Weekend Open Discussion – Part II

Now Open, Part II!

Prior weekend thread closed due to comment overflow.

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59 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion – Part II

  1. grim says:

    From the New York Times:

    Taxes Are Reassessed in Housing Slump as Prices Drop

    Home owners across the nation are looking to county governments to reassess the values of their homes in the face of flattening and falling prices that have befallen scores of markets. Downward assessments, done at the request of homeowners or pre-emptively by government, appear to be most pronounced in areas where the housing market was exploding just a few years ago, or where economic conditions are poorest.

    “Citizens know the market is slow if not declining,” Ms. Lopez said, “and they are informed and feel comfortable in challenging their county values. People here can’t sell their homes, they have less money, and they don’t understand why the government is asking for more money in a declining housing market.”

  2. grim says:

    From the Times Trenton:

    Idle GM workers face relocation or retirement

    It’s a far cry from the General Motors factory where he toiled for decades, but for Paul Larmonie, working with children in the West Trenton Community Center is his job.

    The East Windsor resident and several of his GM colleagues have been reporting to the Trenton center each workday since being laid off from the Linden automotive plant in 2004.

    In exchange for doing arts and crafts with the kids, accompanying them on trips to the city pool and overseeing their homework, the GM employees are earning almost full salaries and benefits from their employer.

    It’s a perk they’re entitled to under a controversial 1984 job security program in which the automaker agreed to pay the salaries of workers displaced by technology or outsourcing until they could find other jobs within the company.

    But that’s about to stop.

    Under a contract struck last fall between GM and the United Auto Workers union, radical changes in the jobs bank program will prevent laid-off workers — nearly 700 in New Jersey, including many from the former Ewing plant — from idling for years, drawing salaries for doing charity work, taking classes or simply sitting under the supervision of GM administrators.

    Starting early next year, they’ll be forced to retire or take factory jobs in other states.

    Next month GM will begin offering retirement incentive packages to its 72,000 employees nationwide. Most of the 650 to 700 idle employees in New Jersey would be eligible to retire under the package terms, said Guy Messino, president of UAW Local 595, which represents employees from the defunct Linden plant.

    The others would have to take jobs in plants around the country, including Texas, Michigan and Louisiana, if they want to keep drawing their salaries.

  3. Secondary Market says:

    i just came across this gem:

    “Wamu to exit wholesale JAN 1. Was told by another LO that the word was leaked from a Rep and he was fired the next day. They keep asking for new rep and WAMU keeps blowing them off.”

    We know that Chase is interested in a western footprint, and WaMu (the largest U.S. savings and loan) is trading at almost rock bottom. If CW announces Jan. 1 they are OUT of wholesale, coupled with the WaMu $783 million downgrades issued tonight by Fitch, doesn’t it look more and more like WaMu is done?

    And, as quoted by Bloomburg, “Washington Mutual also plans to close WaMu Capital Corp., its broker-dealer business, as well as its mortgage banker warehouse lending unit.” Regardless, we understand that WaMu has to spread $10 billion in mortgage-related write-offs in 2008, killing profits in every quarter.

    WaMu… the new ‘Western’ face of Chase. But first you gotta’ cut the Wholesale lending division (yes… they lost a lot of money)…. put the losses back on the balance sheet to drop the stock even more, then make the move/offer.

  4. Confused In NJ says:

    The Current CarpetBagger Government thinks it’s O.K. for Foreign Interests to own the American Infrastructure, Banks, Utilities, Factories, Bridges, Highways, Ports, etc. I would say the Current Government of Corporate Fundamentalist’s are no longer American’s, rather they are self serving Globalist’s. This is true of both the Republican & Democrat Theocracies. George Washington’s “Greatest Generation” has been replaced by Benedict Arnold’s “Me Generation Globalists”.

  5. rhymingrealtor says:

    HO HO HO
    Off to the mall I go
    Just a couple more things
    So my kids feel like kings
    I know! I know! what the’re learning s’not
    But its me who love’s to see their faces alight
    I am usally so sensible all year long
    I’ve even made the word no into song
    It about a week I’ll be crying the blues
    When the bills start bringing all the bad news!

    Have a Merry Christmas!


