October Beige Book

From the Federal Reserve:

October Beige Book-Second District–New York

Construction and Real Estate

Residential real estate across the District has continued to improve. Housing markets in metropolitan Buffalo reportedly flattened out in August but picked up sharply in September. Northern New Jersey’s housing market has shown further modest signs of improvement, and there has been a sustained pickup in rental apartment construction, as builders appear to see a persistent shift toward renting. Home prices across northern New Jersey appear to recovering gradually–an industry expert notes that foreclosures and distress sales are no longer pushing down prices of other properties, though they are dampening any increase. Manhattan’s co-op and condo market has remained stable–both in terms of sales activity and prices. The upper end of the market has been relatively strong, partly fueled by foreign buyers. Market conditions are reported to have strengthened in Brooklyn and especially Queens in the third quarter, while Long Island’s housing market is weak but stabilizing. New York City’s apartment rental market remains robust: rents have decelerated a bit in recent months but are still estimated to be rising at a 6-8 percent annual pace.

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185 Responses to October Beige Book

  1. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Why Home Refinancing Boom Is Different This Time

    U.S. home owners are refinancing their mortgages at the fastest clip since 2005, but the difference now is they are putting cash in, not taking it out.

    At the going rate, 25 percent of all first-lien U.S. mortgages will be refinanced this year, according to LPS Applied Analytics. That represents about $7.1 billion —just through June of this year — in savings on monthly payments, according to economists at Freddie Mac, who ran the numbers for this report.

    Seven years ago, refinancing wasn’t about saving on monthly payments; it was about pulling cash out. Homeowners extracted close to a trillion dollars collectively in home equity in 2005 and largely put it toward home remodeling, swimming pools, cars, vacations and retail spending.

    Today, 81 percent of homeowners refinancing their first-lien mortgages either kept the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying-in additional money at closing, according to Freddie Mac.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    California Leading U.S. Out of Housing Bust: Mortgages

    California, the state that led the U.S. into the housing boom and bust with some of the most reckless subprime mortgage lending, is now leading the way out.

    A plunge in new defaults in California helped push U.S. foreclosure filings to the lowest level in almost five years, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of home-loan data. Across the country, 531,576 properties received notices of default, auction or repossession in the third quarter, down 13 percent from a year earlier and the lowest since 2007. One in every 248 households got a filing, RealyTrac said today.

    California, the birthplace of subprime mortgage lending, saw an explosion of foreclosures thanks to such industry innovations as “no-doc” loans that required no proof of income. The state’s recovery is mirrored by U.S. home values that rose 1.2 percent in July from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case Shiller index of property prices in 20 major cities. It was the second straight 12-month advance and the biggest jump for the real estate gauge since August 2010.

    “We’re starting to see improvement in some of the hardest hit areas, strong demand, competitive bidding on properties and rising prices,” Sean O’Toole, chief executive officer of ForeclosureRadar.com, which tracks sales of foreclosed properties, said in a telephone interview.

  3. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Housing Is Bright Spot in Update on Economy

    The housing market showed broad improvement as the economy continued to expand modestly in late August and September, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday.

    The Fed’s “beige book” report reinforced a host of recent data suggesting the housing market’s recovery is picking up steam. The report, which is based on anecdotes from business contacts and economists, said existing-home sales strengthened in all 12 Fed districts, while selling prices rose or held steady.

    The beige book observed that “residential real estate showed widespread improvement since the last report.” That is in line with data showing a nascent firming in a sector once rocked by the collapse in housing prices and the recession. Sales of previously occupied homes reached their highest level in more than two years in August, the National Association of Realtors said last month.

    The Fed noted that shrinking inventories of houses helped push up prices in some districts. Some regions saw robust growth in the construction of multi-family units. The commercial real-estate market was “mixed,” with some softening in the office market.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    US foreclosure filings hit 5-year low in September

    U.S. foreclosure filings dropped to a five-year low in September as fewer homes were on track to be seized by lenders.

    It was the second-consecutive monthly decline in filings, although there remains a sharp divergence along state lines, according to a report Thursday by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

    On a national level, overall foreclosure filings last month — including home repossessions — fell 7 percent from August and 16 percent from September 2011. There were 180,427 foreclosure filings reported for September, the fewest since July 2007 in the midst the housing market bust.

    The number of homes entering the foreclosure process, so-called foreclosure starts, fell to 87,066 in September, down 12 percent from August and 15 percent from a year earlier. It was the second-straight month of declines following three months of increases, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac reported.

    Of the 19 states in which foreclosure starts rose in September, those with the largest annual increases were New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington state and Florida. Except for Washington, they are judicial states, where the courts must sign off on foreclosures.

  5. grim says:

    From RealtyTrac:

    Foreclosure Activity Drops to 5-Year Low in September

    Meanwhile, third quarter foreclosure activity increased on a year-over-year basis in 14 out of the 26 states with a primarily judicial foreclosure process, including New Jersey (130 percent increase), New York (53 percent increase), Indiana (36 percent increase), Pennsylvania (35 percent increase), Connecticut (34 percent increase), Illinois (31 percent increase), Maryland (28 percent increase), South Carolina (16 percent increase), North Carolina (14 percent increase), and Florida (14 percent increase).

    States with the biggest annual increases in foreclosure starts in September included New Jersey (424 percent increase), Pennsylvania (134 percent increase), New York (95 percent increase), Washington (60 percent increase) and Florida (24 percent increase).

    The average time to foreclose decreased from a year ago in 15 states, including Arkansas (down 49 percent to 199 days), Michigan (down 15 percent to 226 days), Maryland (down 9 percent to 541 days), California (down 8 percent to 335 days), and New Jersey (down 4 percent to 931 days).

  6. 1993 House Buyer says:

    Obama and the L-Word ‘Liar’ is potent and ugly—with a sleazy political pedigree.

    About Lies, thought it odd that Romney was accused of lying in a debate, since lying implies past tense…as a challenger I think you can say his logic is flawed or the numbers don’t add up, but lying is a stretch. When I voted for Obama and he said he would close Gitmo, I knew that wasn’t going to happen and it was an campaign ploy. Also, we do know that POTUS is really a foreign policy position, Congress handles spending and taxing.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443749204578048682120159150.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

    The election campaign of the 44th U.S. president is now calling another candidate for the American presidency a “liar.” This is a new low. It is amazing and depressing to hear this term being used as a formal strategy by people at the highest level of American politics.

    “Liar” is a potent and ugly word with a sleazy political pedigree. But “liar” is not being deployed only by party attack dogs or the Daily Kos comment queue. Mitt Romney is being called a “liar” by officials at the top of the Obama re-election campaign. Speaking the day after the debate in the press cabin of Air Force One, top Obama adviser David Plouffe said, “We thought it was important to let people know that someone who would lie to 50 million Americans, you should have some questions about whether that person should sit in the Oval Office.”

    The Democratic National Committee’s Brad Woodhouse said, “Plenty of people have pointed out what a liar Mitt Romney is.” Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says Republicans “think lying is a virtue.”

    Explicitly calling someone a “liar” is—or used to be—a serious and rare charge, in or out of politics. It’s a loaded word. It crosses a line. “Liar” suggests bad faith and conscious duplicity—a total, cynical falsity.

    Politics isn’t beanbag, but politicians past had all sorts of devices to say or suggest an opponent was playing fast and loose with the truth. This week’s Obama TV ad, “How Can We Trust Mitt Romney?” would have been perfectly legit absent the Plouffe “liar” prepping.

    Related Video. Daniel Henninger discusses that ‘liar’ is potent and ugly-with a sleazy political pedigree. Photo credit: Associated Press.
    .Other than the fact that calling opponents liars is so natural to their politics, one wonders why the Obama people think this will have deep political resonance. The idea that they can make voters who live outside the political steam baths believe that a man running for the presidency would stand in front of 67 million people and literally “lie” about a proposal to change the federal tax code is ludicrous.

    Every other time he talks, Barack Obama says “millionaires” should pay more taxes, when all his proposed tax increases clearly start at individual incomes of $200,000. That isn’t a “lie.” It’s a president taking three steps to make a layup.

    This tack won’t erode Mr. Romney’s new support and may do damage to the president’s candidacy. The polls aren’t jumping around because Mitt Romney is a bamboozler. They’re moving because the 2012 electorate is volatile. The first debate proved voters are looking for answers to their economic anxiety.

    The Obama campaign’s resurrection of “liar” as a political tool is odious because it has such a repellent pedigree. It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars was at the center of it. The idea was never to elevate political debate but to debauch it.

    The purpose of calling someone a liar then was not merely to refute their ideas or arguments. It was to nullify them, to eliminate them from participation in politics. That’s what is so unsettling about a David Axelrod or David Plouffe following accusations of dishonesty and lies with “whether that person should sit in the Oval Office.” And that is followed by President Obama himself feeding the new line in stump speeches without himself ever using the L-word.

    Enlarge Image

    CloseChad Crowe
    .This Obama campaign is saying, We don’t want to compete with Mitt Romney. We want to obliterate him.

    How did it happen that an accusation once confined to the lowest, whiskey-soaked level of politics or rank propaganda campaigns is occurring daily in American politics?

    No one has worked harder to revive this low-rent tactic than New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. To my knowledge, Mr. Krugman is the only columnist writing for a major publication in U.S. journalism who has so routinely and repetitively accused people of being liars.

    It began with the charge that Bush lied about WMD and became almost banal in its repetition after that. In a September 2008 piece on the GOP convention, “Blizzard of Lies,” the New York Times’ heir to Reston, Wicker, Krock and Safire blew the floodgates: “they’re all out-and-out lies”; “the blizzard of lies”; “a grotesque lie” and “the McCain campaign’s lies.” The Obama campaign is saying “Romney lied,” because Paul Krugman made it the coin of their realm.

    The L-word’s strength is directly proportional to the rarity and appropriateness of its use. Today in our politics it is as skuzzily routine as the F-bomb has become among 15-year-old girls on the New York City subways. This is not progress.

