Pleas to “hit the number” largely ignored

From Reuters:

U.S. housing faces extra drag – low appraisals

When Sean McGowan signed a contract to buy a New Jersey home in November, he didn’t expect he’d still be living with his parents nearly a year later.

The deal fell through after two appraisals came in tens of thousands of dollars below the contract price, part of a wider trend of differences over property valuations that is compounding the U.S. housing crisis.

“It was very frustrating. We really wanted to move in,” said McGowan, a 31-year-old real estate lawyer.

Many housing experts say low appraisals are yet another headwind for a housing market already suffering from a plunge in prices, high unemployment and tight credit.

Lenders are forced to cap their mortgage loans at the value set by appraisers and buyers and sellers often can’t agree on how to make up the difference with an original deal price.

“It’s hard to talk about any recovery of the housing market and home prices until the appraisal issue is squared away, and that is a broad issue,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, a Maryland-based trade publication.

Sixteen percent of Realtors reported contract cancellations in July, matching June’s level, which was the highest since March 2010, when the National Association of Realtors began collecting data.

Nine percent reported contract delays due to low appraisals, and 13 percent reported a contract was renegotiated to a lower price because an appraisal came in below the original price in the last three months, the NAR said.

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111 Responses to Pleas to “hit the number” largely ignored

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. grim says:

    From HousingWire:

    Analysts: Home sales going nowhere fast

    Analysts reacted to the July new home sales decline Tuesday with dread, saying the housing market has years of stalled recovery ahead.

    The Commerce Department reported the seasonally adjusted rate of new home sales in July declined 6.8% from one year ago, coming in below analyst expectations. Sales slumped back below the 300,000 market and sit not too far from the low of 278,000 units in August 2010.

    “Sales of new homes are going nowhere fast,” said Celia Chen, senior director at Moody’s Analytics. “An economy hampered by political wrangling over the budget deficit and the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone is weighing on job growth and consumer confidence. Demand for homes remains very soft despite mortgage interest rates that are falling to new lows.”

    New home sales have to compete with a flood of distressed and previously foreclosed properties. The Commerce Department estimates roughly 165,000 new homes for sale on the market, roughly equal to a 6.6-month supply. However, the shadow inventory of distressed property ranges as high as 4.5 million properties, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

    Standard & Poor’s recently said the market would need 44 months to work through the shadow inventory supply.

    Chen said job creation will remain weak for the rest of the year, keeping new home sales at this bottom lull before picking up in 2012.

    “To be sure, new-home demand still faces many obstacles, and the risks to this outlook are decidedly on the downside,” Chen said.

  3. grim says:

    The next real estate boom? Nursing Homes? Hop on folks, they ain’t making more Craftmatic Adjustable Beds, can’t lose!

    From the NYT:

    Some Builders Are Ready for the Wave of Seniors

    When the housing market collapsed in 2008, construction of retirement and assisted-living housing ground to a halt, just as it did in most commercial real estate sectors, as access to capital evaporated. But a few companies kept their development teams intact in the recession, and are now building new facilities and expanding their operations. And as lending loosens, they say, they are poised to benefit from the housing needs of America’s aging population.

    The developers who have grown in these lean years tend to be small to midsize regional operations that know their local markets well, had a strong portfolio before the crash and have been able to persuade banks to lend despite the dour economy. They also tend to invest in assisted-living rental properties, which are tied to health care rather than personal housing choices.

    “It’s certainly not for everyone, but there are companies that really understand the markets and submarkets, and they’re very adept at building,” said David S. Schless, president of American Seniors Housing Association, an industry trade group.

    Demand for nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement communities is expected to balloon in the next two decades as baby boomers retire and the incidence of progressive illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease increases. The number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to double to 71 million by 2030, and 7.7 million of them will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a 50 percent increase from today, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

    “It’s a great time to develop senior housing,” said Marilynn K. Duker, the president of Brightview Senior Living, a developer based in Maryland that has completed five new facilities since 2008 and has three others under construction. “As long as we can continue to get capital and have the ability to afford it, it’s an opportunity and there isn’t a lot of competition.”

  4. grim says:

    From the Gloucester County Times (Yes, it’s in Jersey):

    New Jersey, Gloucester County prepare for wet weather from Hurricane Irene

    With forecasts now predicting that Hurricane Irene may hit the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday as a hurricane, New Jersey is starting to prepare for more flooding and evacuation plans.

    “It does look like the system is going to affect us,” said Bob Wanton, of the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

    The current Category 2 hurricane is expected to grow into a Category 3 and possibly into a Category 4 before its hit the North Carolina coast sometime Wednesday.

    While Wanton advised that predictions can be up to 250 miles off an actual storm’s path, the current system looks to hit New Jersey sometime this weekend or Monday as the storm works its way up the coast. In an August that has seen more than its share of rain, New Jersey will be hurt even if the system hits as simply a tropical storm.

    “The whole state is vulnerable to flooding,” said Wanton.

    Even if Hurricane Irene rides up the Eastern Seaboard and strikes New Jersey as a Category I storm, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management expects calls for local evacuations would be likely in many shore communities.

