NJ better prepared, or do we just lie on surveys?

From the Star Ledger:

Garden Staters in better financial shape than most, more ready for ‘rainy day’: study

New Jersey residents are in better financial shape than most others across the country, according to a new study by one of Wall Street’s regulators.

But the results still show Garden Staters need to do more to make themselves secure financially.

The nationwide survey, conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s investor education arm, has found that New Jerseyans are more likely than most to spend less than what they earn, set aside money for rainy days and save for their children’s education.

About 46 percent of New Jerseyans said they don’t spend above their paycheck, while 45 percent have an emergency fund. Meanwhile, 40 percent of those with dependent children have a college fund for their kids. By comparison, 41 percent of people across the country said they spend less than what they earn, while 40 percent have a rainy day fund. Just 34 percent said they are saving for college for their kids.

Similarly, New Jerseyans are more likely to pay off debts than the rest of the country: 55 percent say they pay off their credit card each month, compared with 49 percent nationwide. Additionally, 19 percent of New Jerseyans said they have overdue medical bills, compared with the 26 percent nationwide.

Gerri Walsh, president of FINRA’s Investor Education Foundation, said the current survey data do not say why New Jersey leads the pack. But factors such as higher levels of income and education tend to be tied to stronger financial capabilities, she said.

“That may well be the case in New Jersey,” she said.

One surprising result was that New Jersey — hard-hit as it was by the housing crisis — scored a slightly better-than-average result when it came to homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage. Just 13 percent said they owe more on their home than what it was worth, compared with 14 percent nationally.

Still, there’s work to be done, Walsh said. About 31 percent New Jersey respondents said they underwent “a large unexpected drop” in income over the prior year. Yet Walsh noted that half of the state’s respondents said they did not have an emergency fund for hard times.

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125 Responses to NJ better prepared, or do we just lie on surveys?

  1. grim says:

    From NJ Spotlight:

    Is the Housing Market Making a Jersey Comeback?

    New Jersey housing-market watchers have reason to believe that the housing crisis may, at long last, be easing up.

    Figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) this month show growth in the state’s median home prices in the majority of markets, the first since after the peak of the housing boom in April 2006. And sharp demand created by job growth and short supply attributed to homeowners’ ongoing reluctance to sell is spawning bidding wars not seen in years and cautiously raising expectations for an increasingly healthy sector.

    Despite the good news, however, there are still some disquieting considerations that will likely temper any irrational exuberance. For example, a glut of foreclosed houses is starting to reach the market, adversely affecting the median housing price index. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is, on average, watching foreclosure rates drop. What’s more, when Hurricane Sandy pulverized much of the Jersey Shore, the real estate market in that region also took a beating.

    But with those caveats duly noted, the numbers for the state’s housing market are strong, sometimes surprisingly so.

    According to the NAR, the median New Jersey home sold for $273,900 in the first quarter of 2013 and $292,200 in fourth quarter 2012, indicating -0.5 percent and 5.3 percent growth over the respective quarters one year prior. Though 2013’s overall numbers are down, most individual markets, with the exception of Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Atlantic City, and Edison, are up. The Trenton-Ewing market showed the most growth at 12.6 percent at the end of 2012, although it slowed to 6.4 percent for 2013’s first quarter.

    “It’s a good sign,” said NJNAR president Tina Banasiak. “Five out of our eight markets improved on a steady basis, which is what everybody would like to see. It shows that the market’s stabilizing.”

    Speaking at a real estate seminar earlier this spring, Jeff Otteau, who, as president of East Brunswick’s Otteau Valuation Group is one of the state’s most influential real estate analysts, predicted that this year’s home prices will settle three percent higher than last. But he added, “It would not surprise me to see a five or six percent rise.”

    Despite slightly rising prices, home values have recovered only to 2003 levels, and according to CoreLogic, the national home price index remains 26.3 percent below levels reached during the market’s peak. Otteau predicts that the state’s market won’t reach those heights again until 2019.

    But in New Jersey, low interest rates can only do so much. Otteau says housing inventory remains at its lowest levels in eight years and has declined 20 percent since last year. On average, homes sell within 6.2 months, with Hudson County outpacing the state at 4.2 months. Northeast Jersey homes sell more quickly than their counterparts in the rural south, he said, thanks to their proximity to New York City’s job market. By contrast, he said, Salem County homes are sitting on the market for 16.5 months.

    One delay is a hefty backlog of distressed properties that accumulated in New Jersey as the state’s mortgage industry halted foreclosures while it muddled through questions of impropriety over so-called robo-signings of related documents. Now, those properties are being processed and put on the market but Otteau says that for the most part, they’re selling at just five percent less than non-distressed sales.

    The foreclosure rate is climbing in New Jersey while other states are experiencing a decline. Nationwide in the first quarter, foreclosures fell 26 percent from last year, but in New Jersey the year-to-year number rose 49 percent over last year. Another trend is that the number of negotiated short sales is accounting for a larger share of total foreclosure sales, which typically results in a higher selling price than would occur at auction.

    Otteau says 6,904 homes were in foreclosure in New Jersey in the first quarter of 2013, an increase from 4,646 one year earlier. Once again, he says, banks are stalling foreclosures, this time because they were barred from seizing houses devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Foreclosure Deals Decline 22% as Rising Prices Delay Sales

    Foreclosure-related U.S. home sales fell 22 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as rising prices reduced the incentive to sell for owners who owe more than their properties are worth, RealtyTrac said.

    A total of 190,121 homes in some stage of foreclosure or taken by banks were sold this year through March 31, down 18 percent from the previous three months, the data seller said today. Those deals, including short sales, or transactions in which lenders let homeowners sell for less than what they owe, accounted for 21 percent of first-quarter residential transactions, compared with 25 percent a year earlier.

    “Prices going up take away the urgency from banks and homeowners from having to do a short sale,” Daren Blomquist, vice president of Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in a telephone interview. “Short sales have been seen as an alternative to foreclosure, and some people were counting on that to continue in 2013, but we aren’t seeing evidence of that right now.”

    Properties in foreclosure are defined as those that had received a notice of default, auction or seizure by banks. Short sales of homes not in this process made up an estimated 15 percent of total sales in the first quarter, RealtyTrac said. That brought the share of all distressed transactions to 36 percent, down from 39 percent a year earlier.

    Underwater owners “may be willing to stick it out a few more months or even years” before selling, in a bid to avoid losing money or damaging their credit, Blomquist said.

  3. grim says:

    Yardeni with a pretty bold prediction at Business Insider:

    YARDENI: There Will Be No Underwater Mortgages In America In 2 Years

  4. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Foreclosed home sales increase in region, drop in state

    The number of foreclosure-related home sales in North Jersey increased in the first quarter of 2013, counter to national and state trends, RealtyTrac said in a report for release today.

    In Bergen County, 182 properties in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned were sold between January and March, up 75 percent from the previous quarter and 5.81 percent from the same period last year. Passaic County had 160 foreclosure-related sales in the first quarter, up 19.4 percent from the previous quarter and 22.14 percent from the previous year, according to RealtyTrac, a California-based company that tracks the nationwide foreclosure market.