    It will be interesting which variation of “lie”—if any—comes out of Joe Biden’s mouth in his debate with Paul Ryan. Mr. Biden comes from a political generation that could play rough, but it knew the limits of going too low at the presidential level. Or used to.

  7. Brian says:

    Regarding construction:

    My town’s planning board just approved a proposed townhouse development that would consist of 54 units. The paper said starting price was $239,000.

    So I guess the builders are still building. I hope it works out for them. The last builder who did something of this size completed construction in 2006 (and subsequently went bankrupt). I hope this developer has better timing.

  8. 1993 House Buyer says:

    #7, KHOV is suing my town to build 400 units!

  9. Grim says:

    Big drop in jobless claims, down 30k to 339k.

  10. grim says:

    Significantly under expectations of 370k, and the lowest print in about 4 years.

  11. JJ's B.S says:

    jack welch told me the numbers are fake
    Grigm says:
    October 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Significantly under expectations of 370k, and the lowest print in about 4 years.

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    Since housing is apparently experiencing a robust recovery, I fully expect to have a healthier stock to choose from in the near future. I would expect inventory to rise since people are becoming more confident, landing full-time jobs and the economy is stabilizing. This, despite the fact that the volume of commuting traffic still resembles a Sunday morning for the last few years. Never in my adult working life have I seen it this light.

    I assume those other 100 plus candidates I beat out for this current position are now getting interviews or have since landed a job. I mean, after all, unemployment is now at 7.8%. :o And, it’s really going to be nice that I don’t have to look at the same, dreadful 13 houses spanning 10 different towns over and over again.

  13. JJ's B.S says:

    There never was a recession or a housing bust. People who never should have been hired in first place were let go and people who bought houses they never could have afforded in first place lost them. Darwins law.

    Fast Eddie says:
    October 11, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Since housing is apparently experiencing a robust recovery, I fully expect to have a healthier stock to choose from in the near future. I would expect inventory to rise since people are becoming more confident, landing full-time jobs and the economy is stabilizing. This, despite the fact that the volume of commuting traffic still resembles a Sunday morning for the last few years. Never in my adult working life have I seen it this light.

    I assume those other 100 plus candidates I beat out for this current position are now getting interviews or have since landed a job. I mean, after all, unemployment is now at 7.8%. :o And, it’s really going to be nice that I don’t have to look at the same, dreadful 13 houses spanning 10 different towns over and over again.

  14. Brian says:

    12 –
    I don’t know what fcuking road you are driving on but my commute is killer and it’s become the worst I can remember since school started in September. The intersection of route 80 and 287 is still and will allways be under construction and truly is hell on earth.

  15. grim says:

    We are in the post September market. Looking for inventory? Wait until May.

    While we will see inventory come to market, the pace at which it does is significantly slower than during the traditional spring market. This is the typical historical/seasonal pattern. It’s not uncommon for inventory to drop a quarter to a third from Summer to the start of Spring.

    We’ve crested the yearly peaks for inventory and contracts, we’ve already begun the seasonal downhill towards January/February, the typical trough. Expect inventory to get even thinner over the next few months.

  16. Fast Eddie says:

    Brian,

    The Parkway and 78 and/or 24 are the highways I travel. 4 out of 5 days I have no issues and just some periods of stop and go traffic. I remember sitting in hell at least 4 days per week no matter if it was Jersey City or Parsippany or Roseland. All in all, the traffic is light the last few years.

  17. grim says:

    This is a pretty old chart at this point, but I found the link quick, so I’ll post it:

    http://njrereport.com/images/jul09_salesinv.gif

    Look at 2003 and 2004, that’s basically the pattern we’re back to today.

    See the ramp in 2006 and the big peaks in inventory in 2007 and 2008? That’s long gone. If you looking back at the 2007-2009 inventory levels as being normal, you are way off. Look back to 2003, that’s more in-line with normal, at least half the number of properties on the market.

    Not only is the overall level lower, but the swings associated with the seasonal patterns are damped as well, so instead of seeing a net add of 4,000 to 5,000 properties, we’ll probably see a net add of 3,000 to 4,000.

  18. Fast Eddie says:

    grim,

    I’ll take the ramp in 2006 as a compromise. Either that, or the sellers need to get rel1gion and knock 15% more off their asking price for the gray painted kitchen cabinets and the 10 x 10 bedrooms they want at a price of $698,000.

  19. All Hype says:

    Grim (10):

    Seems like one large state did not report quarterly figures. So no change really.

    But all that matters to the muppets is what they hear on the TV. Obama needs to be re-elected at all costs and any and all games will be played to meet the objective.

    Robots love headline numbers too, futures are up.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-10-11/data-massaging-continues-initial-claims-tumble-339k-lowest-2008-far-below-lowest-exp

  20. Brian says:

    16 –
    I would have agreed with you, up until the last few weeks. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s more construction on the roads that i travel, but ever since school started and people started coming back from summer vacations, it just seems like there are far more people on the road.

    I would add that there’s been a lot of construction of retail buildings on the roads that i travel too. I’ve watched quick chek build 3 new stores on the roads that I travel. They now have two in my town alone (small town of 8000 people). They are nearly finished with the one on route 15 in Jeffeson. As soon as they opened the one in Sparta, it was packed to the gills with moring commuters.

  21. grim says:

    19 – Reuters is reporting that no states were estimated for this report, as confirmed by the Labor Department. Press release doesn’t indicate that any data was left out or estimated, http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/current.htm#.UHbH2K5418E

  22. grim says:

    Bloomberg reporting:

    One state accounted for most of the plunge in claims, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were issued to the press.

  23. chicagofinance says:

    I drove off my old commute last night…..Red Bank to Hoboken evening…..I rarely ever drove it right at 5PM because it was a waste of time anyway……it was always a solid hour no matter how I cut it…….last night I clicked it off in around 50-51 minutes…..during rush hour you can speed more because there are blocks of cars going 80+…..no traffic GSP, NJT, Pulaski Skyway, Tonnelle Circle, into Hoboken……and we are in October…..everyone is here…..October is the worst month of the year for commuter traffic…no one is on vacation….

    Brian says:
    October 11, 2012 at 9:00 am
    12 –
    I don’t know what fcuking road you are driving on but my commute is killer and it’s become the worst I can remember since school started in September. The intersection of route 80 and 287 is still and will allways be under construction and truly is hell on earth.

  24. chicagofinance says:

    To contrast……in 2006-7 I specifically remember noting Thursday nights getting murdered on the Pulaski Skyway with Town Car/Taxi/Limo traffic going from Newark into the Holland…..all the bankers/consultants coming home for the weekend…..no more….

  25. JJ's B.S says:

    Less and Less Wall Street folk live in Jersey, Manhattan and Brooklyn even Long Island City. redbank is just too far a commute.

    chicagofinance says:
    October 11, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I drove off my old commute last night…..Red Bank to Hoboken evening…..I rarely ever drove it right at 5PM because it was a waste of time anyway……it was always a solid hour no matter how I cut it…….last night I clicked it off in around 50-51 minutes…..during rush hour you can speed more because there are blocks of cars going 80+…..no traffic GSP, NJT, Pulaski Skyway, Tonnelle Circle, into Hoboken……and we are in October…..everyone is here…..October is the worst month of the year for commuter traffic…no one is on vacation….

  26. Brian says:

    I wish I could say I see the same thing. The drive from points west is not as rosy. Maybe people have migrated to western NJ or PA or something.

    If I drive my commute in the middle of the day it takes 45 minutes.

    I sh1t you not, yesterday, between the accidents, construction and the rain it was an hour and 45 minutes.

    Also I will admit that two seperate sections of route 15 are now under construction (including the bridge to the entrance ramp to rt80), plus the never ending work on the intersection of rt80 and 287. In addition, the part of 287 I drive is being repaved.

    Route 24 is now and usually is, clear sailing.

    23.chicagofinance says:
    October 11, 2012 at 9:39 am
    I drove off my old commute last night…..Red Bank to Hoboken evening…..I rarely ever drove it right at 5PM because it was a waste of time anyway……it was always a solid hour no matter how I cut it…….last night I clicked it off in around 50-51 minutes…..during rush hour you can speed more because there are blocks of cars going 80+…..no traffic GSP, NJT, Pulaski Skyway, Tonnelle Circle, into Hoboken……and we are in October…..everyone is here…..October is the worst month of the year for commuter traffic…no one is on vacation….

  27. grim says:

    All of the completed shovel-ready infrastructure projects have improved your commute, you can thank the president for that, he built that.

    (snicker)

  28. 1993 House Buyer says:

    #26, When I run out at lunch to get a DD coffee, there is a brutal stop sign on Main Street in Little Falls, sometimes takes 30-40 seconds to cross….being going like that for years….

  29. Brian says:

    I would say at least half of the people in my office in NJ that are traders, analysts, or Portfolio Managers, live in Manhattan and commute to NJ. One guy on the trading desk comes to mind….he just got married and he and his wife moved to a place in Manhattan. He commutes to NJ everyday. They just love the City life.

    New single guy on the trading floor too moved from the FL office to a garden apartment nearby here in NJ. He’s actively looking for a place in Manhattan though.

    It doesn’t really mean their commute is any shorter, they’re just driving the opposite direction of most of rush hour traffic. It would seem they just really like to live in NYC.

    25.JJ’s B.S says:
    October 11, 2012 at 9:45 am
    Less and Less Wall Street folk live in Jersey, Manhattan and Brooklyn even Long Island City. redbank is just too far a commute.

  30. grim says:

    It would seem they just really like to live in NYC.

    Easier to get to interviews.

  31. Brian says:

    27 –
    I don’t understand how government “shovel-ready” projects were supposed to speed up the economic recovery. Everyone I’m on the road with is driving so much slower.

  32. 3B Buying says:

    #25 JJ Agreed: Tons of people gettintg off the PATH rains in WTC at night, after working in JC or Weehawken.

  33. 3B Buying says:

    #15 grim: I have seen a lot droppig off or going UC in the last few weeks. You are probably right on the May point for inventory.

