Weekend Open Discussion

This is the time and place to post observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing market, open house reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let’s have them. Also a good place to post suggestions, requests for information, criticism, and praise.

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312 Responses to Weekend Open Discussion

  1. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Nomura Posts Record Loss on Bond-Insurance Provisions

    Nomura Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest securities firm, reported a record quarterly loss after $1.26 billion of provisions for charges related to bond insurers.

    The net loss of 153.9 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in the three months ended March 31 compared with profit of 33.1 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based firm said in a statement today. The loss was 15 times larger than the most pessimistic estimate among six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

  2. grim says:

    From BusinessWeek:

    Is Manhattan Immune from the Real Estate Bust?

    The real estate downturn has been spreading like a virus since the credit crunch began eight months ago, dragging down prices in small towns, suburbs, and previously resilient cities such as Seattle and San Francisco. New York, it seems, is the last major city where real estate is booming.

    In the first quarter of this year, the median price for a Manhattan home rocketed up 18%, to $872,000, compared with the same period last year, according to an Apr. 17 report by ResidentialNYC.com, a Web portal operated by the Real Estate Board of New York. The median price for all of New York City, which includes much weaker middle-class neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, rose 4% in the first quarter, to $535,000, the real estate industry group reported.

    “The numbers continue to amaze me,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board. “What’s driving the prices up is the closing of high-end condos.”

    New York’s price growth was propelled by a slew of newly completed and startlingly expensive condos.

    Manhattan isn’t America’s only robust market. Bright spots in the real estate market include Austin, Tex., and Charlotte, N.C. And high oil prices have kept Houston’s market buoyant. But the nation’s largest cities have generally shown weakness.

    The fact that Manhattan has—at least so far—escaped the downturn doesn’t mean it won’t get hit. With a recession looming, plenty of job losses are expected this year on Wall Street, where bonuses are also expected to shrink.

    The new condos being built—with ever increasing prices—could also create an oversupply of luxury real estate.

    Even Spinola of the Real Estate Board concedes that the market could flatten in a recession.

    New York real estate is by no means immune to dips. Prices dropped during the recession in the early 1990s and following the 1987 stock market crash. The biggest postwar decline came in the 1970s, when the city went bankrupt.

    Jonathan Miller, president of New York appraiser Miller Samuel, said even though prices are rising, sales activity is off from last year’s record levels.

    The boroughs are doing worse. Expensive Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Park Slope have mirrored Manhattan’s strength. But middle-class communities farther out have been weakened by the subprime crisis and the credit crunch.

    Median home prices in Queens fell 12% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Board. The median price dropped 9% in the Bronx, 2% in Staten Island, and 1% in Brooklyn.

    “Look we’ve had a very brisk real estate market for the last four or five years,” Miller said. “The New York region has held up better than virtually any market across the country. But we are not immune to situations on the national scale.”

  3. grim says:

    From the NY Sun:

    Building Permits Drop, as Boom Ebbs

    The number of building permits filed in the city for individual apartments and for entire buildings is about half of what it was for the same period last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau released yesterday. Manhattan saw a 69% drop-off in the number of building permits for apartment units compared with the first quarter of 2007.

    Such a dramatic decrease in permits likely signals the end of the building boom in the city. The numbers come just days after the city’s buildings commissioner, Patricia Lancaster, resigned following a spike in construction-related accidents. She has been replaced on a temporary basis by First Deputy Commissioner Robert LiMandri.

    the first three months of 2008, the number of permits for buildings dropped 46% to 558, while the number of permits for units also fell 46% to 3,893. At the current rate, there will be permits for just 17,000 new residential units in the city in 2008, the lowest number since 2001, according to REBNY. That would be a drastic change from 2007, when there were nearly 32,000 building permits issued for individual units in New York City — the highest number since 1972, census data shows.

  4. grim says:

    From the AP:

    Many states appear to be in recession

    The finances of many states have deteriorated so badly that they appear to be in a recession, regardless of whether that’s true for the nation as a whole, a survey of all 50 state fiscal directors concludes.

    The situation looks even worse for the fiscal year that begins July 1 in most states.

    “Whether or not the national economy is in recession — a subject of ongoing debate — is almost beside the point for some states,” said the report to be released Friday by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    The weakening economy is hitting tax revenue in a number of ways: People’s discretionary income is being gobbled up by higher food and fuel costs, while the tanking housing market means people are spending less on furniture and appliances associated with buying a house.

  5. grim says:

    From USA Today:

    In housing market, it’s the worst of times and best of times

    Home sellers, brace for some grim news. The spring home-buying season now underway is widely expected to be the worst since the 1980s.
    Many would-be buyers lack strong enough credit to get a mortgage. Home values are sinking. And in front yards around the country, “For Sale” signs are as ubiquitous as garden weeds.

    The median price of an existing home in March was 7.7% less than it was a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported this week. “Sellers are having to capitulate,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com. “If you’re a seller, it is the worst season since the early 1980s.”

  6. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Rising Property Taxes Fill Gaps, Pinch Homeowners
    Pain Is Worsened By Housing Slump, Economic Slowdown
    April 25, 2008

    Faced with revenue shortfalls, local governments across the U.S. are raising property-tax rates, angering homeowners already hit by the housing slump and economic slowdown.

    Spring Valley, N.Y., approved a 9.7% increase in the property-tax rate to balance its budget. A number of fast-growing suburbs around Washington, D.C., have raised rates, while Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton has proposed a 17% increase in the property-tax rate to close a budget gap.

    “Everyone is feeling this pinch and we are not immune,” he told the Memphis City Council last week.

    Increasing property taxes is especially sensitive when housing prices are falling, the labor market is weakening and household budgets are strained by the rising cost of food and gasoline.

    Steven White, a nutritionist in Spring Valley, a suburb north of New York City, recently went to a public hearing to protest an increase in his property taxes, which will add about $200 to his annual bill. “I’m already having trouble making my monthly bills and this is one more expense that’s driving me out of the village,” says Mr. White, who works for the county government.

    His family is already taking vacations closer to home and eating less meat for dinner. He and his wife recently changed life-insurance policies to save $90 a month. “Everything seems to go up except for your paycheck,” he says.

  7. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Government Got What It Asked for in Housing Bust: Caroline Baum

    In its rush to hold hearings, assign blame and seek redress for the collapse of the housing market, the U.S. Congress has looked every which way but inward.

    No wonder. Homeownership-for-all has been a goal of policy for so long lawmakers have forgotten the role they played in the current spate of “no-doc” loans gone bad.

    From legislation to root out discrimination in mortgage lending, to the resultant relaxation of lending standards, to the tax-advantaged status of housing, “the aggressive pursuit of homeownership as a benchmark for success is at the root of the problems we’re seeing today,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com.

    “We need to create incentives for investment, for businesses to operate in the U.S., instead of consumption,” says Joe Carson, director of economic research at AllianceBernstein. “Housing is a non-productive asset. It doesn’t create income.”

    Better to invest in manufacturing plants and office buildings that create streams of income, Carson says. “Maybe we should be focusing on the income that people need to support a home.”

    At some point, maybe we will. Right now, Congress is too busy being reactive — trying to keep people in homes they couldn’t afford to begin with — to be proactive.

  8. bairen says:

    I’ve been thinking of movie titles that would describe this housing bubble/bust.

    1) There Will Be Blood.

    2) Sudden Impact

    3) The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    4) The Longest Yard (awesome pun)

    5) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

  9. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Pain of Foreclosures Spreads to the Affluent

    This wooded town of roughly 60,000 on Long Island Sound — home to dozens of hedge funds, many millionaires and more than a few billionaires — is one of the wealthiest enclaves in the country. But even Greenwich is not immune to the wave of home foreclosures sweeping the nation.

    On Stanwich Road, for example, a house worth $2.6 million is close to going on the block. On Hettiefred Road, the owner of a 2,720-square-foot, four-bedroom colonial featuring a luxury kitchen, swimming pool and tennis court, has been threatened with foreclosure for months. Several dozen other owners in Greenwich have received foreclosure notices this year.

    But there is a difference from most other communities. Auctioning off such homes is a far greater challenge here than elsewhere, as affluent but cash-squeezed owners often find ways to delay losing their homes, sometimes by coming up with just enough to make last-minute payments avoiding a final sale — for a while, anyway.

    Just ask John Thygerson, who parked his Jeep sport utility vehicle in front of the empty house on Hettiefred Road on the flawless spring day last Saturday.

    As a foreclosure auctioneer, he was scheduled — for the third time since January — to sell the house. But the owner, a construction business owner who has fallen on hard times, made a last-minute mortgage payment and the foreclosure was postponed yet again.

    So Mr. Thygerson was there to shoo prospective buyers off the property, nod at inquisitive neighbors and stake out a new spot for a fourth set of foreclosure signs after the first three had been mysteriously torn down.

    “We never had a case that had gone through three separate sales attempts,” he said, still dazed that the auction failed to take place. “Greenwich being Greenwich, foreclosures are a rare occurrence.”

    The town, which typically has about half a dozen foreclosure notices each month, recorded 34 filings in January, according to RealtyTrac.

  10. grim says:

    Hal Greenspan runs a pawn shop? How fitting, how perfectly fitting. Sam, you’ve got to be making this up.

    In hard times, pawnbrokers’ trade is booming

    When Lisa Hanna walked out of an Asbury Park pawn shop recently, she set off a gold rush.

    Hanna, a teacher at Ocean Township High School, went back and told colleagues how much money she had reaped by selling old pieces of gold jewelry. Before long, her fellow teachers were trekking to Century Pawnbrokers to exchange their gold for cash, too. One teacher pocketed more than $2,000. Another, $900. “Found money,” Hanna called it.

    Just another day, said Hal Greenspan, who co-owns Century pawn shops in Asbury Park, Keyport and Lakewood. He said at least 20 teachers, all from Ocean Township, have entered his shop over the past few weeks to exchange gold for money.

    “People seem to have exhausted all their possibilities, whether it’s maxing out credit cards or whatever, and bank loans are not a possibility right now with the mortgage market as bad as it is,” he said. “It’s not easy to refinance now.”

    With the economy teetering on the brink of recession and gold prices near record highs, pawnshop owners say they’re seeing a steady stream of new customers, like Hanna, dropping off their valuables to get either fast loans or quick cash.

    “Everyone is looking for a little extra money right now,” the teacher said. “We’re in the middle of contract negotiations, so everyone is panicking moneywise. No one has had a raise this year.”

  11. grim says:

    I wonder what his buddies Ken Bernanke and Frank Paulson do…

  12. lostinny says:

    I know someone that must really be regretting giving up that pawn shop.

  13. sas says:

    “Is Manhattan Immune from the Real Estate Bust?”

    From what I’ve seen, alot of European money coming into NYC buying real estate and many…many tourists. I think this is propping things up for the short term.

    However, alot of inventory is being built.
    Example 6 buildings in the past 3 years, w/ in a 10 block radius near my ol’ brownstone.

    and, the Wall St. layoffs is starting to trickle down. If layoffs get as big as I think it will, the trickle down effect will be pretty large, and its going to hurt this town financially. Which, in turn, will hit NJ 10x harder.


  14. rhymingrealtor says:


    Your post made me smile, movie titles can be found for everything trust me I know. A tricky tray I ran 4 years ago was based totally on movies,I spent weeks upon weeks making the program, every basket had a movie title based on the prizes it contained, not only the title but the year. It was truly “An Affair to remember” (1957)


  15. BC Bob says:

    “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”


    Spot on. Who plays Nurse Rached?


  16. grim says:


    Replacing residents with absentee owners has a long-term economic impact that needs to be to be weighed here. Although I admit, it is well beyond my ability to quantify. A Londoner with a flat in NYC shops for groceries every week and goes out to eat as well, but the vast majority of those weeks are in London, not NYC. While I agree that foreign money is currently having a stabilizing effect on NYC real estate, what will the long term effect be?

  17. bairen says:

    #15 BC Bob,

    Greenspan seems a good choice.
    although I do not want to visualize him in a nurse’s uniform.

