Weekend Open Discussion – Part II

Now Open, Part II!

Prior weekend thread closed due to comment overflow.

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130 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion – Part II

  1. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Beware of Fannie’s Help
    Loans to Stressed Borrowers
    Will Keep Losses Off Books
    But Might Backfire Later
    March 1, 2008; Page B16

    Remember Ninja mortgages — no income, no job, no assets? And “liar loans,” with no check of borrowers’ stated incomes? Staid old Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. mortgage titans, were supposed to have shunned such subprime excesses. Maybe they did. But Fannie now seems to be going out on a similar lending limb.

    The company is offering borrowers who are behind with mortgage payments as much as $15,000 each to clear their arrears. The money comes — get this — as a 15-year unsecured personal loan, and “verbal confirmation of financial capacity” is considered acceptable. To be fair, there are a few other criteria. And it’s billed as a way to help homeowners over a hump. But Fannie may benefit the most.

    For Fannie, the “HomeSaver Advance” program should help reduce the need to modify mortgage loans formally, a complicated and expensive process, and to foreclose, a bad result all round. But as it happens, it will also reduce the number of delinquent loans Fannie buys back from the pools underlying mortgage-backed securities that it guarantees — and the related losses it would otherwise have to take.

    For borrowers, Fannie says, the program is a way to “bring delinquent mortgages current and keep their homes.” That’s true, provided they can afford the regular payments on their mortgage and those on the new loan, which kick in after six months. That may be fine for borrowers in truly temporary difficulty. But longer term, it’s going to increase their debt burden.

  2. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Hospital’s refinancing costs plenty

    It will cost Hackensack Medical Center more than $16 million to escape the collapsing auction-rate securities market, a tab that offers a preview of the expenses scores of other hospitals, colleges and public agencies snagged in the market turmoil can expect to face in the coming months.

    Hackensack won approval this week for a plan to refinance $147 million in auction-rate bonds that have seen interest rates double this month.

    Records prepared for the state’s Health Care Facilities Financing Authority show the refinancing will cost Hackensack about $7.1 million in professional fees and another $9 million for fees to unwind a related interest-rate hedging deal.

    And that’s just a taste of the looming costs statewide tied to the auction-rate securities meltdown. Across New Jersey, borrowers are trying to extract at least $5 billion in public debt from the auction-rate market.

    On Monday, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is scheduled to consider bailout options for about $1.5 billion in swaps-related auction-rate debt on its books. Last week, two state agencies that organize loans for hospitals and colleges approved general plans to help speed auction-rate refinancings for about $1 billion in bonds.

    Meanwhile, consultants have warned the cost of alternatives to auction-rate bonds are climbing as borrowers flee the market.

  3. grim says:

    From the Asbury Park Press:

    Jobs take another hit

    Revised job growth figures for 2007 and the report for January verify the sorry state of New Jersey’s economy. The meager 4,700 jobs added last year were wiped out by a 9,500 job loss last month. Economists attribute the decline to the housing slowdown, but an unfriendly business climate must bear some of the blame.

    That climate includes the high taxes that make living here so expensive. The state has not done enough to lure and retain businesses, with a regulatory structure that often chases prospective employers away. And the fear of higher tolls, taxes and fees discourages newcomers.

  4. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Corzine Defies a History of Failed Buyout Packages

    A year ago, the Corzine administration expressed reservations about using early retirement incentives to reduce state spending. With good reason: New Jersey had tried it at least five times, and it worked so poorly each time, actually costing the state money, that a special commission advised against ever doing it again.

    But this week, Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced that he would offer an early retirement incentive intended to reduce the state payroll by up to 3,500 people. He said that his plan would include provisions to guarantee the savings that have eluded previous administrations. And unlike past administrations, his aides say they will have the discipline to follow through.

    “We’ve been reducing headcount since the beginning of the administration,” said Bradley I. Abelow, Mr. Corzine’s chief of staff who previously was the state treasurer.

    “We are less afraid of an early retirement incentive ourselves than people might have been in the past because, from our perspective, we have more than demonstrated our ability to keep from rehiring.”

    By driving up pension and retiree health care costs, past early retirement programs cost the state more money than they saved. To have any chance at success, Mr. Corzine’s proposal would require strict oversight.

  5. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    In Parts of U.S., Foreclosures Top Sales

    Mortgage foreclosure notices are going out so fast that in some states the number of new foreclosure proceedings each month is greater than the number of homes sold that month.

    The foreclosure problem appears to be greatest in the West, particularly in Nevada, where home prices soared in the housing boom and are now falling rapidly.

  6. Rich In NNJ says:

    #2 Speaking of Hackensack Hospital, err… University Medical Center

    From The Record:

    Hospital, med school win Pascack Valley auction

    The state’s busiest hospital and its newest medical school jointly posted a $45 million winning bid for Pascack Valley Hospital on Wednesday in a hotly contested auction.

    The Westwood hospital closed three months ago after declaring bankruptcy.

    Hackensack University Medical Center and Touro University College of Medicine won on the 23rd round of the standing-room-only auction in a Newark courtroom.

