Moody’s: No quick recovery for New Jersey, will lag the nation

From the Philly Inquirer:

Moody’s offers mixed economic outlook for N.J.

When Moody’s Investors Service released a mixed report on New Jersey’s financial outlook last week, Republicans seized the opportunity to argue that the state’s financial glass was half empty. Democrats saw it as half full.

Both sides are motivated, in part, by the intense governor’s race, but each perspective has validity.

The credit rating helps to determine how much interest the state will pay to borrow money for capital projects, although the markets do not always act in the way that a credit rating would seem to suggest.

Moody’s reaffirmed New Jersey’s rating for a $200 million school-construction bond issue expected this week, but also revised its “outlook” on the state’s general-obligation bonds from stable to negative.

John Cline, vice president for rating communications for Moody’s, said a negative outlook means the agency believes there is a 50 percent or greater chance that the credit rating will decline in the next 12 to 18 months.

The Corzine administration jumped on the fact that Moody’s had maintained the state’s credit rating, in the face of a grueling recession.

“The affirmation of New Jersey’s credit rating by all three rating agencies is a sign of confidence in Gov. Corzine’s overall handling of fiscal matters in these historically challenging economic times,” Treasury spokesman Tom Vincz said.

In addition to Moody’s, Fitch and S&P also recently affirmed their ratings of the state’s credit, Vincz said. S&P’s outlook for New Jersey remains “stable.”

Republicans took the opposite view, focusing on Moody’s change in outlook for New Jersey.

“It strains credulity to greet a critical report by claiming it is good news and refusing to address any of the report’s underlying concerns,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, of Union County. “Gov. Corzine is deluding himself and the taxpayers if he refuses to acknowledge an $8 billion structural deficit, much less do anything about it.”

Moody’s was critical, for example, of state use of nonrecurring revenues to fill budget gaps, “leaving the state with a sizable structural imbalance.”

Moody’s also pointed to the state’s high debt burden, low pension-funding ratio, and high post-retirement health-insurance liabilities as contributing factors to the change in outlook.

Like some other comparably rated states, the report said, New Jersey has depleted its reserves during the recession, which would leave the state in a tough spot if revenues came in lower than expected.

Moody’s also anticipates New Jersey will recover more slowly from the recession than the country as a whole because several of the state’s key industries, including financial services and pharmaceuticals, have been hit hard.

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209 Responses to Moody’s: No quick recovery for New Jersey, will lag the nation

  1. grim says:

    From the NYT:

    Fed to Dampen Rate Hike Talk, Halt Treasury Buying

    The Federal Reserve meets this week with the delicate task of curbing a surge in expectations that it is ready to starting raising interest rates, without snuffing out crucial optimism on the economy.

    Policy-makers are also likely to allow a controversial scheme to buy $300 billion of longer-dated Treasuries to end on schedule in September. But they may discuss extending a separate program to support the flow of credit to consumers and business, with an eye on propping up commercial real estate.

    The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, and central bankers are expected to hold the overnight fed funds rate in a range between zero and 0.25 percent. A statement on their decision is due after 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

    A much better-than-expected July U.S. employment report boosted investor speculation on Friday that the Fed would begin to tighten monetary policy early next year, but economists said this judgment was very premature.

    “The markets have begun pricing in a near-term increase in interest rates. That is extremely unlikely. The Fed is going to want to discourage that,” said former Fed Board Governor Lyle Gramley. He said the policy statement may emphasize the lower risk of inflation to indicate that no rate hikes were on the horizon.

  2. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Second Stimulus Needed to Avoid Lost Decade: Krugman

    The world economy needs a second stimulus if it is to avoid the fate of Japan in the 1990s when the country was stuck with years of sluggish growth, Nobel laureate and professor of economics Paul Krugman told CNBC Monday.

    “The good news is that it does not look like the 2nd great depression. For a few months it did,” Krugman said.

    All indicators now point to the fact that the plunge has stopped, as jobs in the US are lost at a smaller pace and manufacturing and services seem to be stabilizing worldwide, he added.

    But the sources of future growth are hard to pinpoint as the financial crisis has left the world with excess capacity and the possibility of high unemployment everywhere, according to Krugman.

  3. grim says:

    From the NYT via CNBC:

    More and More Mansions Going Under the Gavel

    Jack Warner leaned against his home bar and checked his watch before resuming his blank stare at the white tent outside his multimillion-dollar dream house, with its swimming pool and views of the Florida gulf, soon to be sold at auction.

    “My whole life happens in two hours,” he said. “I feel like I am playing the part of Old Yeller,“ wondering if he will survive financially or perhaps just be put out of his misery, like the fictional dog. An auction, and having people traipse through a house in previews before bidding, smacks of desperation. But increasingly, people with multimillion-dollar homes who need to raise money are discovering they have few alternatives, as the luxury real estate market is especially moribund.

    “We are seeing more people with homes that were on the market for $4 million to $7 million that are not selling and they are calling us,” said Jim Gall, president of Auction Company of America.

  4. grim says:

    Moody’s also anticipates New Jersey will recover more slowly from the recession than the country as a whole because several of the state’s key industries, including financial services and pharmaceuticals, have been hit hard.

    And what happens when the Merck/Schering restructuring begins?

  5. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Fed Focusing on Real-Estate Recession as Bernanke Convenes FOMC

    The collapse in commercial real estate is preventing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke from declaring the economy and financial markets are healed.

    Property values have fallen 35 percent since October 2007, according to Moody’s Investors Service. That’s making it tough for owners to refinance almost $165 billion of mortgages for skyscrapers, shopping malls and hotels this year, pressuring companies such as Maguire Properties Inc., the largest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles, to put buildings up for sale.

    The industry is likely to be high on the agenda when Bernanke and his colleagues sit down in Washington tomorrow for the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on monetary policy. Lawmakers including Barney Frank and Carolyn Maloney are pushing the central bank to extend an aid program designed to restore the flow of credit.

    If nonresidential real estate remains in the doldrums, the Fed may be forced to leave emergency-lending programs in place and keep its benchmark interest rate close to zero for longer than some investors expect, given positive signs elsewhere in the economy.

    Commercial property is “certainly going to be a significant drag” on growth, said Dean Maki, a former Fed researcher who is now chief U.S. economist in New York at Barclays Capital Inc., the investment-banking division of London-based Barclays Plc. “The bigger risk from it would be if it causes unexpected losses to financial firms that lead to another financial crisis.”

  6. grim says:

    From the Courier Post:

    Many turn to teaching as private sector fumbles

    Steven Voehl of Upper Freehold has already discovered that a teaching job in a local school district is more secure and comes with fewer hassles than one in the private sector.

    New numbers released by the state would prove him right. The number of school jobs is growing, and those jobs come with consistent increases in salary.

    Total salaries for administrators, teachers and professional staff members rose 3.9 percent to $9.6 billion last year, according to new state data. Meanwhile, educators’ head count rose to 143,733, up 1,283.

    The increases come even as the number of private sector positions in New Jersey has been virtually frozen over 10 years and the state, along with the nation, remains mired in a recession.

    Voehl, 42, is one of thousands who has found teaching as a better place to settle down. He took a $30,000 salary cut from a commission-based sales job to get better hours and a consistent paycheck as a chemistry teacher at Keansburg High School.

    “It isn’t much, but it’s steady,” Voehl said.

    But taxpayers may not be as enthusiastic about the continued growth in education, one expert warned.

    “You’re not seeing many raises in most jobs that people have, and that causes resentment,” said Michael Riccards, executive director of the Hall Institute, a think tank that specializes in state issues. “Then you couple that with tenure and pretty generous health benefits that they get.”

  7. DL says:

    Private sector job growth has remained static for the last ten years. I have read elsewhere the only job growth NJ has seen is in the public sector, but would be interested to know the numbers or percent. With net outflow of residents, it seems the state has to hire more and more people to manage a rapidly shrinking population.

  8. yo'me says:

    Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) — Options traders are increasing bets that the steepest rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since the 1930s won’t survive September, historically the worst month for U.S. equities.

    Traders are betting the VIX, a gauge of expected stock swings, will increase 13 percent in the next five weeks, according to futures prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest spread since August 2008, right before the S&P 500 suffered the steepest two-month plunge in 21 years. The indexes have moved in the opposite direction 81 percent of the time over the past five years

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aV6OGPHTAuH8

  9. grim says:

    #7 – I’m pro-conservation, but not in this manner. Some of the stories I’ve heard sound more like theft than conservation.

    Let’s put it in perspective. You and your neighbors get a letter in the mail telling you that your property is no longer zoned for residential purposes, therefore no home can be built on it. It turns out your property was built on the only patch of land in NJ that can support the pink wriggly footed salamander, whose population is dwindling rapidly.