  18. bairen says:

    #14 rhymingrealtor,

    I was thinking of doing one for rap groups/albums/ and songs too.

    “House of Pain” came to mind instantly and I couldn’t think of anything as appropriate.

    Maybe John can help out?

  19. sas says:

    “what will the long term effect be?”

    good point, hard to say right now.
    If the NYC economy and Wall St pick up, many will have Euro landlords.

    But if it doesn’t, which its looking that way, Euros may unload and really drive down the RE market?

    hard to say…. but we will be “keeping a watchful eye”

    ; )


  20. sas says:

    but, if you haven’t been in NYC lately,

    man….you would think you are in Europe.


  21. BC Bob says:

    The blogs win!!! Now, if we could only get Bergabe/Hank to listen??

    “The L.A. Times reports this morning that the Dodd-Frank mortgage rescue plan is in trouble in Congress: “Mortgage industry intransigence, voter anger over possible government aid for speculators and economists’ fear that thousands of homeowners might just walk away from troubled loans are contributing to a potential stalemate.”

    “The anti-bailout sentiment so widespread on housing bubble blogs appears to be a factor in the bill’s troubles:” [Edit: You Go Grim]


  22. BC Bob says:

    JB [16],

    How about the dollar rallies and real estate prices fall? Sounds like a double whammy to me. Anybody buying RE solely as a currency play better watch their back side.

  23. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (8)-


  24. Clotpoll says:

    sas (19)-

    What did the Japanese do in the ’90s?

    We’ve seen this before. Won’t be any different this time around.

  25. Sean says:

    re: (21) Bob just more smoke and mirrors.
    The lobbyists for the real estate, finance, insurance and the home builders have much more pull in DC than a bunch of bloggers.
    Since when does an “economist” measure sentiment by reading blogs?

    The banks do not want to start taking 15% write downs across the board to get a Billion taxpayer funded bailout.

    The Dems want things to get worse, I stick by my 2008 prediction there will be no housing bailout until after the election. Angry and poor folks make for the best voters.

  26. Sean says:

    Latest DC stonewalling.

    Administration ‘Strongly Opposes’ Democrats’ Foreclosure-Relief Bill

    By Lori Montgomery
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, April 25, 2008; Page D03

    The Bush administration “strongly opposes” a Democratic plan to rescue homeowners at risk of foreclosure, a top housing official said yesterday, offering the administration’s clearest rejection of the proposal.

    In a letter to lawmakers, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Roy A. Bernardi called the plan to permit the Federal Housing Administration to help refinance as much as $300 billion in troubled mortgages unnecessary and irresponsible, saying it could saddle taxpayers with thousands of failing loans.

    “This legislation may come at a cost to taxpayers who are not participating in the new program. An attempt to shift costs to taxpayers would constitute a bailout,” Bernardi wrote. “We believe there are simpler and more targeted ways to accomplish the goals of the bill by relying on existing market forces and FHA practices.”

    The letter came as the House Financial Services Committee began detailed consideration of the bill, Washington’s most aggressive proposal for easing the mortgage meltdown that is driving the nation toward a recession. Under the measure, the FHA would offer to insure failing mortgages if banks agree to forgive a portion of the loans to make them more affordable and to reflect plummeting home prices.

    The panel’s chairman, Barney Frank (D-Mass.), had hoped that the White House would support the plan. The administration has twice expanded FHA’s role in addressing the housing crisis and recently announced that it would urge lenders to forgive some debt. But yesterday’s letter, Frank said, initially struck him as a “veto threat.”

    “I thought we were moving together. Now I don’t know where we are,” Frank said. He added that administration officials might reconsider once the proposal is packaged with legislation that they support, including bills on FHA modernization and tougher oversight of mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Frank’s committee is set to vote on the measure next week; a vote in the full House could come during the first week of May. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said he expects to begin work on a similar measure by May 6.

    But Bernardi’s letter suggests that there is little room for compromise. To reach the most troubled homeowners, Democrats want to sharply relax eligibility standards for FHA loans, an idea “that would force the agency and taxpayers to take on excessive risk and would jeopardize its stability,” Bernardi wrote. Democrats also want a new oversight board that could adjust FHA policies to respond to the housing crisis. Bernardi said such a board would “unnecessarily expand the role of government in the market” and “make the FHA program cumbersome and inefficient.”

    Bernardi questioned whether lenders would participate in a program that would require them to reduce the size of loan principals, as well as forgive fees and penalties.

    Republicans on Frank’s committee raised another objection, saying they could not vote for any plan that rewards irresponsible borrowers.

    “For me and for many of my colleagues on this side of the aisle, the fundamental issue remains one of fairness,” said Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.), the panel’s ranking Republican. “I believe it will unfairly benefit a few homeowners, many investors and speculators, at the expense of millions of careful borrowers and renters.”

  27. Clotpoll says:

    Sean (26)-

    The bailout will come. The banks and RE lobby will buy off the Congressmen they need to make it happen. This is just the posturing before the final action…which will probably occur at 3 AM, with the actual bailout being buried in some other, unrelated piece of legislation.

  28. sas says:

    “What did the Japanese do in the ’90s?”

    yes, I agree. In the longer term, nothing will be different.

    but as for now, and the shorter term, the Europeans are keeping things alive. But this will not last long.


  29. Shore Guy says:

    # 8

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Rashomon (Since everyone sees the current state of things differently)

    The Thing


    Night (or in this case, Year) of the Living Dead

    The Unknown (As in what the hell is the RIGHT price and when will we reach bottom)

    The Haunting (What vultures do to sellers)_

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    Terror at Tate Manor

    Helter Skelter

    Hillbillys in a Haunted House (Maybe one in Caldwell?)

    Evil Behind You

    The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies (How the RE industry views low ballers?)

    Weasels Rip My Flesh (How sellers view low ballers (and can’t doctors do something for that condition nowadays?))


    Attack of the Puppet People

    Attack of the Flesh Devouring Space Worms from Outer Space

    Blood Slaves of the Vampire Wolf

    Breakfast of Imbeciles

    Day of the Nightmare

    Fools in the Dark

    Hey, Stop Stabbing Me!

    Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (An official title from NAR?)

    Satan’s Cheerleaders (NAR-speak for the posters on this blog??)

    The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood (See lowballers)

    Vampire Hookers (another name for a certain type of Realtor ????, maybe a lowballer’s buyer’s agent?)

    Three on a Meathook

    The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here! (What RE agents say when the Vulture Fund members start showing up at an open house?)

    The Creature Wasn’t Nice (What overpriced sellers say when they get lowballed)

    Please Don’t Eat the Babies (What lowballed sellers say after realizing that they are a day away from foreclosure, they are overpriced, and the lowballer has all of the power.)

    Hide and Go Shriek

  30. lostinny says:

    Sales of single-family homes on Staten Island tick up
    Staten Island Advance


  31. Shore Guy says:

    # 17 “Greenspan seems a good choice.
    although I do not want to visualize him in a nurse’s uniform.”

    I hear he only wears the nurse’s uniform on special occasions and that Andrea prefers him dressed in a french maid’s uniform. At least then he is dressed to clean up a mess, something he did not do at the Fed. Maybe we should get Big Ben a french maid’s uniform? He has a big mess of someone eles’s making to clean up.

  32. Shore Guy says:


    I believe your assessment that the spineless wimps on Capitol Hill will try to rush a “rescue plan” into law; however, I am not certain that it will actually go into effect. Bush, proving the adage that even a broken clock is correct twice a day, will veto any Democratic plan and the Dems will torpedo any Republican plan. As we get closer to summer, each party will want to have the issue to beat the other party over the head with.

  33. kettle1 says:


    titles for the housing bust….


  34. Shore Guy says:

    When it comes to housing finance the title best reflecting a return to analyzing a buyer’s ability to pay might be: Revenge of the Nerds.

  35. kettle1 says:

    NJ Patient,

    from yesterday regarding lehmans prediction of oil price at end of year ($90 +/- 50%).

    SO if i can out predict lehman then do i get the suckers job who made this call????

  36. kettle1 says:


    are you from the UK / have family there???

  37. Shore Guy says:

    I dont know if this has been posted before:


    It is a CBO letter and report on the current housing situation.

  38. kettle1 says:

    Are there any general stats as to what % of monthly costs utilities are?

  39. John says:

    Too bad SI sales are up, some Post reporter would have loved the headline “SI Home Sales Are in the Dumps”

  40. lostinny says:

    OT and and FYI
    Jet Blue just opened up booking for holiday travel. Prices are much better then the other airlines. If you’re planning to travel for the holidays you may want to look at it now.

  41. lostinny says:

    39 John
    It doesn’t matter where you buy in SI. You’ll always be in the dump.

  42. John says:

    Nothing to do with Real Estate, but since so many people have kids, where would be a good summer family vacation place to take three kids, 16 months, 6 and 7 for a few days within a one to three hour drive of Manhattan?

  43. Painhrtz says:

    The Japanese committed suicide (actual) by the thousands due to the shame of accruing so much debt. Sadly, Americans won’t show the same shame aversion and the initiative to remove themselves from society as our Japanese friends.

  44. 3b says:

    #16 grim: I wonder at what point do the foreigners realize that they may be the only ones keeping up prices in Manhattan?

  45. scribe says:

    From the WSJ:

    U.S. Agency Helps Prop Up Housing Market
    April 25, 2008; Page A4

    WASHINGTON — The Bush administration regularly dismisses the idea of stepping in to prop up the housing market. Behind the scenes, a government agency is doing just that.

    Last year, the Federal Housing Administration’s insurance fund paid $158.6 million in incentives to keep lenders from foreclosing on mortgages backed by the government. That is a 61% leap from five years ago, according to government data. As a result, more than six in 10 homeowners who defaulted on FHA-insured loans were able to stay in their houses, up from three in 10 in 2000.

    That kind of spending is likely to soar if Congress pushes forward with proposals that would substantially increase the government’s exposure to such loans. It is also likely to play a major role in political debate about the scope of government intervention in the housing market.

    Democrats are promoting bills that would help refinance challenged borrowers into affordable loans backed by the FHA. As many as two million mortgages with a value of $300 billion could be included. These borrowers would then be eligible for the kind of helping hand offered to existing FHA homeowners.

    Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and one of the sponsors of the bills, has estimated his proposal could cost between $3 billion and $6 billion. It isn’t yet clear whether that total will include any potential increase in incentives to lenders.

    Republicans cite these debt workouts for troubled borrowers as a major concern. They say the FHA has pushed mortgage servicers to make loan modifications that are unlikely to work, and that the system is open to cheating by borrowers who deliberately withhold payments.

    “Markets go up, they go down, and the government should not be involved in determining which way they go,” Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) said during a House Financial Services Committee meeting on Mr. Frank’s bill.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the FHA, said Thursday that it “strongly opposes” Mr. Frank’s bill. The legislation would “force the agency and taxpayers to take on excessive risk and would jeopardize its stability,” it said in a letter to panel members. The letter stopped short of threatening a presidential veto.

    The FHA was created during the Depression to encourage lenders to work with low-income borrowers. Holders of FHA-insured loans did better in 2007 at keeping up with their payments than subprime mortgage borrowers. In previous years, though, both groups had similar delinquency rates, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data.

    Foreclosure rates among FHA-backed loans are much lower because the agency is required to do everything it can to persuade lenders to modify loan terms. Subprime borrowers can seek help from programs run by industry groups, such as Hope Now, but no government funds are involved.

    The FHA says its workouts are a cost-effective solution in keeping with its social mission, preventing losses of up to $2 billion a year if the homes are foreclosed upon, and saving whole neighborhoods.

    Average payments to lenders agreeing to modify loan terms ranged from $136 to $7,169 last year, depending on the type of arrangement. By contrast, the FHA insurance fund had to pay loan servicers an average of $98,740 for every mortgage that ended in foreclosure.

    If a home is foreclosed on, the agency can then sell the house through the HUD Homes scheme, a favorite of bargain-hunters, but the amount recouped has been steadily falling and stands at about 55 cents out of every dollar.

