“People just don’t know what to do”

From the Bridgeton News:

Mortgage payments in trouble

Housing foreclosure rates are rising quickly throughout Cumberland County, with rates in Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland already surpassing the national average, according to representatives at the Tri-County Community Action Agency and Affordable Homes of Millville Ecumenical (AHOME).

The two groups, centered in Bridgeton and Millville, respectively, have joined together with 10 other housing counseling agencies across the state to help residents avoid foreclosure.

AHOME Executive Director Donna Turner said her office has received an “incredible” increase in the number of new clients over the past month.

“We averaged one client every two weeks or so, but now we’re getting new people coming to us by twos and threes every week,” said Turner. “They’re mostly 60 days or more behind in their payments and in default.

“It’s just incredible, this increase. We’re going to need to hire staff.”

According to Turner, more than 168 Millville homes are currently in pre-foreclosure — in which the residents have missed at least one payment. Sixty-six have already been taken by banks and 14 have gone up for auction.

In Bridgeton, 114 homes are in pre-foreclosure, with 71 taken by banks and 10 sold in auctions.

And more than 230 homes in Vineland are in pre-foreclosure, with already 84 picked up by banks and 20 sold in auctions.

“We expect these numbers to only increase,” added Turner.

RealtyTrac, one of the largest online providers of foreclosure listings in the country, places the foreclosure rate in Bridgeton at more than one in every 1,200 homes, using United States Census numbers. The national average is about one in every 5,000 homes.

In Millville, between one in 300 to one in 600 homes have fallen to foreclosure. It is the same story in many parts of Vineland, especially center city, its most affected area. East Vineland does slightly better than the rest of the city, roughly mimicking Bridgeton’s numbers.

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239 Responses to “People just don’t know what to do”

  1. grim says:

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    Critics respectfully ‘decline’ market designations

    Could widespread designations of entire ZIP codes, metropolitan areas—even states—as “declining markets,” prevent a real-estate recovery and hurt minorities and moderate-income buyers disproportionately? Growing ranks say “yes.”

    Since late 2007, most lenders, insurers and mortgage-investment firms have compiled lists of local markets they consider “higher risk” because home values are dropping. In those areas, borrowers are charged higher rates, loan fees and down payments—costs that can rise significantly when applicants have credit scores below certain levels.

    In some cases, the extra fees can add more than 2 percentage points to the interest rate and require much more cash from applicants. At their extreme, declining market designations make entire categories of real estate ineligible for financing. Some private mortgage insurers won’t touch second homes or investments in large swaths of Florida or California.

    Industry estimates on affected ZIP codes range from 8,000 to more than 12,000 across the country.

    But now broad-scale opposition to such policies is taking shape. Consumer and industry groups are demanding that lenders and investors abandon or modify their approaches and are urging mortgage insurers to do the same.

    An alliance of three real-estate trade groups representing Hispanics, blacks and Asians recently asked the mortgage industry to get rid of its patchwork of proprietary—and often contradictory—lists and replace them with one more flexible and transparent policy for assessing the “true risk” in markets.

    The biggest lobby, the 1.3 million-member National Association of Realtors, also has weighed in. In April 11 letters, Richard F. Gaylord, the group’s president, asked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “discontinue the policy of stigmatizing entire ZIP codes or [metropolitan areas]” as declining markets, since they “typically include widely differing” neighborhood conditions.

    Though Fannie and Freddie permit lenders to make exceptions to such designations, Gaylord said “the reports we hear are that [lenders] are extremely reluctant to do so.”

  2. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Loan Industry Fighting Rules on Mortgages

    The mortgage industry, facing the prospect of tougher regulations for its central role in the housing crisis, has begun an intensive campaign to fight back.

    As the Federal Reserve completes work on rules to root out abuses by lenders, its plan has run into a buzz saw of criticism from bankers, mortgage brokers and other parts of the housing industry. One common industry criticism is that at a time of tight credit, tighter rules could make many mortgages more expensive by creating more paperwork and potentially exposing lenders to more lawsuits.

    To the chagrin of consumer groups that have complained that the proposed rules are not strong enough, the industry’s criticism has already prompted the Fed to consider narrowing the scope of the plan so it applies to fewer loans.

    The debate over new mortgage standards comes in response to a severe crisis in the housing and financial markets that many economists trace back to overly loose credit and abusive loans. Those practices, combined with low interest rates, led to inflated market values that have declined rapidly in recent months as investors have begun to lose confidence in the financial instruments tied to those loans.

    Four months ago, the Fed proposed the new standards on exotic mortgages and high-cost loans for people with weak credit. The Fed’s proposals came after it was criticized sharply as a captive of the mortgage lending industry that had failed over many years to supervise it adequately.

  3. grim says:

    Are these the rich Europeans buying NJ real estate?

    U.K. House Prices Drop the Most in Three Years, Hometrack Says

    U.K. house prices fell the most in more than three years in April as a dearth of credit and concern that the property slump is deepening deterred prospective homebuyers, Hometrack Ltd. said.

    The average cost of a home in England and Wales dropped 0.6 percent, the most since December 2004, to 173,100 pounds ($344,000), the London-based research company said today in a statement. Prices declined 0.9 percent from a year earlier.

    A surge in borrowing costs has prompted banks to withdraw their best mortgage offers, worsening the housing decline. Falling home prices are sapping consumer confidence and held economic growth to the slowest pace since 2005 in the first quarter.

    “Weak confidence is effectively resulting in a `buyers strike,”’ Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said in the statement. “The current downward pressure on prices will only start to be reversed once there is a turnaround in buyer confidence” that will “revolve around greater stability in the financial markets and an improved economic outlook.”

  4. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    RBS may cut 7,000 markets jobs, report says

    Royal Bank of Scotland may cut 7,000 jobs in its global markets division, or about 25% of its workforce in that area, the Financial Times reported without attribution. The bank reportedly is expected to start writing to staff just below senior management level as early as Wednesday this week, asking them to submit information about their career histories as part of a formal consultation for planned redundancies in the investment bank. The report added there were fears that staff from ABN Amro will face heavier cuts than RBS counterparts.

  5. grim says:

    To avoid being tagged as Burns? Has already happened a number of times on this blog.

    From Bloomberg:

    Bernanke May Have to Follow Volcker to Avoid Being Tagged Burns

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may have to start talking and acting more like Paul Volcker if he wants to avoid being remembered as another Arthur Burns.

    With oil and food prices surging, Volcker told the Economic Club of New York on April 9 that “there are some resemblances between the present situation and the period in the early 1970s,” when then-Fed Chairman Burns let an inflation psychology take hold. “There was some fear of recession, the oil price went skyrocketing up, the dollar was very weak.”

    It took Volcker’s effort as Fed chief to push the overnight lending rate to 20 percent in 1980 and drive the economy into its deepest decline since the Depression to break the inflation he inherited. To avoid squandering the gains Volcker made, Bernanke may need to stop his all-out effort to prop up the weakening economy and start paying more attention to countering price pressures.

    “You have to take the risk of the possibility of a small recession if you want to avoid ending up with a big one,” says Allan Meltzer, a Fed historian and professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

    As policy makers meet this week to decide on interest rates, Bernanke has one big thing going for him that Volcker, 80, didn’t: Polls show Americans, for the most part, are still convinced the Fed will do what it takes to keep inflation down.

  6. BklynHawk says:

    Hey, happy Monday! Question to the board,

    Are you still seeing flipped houses? I’m still seeing these and seeing the work going on. Also, had a seller mention it a while back. Just curious, not entirely surprised, but trying to get a gauge on how much of inventory on the market is still being bought by flippers.

    All anecdotal evidence welcome,

  7. bairen says:

    #1 NAR wants FNMA and Freddie to play fair and stop stigmatizing zip codes.

    Sure. Right after NAR stops releasing bogus expectations of future price increases for houses and discourages people from buying houses they can’t afford.

  8. Clotpoll says:

    grim (1)-

    “Declining markets” designations are here to stay…at least, until the market turns.

  9. Clotpoll says:

    grim (5)-

    Barn door open, horses gone.

    The choice now- IMO- is to accept a withering, deep recession…in order to avoid a ’29-style depression.

  10. Clotpoll says:

    bairen (7)-

    Exactly. And, who can rightly argue with these designations in areas where defaults are at a record high and prices can be expected to continue to fall?

  11. bairen says:

    I talked to a friend of mine who moved to Tampa 5 years ago. He told me houses that were 800k in 05/06 are down to the 400s. Same thing with 400k houses are going for 200s.

    He also said how the cattle farms around him have been turned into new developments and construction has stopped on many of them.

  12. bairen says:

    #10 clot,

    Like I said before I think agents, brokers, loan officers, etc should have to take a Series 7 /BAR like exam. If chicagofinance isn’t supposed to place grandma’s in tech funds, why are agents allowed to show houses that are listed at 8 times the buyer’s income?

    Those lenders are taking on signficant risk by providing loans in deteriorating markets. There should be a risk premium to compensate them for taking on a higher risk of default or falling home values.

    Just like home owner’s insurance on a barrier island should be a lot higher and have a higher deductible then a similar level of coverage for a house on a knoll in Madison. The risk is much higher, therefore the prices or rate should be higher too.

  13. Clotpoll says:

    Some investor pals of mine have hit Ft. Lauderdale/Broward/West Palm and are picking up stuff @ 50-60% off the market highs.

    This includes oceanfront SFHs.

  14. Clotpoll says:

    Bairen (12)-

    Agreed. A big accelerator of the recent craziness has been a non-existent barrier to entering either RE or the mortgage biz. For RE, it’s “fog a mirror”; for mortgages, it’s not even that high: just produce a driver’s license.

    However, as much merit as your idea has, things will never change. Without a steady supply of foot soldiers/human hamburger, companies like Weichert, Realogy, etc go kaput. They depend on enormous amounts of free, willing labor to answer phones, sit open houses and do the scores of other non-productive tasks that allow these outfits to project an image of busy-ness and gainful activity.

    The large RE companies exercise great political influence and will not give up anything.

  15. grim says:


    Just take a look at how hard the NAR is lobbying to keep banks out of real estate.

  16. BC Bob says:

    “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may have to start talking and acting more like Paul Volcker”


    I just lost my coffee.

    “Polls show Americans, for the most part, are still convinced the Fed will do what it takes to keep inflation down.”

    Dumb and Dumber.

  17. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    European Union trims growth forecasts

    The European Union on Monday trimmed its 2008-2009 growth forecasts, predicting gross domestic product growth in the 15-nation euro-zone will slow to 1.7% in 2008 and fading to 1.5% in 2009. The EU forecast 2008 growth of 1.8% in February. Growth totaled 2.6% in 2007. Inflation is expected to surge to 3.6% in the European Union. While economies across the European Union “have proved resilient to the external shocks so far, and we expect continued, albeit slower, job creation, we need to stick to sound macroeconomic policies and carefully avoid starting an inflation spiral that would particularly affect low-income families”, said Joaquin Almunia, the E.U.’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner.

  18. grim says:

    “Polls show Americans, for the most part, are still convinced the Fed will do what it takes to keep inflation down.”

    I’m not so sure they understood the question…

  19. BC Bob says:

    “He told me houses that were 800k in 05/06 are down to the 400s. Same thing with 400k houses are going for 200s.”


