New Jersey housing demand “sluggish and lacking momentum”

From the Federal Reserve:

Beige Book – Second District–New York

Construction and Real Estate

Housing markets have softened somewhat, on balance, since the last report, with much of the weakening attributed to the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit. An authority on New Jersey’s housing industry characterizes housing demand as sluggish and lacking momentum. Activity has tapered off, while transaction prices for both new and existing homes appear to be drifting down. Northern New Jersey’s rental market has also slackened, with a growing number of available units on the market and landlords offering more incentives and concessions; a number of buildings initially intended as condos have converted to rentals. Similarly, Buffalo-area Realtors report that home sales activity weakened substantially in May and June, reportedly due largely to the expiration of the extended homebuyers’ tax credit, though selling prices continued to run ahead of comparable 2009 levels.

In New York City, conditions were more mixed, with co-op and condo sales activity picking up in the second quarter but prices generally holding steady. The number of apartment sales rose by a bit more than the seasonal norm in the first quarter. The median sales price of an apartment was down 7 percent from a year ago in Queens but up 5 percent in Brooklyn. In Manhattan, the median price rose roughly 8 percent from a year earlier, but the price per square foot was virtually unchanged. Manhattan’s rental market, though still well below its peak of a few years ago, appears to be on the rebound: leasing activity picked up noticeably, rents have stabilized, landlords are giving less generous concessions, and the inventory of available rentals has declined.

From Jeff Otteau’s Monthly Newsletter (no link):

Purchase contracts to buy a home in New Jersey declined for the 2nd consecutive month, compared to one year ago, providing a grim outlook for what’s ahead in the housing market. In June, purchase contracts declined by 27% which followed a 23% decline in May for the worst performance of the past 6 years.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Bubble, National Real Estate, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

149 Responses to New Jersey housing demand “sluggish and lacking momentum”

  1. galgon says:


  2. stan says:

    Posters 2-5 are classic race baiters.

    We know your tricks and we will not fall for them!

  3. schabadoo says:

    Posters 2-5 are classic race baiters.

    We know your tricks and we will not fall for them!

    Classic Alinsky!

  4. Mr Hyde says:


  5. cobbler says:

    Should increase housing demand…

    Mexican ‘climate migrants’ predicted to flood US
    A tenth of Mexico’s population could surge north to escape climate-triggered crop failures, study claims.

    by Zoë Corbyn

    If climate change worsens drought in Mexico, crops could fail and people be forced to migrate, says a new study. A wave of up to 6.7 million migrants from Mexico could head to the United States to escape the ravages of climate change on crops, say the authors of a new study. The findings are claimed to be the first to thoroughly quantify how shifts in global climate might affect human migration from one region to another.

  6. relo says:

    Family from AZ were here recently and we were, of course, asking about their feelings on the recently enacted laws. She, in particular being a teacher, was in favor of it stating that the gang related stuff has been out of hand for awhile and the schools obviously suffer for it. You know, metal detectors, etc. In Scottsdale. Not that she brought it up, but she probably wishes it would have been enacted before her sister was killed by some kids running a red light while fleeing the law in a car. Could have just as easily been a snowbird leaving the 19th hole, but it wasn’t.

  7. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [4] hyde


    BTW, History International is re-running “After Armageddon.” Very well done documentary; lots of experts and some good advice that I would not have thought of.

  8. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    Watching “After Armageddon” again. This documentary is especially helpful because of the mistakes that the actors make. If it weren’t 2 hours long, it would be a great thing to show to prospective Nompound clients.

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [6] relo

    Wife has a biz trip to AZ planned. Last time we were there was 12 years ago, and PHX was sketchy then. We were in Scottsdale and it felt fine. But when Scottsdale gets bad, well, I don’t think it will be much longer before we see more shootouts as p.o.’ed Arizonans do what the law can’t.

  10. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    “An authority on New Jersey’s housing industry characterizes housing demand as sluggish and lacking momentum.”


  11. Smathers says:

    Arizona… Was listening to it on the Tube today at the in-laws. How annoying. When will those people ever learn? We always went by the book and hired legals for nannies and so on. Word to the wise: they cost as much as illegals. And you can speak English to them or whatever.

    But the crazy wingnuts in Arizona first invited the illegals to their state and are now “freaking out!” Oh well, live and learn.

    Every day I count myself lucky to be divinely blessed not to be an idiot, like those people or the mortgage holders… 

  12. Well, This Stinks says:

    Confused in NJ says:
    July 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

    When Hilary gets elected in 2012, everyone gets a $2M wedding for their daughters.

    Hope this was a joke.

  13. Smathers says:

    via the last thread Grim (110)

    Oh don’t get me wrong, Obama is a COMPLETE failure and the first one to resort to racist-baiting, just as George Porgie and his mentor “Dick” Cheney couldn’t resist inventing terrorists for us to fear… 

    But I think it’s best to stay away from it. It’s a trap: bait ’em in and then snap ’em shut. Still, … there are some who still resort to it and… until I’ve chased ’em away (and I think in this case, given previous comments, it’s clear there is racism involved), so it is… 

  14. Confused in NJ says:

    Regarding Racism, the fish stinks from the head, and the Black Caucus in the House of Representatives is the most blatant and illegal form. The wikipedia article is an eye opener on how various non black House Reps were rejected over the years. Their existence is a stain on America.

