North Jersey Contracts – May 2012

(Source GSMLS, except Bergen which is NJMLS)

Pending Home Sales (Contracts)
——————————-

Bergen County
May 2011 – 734
May 2012 – 877 (Up 19.5% YOY)

Essex County
May 2011 – 356
May 2012 – 470 (Up 32.0% YOY)

Hunterdon County
May 2011 – 109
May 2012 – 125 (Up 14.7% YOY)

Morris County
May 2011 – 441
May 2012 – 519 (Up 17.7% YOY)

Passaic County
May 2011 – 183
May 2012 – 297 (Up 62.3% YOY)

Somerset County
May 2011 – 269
May 2012 – 366 (Up 19.4% YOY)

Sussex County
May 2011 – 102
May 2012 – 181 (Up 77.5% YOY)

Union County
May 2011 – 351
May 2012 – 383 (Up 9.1% YOY)

Warren County
May 2011 – 78
May 2012 – 106 (Up 35.9% YOY)

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201 Responses to North Jersey Contracts – May 2012

  1. grim says:

    Huge movement in Passaic and Sussex, up 62.3% and 77.5% respectively.

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. grim says:

    Sparta & Byram are the gems of Sussex

    Sparta Contracts
    May 2011 – 15
    May 2012 – 40 (Up 167% YOY)

    Byram Contracts
    May 2011 – 3
    May 2012 – 11 (Up 267% YOY)

    (Hardyston 14/6, Hopatcong 16/6, Stillwater 9/1, Vernon 31/26)

  4. 30 year realtor says:

    The number of transactions is up but try not to get too excited just yet. This is still a fragile market and there is a long way to go between here and what is considered normal for our area.

  5. grim says:

    Glen Ridge still a powerhouse in Essex

    Contracts
    May 2011 – 10
    May 2012 – 20

    Sales
    May 2011 – 5 (Avg SP $512,000, Med SP $490,000)
    May 2012 – 11 (Avg Sp $541,909, Med SP $540,000)

  6. 30 year realtor says:

    Sussex County, North Jersey’s leader in short sales below $50,000! Can you say failed septic, under ground oil tank and contaminated well?

  7. grim says:

    30 year – What do you consider a “Normal” year? I’d say 2001 and 2002.

    Essex County
    May 2001 – 481
    May 2002 – 481

    May 2012 – 470

    Hunterdon County
    May 2001 – 200
    May 2002 – 201

    May 2012 – 125

    Morris County
    May 2001 – 642
    May 2002 – 648

    May 2012 – 519

    Passaic County
    May 2001 – 355
    May 2002 – 283

    May 2012 – 297

    Somerset County
    May 2001 – 502
    May 2002 – 452

    May 2012 – 366

    Sussex County
    May 2001 – 230
    May 2002 – 260

    May 2012 – 181

    Union County
    May 2001 – 471
    May 2002 – 422

    May 2012 – 383

    Warren County
    May 2001 – 138
    May 2002 – 168

    May 2012 – 106

  8. 30 year realtor says:

    Normal is more than transactions. Type of sales, who is buying and other factors play into my perception of normal. The years you have chosen were normal years, but a very different flavor than what we are experiencing today.

  9. grim says:

    It won’t be normal until everyone forgets, isn’t that how it always goes? The late 80’s were ancient history (relegated to VH1 specials about Big Hair) by the early 00’s.

  10. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Americans expect 1.4% increase in home prices: Fannie Mae

    Most Americans interviewed by Fannie Mae believe home prices will increase at least 1.4% over the next 12 months, the government-sponsored enterprise said.

    Fannie Mae interviewed approximately 1,000 survey respondents for its May National Housing Survey.

    34% of those who responded — the highest level since March 2011 — said home prices will rise over the course of the next 12 months. In addition, 41% of respondents believe home mortgage rates will likely go up over the course of the next year, an increase from the previous month.

    The percentage of Americans who say it’s a good time to buy a home increased one-percentage point to 72% in May, while the percentage of respondents who believe it’s a good time to sell held at 15% of those surveyed.

    Americans see home rental prices also going up over the next year, with the average respondent predicting a 4.1% rate increase. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed believe rental prices will in fact rise.

  11. funnelcloud says:

    Grim,
    I respect all the work you do getting these facts together and keeping this blog up and running but regarding these stats for Normal Years there’s one other thing to consider. In 2001 There was barely half the homes that are present in these areas Maybe not Bergan but in Morris Sussex and warren counties I watched literally hundreds of homes put up on farmland in the last decade. My numbers are ficticious but For the sake of argument in lets say in 2001 mount olive l had 1000 homes,, by 2007 their were 2000 homes. If your talking about a 10% sales rate of inventory. Your still comping lower sales numbers against a higher total inventory. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel and “some year” a solid turn around in the market. Maybe sooner if there is “real job” creation and these bone heads in office choose to do something about NJ’s ridiculously high property taxes.

  12. grim says:

    New Jersey – State – Total Housing Units (Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population and Housing, Profiles of General Demographic Characteristics)

    2010 – 3,553,562 (7.3% increase over 2000)
    2000 – 3,310,275 (7.6% increase over 1990)
    1990 – 3,075,310 (10.9% increase over 1980)
    1980 – 2,772,248

    Definition: A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall.

  13. “Normal”? There is only distortion and displacement now. It’s all turning to black, and the pace is accelerating.

    Pretty soon, when we’re roaming the country in armed packs and killing our own chickens for food, we’ll call that “normal”.

  14. Rocket sled to the 16th century. Count on it.

  15. Captain Sunshine says:

    Great news for real estate! Contracts are up up and away!

    Hooray!

  16. freedy says:

    I guess the spring selling season is a winner?

  17. Mikeinwaiting says:

    The great rise in Sussex can easily be explain, folks up here heard I was buying I have a full set of teeth so must know something.

  18. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Brain don’t get upset just kidding.

  19. grim says:

    but regarding these stats for Normal Years there’s one other thing to consider. In 2001 There was barely half the homes that are present in these areas Maybe not Bergan but in Morris Sussex and warren counties

    You got the differentials right, but your estimate of a more than doubling of housing units over the last 10 years is way too high.

    Housing units by county

    Gloucester
    2000 – 95,054
    2010 – 109,796 (Up 15.5%)

    Hudson
    2000 – 240,618
    2010 – 270,335 (Up 12.4%)

    Ocean
    2000 – 248,711
    2010 – 278,052 (Up 11.8%)

    Morris
    2000 – 170,048
    2010 – 189,842 (Up 11.6%)

    Atlantic
    2000 – 114,090
    2010 – 126,647 (Up 11%)

    Somerset
    2000 – 112,023
    2010 – 123,127 (Up 10.0%)

    Hunterdon
    2000 – 45,032
    2010 – 49,487 (Up 9.9%)

    Sussex
    2000 – 56,528
    2010 – 62,057 (Up 9.8%)

    Warren
    2000 – 41,157
    2010 – 44,925 (Up 9.2%)

    Middlesex
    2000 – 273,637
    2010 – 294,800 (Up 7.7%)

    Monmouth
    2000 – 240,884
    2010 – 258,410 (Up 7.3%)

    Passaic
    2000 – 170,048
    2010 – 177,966 (Up 4.7%)

    Essex
    2000 – 301,011
    2010 – 312,954 (Up 4.0%)

    Bergen
    2000 – 339,820
    2010 – 352,388 (Up 3.7%)

    Union
    2000 – 192,945
    2010 – 199,489 (Up 3.4%)

    Camden
    2000 – 199,679
    2010 – 204,943 (Up 2.6%)

  20. Young Buck says:

    Take a beating, make a buck: Rockaway lab tests U.S. Army weapons on paid volunteers Dan Goldberg/The Star-Ledger 06/08/2012 6:20 AM

    ROCKAWAY — How do soldiers know what will happen when they fire rubber bullets into a hostile crowd?

    How do Marines know if shining a beam of light in a driver’s eyes will be enough to deter the vehicle as it approaches a checkpoint?

    What percentage of a mob can be turned away by a piercing sound?

    The answers are found in Building 3518 — a single-story warehouse in Morris County that’s in need of a fresh coat of paint. The building on Lake Denmark Road, which you would be forgiven for never noticing, is a couple of miles from the entrance to Picatinny Arsenal, the Army’s research and development site in Rockaway Township.

    Inside, past the cafeteria and the restrooms, is the Army’s only behavioral-science laboratory where real-live volunteers, young and old, men and women, learn what it’s like to be on the business end of a baton or hit with a laser that makes your skin feel like it’s on fire.

    Picatinny Arsenal is best known for developing weapons, and engineers on base can tell you in precise detail how each one works. In Building 3518 — also known as the Target Behavioral Response Laboratory — the nine-member team can tell you why they work. And when dealing with non-lethal weapons, that is the most important information a soldier can have.

    “I can’t just shoot a laser or loud sound at a piece of wood and expect it to run away,” said John Riedener, the lab’s technical director. “We need to know how well it chases someone away. It’s all about data, controlled experiments. It’s about the probabilities of what can happen.”

    Applicants are screened so the Army does not end up with all male volunteers or a group all under the age of 30. The research requires a wide swath of the population to measure the effectiveness of the experiments. Flyers are put in libraries and college campuses.

    Volunteers — paid $20 per hour — sign a waiver alerting them there is a chance of serious or even permanent injury, and all experiments are conducted under the purview of Picatinny’s Internal Review Board and the Army’s Human Research Protections Office. There have been no serious injuries to date and volunteers can pull out at any time, said Charles Sheridan, research teaching specialist.

    “We don’t want them to be surprised, but they have the right to run away,” Sheridan said. “And that’s a data point for us.”

    In one experiment, about two dozen volunteers are given bean bags, which are stand-ins for rocks, and told to deposit them in slots about 20 feet in front of them. But between the volunteers and those slots are one or two men in riot gear, each wielding a baton with a painted tip.

    Let the games begin.

    CROWD PSYCHOLOGY

    Researchers can learn a lot about crowd psychology by seeing how many of the volunteers are motivated enough to receive a thwack from the baton. Researchers increase the motivation by offering a cash bonus to those who can get the most bean bags in the slot. Volunteers wear motion sensors, which allow their every movement to be tracked by a computer that dissects how they act, and then how they react. Preliminary research showed threats of monetary loss were more effective at suppressing the mock crowd than pain.

    Volunteers, who were not allowed to be interviewed for this story, fill out questionnaires that give insight into their personality to give researchers an idea of who is more prone to be courageous or cowardly.

    “We want to know what’s going on in the (volunteer’s) head,” said Elizabeth Mezzacappa, who has a doctorate in medical psychology. “We want to get into the brains of these people.”

    What does it take to deter a highly motivated enemy from charging a target? How much force is necessary to disperse a crowd? How bright does a light have to be to distract a sniper?

    “We assess fear in a lot of different ways,” Riedener said.

    The information gathered in these experiments can prove vital on the battlefield, the researchers say.

    Suppose a menacing crowd begins to gather around a convoy traveling down a narrow road. Soldiers want to disperse the crowd but it does no good to have people writhing in pain on the street in front of the convoy. So what is the most effective action?