    When I sold in 2005 my clueless fil called me an idiot. He said I should be tapping my equity and buying property near them, in Bonita Springs, Fla. I asked him how much he could get for their house, 450-500K. I pleaded with them to sell. He said the area was booming, foreigners were buying up everything, everybody wants in. Why sell? My wife tells me, this weekend, they have decided to sell and come back north. Sold for $217K, to a lowballer, maybe someone from this site.

  20. Clotpoll says:

    grim (18)-

    Sheeple to the slaughter.

  21. R Patrick says:


    Sigh, seeing ones your care about hurt, is painful no?

  22. BC Bob says:

    RP [21],

    I pleaded and pleaded. Remember, I was the idiot.

  23. frank says:

    “Mortgage payments in trouble”

    Because of people like these I overpaid for my house. Foreclose on all of them!!!

  24. SG says:

    June ruling expected on housing transfer

    A judge will likely decide in June whether to approve the second half of a deal by Toms River to send $5.8 million in affordable housing money to Lakewood, according to the lawyers involved in the agreement.

    Having already allowed the transfer of $3.2 million to help pay for 72 new townhouses in Lakewood, Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Grasso on Friday granted a June 4 hearing over the remaining funds to refurbish 72 existing low-income homes throughout the township.

    John Russo Jr., an attorney for Toms River, is lumping the Lakewood transfer credits in with a court request for approval of 106 units that would essentially satisfy Toms River’s affordable housing obligation, the state’s largest.

  25. bairen says:

    #19 BC Bob,

    I wonder how long before the carnage hits NJ like it is hitting Florida and California?

    I wouldn’t mind living in Tampa if I could get a nice house in a good school system for 200 to 220k. And nice house for me is 2k to 2,200 sq ft, built after Hurricane Andrew.

    California’s median price dropped 29% YOY. another 2 years like that and we could afford to move there.

  26. SG says:

    Foreclosure crisis is not just a city problem

    Norman J. Glickman is university professor at Rutgers-New Brunswick and public policy fellow at New Jersey Policy Perspective.

    The foreclosure crisis is upon us. The media have treated it as an “urban” problem, something going on only in Philadelphia or Camden. Politicians in middle-class, suburban towns speak as if they believe their areas are largely immune to the ravages of foreclosures. They are wrong. The foreclosure wave is cresting quickly over the suburbs.

    Nationally, as many as two million American families could lose their homes in the next year. They will fail to make their monthly mortgage payments, the sheriff will padlock their doors, and banks will repossess their homes. Adiós to their piece of the American Dream. Nationally, foreclosures soared 75 percent in 2007. This frightening trend continues today with no end in sight.

    According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 1.7 million Pennsylvania homes (and 1.8 million in New Jersey) will lose value because a neighbor has defaulted.

    Some families brought these problems on themselves by buying bigger and more expensive homes than they could afford. If they lost their jobs or got sick and didn’t have insurance, they could no longer pay what they thought was an affordable mortgage. Good-bye, dream house.

    Still others used their homes as ATMs: As housing prices rose during the early part of the decade, they took out second mortgages and used the proceeds to buy cars or finance their children’s educations. When housing prices started to fall a couple of years ago, many houses became worth less than their mortgages. Faced with this, borrowers engaged in “jingle mail”: they sent their keys back to lenders and walked away. Although it is hard to say precisely where they are going, they are probably down-sizing to rentals and moving in with relatives.

    What is next for the region? If housing prices continue to fall, as many predict, the problem will get worse. Far worse. We need strong policies, or the specter of empty homes and lost tax revenues will spread even further.

  27. BC Bob says:

    “April 28 (Bloomberg) — Add another ailment to the U.S. misery index of soaring gasoline and wheat costs and falling home values: a federal deficit that is burgeoning as foreign investors led by the Japanese recoil from the slumping dollar.”

    “The Japanese, who own $586.6 billion, or 12 percent of U.S. government debt, had their worst quarter in Treasuries this decade, losing 7 percent in the first three months of the year as the dollar fell to the lowest since 1995 versus the yen, Merrill Lynch & Co. indexes show. Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co., Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. and Sumitomo Life Insurance Co., three of the nation’s four-biggest insurers, would rather accept the world’s lowest bond yields in Japan than buy U.S. debt.”

    “Asian investors outside Japan are also pulling back. Money managers in China, the second-biggest overseas holder of Treasuries, with $486.9 billion, and South Korea say they favor debt in Europe, equities or commodities.”

    “Beijing-based ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Co., controlled by China’s biggest bank, said last week Treasuries are “not attractive” because of currency risks. South Korea’s $220 billion National Pension Service in Seoul said yields on the debt have lost their “charm.”


  28. 3b says:

    #1 grim since they “typically include widely differing” neighborhood conditions.

    I wonder what they mean by that? For instance I can understand that in the same town, houses on a busy street will fall more than houses on a quiet street.

    But away from that, what does that statement mean? Houses on Elm St are going down, but houses on Oak St are not?

    The east side of town is declining, but the west side is not?

    I do not think price declines occur in a vacum. Yes,they may start to decline in one section of a town first, and then spread from there, but no area IMO is insulated.

  29. 3b says:

    #18 grim:Polls show Americans, for the most part, are still convinced the Fed will do what it takes to keep inflation down.”

    So most Americans are OK with the fact that in order to keep inflation down, the Fed is going to have to tighthen dramatically? I don’t think so.

  30. chicagofinance says:

    R Patrick Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 8:00 am
    19 Sigh, seeing ones your care about hurt, is painful no?

    R: I saw “fil”…. ;-)

  31. BC Bob says:

    chi [31],

    Yes, father-in-law.

  32. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Polls show most Americans don’t know their a** from their elbow.

    They have No idea what would need to be done nor cause & effect of raising or cutting rates.

    I don’t consider myself an economic wiz but when I talk to people about what’s going on they have no clue. I don’t bring this stuff up anymore when conversation turns to the economy. People just look at me like I have 2 heads. So I just listen in disbelieve.

  33. Lincoln78 says:

    Any of you early morning NJRE Reporters have an opinion on Costco v. Sam’s v. BJ’s?

    I’m finally moving into a home with actual storage space and can go into hoarding mode.

    I’ll be living in Lyndhurst and have relatively easy access to all three.

  34. Stu says:

    People care about as much about economics as they do about current events or politics.

    bread and circus’ for the sheeple.

    I was also wondering why everyone says ‘PANT UP’ up demand instead of ‘PENT UP’ demand. Pant up is what I do in the morning if I don’t want to get arrested for lewdness. Did I miss an inside joke or two over the last year?

  35. PGC says:

    #34 Lincoln78

    I used to have all three.
    Costco for mainly for Gas and their food is slightly better.
    BJs because it was close.
    Sams Club I bought a DLP TV a few years back. It was cheaper to join Sams Club to buy it. Also they sold 4yr warranty for it for a decent price. I really liked their wine and vegetables.

    If it comes to a decision go for whichever is closer between Costco and BJ’s or which one has Gas.

  36. SG says:

    How much home can $1 million actually buy?

    A real estate riddle for our times: What do a 5,500-square-foot, five-bedroom McMansion in Las Vegas and a cramped one-bedroom condo on E. 29th Street in Manhattan have in common?

    The answer: Both sport a $1 million sales tag.

    This buying spree pushed prices up to the point where even modest homes in some markets have topped the million-dollar mark.

    But in Manhattan and parts of California, it’s a different story. A million dollars will set you up in an 625-square-foot — there’s no zero missing — one-bedroom, one-bathroom condominium with partial city views on Chambers Street in Manhattan, or a 1,026-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in a nondescript building with no views on Montgomery Street in San Francisco.

    Historically, the New York residential market tends to be influenced more by Wall Street than the general economy. However, layoffs in the financial services industry appear to be starting to take a toll on Manhattan as inventories have climbed 15% and sales have slowed over the past few months, opening the door to a possible correction.

    Overall, Mr. Gillespie cautioned that it’s critical for buyers to look at the local economy, unemployment levels, interest rates and inventory levels before jumping into a market. He sees opportunities for buyers who don’t need heavy financing and who are willing to hold on to the property for the long term.

    “You don’t want to invest and then flip,” Mr. Gillespie said. “Real estate is not a lottery ticket. Whenever you’re looking for a short-term gain in anything, you’re liable to get burned.”

  37. kettle1 says:


    “pant up” comes from a type that BI had when he was arguing for pent up demand a while back.

  38. kettle1 says:


    I use costco. I the finger of a rubber glov ein a lasagna from Sams a few years back, hence i no longer buy from there.

    And no, i did not find the finger that went with the glove. The bad part was that one of my guests found the glove finger when they were chewing :(

  39. Stu says:

    Thanks Kettle1(39)!

    It was killing me every time I saw it. I even Googled it to no avail ;)

  40. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Buffett: For Main Street, Recession Is Here

    The US economy indeed has entered into a recession, even if the traditional indicators aren’t showing it yet, billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett said.

    Economists generally pronounce a recession for an economy that has shown two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product, but Buffett said on CNBC Monday that you can throw that model out.

  41. SG says:

    NPR Story,

    Lee County, Fla., Suffers Foreclosure Glut

    Just a few years ago, there was a rush to buy property in sun-drenched Lee County, Fla. Bidding wars were common for homes that hadn’t even been built yet. But those days are over, and the real estate market there now is clogged with thousands of unsold homes. The decline is so extreme that people are looking for ways to walk away from their properties.

  42. SG says:

    Scared boomers may save for retirement

    April 28, 2008

    If there is a silver lining to the bursting of the real estate bubble, the weak economy and the attendant bear market, it may be that the great mass of baby boomers still 10 or more years from retirement might be scared into saving more for retirement while they still have time.

    The real estate collapse and bear market might introduce some rationality to their financial thinking. For too long, many baby boomers believed that they can have it all — big houses, fancy cars, boats, second homes and comfortable retirements — without saving up beforehand.

    They have been spending as if there were no tomorrow, while assuming they were going to retire on the proceeds of selling their homes and on the market gains of their 401(k) plans.

    Since the beginning of 2000, according to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington, the U.S. annual personal-savings rate has been greater than 3% in only one quarter — the third quarter of 2001, immediately after the collapse of the Internet bubble and the Sept. 11 attacks.

    In the third quarter of 2007, the last period for which data are available, the personal-savings rate was only 0.3% per annum, up fractionally from 0.2% in the second quarter.

  43. Cindy says:

    (28) 3b

    The way the “neighborhood” phenomenon is playing out here is where they overbuilt 2005-2006 and lured in liar loan/ ARM buyers – the prices have dropped dramatically (the incomes could never support the over-priced purchase..foreclosures everywhere – no one wants to live there.) Also, where ever there was lots of turnover (2005-2006) at highs to poor risk purchasers.

    The neighborhoods with no new (to speak of) turnover haven’t been hit because there are no new lower comps on the books. There are plenty of areas with no movement – no foreclosures, etc. Could that be it or something related to the number of bad loans/foreclosures in an area? Does it have to do with the comps on the books for an area?

  44. kettle1 says:

    As we see a shift from suburbia back to a more urban type setting over the next decade, i could be hard top price some of the new mcmansion developments as there will be few potential buyers in the long run (5-10 yrs)

    juts my uneducated speculation

  45. SG says:

    Lower prices can put ‘real’ in real estate

    Could reality, at last, be setting in among Florida home sellers?

    Given how things have gone since late 2006, last month’s area real-estate numbers didn’t so much contain positives as they contained fewer negatives. Prices went down again, but sales went up a little, even if month-to-month figures aren’t as significant as year-to-year.