  7. grim says:

    Englewood Cliffs Comp Killer

    183 Wood Road

    Purchased: 10/14/2005
    Purchase Price: $1,029,000

    MLS# 2729699

    Sold: 2/25/2008
    Sale Price: $999,000

  8. grim says:

    Hasbrouck Heights Comp Killer

    433 Franklin Ave

    Purchased: 6/2/2006
    Purchase Price: $420,000

    MLS# 2731490

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $395,000

  9. grim says:

    Elmwood Park Comp Killer

    26 Pine Street

    Purchased: 4/29/2005
    Purchase Price: $500,000

    MLS# 2733608

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $400,000

    (Old home torn down, new duplex started, not complete).

  10. Clotpoll says:

    worried (from #263, 1st thread):

    You shouldn’t have to pay for a lock under 90 days, but if the rate is super-good, they could try to clip you for 25-50 bps. Just size up the net dollar expense & decide if it’s worth it.

    My general feeling is that it will not pay to allow the rate to float going into Summer.

  11. grim says:

    2003 Prices for Norwood?

    256 Broadway

    Purchased: 8/5/2003
    Purchase Price: $810,000

    MLS 2739121

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $825,000

  12. Rich In NNJ says:

    From The Record:

    Complexes continue to seek N.Y. tenants

    Demand for (office) space in New Jersey remains fairly stagnant.

    According to a recent report by Studley Inc., a national commercial real estate company, the state’s overall office vacancy barely budged in the fourth quarter, falling 0.1 percent to 17.4 percent. In the Meadowlands, the vacancy rate is 21.6 percent.

    Rents have not grown much either, increasing only 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter to a state average of $27.02 per square foot.

    “The market is soft, and absorption has not been as aggressive as the experts have anticipated,” Simson said.

  13. Clotpoll says:

    Orion (from 278 yesterday)-

    Rumors that the alleged fraud goes all the way up to Greenberg have been circulating in the media.

  14. grim says:

    Darn close..

    8 Craig Place, Fairfield NJ

    Purchased: 7/24/2004
    Purchase Price: $635,000

    MLS 2465189

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $635,000

  15. ReadyToBuy says:

    I have some bad news for the spring market in upper hunterdon.

    My wife and I bid $300K on a 3 bdr home last fall that listed for $350K.

    We did comps, and the avg. 3 bdr in the area sold for $290K. We thought we were giving a fair bid. They rejected, and pulled the home off the market.

    We now learn that they will be relisting this spring for between $350 – $360!!! (possibly $10K higher). Their explanation – 3 real estate companies appraised at this new price.

    We’re terrified that this will never end. Real Estate companies obviously plan to continue listing at non-corrected prices in our area.

  16. ReadyToBuy says:

    grim –

    the above description is definitely a potential comp killer. NOTHING is selling around me, and if this place goes for $350, it’ll change all stats.

  17. grim says:

    Kearny Comp Killer

    439 Devon St

    Purchased: 9/14/2006
    Purchase Price: $415,000

    MLS 2402398

    Sold: 2/27/2008
    Sale Price: $390,000

  18. grim says:

    Clinton Comp Killer

    3 Buckingham

    Purchased: 6/16/2005
    Purchase Price: $575,000

    MLS# 2468842

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $460,000

  19. Rich In NNJ says:

    Preliminary Sales and Under Contract (Pending Sales) from NJMLS for Bergen County

    Year Sold U/C
    1995 413 681
    1996 381 782
    1997 454 799
    1998 456 889
    1999 576 802
    2000 509 741
    2001 449 718
    2002 584 849
    2003 489 698
    2004 531 776
    2005 553 783
    2006 498 715
    2007 513 762
    2008 314 541

  20. Cindy says:

    (4) Grim
    Our school district is offering a “supplimental retirement plan” SRP this year but only to each “class” of workers that demonstrates a savings to the district.
    There are 4 classes of workers: certified (teachers), certified admin., classified, and classified admin. Those eligible have until 3/28 to fill out the necessary paper work. If a “class” of workers does not present a savings to the district, they will not be included in the offer. They crunch the numbers first, given the set of employees that apply – then go ahead with the offer effective 6/30/08.

    It is believed that the certified employees will probably qualify because there is a large enough “spread” between highest and lowest paid. (beginning teacher $38,000 to top teacher $72,000.) There are enough “steps” and “columns” to do the math. On the other hand, there are only twelve columns for the classified – not a broad enough range of salaries. That “class” of workers may not qualify for the program. So the applicants will be considered – in each class- and the program will only be offered to those “classes” that present a savings to the district.

    There is no guessing involved. They know the saving ahead of time.

    I received such as offer as a “certified non-management employee.” My extra benefit would have been approx. $200. a month added to my retirement check. But I will not be retiring anytime soon.

    The point is, they have been burned in the past and the “golden handshake” has ended up costing them. They learned from that and now crunch the numbers ahead of time, offering the program only to the “classes” that are financially beneficial to the district. Anyone requesting retirement solely to take advantage of this bonus will know by June whether they are accepted or rejected. They have the option to retire anyway or continue to work.

  21. grim says:

    Denville Comp Killers

    28 Hussa Place

    Purchased: 5/31/2005
    Purchase Price: $292,500

    MLS# 2459167

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $289,500

    78 Henning Terrace

    Purchased: 7/13/2006
    Purchase Price: $635,000

    MLS# 2465549

    Sold: 2/14/2008
    Sale Price: $625,000

  22. ReadyToBuy says:

    Rich (#19) –

    how do you run those numbers in gsmls?