  34. freedy says:

    Morning Agenda
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    FALLOUT FROM JPMORGAN LOSS | Federal authorities are developing criminal cases related to the multibillion-dollar trading loss at JPMorgan Chase, and arrests could come in the next several months, report DealBook’s Ben Protess and Azam Ahmed. As part of their effort, investigators are poring over thousands of recorded phone calls; in some, employees discussed “how to value the troubled bets in a favorable way.” What’s the over under

  35. Anon E. Moose says:

    All Hype [19];

    UE Claims Numbers:

    Wow, look at this graph of what happens to the numbers when you add back the subsequent revisions to the numbers. Flat line — code blue.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2012/10/claims_0.jpg

    This tells me that, after revisions, there is no decline in claims; and as time goes on the headline junkies needs a bigger and bigger ‘hit’ of false decline numbers just to make it through the day.

  36. 1993 House Buyer says:

    Ran into an ICE trader on Path in Newark last week….was regretting that decision, says he normally commutes in via Ferry from Red bank (drives to Bedford)..says Ferry is great.

  37. Anon E. Moose says:

    Traffic:

    I think it doesn’t take much of a reduction in traffic to make the decline noticeable. From my experience commuting on Long Island, things like a Jewish holiday which took some relatively small proportion of travelers out of the system on a weekday was noticeable. Summer time was noticeable as well, if you consider that some single-digit percentage (<5%) of people would be out of the system taking vacation, etc. Labor day brought them all back, bumper to bumper and cheek to jowl.

  38. Pete says:

    Commute on nj transit train in to Penn gets more and more crowded by the day.

  39. Ann says:

    Fast Eddie, if I was your realtor, I’d be ready to dump you by now ; )

  40. Brian says:

    Star legder quotes the Labor department spokesperson regarding the drop in UE claims:

    “One state accounted for most of the plunge in claims, a Labor Department spokesman said”

    No mention of the unnamed state failing to “report”.

    Applications for jobless benefits dropped 30,000 to 339,000 in the week ended Oct. 6, the fewest since February 2008. Economists forecast 370,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. One state accounted for most of the plunge in claims, a Labor Department spokesman said. The year’s increase was smaller than projected, because one large state showed a drop rather than an increase, said the spokesman, who declined to name the state. The breakdown by state will show up in next week’s report.

    http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2012/10/stocks_advance_as_new_american.html

  41. JJ's B.S says:

    If it werent for realtors homes would be 6% cheaper, which means he might have actually bought a house by now

    Ann says:
    October 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Fast Eddie, if I was your realtor, I’d be ready to dump you by now ; )

  42. joyce says:

    (35)
    That is a great chart.

  43. grim says:

    42 – What’s it tell you?

  44. Ann says:

    41 Pfft! If houses were free he might have bought one by now.
    I kid FE, I kid.

  45. joyce says:

    That after revisions are made (when additional time has passed and information collected), initial weekly jobless claims are not improving but appear steady.

  46. Ann says:

    I think fall and winter are a good time to buy. The people still on the market are more desperate, a selling season having passed them by. Houses tend to look crappier in the winter though, so you have to be able to see through that.

  47. chicagofinance says:

    That speaks volumes…..all the traditional workers in Corporate America used that road…..it means that Pharma and Telecom is dead……

    Brian says:
    October 11, 2012 at 9:48 am
    Route 24 is now and usually is, clear sailing.

  48. Ann says:

    From yesterday….I hear Bergen Academy is impossible to get into now. Maybe people in prestigious BC with their blue ribbon schools really do want school choice.

  49. grim says:

    45 – From CR, here is a better view of claims, it looks at the 4 week average which is less noisy and less subject to revision swings, and yes, 2012 has been largely sideways.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wtPYG3mvLiw/UHa88J0m7iI/AAAAAAAASsY/GnZCBZyKpug/s1600/WeeklyClaimsOct112012.jpg

    The disappointing pace of recovery post recession is no secret…

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EWouogKfASQ/UG7XS4tBLpI/AAAAAAAASSk/3I8Qqm8-cVs/s1600/JobLossesSept2012.jpg

  50. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [14] Brian – When we travel from Boston to Warren County to visit my wife’s parents we never even get on Route 80 anymore, which wasn’t the case 10 years ago. We always come into NJ from the very North and down 94 through your town. When I was growing up in Rockaway Twp route 80 was a great highway for getting places fast. Sure, you did have the *late* rush hour clog coming up the hill to Denville in the PM, but once you got over the hill, it was fine the rest of the way. Now route 80 is just so awful that it makes everything west of Mountain Lakes seem more like “the sticks” then it was 30 years ago.

    I don’t know what fcuking road you are driving on but my commute is killer and it’s become the worst I can remember since school started in September. The intersection of route 80 and 287 is still and will allways be under construction and truly is hell on earth.

  51. 3B Buying says:

    #46 Ann: Typically it is, but I am not seeing anything where I am looking right now. i coudl stay where I am, but the taxes are insane, so gotta go!!

  52. chicagofinance says:

    Brian: I was working in Basking Ridge and Bedminster at age 29-35. It is a major decision to not live in or near the city……there is no in between……the city is kind of 35-and-under and the suburbs instantly ages you to over 45……I remember the kids in the Financial Leadership program who were all 22-26…..they were totally fcuked….their idea of a big night out was going to Grasshoppers or Thirsty Turtle or something…but then there is the whole DUI thing……

    I will say that anyone who works in the NJ-suburbs and chooses to live in NYC is just stupid and immature. You really need to make it Hoboken/JC or something grand near the river…..it is a stupid daily waste of 30 minutes or more a day…and when things are bad, you can kiss your life goodbye…..

    Anyone not moving to a NJ address in short order means that they are going to quit ASAP…..even if they stick around for months, they are one job offer from being gone…..

    Brian says:
    October 11, 2012 at 9:57 am
    I would say at least half of the people in my office in NJ that are traders, analysts, or Portfolio Managers, live in Manhattan and commute to NJ. One guy on the trading desk comes to mind….he just got married and he and his wife moved to a place in Manhattan. He commutes to NJ everyday. They just love the City life.

    New single guy on the trading floor too moved from the FL office to a garden apartment nearby here in NJ. He’s actively looking for a place in Manhattan though.

    It doesn’t really mean their commute is any shorter, they’re just driving the opposite direction of most of rush hour traffic. It would seem they just really like to live in NYC.

  53. grim says:

    52 – See #30

  54. JJ's B.S says:

    There are lots of good high paying jobs. Trouble is folks under 30 don’t want them. Also dual income households make younger men less likely to seek a good high paying job. They expect their future wife to continue working which cuts their salary requirements in half.

    I know plenty of “kids” under 35 doing jobs in surburbs, “green jobs” jobs that give them satisfaction, jobs in trendy occupations or industries or just doing what they love regardless of salary.

    Meanwhile it is way overestimated their are no high paying jobs, I see sales jobs, accounting jobs, wall street jobs, oil/coal/tobacco industry jobs. Jobs with high stress long hours and involves commuting. Pretty much every single person I graduated college with went for the highest paying jobs regardless of travel, hours worked or even if they liked it.

  55. chicagofinance says:

    I will say more…..working in Corporate America in the suburbs, I made effort to conceal that I was living with my girlfriend out of wedlock. Also, it appeared that I was certainly more palatable to upper management once I was engaged, and then married…..to them it is a signal that you are a real person…..kind of really demented and anachronistic…..

    grim says:
    October 11, 2012 at 11:41 am
    52 – See #30

  56. Juice Box says:

    Chi – everyone wants to be a baller even the back office folks working in Jersey City, prob is few will ever make it back across the river to 100 West or 270 Park.

  57. grim says:

    Someone over at CR posted about Gallup’s daily unemployment polling (yes, daily!), interesting as I’d never heard about it before. They do make the data available online:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/125639/gallup-daily-workforce.aspx

    Open the excel dataset (thank you for making this available Gallup), and take a look at the activity from 9/28 to 10/9.

    Actually pretty surprising, it’s showing a pretty substantial reduction in the survey results over the time period represented by the weekly claims data.

    I’m not saying this is justifying the claims numbers (it’s noisy as hell anyway), just that it’s an interesting coincidence. This stuff is like crack for data addicts.

  58. Brian says:

    I respect your oppinion Chi but some of these guys have been here for years. One of the PM’s (coincidentally also one of the highest paid), has been here for years and lives in the city. He’s cool I actually like him, he’s originally from France, but loves the US…I set up a videoconference with a company we were involved with from Denmark, they started speaking to him in French, but he was like “please, speak English. I have been in the US for 20 years, I am American”. Drives a huge cadillac escalade etc. Loves the US. Lives in the city with a place in the Hamptons too. No interest in living in NJ.

    NJ transit train goes right through town here and the Landlord has a shuttle bus that goes to and from the station.

    Others though, think like you….they live minutes from the office. Really, on their salaries, they could live pretty much any where they want.

    Also, I’m guessing you worked at the AT&T campus off 202/206? If so, small world, I worked in Pluckemin for a time….for your credit union. I helped set up the branch on that campus.

    52.chicagofinance says:
    October 11, 2012 at 11:33 am
    Brian: I was working in Basking Ridge and Bedminster at age 29-35. It is a major decision to not live in or near the city……there is no in between……the city is kind of 35-and-under and the suburbs instantly ages you to over 45……I remember the kids in the Financial Leadership program who were all 22-26…..they were totally fcuked….their idea of a big night out was going to Grasshoppers or Thirsty Turtle or something…but then there is the whole DUI thing……

    I will say that anyone who works in the NJ-suburbs and chooses to live in NYC is just stupid and immature. You really need to make it Hoboken/JC or something grand near the river…..it is a stupid daily waste of 30 minutes or more a day…and when things are bad, you can kiss your life goodbye…..

    Anyone not moving to a NJ address in short order means that they are going to quit ASAP…..even if they stick around for months, they are one job offer from being gone…..

