All hail king of the flippers

From the Record:

Price of luxury living falls: Alpine home can be yours for $49 million

It’s not the $68 million he was once asking, but what real estate investor Richard Kurtz is now seeking for the 30,000-square-foot mansion he built in Alpine — $49 million — would apparently still be a record for a residential real estate deal in New Jersey.

Eight years after spending $58 million on 60 acres in Alpine and Demarest — during the housing market’s frothiest days — Kurtz is still trying to sell the mansion and another luxury home on the property, as well as several building lots.

In the years between, he has faced a housing crash, a financial crisis and the deepest recession since the Depression. But he remains confident that as the economy and the housing market recover, he’ll find buyers for the two homes.

“We’ll sell them; I’m not concerned at all,” said Kurtz, 73, who owns 14,000 garden apartments through his company, Kamson Corp. in Englewood Cliffs.

“When we bought the property, it was a great purchase,” he said. “Then the world fell in financially, and it wasn’t such a good purchase. But I felt eventually the economy would straighten out.”

While many homes aspire to be mansions, and many people aspire to build them, what Kurtz calls the Stone Mansion truly fits the bill — 30,000 square feet on 6 acres, originally offered for sale in mid-2010 for $68 million. It’s been on and off the market since then, and is about to be offered again with an asking price of $49 million — still an ambitious target for Bergen County, where the record sale was for $32 million, at the peak of the housing market.

And the Frick family’s original home nearby has also been on the market off and on; Kurtz said he is talking to an interested buyer and hopes to sell it soon.

Down the hill from the Stone Mansion, Kovalchuk is building a giant home on a 2-acre property he bought in 2010 for $4.5 million. Counting the Kovalchuk sale, Kurtz has made more than $13 million on the sale of five building lots, according to public records. (Kurtz said a sixth sale is in contract.)

But Kurtz’s carrying costs on the remaining properties are also enormous — property taxes alone come to more than $650,000 a year, and he is also paying on several multimillion-dollar mortgages. He said his apartment business helps pay the bills.

Over the years, as the housing market deteriorated, Kurtz has had some concerns about finding a buyer for the Stone Mansion. Nonetheless, he doesn’t regret building it.

“Just the timing,” Kurtz said. “Things got very difficult. We had an environment that was the worst since the Depression. How could I have anticipated that?”

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73 Responses to All hail king of the flippers

  1. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Globalization could be stunting the housing recovery

    Paul Ashworth, an economist with Capital Economics, released a report Monday on income inequality. While the report skips housing as a topic altogether, it does try to explain some of the economic headwinds that have held a few generations of Americans hostage, making it unlikely that they will have the spending power to keep the housing markets fueled to the delight of realtors and the mortgage markets in the years to come.

    Ashworth writes, “The rise in income inequality may not be morally defensible or socially desirable but, for now at least, it doesn’t appear to be restraining economic growth.” And no he is not an Occupy Wall Street type. He’s talking less about punitive interplays between the classes and more about the overall effect of globalization, or what may commonly be called the offshoring of jobs.

    He notes that real incomes for Americans have been stagnant since the 1970s, which makes it more unlikely that troubles in the mortgage industry were the key cause of the housing downturn. (This may be good news if you believe the industry unfairly took all the blame)

    As to what is causing economic stagnation? Some have blamed the Fed, Congress, not enough taxation, Republicans, Democrats and social decay, such as a lack of morals or work ethic.

    But Ashworth cuts to the chase. Why are Americans not buying large-scale goods? Why is malaise common and not going away?

    “Globalization appears to be the primary cause of the stagnation in real incomes in the bottom half of the distribution,” he writes. “The offshoring of relatively low-skilled labour-intensive manufacturing jobs matters because those jobs were, in general, better paid than the new jobs requiring relatively few skills that are being created in the education, health care and leisure sectors.”

    Yet, Ashworth is not convinced income equality is holding back the economy. In fact, he says it’s not.

    Globalization worldwide has reduced income equality between developed and developing nations – a point often used to defend globalization, based on Ashworth’s findings.

    However, it has increased income inequality in America, and it’s Americans who U.S. Realtors, agents and the housing industry serve and base their livings off of. So what happens when Americans en masse end up with less to spend?

