The Big Short Goes Long

From Bloomberg:

Goldman Pushes Subprime ABX Index as Housing Rebounds: Mortgages

Goldman Sachs (GS) Group Inc., which survived the U.S. real estate collapse five years ago with the help of derivative bets against subprime mortgages, is promoting the opposite trade to clients as housing recovers.

The firm, which teamed with four other dealers to create the ABX indexes, benchmark contracts that offered investors a way to protect against the risks of a crash, said in a Nov. 28 report on its top 10 market themes for 2013 that clients should buy some of the derivatives.

Home prices are recovering from a six-year slump, helped by Federal Reserve efforts to push mortgage rates to record lows and buyers competing for a shrinking supply of properties. The bank’s analysts said after “the positive surprise” from housing this year, versions of the ABX that have already rallied are still attractive compared with real estate investments such as homebuilder shares, which have almost doubled over the past 12 months.

“You’re going to get a further lift because of the steady improvement in the indexes’ underlying assets and the housing market,” said Adrian Miller, a fixed-income strategist at GMP Securities LLC in New York. “Yes, there’s room to go, but how much juice is left in the trade is another question.”

The credit-default swaps enabled speculators to bet against housing, and helped meet demand from investors for the high yields of loans to homeowners with poor credit. As the credit crisis grew, investors followed the price of the contracts as a gauge of losses at banks and hedge funds.

Goldman Sachs has taken a more bullish view on housing since at least March, when it was raising money for a new fund to buy home-loan bonds to benefit from an improving real-estate market.

The group sold their stockpile of subprime bonds and collateralized debt obligations, and bought credit-default swaps protecting against losses, according to the panel.

They “quickly shot past ‘home,’” leading to their first large net short position in February 2007, the report said. By June, the net short position reached a peak of about $13.9 billion, including $9 billion in ABX bets against top-rated bonds that Goldman Sachs had earlier acquired as “disaster protection,” in case the subprime market as a whole lost value, the subcommittee calculated.

The resulting position was referred to by Viniar as the “big short,” a term later used as the title of a Michael Lewis book about the financial crisis.

As the worst housing slump since the 1930s deepened and millions of Americans failed to meet mortgage payments, the ABX index linked to the 2006 mortgages fell to as low as 23.3. While banks, including Bear Stearns Cos., struggled, Goldman Sachs posted record earnings in 2007.

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

133 Responses to The Big Short Goes Long

  1. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Mortgage Catch Pushes Widows Into Foreclosure

    Geraldine Bates lost her husband to kidney failure last year. Now, she has fallen behind on her mortgage payments and is terrified that she will lose her home in Jacksonville, Fla.

    s. Bates, 70, is caught in a foreclosure trap that is ensnaring widows across America: she cannot get help lowering her payments until her name is added to the mortgage note, but the lender says she must be current on payments before that can happen.

    “I keep praying,” said Ms. Bates, who is fighting with the bank to stay in the four-bedroom house.

    Just as the housing market is recovering, a growing group of homeowners — widows over the age of 50 whose husbands alone were holders of the mortgage — are losing their homes to foreclosure because of a paperwork flaw that keeps them from obtaining loan modifications.

    In the latest chapter of the foreclosure crisis, homeowners over 50 are falling into foreclosure at the fastest pace of any age group, according to nationwide data, in part because women are outliving their spouses and are unable to cope with cuts in their pensions, ballooning medical costs — and the fine print on their mortgages.

  2. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    How foreclosure backlogs could hurt home buyers

    Backlogs in foreclosure processing are causing delays in home-price improvement and could wind up affecting the cost of a mortgage.

    The situation appears worst in New York, where it takes an average of nearly three years — 1,072 days, to be exact — for a home to go through the foreclosure process. It’s not much better in New Jersey, where it took an average of 931 days to foreclose on a home in the third quarter, according to statistics from RealtyTrac. Or in Florida, where it took about 858 days.

    Even if you’re not in foreclosure, if you live in a state where processing times are long, that could eventually end up affecting you when you’re in the market for a new mortgage.

    Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are considering state-to-state pricing on mortgages because of long processing times, Ghent says. In states where there are long turnaround times, Freddie and Fannie would calculate the cost of foreclosing on properties and how long it would take. The costs could be built into the mortgage rate you’d get in those states.

    “There is a legal cost,” Ghent says. “They have to pay servicers more in hard-to-foreclose states.” Plus, he adds, “the longer a home is in the foreclosure process, the worse shape it will be in when [the lender gets] it.”

  3. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. shore towns near showdown with dune-building foes

    Armando Rienzi may be the most unpopular person on Long Beach Island.

    For years he has fought authorities’ attempts to rebuild the dunes in front of his $1.7 million oceanfront home to act as a buffer to Atlantic storms.

