July Existing Home Sales

From Bloomberg:

Sales of Previously Owned U.S. Homes Probably Climbed in July

Sales of existing homes probably climbed in July from an eight-month low, adding to signs U.S. housing may pick up in the second half, economists said before a report today.

Purchases rose 3.2 percent to a 4.51 million annual rate, following a decline in the prior month, according to the median forecast of 73 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Buoyed by cheaper properties and record-low mortgage costs, demand for real estate is bolstering the industry that helped trigger the recession. Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting, also due today, will be a reminder that policy makers are monitoring data such as housing to determine whether the world’s largest economy needs more stimulus.

“The healing in housing continues,” said Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York. “We’re clearly in an upturn for the sector.”

The National Association of Realtors’ report is due at 10 a.m. in Washington. Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from 4.3 million to 4.8 million, following 4.37 million June.

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

89 Responses to July Existing Home Sales

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    ‘Short Sales’ to Get a Boost .

    Homeowners could soon have an easier time selling their homes for less than what they owe on their mortgages, under new guidelines from a federal housing regulator and mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday announced measures to make “short sales” of underwater homes easier for homeowners, including extending help to people who have financial difficulties but haven’t missed mortgage payments.

    One part of the plan is for Fannie and Freddie to place a $6,000 cap on the amount of money holders of second mortgages can receive when the sale is completed, as a way to prevent the mortgage holders from haggling over their slice of the home-sale proceeds. Those second-lien holders would still be able to reject the sales if they saw fit.

    Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication, said $6,000 may not be enough for many holders of second mortgages, who hold out on approving short sales because they don’t have the right to foreclose on properties and are seeking ways to get paid. “It isn’t a lot to offer,” he said.

    The changes only affect underwater mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, which back the bulk of U.S. home loans. The FHFA has the authority, as regulator for Fannie and Freddie, to force changes on the lending industry.

    The rules go into effect Nov. 1 and also allow homeowners with missed mortgage payments and serious financial problems to submit fewer documents to be approved for a short sale. Homeowners will receive speedier approval if they are experiencing a financial hardship such as a lost job, divorce, death in the family or job relocation.

    Earlier this year, the housing regulator set out formal timelines for short sales, saying that mortgage lenders would have to respond to a short-sale offer within 30 days of receiving it.

  3. grim says:

    From the Huffington Post:

    The Coming Housing Crisis (Yes, Another Crisis)

    Just when we are beginning to see the signs of a housing recovery and the housing market, critical to our economy, seems ready to return to normal, major markets across the U.S. are about to be impacted by a new housing crisis.

    The National Housing Shortage

    While this may seem counterintuitive at first glance, our organization has a long history of seemingly counterintuitive projections in housing which have later proven true. We were one of the first organizations to assert that short sales would not only become the preferred foreclosure alternative for homeowners, but that banks would prefer them as well. We were among the first to predict that investors would flock to the housing market beginning in 2010. We feel confident the same will hold true with the housing shortage that we believe will begin affecting some markets in the next 12 months and the majority of major markets within the next three years.

  4. grim says:

    Press release from Redfin:

    Redfin Real-Time Home Seller Survey Shows Sellers Sitting Tight; Buyers Fighting for Scraps

    Redfin, a technology-powered real estate broker, ( http://www.redfin.com ) today released its first survey of home sellers. Data was collected less than two weeks ago, capturing sentiment of homeowners with the intent to sell. Eight hundred and sixteen homeowners from 20 markets across the U.S. responded. The Redfin Real-Time Home Seller Survey is a companion to the quarterly Buyer Survey, providing insight into why home inventory is at historic lows.

    80% believe their home would get a higher price in one to two years;
    46% would consider renting out their home rather than selling it;
    32% intend to price their home higher than nearby comparable sales;
    35% would choose an all-cash offer over higher, financed offers;
    49% cited the economy as a major concern with selling;
    13% believe it is a good time to sell; and
    61% believe it is a good time to buy.

    Taken together, the data suggests a market composed of reluctant sellers with low opinions of the market today, yet high expectations for the future. However, because so many sellers believe they should wait to sell for at least one year, and nearly half said they are considering renting out their existing home instead of selling, inventory is not likely to increase in the near future. And without more inventory, sales volume cannot meaningfully improve. While home price increases are good for consumer confidence, the housing market needs sales volume for a true recovery.

  5. young buck says:

    Anyone else notice that the taxes listed on the website below haven’t been accurate lately? For example, a house with taxes about $5,500 in Elizabeth shows up as only $2,746.

    http://tax1.co.monmouth.nj.us/cgi-bin/prc6.cgi?&ms_user=glou&passwd=data&srch_type=1&adv=0&out_type=2&district=2001

  6. yo says:

    If sellers are starting hold out,the Realtor that said “it is a Real estate market” might be right.Sellers market just around the corner

  7. young buck says:

    Re: High School rankings from the previous thread…

    Wow! Elizabeth High School went from 294 to 148! I guess the Board of Ed’s claim that EHS is the #2 urban HS in NJ must be true!