  59. Ann says:

    54 I always say, the best thing you can do for your husband’s career is quit your job, at least if you have young children at home. It might stink at first because you will feel really broke, but in the long run, it works out and most men step up and become real hungry. Of course, you can’t be a materialistic snob if you do this and you have to be ok with living with a budget.

  60. Brian says:

    59 –
    I am really broke and really hungry….

    Thankfully macaroni and cheese and Hot Dogs are cheap.

  61. Juice Box says:

    Ann – my wife won’t quit she was told to quit the day we got married too. I might have to knock her up a few more times before she even considers staying home.

  62. Ann says:

    61 There you go, that’s a plan! Plus, who doesn’t want a bunch of cute babies.

    I told my husband I was quitting when I was pregnant. He was in a science post-doc at the time. I said, that’s fine, we’ll make do, and I meant it. Magically, he got a real job offer while I was in labor at the hospital. He started out making 50K a year, ten years later, he makes 400K.

  63. grim says:

    61 There you go, that’s a plan! Plus, who doesn’t want a bunch of cute babies.

    Only one, due any day now, hat tip to Chi for picking up on that a few weeks back.

  64. JJ's B.S says:

    As someone with a mother, daughters, sisters and a wife I dont know why any girl would let a moocher guy move in. Cant see how the brothers or Dad of her would take it. Plus I don’t know why a guy would want it. Even when I got engaged my last year of being single I wanted to be single. Why the heck would I want the future wife living with me. It was my last year to go to as many happy hours, night clubs, bars and sporting events and live like a pig.

    I respect the most a married man with a stay at home wife and kids
    Then a single Mom raising kids
    Then single people on their own
    Then Dual Working Couples with kids

    Dual selfish working couples who intentionally never plan on having kids, people shacked up together with no commitment in a rental, kids mooching off mom and dad at 30 partying all night, folks who live beyond their means and push for raises/bonuses not based on merit but their own financial irresponsibility are kind of the lower class to management.

    They are a flight risk, they dont reflect well on the company or boss and generally the boss talks to his wife. Goes like this
    Wife How was work today?
    I am working on year end bonuses and deciding raises and promotions
    Wife: so who are you promoting or giving bonuses to?
    Well maybe I will promote Pete and give a good bonus to Steve and Jake was slacking off so maybe less.
    Wife did Pete cheat on wife last year and she left him and Jake the guy who is pushing 40 and living at home and did not you tell me Jake’s Mom is in the hospital and his kid was ill which was stressful since his wife last year quit work to raise the kids.

    It should not matter but I guarantee you judgement calls are made either by boss, boss talking to wife, HR, Comp Committee or simply human. Person A and Person B both nice guys make 100K a year. Person A got a big inheritance and wife a promotion and has no kids yet. Person B just had third kid and wife just quit work and he lost half his income and is brownbagging it to work, skipping shoe shines and stretch out haircuts. Must people even if subconsciously will give more to person B. People will rationalize Person B is a better worker. People might even say well Person A did just as good work but Person B with a Mom in the hospital sick kid it counts more.

    I know for instance my wife gave birth during busy season. I still billed my 100 hours in that two week pay cycle. I know I went to work on 9-12-2001 even though a relative died in 9/11 and I flew 20 flights in October 2001 and November 2001 with two infants at home. Granted I know my performances was most likely equal to someone single with no kids in the city but bosses count it more. Just like guy shacked up splitting rent and mooching off GF come bonus time a lot of bosses will have a hard time equally dividing a bonus among and equally good worked who had cancer during year. Raises always have a subjective factor. I once made mistake of saying at a bonus now I need to figure out what to do with it. Guy almost yanked it out of my hand, I have plenty of folks here who need money, I changed my tune quickly.

    chicagofinance says:
    October 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I will say more…..working in Corporate America in the suburbs, I made effort to conceal that I was living with my girlfriend out of wedlock. Also, it appeared that I was certainly more palatable to upper management once I was engaged, and then married…..to them it is a signal that you are a real person…..kind of really demented and anachronistic….

  65. Fabius Maximus says:

    #56 Juice

    It’s a long way from Utah to Hanover Sq or Charlotte to W57th. Once they go, its hard to get back.

  66. 3B Buying says:

    #56 Juice: 85 Broad had a much better ring to it than 100 West.

  67. Brian says:

    Are you sayin’ what I think you’re sayin?

    Congrats.

    B

    63.grim says:
    October 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    61 There you go, that’s a plan! Plus, who doesn’t want a bunch of cute babies.

    Only one, due any day now, hat tip to Chi for picking up on that a few weeks back.

  68. 3B Buying says:

    From the other day’s discussion on Stump Jumpers. The listing below would have been perfect for us. And apparently not in the flood area. The block itself looks like rural West VA!!

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1215217&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  69. JJ's B.S says:

    I made about that same salary jump too. The women has to throw the rock on the guys back. I had a conversation with a staff once in a mentoring type thing. He was asking how to get to senior management. I said you may notice that myself and nearly everyone above me has a stay at home wife. He then said when I get to that level too I will let my wife stay home too. I then said every single on of them did not get to the high level till their mid to late 40s, they all got married late 20s and wife was mid 20s and wife left workforce when they were young and broke. They were in their early 30s, had a house, stay at home wife, 2-3 kids and were taken seriously by management at the time and worked their butt off night and day for 10 years while being broke. I go you are 29 newly married, wife works, you live in a cheap apt dont own a car, wife makes more than you and dont plan on having kids soon and really you dont even need the income from this job. You wife can more than afford to support you. His wife needs to convince him to buy a house in surburbs, get pregant asap and then quit. He needs a rock on his back. That conversation was a few years ago, now he is 34 and a clerk in a 9-5 cushy job while wife makes 180K in a stressful job. Guess who got the rock.

    Ann says:
    October 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    61 There you go, that’s a plan! Plus, who doesn’t want a bunch of cute babies.

    I told my husband I was quitting when I was pregnant. He was in a science post-doc at the time. I said, that’s fine, we’ll make do, and I meant it. Magically, he got a real job offer while I was in labor at the hospital. He started out making 50K a year, ten years later, he makes 400K.

  70. joyce says:

    Ann,
    If you don’t mind me asking, your household earns 400K and you would prefer to sell and buy a new place… but you can’t cause your underwater? Can you bring a check to closing?

  71. 3B Buying says:

    If I stay where I am, I could consider the below listing, now offered at 299K, having been dropped, in price 100k, When they dropped the price, they eliminated the inside pictures, which I saw, house needs a total rehab inside original 1940’s Fridge and Stove. Absolutely nothing done in the house since day 1. Some say this may be a lifestyle choice? Really? Oh and the taxes are over 10k.

    http://www.njmls.com/listings/index.cfm?action=dsp.info&mlsnum=1232122&dayssince=&countysearch=false

  72. 3B Buying says:

    #63 grim: Congrats!!

  73. Juice Box says:

    re# 66 – The towering inferno was dated. 100 is a much nicer place to work so I hear.

  74. JJ's B.S says:

    400K is a middle class salary. Actually 200k-600k is the worst salary. Too rich to get any breaks. Too poor to do any real tax planning. At this income we have to save at least 50% as we wont be getting any HAMP/HARP/Tax Credits/Free College Tuition like the under 100K folks and unlike the over 600K folks are income is not high enough to easily afford this burden.

    joyce says:
    October 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Ann,
    If you don’t mind me asking, your household earns 400K and you would prefer to sell and buy a new place… but you can’t cause your underwater? Can you bring a check to closing?

  75. JJ's B.S says:

    85 Broad has Burger Burger next door too

  76. JJ's B.S says:

    Snapshot:RLGY
    REALOGY HOLDINGS CORP
    33.525Up 6.525 (24.17 %)

    hope Brian took this job

  77. 3B Buying says:

    #73 Juice: It is too nice, goes against the old GS. 85 Broad was just a concret building, with a concrete Lobby. Trading floor and offices were spartan and simple, even the Partner’s offices. 100 West is just too flashy, or it would have been for the old GS.

  78. joyce says:

    (75)
    excuse me big daddy jj

  79. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That’s what I was thinking. Also Glen Rock was too haughty for her. (scratches head)
    Ann,
    If you don’t mind me asking, your household earns 400K and you would prefer to sell and buy a new place… but you can’t cause your underwater? Can you bring a check to closing?

  80. JJ's B.S says:

    What time can I come over to put that rock on your husbands back? I got three sizes 300k, 500k, 700K. I say lets give him the bigger rock.

    joyce says:
    October 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    (75)
    excuse me big daddy jj

  81. joyce says:

    Fabius,

    Should everything be classified? Do you believe individuals in this country are too dumb to know certain information?

  82. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    $400K – You could probably afford paint and carpet.

    Ann says:
    October 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Re maintenance and keeping your house up….Now that we are underwater, I have a different perspective on this….Of course, I will always keep up with basic maintenance, the roof, heating and cooling systems, that kind of thing. But screw keeping up with paint and carpet and kitchens and bathrooms and even exterior stuff.

  83. Ann says:

    70 Well, he hasn’t been making 400 this whole time. Five years ago when we bought this, he was at 200K. On this house, we’ve lost about 175K in equity that we put down/paid off (ouch!). We didn’t know it was that bleak until we started looking into it. That’s a lot of cash to cover.

    Anyway, all of these factors combined into where even though it might have still been possible, it just started looking dumb, especially since our house is totally fine for us and we don’t have to move for any reason. Maybe some of it is emotional as I’d rather cut off my arm than pay the bank for the privilege of moving out of here.

    Ann,
    If you don’t mind me asking, your household earns 400K and you would prefer to sell and buy a new place… but you can’t cause your underwater? Can you bring a check to closing?

  84. Ann says:

    83 LOL I was more trying to say that we’re only doing projects that we want, with full knowledge that all of it is money flushed down the toilet. I don’t look at it as an investment anymore, it’s a rental.

