Buying a house is big news these days

Required reading, from the NY Times:

Perhaps Not So ‘Grim’ Anymore

BIG news in the virtual neighborhood: “Grim” bought a house.

For the last six years, James A. Bednar — or “Grim,” as he is known in the blogosphere — has served as a passionate advocate of cool wariness about New Jersey real estate. Through his posts on, Mr. Bednar convened a community of skeptics, scoffers and scavengers for “true value” during times of spiraling prices — first up, then down.

Most regulars on the blog appear to have remained renters through at least one full housing market cycle, depending on how one measures the cycling. As did Mr. Bednar.

But on the morning of April 29, as Grim, he abruptly posted the announcement that he and his wife, Jayne, were closing on a three-bedroom ranch in Wayne. “Has J. B. lost his mind?” asked Grim about himself.

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265 Responses to Buying a house is big news these days

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey and Happy Friday The 13TH

  2. Shore Guy says:

    A man has to live somewhere and money in the bank may ot may noy be wise. Might as well but something that brings one satisfaction.

  3. Mike says:

    Spend it or someone else will spend it for you

  4. seif says:

    that’s great! love it. so…what does this mean? here is a link of an NYT article i was in that shows the exact opposite (i am the guy in the small pic holding the kids)…are these 2 articles nice, tidy bookends?:

  5. stan says:

    Congrats grim. Great article. Good luck.

  6. Next stop for grim is Dancing With the Stars.

  7. Mike (3)-

    Sure beats putting it into a 401k that the gubmint is eventually going to steal.

  8. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Congrats Grim. Nice piece; but since when did Chi become a pillar of the f’g community!?!?!:) Granted it is Red Bank but I think those are grounds for a libel action.

  9. grim says:

    6 – I’d settle for Tom Keene and Bloomberg.

  10. 3b says:

    #8 And jets jere less than 2 months gets quoted!!!!

  11. 3b says:

    How embarrassing to actually see in print in the NYT, the quote that some resident in River Edge thinks prices increased 26% from last year to this year.

  12. A.West says:

    How could they miss quoting an “embrace the oblivion” type of post?
    How could they ignore JJ’s assorted commentaries?
    Congrats to Grim on making news by pursuing his happiness!

  13. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    That 401(k) seizure/taxation thing is a given at some point. “Bright ideas” like that tend to travel the world as the need arises. “Hungary, Ireland, Argentina all these countries are doing it why not us?” – is the thinking of the plutocratic clowns that run the world.

  14. 3b (10)-

    Jets12 is really Paul Krugman.

  15. SG says:

    Congrats Grim !!!

    Thanks to for the blog and greatly creating virtual community. I know this blog was the one kept me going for many years before upgrading to bigger house. Finally, this year we also bought and moved in few months ago. Of course with help from Chip.

    Now welcome to moving & settling process !!! It’s a long process… I probably spent more time with wife selecting bath accessories than selecting house :-)

  16. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    BTW the Hoboken crowd will be happy to know the Cake Boss opened his Times Square outlet yesterday so hopefully that will cut down on the endless line of hayseeds camping out on Washington Street:

  17. HE (16)-

    Somebody ought to cruise missile that dump.

  18. Bad cannoli and treacly-sweet pastries from the ’50s don’t merit stardom.

  19. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Cut to Buddy with eyes bulging:

    “These guys keep fooling around and I got to get this cake done”

    End of show, cut to Buddy teary eyed:

    “It all worked out. It’s all about family to me. My Father would be very happy.”

    Cue the credits.

  20. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    You start writing for Ritholtz?

    Jezebels Undermining Financial Overhaul

  21. Barbara says:

    Wait, for us at the RERE, its 20-30years, but for the NYT its 8 years? Clot?
    Internet inflation strikes again.

  22. 3b says:

    Oh and at then end of the day grim, congrats. All the best.

  23. 30 Year Realtor says:

    #21 – That is a very good question! Clot, Debt, Hobo, why didn’t you tell the Times about the stench of death and embracing oblivion?

  24. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim nice, this will most likely be the only time something I wrote will hit the times. That is unless of course I become a mass murderer or something equally bad.

  25. Jets12 says:

    I get quoted because I actually have something to say (supported with facts) separate and away from the collective group-mind think that dwells here. It pays to be able to think on your own. Unfortunately this crowd is ‘birds of a feather’, myopic monotoned drum beat gloom and doom sayers.

    Meanwhile in the real world, people like Grim here BUY HOMES. Enough said. Only this crowd invest their day with negativity while others are being positive, optimistic, and looking forward. Realize the very founder of this blog’s actions speak volumes and say it all.

    I would encourage most of you to wake up and smell the coffee. The world is not ending on May 21. Instead of another day of forming a circle jerk of malcontents, why don’t you do something positive? He’s a thought, work and earn some money so maybe one day you too can buy a home. I own several, closing on a Bergen County home on May 27th in fact.

    It’s a great time to buy!

  26. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim looks like you have your work cut out for you, good luck!

  27. Barbara says:

    Grim, Nice choice and install on the retro formica countertop and hickory (ish) cabinets. Also, the wood paneling will work well with your Grizzly Adams memorabilia collection.

  28. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Yeah Grim make sure you do a Radon test on the granite counters – and don’t tell me you aren’t getting granite counters.

  29. Barbara says:

    Frankly, I will be disappointed if he gets granite as it has become the butt many a joke. I vote soapstone.

  30. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Grim congrats you bought a place with a faux brick backsplash how 1970’s, bringing the outside inside

  31. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    The only upside I seem in Grim’s future from the article pic is no wallpaper to remove. My brother’s first house had wallpaper on the ceiling of the bathrooms. Who the hell wallpapers ceilings?

  32. babs, 30 Year (21, 23)-

    I talked to the lady who wrote this for about 20 minutes. Trust me, I gave her my honest opinion (I think my exact words were, “real estate is dead money for at least a generation”). In the end, she used my real-life nickname for my handle here.

    Not a big deal. I learned a long time ago that the media reporting on this biz don’t live it the same way we might.

  33. mikey (24)-

    Chin up, pal. I think you have it in you. :)

    “That is unless of course I become a mass murderer or something equally bad.”

  34. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Jets go f*ck a carp in the hackensack, the majority of us here have either bought or sold real estate inthe last 7 years. your some random dimwit who thinks
    Brigadoon on Hackensack is Malibu East.

  35. Oh, boy. Jets12 is now gonna prove to us what happens when you give a monkey some toys.

  36. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Jets “I own several, closing on a Bergen County home on May 27th in fact.” Ah, you sit where you stand. By the way been there done that did 130% on both sold 05,06. Just do not see it going forward, you may disagree. If I felt it would work again I would.

  37. Barbara says:

    She’s dead, wrapped in plastic at RIVER’S EDGE, NJ.

  38. JC says:

    Who knew you were such a handsome devil?

  39. 3b says:

    #25 Of course you are closing on a home in Bergen Co on May 27. First you were looking to buy, and now you own several, hmmmmmmm. And the one you are closing on, I assume it i thrs one in RE that is up 26% in price from last year!!!!!

    As far as facts your 26% increase nonsense was blown away time and time again. You were proven wrong, and yet you continue to cling to that ridiculous statement. Talk about denial!!! Now we are to believe that you own several houses??? You are full of krap.Good luck on your purchase, I am sure it will be up another 26% this time next year. The lamb has been led to the slaughter.

    As far as grim and his purchase, he has always said on this blog he would buy when the timing and circumstances made sense for him. You make it sound as if the leader of the blog has betrayed his followers.

  40. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 33 Jets may get me there.

  41. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Grim should mix it up – granite appliances – stainless steel counters?

  42. Jets12. Early money, dead money.

    The pros looking to invest in NJ haven’t come off the beach yet. The blenders are still full of icy drinks, and there’s a helluva a lot more pain to come before the can be bothered to leave their cabanas and head north.

  43. Mikeinwaiting says:

    3b , lets not let the facts get in the way.

  44. stan says:

    Btw, this should set off the kannekt trolls.

    Looking forward to it.

  45. JC says:

    Grim: You may find your timeframe for renovations to be longer than you think…unless you can do a lot yourself. I would be game, but I am a 4’10” over-50 woman and DH is not at all handy. So I have to know my limitations.

    In other news…I have to thank the Gators for their advice to take the local gummint’s offer on my tax appeal. The assessor offered $15K higher than the appraisal (based on his “comps”). When I asked him for the addresses of said comps, he suddenly agreed to my appraiser’s number. Total tax savings: About $1500 on a $500 appraisal investment. Not too shabby.

  46. Barbara says:

    lets have a rumble!

  47. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Perhaps Grim should have an interactive design week. Each day he puts up a pic of an individual room and we can express our collective conciousness as to what decorating decisions should be made? The first 30 posts of course would be limited to comments about the current state of said room.

  48. Al Mossberg says:


    I prefer steel reinforced concrete counter tops with a layer of sand bags on top.