    Wanton emphasized that the coast will be hit the hardest. If the storm hits Sunday, it will correspond with the new moon causing large high tide heights. Several predictions have the hurricane going back out to sea and hitting the Northeast coast as either a tropical storm or simply heavy rain. However, with the new possibility of the system to hit Chesapeake Bay as a hurricane, New Jersey has started planning for whatever may happen.

    “Today is the day to plan” by preparing for the possibility of a hurricane, New Jersey State Police Acting Lt. Stephen Jones said. Planning, Jones said, means having a “kit” of emergency supplies and a plan for one’s home and business should a hurricane reach this part of the country.

  5. Cemeteries will be an excellent growth business in the near future.

  6. I will put my hurricane kit next to my stash of ammo, shiny, water and MREs.

  7. freedy says:

    rumor floating that Hilton/or whatever the name is in AC closing the doors

  8. Didn’t Meredith Whitney call for 80K layoffs this year in financial svcs?

    Or was that her call for last year?

  9. BC Bob says:

    “Analysts reacted to the July new home sales decline Tuesday with dread, saying the housing market has years of stalled recovery ahead.”


    Stalled recovery? This decline will go much lower and the time frame much longer than most can imagine. You don’t repair 40 years of a debt/credit binge in a couple of years. We have blown up trillions of dollars, yet the underlying problems have not been addressed. This bust is structural not cyclical. In the meantime, every day, for the next 18 years, 10,000 boomers will be turning 65.

    Stalled recovery? We have all turned Japanese.

  10. seif says:

    “It’s hard to talk about any recovery of the housing market and home prices until the appraisal issue is squared away, and that is a broad issue,”

    What is the “appraisal issue” is he referring to?

  11. make money says:

    We have all turned Japanese.

    While a have an idea what this means I’m really not sure. Can you explain to me exactly what it means because Japan has a strong currency, trade account surplus, strong manufacturing base which we can only dream off. We have already lost a decade in equities as Dow is now at same levels as 2000. Besides 0% mortgage rates what else do you mean by we’re turning Japanese.

  12. Jethro says:

    In New Jersey even if sellers drop there home prices to reflect current market conditions, there will still the problem of astronomical property taxes to contend with. If entry level, home buyers lucky enough to have anything above a service level job, earning what would be considered a marginal middle class salary today and a mom and pop that can afford to assist with the 20% down option to buy that fixer upper that requires then to pork over $800 to $1000+ bucks a month in property taxes. It doesn’t leave much to cover a mortgage if your approved for $1600 or $1700 a month on a combined 75K household income, Towns in NJ have for to long used peoples homes as there personal piggy banks and NJ homeowners are forced to bare a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Its become an easy way for lazy and corrupt public officials to vote themselves great salaries and benefits packages, only now the younger generation is not buying into the pipe dream. Housing in NJ inevitably will only get worse as the younger generation has come to the realization that a home in NJ is a bad investment, Even if you pay off the mortgage You pay, If you put in sweat equity to fix up a junker, You pay more, There’s very little incentive to be a home owner in NJ anymore, the cost is just to great.

  13. x-everything says:

    “It was very frustrating. We really wanted to move in,” said McGowan, a 31-year-old real estate lawyer.

    I love how they twist this story into making the appraiser into a bad guy. They’re saving these people from getting ripped off (for once) and they get vilified

  14. chicagofinance says:

    80K this year + 80K last year……they have to shed all the jobs that PRET added….

    There Went Meat says:
    August 24, 2011 at 7:36 am
    Didn’t Meredith Whitney call for 80K layoffs this year in financial svcs?
    Or was that her call for last year?

  15. freedy says:


    Col. Gadhafi thinking of running for Mayor of Englewood,(has a place to stay)
    Detroit,Camden ,or another welcome place he can call home

  16. NJGator says:

    Best earthquake tweet: “There was just a 5.8 earthquake in Washington. Obama wanted it to be 3.4, but the Republicans wanted 5.8, so he compromised.”

  17. Juice Box says:

    Meat- Meredith Whitney called in Sept for 40,000 to 50,000, or 5% to 10% of the U.S. securities industry for this year.

    Her recommendation was for the bankers to relocate to Beijing or Rio.

  18. seif says:

    #14 – exactly. what is the “appraisal issue?” that they give a fair appraisal of what a house is worth? and the bank won’t lend to a buyer who is willing to pay more than it is worth? that is an “issue?”

  19. Juice Box says:

    My BIL’s appraisal came in lower on the first house he bid on. Bank would not approve loan so he moved on end of story.

    It is not like this Petition to the Fed and Congress from the Appraisers has not been
    out there for a decade or more.

  20. grim says:

    The “issue” being argued is that appraisers are overcorrecting for abuses by undervaluing properties. RE pundits claim that appraisers are past the point of being conservative with appraisals, and are not providing fair market valuations.

    The point of the appraisal isn’t to save anyone, but to provide an objective valuation. Whether the lender or buyer is being saved depends on how they act on that information.

  21. Juice Box says:

    Grim release #22 please

    link to article on Japan’s momma’s boys who eat grass and not bush.

  22. gary says:

    The “issue” being argued is that appraisers are overcorrecting for abuses by undervaluing properties.