    To find out, volunteers are subjected to a piercing sound as a “souped-up golf cart” drives by. Ideally, the sound is loud enough to dissuade the volunteers from hanging around.

    A well-tested, well-understood non-lethal weapon serves another purpose: If a soldier knows it will deter all but the most determined enemy, then anyone who continues to approach probably means the soldier serious harm.

    “Under this condition, the non-lethal weapon becomes a lethality enabler or assists in lethal target selection,” Mezzacappa wrote in one of the many papers the team has produced.

    WHAT WORKS BEST?

    One of the most dangerous missions for a soldier is room-entry. A soldier can’t know what is behind that door and can’t shoot indiscriminately. The situation calls for a non-lethal weapon, but what is the most effective choice?

    To test that scenario, a volunteer stands in the middle of a small room facing a door. A soldier is going to come through that door. The volunteer, who has been screened to ensure he or she is a decent shot, will try to “shoot” the soldier. Just before the door swings open a bright light will flash. Is it bright enough to make the volunteer miss the target? Which color light is most effective? Does strobing make a difference?

    “Can we make them miss?” Riedener said. “We’re looking for increased latency, which means making it more difficult for them to distinguish the target, which leads to a delay. Does the placement of the flash bang have an impact?”

    And as much as soldiers can learn from these experiments, the researchers can learn a lot from soldiers.

    There was a concern the rubber bullets were not packing enough punch. One experiment has a volunteer stand in front of two paint ball guns designed to look like M4 assault rifles. The volunteer pushes a button and is shot with paint balls in the chest and stomach. Would the volunteer do it again? How about for another $50? If the answer is a quick and easy yes, maybe the paint balls don’t pack enough punch.

    Many volunteers are repeat performers. Some do it for the money, Riedener said, while others do it out of a sense of patriotism and duty.

    “You’re doing something that will help a soldier almost immediately,” Riedener said. “They are coming out to help the soldier.”

    http://mobile.nj.com/advnj/pm_106636/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=KmXnED4m

  21. Brian says:

    Total housing units 2000 by county:
    http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/census/2kcensus/pl94/GCT2.xls
    3,310,275 housing units in NJ

    Total housing units 2010 by county:
    http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lpa/census/2010/2010data/housingC.xls
    3,553,562 housing units in NJ

    From NJ DOL and Workforce development

  22. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Sparta & Byram are the gems of Sussex” as I have stated before that is the cut off point for commuting. These two are adjacent.

  23. Brian says:

    That is cruel. You are fooling everyone with your dentures.

    18.Mikeinwaiting says:
    June 8, 2012 at 7:45 am
    The great rise in Sussex can easily be explain, folks up here heard I was buying I have a full set of teeth so must know something.

    19.Mikeinwaiting says:
    June 8, 2012 at 7:46 am
    Brain don’t get upset just kidding.

  24. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Home sales are up big time. Im shocked but what do you expect at 3.6% mortgage rates and cheaper prices than weve seen in a decade. Funnelcloud, although there are more housing units compared to 2002, thousands are not for sale and for most purposes dont exist due to foreclosure process.

  25. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Brian/Brain did it again! It’s easy to fool these yokels.

  26. Brian says:

    I’m so p1ssed off that they killed the widening of 616/517 (into Newton/Andover). Sparta cited environmental concerns but I wonder if they were just worried people would just drive right by them.

    At least they’re still widening 206 in Byram/Stanhope.

    23.Mikeinwaiting says:
    June 8, 2012 at 7:56 am
    “Sparta & Byram are the gems of Sussex” as I have stated before that is the cut off point for commuting. These two are adjacent.

  27. grim says:

    What’s the math work out to on the for sale inventory vs. total population? About 1-2%? Based on that ratio, building 10,000 new homes only results in 100 – 200 additional units of inventory on the market, which isn’t much more than a blip.

  28. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “FHA loan sale may save distressed homeowners. The FHA is expected to announce a bulk sale program today in which it will attempt to offload more troubled loans to investors, potentially preventing or delaying foreclosures for thousands of homeowners. The agency has more than 700,000 loans in default, amounting to over 9% of the $1T of debt that it insures.”

  29. grim says:

    Speaking of FHA…

    From CR:

    Lower Costs on FHA’s Streamline Refinance Program are effective on June 11th

    Acting Federal Housing (FHA) Commissioner Carol Galante announced significant price cuts to FHA’s Streamline Refinance Program that could benefit millions of borrowers whose mortgages are currently insured by FHA. Beginning June 11, 2012, FHA will lower its Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) to just .01 percent and reduce its annual premium to .55 percent for certain FHA borrowers.

    Currently, 3.4 million households with loans endorsed on or before May 31, 2009, pay more than a five percent annual interest rate on their FHA-insured mortgages. By refinancing through this streamlined process, it’s estimated that the average qualified FHA-insured borrower will save approximately $3,000 a year or $250 per month.

  30. grim says:

    Assuming half of those eligible actually refinance, we’re talking about a yearly savings of $5,100,000,000.00 ($5.1 Billion).

  31. Jill says:

    Question for the experts: Once a mortgage is closed, can the lender legally institute prepayment penalties after the fact? Should the question of prepayment penalties appear in the actual mortgage or is it “understood” (I can’t imagine it would be, and would instead have to be in writing)?

  32. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/08/us-spain-banks-aid-idUSBRE8570DX20120608?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71&google_editors_picks=true

    (Reuters) – Spain is expected to ask Europe for help at the weekend with recapitalizing its stricken banks, EU and German sources said on Friday, becoming the fourth country to seek assistance since the euro zone’s debt crisis began.

    Five officials in Brussels and Berlin said finance ministers of the single currency area would hold a conference call on Saturday morning to discuss a Spanish request for aid, although no figure on the assistance has yet been set.

    snip

  33. All Hype says:

    Grim (5):
    I have been looking in Glen Ridge. The houses sell pretty quickly. There are even bidding ward going on for some properties. Why? Cause the prices have dropped to a level that people are willing to pay a little more for a pretty decent house in a town with a good school system.

    Now, as for Montclair, the housing stock is still lousy.

  34. Mike says:

    Too bad all those who voted for this man because he was such a good speaker don’t see this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDDRiGIUYQo&feature=youtu.be.

  35. Shore Guy says:

    (Reuters) – Thirteen years after abandoning rural Greece for a career in graphic design, Spiridoula Lakka finds herself in the last place she expected to end up – watering a patch of lettuce and herbs in her sleepy village.

    snip

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/08/us-greece-countryside-idUSBRE85708920120608?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71&google_editors_picks=true

  36. JJ says:

    Yes there are bidding wards, because you belong in the ward at the nut house if you get involved in a bidding war in a POS house in the middle of no-where in NJ.

    All Hype says:
    June 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Grim (5):
    I have been looking in Glen Ridge. The houses sell pretty quickly. There are even bidding ward

  37. All Hype says:

    Umm, I meant bidding wars….Sorry.

  38. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Hahha. Mikey it just keeps getting better doesnt it. I repeat: those foreclosed homes are never coming to market. They will disinegrate before the bank decides to post a for sale sign on front lawn. Just the term shadow inventory alone makes me roflmao.

  39. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Brian 27 Most folks up here don’t want to make it easier for more people to move in.

  40. grim says:

    I have been looking in Glen Ridge. The houses sell pretty quickly. There are even bidding ward going on for some properties. Why?

    Because that’s Burgdorff Schweppeville, pricing low to incite a bidding war has been the MO of agents in that area of NJ for years now.

    From 2008 – http://njrereport.com/index.php/2008/03/28/aim-low-sell-fast/

  41. Brian says:

    Tell me about it. Every single infrastructure upgrade the NIMBYS come out from under their rocks and protest.

    It has to be one of the most irritating qualities of people from Sussex County.

    Lately I’ve heard of people protesting upgrading power lines, installing a solar farm, and installing a cell tower.

    Normal people who actually need these infrastructure upgrades are too busy working to attend all these meetings. So the wacko’s spend all day puting up signs, handing out flyers and irritating local officials.

    41.Mikeinwaiting says:
    June 8, 2012 at 8:35 am
    Brian 27 Most folks up here don’t want to make it easier for more people to move in.

  42. Shore Guy says:

    From the article about Greece:

    Greece’s farmers mostly run small operations and rely on EU subsidies to survive. They complain that over the past five years subsidies have halved.

  43. All Hype says:

    Grim (42):

    So true. My realtor has mentioned Burgdorff a few times about bidding wars. Still, for a cheapskate like me, I find the prices of houses have come down to a level where I find them to be a pretty good deal to buy.

    Have a good day!

  44. 3B says:

    #17 freedy: I just read something a few weeks ago, that said smaller homes are back. Now this article tells us that after years of building smaller( Did not the bubble and Mc Mansion craze reach its peak just a few short years ago?), we are back to big! You cannot pay attention to this fluff stuff IMO.

  45. 3B says:

    #45 All: And property taxes?? Just saying.

  46. 3B says:

    #44 Shore: Greece will be under a militaty dictatorship (again) at some point, either that, or maybe Turkey takes it over.

  47. gary says:

    Mortgage rates are 3.x% and we’re 20% off of peak. I would hope that contracts are up but you’re not going to see a return to 2005. A pulse was all you needed to get a mortgage. Now? You better have some muscle or forget it. Sure, everyone wants a f*cking pony but try earning it first.

  48. JJ says:

    For Sale Signs will never appear. Back in the day, 1991/1992 when we had last RE bust lots of ritzy towns passed rules forbidding for sale signs. To this day towns like Rockville Centre and Garden City it is illegal to put a for sale sign up. Also some towns even made it you need a permit for an open house and had strict rules on when you could put up baloons, signs for open house, when they had to be taken down and how many open houses you could have. Towns wanted to prevent apprearance of fire sales of homes. Same will happen in ritzy towns, no one will allow Nine houses in a row to have for sale signs in Ho Ho KUs

    Neanderthal Economist says:
    June 8, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Hahha. Mikey it just keeps getting better doesnt it. I repeat: those foreclosed homes are never coming to market. They will disinegrate before the bank decides to post a for sale sign on front lawn. Just the term shadow inventory alone makes me roflmao.

  49. gary says:

    3B,

    Yes, the property taxes… another stake in the heart. Prices might be off 2005 peak but we know it’ll be winter in he11 before we see even a cap in property taxes. That blood-letting will continue from here to eternity.

  50. All Hype says:

    Gary & 3B

    No argument there regardig the taxes. The gubbmint owns your house now via sky high property taxes.

    “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Benito Mussolini

  51. Confused in NJ says:

    13.New Improved Meat says:
    June 8, 2012 at 7:26 am
    “Normal”? There is only distortion and displacement now. It’s all turning to black, and the pace is accelerating.

    Pretty soon, when we’re roaming the country in armed packs and killing our own chickens for food, we’ll call that “normal”.

    That’s why I added a .222 to my .44M, better for chickens.

  52. vb says:

    When sale does complete, it will be interesting to see what was paid.

  53. gary says:

    vb,

    I’m assuming Trulia and other like-minded sites are posting the correct comps? I know grim posted something here a month ago that showed the percentage of closing price compared to asking price and they were generally 10% off of asking price. I believe Bergen Co. was 12% off asking price on average.