    Oh, wait a minute. They simply split up the old Elizabeth High School into 6 separate high schools, but conveniently kept the name ‘Elizabeth High School’ for the gifted & talented school with only the top students. I’m sure it was pure coincidence and not done intentionally to fool the uninformed person when reading EHS rankings.

    2012 2010 School
    148 294 Elizabeth
    303 N/A Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy (Elizabeth)
    306 N/A John E. Dwyer Technical Academy (Elizabeth)
    311 N/A Adm. W. F. Halsey Leadership (Elizabeth)
    327 N/A T.A. Edison Academy (Elizabeth)
    328 N/A Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy (Elizabeth)

  8. Richard says:

    So Montclair is bad because its too far left, there is a mix of rich and poor people living together and the town has debt while taxes are high? Doesn’t that apply to most of the whole Tri-State area?

    Summit presumably is better in all those respects, but has longer commute and will cost 50%(?) more for the same sized house.

    (Sorry to harp on this but I’m seriously considering it- Bergen feels too sterile to me)

  9. raging bull jj says:

    Went to look at a short sale last night of a home that just hit market. Husband died two weeks ago and was in their with widow and kids.

    Normally I look at estate sales and reos. Kinda weird, felt like a grave robber.

  10. 3B says:

    26 million is reonvations and addition for River Dell and it drops from 27 to 104 in the NJ HS survey. I don’t pay attention to these rankings, but for local realtors and clueless home buyers it is the bible.It will be interesting to see how this is spun locally. Will it now be these rankings do not matter? Or they only matter when we are in the top?

  11. yo says:

    You are helping them by getting out of their misery. I don’t think the banks are going after the defficiency after the sale and the difference is not fed taxable if sold in 2012

    Your a good man,Charlie Brown!!

    raging bull jj says:
    August 22, 2012 at 8:51 am
    Went to look at a short sale last night of a home that just hit market. Husband died two weeks ago and was in their with widow and kids.

    Normally I look at estate sales and reos. Kinda weird, felt like a grave robber.

  12. 3B says:

    #6 Yo: Maybe you are right. But those of us who think and are prudent are being reluctantly dragged along for the ride, for whatever reason or reasons by so amny others are out there buying who do not have a clue.

  13. Ernest Money says:

    Waiting for jj story on how he tagged the widow.

  14. raging bull jj says:

    only women of that age I would tag would have to be filthy rich with one foot in grave

    Ernest Money says:
    August 22, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Waiting for jj story on how he tagged the widow.

  15. yo says:

    Is it not equal to, when we rescued the banks with investors,the top 10% that could have lost it all?

    3B says:
    August 22, 2012 at 9:06 am
    #6 Yo: Maybe you are right. But those of us who think and are prudent are being reluctantly dragged along for the ride, for whatever reason or reasons by so amny others are out there buying who do not have a clue.

  16. 3B says:

    #15 Yo: I do not see your point.

  17. nwnj says:

    #6

    Sellers never stopped holding out. There has been no capitulation. I know two have been listing for the past two years and have not sold, and another one who had their listing expire and will try again next year. That’s not a new phenomenon.

    Price is all that matters, and I suspect that Case/Shiller will show that prices are still falling the next time it’s reported.

  18. yo says:

    • Romney might renominate Bernanke if he wins

  19. xolepa says:

    (9) Husband died two weeks ago and was in their with widow and kids.

    Did they prop the guy up and nail him to a chair?

    Seriously. I have a story to beat that. My wife’s grandfather died about 15 years ago. He was in his 90’s and owned a single family cape in Union (Union county). He was a real estate watcher throughout his latter life and had friends who at old ages still sold real estate. Two years prior to his death, he sold his 4 family in Newark he thought would make him rich. When he bought the Union cape, he transferred title to all 4 grandchildren, including my wife. Either way, One of his elder RE buddies shows up at his wake with a signed contract in hand. Signed by a prospective buyer. The sale was sold within a month.

  20. yo says:

    I was just saying,when we rescued the banks,we rescued the investors,the bond holders,the top 10% of earners with them.If we did not rescue the banks there could have been bank runs,investors getting paid pennies on the dollar.Savings going down with the banks.
    It is their turn that needs help to get the help they need.Remember it was the bank and our leaders that marketed this housing bubble.Let the investors take a little hit.The guy that was prudent could have taken a big hit too if the banks failed.Just take it as a blessing.

  21. xolepa says:

    (19) oops. House was sold within a month

  22. raging bull jj says:

    U.S. July Home Resales Rise to 4.47M Rate

  23. Grim says:

    I know guys who scan obits and visit funeral homes with contracts, it’s a slimy gig, but in no way novel.

  24. joyce says:

    (8)
    Richard,

    Sorry to quibble, but the commute between Montclair vs Summit (if we are talking only train) is quicker from Summit to Penn.

  25. raging bull jj says:

    Worst REO I saw I arrived at sherif just put them out on street, chain smoking mom and her chain smoking gay son in a house full of deep pile carpeting. Anyone foreclosure took a few months and sheriff said they were sitting on coach smoking and watching TV when they arrived house was a mess, usual horrible wrecked stuff.