    Think of the typical South Florida home seller as the 40-year-old guy who hasn’t been to the gym in two years, still lives at home with his parents, mistakes online dialogue for real-life networking, and yet hits the singles bar each weekend thinking that 25-year-old hotties will swoon. Too many sellers in Florida still think that it’s 2005, when reality had nothing to do with real estate.

    Psychology fueled the boom because people thought that prices never could come down. Psychology is prolonging the bust because people worry that prices won’t stop coming down. You’ll buy a car knowing that it will decrease in value, but you won’t buy a home that you expect will do the same.

    I feel sorry for Realtors, even those who wrongly believe that news organizations are hurting the market by reporting the news, which these days is mostly bad unless you’re selling $81 million Palm Beach mansions. This paper covered the boom in detail, and the boom still ended.

    Thursday’s news that home prices nationwide dropped 13.3 percent from March 2007, the highest rate in 38 years, will give Realtors heartburn, but it’s not surprising. The question is whether prices will settle to reasonable levels or collapse. If reality takes over, sellers will start settling, and so will the market.

  46. Orion says:

    Dr. Martin Weiss is really, really ticked about how bond insurance companies get their ratings.

    From MoneyandMarkets:


  47. Al says:

    TO post #34 Lincoln78 Says:

    I am very disappointed in Costco recently – they do not have bananas, rice , sometimes on weekends running out of some bakery products. Entering a Costco is always like a zoo – tons of people.

    Also assortment is not so good. They are getting rid of some products.

    But I do not know if BH or SAM’s any different.

    I do not like Costco fruits and veggies… But membership is still worth it for me with strategic shopping you do save a lot of money.

    Although, Alcohol is cheaper at my local liquor store.

  48. rhymingrealtor says:


    I had both BJ’s and Costco, did not sign up for Sam’s as I went through and was not impressed. I am staying with Costco (although it is more crowded than BJ’s) because of the specialty items I like from there. Hope that helps, and I hope you got a good price on that home in Lyndhurst!


  49. Hobokenite says:

    SG Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Scared boomers may save for retirement
    April 28, 2008

    If there is a silver lining to the bursting of the real estate bubble, the weak economy and the attendant bear market, it may be that the great mass of baby boomers still 10 or more years from retirement might be scared into saving more for retirement while they still have time.

    And what will that do to an economy that is 70% consumer spending?

  50. SG says:

    ‘Greenspan’s Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve’

    By William A. Fleckenstein with Frederick Sheehan

    Forever blowing bubbles: Ex-Fed boss takes his lumps in wake of economic troubles

    The man once hailed as the world’s greatest economist is summarily dissected and discredited in excruciating detail in this study by William A. Fleckenstein with Frederick Sheehan.

    Using transcripts from the Federal Open Markets Committee as well as congressional testimony, the authors make a strong case that Greenspan’s easy money policies and long history of making bad decisions contributed to the wild IPOs and rampant over-investment, which yielded the tech bubble of the late 1990s.

    The prevailing theme throughout the 187 pages of “Greenspan’s Bubbles” is this:

    Whatever good that might have come out of Greenspan’s nearly two-decade reign over the U.S. Central Bank has been dwarfed by the mammoth size of the problems it created.

    “Greenspan’s Bubbles” is a must-read for the powers that be who are seeking more insight on how to deal with the nation’s growing financial crisis, whose proportions are still not completely understood.

  51. Al says:

    P.S. I find it is funny that Costco has run out of rice, but still have plenty of meats/milk products, other grains. I think a lot of people were stockpiling. Demand for rice in US will peak out soon and then drop as people/businesses will work through existing reserves.

  52. SG says:

    Link to Amazon for the Book mentioned earlier,

    Greenspan’s Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve

    Seems like lot of folks have 4* ranks for the book.

  53. lostinny says:

    I saw I am Legend over the weekend. There’s a scene where Will Smith is in front of a gas station and the prices on the sign 6.63 and up I think. That was supposed to take place in 2012. I wonder if it will take that long for gas prices to get that high in real life.

  54. gary says:

    Did anyone peruse the RE sections of the Sunday papers? Still looks like near peak asking price for trade-up type homes to me. Your Hypothesis?

  55. grim says:

    If anyone has any questions for Fleckenstein, I can try getting a Q&A session together.

    Anyone interested in that?

  56. spam spam bacon spam says:

    OK…I needs halp. :)

    As you all know, I’m in the market for commercial/industrial space.

    I had been working with an agent becuase he was representing a property I was interested in; but when the property went under contract with another tenant, “my agent” has all but disappeared. I “tried” to get him to work with me on showing me other properties, but he takes 3-4 days to return emails that ask simple questions (eg: “What’s the address of xxx?”) and although I like him personally, he’s the pits when it comes to being proactive. (I’m still waiting on addresses for 3 listings since LAST Monday…)

    He is young (I’m guessing about 25-ish), drives a BMW, and has never experienced a recession…

    …he’s only experienced recent boomtimes and IMHO, thinks the contracts just drop out of the ceiling tiles.

    Anyhoo, I’d like it if any realtors here have a commercial/industrial agent they’ve worked with that they like / would like to throw business to… I’m looking for “industrial” in Somerset County. (Or if you are such an agent…all the better…)

    You can get my email from Grim.


  57. electricsheep says:

    DH and I are near capitulation. Been waiting and saving for three years, and prices in our town (Montclair) are NOT budging. We love it here and are staying for a variety of reasons, but the waiting and waiting is getting really old. At some point the emotional benefit of settling down will outweigh waiting for the market to drop further. How much longer can this go on?

    We have a ton of money in the bank (more than we need for a 20% down payment), and would buy well below our means.

    Are we insane?

    Perhaps I need a good talking down.

  58. prtraders2000 says:

    What’s with those “How much house can I afford?” calculators? They don’t seem to consider the living expenses of the borrower. Only their income, down payment and how much other debt they have. When I review my monthly expenses, I come up with a number significantly lower than the online calculator. The $800 a month for groceries and $450 for fuel seem to blow the budget.

  59. SG says:

    If anyone has any questions for Fleckenstein, I can try getting a Q&A session together.

    Anyone interested in that?

    I think he can publish stories from Middle Class folks trying hard to afford decent house in NJ. All this stories in MSM about home owners in trouble need to be balanced with folks who are not even home owner and cant afford due to insane prices. I guess online chat can give some examples.

  60. John says:

    You are not insane for waiting. BTW 20% is the minimun rock bottom absolute smallest amount you should put down on a house. Going forward equity in a house will be your downpayment and monthly principal. We are in for a good 5-10 years of flatlining so 20% won’t get you very far.

  61. SG says:

    CNN Article,

    Good credit can’t protect borrowers from bad loans

    More and more home owners with high credit scores are falling behind on their mortgage payments. Here’s why.

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A good credit score doesn’t mean you can’t end up in foreclosure.

    Many now troubled borrowers had excellent credit when they got their mortgages. But they took out loans that they couldn’t afford to buy homes that were too expensive. Credit scores alone are no guarantee that borrowers will be able to keep up with their payments.

    In September 2007, the most recent month for which data is available, more than 20% of subprime mortgage borrowers with scores of between 840 and 900 were 60 days or more delinquent, according to First American LoanPerformance. That default rate was roughly equal to that of borrowers with much lower scores, in the 540 to 599 range.

    For Phillips, the problem was the she ended up with an exotic loan called an option adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). With these loans, a borrower has the option of making minimum monthly payments that don’t even cover the loan’s interest. That unpaid interest is then added to the mortgage principal, which means that the loan grows bigger – and more expensive – each month.

    “These loans required borrowers to have FICO scores of 700 or better to get them in the first place,” said Phillips’ foreclosure prevention counselor, Michael Sichenzia, of Dynamic Consulting Enterprises. “But they are defaulting at a high rate.”

    Option ARMs have what’s called a negative amortization cap. If the unpaid interest accrues to as little 10% of the original principal (that varies from loan to loan), the loan reverts to a traditional mortgage, where the borrow must make full monthly payments that pay down the loan’s principle.

    Is Option ARM similar time-bomb as Subprime?

  62. 3b says:

    #58 grim: Absolutely.

  63. Mikeinwaiting says:

    SG 64 I’ve heard them called a NAM. Short for negative amortization loan.

  64. 3b says:

    346 cindy: That could be. But tif there are areas that are not moving at all, than how can you amke a reasonable determination as to where prices are going.

    If areas are not moving at all, I would argue than when they do move, it will be downward.

  65. 3b says:

    #57 gary: We went over this yesterday. Perhaps you missed it.

    Prices in prestigious, affluent, blue ribbon, train town areas are not going to fall, they are going to slide.

  66. PGC says:

    If Jim is around? Can you give us an idea of what is going on in “Nolans Ridge”. I saw a few of these hit realtor.com


    I think these prices are crazy. I think there is a lot cheaper inventory in the area and anything over $500K should have lake access.

  67. grim says:


    I can’t help but look at the neg-am cap and think “margin call”.

  68. 3b says:

    #60 electric: Why not give it another year? We are almost into May at this point;time is passing quickly.

    I know it gets old waiting, but if you have waited this long, what is one more year for what I believe will be real significant declines in pricing.

    You ahve nothiing to lose.

  69. electricsheep says:

    3b – you are right. The rational side of my brain agrees. It’s just that my 6yo hasn’t had a yard to run around, and now that my second is older, it just sucks to always have to plan trips to the park to get some fresh air.

    It’s just really compromising our lifestyle right now, yet I know we’ll probably do the right thing.

  70. SG says:

    WSJ Article

    One Guy Who Has Seen It All Doesn’t Like What He Sees Now

    Today’s trouble, the 89-year-old Mr. Bernstein says, is worse than he has seen since the Depression and threatens to roil markets into 2009 and beyond — longer than many people expect.

    One of Peter Bernstein’s worries: ‘If China goes into a recession, God knows.’

    Mr. Bernstein, whose books include “Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk,” sees two culprits. One is the abuse of securitization — the trend for banks to hold fewer loans on their books and instead turn them into securities that were sold to other investors. The other is simply years of overborrowing by financial institutions and consumers alike.

    You don’t get into a mess without too much borrowing. It was sparked primarily by the hedge funds, which were both unregulated by government and in many ways unregulated by their owners, who gave their managers a very broad set of marching orders. It was a real delusion.

    Here, the shape of the business cycle is like an L, where it goes down and doesn’t turn up.

    It took a very long time to get the memory of the Depression out of business decisions, and certainly banking decisions. I think this is going to be the same.

    I think real estate is going to be under a cloud for so long, and you can’t buy real estate with cash, it is too much money. I think you should go with the stock market.

    The people who think we will have turned in 2009 are wrong. There has to be a respite along the way. Nothing goes in one direction forever. But it will take longer than people think.

    You have to reach a point where somebody says, “This house is cheap, I am going to buy it,” or where some businessman says, “This is a great opportunity for us to expand our business. Everything is available to us.”

    the housing trouble has to at least flatten out. As long as that is going on, I think the pressure on the credit system is going to persist. It is kind of the leading indicator. It is where the trouble started.

  71. Hehehe says:


    Brazil Oil Trapped by 500-Degree Heat, Salt Barrier (Update1)

    By Joe Carroll

    April 28 (Bloomberg) — Brazil’s plan to become one of the world’s biggest oil exporters hinges on exploiting crude six miles below the ocean surface in deposits so hot they can melt the metal used to carry uranium to nuclear plants.