  54. grim says:

    BC May 2012 – SP/LP 90.5%

  55. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [9] grim – How dow you forget a $1000 monthly tax bill?

    It won’t be normal until everyone forgets, isn’t that how it always goes? The late 80′s were ancient history (relegated to VH1 specials about Big Hair) by the early 00′s.

  56. seif says:

    most of the closings i am seeing are coming in 10-12% off original list. i have seen 3 deal go back on market.

  57. 3B says:

    #49 gary: I agree, but not with the difficulty of getting a mtg. I qualified for an FHA loan, and it was an absolute joke, how easy it was to qualify for one. That I am sure explains a large part of surge in signed contracts. If there was no FHA, the market would be dead, and prices lower.

    As for myself going to go with 10% down on a 15 year, and save my cash, while pre-paying the mortgage. Surge in contracts, blah, blah, blah, but I still think prices are going down. I will not put a huge chunk of my money into a house, and hope for the best.

    When we ultimately sell it at some point, all I expect is to get what I paid for it, and no guarantee on that either.

  58. 3B says:

    #57 It is not the price any more, it is the tax bill. And the knowledge that it will continue to rise.

  59. Jason says:

    Increasing number of contracts could be looked at two ways, like the old glass half-full half-empty adage. More contracts means more people moving in, but it also means more people moving out.

  60. JJ says:

    It is like when they say there was heavy selling on wall street today, well every sell equals a buy so there was also heavy buying on that day.

    Jason says:
    June 8, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Increasing number of contracts could be looked at two ways, like the old glass half-full half-empty adage. More contracts means more people moving in, but it also means more people moving out.

  61. SRK says:

    I think Grim is right – the prices have just become affordable to a lot of people, and more importantly, the perception among people that housing has bottomed and that it is set to move up. Afterall the value of a property is what one is willing to pay, and what one is willing is based on one’s perceptions. I think holding the interest rates low have helped maintain the demand, and that demand is holding the prices steady this year, until the economy itself is able to support and sustain the prices.

    While all agents have been singing the same ‘demand has already gone up, prices are going up as we speak, and interest rates will very soon go up’ song lately, one agent yesterday was a refreshing change in saying that ‘prices will be the same next year, interest rates will go up only slightly, so dont get all bothered and buy something in a hurry’.

  62. gary says:

    3B [59],

    My situation is that I have to go with at least 20% as a down payment in order to handle the monthly payments. I’m considering even going higher. If I go with a lower price point, then I’m basically buying my current house in another town for more money. What’s the point? My current house is a dormered cape on a 50 X 100 property. I desire a slightly bigger house on a slightly bigger property. The prices are easing… still high, but easing. It’s the property taxes that are a killer.

  63. gary says:

    Those towns that are proud of their haughty status are going to choke on the sustained strength of unabated property taxes. The prices will continue to decrease as taxes increase.

  64. SRK says:

    32 Jill, I was also waiting to see answers to your pre-payment question. Where do you live now ? What I heard from someone long ago is that in New Jersey, mortgage companies cannot deny us right to prepay on conventional loans – that is fixed rate loans, and for ARMs it is contract dependent. Here’s a URL of State of New Jersey, I dont know how current this is, you may be able to check with an accountant or attorney I think http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=2429574&Depth=2&TD=WRAP&advquery=%2246%3a10B-2%22&depth=4&expandheadings=on&headingswithhits=on&hitsperheading=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&rank=%20%20&record={13C3C}&softpage=Doc_Frame_PG42&wordsaroundhits=2&x=25&y=12&zz=

    46:10B-3. Additional payments
    A mortgagor shall have the right, during any 6 month period beginning with the date of the mortgage loan, to pay, without charge or penalty, an additional sum of $50.00, or multiples thereof, on account of the principal amount owing on a mortgage loan, provided that the additional sums so paid and the principal payments required to be made by the terms of such mortgage loan during such 6 month period do not together exceed in any such 6 month period 33 1/3 % of the face amount of such mortgage loan. The right to make additional payments as provided by this section shall not be cumulative, and to the extent that it is not exercised during any 6 month period, shall lapse.

    L.1968, c. 54, s. 3, eff. June 6, 1968. Amended by L.1979, c. 86, s. 19, eff. May 15, 1979; L.1979, c. 388, s. 11, eff. Feb. 5, 1980.

  65. seif says:

    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/shadow-inventory-2012-foreclosure-pipeline-no-payments-for-three-years-midtier-los-angeles-orange-country-real-estate/?source=Patrick.net

    “Early in 2009 we had roughly 2,000,000 homes actively in foreclosure. The number today? 2,000,000. The Catch 22 of the giant bank bailouts and financial shell game was the bet (hope) that housing prices would have gone back up after five years especially with trillions of dollars funneled into the banking sector. I mean what can go wrong when you trust banks with housing right? “

  66. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Is it possible to competitively devalue your public schools? Here’s my crazy thinking: Let’s say you live in a haughty (say two notches above blue ribbony) where most people send there kids to private school. Can you underfund your schools, raise class sizes, etc. to make them unattractive so that nobody moves to your haughty town without money for private school which means you can further underfund your schools, etc.? This would maybe keep taxes in check, keep home prices high, but still keep the upper middle class riffraff out?

  67. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (NJEA/It’s For The Children Edition):

    Due to a reduction in funding from the state, Colts Neck schools are doing the responsible thing and cutting headcount at the Primary/Elementary schools. Of the RIF, two secretaries and one teacher, NO ADMINISTRATORS. Also, FYI, the teacher was called by the principal as the most talented and educated person in the building earlier this year. My son was slotted to have her for K…..we are steamed…..my wife is a certifed teacher in NJ, so we are not some bunch of numbnut meddling helicopter parents.

  68. 3B says:

    #64 gary: We are at the stage where we do not need the bigger house. We are looking in the 350K range (and I have explained before all the reasons why we are looking etc), so the monthly payments with 10& down are not an issue. I like cash, not throwing it into the dark hole of a house.

    The only reason you might want the same house in a different town, is perhaps the town is better than the one you are in now( which I do not know). Lots of towns in Bergen have gotten real shabby over the years, and are starting to look more like urban areas, than bucolic suburban towns.

  69. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Hype you around next week? Wife and Kids are going to the cabin with my inlaws and I have to check on their place in WP during the middle of the week.;

  70. JJ says:

    I dont find it refreshing at all. A realtor is not a financial advisor. They should not be advising on the future states of interest rates, where housing prices are headed and is it a good investment. They are the equivalent of car salesmen, they are selling a product. If they want to give financial advise, go get an MBA sit for Series 7 and CFA and allow me to take them to arbitration and if they violate regulations. If anything perhaps realtors should advise seller/owner on state of housing market. But they should never every be advising buyers. The girls pointing to the prizes on the price is right is what a good realtor should be.

    Buying a home is really buying a speculative non-diversified highly leveraged asset on a margin loan that is illiquid, hard to value and has huge costs to buy, hold and sell.

    Buy a stock on Fidelity that is more than 5% of your portfolio and all types of warnings come up. Yet I see young couples buy homes at 4x income, pour money into them with only 10% and yet sleep at night. Same folks who lost 1k on Facebook are upset. Young couple behind me paid 480K for a house with 12K taxes and in last 12 months put at least another 30k into it. Closing and Moving costs around 20K and mortgage costs of around 1,800 a month. So in 12 months they have spent around 580K on house!!! He is a a 29 year old cop with a 27 year old stay at home wife and an infant. What the heck. Oh year they got a deal, prior owner paid 580K at peak. I guess that 100K off peak attracted them. Meanwhile a small single family house in the town could be rented for 18K a year. I guess why throw money away on rent! Now I am seeing short sale in my my town for same homes for 380K, if couple rented for 1-2 years they would have saved 100k on purchase price, would have saved two years of expenses on owning home and would of had a bigger downpayment.

    Yet realtor pushed them into home. Guess what I am betting they are paying to refinance today. How a realtor could sell a home to someone at 5x income with a pregant wife is beyond me. Only good news it happend to home behind and beside me in last 12 months. I wanted to buy homes cheap from bank but these two young couples bought them. Wife said I guess now I just have to wait three years for these couples to go under to buy. They will go under. Most buyers from 2003-2011 who paid full market price and put very little down will go under.

    SRK says:
    June 8, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I think Grim is right – the prices have just become affordable to a lot of people, and more importantly, the perception among people that housing has bottomed and that it is set to move up. Afterall the value of a property is what one is willing to pay, and what one is willing is based on one’s perceptions. I think holding the interest rates low have helped maintain the demand, and that demand is holding the prices steady this year, until the economy itself is able to support and sustain the prices.

    While all agents have been singing the same ‘demand has already gone up, prices are going up as we speak, and interest rates will very soon go up’ song lately, one agent yesterday was a refreshing change in saying that ‘prices will be the same next year, interest rates will go up only slightly, so dont get all bothered and buy something in a hurry’.

  71. chi (69)-

    Just more evidence that TPTB are waging active war against us.

    It won’t stop until we pick up arms and take out some of them.

  72. NJGator says:

    Ex Pat 68 – Not entirely analogus, but how about the community in Rockland County where the ultra-orthodox Jews (who send their kids to private Yeshivas) hold a majority on the local school board. They want to cut school taxes and might even eliminate public kindergarten.

    http://www.vosizneias.com/106453/2012/05/16/rockland-county-ny-east-rampo-is-only-district-to-vote-down-school-budget

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/05/21/cash-strapped-rockland-county-school-district-close-to-eliminating-kindergarten/

  73. JJ says:

    What you should do is find 19 parents like you, chip in 4k each and hire the laid off teacher yourself to teach a private kindergarten class. If she is hot, pay her an extra 5k to give lap dances and happy endings for Dads during kids nap time.

    chicagofinance says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:13 am

    The End Is Nigh (NJEA/It’s For The Children Edition):

    Due to a reduction in funding from the state, Colts Neck schools are doing the responsible thing and cutting headcount at the Primary/Elementary schools. Of the RIF, two secretaries and one teacher, NO ADMINISTRATORS. Also, FYI, the teacher was called by the principal as the most talented and educated person in the building earlier this year. My son was slotted to have her for K…..we are steamed…..my wife is a certifed teacher in NJ, so we are not some bunch of numbnut meddling helicopter parents.

  74. gary says:

    3B [70],

    Agree, I don’t like throwing the cash into the abyss either but it’s either pony up or stay where I am. I’m in Clifton… it served it’s purpose but this town has changed. I desire slight expanse and slight quietness, so I guess I need to pay up and let the chips fall where they may or stay put and quit whinning. It doesn’t mean I can’t stop throwing body punches to help the cause. :)

  75. Juice Box says:

    Ruskies starting up the cold war again?

    Russia sent an ICBM over the Middle East including Israel from the Plesetsk launch pad in northern Russia, this new missile is designed to evade defenses. I gather the 17.9 million kilometers to their east isn’t a big enough test range or they were perhaps hoping someone would fire an Aegis at it from one of our cruisers or a Patriot missle from Israel.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/07/middle-east-ufo-video_n_1579251.html

  76. gary says:

    The girls pointing to the prizes on the price is right is what a good realtor should be.