  6. Outofstater says:

    Merry Christmas to all!

  7. Frank says:

    Talking to my friend RE agent, there are 2 hot topics in NJ RE market today:
    1. Short sales, there are so many of them these days and they take up a lot of time and are hard to do.
    2. Illegal aliens that bought homes with stolen SSN are waking away from homes in droves, leaving empty homes and destroying entire neighborhoods.

  8. Ann says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  9. Orion says:

    Near me, a few blocks away, there sits a vacant house where a family used to live. Last year the house was adorned with Christmas lights and decorations. This year, the house is dark as it is now bank-owned.

    In the spirit of Christmas, let’s say a special prayer to all displaced families, no matter whose fault it is.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  10. 3b says:

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

  11. Jamil Hussein says:

    “2. Illegal aliens that bought homes with stolen SSN are waking away from homes in droves, leaving empty homes and destroying entire neighborhoods.”

    This was great opportunity for illegals. 100% financing, ARM with 1% initial rate for the first 12 months. In other words, practically free house and a decent chance of making huge profit if the boom continues by selling it to a gringo. In anycase, they got to live there for free (and renting extra room for other illegals).

    This is risk-free gambling. Heck, maybe I should invest $30 and buy one of those fake SSNs as well. That card would open a lot of new opportunities.

  12. Clotpoll says:

    BC (from yesterday):

    “I can just picture; the NJVF tour bus.”

    I can more than picture it. I can get the Jagermeister girls and plenty of cigars.

    All I’ll have to do is print an MLS sheet, Google a subprime heatmap and hand it to the driver.

    The tour’s over when the Jager and cigars run out.

  13. scribe says:

    Frank, #8

    You said:

    2. Illegal aliens that bought homes with stolen SSN are waking away from homes in droves, leaving empty homes and destroying entire neighborhoods.

    Did he/she say where?

  14. lisoosh says:

    #13 –
    And what entertainment are you providing for those of us of the female (and straight) persuasion?

  15. Frank says:

    Perth Amboy, Old Bridge, Metuchen.

  16. lostinny says:

    I’d love to go on that tour Clot. But like lisoosh says, what’s in it for us?

  17. Clotpoll says:

    lisoosh (13)-

    The best entertainment of all: the lure of windfall profits.

  18. Clotpoll says:

    Wishing everyone here an Enhanced Christmas…

  19. mikeinwaiting says:

    Orion 10 Here here good thought.
    Clot Not a jager fan,but I’m in.
    Lisoosh I’m sure the girls can get together & come up with something appropriate or inappropriate!
    God bless all & Merry Christmas.

  20. Frank says:

    Happy Kwanzaa to everyone.

  21. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Greener grass…

    A commentary on undocumented aliens (“illegals”)…

    I happen to know a few personally. I deal with a few others in my work. And still more I’ve met thru a family member that works hard to get them legal.

    *What we don’t know angers us.*

    I used to think they were all here illegaly, sucking off our resources, and taking “what’s mine”.

    Then I learned a few things.

    I learned it reallllllly sucks to be here illegally. To make a commitment to emigrate to a place that is not your home, place yourself in danger of being jailed at ANY time and work like a dog for just a CHANCE at a better life… well, not many of us would be eager to get up off our fat a**es and do that. Hell, it was scary for me to move 2 counties away. Try this: pretend you live in a poor country (that speaks another language)and then place yourself in the position of deciding to leave your birthplace, your home, everything you’ve known, just to go to this new place, leaving everything behind for “just a chance”…

    And you know what? When they get here, They cannot MOVE FREELY. They do not make friends with us because THEY CANNOT. White people may rat them out. They are afraid of being caught. All for the hope of something better.

    And I got news for you. Parents wo emigrate are giving up THEIR LIVES for their childern to be US citizens. THEIR LIVES. They consider their lives A THROWAWAY. How many here would give up ANY HOPE of owning a house, a car, eating better food or working a desk job just so their children may have a chance at a future? They love their children just as much as we love ours.