  49. Al Mossberg says:



    Any savings is good. My township appraiser knocked 100k off my assessment and I dropped my appeal. Total savings 2k

  50. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Al with a MG 42 perched out the backyard window?

    Mike not only does Jets own and is buying but he is twice as good looking as JJ with double the conquests.

  51. JC says:

    Jets of Brigensack is a lot like people I’ve seen in Oakland. These are middle-income towns that suffer inferiority complexes as a result of sharing a school system with more affluent towns. So instead of appreciating their towns for what they are, they have to puff themselves so as to appear “equal” with their more upscale-reputed neighbors.

    They aren’t fooling anyone.

  52. 3b says:

    #43 mike: After he closes on May 27. There are another 75 in town he can buy. 6 more on the market in the last 2 days.

  53. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim by the way when you are ready to do floors I will drop by a complete flooring tool set down to the last scraper needed. Edgers, burnisher, top of the line sander from Sweden everything you need. Free technical advise also included. You have my email I will happily come down & take a look if you have issues & are unsure of which way to go on flooring.

  54. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Clot as a “pillar of the community”???

    Chifi said it best—“The End is Nigh”

  55. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Nom, if the community is Soddom and Gamorah, after the smoating of course

  56. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Pain NO ONE is twice as good looking as John or is there part as long, it is inconceivable to think any two men could have had as many women. JJ you know we love you buddy!

  57. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom I thought Chi-fi was the pillar of the community, must reread. Either way the end is nigh applies.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [57] mike

    Chifi was called a pillar, but clot was also referenced as a regular. So Pillar is implied.

  59. Lone Ranger says:

    “The blenders are still full of icy drinks”


    On may way to the beach with a Bahama Mama.

  60. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Wayne = Brigadoon-on-Pompton?

    Good luck grim!

  61. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [57] mike

    Love how they sanitized Clot’s persona. Wouldn’t use his online name or any of his alter ego rants.

    Then again, my alter ego is that of a Doomsday Prepper cuz I advocate for the Nompound!

  62. chicagofinance says:

    Toni meant PILLORY

    Dissident HEHEHE says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:04 am
    Congrats Grim. Nice piece; but since when did Chi become a pillar of the f’g community!?!?!:)

  63. JJ says:

    205 Coachman Place East in Muttontown sold yesterday for 1.1 million. This is the house in Muttontown where Indian couple got charged with slavery as they had two indian slaves they beat and locked in closets.

  64. Lone Ranger says:

    Where a pic of the dog? Wasn’t the dog the decision maker?

  65. chicagofinance says:

    Honestly, it was a clear shot to say Brigadoon-Upon-Hackensack

    3b says:
    May 13, 2011 at 8:08 am
    How embarrassing to actually see in print in the NYT, the quote that some resident in River Edge thinks prices increased 26% from last year to this year.

  66. sas3 says:

    Jets12 says:

    I get quoted because I actually have something to say (supported with facts) separate and away from the collective group-mind think that dwells here. It pays to be able to think on your own…reality!

  67. 3b says:

    #65 My apologies, but it is still embarrassing!!!

  68. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [56] mike

    Documentary on JJ

  69. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Clot = Chip sounds like he should be at the country club with Biff and Muffy, I had this unabomber image of clot living in a shack on the hidden back corner of some rich guys property somewhere in hunterdon county.

  70. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 61 that was creative writing to say the least, no stench of death, no end is nigh, no Re in the crapper for our life time. What a bummer.

  71. chicagofinance says:

    I still remember the early days when I posted to clot….”I am arguing with someone named after a golf shot….”

  72. still_looking says:

    Article. Feh.

    Where’s the f*cking chest hair??



  73. 30 Year Realtor says:

    Just for the heck of it I went on Zillow to check their year over year price change statistic for River Edge. Zillow indicated -8.1%. Must have changed since earlier in the week?

  74. 3b says:

    #73 NO, , NO, NO, that cannot be, it is not the truth. Trulia says up 26%!!!!!

  75. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    30 year obviously the zillow statistics are from pessimists, not like those patriotic rock ribbed stats guys at trulia.

  76. Mikeinwaiting says:

    30 year please refer to my post 43, Jets little world must remain intact. Minus 8.1 ok Jets what say you, did 30 year somehow get to Zillow and fudge the figures?

  77. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Re 101 is in charge of Trulia, I run Zillow that explains it.

  78. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    I could be mistaken but I am pretty sure the room behind Grim’s kitchen looks something like this:

  79. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 68 great ad campaign, that was funny as hell LOL.

  80. Mikeinwaiting says:

    HeHe gotta love that green carpet.

  81. 3b says:

    Uh oh, how could this be. Just listed at 459K, sold in 2005 for 480K. I t must be a typo, I am sure it should have been listed at 959K;priced for quick sale.

  82. gary says:

    Painhrtz – Salmon of Doubt [34],

    That just made the top ten all time quotes for this blog. Brilliant!!

  83. 30 Year Realtor says:

    So it’s Trulia? Went on there too. Now I will admit I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to tech stuff, but I cannot find any statistical information on Trulia like I found on Zillow.

  84. 3b says:

    #82 So its not Malibu East???

  85. 3b says:

    #83 Well it is obvious that you are not looking hard enough, or perhaps you are sad that prices in your town have not increased 26% since last year. Maybe you should move, then sit back and get your 26% apprecaition for next year. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

  86. gary says:

    Painhrtz – Salmon of Doubt [69],

    LMAO!!! You’re f*cking killing me!

  87. Nicholas says:

    I don’t understand. She clearly is a ten and you are a seven at best. Do you make a lot of money?

    Do you know that you purchased a house that doesn’t have cabinets or appliances?

    Just joking Grim, good luck!

  88. freedy says:

    Whats the story on Tenafly? is it holding up. seems to be a few defaulters

  89. 30 Year Realtor says:

    Freedy – Tenafly 26%!

  90. Nicholas says:

    “I cannot find any statistical information on Trulia”

    At the top of the page at there is a bar that lists “buy”, “rent”, “advice”, “mortgage”, “local info”, “find a pro”. Just click “local info” and then search by zip code or area and it will give market stats.

  91. scribe says:

    When’s the house warming?

  92. 30 Year Realtor says:

    #90 Nicholas – Got to the page I wanted but it still doesn’t say +26%. I must still be doing something wrong?

  93. Dink says:

    30 year #92,

    This was the page…

    The same link did show +26% last week. I believe it was for Jan – Mar time period whereas this is now for Feb-Apr.

  94. njx-pat (fka x-underwriter) says:

    How come JJ wasn’t mentioned in the article? He frequently adds valuable info about NJ re like realtors who have the nicest ta-ta’s, which bars to pick them up in, and so on

    Congrats Grim, looks like your free time is history based on the picture of the kitchen. I’m in that boat too…bought the house that was a rental for a few years. inside nice, outside not so nice. 1000 trips to Home Depot later and I’m broke but happy. Nothing like having a beer on a warm day in your own backyard

  95. Nicholas says:

    #92 30 Year – I can’t make it rain, I can only tell you where the rain comes from. The data for my area looks like a flushinging toilet, just keeps going down.

  96. Van Down by the River says:

    Grim Congrats. I see you have allot of work to do.

    Remember always wear safety glasses and the right safety gloves.

  97. 26% 30 Year Realtor says:

    Nicholas – Did that thing really say +26%? Guess Jets12 is buying more because he wants to double down on the dip!

  98. Dan says:

    Does Zillow mention how many bike paths are in River Edge? If it does, it’s definitely better than Trulia. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to drive by River Edge now without laughing.

  99. “Purchase price $435,000, list price $479,000 -meaning that the Bednars negotiated a 9 percent discount.”
    Its hillarious how they compare last ask to sold and call it the ‘discount’. Lol. Who wrote this, lawrence yun?
    No mention of the original ask. No discussion of what the home would have sold for in 2004-06, when you were first calling bubble. Those ‘discounts’ are much more than the quoted 9%. Overall its a cute/feel good piece although they glossed over the most valuable themes and missed the nuanced nuggets entirely. Leaving jj’s suny stories out completely was just one example of that shortcoming.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    The End is Nigh (Eli Manning Edition):
    Development on pier: at 15 street >>>concrete jungle VS public park lands


    Dear Association Members of:

    Hoboken Cove Umbrella Association
    The Hudson Tea Buildings Condominium Association, Inc. (1500 Hudson St. & 1500 Washington St.)
    Hudson Tea Condo Association (Harborside Lofts – 1500 Garden St.)

    My office is in receipt of the attached “Notification of Property Owners within 200-feet”, a Notice which was made to Toll Brothers and which they forwarded to my office. The Notice has been made because our properties (The Hudson Tea Buildings and collectively the Hoboken Cove Umbrella Association Walkway) are located within 200 feet of a property which “Shipyard Associates”, the owners of The Shipyard rental complex (The Sovereign, The Vanguard, The Berkshire, etc.) has submitted an Application to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a permit to rebuild the pier located directly east of 1500 Hudson St. (Hudson Tea Building C) and then construct two eleven story residential buildings to be called Monarch at Shipyard.