  23. grim says:

    Jefferson Comp Killers

    14 Stone House Court

    Purchased: 8/23/2006
    Purchase Price: $264,000

    MLS# 2469142

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $243,500

    6 Opal Road

    Purchased: 1/3/2007
    Purchase Price: $285,000

    MLS# 2468098

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $280,000

  24. Rich In NNJ says:

    Ready (22),

    You need access, it’s not from the public site.
    Besides, Grim will have those numbers up before long. It’s still early.

  25. grim says:

    Kinnelon Comp Killer

    6 Ridge Trail

    Purchased: 10/5/2004
    Purchase Price: $575,000

    MLS 2469722

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $525,000

  26. grim says:

    Super Morristown Short Sale Comp Killer

    15 Orchard

    Purchased: 2/16/2006
    Purchase Price: $456,000

    MLS 2428260

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $247,000

    (Take this one with a grain of salt until we see it in the tax records)

  27. Rich In NNJ says:

    The numbers for #19 are for the month of February.
    The worse February in 14 years but the data only goes back to 1995.
    Sales are down 39% Y-O-Y and U/C down 29% Y-O-Y

  28. grim says:

    Monster Mount Olive Comp Killer

    4 Vista

    Purchased: 5/23/2005
    Purchase Price: $715,000

    MLS# 2460543

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $597,500

  29. ReadyToBuy says:

    #24 –

    I have access to gsmls, but not njmls. you can’t research by county on gsmls

  30. grim says:

    Pompton Lakes Comp Killer

    28 Walnut Ave

    Purchased: 11/22/2006
    Purchase Price: $430,000

    MLS# 2454808

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $394,000

  31. grim says:

    GSMLS doesn’t compile the monthly statistics until a few days after the end of month.

  32. grim says:

    Bedminster Comp Killer

    14 Wendover

    Purchased; 7/27/2006
    Purchase Price: $329,000

    MLS 2445372

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $310,000

  33. grim says:

    Basking Ridge Comp Killer

    5 Georgetown

    Purchased: 11/16/2006
    Purchase Price: $810,000

    MLS# 2463789
    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $775,000

  34. grim says:

    Monster Watchung Comp Killers

    51 Pine Lane

    Purchased: 8/17/2005
    Purchase Price; $793,000

    MLS# 2472667

    Sold: 2/26/2008
    Sale Price: $610,000

    55 Hill Hollow Road

    Purchased: 6/9/2005
    Purchase Price: $935,000

    MLS# 2344910

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $750,000

  35. startingover inNJ says:

    How do you know when something is or was a short sale?

  36. grim says:

    Sparta Comp Killers

    11 Grist Mill

    Purchased: 11/28/2006
    Purchase Price: $293,000

    MLS# 2438337

    Sold: 2/27/2008
    Sale Price: $290,000

    3 Brandy Ridge Road

    Purchased: 10/3/2003
    Purchase Price: $695,000

    MLS# 2468829

    Sold: 2/28/2008
    Sale Price: $670,000

    5 Kathleen Court

    Purchased: 4/11/2006
    Purchase Price: $799,900

    MLS# 2453506

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $720,000

  37. grim says:

    How do you know when something is or was a short sale?

    Listing details note that the sale is subject to bank approval and on occasion require prequalification through the current lender.

  38. Rich In NNJ says:

    Wow, you don’t have the option to pull statistical reports on GSMLS?

    That blows.

  39. bubbles says:

    GRIM you just made my day :)))

  40. Orion says:

    New speed limit on parts of GSP go into effect today!

    From Asbury Park Press:


  41. R Patrick says:

    Hackensack Buying CLOSED Pascack Valley

    1. Hack is non union, Pascack was. Now they can just rehire without dealing with a annoying union. ( And yes they pay well but you really earn your money )

    2. Both they and Valley are fighting for space. One or the other was going to get it. I can see it moving alot of the things that do not really need to be at the main hospital there. Drs offices, possibly same day surgerym, ect.

    But overall medical is the last well paying set of jobs in the area, so it’s a good thing in my opnion

  42. spam spam bacon spam says:


    I fixed…

    Bedminster Comp Killer

    14 Bendover

    Purchased; 7/27/2006
    Purchase Price: $329,000

    MLS 2445372

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $310,000

  43. Ann says:

    From previous thread, Karen

    “I’m originally from eastern CT, and everyone in the northeast is so gloomy – including in NJ. Take some fish oil, folks, and get a sun lamp.”

    Yeah, you probably made the right choice to stay in CA. How obnoxious.

  44. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Hey…I rec’d my daily listings (thanks Grim) and see this in the (new) listing.

    It’s a re-list, since Aug…

    But what does this mean?:

    EXCLU: Multiple Offers Presented – In Investor Review – Backup Offers Only

    MLS# 2437716

  45. HEHEHE says:

    “I fixed…

    Bedminster Comp Killer

    14 Bendover

    Purchased; 7/27/2006
    Purchase Price: $329,000

    MLS 2445372

    Sold: 2/29/2008
    Sale Price: $310,000”

    I think the street name was appropriate :)

  46. bairen says:

    I think anyone who bought in 05 and got out last month with only a 3% loss plus commission is very lucky.