    You’ll be grandfathered and allowed to stay in your home, but if you transfer title, the next owner will be required to tear down the structure (and only state licensed remediators, read $$$, can execute this) and they won’t be permitted to live on the property.

    You’ll not be compensated monetarily for the loss of property value. Your compensation will be the pride in knowing you helped save the wriggly foot salamander.

  10. grim (5)-

    That little CRE thingy is gonna be a tricky one.

  11. Over one hour of intelligent conversation on CNBC this AM. No walruses playing trumpets, Kernan flailing around or Becky flirting with the camera.

    Must be trying to swipe some of Bloomberg’s audience.

  12. Oops. Looks like CNBC is going back into idiot mode.

  13. Morpheus says:

    to clot and the others on the recent bid:

    You are all forgeting that this property is the one that has the short sale right next door. My bid is $2k more than the short sale: remember this is the property with the 2 car stand alone garage with the same acreage and the buildings are accessed at $20K more. So when that sells, “my” house will take an immediate hit.

    thus, I cannot bid more on the house at issue.

    I am so good at rationalization.

  14. about says:

    could someone explain the benefits versus risks of a short sale? what is it exactly?

  15. Rosenberg, via Mish:

    “While the hosts on the CNBC show we were on yesterday afternoon claimed that the bounce in July auto sales was evidence of pent-up demand, we would simply have to disagree. If there was pent-up demand we wouldn’t need the subsidy to begin with — it just goes to show that there will always be people who will be willing to accept free money. What we think is important is how low the level of auto sales were in July, at barely more than 11 million units at an annual rate. It was only nine-years ago that auto-related stimulus (“0% financing”) brought us 21 million units; and just four-years ago another gimmick (“Employee discount for everyone”) brought us 20 million units. The ‘new normal’, we would have to assume after the response to ‘Cash for Clunkers’, is 11 million units. That’s supposed to get us excited over the consumer spending outlook? Keep in mind that we never saw 21 or 20 million units again after those prior programs were unveiled — could it be that we just saw 11 million for the last time too?”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/08/what-growth-is-s-500-pricing-in.html

  16. morph (14)-

    “…thus, I cannot bid more on the house at issue.”

    Why? Do you intend to live in the house six months, then flip it?

    If you’re willing to walk away over 5K, you don’t really want to buy a house. Pull your offer and find a nice house to rent. Life could be worse.

  17. about (15)-

    Short sales are non-judicial (no courts, no lawyers) solutions that help borrowers avoid foreclosure and mitigate potential losses for lenders who would otherwise have to foreclose.

    In a short sale, the borrower’s credit is impaired for around 24 months post-sale, as opposed to 60 months in a full foreclosure.

    The main risks of pursuing a short sale for the borrower are: a) the lender rejects the proposal; or, b) the lender accepts the proposal, but attempts to collect the deficiency post-short sale.

    I could write another 10 pages on this. Do a little research and reading. The info is out there.

  18. Stu says:

    Scribe (from yesterday’s thread):

    AC was not nearly as good to me as it was the last time. Your $25 required playing through as it keeps the old folk from simply riding the buses to make a meagerliving. Well 20 hands of 25 cent 7/5 bonus poker resulted in $15. A pretty lame 20-hand run actually. I already donated it to Grim as promised. Thanks for the karma.

  19. Stu says:

    Green Shoots…

    Reuters:
    U.S. banks to make $38 billion from overdraft fees

  20. confused in NJ says:

    U.S. banks to make $38 billion from overdraft fees: report
    On Monday August 10, 2009, 3:43 am EDT

    (Reuters) – Banks in the United States are poised to make $38.5 billion in customer overdraft fees this year, the Financial Times said, citing research by Moebs Services.

    A large portion of the revenue is likely to come from the most financially stretched consumers, according to the paper.

    It said the research showed that many banks have increased charges on overdrafts and credit cards in order to boost profits.

    The median bank overdraft fee rose this year by one dollar to $26, the paper said, citing the Moebs data.

    “Banks are returning to a fee-driven model and overdraft fees are the mother lode,” Mike Moebs, the company’s founder was quoted by the paper as saying.

    Overdraft fees accounted for more than 75 percent of service fees charged on customer deposits, the paper cited Moebs as saying.

    Last year the U.S. Federal Reserve approved credit card rules to curb “unfair” practices such as surprise fees and interest rate hikes, and new mortgage lending rules are expected this summer. It is also mulling rules to give bank customers the chance to opt out of overdraft schemes that can involve fees.

  21. John says:

    I love NY!!! On Wall and William this morning around 9am there are around 200 people looking up and a bunch of EMS and COPS looking up, turns out around 50 stories up there is a jumper sitting on the ledge, ask a guy looking up whats up he says he has been there a few minutes, then he said I hope he is not wasting my time as I only got around 5 more minutes to see him jump!!!!

  22. Commanderbobnj says:

    Grim’s post #6:
    “…Voehl, 42, is one of thousands who has found teaching as a better place to settle down. He took a $30,000 salary cut from a commission-based sales job to get better hours and a consistent paycheck as a chemistry teacher at Keansburg High School.

    “It isn’t much, but it’s steady,” Voehl said.

    But taxpayers may not be as enthusiastic about the continued growth in education, one expert warned.

    “You’re not seeing many raises in most jobs that people have, and that causes resentment,” said Michael Riccards, executive director of the Hall Institute, a think tank that specializes in state issues. “Then you couple that with tenure and pretty generous health benefits that they get..”

    Commanderbob sez:
    And when ‘we’ in NJ can get the political leadership necessary to break the stranglehold that the teacher’s union (NJEA) has on ALL our citizens, then we will NEVER take the FIRST STEP towards truly reforming the finances of
    this state…

    Corzine is a complete waste as a governor…..Christie is not much better ..Lonegon would have been a good start.

  23. Danzud says:

    John #23,

    That mentality explains the difference between you and Frank vs. almost everyone else on the board. The rest of us here keep an eye out for telling people not to jump.

  24. AAF says:

    Good morning, can someone tell me what the taxes are on MLS # 2917076, the address is 101 Hearthstone Dr. West Milford.
    Thank you in advance.

  25. bi says:

    this market needs serious correction before moving up. maybe today is just a start point.

    good news for srs masturbators: its up 3% beating sds.

  26. about says:

    Cyclonic Action Vacuum – thanks for the short on short sales! As first time home buyers, might not be the route for us. Thanks, we’ll read up!

  27. SG says:

    IMF: Total Cost of Financial Crisis at $11.9 Trillion

    The cost of cleaning up the world’s financial crisis is now at $11.9 trillion. The countries that make up the G20 will face a combined budget deficit of 10.2 percent of GDP in 2009.

    The bulk of the amount comes from developed countries with a total of $10.2 trillion while developing nations contributed $1.7 trillion, the majority of which is in central bank liquidity support for their stuttering financial sectors reports the Telegraph.
    The countries that make up the G20 will face a combined budget deficit of 10.2 percent of GDP in 2009, the biggest since the Second World War.
    The largest deficit will be faced by the U.S. with 13.5 per cent of GDP.

  28. scribe says:

    Stu,

    I have no idea what this is:

    25 cent 7/5 bonus poker

    My aunt says all the ladies on her bus trip were complaining about AC … even my mother, 4 years ago. She says they felt the casinos had changed the odds on those machines to make them less favorable.

  29. BklynHawk says:

    Good morning,

    sort of OT, but hadn’t seen this posted…

    Crain’s NYC Layoffs Meter

    NYC Job-Loss Meter

    CrainsNewYork.com’s Job-Loss Meter has been updated to show the number of jobs lost in New York City since the peak of August 2008. Our base figure draws on Eastern Consolidated’s seasonally adjusted analysis of New York Department of Labor monthly statistics.

    We also update regularly to include layoffs in the city that have been announced to the Department of Labor to satisfy the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. According to WARN, all private employers who have 50 or more employees must file notice with the state at least 90 days before they intend to lay off 25 or more employees.

    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/section/resources&template=NYC_Layoffs

  30. Stu says:

    Scribe,

    That is the case. By law, video poker machines must deal the cards in random order. The paytables, or what the machine will pay you for obtaining certain hands is what they can legally change.

    A 7/5 Bonus Poker machine pays 7 for a full house and 5 for a flush. A full pay machine (what your aunt was alluding to) pays 8 for the full house. There are a few full pay machines around, but they tend to be of higher denomination than 25 cents and are becoming more and more scarce as more people are learning how to play them with better returns.