    In two years from now, that so-called overcorrecting today will appear extremely liberal. We still ain’t seen nothing yet. In the immortal words of BC Bob, “Sell? Sell to whom?”

  23. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    When’s that bearded nut make his little Jackson Hole speech?

  24. Libtard at home (new refrigerator broke) says:

    We were just appraised for our refi and it’s simply amazing what an impact the financial crisis has had on the industry. On our mortgage/purchase in 2004, not a question was asked after we submitted our financials and the appraisal took about one minute. They didn’t even measure our multi.

    On our first refi of the multi last year, the loan officer asked for a lot more documents than in 2004 including W2s for multiple years, Schedule Ks, bank statements, etc. The appraisal took about 5 minutes as the appraiser did some crude measurements with one of those wheel thingies.

    When we purchased our new home back in January of this year, the same loan officer needed copies of our lease, wanted to see check images from our banking accounts to reconstruct the income trail, etc. I was not here for the appraisal, but from the report, it looked pretty detail-oriented. We even had to pay for an appraisal review as the banks are not even satisfied on the appraisal alone and put a second set of experienced eyes on it.

    Now onto our current refi of the new home. That same loan officer has asked for everything from me except a stool sample. I have spent at least ten hours collecting everything, calling banks, etc. The appraiser spent over a half an hour in my home essentially interviewing me and the improvements we performed. He measured every single square foot of the house with a digital sound based tool. He took pictures of every room. His report came back with a blueline of the house dimensions that would have made an engineer jealous. Fortunately, counting the money we sank into the house since we purchased in January, we are still appraising for $27,000 over our purchase price plus the improvements. So so far, so good. Of course, another two years of 5% price drops and we will not be looking so good. On the bright side, we are not paying rent! :P

  25. Al Mossberg says:



    Indeed. Rent dont buy. Sell? Sell to whom?

  26. Al Mossberg says:

    The US needs to ship these Mexicans out of here. They cant afford sh_t. Bring in some of those wealthy Chi-comms like Vancouver did.

  27. Al Mossberg says:

    Saw a statistic yesterday that floored me. 1 in 3 people in Alabama are on food stamps.

  28. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Well, I feel better for having lightened up and taken profits . . . .

    “Gold investors at several firms said that gold prices could correct sharply, citing overvaluation. While that does not mean prominent bulls are now bears, they recommended investors take profit on gold holdings, after the precious metal traded briefly above $1,900 on Tuesday for the first time.

    Spot gold [XAU= 1770.79 -58.86 (-3.22%) ] quickly recoiled to end down more than 3 percent on Tuesday, its biggest daily fall in a year and a half, having advanced by almost 8 percent in just the last three sessions and by more than $400 since July.

    Independent investor Dennis Gartman, who has long been bullish on gold priced in non-U.S. currencies, said he was reducing his long positions on gold priced in euro and sterling terms.

    “Perhaps things have become a bit too frothy and reduced rather than increased exposure seems reasonable and wise,” Gartman said. . . .

    Fund managers said the metal was bid up as an inflation hedge on expectations of further U.S. monetary easing, and bullion could sell off if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke does not announce a new bond-buying stimulus program at an annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on “There is some potential degree of ‘Buy the rumor, Sell the news’ on any future Fed policy that may come out at Jackson Hole. Investors might want to have that on the back of their minds as well,” said Michael Cuggino, portfolio manager of the $15 billion Permanent Portfolio Funds.

    “Gold being as volatile as it is, it can go down in $100 to $200 and not really blink an eye,” Cuggino said.

    Analysts said anything short of a third round of quantitative easing would likely provide limited support for gold as the Fed had already vowed to keep interest rates low into 2013.

    Cuggino said that investors should stay put and not add new gold positions at current prices, even though the metal is still a safe haven and an integral part of an investment portfolio in longer term.

    Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, a broker-dealer with $54 billion in assets, said that on charts, gold is vulnerable for a sharp pullback as it is trading at $400 above its 200-day moving average, a sign of overbuying.

    “From a purely technical standpoint, I think it’d be wise to take some chips off the table,” Luschini said. ”

    I sold out of 85% of my GLD and IAU in the past few weeks. Probably didn’t time it just right, but I made money.

    Now the retracement appears to be happening. Can’t wait to get in at a low price point.

  29. livinginpa says:

    news flash to the NAR brain trust…there is no appraisal “issue”. The fact is that you can no longer insist that the price you have decided is right for a particular home is or must be supported by some appraiser you have hand picked. It’s been said over and over … your house is only worth what someone, and their lending bank, is willing to pay for it TODAY – not in 2005, 06. We have encountered this very “issue” several times in our “move up” process. Frankly, I’m glad that appraisers have stopped the madness and returned to really appraising the house and property.

  30. Juice Box says:

    re #30 Nom – I am holding mine for tradition no other reason.

  31. livinginpa says:

    We are happy to keep renting while these unrealistic sellers let their houses sit.