    Meanwhile, the number of foreclosure-related home sales in New Jersey in the first quarter dropped at a lower rate compared with the national figure, RealtyTrac said.

    In the state, foreclosure-related home sales fell 3.4 percent from the previous quarter and 16.52 percent from the prior year. Nationwide, they plummeted 17.8 percent from the quarter before and 21.65 percent from the first quarter of 2012, according to RealtyTrac.

    In New Jersey overall, foreclosure-related sales made up 9.6 percent of total residential sales; the figure for the U.S. was 20.71 percent.

    In New Jersey, prices for foreclosed homes increased to $219,295, or 9.56 percent over the previous quarter, and 8.68 percent from the same time in 2012. In Bergen and Passaic counties, homes in foreclosure sold on average for $344,812 and $172,889, respectively, in the first quarter.

  5. “If nothing else, everyone now knows where the incremental “bubble” demand for housing has come from: not from the distressed end user of thes properties, for whom as we showed yesterday, the disconnect between real income and new home sales has never been wider: it was all large institutions who invested OPM, and chased any upward moving price with the fervor of a rabid dog.

    “All the people who made money during the gold rush in California, they were selling the buckets and shovels,” Gordon said. “I think there is gold in them there hills, but you’re going to have to dig deep. And hopefully you’re going to need more than one shovel.”

    Carrington may start buying rental homes again when other large investors decide to sell after learning they can’t make returns that justify the prices they paid, Rose said.

    “We’ll sit back in the weeds for a while and wait for a couple of blowups,” he said. “There’ll be a point in time when we’ll be happy to get back into the market at levels that make more sense.”

    If the Chairman is serious about tapering, or even hinting of tightening at some point in the future, those blowups won’t take too long. And so will the blowup in the illusion that the housing market is “recovering” on anything more than yet another cheap-money fueled bubble afforded to a select few who now have no choice but to “hot potato” properties amongst each other first on the way up, and soon, going down.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-29/meanwhile-big-investors-quietly-slip-out-back-door-housing-stupid-money-jumps

  6. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    Interesting read on “Rich”….I found this interesting…

    http://blogs.barrons.com/penta/2013/05/29/the-true-costs-of-the-gatsby-life/3/

    …But Fitzgerald could afford it at the time. According to his accounts, he earned $28,758.79 from his writing in 1923, including a $3,939 advance for Gatsby, enough to put him in the top 1% of taxpayers. The same detailed ledger suggests his effective tax rate was 8.3%. (For more on Fitzgerald’s high life and tax returns, see “Living on $500,000 a Year” in The American Scholar, a study by University of South Carolina law professor William J. Quirk.)

    Today, that $29k in annual earnings would equal $390,000, and Jeffrey Pretsfelder, senior tax analyst at Thomson Reuters, calculates that the tax rate, including payroll taxes and New York State taxes, would be 37.5%. So a dollar of earned income in 1923 went 20 times further than it does today….

  7. chicagofinance says:

    clot: I saw you sent a package to Mayor Bloomberg yesterday…..

  8. Comrade Nom Deplume, Halfwit dumbass says:

    [7] chifi,

    Shhhh. Bad enough the IRS is monitoring his rogue and motley crew, you want DHS here too?

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, Halfwit dumbass says:

    His s/b this.

  10. Anon E. Moose says:

    Scrapple [5];

    “We’ll sit back in the weeds for a while…

    The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.

    If the Chairman is serious about tapering,

    Right…

  11. grim says:

    From CNN/Money:

    Sellers calling the shots on home deals

    In a dramatic about-face for the housing market, sellers are now calling the shots.

    A survey of more than 2,000 Americans found that 33% of the 365 who were searching for a home have been on the hunt for more than a year and many were willing to make compromises on where they live or the type of home they would buy in order to close the deal, Century 21 Real Estate reported Wednesday.

    “The recovery has transformed the mindset of many buyers and sellers who grew accustomed to the buyers’ market we saw for years,” said Rick Davidson, CEO of Century 21. “Buyer confidence is building back up and demand is strong… sellers are now in a more favorable position.”

    With fewer homes for sale and more buyers coming onto the market, sellers are less willing to negotiate on price like they were during the housing bust. According to the survey, 42% of the people shopping for homes have placed offers in the past six months, yet only 11% of the bids were accepted.

    That has caused buyers to rethink their positions: 85% said they’re willing to compromise to get deals done. Just over half said they would be flexible on the closing date; 31% said they would purchase a home “as-is;” and 29% would pony up more cash than they originally planned.

    The home shoppers said they are also willing to let go of some of the items on their “wish lists.”

  12. JJ says:

    F Scott Fitzgerald was not a rich man in his time. He lived in a rented writers cottage in Kings Point Long Island and hung out with the rich folk of the time.

    Barbara Hutton who threw huge parties in that era had a net worth in 1933 at the age of 21 of $42 million, yes 42 million in 1933 dollars.

    Born in New York City, Barbara Hutton was the only child of Edna Woolworth (1883–1917), a daughter of Frank W. Woolworth, the founder of the successful Woolworth five-and-dime stores. Barbara’s father was Franklyn Laws Hutton (1877–1940), a wealthy co-founder of E. F. Hutton & Company (owned by Franklyn’s brother Edward Francis Hutton), a respected New York investment banking and stock brokerage firm. She was a niece by marriage of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, who was for a time (1920–1935) married to E.F. Hutton; thus their daughter, actress-heiress Dina Merrill (born Nedenia Hutton), was a first cousin to Barbara Hutton. Dina Merrill

    n 1924, Barbara Hutton’s grandmother Jennie (Creighton) Woolworth died, leaving about $28 million, ($375,091,262 in today dollars) to Barbara in a trust fund worth $26.1 million and another $2.1 million in stock from her mother’s inheritance to be administered by her father. By the time of her 21st birthday in 1933, her father had increased the amount to about $42 million ($744,879,177 in today dollars), not including the additional $8 million from her mother’s estate through sound investments, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.[5]

    In accordance with New York’s high society traditions, Barbara Hutton was given a lavish débutante ball in 1930 on her 18th birthday, where guests from the Astor and Rockefeller families, amongst other elites, were entertained by stars such as Rudy Vallee and Maurice Chevalier. The ball cost $60,000 ($824,582 in today dollars), a veritable fortune in the days of the depression. Public criticism was so severe that she was sent on a tour of Europe to escape the onslaught of the press.[6]

  13. grim says:

    Jobless claims up 10k to 354k, GDP revised downwards to 2.4 from 2.5

  14. JJ says:

    Thank God!!!!

    grim says:
    May 30, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Jobless claims up 10k to 354k, GDP revised downwards to 2.4 from 2.5

  15. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [12];

    C’mon, get to the punchline… you nailed her at her deb ball, didn’t you?

  16. anon (the good one) says:

    couple of people i know have to move out of nj due to work reason. yikes! – said to myself. they bought at the peak few yrs back. they r gonna take a haircut. add the fact houses need work while town’s OK.
    well, yikes indeed. sold at asking in 3 week period. as i said before, considered upgrading but there aint no inventory and anything decent doent lastM

  17. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    I’ve been trying to get under contract on a house for the past 2 weeks but the sellers are refusing to get the below ground oil tank removed. It’s been decommissioned but my insurance company won’t give me coverage until the tank is removed. The worst part is the sellers won’t even allow me to test the soil around the oil tank.