    All we need is an Enron style bank/insurer to implode or a mortgage insurer to fail and look out below.

  47. bairen says:

    #44 Ann

    Yeah California’s real estate is doing so great huh? Even San Fran went down 10% YOY.

    So much for the rich, gay, asian immigrant loaded with google stock option money driving prices upward at double digit rates forever theory.

    Actually if San Fran takes another 40% to 50% hit I would put it at the top of my relo list. SF is my favorite US city.

    If clownifornians have to put 20% down and prove they can cover the payments at the going 30 year fixed rate a massive drop is “in the bag”

    Although SF’s homeless situation might get a lot worse if that happens.

    What a conundrum

  48. Orion says:

    Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them. ~Henry David Thoreau

  49. mikeinwaiting says:

    Here is a nice 80k reduction.Still wouldn’t pay 399 for it.Looks like a nice home.

  50. mikeinwaiting says:

    Verypatientwife from last night.What failed in the septic field,d-box,tank.The seller may fix or give you credit to fix.Whats the problem?

  51. lostinny says:

    48 bairen
    I’d love to see SF drops like that. I wouldn’t mind a little victorian somewhere.

  52. bairen says:

    #52 yeah. I really love wandering around SF. Plus it’s supposed to be one of the few US big cities with a good school system.

  53. Cindy says:

    (48) bairen
    Well I don’t know that we are all “clownifornians.” Some of us are trying to do the best we can and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the posters here.

    There were so many “Notice of Trustee’s sales” in the public notices section of the classifieds yesterday (38) that there was barely enough room left to sell a used car.

    A personal home builder friend tells me he sold one home in February 08 vs. 15 homes in Feb. of 07. (low income housing – presales) He has 11 employees left – Feb. 2007, he employeed 32. Because he already owns the property outright and has rental income he is trying to ride it out and keep the 11 employees he still has on staff.

  54. Rich In NNJ says:

    Spam (45),

    EXCLU: Multiple Offers Presented – In Investor Review – Backup Offers Only

    I would hazard a guess that the agent is trying to create a sense of urgency.
    If they HAVE multiple offers already, why would they need backup offers?

  55. Essex says:

    44. Right on Ann…that was moronic from the SF Poster….We love our gloom out here, and we got nothing on Boston. ;-)

  56. Maureen says:

    ppl, could anyone find out the address for MLS 70010968 ? Any history on this house ? Is it a good area ?

  57. Joeycasz says:

    Speaking of Hospitals. I hear yesterday that Columbus Hospital in Newark will be closing its doors beginning June 1. I wonder what they’ll end up doing with the building or the land? Dare i ask?

  58. bairen says:

    #58 Luxury Condos?

    heh heh heh

  59. PeaceNow says:

    Pat–I would suggest taking a video and/or photos of this guy to show the police. I’m not guaranteeing the police will (or can) do anything, photos or not, but it will give them a better education on the problem. I’d also say that you suspect kids might be seeing this spectacle, too.

  60. Joeycasz says:


    Proximity to New York ya know.

    It’s only a drive-by away.

  61. grim says:


    You see 373 Ponfield in Ridgewood? Interesting history, check it out.


  62. grim says:

    Want to know where Real Estate Agents get the BS they spew?


    Words from Tina Griffin, Executive Director

    There are two points to drive home right now as you talk with customers and clients. The first is Now is a Good Time to Buy. And here’s why:

    Affordability has improved. With recent Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, mortgage rates are now at 40- year historic lows.

    Money is available. For those who meet basic requirements — employed for the last two years, have a good credit score, and plan to live in the property — you should be able to get a mortgage.

    Inventory is good. Unlike certain markets where properties sold as soon as they were listed, buyers now have more options to choose from.

    The second is Real Estate is Local. According to the recent NJAR Press Release (see reverse side), New Jersey is doing better than most areas in the country. When you look at NJMLS statistics by town, there are quite a few towns that are actually doing quite well.

    Reinforce the positives! For those sitting on the fence, remind them that what they may gain by waiting for prices or interest rates to fall further may be lost later when the market is on an upswing. Purchasing a home should be based on family and lifestyle needs, balanced by sound economic decisions. If the need is there, let them know … Now is a good time to buy.

  63. Rich In NNJ says:


    Wow, think it was knock-down gone bad?

    Nah, not in Ridgewood.

  64. grim says:

    It was, I’m trying to determine whether it was a complete tear-down of just a foundation-up remodel.

    I’ll tell you one thing, that job cost a heck of a lot more than $100k.

  65. Rich In NNJ says:

    I agree, someone took a bath there.
    Probably the bank too.
    Didn’t get a chance to look at the tax records. I’ve been knocked off the site… I guess “someone” is working today.

  66. sas says:

    “Hackensack Medical Center”
    they are going to loose their shirts wih their bonds.

    buying pascack valley hospital?
    watch histroy repeat itself, with the help of our mexican friends.


  67. BC Bob says:


    I’m in FX. However, I did work for a number of years in commodities/financial futures.

    Aussie is on fire. Strong currency backed by materials/minerals that the world is sucking up. They are raising rates, yet the natives are happy, tax cuts. A Govt that is actually enjoyng years of a budget surplus. That sounds strange, a budget surplus? Love the AUS/USD cross.