  15. Confused in NJ says:

    12.Well, This Stinks says:
    July 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm
    Confused in NJ says:
    July 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

    When Hilary gets elected in 2012, everyone gets a $2M wedding for their daughters.

    Hope this was a joke

    It was, but per Channel 2, Hillary upped the wedding to $5M now. Like Marie Antoinnette, if the common people have no bread, let them eat cake. If I were King I’d be embarrased about spending $5M, when my people are going without. But then again, I still have my Soul and cast a reflection in the mirror.

  16. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    Watching “Network” now. I wonder if the producers understood how prescient this movie would be decades later?

  17. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    Except for the part about Howard Beale being in touch with the universe.

    On that note, need sleep. I know how this ends.

  18. Shore Guy says:

    Theodoric said the same thing.

  19. grim says:

    Can I ask a serious question to all the doomsters?

    How physically fit are you folks?

    No, really. Can you sprint around a block and not have a heart attack? Can you swim if your life depended on it? Can you deadlift a few hundred pounds and carry it a mile? If you needed to travel a few hundred miles on foot, how long would it take you to do it? Can you run at least a half marathon?

    Can I suggest a worthwhile investment? I’ve seen mad max, and those guys are pretty fit, so I know. If you want to obsess about armageddon, spend some time in the gym.

    At least if armageddon doesn’t come, you’ll have the consolation prize of looking good on the beach next summer. Just sayin.

  20. still_looking says:

    Half marathon? no.

    Run for my life? Yep.


  21. still_looking says:

    If I know where I am living permanently. I’ll be joining the gym near me.

    Of course, that would be if I bought a place…


  22. still_looking says:

    Off to job#2.


  23. grim says:

    I’m half joking, and half serious.

    I was bow hunting out with a friend a few years back, and he blew a shot, hit the hind quarters. Big buck took off, and the chase ensued. Damn near ran two miles deeper into the woods before it stopped, and we could get another shot off. After dressing it, we needed to drag the thing two miles back to the quad. I couldn’t imagine the scenario solo, with no gas powered quad to drive the last few miles back.

    Likewise, I was out on the bike last night and was thinking about how long it would take me traverse a few states by bicycle or foot. At a measured pace, I could probably do a full 100 a day for a week or so, given enough calories. But could the rest of my friends/family? Think about that before you feed shmutzi another sack of sonic.

  24. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Foreclosures clog NJ courts

    A 97 percent increase in foreclosures is slowing the wheels of justice in New Jersey courtrooms.

    The state’s judiciary says contested foreclosure filings have rose from 2,066 in 2009 to 4,075 in 2010. That’s created 163 percent increase in a backlog of cases.

  25. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. foreclosure filings double, unresolved cases spike 163 percent in 2009

    Foreclosure filings have doubled in the last year, creating a 163 percent spike in the number of unresolved cases, while criminal matters moved faster through the court system, resulting in a 13 percent decline in the backlog, according to a report the state Judiciary released today.

    Property owners filed 4,075 foreclosure actions between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, a 97 percent increase from the 2,066 actions filed the prior year. The court sets a goal of completing these cases in a year, but because of the onslaught of cases, the “backlog” of cases not completed within 12 months jumped by 163 percent, according to the report.

  26. grim says:

    How about this advertorial…. From a REALTOR?!?

    From the South Bergenite:

    Seller reset expectations for 2010 real estate market

    Buyers are the ones who determine the value of the real estate market, not sellers or Realtors. Sellers, as a result, need to reset their expectations in order to be part of the evolving 2010 real estate market.

    To be successful with a sale, sellers should depersonalize their home and view it as a commodity that is accepting to the market. Expecting a sales price that is reflective of a seller’s desires can be an expensive lesson. Often, the house will sit on the market, unsold, while buyers move on to other homes.

    “One must pay close attention to market prices,” said Ron Darby, ERA Justin Realty broker/co-owner. “If a house is too high for the market, it won’t sell. Houses needs to be perceived as a good value to a buyer to sell in this market.”

  27. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Foreclosure Filings Rise in 75% of U.S. Cities as Joblessness Hurts Owners

    Foreclosure filings climbed in three-quarters of U.S. metropolitan areas in the first half as high unemployment left many homeowners unable to pay their mortgages, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

    The number of properties receiving a filing more than doubled from a year earlier in Baltimore, Oklahoma City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, the mortgage-data company said today in a report. Notices of default, auction or bank seizure rose more than 50 percent in areas including Salt Lake City; Savannah, Georgia; and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

    “Foreclosures are spreading out from areas that had been hardest hit,” Rick Sharga, senior vice president for marketing at Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in a telephone interview. “We’re dealing with underlying economic weakness as opposed to unsustainable home prices and bad loans.”

  28. marilyn says:

    23. I just love seeing that word!!! You make me laugh so hard!

  29. marilyn says:

    Schumitzi’s also love this bad Italian food! Its like a cattle call. Get the triangle out and chime it on the ranch! Schumitzi’s will eat anything. They love chains, chains are safe!