  18. Bystander says:

    First time,

    Run..run fast. Don’t let the hoopla scare you into making a bad decision

  19. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    Nope…I’m sure they would’ve mentioned that if they did.

  20. grim says:

    Probably not, since they won’t let you do the soil test. I believe testing companies need to submit results to the state DEP, which would open up a can of worms if there was an issue.

    I wouldn’t have mentioned it to the seller, I’d just have scheduled the testing company the same date and time as the home inspection.

  21. freedy says:

    I believe you cannot sell a home in NJ with an oil tank in the ground . Has to be removed .

  22. Libtard in Union says:

    I wouldn’t have bought the place and I’m guessing you won’t either.

  23. Libtard in Union says:

    “I believe you cannot sell a home in NJ with an oil tank in the ground . Has to be removed.”

    I don’t think it’s law, but it does make selling a lot tougher.

  24. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    During the course of attorney review, my attorney requested to the sellers to remove the in-ground oil tank. The sellers attorney replied with “Please be advised that an oiltank has been decommissioned as per the attached receipt. The Seller will not remove the abandoned oil tank. The Buyer may not perform any tests that would disturb the subsurface areas around the tank. In addition to which the Seller will not agree to absorb the cost of any clean up in advance. I suggest this is a non-issue since the tnk was properly abandoned”
    I told my attorney yesterday morning to tell the sellers that we’re ready to walk away from the house if they don’t agree to remove it. Interesting development is when I got home from work (before hearing back from the sellers attorney), I logged into NJMLS and noticed that the house was relisted by the sellers agent. My guess is the sellers are going to look for another buyer who won’t make a big stink about the oil tank.

  25. JSMC says:

    My guess is the sellers are going to look for another buyer who won’t make a big stink about the oil tank.

    Hah. Good Luck to them with that. I mean, they won’t even let you test the soil for god’s sake.

  26. freedy says:

    I would walk away

  27. Some anonymous reader says:

    23 – I’d walk out of principal.

    If you scuttle the deal, feel free to post the property details here, google rank is high enough, and spidering frequent enough, that if you include the address it will come up on the first page of a google search.

    You didn’t hear that from me.

  28. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    I told my attorney to let them know I’d be open to splitting the cost of the removal (as a last resort). Does anybody know how much it costs to remove an in-ground oil tank? This tank in particular is 1000 gallons.

  29. Fast Eddie says:

    F1rstT1meBuyer [23],

    Tell the seller’s to shove the house up their f.ucking @ss. In fact, if you want to share the address, I’ll put in a bid on the house 20% below their asking price. And I mean, I really will do it.

  30. Happy Renter says:

    (23) F1rst – RUN, don’t walk, away from that property!

  31. JJ says:

    Closest I came to her was I shook hands with her first cousin Dina Merrill. that was an amazing experience. I did not even have a job in wall street. So Christmas 1985 I went to a huge EF Hutton xmas party as a guest, I had to hunt down a good suit and I lived at home so I had to find my way downtown. I recall, she came in with this super fancy oscar worth crowd with her husband Robert Stack. She was the off spring of the Post, Hutton, Merril and Woolworth fortune and owned a big stake in EF Hutton and Merrill Lynch as well as General Mills and Woolworth at the time as well as being a famous actress married to a famous actor. I even shook Robert Stacks Hand. Afterwards the trading desk rented out whole Pladium for an after party party, I think it ended with me around four am with my tie around my head on stage lip synching with band. Great times. Next year I hunted down a job on wall street. I love eating what I kill.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    May 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

    JJ [12];

    C’mon, get to the punchline… you nailed her at her deb ball, didn’t you?

  32. JSMC says:

    #26

    I think someone mentioned earlier (might have been Grim) that it can be from $2000 for a simple removal to up to $300k if a serious cleanup is required. If that is true, then splitting the cost is an IMMENSE risk (unless you specify that you will only split the cost for tank removal and make them pay for ALL of the cleanup…which is something I would consider, if I were in your situation.)

  33. Libtard in Union says:

    1,000 gallon is a big tank. Most I know of were half that. I agree. Run from that house. Considering the sellers are too cheap to remove the tank, you are probably overpaying for the home as well. Sorry, but don’t fall in love with any home until after you have the keys. Then wait a year and see if you still love the place.

    Our multi was a mistake partially due to my greenness combined with a sh1tty, but highly recommended inspector. Our GR home continues to be everything we were looking for and at a great price. It pays to be patient. I know one day, even Gary is going to find the right place. Three years minimum yo.

  34. JJ says:

    Are the sellers home all the time? If not just buy a soil test kit on line and do it yourself.

    Second ask to see oil bills. If house is using excessive oil may be clue it is leaking

    Third see if the oil tank being buried is noted anywhere on building permits for town.

    Fourth maybe just switch to gas, pump out old oil. you can actually fill it in with sand or something and forget about it.

    Fifth, call an oil tank removal company, lots on Long Island make up address and get a quote. Dont tip off local nj guy you have tank.

    Sixth if you want to yank it figure out legal cost to pull it out if reasonable just do it.

    My old tank in my crawl space I had DEC pump it out for free, I paid the illegals $250 cash to cut it loose and gave it away for free to scrap yard if he timed his arrival right.

    Worked out we cut tank and as we were pushing it through side door scrap guy showed up and took it. Being caught with a huge rusty oil tank pulled out of ground without a permit is like a little league coach caught with his zipper down and shirt untucked.

    F1rstT1meBuyer says:
    May 30, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I told my attorney to let them know I’d be open to splitting the cost of the removal (as a last resort). Does anybody know how much it costs to remove an in-ground oil tank? This tank in particular is 1000 gallons.

  35. Ottoman says:

    I was told by a guy in the oil tank insurance biz that they can tell how long a tank has been leaking and dole out the amount of damage according to how many years each owner held the property. If that’s true, the seller may still be liable if there’s a problem.

    I’m pretty sure its not a law that you have to remove an oil tank to sell a property unless it changed in the last 2 years. I bet it still happens all the time in western and southern NJ where people don’t care as much.

    My neighbor paid $1600 to have a tank removed from his property two years ago, he was one of the first to no longer be compensated by NJ’s UST fund. They put him on a waiting list so one day when the state gets money again, he’ll get that money back. lol. Back in 2008 we were looking at properties with buried tanks and got quotes of $3500-4000 for removal and install of the new tank. Of course the state would have paid for it back then anyway.

  36. grim says:

    I would probably ignore the advice in #33

  37. grim says:

    The dirty little secret is that lots of homes in NJ are sold, every day, with completely unknown oil tanks. Even brand new houses.

    If the seller honestly doesn’t know, and the buyer doesn’t find it, does it really exist? At this point in time, decommissioning tanks is almost a 60 year old process. Given the frequency at which homes change hands, it’s plausible to get a while chain of ownership without any idea. I’m not talking about folks who are intentionally withholding information.