    As many of you are aware, especially those who may have visited the City’s Planning Board Office prior to purchasing your east facing condo, the Preliminary and Amended Preliminary Site Plan approvals for the entire “Shipyard” complex has consistently indicated this pier would be a recreation area with tennis courts, parking, etc. and not developed with residential housing. Early research indicates the County anticipated the best use for this space would be for it to become municipal open space. In addition, the 2004 Hoboken Master Plan and the 2010 Reexamination Plan also call for this area to become open space. The 2010 Reexamination Plan makes a further specific reference that none of the piers in Hoboken should be used for any development and should be preserved for open spaces.

    We have reached out to the Attorney for the Hoboken Cove Umbrella Association to get involved on a collective representative basis and we obviously believe individual comments from Association Members made directly to the DEP are strongly advisable. I spent the day in City Hall attempting to gather as much information as possible on this application for the respective Boards so they can review it and work with the attorney to draft their comments to the DEP. A full copy of the application is now in my office for those who would like to view it (except for the full size plans which can be viewed at City Hall).

    Please note the Notice says we have 15 days from reciept of the Notice, to submit comments to the DEP. While there appears there may be an issue of improper Notice to at least The Hudson Tea Buildings Condominium Association, Inc., we’ll still need to quickly review the materials and voice our opinions to the DEP. The Notice which is dated May 4, 2011 and which was emailed to my office after hours on Tuesday, May 10th unfortunatley did not have a stamped received date to indicate when Toll received it. Therefore to be safe, we’d advise forwarding your comments to the DEP as early as possible next week to the DEP’s address listed in the Notice letter. Again, we strongly advise all Members to review this Notice of DEP Application and forward your individual comments to the DEP and the respective Boards will prepare their comments and make a submisssion as well.

    Thank you.

    Mike Henderson
    Property Manager
    Hoboken Cove Umbrella Association and
    The Hudson Tea Buildings Condominium Association, Inc.
    1500 Hudson St., Mgmt.Off. 2A
    Hoboken, NJ 07030

  101. 3b says:

    #97 It is scary that apparently he/she relied on Trulia to make his/her decesion, and appears to really believe it, even when confronted witht the evidence to the contrary And quoted in the NYT’s no less.

  102. Kettle1^2 says:


    Congrats on the ink and the house.

  103. make money says:

    Congrats Grim. They will know you by your first name at your local HD or Lowe’s.

  104. chicagofinance says:

    kannekt is already running a thread on me….

  105. Painhrtz - Salmon of Doubt says:

    Hey grim so your wife is a blind medical professional who like animals, explains the hairy chest attraction.

    I also have a hairy chest and are ashamed ;(

  106. Nicholas says:

    Home Depot and Lowes? Its only hand crafted, imported tile from Italy for the Grimster. Marble countertops and stainless steel appliances for the rest of you.

  107. Happy Renter says:

    Congrats on the article, Grim! The article would have been perfect if “oblivion” had been worked in somehow, and of course, no mention of NJREREPORT is complete without a tall tale from JJ. But it was great to see your blog in the mainstream media again, not least because over the coming weeks we can expect a new wave of real estate cheerleaders to “wash in from the sea of optimism … only to be dragged out by a cold hard fish slap of reality” a la Painhrtz.

    Jets12, you were mentioned in the article because you are this blog’s current real estate cheerleader. AlpineTheRealist reincarnated and relocated from CliffsidePark to Brigadoon-on-Hackensack.

    Today I took a look at Trulia stats for Brigadoon-on-Hackensack (i.e. River Edge):

    Average Listing Price $463,892 -0.3% w-o-w
    Median Sales Price $420,000 -1.9% y-o-y
    Average Price/sqft $183 -4.2% y-o-y
    Number of Sales 15 -11.8% y-o-y

    And Zillow’s stats for Brigadoon-on-Hackensack:

    River Edge
    Month-over-month -1.4%
    Quarter-over-quarter -3.9%
    Year-over-year -8.1%

    Now is a good time to quote your posts from a couple of days ago (May 9th, 2011):

    “In River Edge, NJ prices appear to be significantly higher in 2011 with no tax credit than the previous years, 2010 with the tax credit … River Edge, NJ, the little community that could!”

    “River Edge is doing very well, thriving in this market compared to most all markets of NJ. River Edge us UP, way Up”

    Up, up, and away!

  108. cobbler says:

    Congratulations on the article – looks like all the negativity of mid-2000s press had dissolved in the RE meltdown waters. Cool pic, too!

  109. Shore Guy says:

    “I also have a hairy chest and are ashamed ;(”

    There is no need to feel shame. Come out into the daylight and embrace your chest hair and do what I do, chest dreadlocks.

  110. JJ says:

    Mr. Bednar would not answer question about whether prices had now hit bottom in that article.

    Come on now!!! We are 20% from the bottom!! Plus 9% off asking. I always do at least 20% off asking.

    I am glad through he is getting some NY Times coverage.

  111. Morpheus says:

    STFU and Fu*k you. Some of us have been trying to buy. Had three contracts to purchase real estate. Finally one goes into attorney review but dies because of the in ground oil tank issue. I will never bid on a property with an in ground oil tank again.

  112. A.West says:

    Re101 was robbed by Jets12. After all the work he put in as villiage idiot, jets12 stole his glory.

  113. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    Kannekt does not like me. I do not understand why? Everything I ever posted on that website, that wasn’t immediately deleted, came to fruition.

  114. “kannekt is already running a thread on me….”
    Chi, you should repost your piece from 2005, when you cashed out at the top and became a rentor…

  115. Shore Guy says:

    Good news for everyone turning 67 sometime after 2024:

    They better tax us into poverty now so we just kill ourselves when we get old, thus saving the taxpayers the cost of supporting us in old age.

  116. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Doesn’t look like many want to go into this weekend long, still 3 hours to go you never know.

  117. JJ says:

    I wonder if the wife forced him to buy? Or is he really a closet housing bull?

  118. Dan says:

    Actually, clot using Chip and the above golf club analogy kinda makes sense although it makes me think of Bill Murray trying to blow up the gophers.

  119. Too bad Grim’s gonna get knocked out of the limelight by the failure of Greece this weekend.

    Sombody should tally up all the towns there that the police and military have abandoned.

  120. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “Zillow’s stats for “Brigadoon-on-Hackensack”: River Edge Month-over-month -1.4% Quarter-over-quarter -3.9% Year-over-year -8.1%”
    30 yr/Happy Rentor, thanks for fact checking the moronic claims that ooze from jets12 like toxic sludge. Its ashame the public can’t expect a major news outlet to do the same.

  121. flyover says:

    After a two year absence, I am returning, but hope to avoid NJ. Since the company has a campus near White Plains I am thinking of renting there, or in a nearby train town such as Tuckahoe.
    I’d really appreciate comments from any here familiar with that area.

    (formerly Broken)

  122. BklynHawk says:

    Congrats, Grim! One of these days, I’ll post that I’ve jumped in or that my wife has finally run off with a homeowner.

  123. shadow (122)-

    That’s just so wrong.

  124. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Clot 125 more like scary.

  125. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Just breezed through the GSMLS for my town, blood bath. Clot you have to meet up with me one day for a tour, you would be amazed or maybe not.

  126. chicagofinance says:

    After all the work SHE put in

    A.West says:
    May 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    Re101 was robbed by Jets12. After all the work he put in as villiage idiot, jets12 stole his glory.

  127. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Chi you sure about that? Is it one of the girls playing around?

  128. Juice Box says:

    Crappy rainy weekend ahead. Might as well go look at some houses.
    Anyone have any recommended streets in Brigadoon to look at? Need to be near the
    train. And no I don’t mean Brig on the Hackensack either.

  129. 3b says:

    #152 Make that seven.

  130. Bystander says:

    Truly unbelievable – under 1000 sq ft, ancient, swiss family nightmare style home with overgrown plants sticking out from every corner. But hey- that is the finest feature according to the agent and must be worth hundreds of thousands. Perhaps George W’s cherry tree was planted there. All yours for only $514,000. Right off peaceful South Ave. in Brig-lite aka Cranford.

  131. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


    Lots of streets and lots for sale on them. I don’t get to the south side much, but the north side has lots for sale, and a decent amount is walking distance.

    Now, be advised that I consider up to one mile walking distance.

    That said, anything between Dudley and town center, or between Chestnut and town center is “walking distance” and not long. A few houses on Kimball for sale, and that is a great street. Not the quietest, but not a thorofare either–you can let the kids play out front. Also, some on Prospect for sale, which is quite convenient, but Prospect gets a decent amount of traffic for a side street (some don’t consider it a side street).

    You can go north of Dudley in the area of Highland, Bradford, Colonial, but that becomes a longer walk. I’ve done it, and it is pleasant enough in decent weather, but would be tedious in summer or winter.

    On the south side, you probably want to stay north of Park and Dorian, and east of Hyslip to keep the walk down. Don’t know what is selling there.