    They don’t assimilate because WE DON’T LET THEM. We don’t want them in our schools. We don’t want them working our jobs. We don’t want them in our stores. Or driving our cars. We’ve effectively made them so they are perpetually outsiders. Of course they go the ER…it’s the only place that takes them! And going there is no small decision. You cannot imagine how sick they have to be to go. And how FEARFUL they must be…

    If they could take college courses…
    If they could apply for respectable blue collar jobs…
    If they could drive to jobs farther than 6 blocks away…

    If we only lived a day in their shoes.

    Now, I don’t agree with illegal emigration. But we have to realize that the USA, our own nation, really offers the best hope for many people…and so they WILL get here somehow. We’re not going to stop them. Once we realize that, we should embrace them, help assimilate them, teach them. If we make outcasts of them all, well, then they think there’s no harm in coming illegally. But, if we open up our borders in a sane, sensible, orderly fashion, we can have a productive class of citizens that in one-two generations would be us.

    Just my thoughts.

  22. Kelly says:

    Long time lurker here –

    Can someone give me the status of MLS 2730020 from Wayne? I have been watching the property for awhile and noticed the For Sale sign down. It was a cute starter that was torn down to build this – up the block ones like it were selling for almost $1MM several years back.

    Thanks in advance.

  23. lisoosh says:

    Thought some of you money guys would enjoy this article from the Daily Telegraph (UK). Interesting correllation to the discussion the other day regarding international inflation and the race to the bottom.


    Crisis may make 1929 look a ‘walk in the park’

    And there are some great quotes in there:

    “Bernard Connolly, global strategist at Banque AIG, said the Fed and allies had scripted a Greek tragedy by under-pricing credit long ago and seem paralysed as post-bubble chickens now come home to roost. “The central banks are trying to dissociate financial problems from the real economy. They are pushing the world nearer and nearer to the edge of depression. We hope they will eventually be dragged kicking and screaming to do enough, but time is running out,” he said.”

  24. Frank says:

    If things are so bad in this country how come the illegals don’t go back home? How come they keep destroying our country? Deport them all!!!

  25. schabadoo says:

    Illegal aliens that bought homes with stolen SSN are waking away from homes in droves, leaving empty homes and destroying entire neighborhoods.

    Yes, huge droves. Sure.

    Did he/she say where?

    Yes, where exactly is this multitude of empty abandoned houses? Must be a sight to see. I’ve seen shots of areas of Detroit that were abandoned years ago, will be interesting to see that right in our neighborhood.

    /I won’t hold my breath

  26. Frank says:

    Have you been to Perth Amboy lately? if not you may want to pop in, don’t forget your Mexican id card.

  27. schabadoo says:

    Have you been to Perth Amboy lately?

    Not too long ago. Seemed to be populated.

  28. Frank says:

    with squatters or law obeying, mortgage paying citizens?

  29. Ann says:

    22 spam

    Interesting thoughts. I don’t agree with illegal immigration either, namely, I think the reason our gov’t doesn’t do anything about it to benefit businesses.

    BUT, you make some good points. The truth is these people have nothing to lose, nothing back in their countries.

    It’s important to separate the people from the policy.

  30. grim says:


    Still listed on NJMLS as Active.


  31. schabadoo says:

    with squatters or law obeying, mortgage paying citizens?

    I want to see the empty, abandoned neighborhood you were talking about. Perth Amboy doesn’t fit that at all.

  32. Frank says:

    you’re missing my point, I was describing a recent events in NJ RE. To see entire neighborhood abandoned, you’ll have to wait until later in this bubble.

  33. schabadoo says:

    The left in droves, destroyed entire neighborhoods, but I’ll have to wait to see it?

    Smallest droves I’ve ever heard of.

    I love listening to these ‘stories’ of illegals. Harkens back to Ronnie’s welfare queens.

  34. spam spam bacon spam says:


    You are a (*)phobe.

    *insert anything that is not a white American male here.

    “They” are tearing down your world, Frank. Better paper your windows with tinfoil.

  35. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Unpaid Credit Cards Bedevil Americans

    Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come.

    An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country’s largest card issuers also found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.

    Experts say these signs of the deterioration of finances of many households are partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis and could spell more trouble ahead for an already sputtering economy.

