Economic worries persist

From the Courier Post:

Worries remain in N.J. about economy

One in five New Jersey residents is better off today than a year ago.

Still, it is instructional to take the official pulse of the people every once in a while. In a survey this month by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business, one in five New Jersey residents (21 percent) said they are better off than they were a year ago, a three percentage point improvement over a January poll.

Still, the Garden State is in a guarded state, with 36 percent of residents saying they are “very worried” their jobs will go away within the next 12 months. And 31 percent are hard pressed to keep up their credit card payments.

Fewer than half of the people polled (43 percent) believe they will be better off next year. That is the most pessimistic reading since October 2008, when the banking meltdown was in full boil.

Folks over 60 had the gloomiest outlook, with only 24 percent expecting better times ahead. Younger people, those age 18-29, were the most optimistic; 70 percent see brighter days on the horizon.

It is not surprising that the cold hand of joblessness has touched many people. In the poll, 65 percent reported that a close friend or family member had been laid off, compared to 54 percent in January 2009 and 38 percent in January 2008.

On the up side, 39 percent of New Jersey workers are “not at all worried” about losing employment. And only 8 percent expect their credit card balances to increase in the next year.

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428 Responses to Economic worries persist

  1. still_looking says:

    first! from Fla!


  2. freedy says:

    Wait a minute . i was at a BBq yesterday,
    guy says to me , but things are getting better, right? i tried to explain but his
    eyes glazed over and he went for another brew.

  3. safeashouses says:

    I went to a few open houses yesterday.

    House #1. Listing said it had natural gas heat and 3 bedrooms. Actually had oil radiant heat and some of the the pipes in the basement were wrapped in asbestos. The pipes were so close to the stairs my kids could reach the asbestos. Also the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms were railroad rooms. And the master closet was really the entrance to the attic stairs.

    House #2. Was listed at a 2007 price. Had tiny closets too. Agent had so much hairspray on she must have personally melted out 2 polar bears. She looks at littler safe and announces she has a 4 year old named Madison. It was so hard for me to keep quiet. Gary would have loved it.

    House #3 The backyard was still muddy. Even had some kind of public drain in it. Plus the storage shed was on concrete stilts.

    House #4 The interior was cluttered and needed painting. No big deal just paint the walls and ceiling and refinish the hardwood floors and the interior would look great. Basement wall was missing molding and had a raw concrete wall. The wall felt damp to the touch. Walked around to the backyard. The porch needed to be replaced, and the siding and roof looked like they needed to be replaced too. Plus the backyard was covered in tree roots.
    I bet someone buys this one because buyers at open houses rarely walk the backyard. I always go in the backyard if I’m interested after the interior tour to check out the siding, drainage, grading, deck, patio, roof, trees, etc.

    Sigh. Looks like I may wind up renting another year.

  4. yo'me says:

    The chances of a relapse into recession this year are 15 percent, according to a survey of 46 economists by Bloomberg News this month, down from 25 percent in September 2009.

    The economy expanded at a 5.6 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, the most in six years, with inventories providing the biggest boost by adding 3.8 percentage points to gross domestic product, based on data from the Commerce Department in Washington.

    GDP will grow 4.5 percent in the second quarter, with inventory restocking contributing 2 percentage points, predicts Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank AG in New York. The median forecast of 60 economists in the April Bloomberg News survey is for 2.8 percent growth.

    Manufacturers added to stockpiles in March following 46 months of contraction, based on a factory index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management in Tempe, Arizona. Truckers benefited, as their business increased on a seasonally adjusted basis in the first quarter, according to a survey of about 25 companies by Stifel Nicolaus & Co., a regional broker and investment banker based in St. Louis.

  5. Final Doom says:

    safe (3)-

    You mean, you’re going to avoid being lopped off at the knees for another year?

    “Looks like I may wind up renting another year.”

  6. Final Doom says:

    Oblivion = May 1

    National Open House Day = giant sucking sound

    National Open House Day = massive fail

  7. Final Doom says:

    Spent my National Open House Day watching our 11 play round 1 of the NJ State Cup.

    Nice win, nice tan. Checked my phone for messages after; not one. Checked the office VM…not one message.

  8. Final Doom says:

    A busy Realtor’s phone not ringing once on a Sunday in April is not a sign of a healthy market.

  9. Final Doom says:

    Reminder to self: short the planet/long shiny.

  10. Cindy says:

    Second Mortgages Vex Borrowers

    Last paragraph:

    “The government is also offering incentive payments for second-lien holders to forgive debts for borrowers who avert foreclosure by selling their homes for less than the debt owed or turning the deed over to the lender. Under that program, the holder of the second lien can be paid partly by the government, as much as 6% of the outstanding loan balance, up to a max of $6,000, but in return must renounce efforts to collect anything more from the borrower.”

  11. grim says:

    National Open House Day was this weekend?

    I concur with your fail observation.

    I didn’t even realize.

  12. still_looking says:

    grim, 11

    Even the south florida papers had articles (complete with pics) about National Open House day…

    (Not that we are looking here, we’re not.)

    Funny story though: Family friend has his boat in a rental dock at a house. He tells me that the house next door was for sale at peak for 1.2 M. The owner turned down an offer for 1.06 M.

    Now, tells family friend – it’s on market for 800K (but he’d prob take $500K if things start looking worse.



  13. still_looking says:

    Lots of commercial vacancies here (and raining like a sumbitch this morning…)

    So much for a beach day… maybe it’ll stop.


  14. Mr Hyde says:


    Greek Bailout? Where?

    EU leaders haven’t yet agreed unanimously to offer Greece a bailout, according to a Wall Street Journal report that offered details about the potential plan. But ministers have made the terms of a potential deal public in an effort to reassure world financial markets, which have been unnerved by Greece’s debt woes for months.

    …Offer said that if the aid plan were to be activated, this had to be preceded by a Greek request, followed by a separate decision process in which the heads of state and governments would “personally” and “unanimously” approve help, a recommendation by the European Commission and the European Central Bank for such aid as well as an assessment by the IMF, which would send a mission to Greece ahead of any aid package decision. -WSJ

    There cannot be a direct bailout of Greece as it’s a death sentence for any German leader who signs it and any direct bailout requires Germany to sign on (Merkel wont do it). There is also the little issue of the other PIGS. if they bail Greece out they will essentially be force to bail the others out. If Germany bails out the pigs you will see riots by the German population.

    They will continue to attempt “press” bailouts of Greece by putting the story in the news to pump the markets but without actually handing over any cash. Classic pretend and extend.

    The endgame here is for Greece to default on its EUR denominated debt. Its just a matter of extending the game until the insiders can lock in their exit and hedging strategies.

    Dont for get this blurb from tichet:

    European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet says some countries in the euro zone might have to accept a period of deflation to restore long-term economic growth prospects. – WSJ

  15. Cindy says:

    Peak House Prices Will Return to Sand States After……2025.

    I’m right in one of those red zones.

  16. Mr Hyde says:

    Over the weekend a friend of mine who is trying to sell his home was showing me the comps the realtor put together for him in order to justify the asking price the suggested. The comps only showed the latest DOM without considering any re-listings and was showing the % off of asking for recent sales based on the last price asked, not the original listing price.

    The realtor wants him to list the home at close to 07 prices! No way the house moves at that price point!!!

  17. Mr Hyde says:


    Housing has followed an 18yr cycle for almost 200 years. 2025 is my target for the next peak. 2007 + 19 yrs = 2025 for next peak (+/- 1yr)

    There have been 3 failed or partial cycles in this pattern for the last 200 years. This cycle was even present during the great depression of the 30’s.

    That also means we can expect to be bouncing along the bottom in 2015-2017

  18. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Walked through 49 North Willow Street in Montclair yesterday.

    $350,000 and the house needs to be entirely gutted, including stairs and floors as well as asbestos removal from the pipes in the basement.

    So if you got the knack for serious home improvement this is the place for you.

  19. d2b says:

    My dad is selling his house. Using a family friend that really does not know neighborhood. Pricing off active listings instead of closed comps.
    He’s somewhat unrealistic about the property’s condition. Seems to consider work he has done a decade ago as new.
    Its going to be a long summer.

  20. Cindy says:

    17 Kettle – I don’t disagree with the analysis at all. I found the map interesting because there are some bright spots. Alas, not where I live.

  21. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:


    “Grecian Formula 16 Now On Sale

    At long last the EU has embraced Grecian Formula 16, a product guaranteed to enhance credit ratings, hair color, stock rallies, debt offerings, and improve one’s libido.

    News on Grecian Formula 16 is everywhere you look this weekend. Please consider …

    It almost made coffee come out of nose laughing when I read this beauty

    “Please note the EU did not actually apply formula 16. However, the EU proudly put a bottle on the table for everyone to see.”

  22. MSP says:

    Anybody know what the penalty is for not filing a tax return assuming the person filing would get a refund if he did?

  23. Mr Hyde says:


    I think the map is interesting and different locales will rise and fall at different rates, but the blue areas suggesting another peak by 2013 are delusional.

  24. Jim says:

    18. All “H-Train” Hype says:
    April 12, 2010 at 8:01 am
    Walked through 49 North Willow Street in Montclair yesterday.