  32. Al Mossberg says:


    You are trading against the greatest bull market in the history of bull markets. Get on the horse and ride. This correction is all about options expiry on Friday.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    David Cay Johnston, the patron saint of Fabius, is at it again:

    In his article, which highlights GE’s low, low US taxes, he ignores a few important facts: First, GE’s tax profile is likely unique, and few companies are positioned to take advantage of the tax breaks it gets. Second, US taxes corporations on worldwide profits, which leads to unrepatriated earnings, etc. It also offers credits for taxes paid around the world, so in effect, the US subsidizes other nation’s tax authorities. Both of these go to policy, which this administration has not really moved to change. Third, it ignores the fact that GE would pay the same foreign taxes in each jurisdiction in which it operates regardless of whether it was a US corporation or a Bermudan corporation.

    Johnston suggests that the threat of corporate expatriation is overblown because the US taxes little compared to other nations. Still, he cherry-picks GE, a company with a unique tax profile these days, to prove his point. Further, he doesn’t touch (cuz he can’t) what would happen if Obama did ratchet up taxation on multinationals. They are rational actors, and if they see an overall advantage in taxpatriation a la Ingersoll or Stanley or Tyco, they will do it.

    However, if the US joined the rest of the world in not taxing extraterritorial income, it could eliminate loopholes and deductions, and dissuade corporations from going offshore. It would also stop subsidizing our competititors, and remove the obstacles to capital repatriation.

    And it could be done without lessening the overall tax burden on corporations, a sop to the Johnston’s/Fabiuses/Schabadoos of the world, who won’t be happy until they are living in a Rawlsian utopia.

  34. Barbara says:

    having refied everything this summer and now our new house, the paperwork demands became comical. We had to submit our Las Vegas Nevada marriage license and just last week, a letter from the inspector reexplaining a clearly worded explanation about a minor issue….

  35. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [33] Al

    I want to get back in. I just want to do so at a lower price point, and must be mindful of policy risk and other interventionist forces.

    I also felt that this was a buy rumor sell fact scenario, and I also felt that Heli-Ben has already signaled no QE3, so it was time to sell before everyone else did. I am glad I sold a big chunk near the high. Pays for a lot of ammo. Now I am watching the retracement, and will get back in when I think I won’t get burned too much on the downside.

    I don’t see shiny legging back up until after 2012. If 2012 means that we go back to 2008-style dem control, I expect that they will pass tax hikes and take other measures to “stimulate” the economy. These measures will squeeze indirectly (and directly) the long holders. That would be the ultimate re-entry point because I foresee that the higher marginal rates on the uber-rich would actually cause deadweight loss from that cohort (and fail to collect as much from the HENRY’s as expected). The combination of increased spending and lower than expected revenue will set the stage for a gold boom after 2013.

  36. Outofstater says:

    #28 The food stamp numbers in Alabama might be skewed by the tornadoes they had in April. It was the worst outbreak in state history and many, many businesses were destroyed.

  37. gary says:

    Al [28],

    That’s the hope and change strategy… working to perfection.

  38. NJGator says:

    Barbara (35) – Don’t think that buying a house in South Jersey gets you out of having to come up and visit us in NNJ.

  39. Barbara says:

    As much as Montclair/Essex gets trashed here, it was a heartbreak of a decision for me. It is truly a beautiful place to live. I know I have to meet you guys in the real. Also, post pics of your renos!

  40. Anon E. Moose says:

    Right diagnosis, wrong prescription:

    End the Government’s Subsidy ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ Says NYU Professor

    NYU finance professor Viral Acharya writes in his new book Guaranteed to Fail that the only way to fix the housing market is to end government subsidies like the mortgage interest tax deduction.

    The less told story on such subsidies is what they have done to generate more demand and push up prices, he says. “One the one hand you are actually getting all your subsidies, but you are actually paying more for the property you would have liked to consume,” says Acharya. “Therefore the real subsidy goes only [to those] at the very top. It is for people who are buying a second house. It is for people who are buying more land than they would otherwise.”

    Not only have government subsidies failed to really help everyday people, except to “prop up the housing market artificially,” says Acharya, but the big question also remains: Who’s paying for all these subsidies? “It’s sort of a Ponzi scheme, because the current generation is reaping all its benefits, but we’re basically scaling up our government debt in response, and someone else is going to pay for it down the road.”

    These big points on subsidies are never conveyed when they are sold to the American people, and all the more reason Acharya believes one day there will be political will in Congress to eventually eliminate such incentives. “Subsidies have been sold as something that actually help remove income inequality and helps us create an ownership society,” says Acharya. “[But] if we convey the right message to the middle class and the poor that this has not in the end produced huge substantial benefits for them,” then the subsidies will be much easier to remove.

    But an end to subsidies is not a quick fix to the U.S. housing market. Pressures will still exist even without subsidies, because when the government fixed the bank problem, it really failed to address the underlying mortgage issue. That’s really why the housing market continues to struggle, he says. “Just the way we recapitalized the financial sector, I think there was a very good case for recapitalizing the households,” says Acharya.

    Get rid of the free cheese to home l’oaners? Fine, for the reasons he cites. “Recapitaliz[e] the households”? With whose money, professor?

  41. chicagofinance says:

    Do you feel better?

    Barbara says:
    August 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm
    It is truly a beautiful place to live.

  42. Hey! I think those flesh-eating zombies are onto something…

  43. seif (11)-

    Appraisers’ unwillingness to commit fraud.