  2. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    NAR Sees Home Prices Rising in 2014, Rates Jumping to 5.4%

    As chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, the housing industry’s biggest cheerleader, Lawrence Yun often has an optimistic outlook. On Friday, he embraced a bit of caution.

    Mr. Yun outlined his housing-market forecast for 2014 at NAR’s annual conference here, predicting that existing home sales will remain flat at roughly 5.1 million units, prices will rise by 6% and interest rates, currently at 4.16%, will jump to 5.4% by the end of next year.

    The economist said he crafted his outlook based on his assumptions that opposing forces will keep sales volumes at their 2013 levels. He anticipates that rising interest rates will hamper sales. At the same time, he foresees buyers emboldened by strengthening job growth and potentially more lenient mortgage-qualification standards.

    Mr. Yun foresees new-home prices rising by 5% next year.

    The NAR forecast could be viewed as restrained in light of the housing market’s gains in the past two years. Since 2011, median home prices rose by 18% and existing home sales increased in volume by 20%, according to NAR. But other 2014 forecasts are fairly close to Mr. Yun’s predictions, given the likelihood of rising rates and continued uncertainty about how lawmakers will address the federal budget and debt limit.

  3. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Job Gap Widens in Uneven Recovery

    America’s jobs recovery is proceeding on two separate tracks—a pattern that is persisting far longer than after past economic rebounds and lately has been growing worse.

    Despite three years of steady job gains, and four years of economic growth, many Americans have yet to experience much that could be described as a recovery. That sort of pattern isn’t unusual in the aftermath of a recession, but it usually eases as growth picks up steam.

    Youth unemployment, for example, nearly always improves after recessions more slowly than that of prime-age workers, those between 25 and 54. Following the 2001 recession, it took six months for the gap between the youth and prime-age unemployment rates to return to its long-run average. After the early 1990s recession, it took 30 months. This time, it has been 52 months, and the gap has hardly narrowed.

    For those with decent jobs, wages are rising, albeit slowly, and job security is the strongest it has been since before the recession. Many families have paid down debts and are seeing the value of assets, from homes to stocks, rebound strongly.

    But many others—the young, the less educated and particularly the unemployed—are experiencing hardly any recovery at all. Hiring remains weak, and the jobs that are available are disproportionately low-paying and often part-time. Wage growth is nearly nonexistent, in part because with so many people still looking for jobs, workers have little bargaining power.

    The two-track nature of the recovery helps explain why the four-year-old upturn still doesn’t feel like one to many Americans. Higher earners are spending on cars, electronics and luxury items, boosting profits for the companies that make and sell such goods. But much of the rest of the economy remains stuck: Companies won’t hire or raise pay without more demand, and consumers can’t spend more without faster hiring and fatter paychecks.

    “If you look at guys with just a high-school diploma or less than a high-school diploma, those guys are still in a recession,” Mr. Porcelli said. The confidence figures, he said, “really drive home this idea of a bifurcation in the U.S. economy.”

    Economists aren’t sure what is behind the trend, or how long it will continue. Low-wage sectors are often the first to hire during a weak recovery, and less desirable workers—whether because of their age, education or other factors—are the last people hired in almost any scenario.

    “It’s not just harder to get a job—it’s harder to get a good job,” said Harry Holzer, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University who has studied low-wage jobs. “Companies are more willing to create jobs right now if they’re low-wage jobs and they don’t have to pay much in benefits or make a major commitment to their employees.”

  4. grim says:

    Good thing it is morning in America, from Bloomberg:

    U.S. to Be Top Oil Producer by 2015 on Shale, IEA Says

    The U.S. will surpass Russia as the world’s top oil producer by 2015, and be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades, amid booming output from shale formations, the International Energy Agency said.

    Soaring shale output in the U.S. is helping the world’s largest oil consumer achieve its highest level of energy independence in two decades, cushioning it against disruptions in Africa and the Middle East. The boom threatens revenues for OPEC’s 12 members, whose production is at its lowest in two years amid political unrest in Libya and theft in Nigeria.

  5. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    The first four posts here show us the future. Was that your intent, Grim?

  6. Essex says:

    I think what grim is saying is “stay in school kids” and marry rich.

  7. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    Or “choose your parents carefully.”

  8. Essex says:

    It takes a village.