    How did you enjoy living there?

  68. Sean says:

    Reporting in this weekend from the buckhead section of Atlanta.

    Large amount of for sale signs out in this haughty neighborhood.

    Family says its a bloodbath, prices are way down.

  69. sas says:

    don’t forget March 2nd, new rates for the bridges go into effect.
    talk about a rip off!!

    “The Port Authority of NY & NJ
    Current and New* Toll Rates”

    and wait.. the NJ tolls are next


  70. Sean says:

    Reporting in this weekend from the buckhead section of Atlanta.

    Large amount of for sale signs out in this haughty neighborhood.

    Family says its a bloodbath down here, prices are way down.

  71. sas says:

    and I’m calling it right now.

    gas at $4/gallon come summer. write that down blokes ;)

    I’ve been spot on as of late with my predicts ;o


  72. lostinny says:

    sas 70
    We’re on the SI bridge plan. It went up from $50 to $80. That’s a pretty big increase but it’s still half the price of what the bridges will be per trip. Tolls are a nightmare everywhere.

  73. sas says:

    I recommend to all to get an carpool ezpass. Its free to get one. and give people a ride or maybe a coworker to work.

    new carpool rate will be $2. still have to go through the collector so they can verify you have 3 people or more in car.

    also, try to stick to off peak hours.

    anyone know the latest on NYC price congestion plan.

    this “congestion” pricing gimick is nothing more than a tax.

    NJ tolls are nothing more than a tax.

    I hope the people vote with their feet, and Corzine can be the last to turn out the lights : )


  74. Ann says:

    56 Essex

    Exactly. In fact, only a Northeasterner, like the Karen from CA, transplant that she is, would be such a jerk on a blog for no reason. : )

    Keeping drinking the fish oil and maybe she’ll be real Californian one day.

    Cindy, I love CA.

  75. lostinny says:

    I truly wish I could carpool. It would save us so much money but it just doesn’t work out.

  76. tSean says:

    I read a very interesting article on credit-swaps
    on plane ride last night.

    Pennsylvanian boards of education bought up billions in swaps since 2003 and now the school districts are taking a bath and are forced to raise taxes or cut services to the bone.

    I wonder if NJ school districts are allowed to buy swaps?

    Bloomberg magazine print edition March edition, if someone can link to it online would be great since I am on the blackberry only this weekend.

  77. Punch My Ticket says:

    77 (tS):



    Everyone knows about this surely. It’s just another case of investment banks pawning off toxic waste on clients with no brains. The “independent financial advisor” gag is pretty standard. Those guys are about as adept and incorruptible as the average mortgage broker.

  78. spam spam bacon spam says:

    [55] Rich…

    EXCLU: Multiple Offers Presented – In Investor Review – Backup Offers Only

    I would hazard a guess that the agent is trying to create a sense of urgency.
    If they HAVE multiple offers already, why would they need backup offers?

    I guess I’m stumped here.

    Why PLACE a listing on MLS if you are (assumingly) already under contract? I mean, isn’t a backup offer used in case a contract falls through? So is this listing legal? Because, based upon this listing, I don’t think this house is for sale, IMHO.

    And WTF is “investor review”…Is that daddy and mommy looking at the house first to see if junior gets the downpayment from them?

    And third, if you’re NOT accepting the offer(s) you already received, why not just put the da*n thing up for sale like a normal agent?

  79. Punch My Ticket says:


    78 in moderation. Probably the two Bloomberg links in one go.

  80. spam spam bacon spam says:


    I bought a house, seller had septic “repaired” 8 months prior to sale. Cost him 8K to replace tank, laterals and drain field (“new rocks, new pipes”).

    House was advertised with “new septic”. We had inspection done anyway and it failed big time.

    A repair wasn’t what it needed. We are about 2″ above a what seems like a lake :) It needed a type of new system, a mound.

    Since house was relo, relo company said “hang tight for 30 days, we’ll put in new system”. It cost 26K, we watched whole process and closed after work was completed.


  81. jmacdaddio says:

    Your Money on CNN had a segment about the mortgage meltdown. Apparently Goldmnan-Sachs estimates 30% of all mortgage holders will be upside-down on their homes by end 2008. They profiled a family of 3 in Worcester MA who bought a home a couple of years ago for 305k with an interest only payment of 1300 which has now reset to 3100. The wife was in tears begging for the government to help her. I rarely get upset about anything, but I yelled at my tv, something a little more colorful than “cry me a river” you could say. The cries for handouts are going to grow louder and louder as election day approaches, and I have a feeling I will be doing some more yelling at my television.

  82. Clotpoll says:

    Ready (15)-

    Hang in there. You can wait longer than those owners can stay solvent…or even continue to hold on. A client of mine and I are about to make a new comp for you in that price range. And, I can assure you it won’t be taking the prices up.

    Wait until mid-April or may to get out there again. You’ll see a ton of sellers choking on their houses, I assure you.

  83. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (69)-

    Atlanta is a major foreclosure area.

  84. mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 84 With our out of wack income to home price ratio can NJ be far behind?

  85. 3b says:

    #55 Rich:why would they need backup offers?

    In case those scads of other offers fall through of course!!