    As the Ocean County resort recovers from Sandy, blame for the heavy damage the storm inflicted has fallen squarely on Rienzi and at least 100 other local owners who have thwarted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts by refusing to turn over a portion of their beachfronts.

    Angry residents drive by Rienzi’s three-story Brant Beach house yelling, “Are you going to sign now?”

    Township Mayor Joe Mancini has suggested neighbors think about suing the holdouts.

    But while some have agreed post-Sandy to grant the government easements, Rienzi – a Bucks County resident who owns a food distribution company – is not giving in.

    “Write this down: It’s not about money, it’s not about egos,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer said last week. “This is definitely a constitutional, civil rights issue. What’s happening here is a tragedy. . . . Somebody needs to stand up and, unfortunately, that’s going to be me.”

  4. grim says:

    Anyone calling top for student loans and tuitions yet?

    From CBS News:

    Student loan debt nears $1 trillion: Is it the new subprime?

    Since the recession, Americans have vastly reduced the amount of debt they maintain, with one glaring exception: Student loans. Outstanding student loan debt now stands at $956 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. Student debt increased by 4.6 percent in the third quarter from the previous quarter — when annualized, that’s almost a 20 percent rate of increase.

    Additionally, more student loan borrowers are falling behind on their payments, with the percent of student loan balances 90+ days delinquent increasing to 11 percent this quarter. This rate is now higher than the “serious delinquency” rate for credit card debt for the first time.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, “since the end of 2007, just before the financial crisis hit, total student debt has grown by more than 56%, adjusted for inflation, the new Fed data show. During that time, overall household debt–including mortgages, student loans, auto loans and credit cards–fell by 18%, to $11.31 trillion as of Sept. 30.”

  5. grim says:

    That time of year again, start thinking about your 2013 predictions!

  6. Ernest Money says:

    grim (4)-

    When the student loan bubble goes poof, it will dwarf subprime.

    We will be rendered ignorant and feeble for generations to come.

    Actually, we already have been.

  7. Ernest Money says:

    I predict the accelerated decline of Western Civilization.

  8. Ernest Money says:

    Eating cats, pet rabbits and rodents will become popular in 2013.

  9. grim says:

    Stop predicting, this isn’t the right thread. Otherwise I’ll never find them next year. I’ll post up the predictions thread sometime between Christmas and New Year.

  10. grim says:

    When the student loan bubble goes poof, it will dwarf subprime.

    Given almost all of the debt is underwritten by the US Government, what happens when it does?

  11. grim says:

    BC Tax Increases – Town by Town – Nice Compilation:

  12. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  13. Mike says:

    8 The neighbor’s Rottweiler has been there done that already

  14. FEMA Sez... says:

    Grim [10];

    A political football, when every pandering wrong thing will be done, while the glaringly obvious right thing won’t.

  15. grim says:

    14 – Sure, but that’s the given, what’s the outcome?

  16. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Good morning Mike from a treestand in blairstown. Grim since that debt is non dischargeable basically have created a generation of indentured servants to the us goverment. Yeah freedom!

  17. grim says:

    Maybe we can trade the debt for the knowledge? Exchange a discharge of debt with electroshock therapy?

  18. Brian says:

    FEMA sucks. I faxed my paperwork to them three times now and they say they haven’t recieved it. I’m ready to give up. I think that was their strategy all along.

  19. 3B Buying says:

    #4Does that nu,ber include Sallie Mae too?

  20. Fast Eddie says:

    Brian [18],

    Call them and fax them every f.ucking day until infinity. Obama said all obstacles and red tape has been removed. Do not stop until you get your entitlement.

  21. Fast Eddie says:

    We went to four open houses yesterday. Here’s basically my conclusion: I’d rather go dumpster diving than make a living as a realtor. Actually, it would’ve been five open houses but one of the realtors told us to “wait at the front door until she’s ready and then she’ll give us a tour.” We left. I don’t need someone to point out which room is the kitchen, I think I could figure that one out.

    So, three of the four needed a hand grenade. One house in Westwood was done top to bottom, very nicely done and excellent taste in colors and design. It was an older home totally redone but on a 50 X 150 lot. That was a minus. Despite it being totally move-in condition, the price tag was north of $640,000. Sorry, that’s too high to look at the shabby neighbor’s houses and the realtor even alluded to the fact. Double the frontage and put it in with similar shiny houses and I would’ve given it a 2nd thought.

  22. grim says:

    21 – Sounds similar to 79 Knollwood in Paramus, the redone colonial. Although while the lot size was 74 across, it didn’t have a master bath or basement. Neighborhood was similarly “mixed”.

    Closed $595k, ask was $599k. Got a bid that first weekend, a total of 10 days on.

    There is a clear premium for “done” houses.

    Although, I’ll say that the price of Lowell is a joke, needs to be a good $60k lower.