    Any questions? :)

  77. NJCoast says:

    68-Expat
    That is what is happening in 3 towns here at the shore. Deal, Allenhurst, Interlaken are sending districts to Asbury Park. All students go to private schools. Since school tax is based on per student tuition to sending district they pay nothing. Property taxes in these oceanfront towns are less than half the surrounding towns.

  78. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Juice this:
    perhaps hoping someone would fire an Aegis at it from one of our cruisers or a Patriot missle from Israel.

    no other rationale. Unkown if it can evade those defenses if those same defences aren’t used against it.

  79. Juice Box says:

    re # 74 – In Hoboken they now have three charter schools and another one proposed based upon STEM education teaching. If this latest Charter School is approved over 25% of the students around 500 students will be enrolled in the charters and with expansion of the grades it will hit perhaps 50% of the total public schools students.

    Obviously the BOE and the school administration is dead set against it, since it cuts into their local control of the $$$.

    http://momcondoliving.com/2012/05/12/hoboken-superintendent-response-to-davinci-charter-school/

  80. NJGator says:

    Chifi 69 – Fire administrators? That’s funny. The BOE needs those jobs. Where do you think they send failed principals instead of firing them?

  81. Happy Renter says:

    [37] re Greeks returning to the countryside …

    Interesting article. Funny thing is, there are many reasons to prefer a nice piece of land in the countryside to a crappy apartment in a crappy neighborhood in some crappy Greek city.

    It’s maybe the first hint of younger Greeks making a move toward self-sufficiency (although they’re really just going back to Mom and Dad’s, or Grandpa’s, family land — it’s sort of like living in your parents’ basement, except the basement has fresh air and sunshine and olive trees).

    Then again, in an illustration of how deep the handout-society dysfunction runs, you gotta love this quote from the article:

    “They usually ask whether there are state subsidies for agriculture and for growing pomegranates, snails and aromatic herbs”

    God forbid they get by without some sort of state subsidy.

  82. SRK says:

    Jill, Left you an answer at 66 reg pre-payment.

  83. Let’s see who wants to be a good-for-nothing administrator when their job performance is subject to being rated with a bullet.

  84. JJ says:

    Charter Schools are stupid.

    Juice Box says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

    re # 74 – In Hoboken they now have three charter schools and another one proposed based upon STEM education teaching. If this latest Charter School is approved over 25% of the students around 500 students will be enrolled in the charters and with expansion of the grades it will hit perhaps 50% of the total public schools students.

  85. gary says:

    “They usually ask whether there are state subsidies for agriculture and for growing pomegranates, snails and aromatic herbs.”

    This is one of the questions Oblamma supporters often ask.

  86. rent (83)-

    Just like the best crack dealers, central gubmints all over the planet have hooked everyone on the gubmint cheese.

    People used to stare at me like I had three heads when I said the worst thing gubmint can do is take away your God-given right to fail. Greece is a good example of where that philosophy gets you.

  87. JJ says:

    I am thinking of starting a “Members Only” School. Luke and Laura will be co-principals and the uniform will be Members Only Jackets. Maybe Susan Luchi can teach a class or two. Maybe I can get state aid too! Maybe get myself a 750K administration salary. Why not makes as much sense as a stupid charter school. Really I learned Math, History, Science, Reading and Writing in elementary school. What is a charter school learning low to dry clean your UGGS and what new Iphone Apps.They should make charter schools illegal. Pulling the few good students who are role models out of public schools and into these elitist snobby schools is unfair to the remaining lunch bucket kids in public schools and creating a whole new generation of snot nosed uppidity useless kids to deal with who feel self enititled.

    I do like my Members Only school I would love to see 500 kids in little member only jackets.

  88. gary (87)-

    Four years ago, a goodly portion of Bojangles’ constituency believed he was going to pay their mortgages and rents. Wonder how motivated they’ll be to turn out at the polls this time…

    Methinks this year’s October Surprise will be some kind of mass entitlement/giveaway that will guarantee these zombies go to the polls and pull the lever for Bojangles like rats in a Skinner Box.

  89. jj, you ever tap Susan Lucci?

  90. gary says:

    Meat [90],

    Don’t forget gasoline. That was going to be taken care of by the Messiah as well. BTW, I have a new handle for you: “Solvent Green.” Do a search in yesterdays thread with a hat tip to JJ for inventing that one.

  91. Fast Eddie says:

    Where’s my f*cking pony?!!

  92. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [74] NJGator – Wow, thanks for bringing that to my attention. We were looking for a “short cut” North of the highway going to the Tappan Zee one holiday weekend and we drove through that area for the first time. I was fascinated by all the private Yeshivas and Orthodox Jews in neighborhoods that didn’t look much different from the ones I roamed in Rockaway Township growing up. What really caught my attention were all the regular looking Yellow school buses, except with Hebrew words on the side.

    Ex Pat 68 – Not entirely analogus, but how about the community in Rockland County where the ultra-orthodox Jews (who send their kids to private Yeshivas) hold a majority on the local school board. They want to cut school taxes and might even eliminate public kindergarten.

  93. chicagofinance says:

    Juice: I’ll take the opposite tact here…..that letter was the best organized, coherent and
    effective piece of correspondence I have ever seen prepared by anyone involved in public service in Hoboken. I lived there from 1991-1995 and 1998-2007. As much as you may not appreciate the motivation behind the letter, I am actually very pleased to see that FINALLY someone involved in education of that community is not on-face an utter hack. You’ve come a long way….appreciate that part of it at least…

    Juice Box says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:43 am
    re # 74 – In Hoboken they now have three charter schools and another one proposed based upon STEM education teaching. If this latest Charter School is approved over 25% of the students around 500 students will be enrolled in the charters and with expansion of the grades it will hit perhaps 50% of the total public schools students.

    Obviously the BOE and the school administration is dead set against it, since it cuts into their local control of the $$$.

  94. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [79] Coast – So it can and is already done. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Now could you transform a less affluent community with a similar model? Not a poor city, but let’s say a homogenous middle class city. Could a first rate private school be set up which charges a fair but not extreme tuition, essentially put the public school out of, or almost out of business, reducing the town’s tax burden? I guess I’m thinking something akin to a Catholic school sans the Catholic part. Market and grow the school over many years, I guess?

    That is what is happening in 3 towns here at the shore. Deal, Allenhurst, Interlaken are sending districts to Asbury Park. All students go to private schools. Since school tax is based on per student tuition to sending district they pay nothing. Property taxes in these oceanfront towns are less than half the surrounding towns.

  95. JJ says:

    Orthodox drag schools down the drain. They dont use public schools and all sign up for board of ed and PTA in public schools and vote no on everything, which drives down home prices for non-jews as schools suck which in turn makes them sell, which brings down taxes further as only Orthodox will buy in the town. In five towns LI the Orthodox took great schools in a town that was mainly Jewish and drove all regular jews out. Funny, thing is “Orthodox Jew” or “Hasedic Jew” is an oxymoron. They are not really Jewish. It is some weird thing that started not that long ago. Kinda like Christian Scientists and Jehovas are not really catholic or christian.

    The Original NJ Expat says:
    June 8, 2012 at 11:23 am

    [74] NJGator – Wow, thanks for bringing that to my attention. We were looking for a “short cut” North of the highway going to the Tappan Zee one holiday weekend and we drove through that area for the first time. I was fascinated by all the private Yeshivas and Orthodox Jews in neighborhoods that didn’t look much different from the ones I roamed in Rockaway Township growing up. What really caught my attention were all the regular looking Yellow school buses, except with Hebrew words on the side.

    Ex Pat 68 – Not entirely analogus, but how about the community in Rockland County where the ultra-orthodox Jews (who send their kids to private Yeshivas) hold a majority on the local school board. They want to cut school taxes and might even eliminate public kindergarten.

  96. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [42];

    Nice trip down memory lane. I wish we could ask Laurie about that split she estimated was worth $620k, listed at $799k, or the $650k value priced at $899k, down from $950k over a year. Wonder what they are “worth” today.

  97. an observer says:

    To #68 –

    See Englewood Cliff. Public school kids are sent to Englewood’s High School – Dwight Morrow. While everyone sends the kids to the private school in town – Dwight Englewood.

    Englewood’s school are not in good shape because of politics and demographics. the heavily conservative jews of Englewood send their kids to religious school. The other well off in Englewood send their kids to parochial or Dwight Englewood (k-12). Only the poor end up with public schools.

    Also Saddle River with its Saddle River Day School; but their public school is descent.
    Without a doubt Englewood & Englewood Cliffs are what you are looking for. Englewood Cliff also has a political machine mayor.

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    June 8, 2012 at 10:11 am
    Is it possible to competitively devalue your public schools? Here’s my crazy thinking: Let’s say you live in a haughty (say two notches above blue ribbony) where most people send there kids to private school. Can you underfund your schools, raise class sizes, etc. to make them unattractive so that nobody moves to your haughty town without money for private school which means you can further underfund your schools, etc.? This would maybe keep taxes in check, keep home prices high, but still keep the upper middle class riffraff out?

  98. JJ says:

    I’ll Have Another Is Out of Belmont Stakes, Trainer O’Neill Says

  99. relo says:

    Clot,

    Surely you know this guy.

    Jim Sinclair’s Commentary: The end is not near, it is here

  100. Jill says:

    SRK #84: So that sounds like they CAN institute prepayment penalties if they feel you are paying too much up front. What I’m looking to do is to refinance $89K from a 15-year @ 4.75 that only has 7 years left to a new 15 year … but make the same payment so that I can a) pay it off a bit faster; b) pay less in interest; and c) have flexibility in the payment in the event of a financial setback (such as losing my job due to layoff at some point in the next 7 years). We’re looking at over $600/month difference in P&I, but if I still pay that $600, it does make a difference. But of course then we pay off the 15 year mortgage in 7 years. I just don’t want to be hit with a nasty surprise, and since the lender is Wells Fargo, well, if it sounds too good to be true…

    They do add about $1500 to the principal for this “no-cost mortgage”, so the difference in interest is pretty much a wash. So it’s mostly about the flexibility.

  101. seif says:

    This fits in perfectly with today’s conversation…I was reading The Suburbanite paper last week and saw a big ad for this GOP congressional candidate Hector Castillo. It was a full page ad and it said something like: Hector Castillo – fighting for our Christian (maybe Catholic) values!

    I thought it was kinda weird to see that religious call to arms type stuff in the local paper…until today when I saw that he lost that republican primary to….drum roll please….celebrity rabbi and former friend of Jacko, Shmuley Boteach…who happens to live in the aforementioned Englewood.

  102. toomuchchange says:

    Here’s a discussion about a Wall St Journal article somebody sent me and that I had been intending to share.

    A professor at the University of Pennsylvania has solved the mystery of why in a country of 310 million people, with tens of millions of unemployed, underemployed and employed people sick of their jobs that so many companies claim they can’t find qualified workers:

    “These websites and software are like virtual wastebaskets for your resume. No human involved, it’s automatic, guaranteed rejection. It’s so bad, an HR executive applied for his own job and was rejected.”

    …..

    “…. One manager told me that in his company 25,000 applicants had applied for a standard engineering job, yet none were rated as qualified.”