    $350,000 and the house needs to be entirely gutted, including stairs and floors as well as asbestos removal from the pipes in the basement.

    So if you got the knack for serious home improvement this is the place for you.

    All Hype,
    You did say it is in Montclair, didn’t you? What seems to be the problem?

  25. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Jim 24:

    The place has not been worked on in 40 years. It is currently a boarding house. The place is just severly run down and needs to be gutted and redone. The same type of house was bought by a neighbor 3 doors down and he did a complete gutting job and his house looks very nice.

    Yes, I know it is Montclair but this house needs serious TLC.

  26. Mr Hyde says:


    The Cheerleaders keep hyping the “return of peak prices” like its a good thing!

    This ponzi scheme has run out of stupid people to fuel it.

  27. Cindy says:

    23- Kettle.

    The way I read it, it doesn’t say “another peak by 2013” it says “recover home prices by 2013. I read that to mean back where they started – not necessarily “peak.”

  28. Cindy says:

    @ 27 – Meaning – “back where they started” NOW which is of course, NOT the peak of a few years ago.

    That is just how I read it.

  29. d2b says:

    Add the economy to religion and politics as things that you never talk about at a party. Some are considering this lower plateau as the new norm and are happy that things are not sliding down fast. Plus, the economy differs on a micro level and Wall Street. Things can be great for you and terrible for the guy next store.

  30. Jim says:

    22. MSP says:
    April 12, 2010 at 8:07 am
    Anybody know what the penalty is for not filing a tax return assuming the person filing would get a refund if he did?

    Not everyone has to file. It depends on your income. If you were going to get money back I don’t think it would really be an issue. Now if you did owe they’ll charge you interest and penalty fees. A former boss of mine didn’t file for a five year period. This guy was a knucklehead because he did owe money due to his income level and having a rental property. When I left there he still hadn’t filed although I kept encouraging him to do so. You know what they say, bad news doesn’t get better with time. Best to come clean with the IRS and get it sorted out. Also, he was a nervous wreak because of it. He kept thinking they would find him out.

  31. Cindy says:

    Kettle- For example: My daughter lives in the state of Washington. They have experienced between a 10% and 20% drop. Not the 50% many sand states have seen. I read the chart to mean by 2013, they should recover that 10-20%. It will take until 2025 for me to recover the 50% loss. Make sense or do I need more coffee?

  32. MSP says:

    Thanks Jim. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

  33. Mr Hyde says:

    Cindy 28

    I reread the article, it seems to conflate the two meanings. Either way i will change my opinion to match theirs. the map is a good visual representation of general trends but the timing on the map ranges from delusional to grossly optimistic

  34. Mr Hyde says:


    Assume for the moment that my 18 yr cycle is more or less accurate and peak was on average 2007. If we are only 3 years into the cycle from the last peak we can expect to be back to current prices sometime in about 12 years.

    In some of the places on the map such as SC they outcome depends heavily on how stable local job markets stay. For example charlotte NC is heavily dependent on banking and finance related jobs for its higher income segment. If that field falls apart, then charlotte and the surrounding area would take a big hit.

  35. Cindy says:

    33- Kettle – “…but the timing on the map ranges from delusional to grossly optimistic.”

    HAHAHA I love a good laugh first thing in the morning.

    Hard to tell. Different areas peaked at different times. The peak here was 2006 when the house next door sold for $318,000. I would say $150,000 would be a good deal today. I bought in 1999 for $115,000.

  36. Mr Hyde says:

    Cindy 31

    Lets assume that the housing cycle is a simple parabola ( an oversimplification but an acceptable approximation)

    Now lets assume that your daughters home peaked in 2007 and is currently down 20%. In this simplified example your daughters home would not be back to its current value until 3 years before the next peak. If the next peak was higher then the recent one in “real adj” terms then it would be sooner then that, perhaps 2018-2020. But if the next peak is the same height or lower then the recent one in “real adj” terms then her home will not be back to its current value until later, if at all.

    Note that this is a HIGHLY idealized example for illustrative purposes.

    next time i have some free time i will throw together some charts for illustration base don my personal projections.


  37. Mr Hyde says:


    Note that it was not uncommon for it to take 12 years for people to break even on home purchases made in 1990

  38. Final Doom says:

    hyde (14)-

    These guys can riot like they mean it.

    “If Germany bails out the pigs you will see riots by the German population.”

  39. Mr Hyde says:


    Blitzkrieg baby!

  40. Cindy says:

    @ 37 – Well….the good news is this is my home. I live here @ 807.14 a month. Add in the $1500 a year in taxes and insurance – I couldn’t rent for that.

    My children will get what they get from the place when I’m gone.

  41. Final Doom says:

    d2b (19)-

    To paraphrase Jerry Maguire, there are no “friends” in real estate.

    “My dad is selling his house. Using a family friend that really does not know neighborhood.”

  42. Mr Hyde says:

    The current Greece bailout is smoke and mirrors as not only will Germany never touch it,the Netherlands government is currently “out of service” due to its coalition falling through. I doubt they could legally sign off on a bailout without a coalition in place.

  43. Final Doom says:

    HE (21)-

    Grecian Formula 16 = Hank Paulson’s big bazooka.

    We all know it’s gonna get used. Problem is, they have to figure out some way to put the entire nation of Germany under sedation and dupe the PIIGS into not asking for the same bailout.

    IMO, it will be impossible.

    Look for USD/EUR parity…coming soon to an FX near you.

    Now would be a nice time to start fading the EUR.

  44. Mr Hyde says:

    Doom 43,

    parity or close to it is very favorable for german industry. Sucks for any non industrial Euro nation

  45. Mr Hyde says:


    I have read in multiple places that GS and some of the other big boys are long greek CDS. All rumor of course. And i have no idea what i am talking about

  46. Final Doom says:

    Hyde, methinks Germany is going to really start exerting some muscle here. Not only will EUR/USD parity jack their exports and GDP, but the weaker Euro nations will be forced into a default/repudiate situation that will then allow them to decouple from the Euro and start printing worthless currencies of their very own. Let the IMF step in when Greece is back to cranking out Drachma and the commies are rising to power again.

  47. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:


    That’s a given, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, lithuania you name it. Sucks to be a German.

  48. Final Doom says:

    Somebody wake me up when Portugal sells Cristiano Ronaldo.

  49. Final Doom says:

    First country to the bottom wins.

    All about the race to the bottom.

  50. Final Doom says:

    Ich ein bin Mugabe.

  51. Cindy says:

    @48 – Clot – Baseline Scenario

    Greece Saved for Now, is Portugal Next?

    …lurching from crisis to crisis in Europe..

  52. Mr Hyde says:


    greece didnt get/doesnt have the money. See my post at 14

  53. Cindy says:

    52 – Yes, caught that. The headline was meant for Clot re his Ronaldo post @48.

  54. House Whine says:

    #3- safehouses: What part of NJ were these homes in? I noticed a few open houses in my town yesterday but I didn’t see many interested parties and it was a beautiful day to be looking.

  55. NJGator says:

    All Hype 25 – $350k is not cheap enough for that street. I don’t think anything is selling above $500k there period.

    Still a money losing proposition IMHO unless you an do all the work yourself.

  56. Libtard says:

    Gator and I happened upon an interesting dilemma at an open house in a Morris County train town yesterday. The home is pretty large, the taxes are pretty low and it is about 1/2 mile from the NJT station and downtown. The price per square foot of home is significantly lower than that of anything we’ve seen in any of the train towns in NJ. It is a live estate sale in that the owner is alive but has been moved to a nursing home. Realtor claims they are extremely motivated and that the house is not as-is. After I explained how a roof over a portion of the home was about ten years past due of replacement resulting in water damage in many parts of that section of the home, she immediately said that the owner would put on a new roof. The living room, dining room and kitchen are decently sized and the bedrooms are adequate. The furnace is newer the house has a deck and a lot of land.

    Now for the bad news. Every single wall in the house needs either wallpaper or paneling removed. All of the floors have been under carpeting since WWII or is vinyl tiles. Many ceilings are drop or cardboard tiled. The backyard is huge but half of it is decrepit asphalt as their sons liked to shoot hoops. Their is a giant shed workshop that a Mayan wouldn’t live in and needs to be knocked down. The deck is barely still standing so it would need to be rebuilt (which is not so bad as you can remove the old pieces one by one and rebuild it). The supports still look usable. The house has central air and gas heat but the electric probably requires some upgrading.

    So do I spend the next 5 years of my life sheetrocking/tiling to save $150,000 in mortgage? This is the big dilemma.

    Of course the realtor, twenty minutes after the open house ended asked for an offer as their were two other very interested parties. (ha ha)

    I’m thinking I put in an offer contingent to the roof replacement and about 40K off ask. What do you all think? I can still get the $6,500 tax credit which is REALLY motivating me.

    Price per sq foot if they take my 40K offer would be about $152.

  57. NJGator says:

    Jim 24 – Montclair, but a bit on the shady side.