    Very few buyers and sellers do tank sweeps, and simple handheld detectors don’t always find tanks that are still there. Here are some examples:

    Is the tank under rebar and wire-reinforced concrete driveway?

    Is the tank under the rebar and wire-reinforced garage floor?

    Is the tank under the elevated breezeway/foyer (without crawlspace access)?

    Is the tank located in a non-standard location due to bedrock on the property (far corner, embedded in a hill?

    Did the sweep miss it?

    Did JJ remove the tank in the middle of the night?

    Did the sweep miss the tank amidst the gas, water, and sewer lines in the front yard as well as below ground power, telephone, and cable wiring? Not to mention the sprinkler wiring, landscape wiring, and other power cabling to secondary structures (sheds) or landscape lighting.

    Not saying that a sweep isn’t worthwhile, but it’s not a 100% guarantee. Nor will any sweeps give you a guarantee that a tank doesn’t exist, only that they didn’t find one.

  38. freedy says:

    We removed an oil tank from my mother in law’s home . Cost was about 12k.
    She actually had an insurance policy that covered the cost. I don’t believe they sell them any longer in NJ.

    One would have to be out of his/her mind to split the cost of removing an oil tank without cost estimates.

    After they dig the hole ,if its buried, they tell you what it will take to clean up the soil field . This can turn into a very expensive project.

    The hole they dug at my Mother in law’s place, you could have buried the 5 mexicans who were working on it.

  39. Brian says:

    Good luck finding somebody to provide homeowner’s insurance. That’s the problem with selling a house with an oil tank in the ground. And good luck getting a mortgage without homeowner’s insurance.

    22.Libtard in Union says:
    May 30, 2013 at 9:59 am
    “I believe you cannot sell a home in NJ with an oil tank in the ground . Has to be removed.”

    I don’t think it’s law, but it does make selling a lot tougher.

  40. Libtard in Union says:

    We have a decommissioned oil tank in our multi. Back at the start of the roaring millennium, it was such a sellers market that you couldn’t even ask the seller to fix a broken anything. Our tank is actually below the basement (under the furnace block). The only sign that we have a tank is the pipe remnant sticking up from the floor. I may just cut it off below the floor and cement over it. In fifteen years, when I sell the place, the concept of checking for oil tanks will probably be long forgotten.

  41. grim says:

    I recall estimates of approximately 120,000 USTs assumed to exist in NJ, and this from the oil dealers. Therefore, probably 240,000 USTs still in the ground.

    Given about 2.4 million single to 4 family detached housing units in the state, thats a 1 in 10 chance there is an oil tank.

  42. Fast Eddie says:

    Lib,

    I know one day, even Gary is going to find the right place. Three years minimum yo.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t see a house purchase primarily as an investment; however, the number one rule in investing is patience. It applies to everything else as well… including the purchase of a house. :)

  43. 1987 Condo Buyer says:

    #39….not so sure issue goes away, was a big deal back in 1993…and still is 20 years later…seems lawyers have good memories….

  44. Libtard in Union says:

    “not so sure issue goes away.”

    Don’t worry. I’ll be sure to sell during the next bubble. And trust me, there will be another one.

  45. Libtard in Union says:

    It wasn’t a big deal in 2003-2006.

  46. grim says:

    Here are my “warning signs” for UST:

    House built between 1920 and 1970?
    Originally part of an exurban or rural development?
    Any evidence of the house being septic or well?
    Stub/closed lines penetrating the foundation walls or floor? Doesn’t need to be anywhere near the position of the current boiler/furnace.
    Filler caps and vent tubes?
    Patches to existing block or concrete foundation (look for texture changes or lumps).
    Newer tank in the crawlspace or basement (what happened to the old tank?)
    Newer gas steam boiler

    Positive signs
    1950s or 1960s gas boiler – few people were converting from oil to gas back then
    Old forced hot air, no evidence of radiators ever existing – rare to see oil-fired forced hot air systems.

    No stub/feed lines or oil vents and fillers is not a positive sign, these are very easily removed and hidden.

  47. Brian says:

    http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/insurance/oiltanks.htm

    Pollution liability caused by leaking oil tanks has become a major problem in New Jersey. Costs to clean up environmental damage, particularly damage to water supplies or aquifers, can run into millions of dollars. Insurance companies have implemented one of the following approaches in handling oil tanks:

    1. Most homeowners policies exclude pollution liability caused by oil tanks with an option to buy-back $100,000 of pollution liability coverage for an additional premium. The “buy-back” of oil tanks coverage may only be offered once to new applicants or current policyholders. Once they decline, they can not buy the coverage on any future policies. There is no first party coverage provided.

    2. Several companies impose surcharges for the presence of oil tanks on the premises. Coverage is provided for liability caused by above ground or underground oil tanks up to the homeowner’s policy liability limits. There is no first party coverage provided.

    3. Some companies provide $10,000 first party remediation coverage and limit liability for escaped fuel to $50,000. There is no additional charge for this coverage and higher limits up to $300,000 may be offered.

    4. A few companies provide coverage for liability caused by above ground or underground oil tanks up to the homeowner’s policy liability limits.

    Please be aware that many companies have underwriting guidelines that may prohibit the writing of risks with oil tanks on the premises or based on the age of the tank.

    Since oil tanks may ultimately leak, the Department urges all homeowners with oil tanks to have their tanks tested and inspected and to replace old oil tanks to protect New Jersey’s environment and to prevent a homeowners pollution liability loss.

  48. Brian says:

    “rare to see oil-fired forced hot air systems.”

    I grew up in a house with one and then bought a house that previously had one. Several of my neighbors have them too. Never thought of them as rare.

  49. Young Buck says:

    First free lunch, now free lawyers…

    State Supreme Court declines to hear Elizabeth school superintendent’s, former BOE president’s appeal

    ELIZABETH — The attorney representing the city’s superintendent of schools and a former school board president said he will file a motion with the state Supreme Court asking it to reconsider its decision not to hear an appeal by the two men, whom a lower court ordered to repay legal fees tied to a defamation lawsuit they initiated in 2006.

    The state high court’s order, filed on May 15 but not received by the respective attorneys until late last week, would have effectively concluded seven years of litigation.

    But Michael Stein, the attorney representing Superintendent Pablo Muñoz and the former board president, Rafael Fajardo, said it was unfair to make his clients pay $62,622 in legal bills because they were acting on the advice of board attorneys.

    “The denial of our petition represents a miscarriage of justice,” Stein said. “This case so obviously cries for attention that we’re going to seek reconsideration. It’s that unfair.”

    The two had turned to the state’s highest court in January after an appeals panel ruled that Muñoz and Fajardo, and not the school board, were liable for legal expenses tied to a 2006 defamation complaint they and the district filed against various “John and Jane Does” and “ABC Corporations.”

    Muñoz, Fajardo and the board filed their defamation suit following an anonymous mailing to city residents that included a forged letter, purportedly written by Muñoz, urging Fajardo to campaign hard on behalf of the city’s Hispanic candidates to help insure a low turnout of Italian residents leading up to a city council election in 2006.