  72. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Home vacancies rise to record 2.9% in first quarter

    Putting further downward pressure on home prices, the number of vacant homes in the United States increased by 1 million over the past year to a record 18.6 million, according to government data released Monday.

    The vacancy rate for homes usually occupied by the owners rose to a record 2.3 million homes from 2.2 million in the fourth quarter and about 1 million more than was typical before the housing bubble burst.

    Analysts say the housing market won’t recover until the glut of vacant homes on the market can be worked down.

    The total U.S. housing stock increased by 2.1 million to 129.4 million in the past year, with about half of that increase accounted for by the increase in vacancies.
    The homeowner vacancy rate rose to a record 2.9% in the first quarter from 2.8% in the fourth quarter, about 1 percentage point higher than normal. The vacancy rate has jumped in all four regions of the country, and in cities, suburbs and rural areas since the housing bubble exploded.

  73. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Home Vacancies Rise to Record on Foreclosures

    A record 18.6 million U.S. homes stood empty in the first quarter as lenders took possession of a growing number of properties in foreclosure.

    The figure is 5.7 percent higher than a year ago, when 17.6 million properties were vacant, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. The vacancy rate, the share of homes empty and for sale, rose to 2.9 percent, the highest in a series that goes back to 1956. About 2.3 million empty homes were for sale, compared with 2.2 million a year earlier, the report said.

  74. lisoosh says:

    Is second home and property ownership losing its sheen?

    Overheard to day at the gym, two older ladies (probable early ’60’s) were talking about properties in Pennsylvania, rural ones. One womans son has one and is planning on putting it on the market. The other woman chimes in that she has a property out there, they thought they would build a cabin, never did; Camped out there and were miserable and then somebody came and stole an acre’s worth of trees.

    The consensus was that while they loved the areas, the properties were too much of a pain in the behind to keep. Both are going to be put on the market shortly.

    That was just two random woman in one random gym. Either they are an anomaly or this is going on all over. I think it is possible a lot of land and second homes may start coming on to the market as the “dream” begins to tarnish.

  75. lisoosh says:

    Prefer Costco.

    BJ’s near me is just nasty, and no better prices than the supermarket.

    Sam’s club is Walmart.

    Costco has good value organics, love their labor policies and their prices are good. Great wines near me too.

  76. lisoosh says:

    electricsheep – I hear ya. Our situation is similar.

    I view it as needing to pee when in the car. It is an annoyance, but when you actually get near a bathroom, suddenly you REALLY have to go. The closer it gets to prices actually beginning their slide/drop whatever, the antsier I get. Luckily though we have a big grass area out back, swings and lots of kids to play with so that makes it easier.

    Could use a garage though.

  77. Lincoln78 says:

    RR #51 –

    Thanks for the input. I’m leaning towards Costco but have a free 60 day pass to BJ’s i’m going to use to test it out. Are their (BJ’s) return policies similar to Costco’s?

    As for Lyndhurst – I’m still renting, but getting much more for my $ than where I am now (Hoboken) and anticipate liking the town a whole more as well.

  78. rhymingrealtor says:


    Clot is in that area however I don’t think he wants clients from this blog ( professional reasons) but you can click on his name for his contact info.

    Good Luck


  79. SG says:

    Pretty good article. I think it matches most people’s thoughts on the board.

    Must Government Inflate Home Prices?

    I write this because we are seeing a lot of supposedly intelligent people confusing cause with effect and declaring that the effect is the cause, and government must act upon that “cause” immediately. That, not surprisingly, is a recipe for disaster.

    The fall in home book values is an effect, not a cause of the current economic downturn, and to miss that simple but profound principle is to miss what is going on.

    In 2001, the U.S. economy had fallen into recession. The Clinton-era stock bubble had burst, but the dollar still was strong against foreign currencies. Then came the 9/11 attacks, which I believe had much more effect than most people understand.

    After the attacks, the American economy was stagnant, which should not have been surprising, since the economy still was in recession on top of the vicious hit that it received from the terror attacks. Yet, at this point, the George W. Bush Administration could have been heroic and dealt correctly with the situation at hand. First, it should have done nothing to “stimulate” the economy as opposed to what it did do: convince Alan Greenspan to have the Fed lower interest rates to ridiculous levels (1.0%).

    At first, the boom in the housing market started very slowly – as these things usually do. Soon, however, Americans were being bombarded with calls at the dinner hour and in their emails by mortgage brokers to refinance their houses, and then the cascade began. It seemed quite reasonable at the beginning. Interest rates were quite low, and it made sense to borrow money against the increasing equity of one’s house, and maybe even borrow a few thousand more to buy cars, vacations, refrigerators, or whatever – and still have lower house payments.

    By 2006, it should have been obvious in places like California and elsewhere on the two coasts that the party was over. The tipoff was that companies were dealing almost exclusively in the “interest-only” mortgages with their special “teaser” rates. Would-be homeowners would borrow huge sums of money, but start out paying only the interest at low introductory rates.

    The reason they put themselves in such vulnerable positions was that this was the only way that most of them could begin to afford the sky-high house payments that with the accelerating housing prices. Borrowers would console themselves with the false belief that within a year, they would “flip” their houses, have new equity, and have money to put down on a new place, with a conventional mortgage and lower payments.

    If we want the economy to become viable again, the last thing the government needs to do is to try to pump up housing prices, as the markets will make sure that every new attempt to “create liquidity” will translate into even higher commodity prices – even as housing prices continue to tank. Murray Rothbard and other Austrians have had the right prescription, one that the Bill Grosses of the world don’t want to hear: Governments should do nothing except permit the markets to adjust to levels that are sustainable. Anything else only will prolong the financial agony and ultimately make the economic downturn even worse.

    Unfortunately, policymakers are listening to the Grosses and not the Rothbards. And for that, we will pay dearly.

  80. kettle1 says:

    HEHE 74,

    The author should have done a little more research. A lot of the comparisons are fluff. i.e “deposits so hot they can melt the metal used to carry uranium to nuclear plants”.

    my understanding is that they know that they can use titanium piping at those pressure and temperatures, but using titanium jacks up the cost. Apparently one of the bigger hurdles is what happens when 500 deg F oil hits the section of piping that is exposed to the ocean floor at 32 deg F. The thermal shock could cause the oil to solidify in the pipes and plug them up. There are many technical hurdles that make the fabulous claims of this find iffy, but that article was awfully “fluffy” for bloomberg

  81. chicagofinance says:

    Stu Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 9:47 am
    Thanks Kettle1(39)!It was killing me every time I saw it. I even Googled it to no avail ;)

    Stu: if you don’t back off, I will be forced to attach you….

  82. BC Bob says:

    “OPEC President Chakib Khelil does not rule out oil prices reaching $200 a barrel, even though supply is adequate, because the market is driven by the dollar’s slide, Algerian government newspaper El Moudjahid reported on Monday.”

    “He added: “The prices are high due to the fact of the recession in the United States and the economic crisis which has touched several countries, a situation which has an effect on the devaluation of the dollar, and therefore each time the dollar falls one percent, the price of the barrel rises by $4, and of course vice versa,” he was quoted as saying in brief remarks to journalists on Sunday.”

    “He added that: “If this (the dollar) strengthens by 10 percent, it is probable that (oil) prices will fall by 40 percent.”


  83. kettle1 says:

    85 bc bob,

    While i agree that there is a dollar index effect in oil prices, the more i look at the data the smaller i think its effect is. This is just my personal opinion and i am not a financial expert, but supply and demand have a much stronger correlation with price changes then the dollar index does.
    I see this article as 125% accuracy, 75% smoke screen.

  84. kettle1 says:

    Jingle mail is over in Cali apparently.

    Alan Nevin, chief economist for the California Building Industry Association and San Diego-based MarketPointe Realty Advisors, predicted foreclosure sales could account for as many as 15,000 out of 25,000 total sales this year. But at some point, the foreclosures will drop off, he Nevin said.

    “Anybody who’s going to walk away from a house or condo has already done it,” Nevin said. “Now it’s just a matter of the pig going through the snake.”

  85. grim says:

    spam spam,

    Check your email.

  86. reinvestor101 says:

    You have been here being an ardent detractor of America. You have been here cheerleading the downfall of your fellow Americans. You wouldn’t know patriotism even if it came up and slapped in you your hate America first face. You disgust me.

    Please take your narrow ingrate behind over to Iran or communist China. This country does not need pantywaists like you here.

    Sean Says:
    April 27th, 2008 at 11:52 pm
    reinvestor101 – You espouse that you are really an “ardent supporter of America”.

    You would not know what a patriot is.If you ever meet anyone like a real patriot you will then learn what “support” really is. You are the true coward who will not face a lie. You will only perpetuate it, and like a malignant gangrene lie you will eventually be cut off.

  87. kettle1 says:


    one mans patriot is another mans terrorist. It all depends on your point of view

  88. Kelly says:

    #64 – SG – if you look at some of the graphs regarding the huge numbers option arms recasting in 2010 and 2011 – it looks like things could be much, much worse than the subprime resets. Some number I have come across is that 80% of Option ARMs can only afford the minimum – just like the article example.

    Here is a link to an option arm graph


    And according the “Map of Misery” in NJ about 5-10% of all 2005 mortgages (new and refis) were Option ARMS.

  89. kettle1 says:


    what makes more sense to me is that the dollar index is being accelerated downward by the overall energy crunch.

  90. Kelly says:

    Question – Was today’s lead article from the Bridgeton news fact-checked? Everywhere else the national average for foreclosures appears 1 in 538 – this article states approx. 1 in 5000. NJ is supposed to be 1 in 775 – Bridgeton at 1 in 1200 appears to be doing better than the state average not worse.

    Am I missing something or are these numbers inaccurate?

  91. kettle1 says:

    kelly, 91

    i broguth up the same chart the other day. that event will be the second wave of the tsunami to hit the US markets. We are currently witnessing the first wave. The difference is, that the US Gov will have even less money/debt to throw at individuals and banks to try and stave off disaster. That group of option arms have nowhere to refinance and very few will be able to sell.
    Who ever wins this presidential election is going to have a very rough ride in store for them. hopefully its not McCain who has admitted to not understanding economics despite his years or government experience.

  92. make money says:


    When two national builders go bye bye then we can look into posibilities of a bottom.

  93. John says:

    Wait a minute, I thought cheap real estate was patriotic. What about “go west young man”, and stake your claim in the old land rush days. What about the Levitown GI financed cheap home of the 1940s and 1950’s. That is what made america great, not overpriced mcmansion built on teardowns financed by subprime toxic loans.

    Econmically cheaper homes even make sense. Lets say I bought a average priced home in 2006 for 500K. If it quadrupled in 30 years and I had three kids it would be sold for 4 million. Lets say I had four kids and each inherited 1/4 of house. They would each go out and buy and average home for 4 million and be saddled between the four of them with 12 million in mortgage payments. Now lets say my house only doubled in 30 years to one million, each kids gets $250k and buys an average house for one million each, they are only saddled with 3 million in mortgage instead of 13 million in mortgage. We all want houses to go up, but going up too quickly can be a bad thing for future genterations.

  94. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    History Hints a Recession Would Hit City Hard

    Federal officials may still be debating whether the American economy will fall into a full-blown recession this year. But economists in New York City are pondering another question: If there is a national recession, how deep will it get here?