    The difference between an 8/5 and a 7/5 bonus poker machine is about 99.1% vs. 98.6% return. Of course, with such a short trial as 20 hands, variance is increased dramatically. I could have just as well earned $10 rather than have lost $10.

  31. Kettle1 says:

    DL

    Ask and you shall recieve.

    Nj employment data by field

    http://www.scribd.com/full/13991400?access_key=key-1gynzdukk9fkad556dku

  32. chicagofinance says:

    John says:
    August 10, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I love NY!!! On Wall and William this morning around 9am there are around 200 people looking up and a bunch of EMS and COPS looking up, turns out around 50 stories up there is a jumper sitting on the ledge, ask a guy looking up whats up he says he has been there a few minutes, then he said I hope he is not wasting my time as I only got around 5 more minutes to see him jump!!!!

    JJ: That reminds me of the time I was at Shea right after Paterson was put in office. He was there getting out of his Escalade at the Press Gate. A guy next to me turns to his wife and says “don’t bother waving to him; he won’t wave back”.

  33. John says:

    Not True – anyone on the board who is a realtor who sold a house between 2003 and 2008 did encourage people to commit financial suicide. Only difference between the people on the street yelling jump to a person on a ledge and a realtor is realtors lie and tell you that RE only goes up in value and call it an investment.

    Danzud says:
    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am
    John #23,

    That mentality explains the difference between you and Frank vs. almost everyone else on the board. The rest of us here keep an eye out for telling people not to jump.

  34. veto that says:

    We currently rent a small condo but am trying to do a budget forecast of home ownership utility costs.
    We’re looking at 4 bed/2 bath homes with gas heat and central air and public water.
    Anyone have any ideas what these utilities should run per month? summer/winter?
    House will be about 1,800-2,000 sq ft plus basement. Figure it was built in 60s-80s.
    Also, we dont blast the ac in summer, keep around 78 degrees.
    thanks in advance!

  35. John says:

    Veto as opposed to private water?

  36. The rest of us here keep an eye out for telling people not to jump.

    I don’t know. If it had been the corner of William & Liberty, I’d be trying to push the sob.

  37. NJGator says:

    31 Stu – What you didn’t mention is that the average person doesn’t even know how to play correctly, so the return is really closer to 90%. Right?

  38. Stu says:

    Exactamundo.

  39. Stu says:

    Since skill is involved in the return, the average slot junkie thinks they know which cards to hold to improve their return. Unfortunately, many of these clueless players would be better suited playing the field on the crap table or some other simple bet paying 97.5% or better, which are readily available in various casino table games.

    Of course, such as was the case with so many subprime borrowers, they signed the mortgage without even reading it. I suppose they deserved what they had coming.

  40. veto that says:

    ‘as opposed to private water?’

    private is well and septic. There is actually alot of that in different parts of nj…

  41. Mike NJ says:

    Veto @ 35

    We are at ~1650 sq ft and keep the heat at 68 in the winter and the AC at 75 in the summer (we have a whole house fan that we use ~80% of the time in the summer instead of the AC). We have kids at home all day and thus there is someone using house at all times.

    My electric runs from as high as $175 in the summer (August) to as low as $65 in the winter. My gas goes from about $35 in the summer to $250 in the winter (usually Jan/Feb). Water/sewer runs from as low as $175 per quarter in the summer to $300 in the winter (go figure).

    I am on top of my electricity and gas costs and have spent some $$ insulating as much as makes economical sense. I also am fully CFC bulbs and the like. I never paid for electricity or gas in my NYC apartment and I remember my first winter/summer in my new house. What an eye opener!

  42. John says:

    What a condrum, that would be AIG, however as much as you would like to do that all AIG employees have large life insurance policies as an employee benefit, therefore as a taxpayer you would be on the hook for the million dollar payout.

    toshiro_mifune says:
    August 10, 2009 at 10:56 am
    The rest of us here keep an eye out for telling people not to jump.

    I don’t know. If it had been the corner of William & Liberty, I’d be trying to push the sob.

  43. John says:

    I find it pretty disgusting to have both a septic tank and well in your yard, that is like drinking out of toliet bowl.

    veto that says:
    August 10, 2009 at 11:11 am
    ‘as opposed to private water?’

    private is well and septic. There is actually alot of that in different parts of nj…

  44. What a condrum, that would be AIG

    Or JPM and the Fed. Also anyone who bought one of those condos across from CMP.

  45. ellen says:

    #35 – Veto

    Our home is closer to 4000 sq. feet, including finished basement. About 1/3 of our home was built in 1947, without any wall insulation, and the rest of our house was built in 2001 and is well insulated.

    On the new side of the house, we keep the AC at about 72, heat at 68, on the old side, we keep the AC at 78, and heat at 62. We have 4 kids so we probably do more laundry and take more baths than you will. We have PECO (Philly Electric) for a combined gas (forced hot air, water heater, and stove) and electric (including convection oven) bill.

    Our combined gas and electric run about $350 to $450 a month, which is down significantly from what it was before we put the insulated addition on. The impact of well insulated home is huge. Our water bill (Aqua PA) runs pretty consistently around $50 a month.

  46. veto that says:

    Ellen, Mike NJ,
    Thanks!

  47. cobbler says:

    veto [35]
    For my 2,100 sqft gas runs at up to $350-400/mo in the 2 coldest winter months vs. ~$40 in summer, electricity ~$120 in summer vs. ~70 in winter. Have in mind that the house plan (=ratio of surface to volume) affects the heating/cooling costs probably as much as the insulation – ranches are the worst, colonials the best, splits in between. Water depends mostly on the # of teenagers, reliabilty of the flush valves and how much you water your lawn – could be as little as $40/mo year round.

  48. lostinny says:

    44 Sean

    I got notice that my rent is being increased. I guess when your apartment is rent-stabilized, the market doesn’t matter.

  49. Stu says:

    Yes, insulation makes a huge difference to your bill.

    Our 1923 multi in Montclair which is around 2,400 sq feet has energy bills that reach $800 per month for ng only during January and February.

    We have original windows and storms as well as zero insulation. It’s Aluminum siding, thin sheet of plywood, studs and either plaster or sheetrock. Thank the lord we don’t have central air. I imagine our summer cooling bill would rival our winter heating bill. Two efficient window units does the cooling and rarely do we top $200 for cooling. Mind you, we don’t pay our tenants electric.

  50. John says:

    You can’t jump from the condos by CMP as they are all underwater.

    toshiro_mifune says:
    August 10, 2009 at 11:14 am
    What a condrum, that would be AIG

    Or JPM and the Fed. Also anyone who bought one of those condos across from CMP.

  51. Mikey is just about up to speed again.

    The next health event he has will be his head exploding:

    “The ObamaRamaLamas continue. While Goldman Sachs was slithering away with more than $12 billion out the back door, the ObamaRamaLama buffoons were busy stoking the flames about $165 million in AIG bonuses. We saw demonstrations throughout the country, as well as in Europe. All of this over $165 million while Goldman Sachs slithered out with 72 times that amount.

    Wake Up America . . . Obama promised CHANGE and he is doing just that. He’s changing the very fabric of America . . . and it will be dark, ugly and violent.”

    http://realestateandhousing2.blogspot.com/

  52. Anon E. Moose says:

    AP headline via Yahoo Finance:

    Stocks Slip as Traders Await Rally’s Next Catalyst

    Is it just me or does that not sound like junkie comming down off his latesthigh, and just waiting for the next fix? This does not end well.

  53. Hey Chi…time to get your gat.

    “Over the past two months I have been recovering from my bypass surgery and some complications I have experienced, but I will be back, and we will have another great period of tremendous trading as the financial markets collapse well below the 666 low and we see banks shutting down and the military in the streets.”

    -Mikey

  54. ellen says:

    #52 Stu –

    Our 1923 multi in Montclair which is around 2,400 sq feet has energy bills that reach $800 per month for ng only during January and February.

    Yikes. I remember those days. I can’t remember the breakdown since our bill was combined, but Spring and Fall were the only times our PECO bill would be in the $600’s. The rest of the year it was over $800.

    By the way, I’m sure you know this, but don’t bother with new windows. We’ve got them on the old, uninsulated side of our house, and they’re actually warmer to the touch in the winter than the walls surrounding them.

  55. Stu says:

    ellen,

    Thanks. You are correct. Replacing the windows would be a waste of time as the walls are insulating less than the windows at this point. Actually, original windows with working storms are nearly as efficient as the new whizbang window technologies as the original growth wood and thicker glass used in them can’t be found today. We did pay an old house window expert $150 per window to refurbish all of them back into sealed and nearly perfect working condition. I think half the sash weights were on the floor when we bought the house.