    There is a big difference btwn North Side and South Side in the Brig. Some folks, esp. south siders, will tell you not, and I used to think so, but now that I have been there awhile, there is a pretty big difference. Like Short Hills v. Madison different. And it should be reflected in the price. So, if a house on the So. side is comparable in both size, condition, distance to town, and price to a North side house, the South side house is overprice.

    My $0.02. Not gospel.

  132. Happy Renter says:

    [132] I never understood the desire to put columns in the middle of your living room.

    However, I do appreciate how the red cushions on the patio furniture in the basement matches the kitchen counters.

    Stay classy, Cranford.

  133. JJ says:

    Ashton Kutcher to join ‘Two and a Half Men’
    David B. Wilkerson

    CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — Ashton Kutcher will join the cast of the CBS (Symbol : CBS/ and Warner Bros. Television said Friday. Kutcher, best known for his role in the long-running comedy “That ’70s Show,” commented that he “can’t replace” Charlie Sheen, who was fired from the series earlier this year, but said he was glad to be a part of “Two and a Half Men.”

  134. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Dos Equis Finds New Spokesman
    David B. Wilkerson

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Mexican brewer Dos Equis will replace its current actor in its popular “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercial series. The eponymous bearded actor will be replaced by a relatively unknown financial industry worker from New York who is known only as “JJ.”

    In a hastily-arranged press conference, Emilio Alvarez, spokesman for Dos Equis, took questions about the change. “Everyone knew our current actor was just that–an actor.” said Alvarez. “But in JJ, we actually have someone whose lifetime of exploits is synomymous with the image we want to convey.”

    JJ is well known in his circle, and was often referred to as “the most interesting man in New York” for his legendary exploits involving cars, women, and celebrities, and his prowess as an investor. “By having JJ as our new spokesman,” said Alvarez, “we can leverage his existing persona, and the fact that all of his experiences are true, and build a new campaign on these experiences.”

    In a related development, the National Organization for Women issued a press release denouncing Dos Equis’ decision, and called for a national boycott of Dos Equis beer.

  135. Happy Renter says:

    [136] Pure awesomeness.

  136. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [133] me

    Should say “overpriced” Damn thumbs.

  137. JJ says:

    Mucho Cervaza Por Favor la chi chis es muy grande

  138. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I think the last time IRS was used this much as a political arm of the adminstration and the re-election committee, Nixon was president.

  139. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [139] JJ

    Glad you liked it but stop staring at my chi-chis.

  140. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    OT Alert

    This is freakin hilarious

  141. Juice Box says:

    Thx Comrade got it north side of the tracks are the snobs and the south side is the Wannabes.

  142. Zhang Fei says:

    Question for JJ:

    Is the current storm over Goldman much ado over nothing, or is it the tip of the iceberg? Are the Feds about to come down hard on Goldman?

  143. grim says:

    Spending my Friday the 13th in the ER with the wife, go figure.

    (no it is not remodel related)

  144. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    “1. US Treasury Adopts Prayer Strategy for GM Stock Holdings

    Remember back in 1999 when that one dude, Elliott, or maybe it was Dr. Mike the dentist, but anyway that one dude at the club told you about eToys stock? It’s amazing, he gushed. This is a company that is going to revolutionize the world of toys… somehow… with like the World Wide Internet or something. My brother’s in the stock too! And so you “took a flyer” on the thing. I mean, you’d just kick yourself if you had to play another round of golf with that jackass Dr. Mike without getting in on eToys. And then the collapse happened. Down 20 percent. In one day. Don’t worry, Dr. Mike assured everyone, this thing is coming back. Another week, another 20 percent. And then another 20 percent. And another. I finally just dumped it, Dr. Mike said. I’m putting everything in the homebuilders. With your eToys stock now a single-digit midget, there’s really little more you can do at this point but light a candle and pray. Please come back, eToys. Please. But the stock market doesn’t care about your prayers. It’s not personal, but it just doesn’t care. And so eToys stock is no more. Vanished. Gone to zero.

    Someone should explain this process and “strategy” to the US Treasury.

    The Treasury, which owns more than 30 percent of General Motors (GM), is planning to wait until after July — “for the stock to climb” — according to Bloomberg, to sell more shares in GM. Why wait? Prayer. “Treasury officials decided to wait because the stock price has traded below the $33 per-share initial public offering price,” Bloomberg reports.

    “The longer they wait, the better the return for the Treasury will be and for the taxpayer,” Dennis Virag, president of hahaha… I’m sorry, I am having a hard time typing out Dennis Virag’s role in this matter without laughing… hahaha… sorry… Dennis Virag, president of the Automotive Consulting Group… hahaha…. told Bloomberg. I mean.

  145. 3b says:

    #132 Vintage from the latin vinus tagemus; translate into English as shite box.

  146. 3b says:

    #146 Hope she is OK.

  147. chicagofinance says:


    Mikeinwaiting says:
    May 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    Chi you sure about that? Is it one of the girls playing around?

  148. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [144] juice

    This wannabe lives on the North side.

    I don’t think it is that simple, but generally South side appears to be a bit lower on the socioeconomic food chain. Not that it isn’t perfectly pleasant, but it is diffferent, and nearly all of the really high end ‘hoods in the brig (excluding mine) are on the north side.
    My place and street would fit right in on the south side, but I am sure I paid more because of my proximity to all of the swells in Wychwood and to “Wilson Prep”.

  149. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh (Milano Edition):

    MAY 13, 2011
    At Milan’s Bourse, Finger Pointing Has Business Leaders Up in Arms
    Sculptor Cattelan Made a Rude Statement; Why Not? Wall Street Has a Bull


    MILAN—Wall Street’s charging-bull statue is the very epitome of financial strength. Outside the stock exchange in Italy’s financial capital is an equally unambiguous symbol: a giant marble middle finger.

    The 36-foot white sculpture is a hand without fingers except that vulgar one, pointing away from Milan’s stock market. It was made by Italy’s most famous contemporary artist, Maurizio Cattelan, who donated it to the city last year on the condition that it grace Piazza Affari, or Business Square, where the bourse has its headquarters.

    Milan’s mayor agreed to it. Now, however, the statue is raising hackles among the city’s business and financial establishment. Consob, Italy’s stock-exchange regulator, threatened to move its annual meeting, usually held in the stock exchange, elsewhere, lest the fickle finger offend the organization’s members. Assogestioni, an Italian asset-managers group, recently moved its conference to a business school.

    Stock market Chief Executive Raffaele Jerusalmi says the view from his third-floor office onto Piazza Affari was ruined last year when the statue arrived. In March, he moved to an adjacent wing. “I don’t suffer from the finger anymore,” he says.

    The city’s politicians, however, are sticking to their guns, even making the statue part of their electoral platforms ahead of this weekend’s local elections.

    For conservative Mayor Letizia Moratti, the finger is raising Milan’s cultural profile, a goal that is part of her electoral platform. “Milan must be a capital for contemporary art,” says city councilman for culture Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, who commissioned the finger and works with Ms. Moratti. The mayor declined to comment.

    The city’s center-left candidate, Giuliano Pisapia, who is running against Ms. Moratti, also supports the statue as “a free expression of artistic creativity…that shouldn’t be censored,” he said through a spokeswoman. “It’s an open criticism of the international financial management that led to the great crisis of 2008.”

    It isn’t the only obscene gesture among expressive Italians—it has less shock value for Italians than some gestures—and it isn’t the first time the European art scene has ruffled feathers. Last month, Catholic protesters destroyed a photograph by artist Andres Serrano of a small crucifix immersed in the artist’s urine on exhibition in Avignon, France. Bulgaria has been represented by a toilet, and Germany by a network of highways in the shape of a swastika. Mr. Cattelan has titled the finger sculpture “L.O.V.E.,” an acronym for love, hate, vendetta, eternity in Italian. The Milanese refer to it simply as “il dito,” or “the finger.”

    “Some people have a sense of irony, and some do not,” Mr. Cattelan said in an interview.

    Among those who enjoy a good chuckle, Mr. Cattelan says, are his patrons, who are some of European capitalism’s biggest figures. Luxury-goods magnate Bernard Arnault paid $2.1 million for a stuffed horse suspended from the ceiling, which he keeps in his Parisian mansion. The Guggenheim Museum is planning a retrospective of Mr. Cattelan’s works in November, including a smaller version of the finger.

    Early last year, Mr. Finazzer Flory, the city official, approached Mr. Cattelan about staging an exhibition of his work in Milan, part of the mayor’s program to spotlight contemporary art. But there was one major condition: The city councilman wanted a sculpture displayed outside to complement the museum show.

    Mr. Cattelan had an idea: He would create a statue that would play on—but transform—Italy’s Fascist hand salute from the 1930s. By cutting off the fingers and mutilating the hand, he says he was criticizing the totalitarianism that ravaged Europe in the last century.

    Mr. Finazzer Flory considered putting the statue in an exhibition space near Milan’s cathedral, the Duomo, smack in the center of town, or in a large park. Then he thought of Piazza Affari, a very central square usually cluttered with illegally parked cars, and its grandest building, the 1932 Palazzo Mezzanotte, the stock exchange headquarters, which is a hallmark of Fascist architecture.