  9. Fast Eddie says:

    …and interest rates, currently at 4.16%, will jump to 5.4% by the end of next year.

    What’s a $400,000 mortgage at 4.16% as opposed to 5.4%? Someone do the math.

  10. Street Justice says:

    Global competition in the labor markets and a rising global middle class. It’s a painful adjustment right now for the US.

    For the US to succeed, it needs to acknowledge this change and capitalize on it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22956470

  11. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [9] SX

    Thanks. I just threw up in my mouth.

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    But other 2014 forecasts are fairly close to Mr. Yun’s predictions, given the likelihood of rising rates and continued uncertainty about how lawmakers will address the federal budget and debt limit.

    What happens when your employer dumps you from their health benefits plan and you have to get a government plan at a substiantially higher premium? How does the monthly mortgage payment feel now at 5.4% on a 30 year fixed? And no salary increase.

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    Essex,

    You forgot the 2nd part: “It takes a Village at the expense of other people’s money.”

  14. Essex says:

    Hahaha

  15. Street Justice says:

    Don’t worry Gary. The Republicans will save us….

  16. Essex says:

    Kurtz: Wanna make $50m on a flip these days?? Start with $60m.

  17. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Street you suck! you got me to say how great my truck was running and it would not start on me this morning after walking the dog. Had to call the wife to come and pick the dog and I up. It is all your fault.

  18. anon (the good one) says:

    @BillMoyersHQ: Most of those griping about subsidizing others’ insurance get subsidies themselves. By @JoshuaHol http://t.co/9FkrclWnJL

  19. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:
  20. grim says:

    What’s a $400,000 mortgage at 4.16% as opposed to 5.4%? Someone do the math.

    PI Only

    4.16% – $1,947 mo.
    5.40% – $2,246 mo.
    $299/mo. difference

    For someone who itemizes (a $400k mortgage and $10k property tax puts you into that camp) – The calculus is slightly less than the $299/mo. difference due to the tax deduction for interest. It’s only a few dollars, and doesn’t represent “savings”, but just making this apples to apples, I didn’t do the math, but just assuming a 25-28% bracket, it’s probably more like a $250-260/mo difference.

  21. chicagofinance says:

    Enrollment? Is that how you make a spliff?

    Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:
    November 12, 2013 at 9:16 am
    Oh snap!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101188521

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    I see that the Administration is playing hide-the-ball with the quarterly expatriation report again. I half expected it to come out on Veterans Day weekend (IRS released two late reports on that weekend in 2010, holding them until after the mid-terms) but nothing.

    Too early to say if this presages a huge report. Historically, that has been the case but I have to factor in for the shutdown.

  23. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [22] chifi

    I had an epiphany!!!! Turn Obamacare into a medical marijuana program!

    Its a win-win-win-win. Obama gets to legalize his choom, taxes from pot sales cure the deficit, Obama fan stoners (is that redundant?) cheer his leadership on pot and med-mary jane, and medical costs go down because all the sick stoners are too stoned from self medicating to go to the hospital then they check out Darwin Award-style.

  24. I want to move to the land of choom.

  25. Street Justice says:

    Sorry Pain.

  26. Street Justice says:

    I’m pretty sure my wife is trying to sabotage my truck. She wants a shiny new crossover or SUV and wants me to use her old sedan as the commuter.

    At least I talked her out of the minivan.

  27. Street Justice says:

    They are getting restless north of us….

    http://www.whec.com/article/stories/s3212556.shtml

    Can you recall state legislators in NY?

  28. Fast Eddie says:

    Don’t worry Gary. The Republicans will save us….

    Who are The Republicans?

  29. Essex says:

    By David Weidner, MarketWatch
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — This year will be remembered as the year of settlements on Wall Street. And regulators who have fashioned these agreements will think back fondly on how they drove tough bargains, made firms admit wrongdoing and extracted enormous sums.

    And while there is something to be proud of, let’s be honest: Most of these institutions see these settlements as the cost of doing business. They’ve socked away billions in legal reserves. The show goes on.

    So who’s really paying for all of this?

    Two parties, really. First, and most obviously, there are the victims. There were the nearly 5 million home borrowers who were foreclosed on, the investors who lost enormous sums and the economy as a whole. Second, and often forgotten, are the shareholders of these banks. And before you pat yourself on the back for not owning individual shares of, say, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM -0.35% or Bank of America Corp. BAC +0.22% directly, go dig through your trash and find the prospectuses that your 401(k) or pension plan sent you.