  86. 3b says:

    # %3 grim: When you look at NJMLS statistics by town, there are quite a few towns that are actually doing quite well.

    And pray tell what are those towns?

  87. lisoosh says:

    Caught some Japanese news program (don’t ask). They were interviewing some English guy about the need for the world to be a “carbon democracy”.

    Things are going to get really hairy in the next 20 years.

  88. 3b says:

    #83 clot:You’ll see a ton of sellers choking on their houses, I assure you.

    Thanks Clot, that is what I am expecting to see too,

  89. Clotpoll says:

    mike (85)-

    Logic seems to dictate it. The bigger the moon shot, the further the fall.

  90. Clotpoll says:

    Showed 8 houses today to a couple with twins getting transferred here soon.

    – 6 vacant, all in good/excellent condition

    – 1 of the 2 occupied has a lis pendens filed

    – the other of the 2 occupied is a POS

    – all 8 houses within 40K price envelope

    – I could take this couple tomorrow and show them 8 more, if I open the range another 20K.

    This is gonna be fun.

  91. WickedOrange says:

    Say good-bye to granite countertops
    High-end kitchen and bath renovations just aren’t boosting a home’s value the way they used to. Sellers who succumbed to home over-improvement syndrome are feeling the pain.


  92. Confused In NJ says:

    They need to change the NJ School Budget Vote to require 1. All residents vote (Mandatory) and 2. track each households vote. Follow this up with a new corollary which only increases School Tax on those who vote “Yes”, not on those who vote “No”. Then everyone should be Happy. Those who vote “Yes” can experience the pleasurable impact of their decision, without sharing that pleasure with those who vote “No”.

  93. bbd says:

    Just got inspection report for the house we are buying.

    Found sign of carpenter ants (saw dust like stuff in a couple parts of the basement). How concerned should I be? Is this a deal breaker or something that should not be too concerned about? Would it affect the resale prospect?

    Also, the roof is at the end of its life (23 years!), what would be a fair percentage for the seller to contribute?

  94. Frank says:

    Carpenter ants is a deal breaker. Stay away from this house, there are plenty of others out there.

  95. Cindy says:

    My daughter that lives in the state of Washington just called…she says the entire state is outraged at the government’s decision to award a military contract to Northrop/EADS (France) instead of Boeing (Everett, Wash.) Boeing had been expecting to build some 179 supply refueling tankers for the Air Force at a cost of $40 billion dollars but lost the contract to Northrop…. Yikes! So we are to support the French economy and not our own? And how about National security?
    This just seems wrong on so many levels.

  96. Essex says:

    93….I did my kitchen last year. Got a great deal on it from a very, very good contractor. Really gorgeous work…didn’t do it to re-sell…did it to enjoy while I live here…but can guarantee that it would be a major selling point if we ever put the house up for sale.

  97. grim says:

    Ridgewood Soon-to-be-comp-killer

    379 Grove

    Purchased: 1/14/2005
    Purchase Price: $495,000

    MLS# 2743646

    Current Asking: $489,000

  98. grim says:

    Another Ridgewood Soon-to-be

    651 Midwood Road

    Purchaed: 11/2/2005
    Purchase Price: $575,000

    MLS# 2745833

    Current Asking: $525,000

  99. grim says:

    Uh oh, something I should know about Ridgewood?

    635 Albert

    Purchased: 8/17/2005
    Purchase Price: $609,000

    MLS# 2802116

    Current Asking: $599,000 (arip)

  100. grim says:

    But.. But.. Prestigious Bergen County!

    222 Gateway Road, Ridgewood

    Purchased: 7/19/2005
    Purchase Price: $640,000

    MLS# 2804604

    Current Asking: $629,000

  101. Cindy says:

    Regarding Boeing deal (97) – Just read a Reuter’s article that did say some jobs
    would be allocated to Alabama. But if this goes through, the Seattle area housing market may finally see a hit…

  102. Jim (NOT a Realtor) says:

    Is that house in Engewood Cliffs REALLY a “comp killer”? A $30,000 reduction on a $1 million house barely sounds like much to brag about.

  103. RentinginNJ says:

    From the “The Trentonian” on Corzine’s budget cuts:

    “Corzine’s bet, we suspect, is that the legislature will fold. That it will approve the governor’s toll-hikes-borrow-and-spend scheme or some tax-hiking alternative. Note to taxpayers: Be prepared in either case to dig deep. Again.

    Trenton Democrats are more inclined to fret about pleasing the army of unionized state, county, municipal and school district employees than to fret about the concerns of private-sector taxpayers.

    So why didn’t Corzine move to address this situation from the moment he took office?

    If he’s not bluffing, why did he wait until now to propose reining in costs? Why would he have attempted, for example, to cajole taxpayers into approving a $450-million stem-cell research bond issue loan, as he did in the recent election, knowing full well that the state was already carrying $32 billion of bonded indebtedness — third highest per capita in America?

    Likely a straight answer to such queries will come — to borrow a recent line from the governor himself — when pigs fly over the Statehouse.”

  104. Frank says:

    How’s this related to NJ RE?
    Who cares about Boeing and Seattle? France needs the jobs, we still have a 4% unemployment and they don’t. Give France a chance.