  56. Seneca says:

    Open question to all on teardowns/renovations to existing homes.

    First, I have heard (and seen) a lot of homeowners teardown their entire house but leave up one wall. My understanding is that this helps keep your adjusted taxes low upon reassessment once the renovation is complete. Does anyone have any knowledge about what sounds like a tax loophole of sorts? Is it true? Is it based on the city/town regulations or is it a state code?

    Second, if you buy a property that needs a new foundation, is leaving up one wall even possible? If not and you have to do a complete rebuild, is there a way to get an official opinion of what your new taxes will be based on architectural plans or do you just have to build and then keep your fingers crossed? If you know that a 4Bed/3Bath with finished basement is going to run $20k a year in taxes, can you revise your plans to eliminate some finished living space and keep taxes under control before you build?

  57. NJGator says:

    Seneca 59 – I’m not sure what the official regulations are, but a friend of ours bought a multi that was a teardown, but rebuilt on the existing foundation. When the town revalued, the age of their home on the property record card was updated to the year of the rebuild. They filed an appeal with the County Board of Taxation citing this issue and lost.

    Mind you, they were assessed under their purchase price (and their purchase was during the period of useable sales for that tax year). It is possible they lost their appeal simply on value alone.

  58. SG says:

    Another site with appraisal values

    http://www.eppraisal.com/

  59. SG says:

    On this online appraisal sites, I wonder if there was a site that helps you find bargains on MLS using one of the appraisal site.

    I know many folks think these sites as not very reliable. My opinion is at least they provide some yardstick, compared to nothing.

  60. make money says:

    last year someone jumped over the Verazzano Bridge and apparently he stayed at the ledge for 5 hours. I remember sitting in traffic and thinking “Hurry up and jump I have to go collect my rent”

    Tosh,

    would you have gotten out of your car walked to the guy and shouted ” hey buddy you’re holding up traffic here”

  61. John says:

    why do the people on this site have such big house with central air? Also what is with all this fancy pancy new age energy stuff, are you all heloc junkies.

    My 1,200 sq foot POS has a 55 year old boiler and no central air, not even a hot water heater, those are the for the rich folks. Kill the boiler in the summer what is wrong with cold water, when you don’t have AC it kinda balances out,

    A 4,000 square foot house unless you have 8 kids is a disgusting display of wealth in these hard economic times, if you work for GS they would fire you for showing off.

  62. Seneca says:

    NJG

    Thanks for the anecdata. A great way to encourage people to upgrade their homes or buy existing homes for sale that lack energy efficiency is to not slam them with insane property taxes when they choose to rebuild. But I don’t think we will see any cash for house clunkers programs anytime soon.

    Where I am looking, I have seen homes that wore complete teardowns build essentially the same sq.ftg (+10-15%) and the taxes go from $6,500 to $18,000 a year. This is what I need to avoid.

    Place I am looking at shows foundation issues on the disclosure and there was flooding in the basement so I have to believe the whole thing needs to come down and start from scratch. I don’t want to roll the dice on a rebuild vs remodel though.

  63. Seneca says:

    *wore complete teardowns = were complete teardowns

  64. #63 – make – last year someone jumped over the Verazzano Bridge and apparently he stayed at the ledge for 5 hours.

    Wow, holding up traffic on the V for 5 hours is almost grounds for justifiable homicide.

  65. Kettle1 says:

    Shore

    Just found out I may have a project in carasou….

  66. Kettle1 says:

    Shore

    I can’t spell

    Carriacou

  67. scribe says:

    senaca, #59

    I know that in Woodbridge Township, they very often advertise: “New home built over existing foundation.”

    My uncle said that was for tax purposes. So long as they used the original foundation, it counted as a remodeling vs. completely new construction.

    But check that out.

    I think the same might be true for Edison.

  68. Ellen says:

    #59 – Seneca

    What our county (Montgomery, PA) did with our addition was to take our previous assessment of $130k for a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home and then tack on extra for additional rooms (1 bedroom, family room, basement, and 2 bathrooms). Oddly, they don’t count a laundry room or a mudroom in the new assessment. Nor did they count our much larger kitchen which was built completely in the new footprint.

    We’re assessed at $180k, with total taxes right around 4k. Newer construction 4 bedroom, 3 baths in our area are taxed closer to 7k. Brand new are taxed at 12k. The newer construction would probably sell for more than we could get for our home, but nowhere near the multiples justifying their taxes.

  69. bi says:

    55#, seems the market officially entered summer doldrums. i don’t expect significant rally before labor day.

    good news: srs up 4%

  70. Seneca says:

    scribe and ellen, thanks for the info. This info likely explains the reason the house isn’t selling at what is likely an acceptable price for the land. People know they have to start from scratch and don’t want to deal with the outrageous tax bill. I will see what the selling agent knows…

  71. bi says:

    oil turns to negative. only thing holding up is big banks.

  72. Firestormik says:

    RE: 35
    Veto, you’ll be paying around $300 a month on average.

  73. veto that says:

    thx, 300-400 per month is about what i expected.
    Im pleased to hear that utilities really dont fluctuate that much from home to home, except maybe on the extremes of much older and much larger homes which we are not considering anyway.
    thanks all for the feedback.

  74. NJGator says:

    I think the important thing to note is that at the end of the day, your assessment in NJ is meant to be based on the actual market value of your home. So if your home was reassessed as being built more recently than you think it should be, but your assessment is not out of whack with what your home can sell for, you will likely not be successful in appealing your assessment down.

    In the hearings we sat through, the Commissioner was not concerned with land/improvement value breakdowns within an assessment, but simply what the total assessment was in comparison to the market value of the property.

    Also, as a percentage of the market value of the home, that number is different in every town and every tax year. Where the town’s average ratio is actually below 100%, then the town gets a 15% buffer on the assessment (up to 100% of market value) when defending appeals. So if your town’s average ratio is 50% of market value, the town will be able to sucessfully defend against appeals where the assessment is up to 57.5% of market value.

  75. veto that says:

    on that same subject, i hear a cash for clunkers is in the works for refrigerators. keep your eye on that one.
    its about time we all upgraded to stainless steel sub zeroes to stop the economy from plunging into the great depression.

  76. chicagofinance says:

    Cyclonic Action Vacuum says:
    August 10, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Hey Chi…time to get your gat.

    “Over the past two months I have been recovering from my bypass surgery and some complications I have experienced, but I will be back, and we will have another great period of tremendous trading as the financial markets collapse well below the 666 low and we see banks shutting down and the military in the streets.”

    -Mikey

    WTF is this? Better be a joke?

  77. bi says:

    the market is getting juicier. both JPM and BAC turns to negative!

  78. bi says:

    it’s a joke. its from mickey mouse.

    > WTF is this? Better be a joke?

  79. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Quick Question…..

    Warren County is covered by which MLS ???
    Anybody have access for Liberty Twp/Great Meadows area ???

  80. Grim, can you kill Rain Man’s market play-by-play?

  81. chi (79)-

    I think the joke is going to be on anyone who isn’t armed and provisioned when TSHTF.

  82. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    I have access to GSMLS….slim pickin’s in the Great Meadows area.

    I wonder, does the PA MLS have any listings / sales for that area ??

  83. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re : Home Improvements

    The old gambit of “leave one wall standing” or “built over existing foundation” usually only provides a Tax Abatement. Tax assessment stays low for 5 years, then kicks up to normal.

  84. John says:

    funny years ago when Neptune Beach club in Hampton Bays got beat to death by Huricane Gloria only one little wall was standing by a thread. They sued as town wanted that little wall knocked down which would cause them to be reassessed when they rebuilt, Neptunes won and they rebuild and did not get their taxes hiked.

  85. John says:

    Wonder if Bull Market gave him the heart attack!! Guess he went all short on March 9th.

    chicagofinance says:
    August 10, 2009 at 1:25 pm
    Cyclonic Action Vacuum says:
    August 10, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Hey Chi…time to get your gat.

    “Over the past two months I have been recovering from my bypass surgery and some complications I have experienced, but I will be back, and we will have another great period of tremendous trading as the financial markets collapse well below the 666 low and we see banks shutting down and the military in the streets.”

    -Mikey

    WTF is this? Better be a joke?

  86. bi says:

    89#, i would get heart attack too. in january, he was predicting chinse market would be collapse in a month. it went up over 80% since then.

  87. veto that says:

    “My 1,200 sq foot POS has a 55 year old boiler and no central air, not even a hot water heater, those are the for the rich folks.”

    John, im shocked.
    You own 2 luxury european cars, 2 gas guzzling american suvs, indulge in large vacations every four months and bragging about how ritzy long island is.
    What the heck are you doing in that little box of a house?
    Sell some junk bonds and trade in one of those hideous automobiles so that you can upgrade to a proper home for your family.