  30. crossroads says:

    I wonder what % of foreclosures are strategic defaults. looks like 2 years of free living is easily obtained with courts being backlogged. hmm..

  31. Essex says:

    23. i just starting running again. talk about a rude awakening. The good news is that the body is fairly resilient even at 40+. Nothing like a quick run up some hills to bring you to a better understanding of your own mortality! We do need to do a biking get-to-gether.

  32. Essex says:

    29. even my kid at 6 knows good from bad on the Italian food front. North Jersey has many great Italian places. she’ll be a pasta snob.

  33. House Whine says:

    23- Agreed. Because of 9/11 I thought a lot about those unfortunates who had to descend all those stairs. At the time, I was working with 40 something yr. olds, who had a hard time going up just 2 flights of stairs. So it got me thinking. And then I thought about how those who got out of downtown had to run/walk to escape. How would I have done? It’s not that hard to fit in 1/2 hour walk somehow every day and it’s definitely worth it.

  34. essex says:

    Office work destroys you physically. Key to that is to reclaim that athlete inside.

  35. gary says:

    I wish I could stay and post here today but I must go to work and support the work mills and debtor’s prisons. Marilyn, I love your posts! :)

  36. me@work says:

    OK. Now stop for a minute and picture this:

    Go to see patient.
    Chief complaint: shortness of breath.
    Enter room to find 5’5″ guy about 280 lbs.

    Wants to know why he’s short of breath. And his knees hurt.

    (I can’t talk, I’m 15# overweight, but I can still run.)


  37. #19 – Can you run at least a half marathon? Yup. I’m considering doing the NYC Marathon this year. May not have time for the full training though.

    Can you sprint around a block and not have a heart attack? Indeedy.

    Can you swim if your life depended on it? Can you deadlift a few hundred pounds and carry it a mile? check and check.

    If you want to obsess about armageddon, spend some time in the gym. Well, I’m not really a doomster so much as a braggart.
    The point is valid. I remember the Millennium scare and the doomsters that brought out (as well as the fun 80’s survivalists). A large number of the people who were stockpiling didn’t seem likely to survive much more than a walk to replenish their funions much less a systemic social collapse.

  38. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    I would like to wholeheartedly agree with Grim’s health assessment:

  39. grim says:

    A large number of the people who were stockpiling didn’t seem likely to survive much more than a walk to replenish their funions much less a systemic social collapse.

    Well said. Besides, exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot people. Maybe we can all be a little less gloomy.

  40. Confused in NJ says:

    23.grim says:
    July 29, 2010 at 5:47 am
    I’m half joking, and half serious.

    Viggio in “The Road” is a good example of what it takes to cross Armageddon. Me and Mrs Confused will stay put & lock & load. The advantage of getting older I guess, although we are both in good shape and walk 5M per day. Just don’t care about the road to nowhere at this point. If we still had young ones, might be different, which is why Viggio did it.

  41. Nomad says:

    The fitness talk is inspiring. If we all spent some time exercising, a nice chunk (not all mind you) of our nations problems would go away. So at the office, take the stairs and for the hell of it, go up and down an extra time whenever you use them.

  42. Mr Hyde says:


    the fitness aspect of disaster prep, whether a Katrina or mad max is the most overlooked and probably the hardest aspect. You can’t order a case of fitness off the web.

    And I can answer yes to all of your question but certainly have room for improvement. Essex is right that office work is the bane of physical fitness.

    Besides disaster prep fitness wi improve most aspect of your life from outlook to health.

  43. Mr Hyde says:

    I run or lift at least 3 days a week and feels like it barely counters the time I spend sitting on my rump in the office.

  44. Confused in NJ says:

    I paid $16K for a Nuclear Stress Test last year which turned out O.K. and was a waste of money. Dr insisted on it because my HDL was lower then he wanted. At least Armageddon will eliminate the need for Cholesterol Testing.

  45. cooper says:

    “reclaim that athlete inside”

    essex I totally agree! I started running last week, did 2 miles and ran up and down the bleachers 6 times… when I came to I felt great!lol- I keep telling myself stick to it for a month and it will get easier- consistency is my goal

  46. d2b says:

    Don’t underestimated the role that diet plays in fitness. The best part of exercise for me is the fact that I can eat an almost unlimited supply of the right foods. But they key is eating the right stuff.

  47. Mr Hyde says:

    At my peak a few years back when I wad competing in 24hr adventure races, I completed the 272 mile ling trail in 16 days. I could probably be back to that level in 6 months with some dedication.

    I also finished all of my 24hr races in 16-18 hours won the amateur mens division in 1 of the races and 2nd in another.

    Although one if the guys I raced with was just F’ing inhuman and did 3 24 hr races in 7 days!!!!! That is insane

  48. me@work says:

    Hyde, 43

    I am definitely out of shape, yet my 10-12 hr day consists of constant movement. Between seeing patients and walking our 50+ bed, 3- sectioned emergency department, I clock (via pedometer) between 2.25- 3 miles at work. That said, I really wish I could hire a personal trainer for a month or so, just to jumpstart a fitness program. Inertia is getting the best of me but once I get moving, I usually stay moving.

