers, deeply offended by the demonstrations taking place on the golf courses of their retirement resorts.

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [41] shore

    “things like salt, sugar, vinegar, flour, and spices (not to mention pain killers in tablet form) would be great things to have in bulk. The could always be traded.”

    Way ahead of you. I have these though not in huge quanities, along with pasta, pasta sauce, rice, honey, and maple syrup. And lets not forget TP, which stores easily. All of these have been discussed here before. Kettle even suggested hard candy. I also suggested dog food.

    One thing I have been “stockpiling” is water. Not Evian mind you, but when I finish a seltzer bottle or large resealable lemonade bottle, I clean it and fill it. Seltzer bottles get tap water and other bottles get nonpotable water (for flushing, plants, etc.). A few former distilled water bottles got filtered water. All labeled with a sharpie. I plan on opening up the crawl space under my family room and storing it there. Free or nearly so, and it uses otherwise wasted space.

    I also bought a Roughneck garbage can (green to blend in) and rigged it under the downspout on my garage. Instant rain barrel. I use it to water the gardens. Cost is $30 for the barrel and $10 for the larvacide dunks.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [70] juice

    If you eliminate all of these deductions, the AMT largely becomes irrelevant anyway.

    But the AMT will never be eliminated since so many believe it to be a tax on the rich, and that they are not rich.

    Like all things that have to do with tax, when the Government zigs, the rest of the nation zags. The one thing no one is talking about yet is the means-testing. It is coming, but it will be spoon fed in very small doses to insure that the body doesn’t reject it.

  70. 3b says:

    #68 No area will be immune.

  71. 3b says:

    #64 Michelle: People used to tell me the same thing when I sold almost at the peak, and have been happily renting. Now the topic is off limits, no one wants to talk about real estate. Do whatever you do on your terms. You will find that most of the rah-rah cheerleaders out there know little to nothing about whatever topic they are cheer leading about. I will be buying again in the next year, simply becasue the hosue I have been renting is being sold, andwe don’t like it enought to buy it. We are looking at the purchase as simply a long term rental, to avoid the hassle of potentailly haveing to move every couple of years.

  72. Juice Box says:

    Gotta give it to Krugman when he drinks the cool-aid he goes back for seconds and thirds.

    He calls a 10 year run up in gold prices a marketing scam run by Glenn Beck

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/the-glenn-beck-debeers-connection/

  73. Shore Guy says:

    “GOG action ”

    Huh?

  74. chicagofinance says:

    The smell of Pat LaFrieda’s dumpsters…….hoo-hah….

    grim says:
    July 20, 2011 at 6:23 am
    Mmmm, meat. Pat LaFrieda, butcher to the stars, brings business to New Jersey
    There Went Meat says:
    July 20, 2011 at 6:45 am
    What’s that I smell outside? The fetid stench of hot, rotting flesh?

  75. Shore Guy says:

    “This blog is such a breath of fresh air.”

    I guess Clot has not been posting “Stench of death” recently.

  76. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Juice,

    If he actually think that they should take away his Nobel Prize for Economics. In fact if that medal he got is made out of gold maybe the gold price has risen due to the Nobel committee so readily giving out gold medals to dipsh*ts.

  77. chicagofinance says:

    I consider it more akin to a plug-in air freshener….

    Shore Guy says:
    July 20, 2011 at 11:24 am
    “This blog is such a breath of fresh air.”

    I guess Clot has not been posting “Stench of death” recently.

  78. The Original NJ Expat says:

    #41 Shore –

    Don’t forget razor blades. They lock them up at your sketchier neighborhood CVS’s for a reason.

    Speaking of Gold, Nompounds, etc. I suspect that in the event one believes things are going to collapse, in addition to guns and ammo advocated by some here, things like salt, sugar, vinegar, flour, and spices (not to mention pain killers in tablet form) would be great things to have in bulk. The could always be traded.

  79. seif says:

    #18

    c’mon…it’s “WOW that’s great bass!”

  80. seif says:

    apologies…TERRIFIC bass!

  81. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Shore highly disappointed in you. The bi-level in a house is always a good choice for some Girl On Girl action.

    Shore Guy says:
    July 20, 2011 at 11:24 am

    “GOG action ”

    Huh?

  82. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Zillow up 300% today. I am mad. All the housing folk on this site and not one of you told me to buy it. You stinkers.

  83. Orion says:

    Chi-

    There’s no well water in Asbury.
    The salt I was talking about is for my permanent residence.

  84. Shore Guy says:

    John,

    Ahh. Got it. A a hetrosexual male, I can’t say I object adult women doing so in any kindof structure.