    Laurie Maggiano, deputy director of the FHA’s office of single-family asset management, says only about 12% of workouts fail and the FHA has never had to appropriate money to help its insurance fund pay out foreclosure claims. But, she warned “that could potentially change.”

    Ms. Maggiano said the agency was trying to get back some of its traditional borrowers who in recent years had turned instead to subprime loans. She said those borrowers could add premiums that would strengthen the insurance fund. She had a warm reception from Democrats on Capitol Hill last week as she promoted the advantages of FHA’s workout program in a House committee hearing.

    Some economists warn that if workout agreements fail — merely postponing foreclosures, rather than preventing them — the insurance fund will lose even more down the road.

    Christopher Mayer, a real-estate professor at Columbia Business School, said putting off foreclosure works when house prices are rising. But it can rack up a bigger loss if prices fall further while a delinquent borrower is allowed to stay in their home.

    “It may well have been true that this was a very good strategy between 2001 and 2006,” he said. But “there’s some reason to believe that the strategy of working loans out in a falling housing market…just leaves lenders in worse shape than they were before.”


  46. bi says:

    are you guys still bearish on lending and housing? SRS is at $80, lowest since last august. by the way, where is my $1500 gold?

  47. rhymingrealtor says:

    “Death of a Salesman” (1949)


  48. PGC says:

    #42 StrawMan

    Sesame Place http://www.sesameplace.com/sesame/pa/index.aspx

    Hershey Park.

  49. lisoosh says:

    kettle1 Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 8:57 am

    “are you from the UK / have family there???”

    Yes. What do yu want to know?

  50. grim says:

    Sales of single-family homes on Staten Island tick up
    Staten Island Advance


    Based on a month over month non seasonally adjusted comparison. Sales have *ALWAYS* been higher in March than February. This isn’t saying anything about sales improvement, it is simply a statement about seasonality.

    Shame on you. Shame, shame shame.

    Of course, buried in the text is the truth, March sales down 19% on a year over year basis.

    The real question is, was this done intentionally? Or was this simply sloppy journalism?

  51. Willow says:


    Adirondacks. There is a website, adirondacks by owner, that has rentals. If you need things to do, you can make sure you’re close enough to Lake George – water parks, shopping, dining. We rented in Garnet Hill in North River which was about 20 minutes north of Lake George.

  52. gary says:

    Movie Titles and Real Estate:


  53. lisoosh says:

    PGC – yes, both really good suggestions.

    And of course, the old staple of the beach – Jersey Shore. Or how about Long Island sound? Or Mystic Seaport and then over to Newport RI?

  54. bi says:

    48#, there is also a place called dutch wonderland in lancaster nearby. these places are good for kids under 10.

  55. Pat says:

    John, you mean something besides Seaside Heights or Belmar on Dunkin Donuts end?

    Sesame Place is too crowded unless you go during the week. Every SAHM in Bucks County and in Trenton buys a season pass and takes the kids there daily for free babysitting while Mom sits in a plastic chair and chats on the cell phone. [I think I just re-ignited the debate???]

    This is kind of a long 2.5 hour drive, but a little different. You have to reserve the old park…There’s plenty of camping space.cabins months in advance, or stay in a hotel a few miles away. If you like to rough it, take a tent and pop it up in the back of the


  56. lisoosh says:

    Laurie – 5 kids?
    You’ll have awsome holiday dinners in a few years and lots of grandkids you can hand back when they start acting up.

  57. BC Bob says:

    bi [46],

    For someone who was shorting crude at $68 and stating that the writedowns were finished, don’t you think your time would be better utilized with your head in this;


  58. #50 – Avg. price was down y/o/y by almost %10 too.

    The real question is, was this done intentionally? Or was this simply sloppy journalism?

    Good question. I’d hedge and say a combination of both.

  59. Pat says:

    Oops…??? You have to reserve a cabin if you want one. There are some hotels a few miles away, or you can also put up tents.

  60. make money says:

    On the Island, the total number of homes sold in the borough in March was 200, down from 316 in March of last year but up from 160 last month. That figure includes one- and two- family homes, attached houses, condominiums and co-ops.

    The average price for that broad category of homes was $432,896 in March, compared to $446,000 in February and $455,452 in March of last year.

    You got to be kidding me. Of course sales are gonna be up from February to March. They always are.

    These journalist need to be hung for TREASON.

  61. vins all says:

    Signs of Life for Housing

    “Meanwhile, home prices will continue to fall in many areas into 2009. Hurting the most: Detroit, Cleveland and other Midwest cities heavily dependent on the beleaguered auto industry for employment. Also, New York City and nearby suburbs in New Jersey and Connecticut, hit by a large wave of layoffs in financial services industries.”


  62. The average price also fell, from $525,887 in March 2007 to $483,624 during the same month this year.
    The clincher from the SI Advance article.
    You would think this would be more important than a month-on-month sales volume increase.

  63. lostinny says:

    50 Grim
    Shame on me? I hope you mean shame on the journalist. And I use that term loosely. When I post articles from the Advance, it’s not to say this is the truth. It’s to say look at the stupidity of the people reading this that might actually believe.
    That aside, I do believe SI will be the last place to where sellers will capitulate. SI has always been a very desirable place to live in the 5 boroughs because of the price and the good public schools in comparison to the rest of NYC. I’ll leave the segregation out of it.

  64. John says:

    Kiddie amusement parks suggestions or camping vacation will cause my wife to hit me squarely on the head, my wife is more the nice hotel near a beach with a pool and a nice hotel breakfast area with some family things nearby like minture golf and family friendly places to eat. She always reminds me it is her vacation too and places that are even more work than when at home is no vacation. Got anything like that?

  65. Al says:

    This is a good one:
    Auction-Bond Flops Stick Student-Loan Investors With 0% Rates

    April 25 (Bloomberg) — More than $9 billion of auction- rate bonds sold by student-loan agencies in states from Pennsylvania to Utah have trapped investors in debt that’s not paying interest.

    Rates on Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency bonds backed by student loans were set at 0 percent April 4 after auctions to determine interest costs attracted too few bidders. The same occurred on more than 10 percent of the $86 billion of student-loan debt, as failures triggered provisions in bond documents that limit the interest agencies must pay, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Some Mortgages yields are negative, student loans are at 0 – good times to look for SAFE investment vehicle.


  66. lostinny says:

    65 John
    Would you take the ride to LBI?

  67. prtraders2000 says:

    I still like Great Adventure for the kids. They’ve got something for all ages. Get there early and do the drive through safari. Just don’t bring the convertible. I saw the monkeys go to town on one.

  68. PGC says:

    Does anyone know if NY (Queens) mortgages are online in the same way Morris County is. Or do I have to take a trip to the county office?

  69. Al says:

    another part of a paper:
    The collapse left public student-loan issuers unable to raise additional capital in the market. No new municipal bonds backed by student loans, including auction-rate debt, were sold in the first quarter, the first time that happened in almost 40 years, according to Thomson Reuters.

    “We need bonds that are out there for 30 to 40 years,” said Jamie Wolfe, chief financial officer of NorthStar Education Finance Inc., a nonprofit organization in St. Paul, Minnesota, that provides student loans to medical students. “That’s what these auction bonds do for us.”

    Halting Loans

    Without access to funds, NorthStar stopped processing applications this month for federally backed loans, joining dozens of state agencies, private firms and nonprofit groups that have curbed lending to students.

    NorthStar bundled $800 million, or 20 percent, of its loans into auction-rate debt sold to investors since 2002. One $30 million issue of NorthStar bonds reset at 0 percent on March 5 from 6.9 percent in January

  70. Painhrtz says:

    Sagmore Hotel, Love Lake George, my inlaws have a place an hour North of there and we go every chance we get. Taste of Poland is a favorite on the main drag best Polish food this side of Warsaw and Wallington.

  71. Cindy says:

    “You’ve Got Mail”

  72. John says:

    I would do the ride to LBI if I knew where to stay, years ago I went to Cape May and got turned off cause all the horrible dumpy motels took kids and the nice bed and breakfasts did not allow kids or charged you so much extra for more than two kids in the room it was not worth it.

    Sagmore Hotel sounds nice!

  73. lostinny says:

    69 PGC
    I believe you can search on this site:


  74. PGC says:

    #65 Strawman

    On the otherside of the room
    http://www.mohonk.com/ Expensive but an experience

  75. grim says:

    Shame on me?

    No no, not you, the Advance. I see this thing all the time.

    Non-business oriented journalists will talk to folks in the real estate biz to get the pulse. The RE industry will do two things, they’ll talk up the seasonal increase in sales during the early part of the year and chalk it up to “market strength”. Likewise, during the latter part of the year, they’ll talk up the decrease in inventory. They always leave out the part about these changes being normal seasonal movements.

  76. bcamp111 says:


    If you’re looking for the Jersey Shore I’m partial to Long Beach Island. It’s good for families b/c it’s relatively quiet and not popular with the college crowd because there aren’t many bars or clubs. Also, as long as you aren’t on the south end in Beach Haven there isn’t a lot of public parking so the beaches don’t get very crowded. Another added bonus is Fantasy Island. It’s a cheesy little amusement park but perfect for young kids……

    I’m just partial though, my family has a place in LBI and thats where I used to spend the summers as a kid. Lot’s of good memories there……..

  77. Doyle says:

    I’ve never been to the Sagmore, but my old boss’s home situation sounds exactly like your’s John. He goes to the Sagmore every summer.

  78. grim says:

    62.5, ouch. Both down and below consensus.

  79. Al says:

    “We need to create incentives for investment, for businesses to operate in the U.S., instead of consumption,” says Joe Carson, director of economic research at AllianceBernstein. “Housing is a non-productive asset. It doesn’t create income.”

    Wow!!! I think somebody has beeing reading Grim’s Blog – we’ve telling that the house is a non productive asset (e.g. wooden box which sits on a piece of land a rots) for a while.

  80. lostinny says:

    73 John
    I can’t recommend a hotel as I’ve always stayed at a rented house. Maybe you want to look into renting for the week?

  81. Shore Guy says:

    # 62 “Find your hook????
    Be a hunter, not a gatherer????”

    And, bang your drum in the woods while taking deep clensing breaths and chanting ohmmmmm, ohmmmmm.

  82. lostinny says:

    82 Shore
    Don’t mix up yoga with tribal rituals.

  83. bcamp111 says:


    This is a pretty good place to stay in LBI on the ocean block. Also, week long house rentals down there aren’t all that badly priced.


  84. Shore Guy says:

    # 65 There are som good deals on seaside villas on St. Barths. High season you can get a nice 3 bedroom place with a pool and right onthe beach for less than $10,000 a week. It is very nice.

  85. Shore Guy says:

    # 65 There are some good deals on seaside villas on St. Barths. High season you can get a nice 3 bedroom place with a pool and right onthe beach for less than $10,000 a week. It is very nice.

  86. Mikeinwaiting says:

    John 65 Wildwood Crest we go almost every year. Have a great motel on the beach. Not fancy clean ,reasonable, been staying there for over 30 years. Done LBI like the wood better.

  87. Shore Guy says:

    # 83 Anything it takes to sell a house. Now hand me that chicken…

  88. lostinny says:

    88 Shore
    Ha! I got a rubber chicken for ya but I don’t think it will work as well. :)

  89. Sybarite says:

    Anyone looking in Denville? This seems like a decent value, on the surface:

    Disclaimer: I haven’t dug deeply into the details of this one, it just looked like a decent deal. Got an auto-email about it from a realtor, so approach with caution.

  90. Shore Guy says:

    # 89 No. I think there needs to be blood. Has anyone else ever stumbled across sacraficed chickens on the beach? I believe it is part of a Saanteria ritual.

  91. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore Don’t forget the St Joseph statue.

  92. ithink-ithink says:

    It’s A Wonderful Life

    You – you said – what’d you say a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken down that they… Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about… they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him. But to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.