  58. NJGator says:

    Re: National Open House Day – Our realtor reported very low activity at hers. She was very interested to know about how busy the one we looked at was. We had to report that most of the people we saw were neighbors who were quizzing the realtor/babysitter how much she thought their own home would be worth.

  59. Final Doom says:

    Housing is dead for 20-40 years. Please help your friendly gubmint blow another deadly bubble in a fresh, new asset class.

    Thank you.

  60. John says:

    Ambac up another 32%. After 80% last Friday. The bubble chasers easy money crowd are over hear realtors.

  61. All "H-Train" Hype says:

    Gator 57:

    Agreed. Nice place to live, just keep your car locked at night. I have had stuff stolen in the past.

  62. Doyle says:


    My wife and I hit an open house on Forest in GR at two separate times yesterday. It was very crowded at both times, with what seemed to be very interested parties. I spoke to the realtor at length, she was nice and very candid. She said she could not believe what homes in GR are selling for. She mentioned that a few of her clients had missed out on homes because she encouraged them to bid lower and the homes went well over ask. We talked about that big brick home (listed for $1MM) with the fugly kitchen that we were all making fun of a few weeks back. She said that house needed “everything, including new walls”, and it sold quickly, she was beyond surprised. She also knows the person who bought the 3 bd, 1 bath home you went to see a few weeks back. She was blown away at what that sold for and how quickly. Oh, and she was expecting multiple offers between ask and $950k for yesterday’s open house, taxes $23,200. Again, she could not believe it, but said it is happening.

    I can’t get over it.

  63. NJGator says:

    All Hype 61 – Best thing about that location is it will get your kid into the Montclair kindergarten of your choice. Zone A baby!

  64. Mr Hyde says:


    I thought you and stu had discovered some african heritage in the family.

  65. borat obama says:

    Hi fivee

  66. NJGator says:

    Doyle 62 – It is crazy. Makes you wonder about the properties that can’t move. What on earth is wrong with them?

    Have you seen the listing for 68 Midland? It was listed a few weeks ago at $369k. It’s also a 3 1 1/2. It disappeared for the MLS and just came back on a few days ago. Now the ask is $319k. What defect do you think was discovered that is responsible for that?

  67. NJGator says:

    Hyde 64 – The supreme court has rendered that moot. Poor is now in. And we are zoned poor. Whooppee!

  68. Doyle says:


    And it sold for $396 in ’07. Something is up.

  69. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [39] [prior thread] FD

    “If there aren’t gangs of drunken hooligans setting fire to stuff behind riot fencing, it’s not a sport.”

    Clot, I think there is at least one golfer you can get behind.

  70. NJGator says:

    Doyle – do you remember the FSBO we bid on a while back? 1400SF on Astor Pl…also needed a ton of work. Unuseable kicthen, bathroom updates, etc. It finally listed with a broker at $389k….it sold first the week and just closed at $425k.

  71. Nomad says:

    #56 – Libtard – ever rennovate a house before? How strong is your marriage, how many kids do you have and how old are they? Can you afford to buy a home that needs a bit of paint & wallpaper instead? I have built and rennovated. With good contractors, it is stressful at best. With bad ones, it can be beyond a nightmare.

    If you move forward, get an estimate from the best roofer you know. Novalis in Chatham does good work – not the cheapest but worth what you pay and they won’t screw you. Get the house price reduced by your 40k and make seller put the cost of the roof into some type of fund that you can unilaterally take money out of. You want to do the roof yourself – otherwise, you may get a crap nailover job when in fact, you may need a tear off, some new plywood and attic fans or vents installed which will make the house a lot more comfortable and reduce cooling bills.

  72. Doyle says:

    Gator, don’t remember off hand, but that sounds about right, it’s insane. The one you went to see a few weeks ago, listed at $539k I think? In talking to the realtor, she mentioned that her friend got it, and she immediately said, “please tell me you didn’t bid more than $560k”. And her friend said that she did. Don’t quote me on that #, but I am pretty sure that’s what she said. Oh, and she thought that home should have been listed in the 400’s, she said, “it has 3 bdrms and 1 bath!”

  73. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    Lots of open house signs in Hoboken over the weekend. Did not see that many people milling about. Could have just been the sheer magnitude of units up for sale.

  74. Juice Box says:

    Just remember you can’t take it with you so the government will gladly take it from you.

    Tax Week: President Plans Tax Increases on Investment Income

  75. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    National Open House Day

    I didn’t know that but ive never seen so many open houses in my life.

    We only managed to visit two of them and we were equally disapointed with both.

    Not only is the inventory still horrible but pricing is still so rediculous it makes me and my wife want to puke.

    Eeach realtor is sleazier than
    the next. Nothing has changed there. One of the realtors had his mortgage broker with him. I think they both bought their suits at target. The agent looked me dead in the eyes and said that, “anyone who buys now is buying at the bottom.” I bit my tongue but managed to give him a stiff glare as if he was an idiot. He shouldnt even be able to say that. Thats like your stock broker telling you to buy a stock because its at a bottom and wont go any lower.

    I think im more frustrated than ever about overpriced housing.

    Who is going to pay 2006 prices for a piece of sh!t on a busy road that needs $50k worth of updates?

    I can only pray that mortg rates go to 8% and the foreclosures are dumped onto all nj neighborhoods at fire sale prices. Its the only hope for dilusional sellers and a broken market.

  76. Dink says:

    68 Midland is a short sale.

  77. Nomad says:

    Veto, patience is a virtue and in the home shopping process, it will be rewarded. Continuing upward pressure on mtg rates, more foreclosures hitting the mkt (BOA’s will grow from 7500/mo now to 45,000/mo in Dec), state economic hardship and staff reductions, pending defaults on muni bonds, property taxes escalating, the list goes on.

    Don’t worry about missing an opportunity to get a house at a good price. The clearance sales has not even begun yet. In the next 6-12 months, were are going to get rocked, then the deals will come. We are hanging tough and you should too.

  78. scribe says:

    MSP, #22

    File for an extension. So far as I know, you can get that automatically for 4 months. All of your taxes have to be paid by April 15, but if it’s just the form to claim a refund, go to and get the extension form.

    PS … confirm this with our tax expert, Nom

  79. Libtard says:

    Madison only has 1/2 day Kindergarten. I appreciate the advice Nomad, but we are bailing on it. Will be interesting to see what the place goes for. Asking $419. Maybe I’ll email the realtor back after a few weeks and ask her what happened to the interested parties?

  80. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    “In the next 6-12 months, were are going to get rocked, then the deals will come. We are hanging tough and you should too.”

    Nomad, i’ve been planning my life around this promise since 2004-05. Hear we are in 2010 and the timeline for the price correction keeps getting postponed and pushed out further.

    Meanwhile if you are looking in a decent town in nj, prepare to pay 2005 prices because thats the going rate.

    i dont even want to own a house anymore. I just want to keep renting so i can continue to complain about what a horrible proposition it is to buy.

  81. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    BofA Completes 33,000 Permanent HAMP Mods

    Monday, April 12th, 2010, 9:57 am

    Bank of America (BAC: 18.67 +0.43%) completed almost 32,900 permanent mortgage modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) through March, up from 20,666 in February.

    “We anticipated the momentum of completion of HAMP modifications would build as we entered spring, and we’re seeing that,” said Jack Schakett, loss mitigation strategies executive for BofA.

    Big banks on Wall Street are even anticipating more foreclosures and higher real estate owned (REO) levels by the end of 2010.

    To quell the surging delinquencies, BofA initiated a program to write down principal when modifying a mortgage, followed by a similar offer from the Treasury.

  82. Mr Hyde says:


    I see the problem. Your planning on the order of months. Housing moves on the order of years.

    c’est la vie

  83. Shore Guy says:

    “she has a 4 year old named Madison.”

    And sons, Summit and Boonton.

    Or was it Park and Lex?

  84. On the fence says:

    Doyle (62):

    The first quarter in Glen Ridge and Montclair definitely seem to have marked a resumption of the silliness. Check out 3 Windermere Road in MTC: listed just after New Year’s at $599, in contract two weeks later, closes April 9th for $651. Link : Patience may indeed pay off in the end, but both GR and MTC are crazy-making for potential buyers, even now.

  85. jcer says:

    Hyde the problem is constrained supply of quality housing. Because of the limited quality inventory and people who need housing and don’t want to rent are competing sellers have not been forced to cut their prices much. It seems like it will be a slow unwind where prices get cut a little bit over a long period of time.

  86. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    “Your planning on the order of months. Housing moves on the order of years.”

    Ket, Asset prices make moves on a lot more information than a-priori historical data.

    In a constantly changing political economic environment, you can’t know if prices will go up or down in the future because you dont know what the conditions of the environment will be.

    i think home prices will and should go down in nj too – for a number of reasons.

    But anyone who says that they definately will and must go down should not be listened to.

  87. Shore Guy says:

    About the IRS,

    Why NOT file, when you can just file an automatic extension?

  88. NJGator says:

    Dink 76 – Not surprising based on the purchase price, but WTF is wrong with it? All the other crap is moving fast at or over asking. Why has the ask on this place dropped by 50k? I am guessing it went under contract the first time and something egregious was discovered during inspection that killed the deal.

