When will Case Shiller turn positive?

From the WSJ:

Behind the Numbers: Does Case-Shiller Show a Market Bottoming Out?

Tuesday’s S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes show a market in which U.S. home prices are still falling, but not as dramatically as in previous months. This is good news for homeowners and home sellers since it indicates that the market is bottoming out. It’s also a sign that the housing downturn, now in its fifth year, may be approaching the end.

Nationally, the average sale price of a single-family home fell 1.9% from a year ago, which economists are calling effectively flat. Some markets, including Phoenix, showed major growth in prices, while five of them — Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and Portland — fell to new post-financial crisis lows.

Analysts took the news that the Case-Shiller indices, which trail the market by three months, are finally coming around to the fact that the market, generally speaking, is at or near bottom. They remain divided, however, on whether we are likely to see continued improvement in the short term. Here’s what some of them have to say:

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist, PNC Financial Services Group: “The housing market is turning around. The big decline in house prices is now over, although prices could see small drops in the near term as more foreclosures hit the market following the agreement earlier this year between the big mortgage servicers, state attorneys general and the Obama administration. Better fundamentals are supporting the improving housing market. Affordability is very high given the price drops and extremely low mortgage rates. Although credit is still tight, it is loosening somewhat. Demand is strengthening with the better labor market and improving consumer confidence.”

Patrick Newport and Michelle Valverde, U.S. economists, IHS Global Insight: “Are home prices still looking for a bottom, as the Case-Shiller 10 and 20-city composite indices imply, or are they stabilizing, as the Federal Housing Finance Agency numbers indicate? It depends in where you are. Housing prices are still mainly driven by local forces such as job growth and the neighborhood foreclosure rate. Still, in most cities, home prices appear to be stabilizing…Our view is that foreclosures, excess supply, and weak demand will drive home prices as measured by the Case-Shiller indices down a bit further, but that a bottom is in sight.”

Tom Lawler, independent housing analyst: “As I’ve done before, in discussing the seasonally adjusted data I put ‘seasonally’ in quotes, as there have substantial changes in the purported ‘seasonal’ pattern of home prices since the housing market cratered. The reason, of course, is that there is a marked ‘seasonal’ in the distressed-sales share of home sales, which peaks in the late winter months and hits a trough in the summer months. Not coincidentally, the ‘shift’ in the ‘seasonal’ pattern of home prices has been one where home prices are ‘seasonally’ much weaker than they used to be in late winter, and ‘seasonally’ much stronger than they used to be in the summer.” Taking this into account, Mr. Lawler writes that there is a “better-than-even chance” that the Case-Shiller numbers will show an increase next quarter.

From Forbes:

Housing Double-Dip Worsens As Prices Fall To New Lows; Recovery Nears

The feared double-dip in housing markets continues to grow deeper, with the Case-Shiller indexes hitting new post-crisis lows, reversing back to levels not seen since mid-2002. The rate of decline appears to be slowing, though, leading to some “cautious optimism” by economists that believe prices have found, or are close to finding, a floor. Analysts at Nomura expect home prices to turn positive by the end of the year, despite the recovery’s loss of momentum and possible spill-over effects from Europe.

All three of S&P/Case-Shiller’s main composites fell to new post-crisis lows in the first quarter, a report released on Tuesday showed. The national composite slid 2% during the first three months of 2012, and is down 1.9% year-over-year. The narrower 10-city composite is now down 2.8% annually, while the 20-city recorded similar declines, down 2.6% from a year ago.

Both composites are about 35% off their 2006 peaks, while five cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, and Portland) made fresh index lows in March. The tide could be beginning to turn, though, as the rate of decline has eased compared with the nine cities that hit fresh lows a month earlier. Only three cities, Atlanta, Chicago, and Detroit, recorded annual declines.

On the flip side, seven cities (Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, and Phoenix) recorded prices above year-ago levels.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

166 Responses to When will Case Shiller turn positive?

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. Mike says:

    Forget all these national statistics we are in a class all by ourselves. NJ is a whole different animal

  3. grim says:

    Different animal indeed.

    March 2012 saw a break in a trend that has been in place since the middle of 2007 (and I think 5 years is long enough to establish a strong trend).

    Since the bubble burst, when looking at the tiered price indexes, generally the low tier shows the largest decrease, the high tier the smallest, and the mid tier somewhere in between. Logically, this makes sense since it was the low tier that showed the greatest run up in prices on the upside of the bubble.

    In the last set of data, that trend changed:

    NY Commuter, YOY Change:
    Low Tier -7.91%
    Mid Tier -1.66%
    High Tier -2.32%
    Aggregate -2.82%

    For the first time in a long time, the mid tier ($265,200 to $417,824) actually performed the best.

    Also, worth noting that the reported aggregate number of -2.82% is slightly overstating the price change for houses we’re probably most interested in (Middle and High Tiers).

    Condo prices remain essentially flat year over year, with a decline of 0.31%.

  4. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Im thinking we could see another 8- 10% off of ny cs in the next 2 yrs. Assuming economy improves at a moderate level. Question for our family is how long r we willing to wait? Another 10% decline could take another 3-8 years at this rate. I dont want to buy our first home at age 59.

  5. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Good tiered breakdown grim. Thanks. If you had the data to break down every single nj town like that plus other variables im guessing you would see wide disparity of price performance due to many important and unique factors like location schools, avg age, immigration inflows, income and education stats, prop tax, train access etc.

  6. grim says:

    You would see a wide disparity of price performance due to the simple fact that individual sample sizes are too low to make a confident estimate of the “population” change.

    Some towns have so little turnover relative to the total number of houses that you can’t come up with a statistically significant estimate of home price data even looking at a years worth of sales.

    Remember what we’re doing here.

    In a town that has 5000 houses, we’re looking at the aggregate statistics of the 5 sales that took place to estimate the change in price of the 5000 houses.

    What if the only 5 that sold just happened to be on the low end of the scale, and because of that, the average sale price fell for the period, what does that say about the overall price of the 5000 homes? Probably nothing if we care about mathematical significance. If we tried to come up with an estimate of the average price, we’d likely get a such wide range it would be useless (eg. We can say with 90% confidence that the average home price for 2012 Q1 was between $250,000-$750,000, a year ago it was $257,000-$739,000).

  7. JJ says:

    So lets put this into dollar terms.

    A low tier 200K house has fallen almost $16,000 which is -7.91% and a high end two million dollar home has fallen around $55,000 which is -2.82%.

    The percents mask the fact the dollar loss on high end homes are much higher than low end homes
    NY Commuter, YOY Change:
    Low Tier -7.91%
    Mid Tier -1.66%
    High Tier -2.32%
    Aggregate -2.82%

  8. JJ says:

    The two-month increase in the Case-Shiller 20-city index between January and March 2012 still leaves us only 0.2 percent above the post-2006 market bottom. In real terms, the 20-city index is about where it was in March 2000. The 10-city index, which goes back to the 1980s, is about the same today, in real terms, as it was at the end of the Ronald Reagan presidency. Let’s hope that U.S. homebuyers will never again believe the lie that housing is a fail-safe investment strategy.

  9. seif says:

    two more under contract…buy now or be priced out forever in The Fly:

    Est Cls Dt: 6/28/2012 UCD: 5/29/2012 DOM: 314
    Est Cls Dt: 8/17/2012 UCD: 5/29/2012 DOM: 98

  10. JJ says:

    Funny how inflation adjusted in New Jersey Real Estate has not risen in price since the year 2000. Yet realtors call it an investment. Real Estate inflation adjusted is also back at same level when Regan was President. The smell of chocolate chip cookies backing in the ovens of absestos and lead filled houses covered in cheap chinese sheetrock must have effected the realtors brains. It is not an investment. Investments you have a chance to make money on.

    Real Estate is a good hedge against inflation, as it does seem to keep up with inflation and provides a hedge against rapidly rising rents and provides a place to live.

    A good used car pretty much fits that same description but it is hardly an investment.

    Gold/Oil/Interest Rates are all falling rapidly. That is a sign of deflation. Homes are not a hedge against deflation, in fact a home archiles heal is deflation, a home is an illiquid, leveraged asset bought on margin. We have never experienced real deflation in our life time, but if it comes. Watch out. Those with large loans, student loans, Car Loans, Home loans will puke when year after year car prices, home prices and tuition falls year year while you borrowed on interest to pay for the same assets at a much higher price.

    seif says:
    May 30, 2012 at 8:35 am

    two more under contract…buy now or be priced out forever in The Fly:

    Est Cls Dt: 6/28/2012 UCD: 5/29/2012 DOM: 314
    Est Cls Dt: 8/17/2012 UCD: 5/29/2012 DOM: 98

  11. Mikeinwaiting says:

    JJ 10 ” Gold/Oil/Interest Rates are all falling rapidly. That is a sign of deflation. ”
    I don’t think the Fed is going to let that happen. Either way I am position to weather the storm.

  12. Neanderthal Economist says:

    I dont doubt that all towns would show down trend but i would disagree that the disparity is due to market innefficiency or lack of sales data. I think there are large differences in each towns fundamental ability to maintain or correct prices. For example a $400k home in paterson may fall 50% from 2006 whereas a home in the brig may only crash 25% from peak when all is said and done.

  13. Mike says:

    Relo 13 “D’oh!” Who would be stupid enough to give Bart Simpson a credit card?

  14. JJ says:

    mithers: “Sir, you’re saying we need the stock market to go up?”

    Burns: “Yes, that’s the fix we’re looking for.”

    Smithers: “And why would that be, sir?”

    Burns: “Don’t you get it? A rising stock market allows people to feel wealthy. And a seemingly wealthy person is a profligate person.”

    Smithers: “Profligate, sir?”

    Burns: “Profligate. It means they spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need.”

    Smithers: “So instead of enabling people to actually have more disposable income, we’ll get them to spend more by simply making them feel rich?”

    Burns: “Exactly! Now how can we do that?”

    Smithers: “Well, we can always encourage them to sell their bonds and buy stocks.”

    Burns: “Now how would we ever convince them to do something as foolish as that?”

    Smithers: “Just set interest rates to zero indefinitely. Then no one can afford not to invest in the market.”

    Burns: “Why, Smithers, that’s brilliant! This is exactly the kind of counter-intuitive thinking we’ve been needing around here!”