  44. Barbara says:

    42. Chifi

    Whenever you address me, I picture a middle aged man in a black mesh vest wearing eyeliner and hurting inside. Just thought you should know. Now scurry over to youtube and find something insulting, no time to waste.

  45. NJGator says:

    Owning a Home: What’s the Point?

    Another day, another drop in new home sales. Another week, another rise in delinquent mortgages. Wake up, American paupers: the American dream of home ownership is dumb.
    Admittedly, this is not a new idea. We had a whole national economic collapse over this very issue! Still, any time you get around a group of people of “a certain age” and “a certain income” (30something, making enough money not to qualify for food stamps), talk will inevitably turn to “buying a place” in order to “stop throwing money away on rent” and “get some space for the kids.” (We hate your kids also, but that is a separate topic.)

    Purchasing a home is fundamentally an economic decision. Economics is a rational science. Let’s put aside emotion and sentimentality and take a hard but fair look at the pluses and minuses of buying rather than renting.

    The Pluses:

    More space to spread out your growing pile of bills.
    You get the satisfaction of paying to fix every little thing that breaks, not asking a “landlord” for a handout.
    A debt that will take you 30 years to pay off, just like a real adult.
    Don’t have to worry about pesky “freedom” any more.
    Maybe when you die, your kids will make a little money selling it, or not.
    You can paint it.
    Now, The Minuses:

    Recent economic history.
    You can’t afford it.
    Sh*t is a hassle.
    Fortunately, beleaguered, non-wealthy Americans, there is an answer to this quandary: a new arrangement called “renting,” in which you agree to pay a sum of money to someone in exchange for being allowed to live in an apartment for a fixed period of time. Something breaks? They fix it! You get tired of the place, or have a sudden change in economic fortunes? You simply leave! Want a bigger place? Want a smaller place? Want a place in a different location, or with a different layout, or with different neighbors? Just go get one! It’s not like you’re tied down by some humongous loan that will take over your life, haha! That would be crazy.
    Buying a home is for old people, with stable incomes, who don’t have anywhere better to go, because they’ve decided to exchange life’s sense of possibility and wonder for “a lawn.” A lawn, people. Sometimes not even that. Sometimes just the idea of moving up to a place with a lawn, later in life.

    Lawns are not worth it.

  46. gary says:

    U.S. home prices fell 5.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest drop since 2009, as foreclosures added to the inventory of properties for sale, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    tick… tick… tick… tick…

  47. Prof. McDullard says:

    So, one day, Prof. McDullard becomes very furious, convinced that the bloggers here are embodiments of insincerity, racism, bigotry, greed, villany, and every conceivable evil under the sun. So, he retreats, immerses himself in work [1], gets into a weird project where he has to kill himself with nothing to be gained, goes at it full speed, and more, does a couple of 80+ hour weeks, then takes a one week vacation (so that he can concentrate on this project without having to explain where he is getting the time from), puts in over 110 hours during the vacation week, isolated in the basement, sleeps next to computer the whole week [2], showering only twice in the week though the full bath is in the basement, and in parallel starts to reflect on life, work, and all the blah.

  48. Prof. McDullard says:

    Part 2: Meanwhile, Prof. McDullard also pisses off some big shot collaborator partly because of how seriously he is taking the project when it is not needed and occasionally offending people involved with pushy emails. The said collaborator calls to blast McDullard, McDullard starts back pedaling, the call goes on, the big shot’s anger subsides, and they start chatting… Collaborator tells McDullard, you deserve better than this and suggests Place A. McDullard says, yeah right, why would Place A hire me, but… if you can make it happen, my wife and kid will owe you a lot!

  49. Prof. McDullard says:

    Part 3: Later McDullard starts thinking… thinking… realizes that Place A was where he wanted to be all his life, even before Place A existed — just that he didn’t consciously know. Now, McDullard is arrogant and starts thinking why wouldn’t Place A hire him. Talks to friends and family — all say, “yes, of course, you will get there”. Wife says, but that’s what I’ve been saying every few years but you laughed it off. So, he needs to get to Place A or he’s screwed.

    But here is the deal. All Prof. McDullard wants to do is give it a shot, doesn’t matter if it works or not. He knows in his heart that he truly wants it. He will get there eventually, somehow. Right now, all he has is plan and is celebrating in his mind.

    In parallel, Prof. McDullard pleasantly notices, without reading even a single post, that the bloggers here have grown up and matured, and is amazed at how quickly they’ve shed their greed, bigotry, racism, and villany just in the past few weeks. Prof. McDullard wants to congratulate the bloggers!

  50. Prof. McDullard says:

    Part 4: So, if Prof. McDullard ends up at Place A, he will owe a lot to this blog — to put things in perspective, he already owes his house to this blog, and that would pale in comparison to Place A.

    If Prof. McDullard falls flat on his face in his efforts to reach Place A, he will simply pick himself up, work hard, but he has a plan [Prof. McDullard is like the 40 year old virgin in this aspect. He is pushing 40, and this is the first time he has a plan as to where he wants to be]. He is happy simply for figuring out what he wants to do in life.