  23. Fast Eddie says:


    The Westwood one was totally done. The AC/Heating was in the attic. The realtor didn’t even know where it was as we looked everywhere in the basement and didn’t find any HVAC. I pulled down the attic stairs and went up there and everything was in the attic. Lotsa storage up there. It had two full baths but not off the master bedroom. It had four bedrooms and three of the four where nicely done.

    That house in Paramus did nothing for me but this one had most on the checklist. They paid $600,000 for that house in Paramus? It had no basement and was like one big obscure looking room. In this Westwood house, the downstairs was ok, not perfect, layout-wise, but it was immaculate. The guy even had a foam insulator cover at at the top of the attic stairs when you pulled it down. He was meticulous. If it wasn’t for a small lot and “mixed” neighborhood, we would’ve sat down on this one. Considering what’s on the market right now, there’s not much alternative.

  24. grim says:

    You go see 39 Wilts? Or 45 Franklin?

  25. Fast Eddie says:

    I meant three of the four bedrooms were nice size… all nicely done.

  26. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    main article – I don’t get it. GS was urging their clients to go long when they were going short. Now, once again, they’re urging their clients to go long and this time we’re supposed to believe that the squid is not on the other side of that trade once again? Fool me once…

    Goldman Sachs (GS) Group Inc., which survived the U.S. real estate collapse five years ago with the help of derivative bets against subprime mortgages, is promoting the opposite trade to clients as housing recovers.

  27. grim says:

    25 – They paid $597k for it in 2009, and from what I can tell, didn’t do much. Looks like at the current ask, they are looking to break even post-commission.

  28. Fast Eddie says:

    We saw 39 Wilts about 3 weeks ago. They dropped it 90K. It was tight with a pea-sized kitchen, I think and the upstairs flooring had gaps in the hardwood where it liked the extension was added. You’d have to see it to explain.

    We went to one in Ho-Ho-Kus and another in Montvale and the last in Waldwick. All three where an in-and-out deal. The Waldwick one was a flip with again, quick money signs in the eyes of the “investors”.

    The one in Hillsdale that was new, the one that was going for 749K just dropped to 699K. It had that funky plastic piping (was it electrical, water? can’t remember).

  29. Fast Eddie says:

    grim [27],

    Yes, they moved in and they kept the house meticulously. Didn’t do much extra. The realtor said owner is getting a job transfer. Who knows what they real deal is. Based on the price they paid in 2009, they’re going to be waiting a while or they’ll find someone (no doubt) to get s.uckered in.

  30. grim says:

    Maria? Yeah I didn’t care for that flip at all. It went ARIP in early November, but fell out.

  31. Fast Eddie says:

    Maria, that’s the one. At the end of the day, all we could say was, “keep looking.”

  32. Brian says:

    Pex Plumbing?

    It had that funky plastic piping

  33. grim says:

    Based on S&P Case Shiller, High-Tier, they should be down around 2.5% from purchase, which would put the closing price in the low $580s.

  34. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [11] BC & PC Tax increases. LOL. They still have WP listed as West Paterson. Those median taxes are just devastating to look at. I never knew that Wayne had the highest median taxes in PC. It makes sense, I just never pondered the question.

  35. Fast Eddie says:

    grim [33],

    Which house?

  36. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Student Tuition/Loan Bubble – Once it’s fully understood that most college graduates are coming home, never to leave again, after graduation there will suddenly be far fewer takers willing to pay $200K to enable that situation.

  37. Brian says:

    I read the bear hunt starts today. Is that what you’re out there for Pain?

    16.Painhrtz – Not like you can dust for vomit says:
    December 3, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Good morning Mike from a treestand in blairstown. Grim since that debt is non dischargeable basically have created a generation of indentured servants to the us goverment. Yeah freedom!

  38. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The immediate outcome of the tuition/loan bubble popping will be massive layoffs of college administrators, which outnumber teachers 10 to 1, IIRC. Huge downturn in all forms of RE in Boston (I should probably sell) and utter devastation in places like Syracuse, State College PA, etc. where the entire community revolves around the university.

  39. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [38] and massive brain drain of young adults to countries where college education massively subsidized by the state. Perhaps graduates seeking debt asylum in some of these same countries, adding to the brain drain.

  40. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [39] We’ll finally build a fortified wall at the Mexican border to keep the debtors in.

  41. grim says:

    35 – Westwood

  42. Fast Eddie says:

    grim [41],

    It’s interesting. I’m seeing CHCs in the Montclair Heights section of Clifton listed in the upper 400s. Truly amazing the psychology of all of this. Does it all boil down to the school system and/or it’s reputation? Is Clifton heading towards Paterson in reputation? Does this house in Westwood really command a 580K price tag for that house on that lot? Is it all about location, location, location? The dynamics are truly interesting.

  43. Brian says:

    Hey if you guys get fed up with the US and decide to leave, what country will you all be going to? New Zealand or Australia or something?

  44. grim says:

    Is Clifton heading towards Paterson in reputation?