  15. Libtard in Union says:

    Grim (6): “individual sample sizes are too low to make a confident estimate”

    We experienced this when comparative price shopping for homes in Glen Ridge. The data was actually pretty useless from a year over year viewpoint. Though we were able to get a three-year estimate at various tiers for the average price per square feet of home and knew we found a deal when ours was the third lowest among about 100 sales reviewed at any tier except for the estate sized properties.

  16. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Jj, deflation brings lower mortgage rates, would mitigate some of the negative pressure on home prices. If rates get pushed down to zero quickly its 2005 all over again.

  17. JJ says:

    Lower Mortgage Rates helps mainly existing home owners. Most first time buyers save for a home in money markets, short term CDs, short term treasuries, short term munis, savings accounts, short term investment grade bond funds etc.

    That newlywed couple who rents for 2-5 years and saves one income for house has a much easier time doing it when their money is earning 6%. Now they take risk or keep money at zero percent. Sure by the time the buy house they get a cheap rate. But apples to apples with a higher rate they would have put down a much bigger deposit, as their money would be growing and with rates high you are encouraged to put down more. They also have a chance to refinance later if they bought under high rates. Normally home prices fall a bit when rates are high. A first time home owner in ultra low rate environment it is hard to save at zero percent and home prices may be artifically higher, it is not a win win. It is a win win for someone who already owns home who refinances.

    Neanderthal Economist says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Jj, deflation brings lower mortgage rates, would mitigate some of the negative pressure on home prices. If rates get pushed down to zero quickly its 2005 all over again.

  18. gary says:

    If rates get pushed down to zero quickly its 2005 all over again.

    Sell? Sell to whom? Zero interest rates do nothing for the muppets with no money. If you don’t have 20% to put down and a hefty amount of dry powder, then forget it.

  19. Juice Box says:

    Susshh Don’t tell anyone about our secret plan to go out and sell bonds equal to 30% of your Spain’s GDP and give it to Bankia!

    http://news.yahoo.com/spain-did-not-consult-ecb-bankia-plan-economy-072516988–business.html

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2012/05/30/ecb-denies-report-on-bankia-recapitalization/

  20. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I have the solution for FacePlant stock. Just allocate 10 shares each to the small segment of people who are always posting. You know a few, right?

    Those folks will start liking and clicking ads furiously. Boom, rally!

  21. Anon E. Moose says:

    Its a good thing that those lawsuits against the banks making them pay for all the evil they did are going to compensate the people who were hurt the most: the home appraisers.

    Bank of America whistleblower receives $14.5 million in mortgage case

  22. 3B says:

    #19 gary: Even with 0% interest rates, I think you might need some sort of decent job, because than the 3 bed crap shack will be like what a million bucks?

  23. gary says:

    That newlywed couple who rents for 2-5 years and saves one income for house…

    Really? Saving 20% down payment on one income? Especially with the cost of living in the S0cialist Republic of the Tri-State area? And anyone who can bank $75,000 for a down payment in a few years for a sh1t shack is mighty noble. That’s about all you”ll get for that money, besides. And then you need another $50,000 stashed just to ward off disaster. Oh wait, you mean there’s property taxes, too?

  24. 3B says:

    Jill: From yesterday. When you say they charge for the bags, how do you buy these things and where, $5/$10 a box?

  25. JJ says:

    I saved a 50% downpayment in 18 months when I got married. When I was single I spent money like crazy, hampton houses, skiing, happy hours, cars, vacations.

    When I married my wife moved into my apartment. She came with her own car. No debt. Right away I just autodeposited her paycheck into a money market fund. Mind you I was saving for a house in 1999 and rates were high, my money market even gave great yields. Now since I gave up going out and we were in welfare mode, I was able to save half my paycheck. You put three paychecks in bank each month at 5% interest things are going well. The final kicker was I also put some of my savings each month into a stock market fund and 1999 was a great year. I sold all my stocks January 2000 and bought my house.

    A couple who got married Fall of 2008 and girl moved into her apt. Talk about wind at your back, a little mix of stocks, bonds and FDIC CDs and by now they should have at least 75%,.

    gary says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:37 am

    That newlywed couple who rents for 2-5 years and saves one income for house…

    Really? Saving 20% down payment on one income? Especially with the cost of living in the S0cialist Republic of the Tri-State area? And anyone who can bank $75,000 for a down payment in a few years for a sh1t shack is mighty noble. That’s about all you”ll get for that money, besides. And then you need another $50,000 stashed just to ward off disaster. Oh wait, you mean there’s property taxes, too?

  26. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Need to know where shiny is going in near term. Where’s the all knowing seer, JJ the Ultimate Trader and Male?

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Meant to include “on shiny”. Need coffee and better keyboard.

  28. seif says:

    26 – “When I was single I spent money like crazy, hampton houses, skiing, happy hours, cars, vacations.”

    Really??? Wow! You must have some incredibly interesting stories to share from those times. Please, please tell us some stories!

  29. gary says:

    JJ [26],

    It’s not 1999 anymore. You can actually get a job at that time with health benefits, contract and temp work was not in the vocabulary, a 4/2 split in Morris County was going for 285K, taxes were around 5K, a gallon of gas was $1.17 and salaries were not that far removed from today’s wages.

  30. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    “High Tier -2.32%”
    I guess that will be higher next month with Jonny Corzines 14% loss on his Hoboken pad. I like the fact that an LLC bought his place. Would be interesting to see who the actual buyer was and their connections. Could it be Tepper? Maybe it’s one of his past campaign supporters?

  31. Mikeinwaiting says:

    seif bite your tongue!

  32. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 28 Yes it my key board & lack of coffee here also. LOL

  33. njescapee says:

    Pending Home Sales Fall 5.5 Percent in April (story developing)

  34. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Come on JJ oracle of njrereport what is your view on shiny?

  35. Mikeinwaiting says:

    34 nj O’boy.

  36. Mikeinwaiting says:

    NAR release for your reading pleasure.

    http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/05/pending-home-decline-in-april-but-up-strongly-from-a-year-ago

    Pending Home Decline in April but Up Strongly From a Year Ago

    Pending home sales retrenched in April following three consecutive monthly gains, but are notably higher than a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

    The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 5.5 percent to 95.5 from a downwardly revised 101.1 in March but is 14.4 percent above April 2011 when it was 83.5. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a one-month setback in light of many months of gains does not change the fundamentally improving housing market conditions. “Home contract activity has been above year-ago levels now for 12 consecutive months. The housing recovery momentum continues,” he said.

    Yun notes home sales are staying well above the levels seen from 2008 through 2011. “Housing market activity has clearly broken out at notably higher levels and is on track to see the best performance since 2007,” he said. “All of the major housing market indicators are expected to trend gradually up, but a new federal budget must be passed before the end of the year for the economy to continue to move forward.”

    The PHSI in the Northeast rose 0.9 percent to 78.9 in April and is 19.9 percent higher than April 2011. In the Midwest the index slipped 0.3 percent to 93.0 but is 23.0 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South fell 6.8 percent to an index of 105.7 in April but are 13.3 percent higher than April 2011. In the West the index dropped 12.0 percent in April to 94.9 but is 5.1 percent above a year ago.

    The housing forecast has been upgraded, with existing-home sales expected to reach 4.66 million this year, compared with 4.26 million in 2011. The outlook for 2013 is now 4.92 million, but could vary significantly depending on two scenarios.
    If lending returns to normal, the 2013 outlook for existing-home sales would measurably improve to 5.3 million. However, a fiscal cliff scenario of higher taxes and sharp spending cuts beginning in early 2013, which is an unlikely event but still worth noting, would lower the sales projection to 4.5 million.

    Because of measurably lower inventory supplies, the forecast for home prices has been upwardly revised with the median existing-home price projected to rise 2 to 3 percent this year and 4 to 5 percent in 2013, with wide local market variations. Miami and Phoenix will easily achieve double-digit price growth by year end.

    Yun said the price gains will measurably reduce the number of underwater homeowners. “For example, a 5 percent national price gain means the number of underwater homeowners would fall to about 9 million from current estimates of around 11 million. A 10 percent gain, say over the next two years, would reduce the underwater status to about 7 million households out of 75 million owner-occupied homes,” he said.

    About 25 million homes are owned free and clear without a mortgage.

    Though the proportion of distressed properties is still high, the numbers have been falling over the past two years. “The diminishing share of distressed properties is another reason for higher home prices in upcoming months,” Yun added.

    The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

  37. grim says:

    Mind you I was saving for a house in 1999 and rates were high, my money market even gave great yields. Now since I gave up going out and we were in welfare mode, I was able to save half my paycheck.

    How old are you anyway? I could have sworn I read something about you, a rabbi, two hookers, and Teddy Roosevelt. What, were you 12 when you started in the mailroom?

  38. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Well if Larry says it it must be true.
    “Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a one-month setback in light of many months of gains does not change the fundamentally improving housing market conditions. “Home contract activity has been above year-ago levels now for 12 consecutive months. The housing recovery momentum continues,” he said.”

  39. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    High tier past ~= don’t have to sell.
    High tier future ~= want/need to sell.

    any questions?

  40. njescapee says:

    Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in April to a four-month low, undermining some of the recent optimism that the housing sector was touching bottom.

    The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in April, fell 5.5 percent to 95.5, its lowest level since December.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which lead existing home sales by a month or two, to rise 0.1 percent after a previously reported 4.1 percent gain.

    The housing market has been one of the U.S. economy’s weakest links as it recovers from the 2007-09 recession, but many economists think the sector will actually add to economic growth in 2012 for the first time since 2005.

    The report on pending contracts in April could temper some of that optimism.

    Millions of Americans owe more on their homes than they are worth, making them more cautious about spending and holding back the economic recovery.

    After a debt-fueled housing bubble, prices have fallen about a third since 2006 according to some measures and the housing market continues to be saddled with an oversupply of unsold properties.

    There have been some signs that the deflation in prices could be bottoming out. On Tuesday, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index showed home prices rose for the second month in a row in March.

    But Wednesday’s report showed contracts fell 12 percent in the western United States and 6.8 percent in the South. Contracts edged lower in the Midwest and rose slightly in the Northeast.

    The National Association of Realtors downplayed the declines.

    “All of the major housing market indicators are expected to trend gradually up,” said Lawrence Yun, chief NAR economist.