  88. NJGator says:

    Aha…so this is how John’s wife can stay home. If he had bought a McMansion like a “real man”, he’s probably be just another deadbeat like the rest of his male relatives.

    “My 1,200 sq foot POS has a 55 year old boiler and no central air, not even a hot water heater, those are the for the rich folks.”

  89. veto that says:

    john, shame on you. Poor woman stays home in a box, there is barely enough air for a cat in 1200 sq ft.
    She must be a saint.

  90. Ben says:

    you guys are going to be giving me a lot of crap for the near future when you find out the job I’m going to accept.

  91. John says:

    I am waiting for the market to bottom. I bought my POS house from a guy about to go under in December 1999 for peanuts. Plan was to live there 2-4 years and trade up and the damm housing bubble blew that plan up. My house expenses are currently so low I could return some empty cans and may for it. Even better taxes are peanuts and heating is nothing as it is so small. Even insurance is cheap as house isn’t worth much.

    Let alone my wife stay home I could stay home too if I felt like it and live off interest income if I wanted to stay in my POS.

  92. John says:

    Ben if you are GS just buy me lunch and I will sing about how good you are!

  93. John says:

    My unemployed brother in law lives in a 950K home he put 10% down one, I don’t know how he sleeps at night.

    NJGator says:
    August 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm
    Aha…so this is how John’s wife can stay home. If he had bought a McMansion like a “real man”, he’s probably be just another deadbeat like the rest of his male relatives.

    “My 1,200 sq foot POS has a 55 year old boiler and no central air, not even a hot water heater, those are the for the rich folks.”

  94. veto that says:

    Ben,
    mortgage broker?
    tax collector?
    other than that, i think you are good.

  95. #94 – Ben – It’s not Fed chairman, is it?

  96. bi says:

    i am puzzled nobody here want to be cheerined up when srs are making a real move. it’s up 7%.

  97. Richie says:

    you guys are going to be giving me a lot of crap for the near future when you find out the job I’m going to accept.

    Septic System pumper?

    No pun intended.

  98. John says:

    Ben, Mop Boy? Sounds easy but watch out when you bend over to pick something up.

  99. Ben says:

    “#94 – Ben – It’s not Fed chairman, is it?”

    Nope…you’d love me if I became Fed Chairman.

  100. Ben says:

    “mortgage broker?
    tax collector?
    other than that, i think you are good.”

    well, I guess on some level, you’ll be able to call me a tax collector.

  101. veto that says:

    repo…

  102. NJGator says:

    John 97 – Lots of Ambien?

    Touche. Our serial refinaning friends are starting to talk about downsizing and living in downtown Red Bank because they “enjoy it so much”. I think they are having trouble sleeping as well.

  103. Stu says:

    Ben,

    Realtor?

  104. zieba says:

    Ben,

    Trenton?

  105. Ben says:

    can’t release the info yet.

  106. Ellen says:

    John, I guess we can know that one or more of the following is true:

    1. You’ve got all daughters.
    2. If you’ve got sons, they’re more the ballet type than the kind that roll around in the dirt.
    3. Your wife is a slave to pretreating the cold water laundry.
    4. Your kids have no nerve endings to sit in a bathtub without any warm water in it.
    5. You’d rather count your money than give your family a really comfortable home (by US, not third world, standards).

    p.s. We’ve got no heloc here. Just a small (160k) 15 year mortgage.

    p.p.s. I grew up in a row home like you’ve described with a lot more kids than I have now. I know it can be done if necessary, but I’d be bitter if I knew my Dad was watching his interest accrue while we lived like a bunch of illegal aliens with 4 kids to a bedroom.

  107. Stu says:

    Gator (106):

    “Touche. Our serial refinaning friends are starting to talk about downsizing and living in downtown Red Bank because they “enjoy it so much”. I think they are having trouble sleeping as well.”

    Yuppers. This is not unexpected as they finished their basement, put in a fancy bathroom and refurnished their entire living room (Ikea) in the last year alone. They also widened and repaved their driveway. Morons!

  108. zieba says:

    John,
    Damn.
    They’re coming down on you hard over this.

  109. gman says:

    BREAKING NEWS!

    Fed is going to halt treasury purchases in Sept! Prepare for 6-6.5% interest rates again! Can’t wait to see home values drop after this…

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

  110. gman says:

    On another note… stumbled across a house FSBO, listed as $485k, comps for same sq footage say $395-425k. How do you say to an owner their asking price indicates they are out of their f*ing mind?

  111. Sean says:

    John dump those bonds and trade up already, your dream home was marked down another 25k today. You could be Andrew Dice Clay neighbor by the end of the month. Just think of the Labor Day Barbecue you two could have together telling hickory dickory dock jokes while cooking steaks as your kids play together.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/41864473-Single-Family-Home-Upper-Saddle-River-NJ-07458

  112. Apparently John married Laura Ingalls.

  113. John says:

    That is a nice house but on busy road next to a farm on other side of street. Does he live on that block.

    Sean says:
    August 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm
    John dump those bonds and trade up already, your dream home was marked down another 25k today. You could be Andrew Dice Clay neighbor by the end of the month. Just think of the Labor Day Barbecue you two could have together telling hickory dickory dock jokes while cooking steaks as your kids play together.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/41864473-Single-Family-Home-Upper-Saddle-River-NJ-07458

  114. #117 – IDK John, the house has a water heater not enough closet space for hair shirts. It might make the family go soft.

  115. John says:

    160k is a huge mortgage to me. Heck my first place I only paid 27K for, your mortgage is five times the amount of the purchase price of my first place.

    Also I can’t use hot water on laundry anyhow, the rusty hot water pipes stains he clothes.

    I should of had less kids like you so I could afford a mcmansion but did not have the nerve like you to kill my unborn children so I could have a champane hot tub in my master bedroom. I was just one coat hanger from a 5 acre house.

    I actually don’t count my money just my daily p&l in my two trading accounts.

    Plus what is this with 4 kids to bedroom, what do they need a bedroom for, can’t they just sleep on floor in kitchen so when I am ready in morning they can get breakfast on the table quicker.

    Ellen says:
    August 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm
    John, I guess we can know that one or more of the following is true:

    1. You’ve got all daughters.
    2. If you’ve got sons, they’re more the ballet type than the kind that roll around in the dirt.
    3. Your wife is a slave to pretreating the cold water laundry.
    4. Your kids have no nerve endings to sit in a bathtub without any warm water in it.
    5. You’d rather count your money than give your family a really comfortable home (by US, not third world, standards).

    p.s. We’ve got no heloc here. Just a small (160k) 15 year mortgage.

    p.p.s. I grew up in a row home like you’ve described with a lot more kids than I have now. I know it can be done if necessary, but I’d be bitter if I knew my Dad was watching his interest accrue while we lived like a bunch of illegal aliens with 4 kids to a bedroom.

  116. Ellen says:

    Wow. I’m as prolife as they come. You’re barking up the wrong tree with that one. I thought my post was in good fun. Sorry I offended you.

  117. veto that says:

    I dont haggle with FSBO.
    My whole reasoning is simple.
    If they’re sweating over the 10-20k commission, how are they going to react when i hit them with an 80-100k below ask offer?

  118. John says:

    You did not offend me I was just harrasing you. Actually I have two cousins who on purpose only had two kids and did not have a third one so they could afford their expensive home and fancy leased cars and still go out to dinner.

    I would hate to have not had my third child just so I could have an extra bedroom and a newer car. Are you really pro-choice if you skip having a kid so you can afford starbucks twice a day instead of DD once a day? AHHH what a weird ethcial issue.

    Ellen says:
    August 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm
    Wow. I’m as prolife as they come. You’re barking up the wrong tree with that one. I thought my post was in good fun. Sorry I offended you.

  119. veto that says:

    “I was just one coat hanger from a 5 acre house.”

    it was only a matter of time before the conversation turned completely inappropriate.

  120. gman says:

    #121

    True, true, very true…

    I highly doubt the house would appraise at that price… no appraisal, no mortgage to 99% of all buyers who need a loan.

  121. veto that says:

    “Are you really pro-choice if you skip having a kid so you can afford starbucks twice a day instead of DD once a day?”

    You can have the kids and still save the money, just feed them grizzle.
    They cant appreciate filet mignon anyway, thats why the little brats only eat skittles.

  122. Clotpoll says:

    Ben (94)-

    Gubmint teat-suckler?