    But Antonio Rivera, an Elizabeth resident and political rival of the pair, himself filed suit later that year, seeking to keep the school board from continuing to fund the complaint, which did not name specific defendants. He also sought to have Muñoz and Fajardo reimburse the Union County district for legal fees.

    “These were personal courses of action” and not for the board to pursue, Rivera’s attorney, Richard Rudin, said.

    The school board had continued to fund the legal action until the state Department of Education investigated and found that the Abbott school district’s expenditure of public funds in pursuing the suit was “inappropriate,” according to court documents.

    In its January decision, a three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling that the board could not itself be defamed. It also found no evidence that the school board had authorized the suit by resolution.

    “As a result, the lawsuit was filed without public notice,” Rudin said. “The law had not been complied with.”

    Rudin said the Supreme Court’s order compels Munoz and Fajardo to split the bill and deposit the fees into a Superior Court trust fund. The board could then move to withdraw the money, provided it can persuade the trial court that the funds would be for school purposes, said Rudin, of the Weiner Lesniak firm, of which state Sen. Raymond Lesniak is a founding partner and longtime political foe of the city school board.

    Stein said a negligence suit against McCarter & English, board attorneys at the time, is pending.

    http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2013/05/state_supreme_court_declines_t.html#incart_river

  50. Libtard in Union says:

    “rare to see oil-fired forced hot air systems.”

    I’ve never seen one!

  51. grim says:

    I’m not talking about new systems, + Old. My understanding is that they didn’t become commonplace in this area until around the 1980s. Prior to that, it was more common for oil-fired systems to be boiler-based, hydrionic or steam.

  52. first (23)-

    The seller is hiding something. Run away from that deal fast.

  53. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    My attorney came back to me and told me the sellers are open to splitting the cost of the tank removal. My attorney called the company that originally decommissioned the oil tank to get a quote on how much removal will be. At this point, my decision to move forward with the house is if my portion of the removal cost is at most $1k. Any contamination that is discovered will have to be covered by the seller.

  54. Brian says:

    50 – My parents house was built in the 40’s and my POS cape in 1951. I don’t think either of them ever had radiators. The other houses in my neighborhood are colonials and capes all circa 1950’s. Some have radiators but the smaller Capes have force air.

    Worked out for the best though, it was easy to retrofit both houses with central air.

  55. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Housing Market Continues Climb as Pending Home Sales Rise

    The number of prospective buyers signing contracts to buy previously owned homes ticked up last month to the highest level in three years, another sign the housing market’s rebound is well under way.

    The National Association of Realtors on Thursday said its seasonally adjusted index for pending sales of existing homes rose to a reading of 106 in April, up 0.3% from the previous month and a gain of 10.3% from a year earlier.

    “The housing market continues to squeak out gains from already very positive conditions,” said Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist. The last time the reading was higher was in April 2010 when home buyers were rushing to qualify for a federal tax credit.

    The report was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast the index would rise 1.7% from March’s reading of 105.7. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001.

    The pending home-sales report measures signed contracts to purchase homes. It typically takes one to two months to complete a sale.

  56. chicagofinance says:

    Cutting Edge Technology Update from JJ:

    By MICHAEL BLAUSTEIN

    Glass, let’s shoot a point of view p0rno.

    Google’s next big tech product hasn’t hit the mainstream yet, but that hasn’t stopped the kings of adult Android apps, MiKandi, from making apps for Glass.

    In fact, MiKandi has been hard at work for a while and their first app is set to hit their Google Glass app store next week, according to ZDNet.

    While MiKandi co-founder Jennifer McEwen was loathe to give specific details about the first app, she confirmed that they are working on the most obvious use of Google Glass, which has the ability to shoot both pictures and videos.

    “Glass is perfect for shooting POV video, so we’re experimenting with that first,” McEwen said.

    “Being hands-free and hassle-free is a simple but big difference Glass has over other similar devices,” continued McEwen. “It’s so easy and familiar to wear, that from a shooter’s perspective it feels like you’re recording with your own eyes.”

    “Because it feels so natural, you can forget about the technology and just be in the moment.”

    But shooting POV adult videos is just the tip of the iceberg for MiKandi who are also looking to take advantage of Google Glass’s other functions — primarily the ability of Glass users to connect with each other and share content.

    Imagine, for example, walking around with your Google Glass glasses on and a notification pops up saying that one of your friends has created a p0rno which you can then view with a simple verbal command.

    That’s exactly the type of thing that MiKandi is looking into as you can see in their slightly NSFW trailer for their adult Google Glass apps.

  57. grim says:

    Blowout month for pending home sales in the Northeast:

    http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2013/embargoes/phs-5-30-vbedws/phs-04-2013-pending-home-sales-05-29-2013.pdf

    Up 21.5% year over year (not seasonally adjusted). Up 17.7% adjusted YOY.

  58. Brian says:

    Hey anybody here live in a town with an ordinance that holds Landlords responsible for the behaviour of tenants? There was a liveley debate last night at the town council meeting where residents of owner occupied houses and landlords expresses support for and against such a measure. I was just wondering if anybody’s town passed one and if it had a positive effect?

    Newton approves bad tenant measure
    Posted: May 29, 2013 11:17 PM EDT Updated: May 29, 2013 11:36 PM EDT

    http://www.njherald.com/story/22453318/newton-approves-bad-tenant-measure

    By BRUCE A. SCRUTON
    bscruton@njherald.com
    NEWTON — By a 3-2 vote, the Town Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that holds landlords responsible for the behavior of their tenants, but only after criminal convictions and a couple of hearings.
    The measure, several years in the making according to Councilman Joe Ricciardo, who voted against the ordinance, takes a shotgun approach, aimed at a very few problem rental properties in town, but covers a much wider area which encompasses all properties that have from one to four rental units.
    “In its present form, I can’t approve,” Ricciardo said when the vote was taken after a nearly three hour public hearing. Joining Ricciardo in voting against the measure was Kevin Elvidge while council members Kristen Becker and Daniel Flynn and Mayor Sandralee Diglio voted in favor.
    After the vote, Ricciardo said his objection is that the ordinance won’t do what the council wants because it doesn’t cover rooming houses.
    The owner of two of those troublesome properties, Herb Fraser of Green Township, sent an e-mail to more than 500 landlords in town which drew a crowd of about 70 people to the hearing, including landlords from as far as Queens.
    It wasn’t until nearly two hours into the hearing that Fraser stood at the microphone and told the council the proposed ordinance would likely be challenged in the courts.
    Fraser’s properties at 39 Halsted St. and 90 Main St., however, don’t fall under the jurisdiction of the town’s new ordinance since they are classified as “rooming houses” and are overseen by the state.
    State Sen. Steve Oroho, a Republican whose district includes Sussex, has proposed an amendment to state law, with sponsorship by three Democrats, which would allow owners of rooming houses to be included in the definition of landlord in towns where disruptive tenant laws have been passed.
    The Newton ordinance has a clause which acknowledges that potential change.
    Tempers flared when Fraser claimed the town had never contacted him about issues at his properties, although he did admit he met with town officials, including Police Chief Mike Richards and Town Manager Tom Russo last October.
    “When I asked what I should do, you told me ‘We can’t tell you waht to do,’ ” Fraser said.
    But he was interrupted by Richards who said there were very specific suggestions.
    “What you wanted was for me to tell you that I approved of a prospective tenant, and that I won’t and can’t do,” the chief told him.
    He also said, “We should be out there doing other things, instead, we’re tied up dealing with disruptive persons.”
    Russo said that in 2012, there were 50 police calls to 39 Halstead St., for potential criminal action. That number did not include several medical, mental health or administrative-type calls.
    Flynn told Fraser that it was ironic that two weeks ago, following a council meeting, the councilman decided to drive home by way of Halstead Street.
    “There were three police cars in front of your building,” he said.
    Diglio accused Fraser of sending out an e-mail with misleading information, designed to get people upset.
    The exchange with Fraser caused tempers to flare among Elvidge and Riccardo, the two men who voted against the ordinance.
    Elvidge, who said he’s a landlord, said “I’d like some clarity on what can be done,” and later added, “I don’t want a rush to create something.”
    Town Attorney Ursula Leo said the ordinance was drafted along the lines of existing ordinances and within the powers given by the state Legislature.
    In basic terms, the ordinance provides that if a tenant is convicted of a crime “on or in close proximity” to the landlord’s property, the landlord is notified.