    Signed contracts were up 14.4 percent in the 12 months to April.

  41. Mikeinwaiting says:

    RE39 If anyone’s coffee came out their nose it is completely understandable.

  42. JJ says:

    Ha Ha, but I did manged to spend 100K one year on a salary of 40k. Watching Howard Stern the other night on Americas Got Talent reminded me of story my friend told me back in 1992, my buddy was at Howards house in Roslyn and Howard is a braggard, so he takes my friend on a tour of the house and shows him his Jeep and Mercedes in Garage and also brags in addition to this place he also has a place in the Hamptons and a place in the city. Tells my friend I dont know anyone who has all this!!! My buddy then tells Howard my friend JJ has a Mercedes, a Jeep a place in the Hamptons, a place near here and a place in the city. Howard was like really? I got to meet this guy JJ one day. Apparently, I never met Howard, although I did have a all out insult “your momma” match a few weeks later with Stuttering John in Quoge a few weeks later as I know I am funnier, I kicked stuttering johns butt in the battle of one liners, I got more lines than Abe Vigoda so there.

    What is morale of story. A) I had a great time, B) Glad I did it C) Got lucky unexpected cash and paid off bills a few weeks.later never did it again. D) Did lots of travel.

    My broker once told me you cant be 28 when you are 58. Blow the cash, get the porsche, mercedes, girls, vacations, clubs etc. when you are young. When you are old the money is of little use. Really am I now going to pull up to a nightclub in southampton at 2am in my Mercedes and get in unless I am carrying wads of hundreds and tipping everyone. No. I highly encourage everyone under 35 to start spending like crazy. Once the wife and kids come money is almost useless.

    Note to 30 year old when you are 50 years old and someone gives you a 200K bonus, you get prepay mortgage, buy some muni bonds, new dining room set and lets book a trip to disney for kids. You get if you are lucky to pick the toppings on the pie that night. A 30 year old with a 20K bonus gets to blow whole thing, go spend spend spend.

    seif says:
    May 30, 2012 at 9:49 am

    26 – “When I was single I spent money like crazy, hampton houses, skiing, happy hours, cars, vacations.”

    Really??? Wow! You must have some incredibly interesting stories to share from those times. Please, please tell us some stories!

  43. grim says:

    Pending sales up near 20% year over year in the Northeast, pretty much in-line with local MLS data for Northern NJ:

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2012/05/07/april-mls-snapshot/

  44. grim says:

    41 – The decline in PHS was almost entirely due to the West Coast regions very poor month-over-month performance.

    Northeast was up both MOM and YOY (SA & NSA).

  45. JJ says:

    How is sales up a good thing? It might be. Facebook stock sales are way up. Is that good? People selling to buy trade up homes is great, People selling cause they think houses are going to fall further is bad. Why are they selling? We never get that info.

    grim says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Up near 20% year over year in the Northeast, pretty much in-line with local MLS data for Northern NJ:

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2012/05/07/april-mls-snapshot/

  46. Libtard in Union says:

    $1.64 on the ^tnx

  47. 3B says:

    #37 Mike: I think we had a burst of activity for the first few months of the year, and now we trend back down again, including the northeast as reflected in this just released number.

    The economic fundamentals (with the exception of lower interest rates) is still lousy.

  48. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [43] JJ – We are of a like mind on this. I think the best complement I’ve ever been paid was by a friend when I was in my early 30’s. He told me I was the one person he was absolutely sure would never have a mid-life crisis. His reasoning was that I was doing all the things then that 55 year olds try to do later. Women, sports cars, auto racing, travel, etc. I was doing a one day consulting gig in NYC some time back in that period at a place where they were going through a big round of layoffs, right in front of me on that particular day. Everyone was being called into their respective manager’s office one by one. If you walked out with a package it meant you were axed, if you walked out empty handed it meant you were spared. I never saw such tension in a workplace before. I thought the people laid off would be the happy ones. Severance, unemployment on top of that, months to go places and do things while actually making more money than your buddies who were still at work. The first time I was laid off, in my mid 20’s, I was in Europe less than a month later. Paid my buddy to pick up my unemployment checks while I was gone. 5 months later the only reason I went back to work was because my apartment was converting to condo and they had this stupid rule back then that you needed a job to get a mortgage. I think you have to be successful at least twice and be broke after being successful twice too. Once you come back from being broke the second time you have the confidence that you will always be able to, so what’s the big deal?

    My broker once told me you cant be 28 when you are 58. Blow the cash, get the porsche, mercedes, girls, vacations, clubs etc. when you are young. When you are old the money is of little use. Really am I now going to pull up to a nightclub in southampton at 2am in my Mercedes and get in unless I am carrying wads of hundreds and tipping everyone. No. I highly encourage everyone under 35 to start spending like crazy. Once the wife and kids come money is almost useless.

  49. 3B says:

    Speaking of property taxes. The below listing is an attractive house on the outside, decent on the inside, with a delightful yearly tax bill of $12,000.00

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1219678&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  50. 3B says:

    Meanwhile in the 2 towns I am looking at 4 houses each have come on in the last 2 days (one I was interested in did go under contract), and 3 new listings since yesterday have come on in the land of the Unicorn. So here we are into June, Spring selling season almost done, and new listings are still coming on at what appears to me to be a rapid pace, for end of season.

  51. JJ says:

    My buddy waited till he was balding, wrinkly and 44 years old before tying the knot. He swore he would never cheat on his wife and the lucky SOB had to do a one year business trip in LA that lasted until the week of the wedding. That last year spent chasing tail at 43 was exhausting. He bedded a 19 year old Nanny on a 1NS one week before his wedding and called it quits. The 19 year old girl somehow was not impressed she was to be the second to last girl he ever slept with. That god he did not tell her she was like the 500th girl he slept with.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

    [43] JJ – We are of a like mind on this. I think the best complement I’ve ever been paid was by a friend when I was in my early 30′s. He told me I was the one person he was absolutely sure would never have a mid-life crisis.

  52. gary says:

    freedy [53],

    No worries, the shovel ready jobs are kicking in.

  53. grim says:

    People selling cause they think houses are going to fall further is bad. Why are they selling? We never get that info.

    We have some…

    In 2010 in NJ:

    Average age was 55 years
    Average time in home was 9 years (17% more than 21 years)
    Average income of seller was $141,000 (26% over $200k)
    72% of them were married couples
    (Although 66% of them didn’t have children living in the sold house)
    80% stayed in state
    Median distance between sold and purchased home was 14 miles (20% moved 5 miles or less)
    46% of them were first time sellers

    Reason for selling:

    Job relocation 7%
    Home is too small 21%
    Change in family situation (e.g., marriage, birth of a child, divorce) 9%
    Want to move closer to friends or family 10%
    Neighborhood has become less desirable 13%
    Home is too large 9%
    Moving due to retirement 11%
    Want to move closer to current job 6%
    Upkeep of home is too difficult due to health or financial limitations 4%
    Can not afford the mortgage and other expenses of owning home 6%

  54. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Freedy a Skittles laying unicorns!

  55. 3B says:

    #50 And speaking about that listing, that house would be perfect fo my wife and I, kids out of school so impact on the school population. But $12,000 a year in taxes!! It just does not make sense.

  56. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [53] The first time I collected unemployment was when I was laid off from McDonald’s. That’s right, I lost my burger-flipping job year. I commuted one fall semester to Rutgers and worked part time at Mickey D’s. Spring semester I was living back at Rutgers, but I would come home some weekends and pick up hours at the same McD. Summer, still working there. I think I turned 19 while I was there. Anyway, the register’s started coming a little short. I don’t think anybody was stealing, you had to memorize prices, do tax in your head (easy when it was 5%) and make the right change. I think this was just too much math for some kids and they would make wrong change and customers would walk off with an extra buck here and there. Well the managers decided to take our free food away until the registers started coming back better, we used to get 40 cents per hour worked toward food, soda was free. They also used to list a line item “MEALS” on our pay check, but it wasn’t a deduction, but it had a dollar amount to it. My Dad said they were getting a tax break for providing that benefit to employees. The first check after they took away our free food it still had the “MEALS” line item and I called them on it. I told them I knew they were claiming a tax deduction for providing that benefit to employees and it would be tax fraud if they claimed that while not actually providing the benefit. I figured they would reinstate our free food instantly and I would be the hero and perhaps get into the pants of some of the hot chicks working there. Instead they fired me. I went home and told my Dad “thanks a lot!”, he said go file for unemployment, if they don’t contest it, great, if they do contest it call the IRS and report them, you might get 10% of the tax they owed for not providing the benefit. I filed for UE and McD’s simply wrote reason for termination: PERMANENT. I got $96 every two weeks which made me about the richest kid on my dorm floor the following month when I returned to school. Because this was ’79-’80 and times were bad, when my claim ran out I received EB (Extended Benefits), then EEB (extended extended benefits?) and I had beer and pocket money all the way through to the following summer. My buddies used to count down the days until my next check and made sure to always remind to go pick it up every other Thursday because it meant I was buying that night.

  57. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [56] grim – Wow! Those numbers are great and more or less, exactly the demographic trend that I believe has yet to reach terminal velocity. I’m actually surprised those numbers were that high in 2010, I thought we were still on our way there. I think the percentage mix of reasons to sell will change dramatically in coming years. Mind if I ask the data source? When will the 2011 numbers come out?

  58. JJ says:

    I always dreamed of getting laid off. Sadly I have never been laid off. I once had a boss who hated me, I did no work, company was doing mass firings and I openly insulted him. The guy loved to mess with me and refused to fire me. Married men, widows, orphans all got canned. I got nothing. Sadly when you are as great as me, even me at 1/100 efficiency I am still a great asset.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:

  59. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Friday, I have to bring my 9YO to see a specialist. I looked up the doc and saw that she went to Smith College the same time I was at UMass.

    She doesn’t look that familiar but you never know. Now I’m nervous. If she recognizes me and has any sort of pithy comment (I did have some JJ moments), I’ll be spending the summer on the couch.

  60. grim says:

    Mind if I ask the data source?

    NAR Annual Buyer/Seller Survey – I don’t have the release date, mid year usually.

  61. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [61] JJ

    “I once had a boss who hated me, I did no work, company was doing mass firings and I openly insulted him. The guy loved to mess with me and refused to fire me.”