  85. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [88] shore

    I tried to post that it took me a bit to get it also, but I thought about the source and then it came to me: Girl On Girl.

    But I got shut out; for some reason, I keep losing connectivity with this site.

  86. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [80] HEHEHE

    The run up in the price of gold has liberals crapping their pants. They have to talk it down, and failing that, they take measures to make it more onerous to own it, like registration requirements or higher taxes. Oh, wait . . .

  87. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [88] shore,

    It was a pun. bi-level. Get it?

    Remember, this is JJ we are talking about. When he isn’t typing, he is doing something else. With two hands, of course.

  88. Kettle1^2 says:

    Nom,

    if they are crapping their pants at this point in the game then they had best invest in some depends in short order.

  89. Harold Bridges says:

    Michelle,

    The NY Times buy vs rent calculator is the best one, available here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/business/buy-rent-calculator.html?ref=patrick.net

    Don’t overlook the opportunity cost of the down payment, which is what most people do.

  90. Shore Guy says:

    Nom,

    I did consider the source but still did not get it. I guess i am not 22 any more.

  91. chicagofinance says:

    The End is Nigh (Electronics Edition):

    A completely counterfeit Apple store in China.
    http://birdabroad.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/are-you-listening-steve-jobs/

  92. Shore Guy says:

    Obama blinks. From a CNN e-mail:

    President Obama would agree to a short-term extension of the federal debt ceiling if there is agreement on a significant deficit reduction plan by Democrats and Republicans that needs more time to be passed by Congress, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

    Obama has steadfastly opposed a short-term deal, going as far as to threaten to veto any legislation that contained such provisions. But Obama declared a long-term deficit-reduction plan unveiled Tuesday by the bipartisan “Gang of Six” senators consistent with his approach to solving the problem.

  93. Kettle1^2 says:

    Shore 96

    Too bad that the gang of 6 plan will be so heavily backloaded that it will be pointless with any real cuts probably being a mixture of decreases in spending growth, and CPI adjustments.

  94. Shore Guy says:

    Ket,

    As soon as the debt level is raised, I would bet for one year, the congress can go about pushing for deep and immediate cuts and dare BO to veto them shortly before an election.

  95. A.West says:

    JJ’s thinking about making a GBG JJ sandwich. He’s the meat between two slices of bread bought from Walmart. See the ever-entertaining http://www.peopleofwalmart.com to find the lovely ladies available for the price of a sandwich, a soda, and a ride home. He’ll need more than two hands to deal with these husky ladies.

  96. make money says:

    Shore,

    It will never get to his desk as it must pass senate first. Omama has more game than that.

  97. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Surprisingly when I worked meaningless low income jobs you found the overweight, handicapped, elderly, retarded, druggies, dropouts, etc. were majority of workers.

    But surprisingly there were a decent amount of pretty girls between 18-23 who came from broken homes, had messed up parents, broke parents, or got pregent young or dropped out of school or somtimes just blue collar parents who were like just go get a job etc.
    Talk about craziness this girl I worked with who was like 19 and blonde, not bad looking but had this crazy bad boy crush and parents were going to kick her out over it. She was a temp, temps in dead end jobs are the most wacked!!! Imagine you can’t find a dead end position. Anyhow after a few weeks she announces to me and and a few of the other low level people that she may not be back Monday as she and her BF are eloping that weekend to Maryland. Sure enough come Monday she calls in sick and Tuesday she is back at work. I go what happened, says she went to Maryland got married stayed over and drove back and he moved back home, said she pushed him and he had no interest in being married or moving in with her so he dumped her. OMG. she got dumped in first 48 hours. Meanwhile crazy girl never told parents. So here you have a 19 year old girl living at home who is secretly married. So of course as crazy as it sounds I was the voice of reason at work as I was 20 and actually was enrolled in college. This was summer so I was working full time. I go look forget about it I will take you out and get you drunk this Thursday, Anyhow. I take her out, yadda yadda yadda, and poof come Friday agency says that assignment is done. She was actually replaced by this militant black guy voted funniest at Roosvelt high (Eddie Murphy) was voted second funniest who just ranted and raved all day how Eddie stole his millions who was replaced by some women who had a crazy eating disorder, big fat women who always spilt the food on her shirt as belly stuck out who oddly talked about nasty nasty s@x acts with her bf that was oddly disturbing and arrousing at same time. Equally amusing was the pot head, dead head who made me due BK runs with her while she smoked dubies on the clock and talked abut her guy friends hooking up with each other.