  89. Shore Guy says:


    We walked away from a house many years ago when we discovered that, not only was every — EVERY — wall wallpapered, BUT, they then painted over all of it to get the house ready for sale. We expected it would be a nightmare.

    Fast forward to the house we did buy. One of the rooms had wallpaper and we wanted to remove it. We scored it, using all manner of devices, we applied glue release agents, yadda, yadda. My assessment, at least when it comes to drywall (plaster may be different), it is easier to remove the drywall and start from scratch.

  90. Shore Guy says:

    ” the house needs to be entirely gutted”

    You say this like it is a BAD thing. Think of it this way, you get to have everything new and to your taste.

  91. jcer says:

    The problem in Montclair and Glen Ridge is NYers. I see the same issue in Hoboken and Jersey City. These people sell a one bedroom in Manhattan and now have 800k in hand to buy a house or condo with more space. To me it is a no brainer, I can sell my 1 bedroom(and at 800k a manhattan 1 bedroom would not be super luxury) and hop across the river and get 3 bedrooms 2 baths and a parking spot in a newer luxury building for an even exchange while only increasing my commute by 15-20 minutes. The more suburban locales like Glen Ridge usually involve children, so it is like a half hour longer commute but they get the suburban home but it is only Montclair and Glen Ridge because of the downtown with restaurants and the good train commute.

    Ask your self why Hoboken/ Downtown Jersey City and Montclair area has not seen a good fall in property prices and people are still paying wonky amounts of money for stuff. This is just my theory.

  92. Dink says:


    The agent remarks show the following…not sure what this means exactly but it doesn’t sound good.

    SHORT SALE SUBJECT TO 3RD PARTY APPROVAL. Agent also has info on sloping/settling. Engineers report.

  93. Mr Hyde says:

    Veto 86

    I was only suggesting a timing mismatch in your stated situation.
    You also have to differentiate between real and nominal prices in long term discussions as the outcome of prices can be very different depending on which term you use.

  94. jcer says:

    Shore wallpaper over plaster is really bad, old wallpaper as well. But if it is only 1 layer an 1980’s or newer usually the people who do this professionally can get it down without too much damage to the walls and it will be cheaper than replacing drywall.

  95. Mr Hyde says:

    Dink 92

    Foundation issues?.?.?.?

  96. Shore Guy says:

    Last year, on the summer solstice, Make Music New York organized one of the biggest musical events in the city’s history: 900 free outdoor concerts in an incredible array of genres and locations. Thousands of musicians entertained New Yorkers on sidewalks, streets, parks, and gardens throughout all five boroughs of NYC in “an eleven-hour escapade of musical creativity” (New Yorker).

    Make Music New York returns on Monday, June 21, 2010. This year, hundreds of parks, sidewalks, and streets are available for musicians — including 60 locations with upright pianos!

    Enroll in the free program today, and Make Music New York will coordinate your concert with others in the neighborhood, secure all necessary permits, and promote your event through Time Out New York, Metro New York, and WNYC.

    To get started, just go to All concert arrangements must be finalized by April 21.

    Last year’s festival drew tens of thousands of listeners and international media coverage. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect with New Yorkers from all walks of life.

  97. Shore Guy says:

    For more information, visit

  98. Shore Guy says:

    “Agent also has info on sloping/settling. Engineers report.”


    “I know a woman for you, she has a great personality”: She is ugly as sin.

    “Agent also has info on sloping/settling. Engineers report.”: Don’t walk into the northwest bedroom or the house mighgt tip over and slide down the hill.

  99. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    hyde, my timeline is not predetermined. i will keep waiting as long as necessary, maybe forever. If it doesnt make sense, i wont do it.

    And inflation adjusted prices mean very little – unless you want to analyze rates of return and affordability for the average joe.

    In real life inflation adjustment tells me nothing about when to buy.

  100. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    From Minyanville:

    Ten warning signs for another correction or even a major top like 2007:

    1. Rising oil and gold prices are pressuring bonds and pushing interest rates higher. This could spell trouble for both the economy and the stock market.

    2. The Weekly Full Stochastic is topping, warning that prices are high and could reverse at any time.

    3. Like 2007, the weekly MACD is curling over from extreme overbought levels.

    4. The S&P 500 is fast approaching its declining 200-week moving averages (1225) as well as the 0.618 Fibonacci retracement (1227) of the entire collapse.

  101. Shore Guy says:

    “You want to do the roof yourself ”


    Nomad is right on this. Now, if there are som missing shingles and you just want them to cover it until you can close and get it replaced, fine. But, be the one who hires and dictates what the repairs will be.

    On a related note, get up into the attic and view the sheathing from below, if you can. Note any mold spots on it or the side walls, as well as any evidence of water running onthe inside surfaces and any delamination.

    For my money, it is worth replaceing the sheathing and starting anew. The roof is no place to try to save money. Shortcuts here will cost more inthe long run.

  102. John says:

    Realtors need to sell better. Serve liquir at the open house, show a little leg and make client think he is getting some then make him sign contract.

  103. NJGator says:

    Hyde/Dink – Aha! Stu actually noticed the potential for that in the 2 minute driveby we did weeks ago. 2 points for Stu!

  104. jpl says:

    [Doyle 62]

    I saw that Forest house on Sat with an agent, and swung by the open on Sunday, which was packed as you describe.

    The big-turn offs for us where the postage sized backyard (after accounting for the enormous deck), the painted kitchen cabinets… They must have been 25 years old, not sure if you opened any of them up. The basement had a ceiling height of probably 6′ 2″? I couldnt stand up down there… The tiny MB with the vinyl floor…

    And lastly, was that the backyard neighbor (directly behind) had a huge pool… I just assumed the worse there, and figured the noise from the pool would be unbearable.

    Beyond that, the house was great. New windows and central air, recent roof, boiler, w/h.

    We passed.

  105. Nicholas says:

    Interest rates nationally are up .30% as of April 2nd. This is after the government stopped purchasing MBS paper.

    I expect the housing tax credit to expire at the end of this month. Home prices will continue to drop by a corresponding amount due to these two factors.

    Give it some time, 3-6 months, and the correction will be priced into housing.

  106. Shore Guy says:


    If in Ft. Lauderdale, you may want to head up to the 600 block of North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. There is a place called Trina. We have enjoyed dining there in the evenings (outside on the porch) and it also has a nice bar. Casablanca on Alhambra Street is also pretty nice on a warm evening. For breakfast, sitting ont he porch of the Westin (great coffeer and brioche) is not bad either.

  107. Shore Guy says:

    Let the mortgage rates rise. Those who have saved will be rewarded with a lower cost.

  108. Shore Guy says:

    Back to the salt mine.

  109. On the fence says:

    I think you’re right about that, jcer (91). The urban-suburban profile of Montclair (and thus, by virtue of contiguity, Glen Ridge) is attractive to a lot of people currently living in Manhattan and Brooklyn (and even some in Hoboken) who are entertaining the move out of the city and into the burbs, and there aren’t that many other suburban communities in the tri-state area that have quite the same feel.

    If anecdotal evidence is to be believed, many, if not most, of these expats come to northern Essex with more cash in hand from a NYC apt/brownstone sale than the average 4 BR 2.5 BA sells for in Glen Ridge. To anyone who has lived in a 1 BR that sold (or could sell) for $800K+, house prices in Montclair and Glen Ridge must look like bargains.

    There’s also the education factor. If the couple has (or plans to have) more than 2 kids, and they don’t happen to feel confident about the NYC school system, then they’re going to weigh the cost of private schooling (if they were to stay in the city) against the taxes they’d pay in the suburbs. Paying $20K or more per kid for private schooling is easy to do in the city. Even the high-tax communities like GR and Montclair start looking good in comparison.

    And for many of these ex-urbanites, the distance of Montclair / Glen Ridge from the city (not to mention the fact that the city is reassuringly visible from many points in town) is an important factor.

    I’m sure there are other reasons, but for these few easy-to-identify reasons, it seems pretty clear that the fortunes of northern Essex real estate is intimately tied to the NYC market. That makes for lots of frustrated fence-sitters. Especially for fence-sitting renters who will need to finance a big chunk of the purchase price of whatever home they buy.

  110. Mr Hyde says:


    i’m just busting your chops and not attempting any serious debate.

  111. Doyle says:


    JPL, same here. Agreed on the cabinets, also didn’t like that the kitchen is really isolated from the rest of the house. The deck was HUGE, I mentioned to my wife that we cut cut it in half. Didn’t think about the pool, but good point I suppose. It was a nice house though.

    I drove by Saturday and saw a guy in the driveway, looked like he was there to see it… must have been you!

    I can’t wait to see if they get the ask price.

    Good luck.

  112. Doyle says:


    And I’m not in NYC either. For us, it all comes down to two NYC commuters and schools / nice town. We need to be close, and GR fits the bill. Unfortunately it fits the bill for lots of folks.

  113. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [78] scribe

    Yes, an extension is free and easy. Not sure why MSP is not interested in filing yet, but don’t want to know unless there is a retainer in my future.

    On an unrelated note, client in the steel business reports that business is up.