    Already there my friend.

    Heights is the last standout in Clifton, and commands the highest pricing. No doubt bleed over from Montclair. Remember, many of those CHCs or Giant Ranches would be priced $150-200k more a few blocks over (if not higher). If they have kids, they are either sending them to private school, or intend to go private (as you know, the local grade and middle schools are still decent, it’s the HS that is garbage). Lacordaire and MKA aren’t too far from Heights.

  45. Peace, Love, Dope says:

    45 – doesn’t matter:

    wherever you go, there YOU are

  46. freedy says:

    Clifton is approaching Third World Status. Take away the heights and they made it.

  47. grim says:

    Clifton is something like 270th worst high school in NJ, out of 310 or 320.

  48. zieba says:

    re 46:
    The only town in NJ where I had my car burglarized was Clifton. An acquaintance, who lives five blocks away from a strip club on Van Houten, pays $11K in taxes for this privilege and is now sweating sending his kids to school. It may not be a stenchful sh*thole yet, and I realize some northern portions are more desirable, but on aggregate, it is a declining blue collar town of an era long gone.

  49. 30 year realtor says:

    Anything over $300,000 is a tough sale in Clifton! Recently went on a listing call in the Athenia section, large 4 BR CHC in nice condition. In the last 12 months there was not one closed sale above $300,000 in a half mile radius of the property. Asking price $379,000.

  50. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [22];

    There is a clear premium for “done” houses.

    Have to agree. Susan Pl. in Packanack showed well and sold quickly near ask (which was aggressive, but not outlandish). What we eventually bought showed very well, and went at 95% of what I thought was — again — aggressive, but not outlandish ask.

    New neutral paint and carpet throughout (even if the carpet is the cheap Home Depot stuff; I recognize it because I put the same stuff in to our prior rental — and pulled it up myself when we vacated). I don’t mind its cheap stuff, because it looks new for a couple of years and having it down when I moved in it puts off my need to buy new carpet for a couple of years, and will save me from feeling bad about pulling up and throwing away new, better carpet with useful life left in it.

  51. grim says:

    49 – re: Odd Clifton Sales – I know someone who recently sold to a player on the Yankees who I believe purchased the home for a family member.

  52. Anon E. Moose says:

    Eddie [29];

    The realtor said owner is getting a job transfer.

    Yeah, a transfer to the unemployment line. Blood in the water!

    Seriously, is there a relo company involved in the sale?

  53. grim says:

    50 – Gary would love your house (very similar set of requirements, other than geography), but if you dropped it over in Woodcliff Lake or Hillsdale, it would be $800k.

  54. Anon E. Moose says:

    Eddie [23];

    The realtor didn’t even know where it was as we looked everywhere in the basement and didn’t find any HVAC.

    Keep in mind the realtor babysitting the Open probably isn’t the listing agent. They are there to get buy side clients for themselves, not to sell that house.

  55. grim says:

    Clifton is, however, a great place to own a multifamily for investment, the convenience aspect draws solid rental demand.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [43] Brian,

    Beautiful countries each, but taxes no better than here and likely worse in the case of Australia. Cannot speak to NZ but my guess is that they aren’t much better.

    Most popular course right now for those who aren’t Irish or jewish is Canadian or UK citizenship and reliance on the nondom provisions to avoid taxes there. I get the sense that those sands may be shifting and if they aren’t yet, Washington will be leaning on London and Ottawa to slam the door.

    BTW, article in NY Post predicted 8,000 renunciations next year, an increase over the pre-Obama average by a factor of 20X. That’s a number someone pulled out of their ass; I don’t see how it can be close simply because State cannot (more likely, will not) process them that fast. But after the dust-ups over Saverin and Rich, you can bet that the phones in L’Esperance’s and Hodgen’s offices have been lighting up.

  57. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    BTW, I leave for Jacksonville tomorrow for a 3 day conference with the IRS. Anyone got any gripes they want raised? I’m serious.

  58. Juice Box says:

    Comrade – Ask the IRS if it is banned to say “You can eat my pudding” in their office or at any IRS meeting.

  59. Fast Eddie says:

    Moose [52],

    I don’t think there is a relo company involved.

  60. zieba says:

    CHF goes NIRP:

    ZURICH—Credit Suisse Group AG will begin charging other banks interest on Swiss franc deposits next week, becoming the first major Swiss bank to impose negative rates in order to cope with demand for the country’s currency.

    “We invite our customers to keep cash balances as low as possible to avoid negative credit charges,” Credit Suisse said in the statement, which was sent via the Swift interbank payments system.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [53];

    Location…. reminds me of the self-revelation I had when we saw what was a very nice house, perched on the mountainside of Long Hill Rd …

    “Why doesn’t someone put a house like this on better land? They probably did, they’re just not in our price range…”

    Not that where we ended up doesn’t have its share of incline, but A) that’s why they call this the “NJ Highlands”, and B) everyone ends up compromising somewhere, and… well… sloped land is ‘the hill we picked to die on’.