    25,000 and not one “qualified” candidate. Wouldn’t you just love to know what company that was?

    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/automated-job-rejection

    The Economic Populist is a great site, by the way. Lots of good stuff about the economy, business and employment from a guy who’s outraged about what’s going on and has the skills to get behind the government’s numbers for some really great analysis (some of which flies over my head but that’s easy to do).

  103. gary says:

    toomuchchange [105],

    Thank you. I highlighted some of the points below. Welcome to my world, kids. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you will very shortly.

    Highlights:

    – There is no skills shortage, none. In fact employers are being absolutely ridiculous in their hiring practices.

    – If employers really wanted people they would train them. That’s what employers did right up until the 1980’s or so. By 2000, companies wanted instant ready disposable workers.

    – The truth is employers do not want to hire U.S. workers, Americans. In some cases employers do not want to hire anyone at all, they think it’s cheaper to leave positions unfilled! Hopefully this time some employers will wake up, realize to grow a business, one needs people. Maybe some will actually train some people.

    – The challenge will be getting top leaders of organizations to admit they are a big part of the problem, and to change their ways.

    – Judging from employers’ initial reaction, however, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. After writing the initial Wall Street Journal story, Cappelli heard from a few corporate leaders who told him there was really nothing they could do. He suggested he’d come out and take a close look at what they’re doing. “Nobody ever takes me up on that,” he says. “That usually shuts things up pretty quickly.”

    – Some of our personal favorites are engineering job ads. Many require more years of experience than a particular technology has been in existence. Pretty interesting, to qualify for a job, one should claim they have 12 years of experience with a technology invented two years ago?

  104. escort bayan says:

    You made some respectable factors there. I seemed on the web for the issue and located most people will associate with with your website.

  105. seif says:

    why is this? they couldn’t be more productive and create more value with more people? shouldn’t those positions being filled pay for themselves and then some? isn’t that how a business is supposed to work?

    108 – The truth is employers do not want to hire U.S. workers, Americans. In some cases employers do not want to hire anyone at all, they think it’s cheaper to leave positions unfilled! Hopefully this time some employers will wake up, realize to grow a business, one needs people. Maybe some will actually train some people.

  106. Dead Cat says:

    Boing!

  107. gary says:

    Barry says it’s Europe’s fault that our economy suc.ks and they better get their house in order. He also said the private sector in the U.S. is doing fine. I think we need to make him the ruler of the world. :o

  108. seif says:

    yeah…but you are saying that positions are open and companies are choosing to leave them unfilled, correct? plus corporations have trillions of cash on the balance sheets. could the corporate overlords just be playing politics?

  109. joyce says:

    trillions of cash + multiple trillions of debt

  110. gary says:

    Per ZeroHedge:

    We’re like a sprawling family bickering over the inheritance: we’ll keep arguing over who deserves what until the inheritance is gone. That will trigger one final outburst of finger-pointing, resentment and betrayal, and then we’ll go do something else to get by. The “solution” is thus collapse.

    This model has been very effectively explored in The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon. The basic idea is that when the carrying costs of the society exceed its output, the whole contraption collapses. The political adjunct to this systemic implosion is that the productive people just stop supporting the Status Quo because it’s become too burdensome. The calculus of self-interest shifts from supporting the bloated, marginal-return Status Quo to abandoning it.

    So the root problem is the system, human nature, blah blah blah. There are no “solutions” that can fix those defaults. The “solution” is collapse, as only collapse will force everyone to go do something more sustainable to get by.

  111. gary says:

    U.S. debt as of close on Wednesday: $15,734,596,578,458.59

    Any questions?

  112. SRK says:

    103 Jill, But from my understanding of the NJ state rule it seems you can pay upto 33 1/3 % of face-value in a 6-month period, that is principal from regular payment and extra pre-apd principal put-together cant exceeed 33 1/3 % – “provided that the additional sums so paid and the principal payments required to be made by the terms of such mortgage loan during such 6 month period do not together exceed in any such 6 month period 33 1/3 % of the face amount of such mortgage loan.” Isint that quite a huge amount before they can slap penalties ?

  113. All Hype says:

    Gary (114):

    Who cares about the debt! Spain is going to get bailed out this weekend. BTFD!!!

    Look at the markets. Almost a 200 point gain from this morning. Our markets are glorious.

  114. Dead Cat says:

    Whatever. Just have the US print up a few Trillion dollar coins and presto! Problem solved.

    114.gary says:
    June 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    U.S. debt as of close on Wednesday: $15,734,596,578,458.59

    Any questions?

  115. Shore Guy says:

    Let me see if I understand this correctly:

    Spain has a bond auction but nobody wants the bonds, so the Spanish banks step in and buy them. But, the Spanish banks are in deep trouble so they need Spain to step in and give them money to survive long enough for the Greman taxpayers to send jumbo jets full of cash to Spain.

  116. Shore Guy says:

    “Just have the US print up a few Trillion dollar coins and presto! Problem solved.”

    If we had a balanced budget, that might work, as would having the Fed buy all the debt then burning the certificates. Unless we are in the black on a yearly basis, nothing works, not even hyperinflation.

  117. Shore Guy says:

    “U.S. debt as of close on Wednesday: $15,734,596,578,458.59”

    Gary, I have a question. Are we that hard up that we can’t pay the $458.59, just to make it an even number?

  118. 3B says:

    #18 Shore: Correct. Except the German people will not IMO stand for it.

  119. Shore Guy says:

    “Barry says it’s Europe’s fault that our economy suc.ks and they better get their house in order. He also said the private sector in the U.S. is doing fine. I think we need to make him the ruler of the world.”

    Wrong. What he needs is a Nobel Prize in Economics. He is at least as qualified as he was for the Peace Prize — which I think he uses as a paperweight when marking down names for assassination by drone strike.

  120. 3B says:

    #16 All: Which gives the Bernank cover to commence with more easing after the June 19, 20 Fed meeting,as a further support to easing the world economy. And this is spit of his ambiguity during yesterday’s testimony before Congress.

  121. Shore Guy says:

    “Except the German people will not IMO stand for it”

    The Germans should consider aid in exchange for land. Just as people sometimes have to divest of assets in order to pay off debts, Greece could sell all of its islands and Spain could sell some of its provinces.

  122. 3B says:

    #14 gary: Yeah, but May contracts are up so who cares!!! Meanwhile if I don’t get cracking I will be living in my VW Passat; after I buy one of course.

  123. 3B says:

    #24 Shore: So we give the Germans Crete, and the Costa del sol, and call it even!!!

  124. Keystonepro says:

    A Mortgagee cannot charge ANY prepayment penalties on a mortgage that is secured by the New Jersey primary residence of the Mortgagor. There are no pre-payment restrictions on commercial property or investment property mortgages.

  125. Nicholas says:

    Grim,

    While I respect your assesment of the housing market I would like you to consider one more data point before you call the rise in contracts a success. One of the others pointed out that there are, on average, 10-15% more homes in these areas so comparisons to the early oughts are not so 1:1. In the laws of supply and demand a 10% increase in supply can result in a drastic reduction in price if no one is demanding the homes.

    We have seen a decrease in the homeowner participation rate over the last few years. It is anticipated that we will continue to see decreases in the participation rate as baby boomers leave these homes for other living arrangements. An increase in supply coupled with a decrease in demand will produce a double hit to the housing market.

    The number of refinancing individuals always increases when rates go down. With rates low we are seeing high numbers of loans being refinanced. I imagine that the same occurs with purchases. Rates have dropped low this causes many to scrounge to put homes under contract and get rates locked from lenders. The spring weather makes people itchy to pull the trigger. What happens when rates take a small bump up? The same thing that happens to the refiancing wave, activity stops.

    I’m interested in this spring bounce and things are looking good. The problem is that I have a hard time sorting seasonal shift (due to the early spring) and higher activity due to initially lower rates (buy now or lose this low rate forever) with a genuine housing recovery. The only way to do this is to hold off making a judgement for another few months.

    In the areas that I’m paying attention to I am not seeing year over year gains in house prices. While the higher number of “undercontract” is encouraging it doesn’t yet signal that we are done yet on the price drops.

  126. gary says:

    Shore [120],

    Gary, I have a question. Are we that hard up that we can’t pay the $458.59, just to make it an even number?

    The even number makes it appear that the debt is larger than it actually is. The random array of numbers is intentional as to confuse the pudgy Amerikan muppets and quell any outrage. We simply can’t have angry muppets.

  127. gary says:

    Do the Pending Home Sales (contracts) include refinanced mortgages? It may be a silly question but I’m just checking.

  128. Nicholas says:

    The US debt clocks are an estimate of the amount of debt, not the actuall debt itself. It is pretty much impossible to calcualte the national debt down to the exact penny on any given day due to the distributed nature of the government.

    What they do to create these debt clocks is to look at past fiscal calendar years in which the national debt is calculable and then look at budget appropriations for the current fiscal year and then estimate down to the second based upon the sum of the first with the prorated amount of the second.

    The problem with this approach is that while the first value is pretty much known and static, the second is a constantly changing beast with money being appropraited and reappropriated regularly. Some money isn’t spent in the year it is appropriated (such as equipment budgets) and some money is reserved in one year to be spent in another.

    This means that the estimate of the debt clock is just that, an estimate. Calculating the debt clock to a precision of cents when your margin of error on the estimate is in the hundreds of millions is disingenuous. Gary’s assesment of the situation in post 129 is spot on.

  129. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [128] Nicholas – I am not either in the blue-ribbony Boston metro west suburbs that I follow. An optimist might say prices have stabilized. A pessimist would say prices are resting on a short ledge.

    In the areas that I’m paying attention to I am not seeing year over year gains in house prices. While the higher number of “undercontract” is encouraging it doesn’t yet signal that we are done yet on the price drops.

  130. seif says:

    Just saw this chart posted for many of the towns I follow. It lists the last 3 years of homes sold. Check it out:

    http://eatingrealestate.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/screen-shot-2012-06-07-at-5-18-49-pm1.png

  131. gary says:

    seif [134],

    So, if we extrapolate, the numbers are clearly down? You agree?

  132. seif says:

    yes, i do. not on pace.

  133. seif says:

    but remember from my postings…there are about 25 currently under contract in Tenafly so their number could be closer to 70 at the end of the month when they close.

  134. gary says:

    Haven’t pounded on realtors lately. LOL! Hat tip to Patrick.net poster:

    The professional realtor profile:

    1) Unlocks doors.
    2) Finds houses that are easily found online.
    3) Compliments house as you walk through it, attempting to hide flaws with words like cozy.
    4) Does paperwork that someone can be hired hourly for.
    5) Lies about other offers so you’ll pay more money.
    6) Takes a % of the house cost instead of a flat fee, regardless of how much work they actually do.
    7) Tries to lock you into a contract so you can’t escape working with them.

  135. gary says:

    I have way too much energy. Do you cats and kittens realize I have four monitors in front of me and I’m working every single one of them without missing a f*cking beat?

  136. gary says:

    seif [137],

    “If” they close.

  137. Happy Renter says:

    The mainstream media has picked up on Gary’s theory that we have become a nation of muppets.