    Anyhow gay son in his thirties who still lived at home was furious over foreclosure, for past few months he jerked off at least twice a day to playgirl magazine pages, then came on back of the picture and stuck it to the sheetrock. Hundreds of them cumpasted to wall. Yes cumpasted is a word. the foreclosure guy saw it for first time with me after sheriffs left and even he could not spin anything out of this mess, we both ran out. THE HORROR> My own personal vietnam

    xolepa says:
    August 22, 2012 at 9:27 am

    (9) Husband died two weeks ago and was in their with widow and kids.

    Did they prop the guy up and nail him to a chair?

    Seriously. I have a story to beat that. My wife’s grandfather died about 15 years ago. He was in his 90′s and owned a single family cape in Union (Union county). He was a real estate watcher throughout his latter life and had friends who at old ages still sold real estate. Two years prior to his death, he sold his 4 family in Newark he thought would make him rich. When he bought the Union cape, he transferred title to all 4 grandchildren, including my wife. Either way, One of his elder RE buddies shows up at his wake with a signed contract in hand. Signed by a prospective buyer. The sale was sold within a month.

  26. Anon E. Moose says:

    Young Buck [7];

    Bankruptcy practice for school rankings! There was “Good (New)” GM and “Bad” GM; the “Good” banks and “Bad” banks… Now you’ve got the highly ranked Elizabeth HS and many other low ranked Elizabeth HS, all coincidentally sharing one building.

  27. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [26];

    BTW, raises and bonuses (bonii?) for all the administrators doing such a great job getting the numbers up!

  28. grim says:

    (I needed to pour mouthwash into my eyes after reading that)

    From CNBC:

    Toll Brothers Earnings Beat on Housing Recovery

    Toll Brothers, the largest luxury homebuilder in the U.S., reported a higher quarterly profit and a sharp jump in new orders amid a recovery in the housing market.

    The U.S. housing market, which fell into a deep rut six years ago, has been recovering this year with home prices showing signs of stabilizing and pent-up demand boosting sales.

    “We are enjoying the most sustained demand we have experienced in over five years,” Toll CEO Douglas Yearly said in a statement. “The housing recovery is being driven by pent-up demand, very low interest rates and attractively priced homes.”

    Toll’s net signed contracts rose 57 percent to 1,119 units during its third quarter ended July 31. Backlog jumped 59 percent to $1.62 billion.

    “The pace of our contract growth has far exceeded the national housing data as we are gaining market share,” said Yearly.

  29. Anon E. Moose says:

    jj [9];

    You should try angling for that house in Massapequa where the guy tried to fake his own death to get life ins to bail out his underwater mortgage. Lots of bad PR, delinquent homedebtor with big legal expenses on the horizon… Probably a deal to be had there.

  30. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The president doesn’t appoint the Fed chair anymore. They have a sub-committee within the Bilderberg for that.

    • Romney might renominate Bernanke if he wins

  31. nycer says:

    Richard

    you are right about montclair. It is not better or worse than most NNJ cities. They mention a Montclair downtown that is crime laden. Yet Glen Ridge is closer to it than most of Montclair. In fact both town have same crime rate. They say schools are bad but actually they fare pretty good for such a big district. SAT scores are similar to Glen ridge and other town (1600s).
    Also as you noticed the housing stock is spectacular, the best in the state, and although taxes seem high they are much lower for similar houses in other towns, if you can find any.
    When they bash montclair here I laugh because there is usually an axe to grind and a button to push.
    Don’t get me wrong there are the usual shortcomings but you will find those in all NJ.
    If anything Montclair is more interesting and diverse, as a suburb can be, than the dead towns most NJ is made of.

  32. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Sales of existing home sales climbed 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday, coming in roughly in line with the 4.5 million consensus. The median price of existing homes climbed 9.4% year-on-year to $187,300, and inventories rose 1.3% to 2.4 million units, representing 6.4 months of supply. The data was released early after an embargo break by another news organization.

  33. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Existing Home Sales Rise 2.3 Percent on Pent-Up Demand

    U.S. existing home sales rose 2.3 percent in July to 4.47 million from 4.37 million in the previous month but missed analysts’ estimates, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    “It’s pretty much in line with market forecasts,” said Omer Esiner, chief analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange. “It’s encouraging to see the inventory of unsold homes come down and median price continue to rise, though I think there are technical issues involved in that. The homes that are selling tend to be higher in price, which is skewing that a bit.”

    Monthly sales increased in every region but the West, where housing inventory is tight. Sales were just below analysts’ expectations of a 4.52 million-unit rate.

    Nationwide, the median price for a home resale was $187,300 in July, 9.4 percent higher than in the same month a year earlier.

  34. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [25] JJ – Your own personal Viet Nam or… maybe your favorite “deposit” in your spank-bank? It’s at least your third flashback of this story just on this site alone. Also you’ve adjusted your memory to now fantasize that the guy is in his 30’s when he used to be middle-aged. Interesting:

    John says:
    March 24, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Since the only people buying homes are foreigners I guess the 15K tax credit won’t mean much anyhow.