  85. Ann says:

    80 Just don’t like Glen Rock for some reason. I would pick Ridgewood before GR.

  86. Ann says:

    Grim, congrats!!!!! That’s great.

  87. JJ's B.S says:

    Ann you did not lose any money on your home purchase. The person you bought it from has it.

    No joke, my relative got a knock on his door once from the guy who bought his house at peak who was down 200K. He offered to split the loss. Asked him for 100K and said he was being very fair about it by not asking for all his loss back.

    Hey my relative said no, but no harm asking.

  88. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I think you would just be paying them back the money you borrowed, which if they cared, would be the worst thing you could do to them (destroy a quality performing asset). If you’re mad at the bank, pay them back the money you owe and destroy their asset. If you love your bank just stay where you are.

    Maybe some of it is emotional as I’d rather cut off my arm than pay the bank for the privilege of moving out of here.

  89. joyce says:

    “I’d rather cut off my arm than pay the bank for the privilege of moving out of here.”

    I understand your frustration… but you are paying the bank each and every month to live there. And you will overpay so much over the term of the loan.

  90. 3B Buying says:

    #86 Ann: GR is nice, but a lot of busy streets, and high taxes but good commute to NYC, 2 train lines. I like Ridgewood too, we looked there, but in our range the offerings are crap shacks.

  91. 1993 House Buyer says:

    #75, in financial planning circles, Kotlikoff has written a paper where until you clear $60,000 it isn’t worth working, essentially indicating that the various safety nets provide about that much in coverage,…

  92. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Exactly. You have a long term lease that won’t end until you are a very old woman. Why keep the place up?

    83 LOL I was more trying to say that we’re only doing projects that we want, with full knowledge that all of it is money flushed down the toilet. I don’t look at it as an investment anymore, it’s a rental.

  93. JJ's B.S says:

    Ann buy what is the interest rate on that loan? If you cant refinance doesnt the interest kill you any how

  94. Ann says:

    How are we overpaying? The equity is lost, gone, poof. No use crying over that anymore.

    Now our total cost per month is equal to what we could rent it for. So it’s a rental. Which is fine. It’s a nice rental.

    “I’d rather cut off my arm than pay the bank for the privilege of moving out of here.”

    I understand your frustration… but you are paying the bank each and every month to live there. And you will overpay so much over the term of the loan.

  95. Ann says:

    94 We’re at 4.5. We started at 6. We couldn’t refinance now without putting in a load of cash.

  96. Libtard in the City says:

    We found our steal in November. No competition, but much less inventory to look at. Fall is an awesome time to find deals (not a guarantee Fast Eddie) since the schmucks who wouldn’t take the low balls during the summer months when kids needed to enroll in school, will now have to wait for the following summer. Also, the realtors have more time and are feeling the lack of closings and the lack of commissions.

    As for Gary’s realtor dropping him…I think they hit the point where they realize they’ve wasted a bunch of time, but still want to get something for it. Our buying agent promised us a closing gift. We have even given her son (who also works at the agency) three rental commissions since then and still no gift. I don’t think that gift is coming. For what it’s worth…after the 2nd year of looking, we pleaded for our buying agent not to show us homes and opted to go to the open houses instead. To be honest with you, it’s a lot easier on both parties this way. She eventually caved and only took us to promising places. It’s funny, because we communicated with her what we wanted and what we were willing to spend. She made a lot of extra work for herself taking us to non-candidate homes. When it was all said and done, I think the fact she was finally going to get something from all of her time invested, tempered the fact that she lost about an extra $3,000 when the low ball and our plan to renovate the house up to $525,000 was accepted.

    On the traffic front, the GSP north between 140 and 151 has been terrible for my commute home from Union. Much worse than in prior years. I find myself frequently going the back way through Milburn and West Orange (through the reservation) which takes a minimum of 35 minutes. Without traffic, the GSP route takes 20 minutes. If there is traffic and I don’t take the back way, it can take 40 to an hour. 511nj.org is awesome and I have it send me traffic alerts fifteen minutes ahead of my expected departure time. It’s been pretty accurate, minus the occasional accident that occurs immediately prior to my passing through.

  97. Brian says:

    Sounds like you and your husband are in the same situation as me and my wife…. just magnified.

    You can’t really worry too much about what zillow or any of the house value sites say. So do yourself a favor, don’t look at them anymore.

    Just look at the amount of principal you have left on the loan and prepay it. Whenever you guys get extra money or a bonus or whatever…just pay it down. If you’ve ever plugged the numbers into a loan calculator in excel you’ll see that you pay a ton of money in interest. Download a loan calculator template (with prepayment) from the internet and plug the numbers in and watch what happens when you pre-pay. You won’t have to pay tons of money in interest.

    I just make little sacrifices in the meantime. Like, instead of reaching for 120minute IPA at the liquor store, it’s a miller high life tall boy 6pack for $5. Or instead of filet mignon on the grill it’s a grade D but edible hot dog. Hey it’s a life.

    When you’re done, you can be a lady baller….and invest in all the crazy junk bonds JJ recommends. Watch your money grow.

    84.Ann says:
    October 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    70 Well, he hasn’t been making 400 this whole time. Five years ago when we bought this, he was at 200K. On this house, we’ve lost about 175K in equity that we put down/paid off (ouch!). We didn’t know it was that bleak until we started looking into it. That’s a lot of cash to cover.

    Anyway, all of these factors combined into where even though it might have still been possible, it just started looking dumb, especially since our house is totally fine for us and we don’t have to move for any reason. Maybe some of it is emotional as I’d rather cut off my arm than pay the bank for the privilege of moving out of here.

  98. Ann says:

    93 Exactly. This is the hill, (the literal hill, my house is jammed into the side of a hill), I will die on.

  99. Brian says:

    I think she assumes you used a mortgage to buy the property, so therefore you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest in the bank over and above the purchase price of the home. Cash buyers do not have this problem.

    Making principal payments softens this blow.

    95.Ann says:
    October 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm
    How are we overpaying? The equity is lost, gone, poof. No use crying over that anymore.

  100. Ann says:

    98 That’s what I’m wondering about now. Right now we stopped making extra payments on it (we were). I don’t understand why I would prepay on something that I believe is going to keep dropping in value. I could see if I believed that the value was at least going to stay steady, including inflation.

    I also wonder that if something happened where we had to default for some really bad reason in the future, wouldn’t we be better off just to have that extra cash stuffed in a mattress?

  101. Juice Box says:

    Ann – don’t beat yourself up over it, lots of smart people did not believe we had a housing bubble 5 years ago. There are millions in your shoes and if thing keep going the way they are you will get your Pony too.

  102. Libtard in the City says:

    But my dollar paid in 2042 should be worth a lot less than that dollar you paid in 2012. Especially considering our plan to print to infinity.

  103. Juice Box says:

    Tard you are smart enough to hedge are you not?

  104. Brian says:

    “I don’t understand why I would prepay on something that I believe is going to keep dropping in value.”

    To get out of debt. Debtors are poor. No matter how much money you and your husband have coming in…if you are forever transfering it to the bank, you have not increased your net worth.

  105. Ann says:

    102 Thanks, I’m over it now. Whaddya gonna do, people lose money on all kinds of things. At least ten other families on my street in the same situation, the divorcers are defaulting, the relocators are turning their houses into rentals. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

  106. Libtard in the City says:

    Ann…we bought in 2004 for 480K, sunk into it 75K and the house is now worth 390K. Fortunately, it spins off almost 1K per month. Even at 12K per year saved, it will take 14 years to break even if the property value doesn’t appreciate. We didn’t buy as an investment, more we figured we would eventually be priced out. We put 20% down and have been paying longer than you (and refinanced our loan down to a 20-year) so we are not underwater on our loan. Though we are big losers!!! Especially when you consider how much we could have made had we kept our powder dry and then invested some of it in the market when it crashed. Then again, renting at 2K per month for 8 years would have cost us 192K!!! So there are a lot of ways to justify or complain about the loss. When it’s all said and done and if you have a long enough time frame, you’ll still end up better off than had you rented. I feel sorry for my tenants.

  107. Libtard in the City says:

    Not only do I hedge, but I dollar cost averaged down into RE as well. :P

  108. Ann says:

    105 Yeah, but if I’m looking at it as a rent payment, who cares. I can just keep that money as cash or whatever, I still have that money. I’m just not investing it in this house anymore.

  109. Ann says:

    Let’s assume I have an extra $2000 a month. Why would I pour that into this house? Then getting it back out is dependent on some housing market in the future when I need it, some doofus buyer, etc and it might be at a time when I really need the cash for some reason. Isn’t it safer to stuff it in a mattress?

  110. Fabius Maximus says:

    #82 Joyce
    There is a time and a place to look under the kimono, that wasn’t it.

  111. joyce says:

    When and where is that time and place?

  112. Anon E. Moose says:

    3B [68];

    According to the MLS map, the creek runs right through the basement. No flood risk there, I’m sure.

  113. Essex says:

    110. That is exactly where we are at at this minute. Nice house. Fixed up to our spec. Now slightly (Maybe $30k ish) under water. Writing checks at the close? No thanks. We’ll stay. The cost of a move is also prohibitive! Think about it.

  114. Libtard in the City says:

    Not sure why people move around so much anyway. I’ve worked for the same company since 99 and Gator since 97. Moving is a huge PITA.

  115. Ann says:

    3b 68 I like this part “LONG TIME RESIDENT SADDENED TO LEAVE.” Why do realtors write goofy things like that??

  116. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    22 years into a 30 year mortgage only 50% of the principal is paid off. Think about that. 22 years to pay the first 50%, 8 years to pay the last 50%. It costs such a small amount extra to pay a 30 off in 15 years or less. Once your mortgage is paid off your house is worth what it’s worth and who cares how much you paid, the debt is done. I have a completely restored 1972 El Camino that made me sick over how much I paid to restore it in 1996-98. I bought the rust bucket for $700, it cost me $8K to rebuild the engine, transmission, & suspension to mechanically new and now all it needed was the body work. I essentially paid a guy’s salary from February to October of 1998 to restore the body. $28K out of pocket just for the bodywork and I ended up with a perfect numbers-matching car, all steel, no bondo, worth about $15K but it cost me $35K back when $35K was actually real money. I still have the car, rarely drive it, and now it’s worth about what I spent, but it wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t. It’s my asset that I own free and clear and I can sell it whenever I want for whatever the market will bear and keep the cash. We’re close to paying off our home and I feel the same way about that too. Doesn’t much matter what it’s worth, it’s just another hard and useful asset that I’ll own free and clear.