  62. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [53];

    Re: house requirements:

    Well, I can report that we hosted a family gathering for 15 this T-giving — which came as a bit of a surprise, because as of 2 weeks before we were slated to be only 6. The living and dining rooms are still unfurnished, and even if the dining room were furnished, it wouldn’t have fit 15 (and spouse was adamant against a ‘kids table’ in the kitchen). So we had a buffet on an 8′ folding table in the dining room, and all sat around a 12′ (6′ x 2) table(s) and folding chairs set up in the empty living room. Most folks milled between the family room/den for chatting and football, and the kitchen while not eating. Despite the spartan furnishings, I was pleased.

  63. Patrick Ma says:

    >>Clifton is, however, a great place to own a multifamily for investment, the >>convenience aspect draws solid rental demand.

    Tried to find you personal email but couldn’t.
    As an agent, do you have any investment listings you can recommend?
    Would love to get into another investment property.


  64. Ernest Money says:

    grim (10)-

    Print more money even faster, then declare all is well.

    “Given almost all of the (student) debt is underwritten by the US Government, what happens when it does?”

  65. Ernest Money says:

    Th burst of the student debt bubble will ratchet up the pressure on the cauldron of fiscal and political frauds and stopgaps that will eventually explode and cause the collapse of the gubmint and any remnant of civil society.

  66. 3B Buying says:

    #44 grim: And yet Hawthorne is close by, and is still good from what I hear.

  67. Fast Eddie says:

    3B [66],

    Hawthorne is a tale of two towns like most that are becoming that way. And let’s not kid ourselves; the so-called haughty towns will one day fall to the invading tribes turning it into the Amerikan version of Bartertown.

  68. grim says:

    66 – Clifton has been waging war on numerous fronts over the years. Essentially, the buffer communities that bordered Passaic and Paterson became almost indistinguishable from those areas. As that deterioration continued, it crept into Clifton.

    One of the biggest driving factors of property value was actually middle school, believe it or not. The town divided itself among two middle schools. The school closest to Paterson/Passaic (Christopher Columbus) lost the war first, and became much less desirable. Woodrow Wilson, which served the Montclair Heights areas, as well as the Athenia section (historically a heavily polish/immigrant community, my hood) held up longer. Clifton school districts have long been plagued by illegal students (those coming in from Passaic and Paterson, usually using the address of a friend of relative). This has recently become even worse due to the very high number of illegal apartments.

    I’ve long held the believe that Clifton’s ills could be easily remedied through the use of paid on-street parking permits.

    Haledon/N. Haledon and Hawthorne are essentially serving the same purpose on the other side of Paterson, buffering haughty Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, Ridgewood. Likewise to the same effect Elmwood Park (used to be named East Paterson) and Fair Lawn. It’s been a while since I drove through Prospect Park, but I believe that town completed it’s decline years back.

  69. Ernest Money says:

    gary (59)-

    Then it’s called “Relo by Penske Express”.

    I don’t think there is a relo company involved.

  70. grim says:

    68 – In fact, many of the buffer towns that are still “good” exhibit the same kind of stratification as Clifton does, property values fall pretty linearly with proximity to Paterson. I think it’s much more obvious in Clifton due to its size.

  71. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [68];

    I’ve long held the believe that Clifton’s ills could be easily remedied through the use of paid on-street parking permits.

    How so?

  72. Ernest Money says:

    It’s likely we’ll see property tax adjustments due to hurricane damage, but there will never be an adjustment for living in a town that’s adjacent to a modern-day Mogadishu.

  73. Brian says:

    71 –
    My guess is if you split up a single family home into many illegal apartments, you need lots of parking for your new tenants. Parking permits rations parking and thereby discourages it.

    I often wondered why they made overnight parking illegal in my town…..I think it was to combat the problem of people converting SFH’s into multiple rentals. It puts a strain on schools and other local services.

  74. grim says:

    71 – Deterrent against illegal/overcrowded apartments. I’m talking about actually having to register for a parking permit, not just paying for parking.

  75. grim says:

    Call me crazy, but I think that one of the single most important drivers of property values across different towns in NJ is this …

    No overnight on-street parking

  76. Brian says:

    75 –
    There’s a 3000 sqft victorian….probably at least 100 years old up the street from me on the corner. They split it up into rentals. They just paved they yard. Didn’t even do a good job. Just poured tar or whatever and mashed gravel into it. Then slapped fire escapes on the outside of the house.

    This looks like it was done many years ago. Hopefully they are stricter with permits now.