    Irrespective of where the chips fall, Prof. McDullard feels that he should either congratulate the bloggers for growing up so fast, or give heartfelt apologies for insinuations. Either Prof. McDullard or the bloggers have suddenly grown up a lot in the past few weeks.

    So, Prof. McDullard would request that his previous alias be retired, he full alias (same as first name) not be used — only because he may share something here that may inadvertently indicate something bad about his working conditions and get someone in trouble.

  51. Prof. McDullard says:

    Part 5: Please wish Prof. McDullard luck, he will have no time in the next few weeks to check anything. He will show up sooner or later… If Plan A works, he will not advertise the company name or gloat because that is not why he wants to get there… Grim will know before everyone, just like when he got the house.

    Prof. McDullard sincerely asks for forgiveness, but would rather hope to be here in a couple of months (give or take a few weeks) with some good news and tonnes of gratitude.

    [1] Don’t ask what he was doing during the prior periods where he was not “immersed in work”. He was trolling njrereport?
    [2] Rumors are that the computer became be pregnant, but McDullard can’t say with certitude that is not the case.

  52. Prof. McDullard says:

    Part 6: Phew, no longer in moderation… see you guys in a few weeks… early signs indicate that the stars are aligning. There is a chance that I may fail badly, but all I want is to take the shot.

  53. NJGator says:

    Essex? Ha ha!

  54. Libtard at home (new refrigerator broke) says:

    Refrigerator fixed. Apparently blackout messed up the computer and all it needed was a reset (not user serviceable). Will not be putting food in there until tomorrow, just in case.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [47] Meat

    Coming from you, I don’t know if you mean Buy the F@cking Dip or Burn the F@cker Down.

  56. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Part 7: Prof. McDullard finds his missing prescription of antipsychotic drugs. All is well.

  57. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    More news from the expatriation blogs, notably Phil Hodgen’s blog.

    “The hard problem is getting yourself on the calendar at your favorite Embassy or Consulate. Many have insane calendars–fully booked up, far into the future. Switzerland is very difficult. London, too, I’ve heard. And I’ve heard that the Canadian Embassy and Consulates are clogged. On the other hand, my recent rumor mill tells me that Frankfurt, Sydney, Singapore, and Berlin are relatively easy to deal with and get on the calendar.

    I think the rumor about a two-year wait refers to the time delay involved in getting the appointment on the calendar at a particular Embassy or Consulate.”

    What was that I was saying about Canada?

  58. NJGator says:

    Lib (56) – sounds like a stupid setup when they are on the hook for loss during the warranty period.

    Do we flip a coin tonight as to who needs to take the day next week when the hurricane blows by and knocks power out again?

  59. Libtard at home (new refrigerator now fixed hopefully) says:

    I know!

  60. nj escapee says:

    Lib, what brand fridge may I ask? that would be bad news here where we have frequent but very short duration outages.

  61. NJGator says:

    nj escapee – It’s a Samsung Cabinet Depth model. And it took them 3 days to get someone to our house to reset it. Everything inside it was a loss…and apparently for no good reason.

  62. nj escapee says:

    jeez that’s too bad

  63. Barbara says:

    I hate Samsung and I’m amazed you were able to get anyone to come out.

  64. Juice Box says:

    JJ is by the pool and he is going for a swim in the ocean later.

    Here is some video uploaded from his vacation.

  65. Libtard at home (new refrigerator now fixed hopefully) says:

    Samsung cabinet depth side by side. Quite honestly, there really isn’t a reliable refrigerator made today that’s not a top/bottom. Our diet requires us to have a lot of organized freezer space. Hence we can’t do the top/bottom. As with washer/dryers, your best bet is to buy the cheapest model of a major brand and just replace it when it breaks, which is about every three years. That’s what I did with my generator purchase. Who cares if it won’t start three years from now. I’ll just by another $300 model then. Sadly, it’s cheaper than even getting it tuned up annually. The Honda’s are like $1,500 for the same specs. Will the Honda still run in 15 years? Probably will not. But hopefully I’ll only be on my 3rd or 4th cheapo then.

    On our Xterra, we just got 60,000 miles on a very good made in the USA tire by Continental (had a 65,000 mile rating). They still have a good 5 or 10,000 miles left in them, so I’m shopping for a good deal on their replacements. They moved the manufacturing to Mexico and the tire’s rating has been moved up to 70,000 miles. Wanna bet they struggle to get past 50,000 miles? They are the Cross Contacts in case anyone is interested. They have really low road noise and excellent water traction. Absolutely horrendous in the snow, but the true 4-wheel drive seems to compensate enough for it. When I turn the 4wd off, my car turns into a curling stone.

  66. NJGator says:

    Barbara (66) – They told Stu on Sunday that since we called over the weekend, someone would come out and service it on Monday AM. Given that info, he went out and spent $130 on dry ice to save everything. On Monday AM, we were told that info was wrong. That the service company had 1-2 business days just to contact us to set up the appointment. If we knew no one was coming Wednesday, we would have written off everything right away. Now we will have to try to get them to pay for the ice as well as the food. Good luck to us with that. Of course they did not volunteer on Sunday that they would reimburse the food.