    Since I have been to a few hundred houses for sale I will name a few of my highlights.

    Old lady with gay middle age son who spanked it to playgirl and then used his cum to stick the centerfolds to the wall. All time favorite.

    JJ says:
    October 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I looked at 100′s of foreclosures and that is nothing. My most disgusting of all time was a sheetrocked house when prior gay owners covered house with centerfolds from Playgirl magazine that were not glued on. Bank told me they tried to remove a few and realized someone spanked the monkey and glued them on in his own very special way. Yikke.

    raging bull jj says:
    August 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Anyhow gay son in his thirties who still lived at home was furious over foreclosure, for past few months he jerked off at least twice a day to playgirl magazine pages, then came on back of the picture and stuck it to the sheetrock. Hundreds of them cumpasted to wall. Yes cumpasted is a word. the foreclosure guy saw it for first time with me after sheriffs left and even he could not spin anything out of this mess, we both ran out. THE HORROR> My own personal vietnam

  35. Painhrtz - Yossarian says:

    Hey Brian what model frontier do you have mine just bit it after 12 years 260K miles and before I take the old girl off to the scrap yard with tears in my eyes want to know if you want the roof rack and bed extender if you don’t already have them. Could take the step bars off if you want them. Also have new tailgate straps and the parts to do the knock sensor relocation if you have the VGE33. Gator – Captain Cheapo may want that for the X if he has not done it already.

    Yo – and as far as the banks are concerned that is exactly what should have happened. They should have failed. Same with GM. All assets could have been sold off investors would not have been made whole but would have gotten something back. something newer and better would have risen out of the ashes or otehr banks would have filled their void. Just because the banks got bailed doesn’t mean the proles should too, this garbage has to stop.

  36. nycer says:

    The NJ monthly is laughable as well. The best schools (the magnets in Monmouth) are not even mentioned. While the rest are ranked according to the realtors and others interests. Ignore although many, mainly re pros, they’ll try to legitimize.

  37. 3B says:

    #36 nycer:All these ranking surveys are suspect to say the least, but many realtors use these as the ble, when pushing certain towns. In the case of where I live, dropping from 27 to 104, is going to be a very hard spin. Especially so becasue taxes are the top 5 highest in Bergen County, and many of the so called not desirebale towns surrounding did much better in these rankings.

  38. njescapee says:

    The New Jersery Jobs Neutron Bomb

    And the payroll propaganda was going so well until… New Jersey happened. As the chart below shows, in the month of July the state, arguably the Tristate area’s most employer friendly, saw a sequential drop of 12,000 jobs, which was the largest one month drop since June 2009. Outlier? Or the harbinger of things to come at the national level? We will likely not now for sure until after the presidential election at which point the endless data fudging and manipulation finally ends.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/new-jersery-jobs-neutron-bomb#comments

  39. Grim says:

    38 – Crap on methodology and legitimacy all you like, but it’s irrelevant, those numbers impact the market and are widely distributed.

    Watch what happens to New Providence over the next year if you doubt it.

  40. Libtard in the City says:

    nycer:

    As someone who has lived the majority of his adult life in Montclair and someone who still owns property there, the uniqueness of living with diversity wares off all too quickly when you realize how much it ends up impacting one’s quality of life.

    For example, we used to use the town pools. Due to the recession, they have cut the pool hours back to 1-7 on weekdays and noon-7 on weekends. You are not allowed to bring food or drink to the pools and they lack any amenity besides the pools themselves. There are no slides or diving boards. Just a large unsheltered rectangle with a shortage of lounges. Why? Well we have three identical pool complexes that since they were originally built to keep the undesirables away from the Upper Montclair pool. When families wanted the prices increased to pay for amenities, the town refuses as the poorer resident’s couldn’t afford it. Even though the poorer residents use it for free. So the pools and the hours suck. Go check out the Westfield pool which costs the same but rivals a Wet & Wild in amenities, comfort and hours. And the pools are merely one example. You will find more drug abuse counselors at the schools than guidance counselors for example. You will pay more for your trash hauling since the town refuses to outsource since a few of the local poor might lose their job. And the local debt is not similar to surrounding towns. Montclair’s debt is somewhere between 230 and 300 million which is staggering for a town that only has 37,000 residents. If you fancy yourself as Meathead and Julia hipsters, then Montclair is perfect for you. It’s a magnet for mixed race couples, same sex parents and hippy-dippy people who swear by alternative medicine. If you believe that Democrats are on a mission to save the world and that people should abandon their gas guzzling autos and take to the streets on pogo sticks, then it’s the place for you.

    I was personally not impressed with our son’s kindergarten. I felt they had to teach to the lowest common denominator (diversity again) so my son who knew how to read and do math ended up relearning colors and numbers and the alphabet since about a fifth of the class probably didn’t do pre-K. Oh yeah, the tax-subsidized Pre-K is very pricey since the poor kids go on scholarship. We paid significantly less at a private day care center in Bloomfield. Also, government services there STINK!!!! In Glen Ridge they are 1000% better (or the way they should be).