    “When he proposed Piazza Affari, the whole project just made sense,” says Mr. Cattelan. The city council approved the finger’s placement in Piazza Affari for a month starting last September, coinciding with the museum exhibition.

    Milan’s business community was immediately up in arms. When they saw a draft picture of the statue, Mr. Jerusalmi consulted with the chairmen of Consob and Telecom Italia, who all opposed the digit being erected in front of their offices. Mr. Jerusalmi wrote a letter to Ms. Moratti expressing his opinion. The mayor and Mr. Finazzer Flory met with Mr. Jerusalmi to explain the project, but did not alter their plans.

    The finger encountered further opposition in January from within Ms. Moratti’s inner circle. Mr. Finazzer Flory wanted to extend the hand’s stay to a year from its initial month-long run. Yet five of the 15 city councilmen boycotted the vote.

    “Between the bourse and Cattelan, I choose the bourse,” one of the dissenters, city councilman for urban development Carlo Masseroli said at the time. “It’s undeniable that Cattelan’s work ridicules the bourse, otherwise the insistence on the location wouldn’t make sense.” Mr. Masseroli declined to comment, but his spokesman confirmed his opposition to the statue.

    The measure squeaked through and the finger is now in place until September. It has public support: an online petition that has been circulating across the country has so far gathered 1,800 signatures to keep the sculpture put. If Ms. Moratti is re-elected, Mr. Finazzer Flory said he will suggest it remain in Piazza Affari until 2013, when it could move to a new contemporary art museum.

    On a recent spring day, office workers took their lunch break on the finger’s pedestal. Anna Garegnani, a consultant whose office is on the opposite side of the piazza from the bourse, is a fan of the finger. “It makes Piazza Affari look like a De Chirico painting,” she said, referring to the surrealist artist, citing a particular attraction for the hand’s “beautiful” veins.

    In fact, the middle finger is directed at Ms. Garegnani’s side of the square; the palm of the hand faces the stock exchange. “It’s actually more the stock exchange giving the middle finger to the world,” quips Mr. Cattelan.
    —Sabrina Cohen contributed to this article.

  150. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Hope all is well with you and the smokin’ hot spouse, there Grim.

  151. Happy Renter says:

    [147] Hope everything is OK Grim, and hope it wasn’t your fault!

    Last time I was at the ER, my preschooler puked on me as I was signing the entry paperwork. Good times.

  152. Juice Box says:

    re: #151 – Comrade – Should I let Sue Adler dispense some train town advise to my wife as well?

  153. Bystander says:


    Are you saying the “rare 100 year old copper beach tree” is not worth 200k by itself?? The beech tree’s latin name is fagus sylvatica purpurea – translated means owner’s n*tsack squeezed purple by contractors until it falls off.

  154. cobbler says:

    Danila Andreyev started building “panic rooms” three years ago, when fears of terrorist attacks and commercial disputes turning violent created demand in Russia. Now he’s selling “survival bunkers” for as much as $400,000 each to capitalize on angst over theories the world will end next year.

    “I myself am not a believer in doomsday scenarios,” Andreyev, 31, whose Spetsgeoproekt company is completing 15 bunkers at hidden locations across Russia, said at his office in central Moscow. “But when you start hearing clients talking about the end of the world, it gets you thinking.”

    While Russia has been a target for terrorists, with 37 people dying in a blast at Moscow’s busiest airport in January, more people are looking to protect themselves from what Andreyev calls a “global cataclysm” in 2012 based on predictions such as interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar.

    Northwest Shelter Systems, a company based in Sandpoint, Idaho, that specializes in nuclear bomb shelters, has seen the number of inquiries from potential customers rise as much as 60 percent since the March tsunami and earthquake in Japan, Allen Thompson, vice president, said by e-mail.

    The Vivos Group, a California-based bunker builder with a website that features a meteor striking Earth, said requests for a shelter in one of its facilities jumped by 10 times since the disaster, which left about 25,000 people dead or missing.

    Be Prepared
    “Hundreds of applications” come from Russia and other former Soviet states, Vivos founder Robert Vicino said by e- mail. The nearest Vivos shelter is at an unidentified location in central Europe, he said. It costs about $25,000 per person.

    “Every person has a different belief or sense of what may be ahead for all of us,” Vicino said. “Vivos is not about 2012, but having a life assurance solution for our families for whenever disaster strikes.”

    Vivos is building facilities in the U.S. and elsewhere. It said in January it was considering buying a two-story bunker constructed for the U.K. government in 1990 in rural Scotland.

    Spetsgeoproekt, which stands for Special Geological Projects, plans to open a showroom in the affluent Moscow neighborhood of Rublevka this year and is expanding into Russia’s regions, Andreyev said.

    The company’s bunkers range from 35 to 90 square meters (377 to 969 square feet). Maintaining the unit, including the air system, runs about $2,500 a year, he said.

    Avoiding Floods
    Altai, the mountainous southern Siberian region that borders China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, is of particular interest because it’s believed to be “flood proof,” Andreyev said. Spetsgeoproekt started building an 80 square-meter, $350,000 bunker in Altai.

    “They all say the same thing: Next year there’ll be a polar shift or something and most of Russia will be flooded except for Altai and a few other regions,” Andreyev said.

    Alexei, 35, one of Andreyev’s clients, said distress over the coming apocalypse prompted him in February to order the construction of a $150,000 bunker big enough to shelter eight people outside of Moscow. He declined to give his full name to keep it secret that he ordered a bunker.

    Something catastrophic will certainly happen next year, Alexei said in a telephone interview.

    “It all points to some shake-up on Dec. 21, 2012,” Alexei said, citing his interpretations of the doomsday predictions of 16th century French apothecary Nostradamus, the blind Bulgarian mystic Baba Vanga and the Mayan calendar.

    Soviet Designs
    Andreyev said his bunkers are based on Soviet military designs from the 1970s and modified with modern technologies. The walls resemble those used in nuclear power stations and the air systems are akin to those used in spaceships and submarines. The doors are similar to those in Swiss bank vaults, he said. …

  155. Juice Box says:

    The should have gotten Richard Simmons to play Barney.

  156. JJ says:

    next happy hour overlooklounge in midtown, 44 street. My new favorite bar, however I change that honor everyfew weeks for last 25 years so not much of a honor.

  157. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Juice 159 looked through the actors set to play this group of (insert adj of choice) some are just dead on. Great casting work whatever else can be said of it, now let use see how the acting is.

  158. Barbara says:

    99. Neanderthal

    “No mention of the original ask. No discussion of what the home would have sold for in 2004-06, when you were first calling bubble. Those ‘discounts’ are much more than the quoted 9%. Overall its a cute/feel good piece although they glossed over the most valuable themes and missed the nuanced nuggets entirely. Leaving jj’s suny stories out completely was just one example of that shortcoming.”

    I actually thought the piece was very “neener neener” snarky. Like “big bad real estate shark blog gives in for 9%.”

  159. ditto says:

    a 100yr old copper beech (not beach) is something I’d be interested in as adding attraction to the house. I like landscapes with mature trees. You’d have a heck of a time trying to buy one, plus beech trees don’t move well and generally die if you try to relocate them.

  160. grim says:

    162 – original owners, ask was actually reasonable.

  161. ditto says:

    So anyhoo – looks like Obama is going to get ride of the mortgage interest deduction AND remove the social security cap at the same time to boot.
    Massive middle class tax increase coming your way soon!

  162. JD says:

    Congrats on the home purchase. Just a question, in the article it said you still have a rental apartment in Clifton. We are in the same situation, have a rental lease until early next year, but have seen 2 homes, where like yours, the comps justify even the asking price, a bonus if we can get a little lower. Ready to buy, 20% in hand, mortgage shouldn’t be a problem.

    Were you able to break your lease or something? Or are you paying both? I’m in a miserable garden apartment in the Wayne area, lot of problems with the place and the trash that lives here. Ready to pull the trigger on a home but feel like this rental is a noose on us.

  163. ditto says:

    get ride of = get rid of

  164. Nation of Wussies HEHEHE says:

    “My new favorite bar, however I change that honor everyfew weeks for last 25 years so not much of a honor.”

    Right around the time the JJ picture pops up behind the bar along with the other “do not serve to this customer” photos?

  165. Barbara says:

    is the for income properties as well or just your residence re: the mortgage interest deduction.

  166. ditto says:

    Babs- I don’t know. Can’t -you just ramp up the “loss” against your “normal income”, but you need to ask someone who knows more than nothing about that, i.e. not me.

  167. Mikeinwaiting says:

    HeHe 168 LOL.

  168. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barb ,ditto Que Nom?
    ditto you have a link to that info?

  169. ditto says:

    Mikeinwaiting – they haven’t been put in the same article yet – but someone needs to calculate what effect both together will have on middle class in the Northeast. Here’s some individudal links. Who knows if he’ll pull it off. If he does, its gonna be hella pricey for the Northeast middle class.

    social security cap:

    mortgage interest deduction

  170. Mikeinwaiting says:

    ditto, then house prices will decline appropriately, no.