  67. Libtard at home (new refrigerator now fixed hopefully) says:

    For what it’s worth. The technician was very good.

  68. Juice Box says:

    Prof. McDullard – Luck is when opportunity knocks and you answer.

  69. nj escapee says:

    appliance service is pretty sketchy down here but we have a lot of good a/c contractors thank goodness.

  70. Confused in NJ says:

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nearly one of every 10 midsized or big employers expects to stop offering health coverage to workers once federal insurance exchanges start in 2014, according to a new survey from a large benefits consultant.

    Towers Watson also found in a survey completed last month that an additional 20 percent of the companies are unsure about what they will do.

    Another big benefits consultant, Mercer, found in a June survey of large and smaller employers that 8 percent are either “likely” or “very likely” to end health benefits once the exchanges start.

  71. Barbara says:

    Professor McDullard,
    good luck with the MoMA position.

  72. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [74] Confused

    I would posit that the 10% is heavily skewed toward mid-sized companies. Larger employers can self-insure, or get preferred rates due to their size, so it may not make sense for them to go that route.

    Allowing for the fact that the entire 10% is mid-sized companies, this figure fits within my view of 15-20% of all welfare plans being terminated, nearly all at small to mid-sized businesses. In fact, if it turns out to be even close to accurate, I may have to up my estimate a few points.

  73. BC Bob says:

    Make [12],

    Actually, we’ll be lucky if the worst case scenario is turning Japanese. Yes, Japan has a strong currency, positive current/trade account balance, strong manuf base and consumer savings. Those are the major differences.

    My comparison is based on the similarities; RE bubble, zombie banks, zirp, aging population and debt/gdp. We reacted in the same manner as Japan, injecting trillions into insolvent institutions. The net result, at best, will be economic stagnation for years and years. This is why we have all turned Japanese.

  74. Libtard at home (new refrigerator now fixed hopefully) says:

    Anyone interested in attending?

    A public forum to discuss the future of public schools in New Jersey will take place on Thursday, September 8, from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM at the Charles Bullock School 55 Washington Street, Montclair.

    This event, hosted by Fourth Ward Councilwoman Renee Baskerville, M.D., is sponsored by the Montclair Public Schools, NJ NAACP State Conference, Montclair Council of PTAs, BlueWaveNJ, and the Montclair NAACP.

  75. chicagofinance says:

    Barbara says:
    August 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm
    42. Chifi
    Whenever you address me, I picture a middle aged man in a black mesh vest wearing eyeliner and hurting inside. Just thought you should know. Now scurry over to youtube and find something insulting, no time to waste.

    For you sweetie…

  76. make money says:


    I see. I heard that Japan had 0% mortgage rates at one point.
    Is that a possibility here? Can Bergabe give us that?

  77. cobbler says:

    nom [76]
    The only reason the business do not drop medical coverage now is that they want to be competitive and not lose good people because the company next door offers the coverage (and you can’t buy a reasonably priced comprehensive policy as an individual). If the good coverage could be bought through the exchange at a price comparable to what the company is paying now , it will benefit even from dropping the policy and adding the average cost to the employee’s paycheck – as they will no longer subsidize family coverage v. individual, and will be able to get rid of a bunch of HR people responsible for the bennies.

  78. nj escapee says:

    Higher-End Housing Hits a Wall
    Published: Wednesday, 24 Aug 2011 | 12:49 PM ET
    By: Diana Olick

    Most of America won’t shed a tear for those who own higher-priced homes, especially given that the median home price in the nation has now fallen to just $174,000, but investors and homeowners alike should take note: Higher priced homes are taking a hit and the outlook for them is worse than the overall market.

    That will have ramifications for recovery.

    Despite the fact that just eight percent of US loans are currently jumbo, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, and that share will rise to just 10-12 percent when the conforming loan limit is lowered October 1st, high-end housing is already being hit harder than the overall market, which isn’t exactly doing so well itself.

    For one, weekly mortgage applications to purchase a home have been falling steadily, down 5.7 percent last week. But jumbo loan purchase applications fell 15 percent. While sales of homes below $250,000 rose nearly 25 percent in July year over year according to the National Association of Realtors (June 2010 was the end of the home buyer tax credit, so July 2010 was artificially low, still….) sales of homes over $500,000 were basically flat.

    Luxury home builder Toll Brothers [TOL 15.38 0.64 (+4.34%) ] is not faring too well either. Revenue fell 13 percent in fiscal Q3, new orders were below expectations and cancellations rose.

    “We’ve been extremely bearish on the entire sector since the start of the year,” says Robert Wetenhall at RBC Capital Markets. “There’s nothing from a data set, in terms of delinquencies or home prices or volume trends that has caused us to turn more positive.”

    The only nice thing he can say about Toll Brothers is that they’ve expanded into the multi-family market, which is where all the demand is. “People prefer renting over owning now, or multifamily as opposed to buying a house, so we’re seeing a big change in consumer sentiment, so I think they’re doing the right things to position the company to benefit from that switch in consumer sentiment.”

    Demand on the low end of the housing market is boosted by investors largely buying distressed properties; they either fix up and flip the homes or rent them out, waiting for the market to recover. Higher end homes have far fewer investors and may be more sensitive to a volatile stock market, as potential buyers are more likely to be invested there.