    Ultimately, it’s the debt that scared me more than anything. One out of every five dollars collected in municipal tax revenue goes to pay the debt service. Every dollar of my tax revenue in Glen Ridge goes to pay for the actual service provided. In the past few years, Montclair’s debt has been downgraded twice. If you think there’s a chance that the muni market is going to implode a la Whitney, then you don’t want to live in Montclair when it happens.

    Are there great restaurants, great housing stock and liberal families? Absolutely. If that’s your end all be all. Go for it. I chose not to be there when it implodes under the weight of good will. No librarians in the elementary schools, but there are three different places to charge your electric car. The priorities in the town are completely F’ed up.

  41. raging bull jj says:

    It’s a magnet for mixed race couples, same sex parents and hippy-dippy people who swear by alternative medicine.

    Sounds like a great town for fruitcakes, enjoy.

  42. daddyo says:

    Any interest in joining my Fantasy Premier League – league? I know it’s already week 2, but its a 38-week season, and most of the point scorers were no-names this week, so totals are very low.

    It’s 20/team, winner take all. About 12 guys in the league now. Let me know.

  43. 3B says:

    #40 grim I am not crapping on the methodology, simply saying all such surveys are suspect IMO. That beong said I did say that nevetheless many realtors and uninformed home buyers treat these surveys like the bible. In my town falling from 27 to 104 is a huge drop, and it will have a neagative impact on values. You cannot spin that kind of drop away, unless these very same realtors and home buyers not state that surveys do not matter. They cannot have it both ways.

  44. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: I thought you said this guy was a studio G?

    Burglars take note: It’s not a good idea to break into the home of someone who wrote the song “Mama Said Knock You Out.”

    Early Wednesday morning, LL Cool J busted a burglary suspect who had broken into his Los Angeles home. The actor-rapper, whose real name is James Todd Smith, discovered the man just before 1 a.m., when the alarm system in his Studio City residence was tripped. A scuffle ensued, but the “NCIS: Los Angeles” star — whose arms (and abs!) are legendary in Hollywood — took down the trespasser and detained him while one of his daughters called 911.

    When officers arrived, they took the man — whose name has not been released — into custody. The suspect, who will be arrested on suspicion of burglary, had minor bruises.

    It’s really no surprise tough guy LL Cool J — who has shared his fitness secrets in books including “LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout” and has one of the most chiseled bodies in the biz — was uninjured during the fracas. Further, nothing was taken from the home, which he shares with his wife, Simone, and four children: a son Najee, 22, and daughters Italia, 21, Samaria, 17, and Nina, 11.

    When reached for comment about the incident, a rep for LL Cool J told omg!: “LL Cool J and his family are safe and thank everyone for their thoughts and concern. As a father, husband, and citizen, he is committed to keeping his family safe and is cooperating with authorities on this private matter.”

  45. Libtard in the City says:

    daddyo,

    I’m already in one with a bunch of guys from the Isle of Mann.

  46. Libtard in the City says:

    In other news, I just got my second increase in 5 years. Will I get ahead of inflation at 1% per year?

  47. grim says:

    Stu – Welcome to the world of the 1%

  48. Libtard in the City says:

    ha! Good one G-man.

  49. Samivel says:

    I live in the “diverse” part of Montclair. Kid was shot to death around the
    corner some weeks back. My street is over run by a horde of neglected kids
    every night w/o an adult in sight. It’s a decent place but one would be nuts to buy there
    unless they’re loaded. Large sections of Bloomfield are vacant; no real
    commerce there.

  50. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    There is a murder-suicide reported in Camden. My first thought was “if only they had more bike paths.”

    Then I looked up the story. It’s sick. I’m not linking it. If you want to know more, google it, but I warn you, it’s disturbing.

  51. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    On a lighter note, you are all gonna be forced to use Turbo Tax

    “Wall Street Journal op-ed: How Big Government and Big Business Squeeze Entrepreneurs, by Chip Mellor (President, Institute for Justice):

    Wisconsin’s Elmer Kilian wants the chance to earn an honest living. So do Nevada’s Lissette Waugh, Florida’s Silvio Membreno and countless other entrepreneurs who have the drive and ability to put themselves and others to work.

    Standing in their way are regulations imposed at the federal, state and local levels—regulations designed not to protect the public’s health and safety but to protect politically powerful private businesses from new competition. These regulations are in many cases unconstitutional uses of government power, and in all cases they are unwise uses of public resources at a time when unemployment rates have lingered above 8% for 41 straight months, the longest such streak since World War II.

    For decades, Elmer Kilian has prepared tax returns for his friends and neighbors on his lace-covered dining room table. He is typical of more than 350,000 American tax preparers who may now be put out of business because of an IRS power grab.