    (Hey, Hype! Where are you??)


  49. me@work says:

    d2b, 46

    That’s my vice. Just too much good food. Prefer healthy to junk but still have guilty pleasures, too. Like Popeye’s fried chicken. (sigh.)


  50. Mr Hyde says:


    the endorphin rush you get from a 24hr race which is easily the equivilent and in some races more then a full ironman, is obscene! I was on an endorphine rush for a few days after each race. You can burn 10,000 to 15,000 calories in the period of the race

    the races usually consist if a marathon distance run, 30-60 miles of biking and kayaking/swimming, land navigation, rappelling etc.

  51. cooper says:

    I honestly thought is was in decent shape until I read post 47

  52. Mr Hyde says:

    Cooper 52

    Those races are for those who particularly enjoy pain. So if thats your thing, then give it a shot. They arent as scary as they may seem. Those races require more mental endurance then physical, although you obviously have to be physically capable of the event without a heart attack.

    I will be the first to admit that i have gotten a little soggy around the middle since my son was born. My last race was 2.5 years ago. And i dont claim to be in race condition at the moment.

  53. me@work says:

    “I will be the first to admit that i have gotten a little soggy around the middle since my son was born”

    try being pregnant and then squeezing that bad-boy out after 9 mos. I’m never gonna be the same.


  54. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Re : Feeding Trough —

    If you really want to see how the average American treats his stomach……go to a China Buffet. There’s one in every strip mall in New Jersey. You will see some of the largest waist sizes in captivity. And these people have no idea what they’re eating — they pile their plates with everything on the steam table. The plates they bring back to their seats are just a heap of garbage !!

    Last time I went to one of these orgies, there was a family of 6 (all of them, including the kids, were seriously over-weight). The head of this household had piled General’s Chicken on top of Coconut Shrimp and then topped his plate with Crab Legs. He had cantilevered the Crab Legs out from his plate and then added some Fried Chicken Drumsticks to use as counter balance. It was like an Engineering Project.

    They washed it all down with large sodas…..That family may have dropped $120. I’m sure they short-tipped, too.

  55. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    grim —

    In mod…..I think “strip’ mall triggered the filter.

  56. Final Doom says:

    “For FX Concepts, this is a big day and a very scary one as well. Because our market view is now very precise, but at odds with the accepted wisdom, we are putting ourselves out on a limb. The euro is going to be hit again and commodity currencies will come under increasing pressure. Our cyclical analysis argues that the currency markets are making a major reversal right now, today, and that this will be at least a medium term reversal in equities and credit as well. Although it is more likely that the equity and credit markets will not begin their major decline until the last week of August, the odds favor an unimpressive month ahead which means that we are at the end of the exciting part of the rally of the past two months. By the end of next month, equities will be headed lower, credit spreads will widen sharply, and government bonds will begin a rally to new all time highs. Our completely technical cyclical work implies that there will be a return to dark times in September and October, with a sharp decline driven by liquidity and solvency issues likely to set the world back on a recessionary course.” – John Taylor, FX Concepts

  57. me@work says:

    Fiddy 56

    I think “” probably was the offending word… Stripping is legal (and encouraged) around here.


  58. Mr Hyde says:

    SL, Fiddy

    Now we just need some vomitoriums and we’ll be set!!!! 0rgy was indeed the right term for that.

  59. Essex says:

    Best thing I ever did was get off credit cards. Some of my creditors wish I had paid em before I got off the cards. But c’est l’habit.

  60. Mr Hyde says:


    Can i sue an employer for an unhealthy work place?

  61. Doyle says:

    I hear the office kills fitness argument for the most part… But, I work in a big office in NYC with 4 gyms within about 3 blocks. We get a fitness reimbursement and using them during lunch (when you can) is not frowned upon. We actually have a relatively fit group of people working here. The access to gyms that close without having to drive anywhere kind of makes for an office helps fitness argument.

  62. relo says:

    62: Gotta take that up with Nom or others but my guess would be “absolutely”.

  63. Orion says:

    Two years ago I dropped 35lbs using a combination of weight watchers, walking, biking, aerobics & light lifting. Took 6 months and had fun doing it. Consistency was my real challenge. My motivation was ignited after watching a video showing what 1lb of fat looks like. Yuck.

  64. Juice Box says:

    Fitnesss will not save you from the zombie hoards so flight instead of fight should be your first priority. A man can sometimes live more than a few weeks without food depending on how much fat he has stored if he is on the run.

    How much energy do you have stored?

  65. me@work says:


  66. Juice Box says:

    You can get a burn rate of 4218 Calories per pound of body fat. If you are on the run your body will burn the fat before the muscle. FYI, your body can convert 1 pound of muscle into only 1860 calories.

    If you needed to walk 100 miles without supplies except for water you would need approx 100 calories per mile for a 180 lb person, that would be about 2.3 lbs of body fat burnt off.

  67. theo says:

    It’s funny, this slow real estate market. House in Hillsdale comes on the market Monday evening that me and wife are interested in, can’t get appointment to see on Tuesday, on Wednesday they have an open house for agents and wife receives call from our agent at noon on Wednesday that they have received three offers and aren’t accepting any more. So house sold in less than 48 hours. This is the third house in a month that we have been interested in that has sold within a week, the second that has sold within two days of listing without us even being able to get in and see it.