  123. NJGator says:

    John 122 – Starbucks will now only charge you $2 for a grande beverage after 2PM if you purchase a full price beverage earlier in the day. So you can go ahead and enjoy your overpriced beverage, no coat hanger needed.

  124. freedy says:

    well, i guess the unions have finally
    done Atlantic City in. Billboards, telling people to go elsewhere. reminds me of the Auto Industry.

    only in NJ.

  125. Stu says:

    “Billboards, telling people to go elsewhere. reminds me of the Auto Industry.”

    This is not surprising as the UAW is actually the union the casino workers are considering joining.

  126. Ellen says:

    I would hate to have not had my third child just so I could have an extra bedroom and a newer car. Are you really pro-choice if you skip having a kid so you can afford starbucks twice a day instead of DD once a day?

    You know, I don’t think my kids cost that much, especially my boys. And they won’t unless we send them to private high school. Right now, the local parochial school maxes out tuition at $4500 no matter how many kids we put in there, and the gift of uniforms helps keep the clothes budget down. PB&J’s and mac n’ cheese feed the kids on the cheap. Other than braces, I really don’t foresee big expenses with our boys.

    Our daughter’s a girly girl though and into competitive Irish dancing. Those bleepity bleepin’ dresses cost us some money. Any future daughters will be pushed into soccer and softball. ;)

  127. make money says:

    I received this e-mail…

    Breaking News….

    “Cash for Clunkers” is now spreading to Obama’s Healthcare Reform Bill. Word has it that you can turn in your sick Granny and receive $4500 in healthcare credits to be used in prolonging your own life!

    If grandma is under 65 yrs old then you you will receive an additional $4,500 towards funeral cost.

    This is one simple way of reducing and balancing the budget.

    We are asking everyone over 65 yrs old to take one for the team.

    Go USA!!!

  128. Secondary Market says:

    i swear i’m starting to think those on this board are the only ones that know what’s going in the re world. house after house i get ready to bid on sells pretty damn close to asking. we’re not talking 1 or 2 homes but a nice handful, 6 or so. so many uninformed people, so many!!
    i’m starting to feel its us vs the world.

  129. #130 – Ellen – Our daughter’s … into competitive Irish dancing.

    I had no idea such a thing existed. I mean, I new about Irish dance and all, just not that there were competitions in it.

  130. A.West says:

    As a change in subject, I’d like to sponsor a debate. Where is the best place to buy a McMansion in the price range of $900k to $1mn?:
    Bridgewater
    Martinsville (subset of Bridgewater)
    Warren (Smallish McMansion at this px)
    Hillsborough (bigger lots seem available)

    Personal experiences/prejudices are welcome! Vent all you like.

  131. John says:

    Anywhere but Jersey

    A.West says:
    August 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm
    As a change in subject, I’d like to sponsor a debate. Where is the best place to buy a McMansion in the price range of $900k to $1mn?:
    Bridgewater
    Martinsville (subset of Bridgewater)
    Warren (Smallish McMansion at this px)
    Hillsborough (bigger lots seem available)

    Personal experiences/prejudices are welcome! Vent all you like.

  132. Ellen says:

    #133

    You have no idea. It’s its own freakish little world where once a certain age and level is reached, the girls all wear huge Shirley Temple like wigs on their heads and fake tans on their legs. Michael Flatley (of Lord of the Dance fame) was the first American ever to be crowned a world champion.

    And the thing is, once they hit that championship level (where our daughter is), they’re all so good that barring a major mistake, like a fall, physical appearance really does matter, just like in figure skating or gymnastics. We’d never have allowed our girl to get so into it if we’d have known. But she has become so self-identified with it, it’s too late to pull her out.

  133. John says:

    my friends wife’s did that step dancing thing and she barely could knock one kid out, the damm O muscle was so loose she could of fit a toll belt in. Lucky one of the tries the kid had a fat head and did not fall out.

  134. ruggles says:

    86 – if you’re talking Great Meadows school district that also includes Independence twp. there aren’t that many houses up there anyway so won’t be many for sale. its almost as hick as PA up there. almost.

  135. Clotpoll says:

    (135)-

    This, from a guy who lives in the only place in America that is:

    1. taxed worse than we are

    2. is the US home office fox obnoxious a-holes

    3. has traffic that can make you homicidal

    4. is the biggest cancer cluster on Earth

    Add to that the fact that there are probably more good restaurants and place of interest in Queens, and you’ve got on hell of a place to live…emphasis on the “hell”.

  136. Clotpoll says:

    The fact that Billy Joel is from LI is enough to justify carpet bombing it with daisy cutters.

  137. Clotpoll says:

    I could probably listen to Neil Diamond longer than Billy Joel (were somebody trying to pull a Noriega on me).

  138. Clotpoll says:

    Ellen (136)-

    Why don’t you get her into some authentic Irish activities, like binge drinking and fighting?

  139. ruggles says:

    134 – I’m prejudiced against anything too far south of Rt 78 as most of the wealth in central jersey is concentrated north of it. If I were wasting 1 mill on a house, I’d want it to be in a neighborhood or town where some people get 2 million for their houses.

    Of your choices, Warren is number 1 even if you have to compromise house size. With Hillsborough you would be living among a lot of people who’s houses will never come up to that price (perhaps Montgomery would be better). Martinsville section of Bridgewater would be the second choice as it does have some cache being wedged between warren and the hills and good access to 78. but the rest of bridgewater is pretty average.

  140. NJGator says:

    Ellen – Did you ever see the documentary “Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen”? Total train wreck, but you can’t stop watching.

    The documentary follows five-year-old beauty contestant Swan Brooner and her mother, Robin Browne throughout the year of 1999. The two live in Florida with Swan’s half-brother, Bubba, her half-sister, Silva and her younger brother, Devon.

    Throughout the film, Robin, who used to serve in the American military, trains and grooms Swan with a no-nonsense attitude for the state beauty pageants. In Swan’s bedroom, various trophies and crowns are displayed, although Swan mentions she does not know what contest she won them in.

    Robin takes Swan to South Carolina to compete in a national contest. However, Swan loses after nearly forgetting the words to a song. The two move on the next contest. Before they set out, Robin’s boyfriend has already offered to help Robin and Swan with whatever expenses needed to cover the pageants. Robin’s son, Bubba, is a juvenile delinquent, who has already been involved in fights with his peers at school and has been arrested a few times. However, Robin has been too preoccupied with Swan to attend to Bubba, although she mentions she cares and loves all of her children.

    The documentary later focuses on Alabama residents and beauty pageant coaches Michael Butler and his partner Shane King, along with Butler’s seven-year-old daughter, Leslie, who has won 27 national titles in her pageant span (Butler’s dad mentions that Leslie won her first pageant when she was three weeks old while she slept). Shane is coach to Leslie, Swan and various other young beauty pageant contestants. Meanwhile, Leslie is preparing to compete in the Glamour Doll USA pageant after a nine-month hiatus. She later wins the top prize.

    Ultimately, Swan is crowned Miss Grand National Star Grand Supreme, winning $2500, the largest prize she has received. Leslie is crowned Overall Dream Girl, winning $500.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Dolls:_The_Making_of_a_Child_Beauty_Queen

  141. cli says:

    House hunting report.

    We checked a house in ‘Bergen county train town’ yesterday. The house itself is pretty nice but it is on the back of relatively busy street. We sit in the back yard for a while to check whether the street noise is an issue. It looks like that the street noise is pretty minor ( there isn’t much traffic in the weekends though )

    My wife likes the house. I am a little bit conservative since I think you will never know whether the noise will be an issue unless you really moved in. But anyway, we still asked our agent to talk to the seller to find out how they feel about an offer of $600K. Today, our agent told us that that the seller already got an all-cash $625K offer. Our agent also told us that it is very likely we will still be able to get the house if we present an offer of $625k with 30% down since the people who put the all-cash $625 offer has submitted an offer on another house, which was accepted and under attorney review.

    Gurus on this board, any thoughts?

    BTW, I really hate to starting a bidding war.

  142. #145 – Total train wreck, but you can’t stop watching.

    Oh, I’ve seen that. It’s cringe inducing. That came out about the same time as the ecstasy dad documentary which is even worse.

  143. jmacdaddio says:

    Not sure why 149 was moderated… trying again

    While I like Hillsborough, you’ll find random dilapidated properties mixed in with McMansions. Nothing looks out of place more than a shirtless guy with 4 teeth sittin’ on the porch admiring his 83 Ford pickup with monster truck wheels, across the street from a row of new mansions with 3-car garages. I get the sense that farmland was turned into subdivisions in a haphazard fashion leaving pockets of Kentucky scattered here and there.

  144. Stu says:

    Tosh,

    I saw XTC dad. HBO really makes great documentaries.