    I swear working a BS dead end job and living at home when you are 18-23 is hook up heaven. A never ending stream of women. And in a way women who would do anything. One time we had this actual nice irish girl, kind of girl you would marry, how she got there I don’t know. Anyhow she is in wedding party and asks me if I would take her to wedding. She said I already sent gift. So anyhow I go what the heck, put my suit on pick her up in her lime green dress, take her to wedding at VFW hall, turns out she is on dias so I sit by myself in back at singles guys table. Drinking tap budweiser and the buffet, VFW hall was even in a basement!!! Wow a 20 year old bride too boot!!! Anyhow I could tell she was horribly ashamed. I was like her protection. I was like OMG girl is 20 and she needs a “date” for wedding so people wont talk. Dropped her off, kissed her on cheek and left. She later asked me out again on a real date, and all I could think of is a lifetime of whitetrash VF Hall parties. What a shame, girl was nice and she was actually going to college. I dated maybe 20 trailor trash walmart girls between 18-23. Best was double dates where guy was white trash. I will save the story about the double date I went on in a jacked up $100 dollar Buick, think G60, posi rear, black out windows, dent and no insurance with two girls that involved a case of beer at 7/11, a uturn on the lie and a dad in a wifebeater shirt and the best of the best was one girl cig in hand on third bud announces you don’t have to worry about condoms as I am already pregant. OMG, white trash at its finest. White trash guy in a moment of clarity goes is it ok you are drinking, white trash girl goes yep I am getting an abortion anyhow, white trash guy goes cool. Date ended like every white trash date ends, white trash guys goes I got mine lets ditch them on side of the road. I am like did you see the big drunken father in a wife beater t-shirt what if he got my plate. White trash guy goes not my problem. I thought for a second and said girls get in car I am driving you home. Now the real insanity girl goes you are such a nice guy most guys would have made us hitchhike home!!! I have a feeling both of those girls ended up in a ditch someplace. Still equally amazed that the girls were impressed I had a car. Girl said I don’t know many boys with cars and the few that have cars well they don’t run.

    A.West says:
    July 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    JJ’s thinking about making a GBG JJ sandwich. He’s the meat between two slices of bread bought from Walmart. See the ever-entertaining http://www.peopleofwalmart.com to find the lovely ladies available for the price of a sandwich, a soda, and a ride home. He’ll need more than two hands to deal with these husky ladies.

  98. NJ Toast says:

    “If you can’t sell an house or condo, and you want to buy another one you must rent it out. Sales overhang is going to add to rental stock. Housing bust is creating almost as many landlords as it is renters.”

    Which brings up a good point He He, how do you determine if the amature landlord you are renting from is going to be a pain in the a$$?

  99. 3b says:

    #70 Juice: I don’t think it happens.

  100. Libtard in the City says:

    New in NJ (5):

    MetLife worked fantastically for me and my two homes.

  101. Shore Guy says:

    “how do you determine if the amature landlord you are renting from is going to be a pain in the a$$?”

    They are breathing?

  102. 4c says:

    Hehe, here’s some graphs for those who believe that prices reached bottom or are close to it.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-has-housing-bottomed-heres-how-tell

  103. hoodafa says:

    Downgrade could be KO for housing

    As the rating agencies have recently made clear, failure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling would threaten more than Social Security checks and interest payments to China.

    The chain reaction from a downgrade of the Treasury’s top rating would hit thousands of municipalities, student loan provider Sallie Mae, too-big-to-fail banks and places that have dealt with plagues of truly biblical proportions: Israel ($11.9 billion of U.S. guaranteed debt) and Egypt ($1.25 billion).

    But nothing might be more vulnerable than the housing market that spawned the financial crisis three years ago. Mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could lose the top-notch ratings made possible through their government conservatorship.

    Tucked into Moody’s recent report is a footnote estimating that, without explicit government support, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have the equivalent of a B2 junk bond grade.

    More at: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59380.html

  104. 4c says:

    The downside in NY and environs is much larger and the boomers are retiring, rates can only go higher, taxes are rising, etc etc What a great time to buy! hehe

  105. gary says:

    The Obama administration, in plans detailed Wednesday, is taking aim at closing 800 of its sprawling collection of 2,000 data centers and eliminating tens of thousands of jobs. The savings, analysts say, will translate into billions of dollars a year and acres of freed-up real estate.

    Yes… We… Can.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/technology/us-to-close-800-computer-data-centers.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

  106. Kettle1^2 says:

    Hoodafa 107

    KO???? Housing was KO’d long ago. The demographics of the boomers combined with globalization driven offshoring of jobs was the 1-2 combo that dropped housing. Housing just didnt realize it was KO’d until it hit the mat.