  30. Essex says:

    29. The party of Lincoln.

  31. Street Justice says:

    If you have a good battery, and the motor turns over (starter is ok), and you’re pretty sure your distributor is ok….replace the ECM (computer). Also check the wiring from the ECM to the distributor. I had a mouse that took residence in my dash that chewed through the wiring harness…..

    17.Painhrtz – Disobey! says:
    November 12, 2013 at 9:09 am
    Street you suck! you got me to say how great my truck was running and it would not start on me this morning after walking the dog. Had to call the wife to come and pick the dog and I up. It is all your fault.

  32. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Street full functionality, checked all relays fuses, here the solenoid click at the starter. nothing. One of two things starter or neutral safety switch. Wife looked at a minvan this weekend from one of here friends. My response over my dead body.

  33. grim says:

    Bang the shit out of the starter with a hammer while trying to start, be careful not to hit the terminals unless you want a fireworks show.

    I’d suspect marginal battery at this point, due to the recent cold snap, especially if parked outside.

    Did the car die while running? If not, I’d not suspect ECM at this point, since that is a costly repair.

    If you started earlier, drove somewhere with the dog, and it didn’t start after that (click click click) – I’d suspect alternator if the battery checks out.

    This concludes your daily edition of NJ Real Estate and Shade Tree Mechanic Report.

  34. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Grim I shade tree mechanic enough new battery. Know the the clickety clickety sound. Definately not the batttery. wither way already at the local 80 dollar an hour grease monkey. tell why again I went to college?

  35. Essex says:

    By ANDREW HUSZAR
    Nov. 11, 2013 7:00 p.m. ET
    I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.

    Five years ago this month, on Black Friday, the Fed launched an unprecedented shopping spree. By that point in the financial crisis, Congress had already passed legislation, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to halt the U.S. banking system’s free fall. Beyond Wall Street, though, the economic pain was still soaring. In the last three months of 2008 alone, almost two million Americans would lose their jobs.

    The Fed said it wanted to help—through a new program of massive bond purchases. There were secondary goals, but Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear that the Fed’s central motivation was to “affect credit conditions for households and businesses”: to drive down the cost of credit so that more Americans hurting from the tanking economy could use it to weather the downturn. For this reason, he originally called the initiative “credit easing.”

    My part of the story began a few months later. Having been at the Fed for seven years, until early 2008, I was working on Wall Street in spring 2009 when I got an unexpected phone call. Would I come back to work on the Fed’s trading floor? The job: managing what was at the heart of QE’s bond-buying spree—a wild attempt to buy $1.25 trillion in mortgage bonds in 12 months. Incredibly, the Fed was calling to ask if I wanted to quarterback the largest economic stimulus in U.S. history.

  36. Juice Box says:

    re: # 36 – Essex he states QE is now TBTF. I remember all the double talk of reverse repos as a way to shrink the Feds balance sheet, but when you are an addict strung out on QE there isn’t much interest in giving back the smack now is there?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/21/us-usa-fed-reverserepos-idUSBRE99K0S020131021

  37. Juice Box says:

    Grim – new Headline for ya.

    “Return of the loan shark.”

    Want 18% returns? Become a subprime lender
    Average Joes risk nest eggs on loans to home buyers with poor credit

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-wont-give-you-a-home-loan-ask-hank-2013-11-11?dist=lcountdown

    Unable to save enough for retirement with traditional investments, baby boomers in search of yield are becoming their own private Countrywide Financials. They’re loaning cash from their deposit accounts and retirement plans and hoping for a big pay day: specifically large returns that will boost their income and maybe even allow them to pass an inheritance on to their children. There is no official data, though it’s estimated that at least 100,000 such lenders exist — and the trend is on the rise, says Larry Muck, chairman of the American Association of Private Lenders, which represents a range of lenders including private-equity firms and individuals who are lending their own cash. “We know the number of people who are doing this is increasing dramatically — over the last year it’s grown exponentially,” he says.