  171. Mikeinwaiting says:

    I really have to look into it further but on the mortgage deduction I think it should go.
    The Gov. has no business in supporting housing incentives such as this, tax credits, all just make housing more expensive you pay you just don’t realize it.
    SS increase, I do not believe we have much choice we will run out of money, what are we going to do with all the old folks. Remember the boomers are coming. If you take my first line of reasoning then older folks will have to live with their kids,let it run out so be it. But again you pay either way.

  172. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “its gonna be hella pricey for the Northeast middle class.” More renting ,generational living, we are not prosperous enough as a nation for everyone to leave home get a house & so on & so on for generations. We better get used to it.

  173. Barbara says:

    Refi question.
    Chase holds all of my mortgages and wants to refi and its worth doing. They are letting me get into 10 and 15 yr so as not to reset back to 30. Its all good but the fees are no bargin, despite being told otherwise. Have any of you had success with negotiating these fees down if its coming out of the same bank that holds your current mortgage?

  174. Neanderthal Economist says:

    173 ditto. The ss cap is $107k per individual. If two working parents are hitting the cap, I don’t think theyre really middle class, unless they live in or around sf, ny or boston. Pushing that up is more like a tax on middle upper or rich.

  175. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Barb it would seem strange to me that fees are so high (depends on what you consider high) doing a in-house refi, think they are trying to take you IMHO. Others may have more recent experience.

  176. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Vets 178 agreed. Overall a lesser of two evils.

  177. NWNJHighlander says:

    I’m taking credit for the this:
    “Others asked whether Mr. Bednar would disband the blog, for which he is unpaid (definitely not, he said),”
    I got quoted in the NYTimes, as Other…

    Anyways, Grim, congrats again.
    Are you in Wayne Valley HS or Wayne Hills HS school district?
    I live very close and know many a contractor/supplier in the area, if you want some referrals when pricing out projects, send me an email…
    One thing I should mention, there is a sociopath obstructionist working in the Wayne permits department. The town can not fire the SOB… he was fired from similar positions in other nearby towns for cause, and yet always given glowing recommendations by supervisors happy to get rid of him,…

    IF you are searching for a good slice of pizza, try Preakness Pizza. 15 Preakness Shopping Center Wayne, NJ… probably the best in town, been there for almost 40 years or more now… family owned all those years. Then walk down 7 storefronts and gawk at the Housewives of New Jersey boutique store…. while holding eating your slice.

    IF searching for kitchen appliances, check out Reno’s in Paterson, 3.5% sales tax… or the Lowes next door, also 3.5%, but at your home’s price point, Reno’s has more upper middle line options.

    If you are looking for any specialty equipment for your DIY projects, check out in midland park.

  178. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Medicare and Social Security will go bust sooner than previously thought, as a slow-growing economy saps revenues, a new report says. Trustees say the Medicare trust fund is projected to exhaust its funds in 2024, not 2029 as estimated last year, and Social Security will run out of money in 2036, not 2037.

    Hence the move by Bojangles.

  179. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Link Mr Bojangles:
    Great listen mediocre to poor Pres.

  180. NWNJHighlander says:

    I forgot to mention, my buddy just bought a house 15 minutes west of you , foreclosed 3/2 on a full acre, major reno done in 1998, backs over 1000 acres of state parkland, for $98k total total. Closing next week. Took 15 months for bank to approve the sale, my buddy lowered his offer from 125k to 90k , and the bank finally approved. Buddy got married, had a kid, bought a truck, etc while waiting patiently for the bank’s agent and lawyer to finally get off their arses and do something about the property.

    He’s going to put in $30k or so and call in some favors (I’m doing the tile work), and the house will appraise for $200k by November.

    Life is good, the house next door to the one above is 140+ days deliquent and unoccupied, I’m going to put in an offer using my buddy’s purchase as the comp… maybe by 2012 I’ll own it.

  181. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim you need a contractor use Stu’s & my guy, honest, reasonable.

  182. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    The mortgage interest deduction is one that the left has tried to get rid of for a long time as doing so will fulfill two goals: increase the progressivity of the tax code, and lower the cost of housing (if only incrementally).

    In addition, the left flat out hates this deduction because most of it inures to the so-called “rich”.

  183. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    the problem with a payroll tax hike for SS are four little words:

    “not one thin dime”

    So unless he figures out a way to exempt the income between $107K and $250K, he violates his campaign pledge in a very big way (he’s already violated it with other code changes that raise revenue from the lower and middle class, but that fact doesn’t get reported much).

  184. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [168] hehehe

    “Right around the time the JJ picture pops up behind the bar along with the other “do not serve to this customer” photos?”

    Damn, you beat me to it. I was gonna mention restraining orders brought by waitresses, but same thing.

  185. nj escapee says:

    Congratulations from the sunny Florida Keys to Mr and Mrs Bednar. Nice article and photo.

  186. Al Mossberg says:



    I figure an MG 42 would do for the wealthy folks. Im not wealthy so Ill stick to the basics. I figure my Mossberg 500 with 3-400 slugs should do the job.

  187. Al Mossberg says:



    Medicare is a f_cking joke. How about you tow my car for the cost of gas. If you are dependent on gov programs you will be wasted in the upcoming carnage.

  188. Shore Guy says:

    “not one thin dime”

    He will NOT lie. I guarantee that nobody will face $.10 tax increase. $1,000? Sure! Just not $.10.

  189. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Al 191 My Aunt just got a pacemaker put in, 85 in other wise great shape. On medicare great care no problems, home now doing fine. On the other side I have Doctors friends who say just about what you did. One just rolled it up, does a bunch of other things, he can he is very well healed.

  190. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Nom 187 just kick it in over 300k have a hole between that & 107. Seems easy enough that is why I’m sure there is a reason I’m not thinking about that he can’t.

  191. Pat says:

    Yeah, um, jb..thanks for the pic. Didn’t think we’d get one.

  192. Pat says:

    ER? I like the ER, usually. But I’m used to it and everybody knows me.

    You guys ok? Best ER time I ever had was when I was pregnant at during basketball finals. I dropped the corner of a 15×12 glass sheet I was cleaning for a framing through the top of my leg. Sat there all night and some prisoner in leg irons and an orange jumpsuit helped me stopped the bleeding.

    Everybody was watching the sets. Finally, the doc comes out. I could hear the TV still going in the back. Then he looks at my husband and asks him, accusingly, what he did to me.

  193. still_looking says:

    Mike, 193

    Had this conversation with an Ortho re admitting a hip fracture patient. When you start talking criminal charges [yes, criminal charges!] for not following the Obama care plan, who do you think wins?

    Hmmm… criminal charges means I now need a lawyer. Who is this drumming up business for? People are too stupid to read between the lines of bullshit.

    We are finished folks. Done. Lawyers are making the laws.


  194. serenity now says:

    Best of luck on your new project Grim!

  195. grim says:

    Will start posting the pics once the real work starts, I’d like to do lots of before/after shots.

    As for wallpaper, it’s everywhere, but we may actually keep the green psychedelic geopatterned stuff, it’s very much my style. Took about 3 days to get the wallpaper out of the dining room, and it was only half a wall due to the wainscot. Made it a bit easier that the original walls were skimcoated and sized. We’re in the process of skimcoating and sanding now, should be ready for paint and primer soon.

    Paneling everywhere as well, but that was just nailed over sheetrock, so no big deal. Except for the family room where they paneled directly over the studs (was this ever code? Fire hazard indeed).

  196. Outofstater says:

    Congrats, Grim! Fixing up your first house together is always a lot of fun!

    Totally OT, but the Corps of Engineers is planning to open the Morganza Floodway in Louisiana today and there is some talk that the Mississippi might carve a new path to the Gulf, bypassing New Orleans. Apparently, if it weren’t for the Corps projects, the river would have bypassed NO a long time ago. Anyway, the local radio station has some interesting articles. These are the folks who were the lifeline of communication for the city during Katrina.

  197. Shore Guy says:

    “Fixing up your first house together is always a lot of fun!”

    Or the first step towards divorce.

  198. Mikeinwaiting says:

    “Fixing up your first house together is always a lot of fun!”
    Like a stick in the eye.

  199. still_looking says:

    “Fixing up your first house together is always a lot of fun!”

    Just ask Anna and Walter.


  200. Well, I’m be damned. Grim decided to leave the damn dark side and buy a house! And he didn’t rip off the seller. There’s hope yet! Like I’ve always said, they’re not making anymore damn real estate and at some point, you need a damn house and at some point you’re going to want my damn house, which is why I’m not giving it away. The only smear on that article was the extensive quotes from the radical turncoat terrorist realtor Clotpoll. Clearly, he’s friends with the damn reporter to get quoted extensively like that. That’s bullspit.