  93. That aside, I do believe SI will be the last place to where sellers will capitulate. SI has always been a very desirable place to live in the 5 boroughs because of the price and the good public schools in comparison to the rest of NYC.

    #64 – lost – I’ll both agree and disagree with you here. I agree that SI will be one of the last places to capitulate, but mainly because these people are so ridiculously over leveraged they have no choice about holding firm on their prices. Uggz boots have to be paid for somehow.
    I will disagree that SI is desirable in any way shape of form. There is no reason at all to recommend it other than as a possible test site for new thermobaric weapons, which would only improve it.
    I currently live in the Shaolin, hence my disposition to it.

  94. 3b says:

    BC Bob: Are you familiar with this:

    Matrix Unit TR UT Ser-2 High Yield. It looks like a ETF or possibly UT. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  95. chicagofinance says:


    3. From the Something Has To Give Department: What would the result be right now if Aaron Heilman pitched to Carlos Delgado?

  96. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Fell More Than Forecast

    U.S. consumer confidence fell more than forecast in April to its lowest level in 26 years, a sign record gasoline prices and rising unemployment will prompt Americans to curb spending.

    The Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment decreased to 62.6, the weakest since 1982, from 69.5 the prior month. The measure was down from a preliminary estimate of 63.2 issued on April 11.

    Consumers are growing increasingly anxious as the economy has lost almost a quarter million jobs so far this year, the cost of refueling a car is up 17 percent and property values fall. Sales of big-ticket items such as houses and cars have weakened as a result, contributing to a slowdown in spending that may bring an end to the six-year expansion.

    “Consumers are feeling the pinch, not only from the labor market, but also from prices,” Aaron Smith, an economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “There’s a squeeze on incomes from two sides. From higher prices for energy and food, and a weaker labor market.”

    Economists had forecast the consumer sentiment gauge would fall to 63.2 from 69.5 in March, according to the median of 60 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from a low of 62 to a high of 72.

  97. chicagofinance says:

    3b Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 10:20 am
    BC Bob: Are you familiar with this:
    Matrix Unit TR UT Ser-2 High Yield. It looks like a ETF or possibly UT. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    3b: I’ve was away….I will take a look at this in the next few hours, but I have a bunch of crap to clear off my desk. I not an expert in this area….

  98. lisoosh says:

    The Sagamore does sound great. Any big resort hotel should also offer kids activities and babysitting so you and your wife could get some time at the spa, have a nice meal and stuff and some couple time as well as doing things with the kids.

    It’s more than an hours drive (more like 9 driving or an hour by plane) but I like Quebec and Montreal for family vacations. And Chateau Frontenac is amazing, one of the great hotels.

  99. lostinny says:

    94 toshiro
    I also live on the dump. I do not EVER recommend moving to SI. As a matter of fact if we could pick the bridges up and send it sailing away, I’d be more then thrilled. However, people who don’t live, here and look to move here from other areas of the city, compare it to the area they are currently in. They see cheaper prices for more room and better schools. That’s why they come here.
    I’m sure being overleveraged is one reason they won’t capitulate. But many of them think this is shangrila. They like being away from the “bad element”. However, the bad element, even on the island, is everywhere. Unfortunately, they don’t see it that way.

  100. Pat says:

    Suspended animation. Heat waves rising off of a road in a Nicolas Cage type of scene?


  101. Sean says:

    re (65) John,

    Fire island can be a wonderful experience for the inexperienced.

  102. 3b says:

    #98 Thanks Chgo.

  103. Sean says:

    So what are the chances Al Sharpton will be blocking traffic in and out of the city today?


  104. njpatient says:

    14 rhyming

    You’d love the Oscar party at the Patient household: theme foods/drinks for each of the nominated films.

  105. njpatient says:

    21 BC


  106. kettle1 says:


    I was wondering what if any plans or consideration you friends/family may be considering due to the imminent closure of grange mouth and the potential for fuel lines and rocketing prices?

  107. #100 – I know exactly what mean. Old timers consider the Verrazano the worst thing that ever happened to the island. I can’t disagree.
    It’s a shame too, it could be a pretty cool place. There is a lot of interesting/odd architecture & ancient houses completely obscured by Fedders boxes.
    I’ll be moving back to NJ this summer though.

  108. gary says:

    Dear Members of Realogy, Weichert and Century 21,

    From 2000 to 2007, house prices have increased approximately 90% in the NY/NJ metropolitan area. The main reason for this, as we now know, was the proliferation of fraudulent loans, the detachment of lending standards as well as deceptive tactics used by the appraisal industry. During that same time period, salaries have risen approximately 16%.

    Now that these deceitful practices have been removed and previous industry standards restored, what recommendation do you propose in regard to financing based on a median income of $60,000 per year for the NY/NJ area?

  109. BC Bob says:

    3b [95],


  110. njpatient says:

    35 kettle

    Yes you should.

  111. Secondary Market says:

    That made me laugh real hard for some reason. I’d say grounder to first. Unless it was a slider over the plate….lazy fly to right.

  112. jcer says:

    John in Cape May you could possibly book at Congress Hall, very nice hotel rooms a little expensive but not dumpy well worth it. Right in the center of town and it has a pool. Much nicer than LBI, good restaurants and if you want to take the kids to some amusements Wildwood is 10 minutes away but it can get a little scary there.

  113. Mikeinwaiting says:

    113 jcer What are you scared of in Wildwood
    stay in the crest go to boards with kids. I have no problems for over 30 years.

  114. BC Bob says:

    Chi [96],

    Don’t know. However, I do know it won’t be the same outcome as Mussina to Manny.

  115. RentininNJ says:

    Crude over 119

  116. njpatient says:

    58 tosh

    I disagree. It happens too often to be sloppiness, IMO. RE journalists don’t want to lose their sources, which are builders and the NAR, and they will bend over backwards not to piss them off.

  117. rhymingrealtor says:

    Just to make this weekend dicussion more colorful let’s make all posts with an appropriate movie title, please include the year.


    Jerry Maguire (1996)
    “Show me the money”


  118. Mikeinwaiting says:

    For the grammar police “I’ve had no problem”

  119. jcer says:

    Mike the Crest can be very nice in some parts but the boardwalk is like a traveling freak show, scary isn’t the right word because it really isn’t dangerous. But perhaps your children might see things you’d prefer they not see. I enjoy an occasion trip to the wildwood boardwalk greasy food, sea air, ghetto people, whats not to like. All kidding aside if it is not a holiday or a weekend it’s not bad and the amusement piers are some the the biggest I’ve seen anywhere.

  120. Hehehe says:

    “RentininNJ Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 10:53 am
    Crude over 119”

    Yeah day after it broke through my sell stop. Sector rotating bull morons!

  121. ithink-ithink says:

    Hopefully no one had plans to go today thinking they’d beat the end of month crowd…

    NJ unable to issue driver’s licenses
    State Motor Vehicle Commission spokesman Mike Horan says the digital driver license computer system is down statewide.

  122. Living within my means says:

    Wyeth slashed 1240 jobs today

  123. kettle1 says:

    Nj Patient

    So who do i contact at S&P in order to discuss my candidacy for Mr Wyss’ job?

    David Wyss, chief economist at credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s, gave at an oil and gas round table in New York yesterday. Wyss said he expected oil prices to end the year at $91 a barrel, “plus or minus $50

  124. 3b says:

    #120 Hehe: yes that looks to be it. My father in law said his broker sold this to him, but he never agreed to buy it. I am trying to get soeme details on it.

    High yield means high risk, and before I call the broker, I am trying to find out just what this thing is. Thanks for the start,

  125. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Jicer I go in June or Sept so the boards are not as crazy. Have done peak season to it was dicier then I agree. Still beats the hell out of Seaside or LBI for my money. Crest is dry & beaches are first rate. Do the boards 2 or 3 nights, Cape May most others. The piers are without a doubt the best “watch the tram car please!”. Also plenty of police all over the place. Do it in late June or early Sept its a whole different place. No lines at resturants less freak shows on the boards. Hope to head down Sept this year it is really the best time to go.

  126. JoeR says:

    #108 – went to a wake the other night in SI….the old timers there refer to the Verrazzano as the guinea gangplank.

    However, they say that there has been another drastic change since that term was coined in the 60s-70s.

  127. Hehehe says:

    No problem 3b

  128. Hehehe says:

    A Losing Year at Countrywide, but Not for Chief

    Countrywide Financial’s chief executive, Angelo R. Mozilo, realized $121.5 million from exercising stock options and was awarded $22.1 million of compensation in 2007, a year when the housing slump pummeled the nation’s largest mortgage lender.

  129. rhymingrealtor says:


    My family, husband, kids, parents , sisters, in-laws etal, have always gone to Wildwoodcrest, and North Wildwood. We were planning on going to North Carolina this year but when looking at what the kids wanted to do, it seemed we’d be at beaches and ammusment parks… so with gas being what it is and will be, Wildwood is where we are going. It is my husbands favorite also and turns out we’d found out we were there together, but apart as children.
    Add to that I am a:
    “Jersey Girl” (1992)
    the deal’s sealed.


  130. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 11:05 am
    Nj Patient So who do i contact at S&P in order to discuss my candidacy for Mr Wyss’ job?
    David Wyss, chief economist at credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s, gave at an oil and gas round table in New York yesterday. Wyss said he expected oil prices to end the year at $91 a barrel, “plus or minus $50

    ket: I’ve met this guy a few times…. he is really smart and has a dry sense of humor…..completely nice guy and an interesting presenter…

  131. #128 – JoeR – However, they say that there has been another drastic change since that term was coined in the 60s-70s.

    The large influx of Russian immigrants?

  132. JoeR says:

    #133 in a nutshell, yes

  133. kettle1 says:

    Chi Fi

    I am just being a smart azz. the guy is probably very intelligent and i would guess his prediction is guided by corporate considerations. It still looks like a stupid prediction if you can even call it that when you have a 50% margin of error.

  134. RentininNJ says:

    113 jcer What are you scared of in Wildwood
    stay in the crest go to boards with kids. I have no problems for over 30 years.

    We are renting a condo in the Crest this year. Renting a condo is a great option, especially if you can go in on it with another family. It’s only a little more $ than staying in a dumpy Wildwood hotel, but much nicer.

  135. lisoosh says:

    Don’t think Manhattan can rely on Europe for long. Maybe rich Arabs will save them:


    Euro dives as wheels fly off eurozone economy

    “The euro has suffered its sharpest drop in four years as a blizzard of weak data from Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain spark fears that economic contagion may be spreading from the Anglo-Saxon world to Europe.

    ….David Owen, an economist at Dresdner Kleinwort, said Europe would soon be engulfed by the twin effects of a “collapse in export volumes” and a slow motion credit squeeze. “The wheels are coming off the eurozone economy,” he said.

    BNP Paribas warned clients yesterday that the “decoupling story” was no longer credible. “We see Europe in the early stage of a credit crunch, and if we are right credit supply will shut down,” it said.”

  136. JoeR says:

    #76 Grim: The SI Advance isn’t always slanted. They sometimes have good stories:

    Rats on the rampage at vacant Staten Island properties

    by Staten Island Advance Friday
    January 25, 2008, 9:50 PM

    The welcome mat is out for rats, as numerous homes sit vacant for lengthy periods due to the recent spike in foreclosures and the sagging real estate market on Staten Island.

    The rodents find safe haven in the often unkempt properties.

    Entire story here:


  137. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Been going for most of my life. Have done Disney, islands always liked the wood best. Stay right on the beach in crest + pool. It’s a vacation it’s not supposed to be a hassle. That is why I like it best. Not to mention it’s cost effective. Have a great time. I always do.

  138. rhymingrealtor says:


    I’ve been looking for a condo myself, but I need a pool?

  139. chicagofinance says:

    OT My new favorite Met:
    By the way, Wrigley Field is friggin’ awesome if it is not obvious from the video….