    If the last two recessions are any guide, economists say, the city could be headed into a wrenching reversal that will last longer than the national downturn. Though by many measures the city’s economy is still chugging along even as the nation’s sputters, there are troubling signs: Business-tax revenues and the number of building permits are dropping while unemployment and office space availability are creeping up.

    Perhaps most important, big investment banks continue to report losses on securities tied to mortgages, causing the elimination of thousands of high-paying jobs on Wall Street, with many more layoffs in the works.

    James Parrott, the chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal research group, said he believed the city had been in a recession for months. Employment in construction has already started to decline, as it usually does at the start of a recession, he said. Retail sales would be following suit, he added, if not for the surge of foreign tourists taking advantage of the weak dollar.

    Once the layoffs on Wall Street start rippling through the city’s economy, Mr. Parrott said, “it’s going to take something unforeseen to prevent us from having a massive job loss.”

    The situation has worsened enough that the New York City Independent Budget Office, which said a month ago that it expected a brief and mild recession, is preparing a forecast that is likely to be significantly bleaker, said Ronnie Lowenstein, the director.

    The local economy, she said, “will be considerably worse than it is now.”

  95. Shore Guy says:

    # 13 “Some investor pals of mine have hit Ft. Lauderdale/Broward/West Palm and are picking up stuff @ 50-60% off the market highs.”


    I am going to be back in that area on Thursday. Are there any particular spots right on or a block or two from the ocean that they can recomend to look?

  96. Shore Guy says:

    oh, and inland waterway within walking distance of the beach is o.k. too.

  97. 3b says:

    #96 John: nobody cares abou the future generations. In my town every year before the school budget vote, the schools hand out bupmer stickers that have a picture of a kid and the line “Building Bright Futures”.

    You put this on you car to show your support for voting yes for the chool budget (no matter what the increase in taxes).

    I am always tempted to make up my own bumper sticker that says “Building Bright Futures” For Our Children;So They Can Move Else Where.

  98. reinvestor101 says:

    So this would mean that Al Quaida is a patriotic organization. Which point of view is correct is the question. Viewing them as patriotic is insane.

    I was working out this morning when I happened to catch Osama’s preacher on TV today, the Rev Jeremiah Wright. This man spouted so much of the hate America first crap that I had to demand that they turn the damn channel. That man needs to be put away somewhere.

    He was suggesting the same thing you’re suggesting and went further to suggest that America is a terrorist nation. People like this should not be allowed to have a forum to speak their hate of America.

    There’s only one point of view if you’re a citizen of this great nation; support and love her. I’m not interested in Al Quaida’s perspective. I’m not interested in our enemies perspective.

    kettle1 Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    one mans patriot is another mans terrorist. It all depends on your point of view

  99. 3b says:

    #95 make; Even in Iowa?

  100. 3b says:

    #92 kettle: And yet Mr. bush and Mr. Paulson continue to parrot the line that a strong dollar is in our nation’s best interest.

  101. Rich In NNJ says:

    Washington Township

    ACT 58 WOODFIELD RD $719,900 3/29/2005
    SLD 58 WOODFIELD RD $722,000 6/21/2005

    ACT 58 WOODFIELD RD $699,000 1/28/2008
    PCH 58 WOODFIELD RD $674,900 4/2/2008
    W-U 58 WOODFIELD RD $674,900 4/28/2008

    ACT 58 WOODFIELD RD $649,900 4/28/2008

  102. Shore Guy says:

    # 18 Neither the question, the problem, nor the range of solutions. They might as well be asking me about the proper technique for a bowel resection.

  103. John says:

    School Budget to me is a joke, I work in the city and their is no on line or phone or proxy voting allowed, even if I left work early to vote no and it made a difference they don’t accept the budget they just automatically do a re-count as they drag every supporter out of the closet to get it to pass, if it failed again, very rare, since teachers work hours, salaries and benefits are fixed and you can’t lay them off they just cancel stuff like books, chalk and sports and then make the kids miserable and the parents miserable as they run a million volunteer events to raise money for chalk and books and they harrass the parents to volunteer or give cash so after a year of this we will vote to pass it next time.

    I have kids in the system so it is not that big a deal to me. I do find it funny that you always get the guy who has three kids in the district at 15K a kid (45K), and he still have the balls to complain he is over taxes when his school tax portion of his RE tax is 4k.

  104. spyder says:

    hello all,

    looking for some info on mls #2803674

    thanks in advance

  105. make money says:

    Good read from Newsweek.



    Yes, I was suprised about Iowa myself. Florida, Cali, Arizona, Nevada, are all products of the national builders and my prediction is for two of them to go bye bye.

    The funny thing is that the Iowa builder didn’t blame himself, his cost structure, and his business model but instead he said it’s all Wells Fargo fault cause they pulled the credit line on dec 2007 and they don’t have the cash flow to meet daily cost.

    If your cash flow can’t pick up your operating cost do you really think you have a viable business plan?!!!!

  106. 3b says:

    #89 realestatewelfarebaby: You have been here cheerleading the downfall of your fellow Americans.

    I din’t tell my fellow Americans to run out and buy houses they could not afford, or cash out all their home equity like an ATM machine, to spend in nonsense, or buy/lease cars they cannot afford.

    They are big boys and girls, time for them to take it like true blooded Americans, not crying looking for a handout.

  107. 3b says:

    #87 kettle: I think it is just starting.

  108. Rich In NNJ says:


    2816379 (Office Exclusive)
    SLD 364 MULBERRY CT $630,000 4/11/2008

    ACT 364 MULBERRY CT $779,900 4/26/2008

    The buyer who doesn’t have his agent look at the listing history is a fool. S/S appliances, paint and cleaining for ~$150k?

  109. John says:

    Just curious, is anyone on this site going to get economic stimulus check? No one at my job is getting one, other than a few retirees. I don’t know anyone who qualifies

  110. BC Bob says:

    “They are big boys and girls, time for them to take it like true blooded Americans, not crying looking for a handout.”


    Just a bunch of debt infested leeches.

  111. Seeking a new handle says:

    COSTCO for life

  112. 3b says:

    #113 BC Bob: With their hands in our pockets looking for a handout.

  113. Rich In NNJ says:


    2429610 (Expired)
    ACT 19 COLLINS AVE $1,640,000 10/8/2004
    PCH 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 4/1/2005
    EXT 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 9/29/2005
    EXT 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 11/8/2005
    EXP 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 11/13/2005
    2602246 (New broker & agent, Expired)
    ACT 19 COLLINS AVE $1,748,000 1/17/2006
    PCH 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 6/3/2006
    EXP 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 7/16/2006
    2639553 (Sold)
    ACT 19 COLLINS AVE $1,649,000 10/8/2006
    PCH 19 COLLINS AVE $1,589,000 11/3/2006
    ACT* 19 COLLINS AVE $1,589,000 3/12/2007
    U/C 19 COLLINS AVE $1,589,000 3/21/2007
    SLD 19 COLLINS AVE $1,500,000 6/4/2007

    2803674 (Active)
    ACT 19 COLLINS AVE $1,695,000 1/28/2008
    Taxes: $21,490.16

    Also available for rent:
    2810275 ACT 19 COLLINS AVE $6,000 3/13/2008

  114. Shore Guy says:

    # 34 Isn’t Monica Lewinski supposed to be the next spokesperson for BJs?

  115. 3b says:

    #111 Rich; Amazing that stuff is still going on. I guess the flipper did not get the memo, that the party is over.

  116. Mike NJ says:



    I do not know one person either. Not at work, not friends. I could use the $2100 just as much as the next guy. Apple just came out with an updated iMac today. I NEED that sucker as my home PC is over 4 years old and is nearly dead.

  117. Clotpoll says:

    kl (81)-

    Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t work for- or accept compensation from- anyonw who is a poster here.

  118. Shore Guy says:

    “Treasuries are “not attractive” because of currency risks”

    How sad a comment is this? The whole weak dollar crowd has focused on a quick fix for exports at the expense of the economic foundations of the nation. It is absurd.

  119. spam spam bacon spam says:


    Thanks, shot off an email…

  120. Shore Guy says:

    # 112 No one in our household is getting one.

  121. reinvestor101 says:

    On the contrary, it is you and your ilk in the celebratory mood about the problems the country is encountering, you self absorbed little cheapskate. All you care about is getting a damn house on the cheap. You don’t give a shlt about what’s happening to people losing houses.

    3b Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 1:41 pm
    #89 realestatewelfarebaby: You have been here cheerleading the downfall of your fellow Americans.

    I din’t tell my fellow Americans to run out and buy houses they could not afford, or cash out all their home equity like an ATM machine, to spend in nonsense, or buy/lease cars they cannot afford.

    They are big boys and girls, time for them to take it like true blooded Americans, not crying looking for a handout.

  122. SG says:

    Interesting take,

    US Subprime Crisis Bottom, Bullish Stock Market and Gold as New Money

    As seen by the ABX index above, mid quality subprime debts are now selling at 10-20cents on the dollar. Those mortgage debts are being sold as if they are worth nothing.

    I am not saying US housing prices won’t go lower, but rather, the financial markets have fully priced in 50%+ subprime default rate and 50%+ correction of US home prices.

    The markets are completely irrational selling subprime at 10cents on the dollar, a direct result from $2 trillion subprime debt sellers simultaneous wanting to get out. Analysts in hindsight will comment on how cheaply those subprime assets were selling today.

  123. prtraders2000 says:

    I’m expecting an $1,800 stimulus payment to be deposited into my bank account on May 9. Married with two kids. I guess you make too much money to qualify.

  124. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (98)-

    These guys say Ft. L/Broward are teeming with cheap stuff. The guy who bought the waterfront said he just called a few RE agents and picked one who was sharp and promptly gave him good info. Lots of the REO down there is MLS-listed.

  125. Shore Guy says:

    # 40 “the finger of a rubber glov ein a lasagna from Sams ”

    It is a novel approach to the medical waste problem.

  126. kettle1 says:


    The underlying principles of a strong dollar are most definitely in our interest, that is fiscal conservatism, spending within your budget, maintaining your countries basic industrial infrastructure etc.

    talk is cheap, its the results that count

  127. Shore Guy says:

    # 126 Yeesh, I hope that those of us who are not getting them at least get a nice thank you note from the ones who are, since it seems that we are the ones paying for it (and the interest to China).

  128. kettle1 says:

    i expect a stimulus check as well

  129. kettle1 says:

    thanks for the check shore :)

  130. 3b says:

    #124 rewelfarebaby: Hey Paul Revere you did not address my statement. I will repeat it for you.

    I didn’t tell my fellow Americans to run out and buy houses they could not afford, or cash out all their home equity like an ATM machine, to spend on nonsense, or buy/lease cars they cannot afford.

    They are big boys and girls, time for them to take it like true blooded Americans, not crying looking for a handout.

    And you call me self-absorbed and a cheapskate?

    Let me get this straight, you expect me to pay for other peoples mistakes? I don’t think so. You want me to over pay for real estate? Why should I? And you call yourself an investor?

    And you are right I am a cheapskate (it has served me very well), and everyday I wait, the more money I save.

  131. Shore Guy says:

    # 56 I am expecting to pay $5 a gallon by Labor Day.

  132. Shore Guy says:


    That is all we’re asking for.

    Spend it in good health.

  133. Clotpoll says:

    sg (125)-

    As has been mentioned here on several occasions, there’s lots of mortgage debt (of varying classification) that will be quietly retiring at par. Much of it is like the baby that gets tossed out with the bathwater.