    “Debt eventually leaks into other areas, whether it starts with the mortgage and goes to the credit card or vice versa,” said Cliff Tan, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and an expert on credit risk. “We’re starting to see leaks now.”

    The value of credit card accounts at least 30 days late jumped 26 percent to $17.3 billion in October from a year earlier at 17 large credit card trusts examined by the AP. That represented more than 4 percent of the total outstanding principal balances owed to the trusts on credit cards that were issued by banks such as Bank of America and Capital One and for retailers like Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

    At the same time, defaults — when lenders essentially give up hope of ever being repaid and write off the debt — rose 18 percent to almost $961 million in October, according to filings made by the trusts with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Serious delinquencies also are up sharply: Some of the nation’s biggest lenders — including Advanta, GE Money Bank and HSBC — reported increases of 50 percent or more in the value of accounts that were at least 90 days delinquent when compared with the same period a year ago.

  36. Frank says:

    what does my statement has to do with white American? I am a recent immigrant myself, a legal one. And don’t even bring a race into this.

  37. spam spam bacon spam says:

    [35] schabadoo Says:

    I love listening to these ’stories’ of illegals. Harkens back to Ronnie’s welfare queens.

    ROFL…That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking of when I wrote my comment above…

    I see people like Frank as nosey-bodies who hide behind the curtains and peek out to sneer about the neighbor who is a single parent that goes out all night and most mornings…he’ll decide she’s a whore working tricks all night, living off welfare, and proceed to tell all his friends about these lazy no-good welfare queens and how they need to get up off their a**es and get to work.

    When in fact, she’s working the night shift because it pays 1.50/hr more, taking 2 morning classes at the CC…


  38. Just me says:

    From the Record:

    Builders cutting prices to cut deals

    How much would a buyer pay for a new house in Ramsey, with three bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms, a stone facade and high-end finishes such as crown molding and stainless steel appliances?

    Mike Karvellas of Grace Michael Builders in Allendale, who built the house, used to think the answer was $759,000. But after the house sat on the market for months, Karvellas cut the price again and again. He finally sold it for $659,000 — a price that wiped out his profit. But at least he will no longer be burdened by the property’s carrying costs, such as taxes and loan interest, of more than $5,800 a month.

    “I’d rather get rid of it and get out from underneath my investment,” Karvellas said.

    As Karvellas’s experience shows, the market for new homes has changed radically since the boom times of 2004 and 2005. While North Jersey builders have not suffered as much as their colleagues in distressed markets such as Florida, many are being forced to cut prices and delay new projects.

    According to the National Association of Home Builders, builders’ confidence in the housing market is at the lowest point since the group began measuring it in 1985.

    North Jersey builders face high costs for land, building materials and fuel. And they’re paying higher interest on bank loans — 8 percent and up, compared with less than 5 percent a few years ago. While builders can make profits of 20 percent or more during good times, that’s far from a sure thing these days.

    There have been dramatic price cuts. In Norwood, a subdivision of three new houses went on the market earlier this year for $1.2 million to $1.4 million. Two of the three sold for more than $300,000 off the original asking price; the third is on the market for more than $400,000 off the initial price.

    Still, many potential buyers aren’t taking the bait yet. Many believe that prices may have further to fall — or, at the very least, that they won’t rise much for a while. A number of national housing economists and analysts agree, predicting that prices and the pace of sales won’t pick up until 2009 or later.

    “Now, there’s so much supply that buyers are saying, ‘It’s a nice house, I really like it, but I don’t know, I’ll wait and see,’ ” said Richie Wells, president of the Builders and Remodelers Association of Northern New Jersey. He is the head of Team Construction and Team Remodeling Inc. of Mahwah.

    “There’s no sense of urgency whatsoever,” said Murad. “That’s the new market right now.”

    Share This
    Fri 21 Dec 2007
    Weekend Open Discussion

  39. Frank says:

    This is NJ RE blog, please take your immigration stories somewhere else.

  40. bi says:

    16#, frank, metuchen? no way. friend of mine just sold his home there at $680k (more than 2005 level) since he is relocated to greenwich, ct. it is a small town inside edison and has a lot of jewish businesses. i don’t see any concentration of illegals.

  41. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Bi, I agree.