  140. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 11:32 am
    Chi Fi It still looks like a stupid prediction if you can even call it that when you have a 50% margin of error.

    ket: he was joking…

  141. lisoosh says:

    kettle1 Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 10:36 am

    “I was wondering what if any plans or consideration you friends/family may be considering due to the imminent closure of grange mouth and the potential for fuel lines and rocketing prices?”

    Well, I’m here so makes no diff to me. Not aware that anybody is doing anything. Parents are older, don’t drive much exept to the supermarket once a week. Sister is in Central London so they also use the car only sparingly.

    Brits are used to high fuel prices. They drive diesels. Plus public transportation is much better than here and people walk more – it is not nearly such a car-centric society.

    I would imagine a little hording. Lots of grumbling and stiff upper lips and complaints about the Government and calls for dropping the insane taxes on gas. And some more grumbling, and more calls to improve the rail system and some complaining about how the government let the public transportation system degrade to a “shocking standard”. And some commentary about the sad state of the UK and how it relies too much on oil, and some cutting back. And some old agers going on about the war, and how everybody used to stick together through the tough times.

    And then everybody will say, well at least we are not the Yanks, they could never deal with these prices, and they’ll all agree that America is spoiled, and how superior Brits are for being able to suffer deprivation and smile through it. And then they’ll get on with it.

    I’m stereotyping of course.

  142. Hard Place says:

    Stratton is really nice in the summer. Did it twice. We stayed in a house once w/ a bunch of people and also stayed on the mountain resort. Lots of activities nearby. Hiking, canoeing, paddling, biking, rock climbing, spa, golf, tennis and even nearby shopping. A bit of a drive (4-5hrs), but more amenities than some of the other nearby mountains.

  143. RentininNJ says:

    I’ve been looking for a condo myself, but I need a pool?

    Ours has a pool, but most places do not. We booked a few months ago and many places were already taken. Looks like with a slowing economy & high gas, Wildwood might be a popular spot this year for affordable vacations.

  144. BC Bob says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Crude-oil futures jumped more than $3 in mid-morning trading Friday after news reports that U.S. military force fired at an Iranian boat. A ship contracted by the U.S Military Sealift Command fired at least one shot toward an Iranian boat, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed U.S. defense official. More details were not yet available. Crude-oil for June delivery gained $3.04, or 2.6%, to $119.10 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the news. Crude was trading higher before the report but was up less than $3.

  145. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Renting 136 Do not want to make beds clean & crap on vacation so I do the hotel. Mine is just fine. Grew up there, now the kids run it Mom & Dad old. We grew up knowing each other it’s a good situation. I have “my” room same one every time over looking beach. It works for me. Enjoy!

  146. kettle1 says:

    Chi Fi,

    I doubt that prediction was a joke…. If it was then he needs to make a public statements to the that fact, as his statement is in numerous international publications as S&P’s stance on future oil prices.


  147. Hard Place says:

    BC Bob (137) – New Home Sales & Recession chart.

    Good info. Seems to be a correlation to steepness of the drop and length of recession. Scary at the same time….

  148. make money says:


    Bi, are you still short on oil. There goes the Dollar and the straw that broke the camels back.

  149. chicagofinance says:

    kettle1 Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 11:45 am
    Chi Fi, I doubt that prediction was a joke…. If it was then he needs to make a public statements to the that fact, as his statement is in numerous international publications as S&P’s stance on future oil prices.

    ket: he’s making a joke and a point at the same time….

  150. still_looking says:

    OT and aside –


    Ag Field Day tomorrow.


  151. lisoosh says:

    ket –

    Checked a couple of message boards. Lots of complaining about “greedy oil companies” the “greedy government” and “greedy profiteering gas station owners”.

  152. kettle1 says:

    The last incident with iran ( the capture of british sailors) was partly due to the US/UK drawing exclusion boundaries and not sharing that information with Iran. So is this another attempt at a false flag operation or more pompous behavior from the worlds policeman?

    Any bets on whether the US could actually succeed in an Iranian conflict?

  153. Sean says:

    re: (144) lisoosh – that is no sterotype –
    My uncle who lives in London is under the firm impression that us Yanks will never be able to handle $10 or $12 per gallon gasoline.

    Lately he has been tell my family and the rest of the cousins to to start a cheap bicycle manufacturing plant here is the USA.

  154. kettle1 says:


    if what i have read is correct then i would expect gas lines in at least some areas. They have apparently already begun shut down of the facility and pipeline. It apparently takes 4 weeks to restart both the plant and pipeline again and the UK has “days” of gasoline in storage, not “weeks”. I read a few UK articles and they hint at this, but suggest minimal disruption. Once again, it will be interesting to see how this develops

  155. gary says:

    Dear Members of Realogy, Weichert and Century 21,

    In case you missed my question earlier amidst the hodgepodge of flotsam and jetsam, I still didn’t receive an answer to the following:

    From 2000 to 2007, house prices have increased approximately 90% in the NY/NJ metropolitan area. The main reason for this, as we now know, was the proliferation of fraudulent loans, the detachment of lending standards as well as deceptive tactics used by the appraisal industry. During that same time period, salaries have risen approximately 16%.

    Now that these deceitful practices have been removed and previous industry standards restored, what recommendation do you propose in regard to financing based on a median income of $60,000 per year for the NY/NJ area?

  156. jmacdaddio says:

    I saw a local news report describing how the GSP and NJTPK stations were raising their prices 22 cents per gallon at midnight (the toll road stations can only change prices once per week to avoid any appearance of price gouging). Motorists were lined up for an hour or more to get gas before the price went up. On a 15 gallon vehicle, that’s a savings of a little more than $3.

    Why do Americans think it’s perfectly sane to give up an hour to save $3 on gas? How many of us would spend an hour to save $3 on groceries or anything else for that matter? How will these crybabies act when gas crosses $4, then $5?

  157. BC Bob says:

    “How will these crybabies act when gas crosses $4, then $5?”


    The idiots willl be filling up their hummers and blaming the prices on speculators.

  158. Hard Place says:


    The idiots willl be filling up their hummers and blaming the prices on speculators.

    The true idiots know nothing about the markets. They will be blaming everything on the oil producing nations and the govt.

  159. BC Bob says:

    Hard Place [161],

    True. The idiots in DC will be blaming speculators.

  160. Jill says:

    #33: I think a better spelling is


    Ba-bump-BUMP! But seriously folks; I just flew in from LA and boy are my arms tired.

  161. make money says:

    George: What wrong?

    John: Its the Friggin gas. It’s $6.00 for regular.

    George: Friggin Arabs.

    John: I’m gonna bomb them into stone age and get re-elected like you.

    George: Brilliant!!

    Kettle makes millions being as Oil hits $250 per barrel and BI is bankrupt foreclosed and still blogging and making bottom predictions.

    make money rides into the sunset living modestly on his Euro and Franc dividents and interest.

    title of the movie? I’m still working on it.

  162. make money says:

    Bush is not stupid to start another war. IS he?

  163. Hard Place says:


    Same idiots who drive halfway across town to save 4 cents a gallon or a total of 60 cents. That extra 15 minutes, was it worth it? That means your time is worth 2.40/hr.

  164. John says:

    All this talk of the Verrazano bridge brings back memories. My father was working for carey cadilac back then and at the opening cermony they cut the rope and they had flags on his limo and he drove the first car across the bridge, since he was sitting in front of the then mayor of NY and his cronies he was the first to cross it. In fact Robert Wagnor commented to my Dad that is is quite an honor to be the first to cross the bridge, my Dad jokingly told him it sure is and I should know I am sitting in front of you! I still have the opening day books and material at home that they only gave out to the VIPs, a few were left in the limo.

    Thanks for all the vacation tips I am busy looking up all the links.

  165. Jill says:

    2 random things:

    1) Gas on the Palisades Parkway was $4.09 last night.

    2) Anyone have any thoughts on Vespas? My ride to work is about 9 miles on largely 35-40MPH back roads and I wonder if it would be worth getting one to ride to work. I am 52 and terrified of motorcycles but can ride a bike.

  166. chicagofinance says:

    lisoosh Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 11:55 am
    ket – Checked a couple of message boards. Lots of complaining about “greedy oil companies” the “greedy government” and “greedy profiteering gas station owners”.

    l: Sadly, as much as I want to ignore the complaining of ignorant miscreants, their value of their vote is equal to mine. G-d Bless the USA!

  167. Sassy says:

    #165 Rumor is Bush will start another war after the election results, and let his successor deal with the fallout. Yep, he’s clearly teflon coated.

    If I was eligible for the draft, I’d be a little worried right now.

  168. Pat says:

    John, the best three-day vacation is to leave the kids with Aunt Rose or Cousin Donna and take the wife someplace like Vegas or Bermuda.

    Oh, speaking of Bermuday, you also could take the four day Bermuda cruise. I’ve heard it’s nice.

  169. John says:

    I agree, but no one wants to watch three kids the in-laws are too old and creeky and brother and sisters kids are badly behaved so I don’t want to return the favor! I have been to Bermuda and Vegas lots of times, Vegas in the summer WOW that is HOT. Bermuda very nice.

  170. kettle1 says:

    164 make,

    you dont make a killing on being all in gold?

    Dont worry, i will invite you to spend the summer is my swiss chalet and you can check on your numbered accounts

  171. 3b says:

    #171 Pat:Take the four day Bermuda cruise. I’ve heard it’s nice.

    Any more details on that?

  172. JoeR says:

    168 Jill

    Why not look into getting a moped? Seriously. It’s a motorized bicycle. It can even be pedaled.

    Legally in NJ the speed limit is 25MPH but most bikes go faster depending on a number of variables. You cannot drive on highways with it.

    Gas mileage will be 100/120 compared to about 75 with a Vespa. Since they are 2-stroke, you might want to look for one that has oil injection unless you don’t mind mixing oil into the gas.

    Insurance is under $100/yr and registration is dirt cheap. No special license, no driving test or inspection required.

    The only scary thing about them are the drivers who buzz past you doing 10-15MPH over the speed limit. You also need thick skin – not for crashing, but for the ridicule you get from others for driving one.

  173. Against The Grain says:

    #168 –
    What is it about motorcycles that terrifies you? If it is only that the controls of the motorcycle are difficult to master, you should be fine with a scooter because the controls are much simpler to operate than on a motorcycle.

    If it’s something else that terrifies you, then you should probably stay away.

    Just for the record, I love motorcyles, I commuted to work on one of mine today.

  174. JoeR says:

    Also Jill, no gears to worry about shifting..

  175. Pat says:

    3b… I’m pretty sure it leaves out of Bayonne on Saturday night and you’re home Thursday. My cousin got some cheap deal for one in May that was 700, but it was an inside room.

    I’m watching the last minute deals pages.

    Maybe we should do a bubble GTG cruise.

  176. scribe says:

    Syb, #90

    That house in Denville – scroll down to the bottom, and under “property details,” it says “foreclosure.”

  177. bruiser says:

    bairen, 8
    I’ve been thinking of movie titles that would describe this housing bubble/bust.

    1) There Will Be Blood.

    2) Sudden Impact

    3) The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    4) The Longest Yard (awesome pun)

    5) One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

    6) Other People’s Money

    7) Risky Business

    8) Ruthless People

  178. 3b says:

    #178 Pat:I’m watching the last minute deals pages.

    That sounds interesting, what sites are you looking at. We usually alternate every couple of years between the Jersey Shore, Ocean City MD, and the Cape.

    Last years traffic to Ocean City was just horrible, and 4 days in Bermuda sounds really, really nice.

  179. grim says:

    What is it about motorcycles that terrifies you?

    I know that this wasn’t directed towards me, but I’ll throw my 2 cents in anyway.

    My fear isn’t based on my own skill or ability. My fear is that no matter how safely I ride, it is the skill of other drivers that decides my fate.

    Would you put your life in the hands of NJ drivers?

    That said, I’d love a Vespa, mainly because I wouldn’t trust myself on anything faster.

  180. BC Bob says:

    “title of the movie? I’m still working on it.”

    make [164],

    Boom, Boom (Out Go the Lights)

  181. grim says:

    Although, I’ve ridden thousands of miles on my bicycle without a single incident (knock on wood).