  201. >>>Reeves Hughes, a real estate broker in Branchburg who uses his nickname “Chip” on the site, opined that right now “no blanket statements” about the market are appropriate. Contacted by phone, Mr. Hughes said that went for the implications of Grim’s purchase as well. <<<<

    This is bullspit. When has Clot EVER used the nickname "Chip"? Hell, he's calling himself a damn Hobo with a damn gun even now. This is total bullspit and just goes to show how corrupt the damn liberal NY Times is. As much as I've contributed to this damn site and they have the damn nerve not to include me? This is bullspit.

  202. Dissident HEHEHE says:


    You know who never uses wallpaper for decorating? People who’ve had to remove wallpaper:)

  203. 3b says:

    The local school budget in Brig on Hack was defeated in April, by a substanial majority. Some of the local moms (its always the moms because of course they know best), went ballistic, and insisted the Mayor and Council pass the budget as is. They of course folded and passed the budget as demanded by the moms. So much for democracy;your vote means nothing. Just another reason to leave. Tired of some clueless moms running the place.

  204. LWG says:

    Never, ever would I use wallpaper …this house had circa 1970’s rice wall paper (yes as ugly as it sounds) in the ” Asian style” living room and it took 2 guys 2 full days with razor blades to remove it, an inch at a time. Gross. Faux painting can be ugly too but SO much easier to undo. Kudos to those guys tho…what a job and now the walls are as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

  205. scribe says:

    JJ named his favorite bar hangout (??)

    Is this an invite to go to the bar and try to pick him out of the crowd?

  206. scribe says:

    That would be a fitting end to the blog …. JJ revealed!

  207. grim says:


    Your guy do exterior soffit work? Need to have some wood soffit repaired, and painted. Nothing too difficult, but not ready to tackle the exterior (reside with Hardy Artisan) as the original miter cornered cedar still has some good life left.

  208. Outing jj should definitely be the final act of this blog (if & when it occurs).

    Unfortunately, I fear if this blog ever goes down, I will begin every day with a shot of grain alcohol.

  209. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [194] mike

    Raising the payroll tax on folks over 250K but not under it leaves a huge hole, so much so that is almost isn’t worth doing it.

    Further, if you cut it off at 107K, and it kicks back in at 250K, then you incentivize this cohort to manipulate their income subject to payroll taxes, and take other income in the form of stock options, grants, etc. Also, Warren may be earning 50mm a year, but nearly all of that is investment income or the aforesaid options, grants, etc. So Warren may not see his payroll tax increase appreciably (nor would he much care).

    It’s the HENRYs that will get slammed, and factor in a tax hike and you have increased the effective tax rate on this group by about 10% or more. Lotsa studies show that the more a tax increases, the more people go out of their way to avoid it. That is why projections are almost always off.

  210. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Yahoo reporting that a 28 year old enforcer for the Rangers died. I am no fan of the Blueshirts (Go Bruins!), but that is tragic.

  211. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [212] clot

    You mean you aren’t already beginning each day with a mason jar in hand?

  212. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [209] scribe

    I found the perfect prop for that!!!!! Dos Equis produced a life sized cut out of the Most Interesting Man in the World for its beer displays. I offered to buy the one from Stew Leonards, but the guy there told me a staffer already had dibs on it.

    And I thought my press release was pretty funny, but only one person thought so. Guess I should hit the grain alcohol before blogging.

  213. Druckenmiller calls circle jerk on the Fed/Treasury hamster wheel to nowhere.

    “We hadn’t heard much from legendary investor Stanley Druckenmiller since last August when he decided to shut down his Duquesne Capital hedge fund. Until today. In a must read interview, the man who took on the Bank of England in 1992 and won, says that he joins the camp of Bill Gross et al, making it all too clear that all the recent fearmongering about the lack of a debt ceiling hike by the likes of Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and, of course, all of Wall Street, is misplaced, and that the real threat to the country is the continuation of the current profligate pathway of endless spending. From the WSJ: “Mr. Druckenmiller had already recognized that the government had embarked on a long-term march to financial ruin. So he publicly opposed the hysterical warnings from financial eminences, similar to those we hear today. He recalls that then-Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin warned that if the political stand-off forced the government to delay a debt payment, the Treasury bond market would be impaired for 20 years. “Excuse me? Russia had a real default and two or three years later they had all-time low interest rates,” says Mr. Druckenmiller. In the future, he says, “People aren’t going to wonder whether 20 years ago we delayed an interest payment for six days. They’re going to wonder whether we got our house in order.” Which begs the question: if interest rates are so low today, is the market not appreciating the current path of “financial ruin”? And here is where Druckenmiller joins the Grosses and the Granthams of the world. Asked if the future is not so bad judging by today’s low bond rates he says, “Complete nonsense. It’s not a free market. It’s not a clean market.” The Federal Reserve is doing much of the buying of Treasury bonds lately through its “quantitative easing” (QE) program, he points out. “The market isn’t saying anything about the future. It’s saying there’s a phony buyer of $19 billion of Treasurys a week.” Of course, there is another name for this type of arrangement and so far only Bill Gross has used it: Ponzi Scheme.”

  214. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Still can’t get over the ny times actually printing someone claiming prices are up 26%. That’s equivalent to quoting franks outlook on retail earnings based on the length of lines at the madison ave ambercrombie & fitch. Yet theyll conveniently edit ‘chip’s’ claim of 40 years into the wilderness, which I don’t believe is accurate either but that’s beside the point.

  215. Shore Guy says:

    What were ther odds someone in a regulatory position would use it to feather their owen nest by getting a job with a company they helped out while working as a regulator?

  216. Shore Guy says:

    From 217 article:

    He contemplates the possibilities for bond investors if a drawn-out negotiation in Washington creates a short-term problem in servicing the debt but ultimately reduces spending:

    “Here are your two options: piece of paper number one—let’s just call it a 10-year Treasury. So I own this piece of paper. I get an income stream obviously over 10 years . . . and one of my interest payments is going to be delayed, I don’t know, six days, eight days, 15 days, but I know I’m going to get it. There’s not a doubt in my mind that it’s not going to pay, but it’s going to be delayed. But in exchange for that, let’s suppose I know I’m going to get massive cuts in entitlements and the government is going to get their house in order so my payments seven, eight, nine, 10 years out are much more assured,” he says.

    Then there’s “piece of paper number two,” he says, under a scenario in which the debt limit is quickly raised to avoid any possible disruption in payments. “I don’t have to wait six, eight, or 10 days for one of my many payments over 10 years. I get it on time. But we’re going to continue to pile up trillions of dollars of debt and I may have a Greek situation on my hands in six or seven years. Now as an owner, which piece of paper do I want to own? To me it’s a no-brainer. It’s piece of paper number one.”

    Mr. Druckenmiller says that markets know the difference between a default in which a country will not repay its debts and a technical default, in which investors may have to wait a short period for a particular interest payment. Under the second scenario, he doubts that investors such as the Chinese government would sell their Treasury debt and take losses on the way out—”because I’ll guarantee you people like me will buy it immediately.”

  217. Shore Guy says:

    As is this:

    Mr. Druckenmiller is puzzled that so many financial commentators see the possible failure to raise the debt ceiling as more serious than the possibility that the government will accumulate too much debt. “I’m just flabbergasted that we’re getting all this commentary about catastrophic consequences, including from the chairman of the Federal Reserve, about this situation but none of these guys bothered to write letters or whatever about the real situation which is we’re piling up trillions of dollars of debt.”

    He’s particularly puzzled that Mr. Geithner and others keep arguing that spending shouldn’t be cut, and yet the White House has ruled out reform of future entitlement liabilities—the one spending category Mr. Druckenmiller says you can cut without any near-term impact on the economy.

    One reason Mr. Druckenmiller says he spoke up in 1995 was his recognition that the first baby boomers would turn 65 in 2010, so taxpayers would soon have to start supporting a much larger population of retirees. “Well,” he says today, “the last time I checked, it’s 2011. We don’t have another 16 years this time. We’re there. I don’t know whether the markets give us three years or four years or five years, but we’re there. We’re not going to be having this conversation in 16 years. We’re either going to solve it or we’re going to find ourselves being Greece somewhere down the road.”

  218. Yikes says:

    Congrats, grim! Been off the site for a few months after my wife had our first baby, but I was actually going to post this weekend: house down the street went on the market today. :(

  219. 3b says:

    #219 It does not reflect well on River Edge either in that there is a resident in town that is so completely clueless, in major denial,and simply a moron. But then again, I really should not be surprised.

  220. I didn’t know that.

  221. House Whine says:

    213- Who are the HENRY’S?

  222. cobbler says:

    Druckenmiller is nuts, and is shamelessly talking up his short. This whole idea of becoming Greece doesn’t make any sense as long as we are borrowing in $$ rather than foreign currency. Before the advent of the Euro Greece had financial crisis every 5 years, and no one cared as long as their debt was in constantly inflating drachma. Default, even technical, is not an option, and Treasury will continue paying interest on the bonds, so it will not pay contractors bills instead – so we’ll start building up $35 bil a week of arrears which will get the economy right to post-Lehman. Even worse, most of the govt debt is very short-term; I am not sure that these notes can be legally rolled over if the debt ceiling is reached. If not, they have to be cashed out which is another claim on the Treasury, and probably will suspend all payments except Social Security and salaries – so, hospitals and Medicare docs will stop getting paid. Then, we are way worse than post-Lehman and in nompound time in a jiffy.