    “Muppet Theory, a little-known, poorly understood philosophy that holds that every living human can be classified according to one simple metric: Every one of us is either a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/low_concept/2012/06/what_kind_of_muppet_are_you_chaos_or_order_.html

    In other news, I hope everyone enjoys the Euros over the weekend (the kind on ESPN).

    Live royal, my friends.

  138. Anon E. Moose says:

    Jill [103];

    Both the law and the contract control. The law limits what can be enforced (by the courts) via the contract. But the contract doesn’t change (e.g., from no pre-pay penatly to a pre-pay penalty) after its signed unless its terms say it can (in which case it really hasn’t ‘changed’) or the parties both agree to a change after the fact.

    So the law says you can’t charge a pre-payment penalty of more than $x and only if the borrow pays more than y% in any six-month period. The law defines the most onerous pre-pay penalty that can possibly be enforced. But there still needs to be a provision in the contract for there to be any pre-payment penalty in the first place. There won’t be a case where the mortgage contract says that there is no pre-payment penalty, and the mortgage company six asignments later tries to impose one.

    Please consider that I’ve given the matter as much thought as a summer-sick teenager goofing off in history class usually does to an anonymous internet comment, and use the information accordingly.

  139. Anon E. Moose says:

    Freedy [130];

    “Eating” real estate. Nice. I suppose they have to eat something.

  140. Nicholas says:

    Freedy,

    The stats that you listed for Tenefly are hillarious. 14 sales in the last month means that this data has a huge margin for error. The population in Tenefly is 14,488 as of 2010 if there are 4 people per household that means that there will be about 3622 homes. If you polled and found out the value of 14 homes and you made an average out of the responses you come up with 800k (as shown in the example you provided). This means that to build a 95% confidence interval, that is to say that 95% of homes fall within the interval, you would have a margin of error of +/- 26%.

    This also means that 95% of homes in Tenefly are between 592K and 1,008K. Take this data how you want it but there just isn’t enough data to make any conclusive assessments about housing. Fourteen is such a small sampling. Perhaps if you were to lump the data in by quarter then you could reduce the margin of error.

    In order to get the margin of error below 10% you would need to have a sample size of 94 for a population of that size. That means that if you added all the sales over the last year you probably would have at least a meaningful shot at calculating an average with a sensible margin of error.

    To put this in perspective the average house value in Tenefly could actually be 592K given the sampling size from last month.

  141. 3b (123)-

    Bernank just played coy because he knows QE only works when it’s a surprise.

    However, there will be no surprise this time around. Everyone knows it’s coming.

  142. The only way to make the next round of QE remotely a surprise is to go back to buying up mortgage-backed dog crap. The curve is too flat to extend Operation Twist.

  143. 3B says:

    #45 New: However, there will be no surprise this time around. Everyone knows it’s coming.

    Yes. Even though he was so ambivalent about it yesterday

  144. chicagofinance says:

    NJ Ex-Pat…..is this you?

    Good, but hits a lull about 2/3 the way through….
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/high-school-graduation-speaker-tells-students-not-special-145709954.html

  145. grim says:

    134 – I can’t make sense of those numbers, almost looks like the 2010 and 2011 are full year, and the 2012 is year to date.

  146. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ OPINION
    June 6, 2012, 6:44 p.m. ET

    Crony Capitalism and the Crisis of the West

    In Italy and Greece, the most talented don’t get ahead. That’s also increasingly true in the United States..

    By LUIGI ZINGALES

    As Greece sinks toward a financial abyss—and Portugal, Italy and Spain sit on the edge—can we in the United States consider ourselves safe?

    Fundamental economic numbers offer little reassurance. At 8.6% of gross domestic product, the U.S. budget deficit is just under Greece’s (9.1%) and equal to Spain’s. U.S. debt, at 103% of GDP, is just below Portugal’s—which first asked for a European Union bailout in 2011—and 58% larger than Spain’s, which might soon need one.

    Yet Americans should be concerned for a deeper reason. High deficits, high debt and unsustainable entitlements are symptoms of a common disease infecting Southern Europe and the U.S. That’s crony capitalism, a problem with which I, having lived in Italy, am unfortunately familiar.

    Cronyism has a long history in Italy, where historically the Catholic Church enjoyed tremendous influence. Popes and other members of the hierarchy wielded—and often abused—enormous power, including that of placing their children and friends in positions of influence, regardless of merit. A truly competitive market has no place for favoritism, but when one company or institution dominates a market, such practices become inevitable.

    In Italy today, even emergency-room doctors gain promotions on the basis of political affiliation. Instead of being told to study, young people are urged to “carry the bag” for powerful people in the hope of winning favors. Mothers push their daughters into the arms of the rich and powerful, seeing it as the only avenue of social promotion. The nation’s talent-selection process is broken: One routinely finds highly intelligent people employed in menial jobs while mediocre people often hold distinguished positions.

    Once an incompetent appointee finds himself in a powerful position, he tends to hire only subordinates of equal or lower quality, since more talented people pose a threat to him. After a few years, a firm’s human capital will become so eroded that it won’t be able to compete without some form of protection. The more protection it can gain from government, the greater the scope of the cronyism, which in turn makes protection even more necessary. Crony capitalism creates a vicious circle.

    Between 2001 and 2011, Italian per capita GDP dropped 4%. A low—or in Italy’s case, negative—growth rate makes it difficult to meet basic social obligations. When growth is high, it’s much easier to satisfy everyone without burdening future generations. But when the pie shrinks, the temptation to shift the burden onto someone else is irresistible—hence growing future entitlements and expanding budget deficits. During the 10 years of negative growth, the Italian debt-to-GDP ratio increased to 120% from 109%.

    The worst consequence of crony capitalism is political. The more a system is dominated by cronies, the more it generates resentment. To maintain consensus, the insiders must distribute privileges and subsidies—and the more they dole out, the greater the demand becomes.

    Traditionally, the U.S. has enjoyed a relatively honest democracy and transparent form of capitalism, which encouraged robust economic growth and contained the hunger for entitlements. This is less and less true. The U.S. tax code is filled with loopholes and special exemptions. Political connections increasingly count more than innovative ideas; young entrepreneurs often learn to lobby before they learn how to run a business.

    Seven out of the 10 richest counties in the U.S. are in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., which produces little except rules and regulations. Even worse, the slow growth and decreased social mobility of the last decade have damaged the free market’s reputation as a creator of prosperity. The hundreds of millions of dollars awarded for disastrous economic performance—from Robert Rubin’s salary as chairman of almost-bankrupt Citigroup to government loans for the actually bankrupt solar company Solyndra—have in turn weakened public belief in the system’s fairness.

    For the U.S., the moment to act is now, before the cancer of crony capitalism metastasizes. The tax code needs an overhaul that eliminates special treatment and bans any form of corporate subsidy—starting with too-big-to-fail banks. We must find ways to introduce more competition into sectors such as education and health care, while expanding economic opportunity for those at the lower end of the income spectrum. And we must curb the political power that large industry incumbents have over legislation. Not only does it distort legislation, it also forces new entrants to compete on lobbying instead of concentrating on making more innovative and cheaper products.

    It is not too late for the United States, but the clock is ticking. We have already begun to look like Italy. If we don’t do something to stop that soon, we will end up like Greece.

    Mr. Zingales is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a contributing editor to City Journal. His book, “A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity,” was published this week by Basic Books.

    A version of this article appeared June 7, 2012, on page A19 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Crony Capitalism and the Crisis of the West.

  147. Fabius Maximus says:

    #122 Shore
    Really?

    Before you even try to paint that picture, do you want to play a game of “What would RR do?

  148. Brian says:

    That article really hits home for me. In so many ways….

    The only way to beat the system is to be a job hopper. I hate to say it…I’d rather be rewarded for my loyalty, but so many times I’ve killed myself to complete a project and seen the @ss kissers and managers get promoted….

    chicagofinance says:
    June 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm
    WSJ OPINION
    June 6, 2012, 6:44 p.m. ET

    Crony Capitalism and the Crisis of the West

    In Italy and Greece, the most talented don’t get ahead. That’s also increasingly true in the United States..

  149. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    4 more bank failures tonight. Only one of them of the $500 million variety.

  150. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    If you have a stomach for the risk, you can also be well rewarded for for being a job quitter. Several years ago I took a job at a little bit less money than I wanted. No problem, I negotiated a review in 6 months instead of a year to rectify that short. 6 months turned into 12 turned into 18 months with no review and no raise. There were a lot of things going on with the company like a sale that the owners (CEO majority owner) walked away from in the 11th hour, etc., so I let it ride with no worries. After the sale didn’t go through I took a lunch meeting with the CEO and his number 2 and said, hey, where’s the love? They tried to push me off for a couple more months. I left the meeting telling them I’d think about it, but keeping the meeting positive. I thought about it and realized that enough was enough and with no job waiting in the wings I gave my 2 week notice via email early on a Saturday morning. After evaluating their options over the next two weeks they elected to hire me as a consultant which ended up being 3 years, no benefits, at double my salary. I hit send on that “I quit” email and told my wife a few minutes later. She was a silent. Two kids, mortgage, no job, etc. She trusts my instincts a little more now;-)

    BTW, you have to *know* you’re not easily replaceable if you want to play the “I quit” card hoping to be compensated for slapping your boss.

    The only way to beat the system is to be a job hopper. I hate to say it…I’d rather be rewarded for my loyalty, but so many times I’ve killed myself to complete a project and seen the @ss kissers and managers get promoted….

  151. Shore Guy says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/08/us-mortgages-condemnation-housing-idUSBRE85719Z20120608

    Exclusive: Investors tout controversial “condemnation” for housing fix

    (Reuters) – Here’s a controversial but intriguing approach to the U.S. housing crisis: keep cash-strapped residents in their homes by condemning their mortgages.

    A mortgage firm backed by a number of prominent West Coast financiers is pushing local politicians in California and a handful of other states hardest hit by the housing crisis to use eminent domain to restructure mortgages that borrowers owe more money on than their homes are actually worth.

    San Francisco-based Mortgage Resolution Partners, in a presentation reviewed by Reuters, says condemning so-called underwater mortgages and taking them out of the hands of private lenders and bondholders is “the only practical way to modify mortgages on a large enough scale to solve the housing crisis.”

    Eminent domain is a well-tested power by local government to get a court order to take over a property it deems either blighted or needed for the public good.

    Over the years, governments have used eminent domain authority to clear urban slums or seize land to build highways and bridges.

    The power to do this is often controversial because landowners don’t have much negotiating power. And in this case, potentially even more controversial since it has never been used to sieze mortgages held by private investors or financial institutions.

    Under the ambitious proposal, Mortgage Resolution Partners would work with local governments to find institutional investors willing to provide tens of billions of dollars to finance the condemnation process to avoid using taxpayer dollars to acquire millions of distressed mortgages.

    A local government entity takes title to the loans and pays the original mortgage owner the fair value with the money provided by institutional investors.

    Mortgage Resolution Partners works to restructure the loans, enabling stressed homeowners to reduce their monthly mortgage payments. The restructured loans could then be sold to hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors with the proceeds paying back the outside financiers.