  77. Ragnar says:

    Wife is about to go back to work after a 1 year hiatus. She’s just discovering the wonders of a commute from Bridgewater to NYC. I told her this should go down as charity work for the IRS and NJ, given that they get half. I suggested she drive down 22 E, park, and hop on a bus to 42nd st. Sleep on the bus part. Should take over 1.5 hrs. Anyone have a better idea?

  78. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #75…again, coming from NY, that is a MAJOR item! Imagine, no digging out spots and fighting everytime it snows!!! MAJOR quality of life issue

  79. Tiny Violin says:

    re # 75 absolutely. The towns you described above, and the buffer towns, do not become affected simply because with no where to park, the ability to create renttal, multi-housing doesn’t exist. You are only going to jockey cars in your driveway with family.

  80. Fast Eddie says:

    In regards to Clifton, the transformation was complete when the school district removed Columbus day from the calendar and replaced it with Ramadan. I mention it as merely as a delineation.

  81. Tiny Violin says:

    Parents have a grandfathered upstairs apartment with a separate entrance in Fair Lawn. Only house on the bloc like it. The key has always been separate access parking.

  82. Juice Box says:

    Anecdotal but here is some advise for parents looking to avoid the Christmas lines to get a visit and a pic with Santa. Always go ghetto during the Jet game for Santa….I was at the Jersey City Newport Mall on Sunday (during Jet Game) with the kids for their visit and photo op with Santa. He was one heck of a white bread Santa, had a big throne and a real nice costume and beard. My kids weren’t afraid of him. Line was only about 10 deep and the CD of the photos was about 20 bucks. We were in an out in about hour to make it home for the 2nd half of the game. I sent out the Holiday card with the photos via Snapfish last night with a 55% off coupon that expired yesterday. Too bad Snapfish does not ship international as I will have to hand address those and mail them. Last year I waited what seemed like an eternity at the Short Hills Mall and one other time in Macy’s in NYC as the tour thru the building took like 3 hours. Always go ghetto as the sales tax is 3.5% too.

  83. Tiny Violin says:

    Bloc =block. Also, just a point of clarification there are many of these types of houses that exist in FL, all are required to provide parking.

  84. 3B Buying says:

    #67 FAst: How so?

    Hawthorne is a tale of two towns.

  85. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [58] juice,

    I am encouraged to present input from the public. If that is your input, I will present it. Exactly as expressed.


    3 days in your old stomping grounds.

  86. revinvestor101 says:

    You stinking liberals make all red blooded rock ribbed Americans hate you with a passion. It’s not good enough that you cheat Romney out of a damn election, but you go after his damn wife and make her cry:

    You force them to eat damn Boston Market on Thanksgiving Day. I can’t believe how cold and cruel you stinkers are. There’s gonna be hell to pay for this liberals. You don’t do crap like that and expect that you’re gonna get the hell away with it. LEAVE HIS DAMN WIFE OUT OF IT. I can hardly wait for the damn next elections so I can see you stinking liberals cry me a damn river. You don’t know how bad I want to see that.

  87. xolepa says:

    Man, the things you write about that happens in other parts of this state, especially up north and east. To me, it’s like a different world (Clifton, Passaic, etc.). I haven’t been in that area since they shut down that place (what was it named, again?) where we watched rock concerts and smoked dope decades ago. That area was ratty, even back then. Haven’t been there since the 70s-early 80s.

  88. grim says:

    Capital Theater?

  89. njescapee says:

    88. saw Bonnie Raitt there way back in 1974 before she went pop.

  90. grim says:

    #67 FAst: How so?

    IMHO – You are either on the mountain, or you aren’t. Best areas of town are the ones with NYC views, out of the grid patterns down below.

  91. Fast Eddie says:

    3B [84],

    Like most towns that surround Paterson, within a mile of the border is really no different than being in Paterson. Hawthorne by the border might as well be part of Paterson. Go up the hill to the Wyckoff border and you have a whole different world in price and scenery.

  92. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Back in the late 60’s through the mid 70’s when baseball players were just run-of-the-mill well paid employees, several of them lived in Glen Rock and my wife went to school with their kids.

    49 – re: Odd Clifton Sales – I know someone who recently sold to a player on the Yankees who I believe purchased the home for a family member.

  93. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [89];

    Awesome link!

    10/26/74 Jackson Browne
    Bonnie Raitt

  94. Anon E. Moose says:

    Con’t [94];

    07/27/83 Eddie Murphy
    The Bus Boys

    Probably music, not stand up. “Party All The Time”!

    Thanks for the giggles.

  95. Fast Eddie says:

    Krokus and Blackfoot at the same show? Holy sh1t! lol!

  96. grim says:

    Blog favorite Warren Zevon too.

    Whenever I hear Lawyers Guns and Money, I always picture some kind of South American Banana (Coca) Republic, but I guess it works just as well for Passaic, NJ.

  97. Ernest Money says:

    juice (82)-

    I heard jj was dressing as Santa and ringing a bell for coins in Hempstead this Xmas.