    Believe me, there are plenty of guys on the street ferreting out such mispriced assets. There are very few places these days where a 50K flyer will put you in control of 1 MIL worth of debt whose payments are current.

  134. Shore Guy says:

    # 60

    If you have any longterm interest in snowbirding or retiring down south, maybe the thing to do is to buy the snow-bird/retirement home now, in a place where things have crashed already and continue to rent in NJ. It could well be that you will be able to afford to pay cash for the retirement place or pay it off within 5 years. By then, NJ prices should have gone as low as they are going and you can buy or not buy in NJ then.

  135. chicagofinance says:

    Seeking a new handle Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 1:49 pm
    COSTCO for life

    I think you have your handle……

  136. Clotpoll says:

    Who cares about real estate?

    Here’s the kind of news I like:

    “Mindy McCready’s mother confirmed today that the country singer has had a long-term relationship with pitcher Roger Clemens, but she said she believes the relationship is strictly platonic.

    “They met here (in Fort Myers),” said Gayle Inge of North Fort Myers. “I think it was at a karaoke bar, but I couldn’t say for sure.

    “They were friends. That’s about all I could tell you.”

    The New York Daily News reported Monday that Clemens has had a decade-long relationship with McCready.

    The relationship started when McCready was a 15-year-old aspiring singer and Clemens was a 28-year-old ace pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, the newspaper reported. The Sox have come to Fort Myers for spring training since 1993.”

  137. kettle1 says:

    just came across an interesting bit of banking sleight of hand across the pond in the UK…. cant vouch for the site, take with a grain of salt.

    The Bank of England has imposed a permanent news blackout on its £50bn-plus plan to ease the credit crunch.

    Ferocious and unprecedented secrecy means taxpayers will never know the names of the banks that have been supported through the special liquidity scheme, which was unveiled by Bank Governor Mervyn King last week.

    Requests under the Freedom of Information Act are to be denied. Details will be kept secret even after 30 years – the period after which all but the most sensitive state documents are released.

    Any Bank of England employee leaking the names of institutions involved will face court action for breach of contract.

    Even a figure for the overall amount advanced will not be published until October. Meanwhile the Bank is expected to issue at least £50bn of Treasury bills to banks in exchange for their mortgages – entirely in secret.

  138. kettle1 says:


    my stimulus check will be going directly into savings/investments, no spending for me thank you. Dont forget i am one of those anti-consumerist terrorist 101 mentioned

  139. RayC says:

    139 Clotpoll

    “They were friends. That’s about all I could tell you.”

    So your 15 year old daughter starts a relationship with a married 28 year old famous athlete. And a DECADE goes by and you don’t ask ANY questions? Besides the obvious, did the check clear.

    In the dictionary next to “got what he deserved”, picture of Roger.

  140. Shore Guy says:

    # 96 “Wait a minute, I thought cheap real estate was patriotic.”
    Indeed the Mining Act of 1872 (at least I think it was 1872) made and still makes public land available for private use at a pittance.

  141. Shore Guy says:

    # 141 If everyone did that we would be far better off as a nation, and it would, perhaps, reduce the liklihood of such a boneheaded plan in the future.

  142. hirono says:

    Re: ARM resets.

    Wondering if anyone read news of some problems regarding LIBOR. Aren’t many of those loans tied to that rate for reset? I believe that it is moving upwards, raising the reset higher than perhaps even higher than expected (And we
    know that many of these loans were doomed not to perform even before this volatility.)


  143. Shore Guy says:

    # 127


    I was down there about 10 days ago. In some neighborhoods (nice ones on the Inland Waterway or overlooking the Ocean) it felt like 1/3 of the homesw were for sale.

  144. SJ Boy says:

    Hello all,

    Looking for info on MLS 2472742

    Thanks in advance.

  145. Shore Guy says:

    Speaking of LIBOR, has anyone ever heard LIBOR used as a verb?

  146. Zack says:

    Homeless people can greatly benefit from rising vacant properties. If I was homeless here in NY, I would go to Miami, find a good waterfront vacant property, buy a bottle of Wine and relax.

  147. spyder says:


    Thank you, got one more for you, if you don’t mind- mls# 2701332

    thanks again

  148. ADA says:

    Anybody have any thoughts when we will see Manhattan prices coming down? I’ve been looking for 1br on the UWS for my retired parents and nothing seems to be coming into my price range.

  149. Clotpoll says:

    Shore (148)-

    As in, “When I went to my lender, Countryfried, in 2005, they told me to smile and bend over. Then, they LIBORed me until my eyeballs popped out.”?

  150. Clotpoll says:


    LIBOR this???

  151. Clotpoll says:

    Zack (149)-

    Sounds like the studio pitch for a remake of Midnight Cowboy.

    Still one of the greatest movies ever.

  152. Hehehe says:

    What if my stimulus check bounces?

  153. John says:

    Here are a few good places for your parents on the upper west side.

    Amsterdam Nursing Home Corp. (V)
    1060 Amsterdam Avenue
    NY, NY 10025
    (212) 678-2600/Fax: (212) 662-1793
    303 Beds

    Fort Tryon Center for Nursing & Rehab (P)
    801 West 190th Street
    NY, NY 10040
    (212) 543-6400/Fax: (212) 543-6430
    205 Beds (K)

    Greater Harlem Nursing Home (V)
    30 West 138th Street
    NY, NY 10037
    (212) 690-7400/Fax: (212) 926-1799
    200 Beds

    Jewish Home & Hospital for the Aged, Manhattan Division (V)
    120 West 106th Street
    NY, NY 10025
    (212) 870-5000/Fax: (212) 870-5718
    514 Beds

    Kateri Residence (V)
    150 Riverside Drive
    NY, NY 10024
    (212) 769-0744/Fax: (212) 873-0658

    St. Mary’s Episcopal Center Inc. (V)
    516 West 126th Street
    NY, NY 10027
    (212) 662-1826/Fax: (212) 662-8199
    40 Beds (AIDS & HIV +only)

  154. PricedOut says:


    To: Those of you who are not getting them,

    Thanks for the hand out.

    From: Those of us who are.

  155. ADA says:

    Thanks, Dick.

  156. “Samakai is selling her 2,200-square-foot, two-story home because she recently married and will soon move south with her husband. Though Samakai understands the market has slowed considerably throughout the Lower Hudson Valley, she was reluctant to ask less than the $500,000 that the home first listed at, but has since lowered the price by $15,000, to $485,000.”

    “Equally vexing to Samakai is why buyers don’t instantly fall in love with the home, which features several updates, much as she did when she purchased it in 1999. ‘I just don’t understand it,’ she said.”

    You don’t understand it, Samakai? Let me explain it to you: The real estate industry from appraisers to lenders to brokers to agents, participated in a sophisticated smash and grab in order to bilk, swindle, con, steal, pinch and pilfer unsuspecting victims in a modern day sting that makes Charles Ponzi’s rotting corpse blush with envy.

    Ms. Samakai, you paid approximately 250K for your home and you can’t understand why it’s not “worth” 500K? It’s simple, Ma’am, it’s because you’re over-priced. You’re greedy and don’t understand that the true market value of your home is 372K.

    Take my advice, unpack your suitcase and brew up another cup of that koolaid because it’s going to be a while. It’s called “riding the market down” and when you finally do sell your house in early 2010 at 370K, I’m sure you’ll still be saying, “I just don’t understand it.”

  157. gary says:

    Post [159] is mine. How the heck did that happen?

  158. alia says:

    60,esheep: i *am* seeing house prices coming down. i have a drip of just houses in montclair and glen ridge, 3-4+ bedroom, under $500k. some nicer houses with dom of 100 or more are suddenly showing up with price reductions… not a lot, but they are. i have faith that they’ll go down more, soon. (and if they don’t… the dollar will lose enough value that it’ll be the same to us…) btw, i *think* prices in glen ridge are coming down faster than montclair. ironic, no?

  159. Rich In NNJ says:

    Spyder (150),

    2315924 (Sold)
    SLD 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,060,000 7/26/2004

    2626979 (Withdrawn)
    ACT 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,800,000 7/7/2006
    PCH 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,690,000 8/1/2006
    PCH 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,499,000 11/1/2006
    W-C 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,499,000 11/6/2006
    W-U 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,499,000 1/3/2007
    2701332 (Active)
    ACT 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,449,000 1/10/2007
    PCH 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,350,000 6/18/2007
    PCH 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,249,000 1/10/2008
    EXT 351 LIVINGSTON ST $1,249,000 1/10/2008
    Tax: $20,804.42

    Also available for rent:
    ACT 351 LIVINGSTON ST $6,500 9/14/2007
    PCH 351 LIVINGSTON ST $5,500 11/12/2007

  160. #160 – I occasionally see other names in the ‘leave a reply’ box. It’s most likely some funk with the site cookies…

  161. Nurburgringer says:

    a friend of the family just listed her condo in Spotswood. Anybody care to take a guess at eventual selling price and how many DOM before it goes?


  162. Clotpoll says:

    nurby (165)-

    260K. However, this listing will need to withdraw/expire & the property will have to be re-listed in order to sell.

    How conversant with reality is your relative?

  163. Nurburgringer says:

    BTW – she’s not under great pressure to sell. Based on similar units selling in 2004 for ~$230k I’d tell her to take any offer over $250k and RUN!

  164. Nurburgringer says:

    Clot – I’m guessing ‘not very’, she didn’t even put in granite CTs and SS appliances!

  165. gary says:

    toshiro [164],

    I see. I’ll pay attention to the names field next time. :)

  166. Clotpoll says:

    …and I thought Gary and Toshiro were doing a Vulcan mind-meld…

  167. Clotpoll says:

    nurby (168)-

    I’m sure your advice will be heartily- and gratefully- received.


  168. Nurburgringer says:

    What advice? I ain’t saying sh!t!

  169. alia says:

    re: costco… i *heart* costco. besides the labor policies lisoosh mentioned… the ceo gets paid one of the lowest amounts (salary + stock, etc) in the industry, charlie munger (buffett’s bff) is on the board, their own-brand on just about everything is healthier & way cheaper than the name brands, and they make most of their income from membership fees (tiny tiny mark up on products)… plus i get 2% back from all purchases… and we own shares in the company. :>

  170. grim says:


    You guys must work for the same company.

  171. John says:

    KB Home Co-Founder Broad Says Home Prices May Drop Another 20%

    By Rhonda Schaffler and Bob Ivry

    April 28 (Bloomberg) — Eli Broad, a philanthropist and co- founder of KB Home, the fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, said he expects home prices to drop another 20 percent.

    “I don’t think we’re anywhere near a bottom in housing,” Broad told Bloomberg TV at the Milken Institute Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “We’re going to have a big inventory of unsold, unoccupied homes that’s going to take three or four years to clear out.”

    KB Home, the homebuilding company co-founded by Broad, has lost 11 percent of its value from the beginning of the year through Friday.

  172. John says:

    I like that Cost Co CEO, down to earth type of guy, but come on now, if I am driving down the block and I see two identical stores and one has a big sign that says Cost Co and the other has a big sign that says BJs you know which store I am going into to.

    Also why didn’t he call it Low Cost Co?

  173. make money says:

    I need someone to PLEASE take the other side of this argument. Even if it playing the devils advocate.

    Sunshine and Lollypops?

    Right now out of 129.4 million homes—of which 18.6 million are empty.

    1 out of 7 empty—EMPTY.

    Credit Suisse Bank say 6.5 million more homes will be foreclosed by 2011.