    Often referred to as hard-money lending, the practice has undergone a significant shift in the past three or so years. It used to be that individual lenders were millionaires who could afford to loan cash and handle the risk of not being paid back. Now middle-income pre-retirees, ranging from chiropractors to professors, are joining their ranks.

  38. Street Justice says:

    The bang the Sh1t out of the starter thing sounds crazy but it works if your starter is dying. I had a friend who drove an Eagle Talon who always carried a pipe with him for this purpose. He would try starting…you would hear the click….he would climb out of the car and whack the starter….then whamo…..try staring again…

    34.grim says:
    November 12, 2013 at 10:22 am
    Bang the shit out of the starter with a hammer while trying to start, be careful not to hit the terminals unless you want a fireworks show.

    I’d suspect marginal battery at this point, due to the recent cold snap, especially if parked outside.

    Did the car die while running? If not, I’d not suspect ECM at this point, since that is a costly repair.

    If you started earlier, drove somewhere with the dog, and it didn’t start after that (click click click) – I’d suspect alternator if the battery checks out.

    This concludes your daily edition of NJ Real Estate and Shade Tree Mechanic Report.

  39. joyce says:

    Why do you think they call it hard money lending? (I’m sure this is not it, but…) My guess is because these people are lending out actual money, while the “real” banks just create credit/money out of nowhere, which is considered ‘normal’ in orwellian

    Juice Box says:
    November 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

    “Often referred to as hard-money lending…”

  40. Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:
  41. Street Justice says:

    That’s pretty cool. Imagine that….two normally opposed groups finding common ground and working together toward a noble cause.

    And the sierra club….republican roots? Seriously?

    42.Comrade Nom Deplume, a.k.a Captain Justice says:
    November 12, 2013 at 11:37 am
    This should make anons head explode:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-12/tea-party-s-green-faction-fights-for-solar-in-red-states.html

  42. anon (the good one) says:

    “This is the strangest P.R. campaign yet against the Affordable Care Act. Generation Opportunity, the Koch-funded group behind the Creepy Uncle Sam ads, is throwing tailgate parties to “educate” young people about the exchanges. Read: To convince young people to forgo health insurance.

    According to Think Progress, this isn’t a one-time thing: “The group is touring 20 different campuses this fall in a $750,000 effort to convince college students that they’re better off being uninsured than getting health coverage through Obamacare”

  43. chicagofinance says:

    I thought this was a post by JJ, then I realized it was not…..

    grim says:
    November 12, 2013 at 10:22 am
    Bang the shit out of the starter with a hammer while trying to start, be careful not to hit the terminals unless you want a fireworks show.

  44. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    My starter used to sometimes overheat in my old firebird as when we dropped the V8 did not have room for the heatshield. Only happened on really hot days and all that happened is when you turned engine off would not restart for like an house.

    Back when I was 21 had an interview at Hertz in their mgt training program down by Kennedy. I leave early get stuck in traffic and by the time I was almost there was nearly out of gas, pull into a dumpy gas station and fill her up. Interview is in ten minutes so I hop back in car and realize OMG I turned engine off and car wont start.

    In a panic I run into gas station and yell give me change for a dollar now!!!! I am late for an interview. Guy follows me out and sees the old firebird with hood up and me in a suit. I run to soda machine which just had Pepsi and buy a cold can of soda, run over to car and pour entire can on starter motor. Car starts up, I slam hood and peel off.

    So I get there on time and guy likes me and tells me he will hire me I just have to do background check. Asks what I am driving now. I tell him I drove a 18 year old firebird here. He goes and get a book and say you know what the base model firebird is in the book. Mgt trainees get a free car. I can have you in a brand new firebird for free in a few weeks. I go outside to HR and they start doing background and take my license copy. I then get a call the next day you know you have a few speeding tickets. I go yes but they were not recently and my license if valid. I get sorry your job offer is rescinded. I go what. She says Hertz pays the car insurance for management trainees and car stays in our name. Do you have any idea what it costs to insure a brand new firebird driven by a 22 year old male with several speeding tickets? I go I do not. She said over $3,000 a year. A lot back then.

    I wasted a perfectly good can of Pepsi on that god damm interview. I should sue Hertz.