    Obviously, he was jealous of your prodigious abilities and intimidated by your mastery of all.

    Still, you actually had someone that did not like you (who wasn’t a cuckolded husband, or at least I presume that)! Kind of reminds me of the time I thought I was wrong about something but it turned out I was mistaken about that.

  62. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Some interesting facts about JJ:

    He’s fluent in all languages, including three that only he speaks.
    Once while sailing around the world, He discovered a short cut.
    Panhandlers give him money.
    As a toddler he taught others to walk.
    At the book store people crowd to see him read.
    Athletes seek his autograph.
    His passport requires no photo.
    When fishing at some point he has to call it quits.
    When he drives his new car off the lot it increases in value.
    His 1975 Firebird still has that new car smell.

  63. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [61] JJ – Yesterday I mentioned high dollar sales courses I’ve been sent to. In 2001 we brought in a team to train about 20 of us for a week. Even though I was a Director in Engineering, I was one of the 20. I think the cost was $5,000 per head, so $100K for the week long course. 6 months later I got laid off, $30K severance for signing a release of claims and immediate eligibility for UE. I scheduled a meeting with the CEO and CFO about a week after being walked out of the building. I had talked to my lawyer and thought maybe I had some leverage but he advised that if he took any action on my behalf, they would call in their lawyers and it would get costly. He advised me to try to get a meeting myself with the CEO and make a case. I got the meeting and I used the exact same sales techniques on the CEO and CFO that they paid for me to learn, and they took the same course! After a 15 minute meeting I walked out with $40K instead of $30K. My lawyer charged me $600 for the time I spent with him. I think it was the only time I’ve ever been happy to pay a lawyer.

  64. gary says:

    Nom [65],

    You forgot one: the laws of physics obey HIM.

  65. gary says:

    NJ ExPat,

    That interview I mentioned yesterday with the PP presentation: it involves heavy travel. I think I’m going to pass on this one as flying all over the country isn’t feasible for me at this point.

  66. JJ says:

    Right off bat he hated me because I was in my mid 20s, single, partied a lot, and when we got taken over by his company the people on his side kept the titles and we got demoted in title. However, our salaries stayed the same. So this guy is running a ten person department and I am making same salary. He also did not appreciate that almost daily me and the other former supervisor loved to point out we are staff now, out job is to do as little work as possible and goof off. Your job as supervisor is to make us work. It was a wonderful relaxing 18 months of goofing off. Sadly I quit and went back to a management job.

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    May 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

    [61] JJ

    “I once had a boss who hated me, I did no work, company was doing mass firings and I openly insulted him. The guy loved to mess with me and refused to fire me.”

    Obviously, he was jealous of your prodigious abilities and intimidated by your mastery of all.

    Still, you actually had someone that did not like you (who wasn’t a cuckolded husband, or at least I presume that)! Kind of reminds me of the time I thought I was wrong about something but it turned out I was mistaken about that.

  67. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [66] cont’d – For the extra $10K they wanted me to sign a stricter release of claims with stronger non-comp language. I asked my lawyer what to do. He said sign the first one and return it and they probably won’t notice and they’ll still pay you the $40K. He was right;-)

  68. JJ says:

    People looking for an excuse will always find one. Go my child and take the job. Perhaps travel is not heavy at all, maybe he is just seeing if you are flexible.

    gary says:
    May 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

    NJ ExPat,

    That interview I mentioned yesterday with the PP presentation: it involves heavy travel. I think I’m going to pass on this one as flying all over the country isn’t feasible for me at this point.

  69. An observer of an half empty glass of water says:

    Copied and pasted from Business Insider article on why housing still going down -edited for space.

    BY Keith Jurow

    After being the only analyst who was spot-on correct in stating for the past two years that there is no housing bottom in sight, it’s time for me to tell you what I see ahead.

    Housing pundits are nearly unanimous in declaring that housing markets are showing signs of bottoming. This is nonsense!

    What is Really Happening Now

    We hear that California markets are showing signs of revival and that prices are rising in certain markets. Let’s see. Here are the latest figures from trulia.com.

    In Los Angeles, trulia reports that the average price-per square foot for homes sold in February through April was down 9.3 percent year-over-year for 3-bedroom homes and down 8.7 percent for 2-bedroom homes.

    In San Francisco, allegedly one of the hottest areas in the nation, the 3-bedroom average price-per-square-foot was down 4.7 percent year-over-year and 1-bedroom price-per-square foot was down 8.1 percent.

    Price-per-square-foot statistics are the best way to compare prices because it does not matter how large the house is. Median prices are skewed by square footage as well as by the percentage of distressed properties sold.

    Here in Connecticut where I live, double-digit price declines are commonplace:

    Fairfield County – down 10.7 percent year-over-year
    Darien – down 13.5 percent New Canaan – down 15.7 percent Norwalk – down 13.8 percent New Britain – down 15.3 percent Branford – down 15.9 percent City of New Britain – down 15.3 percent City of Hartford – down 14.4 percent

    These statistics come from Wm. Raveis & Co.’s website – raveis.com. They are the largest family-owned brokerage firm in the northeast with offices in 7 states.

    Their reputation for integrity is excellent. Try it. You can search any town/city in six states in the northeast plus Westchester County in New York. No indices here, just the raw data.

    Serious Mortgage Delinquencies – The Real Story

    We have been told that the rate of mortgage delinquencies has been declining over the last year. Let’s see.

    In the NYC metro area, the banks drastically cut back foreclosing on properties in the spring of 2009 and have never changed their policy. This has nothing to do with the robo-signing scandal which occurred 18 months later.

    Through sheer persistence, I obtained accurate statistics on serious delinquencies from the New York State Division of Banking. Let me explain.

    In late 2009, the NYS legislature passed a law requiring all servicing banks in the state to send a “pre-foreclosure” notice to all delinquent owner occupants. It warned them of possible foreclosure and explained steps they could take to prevent this. These servicing banks were also required to report to the Banking Division all notices that were sent.

    The Division published preliminary figures in October 2010 but has never updated these numbers. Here is what I learned.

    Through the end of March 2012, a total of 192,000+ pre-foreclosure notices had been sent to delinquent owners in NYC. This does not include delinquent investor-owned properties because the law did not require servicers to send notices to them. There are lots of 2-3 family homes in the four outer boroughs of
    NYC. I estimate that there are roughly 75,000+ delinquent investor-owners.

    This means there are roughly 265,000 seriously delinquent homeowners in NYC who have not yet been foreclosed. Why so many? The banks do not foreclose in NYC. As of May 24, foreclosure.com reported a total of 301 foreclosed properties on the active MLS and 103 in Brooklyn. Together, these two boroughs
    have a total of 4.7 million residents. That is more people than live in Maricopa County where Phoenix is situated.

    Hard as it may be to believe, the situation is even worse on Long Island. With fewer than 3 million occupants, Nassau and Suffolk Counties showed a total of 175,000 pre-foreclosure notices sent out as of the end of March.

    Banks Gamble Again By Closing the Foreclosure Spigot

    If you think the reduction in foreclosing is limited to the NYC metro markets, you’re mistaken. Take a good look at this revealing chart for Phoenix from foreclosureradar.com.

    Bank repossessions in Maricopa County plunged from 3,159 in April 2011 to a mere 767 a year later. Clearly, the banks are gambling that this will help to stem the decline of home prices.

    Or let’s take a look at Miami — a market that suffered one of the largest price collapses since the bubble popped. In 2010, the banks repossessed 23,000 properties just in Miami-Dade County. They foreclosed on 54,000 properties in the 3 south Florida counties of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Although they sharply curtailed repossessions in 2011, that number still totaled roughly 35,000.

    I spoke with the head of data for the Miami Association of Realtors on May 18 and was amazed to learn that there were only 282 repossessed properties on the active MLS.

    A similar tactic has been occurring in Phoenix. During the height of the credit crisis in early 2009, 2/3 of all homes sold in Maricopa County were repossessed properties. That percentage was down to 40 percent a year ago. Take a look at this chart from Phoenix broker Leif Swanson.

    In April, only 17 percent of all homes sold in the Phoenix metro were REOs on the active MLS. Banks are hoping that this cutback of foreclosed properties for sale will steady home prices.

    Why the Collapse is Coming

    Despite all the mortgage modifications, refinancings, and cutbacks in REOs for sale that have taken place in the past 2 ½ years, prices continue to decline. Will this change anytime soon?

    Let’s take a look at potential buyers. It’s an undeniable fact that the trade-up buyer is gone in every major metro market. Most of those who would like to sell and buy another house are unable to do so. Their house is underwater and their equity is gone.

    I talk to Phoenix broker Leif Swanson on a regular basis. He has explained that the few normal sales he closes are for sellers over 70 years old. Because they have owned the property for decades, they have equity. The trade-up buyer of the past – ages 30-60 — has disappeared.

    That leaves first-time buyers and investors. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, their survey of roughly 2,500 brokers nationwide finds that roughly 30 percent of all purchases nationwide are by investors, many paying all-cash. Some analysts have argued that this is a good thing for housing markets. This is rubbish. There aren’t enough potential all-cash investors to make-up for the collapse of the trade-up market.

    Furthermore, investors are concentrating in the sand states where prices have collapsed more than anywhere else – Arizona, Nevada, and Florida. Prices have plunged so much in the past year here in Connecticut because there are not many investors.

    That leaves first-time buyers. Do you really think there are enough potential first-time buyers out there to keep prices from declining further? I’ve written extensively about renters and the changing attitude toward buying a home.

    Had it not been for the FHA’s program of mortgage insurance, buying by first- timers would have collapsed. The latest FHA Single-Family Outlook revealed that 78 percent of all purchase mortgages went to first-time buyers.

    When you look at securitized mortgages bought or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the picture is very grim. In the fourth quarter of 2011, 80 percent of all Fannie/Freddie mortgage originations were refinancings. The average down payment was 30 percent. How many first-time buyers can put that much down?

    More recently, an April 2012 Federal Reserve Board survey of bank loan officers found that fewer than 4 percent of those surveyed said that their bank had eased mortgage lending standards for prime mortgages.

    Worst of all is what I’ve been saying for more than a year. A growing number of prospective first-time buyers are reluctant to buy even though they can afford to. Their attitude is this: What’s the rush? I think prices are headed lower. And I like the flexibility that renting gives me.