    18.6 + 6.5 = 25.1 million homes empty by 2011.

    129.4 / 25.1 = 1 out of every 4 homes empty by 2011.

    Depression–worse than 1930—–

    And Credit Suisse said the global housing meltdown is happening now.

    So much for the foreigners moving here to get deals with the weak dollar. Their banks are frozen up too.

    And Credit Suisse projections are too conservative with only 63% of subprimes foreclosed on—-right now 28%——-subprimes mean in 2005 they had no equity–with prices going down 50%–my guess is 95% will walk away.

    Today there are 8,000 foreclosures a DAY.

    The banks lose $50M a day just on the value of the house losses + derivative loss’/ CDO write downs = $200M per day losses.

    The banks are weak now—how can you even believe they would last until 2011?

    We are talking trillions of losses–$1.3T just on the value of the home losses—-$6T in equity losses by homeowners and $62T here in the USA in derivatives—$516T worldwide.

    1 out of 4 homes empty—-as people move in with familes after foreclosure—-look at the rental vacancy rates going up 10% as 1 million more homes went vacant this year.

  174. kettle1 says:

    Make Money,

    your numbers sound dire and while not rosy, perhaps not as bad as you think. As the situation progresses towns will hit a breaking point where they will demolish empty homes in order to prevent a decaying overstock from piling up. This will have a double effect of maintaining reasonable supply/demand ratios, and also preventing the devaluation of neighboring homes due to empty neglected buildings…..

    ok sorry cant do it man, your numbers are perhaps a bit conservative. smile, take a valum and be happy :)

  175. kettle1 says:

    can i get an address for

    MLS 2511593


  176. Dan says:

    GSMLS has 35,902 properties, what is the record?

  177. frank says:

    How about we demolish homes and plant some corn, we need food more than we need homes these days?

  178. Shore Guy says:

    # 181 That should help the Ethanol production, assuming we can import enough oil to make it.

  179. reinvestor101 says:

    Hey 3bonehead,

    Your fellow Americans were doing what they needed to do. Sure, some might have overindulged, but that’s no reason to throw them down the damn dumper, particularly when it means that some one else’s wealth is destroyed in the process.

    Fully two thirds of the economy is driven by consumer spending and if everyone was to horde money like you we’d have a big problem. There’s a difference between being frugal and being tighter than a damn Dixie hatband when it comes to spending money. You appear to fall into the later category. People like you do stuff like use toilet paper twice or glean farmer’s fields for corn cobs because you don’t want to do like everyone does and buy toilet tissue.

    Tell you what, 3bonehead, we’re very fortunate that most people aren’t like you or this economy would really be in the dumps, not to mention the number of people that would be running around with skid marks in their underwear while attempting to stretch toilet tissue supplies. These matters are unpleasant to talk about in polite company, but you really need to alter this extreme allegiance to cheapskateness.

    3b Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 2:02 pm
    #124 rewelfarebaby: Hey Paul Revere you did not address my statement. I will repeat it for you.

    I didn’t tell my fellow Americans to run out and buy houses they could not afford, or cash out all their home equity like an ATM machine, to spend on nonsense, or buy/lease cars they cannot afford.

    They are big boys and girls, time for them to take it like true blooded Americans, not crying looking for a handout.

    And you call me self-absorbed and a cheapskate?

    Let me get this straight, you expect me to pay for other peoples mistakes? I don’t think so. You want me to over pay for real estate? Why should I? And you call yourself an investor?

    And you are right I am a cheapskate (it has served me very well), and everyday I wait, the more money I save.

  180. sas says:

    “U.S. Credit Card Debt Soars to Unprecedented Heights”


  181. Hard Place says:

    make money,

    How do you make money when you can barely do the math?

    129.4 / 25.1 = 1 out of every 4 homes empty by 2011

    That should be one out of every 5 homes.

    Credit Suisse Bank say 6.5 million more homes will be foreclosed by 2011.

    18.6 + 6.5 = 25.1 million homes empty by 2011.

    You may be double counting here. The homes maybe empty because owners can’t find renters or have already moved out knowing the foreclosure is coming. You’re number of 25.1mm is a worst case scenario. Than to start the 18.6mm empty homes needs to be validated. That number is a lot higher than I’ve been hearing. I think the vacant house number was somewhere around 3%. I don’t think we need to take the other side of the argument, when the numbers you have thrown out there are a figment of an overactive imagination. Have I missed something?

  182. pretorius says:

    A lot of homes are empty because they are 2nd homes.

  183. njpatient says:

    78 lisoosh

    Agree with all that. Where is your Costco with wine?

  184. Clotpoll says:

    vodka (179)-

    84 Main St, Califon. 4 DOM, not listed before. Asking 387K.

  185. njpatient says:

    I just flew in from New Orleans today, and boy are my arms tired.

    I’ll have some random observations and a couple of photos later this week.

  186. BC Bob says:

    “Fully two thirds of the economy is driven by consumer spending and if everyone was to horde money like you we’d have a big problem.”


    Welcome to 2008.

    Don’t worry about wealth being destroyed, it was simply bogus wealth.

  187. Hard Place says:


    I’m going to speak for 3b here…

    To harken back to our childhood days, if you’re calling 3b a bonehead, it takes one to know one.

    These overindulging souls, sold their own soul to the devil of debt. They had everything coming to them for being caught up in the web of greed. To call someone a bonehead for trying to be prudent, shows who is the real bonehead.

    I’ve ignored why every seems to get on your case, but your last post was utterly ridiculous. An act of the truly desperate.

  188. SG says:

    Retail vacancies on rise on central N.J. corridors

    Rates still lower than northern areas, brokerage firm says

    The vacancy rate in retail properties along central New Jersey’s four largest shopping corridors edged up to 4.7 percent in 2007 from 4.3 percent a year, according to an Old Bridge-based retail real estate brokerage.

    In its annual study of the markets along routes 1, 9, 18 and 35, R.J. Brunelli & Co. Inc. found the vacancy rate rising in part due to the bankruptcies of Levitz Furniture and The Rag Shops, and to the closings of Comp USA stores in all but a handful of Sunbelt markets. All told, the central New Jersey market had 1.33 million square feet of vacancies in the 28.11 million square feet of space reviewed along the four major corridors in Middlesex, Monmouth and Mercer counties, and a small section of Ocean County.

  189. John says:

    Even worse, I am stuck in my crap box house till 2011 when inventory clears.

    what the heck difference does it make really if a second or third home is empty, heck it is empty 50 weeks a year right now.

    The chinese will buy all those homes and by 2012, as fortune cookie say he who lives in glass house can get caught with his pants down.

  190. Clotpoll says:

    Tard (183)-

    If all we had to go by was the tone of your writing (and not its idiotic content), I’d guess that YOU were the cheapskate.

    You come off as miserable, neurotic and completely unable to take responsibility for any facet of your life.

    I don’t see you as livin’ large, spending big bucks on blingy for the ho’s, collecting Bentleys or taking the Gulfstream on an island vacay.

    Though I could be wrong…

  191. SG says:

    Mr. Bernanke was largely a political novice when he came to Washington in 2002. He served two terms on the school board in Montgomery Township, N.J., which he once described as “six grueling years during which my fellow board members and I were trashed alternately by angry parents and angry taxpayers.”


  192. Clotpoll says:

    SG (195)-

    Nice legacy Bergabe left in Montgomery. Another damn town where all you have to do is say “it’s for the kids”, and all the weasely, NPR-loving Princeton milquetoasts fork over a kidney in the school budget vote.

  193. reinvestor101 says:

    Boy, here we go. 3bonehead runs off whimpering in the corner and you step up to defend his sorry behind. He’s the one who has been picking on me. Funny, no one has stepped up to defend me against his constant attacks.

    Look, I simply told the truth. There are many cheapskates on this board with 3bonehead having taken frugality to new unpleasant lengths and I called him on it.

    I’m not desperate. I’m in good shape mainly because I understand the multiplier effect of consumption and wise consumption. Of course, I’m not prepared to do what 3bonehead does.

    Hard Place Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I’m going to speak for 3b here…

    To harken back to our childhood days, if you’re calling 3b a bonehead, it takes one to know one.

    These overindulging souls, sold their own soul to the devil of debt. They had everything coming to them for being caught up in the web of greed. To call someone a bonehead for trying to be prudent, shows who is the real bonehead.

    I’ve ignored why every seems to get on your case, but your last post was utterly ridiculous. An act of the truly desperate.

  194. Shore Guy says:

    # 183 “some might have overindulged, but that’s no reason to throw them down the damn dumper, particularly when it means that some one else’s wealth is destroyed in the process.

    Fully two thirds of the economy is driven by consumer spending and if everyone was to horde money like you we’d have a big problem.”


    Your second point that I excerpted above hits on an important point, our economy only seems to run anymore because people spend, whether or not thay have the money to spend and whether or not they have saved tha money to support their spending in their retirement years. As a society we face the need to both save more but not cut back spending. Given the choice, I think I would rather have a society that saves too much than one that spends what it does not have.

    This relates to your first point. THe only way to force our system to work well in the future, and thus prevent ervr more disasterous economic events in later years, is for those who “overindulged” to suffer the consequence of those actions. I feel sorry for the folks who lose everything, and whose children will suffer because of the partent’s mistakes but that happens every day and it provides examples of how not to behave. Likewise, the act of investing, especially in exotic instruments, brings with it risk. Those who craved the very highest yield knew or should have known of the risk, they should akso have been able to recognize a bubble. Greed attracted many to the securitized mortgage feeding pen and, again, people who acted imprudently must suffer the losses that their own actions brought upon them.

    When we start insulating, or try to insulate, folks from the adverse effects of illadvised actions we just promote more and greated such behavior in the future.

    I am not a cold-hearted b@stard (well some might disagree with that last statement) but the capitalistic system is and, while there is value in tempering the excesses of the system, abandoning the concept of rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior is abandoned at our collective peril.

  195. njpatient says:

    I see recoward101 hasn’t become any less of a self-pitying pansy in my absence….

  196. reinvestor101 says:

    Well yes, I tend to be frugal and am not a wasteful spender. That’s much different from being a cheapskate along the lines of 3bonehead.

    I’m quite responsible and I’ve got a number of people I’m responsible for both in my business and at home.

    Yes, I know. I’m hated for that.

    Clotpoll Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 4:52 pm
    Tard (183)-

    If all we had to go by was the tone of your writing (and not its idiotic content), I’d guess that YOU were the cheapskate.

    You come off as miserable, neurotic and completely unable to take responsibility for any facet of your life.

    I don’t see you as livin’ large, spending big bucks on blingy for the ho’s, collecting Bentleys or taking the Gulfstream on an island vacay.

    Though I could be wrong…

  197. njpatient says:


    “I tend to be frugal and am not a wasteful spender.”
    Then why are you losing your shirt in real estate?

  198. chicagofinance says:

    Can I get an indication?

    Home in Basking Ridge with a 35% LTV.
    Currently has 8.5% 15Y fixed conforming.

    What would be a refi on this place, also realistic friction costs?

  199. reinvestor101 says:

    Greed attracted many to the securitized mortgage feeding pen and, again, people who acted imprudently must suffer the losses that their own actions brought upon them.

    Actually, securitized mortgage lending was a mechanism designed to level out the vagaries of local economic situations where local banks might not have been prepared to lend by providing a way to disperse risk The intent was good and remains so.