    Under new regulations imposed last year—without congressional approval—the IRS now requires all paid tax preparers to become “registered tax return preparers” by paying extra fees, passing a government exam, and taking continuing-education classes annually. (Exempted from the mandate are attorneys, CPAs and politically powerful “enrolled agents.”) Big tax-preparation firms such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt supported the licensing scheme, as did lobbying groups representing CPAs and others who are exempted from new regulation.

    This new regulatory burden falls most heavily on independent tax preparers, who may soon be forced out of business. Compliance, especially for seasonal preparers like Mr. Kilian, is both expensive and time-consuming. Out-of-pocket costs of up to $1,000 for continuing-education courses, plus the travel and time required to take the classes, would make Mr. Kilian’s venture unprofitable.”

    /snip

    h/t TaxProfBlog

  52. Libtard in the City says:

    Nom,

    Just another example of the lobbyist model at work destroying our economy. It’s really not a partisan issue when both parties suck.

  53. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [53] redux

    I thought perhaps I could leverage my law license to “hire” ghost preparers without PTINs, but the reg requires anyone who even touches a return to have a PTIN.

    Of course, in the LMI areas, unlicensed preparers will continue to flout the law and will only prepare, but not sign, returns. Some may insulate themselves by throwing in the prep for free but charge a “consulting fee” for tax planning services. Then, when the return gets audited, the preparer will say “I’m sorry. Who are you?”

  54. Sima says:

    Richard #8
    I live in a neighboring town, but Montclair is where we go for restaurants, concerts, shops, etc. Wonderfully diverse and beautiful houses and parks. Probably the most interesting town/city around here. I like it much better than Summit or Millburn which are totally hoity-toity, that is, if you aren’t dressed to the max and drive the right car, then don’t bother even getting out of your not-up-to-snuff car.
    However, the taxes are so high that I can’t consider ever buying there.
    Part of the problem is that some of the services in Montclair are provided by salaried employees rather than volunteers (rescue squad, firefighters, environmental affairs coordinator).
    Of course my town is much smaller and therefore can get by with volunteers.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [54] lib

    And it isn’t just tax preparers. There are all manner of small businesses that get squeezed out by larger businesses that actually ask for regulation. Yes, regulation falls on everyone, just like a tax, but it is a very regressive tax insofar as it disproportionately affects smaller organizations.

  56. yo says:

    American Middle Class Slipping Behind Leans Toward Obama

    The middle class is shrinking and is now barely a majority in the U.S., underscoring the challenge President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face as they argue over who can best protect the wealth of struggling Americans.

    The proportion of middle-income earners, or those making from $39,000 to $118,000 for a family of three, narrowed as the housing-market crash erased two decades of gains in wealth since 2001 and average incomes fell for the first time since World War II, a Pew Research Center report shows. The middle class shrank to 51 percent of adults in 2011 from 61 percent in 1971.

    “We think of ourselves and pride ourselves as being a middle-class society,” said Paul Taylor, the center’s executive vice president and the editor of the report, released today. “But there’s a sense that the middle class is getting smaller. It’s hollowing out.”

    Middle-class people are reluctant to lay much of the blame on Obama, with Congress, banks, corporations, the Bush administration and overseas competition more commonly cited as the cause of their problems, according to the survey. More than half, 52 percent, say Obama’s policies would aid the middle class, a 10-percentage-point advantage over Romney.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-22/american-middle-class-slipping-behind-leans-toward-obama.html

  57. Painhrtz - Yossarian says:

    Nom I think there was a story not to long ago in FL where a woman was fined and forced to shut down her hair weave business because she did not have the proper licensing from the hair cartels.

    how long until they force us all to go to those qualified preparers instead of doing it ourselves ala obamacare.

    I always hope when I see articles like this that more people would wake up to the ridiculousness of the current federal government as well as state and local. Sadly I know this won’t be the case.

  58. yo says:

    The Pew poll indicates.,Republicans favor the rich, according to 62 percent of self-described middle-class respondents. That compares to 16 percent who said the same of Democrats. The survey showed 37 percent said Democrats were more likely to favor their interests while 26 percent said that of Republicans.

    “Obama is perceived as more sympathetic to the middle class,” said John Sides, who teaches politics at George Washington University in the nation’s capital and is working on a book about the election. “The challenge for Romney is that he is seen as someone who’s competent, but you want to be seen as someone who’s in touch. There’s enough of a gap there that it may be a liability for him.”

  59. yo says:

    For middle-income families, which have almost half their wealth tied up in their homes, their median wealth increased 2 percent in 2010 from 1983. By comparison, the wealth of upper- income families jumped by 87 percent, the study shows.

  60. raging bull jj says:

    LL Cool J who grew up in Dix Hills, then Moved to Manhasset and then to LA is a studio G, an Original G like me would have popped a cap in his a$$

    Although us LI folks do like to take a crook down.

    chicagofinance says:
    August 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    JJ: I thought you said this guy was a studio G?

  61. raging bull jj says:

    Most middle income families do not own their home. Someone who owned a home worth 400K with a 200K mortgage in 2006 who now has a home worth 300K with a 180K mortgage who never planned on selling anyhow it is mainly an imaginary wealth loss, kinda like when our 401Ks fell from 2007 to 2009 and then went back up from 2009 to 2012, for us working folks it really did not matter.