    As prices continue to decline, this new attitude feeds on itself – it becomes a vicious circle.

    What About the Potential Sellers?

    Over the past two years, I have written extensively about the so-called “shadow inventory.” It’s real, growing and very scary in what it says about where things are heading.

    You need to keep in mind that the total number of underwater homeowners is far larger than just those who purchased during the bubble years 2004-2007. Millions of homeowners took out what became known as “cashout” refis. Banks were only too willing to shovel out cash to owners whose homes were rising at double-digit rates.

    What has been almost completely overlooked by the media is the enormous number of properties with second liens. There are still nearly 12 million home equity lines of credit (HELOC) outstanding. It’s safe to say that 98 percent or more of these properties are underwater. Roughly 30 percent of all HELOCs were originated in
    California. There are millions of owners there with HELOC balances in excess of $100,000.

    The HELOC boom began in 2003. Most of these revolving lines of credit were interest-only loans for the first ten years. After that, they convert into 15-year fully amortizing loans. This means that beginning next year, these loans start to transform into a fully-amortizing loan. The number of HELOCs which do this increases in 2014 and even more in 2015 and 2016.

    What will these homeowners do when their HELOC payment soars from a few hundred dollars per month to more than $1,000. The monthly payments that will go into effect in California are mind-boggling.

    Finally, let’s not forget all those homeowners who have pulled their home off the market in the past year. A recent survey published by ProTeck Valuation Services showed that MLS listings had dropped more than 35 percent over the last year in metros such as Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa and Riverside,
    CA. Dozens of others saw reductions of more than 15 percent.

    Many are frustrated homeowners who were unwilling to take the hit and do a short sale. Nearly all are simply hoping that the pundits are right that housing markets are bottoming this year. Sooner or later, some of these homes will be put back on the market.

    Conclusion

    Let’s put this housing credit bubble and collapse in historical perspective. Prior to this disaster, the largest bubble and collapse in American history was the U.S. stock market from 1927 to 1932. Most of you probably don’t know that during that stock market boom, you could buy stocks with only 10 percent down. Brokers would lend you up to 90 percent of the price. Sounds like the housing bubble, doesn’t it?

    The Dow Jones Industrials peaked at nearly 400 in October 1929. When it finally hit bottom, the DJI had collapsed to 34. Now that’s a true collapse. Every few months, pundits would claim that the worst was over. Sound familiar? Then the stock market would plunge lower.

    Do I see anything on the horizon that could turn things around and correct the growing imbalance between potential homebuyers and sellers. No. Nothing whatsoever. Wishful thinking won’t do it.

    My advice to homeowners in nearly all major metros is quite simple. Get an appraisal from a professional appraiser to find out what the market value of your home is. Seriously consider putting your home on the market within the next six months. You will have a chance of selling it.

    Within a year, I expect many of the weakest markets to show signs of unraveling. Perhaps the most vulnerable market is the entire NYC metro area. Sooner or later, the banks will have to start foreclosing or even doing short sales. When these properties hit the market in significant numbers, I have no doubt that prices in the entire region – where 19 million people reside – will collapse.

    For other major metros, the plunge will depend on how crazy the bubble was during 2004-2007 and how large the total number of underwater owners becomes.

    Predictions are always iffy. But I am convinced that things will get ugly from here and that there is no solution that can prevent this collapse. The wisest thing is for you to do is prepare for the worst. Is there anything wrong with renting a nice house or condo to ride out this perfect storm?

  70. Mike says:

    Nom 65 Does one of the J’s stand for Jesus?

  71. gary says:

    Perhaps the most vulnerable market is the entire NYC metro area. Sooner or later, the banks will have to start foreclosing or even doing short sales. When these properties hit the market in significant numbers, I have no doubt that prices in the entire region – where 19 million people reside – will collapse.

    Top of the sixth inning.

  72. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim;

    Prices down, volume up. Adam Smith STILL right. HOOCOODANODE?

  73. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Coming to a segregated fund and budget battle near you!

    http://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-calif-9-11-fund-raided-deficits-070528674.html

  74. Juice Box says:

    The word “layoff” really does not apply to white collar since only the blue collar union folks are rehired after a layoff. We recently kicked to the curb a bunch of mid level people who were burnt out. They were all just barely coasting, and had been for a few years now. If they did not see it coming well then they were fooling themselves.

    I have never been fired, demotion or otherwise. My motto is to never complain about people when they mess up, but instead only compliment people when they do a good job. It seems to work because I never complain and only compliment and even if you were the biggest screw up that ever wore a tie you would still want to work for me or with me and not against me.

    My sister-in-law works in HR for a Pharma company. Over the weekend at the barbecue my brother called her the “Black Widow”. Apparently it’s her job now to do the whole George Clooney thing and tell people to hit the road. That is a job I would not want, since like the movie eventually someone is going to off themselves.

  75. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [69] JJ – I’m in kind of the same position right now. 5 years ago I was consulting for this company shortly after it was acquired. The new boss hated me because I was making so much more money than him. Within 6 months he hired an employee to replace me at about 1/3 the price. He wanted me to train the new guy. There was actually another boss between him and me who hired me. He didn’t care how much money I was making because I relieved him of a ton of headaches he couldn’t handle. This guy didn’t like the one his boss picked to replace me and told him so. Why would he? He has a top dollar guy who does a top dollar job, why would he want the cut rate guy if he doesn’t pay out of his pocket? The new guy showed up two days later than his start date and quit two days after that. So the boss who wanted me gone just gave up and my 30 day contract, already extended to 6 months just became open ended and went on 3 years. At 3 years the boss who wanted me gone tried again. I then convinced him that I have all this specialized knowledge about your business that you’ve paid me a ton of money to acquire. Why not just make this into a bigger position salary wise so that it’s attractive for me to come on as an employee. He actually grins and likes that idea. He wrongly assumed that I would never give up my consulting income to work for him, but he was wrong. So now that I make less money than him, he’s happy and never tells me to do anything and I report directly to him now. The last thing he told me to d was in November and that was to stop working on something. I’ve been here almost two years as an employee, almost 5 years total, and I’ve never even had a review. I get raises and bonuses, just no reviews. Everybody else in my department gets an annual review, but not me. I could care less. If my boss doesn’t care to tell me what I’m doing wrong, I can only assume I’m doing everything right. I think my boss is retiring in September, so I doubt he’ll ever give me a review. He reports to a VP who I think is getting his title taken away because we’ve been acquired again. I don’t think he’s staying a VP because he reports to a Director in Germany. If he leaves and my boss retires I’ll probably end up moving up two levels back into management and not even have a boss in this country.

    Right off bat he hated me because I was in my mid 20s, single, partied a lot, and when we got taken over by his company the people on his side kept the titles and we got demoted in title. However, our salaries stayed the same. So this guy is running a ten person department and I am making same salary. He also did not appreciate that almost daily me and the other former supervisor loved to point out we are staff now, out job is to do as little work as possible and goof off. Your job as supervisor is to make us work. It was a wonderful relaxing 18 months of goofing off. Sadly I quit and went back to a management job.

  76. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [68] Did you get the job offer and are turning it down, or are you slinking away from the interview process? I would say go for it, even if you turn down the offer. Or take it and network yourself in other cities for free, it might lead to a job back home. There are always 10x more reasons not to do something but they often don’t outweigh the one good reason why you should. I love getting job offers.

    NJ ExPat,

    That interview I mentioned yesterday with the PP presentation: it involves heavy travel. I think I’m going to pass on this one as flying all over the country isn’t feasible for me at this point.

  77. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [65] Nom – Remember the Jay Peterman actor from Seinfeld? I was watching a Red Sox game a few years ago (because my day doesn’t feel like a success unless the Yankees win AND the Red Sox lose) and Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo were interviewing that guy, but not in the booth, he was in the seats and another reporter was holding the mic where they were sitting, down the RF line. He had a hot looking platinum blonde on his arm and Jerry asked who it was. While putting his arm around her and hugging her, he said it was his new wife and she still had that new wife smell. Jerry was cracking up for 3 or 4 innings over that one and so was I.

    His 1975 Firebird still has that new car smell.

  78. Young Buck says:

    Pension reform & tax cap count don’t count?

    “In a victory for Gov. Chris Christie’s pension revisions, a Superior Court judge has ruled that about 800,000 retired public employees are not entitled to increases based on the cost of living.”

    http://mobile.nj.com/advnj/pm_29221/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=2NEoavF4

    Fabius Maximus says: May 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    #19 gary

    I don’t see it. Where the rubber meets the road in the budget, CC pulled his 3billion contribution to the pension. Taking that away he is running at the same spending level as Corzine. The only real cuts have been at the federal aid level.

  79. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Nom – as soon as you mentioned 1975 Firebird, you know what I had to immediately look up, right?

    http://jimsuva.typepad.com/blog/2009/10/rockford-files-screen-used-firebirds.html

    The first Rockford Files Firebird was a 1974 Gold exterior/tan interior Firebird Esprit, with a 400 cubic inch engine. All the cars used for the show came from Pontiac, a GMC division, through Visa Group, to Cherokee Productions. While filming the first season, it was decided that due to the hard driving and stunts, they needed the Trans Am/Formula suspension. So beginning with the second season, all the Firebirds were Firebird Formulas.

    In March 2002, I had a conversation with a man named Vinnie who supplied the Firebirds for the TV series, as well as the Rockford movies. He sold his business, Carriage Studio Rentals, which had merged with Cinema Vehicle Services around 2002.

    Vinnie told me that Pontiac supplied three new Firebirds per year for the TV series. They received Firebird Formulas, and then they would remove the splitter exhaust tips and the rear spoiler. They also changed the hood and rear deck lids, and filled the drill holes from the spoilers. Vinnie stated that they also repainted the Firebirds to match the original Esprit from the 1974 season. (I believe that Universal Studios decided to paint the Firebirds a Lt Topaz color for the 1975 model year, which was the color used throughout the rest of the TV seasons.)

    In 1978, James Garner was not fond of the 1979 Firebird styling and decided to use the 78 Firebird for the last two seasons.

  80. joyce says:

    82

    young buck,
    property taxes are capped at increasing only 2% except in cases of pension, medical, debt service (interest), emergencies, and rising enrollment.

    so basically ALL the main cost drivers

  81. gary says:

    NJ ExPat [80],

    I’m declining the interview because they’re looking for an advanced CSS and Java script person, which I’m neither and because heavy travel would not work due to family obligations.