  59. JJ says:

    My tank was not buried, just in crawl space. I just cut it loose and scrap yard took it.

    I replaced it with a new oil tank. I will have no problems selling house as I still have oil and tank is still above ground.

    Bigger issue is open permits, if you dont file a permit you dont have to close a permit.

  60. grim says:

    I told the story here before about my old neighbor digging up his tank at night on a weekend. They drove up with a back hoe, dug up the front yard, pulled out the tank, put the tank in a dump truck, filled it up, and everyone left. They weren’t there an hour and half from start to finish. He sold the house a few months after that, the grass had already grown back in. Perks of being a contractor I suppose.

  61. Hughesrep says:

    Oil furnaces are mostly limited to NW extreme southern NJ.

    Oil heat every else is 95% boilers.

    The oil equipment business including tanks is falling off of a cliff.

  62. Libtard in Union says:

    Brian…those MAD photos are pretty good.

  63. Former Morris Co. resident says:

    You can TRY to sell a home with a KNOWN oil tank in the ground but the buyer WON’T be able to insure it. Been through it three times (twice as a seller) in the last five years. Lucky for me the state grant was still available.

    BTW – Most realtors will not list a property with a known underground oil tank.

    Stick to your guns! No oil tank removal, no deal. Noone else is going to buy it unless….it’s a cash deal and they are gamblers (leaks and the associated plume could cost hundreds of thousands to clean up). Do it on the sly? Roll the dice. * Note – Some town inspectors are anal sociopaths who will crawl over the property with a microscope.

  64. Brian says:

    I thought this was pretty funny too…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/05/28/obama-touchdown-fever_n_3347056.html

    Christie may have greeted Obama with open arms, but not everyone was excited about the president’s visit to the Garden State. The White House pool report notes a man “in front of a bait and tackle shop in Point Pleasant was giving the motorcade the finger as it rolled past” Tuesday while holding a sign that “had “Obama” with a slash through it.”

  65. first time (52)-

    I’m with gary on this one. Seller should pull that tank completely at his expense or sit on it sideways. Old-style remediation doesn’t cut it, because it’s your ass if it’s been leaking.

  66. Libtard in Union says:

    F1rstT1meBuyer,

    Any interest in buying a multi some time around 2030?

  67. Libtard in Union says:

    I’ll pay half of the oil tank removal.

  68. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [67];

    I’ll pay half of the oil tank removal…

    ..from the purchase money on the closing table. The other half the seller can come up with.

    FTB, stick to your guns, and be prepared to walk. Seller has more to lose than you do. Only way they get a deal done on their terms is to lie to the next buyer — that’s on them. Why should you be ‘the next buyer’ knowing what you know/that you’ve been lied to?

  69. JJ says:

    BTW absolutely no one in LI, Queens or Brooklyn cares about an abated tank. It was legal up to 2000 to fill them with sand and cap them. Most folks rushed in 1999 to do it.

    In the year 2013 some nut wants it pulled out why should seller care.

  70. Fast Eddie says:

    JJ,

    In the year 2013 some nut wants it pulled out why should seller care.

    So, you’re saying pulling out s.ucks?

  71. Libtard in Union (Channelling JJ) says:

    Tell your wife that if she let’s you pull out, you’ll give her a pearl necklace in gratitude.

  72. JJ says:

    Pulling out and letting girl suck does not suck

  73. Brian says:

    question for the board….

    Would it be more desirable to live in a community of renters or owners? I live in a community full of SFH’s and I’ve heard it said that 50% of the housing stock is rentals. What are the benefits of each? Do you think there would be less or more crime or lower or higher quality of life in either?

    I’m sort of hoping my neighborhood will attract more owner occupied houses. My theory is that it ties them to the community and they would care more about crime rates and quality of life issues over renters.

  74. JJ says:

    Owners. Renters gross me out.

    Brian says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    question for the board….

    Would it be more desirable to live in a community of renters or owners?

  75. JSMC says:

    I’ve never owned, but I can’t imagine renters being a better option than owners. The tendency for the house to get trashed (and thus, bring the values down across the neighborhood) is much higher with renters. Only advantage I can think of to living near renters is if your property is adjacent to theirs, they might not be as likely to complain as much about what you do to your property.

    Even if the house being rented isn’t trashed, it most likely won’t look as nice anyway. For example, part of my deal with my landlord is that I cut the grass and just make sure the sidewalks are salted when it’s icy. Basically, the legal minimum so he doesn’t get fined. However, the yard is mostly wild grass, and doesn’t look all that good. If I owned the place, I would put down all new seed and make it look nice, but I don’t own it, so what do I care?

  76. prtraders says:

    A/C question to the field. Parents will be spending their first summer in their permanent residence in North Jersey due to summer house being a Sandy victim. They only have a few more years in the home and were shopping quotes to have central air installed. Aside from comfort, will this investment pay off when they go to sell? It’s probably a 700 – 800k house in western Essex county. 2 zone quote was over 20k. They only use the kitchen and their bedroom these days.

  77. Libtard in Union says:

    Owners tend to take better care/upkeep of their property than renters. Transient neighborhoods are not as friendly as well. We live a half mile from our multi and a different family hosts a party for all of the neighborhood kids at nearly every holiday. The annual block party moves down the block one house at a time. We have about 7 years before we are hosting it. At my multi, we still don’t know who lives in the homes one house over. Also, much less partying occurs at owned homes versus rentals. For some here, that’s a negative.

  78. Libtard in Union says:

    prtraders. Is it in an area where everyone else has central air? Certainly it would much cheaper to just pop in a couple of window units and be done and forget about return on investment. Just the cost difference of running the central versus window units will be significant.

  79. FirstTimer says:

    If the seller misses the closing date, does the buyer have the right to cancel the contract? During the walkthrough, we found out that seller had removed all window treatments (which were part of the contract), broken a door etc. We have not heard back from the seller in the past two days and the closing is next week.