  114. Mr Hyde says:

    Does this sound familiar?

    March 1934
    “It is said that today almost 1 out of every 4 people is being supported by the government…Private industry has so far failed to respond and for awhile even the deflated dollar is forgotten…Socialism is now calmly accepted by ministers, professors, etc. and it is amazing to me to see how calmly most people accept drastic government regulation…This has spread to the working class. They no longer ask for favors but “demand” government work, cancellation of mortgages, reduction of debts, etc.”

    January 1936
    “The worst feature of it all is that people are no longer worried about government spending. An additional billion or two seems to mean nothing…The general indifference to increased spending seems to me to be a danger signal.”

  115. Veto That - Lawrence Yun 'The Panda' says:

    hyde, ok, but stop busting me. im sensitive.

  116. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [107] shore guy

    Doesn’t sound like the Ft. Lauderdale I remember from Spring Break.

    Actually, my Lauderdale experience was somewhat surreal. Went to one bar where the wet t-shirt contest, and wet towel contest for the men, got out of hand and I saw a guy I knew get stark naked and dance onstage. Later, back at school, when he was getting on my bus, I remarked about catching his act in Florida. I don’t think he took the sunglasses off for the rest of the year.

    Also, when I left the bar, I saw a guy lying on the sidewalk, bleeding profusely from having stepped on glass while barefoot and bombed. Cops and emts were attending to him. Despite his drunken haze, he recognized me and tried to chat me up. Problem was, last run in I had with him was a fistfight in high school, so I found it odd that he was suddenly my best buddy. I think I called him a POS and left.

  117. John says:

    few people qualified for that credit and it was such a small amount won’t make a big difference in NY/NJ

  118. NJGator says:

    On the fence 110 – Now all Montclair needs to do is keep the city people drinking that kool aid regarding our schools. At least Glen Ridge is the real deal in that regard.

  119. jpl says:


    We’re in the same boat, 2 NYC commuters, looking for good schools and a nice town. We are living in Hoboken now, though we wont be selling a 800k 1 bdrm. : )

    There are a couple of towns on a familiar short list where we are looking.

    And that might have been us on Sat. We had a 11a appt, and were there a little early. So we took a look at the backyard.

    I only have limited experience, but it would be wise not to underestimate the amount of noise a backyard pool can generate. Obviously depends on usage…

    Good luck as well.

  120. Libtard says:

    A couple of things that I need to respond to. I have to order almost one million dollars of paper this afternoon so I’ve been quite busy in the salt mines lately.

    Sheetrock is dirt cheap and easy to install. It’s the taping and mud that suck. Still it’s 100% better than removing wallpaper. You can get sheetrock for about $7 per 8 x 4 foot sheet. Cost is really almost nothing. I hang the sheetrock myself and hire a friend to do the taping/mud. Average room will probably cost about $50 in materials. And about $100 for my buddy to finish it. Moldings are cheap as well and any joe can install them. $20 of chair rail and those brownstone wives will cream their skivvies. Corner miters are tricky as you need to cope, but still any poor performance can be hidden with spackle. Stu don’t remove wallpaper! If you don’t want to demolish the old walls, there is thin sheetrock that works nicely that you can just overlap the old stuff. You’ll have to move the electric boxes, but that’s a piece of cake as well.

    As for what we are seeing in Montclair and Glen Ridge, I agree somewhat to JCer’s theory about the limited number of homes in move-in condition. These ARE being bid up by foolish buyers who don’t understand the value of money (probably inherited). Sh1tboxes are dropping in price in both towns, although more so in Montclair. I also think the stupid homebuyers credit plays into their decision which is also pathetic. Hopefully, the rising interest rates, combined with the end of the credit on April 30th will begin the next leg down. Let’s not all forget about how this feeding frenzy occurred the last time the credit program was supposed to be terminated. Talk to me in August and then we’ll know where we stand in regards to housing. Anyone remember how well auto sales did the quarter after the cash for clunkers program ended?

  121. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [115] Mr. Hyde

    I expected that some on the left would cry “hoax” though very few did.

    For those who want to disbelieve, here is Nocera’s review from the NYT, which should give liberals the imprimatur of truth.

    Futher proof is had in the timing; Roth died in 1978, and his grandson approached a publisher in 2008, well before Obama was president, so the theory that this is anti-obama propaganda is clearly ludicrous.

  122. Mr Hyde says:


    If someone doesnt like that book, try this website:

  123. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [124] hyde,

    I did, and found this gem:

    “A reader complains that in criticizing the Progressives, Woodlock hasn’t mentioned why they’ve become more vocal: “the Progressive doctors have barged into the hospital” because they believe, with reason, that “their Conservative brethren have so far made a mess of things through persistently trying to cure the sick man by dosing him with the same truck that poisoned him in the first place.”

    In response, Woodlock compares the Progressives to the “Flaming Youth” who, after the World War, “informed its elders that they had made a mess of the world, that their entire system of faith and morals was wrong, and that ‘youth’ would take the helm” free of the “old inhibitions … taboos, and hypocrisies.”

    This movement has now apparently petered out; todays youth “threaten to be more serious than our elders” and are rediscovering “that there are truths and ‘standards’ which do not change with time.” What Progressives don’t realize is that leadership is a rare quality that must be recognized, not imposed; public control of business would mean “control of the more competent by the less competent, and biology tells us that it will not ‘work.'”

  124. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    With apologies to Chicagofinance


    “CNN) — Enquiring minds want to know: Will The National Enquirer win a Pulitzer Prize?

    It could happen.

    On Monday afternoon, print journalism’s highest honors will be announced, and among the candidates for investigative and national news reporting prizes is that bastion of supermarket check-out lanes, home of Elvis and Roseanne, The National Enquirer. It’s being considered for its work breaking the John Edwards sex scandal, a story it followed when much of the so-called “mainstream media” was looking the other way. . . .”

  125. chicagofinance says:

    Stu-age: this is a layup for you El Senor Cheap Bastard…..

    Libtard says:
    April 12, 2010 at 9:23 am
    So do I spend the next 5 years of my life sheetrocking/tiling to save $150,000 in mortgage? This is the big dilemma.

  126. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Oh, would it so frost a few onions in mid-town (no John, not literally, down boy, down) if the National Enquirer won a Pulitzer.

    Will not happen. The Pulitzer people won’t let the “field n1gg@” sit at the table with the plantation owners.

  127. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [122] libtard

    ” Anyone remember how well auto sales did the quarter after the cash for clunkers program ended?”

    I heard a stat this weekend, that auto sales for the CFC period were only about 125K over normal.

    So, we paid ex-billions of dollars to enable the purchase of about 125K cars, and paid a lot of folks to do something that they would have done anyway.

    Why I am not able to profit on this is beyond me.

  128. NJGator says:

    Chifi 127 – No can do. No full-day Kindergarten for the Lil Gator. Madison is totally off the table if we move this year.

    I was actually quite surprised to find out they didn’t have it. I wonder what other “prestigious” train towns also lack it.

  129. chicagofinance says:

    Stu-age: for the price ranges under discussion, I would argue the stimulus is a factor, but not a direct one. Just a catalyst for overall movement. I would chalk the activity up to: #1 there ARE buyers out there, and what fits their bill will have action; #2 there is palpable fear that mortgage rates are going to explode with a UST sell-off; #3 cyclical spring market; there will be more activity, but the fog will burn off soon enough; #4 supply-demand…..just as there are fewer buyers, there are fewer sellers; as a result, pockets of strength…

    Libtard says:
    April 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm
    As for what we are seeing in Montclair and Glen Ridge, I agree somewhat to JCer’s theory about the limited number of homes in move-in condition. These ARE being bid up by foolish buyers who don’t understand the value of money (probably inherited). Sh1tboxes are dropping in price in both towns, although more so in Montclair. I also think the stupid homebuyers credit plays into their decision which is also pathetic. Hopefully, the rising interest rates, combined with the end of the credit on April 30th will begin the next leg down. Let’s not all forget about how this feeding frenzy occurred the last time the credit program was supposed to be terminated. Talk to me in August and then we’ll know where we stand in regards to housing. Anyone remember how well auto sales did the quarter after the cash for clunkers program ended?

  130. Anon E. Moose says:

    Shore[108]: +1

  131. chicagofinance says:

    I created this doc 4 years ago and posted it here….the Mexican Standoff….but what is happening now is slide 4.

  132. Juice Box says:

    The author of this story lives in Montclair and pays 20k in taxes.

    Raising Taxes on the Rich, It’s for the children.

    Quotes from the Story.

    In 2009, the worst economic year for working people since the Great Depression, the top 25 hedge fund managers walked off with an average of $1 billion each. With the money those 25 people “earned,” we could have hired 658,000 entry level teachers. (They make about $38,000 a year, including benefits.) Those educators could have brought along over 13 million young people, assuming a class size of 20. That’s some value.


    In our New Jersey town, we are laying off 85 teachers. Instead we ought to be hiring 85 more to reduce class size and improve support programs for those students who desperately need them. It’s obscene that we’re shoveling money to the super-rich even as we force teachers to join the ranks of the unemployed. Already 29 million Americans are without work or forced to work only part-time.