    The problem is income growth and that’s a function of a larger economic question revolving around how the nation generates wealth and provides for its citizens. Do we do that with ensuring that asset values inflate or do we do that by providing jobs that provide good wages while making something that the world wants? This is THE fundamental economic question that needs to be resolved. There was a time when financial alchemy wasn’t as prominent a feature of the economy.

    The desire among the citzenry for things, combined with the lack of income and the wide availability of credit will get us what we got.

  200. Hard Place says:


    The issue as i see it is that you are comparing cheapness, while it is merely that a bunch of us are trying to be prudent. These are two different concepts. Being cheap is trying to save money at all expense, irregardless of rational decision making. Being prudent is not spending money when it does not appear rational. I think the preponderance of the people here are being prudent.

  201. reinvestor101 says:

    Ok, back to fighting.

    Inpatient, my shirt is still on my damn back and guess what? I’ve got a full set of clothes on.

    Why don’t you go and talk to 3bonehead about being a cheapskate? He doesn’t have a shirt on his back because hes’ too damn cheap to buy one; he wants to use a gunney sack instead.

    njpatient Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    “I tend to be frugal and am not a wasteful spender.”
    Then why are you losing your shirt in real estate?

  202. reinvestor101 says:

    Nooo. Some of you guys are extremists on that count! I believe that I pointed out how extreme one individual was

    Hard Place Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    The issue as i see it is that you are comparing cheapness, while it is merely that a bunch of us are trying to be prudent. These are two different concepts. Being cheap is trying to save money at all expense, irregardless of rational decision making. Being prudent is not spending money when it does not appear rational. I think the preponderance of the people here are being prudent.

  203. Hard Place says:

    make money,

    I think the true indicator of potential foreclosures is the vacancy rate AND for sale. The figure that you have may be inclusive of 2nd homes as pret pointed out. I just looked it up and the most recent vacancy rate AND for sale number is 2.9% or a total of 2.2mm homes.

    While the number of 18.6 is quite scary, I would think a majority of these are second homes and the owners are fairly wealthy and can afford them. So I think that Credit Suisse is projecting that 6.5mm of these homes will be foreclosed upon by 2011. I haven’t read the report, so i have no idea. That would mean in the next three years an additional 2.167 homes will be foreclosed upon. The dire situation you predicted is a little bit too extreme.

  204. heavy hitter says:

    #183 re101

    I spill more then you drink.

  205. lisoosh says:

    Patient – Edison Costco carries wine. Weekends are a nightmare though, loaded with Asians hovering around the tasting stations though. (my apologies to any Asians who don’t stand for 10 minutes eating 15 pieces of pasta/mini pizzas/falafel or crackers with dips.)

    I find the Bridgewater one less pushy, but they don’t have alcohol.

  206. bairen says:

    #205 reinvestor101

    For you what’s the difference between frugal and cheap?

    For me frugal is bringing my own lunch 4 days a week, making Peets coffee for 20 cents a cup instead of paying $2 a cup on the road, using a library instead of buying.
    Driving a Hyundia instead of a European car.
    Only buying clothes for myself and the kids on sale. We still eat out once or twice a week, go to the city one a month, and do other things we don’t need to do but enjoy.

    Cheap to me is hoarding every dime possible to the detriment of your quality of life.

  207. njpatient says:

    Tx, ‘soosh.

    No booze at the Union Costco.

  208. Kelly says:

    NJPatient – the Wayne costco also sells wine, beer and hard liquor.

  209. Pat says:

    I’m cheap and I’m proud of it.

    Rah, Rah. Shish Boom Bah, Red, White & Blue flag-waving cheap.


    Glamorized cheap.

    Make-it-the-in-thing cheap.

    Generic popsicles cheap. Bombpops, even.

    Walmart jeans on my husband cheap…they fit guys with no butt better, anyway.

    The kids all hang at our house.

    It’s all in the a-T-tude cheap.

  210. 3b says:

    #183 RENUTJOB: Cry me a river. Economy? yeah real nice economy. 70% of it driven by consumer spending. Borrowing money from the Chinese to buy krap, makes a lot of sense.

    And by the way you simpleton, I owned 2 houses in the past.I took the money and ran.

    And when the time is right I will pick up another one, probably from a simpleton like you.

  211. 3b says:

    #193 John:Even worse, I am stuck in my crap box house till 2011 when inventory clears.


  212. spam spam bacon spam says:


    A cousin had a boss who was CHEAP.

    Guy was single, about 40-50 yrs old, turned off his fridge so he didn’t have to pay the electricity.

    Went to my cousin’s wedding, stag, but demanded the second meal that would’ve been fed to a date and took it home CHEAP.

  213. 3b says:

    #197 renutjob: Whipmering in the corner? not a chance creampuff.

    The only one whimpering is you,whimpering for a handout.

  214. 3b says:

    #200 I’m responsible for both in my business and at home.

    That is a laugh. And if by chance it is true; its scary, that there are actually people depending on you.

    Are these just the people who buy you your Depends.

  215. 3b says:

    #207 hard place:I would think a majority of these are second homes and the owners are fairly wealthy and can afford them.

    That might be a big assumption. I know a few second home owners who are choking on them right now.

    In fact one today informed me she is walking away from her second home in Fla.

  216. Shore Guy says:

    # 213 “It’s all in the a-T-tude cheap.”

    I have a sudden urge to pop in a Kink’s album (remember those) onto the turntable (yes, I am as old as dirt) and listen to Davies belt out “It’s your attitude!”

  217. Shore Guy says:

    # 219 If a home is bought with the purpose of being vacant, can it be described as being so? If one goes on vacation for a month, is their home truely vacant in an economic sense? I wonder if vacancy requires lack of furniture in addition to lack of habitation.

  218. lostinny says:

    The comedy on this board gets better every day. I should remember to make popcorn before I sit down to read.
    Patient, I want to see those pics!

  219. bairen says:

    #222 lostinny

    Better then a sitcom isn’t it.

  220. lisoosh says:

    spam 216 – Ugh.

    Can’t beat my husbands aunt though.

    She hordes money. Lives in the worst neighbourhood in a rotting house to save money. Digs through trash cans for old papers for the coupons to save money. Has hundreds of bottles of shampoo she snagged for free – enough for 40 years. Stopped feeding her tweenage kids to save money.

    One day her elder daughter found $20,000 in dollar bills in the floor. She chopped them all up into little pieces. Lucky the aunt wasn’t chopped into pieces.

    I also had a boss at some part time job in college who used dish detergent for bubble bath and shampoo. And no her hair was NOT surprisingly attractive.

  221. Clotpoll says:

    Tard (200)-

    “I’m quite responsible and I’ve got a number of people I’m responsible for both in my business and at home.”

    You state this as though it is exceptional. Many here are in the same boat, with probably more people under their wing.

    However, I’d venture they’re handling it a lot better than you.

    BTW, what do you do when one of your charges comes to you to tide them over for a month or two?

  222. Clotpoll says:

    Kelly (212)-

    Which Costcos sell rock cocaine?

  223. lostinny says:

    223 bairen

  224. bubblewatcher says:

    Great reading today. It not comedy – it’s “tragedy”.

    I was particularly interested in when NYC finally dips to recession and how deep. Any more ideas on this?

  225. sas says:

    ok blokes…

    when you goto Costco, BJs, came-apart..err…I mean Walmart.

    please do your bset to buy “Made in America” products. I know sometimes it can be hard to do, but put in the effort, pay the extra buck, and call/talk to store managers telling them you want more USA products.

    Just had dinner with a friend from Sudan, whom recently was there for a tour.
    not fun.


  226. Clotpoll says:

    ChiFi (202)-

    Even a jumbo these days should come in better than 8.5% on a 15 yr. Has this person wrecked his credit (doesn’t sound like it, with a 35% LTV, though)?

    I’d suggest getting them out of a 15 and into a 30, probably do-able at 7.25-7.5% (assuming good credit). They can always double up on payments to get the 15 effect. Maybe a point or so to buy down the rate (if they intend to occupy long enough to overcome the points), $400 or so for the appraisal…and all should go nicely.

  227. Clotpoll says:

    sas (229)-

    Tour Sudan?

    To do what? Learn how to make nerve gas?

  228. Steve says:

    Heard from a number of friends recently, all seeing the same – everyone is getting absoltely deluged with calls and resumes from folks out looking. I-bankers and Cap Mkts are the ones getting hit the worst by far, staff areas focused on discretionary items(marketing, tech) also taking a disproportionate hit, not surprisingly.

    In most if not all cases, the few firms posting open reqs are pretty much vapor as hiring freezes continue to be in effect.

    I have no doubt certain trends e.g. housing drop, consumer rolling over, inflation will all continue to be major problems… but I do wonder if all this Fed liquidity will ultimately serve to bail out many of the banks/financials by the end of this year.

    Would be interested in other opinions in this regard…

  229. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Bubble 228 I would think with the current sit on the street,banks on the ropes, layoffs, it’s just a matter of time. As this is a major driver of the NYC metro area economy the effect will ripple out through out NJ. But unlike throwing a stone in a still pond the waves will not dissipate but become larger in their effect on the economy farther out. With less money & depth in the job market these areas will get hit harder. The housing market in these areas will reflect this. The time line is impossible to pinpoint like calling a bottom. But it will come, once started it will hit faster than most might think the tipping point should not be long off. The wild card of the stim. money may delay but will not stop the downturn. The bounce effect of this may lead many to think it is over but next winter would be my call for a major decline in NYC economics. Inflation in food,fuel will take its toll in this period. That coupled with the loss of Wall Street jobs & tax revenue should put NYC & its metro area in the tank.

  230. Seeking a new handle says:

    i love how a douchebag like reinvestor is coming on here urging people to spend money.

    hey man, i just bought my first flatscreen TV! It’s only 32 inches, and we bought last year’s model (cheaper because teh 2008s are getting rolled out now), which was among the highest rated per cnet and consumer reports.

    are you going to suck me off now that i spent some cash?

  231. njpatient says:

    224 lisoosh

    “Can’t beat my husbands aunt though.”

    No? I have a stick you can borrow…

  232. Everything's Hobroken says:

    Regarding all these stories about people being cheap, they’re all pikers.

    Check out Hetty Green, one of the richest persons in the world in the early 1900s, moved from tenement to tenement to save on personal property tax (still common then) and took her son to a free clinic in tattered clothes to avoid a feared ‘millionaire markup’ in getting treatment for her son’s leg injury.

  233. Pat says:

    “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space… and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition… and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call…

    “rebuilt from the studs”


    What could that have looked like before?

    I have to admit…a really big hammock between those trees could be a selling point.

  234. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Steve 232 Check out the chart in post 91.
    The pain for the banks & the financial system is not over. How much money can they pump in without killing the dollar & crippling the country with inflation. All isn’t well just stopped from falling off a cliff into the abyss. There are many variables but so many negative ones that to think that all will be better with the banks /financials by year end is a very optimistic call. My thinking goes more along the lines of my post 233.

  235. Laurie says:

    RE: 34..Costco vs Bj’s and Sam’s club..as the mother of five I feel like this question is in my wheelhouse..Costco has the nicest food, Bj’s has the better prices but i don’t at all like the fruits and veges…the Kirkland brand from Costco is nicer than the store brand at BJ’s and Sam’s Club is just a downscale Wal mart so i don’t even go there..oh…don’t forget the rice…LOL.I buy at the local ShopRite most of the time as I tend to spend too much $$$ at the warehouse clubs on things I “think” I need…

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