  45. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Good Chifi. I need help!!! I am dealing with an Affinnion Bond tender and a LIPA bond tender this week!!!! what are you doing

    chicagofinance says:
    November 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I thought this was a post by JJ, then I realized it was not…

  46. Libturd in the City says:

    Street…I’m banking on the alternator or even the alternator rectifier. I’ve seen them die without any warning. One minute your driving. The next, the car won’t start. Also, how old are your wires?

  47. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    I guess 14 years for a startere is not to bad. 430 lighter still no car payment. Street climb under you truck and try to get to the starter. Had a 72 chevelle that I kept a hammer in the car just for that purpose. On my truck it would have to be a novelty hammer operated by a dwarf or one of my toddlers.

  48. Libturd in the City says:

    Pain/Street: Only major part replaced in my near 19-year old Civic was my alternator. I may eventually have to replace it a second time as a diode is definitely flaking. My battery light comes on every time I drive above 40mph and goes out when I get above 70mph. It’s pretty annoying. I may resort to the black tape on the display trick. Good thing I need not pass inspection until July 2015.

  49. grim says:

    51 – I don’t believe they can fail you for a check-engine associated with an alternator fault – it’s non emissions. Besides, a 19 year old civic is pre-OBDII anyway, isn’t it? I didn’t think they could plug in.

    If you are saying they just look at the CEL. Pull the battery wire once you get to DMV, reset the CEL, and head over to the inspection lanes.

  50. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Lib alot of the problems I had with my truck were my own godamn fault (stopped doing maintenance at 220K miles) and 6 years of driving to upstate in the winter. When we bought the house figured I only had one more year with the old girl that was 3 and a half years ago. Since then trans, tires, distributor, throttle position sensor, oil pan. New engine seals.

    most of the others were general maintenance, and head gaskets (which I probably destroyed, but that is another story)

    Need a new tailgate as mine is rusted to Sh!t, and should probably get around to replacing the original exhaust, just about ready to start blowing holes in it. In other words I’m probably stuck withthe old girl for a while.

  51. Libturd in the City says:

    Never even had a bad seal yet. Then again, I’m only at 160K. The question is, do I replace the timing/belt chain or just risk it the rest of the way. I think I did it the first time around 90K.

  52. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Lib bad seals were my fault stopped changing oil then after replaced trans decided to desludge the engine using auto rx. Whoops sludge was keeping seals sealed and leaked like the titanic when clean. hence new oil pan and seals. to my surprise my compression numbers for the miles I have are in spec. though it really needs a tune up.

    Would do the timing belt at 190K that 1.6L is known to run forever if treated right.

  53. Libturd in the City says:

    Yeah. Was thinking about the same thing. If I get my fit, not sure how often I’ll still be driving Old Faithful though.

  54. grim says:

    Was hoping to dump my Legacy, but I can’t for the life of me find the title, probably lost it in the move a few years ago.

    Anyone ever try to get a new title from the DMV, I looked at the process online and it is absolutely crazy. Had I know that, I’d have just parked it in a ravine during Sandy and let it flood, that would have been easier. I’ve got to take out ads in the paper for months?

  55. Essex says:

    41. I was watching an Alaska real estate show and liked seeing all of the off-the-grid type homes that were run on solar, compost toilets, amazing set-ups. Red-State Solar is a natural!

  56. Essex says:

    44. What the hell else does she have to do?

  57. JJ the Welfare Queen says:

    Ok serious question.

    A buddy of mine from my old firm sent me some photos from his facebook page. Which I normally never visit. Anyhow he is Indian. Tons and tons of family photos up there all indians of babies that all look the same and all dressed in same indian garb with same indian food at weddings. After five minutes everyone looked the same.

    I was just wondering why can they just used stock baby pictures and stock wedding pictures. I mean what is point of spending all that money to take photo after photo, no one is going to notice difference anyhow.

  58. Juice Box says:

    # 57- re: lost titles. I almost purchased a speed boat but could not because owner could not locate the title so I could finish the final loan paperwork and insurance etc. Anyhow summer was here and I told the owner deal was off, I was going to buy another boat with a clean title instead. Owner then said to me here is the boat go enjoy yourself and I will obtain the title from Trenton next week. So there I am with a fast speed boat, all nice and shiny trailed on my way down the Jersey Shore for Memorial Day weekend. We enjoyed our weekend hit up the old Lobster Shanty in Tom’s River, Sand Bar by Brielle did some water skiing and then put it back on the trailer for the next weekend in Belmar’s Shark river. Hit the clubs did some more knee-boarding and playing around in the ocean. July 4th rolls around and still no title. So we trailed it up again out to the Hamptons for a long weekend. Well Hamptons weekend did not go so great my drunk friend got us stuck on a sandbar at low tide and we busted off one the props trying to get it off the sandbar. When tide rose we limped it back to the Marina and put it away for the weekend and we partied on.