    Mortgage Resolution Partners, which up until now has tried to keep private its discussions with local politicians and the two investment banks it is working closely with, would collect a negotiated fee on every loan that is condemned and restructured.

    The plan by Mortgage Resolution Partners to keep people in their homes by condemning underwater mortgages comes as many institutional investors are raising money for funds to acquire foreclosed single-family homes with an eye toward renting them out until housing prices recover.

    Meanwhile, Mortgage Resolution Partners got caught up in a controversy earlier this year after Reuters reported that Phil Angelides, the former chairman of a Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, was the executive chairman of Mortgage Resolution Partners. Angelides left the firm soon after, when some on Capitol Hill began raising questions about potential political influence by Mortgage Resolution Partners.

    The firm’s condemnation proposal, which is getting a receptive hearing from some public officials in San Bernardino County, California, could also prove controversial because eminent domain traditionally has been used by municipalities to take ownership of blighted properties and buildings – not loans.

    In a condemnation proceeding, the owner of a property is entitled to be compensated at fair market value, which often can be much less than the initial purchase price. That means banks or investors in mortgage-backed securities could face losses, if many underwater mortgages were condemned at a steep discount to their face value.

    snip

  152. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [148] chifi – Not me, but I like the sentiment. I would like to see if he has the balls to let go and let his daughter crash while teaching her to ride a two wheeler, that was one of the hardest things I ever did, but she learned that day. One more to go.

    NJ Ex-Pat…..is this you?

  153. Shore Guy says:


    #122 Shore
    Really? Before you even try to paint that picture, do you want to play a game of “What would RR do?”

    Fabius,

    I am not saying that killing the AQ SOBs is at all wrong. B.O. is right to go after them, even if he does so in a manner that he opposed in ’08. What B.O. is doing in the Tribal Areas of PAK is the same thing RR would have done, or GHWB, or BC, or W. I just find it ironic, pathetic really, that 1) ther Nobel Committee bestowed a prize on him that he did not deserve and that he lacked the character to decline the honor.

  154. Shore Guy says:

    “#24 Shore: So we give the Germans Crete, and the Costa del sol, and call it even!!!”

    Not so much us but, sure, why not. They might as well get something for their efforts to save everyone else.

  155. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  156. Shore Guy says:

    Nice hotel:

    http://www.thevillabybartong.com/

    Stu and Gator, this could be a great place to hang for a day or two before you cruise out of Miami sometime.

  157. NJGator says:

    Update: More than 100 Englewood teachers, support staff call in sick amid possible outsourcing

    Hours after the Englewood Board of Education bucked an angry crowd and voted to move forward with replacing school support staff with workers from private companies, the district was struck by an apparent sickout.

    CARMINE GALASSO / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
    Lara Szlamkowicz, parent of a 3-year-old special needs child, speaks outside D.A. Quarles Primary School in Englewood Friday, June 8, 2012.
    Eight of the district’s 24 secretaries and 40 of its 66 full-time professional assistants called out on Friday morning, according to district officials. More than 100 employees took off work because of illness Friday, including 70 teachers, the district said, but officials would not break down the absences by school.

    The district is negotiating a new contract with the teachers union, which also bargains for secretaries and teaching assistants. All three contracts expire at the end of the month.

    http://www.northjersey.com/englewood/More_than_100_Englewood_secretaries_teachers_assistants_call_out_amid_talk_of_privatizing_their_positions.html?scpromo=1

  158. Fabius Maximus says:

    BTW, you have to *know* you’re not easily replaceable if you want to play the “I quit” card hoping to be compensated for slapping your boss.

    Never ever try this unless you have a gold plated job to go to or you are truly ready to walk. Otherwise you will end up in front of someone like me. I have interupted the discussion to call IT Security cut them out of the systems on the spot. Then I can start the discussion into “Ok, how we can keep you? or “Thank you for your contribultion to the company, I wish you well in your new endevor”

    I have pulled a few back and they have come back and had had a great attuitude
    Go Figure!.

  159. Fabius Maximus says:

    #157 Shore

    Will follow up more tomorrow, but start with this:
    “What B.O. is doing in the Tribal Areas of PAK is the same thing RR would have done, or GHWB, or BC, or W”
    The HUGE difference here is tha,t O is running the game out in the open (unlike Nicuragua). There is nothing hidden here. I still wonder how did RR escaped impeachment?
    “I just find it ironic, pathetic really, that 1) ther Nobel Committee bestowed a pize on him that he did not deserve and that he lacked the character to decline the honor.
    But my big question here is:: is your issue with the Nobel commitee for giving him the nomination or for him for acepting it?

    For me there was no option but to accept.

  160. Mike says:

    4 Banks Closed by Regulators in Oklahoma, Illinois and in the Carolinas

  161. freedy says:

    Anyone have good info on the Andover area?
    Friend of mine looking in the area

  162. joyce says:

    163

    Fabius/Shore

    The difference is there is no difference. The executive branch is not allowed to order the military to attack or invade another country without congressional approval before hand. It’s all illegal and they all deserve impeachment and then criminal charges.

  163. Shore Guy says:

    Joyce,

    That is simply not true, both under the president’ s constitutional authority to repel invasions and legislatively under the War Powers Act.

    Like it or not, the president could invade Canada tomorrow morning an not need to seek congressional authority for months.

  164. joyce says:

    Shore,
    You’re incorrect. But you can keep repeating that unlawful nonsense if you do not want to admit the truth.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/#
    Show me where in that document the president has the unilateral authority to invade or attack another country who has done no harm to the United States?

    The WPA is unconstitutional. Past Congresses and presidents have argued as such whenever it fits their agenda.

    Lastly, which of these were imminent threats to invade us and thus needed to be repelled? (i only went back to the 80’s)
    greneda, bosnia, lebanon, iraq, libya, panama, somalia, iraq v kuwait, kosovo, sudan, haiti, liberia

    Even afghanistan (9/11) was treated like japan and pearl harbor (with congress voting on 9/14. If memory serves, the US declared war on Japan the day after on 12/8.

  165. evildoc says:

    —-Funny, thing is “Orthodox Jew” or “Hasedic Jew” is an oxymoron. They are not really Jewish. It is some weird thing that started not that long ago.—-

    That is, of course, nonsense. But thanks for sharing

  166. Shore Guy says:

    Joyce,

    I am not going to get into a constitutional powers debate with you but whether the War Powers Act is ever held to be unconstitutional is of no moment to the present discussion, as it attempte to limit presidential action and a legislative body need not take action to limit an executive if the executive does not already have the authority the legislature is seeking to limit. Inasmuch as congress required presidents to withdraw troops from combat within 60 days of commiting them to combat (unless congress agreed to extend the conflict) it is clear that presidents have authority to commit forces to combat without prior congressional authorization. Presidents lack authority to derclare war but, that is different from engaging in combat — although reasonable people may see it as a distinction without a difference.

    Suffice it to say, while I disagree with the decisions to commit U.S forces in a wide variety of places, including Iraq by W., there is no serious debate about whether a president has the authority, as commanded in chief, to commit forces without prior authorization. And, in a world where existential threats to the nation can arise when congress is not in session and must be repelled before congress can convene, and a world where congress itself can be obliterated in an instant, there is no serious debate about whether the president can wage all-out war in defense of the nation.

  167. A goyem says:

    Sorry Evil Doc . But Hasidic, which came out about mostly in 1800 in Eastern Uerope and believe that one of their rabbi’s is the messiah, is as jew to jewish as a mormom is to christian. The Mormons’ believe that Joseph Smith was the new Christ.

    An another addition to an earlier comment about Englewood and its school system. The conservative jewish community tried to expand into Tenafly. But to be able to live their home on saturdays they needed the religious wire “eruv??” that is placed in the street poles to expands the mythical range of the temple.

    The fight for this was nasty. As many Tenafly resident though that if they move in, and get politically involve as they always do, they would defund the Tenafly school system, which has excellent public schools and end up with another Englewood or Jackson.

  168. evildoc says:

    Sorry Goyim,

    Putting aside poor analysis of history by both of you, I am sad to inform you, I s’pose, that contrary to what a lot of you thought, there are few to no Christians on this board. All the Catholics, Episcopalians, Protestants, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian Churchers, and so forth don’t… even… use… the… word… “Christian”… in their denomination title and they weren’t mentioned by name by the very first Christian, who rumor has it, was a pretty knowledgeable fellow.

    Go figger ;)

    I repeat, no one has put forth anything but nonsense regarding Orthodox or Hasidic Judaism as regards Jewishness.

    At some point in this thread, I’ll take steps to edumacate ya… maybe. In meanwhile, since I’m merely calling out an erroneous and undefended thesis, I’ll give you guys a bit more rope to hang yerselves before I do the teaching thing fer real.

    It is funny though, that I don’t hear any gripes coming forth here about most of the newest mutations on traditional Judaism, the Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanistic branches. Go figger.

  169. evildoc says:

    —street poles to expands the mythical range of the temple. —

    Whether invoking street Poles or street Hungarians (we tend though just to use posts, no people required), I’m even more entertained by the philosophically confabulatory notion that the eruv has anything to do with the ancient Jewish Temple.

    But, thanks for sharing.

  170. evildoc says:

    Annnnnnd…. assuming you mean “leave” not “live”, all Jews can (in keeping proper religious behavior) leave their homes on Saturday without an eruv present and in fact most do so. Annnnnd…. I note that eruv is not a core concern to the Conservative Jewish sect, being more of an Orthodox thing, and that in any case, as an aside, that an overwhelming majority of those who belong to Conservative Synagogues do not follow Conservative Jewish tenets at home, but sort of label themselves Conservative as that is the synagogue/temple/shul to which they happen to below, not that there is anything wrong with that ;)

  171. joyce says:

    By your logic, “it attempte to limit presidential action and a legislative body need not take action to limit an executive if the executive does not already have the authority the legislature is seeking to limit,” the executive branch can do anything it wants, and when (if) Congress attempts to limit that new power grab, that new power is now vested with the executive from here on out. That is Scary to some of us.

    Just because Congress has been utterly derelict in many of their duties, that does not make lawful the subsequent actions taken by the other branches of government. In addition to letting the President commit and entangle this country into many unlawful wars, Congress has let unelected ‘regulators’ write countless rules that carry the force of law as well as allow the judiciary to create rules and laws via court rulings & opinions. I guess I’m a sucker when I believe what it says in Article 1 Section 1 that, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

    “Presidents lack authority to derclare war but, that is different from engaging in combat” Yes, but invading another country or countless drone strikes are acts of war. Allow me to use your phrase, there is no serious debate as to whether or not those are considered acts of war.

    “And, in a world where existential threats to the nation can arise when congress is not in session and must be repelled before congress can convene, and a world where congress itself can be obliterated in an instant” … here we go again with the times have changes argument. How would you like it some “liberal” or “progressive” used that logic to say the protections in the 2nd amendment, 4th amendment, any of the rest of the bill of rights or constution is outdated and therefore should be ignored?

    If you believe in the rule of law, you can’t ignore process. If you want to grant the President dictatorial powers, then lobby to amend the constitution. To blantantly violate the process of making new laws (which sometimes requires amending the constitution) is to advocate anarchy.