    Maybe Bergen County really is special, proximity to NYC and all that.

  68. Mr Hyde says:

    Juice 70

    walk 100 miles with no food and you lose more then 2 pounds! Also consider that whether you burn fat or muscle depends on what phase you body is running at. if you stay aerobic your metabolism will burn different products then if you begin to press into the anaerobic phase.

  69. Mr Hyde says:


    then again, if you try to have someone who is mainly sedentary try and walk 100 miles with no food, water only, then they are going to have a VERY rough time.

  70. Double Down says:

    Grim, should have walked back to the quad, then drove to pick up the deer!

  71. Final Doom says:

    New Jersey Exercise Bulimia Report

  72. Nomad says:

    Interesting that on the topic of obesity, one of the things that makes the garden state appealing is the abundance of high quality fruits and produce grown in the state. When we used to live there, we got fresh food at the market – best tasting stuff ever and healthy. Of course, you can live in Philly area and have easy access to all that stuff without the property tax bill.

    For the experts – is the aerobic exercise the one that burns fat?

  73. Barbara says:

    well, I’ve started buying (replacing) the worn out domestics that I said I would replace after we moved. I guess I’m giving up.

  74. Barbara says:

    90% of weight loss is diet. 90% of diet is portion sizes.

  75. Barbara says:

    you can get and remain fat on brown rice. Cut down on the portion sizes. You can’t rely on exercise to get you the calories deficit that you need to lose.

  76. Barbara says:

    Most adults should be eating one full meal a day and a few healthy snacks. Unless you are a laborer, that three meals a day stuff is complete BS.

  77. Barbara says:

    and the “but I get SOOOOO hungry” stuff…….that’s just your over stoked appetite. Give it a week, it will adjust and you will look back at how much you used to eat and wonder how you didn’t get sick.

  78. walk 100 miles with no food and you lose more then 2 pounds!

    On avg. I weigh 2 lbs less at the end on my daily run then I do at the beginning. Of course that’s all sweat and water weight, but still.
    I should add that I don’t have a lot to lose to begin with. Around Dec I switched from running outside to on a treadmill. That change alone dropped my weight by around 10 lbs in about a month. Same diet etc. I’ve started to cut back on running as I *was* a 30 inch waist, pants for which you can actually find in US stores, I’m now around a 29 or 28 inch, which borders on impossible to find.

  79. Cindy says:

    Speaking of food….”President Obama visited the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J. where he ordered a “super sub with everything,” to highlight his party’s small-business agenda.”

    Oh…he ordered the 6 inch – not the 12 inch…John, don’t go there….

  80. I control my weight with whiskey.

  81. A.West says:

    I recently read Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. I had forgotten how awful grain-and-sugar-related carbs are for me. So I cut out the carbs, and within a couple of days my appetite fell, my energy stayed level through the day, and I lost 10lbs in a couple of weeks. Also, I got back into playing tennis, pretty much the only excercise that I genuinely enjoy. I still have several months of losing weight to reach my goal, but I’m already feeling healthier and happier.

  82. Mr Hyde says:

    The average american is fed/eats like cattle in a feed lot.

  83. I have to drink a lot more whiskey to reach my ideal weight.

  84. hyde (86)-

    Put down that cattle prod, and hand me the branding iron.

    “The average american is fed/eats like cattle in a feed lot.”

  85. And now, for the lighter side of the news:

    “As we wrote earlier, Greece is currently paralyzed, literally, due to a wholesale shortage of fuel at gas stations, as drivers of trucks carrying the precious commodity have been striking for several days. As noted previously, the government invoked a war-time mobilization measure forcing the strikers to stop striking or face civil penalties and jail time. Shockingly, this had absolutely no impact ont he angry mob. In order to make its point even more clear, the government accentuated its overturn of labor rights by firing tear gas at protesters, according to the Guardian. And, in an amusing turn of events, the IMF delegation which was rumored to be passing by at just this time to conclude the backroom deal in which US taxpayers would fund a few hundred more billion of failed Greek programs, was subjected to a Greek parliamentary guard wearing the traditional skirty attire, screaming in a bullhorn that the truckers were merely engaged in a modern remixed version of sirtaki and there was absolutely nothing to see there (obviously the guy had just graduated from the CNBC School for People who Want to Fabricate the Truth Good).”

  86. 20% of Greece’s GDP is tourism. This should end really well.

  87. Barbara says:

    A. West,
    I have to take my own advice. I was in great shape after my son, before my daughter, now I’m sluggish again with 10 remaining pounds of baby weight. Her teething isn’t helping me out, but sleep aside I need to cut down on the refined stuff.

  88. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [26];

    As greedy as the used house salespeople are, I amazed at how long it took them to realize that 6% of wishing price == $0.

    The game must really be up when the brethren of the guild start publicly beating on sellers to accept less.