    Problem with middle class is what I saw last night at short sale. They bought a large fixer upper house in a well off neighborhood with 9K taxes in 2003. Appears house ran down as they were in a bit too deep and then by 2008 the market collasped on them. Then husband got sick and died and I guess had no life insurance. Market value of that house is around 450K, they bought it for 45oK nine years ago so they must have also took out equity. Appeared older kids were in college or just graduated college so I bet they borrowed for that too. Real nice people. But Obama has nothing to do with they bought a house they cant afford, and husband got sick and died. Also that house they bought for 450K in 2003 by Spring of 2006 was worth 650K from comps in peak time. If they sold in 2006 for a 200K profit, bought ten year treasuries and used income towards rent they would be sitting pretty financially, although husband still would have died. But nevertheless a blue collar family living hand to mouth made a risky investment in 2003 with 100% of their cash that rose in value 200K in 36 months they should have cashed out and sold. If it was stocks they would have got scared being up that much and sold, but middle class viewed RE as safe even at peak

    yo says:
    August 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    For middle-income families, which have almost half their wealth tied up in their homes, their median wealth increased 2 percent in 2010 from 1983. By comparison, the wealth of upper- income families jumped by 87 percent, the study shows.

  62. raging bull jj says:

    According t0 Guggenheim Securities analysis, Bank of America and JPMorgan have over $20 billion of trust preferred securities up for redemption in the next year, followed by $17 billion-plus in redemptions at Wells Fargo . Morgan Stanley (Symbol : and Citigroup also have six and nine TRUPS up for redemption on September 20, respectively, which generally carry 6%-plus yield.

    Ouch to retail investors. Although the lucky dogs have had bonds that they bought at par around 20 years ago pay them 8% a year for 20 years so I guess we should not cry other people lost their high yielding bonds back in 2008, many in a bk.

  63. raging bull jj says:

    Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery.”

  64. Richard says:

    Thanks to all for comments on Montclair. I’m finding it hard to decide on this one. Working in NY and living nearby I’m perfectly used to some crime, Democrats, above average taxes and a good dose of diversity. Its just scary to buy into a town where people want to leave and it looks like it is going downhill & an out of control budget. Certainly that reverse-gentrification feel has put me off Maplewood and West Orange.

    The problem is I find the bits of Bergen I’ve seen have a slow commute & a bit too quiet. If I scrub this off too I’m left with few options. LI/Westchester? Hardly a saving in taxes over Montclair.

    Thanks again

  65. A.West says:

    I looked at the NJ Monthly High School rankings. The scoring criteria look poorly considered. Seems like the most influential is students/class and teacher ratio. Look at how far Princeton and Montgomery fell. The kids are tons smarter (by SAT and AP test success) than the schools near them in the rankings, but the school doesn’t employ enough union labor per kid, so down goes the rankings. I think they’re also trying to do some demographic/wealth affirmative action for school rankings.

    Where would you send your kid to school : where there are average class sizes of 17, but on average, the kids are dumb (score mediocre on SAT and AP tests), or where the average class size is moderately larger (over 20) and the kids score very high on SAT and AP tests? Slapping Princeton down to 59 for not hiring enough union labor seems just mean spirited, when the kids are clearly performing at a higher level scholastically than most of the top 10 schools.

    My town’s school fell a lot from the 67 to 113, I guess because of the same trend – saving money by letting class sizes increase. Meanwhile, the kids have higher SAT’s and better AP results than most of the schools ranked 20 to 50. Compare Bridgewater at 113 vs Dunellen at 112. Bridgewater dominates the Dunellen kids on all objective results that relate to intellectual accomplishment, but the Dunellen school spends more per kid on union labor, so gets the higher rank. 1666 vs 1391 SAT, 93% getting 3 or higher on AP vs 40%.

    In fact my town’s objective student performance scores are slightly better than the #5 ranked Kinellon. Better SAT, better and more AP, similar advanced proficiency, Except Kinellon hires more union labor per student so they’re obviously much better.

  66. chicagofinance says:

    clot: when you are through with NJ, I have found you new home…..

    Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home for sale in Ohio

    BATH, Ohio — The childhood home of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is for sale in northern Ohio.

    The three-bedroom, 2,170-square foot home on a private wooded lot in Bath, near Akron, was the site of Dahmer’s first murder, in 1978. He moved to Wisconsin in 1982 and went on to kill 16 more people before his crimes were discovered in 1991. He was killed in prison in 1994.

    Dahmer’s parents bought the house in 1968, when he was 8.

    The current owner is musician Chris Butler, who was a founding member of the 1980s band The Waitresses. He told The Akron Beacon Journal that he listed the house because he no longer has reason to spend much time in the area.

    He said he bought it in 2005 when he was living in New York but spending a lot of time here as part of another band. His mother was also living here at the time but has since died, he said.