  82. JJ says:

    I almost bought the 1975 450sl that was used in Celeb Close calls. It wsa reinactment of Parker Stevenson flipping the Mercedes in a road race. Pretty cool, had numbers on it, big fog lights and racing stuff attached to the 450sl to recreate it.

    How pompus is it to race brand new mercedes in road races, it was a really cool flip he did.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    May 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    Nom – as soon as you mentioned 1975 Firebird, you know what I had to immediately look up, right?

    http://jimsuva.typepad.com/blog/2009/10/rockford-files-screen-used-firebirds.html

    The first Rockford Files Firebird was a 1974 Gold exterior/tan interior Firebird Esprit, with a 400 cubic inch engine. All the cars used for the show came from Pontiac, a GMC division, through Visa Group, to Cherokee Productions. While filming the first season, it was decided that due to the hard driving and stunts, they needed the Trans Am/Formula suspension. So beginning with the second season, all the Firebirds were Firebird Formulas.

    In March 2002, I had a conversation with a man named Vinnie who supplied the Firebirds for the TV series, as well as the Rockford movies. He sold his business, Carriage Studio Rentals, which had merged with Cinema Vehicle Services around 2002.

    Vinnie told me that Pontiac supplied three new Firebirds per year for the TV series. They received Firebird Formulas, and then they would remove the splitter exhaust tips and the rear spoiler. They also changed the hood and rear deck lids, and filled the drill holes from the spoilers. Vinnie stated that they also repainted the Firebirds to match the original Esprit from the 1974 season. (I believe that Universal Studios decided to paint the Firebirds a Lt Topaz color for the 1975 model year, which was the color used throughout the rest of the TV seasons.)

    In 1978, James Garner was not fond of the 1979 Firebird styling and decided to use the 78 Firebird for the last two seasons.

  83. 3B says:

    #73 I have been talking about the HELOC thing (mostly to myself) for quite some time now. Every homeowner that I know 40’s 50’s age group, has a HELOC, home equity loan, many of them 100k or more. The paid for home at 65 has gone the way of the dinosaur.

  84. Libtard in Union says:

    $1.62!

    12 cents to go yo.

  85. Libtard in Union says:

    3B, (HELOC crowd)

    Count me as proudly not one of them. Yet!

  86. JJ says:

    I took a job once as a GUI Developer, SQM tester, Product Manager and also required gathering product specifications from business users and running scripts.

    Funniest thing ever was guy goes first day we use Lotus Notes to send emails and update calenders, and Lotus 1,2,3 and SQM queries. Finally guy slowly realizes I dont know how to even turn on computer.

    I said in interview you asked me do you think I could do this. I said yes, it is true I think I can do this. At no point did you ask me if I knew how to use a computer. Really, funny stuff. Dont let qualifications get in the way. How hard is it to do this stuff anyhow., so what I was sending emails and blogging in know time. Although apparantly my GF at time was surpised I would take a job as project manager on a multi million dollar system install project without knowing how to use computer. I said I would take a job as a heart surgeon if they let me. Funniest part is after I left that job I got hired to build and even bigger system. Funny they thought my skill set would be exceptionally high, apparantly not. I removed it from my resume. But believe it or not the two systems I built in 1990s are still in use!!!! In fact one of my brokerage accounts is connected to a system I built in 1996!!!! Well at least attempted to build as I was as usefull as waterboy.
    gary says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    NJ ExPat [80],

    I’m declining the interview because they’re looking for an advanced CSS and Java script person, which I’m neither and because heavy travel would not work due to family obligations.

  87. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [85] gary – Performance tuning of applications is, IMO, a great growth area. As you know, there are tons of companies married to their enterprise apps and maybe several years in they’re not so fast anymore, usually too many users or too much data or both. You don’t have to write code, you just go in and make the code that’s already written run faster. There are a ton of standard things you can do to make the apps faster and standard maintenance plans you can build once to keep them fast. You look like a hero in no time. While you’re basking in the glory of giving your employer immediate results you have lots of time to do any number of things ranging from 1.)Nothing – fun for a while. 2.) Keep peeling back the onion looking for more speed and efficiency. This will eventually lead you to writing some type of code. 3.)Look for other problems to solve, maybe across department boundaries which always makes you look good so long as no toes get stepped on in your own department. 4.)Study new technologies you’d like to work on some day.

  88. 3B says:

    #89 Lib: Iwould expect nothing less.

  89. grim says:

    87 – Average Equity by Tenure in Home (Again, 2010 NJ Sellers):

    1 year or less $37,500
    2 to 3 years $100,000
    4 to 5 years -$37,500
    6 to 7 years -$4,975
    8 to 10 years $91,000
    11 to 15 years $114,450
    16 to 20 years $1,125,000
    21 years or more $175,500
    Median $69,000

    (I do realize that the 16-20 looks screwy, but that’s what it is)

  90. Juice Box says:

    re: # 90- JJ – it really is amazes me how many people I have worked with over the years know absolutely nothing about accounting or computing or heck how many times I have worked with corporate lawyers who were clueless to the law.

  91. 3B says:

    Jill: I took a look last night at the WT/Wwood Patch. Some of the comments make it osund like WT is falling apart, the town is dirty, nothing gets done etc. Is this true? Does not look to be the case driving around. And apparently the Rec Comm runs the town??

  92. 3B says:

    #93 On the face of it, the numbers do not look all that impressive, except for that screwy 16 year piece. Does that survey count 2nd liens.

  93. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I found some footage of one of your old jobs….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXdYrERzrWg

  94. gary says:

    ExPat [91],

    I’m touching new technology all the time, simply by default. As long I’m working, it’s inevitable. I’m up for learning anything related to what I’ve been doing. Adapting is a part of this industry.

    I just want a full time gig but I can’t travel. Companies are abusing the H1-B visa as to not pay benefits. They’re sitting on three f*cking trillion dollars and won’t hire full time.

    I know… I’m mixing apples and oranges in the conversation here but it f*cking really p1sses me off that I’m STILL hoping for a full time gig three years after the 2008 blood shed, especially since I don’t require some f*cking sponsorship.

  95. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [94] juice

    “or heck how many times I have worked with corporate lawyers who were clueless to the law.”

    that reminded me of a story I told recently. Back in 2003, Skadden sent me on a due diligence for Bank A, which was considering buying the Florida branches of Huntington Bank. I went on the diligence, looked at docs in the data room, and took back a bunch of copies from the data room (this was permitted).

    Eventually, Bank A decided not to buy. But then came word that Suntrust was going to buy them and asked us to get it done. So I trotted out the boxes of docs from the data room.

    The partner on the deal asked me where I got the docs. I said they were left over from the due diligence trip for Bank A. She started screaming “you can’t use those, they’re confidential. They were from Bank A’s trip; you can’t use them for Suntrust. They’re privileged.”

    I said to her, “No they’re not. Don’t you think Suntrust looked at the same documents when they went to the data room? So where’s the privilege?”

    Dumbstruck silence. And this partner went onto BofA’s legal group, then punted them for Simpson Thacher.

  96. JJ says:

    Cant open youtube at work.

    My favorite of all old time footage of me would have been me doing a vault count at Brown Brothers many many years ago of me counting confederate bonds in back of vault. Papa said the South will rise again and when it does I am cashing these bonds in. Also lots of CBS Broadcasting Cuba Bonds, I guess when Fidel dies you try to get back station he took, also lots and lots of 16% 30 year treasury bonds and bearer bonds, big hunks of million dollar bonds just stamped pay to the bearer.

    chicagofinance says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    JJ: I found some footage of one of your old jobs….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXdYrERzrWg

  97. JJ says:

    Chifi trying to buy munis today with my June 1 coupon payments since it is T+3 to settlement, aint nothing out there, nothing at all.

  98. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [90] JJ – Jobs you don’t know how to do – I dropped out of technology from about ’88-’91. Sold real estate, insurance, worked in a body shop (for 3 days), substitute teacher, bought/sold used cars, helped a friends Dad set up an office supply business and drove the delivery van for the business. Never made as much money as I did in Software Engineering, but my skills were old (Fortran and some proprietary DEC language that never took off). No internet yet, no computer, no money, had a new girlfriend and we just got an apartment in Bloomfield, NJ, so I had to make some money soon or she would be showing me the door. Back then it was easy to see what technologies were hot, you just opened up the Sunday Times and looked in the want ads at the big ads. Back then in was Informix, C++, all kinds of SQL and I knew none of it. It looked like SQL was the biggest and boldest and most repeated. So I went down the block from my apartment to the library, signed up for a library card and took some SQL books out. I know it now, but I certainly didn’t get any of it back then. I got just enough to fake it through a couple interviews and then just when I was hitting it off good with a hiring manager and I absolutely had some SQL programming job, he, almost apologetically, asked me to write a couple SQL queries. He instantly saw that I didn’t know how to and told me my skills weren’t strong enough for the programming job, but he liked my personality and offered me a higher paying project manager job instead! That’s the moment the light bulb went on for me.

  99. seif says:

    just closed in The Fly at original listing price:

    Last LP: $749,000 ML#: 1212049
    Addr: 17 COPPELL DR
    Twn: TENAFLY Zip: 07670

    TAXES: $17,488

    Orig LP: $749,000
    Sold: $749,000
    SD: 5/30/2012 UCD: 4/19/2012 DOM: 17

    I am a bit surprised that this one went at original listing price.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    guess why?

    JJ says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Chifi trying to buy munis today with my June 1 coupon payments since it is T+3 to settlement, aint nothing out there, nothing at all.

  101. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [93] grim – those numbers look perfect and they support my theory. If you bought an expensive house in 1990-1994, you had a good income and jumped in big after surviving or avoiding the 1987-92(?) decline. Probably all of them in their late 30’s and doing well back then, they now have equity and they’re pushing 60. Those are *exactly* the sellers who will force the next big leg down. What do you think those sellers bought after selling? Trade-up to bigger place? no way. top-down crush coming.

  102. JJ says:

    Because everyone has a ton of June and July coupons and there is little new issuance and flight to safety, but it still is shocking.

    chicagofinance says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    guess why?

    JJ says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Chifi trying to buy munis today with my June 1 coupon payments since it is T+3 to settlement, aint nothing out there, nothing at all.