    If we don’t close on time, we stand to lose our rate lock and a lot of money. Does the buyer have any recourse for this?

  80. Carlito says:

    Question: I see some listings with a 7-digit MLS number, others with a NAEXxxx number, where xxxx are four digits after the NAEX letters…Sometimes a house may show up with the two numbering systems…..Is this telling of any specific situation regarding the house (corporate move?) or just legacy situation from merging different databases? Union Co, if that matters…

  81. Brian says:

    76 – they assess your home higher where I live which means you pay more in property taxes. I don’t think it necesarrily would make the house sell for more though. It might be more attractive to some buyers should you decide to sell.

    What about a couple of those split units strategically placed throughout the house?

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,1630888,00.html

  82. prtraders says:

    Lib

    I agree. They seem to think that buyers won’t even consider a home without central ac. At this point most houses in the neighborhood do have central ac.

  83. Libtard in Union says:

    Bam…my Mortgage Master broker came through with much better insurance quotes than I even had before the rent loss provision was added plus with greater coverage. It’s amazing what someone connected can do. The funny thing is, the policy is with the underwriter that my MetLife agent was quoting me through. Perhaps, they wanted a piece of the action since they were losing me? Feh…Just saved another $700.

  84. JJ says:

    Hey how much is a one million umbrella policy anyhow?

  85. JJ says:

    What you need to do is have both tenants switch places and then pay you off the books for six months.

    Libtard in Union says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Bam…my Mortgage Master broker came through with much better insurance quotes than I even had before the rent loss provision was added plus with greater coverage. It’s amazing what someone connected can do. The funny thing is, the policy is with the underwriter that my MetLife agent was quoting me through. Perhaps, they wanted a piece of the action since they were losing me? Feh…Just saved another $700.

  86. JJ says:

    Some towns you need permits for central air which in turn raises your taxes. If property taxes go up due to central air the numbers are hard to justify

    prtraders says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    A/C question to the field. Parents will be spending their first summer in their permanent residence in North Jersey due to summer house being a Sandy victim. They only have a few more years in the home and were shopping quotes to have central air installed. Aside from comfort, will this investment pay off when they go to sell? It’s probably a 700 – 800k house in western Essex county. 2 zone quote was over 20k. They only use the kitchen and their bedroom these days.

  87. grim says:

    Central AC can be a dealbreaker in the $750k range, it’s pretty much expected.

    Payback? Near zero. Like I said, it’s going to be expected. If anything, the buyer might appreciate the fact that it is brand new, and not 20 years old, in which case maybe a $5k increase in value.

    Buyers might overlook it, but there has got to be some other reason to really make them fall in love. Suppose that if the price is right, it might not be a big deal at all.

  88. JSMC says:

    #79

    You might want to talk to your attorney about that.

  89. grim says:

    Consult an attorney – everything below should be considered comedy, and in no way, shape, or form, is anywhere near anything that would constitute advice.

    If the seller misses the closing date, does the buyer have the right to cancel the contract?

    Depends on the timing and the nature of the communications leading up to the closing, but generally, probably not. My assumption is that remedy here would be specific performance of the seller. I do not believe the closing date as written in a standard purchase contract constitutes “Time is of the essence.” Which are legal magic words that mean you better get off your ass. Closing dates move all the time, shit comes up, paperwork gets screwed up, lenders mess up, CO problems, permit problems, repair problems, reinspection problems, lawyers go on vacation, etc. Devil is in the details and I’d really be more interested in knowing if there is an open channel of communication between the attorneys, not between buyer and seller. If your attorney was concerned, he might consider sending a time of the essence letter, which invokes said wizardry above, but would also result in a gun being held to your head as well. Really all depends on the current contract and any applicable riders, you might have contingencies that can be triggered, but maybe you don’t.

    During the walkthrough, we found out that seller had removed all window treatments (which were part of the contract), broken a door etc.

    Your attorney should be sending a letter requesting repair or compensation. Also, doing a walk through two weeks before closing isn’t a walkthrough, it’s a nice visit. You should be doing the walk through the day of the closing. If there is some reason you can’t, at the very least you should do it the day before, and send your agent the day of.

    We have not heard back from the seller in the past two days and the closing is next week.

    Who is “we”? Do you mean that your attorney hasn’t heard back from their attorney? What’s the status on the final HUD? Do you have a clear to close yet? If your town requires it, is the CO done. Most importantly, what does your attorney think? Keep in mind it was a holiday weekend, and most sellers are scrambling like idiots a week before closing, trying to do everything they should have been doing weeks earlier.

    If we don’t close on time, we stand to lose our rate lock and a lot of money. Does the buyer have any recourse for this?

    Talk to your lender and see how much time is actually left on the lock, and ask whether or not they’ll extend it a few days at no charge if necessary.

  90. grim says:

    Love it when sellers are still at the house the morning of the closing, packing.

  91. Anon E. Moose says:

    Brian [73];

    My issue is no so much living among owners v. renters, but that generally speaking rental houses are crap. Cheapest finishes, appliances, counters and cabinets — when looking for my last rental house it got to the point I could instinctively recognize the bottom price point Home Depot vanity and three-door medicine chest (they make it three door instead of two because its cheaper and easier to source the smaller pieces of mirrored glass — if you never have stare at it to shave every morning, what’s the difference?); “builder grade” appliances are not a compliment.

    I’m sort of hoping my neighborhood will attract more owner occupied houses. My theory is that it ties them to the community and they would care more about crime rates and quality of life issues over renters.

    That’s a different issue. Hope is not a strategy.

    I think the answer is schools. People who want to send their kids to school in a district they like plan to stay for 12-15 years or so to get a cohort through. That’s what makes a stable neighborhood. So run for school board. Can you find a group of like-minded individuals? That’s what the religious groups did in the five towns of LI or Orange County, NY.

    If crime is a problem, are you willing to organize a neighborhood watch?

    But most realistically, most people will tell you that its easier to find the neighborhood you want than to make it. Vote with your feet.

  92. Vote with a bullet.

  93. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Scrap woul dlike to but .22 Lr is a b!tch to find and why would I waste my pricey ammo large bore rounds on politicians

  94. Hughesrep says:

    64

    Know how he feels. I got stuck on the wrong side of 35 for half a day. Could not cross 35 from Manasquan to Asbury due to Laurel and Hardy.

    I spent the afternoon at the Boathouse in Belmar.

  95. JJ says:

    Orthodox Jews dont send their kids to public school. They joined the Lawrence school district board in order to vote everything down and cancel all sports and activities.
    They even tried to sell a public school below market to a Yeshiva to take it off tax rolls and screw the kids in public schools twice, once by selling below market, two by taking off the tax rolls.

    They pushed and showed every regular jew and catholic out of town.

  96. grim says:

    Sounds like Lakewood

  97. FirstTimer says:

    (89) Grim, Thanks for the response, much appreciated.