    98 That’s what I’m wondering about now. Right now we stopped making extra payments on it (we were). I don’t understand why I would prepay on something that I believe is going to keep dropping in value. I could see if I believed that the value was at least going to stay steady, including inflation.

  117. Brian says:

    110 –
    Ann, it’s tough to explain in a blog. Just know that you will never get rich making interest payments to a bank. You have to repay the principal in order to avoid spending so much money in interest. Plug the numbers for your loan into this loan calculator:

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=loan+calculator&ex=1#ai:TC006206283|

    Then watch what happens when you prepay. You pay off the loan sooner and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.

  118. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [88];

    Ann you did not lose any money on your home purchase. The person you bought it from has it.

    For peak sellers that would be leading edge of the Locust Generation, now living in oceanfront condos in Boca, bitching about getting their Sr. Citizen Early Bird discount and whining how the COLA adjustment to their SS check hasn’t kept up. I look forward to being the generation in charge when the generation the flushed this country down the toilet is most vulnerable. No wonder they want to retire in Belize.

  119. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [115] Lib – We had so many miserable moves, mostly on Labor Day weekend, that we’re content to stay home and do nothing every Labor Day weekend to simply celebrate another year of not moving. This was our 10th consecutive such celebration.

    Not sure why people move around so much anyway. I’ve worked for the same company since 99 and Gator since 97. Moving is a huge PITA.

  120. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [119] Moose – As the chosen representative of the tailing end of the Locust Generation, I regret to inform you that you’ve been passed over for promotion. Work on being a good parent and maybe we’ll give your kid a shot.

    I look forward to being the generation in charge when the generation the flushed this country down the toilet is most vulnerable. No wonder they want to retire in Belize.

  121. Anon E. Moose says:

    Ann [116];

    3b 68 I like this part “LONG TIME RESIDENT SADDENED TO LEAVE.” Why do realtors write goofy things like that??

    Because the right buyer is a decent person who wouldn’t kick a fellow human while they are down by offering fair market price, would they?

  122. Ann says:

    118 Brian, I totally get that. The thing is the only way you get that money back is when you sell your house in the future. As long as you don’t spend that extra money, but do something else with it, you still have it and you have it at a time that you might need it. You’re not dependent on a buyer coming along and deciding they like your granite.

  123. Anon E. Moose says:

    ONJExPat [121];

    That’s funny. I like you. Your wealth gets confisc@ted last. Hope you weren’t planning on leaving any of it to YOUR kids.

    Sincerely,
    Gen X

  124. Ann says:

    114 Yeah, it costs a lot to move. Was all fine and dandy when people had oodles of equity, but when you’re actually paying for it in cash, not so much.

  125. Libtard in the City says:

    Ann, prepayment is powerful due to the compounding of the interest over such a long period of time. Likewise, what you don’t prepay and invest in the market also grows rapidly over a long period of time. I’m paying 3.875% on my mortgage. I’m making over 10% since 2004 on my investments. Now why again should I prepay? JJ talks about this all of the time. He’s right you know. Now only if I could invest my 401k in equities!

  126. Anon E. Moose says:

    Ann [125];

    *DING* So went all the arguments for buying a house I heard during the peak. As I put it, they assumed that the renter was spending money not sunk into housing on hookers and blow.

    Plus Lib’s insight that with rates like 3%, its essentially free money. Gov’t headline inflation numbers are right up there with their UE statistics. Fed doesn’t even publish the M3 anymore. They’re monetizing gov’t (agency housing) debt to the tune of $480B a year indefinitely. That’s why I bought this year.

  127. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [124] Moose – Good luck finding us in Singapore. The only real decision is whether we stay here long enough for the kids to finish school . I’m kind of intrigued by the college Yale just opened in Singapore:

    http://www.yale-nus.edu.sg/

    That’s funny. I like you. Your wealth gets confisc@ted last. Hope you weren’t planning on leaving any of it to YOUR kids.

  128. zieba says:

    The overwhelming stench of rationalization, consoling and hand holding in here is difficult to bear today. Is it something in water?

  129. Libtard in the City says:

    Zieba…nice!

  130. Doyle says:

    Lib #126

    Are you saying that you don’t prepay at all due to your mortgage rate/portfolio return? Or do you have a certain % you allocate to each?

    I am trying to decide how to balance that ratio myself, just curious.

  131. JJ's B.S says:

    My buyers agent is a trooper I told her when you do sell me a house I want the seller crying at closing and me dancing at the closing and I want a house 100K under market value in good shape, low taxes and walking distance to the beach. I actually saved her a lot of trouble as she said houses like that rarely come up. I said great then you only need to take me to that one house when it comes up and I will buy it.

  132. JJ's B.S says:

    Most folks if they have their mortgage paid off can be more aggressive in their investing. I for one felt more comfortable in late 2008 early 2009 loading up on Junk bonds since I first paid off my mortgage around August 2008 and then took rest of cash to invest aggressively.

    Doyle says:
    October 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Lib #126

    Are you saying that you don’t prepay at all due to your mortgage rate/portfolio return? Or do you have a certain % you allocate to each?

    I am trying to decide how to balance that ratio myself, just curious.

  133. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [126] Lib – Like managing investment RE, managing large amounts of personal debt isn’t for everyone, despite the advantage of properly used leverage. Having an empty or near empty liability side of the balance sheet is a lifestyle choice.

    Ann, prepayment is powerful due to the compounding of the interest over such a long period of time. Likewise, what you don’t prepay and invest in the market also grows rapidly over a long period of time. I’m paying 3.875% on my mortgage. I’m making over 10% since 2004 on my investments. Now why again should I prepay? JJ talks about this all of the time. He’s right you know. Now only if I could invest my 401k in equities!

  134. Libtard in the City says:

    Doyle,

    That ratio needs to be determined by your investing prowess and your self control. I have an excellent track record investing. I also have plenty of safety money in liquid accounts. If the gubmint is going to give me money for free, I will invest it. I even take advantage of those 0% credit card loans when they offer them without a fee. Right now, I’ve got $10,000 borrowed and we allocate the necessary amount from our paychecks directly into a high yield (cough cough) online savings account that will accumulate the 10K when the loan is due. If you are disciplined, then you are better off playing the arbitrage opportunity of borrowing for a significantly lower rate than you can make investing. This shouldn’t need to be said, but if you have credit card debt, don’t bother investing in the market, even through a 401k, until you erase that debt.

    Listen….be the bank, or credit card company. Don’t pay the bank or credit card company.

    There’s a casino table game called Pai Gow where you can be the dealer and bank half the time turning a 2.5% house edge as a player into a mere .2% house edge if you are the banker/dealer. Yet in all of the times I’ve played, I’ve never seen more than two other players bank. Just be disciplined.

  135. Libtard in the City says:

    “Having an empty or near empty liability side of the balance sheet is a lifestyle choice.”

    Yes it is. But it’s a choice that I think is stupid(wink). Kind of like those fools who didn’t jingle mail the keys because they thought they were being morally responsible.

  136. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    At the beginning of the Summer my wife got rear ended by a Honda Odyssey literally being driven by a soccer Mom. She said she was looking down at directions to get her daughter to a game when she hit my wife. She told my wife she wanted to pay cash for the damage and didn’t want to go through insurance. I was steamed that my wife didn’t get a look at her insurance, registration or driver’s license. All she had was her name, phone number, and plate number. I did a quick search and found that they lived in a $1.5 million dollar house bought at the top of the market, and thought, “Uh-oh”. Then I dug further and saw they did a cash-in refi to take the mortgage down to $1.2 million, then another cash-in refi to bring it down to $800,000. When I saw that, I knew we would get paid. Called her up with the estimate and she sent the check the next day.

  137. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [136] I wish I had stats on the average lifespan of the debt-free versus the highly leveraged.

  138. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [137];

    There’s a casino table game called Pai Gow where you can be the dealer and bank half the time turning a 2.5% house edge as a player into a mere .2% house edge if you are the banker/dealer. Yet in all of the times I’ve played, I’ve never seen more than two other players bank.

    You’re right, of course, but 1) you have to be able to cover the bets of other players at your table — kind of like full-odds (3-4-5x, 5x, 10x) craps: low house edge, high variance; and 2) the last two casinos I’ve been in no longer let the player bank the game.

  139. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The leveraged lifestyle. This guy actually owned his home free and clear and mortgaged it for investment:

    http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/news/x1520364690/Family-of-Jeffrey-Beatrice-looking-for-support-after-his-death#axzz291O4r67t

  140. Libtard in the City says:

    Moose,

    I always ask people if they are planning on betting big. If they say yes, I leave the table. I don’t really play PaiGow except to drink anyway. I can’t drink when I play my moneymaker video poker. It’s hard enough to play that game perfectly sober.

  141. Libtard in the City says:

    Expat…that guy also had like 11 kids. My guess is that he probably figured one of them would bail him out. A true gambler.

  142. joyce says:

    Libtard,

    Tough to sense sarcasm when reading… but please tell me your kidding about video poker?
    It was hilarious by the way… I just needed to confirm.

  143. Libtard in the City says:

    Joyce…no sarcasm. There’s a whole world of advantage of advantage in video poker. But probably less than 1 in 1,000 have the discipline to be able to take that advantage.

    vpfree2.com is all you need to know to get started.

    Then practice for at least 40 hours before giving it a shot and learn about the term ‘risk of ruin.’

    Remember, one in 1,000. Google Bob Dancer.