  182. BC Bob says:

    “Oh, speaking of Bermuday”


    The Rum Swizzle Inn after the beach! Just leave the moped at the hotel/ship. Only taxi or bus.

  183. kettle1 says:


    movie title….

    Shock and Awe?

  184. Against The Grain says:


    That’s one way to look at. Based on my own experiences, I look at it like I’ve had many close brushes with death when I’ve been out walking my dog, riding my bicycle (almost hit a deer once!) and crossing the street in Newark (almost hit by police cars without any lights or sirens on in separate instances).

    No doubt, its dangerous though. Probably most of the people who ride feel, on some level, that the spiritual benefits outweigh the physical risks.

  185. Hard Place says:


    More cars more variables. Riding during rush hour or on a busy road can be crazy. Less cars around the safer it is to ride a two wheeler. You’ll never know when some bonehead is going to pull a three lane lanechange and swipe you out, or a quick left turn at an intersection to beat the traffic, but they didn’t see you (most common cause of motorcycle accidents).

  186. JoeR says:

    This wasn’t smart to begin with, but I know someone who was on his motorcycle in NYC a few years back and lost his entire leg when a truck eased into him and his bike.

  187. Shore Guy says:

    # 156 “My uncle who lives in London is under the firm impression that us Yanks will never be able to handle $10 or $12 per gallon gasoline. ”

    I suspect that we would pay. What other choice would we have? Our transportation infrastructure is designed for mass automobile usage, not buses, trains, or any other mass transit. It would cause prices to rise and would screw the hell out of discretionary spending (watch out Disney and Starbucks) but would be good for movies.

    If one’s choice is to not spend the $ to buy gas to go to work and thus lose ones job or to bend over the straight back chair and say “thank you Exxon, may I have another” and be poor but solvent, what choice does one have? We will pay whatever the cost.

  188. Pat says:

    3b, I’m watching all the regular sites like Travelocity’s last minute deals section under cruises.

  189. Stu says:

    Movie Titles and Real Estate:

    Indecent Proposal?

  190. Mitchell says:

    We might not have to deal with high priced gasoline for long. Just make sure your next vehicle is diesel.

    Lots of companies want to be the next fuel supplier. The incentive for such a huge cash cow with significant demand has everyone out there looking to be a main supplier or at least grab a chunk of that market. Mega billion dollar industry to come up with a bio diesel in quantity and its a pretty easy process already.

    Coors brewery is working on several alternatives. I also believe they plan on being able to produce several million gallons of bio diesel starting in 2009.

    Algae is considered to be an excellent source for biodiesel and a benefit of this would be that it doesn’t take corn out of the food market.

    I believe within 10 years you will be able to get biodiesel pretty easily at the local pump.

    Mega Billions to be made here I cant see companies not wanting to grab a piece of that pie.

  191. kettle1 says:

    hey , at least some job markets are improving!

    By Chris Hawley, USA TODAY
    MEXICO CITY — One of Mexico’s biggest drug cartels has launched a brazen recruiting campaign, putting up fliers and banners promising good pay, free cars and better food to army soldiers who join the cartel’s elite band of hit men.

  192. pretorius says:

    “I suspect that we would pay. What other choice would we have?”

    Move to a location that has a good public transportation connection to a major employment center and is within walking distance to a supermarket and schools.

    There are plenty of these places in New Jersey.

  193. x-underwriter says:

    Jill Says:
    I am 52 and terrified of motorcycles but can ride a bike.

    When I took my motorcycle safety course in May 2004, there was a recently retired gentleman who pulled up in a fancy Jaguar and said he bought a BMW 1100 motorcycle. During the course, we rode tiny Suzuki 125cc bikes around a closed paved course and learned how to balance in a turn and stuff like that. I can recall watching him and saying to myself, I don’t know if this is a good idea for him.
    3 months later, I saw in the newspaper that he killed himself on the thing.
    Bottom line is, a Vespa will probably do 40 or 50 miles an hour which will easily put you into a situation where you could get killed.
    As you get older, (not that I’m calling you old) your reaction times slow down and its harder to learn things.
    Unless you have some real and long term experience riding motorcycles, I just can’t reccomend riding anything on the street, especially in crowded NJ.

  194. Shore Guy says:

    # 155


    Pre Afghanistan or Iraq, I would opine that our chances would have been good. Right now, I don’t know. We have the ability to do massive damage with stand-off weapons, but that will just prompt an Iranian Invasion of southern Iraq to cut off our access to the port. It could also inflame the Shia in Iraq to act up. God forbid Iran invades Iraq as a response, then we have to deal with the extant terrorist issue, a civil war between Sunnis and Shia as well as the Iranian forces. Access to the Persian Gulf then becomes dicy with Irranian cruise missiles floating around. It is a Wahibbist’s dream and I would not be surprised to see oil double in price or to see OPEC move to the Euro or gold for pricing — just what we need.

    Anyone elses view?

  195. kettle1 says:

    Shore 190,

    and that is what almost all of the “higher gas prices are good for conservation” arguments miss or ignore. that is our achillies heel.

    Mitchell 193.

    You cannot use anymore then 50% biodiesel at temperatures below about 40 deg F or the fuel will start to gel. Biodisesl

  196. chicagofinance says:

    FYI – I had the pleasure of paying $4.04 for 93 in Ithaca NY yesterday.

  197. Shore Guy says:

    # 195 and those towns already rate a premium in pricing. Inasmuch as most folks in NJ cant afford to be in those places already, I submit that they would not be able to move there in an emergent situation where those properties command an even greater premium.

  198. kettle1 says:

    opps, continued/clarified

    Mitchell 193.

    You cannot use anymore then 50% biodiesel at temperatures below about 40 deg F or the fuel will start to gel. Biodiesel has good points, just trying to keep things grounded in reality a bit.

  199. Shore Guy says:

    199 Chi,

    I paid over 4 in South Florida over the weekend.

  200. John says:

    French investment bank Natixis SA raised $750 million in an offering of perpetual subordinated securities yielding 10 percent.

    Hey chicago finance, here is a offer for your yield hungry client. Only the French would lock in a rate of 10% FOREVER>

  201. grim says:


    My wife refers to them as them as “Donorcycles”.

  202. Shore Guy says:


    Is she an ER nurse, perchance?

  203. grim says:

    And here I was thinking I’d never get a chance to use the perpetuity formula.

  204. Shore Guy says:

    Don’t get a lawyer talking about perpetuities.

  205. kettle1 says:


    the US has what is called a Blue Water navy (designed for open ocean combat). The persian gulf is considered littoral waters ( shallow coastal). It is highly likely that a blue water navy like ours could get decimated in littoral combat. look up the sunburn missle. Iran has lots of them and we have no defense.
    If we get our butt handed to use in naval combat with iran, then we have just dared china to take Taiwan by force. hurray for political dominoes.

  206. John says:

    I personally think that anyone convicted of DWI should be granted a motorcycle only non helmut only license. Lets put those babies to good use.

  207. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Shore Kettle Have to agree we would be screwed if we went at it with Iran. Start building nuclear power plants yesterday. Electric cars & get the hell out of region.
    This would take years so for now we are in the soup. Maybe what 10 years to get plants up in #s to make a big difference? Kettle don’t we use more oil for plastics than on gas?

  208. Hard Place says:

    John – DWI’s

    Twisted, but funny.

  209. R Patrick says:

    Jill Ninja 250, real bike much cheaper used on craigslist. I had one for 3 years, paid 77 dollars a year as a 18 year old per year on the insurance.
    NY requirea a M on your DL either way.

  210. pretorius says:

    Shore guy,

    I agree that housing often costs more in the type of towns I described. However, when you live car-free, you can afford to pay more for housing.

    If I owned a car and drove it to work in the suburbs, the car would cost me roughly $500 per month ($300 finance + $100 gas + $100 insurance). In addition, I would need to pay additional $ to maintain and repair it.

    I walk to a bus stop a few block away and take the bus to work. It costs me $78 per month.

    I don’t mind paying a little more for housing when I don’t need to pay for a car.

  211. R Patrick says:

    Ok so you are all buying shorts and puts, and I dont have what it takes for options. But I want to start a roth this year, and I want to put my emergency and house fun in something other that BOA.

    Any broker account suggestions? Fidelity ect?

  212. grim says:

    I’m not so sure I can continue calling myself “grim”. I’m beginning to look like an optimist.

    From CNBC:

    Nobel Winner Stiglitz: US Facing Long Recession

    The U.S. economy is already in recession — and may echo the 1930s, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz said Friday.

    “The big question is: how will the government respond?” said Stiglitz, in an interview with CNBC. Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor and 2001 winner of the Nobel prize, detailed his bleak outlook for the American economy.

    “This is going to be one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression,” said Stiglitz.

  213. Shore Guy says:


    I understand our naval posture, and the concerns you raise are real. Bus may well posture us into a situation that will make Viet Nam seem like the good old days.

    Our airlift capacity is overtaxed, our ground forces are stretched to the point of breaking (and what reservest in his or her right mind who has a good civillian job will re-up (or more accurately, what spouse of a reservest in his or her right mind who has a good civillian job will jet the spouse re-up)?

    What bothers me is that there seems to be an assumption that we can bomb or hit Iran with standoff weapons and inflict damage on their industrial and military capability and that they will not respond in a way to exploit our weaknesses. They are not capable of going toe to toe with us in the Arabian Gulf but they can effectively close the Gulf to commercial shipping (Japan will just LOVE that) and can hit us in Iraq.

    You mentioned China and Taiwan. I doubt China would act there before the close of the Olympics. After that, who knows. North Korea is a wildcard, though, and if we need to pull forces from there to deal with Iran, I would not put money on continued peace in Korea.

    I wish I felt thet George III had a grasp of the complexities of the situation we face.

  214. Mitchell says:

    #201 Still some drawbacks to biodiesel true but with how much money can be made on the deal I’m betting we solve a lot of those drawbacks in a short amount of time.

    Breweries might be in the best position to capitalize on this as their waste can be processed to a fuel.

    Colorado brewery turning waste CO2 from beer into biodiesel

    Posted Feb 15th 2007 2:28PM by Sam Abuelsamid
    Filed under: Biodiesel
    The reason carbonated beverages have their name is the bubbles of carbon dioxide that are emitted. One of the byproducts of the beer brewing process is carbon dioxide gas. Now an environmentally- conscious brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, New Belgium Brewery is hooking up with nearby Solix Biofuels to make use of the waste CO2. The 5,000 metric tonnes of CO2 that New Belgium produces annually will be piped over to the Solix facility and pumped into their bioreactor to grow algae. The algae will then be processed into biodiesel fuel. The beauty of the normally scummy algae is that can yield up to 10,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre compared to 50 to 100 gallons per acre for soybeans.

  215. grim says:


    Is your household completely car-free? I’m interested to know. I have a few friends in Hoboken, and they tell me while it might be possible to live car-free, it would be an inconvenience. They all still have at least 1 car. I’d be interested to know whether you could pull that off in Weehawken.

  216. Shore Guy says:

    #214 Pret,

    I do not disagree with you at all. the problem is that unless we start tearing doun existing housing stock in those towns and building highrises, there is only so much more housing that we can find for folks in thoise towns. In the short term, if gas went to $20 a gallon, people in most places would just have to pay. Most folks can’t decide to not go to work. They will pay and they will pay more for food, and they will pay more for electric, and they will give up all sorts of other things.

  217. Nom Deplume says:

    [207] Shore

    there’s a Rule Against that.


  218. Shore Guy says:

    badoom ching!

  219. Shore Guy says:


    I just flew in from Cleveland….and boy are my armes tired.

  220. Shore Guy says:

    Well, time to oppress the masses. Someone let me know if George III or Congress does anything particurly bad to harm the return to normalcy in the RE marketplace.

  221. Shore Guy says:

    Arms, even.

  222. Nom Deplume says:

    sorry Shore, I couldn’t resist. Especially after having to relearn it after all these years for the feshtunking NJ bar exam.