    The ranch-style house was built in 1952, and a year later it was featured in the Beacon Journal for its modern style, open layout and floor-to-ceiling windows that provided views of the wooded hillside.

    Butler said he was drawn to the house by its ’50s style and big, wooded lot. He said it was perfect for his collections of midcentury modern furniture and British Invasion music equipment, and it was an ideal place for him and his band mates to make music without disturbing the neighbors.

    Still, he couldn’t understand at first why the house had been on the market for six months at a price that seemed low for the neighborhood. Then his agent called to disclose the home’s infamous history.

    “I didn’t stop shaking for another 24 hours,” he said.

    He decided to buy it anyway and hasn’t been sorry.

    “I love, love, love the place, but I just don’t get back there that often,” he said.

    The asking price is $329,000. Butler said his real estate agent vets potential buyers to weed out curiosity seekers. He believes the right buyer will be someone who appreciates the home’s vintage style.

    “You’ve gotta kind of get past the horror factor,” he said.

  67. Mocha says:

    JJ,

    What’s wrong with mixed race couples?

  68. Libtard in the City says:

    Those HS rankings (and many of the college rankings too) are truly BS. It’s generally the income levels and parenting skills that improve as income levels increase that determine which towns will have the highest SAT scores. Unfortunately, Grim is correct in that a lot of the sheep will use these rankings which will influence property values in many towns. Plus, NJ Monthly isn’t even a real magazine. Their restaurant reviews are determined by the ad dollars the restaurants spend in the magazine for example. Most likely, if you took a pole of where the magazine staff lives, you’ll probably find their top 20 school systems.

  69. Essex says:

    70. I took a pole once, she was buxom.

  70. raging bull jj says:

    Nothing, I almost married an Italian girl for Christ sake. I think Sicily is a part of Africa

    Mocha says:
    August 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    JJ,

    What’s wrong with mixed race couples?

    Moody’s Places Saint Peter’s U. Hospital, N.J., on Review for Downgrade

  71. raging bull jj says:

    Actually I don’t like mixed race girls. I did however go out with a black girl once. She treated me like her sugar daddy, pimp and rock star all in one. I felt like Al Pachino in his gangsta movie. Mixed race ones are like the Obama girls, too much whitey in them for them to get all street ho. I need some street ho coming out in the bedroom. Dont need no black chick who is mixed race going all melba toast in the bedroom. Mixed race girls are like a corvette with a four cylnder engine.

  72. A.West says:

    jj,
    You have such pentrating insights into race and class. Now share your insights on legitamate vs illegitamate rape.

  73. 3B says:

    #70 I agree all around. But as I have been saying along with you, and grimlocal Realtors (at least in my town) use this as the bible. Already on the local Patch, there are a few out raged comments abou the big decline (from 27 to 104), not only that but also last place in DFG for Bergen County.

  74. Painhrtz - Yossarian says:

    Well I’m sold it has pheasent pen sheds

  75. raging bull jj says:

    Easy, when I am drunk and a hot girl takes advantage of me it is legimate, if an ugly girl does it is illegimate. Actually, I was raised by by my Irish Catholic Widowed Mom and I have two sisters. Any Man who rapes a girl or takes advantage of a heavily drunk girl should be shot in the balls. Like in the movie Lipstick which has best ending. Watch it with any guy who tries to date your daughter and yell you go girl as she blows off the rapists nuts with a high powered gun at close range.

    A.West says:
    August 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    jj,
    You have such pentrating insights into race and class. Now share your insights on legitamate vs illegitamate rape.

  76. raging bull jj says:

    Name the song. “Puerto Rican, Black, White, Chinese come on and get on your knees”.

    A.West says:
    August 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    jj,
    You have such pentrating insights into race and class. Now share your insights on legitamate vs illegitamate rape.

  77. raging bull jj says:

    Funny how QE3 works. around opening bell it became clear wifey wanted no part of large house I wanted to get from recent widow that needed work. I threw the 50K cash I had into some ten year munis and went to zero cash and then boom, QE3 talk. Bonds are up 1%. However, I am going to get the pants called off me come year end. But hoping some houses come back up at christmas time to by. No need to sit at zero interest for five months. With Qe3 on way Big Ben is going to give me back that 50K in a round three months. I see a lot of munis come to market this afternoon after being repriced at crazy low rates and a lot of 10-30 year muni zero coupon bonds hit market on new issues. That is a sign rates are super low. When you borrow to fund things on z-coupon bonds you better be damm sure rates are super low.

  78. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Shiny, baby! Yeah.

  79. chicagofinance says:

    Pop Muzik by M?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HaAOCGb3bw

    raging bull jj says:
    August 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    Name the song. “Puerto Rican, Black, White, Chinese come on and get on your knees”.

  80. Mikewaited says:

    Thanks Chi linked into that tune & spent an hour in the 70s & 80s.

  81. Mikewaited says:

    By the way did not catch that phrase in the lyrics.

  82. Mikewaited says:

    Nom 82 QE3 expectations after FOMC minutes release.

  83. Libtard in Union says:

    My spelling of poll even amused ME.

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