    Frank, what street in Metuchen has fallen into blight?

  42. me says:


    Can you check status of 11 bristol ct clinton?


    sl (at work)

  43. Frank says:

    What does “small town inside Edison and has a lot of jewish businesses. i don’t see any concentration of illegals.” have to do with short sales and foreclosures? With 100% subprime financing and stolen SSN we have people defaulting everywhere.

  44. spam spam bacon spam says:

    I will not take my stories elsewhere, Frank.

    You do not intimidate me.

    Your small thoughts are exposed to the ridicule they deserve.

    Your bullying tactics may work elsewhere, but not with me.

    YOU came here and decided to bash whole groups of people as “ruining neighborhoods”. Do NOT start something by blowing off your mouth and then trying to hide your embarrasment by bullying people to leave.

    Did I hit a nerve, Frank?

  45. schabadoo says:

    With 100% subprime financing and stolen SSN we have people defaulting everywhere.

    Of course we do.

    Those damn illegals, screwing everything up. Why, those banks never had a chance!

    Poor, poor mortgage brokers…

  46. Frank says:

    grim, can you help? some people just don’t get it.

  47. lisoosh says:

    Well, it had to be the illegals, ’cause Americans NEVER spend more than they can afford.
    Or default on an obligation.
    Or say they make more than they do.

  48. Pat says:


    “According to research compiled over the past three years, American families who earn between $60,000 (£30,200) and $180,000 a year are in the worst financial squeeze since the 1950s, with soaring health insurance costs, the housing recession, rising childcare fees and the increasing likelihood of caring for an elderly parent.”

  49. Outofstater says:

    Frank and spam – You both make valid points and I think the truth is somewhere between the two of you. Yes, illegals give up a lot for a chance here. Yes, they use the ER and cause massive financial problems for the hospitals etc. Honestly, the two of you illustrate one reason WHY people have always wanted to come here – the free and open exchange of ideas. Keep it up – it’s good for all of us.

  50. Kelly says:

    Thanks Grim

  51. schabadoo says:

    Outofstater – It’s one thing to exchange ideas.

    It’s another to regurgitate tired canards and pass it off as fact.

    /repackaged class warfare is tiresome

  52. Hard Place says:

    Anybody notice a problem w/ the GSMLS lately? It does not let you search by town anymore. Just a temporary glitch or a change to their search engine?

  53. grim says:


    Emailed you, withdrawn as of yesterday.


  54. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Sales of New Houses in U.S. Probably Fell: U.S. Economy Preview

    Sales of new homes in the U.S. fell in November, signaling no end to the housing recession that threatens to stall economic growth, economists said before a report this week.

    Purchases fell to an annual pace of 718,000 from 728,000 in October, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The 716,000 pace reached in September was the lowest since 1996.

    The real-estate slump, already the deepest in 16 years, shows no sign of abating as discounts fail to lure buyers and inventories swell. The risk that the slowdown will spread through the entire economy is prompting business to rein in orders for new equipment, a separate report may also show.

    “We’re not in line for any good news on housing for a long period of time,” said Mike Schenk, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association, in Madison, Wisconsin. “It’s a sector that will take a long time to turn around.”

  55. Zack says:

    “We’re not in line for any good news on housing for a long period of time,” said Mike Schenk, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association, in Madison, Wisconsin. “It’s a sector that will take a long time to turn around.”

    Until about a year ago they were talking aout RE turning around early 2008. What a bunch of jokers. These giys have to be stripped of their education degrees and shpw the whore in them. What a bunch of farts.

  56. Jamil Hussein says:

    This is interesting:

    “Arizona crackdown driving out illegal immigrants

    PHOENIX — Illegal immigrants in Arizona, frustrated with a flagging economy and tough new legislation cracking down on their employers, are returning to their home countries or trying their luck in other states.”

    Clearly, enforcement solves the problem as illegals self-deport themselves. The cost to public schools (and property taxes), hospitals and welfare (especially with fake SSNs) is enormous. Thank god the politicians got the message in the summer. 75% of voters want these illegals deported. We just cannot import poverty.

  57. d2b says:


    Any thoughts?

  58. ML says:

    Happy Holidays!!!

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