  105. Frank says:

    Lets raise the tolls, taxes, fees and anything we can. What are they waiting for? Keep our unions strong, taxes and tolls high and people out of NJ!! Go Corzine and NJ Democrats!!!

  106. dreamtheaterr says:

    3b, am curious on your thoughts on what’s transpiring in the muni market. While Treasuries and AAA corps have rallied, munis have declined the last few months. Is is that not many trust the monolines insuring them any more? What other factors are leading to munis relatively weak performance? I don’t own any muni funds but some closed-ended funds do look a bit tempting to nibble.

    Would appreciate your insights!

  107. Outofstater says:

    #106 Anyone ever subscribe to “Aviation Week and Space Technology?” Shortly after the Falklands war, Aerospatiale ran an ad showing an Exocet missile penetrating an English warship. The caption was “Proven Performance.” Those b@stards would sell their own mothers for a franc – oh, sorry, a euro.

  108. Frank says:

    In case you have not heard.

    Billions of dollars of sales slam muni bonds


  109. bi says:

    muni is not safe heaven. check out these
    Oppenheimer Rochester series (for example ORNCX) and you will be sicked

  110. bi says:

    here is my election year indicator: the bigger obama wins, the worse the market will go. this is not because the market doesn’t like obama’s economic policies or the people don’t have confidence in his ability to lead. my observation is that more he wins means people are more desperated now so that they desire to change to anything different from the current situation. check it out next tuesday

  111. Confused In NJ says:

    106/104. Trenton Democrats are more inclined to fret about pleasing the army of unionized state, county, municipal and school district employees than to fret about the concerns of private-sector taxpayers.

    We also need a Net Worth Exit Tax (Private Sector Only) so that all the Sheeple pay their fair share.

  112. Confused In NJ says:

    An Obama/Clinton/McCain election shows how Dysfunctional American Society has become. This is the best this Nation can offer? Don’t look back as you exit, you’ll turn into a pillar of salt.

  113. bi says:

    112#, agreed. this election is totally in opposite to the corporate world: the better resume you have, you will be KOed sooner. richardson, giuliani, romney were gone in order and next will be huckabee.

  114. NNJJEFF says:

    can someone with MLS access give me address and possibly history for 2715950 and 2742387

    thanks in advance

  115. Jamey says:

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.


    A sort-of street theater group organizes mobs to harrass mortgage lender execs.

    Because people who borrow more money than they can repay are the real victims. They wouldn’t have signed the contracts if someone didn’t put a gun to their kid’s head, right?

    Almost paints Countrywide in a sympathetic role.

  116. d2b says:

    Carpenter ants. Really no big deal we had them and we bought ant poison at Home Depot and they were gone in two days.

    I’m not sure that you would get something for the roof. If the roof leaks, expect something. A roof that looks worn is a bit subjective. It could last you 8 or 10 years without a problem.

    I guess it would depend on how desperate the seller was.

  117. Clotpoll says:

    Frank (96)-

    Are you high? Carpenter ants are everywhere. Unless they’ve created structural damage (which takes years), exterminate and be done with it.

    BTW, extermination doesn’t destroy them entirely. It just chases them away for a while. Follow-up exterminations keep them at bay.

  118. Clotpoll says:

    bi (109)-

    I am, indeed, sicked.

  119. Clotpoll says:

    I think I’m gonna give up Gossip Girls for Lipstick Jungle.

  120. grim says:

    2715950 – 15 Coleman (In Atty Review)

    Listed: 8/4/2006 (MLS# 2631003)
    OLP: $629,000
    LP: $589,000
    DOM: 119

    Listed: 4/23/2007 (Current MLS)
    OLP: $649,000
    LP: $499,000
    DOM: 315

    2742387 – 25 N. Browning

    Listed: 5/7/2007 (MLS# 2718190)
    OLP: $625,000
    LP: $595,000
    DOM: 163

    Listed: 10/17/2007 (Current MLS)
    OLP/LP: $559,000
    DOM: 138

  121. mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim good morn,I have seen the #s posted for Bergen 95 till now unc & sold is there any way to get them for Sussex(I’m aware there are few looking up here).Would be great to know.If you have fine if not no biggy.What the hell are we doing up so early
    on Sunday!

  122. grim says:

    What the hell are we doing up so early on Sunday!


  123. mikeinwaiting says:

    ON your part yes.For me it was the dog going nuts about a raccoon on my deck.The perils of living in Sussex.

  124. bairen says:

    #67 BC Bob,

    At first i really liked Sydney. then once the novelty wore off I kept thinking I was so far away from everyone i know (this is right after we found out we were expecting our first child). But for he most part I enjoyed my time there. Had a great time exploring Sydney with our little boy.

    Sydney has a very high cost of living. Even as the Aussie $ rose the imports didn’t drop in price. For example Organic Granny Smith Apples from New Zealand are cheaper in NJ then conventional GS apples from NZ were in Sydney. Even though NJ is about 4 to 5 times further away from Kiwis then Sydney is.

    Most of the furniture and clothes are a lot more expensive and a lot lower quality then in the US. Think Walmart, maybe H & M clothes at Bloomingdale prices.

    If you go there, don’t go to an Aussie restaurant for lunch. It will take you about 2 hours. Focus on food courts, asian food, or things like Rotisserie Chicken. Take a ferry to either Manly (you’ll get a great tour of the harbor, or go out to Watson’s bay. You can walk to the top of the bluffs at the entrance to the harbor.