  98. Ernest Money says:

    Too bad we didn’t have jj on board yesterday to give us some incisive commentary on jj/eva/PSLs/cheerleaders.

  99. Ernest Money says:

    Jets play is so atrocious, even the wins make you long for another foot f#tish scandal.

  100. grim says:

    From CNN:

    Fannie and Freddie halt foreclosures for the holidays

    Homeowners facing foreclosure just received an early Christmas present: They won’t be evicted from their homes over the holidays.

    Mortgage giants, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, announced Monday that they will suspend all bank repossessions beginning December 17 and December 19, respectively, and will not resume the evictions until January 2, 2013.

    The reprieve is separate from the previously announced moratoriums on foreclosure evictions for victims of Superstorm Sandy in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which will continue through February.

  101. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [89] Great list, grim. I remember a lot of those shows from ’78 on. The Springsteen show on 9/19/78 was the bootleg to have. The reason it was so huge was because WNEW-FM broadcast that complete show + encores in stereo and everybody all over the metro NY area had their best recording equipment in place and attached to their FM tuner. I pretty much stopped listening to Springsteen albums after that night because I had 4 hours of in-concert cassettes I could play in my car. Back then even “legal” cassettes of albums were pretty crappy quality compared to what you could make yourself with a decent stereo and tape deck

  102. xolepa says:

    Thank You for that list What memories! That was it. February 1974. In college. Stephen Stills. Maria Muldaur was the warm up. Didn’t she have that one hit tune?…and when you reach my thigh…

  103. 3B Buying says:

    #92 fast; that is one of my concerns if I stay in river edge. It too is a buffer ttown.

  104. Ernest Money says:

    We’re a state full of the ghosts of Tom Joad.

  105. Ernest Money says:

    3b (104)-

    Every town is NJ is buffered against some open sewer of festering humanity.

  106. 3B Buying says:

    106; but some towns are buffered more than others. In the case of river edge its not true. Although I guess some residents of oradell woul consider river edge a buffer.

  107. Ernest Money says:

    It will all be an open sewer when all societal structure collapses.

  108. relo says:


    39: My son, a soph., keeps telling me he’s going to Norway. He’s serious.

    Paterson and Passaic proximity were seen as a positive in early HS in that you could ride your bikes across the bridge and grab some beers. Now, different perspective. Guess I’m no longer liberal.

  109. grim says:

    Maplewood/South Orange is another buffer example we’ve discussed here before.

    Folks have told me that Hillside was once a nice place to live, before Newark consumed it.

    River Edge though? Eh.

    The best examples tend to have higher desirability towns on one side and a complete 180′ on the other.

  110. Mikewaited says:

    xolepa saw Joe Jackson there in I think 82!

  111. Libtard at home says:

    Kind of like the town of Glen Ridge and the ghetto of Montclair?

  112. NJCoast says:

    Two weeks after Jerry Garcia died John Sher was at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank with Bob Weir’s band Rat Dog. I told him a story that was passed on to me by Mo Septee. Mo booked the Convention Hall Summer of Stars shows in Asbury Park in the late ’60’s and 70’s- Rolling Stones, The Doors, among many others. One night this kid comes up to Mo and says, “Mr. Septee, I want to tell you I’ve been following you around for several summers watching everything you do. I just want to shake your hand, and tell you that I’m going to bury you.” The next summer John started booking the Casino at the other end of the Asbury boardwalk as well as the Capitol.
    As I recanted the story to John everybody in the room got silent, how dare I tell such a tall tale about the great and powerful Oz. He started laughing and said that is an absolutely true story!

  113. Ernest Money says:

    Wait a minute; I thought Montklair was the ghetto.

  114. Ernest Money says:

    Downtown looks like a ghetto there…

  115. freedy says:

    Another wonderful New Jersey Town . Full of activities for the family .

  116. freedy says:

    A handgun is issued when you check in

  117. Ernest Money says:

    Is the handgun for killing yourself?

  118. 3b Buying says:

    grim: Thing with River Edge is anything south of it is not desireable. To the east those 3 towns NM, BF, and DM (if I spell them out it gets moderated) , are all in decline, to the west is Paramus, which is not bad, but I have never heard it called desireable. And to the North is Oradell which commands a premium over River Edge (justified or not). What may make Oradell more desireable is the fact there are very few apartment rentals in town as opposed to River Edge. Thats why I am not sure about staying. That of course means longer commute or more money. And round and round I go.

  119. McDullard says:

    Ragnar, how bad is the train commute? The Raritan line requires a transfer at Newark, but has some “express” trains (about four months ago, I was pinging connections in NYC — may have ended up commuting from Dunellen) [**]

    A neighbor here drives to Summit and takes the bus to NYC.