    Fixed prop and then spent a few weeks into August water-skiing in the Hudson north of the GW bridge and generally tooling around the Hudson and Manhattan at night as well as hitting up the SandBar in Jersey City while I kept it in the Marina in Hoboken for easy access. Nothing like coming home from a busy day at work and then taking your boat out onto the river with some friends to relax and jump a few Ferry wakes.

    So owner finally calls me at the end of August and tells me he has been trying since before Memorial day to get title and Trenton is a pain in the neck and to just return the boat. I said sure and that was the last I saw of the SS Title Lost….

  59. Juice Box says:

    Ticketmaster sweepstakes for Super Bowl tickets if you are interested.

    http://www.ticketmaster.com/NYGIANTS

  60. Hell, no. There’s going to be a blizzard on Super Sunday.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [57];

    When I went to DMV to title my cars after the move, it was relatively no fuss. When I got my first registration renewal, I saw they had my sedan at the same curb weight as my SUV (with a higher registration fee). I think this will be easy, I snap a pic of my door jamb with the sticker showing VIN & max gross, and send it off to Trenton with a letter asking for correction. Nothing.

    So renewal date rolls around and I bring all the papers in to MVC with the renewal. Real cut and dry, here’s the evidence of what the car weighs, here’s what I should be paying, I don’t know where you got the number you got, but its obviously and demonstrably wrong. They say go wait on line while we sort this out. They were doing me a favor, you see.

    So after 45 min in line, the lady comes over to me and says we can’t fix this for you until we figure out how the mistake was made, and if it was your fault not our fault then you have to pay for a new title, too. And you’ll have to go and get your wife’s signature (her name on the car) on this form notarized then come back and wait in line again before we lift a finger and maybe we’ll get it all sorted out.

    Or you could just, you know, keep waiting in line and pay the higher fee on the sedan like we asked. Your call.

    Thus was my introduction to the Soprano state. Oh, I also paid them for a driver’s abstract that the court in Trenton wouldn’t even accept. No refund there, nach.

  62. Dumbass NFL schedules a game in NYC in February.

  63. Against The Grain says:

    #57, you can get a duplicate title pretty easy, $60 fee and fill out an application: http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Vehicle/LostStolen.htm

  64. zieba says:

    57/grim:

    I was in the same position just weeks ago! Halfway through filling out this form I realized my Saab was titled in NYS. Turns out it’s even easier than NJ! $20 and a few mouse clicks later the title was on its way. Shocked.

  65. Ben says:

    64, Anon E. Moose

    I got a funny story about the Soprano state. When I applied for my teaching certificate, I was already employed by the district for the year. I filled out the application and I had to mail in a check for like $200 to make it official. I never did (I was just procrastinating at that point since it didn’t matter). At some point, the certs show up and I’m like “definitely not sending in the cash now”. A year later, an article pops up on the star ledger. Whoever was running house there at the state was pocketing the money and sending out the certs. I think they figured they pocketed my money and sent out my cert. Probably the only time I got to stick it to the state.

  66. chicagofinance says:

    BearsFan: Just down the road from you…..nice neighborhood, huh?

    Unknown subject busted in front door of residence and was confronted by large house dog, the subject immediately exited residence, jumped in passenger side of vehicle parked on Huelitt Road and fled the area heading toward Crine Road.

    Small blue car, short male in red hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants.

  67. chicagofinance says:

    Juice Box: Was up at the WF in Chapel Hill…….some clown across the street from the cemetery on Oak Hill already has all the XMas lights up!?!

    Was at Muni Court today in Middletown for the first time….subpeonaed to be witness again the little twerp who wrecked my car……. SOOOOO much more civilized than Hoboken. It was practically the equivalent of going to church in comparison….judge and prosecutor were very polite, clean cut and well spoken.

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