  144. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [143];

    Anyone offer 9-6 JOB any more? Haven’t seen anything but 8-5 in ages.

  145. raging bull jj says:

    Not a lifestyle choice. Must of my friends have no debt because it is pointless. Take a car loan out, credit card balance out, heloc, mortgage what for. It just is a lot of paper work and if you get laid off a big monthly nut. I can see a primary residence for tax deduction and it is a huge hunk of cash taking on debt. But other stuff, I see timeshare loans, boat loans just stupid.
    Plus given today the bond deals are gone and stock is nearly fully valued and banks pay near zero interest people are more likely to have issues with they dont know what to do with their money. Quite honestly if I had another 10K a month going in I have no clue where to put it. Folks have been rapidly paying down debt as it is a sure thing bet in investing, most of my friends just ran out of debt.
    Libtard in the City says:
    October 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm
    “Having an empty or near empty liability side of the balance sheet is a lifestyle choice.”

    Yes it is. But it’s a choice that I think is stupid(wink). Kind of like those fools who didn’t jingle mail the keys because they thought they were being morally responsible.

  146. Libtard in the City says:

    Moose,

    Bally’s has it from .25 to $2. They also have the best cash back in AC and are generous with their comp rate. If you get a multiplier, the game turns positive at 6 X. Last year I got a 25X multiplier and earned $1,600 in comp on a $100 win. Gator spent the day in the Red Door Spa. This year I got a 50X once. Too bad I ended up on the wrong side of the bell curve to take advantage of it. Whatever I lost I got back in comp though, but statistically, I should have done much better than that.

    Bally’s used to have a 100.7% return game, but that disappeared 3 years ago. Now, you have to wait for the multipliers or other offers that make up that .04%.

  147. raging bull jj says:

    Must bosses dont like it. The boss usually feels he has to be there when employees are there. Too many folks want to start early, 7:30 or 8am so the odd person who wants to work 9-6 or 9-630 boss hates as he has no clue if they are goofing off if he leaves and if he stays it is a 12 hour day for him.
    Anon E. Moose says:
    October 11, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    Lib [143];

    Anyone offer 9-6 JOB any more? Haven’t seen anything but 8-5 in ages.

  148. Libtard in the City says:

    JJ… I agree with you for the most part. Getting harder and harder to find undervalued stocks these days. I hate the keeping the powder dry times, but they are a necessary evil.

  149. Libtard in the City says:

    JJ…you are too funny.

    9 is the payout on a full house and 6 is the payout on the flush. Game return is 99.6%. Making up the .4% is the hard part, but it can be done with discipline (and dumb marketing offers on the part of the casino).

  150. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [135] Lib – We do a lot of the same things with our credit, I just don’t use my home equity for investment. I too have a the $10K 0% credit card that I make the min payments on and then pay the whole balance when the 0% is about to end. I diversified into precious metals by taking a loan from my 401K where I’m paying myself back the interest while the gold and silver has already well exceeded the 4.5% interest I pay right back into my account. I’ll even write naked options on stocks if I see a good opportunity to capture premium. I remember back in 2006 when a hot girl who was about 5 minutes into mortgage broking was trying to get me to refi with her and was touting these great “pick-a-pay” mortgages and to pull equity out. I told her I only refi into fixed mortgages and I’m not pulling any money out. She said, “Oh you’re a conservative investor”. I said, “No. I am a very aggressive investor. I just choose to be very conservative when it comes to my home as I don’t consider it an investment.”

    Listen….be the bank, or credit card company. Don’t pay the bank or credit card company.

  151. chicagofinance says:

    Saying congrats is premature…….so much to come…..enjoy what you can of the process…….I assume we will know when the site doesn’t get updated for a few days…..word to the wise….photoshop all the blood out of pictures…..also a question? Slipped one past the goalie, or more of an empty netter?

    grim says:
    October 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    Only one, due any day now, hat tip to Chi for picking up on that a few weeks back.

  152. chicagofinance says:

    Basics of Finance…..separate the investment and the borrowing associated with the investment. You have a house and you have a mortgage…..when you assess the mortgage on a stand alone basis, your decison criteria becomes clearer…..

    Ann says:
    October 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm
    Let’s assume I have an extra $2000 a month. Why would I pour that into this house? Then getting it back out is dependent on some housing market in the future when I need it, some doofus buyer, etc and it might be at a time when I really need the cash for some reason. Isn’t it safer to stuff it in a mattress?

  153. Doyle says:

    Thanks Lib/JJ/ExPat,

    As I thought, it seems to come down to personal preference and comfort level. We have no CC debt or interest on car loans, etc. We have plenty of liquid emergency funds and home equity, we max 2x 401ks and contribute heavily to 3x 529’s. Now I’m just trying to figure out a comfortable balance between investing, mortgage pay down and home improvement with the rest of our funds…

  154. chicagofinance says:

    To provide a more common example…….when you go to the auto dealership, they tell you to agree on the price of the car first, then take about lease/buy and trading-in your old car…..

    chicagofinance says:
    October 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    Basics of Finance…..separate the investment and the borrowing associated with the investment. You have a house and you have a mortgage…..when you assess the mortgage on a stand alone basis, your decison criteria becomes clearer…..

  155. chicagofinance says:

    then talk about lease/buy

  156. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [148] JJ – I had a boss who didn’t come in until 9:45 or 10, but then would stay until 7 or so. He liked to pull his employees into his office to talk right when he knew they were about to go home so then they spend an extra hour at work they hadn’t planned on. I’ve always worked whatever hours I like and there’s never any pattern. I might come in at 7AM, I might come in at 11AM. Leave at 3:30PM, Leave at 7PM, I’m unpredictable. This boss hated it when he would get in at his usual late time and I would come in an hour later, maybe leave 6 hours after that. Oh, and when he would pull me into his office, or barge into mine, I would talk his ear off until he has to kick me out or leave because he wants to go home. I’ll invest two hours just to punish him enough that he won’t want to talk to me for another few months. He also liked to spend at least 45 minutes on topics all over the place before drilling down to what he really wanted to talk about. One of these times he finally said to me, “BTW I see you come and go at a lot of different times, what is your schedule these days?” I just said, “Monday through Friday.”

    Must bosses dont like it. The boss usually feels he has to be there when employees are there. Too many folks want to start early, 7:30 or 8am so the odd person who wants to work 9-6 or 9-630 boss hates as he has no clue if they are goofing off if he leaves and if he stays it is a 12 hour day for him.

  157. chicagofinance says:

    Did someone say 529s?
    Doyle says:
    October 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    Thanks Lib/JJ/ExPat,
    We have plenty of liquid emergency funds and home equity, we max 2x 401ks and contribute heavily to 3x 529′s.

    College Rankings Are Not Accurate
    Sep. 17, 2012Lynn O’Shaughnessy

    This fall U.S. News & World Report released its annual college rankings. As usual, the occasion generated an avalanche of publicity and millions of hits on US News’ website. This isn’t surprising since many parents and students believe that these rankings represent the final word on college quality.

    Students in some foreign countries actually assume that the federal government generates U.S. News’ rankings, which makes them equally valued overseas.

    I understand why families place so much faith in these rankings, but here’s a little known secret about this evaluative tool: Rankings are largely meaningless.

    A school could do an excellent job of graduating highly employable young graduates who can write well and think critically and it wouldn’t budge a school’s rankings even one spot. People don’t appreciate that U.S. News doesn’t even attempt to measure the type of learning going on at the nation’s colleges and universities.

    While the rankings ignore what happens in the classrooms, the rankings methodology does care deeply about whether an institution is prestigious, elite and rich. Let me explain…

    Reputation, Reputation

    The biggest factor that determines a school’s ranking is something called its reputational score. This measures what others connected to the higher-ED universe think of the institution.

    US News (I can’t call it a magazine because it died, but the name lives on as an Internet site that makes money by grading all sorts of things such as hospitals, doctors, cars, nursing homes and even diets!) sends out three reputational surveys to every school it ranks. Each survey contains the names of the institution’s peers. The hundreds of schools in the “national university” category, for instance, are sent a scorecard that lists all these institutions including such disparate universities as Harvard, Ball State, Georgia Tech, Brandeis, Notre Dame, Texas Christian, UCLA, North Dakota State and Colorado School of Mines.

    Someone in the offices of the president, provost and admissions is supposed to grade each peer institution on a one-to-five scale. If this seems absurd, it is. What will administrators at the University of Michigan know about what’s going on at San Diego State, Brown or Oral Roberts?

    Administrators in the other prestige category , “national liberal arts colleges, ” face the same dilemma. What would the people stuck with completing the surveys at Vassar, Amherst and Pomona colleges know about the quality of education at Gettysburg, Kalamazoo or Beloit colleges?

    Completing these surveys becomes a guessing game that is heavily influenced by prestige and brand appeal. The schools that are the most highly ranked remain that way because they enjoy excellent reputations whether or not they are actually deserved. These schools happen to be the nation’s wealthiest and oldest institutions and are the subject of the most press veneration.

    When people completing the survey don’t know anything about some of their peer institutions guess where they turn to form their opinion? When they are trying to figure out how to grade Tougaloo College or the University of Minnesota-Morris or Southern Illinois University, you guessed it! They consult previous US News rankings. The rankings perpetuate themselves.

    As if they needed any further advantage, US News hands the nation’s most elite schools an even greater advantage by giving weight in the methodology to the size of an institution’s endowment and the percentage of graduates who donate to their alma mater. That’s one reason why you will see few public universities among the most highly ranked universities. UCLA, University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley, tend to be the only ones that crack the list of the top 25 national universities.

    Dubious Methodology, but Revered Just the Same

    Despite the dubious methodology, schools take the rankings very seriously. Higher rankings can translate into more applications that allow schools to reject more students, which make them look more exclusive. Being among the elite schools, as judged by U.S. News, will also trigger more interest from affluent students, which is what colleges, and universities crave.

    The stakes are so high that some schools cheat to get ahead. In August, for instance, Emory University in Atlanta admitted that it had intentionally misreported SAT and ACT scores to U.S. News. The highly ranked university sent along the higher test score tallies of admitted students rather than those who actually ended up attending the school.