  223. BC Bob says:

    Shouldn’t one of the world’s top financial center’s be immune?

    “Crash warning for the City’s office market”


  224. grim says:


    What about an alternate scenario?

    Gentrification of existing urban centers. Middle and upper classes push in towards those gentrified urban centers, lower classes are pushed further out. Of course, the “pushed out” would be through two factors, affordability and, well, literally forced out (“Delivered Vacant”).

    Hoboken as an example.

  225. pretorius says:

    Shore guy,

    If gas goes to $20 per gallon, then most people will pay it – initially.

    But it would trigger a slow population shift from the exurbs to locations where a single person doesn’t need a car and a family can get by with only one car.

  226. gary says:

    Dear Members of Realogy, Weichert and Century 21,

    The median income for the Northern NJ area is approximately $65,000 per year. The median house price in Northern NJ – NY – Long Island is approximately $457,000 based on your organization’s (NAR) data. As a result, it would take an income that is 7 times greater than the median to purchase a median priced house and not the traditional long term standard of 3 times median income. In your professional estimation, when do you believe this asset deviation will fall back in line with the long term trend?

  227. #228 – That almost exactly describes NYC for the past 10 years.

  228. kettle1 says:

    211 mike

    yes we use more oil for industrial processes then we do for gas.

  229. Al says:

    Speaking of riding a bike to work – I have no problem riding 5-10 miles one way… however – there just not enough bike routes in NJ. it is ok for in-town local commute maybe 1-2 miles but not “real commute”. And I am not “sharing the road” with cars here. I like to be alive.

  230. grim says:


    I agree, but I don’t think NYC is a good example. You could argue that NYC simply “fell from grace” during the 70s, however, it was always a leading world city.

    Now, I’m no Hoboken historian, but I can’t remember if Hoboken ever had even a glimpse of prominence. At best it was a lower class/working class urban area, although I’ve heard from some who said it was an outright “slum” in the ’60s.

  231. John says:

    Frank Sintara invented vodka sauce at his favorite italian joint in Hoboken, that day was the entire history of prominence in Hoboken

  232. kettle1 says:

    229 pre,

    it wouldnt be a slow change. The average commute is 32 Mi round trip. at an average of 22 MPG fuel efficiency that comes to about $120/month in gas @ $4/gal. at $20/gal you are spending $600/month.

    but lets not miss the main point. most food is shipped by truck. look at recent food inflation and imagine increasing fuel costs by 5X. the combined effect of skyrocketing food prices and decreased availability due to shipping prices combined with fuel prices could crush a large # of middle class families.

    5 days/wk * 32 Mi/day * 4 wks/month =

  233. #235 – I think you’re right. Hoboken was pretty blue collar up until the late 80’s early 90’s.

  234. BC Bob says:

    What about Hoboken’s claim to be the birthplace of baseball.

  235. Indigo says:

    #141 RR,
    Condos in WW Crest are the way to go. There a number of newer condos close to the beach. Ours is only a couple years old that I rent out during the summer weeks on E. Palm Rd, if you are familiar with the streets. But, the best time in the Crest is during the off seasons, spring, fall even the winter time is nice. BTW it has a nice pool. I still have a couple summer weeks open and I suppose grim could give you my email if you want more info. I

  236. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 216 I saw that this morning. That guy is on his game. They had Roubini on earlier they asked if he agreed with him “Yes” no caveats, just yes. Another Noble winner 03 Engle was on more positive out look but didn’t try didn’t try to dispute Stiglitz had no leg to stand on. Just what you need with your coffee in the morning!

  237. chicagofinance says:

    3b Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 10:20 am
    BC Bob: Are you familiar with this:
    Matrix Unit TR UT Ser-2 High Yield. It looks like a ETF or possibly UT. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    3b: It appears to be a Unit Trust that purchased a portfolio of high-yield closed-end funds. It was established in 2002, and if I read correctly, it may have been closed-out effective April 9, 2008. What is the specific question?

    Follow the link for the potfolio….

    Is it possible that you contact thought they were making a shrewd purchase, only to find out that they received their principle back short after purchase and they wasted their transaction costs? Is that the issue?

  238. chicagofinance says:

    Is it possible that youR contact thought they were making a shrewd purchase, only to find out that they received their principle back shortLY after purchase and they wasted their transaction costs? Is that the issue?

  239. John says:

    Wildwood Crest looks very nice on the internet but is it more upscale than Wildwood, which has that seedy honky tonky run down amusement park feel and more than it’s fair share of white trash?

  240. BC Bob says:

    JB [216],

    I’m actually surprised that we have not heard plans for a 2nd stimulus package, tax rebates, even before the 1st checks arrive.

  241. #246 – I thought we had. I’m expecting even more to come.

  242. Mikeinwaiting says:

    John 245 Yes that’s about the size of it.That is why I stay in the Crest. It is also dry town so it’s not crazy. Also most of the young guys & girls stay in the Wood the Crest is for us married folk. Had some great times with the guys back in the 80’s!

  243. Mikeinwaiting says:

    John You have never been?

  244. BC Bob says:

    tosh [247],

    It’s very possible that there has been talk. I have not heard anything specific. Have you?

    I do agree, there’s much more on the way.

  245. Agnes says:

    Shower curtain rings do more than hold up a screen between you and the rest of your home.
    They are a valuable accessory in your bathroom, one that is often overlooked. There are many more ring and hook choices than the generic, plastic white rings.
    The difference between a shower curtain ring and a shower curtain hook seems somewhat elementary. A ring is round; a hook is in the shape of, well, a hook. A hook lies on top of the curtain rod while a ring surrounds it. The differences, however, extend beyond the simple fastening mechanics. It extends to style.
    Shower rings typically come in two materials – plastic and metal. The plastic rings come in colors that span the spectrum and metal rings are offered in a few different finishes. Does your bathroom use gold accents? Look for gold plated or gold painted metal rings. Is your bathroom all shades of blue? Look for plastic blue rings.
    Want to say a little more? Are plastic and metal rings too plain for your taste? Then you should start shopping for shower hooks.
    While the functioning piece of shower hooks are usually plain metal, the adornments on the outside, where the curtain meets the hook, is decorated. Animal shapes include moose, bears, pandas, turtles, frogs, flamingos, snakes, dragonflies, butterflies, yellow ducks, bees, doves, birds, fish and more. There are flower ornaments of all styles, shapes and colors. Lighthouses, birdhouses, log homes and houseboats have all made their way to shower curtain hooks. Funny sayings and funny shapes (like the Kokopelli) appear on other hooks.
    If you like hooks but don’t want to make a loud statement with them, you can also find them with plain colored circles, squares, hearts or other geometric shape. Still can’t find the hooks that are perfect for your bathroom? Make your own.
    Decoupage or glue pictures, wallpaper scraps or any paper you like onto wooden disks (from a craft store). Cover again with white glue or decoupage solution. Let dry completely, then hot glue onto hooks.

  246. njpatient says:

    Second line!!

  247. Mikeinwaiting says:

    BC 250 I have not heard anything, but for sure they will come up with another one.
    Think 09 early when inflation is out of control & slight bump from this one is over.

  248. #250 – Nothing more specific than what I posted. We’ll probably see something railroaded through in Nov. though.

  249. pretorius says:

    “grim Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Now, I’m no Hoboken historian, but I can’t remember if Hoboken ever had even a glimpse of prominence. At best it was a lower class/working class urban area, although I’ve heard from some who said it was an outright “slum” in the ’60s.”

    Hoboken’s population peaked at 70,000 in 1910. The population then fell steadily before bottoming at 33,000 in 1990. Between 1980 and 1990, the population plunged by 21%.

    The population has rebounded to about 40,000 today, but the city is still sparsely populated compared to its average 20th century density.

    When a city’s population dropped more than half, I think it is fair to say that slum conditions were present there. Not even Newark and Camden experienced 50% population declines.

  250. 3b says:

    #243 chgo: My Father In law’s broker purchased this instrument for him on 4/15/08.

    Here is the issue, my FIL claims he never instructed his broker to buy it. He says his broker talked to him about it and he said he told his broker he woudld think about it.

    Next thing you know he gets a confirmation in the mail telling him he purchased 10K worth of this thing for 4/15/08 settlement date.

    Since it is high yield, then it is higher risk, and that is my concern, (suitability), not to mention the fact that the broker may have done soemthing without my FIL’s consent.

    I would like to familarize myself with this instrument before I all teh broker.

  251. rhymingrealtor says:

    When I was very young 7-10 my mother let our stepfather takes us on the back of his motorcycle, at 22 I had a boyfriend who rode a harley, I also rode on the back of that, very seldom because it frightened me and I hated helmet hair and bug teeth. I never, never, allowed my children to go on my dad’s motorcycle. The worst thing I ever saw on rte 9 was a decapitation. Motorcyclist, I was 2 car lengths behind when he hit rough patch, bike went down he hit guardrail which took off his head, his body landed on the shoulder and the head went down the hill toward the parkway.


    “Easy Rider” (1969)

  252. Hard Place says:

    If gas ever made it up to $20/gal, I’m sure telecommuting would be rapidly implemented for a lot of jobs where people do not require everyday interaction with customers or co-workers.

  253. John says:

    Been to wildwood and NJ Shore but that paying for the beach stuff, bars closing early, no parking anywhere and tough DWI laws turned me off. I liked the Hamptons better. Better parties, beaches, cars and clubs. Trouble is I am priced out of the Hamptons, going in 1/20 in a share house paying an extra few grand for house not a big deal when you are only covering 5% of the extra money, but as a family you get nailed.

  254. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Hoboken was a slum riots in 60’s we lost are business. Sold a 22 unit building for nothing just to get out. It was bad times. I was born there my dad had a store there my fam had been there since 1914. However those of my fam who stayed made a killing selling their property.

  255. John says:

    re 257 – you should have kept that guys head to show your kids if they ever insist on riding a motorcycle.

    If gas hits $20 a gallon I will personally lunch the tridents at Iran.

  256. 3b says:

    #191 Pat: Thanks.

  257. pretorius says:


    Some people say that Hudson County is as corrupt as its ever been, but I think it is just easier to observe today because more people are getting caught and going to jail.

    Previous mayor (Russo) and big real estate man (Barry) both stole from the city, but they got caught and went to jail.

    How bad was governance in Hoboken in 1960s compared to today?

  258. Hehehe says:


    Read that last S-6/A. Don’t know how old your dad is but the prospectus part of the registration sepcifically says that it is not an investment for people interested in wealth preservation.

  259. 3b says:

    He is 74. As sonn as I saw high yield I knew it was a problem.

  260. Hehehe says:



    You should consider this investment if you want:

    * to own securities representing interests in managed funds that invest in
    high-yield bonds.

    * the potential to receive monthly distributions of income.

    You should not consider this investment if you:

    * are uncomfortable with the risks of an unmanaged investment in closed-end
    funds that invest in high-yield bonds.

    * seek capital preservation or appreciation as a primary investment

  261. Hehehe says:


    If you know the guys name pop it in here:


    Give you an idea if he’s been sanctioned/involved in any arbitrations

  262. 3b says:

    #264 hehe: Just read it and printed it. There is no way my FIL would have purchased this if he knew what it was. I will be calling the broker on Monday. Thanks so much for the help.

  263. John says:

    UBS is cutting its broker trainee recruiting program short. The program has been running for years with about 800 trainees per class, and has so far made offers to 250. The brokerage is honoring those offers but will not hire any more trainees, focusing instead on hiring and retaining from competitors. Some say the strategy makes sense in the current environment, considering the costs involved in training, but others worry that the brokerage will run out of talent if the program doesn’t come back full-scale next year.

  264. Hehehe says:

    No problem. That’s the type of research I do all day.

  265. Jamey says:


    Yes, St. Barths. Of course! That satisfies ALL Strawman’s criteria (stated in 42):

    *3 hrs from NYC
    *Easy for a family with three kids, ages 17 mos to 7
    *Works in an easy, offhand reference to how rich you are, despite your obvious virtue and thrift.