    I am buying this place via a relo company and hence the issues with communication. They are generally slow to respond, due to the red tape, I am guessing. I don’t think I have any other contingencies that can be triggered right now, unless I lose my job :P

    At this point my attorney is not concerned, but I don’t want to wait until it’s time to panic. The house has been empty for months and the sellers have relocated. However, they are being jerks as can be seen from the removal of the window treatments, when they moved their furniture out (they even took their mailbox!).

    My attorney has sent a letter requesting repairs/replacements but they have not replied yet and it has been 2 days.

    RE: Rate lock. I can extend it for free for another 3 days (after the scheduled closing) according to my lender, but will probably cost me a bit after that. I had a 3.5% with a hefty lender credit.

    So, the bottom line is that I can’t get the seller to compensate me in any way if the closing gets pushed?

  98. Jim says:

    RE:57

    Brian,
    I have a four unit right off of Trinity, I heard nothing about this ordinance before.

    These politicians are a bunch of idiots, they gladly take my money each quarter for taxes, but God forbid I need any asistance. I have had that building for over 30 years now, but my address on the original deed has my home address of where I lived 30 years ago ( Budd Lake). That is probably why I did not get any mail on the subject.

    I have a six unit in PA. , and they pulled the same crap, It went to court and town lost. I hope the outcome here is the same…crooks.

  99. chicagofinance says:

    will you record with Google Glass?

    JJ says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm
    Pulling out and letting girl suck does not suck

  100. chicagofinance says:

    What kind of weirdo buys insurance for one million umbrellas?

    JJ says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:54 pm
    Hey how much is a one million umbrella policy anyhow?

  101. chicagofinance says:

    Vote with ricin?

    Scrapple n’Ricin says:
    May 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    Vote with a bullet.

  102. chicagofinance says:

    Beat me to it :(

    Scrapple n’Ricin says:
    May 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm
    Vote with ricin.

  103. chicagofinance says:

    That is so spot on it is scary…..

    Hughesrep says:
    May 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm
    due to Laurel and Hardy.

  104. first (100)-

    Amazing that the relo company agreed to process this house having knowledge of an underground tank. If they know about it, they should be the ones to drive the process of removal, and they should gladly pay for it themselves and look to the old owner for compensation later.

    I’m not an attorney (and not giving legal advice), but if the seller’s obstinence causes a delay that blows your rate lock or costs you in any way, you should be able to have them make you whole.

    I’d still walk away from this, though. I smell multiple rats…especially since a relo company is involved and should’ve dealt with the issue months ago.

  105. Just to be absolutely precise here: the relo company is the seller, firsttimer. Any attempt on their part to claim the seller is being obstinate is bullshit. Their own dealings with the former occupant should happen on their time and is none of your concern.

  106. Brian says:

    Jim I think they are targeting the two boarding houses in town. My father worked as a drug counselor and picked a lot of addicts up from the one on main st and the other on halsted. There are a few police visits to each address almost every week.

    Jim says:
    May 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm
    RE:57

    Brian,
    I have a four unit right off of Trinity, I heard nothing about this ordinance before.

    These politicians are a bunch of idiots, they gladly take my money each quarter for taxes, but God forbid I need any asistance. I have had that building for over 30 years now, but my address on the original deed has my home address of where I lived 30 years ago ( Budd Lake). That is probably why I did not get any mail on the subject.

    I have a six unit in PA. , and they pulled the same crap, It went to court and town lost. I hope the outcome here is the same…crooks.

  107. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    Ok…so I killed the deal. I offered to contribute $1k to the removal of the oil tank and the seller agreed but put another stipulation into the deal that the house would be sold ‘as is’. If I found anything that needed to be fixed following the inspection, it would be on my dime to take care of it so I told my agent to kill the deal.

    Thanks to everybody for your input and feedback. I really appreciate it.

    Search goes on…

  108. joyce says:

    109

    Brian,
    The article you posted said the town ordinance does not cover boarding/rooming houses.

  109. Brian says:

    Joyce that will change after an amendment sponsored by Steve Oroho is passed in the State legislature that allows boarding houses to be included under the definition of landlords in bad tenant ordinances.

  110. joyce says:

    what if it doesn’t pass

  111. joyce says:

    Plus it sounds akin to trying to punish someone using an ex post facto law

  112. Happy Renter says:

    (110) F1rst – sucks, I know, but you made the right call.

  113. Brian says:

    Did I mention one of the boarding houses is one block from the catholic elementary school and a few hundred feet from the public elementary school. But whatever what’s important is that landlords feelings aren’t hurt and that no libertarians are irritated.

  114. Good for you, first. That is a shit relo company, wedded to people that have something to hide. Let that dump take all of them down.

  115. The relo company should’ve immediately agreed to pull out the tank, then clipped the former owner for the cost.

  116. Who else but crackheads want to rent in Sussex?

  117. joyce says:

    Thanks for clearing it up, Brian. I had no idea it was for the children.

    I’m sorry if I bothered you sticking up for the rule of law without injecting emotion into the situation. Carry on useful idiot

  118. F1rstT1meBuyer says:

    No relo company involved in my transaction. I think you guys are getting mixed up by my situation and FirstTimer’s situation.

  119. Ottoman says:

    So Brian, did the current federal lawsuit against Norristown PA’s landlord/tenant disturbing the peace ordinance come up at the meeting? Seems like an important consideration since its about the constitutionality of punishing someone for someone else’s behavior and a tenant’s general civil rights, not just that town’s specific situation.

    In Norristown, a woman claims she was afraid to call the police on the boyfriend that continuously beat her because of the three strike rule on tenant disturbances. Of course, Newton would be much more judicious in its execution of such an ordinance. I’m sure they wouldn’t use it to arbitrarily target and remove dark skinned people from their homes. I do wonder where they think these ruffians will go. Are they no longer allowed to live in Newton if they get kicked out of one place for disturbing the peace? Perhaps Newton fancies itself the Augusta National of Sussex County. Only the well behaved and law abiding need apply.

    Maybe at the next meeting you should suggest Newton enact an ordinance that kicks out homeowners who disturb the peace or have criminal convictions. Fair is fair.

  120. Tiny Violin says:

    I cannot believe how relevant the “oil tank” discussion was to my day yesterday…
    That said, does anyone have a reputable source for decommission/ removal?
    Property is in Bergen County (middle). Thanks.

  121. Brian says:

    That’s fine Joyce, I can take it. I had a few beers when I posted that. Yuengling makes me emotional.

    The solution may not be the right one Joyce but the problem is, some of the people in these rentals require police and ambulance visits more often than people who own and live in their home straining public resources. It’s become more and more obvious that much of the crime can be traced back to a few properties.

    I’d be more interested in hearing what you’d do to solve the problem rather than criticizing what the town council is trying to do.

    120.joyce says:
    May 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm
    Thanks for clearing it up, Brian. I had no idea it was for the children.

    I’m sorry if I bothered you sticking up for the rule of law without injecting emotion into the situation. Carry on useful idiot

  122. JSMC says:

    #110

    Good going. From what it sounds like you were describing the seller, it seems they must have known something was amiss about the soil…even if there were no records, they probably tested themselves privately, and are looking for a sucker.

    Good luck on your continuing search.

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