    A top administrator at Claremont McKenna College in California was fired after it was revealed last year that he had been inflating SAT test scores for years. Meanwhile the U.S. Naval Academy was embarrassed when it became public that its acceptance rate wasn’t nearly as impressive as it had been reporting.

    Here’s the bottom line: The best way that parents and students can use the rankings is as a tip sheet to generate college ideas. They should not assume that a school’s numerical rating means anything at all.

  158. Fabius Maximus says:

    #112 joyce

    Behind closed doors with the lights out and certainly not live on C-Span.

  159. raging bull jj says:

    I think with election and fiscal cliff debate from now till January we will have some good buying dips. Plus with tax rates rising significantly on cap gains in 2013 come year end we may have some selling pressure on some stocks. However, I think 2013 will be a good year for all stocks. Go in early in 401k and stocks with dry powder and enjoy the ride.
    2007 Treasuries
    2008 Gold
    2009 Junk
    2101 MBS
    2011 Munis
    2012 Stock
    2013 ?? Housing? Stocks?? Inflation Gold? Who knows

    Libtard in the City says:
    October 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm
    JJ… I agree with you for the most part. Getting harder and harder to find undervalued stocks these days. I hate the keeping the powder dry times, but they are a necessary evil.

  160. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [154] You might consider taking a loan from one or both 401Ks and dumping that right into the mortgage. You get max benefit right now and your payroll deductions go right back into your 401k to repay. It also forces you to tighten your belts as the payroll deductions reduce your take home pay, but all that money is going right back into your account. You are usually limited to $50K or half the vested amount, whichever is less. My plan allows two simultaneous loans and lets you elect the payback period up to 60 months. I love making 401k loan payments because otherwise that 600 bucks per paycheck would show up via direct deposit in our checking account where my stay-at-home wife might be tempted to spend it.

    Thanks Lib/JJ/ExPat,

    As I thought, it seems to come down to personal preference and comfort level. We have no CC debt or interest on car loans, etc. We have plenty of liquid emergency funds and home equity, we max 2x 401ks and contribute heavily to 3x 529′s. Now I’m just trying to figure out a comfortable balance between investing, mortgage pay down and home improvement with the rest of our funds…

  161. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [161] In that same “tighten your belts” vein, I like to fund the entire $22,500 into my 401K as fast as possible. My company used to let me put 90% of my gross in, but has since cut me back to 70%. So at the beginning of the year my wife sees the money landing in our checking account go down to almost zero which dials back her spending for a couple months as she watches our liquid savings dwindle a bit.

  162. Juice Box says:

    Re: 159 – Fab

    This guy on Team Romney correct?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Chaffetz

    And we are going arm the Rebels in Syria too according to Romney

    . Neocon 2.0

  163. Doyle says:

    ExPat,

    Interesting thought, but at the moment I was trying to decide what to do with the cash on hand. We put down a good chunk at closing, but I held back a bunch for emergency funds and home improvement. So we still have our emergency funds and a good amount on top of that. Some is definitely earmarked for new roof/siding/windows, but the rest I can use to pay down or invest. We have a good deal in retirement/college/equity/cash, but admittedly not much outside of that. I believe ChiFi might call this the barbell or something like that?

  164. Doyle says:

    #164 I don’t think barbell is the term I was searching for… was just referencing having a good deal of home equity/401k and not much in between. But I have the cash on hand at the moment, haven’t used it to pay down the mortgage yet.

  165. joyce says:

    Fabius,

    Us mere peasants deserve to know what exactly? we just wait 25 years for something to be declassified and then find out the govt lied to us and caused thousands of deaths which the media will ignore and mock anyone who brings it up

  166. Fabius Maximus says:

    #166 Joyce

    I would say that you should know the policy and procedures, but you do not need the operational specifics.

  167. chicagofinance says:

    Asset rich/cash poor….

    Doyle says:
    October 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm
    #164 I don’t think barbell is the term I was searching for… was just referencing having a good deal of home equity/401k and not much in between. But I have the cash on hand at the moment, haven’t used it to pay down the mortgage yet.

  168. chicagofinance says:

    A lot of people look at their 401(k) and do not factor in the taxes….

    Big difference between 401(k) with $2M versus taxable investment account with $2M….

    People also get shocked when they receive a financial plan that lists: home, retirement account, investment, assets, cars etc less debt = Net Worth, and they say I don’t have that kind of money….well you do, you just can’t go spend it all….you need cars, a place to live, and the stuff in your home….and your 401(k) are not to be touched…..

  169. Essex says:

    At some point wouldn’t someone just suggest not passing through this place:
    http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20121011_ap_texasauthoritiesdrugsgunfoundonnellysbus.html

  170. Juice Box says:

    Essex after touring for two decades touring you would think they would have been stopped sooner.

  171. chicagofinance says:

    WSJ
    NY REGION
    October 10, 2012, 9:44 p.m. ET
    Small Towns Look to Grand Prix for Big Boost .

    WEEHAWKEN, N.J.—The Grand Prix race scheduled to zoom through two waterfront towns next summer is expected to attract legions of fans, generate millions of tourist dollars and deliver the heart-stopping spectacle of sleek cars flying past each other at speeds greater than 200 miles per hour.

    Meanwhile, West New York and Weehawken are seeing more prosaic benefits: better roads and a boost to their bottom lines.

    Formula One is transforming a 3.2 mile-loop through the towns into a course capable of hosting 24 cars racing at top speeds. To do that, the company is spending millions of dollars to resurface public streets, including the only waterfront access road in Weehawken that hasn’t been modernized.

    The improvements represent more than just a smoother ride. The small towns—often overshadowed by their more boisterous neighbors, Jersey City and Hoboken—see the boon as one of the first signs that F1 is lifting them into the spotlight. “It might be the most attention we’ve had since Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, referring to the town’s famous duel.

    The race was the longtime goal of Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of Formula One, who wanted to see a Grand Prix in the New York City area. Last year, after months of negotiations, the Christie administration announced that F1 would race in New Jersey annually for a decade starting in June 2013.

    Those plans were recently thrown into uncertainty by a contract dispute, although promoters say they expect the event to go forward. Still, the towns say they have already benefited. In addition to the road work, each has received the first of $500,000 annual payments used to augment their general coffers. F1 plans to cover police and cleanup costs in the area, and developers are taking a fresh look at the waterfront, officials said.

    Not everyone is enthusiastic, of course. Some residents said it makes little sense to bring the crowds and noise of an elite international car race to one of the most densely populated areas in the U.S. F1 is known for running races on public streets, though the hosts are typically much larger cities. A race in Austin, Texas, in November will be the first American F1 competition since the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2007.

    “You will have millions of people here,” said Scott Salinas, a 59-year-old financial-services worker who lives near the race route in Weehawken. “I don’t understand, honestly. They have to just shut everything.”

    Others see opportunity. Businesses are preparing for a customer uptick and some residents are pondering renting out their homes. Willow Cox, a 51-year-old Weehawken property owner, said she thinks she can get $250 a day for a spare room.

    Towering views over the Hudson River have attracted hordes of visitors to Weehawken and West New York to view the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks since 2009, but F1’s expected fan turnout would easily dwarf the towns’ combined population of 62,500.

    Perhaps more significantly, the race would draw the eye of the world to an area that goes largely unheralded, even by locals.

    “I am totally excited,” said Nathan Diana, a 39-year-old West New York sculptor who lives near the race route. “Not too many people know West New York.”

    Preparation has been under way for months. A state working group on logistics and promotion has met regularly since last year. Test runs were held along the course in June and August, with cars nearing peak speeds on cordoned-off roads.

    “My first reaction was to be scared,” said Ayca Ariyoruk, 36, who lives near the route in West New York. “They woke my baby up. They were pretty loud.” Mr. Turner said he received few noise complaints.

    The course features several 90-degree turns and steep hills, along with views of the city skyline. It passes new luxury developments with ground-floor retail, along with buildings still under development. The route also runs by the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station.

    To accommodate road-hugging cars, F1 is rehabbing five streets, with work expected to begin in the fall. It also recently hired consultants to handle security and evacuation planning for the event, said Steve Sigmund, a spokesman for the promoters.

    Mr. Turner said he expects snafus in the race’s first years but said international recognition will be worth some inconveniences. “These are big events and people follow these things,” he said. “There’s a certain advantage to that.”

  172. Juice Box says:

    Paul Ryan’s necon fear mongering fail so far.

  173. Comrade Nom Deplume in PA says:

    Just back after a bout of what I suspect was food poisoning. Nothing like experiencing the dry heaves for the first time in a long time. Only now feeling normal enough to reach for a beer. I suspect the wife will give me the hairy eyeball over that.

  174. Fabius Maximus says:

    #172 Chi

    It is probably going to be canceled. They couldn’t get the finances sorted out

  175. AG says:

    96,

    You shouldn’t be paying a hair over 2. Such is the world. Get at least 3%.

  176. AG says:

    101,

    Ann,

    The data shows that people are paying down debt at least on the home “equity” side of things. Perhaps this is to jettison the mortgage as an effort to maintain a standard of living as other costs sky rocket. Cost push inflation. We will all be milionaires soon. Get tangible.

  177. AG says:

    “To get out of debt. Debtors are poor. No matter how much money you and your husband have coming in…if you are forever transfering it to the bank, you have not increased your net worth.”

    Now you get it. Debt is a game. Stay out of it. No onw gives a flying _ck about your leased Mercedes on the Parkway. Everyone has one. Laugh at the debt slaves while they wave their umbrellas at the NJ Transit bus stop. Its a suckers game.

  178. AG says:

    Problem is the game depends upon debt. Thank God we have the g_v and women studies college graduates to pick up the slack. I want my pony too. Keep the game going fools. While you are at it. Send your kid off to killed in a war after investing 250k in his education.

    War is a racket. Best advice you will ever here is keeping your kids out of it.

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