  103. POS cape says:

    100 JJ:

    I can open youtube at work (but not Netflix, figure that).

    Opening credits of “Chico and the Man”

  104. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [105] In other words, we’ve already seen what happens when home occupiers HAVE to leave. Next we’re going to see what happens when the real home owners WANT to leave.

  105. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I have 4 computers and 5 screens on my desk at work. Two computers are on the locked-down corporate network. The other two are on the secret wide-open network. Everybody in the company is allowed to run their personal devices wirelessly only on the secret wide-open network after they register their MAC address with IT. No employees are allowed to run PC’s, wired or wirelessly on that network. Except for me and two other people. We have special needs;-)

    I can open youtube at work (but not Netflix, figure that).

  106. Jill says:

    Hey 3b, here’s a new to market RE Boom Era relic on Colonial Blvd:

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3085769522-71-Colonial-Blvd-Hillsdale-NJ-07642

    It’s about 1/2 block from Hillsdale Avenue, easy walk or bike to train. Short sale, might be able to negotiate it down to your price range. what’s sad about this house is it used to be a really cute bungalow with the chunky columns and everything…and they decided to turn it into a McMansion’s Mini-Me. The equity loan probably put them underwater. Hard to have sympathy with people who would desecrate a bungalow like that. But their loss could be your gain.

  107. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [110] (scratches head) So Wells Fargo’s punishment for writing predatory bad loans is to write non-predatory bad loans?

  108. gary says:

    A double-wide, in Glen Rock, presented to you by sellers smoking diesel:

    http://www.trulia.com/property/40107900-Apt-Condo-Twnhm-Glen-Rock-NJ-07452

  109. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [113] Glen Rock villa – I think that is a bogus listing:

    This Apt/Condo/Twnhm located at Glen Rock NJ 07452 is currently for sale and has been listed on Trulia for 1574 days…

    …The property has a lot size of 120.0 acres.

  110. xmonger says:

    #113. To be fair, there are no interior shots of the home. It might be lined with shiny.

    WOW

  111. 3B says:

    #11 Jill: WOW!!! It is simply awful; I could nto live in it!!!

  112. gary says:

    After you put $155,000 down, this one will run you around $4500/month in PITI. Now, toss in the basics for a family of four in our area and we’re at rock bottom of $7000/month. Trade-up buyers? Nay nay! There’s no equity to trade up, they’re underwater. First time buyers? LMAO! Sure.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3084918446-267-Country-Club-Dr-Oradell-NJ-07649

  113. 3B says:

    #11 Jill: Whats the story again with garbage bags ($), and all the comments on patch about WT being dirty and unrepaired roads?

  114. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [114] That house was purchased by the current owners for $200K in ’86. They bought at the top of the previous cycle. They’re trying to invent their own top at which to sell it.

  115. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [118] In that Trulia listing it says Size: 10,890 sqft (not lot size) Do you think it really has exactly 1/4 acre of finished space inside?

  116. gary says:

    ExPat [121],

    The picture must be deceiving! lol!

  117. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [122] – Tax Records say 2609 square feet.
    The picture must be deceiving! lol!

  118. gary says:

    [123]

    That’s a far cry from 1/4 acre! Maybe they lost a comma somewhere.

  119. Fabius Maximus says:

    #82 young buck

    This guy has great overviews of CCs pension reform. If COLA holds up on appeal and I assume SC, it gets a D, without COLA a solid F.
    http://burypensions.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/scoring-pension-reform-in-new-jersey/

  120. gary says:

    Our view is that foreclosures, excess supply, and weak demand will drive home prices as measured by the Case-Shiller indices down a bit further, but that a bottom is in sight.”

    We see bottom, we reached bottom, bottom is in sight, we think there may be a bottom, it’s 2009… 2010… 2011… 2012 and we reached bottom. The only bottom they see is the bottom of a cup of ramen noodles.

  121. JJ says:

    Amazon to Collect N.J. Sales Tax Under Agreement, Lawmaker Says

  122. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Gary those people are just out of their minds on price & then I look at the taxes!
    Going to be a long walk home in BC, sell sell to whom at those PITIs.

  123. Theo says:

    I’ve always want a backyard full of pavers…

  124. Juice Box says:

    Krugman is lazy when he trots out a chart like this.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/japan-as-role-model/

    In Japan about 40% of the workforce is part time/temp workers with no bennies, where in the USA it is about 14% and trending higher.

  125. Jill says:

    3b #119:

    Re: Trash bags: I use the “Tall kitchen bag” size (which is about right for DINKs), $5 for a package of 10 bags, available at A&P in town or King’s in Hillsdale.

    Re: WT dirty/falling apart: I wouldn’t say that’s the case. I know the path that they’re talking about in that article, it connects Woodfield Road and Cleveland Ave.
    I’ve never noticed it being that dirty, but I’ve also never noticed a trash can there. There are a few big problems with WT that I don’t see changing any time soon:

    1) Crony government. Same hacks and cronies year after year. Uncontested elections, and when 2 years ago we had a contested election, they voted in the same hacks. I know that in local government, Republican/Democrat means little other than to the corrupt county political organizations, but the down desperately needs fresh blood.

    2) Intersection of Pascack Road & Washington Ave. This intersection is inadequate to the traffic, and impassable at rush hour. The decrepit 5 Star Gas on the northeast corner has leaking underground tanks, and the holding company, Sky Trading, refused to do cleanup without variance to build a convenience store and 6-pump gas station there. This means left-turning traffic out of both sides will make traffic back up even worse. Meanwhile, James Kourgelis, owner of Seasons and Bacari Grill, holds unhealthy influence over local governance. His decrepit properties on the northwest corner have also been used to hold the town hostage to build retail there. It is zoned residential, but he gets whatever he wants, so after the Sky Trading fiasco, I’m sure he’ll get his wish to put a giant CVS there, which will make the traffic there worse. He also owns Bacari grill, and the house on the northeast corner of Pascack and Ridgewood Road is also on the market, so look for him to snap that up the way he has other houses on Washington Ave. and try to get that zoned retail.

    Meanwhile, the strip mall on Pascack Road is 1/3 empty and the new management company has made little headway in renting these storefronts out.

    The Recreation contingent and the holders of some of the businesses in town hold undue influence. The widow of our much-missed town gadfly opines on local matters at pascackpeople.com, but she requires subscriptions (which I gladly pay for). Here’s her opinion on the Sky Trading debacle:
    *******
    The die was cast long before the Zoning Board voted on 05/17/2012 to grant the use variances sought by Sky Trading. The fate of the Township’s future and the public good was a foregone conclusion from the beginning of the Sky Trading saga.

    In 2009, Sky Trading filed an application with the Planning Board to approve the transfer of ownership. According to the application, Sky Trading would continue operating the site as a gas station with a repair business. Property maintenance issues were stipulated.

    There’s more than meets the eye. Public records show a Planning Board document, dated January 2009, with a notation, “demolition later”. An e-mail from the Planning Board secretary to the Planning Board attorney, dated May 2009, asked for confirmation that “no notices were necessary” for the Board meeting on 05/27/2009. Although the Township Engineer made note of the contamination in his review of the application, nowhere did he recommend remediation be stipulated. Let a home owner try evading compliance by ignoring a leaking oil tank before a sale. Approving the sale to Sky Trading without mandating contamination cleanup and overlooking violations of local ordinances, created favorable conditions for Sky Trading at the Zoning Board proceedings. The applicant claimed its plan benefited the public because the gas station would no longer be an eyesore and site remediation could begin. No homeowner could get away with as much as Sky Trading.

    Contamination and the eyesore are enforcement issues, which the governing body ignored when the public raised the matter at Council meetings. Using its application before the Zoning Board as a ploy to evade compliance, is disingenuous on the part of Sky Trading; trying to see what it can get away with is just business. Township officials, on the other hand, are full of their own self importance; benign neglect of the public good is a time honored tradition in Washington Township. There’s no accountability or consequences for Willful Blindness

    Anyone who thinks the new improved 5 Star Gas Station or a CVS at the worst intersection in Bergen Co. is a public benefit, is kidding himself. Residential property values will be negatively impacted, even for a homeowner on the other side of the tracks. This is a tiny 3 square mile town that’s predominantly residential.

    The Municipal Land Use Law has been reduced to a game played out between commercial developers and municipal Planning & Zoning Boards. At a Zoning Board meeting, it was made clear that the Township professional experts did not represent the public; the same is true of the quasi-judicial Zoning Board. Quasi-judicial is the bureaucratic equivalent of vegetarian bacon.

    Backroom politics is where the real action takes place, no record of minutes here. George W. Plunkett of Tammany Hall made no bones about “taking an opportunity when he saw it” since the public benefited from backroom deals. Public meetings (i.e. Council, Planning & Zoning Board) are nothing more than for show. Plunkett’s refreshing honesty is preferable to pretensions and hypocrisy.
    *******
    I love the street I love on. People are nice, the kids are being raised well, it’s quiet. I just wish the town was run differently.

  126. Jill says:

    To all bank and realtor types, a question: Wells Fargo will give me a 3-step refi @ 2.875%, application fee only, no closing costs. I have 7 years left on a 15 year at 4.75% and a balance of under $90K. No HELOC (that’s for you, 3b!!). I’m inclined to do this because there are no prepayment penalties, the payment is $675/month less, but I can make the SAME PAYMENT AS NOW and pay the house off a bit faster, and have flexibility to drop the payment if something should happen to our income.

    My one concern is what kind of a hit my credit score of over 800 would take. I know every time someone does an inquiry you take a hit, but what kind of red flags would refinancing to a longer term and lower payment raise?

  127. Griffin says:

    Don’ believe the hype.

    Do you really believe prices will go up before capitulation?
    Not with these taxes, not in this economy.
    There will be no turnaround in housing, not before there are good bargains to be had. Housing in the NY area is mostly unaffordable. We need to see 90s pricing before there is any bottom.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-30/pending-sales-of-u-s-existing-homes-decline-by-most-in-a-year.html

  128. Juice Box says:

    Jill I have been driving through that intersection for over 20 years, I would think a nicer gas station with a small store would not be so bad. With or without variances it must cost a million or two to demo and build a new gas station, without the variances how does anyone in WT think the owner will every recoup his costs?