  89. prtraders2000 says:

    Just had a first time client come in for help in evaluating reverse mortgages and asking about negotiating his 80k credit card debt down. He only earns about $1300 from disability and another $700 from investment interest per month. This guy is 65 and will not be able to work again. First credit card company said they will not negotiate lump sum settlements with account holders that are current, which he is. They did however refer us to a consumer credit agency. Any advice or links to info would appreciated.

  90. sas says:

    hey blokes.. which one is better: wordpress or blogger?


  91. chicagofinance says:

    My personal favorite was Shoney’s in Mt. Pleasant Michigan.

    Eggs, bacon, chicken-fried scrapple, fried dough topped with HFCS-maple syrup and baker’s powdered sugar. Coffee with chocolate and whipped cream……

    I saw this and had a two slices of toast and black coffee and tried not to projectile vomit…..

    55.Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:
    July 29, 2010 at 9:33 am
    Re : Feeding Trough –
    If you really want to see how the average American treats his stomach……go to a China Buffet. There’s one in every strip mall in New Jersey. You will see some of the largest waist sizes in captivity. And these people have no idea what they’re eating — they pile their plates with everything on the steam table. The plates they bring back to their seats are just a heap of garbage !!

  92. Naysayer says:


    A. West

    My worlds collide- njrereport & Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. This book changed the way I eat. It was nice to see the reference.

  93. chicagofinance says:

    Yes……I have taken to having 1-2 oz scotch after 10PM. Saves me a 500-1000 cal binge……

    84.Final Doom-Muzzled says:
    July 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm
    I control my weight with whiskey.

  94. I sure hope something happens soon! I’m getting tired of the way things are going!

  95. Juice Box says:

    re #94 – Sas All depends on how much misery you want to put yourself thorough.

    Blogger is more like entry level wife and can be free.

    Worpress “hosted” by them isn’t fully customizable but is cheap kind of like a mail order bride.

    Worpress self-managed and self installed like this blog managed by Grim is highly customizable and can also be a big pain in the arse to manage and will eventually lead to divorce or early death or possible homicide.

  96. Chicken fried scrapple goes great with whiskey.

  97. cooper says:

    MrHyde 53
    Just that you’ve done events like that is impressive… re the mental endurance- its only been the past handful of years that I’ve realized how important it is and how hard it is to practice

  98. sas says:

    Juice Box,

    I’ve been done married 5 times.


  99. Juice Box says:

    When I need to diet I go for the crystal meth and mugging plan. The meth gives me a nice energy pop while absolutely killing any urge to eat, while the mugging rounds out the picture by providing me with an outlet to work off my excess energy (exercise!) and the funds to by my next round of meth. There’s also a fantastic diet plan called ‘Chase the Dragon!’ that I’ve been considering, but for now I’m a meth man.

    Oh, I hear you whine that it can’t be good for me, but the results don’t lie: 5′10″ and 110 pounds!

  100. #95 – My personal favorite was Shoney’s in Mt. Pleasant Michigan.

    Ooof. As bad as I think the NY metro area is the weight problem is far far worse once you get away from here. We were in Salem/Boston a few weeks ago and the size of people were noticeably larger than the NY area. Same with western Pennsylvania.

  101. DL says:

    We’ve lived and worked among the military for the last 36 years. Staying in shape is part of the job. Took my wife to a HS reunion in NJ five years ago (the first and last one I’ll attend) and sat among my 250 lb friends. We’re doomed.

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  105. JPasteurized says:

    This sounds like the real Al Gore on Doom’s diet.

  106. Curiouser and curiouser:

    “As Mark Hanson suggests based on speculation by both MS and ML (oddly enough released concurrently, MS report attached below), the GSEs and the FHA may be preparing to imminently launch an instant aut-refi program which would take millions of borrowers to current market rates overnight! In the process $45 billion of consumer savings would be created. Welcome QE 1.999. ”

  107. schabadoo says:

    hey blokes.. which one is better: wordpress or blogger?

    Blogger is more no-effort; just type and post.

    WordPress is what I like, but it takes effort. It isn’t too complicated, has a lot of free add-ons, is very customizable and you could base a whole site around it.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.

  108. Libtard in the City says:

    On the diet tip. I did the South Beach diet a few years back and lost 80 pounds in a little over 9 months without changing my exercise regiment which consists of playing hockey, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, gardening, chasing lil Gator, and a lot of walking during my commute. Unfortunately, I started eating bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal again and I have managed to put most of it back on. The mental problem I struggle with is how easy it was to lose it last time, so I feel I can easily do it again. I just need to commit myself to it. I just need to find the time do so. I’m not sure who posted it earlier, but if you cut out the refined garbage, you just don’t get hungry. It’s truly amazing.

    I am pretty heavy now, I will admit it affects my speed a bit when I play hockey, but I still have unbelievable stamina and double shift at center. My doctor calls me a freak of nature. Last time I got my check up, he said you have the pulse and blood pressure of an olympic athlete and you are well on your way to becoming morbidly obese. I also have low cholesterol since I don’t eat meat very often. Besides playing football in high school, I also ran cross country track. I never won any races, but I was able to stay with the pack. It probably helps that I’ve hiked half the Appalachian Trail too. If you want to lose wait and eat all that you want? Go hike the AT. 17 to 22 miles per day with 50 pounds on your back will turn you into a well-sculpted machine.