    So why should we care about this segment of the market, if it’s barely 10 percent of the overall housing market? Because when I say “high-end” I’m not talking multi-million dollar homes, I’m talking about homes over $500,000, which are move-up homes. If there’s no move-up market, then there can be no real recovery because all the action is taking place in the distressed market, which then artificially pulls down the national home price numbers and scares the rest of the market away.

    No move-up market also means those in higher priced homes who need to sell can’t, and that could push up delinquencies on jumbo and even higher-priced conforming loans. Think of all the baby boomers who need to get out of big suburban family homes they can no longer afford. Suffice it to say, we need all segments of the housing market pushing forward in order to get the full market back to health.

  79. lib (78)-

    Only if I can bring a firebomb and an Uzi.

  80. JC says:

    Libtard #68: If you want a fridge the way they used to make ’em, come to my house and pick up this monster:

    If you can haul it away, it’s yours. Just be aware that you have to defrost the freezer every couple of weeks.

  81. Oh, I forgot…I’m banned from Baristafart and the town of Montklair.

  82. JC says:

    Cobbler #81: If you believe that $13,000-$20,000 will be added to employee paychecks when health insurance is no longer offered, then I want some of what you’re taking.

  83. Libtard at home (new refrigerator now fixed hopefully) says:

    JC. My parents offered me their old upright freezer which also needs defrosting about once per year. It was purchased in 1970 and is still running as well as they day they brought it. Unfortunately, it’s also just as inefficient as ever. I wonder if it still has those Hostess fruit pies she’s used to store in it?

  84. Best offer we’ll get from the gubmint is to agree to die and have $3,000 given to our survivors.

  85. lib (87)-

    Hope there are no body parts in it.

  86. Libtard at home (new refrigerator now fixed hopefully) says:

    If there were, my parent’s probably would have barbecued them.

  87. JC says:

    #87: My old fridge (left by the previous owners of the house) was still working in 1999 when I last used it to store extra beer for a party. I was suprised when I opened it the other day to take the photos that it only smelled a little musty. Amazing what a big box of Arm & Hammer can do.

    No 12-year-old perishable food in it, thank goodness.

  88. I guess it would be expecting too much to ask that a guy like, say, Markopoulos be appointed head of the SEC.

    If you don’t think crooks run this country, think again. Madoff is not the exception; he is the exception that proves a rule.

  89. Also get queasy feeling about Markopoulos’ future prospects of living.

  90. Al Mossberg says:

    27% margin hike on gold by the CME. We knew it was coming.

    Cash value bitchez!

  91. Confused in NJ says:

    76.Comrade Nom Deplume says:
    August 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm
    [74] Confused

    I would posit that the 10% is heavily skewed toward mid-sized companies. Larger employers can self-insure, or get preferred rates due to their size, so it may not make sense for them to go that route.

    Allowing for the fact that the entire 10% is mid-sized companies, this figure fits within my view of 15-20% of all welfare plans being terminated, nearly all at small to mid-sized businesses. In fact, if it turns out to be even close to accurate, I may have to up my estimate a few points

    Thank goodness it doesn’t effect Public Employees. Then it would be bad!

  92. al (96)-

    They can hike the margin requirement to 100%. Won’t matter soon.

  93. cobbler says:

    JC [86]
    I guess the realistic number is $5-7K or so which makes it a wash v. the current situation or even a tad better for the family with both spouses working. For a single earner family with kids it s.ucks. The current situation though is ridiculous – more “generous” employer of the 2 gets hit with paying for the family coverage, and the cheapo employer saves money and doesn’t pay anything. It’s an excellent recipe for a race to the bottom.

  94. Happy Renter says:

    [82] “when I say ‘high-end’ I’m not talking multi-million dollar homes, I’m talking about homes over $500,000, which are move-up homes. If there’s no move-up market, then there can be no real recovery because all the action is taking place in the distressed market, which then artificially pulls down the national home price numbers and scares the rest of the market away. ”

    Please direct all questions to Gary.

  95. Simply Ravishing HEHEHE says:

    steve jobs resigns

  96. Steve Jobs taking gubmint offer to die and have $3,000 bounty given to relatives.

  97. renty (100)-

    We should all re-read the famous Bill Gross “Plankton Theory” piece.

  98. yo'me says:

    AAPL down 5.3% after hours

  99. Essex says:

    I thought they’d carry Jobs out boots first.

  100. Ben says:

    Better to leave while you were on top. Apple temporarily became the largest company in the world. Now watch it forever give up that status as people slowly figure out that the ipad is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

  101. schabadoo says:

    as people slowly figure out that the ipad is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

    Yeah, that makes no sense.

  102. relo says:

    82: Good call, Rob. Timely too.

    “We’ve been extremely bearish on the entire sector since the start of the year,” says Robert Wetenhall at RBC Capital Markets. “There’s nothing from a data set, in terms of delinquencies or home prices or volume trends that has caused us to turn more positive.”

  103. Juice Box says:

    Hoboken is telling it’s residents to flee before Sunday.Will I be safe at my shore house? A 10 ft storm surge is going to put lots of parts around here way under water.

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