  129. JJ says:

    Jill, three questions in regard to your one question
    First most banks will not do a mortgage for under 100K are you sure they will do it for 90K?
    Second why do you care what your credit score is if you are not buying anything soon.
    Third so if you have seven years left on mortgage and you are paying 2.875% therefore 2.875% is the “risk-free” rate. Unless you have an investment that is almost risk free, treasuries, AAA munis/investment grade bonds that is paying in excess of 2.875% refinancing accomplishes nothing. I know people near me who refinanced at 3% and have their money sitting in savings at 1/2 of 1%. Finally, paying off the house is the biggest protector of losing your job. I have no mortgage, and when I grieve my taxes or shop around for better home insurance rates it is easier and goes in my pocket as there is no escrow account, plus I have the escrow money invested earning interest for me and not the bank.

    Jill says:
    May 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    To all bank and realtor types, a question: Wells Fargo will give me a 3-step refi @ 2.875%, application fee only, no closing costs. I have 7 years left on a 15 year at 4.75% and a balance of under $90K. No HELOC (that’s for you, 3b!!). I’m inclined to do this because there are no prepayment penalties, the payment is $675/month less, but I can make the SAME PAYMENT AS NOW and pay the house off a bit faster, and have flexibility to drop the payment if something should happen to our income.

    My one concern is what kind of a hit my credit score of over 800 would take. I know every time someone does an inquiry you take a hit, but what kind of red flags would refinancing to a longer term and lower payment raise?

  130. JJ says:

    The ten-year yield started the day near its all-time low and then blew through that low, landing at 1.620%,

    The Ally Bank Five Year CD at 1.69% with only a 60 day interest penalty for breaking it is starting to look like the deal of the year. Ally is going to cut this rate soon. It is paying more than ten year treasury and with FDIC. Crazy.

  131. A Home Buyer says:

    For those of you who have mortgages, or in the process of applying for one, how big of a deal is it if the lender “may” sell the mortgage after it is closed? Does it matter if they hold it for the entire life of the loan, or should I run like heck if they may sell it?

  132. grim says:

    What does it matter who owns it? They can’t change the terms on you after the fact.

    It will likely go to Freddie or Fannie if you are conventional.

  133. A Home Buyer says:

    Fair enough. I was reading a story about someone who had their mortgage sold to a new servicer and something happened where payments weren’t being applied correctly and they were foreclosed on. I am not sure how true the story was, just raised a flag.

    My own research said it was a common happening without much going wrong (robo-signing not included…), but never hurts to ask right?

  134. scribe says:

    gary, #113

    …has been listed on Trulia for 1574 days.

    did you catch that in the text? wonder if it’s a typo.

  135. Sorry I haven’t pitched in today. I’ve been scouring the press for more reports of face-eating naked people.

  136. Fabius Maximus says:
  137. Fabius Maximus says:

    Mitt really needs to fire his campaign staff, Its just misfire after misfire.

    Maybe he should take notice of the great Tea Party phrase, “Stop, Scrap and Start over!”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2012/may/30/pass-notes-amercia

  138. reinvestor101 says:

    You people miss the damn news completely and are always talking about crap that barely even reported on that isn’t news in the first damn place. The damn news is this mucking RINO George Will insulting t-party patriot Donald Trump and the conspiracy to silence Sarah Palin. Romney doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning unless he gives people like me some damn red meat–and I need a lot of it. We demand that Sarah Palin be the damn vice-presidential selection and that Trump play a VERY prominent role in the damn campaign and be promised that he gets secretary of state. This is the only way I’m gonna vote for Romney and it’s a damn good thing that he starting to realize which side is damn bread is gonna get buttered on. We don’t give a tinkers damn about RINO’s like the wussy George Will and turncoats like Colin Powell. Hell, even Reagan is looking kinda suspect now for reaching across the stinking aisle to liberals. Getting this damn country back from Obama and has merry band of stinking liberals is center stage right now. Nothing else matters–especially all of that stuff happening in socialist Europe.

  139. Mikeinwaiting says:

    RE101 LOL! Your one funny guy/ gal.

  140. SRK says:

    103 Seif, Where do you get all these closed sales info ? You seem to have one from today itself !

    seif says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm
    just closed in The Fly at original listing price:
    Last LP: $749,000 ML#: 1212049
    Addr: 17 COPPELL DR
    Twn: TENAFLY Zip: 07670
    TAXES: $17,488
    Orig LP: $749,000
    Sold: $749,000
    SD: 5/30/2012 UCD: 4/19/2012 DOM: 17

    I am a bit surprised that this one went at original listing price.

  141. gluteus (142)-

    See you in Europa League.

  142. seif says:

    147 – my agent has me set top to get email updated listings of homes in my target towns. they come in through ReMax; I have the option to mark each listing as “favorite,” “possible,” or “reject.”

    The favorites list keeps all the properties I mark and they get updated when they go under contract (with OLP, sale price, DOM, etc.) and then when they are listed as sold. I go through my list of favorites each day and check what’s happening. There are a bunch more currently “under contract” so I will post the sale prices when they close.

  143. seif says:

    just checked again…and what do ya know…another one under contract in Tenafly:

    Est Cls Dt: 7/15/2012 UCD: 5/30/2012 DOM: 49

  144. Fabius Maximus says:

    #148 Clot

    Sorry, we don’t fly coach.

  145. seif says:

    and another!

    Est Cls Dt: 7/15/2012 UCD: 5/30/2012 DOM: 49

  146. SRK says:

    102 Expat, Me similar story. After ICL and IBM mainframes and some sundry ‘minis’ with propreitery OS, and DOS/Supercalc/Wordstar/Dbase2, in the late 80s I took a 8 year break to stay at home with kids when the windows and mice passed by. When I was contemplating getting out of home and into law school to become a public defender, ertswhile colleagues insisted I absolutely had to make a little hay on my IBM experience. Went to an interview and wrote some really miserable COBOL code and got bumped into a Project Manager ! And first day at work (directly onsite – client an insurance company in UK) I could not turn on my mainframe ‘terminal’ which was no longer a simple switch-on of a monitor but powering a PC on and running a terminal emulator program, and I was totally clueless – I could not comprehend the windows screen and didnt know how the mouse worked ! The PM from the client’s side almost had a heart-attack ! OK. Thereon I managed, did some neat Y2K analysis and a good report and salvaged some of that lost reputation ! :-)

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    [90] JJ – Jobs you don’t know how to do – I dropped out of technology from about ’88-’91…… just when I was hitting it off good with a hiring manager and I absolutely had some SQL programming job, he, almost apologetically, asked me to write a couple SQL queries. He instantly saw that I didn’t know how to and told me my skills weren’t strong enough for the programming job, but he liked my personality and offered me a higher paying project manager job instead! That’s the moment the light bulb went on for me.

  147. seif says:

    mean this one:

    Est Cls Dt: 7/6/2012 UCD: 5/30/2012 DOM: 72

  148. SRK says:

    149 Seif, Thanks a lot ! I have my email registered with Remax, let me see if I can do all that setup that you have done. Guess I can only do that for new listings, ones that got taken off after going under contract is off-limits to me I think. But thanks once again for explaining the procedure.

  149. seif says:

    155 – any listing that has been sent to you should be under the “Existing Matches” tab when your listings come in. Even those that have been sold and are under contract. You can still click “favorite” on those listings and move them over to your “Favorites” list. I have been getting the list for a few years now and I have homes that closed in 2009-2010 still showing on my “Existing Matches” list.

    On another note: 27 homes on my “Favorites” list for Tenafly are currently “Under Contract.” I am amazed at how they are getting snatched up so quickly.

  150. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [153] SRK – funny. I took another 4+ years off to be home with our kids while they were young, actually the 2nd one was born during that period, 2002-2006. We actually bought our condo while I was unemployed, but we had a 40% downpayment, good credit, and my wife had a job. When I lost my job our 1st daughter was 6 weeks old and we were just about to buy near my job and my wife was going to go back after maternity and quit hers. Instead we bought in Boston to be near her job. We bought close enough that I would walk the little one(s) down to her job in the stroller and we’d have lunch together many days. Going into year 4 of my hiatus my wife lost her job. We had savings, her UE benefits and the Cobra was affordable and subsidized by the state so we spent a whole year at home with our 4 & 2 year old with neither of us employed. Just as it was time for me to pick up the mantle and take my turn working, a friend who used to work for me called up and asked me if I wanted to be a stay-at-home DBA with 4 weeks vacations and benefits, so I actually spent 2002-2008 at home, the last 18 months working from home. I was here full time for the entirety of both of my kids preschool years. You can’t buy that time back no matter how much money you make in the future.

  151. SRK says:

    156 Seif, I dont have the ‘Existing Matches’ tab – I will check again….Thanks !

    Lots of houses went under contract and got removed from listing in March, and must have closed in May, really would like to see the sold prices ! Will the township office have that info ? I dont mind going over to check. I need to go anyway to check on another issue. A house I am looking at has been assessed at 81,300 for the past 4 years (22700 land and 58600 improvements), but receiving an exemption of 21000 until 2012. Need to find out what the deal is…..

  152. reinvestor101 says:

    >>Mikeinwaiting says:
    May 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    RE101 LOL! Your one funny guy/ gal.<<

    Funny? Funny? I'm not trying to be funny. I'm as serious as a damn heart attack and I'm damn sick of RINO's like you and Awest joining with stinking liberals ruining this damn country. I'm on a mission to rout you people out of the political process and the only antidote for the liberal/RINO scourge is tea. That means the damn T-party and we will not be treated like some damn ugly girlfriend that you RINOs want to sleep with but hide from momma. You got us all hot and bothered during the damn mid-terms and now we demand that you respect us by getting married. There's a price for our support. Romney will put Sarah on the ticket and he will appoint Trump as secretary of state. And you will repudiate Reagan for having the temerity to work with Tip O'Neil. That was bullspit. You never ever cooperate with liberals.

  153. SRK says:

    157 Expat, So precious indeed. Absolutely and totally priceless.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    May 30, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I was here full time for the entirety of both of my kids preschool years. You can’t buy that time back no matter how much money you make in the future.

  154. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [160] SRK – BTW, the new girlfriend I thought would kick me out in ’91 and the woman I married in 2000…same girl.

  155. SRK says:

    161 Expat, LOL !

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