    In other news, Gator fought ‘the man’ this morning. She was so well prepared in the county court room that there was a span of about 5 minutes where the town lawyer did not say a word when he had the floor. He was just ruffling through our comps looking for something to dismiss them on and not finding anything. At one point, when he held the floor, he turned to the towns tax assessor and asked if any of the sales in our 9 comps used for the appraisal were distressed and the tax lady said nope. On top of this, there was no mention of the 3 comps the town lawyer presented to us to defend their assessment. I think Gator’s systematic destruction of their comps via an email we sent to him and the county commissioner a few days prior to the hearing made the town lawyer realize he had no case. When the commissioner told us we would hear his decision in 4 to 8 weeks, the town lawyer let out a big sigh. Then he gave the tax assessor the evil eye. Me thinks we will be paying less in taxes today than we did five years ago. This is in Montclair, where taxes go up as regularly as the sun. For those following at home, we bought for 480K in 2004. Was assessed at 640K during the town-wide reval in 2006 and asked the commissioner for a conservative 467K assessment today. The town offered us 478K after we presented our comps, to which we responded, “see you at the hearing.” Anyone who does not fight ‘the man’ is giving it away. Gator simply rocked. Now we wait 4 to 8 weeks to find out if our perception matched the reality of it.

    One other interesting thing occurred. One of our comps was an estate sale (of which we were aware) which we knew are typically not acceptable. But we also knew that the town reassessed their property value down to the sales price. When we presented it and the town attorney objected to it, the county commissioner went into a little tirade on the town lawyer explaining his opinion of estate sales and how they should be acceptable for comparative purposes and how he differs in opinion on this topic from other officials. The town lawyer then stated most of these sales are hurried and reflects a lower sales price, to which Gator pulled out the original GSMLS listing where the house had been on the market for at least 133 days at that point. Real fun stuff if you are prepared for it.

  109. Stu, my doctor called me a freak of nature, too. So, I offered him a swig from my hip flask.

  110. Libtard in the City says:

    FDM: Nice. I’m gonna offer him a swig from my flask when he goes in for my Prostate exam this October during my (40),000 mile check-up. It’s been ten years since I went for the full buffet of tests, so I figured I better do it soon before my engine light turns on. It should be a fun day at the clinic I call my doctor.

  111. Stu, please let me know when you and Gator hit Baristanet to gloat. I want to get in on it and provoke some of your residents.

    BTW, Baristanet’s resident Stasi agent informed me this AM that she had to delete a post I made in the RE section because “readers might construe it as implying the agent you were questioning has a drug problem”. However, she cheerily went on to tell me it would not be considered a “strike” against me.

    I e-mailed her back and told her to bugger her uncle.

  112. Stu (114)-

    If he gets a finger up in there and your engine light turns on, you’d better schedule another battery of tests. The kind they do between your ears.

    “It’s been ten years since I went for the full buffet of tests, so I figured I better do it soon before my engine light turns on.”

  113. So ends my “write like John” attempt for today.

  114. Libtard in the City says:


    I have already obtained my first strike for calling Mayor Fried, Mayor Fraud. So I guess I’m 0 and 1 at the plate.

  115. Stu, you really must try harder.

    I think that cretin’s name should permanently become Mayor Fraud whenever he’s referenced on this blog.

  116. relo says:


    I e-mailed her back and told her to bugger her uncle.

    Speaking of which:

  117. Juice Box says:

    Amazing how many hits you get from google when you search for mayor fraud

  118. stu says:

    Did you get any of mine?

  119. grim says:

    Is there really a whole lot of difference between zero down and FHA?

  120. chicagofinance says:

    clot: we signed up my son for USA soccer squirts this week…..we had a bunch of Northerners fresh out of university show up. They are crashing in Bound Brook. Good bunch of guys….any tips for them? They were all lamenting that they couldn’t get into Harrison to watch ManU thrash the minor leagues a few days ago…..

  121. Final Doom says:

    grim (124)-

    Actually, this is a longstanding program that was tapped so heavily that they ran out of money in the spring.

    The parameters are actually easier than FHA. Minimum FICOs are lower, and unlimited seller concessions are allowed.

  122. Final Doom says:

    chi (125)-

    Actually, it was Man City. And they got their butts kicked by the Red Bulls.

    Better they take the drive to Philly and go to games there. Red Bull Arena is nice, but you have to park half a mile away and walk there. No parking lots next to the stadium.

  123. brewcrew says:

    FHA is a turd marked “Guaranteed!”

  124. House Whine says:

    It’s so easy to put on a few extra pounds a year. Before you know it, after 10 years, you don’t recognize yourself in photographs. It’s not just that we sit down at our desks but that we don’t have to walk anywhere to do our daily errands. Exception would be urban dwellers. Then again, the absence of sidewalks makes it kind of hard to get those errands done in suburbia.

  125. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [19] grim

    “How physically fit are you folks?”

    Not as fit as I’d like to be, especially for survival purposes. But I am working on it.

    Problem with being a dilletante doomer is that there is not sufficient capital or time to fully prepare oneself in all aspects. There is quite a cottage industry in helping people do that, but that may not be the best use of resources. To maximize skills and resources, having a nompound in a small, insular community is essential. It takes a village, after all.