  133. Juice Box says:

    re: #134 – Chi “does not have access to this document.” in google docs.

    Care to share plz?


  134. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Any health care consultants in the room? This strikes me as at odds with Obama’s desire to increase health care outlets (but is consistent with the view that the bill is an interim step toward single payer).

    “The new health care overhaul law, which promised increased access and efficiency in health care, will prevent doctor-owned hospitals from adding more rooms and more beds, says a group that advocates physician involvement in every aspect of health care delivery.

    Physician-owned hospitals are advertised as less bureaucratic and more focused on doctor-patient decision making. However, larger corporate hospitals say doctor-owned facilities discriminate in favor of high-income patients and refer business to themselves.

    The new health care rules single out such hospitals, making new physician-owned projects ineligible to receive payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

    Existing doctor-owned hospitals will be grandfathered in to get government funds for patients but must seek permission from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand.

    To get the department’s permission, a doctor-owned hospital must be in a county where population growth is 150 percent of the population growth of the state in the last five years; inpatient admissions must be equal to all hospitals located in the county; the bed-occupancy rate must not be greater than the state average, and the hospital must be located in a state where hospital bed capacity is less than the national average.

    The rules fall under Title VI, Section 6001 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The provision is titled “Physician Ownership and Other Transparency – Limitations on Medicare Exceptions to the Prohibition on Certain Physician Referral for Hospitals.”

    More than 60 doctor-owned hospitals across the country that were in the development stage will be canceled, said Molly Sandvig, executive director of Physician Hospitals of America (PHA). . . .”

  135. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [130] gator

    Brigadoon has only half day K, and it sucks. I have blogged about it before.

    Further, whenever the topic comes up with parents, they have nothing good to day about it. Most consider it day care that they don’t pay extra for.

    D2 will, in all likelihood, go to private K. If there is an option for less money, I may do both (use K for morning care and have an aftercare arrangement for the rest of the day).

    Or, if I ever get let go here, maybe I start an aftercare (and in Brigadoon, a pre-care) program that actually does some teaching.

  136. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    should be “say” not “day”

  137. On the fence says:

    gator (110):

    I know what you’re saying, but the assertion is (at least) debatable. There are lots of angles into a discussion of the relative merits of GR and MTC schools, but most honest participants in such a discussion admit that it’s not as cut and dried as you suggest.

  138. NJGator says:

    Juice 134 – We’re not laying off 85 teachers. Our total number of layoffs throughout the district is 85 – and that includes teachers, administrators, counselors, clerical workers and other staff. We’re not laying off main classroom teachers, so the layoffs will not really affect class sizes in the district.

    And of course that number is so high because the district is laying off mainly junior, lower salaried staff. Got to fire lots of peons to get to a few million dollars in salary savings. But at least we will continue to have a $150k/year+ paid Director of School/Community Relations, who is nowhere to be found, and has had nothing to say regarding what is essentially the most important issue our district has had to deal with in years.

  139. goonsquad says:

    Hey all,

    Just stopping in to complain about the first time homebuyer credit. I’ve been trying to rent a 2BR apartment and was stood up for the 2nd time this weekend by a realtor who was supposed to show us an apartment. I firmly believe that the full-court press by realtors to rope in as many 1st time buyer suckers by the EOM means that I, a lowly renter, get the shaft, even though I’m ready and willing to sign a 1 year lease for anything north of corrugated steel and a dirt floor.

    I set up an apointment with the first realtor and purposefully did not show up.

    Oh, and the only reason I’m renting is because of the still inflated home prices, due in part to this waste of money, the tax credit. Eff you tax credit.

    Is anyone else having issues trying to rent in this market?

  140. chicagofinance says:


    chicagofinance says:
    April 12, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I created this doc 4 years ago and posted it here….the Mexican Standoff….but what is happening now is slide 4.

  141. Outofstater says:

    01-09 NJ schools enrollment – Up 3%
    01-09 NJ schools hiring – Up 14%

  142. NJGator says:

    On the fence 139 – They’re very different districts, and I did not mean to imply that it’s dried by any means.
    It’s a good debate, that would likely not interest most of the posters on this board. Stu and I, would of course, have that debate with you over a beer at any GTG :)

  143. Doyle says:


    JPL, could have been you, we drove by on the way to Brookdale Park with the kiddos. Yes, no $800k apt here either unfortunately. If I ever get outbid in GR I’ll be sure to ask if the other buyer’s initials are JPL.

  144. Libtard says:

    Juice box (134):

    I read Les book. Or should I say, I tried to. He so dumbed it down that I found it hard to keep my mind on the text.

  145. Libtard says:


    Your chart and explanation worked for me. Much clearer when graphed rather than when dictated.

  146. Final Doom says:

    gator (67)-

    Poor is the new black.

    In other news, now that TPTB have rendered the poor the new black, they have run out of ways to turn the population on itself.

  147. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [148] gator


    Seriously, that idea has so many subtexts and she has sooooooo much that the GOP could play with that even MSM would have to bash her.

    As one that has studied this process, I can tell you that it would be the most entertaining confirmation hearing in our lifetimes.

  148. jpl says:

    Hah! IF it was a ridiculously handsome man, with a knock-out wife and really cool car, than it was definitely me! : )

    We havent even come close to bidding on a house yet though.

    Have you seen the Douglas and Woodland listings? We passed on those as well, although my wife liked the Douglas listing.

  149. Alap says:

    Anyone know if there is a public property tax record website similar to NJ’s for PA? If so, what is it?

  150. NJGator says:

    Nom 137 – I guess in the fancy towns, most of the moms don’t work so full-day/half-day is not so much of an issue?

    Summit offers full-day pre-K but only half-day Kindergarten. That I do not get at all. Maybe it’s because you have to pay for pre-K?

  151. Final Doom says:

    Veto, you are becoming tedious at the jamil level.

    If you can’t wait any longer, buy a house. Even at today’s still-elevated levels, it probably won’t ruin your life.

  152. Final Doom says:

    Then again, it could.

  153. NJGator says:

    BTW – Compared to NJ education-wise, Florida is practically a Socialist State. Full day Kindergarten state-wide and free Voluntary Prekindergarten.

  154. Doyle says:


    Forget it, wasn’t you… kidding.

    We just shifted focus back to GR, have not bid yet either. Have not seen the other two, $27k in taxes on Douglas, right? Too rich for my blood.

  155. Libtard says:

    “Then again, it could.”

    ha ha.

    Don’t egg Veto on. If anyone on this blog is going to go ‘postal,’ it has gotta be Veets.

  156. Libtard says:

    Maybe we can all just get together and create a kibbutz in Glen Ridge?

  157. Final Doom says:

    Let the last of the dumb money buy in Montklair and the like.

    Those will be your 2013-14 vintage short sales.

    Oblivion dead ahead; beware May 1.

  158. Barbara says:

    getting here late.
    For those suggesting that the Montclair/GR craziness is largely due to NYC and Brooklyn money, you are spot on. It goes like this: Single, renting in Manhatten –> married, renting in manhatten—-> first kid, buy in Brooklyn—> 2nd, and 1st kid approaches school age —-> sell and move out to Planet Clair or GR, where everything looks like a bargin by comparison. Also, I would argue that years of this pattern has rendered us the crap boxes we now see. These folks are not handy and do not understand house maintence and repair let alone an eye for good finishes
    and the lack thereof *should* effect purchase price.

  159. Final Doom says:

    Can’t get tomorrow’s price today, kids.

    Especially when tomorrow is the first day of oblivion.

  160. NJGator says:

    Doyle/JPL – Regarding the high taxes on the Glen Ridge listings, I would not consider them a slam dunk for appeal if they are overassessed. If you do consider an appeal on any property there, I wouldn’t do it without an attorney. I have seen the town appeal when they lost at the Essex County Board of Taxation and drag the residents to State Tax Court.

  161. Barbara says:

    and *how* the lack thereof..

  162. Final Doom says:

    Barb (165)-

    Lemmings. Soon to be dispossessed of all they hold dear.

    The word “suckers” also comes to mind.

    It’s all about to roll over, gang. Then, Phony & Fraudy will collapse on our graves.

  163. NJGator says:

    Nom – White House just said No to Hillary for SCOTUS

  164. Mr Hyde says:


    You have mail

  165. Doyle says:


    Gator, what happens with a home like the one on Forest that is assessed at around $838k. If it does sell for list ($899k), #1, will they get financing? #2 do the taxes go up?

    I don’t understand how they can sell above assessed value. Didn’t they do that reval in ’07? Or does the bank appraise and say, “yes, this home is now worth $899k”.

  166. safeashouses says:

    #130 Gator,

    Only 2 towns in union county have all day kindergarten. Almost every town in Essex that you would want to live in does. Ditto for Somerset, but that is a hard commute to NYC. Also I found the availability of quality daycare in Union county, even around the train towns, to be tight to non existent.

  167. Barbara says:

    Hey Doom,
    you are a chef, right? Have you been to The Frog And The Peach in New Brunswick? I think its tops, just curious if you’ve been and you opinion. I keep getting tempting new menus from them on my FB.