  223. Outofstater says:

    Police hauled the IMF’s Strauss-Khan off a NY-Paris flight today and he remains in custody following a complaint by a hotel maid of, well, conduct unbecoming. Check ZH for details – I think the link would get sent to moderation. Too bad DSK didn’t show a little moderation.

  224. cobbler (226)-

    In case you haven’t noticed, the US is Lehman Bros…writ even larger.

  225. Although the eventual run on the US will make the one on Lehman seem like a slow line at Starbucks.

  226. relo says:


    Based on the pic, to borrow a phrase, you’ve out-punted your coverage spouse-wise (Seif too, way to rep the blog). We have that in common. Meanwhile JJ just keeps talking the talk. Good luck and congrats.

  227. cobbler says:

    outofstater [227]
    IMF internal memo: make sure that diplomatic passports are issued to the top officials.

    The 32-year-old woman told authorities that she entered Strauss-Kahn’s room at the luxury Sofitel hotel not far from Manhattan’s Times Square at about 1 p.m. Saturday and he emerged from the bedroom n-aked, threw her down and attacked her, Browne said.
    She told authorities that he tried to force her to perform oral s*x on him. She somehow broke free and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said. They called police.
    When New York City police detectives arrived moments later, Strauss-Kahn had already left the hotel, leaving behind his cellphone, Browne said. “It looked like he got out of there in a hurry,” Browne said.
    The NYPD discovered that he was at the airport and contacted the Port Authority, who plucked Kahn from first class on the Air France flight that was just about to leave the gate.

  228. cobbler says:

    hobo [229]
    The bank run will be the least of concerns. We’ll be losing at least 2.5 mln jobs a month, likely more, so better than 100K every weekday.

  229. Libtard says:


    Mike would probably do the soffit work, but if you steal him away from my projects, then you’re dead. He redid about 1/3rd of my roof and his dad (Wood Fashion by John) did the gutters. They tag team a lot. Both are really good honest guys.

  230. willwork4beer says:


    Congrats on the house. And the press.

  231. willwork4beer says:

    #225 Whine

    HENRY = High Earner Not Rich Yet

  232. grim says:

    I offered to buy the one from Stew Leonards, but the guy there told me a staffer already had dibs on it.

    I saw one go for more than 100 bucks on eBay. Local mexican joint says they get stolen regularly.

  233. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    (236) grim

    JJ can’t stand competition.

  234. Lone Ranger says:

    “We’re either going to solve it or we’re going to find ourselves being Greece somewhere down the road.”

    We are worse than Greece; simply a third world country with a printing press. I wonder when Wantanapolous will surface again.

  235. Lone Ranger says:

    Will Sam Ali be making a cameo appearance at the Star Ledger for an article on JB?

  236. gary says:

    By the way, I’m starting to see some “3” handles in the semi-haughty areas. Some of the outer suburbs have some “2” handles here and there, too. Nothing to fear though, if you can block out the smell of p1ss in the air, we’re insulated due to proximity to NYC, so I’m told.

  237. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Grim 211 Have Stu shoot you over Brians # or email me & I will . He can do it or his dad can.

  238. Neanderthal Economist says:

    “We are worse than Greece; simply a third world country with a printing press.”
    lone, you don’t believe this because its not true. Our high debt is both temporary and relative. It certainly doesn’t make us el salvador.

  239. JJ says:

    Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    May 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    First of all only one restraining order ever. Some girl would not go away, it was like fatal attraction. Cops are not very caring when your criminal complaint is she just wants to do me make her stop.

    The Overlook was good last week, happy hour five days a week till six, a special every night, live band, no cover, outdoor patio and two blocks to grand central.

    Have a short sale and an estate sale walking distance to my house listed this weekend. Both at 2002 prices. Nine years of zero appreciation!!!!

    Sounds more like a marriage than a home purchase.

    [168] hehehe

    “Right around the time the JJ picture pops up behind the bar along with the other “do not serve to this customer” photos?”

    Damn, you beat me to it. I was gonna mention restraining orders brought by waitresses, but same thing.

  240. Congratulations to Grim if he got a good deal relative to renting the same thing. If not, well, then it’s not a happy occasion.

    I’m a housing bubble blogger myself ( ) but nowhere near buying a house, because it’s still so utterly insane in coastal California. Renting is still far cheaper than owning the same thing around here, by a factor of two or more.

  241. Pat says:

    Patrick, my distaste of and distrust of the entire real estate industry will take a lot longer to heal than your silly issue with rent/price ratios. ;)

    Feelings last a lot longer in memory than numbers.

    Lotsa hate, dude.

  242. Barbara says:

    our kid’s future RE reality outside of our basements.

  243. Mikeinwaiting says:

    JJ 243 on a Sunday, I think that is a first.

  244. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


  245. Anon E. Moose says:

    scribe [91]:

    When’s the house warming?

    I smell a BYO Sledgehammer demo GTG. And the Times photo doesn’t do justice to how tall JB is.

  246. Pat says:

    Barbara, that may not be limited to our kids.

    I’d love to see a survey. Boomers over 55.

    What % wish they’d never purchased a home.

    What % know they’ve made a mistake in their home purchase.

    What % agree that they’d be better off financially/physically/mentally had they not purchased.

    What % agree that government sponsorship and expenditures of our tax dollars impacted their home purchase decision.

    What percentage agree that there are relationships between home ownership, neighborhood safety, school value and life quality.

    What percentage think that those links could be re-created using only a profit model and enforcement.

  247. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Further proof of the old adage, the government doesn’t like competition.

    Next in the crosshairs: Tax Masters.

  248. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Follow up on my earlier post on this subject.

    As if they would admit it.

  249. Barbara says:

    anyone of any age who bought 2004-2008 regrets their purchase. Might even push it back to 2001

  250. Fabius Maximus says:

    Now this is inventive…..

    Even for the Lincoln Centre it was an unusual show, and an unscheduled one. Several hundred protesters turned up outside the arts complex on Manhattan’s Upper West Side last week for the guerrilla screening of a short film. From a hotel on the other side of the street, a video was projected on to the centre’s walls. The unwitting stars of the films were David and Charles Koch, the reclusive rightwing billionaire brothers whose secretive empire and network of influence and funding is emerging as a liberal rallying cause in America.

  251. Fabius Maximus says:

    #251 Nom,

    Did Roni Deutch buy Enrons shredders in the fire sale?

    “In August, the Attorney General filed a $34 million lawsuit against Deutch for swindling thousands of people facing serious and expensive tax collection problems with the IRS. On August 31, the court issued an order that prohibited Deutch from destroying evidence.

    “Despite this order,” the Attorney General said in today’s action, “Deutch has been routinely shredding documents on an almost a weekly basis.” The Attorney General estimates that to date Deutch has shredded some 1,643,000 to 2,708,600 pages of documents. Deutch’s shredding campaign has permanently deprived the Attorney General of evidence needed to fully prosecute the action against her. “

  252. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    BIG PAPI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  253. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    YOOOOOOOOOOK!!!!!!!!! With a little help from A-Rod!!!!!!

  254. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [256] fabius

    My penalties and prosecutions prof. at NYU did not think much of Roni or her ilk because of the wild promises. I think that alone is worthy of investigation for fraudulent and deceptive business claims, but advertising is largely exempt.

    But the allegations were surprising, and lead me to believe that her constant ads were evidence of a growing ponzi scheme.

  255. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


  256. Shore Guy says:

    The only Re agency I will alow to represent me is the von Schtupp agency.

  257. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [261] shore

    Isn’t schtupp the modus operandi of all RE firms???

  258. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


    Oh yeah, I can sleep tonight.

  259. jamesellison78 says:

    When You plan to move from your home in the next few years dont refinance your mortgage, use tools from “123 Mortgage Refi” they make it easy to check your current loan and provide you the solution

  260. livinginpa says:

    ok, so last week you all confirmed my feeling that renting in Bucks for the next year wouldn’t be so bad and probably most prudent. The quest to find a suitable rental for a family of 4 (which is not proving easy) vs. making the “move up” purchase this summer (which is also not proving easy) continues to loom. Our house is sold and we gotta get out in 2 months. As you all point out, you can’t have tomorrow’s price today, but man most of these sellers are still smoking crack. The Northern NJ market does not have the “we’re different here” perception locked up. (Those that get it and have priced accordingly go under contract within days; unfortunatley none of those around at the moment) So, advice please… spouse and I are trying to get a handle on how big a discount we should be looking for at this point. I’m aware of the recent Zillow statistics and in order to try to minimize the drop if we purchase this summer, it looks like we should be looking for 5-7% below last year’s sales. The problem is getting anyone to even pay attention to this kind of offer. Also, we are inclined NOT to put 20% down given that we’d like to use other people’s money rather than sell our own assets to make this move. Thoughts?

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