  172. evildoc says:

    make that “belong” not “below”. Eep

  173. evildoc says:

    A bit o’ wiki, noting the first Prez in modern history to deploy troops in Big Way sans declaration of war, was Democrat Harry Truman, thus setting precedent (ahhh, precedent). So, it seems having Wars without Declaration of War is a left wing thing….

    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    The President is the military’s commander-in-chief; however Article One gives Congress and not the President the exclusive right to declare war. Presidents have often deployed troops with Congressional authorization, but without an explicit declaration of war. According to historian Thomas Woods, “Ever since the Korean War, Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution — which refers to the president as the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States’ — has been interpreted to mean that the president may act with an essentially free hand in foreign affairs, or at the very least that he may send men into battle without consulting Congress.”[4] Since World War II, every major military action has been technically a U.S. military operation or a U.N. “police action”, which are deemed legally legitimate by Congress, and various United Nations Resolutions because of decisions such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or the Authorization for Use of Force.

    The President may require the “principal officer” of any executive department to tender his advice in writing. Thus, implicitly, the Constitution creates a Cabinet that includes the principal officers of the various departments.

    The President, furthermore, may grant pardon or reprieves, except in cases of impeachment. Originally, as ruled by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wilson (1833), the pardon could be rejected by the convict. In Biddle v. Perovich, 274 U.S. 480 (1927), however, the Supreme Court reversed the doctrine, ruling that “[a] pardon in our days is not a private act of grace from an individual happening to possess power. It is a part of the Constitutional scheme. When granted it is the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by inflicting less than what the judgment fixed.”[5

  174. joyce says:

    177

    Please note that the ‘views’ of the right, left, liberal, conservative have been bouncing back n forth since the Whigs (were ‘conservative’ then but now would be considered statists now) and Jeffersonians (were ‘liberal’ and would be considerd libertarian now).

  175. Shore Guy says:

    Presidential use of military power without a formal decleration goes back to Thomas Jefferson and the “Barbery Wars.” The interesting thing is that, even though Jefferson contended he lacked authority to engage in war without a congressional decleration, he did anyway, as it was necessary to repel enemy aggression.

    I for one would be all for congress asserting its powers, the problem is that 1) it has sat on them for so long there is pleanty of precedent working against it and 2) the reality of modern military technology makes it necessary for the National Command Authority to have the ability to wage war even if congress is silent. One cannot expect our continuity of government plans / continuity of operations plans to allow us the luxury of a debate as missiles fly in over the north pole or from offshore.

    Like it or not, the constitution is an organic document and its meaning does change over time. Original intent can only carry a nation so far. Were we tied to original intent, our entire system of administrative law would collapse (and the Supreme Court long ago said that the congressional delegation in that realm is constitutional) as our administrative agencies not only administer laws, they publish regulations (acting as Article II legislature) and decide disputes (acting as Article II courts). Clearly, by its actions congress has delegated certain warfighting decisionmaking authority to the Executive Branch.

    While I understand your frustration with the stsate of things, it is the reality. Your view of how government works, at least in this regard, is, and I do not mean this to be at all insulting, unsophisticated. Just as “I’m Just a Bill” only kin of describes the way a bill becomes a law, your understanding of presidential war powers is only somewhat informed. Again, I mean no insult or offense, it is just that there are critical nuances that are important to a well-informed discussion of presidential war powers.

  176. joyce says:

    “I for one would be all for congress asserting its powers, the problem is that 1) it has sat on them for so long there is pleanty of precedent working against it and”

    I agree; I do not doubt the state of reality right now. Nonetheless, it does not make lawful the actions taken. Precedent does not overturn the provision or language of the constitution. The Chsyler bailout in 1979 did not make it lawful for the government to bailout the banks and car companies a few years ago.

    “2) the reality of modern military technology makes it necessary for the National Command Authority to have the ability to wage war even if congress is silent. One cannot expect our continuity of government plans / continuity of operations plans to allow us the luxury of a debate as missiles fly in over the north pole or from offshore.”

    Let’s say I agree. And if there truly is no serious debate to the contrary, then we can quickly amend the constitution. American soil has been attacked/invaded 3 times in 200+ years. We have plenty of time to amend the constitution to include new war powers.

    “While I understand your frustration with the stsate of things, it is the reality. Your view of how government works, at least in this regard, is, and I do not mean this to be at all insulting, unsophisticated.”

    No insult taken because I agree. This sounds exactly like what my liberal friend who works for the DOL has told me time and time again. And I sincerely don’t mean you insult by comparing you to her. Nevertheless, the consitution was written so someone who could barely read in the 1700s could understand it. The “living document” crowd and then let’s “interpret it until we get what we want” crowd have merely created those arguments because they’ve found amending it to hard a task to accomplish. But that is the whole point, it’s supposed to be tough to amend.

    “your understanding of presidential war powers is only somewhat informed.”

    I disagree.

    “there are critical nuances that are important to a well-informed discussion of presidential war powers.”

    I disagree and agree because I’ve merely been stating what the presidential and congressional authorities and responsibilitie are concerning going to war… not what they’ve been interpretted to be and what they’ve been getting away with.

  177. evildoc says:

    178: Note i quite agree that what calls itself the Left today indeed is far to the Left of the quality Left we had a few decades back ;)

  178. Shore Guy says:

    “I’ve merely been stating what the presidential and congressional authorities and responsibilitie are concerning going to war… not what they’ve been interpretted to be and what they’ve been getting away with.”

    Therein lies the problem. Never forget, the constitution means what the courts interpret it to mean. The language on the page is just a starting point.

  179. njescapee says:

    Shore, how’s it going in the Garden State? Did your friend ever make it down to the Keys?

  180. Juice Box says:

    # 180 – “would be all for congress asserting its powers” and “amend or include new war powers”

    This is where the far left is lost, congress by not impeaching the president is exerting it’s powers. By not acting to assert it’s power to delcar ware with new technology such as drones it is in effect legalizing it.

    People also forget there is already sponsored legislation and congress has chosen not to act. This latest impeachment legislation was over Syria, which probably prevented us from engaging war with them them this time since the Al Quaeda label did not stick in Syria.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:HC00107:@@@P

    This time around since there are no longer special prosecutors they cannot pull a gotcha like they did with Clinton which was lying to a Federal Grand Jury.

  181. joyce says:

    (182)
    Shore,
    I basically agree with your last statement. Because the police agencies at all levels and beauracrats at all levels (basically ALL govt officials) will follow ANY order given by their superior, history lessons notwithstanding.

    The courts and lawyers can pervert simple meaning words (like trying to tie the 2nd amendment to hunting, like allowing certain cities/states to basically outlaw carrying a weapon) and when peaceful people rightfully assert their natural rights… the jackbooted thugs will use deadly force. I’m not sure why I picked only examples with guns, but I believe it goes with everything like breaking up peaceful assemblies, silencing speech, criminalizing non-violent activities, warrantless searches/seizures, disregarding the right to trial by jury… and on and on.

  182. joyce says:

    (184)

    Whatever the blue team or red team claims to not like about the current administratoin or about eachother, they both love the increasing scope and power of the Federal government AND of the executive. It is by design.

  183. Juice Box says:

    joyce – by design? Go back to the civil war, Lincoln expanded the fed government like no other and by no ones design but his own.

    We are still only a few steps away from Devine rights. There were times under Bush I and Clinton when I though they might not want to give up office.

  184. 1987 condo buyer says:

    First christian? Peter, I guess,? We know Jesus wAs a Jew, right? Not sure about catholics being christians but we certainly lern a lot aboutthe dude and pray alot to learn to be more and act more like him, in fact,i belive that is the goal.

  185. joyce says:

    Juice… I’m in agreement with you.

  186. joyce says:

    Divine rights, damn close yes (in other countries YES which is ridiculous)… but what we definitely still do have in this country is a noble class (politicians and their masters) with their guards (various levels of cops).

  187. Shore Guy says:

    NJE,

    Yes she did. When I e-mailed you she was in Fort Lauderdale. I gave her the info you passed on and, if memory serves, she ended up going to one of the places you suggested. it has been awhile since I have heard from her, I should ask how it was.

  188. Neanderthal Economist says:

    How is everyone feeling about owning vs renting in their neighborhood? Thats a key metric for me and its signalling parity for the first time in many years, even with the higher taxes. The house we’re buying comes in at same monthly cost as our rental but the difference is that the house were buying has a huge basement. Im interpreting this as a major buy signal for most families.

  189. gary says:

    Jill [195],

    One of my favorite examples of the absurdity of this requirement was a job advertisement for a cotton candy machine operator – not a high-skill job – which required that applicants “demonstrate prior success in operating cotton candy machines.” The most perverse manifestation of this approach is the many employers who now refuse to take applicants from unemployed candidates, the rationale being that their skills must be getting rusty.

    This article is precise and dead-on. The expectations by employers is a joke and I couldn’t agree more.

  190. Essex says:

    69. Don’t sell yourself short Chifi

  191. Shore Guy says:

    Subprime college educations
    By George F. Will, Published: June 8
    Many parents and the children they send to college are paying rapidly rising prices for something of declining quality. This is because “quality” is not synonymous with “value.”

    Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, believes that college has become, for many, merely a “status marker,” signaling membership in the educated caste, and a place to meet spouses of similar status — “associative mating.” Since 1961, the time students spend reading, writing and otherwise studying has fallen from 24 hours a week to about 15 — enough for a degree often desired only as an expensive signifier of rudimentary qualities (e.g., the ability to follow instructions). Employers value this signifier as an alternative to aptitude tests when evaluating potential employees because such tests can provoke lawsuits by having a “disparate impact” on this or that racial or ethnic group.

    In his “The Higher Education Bubble,” Reynolds writes that this bubble exists for the same reasons the housing bubble did. The government decided that too few people owned homes/went to college, so government money was poured into subsidized and sometimes subprime mortgages/student loans, with the predictable result that housing prices/college tuitions soared and many borrowers went bust. Tuitions and fees have risen more than 440 percent in 30 years as schools happily raised prices — and lowered standards — to siphon up federal money. A recent Wall Street Journal headline: “Student Debt Rises by 8% as College Tuitions Climb.”

    snip

    The budgets of California’s universities are being cut, so recently Cal State Northridge students conducted an almost-hunger strike (sustained by a blend of kale, apple and celery juices) to protest, as usual, tuition increases and, unusually and properly, administrators’ salaries. For example, in 2009 the base salary of UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and inclusion was $194,000, almost four times that of starting assistant professors. And by 2006, academic administrators outnumbered faculty.

    snip

    So taxpayers should pay more and parents and students should borrow more to fund administrative sprawl in the service of stale political agendas? Perhaps they will, until “pop!” goes the bubble.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-subprime-college-educations/2012/06/08/gJQA4fGiOV_print.html

  192. seif says:

    193 – the basement could make a big difference for your family…but if all other things are equal what is the real benefit of tying up the 20% in a flatlining or depreciating asset? Why not rent another year or two, try to create a bigger cash pile and get more (or the same) for your money in a year or two…with less of a mortgage burden?

    (not knowing all the details…this assumes that you have/keep the same habits that have helped you build up the downpayment money up until this point)

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