    The boomers have a substantial portion of their retirement “savings” locked up in RE that they will be trying to dump as they move en-mass into retirement yet they will not have anyone to sell sell to at a “reasonable price”. The incomes no longer exist to support the prices the boomers need/expect in order to extract the desired retirement funds.

    debt saturation is a b1tch.

  107. Kettle1^2 says:

    Gary

    the best thing that could happen to us at this point is a default. it would forcibly stop the heroin like debt cycle we are heavily addicted to.

  108. JJ - AKA Two Hands says:

    Damm, cobolt, fortran and basic programers are all out of work. Any0ne need a RACF audit?

    gary says:
    July 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    The Obama administration, in plans detailed Wednesday, is taking aim at closing 800 of its sprawling collection of 2,000 data centers and eliminating tens of thousands of jobs. The savings, analysts say, will translate into billions of dollars a year and acres of freed-up real estate.

    Yes… We… Can.

  109. 4c says:

    111

    Of course, default could be a solution to this country’s problems. But since when anyone cares about this country? The default is a no no for some and their fortunes. They’d rather keep us in debt.

  110. 4c says:

    Actually better here than in Greece or Zimbabwe.

  111. NJ Toast says:

    “They are breathing?” Thanks Shore – maybe I’ll just rent an apartment.

    JJ – how about some Kodak bonds?

  112. Happy Renter says:

    [114] Zimbabwe is a beautiful, vibrant country.

  113. Anon E. Moose says:

    4c [113];

    Of course, default could be a solution to this country’s problems. But since when anyone cares about this country? The default is a no no for some and their fortunes. They’d rather keep us in debt.

    I’m sure all the deadbeats who bought (now underwater) houses that they can’t or couldn’t afford would love the idea of a debt jubilee.

  114. Barbara says:

    Real estate, 30 year mortgages, appliance warranties really make me think about my own mortality and the meaning/inanity of my existence. How many times will I live to see these floors refinished? Will I see the whole 30 years of payments through? How important is the refresh feature on a HE front loader and what does refresh in lieu of actual washing getting at anyway? What does it all MEAN?

  115. A.West says:

    JJ (101)
    These stories go in the “JJ classics” file. Thanks for sharing.

  116. grim says:

    #118 – Yeah, well some crooks stole 9 pallets I had on my driveway last night.

    $10 deposit each from the building supply company.

    Bastards

  117. grim says:

    #119 – My publisher says hands off

  118. Anon says:

    117 the fed could have already bought every mortgage in this country with the money already print. Look elsewhere for what debt we are paying

  119. Shore Guy says:

    “Real estate, 30 year mortgages, appliance warranties really make me think about my own mortality and the meaning/inanity of my existence. ”

    I recently visited a memorial to a friend killed in the line of duty some years ago. Even though the death occurred a long time ago, there is something about seeing a dead friend’s face staring back at you to make one think of mortality.

  120. Shore Guy says:

    I think I will go buy some wine.

  121. Barbara says:

    120. Grim
    Sign o the times. Side note: how the f are those palettes so heavy?
    I know the the wood is pressure treated but they feel lead injected as
    well. Frankly I’m a little impressed that they lifted nine in one swoop.

  122. Barbara says:

    Pallets? My spell check is being a wimp.

  123. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “I will save the story about the double date I went on in a jacked up $100 dollar Buick, think G60, posi rear, black out windows, dent and no insurance with two girls that involved a case of beer at 7/11, a uturn on the lie and a dad in a wifebeater shirt and the best of the best was one girl cig in hand on third bud announces you don’t have to worry about condoms as I am already pregant. OMG, white trash at its finest. White trash guy in a moment of clarity goes is it ok you are drinking, white trash girl goes yep I am getting an abortion anyhow, white trash guy goes cool.”
    Jj, thank you for saving that story…

  124. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Barb, I have money on you breaking contract, when is d-day?

  125. Neanderthal Economist says:

    4c, im still bearish on re but those graphs are childishly crude, and way too negative.

  126. Libtard at home says:

    Plus, those graphs are missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it.

  127. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/technology/social-media-history-becomes-a-new-job-hurdle.html

    Companies have long used criminal background checks, credit reports and even searches on Google and LinkedIn to probe the previous lives of prospective employees. Now, some companies are requiring job candidates to also pass a social media background check.

    A year-old start-up, Social Intelligence, scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.

    Then it assembles a dossier with examples of professional honors and charitable work, along with negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

    “We are not detectives,” said Max Drucker, chief executive of the company, which is based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “All we assemble is what is publicly available on the Internet today.”

    The Federal Trade Commission, after initially raising concerns last fall about Social Intelligence’s business, determined the company is in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but the service still alarms privacy advocates who say that it invites employers to look at information that may not be relevant to job performance.