  145. make money says:

    CLI,

    pure bluff. Stick to 600K.

  146. BeachBum says:

    Just got back fro 2 great weeks at the Shore (Belmar). A shame I couldn’t catch up with NJ Coast, but the family stuff got hectic – NJC – would love to do it next time – I go back to see my mom at least 2 times a year and will let you know the dates. I am more than ever psyched to buy a place at the shore – Bradley, Avon(yeah right!) or Belmar.
    Would anyone have the history/info on these 2:
    313 EVERGREEN AVE
    BRADLEY BEACH, NJ 07720
    Listing # 20922201
    950K

    218 2ND AVE
    BRADLEY BEACH, NJ 07720
    Listing # 20925463
    899.9 K

    Way out of my price range, but if they’re looking to negotiate, perhaps these would work!

    I’ll be combing through Belmar next.

    The place I liked last year on Evergreen in Bradley that sold for 535 is getting beautifully renovated (I think it was 216 Evergreen) otherwise, the one above on Second Ave was looking slightly overgrown, so maybe their interest in the place has waned…
    Cheers to all!

  147. make money says:

    I got a call this morning from Peter Schiff asking for $4,600. He seemed pumped. That boy can sell.

    Can he oust Dodd? Can he win the republican nomination?

  148. yo'me says:

    Cash is king,” said Paul Kasriel, the chief economist at Northern Trust Corp. in Chicago. “Businesses are in survival mode right now.”

    While companies sold a record $837.9 billion of bonds this year and raised $109.8 billion in stock offerings, the increase in cash shows they are following the lead of consumers, who pushed the U.S. savings rate to a 14-year high of 6.2 percent in May.

    “There’s going to be a generational psychology shift as to how you and I and the rest of the world think about finance,” said Jonathan Fine, a managing director on the investment-grade syndicate desk at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York. “People will keep cash on hand so long as what happened in the last two years remains so visible in the rearview mirror

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aKArtbx5GFHw

  149. gman says:

    Go Peter Schiff… hope he boots Dodds out.

  150. bi says:

    152# sell 5 oz. of your shining stuff before it goes down

  151. Anon E. Moose says:

    @CLI [146]

    You have to put it in terms they can understand: tell them that they can wait for the quarterback to call and ask them to prom because they heard a rumor that he had a fight with the head cheerleader and REALLY likes them anyway, but just not in that way…

    I concur with MM, if the $625 done gone elsewhere, they are off the market and no longer competition — likely because this seller waited too long to accept. The offer is $600 (if not lower) and advise them they shouldn’t make the same mistake again, for the next offer will be $575.

    I have a friend that just bought backing a secondary road, and he’s loving the road noise all night long as he pnders the $25k in unanticipated repairs (i.e., maintaining the only bathroom in usable condition) he’s shelled out in just 3 months since closing.

  152. cli says:

    @Aron
    Thanks for the response.

    Is the street noise an issue to your friend when the repair was not started?

  153. make money says:

    http://www.ignou.ac.in

    Anyone know anything about this. My cousin asked me what I thought. Apparently the whole MBA cost is $347.00.

    If continuing for a PHD, will this be OK?

  154. make money says:

    http://www.ignou.ac.in/special_act/Adm_Adv.htm

    Thsi isi the program he’s doing. Any input would be appreciated. he’s always been a good kid that thought outside the box, I just don’t want him wasting time.

  155. grim says:

    If continuing for a PHD, will this be OK?

    MBA is not an interim step to a PhD, it should be considered a terminal degree.

    In many cases, MBA credits can not be utilized towards a PhD program, and in cases where some credit might be transferred, overall impact is minimal since other requirements will dictate overall program length.

    In many IT Management PhD programs, you are awarded a Masters degree as a consolation prize if you complete some set portion of the program, but “flunk out” on your final requirements (dissertation, etc).

    If the ultimate goal is a Doctorate, the MBA would largely be a waste of time. If his CV is not sufficient to land him a position in a program and he is seeking a way to enhance his application, keep in mind that the application committee will also realize he paid $347 for that distance learning MBA.

  156. yo'me says:

    EDISON — An Edison police detective with more than 27 years with the department pleaded guilty today in New Brunswick to shoplifting from a township supermarket in March where he was working as a security guard.

    David Yanvary, 54, admitted concealing $42.27 worth of merchandise, including Golden Blossom honey, canola oil, a DVD of the movie “Role Models” and a candle. He had paid for other items before he left the store on the night of March 17

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/edison_detective_pleads_guilty.html

  157. leftwing says:

    Re: Beauty Pageants

    Little Miss Sunshine, laughed like hell.

    “I’d like to dedicate this to my grandpa who showed me all the moves.” That’s sweet, where’s your grandpa now?” “In the trunk of our car.”

    “You’re what, 15? Are you getting any? You should be getting that young stuff. See right now you’re jailbait, they’re jailbait. It’s perfect. You hit 18 man, you’re talking three to five.”

  158. tinkerbell says:

    Mickey = Mike Morgan …????

  159. grim says:

    David Yanvary, 54, admitted concealing $42.27 worth of merchandise, including Golden Blossom honey, canola oil, a DVD of the movie “Role Models” and a candle.

    Getting ready for a romantic and wild night, no doubt. Honey *AND* Canola Oil? Nice.

  160. grim says:

    Cue John with a story about 3 hookers, a kiddie pool, and a half drum of unprocessed fryolater grease from out behind an old diner in Oyster Bay. Best chicken nugget he ever ate.

  161. grim says:

    Well folks, the good news is that the foreclosure rate is stabilizing. The bad news is that it is due to rising bankruptcies and foreclosure moratoria.

    From Bloomberg:

    Consumer Bankruptcies May Hit 1.4 Million

    Consumer bankruptcies show no sign of abating after rising more than a third this year and may hit 1.4 million by Dec. 31 as jobs are lost and loans are harder to get, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

    More than 126,000 consumers filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. last month, 34 percent more than in July 2008, the ABI said in its latest report on Aug. 4. The increase came after a 36.5 percent rise in personal bankruptcies nationwide in the first six months, to 675,351, according to the ABI research group, which interprets data collected by the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

    “Rising unemployment on top of high pre-existing debt burdens is a formula for higher bankruptcies through the end of this year,” ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano said in a statement. The group, composed of lawyers, accountants, bankers and judges, is based in Alexandria, Virginia.

  162. grim says:

    The possibility that bankruptcy may have saved more homes from foreclosure than any housing bailout is probably a great story idea for some aspiring journalist out there.

  163. grim says:

    And Stu screwed over AC, yet again.

    From the Record:

    Atlantic City casino revenues down 12.7 percent

    Atlantic City’s casino revenues were all wet during a rainy July that kept gamblers away.

    The city’s 11 casinos won $383 million in July, a 12.7 percent decline from a year ago. Slot revenue was $266.8 million, down 12.4 percent, while table games revenue was $116.2 million, down 13.4 percent.

    The city is in the midst of a third straight year of declining revenues that started when slots parlors began opening in neighboring Pennsylvania in November 2006. The recession also has made gamblers keep a tighter hold on their wallets.

    For the first seven months of this year, Atlantic City casinos won $2.3 billion, down 14.9 percent from the same period in 2008.

  164. chicagofinance says:

    make money says:
    August 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm
    I got a call this morning from Peter Schiff asking for $4,600. He seemed pumped. That boy can sell.Can he oust Dodd? Can he win the republican nomination?

    ????? I thought he was a financial genius? I guess he’s off to another hobby…WTF?

  165. NJGator says:

    chifi 169 -been there, done that. we all know how well Corzine in politics turned out.

  166. Sean says:

    re: #170 Grim -In addition to bankruptcy slowing the foreclosure volume there is this.

    http://www.foreclosuretruth.com/blog/sean/waiting-catch-wave-surge-reo-listings-unlikely

  167. grim says:

    In addition to bankruptcy slowing the foreclosure volume there is this.

    No problem, but just call a spade a spade and reclassify these financials as what they really are now, residential REITs.

  168. Stu says:

    There’s a new Cycle Pro up.

    http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/Exchange/9807/Charts/SP500/Outlook.htm

    “My view of the M1 multiplier has not changed. As long as it stays less than 1.0 it means the Fed is getting increasingly less bang for the buck… oh, sorry for the bad pun. Regardless of how much Fed “money printing” has been going on for the past year, very little, if any, is actually making its way through to Main Street. Instead, it is funneling through Wall Street. A negative multiplier suggests people are preferring to hoard rather than spend their dollars. Inflation cannot happen unless people spend today fearing that holding dollars will have less purchasing power tomorrow. Folks, the second wave of a double-dipper is approaching.”