  168. Barbara says:

    *your* opinion. kid in lap.

  169. NJGator says:

    Doyle 172 – Glen Ridge was a bit sneaky in their reval. They watched the trainwreck in Montclair and assessed everyone below market. The average assessment to sale price ratio in Glen Ridge for the current tax year is only 91.61%

    In a non-revaluation year, the town gets a 15% buffer over the average ratio up to 100% of market to defend against appeals. For Glen Ridge, this means if you are assessed at 99% of market, even though you are overassessed compared to your neighbors, there isn’t anything you can do about it.

    I don’t think the banks are looking at tax assessments. They’re looking at comparable sales. I have seen plenty of homes sell for over 100k above the assessment price in both GR/Montclair.

  170. NJGator says:

    Safe 173 – Which towns in Union have it?

  171. NJGator says:

    172 Doyle – to answer your second question – no the taxes do not go up unless there was work done without permits not reflected on the current property record card and the town tax assessor sees the listing and catches it.

    The odds of that should be very low in both GR and Montclair as they were both revalued recently, so the town has physically inspected each house within the last few years.

  172. toomuchchange says:

    Looking for information/advise re New York State implications of unemployment:

    1. Anyone have experience with what New York State does when you cannot pay taxes due to longterm unemployment? I looked at their website and instruction book and found nothing helpful. There’s a number of call, but I don’t want to call blindly about working things out if that doesn’t include a delay until I’m working again.

    2. Can/will New York State take money from my unemployment if I do not pay?

    3. Should I file extension, file return and say cannot pay, or remain silent?

    Thanks so much, everyone.

  173. Doyle says:

    Gator, you rock.


  174. toomuchchange says:

    Re #180:

    Me again. I should have mentioned that the unemployment is from New York State.

    New Jersey doesn’t tax unemployment, God bless them. So if I’d have had my job in New Jersey, not only would my unemployment have been about $150 more, but I would owe no taxes on it.

    ##**!! New York State and its measly $405 a week.

  175. Anon E. Moose says:


    Hey Doom,
    you are a chef, right?

    Perhaps of The Anarchist Cookbook variety…

  176. safeashouses says:

    #178 NJGator,

    Can’t remember. I don’t think anything on a train line does. I remember complaining to our pediatrician how we couldn’t find fulltime kindergarten in union, she said there’s only 2 towns, that’s why she moved back to Essex once she had a kid.

    We had friends buy a place recently in Union county and they are complaining about no full time kindergarten and lack of daycare. Oh well. I did tell them about that.

  177. NJGator says:

    Safe 184 – That wailing sound you hear is Stu….slowly coming to the realization that he is trapped in Essex County.

  178. Libtard says:

    woooooooooo. wooooooooooooo.

  179. House Whine says:

    173- I am not sure if you are correct about most towns in Somerset County having all day kindergarten programs. To the best of my knowledge most of them do not have it. Yes, it’s a harder slog from Somerset County to commute into NYC.

  180. RayC says:


    In other news, now that TPTB have rendered the poor the new black, they have run out of ways to turn the population on itself.


    You are right – and the good news is we will not have a new Al Sharpton or Rudy Giuliani to feed off each other. The bad news is, the devil you don’t know shows up.

  181. NJGator says:

    What about Chatham? Do the Stepford Moms there allow Graydon and Ellery to attend full day?

  182. NJGator says:

    Doom – I know you have a policy to never represent folks who post on the boards here, but are you sure you wouldn’t want to represent Stu and I, at least for a day? The entertainment value alone here in Baristaville should make it worth your while.

  183. safeashouses says:

    #187 House Whine

    Basking Ridge, Warren, and Watching did when we were living there.

    I don’t remember Green Brook. that was wiped from my memory when I was told the after school program in Green Brook was $250 a week, and the daycare center we were were using in Warren said they only pick up kids within Warren’s borders. So we crossed Green Brook off our list.

    And after living in a crap shack with propane for cooking and hot water, oil heat, and septic we decided to pull the plug on that area since any house under 500k last year had at least 2 of those features, some also had electric baseboard heat or electric hot water. We also did’t want to buy a townhouse in Basking Ridge for the price of a small house and get stuck paying $400 plus a month in HOA fees. So we moved to a rental in Essex. And now our old Somerset area seems to have imploded with list prices down 20% or more since last spring. Of course there are still fantasy 2006/7 listings as well.

  184. safeashouses says:

    #189 Gator,

    Can you speak with your teeth clenched? If not, you would never be able to live in that town. :P

    Also there are 2 Chathams, borough and township. Only the residents of the one with the train station can buy a parking permit, the other chatham have to pay by the day. I don’t remember which is which.

  185. jpl says:


    Agreed about the appeals for all of the recent listings in GR not being a slam-dunk. Even Douglas at ~28k… And I wasnt aware of any appeals filed by the 4/1 deadline for any of the properties, so you’re looking at least another year of pain on that front.

    As for an ‘eye for good finishes’… The realtor at a Montclair listing almost passed out when she told me that the wallpaper was ‘Dunn & Bradbury’… And I promptly asked her if that made it easier to remove. : )

    I hope no one looks back at one of my kitchens the same way I look at Harvest Gold appliances 2 decades later. The horror!

  186. NJGator says:

    JPL 193 – Douglas at list should be appealable. And if you win at the County Board of Taxation, that would knock the taxes down to about 24k -91.61% of 949k should bring the assessment down to 870k.

    You just can’t count on GR to roll over like Montclair will.

  187. Painhrtz says:

    Clot quick question are theshady FHA guys you know still churning out garbage right up to the end or are they scaling back?

    Any new unqualified scrub stories to enliven us with as we await the cold hand of doom?

  188. jpl says:

    Thanks Gator, that does sound correct.

    I dont recall Woodland, but I believe that was ~850k/25k.

    So even a sale at full ask would allow room inside the 15% to appeal.

    But nothing for this year (afaik).

  189. Poser says:

    #189 Gator,
    So funny you say that, a friend of mine and I have been referring to Chatham as Stepford for years.
    #192 the borough is the one with the train station

  190. Poser says:

    #165 Barbara,
    Ditto for Summit and Chatham, only for Chatham, substitute Manhattan for Hoboken.

  191. NJGator says:

    JPL – 58 Woodland – $849k/$28400 in taxes?

    They’re assessed at over $1M. The 15% cushion ends at 100% of market value, so even if that goes for $100k over ask, it should be appealable.

    I bet GR offers settlements at 100% of market to people who purchase below assessment. That’s not a good deal at all – and has you paying about 10% too much in taxes. Not an insignificant chunk of change either at those tax rates.

  192. Nomad says:

    From the May 2010 Journal of Accountancy-

    “Additional hospital insurance tax on high-income taxpayers. Under the Patient Protection Act, the employee portion of the hospital insrance tax part of the FICA, currently 1.45% of covered wages, is increased by 0.9% on wages that exceed a threshold amount. The additional tax is imposed on the combined wages of both the taxpayer and the taxpayer’s spouse, in the case of a joint return. The threshold amount is $250k in the case of a joint return or surviving spouse, $125k in the case of a married indvidual filing a separate return, and $200k in any other case.

    applies to remuneration received and tax years beginning after 12-31-12.

  193. Nomad says:

    forgot end quotes so here it is “

  194. NJGator says:

    192 Safe – Not really considering Chatham. We pretty much crossed it off the list a long time ago, specifically for the Stepford issue. I was just trying to indulge Stu’s wish to get out of Essex and re-examine all the commutable towns again. I’m not sure how much of an increase in the a-hole factor he was willing to accept for each $1,000 reduction in annual taxes.

  195. Pat says:

    too much, there’s an upside and a downside to UE. Eligibility rules may be much more lenient in NY than NJ as the tradeoff to the gross amount.

    Is it better for a state to pay less to more people?

    I got a rock when my husband’s company shut down in PA and I worked in NJ, had to quit and move with him to MD in order for him to remain with his co.

    NJ told me that my quit was voluntary. PA would’ve paid.

  196. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [163] libtard

    “Maybe we can all just get together and create a kibbutz in Glen Ridge?”

    I can’t resist this:

    Kibbutz = shalompound

  197. Nomad says:

    NJGator – what is your price range and would you consider Madison to buy or rent?

  198. Pat says:

    Nom, do you know the minimum reporting requirement on a stock backdating settlement award? I didn’t even think I had to report the thing.

  199. jpl says:

    Thanks Gator… I should have double checked, was working off memory.

    I think I tried to block everything out about that listing… I was pulled over shortly thereafter (first time in years) for ‘stopping to abruplty’ for a pedestrian in the cross-walk. IE, trying to adhere to the new law.

    Let off with a warning by GR’s finest though. I think he saw the listing sheets on my wife’s lap, and didnt want to scare us off.

  200. chicagofinance says:

    albani: you out there?

  201. Would be really interesting to see your traffic spike if you had any stats enabled :)

  202. Seneca says:

    I went to one Open House yesterday in Brigadoon. Just over 1 mile from train in a town with no Midtown direct and a multi-year wait for parking. “Wrong” side of town as well.