    And what relevant unflattering information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not made? Mr. Drucker said that one prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing naked in photos she put up on an image-sharing site didn’t get the job offer she was seeking at a hospital.

    snip

  128. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (131) shore,

    I can hear the lawsuits being typed up already.

  129. chi (14)-

    Thanks, but I think I’d rather drink pureed money.

  130. Chi, I’ll e-mail you when it’s safe to enter my store.

    Right now, it’s one big clusterfk…although the potential is obvious. Hell, they’re not even losing that much money, and the clientele is good. Should be easy to immediately force some profits.

  131. 4c says:

    129 “im still bearish on re but those graphs are childishly crude, and way too negative.”

    What negative? Aren’t you the one who argued using graphs that houses are more affordable than ever? Guess your graphs are sophisticated…

    130 “Plus, those graphs are missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

    What missing? Aren’t you the one who is re invested (long)? That must be it…

    Anyways, this is just the “stench of death” with graphs no need to get uncomfortable

  132. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/fling-welfare-state_576909.html

    A Fling with the Welfare State

    From the best of intentions to bankruptcy and recriminations

    The intentions of Democrats are only the best. They want all of the old to have lavish retirements, all of the young to have scholarships, verse-penning cowboys to have festivals funded by government, and everyone to have access to all the best health care, at no cost to himself. In the face of a huge wave of debt swamping all western nations, this is the core of their argument: They want a fair society, and their critics do not; they want to help, and their opponents like to see people suffer; they want a world filled with love and caring, and their opponents want one of callous indifference, in which the helpless must fend for themselves. (“We must reject both extremes, those who say we shouldn’t help the old and the sick and those who say that we should,” quips the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg.) But in fact, everyone thinks that we “should” do this; the problem, in the face of the debt crisis, is finding a way that we can. It is about the “can” part that the left is now in denial: daintily picking its way through canaries six deep on the floor of the coal mine, and conflating a “good” with a “right.”

    Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt linked “freedom from want” to “freedom of speech” and “freedom of worship,” the left has been talking of everything that it thinks would be nice to have in terms of an utter and absolute right: a right to a job and a right to an income, a right to retire in comfort in Florida, a right to the most advanced health care without paying much for it, and a right to have your children taken care of while you work all day at your job. The problem is that these are all goods and services, though of varying importance, and goods and rights are not the same things.

    snip

  133. Barbara says:

    Neanderthal,
    We are out of attorney review. I do not expect any surprises during the inspection, however the appraisal is another story. If there are any major bumps, it will be in the appraisal and if it comes in low I will be forced to play some hardball.

  134. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/hmm-chris-christie-headed-iowa_577153.html

    I don’t know if I’d read too much into this, but what the hey. Here’s a an email that recently landed in THE WEEKLY STANDARD inbox:

    I want to invite you to what will be a great event coming up next week to help Congressman King prepare for his tough re-election battle against former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be in Iowa, and will be a special guest at a fundraiser honoring Congressman King. Iowa businessmen Denny Elwell and Bruce Rastetter are the co-hosts for the event, and the event will take place at Mr. Elwell’s home in West Des Moines.

    Could be nothing, could be the start of the GOP’s eventual salvation.
    snip

  135. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=229605

    Ex-CIA officer: Israel likely to attack Iran in September
    By JPOST.COM STAFF
    07/16/2011 13:04

    Robert Baer tells LA KPFK radio that strike on Tehran likely to happen before vote on Palestinian state, that PM wants US to be involved.
    Baer told the KPFK Radio on Tuesday recent comments made by Dagan that an Israeli attack on Iran could lead to a regional war, “tell us with near certainty that [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is planning an attack, and in as much as I can guess when it’s going to be, it’s probably going to be in September, before a [UN General Assembly] vote on the Palestinian state.”

    Netanyahu is “also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict – and in fact, there’s a warning order inside the Pentagon to prepare for conflict with Iran,” Baer said.

    The retired senior CIA officer predicted that Israel would attack the Natanz nuclear facility, as well as “a couple of others to degrade their capabilities.”

    “The Iranians will strike back where they can, and that will be in Basra and in Baghdad,” where the US has a reduced troop presence, Baer said.
    snip
    Isael will probably attack Iran in September, a former CIA officer who spent 21 years in the Middle East, including in Lebanon and Syria, has told a Los Angeles radio show.

    While Robert Baer didn’t reveal the sources behind his prediction, he referred to former Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s warnings of an Israeli attack on Iran as “no bluff.”

  136. Shore Guy says:

    snip

  137. Shore Guy says:

    “I will be forced to play some hardball.”

    That is when the fun begins.

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