  169. yikes says:

    anyone know a site that rates all the restaurants in new hope?

    can’t seem to find a good breakdown …

  170. jamil says:

    Great to see real grassroots demonstrations to emerge to counter those professional protesters (paid by Karl Rove and Glenn Beck)

    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2009/08/soros-pledges-5-billion-for-obama.html

    “George Soros is sending a $5 million check to Health Care For America Now, the leading coalition of pro-reform groups, unions and providers”

  171. yikes says:

    veto that says:
    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am

    We currently rent a small condo but am trying to do a budget forecast of home ownership utility costs.
    We’re looking at 4 bed/2 bath homes with gas heat and central air and public water.
    Anyone have any ideas what these utilities should run per month? summer/winter?
    House will be about 1,800-2,000 sq ft plus basement. Figure it was built in 60s-80s.

    to be on the safe side, just say $400.

  172. yikes says:

    veto: IF you work from home, you can’t keep it at 75. too hot. i work from home and usually keep it 72/73. at night we have to jack it down to 68/69.

    that dual system is necessary prior to next summer, for sure.

  173. yo (156)-

    Cash is king. Gold is the emperor.

  174. yikes says:

    We have original windows and storms as well as zero insulation. It’s Aluminum siding, thin sheet of plywood, studs and either plaster or sheetrock. Thank the lord we don’t have central air. I imagine our summer cooling bill would rival our winter heating bill. Two efficient window units does the cooling and rarely do we top $200 for cooling. Mind you, we don’t pay our tenants electric.

    Stu, how do you deal with window units? had to deal with them for 5 years in NYC and i vowed i would do everything possibly to never have to deal with them again. way too noisy. takes way too long to cool the joint down.

  175. tink (166)-

    Mike Morgan, the one and only.

  176. NJCoast says:

    #154 BeachBum- Glad you had a great vacation. Sorry we didn’t get to meet for Painkillers!

    313 Evergreen Ave. Bradley Beach-
    List-6/15/09-$950,000
    Last sale-11/13/96-$155,000
    Taxes-$9750
    Assessed for taxes-$856,000
    Looks like 2 mortgages. One for $250,000 and another for $100,000.

    218 2nd Ave. Bradley Beach
    Built 1999
    list-7/01/09- $899,988
    Last sale-11/18/98- $130,000
    Taxes-$11,053
    Assessed-$970,400
    Shows 3 mortgages- 2004-$244,330.
    2002-$248,200.
    1998-$265,000

  177. grim (175)-

    I had a conversation today with a Banco Santander loss mit official that would curl your toenails.

    If I had any nerves left, I’d be developing a terrible sleep problem. When you talk to a bank like Santander and understand that their REO portfolio is spread all over the planet, the force and potential fury of what’s about to come really sinks in.

    To give the short story, the Santander guy thinks that Spain will devolve into 1930s-style chaos…and Argentina will re-live Memoria del Saqueo.

  178. Then again, if the Apertura is delayed in Argentina, it’s all-bets-off.

  179. yikes (178)-

    All you need to know is that every single restaurant in No Hope sucks.

  180. yikes (178)-

    I take that back. Triumph Brewery is a good, reliable place to eat.

  181. Stu says:

    Yikes (185):

    The key is to do your research before you buy them. I am completely sold on the Sharp Comfort Touch (whisper quiet) model. Not only are they super quiet and efficient, but the guts and chassis come in two different pieces making install and removal a snap. We have two units that comfortably cool the entire first floor of our unit.

    As with water heaters, refrigerators and really anything heating and cooling related, you should always buy a larger unit than you need as it is actually cheaper to operate due to greater efficiency. Additionally, the larger units tend to be built better. This is especially the case with water heaters.

    We received our August bill from PSEG today and it was the cheapest Summer bill ever. It was around $100 for electric (our unit) and gas (for both units). We don’t heat or cool the basement as it really doesn’t require it. So what does your central air bill look like in July/August?

  182. grim says:

    Mini-split units are a god-send for older homes. While they are more expensive than window units, they can be sized correctly for most applications (read: large enough), and are much quieter as the compressor unit is located outside of the home. The ductless systems also achieve much higher efficiencies than wall or window mounts.

    While the cost is higher than window units, it is significantly lower than central air or even worse, those fancy high-velocity retrofit systems.

  183. yikes says:

    stu – truthfully, i dont know. that’s one of the wife’s bills. i take care of the mortgage, she handles the rest.

    when we did a budget, we just did a $400 estimate for elec/sewer/water and haven’t crossed that line yet.

  184. Stu says:

    yikes,

    Get back to me in a couple of years.

    Ah the joys of home ownership. If I didn’t have a garden, I might kill myself.

  185. willwork4beer says:

    #189 CAV

    I couldn’t agree more on New Hope. I love Triumph. Best place in town. Then again, they kinda like me there. Must be the beer.

    Disclaimer: I spent the time and energy necessary to befriend three bartenders, two chefs and two servers. And the Brewmaster. Therefore, I get whatever I want in that place. Don’t bother schmoozing the managers. They’re dime a dozen. They fire one a month.

  186. Sorry, Grim. 195, in full:

    I may have to send Mikey a Mossberg as a get well present. Hate to say it, kids, but this post mirrors my convo today with the loss mit guy at Santander:

    “But back to commercial real estate for a moment. I’ve long said that this is going to some day explode as a $5 trillion dollar global problem . . . or more. One expert, believes “the equity in $1.3 trillion of properties is at great risk, if not already wiped out.”

    You can feel the love here:

    http://realestateandhousing2.blogspot.com/2009/08/commercial-real-estate-crushing-pension.html

  187. beer (194)-

    I’m no beer connoisseur, but I’ve always thought Triumph’s whole selection has been both tasty and well-priced. They even do a great job with difficult styles, like IPA.

    I’ve also never had a bad meal at either the Princeton or No Hope location.

  188. Firestormik says:

    RE: 190 Stu,
    I think you got your Sharp LQ a while ago as did I, which is sitting in my basement now. As far as I know they discontinued the line :( I believe it was the best window AC made ever

  189. x-underwriter says:

    Cyclonic,
    You should have been there when the transvestite convention came martching in at the No Hope Triumph. One dude looked like the Dunkin’ Donuts guy in a blue dress…not very convincing

  190. x-underwriter says:

    Triumph is one of my favorite places in the area though

  191. Firestormik says:

    STU, Scratch it – misread your post, Comfort Touch came later, cheaper and nosier then Library Quiet line. I got mine at 2003. The only noise you can hear from it is the fan, the moment when the compressor goes on and off is hardly noticeable

  192. Bystander says:

    #152 Stu,

    I’ve seen both those documentaries. X-dad was completely off the wall but at least he spent time with his kids. I found Living Dolls more disturbing because these 400 lb, pork rind eating hillbilly mamas were nearly prostituting their 4 year olds. I mean swimsuit contests…really?

    Most disturbing HBO documentary: Dealing Dogs. That was the saddest sh*t ever.

  193. Nothing beats the reality of that Jonbenet girl who got whacked in her own house on Chirstmas.

  194. Want an instant degree in commercial RE? Look at this fcuked up deal, presented as a turd-honed-into-diamond:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/sl-greens-mysterious-cap-rate-calculcations-and-diversifying-israeli-voip-operatorsmidtown-r

  195. NJGator says:

    Did you see Living Dolls? Swan was totally the white trash version of Jon Benet….looked a lot like her too.

  196. Shore Guy says:

    RE report from the southern Shore. We looked at houses in Stone Harbor and Avalon. The sellers appear to all be doing serious drugs. Stone Harbor has the same feel as Avon in Monmouth County but higher prices, in addition to being a pain in the @ss to get to.

    Grenada seems less farfetched every day.

  197. Gator (206)-

    Sorry; I can’t watch that shit.

  198. How can you be so fcuking asleep that you let your kid get whacked in your own house on Christmas?

  199. Ellen says:

    #147 NJGator –

    I did see it. Talk about its own freakish little world, and no doubt there are some similarities.

    However, Irish dancing is first and foremost a sport. Its rules forbid makeup on kids under 11, and in the early stages even chubby kids can win if they know the steps better than the other kids. Also, I’d say it’s more kid driven than beauty pageants – stage mothers are few and far between. Typically, kids are sucked into Irish dancing because it’s taught in the parish gym after school for like 5 bucks a lesson, and parents have no idea what they’re getting into if it turns out their kid loves it.

    By the time your kid needs a solo dress, she’s practicing 4 and 5 times a week. All her best friends are Irish dancers and your kid self identifies as an Irish dancer. As a parent, you’re kind of stuck.

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