    Can she negotiate a tele-commute option? Considering your situation, she can probably push the envelope…

    [**] After preparing myself for a 1.5 hr commute each way, 5 days a week… Now, I am complaining about 40 min drive to Florham Park three times a week [and cursing whatever car is ahead of me for driving too slow] :), in a few months, the office moves to Bedminster, so I’ll start complaining about 20 min drive three times a week!

  120. Ragnar says:

    Raritan line is better for downtown, Newark to Path. For many years I commuted from Scotch Plains to NYC on the RVL, sometimes even did a 15-20 minute walk on each end (house to train & train to office). But that was 90 minutes each way. From Bridgewater its an extra 30 minutes. RVL will never have a direct to NYC, the governor killed that, though I can understand why an express train isn’t worth 10billion or whatever it was. Main advantage of the bus is not having to make a connection. Since my wife is working uptown, it seems smoother to me, as long as she can get a seat where she gets on the bus. Mostly I’m advising her to set up boundaries early – leave the office and get home for dinner, then do stuff electronically at night.

    As for me, I suffer through my 9 minute commute from Bridgewater to Bridgewater every day.

  121. 250k says:

    Quoting from haughtyville Realtor monthly newsletter:
    “Sell your home now or wait for Spring? If you’re able to get your home ready quickly, this may be your chance to net more money! Local housing inventory is currently very low so the market is mimicking what we commonly call a “sellers market”. But no one knows how long this will last. Those who get their home on the market quickly will be in a much better position to reap the benefits. Simply put:
    ∗ There is less competition now than in the Spring since Spring is historically when sellers look to put their homes on the market.
    ∗ While there may be fewer buyers out there right now, those that are active tend to be highly motivated.
    ∗ Available Inventory is very low right now—slim pickings for such a motivated group of buyers has resulted in multiple offers and quick sales.
    ∗ Interest rates are still record low!
    Bottom Line:
    Low inventory is driving prices up!

    Its just like Father Guido said: “Supply and Demand”!

  122. Ernest Money says:

    250K (122)-

    The house sales scam industry has been trotting out variations of that tired old winter market tune for the last 30 years.

  123. Ernest Money says:

    Realtors still put out tripe like this, rather than realizing that the banking industry wants to destroy the RE industry and then take it over themselves.

  124. Ernest Money says:

    “Your filthy, underwater house always shows best when decked out in its Christmas finery, with the smell of cookies baking in the oven.”

  125. Ernest Money says:

    Another day in hell.

  126. Anon E. Moose says:

    250k [122];

    Its just like Father Guido said: “Supply and Demand”!

    Yes. We supply what they demand.

  127. Shanti Ulmen says:

    Greetings , folk ! Do you enjoy spending nice pastime with passionate ladies ? We should to propose being with greatest seductresses . You may see them on on salvador brazil escorts .

  128. Chowda Head says:

    Hey Grim,

    I’m a little confused.
    A while back, I recall it was during realtor selling season, you deflected any argument that housing wasn’t rebounding.
    All these nice folks here have repeatedly written the same things – overpriced, POS’s w/ realtors that do no one any meaningful service.
    I was just wondering where your holiday (defensive) spirit is.

    Oh, and stop already. We get it. The realtors and the banks are controlling supply and price point, as they are able to with all the Government loan backing, which never should be.

    Chowda Head

  129. Chowda Head says:

    In re the Grim 1 article;

    Where’s Mrs. Bates’ children? How much of that $131k due (on the $140k mortgage) was spent on Mr. Bates’ kidney condition, or either of their medical conditions? Did any of it get siphoned to the grandchildren? Why didn’t he put her name on the HSBC loan mod? Shouldn’t she have been more responsible about ensuring her financial condition (women do outlive men, even under the revised actuarial tables).

    Where’s her church/synagogue? What about the omnibus? How about any state or county aid?

    I’ll pray for her.

    Oh, and you gotta love how all those Jacksonville politicos and attorneys aren’t coming to her aid, and are likely salivating at getting that property at a discount.

    And Ernest, the show is in progress.

    Chowda Head

  130. Chowda Head says:

    Back to Grim 33,

    “Based on S&P Case Shiller, High-Tier, they should be down around 2.5% from purchase, which would put the closing price in the low $580s.”

    You’re keel is out of the water. There’s no one buying. It’s not only the season, it’s the reason: the tax code is about to be turned inside out. Wake up.

    No credit
    No jobs
    No wage growth
    Tax increases

    Sure that means the property should go for anything more than tax assessed – NOT!

    I been paying close attention to the most recent sales in the towns near me, and almost everything is at or below assessed by 2%. Case Schiller is meaningless in this market – it is for a stable growth (not stable decline or propped) market.

    Common sense just isn’t as common as it used to be.

    Chowda Head

  131. short goes do not always materially impact the end result, specially when properly analyzed. Thanks for posting about this, I would love to read more about this topic. Thank you for the article grim.

  132. tech news says:

    You could certainly see your skills within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

Comments are closed.