    /gag me with a bowl game ring…

  266. Jamey says:


    What’s the first thing to go through a motorcyclist’s head in a collision?

    Usually his sunglasses.

    Sembra un Vespa!

  267. lisoosh says:

    kettle1 Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    “if what i have read is correct then i would expect gas lines in at least some areas.”

    Don’t forget that Brits like standing in lines. They are not as good at it as Russians, but better natured about it. Show a Brit a line and he’ll probably join it just to enjoy the in-line cameraderie, chat with his neighbours about poor service and then chirp up with “but mustn’t grumble”.

  268. lisoosh says:

    make money Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 12:33 pm
    “George: What wrong?

    John: Its the Friggin gas. It’s $6.00 for regular.

    George: Friggin Arabs.

    John: I’m gonna bomb them into stone age and get re-elected like you.”

    Can’t do that, need them to buy up our real estate.

  269. spam spam bacon spam says:

    Can someone give me addresses for MLS #’s:





  270. lisoosh says:

    chicagofinance Says:
    April 25th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    “l: Sadly, as much as I want to ignore the complaining of ignorant miscreants, their value of their vote is equal to mine. G-d Bless the USA!”

    Actually, those were British complainers on British comments sections.

  271. Clotpoll says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted today (just too busy to check the threads), but:


    I hope my caps underscore the significance of this announcement.

  272. Pat says:

    Cash is king.

  273. lisoosh says:

    rhymingrealtor Says:

    “The worst thing I ever saw on rte 9 was a decapitation.”


  274. lostinny says:

    Bought gas today for 3.31 a gallon. Between that and the food shopping, I’ve already spent too much today.

  275. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Pret 263 They wrote the book on corruption in Hudson don’t think for a second that it is any better now than it was or worse for that matter. It is an unending cycle of political patronage, no show jobs, & pay to play. Some things never change.

  276. gary says:

    Clotpoll [278],

    No worries here, we live in prestigous Northern NJ.

  277. Mikeinwaiting says:

    281 lost 3.31 that’s a good price. Good lord did I just say that.

  278. Hehehe says:

    From Crains NY:

    Permit plunge: End of the building boom?
    The number of residential permits issued in the city dropped 46% to 558 from 1,038, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    April 24. 2008 12:16PMBy: Daniel Massey

    Buck Ennis The number of residential permits issued in the city in the first quarter dropped by 46% compared with the year ago period, a sign the city’s building boom is coming to an end.


  279. pretorius says:

    Mike, thanks. Feels less bad when some of the bad guys go to jail though.

  280. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Pret Don’t sweat it the whole system is set up that way it’s already priced in so to speak. Shouldn’t affect your services or taxes they know enough not to steal so much the tax payers catch on. Aaah Hudson what a place.

  281. BC Bob says:



    LBI just took a hit.

  282. Hehehe says:

    Not sure if this one was posted yet:

    Buy this home, get a free mortgage
    Developer offers unique incentive: no payments for one year


  283. John says:

    Well if models show houses will fall an additional 10 to 20% why would anyone give a mortgage with less than 20% down. You will end up with a borrower with no skin in the game and even if he does not skip out on our good luck selling at par a 500K mortgage backed by realestate valued at 480K.

    I think it is 99% we have another 10% to go downward so in my mind making loans with 10% down is the equivalent of a nothing down mortgage.

  284. Mikeinwaiting says:

    any info 2461588

  285. John says:

    A study showed that husbands create an extra seven hours of housework every week for women.
    In return, wives shave off an hour of housework for men.
    The findings, part of a 2005 federally funded study of housework trends, also indicate that both sexes are settling for less when it comes
    to the white-glove test of yore. In 1976, for example, women did an average of 26 hours of housework; in 2005, we dropped to 17 hours a week.
    Speaking of children, the researchers also studied how offspring affected housework.
    A married woman with three children did an average of 28 hours of housework a week.
    Husbands, on the other hand, did a whopping 10 hours of work.

  286. lostinny says:

    I thought you only need PMI when you put down less then 20%.

  287. Doyle says:

    Can someone help out with an address on NJMLS: Listing Number: 2816914 ?

    Thanks in advance!

  288. lostinny says:

    Yeah Mike. Except that when I got gas 2 weeks ago it was something like 3.09

  289. Mikeinwaiting says:

    lost I hear ya.

  290. John says:

    There is a reason you have to bend over when you pump gas.

  291. make money says:

    This is this weeks Peter Schiff’s newsletter. Why is it that only he gets it when it all seems like common sense. Out of 10 students in my lighting Interior Design Studio, eight students are taking student loans to pay for it.


    Those unfamiliar with marketplace dynamics may not recognize how government activity has created price distortions across our economy. Much as government mandated easy credit propelled home prices to bubble levels, similar forces pushed college tuitions up to the stratosphere. Both systems are currently breaking down along similar lines. The fractures reveal much about the problems that arise when government interfere with credit allocation.

    In light of the staggering cost of college education today, it may seem unbelievable that my father in the early 1950s was able to finance his own education with a summer job waiting tables. Like most in his generation, eight weeks of work per year allowed him to graduate debt free. In contrast, the debt burden now heaped on today’s college graduates is so oppressive that the financial challenges are becoming a palpable psychological strain on an entire generation.

    The irony is that without easy access to student loans, which have been touted as a means to ease college affordability, tuitions never could have risen so high in the first place. Sadly, it is not students who have benefited, but the educational establishment that receives the proceeds. Colleges collect huge sums of money up front while students get saddled with staggering balances.

    Now that repaying loans has become increasingly difficult for home buyers and students (especially since the home equity well has run dry and the employment market has cooled), more debtors are defaulting. As a result, the market for securitized loans, which has completely dried up in the mortgage market, is now equally desolate for student loans. Here again, the government is being asked to pick up the slack by buying existing student loans and issuing new loans directly to students.

    In so doing, the government is helping to sustain high tuitions just as similar actions are working to prop up real estate prices. If the government stayed out of the student loan market, students would not be denied educations. Colleges and universities would simply be forced to offer affordable tuitions or go out of business –just the way they used to back in my father’s day. Similarly, if the government allowed real estate prices to collapse, Americans would not have to take on so much debt to buy houses.

    To buy up all of these loans, the Fed is running the printing presses non-stop. As a result, prices of other goods, such as food and energy, are spiraling out of control.

    Of course, mainstream Wall Street firms and the conventional financial media do not see this obvious connection. While CNBC searches the world for clues to this “mystery”, no one sees the evidence “hiding” in plain sight. Higher prices simply result from all the money printing, both by the Fed and foreign central banks trying to maintain currency pegs to a sinking dollar.

    It is amazing how those who were completely blindsided by the surge in food prices are now so quick to come up with ridiculous reasons to explain the phenomenon. However, for those of us who actually understand what inflation is, predicting the current surge in food prices was a no brainer. Read one of my commentaries from Oct. of 2006 and see for yourself.

    Similarly, analysts are blaming $120 oil on the hidden machinations of greedy speculators. They buttress these claims by noting that absent a bona fide oil shortage, current prices are not justified by fundamentals. This overlooks that while there is no shortage, there is also no surplus. The market is in perfect equilibrium at today’s price, and recent spikes merely reflect the substantial increase in global money supply. If today’s prices really were artificially high, like house prices, they would be a glut of oil in storage facilities while users, priced out of an inflated market, cut back on their consumption (This is precisely what is happening in the real estate market).

    As consumers are getting wise to inflation, they are beginning to stock up on those products showing the most rapid price increases. This week, Cosco and Sam’s Club began to limit bulk purchases of rice. After all, if you have the cash why not by the things you know you will need in the future now, before the prices go any higher. My guess is that if home storage were possible, consumers would be buying as much gasoline and home heating oil as they could currently afford…they might even load up their credit cards to do so. After airfares (which unfortunately cannot be stockpiled), apparel may be next major category of goods that will experience rapid price increases. Why not buy a few extra pairs of socks while they are still cheap?

    As the government creates more inflation, and prices for all sorts of consumer goods spiral upward, the authorities, as they always have, will institute price controls and other forms of rationing of consumer staples. My advice is to stock up now, before you end up having to spend hours waiting in line.

  292. gary says:

    make money [298],

    There’s no need to stock up on anything here in Northern Jersey. We have the means to weather any storm, we’re prestigous.

  293. Hehehe says:


    You forgot wealthy and intelligent

  294. movinB says:

    So is 20% off 2005 prices still a fair going rate, or should we be offering 25% less?

    I just saw a house get listed in Upper Haughtyville *at* 2005 selling price. Maybe this means they’re expecting to get 20% off asking…

    Am I too optimistic to think prices have finally gotten somewhat reasonable, if OLP is 20% more than 2005 price, and assuming seller will part with the place for 20% off OLP?

  295. movinB says:

    301 Meant to say:

    “If OLP is *AT* 2005 selling price, and assuming seller will part with the place for 20% off OLP”

  296. Al says:

    Talking about spending – my wife went to see a movie yesterday with her friends. Movie tickets – 10$!!!!

    (Lats time we went to a movie was 1 1/2 years ago and it was not in NJ – so we paid 5$ regular tickets… It is a lot cheaper top just buy DVD’s now, espetially if you have kids. (3 tickets – 30$…DVD – 9.99$.

  297. make money says:


    If you have a substantial DP in US dollars, get in foreign currencies and gold and watch the stimulus package create more inflation. Then watch Washington pass a bigger better stimulus package and create more inflation. Rates will go to double digit abd you’ll by that house for 50% off 2005 prices.

    However, if you don’t have a substantial DP and have to finance 80%-90% of you purchase buy it now while these rates are low and then enjoy your overvalued home with a low fixed pmnt for many years to come. Thsi pmnt is gonna seem smaller and smaller as inflation kicks in. That’s all folks!

  298. BC Bob says:

    “This week, Cosco and Sam’s Club began to limit bulk purchases of rice.”

    Rice, along with its parabolic rise, is getting too much media hype. Time to look at long dated puts.

    All Disclaimers.

  299. Al says:

    Am I too optimistic to think prices have finally gotten somewhat reasonable, if OLP is 20% more than 2005 price, and assuming seller will part with the place for 20% off OLP?

    I saw a house which is listed at 5% off 2004 price.

    Problem – in 2004 taxes were 5500$, right now they are 7500$. with 6% mortgage – to get the same monthly payments you need discount of additional 33K.

    And thats just taxes.

  300. Al says:

    And again – I’ve being looking at the houses for two month now. Every house which is listed 10% below comps, has an offer on it within 3-5 days on the market.

    Granted – it is usually 1-2 houses out of 100+ on tha market but still. People feel that 2005 prices -10% is a good deal.

    TO mee it is just too expensive – on my salary. SO i guess another year of renting and than I am moving out of NJ. Since I can not increase my earnings significantly anytime soon

  301. movinB says:

    304 Make –

    Foreign currencies won’t be dragged down by US inflation?

  302. Al says:

    However, if you don’t have a substantial DP and have to finance 80%-90% of you purchase buy it now while these rates are low and then enjoy your overvalued home with a low fixed pmnt for many years to come. Thsi pmnt is gonna seem smaller and smaller as inflation kicks in. That’s all folks!

    Good startegy as long as you can make your intial payments for several years inflatin will hopefully help.

    Also – it make sense to limit your DP to minimal amount needed to get decent rate – iyf you are going the “inflation will make my debt smaller” route.

  303. lisoosh says:

    BC – “long dated puts”

    What’s a long dated put? I know nothing about the Street.

  304. lisoosh says:

    Al- Redbox. $1 movie rentals and I am at the supermarket anyway.
    And if gas gets any higher, movie downloads or just On Demand means that you don’t have to drive anywhere.

  305. movinB says:

    People still go out to movies? Netflix works great for us… and movies are coming to DVD really quickly these days.

    Who wants to pay $11+/ticket and barely hear the movie over the snoring bums and drunk hooligans?

    (Yes, this is what it’s like in SF, and I imagine NJ isn’t far behind, if not already there in places.)

Comments are closed.