    Australia has awesome beer. Anything from Tasmania is good be it alcohol or food.

    Sydney is a very walkable city. Most of the toursit stuff is within walking distance of each other. Like walking freom Penn Station to he MET or Museum of Natural History.

    there’s also some weird things about Sydney.

    The $2 lottery is $2.20
    There was a 24 hour medical center open 7 AM to 11 PM!?!?

    Most Australian’s don’t have cable. There’s a strong undercurrent of anti foreigners. I noticed the last few months we were there people were a lot more anti-american.

  125. bairen says:

    #77 didn’t local governments learn anything from OC going bust playing with derivatives?

  126. NNJJEFF says:


    Thanks grim

  127. bubblewatcher says:


    If you can give more your best opinion on LBI shore properties.

    History – I was buying in 2002 feeling the market had at least 25% upside coming (due to a % spread that developed between my primary residence and vacation homes – the primaries were moving faster up).

    Missed it and took my lumps on the sidelines until I began to finally see some despiration in April 2007 which led me to finding a very good deal at the time – house was big, rentable, 15-20% off my estimate of peak – was rough but TLC only to bring it to rentable. I again pulled out (at inspection) to wait further. (it sold for 15k more the following week).

    No more speculators or builders buying as teardowns – so the rough stuff sit on the market. The mid level is being flooded with cute nice little capes in decent locations for mid 5s. These were asking mid 6’s two years back. Putting downward pressure on the not so nice stuff.

    Goal is to pick up good location, rough, rentable (lots of rental competition), with upside in 10-15 years. I can handle 3-5k negative per year with the eventual equity increasing enough to trade-off or hopefull that 15 years out it actually comes back the 100+ K.

    With inflation, I see rents finally increasing after 10 years of stagnation- this helps the payback.

    2002-2003 prices is maximum where I would like to go – right now the TLC properties are asking / selling 2004ish.

    I do business in the NYC remodeling market and all outer borough new condos are suffering. Sales are tough. The press is not reporting how bad it is.

    I also experienced the 80’s 90’s downturn and saw the NYC coops drop 50% in many cases. But LBI dropped maybe 25%.

    I am thinking that a 30-40% drop on the island may be the max we see no matter where the market goes. I plan to make offers in this range beginning late April.

    So your thoughts? Hibernate another year?

  128. Roy G Biv says:

    (1) Get a lease in writing

    (2) In the lease, specify that your deposit will be placed in an interest-earning escrow account. Any bank will set one up.

    This is entirely reasonable and proper. It is a DEPOSIT – not a prepayment of rent. In fact, many states require that the deposit be placed in an interest-bearing account.

    Spell out in the lease when and if the deposit is to be returned or forfeited. (Springing for the $100 or so to have a lawyer write up such lease provisions for you – not the landlord -would be well worth the money.)

    Also any other monies such as the last month’s rent in addition to a deposit should be put in the escrow.

    (3) Call the county office that keeps the land records. (Called the county clerk or clerk of deeds in most places.) That office will have the mortgage on file. COPY IT AND READ IT. (If you don’t understand the mortgage doc, pay the $100 for a lawyer to explain it to you.) That will let you see if the rent will cover the mortgage payments. Also check with the county and see what the taxes are. Again, you can determine if the rent will pay the taxes and mortgage.

    Read the lease to see if there is a reset and, if so, when and to how much.

    Have the clerk check and see if there is a Notice of Default filed.(First step in foreclosure.)

    If you can get the landlord’s Soc Sec number off the loan documents and mortgage filed with the clerk, pay the $40-80 to run a credit check on the landlord. There should be 2 documents filed on the mortgage – the promissary note and the mortgage itself. Usually the Soc Sec is on the note. You can go online and find all kinds of places that will run a credit /lawsuit judgement or dig up such information.

    (4) Try to negotiate a penalty clause with the landlord. That means if your lease is terminated early because of something he does (like not pay the mortgage), that you get damages. Ideally, an amount that is enough to cover the cost of you having to move abruptly, would be put into the same escrow as the your deposit by him.

    Even if he doesn’t put up a ‘performance deposit’, ideally the lease should have a penatly clause if he doesn’t perform and breached the lease. Maybe something like 1-2 months rent. It is called liquidated damages. Again, go see a lawyer. This might not stop the landlord from breaching but it would let you get some money back from him by going after his wages or other property.

    (5) Since you would know the name of the lender from the mortgage documents, ideally the lease should let you write the rent check to the landlord AND to the mortgage holder (assuming that the rent is not more than the mortgage.) That way the only way the check could be cashed is if he signed and it and handed it to the mortgage lender.

    Some parts of the Bay Area (depending upon the town) have some good protections for renters if the landlord ends up in foreclosure. Some places it can be up to 30-60 days after the foreclosure auction before you would be required to move. There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about this in the past month. Do a search of the SFC and see if you can find it.

    Also lenders often will pay you to move out after a foreclosure. CAVEAT: DO NOT hand the lender’s agent the keys until they hand you a check. DO NOT move and then hope to get the money promised. Make them show up at the door with the check and then you hand them the keys and put the last things in the car and leave.

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