  126. Comrade Nom Deplume aux maison says:

    [34] SX

    “Office work destroys you physically.”

    Oh yeah. I remember when I was in DC, and went for a physical. Doc says to hop on the scale. I say “I got this” and move the large weight to 175, and start tapping over the small weight. Got to the end of the bar and it didn’t move. Said “oh sh1t” and the doc says “yup” and moves the large weight to 200. Ouch.

    Within 4 months of leaving that job, I dropped nearly 25 lbs without actually trying.

    Now I just left another office, and I am looking forward to recovering my health.

    On that note, sleep helps. Gotta get some after 4 hours per night all week. Peace out.

  127. Orion says:

    Oops, ya’ can’t make this sh*t up, maybe she’ll get a cabinet post. Hilarious.

  128. grim says:

    To maximize skills and resources, having a nompound in a small, insular community is essential.

    The legal construct of ownership is irrelevant in the post-armageddon world.

    Why bother preparing when I can just beat you up and take your nompound?

  129. Confused in NJ says:

    133.grim says:
    July 29, 2010 at 9:39 pm
    To maximize skills and resources, having a nompound in a small, insular community is essential.

    The legal construct of ownership is irrelevant in the post-armageddon world.

    Why bother preparing when I can just beat you up and take your nompound?

    That exists today. You fall behind on property taxes and the Sheriff reposesses your house. You don’t own anything as the Government can take it at will.

  130. NJGator says:

    Can someone with GSMLS access let me know if 11 Forest in Glen Ridge is Under Contract or Withdrawn?


  131. grim says:

    Under Contract

  132. 30 year Realtor says:

    11 forest shows as under contract

  133. NJGator says:


  134. chicagofinance says:

    You are a suicidal alcoholic and you concern yourself with convenience?

    Final Doom says:
    July 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm
    chi (125)-

    Actually, it was Man City. And they got their butts kicked by the Red Bulls.

    Better they take the drive to Philly and go to games there. Red Bull Arena is nice, but you have to park half a mile away and walk there. No parking lots next to the stadium.

  135. New in NJ says:

    #134 Confused

    Or, in many parts of the country, fall behind in HOA dues. They’ll take your house faster than FK or tax delinquencies.

  136. Revelations says:

    Hi All,

    Questions for the realtors:

    1. If a house has an offer(s) on it, why won’t the sellers agent tell you (or your realtor) the amount(s)? If this is to avoid “anchoring” future offers, why would they not share the amount if in attorney review?
    2. Why would sellers refuse more offers after they’ve received, say, three offers?

  137. Revelations says:

    Ok, I guess they might not want to share in atty review since a number might get sticky if the deal fell through, but wouldn’t they want to invite higher bids by advertising the number? Or would that antagonize the current buyer?

    Neither #1 nor #2 happened to me recently, but I’ve always wondered…

  138. grim says:

    1. If a house has an offer(s) on it, why won’t the sellers agent tell you (or your realtor) the amount(s)?

    a) Violates the privacy of any other bidders. If I was bidding against you, I wouldn’t want you to know my bid.
    b) Isn’t in the best interest of the seller.
    c) Sometimes price isn’t the only factor (contingencies, buyer qualifications, closing times, etc).
    d) Indirectly, they do. If they say too low, try again, you aren’t even near the other offer. If they counter, it is an amount higher than the other offer.

    2. Why would sellers refuse more offers after they’ve received, say, three offers?

    Chances are the seller has found a buyer to transact with.

    I’ve seen plenty of sellers turn down higher offers in attorney review simply because they feel it inappropriate to screw over a buyer they’ve already been moving forward with. Somewhat courtesy on behalf of the buyer’s agent as well, since it does take a bit of effort to get a contract together, delivered, etc. If it stands no chance, why bother?

  139. still_looking says:


    did you see the refi to market rates story yet?


  140. still_looking says:

    [snip] Earlier today we noted that the biggest buzz on Wall Street is the recent suggestion by MS and ML’s Harley Bassman that the GSEs should provide some form of autorefi program to take borrowers to market rates. As this would impact a vast majority of the 37 million of mortgages outstanding backed by the government, not only would this housing stimulus have a huge impact on consumption appetites, but it would be a political coup as all of a sudden the administration would find tens of millions of giddy homeowners who are paying far less monthly, and quite satisfied with the way Obama has handled things. It is thus likely that this program will take off shortly (if at all) just before the mid-term elections to neutralize all the pent up discontent focused on the administration. Yet there may be less than meets the eye. As Market News points out, over the past 24 hours Wall Street has gone into overdrive analzying the consequences, both positive and negative, of such a move. Below are the conclusions.

    First, here is how the pricing action in various MBS tranches occurred:

    Premium MBS bonds went down in price because this refi concept stoked speculation that primary mortgages with higher rates will get paid off soon and the higher coupon MBS that backed those mortgages would be called back. This paper would be replaced with lower coupon MBS that would then be backing primary mortgages at lower rates. [/snip]

    zero hedge dissects it – I’m off to work, so can’t read the whole thing right now.


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