    Tiny footprint but 4BRs as they turned the attic into a BR. No master bath, not even a decent closet in the master BR. 2nd full bath located in the basement level. Band-aid of a yard. Updated kitchen.

    I got there one hour after OH began. Realtor was already on 3rd page of sign ins. There were six other people/couples looking at the house while I was there and as I left, three more cars pulled up. Traffic looked pretty constant. These weren’t neighbors. Plenty of NY plates. Overheard two dif. couples from Hoboken. All younger people, 1/2 with one kid in tow.

    No one seemed to mind sharing a bathroom with their kids. The fact that you had to walk out into the hallway to get to your “walk-in ” closet was seen as a plus, not a demerit.

    So yes, if you are living in a 500k 1BR in Hoboken or a 800k 1BR in NYC, then this 60×120 lot suddenly seems like a palatial estate and a great starter home at only 675k ask.

    If you don’t live in NYC or Gold Coast and you didn’t take home a nice bankers bonus this year, don’t bother with Brigadoon, Short Hills/Millburn, GR, Montclair, etc.

    The gloomier Doomier RE brokers are clearly not working in the top NJ towns. I don’t doubt that business is dead there. But the ‘premier’ towns are the premiere towns. RE is local and even crappy homes are flying off the shelves in these places. For most of these folks, the tax credit has nothing to do with it. They are flush with cash.

    I hear Rahway has some bargains.

  203. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [208] chifi

    Mmmmmmmmmm. Steak.

  204. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [206] pat

    Are you asking if there a threshold below which an award isn’t reportable? Or are you asking something else?

  205. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [202] gator,

    that is why I considered Madison over Chatham.

    Chatham is resting on some laurel it got years ago, in a poll that is easily gamed (Manchester, NH and Haverhill MA were feted in similar polls—both are dumps). And the attitude to price ratio just wasn’t worth it.

    And don’t get me going on Summit. Told the wife no fcuking way am I living anywhere near these people.

  206. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [210] seneca

    Are you seeing similar results elsewhere in Brigadoon? If we can sell for what we paid, I am inclined to dump the house, and rent until the next big move, either to DC, Chicago area, or S.F. area (where I will continue to rent).

  207. Anon E. Moose says:

    Re [210];

    The only living arrangements in Rahway worth considering make you a guest of the state and come with three hots and a cot.

  208. Pat says:


  209. Pat says:

    didn’t think it was reportable, myself, but have been told (today) that it is, but there is a threshold. I can’t find reference.

  210. Pat says:

    Never mind..don’t waste your time. It’s just a bugger. I’m winging it on this one.

  211. Seneca says:

    214 Com Nom

    For the most part, yes, similar results. The only things that sit are grossly overpriced (as opposed to WAY overpriced). But I am looking in a tight circle around train (dual commuter household). One home near downtown went on market Thursday and was under contract by Sunday. Who knew attorneys work weekends? And this was an old place circa 1910-1920 with oil tank and crypt-like basement with view of cemetery. At the showing I overheard “its a sellers market big time in Westfield if priced under 500k”. I thought the property had good knock down potential but I would bet my last dollar that some fool paid full ask and plans to just live in the crapbox that it is.

    I also think its sellers market for anything under 800k.

    Got a listing the other day for a place on a busy street that would be great for a builder or handyman, asking over 550k. To tear it down. Unreal.

    When did you buy? Full disclosure, the open house I attended on Sunday was asking 75k less than they paid in 06/07. But I would be surprised if they don’t get multiple bids and close the gap somewhat. And its still way overpriced at its current ask.

  212. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [219] seneca

    Bought in 2008, and paid over ask. In fact, ours wasn’t even the high bid, but the top bid withdrew.

    I know I won’t get my sale price, even with the improvements I made, but it would be nice to get close.

  213. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [218] pat

    I must be careful here, as you can imagine, but consider the points made in this thread:

  214. Barbara says:

    First I was holding out for something great. Then I was holding out for something decent. Now I’m holding out for something so-so in a mediocre town that needs fixing at a purchase price I can work with for both DIY and hired out renos. Lowered expectations is the key, I am leaning.

  215. Barbara says:

    learning. Grim, edit button, please!

  216. Barbara says:

    219. SEneca

    This has been my impression of the NJ market for the last 7 years now. There’s money out there, enough for the top tier train towns. I find all other explanations to be labored and unconvincing. The state is populated enough that you can have million dollar 3bed 2 baths a town or two over from Irvington. At this pay scale, not even interest rates are going to shake the money out. Houses for these people are not and never have been “investments.” The bubble/house ATM was for the rest of us, not them. One thing that doesn’t get talked about here is inheritance money. My friends from other parts of the country and SJ have NO inheritance and they live accordingly…my NY and NNJ friends and aquaintances…different story, and its not something that gets talked about around the Saturday BBQ.

  217. ricky_nu says:

    for those of you looking to buy something (at a reasonable price of course), what towns are you looking in and why?

  218. Barbara says:

    WAS looking for years in Montclair and Glenridge. Schools, trains, downtowns, awesome historical houses.

    NOW LOOKING: Highland Park, Collingswood/Haddonfield, to a lesser extent, South Brunswick. Cheaper, etter taxes decent schools.

    Lowered expectations, see above.

  219. yo'me says:

    Alot of the houses in highland park got flooded or sewer back up from the last storms we had in the last two years.Be careful!

  220. Pat says:

    thanks nom. I’m very cool now.

  221. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Well, it didn’t take long for them to start working like government employees, now did it?

    Of the seven worst made cars on the road, 4 are GMs and 2 are Chryslers.

  222. Shore Guy says:

    Nice rental.

    I used to enjoy brunch at the Cafe Pierre before the renovation. I have not been to La Caprice yet.

  223. Yikes says:

    well, ain’t this some sh!t!

    DAYTONA BEACH — For days, transient Michael Scott Davis lived in a cute little house on Loomis Avenue. Women came and went, neighbors said, and at one point, Davis even offered to sell the property to another resident for $600.

    There was only one snag. The residence at the 700 block of Loomis didn’t belong to Davis.

    Daytona Beach detectives said the 30-year-old broke into the empty structure in mid-March and set up house in the two-bedroom structure.

    Neighbors said Davis told them the house belonged to him, but he had been away in the military and was coming home after eight years, police reports show.

  224. safeashouses says:

    This house is gorgeous. From the description of the location I think it is in the Liberty Corner section of Bernards.

    Craftsman Colonial with chestnut details at 499k.

  225. Al "The Thermostat" Gore says:


    That is a nice house on what looks like a nice piece of property. There is a charm about those old homes vs the cookie cutter homes of today.

    Makes me nostalgic for the pre communist days of America.

  226. cobbler says:

    safe [3]
    Don’t pay attention to the roots in the backyard. If the area is wooded, and the owner removes the leaves every fall, the soil level drops by about an inch in 4-5 years, so the roots get bared.The only alternatives are get rid of the trees, not rake the leaves (then, you lose the grass cover), or bring a few dump trucks of topsoil every couple of years and then spread it around – may have to reseed the grass, too.

  227. Barbara says:

    229. Com,
    you could have found a similar article in 1987, old news – but cute and Fox newsy, the way you connect it to the bailout.

  228. NJGator says:

    Nomad 205 – We’re looking for a modest place 600k or under. Preferably to buy.

  229. jamil says:

    229: the Gov solution is to regulate these ratings, bring the people behind ratings to congressional hearings and wink wink IRS and DOJ witch-hunters may carry out shore guy approved “investigations”..

  230. safeashouses says:

    #237 Gator,

    How about this one?

    599k. I was in it. Only house I liked at the open houses i went to this weekend, but out of our price range. new custom made stainless steel door, interior doors are real solid wood.

  231. safeashouses says:


    Make that steel door, not stainless steel door. Time to get away from keyboard.

  232. borat obama says:

    Thic postink is done

  233. Taxes, regulation of wet lands, 25 years and out for police and municiple works, teachers etc. Too much over head.
    Businesses don’t want to be here, for their costs and their employee costs to live here.

  234. chicagofinance says:

    Barbara…spot on honeybunch….and be careful, they get pissed when you point it out and they are not very discerning when they put it to work…..easy come/easy go….

    224.Barbara says:
    April 12, 2010 at 6:28 pm
    One thing that doesn’t get talked about here is inheritance money. My friends from other parts of the country and SJ have NO inheritance and they live accordingly…my NY and NNJ friends and aquaintances…different story, and its not something that gets talked about around the Saturday BBQ.

  235. NJGator says:

    Safe 240 – Thanks. Have thought of Livingston, but we’d like to stay in a train town if possible for my commute.

  236. cobbler says:

    With one child, why obsess about the kindergarten? Cost of 180 days of childcare is very quantifiable – so, as long as the difference in house prices is greater, you are better off elsewhere…

  237. NJGator says:

    cobbler – We’d sooner just put off moving for a year. Why move somewhere now where that’s an issue. Our current town has full day, so we can put off moving, if we want.

  238. Nomad says:

    NJGator 237: this house would be in Madison w/orig asking price $900+. Not even sure if available but was thinking that if no realtors were involved, there may be wiggle room. New kitchen, bath,etc.

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