RealtyTrac’s Sharga calls bottom (and gets a job at a mortgage company)

From HousingWire:

Housing market hit bottom: former RealtyTrac exec

The U.S. housing market hit bottom this year and will remain flat until 2014, when it will start to slowly recover, said Rick Sharga, an executive vice president with Carrington Mortgage Holdings.

“We’re looking at a catfish recovery,” he told attendees at the Asian Real Estate Association of America conference in San Francisco Friday, saying the market will bump along the bottom for some time before starting to revive.

More than a million foreclosure actions that should have taken place this year have not yet moved forward, and that delay pushes a resolution of the housing market’s problems into next year and beyond, he said, citing data from RealtyTrac, where Sharga served as a senior vice president until this week.

“We can’t expect to see home price appreciation until we work through these distressed assets,” he said.

Banks hold about 800,000 REOs, and three-quarters of those are not listed for sale, said Sharga. Another 800,000 homes are in foreclosure and 1.5 million loans are delinquent.

This “shadow inventory” will slow down a housing market recovery, he said, as monthly foreclosure numbers will remain elevated through 2012 and REO inventories will stay high through 2013.

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94 Responses to RealtyTrac’s Sharga calls bottom (and gets a job at a mortgage company)

  1. grim says:

    Where you sit is where you stand?

  2. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  3. grim says:

    From Nasdaq:

    Housing Market: Is This The End of House Flipping?

    Hard economic times fueled by Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis and concerns of another US recession have slowed growth in property values and rents. Bloomberg reports that money globally earmarked for real-estate investment through 2012 fell to about $316 billion from $329 billion six months ago.

    The change has had a significant impact on the house-flipping market – the practice of buying houses with the intention of quickly reselling for a profit.

    Tom Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys, which tracks housing trends for major banks and government agencies noticed that it has become increasingly difficult in the past five years to flip homes for large profits.

    “This July, investors flipped only 50% of their purchases, down from 75% a year earlier,” he reports to CNNMoney.

    As a result, house flippers have become a dying breed of real estate investors. In its wake comes the growing home rentals market, which experienced a 25% increase in demand from a couple years ago.

    Real estate analysts find the shift in investments has strong ties to the decreasing liquidity in the market. In the old days, house flippers could expect to flip and earn their profit in the short term, but with lack of funding from buyers flippers can now expect to hold onto a home for roughly five years. By renting out homes an investor can expect to start receiving returns instead of drawing on their own assets.

    The shift emphasizes the increasing burden of unwanted homes on the market as their demand declines from both real estate investors and would-be homeowners.

  4. grim says:

    From TMZ (I believe this is a first):

    The real estate market has Hulk Hogan in a serious chokehold — because the Florida mansion he once listed for $25 MILLION … has now been reduced all the way to $8.87 million.

    Hulk has been trying to unload the mansion — famously featured in “Hogan Knows Best” — since 2006. He’s dropped the asking price twice before … but now, he’s finally UNDER double digits.

    As for the 17,145 square foot estate — it boasts 5 bedrooms, 9.5 baths, a boathouse, a pool with a two-tier waterfall, and a four car garage.

    It’s a buyers market … if you’ve got a few mil to spare.

  5. grim says:

    From Fortune:

    To fix the economy, first fix the housing market

    Is this a great country or what? At the start of last year, a friend of mine, the proprietor of a small business that has suffered badly in the recession, entered a trial mortgage-modification program. A few months later the bank told him that his application for a government-assisted refinancing rate had been turned down — his house was too far underwater. He had bought it during the boom for $220,000, putting down $30,000, and then spent another $45,000 doing it up. Now it’s worth about $100,000. Once his monthly payments were set to go back up (his mortgage rate is 6.5%), my friend stopped paying them and waited for the foreclosure and eviction notices to arrive. A year and a half later he is still inhabiting his own home and watching the mail.

    Whenever I hear somebody saying that growth is about to pick up, I think about my friend and the roughly 11 million homeowners whose mortgages are worth more than their homes. Some of them are still making their monthly payments. Some, like my pal, are living for nothing. The drip-drip foreclosure crisis shows how, six years after the bursting of the real estate bubble, the U.S. residential real estate market is still a mess. And without a genuine revival in housing, it is hard to think we will ever get a self- sustaining recovery.

    Sure, the news that President Obama and the Republicans are talking about enlarging this year’s payroll tax cut and extending unemployment benefits through 2012 is good news. The last thing the economy needs is a $250 billion hit to spending, which is what doing nothing would amount to. But where are the serious proposals to revive the housing market? It’s as if both parties have agreed to drop the issue.

    Housing isn’t just another industry: It’s a driving force for the entire economy. Residential investment accounts for up to a quarter of overall capital investment. House prices have a big influence on consumer spending — for every $1,000 the value of his house falls, a homeowner tends to cut his outlays by about $50 or $60. And falling property tax revenues are decimating many towns and cities. How bad is it out there? New-home construction is running at less than a third of its pre-recession level; in August it fell again. Existing-home sales picked up a bit, but that was largely because of bottom-fishing investors who are betting prices can’t go any lower. Let’s hope they are right. Nationwide, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, prices are down 6% over the past year and down 32% since the first quarter of 2006.

    I’m not saying that fixing the housing market is easy. If it were, somebody would have done it. But to begin with, we could make the much-maligned Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HAMP) work better. Generally, anybody who is current on payments and whose home is worth at least 80% of the outstanding loan is eligible to participate. But many homeowners have been put off by the red tape and by additional charges that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which ultimately own or insure many of the mortgages, have imposed on applicants.

  6. grim says:

    From the Record:

    Buying a home from Uncle Sam

    A recent check of the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA home-sale websites found a total of about 60 properties for sale in Bergen and Passaic counties, the large majority through Fannie Mae. The number of these homes on the market has shrunk since foreclosure activity came to a near-halt in New Jersey after mortgage servicers faced serious questions about their legal procedures. But foreclosures are expected to pick up again, since a state court recently cleared six large lenders to resume foreclosures.

    “That’s why the market is so unstable,” said Emilio Baldino of Century 21 Gemini in Wayne, who lists foreclosure properties. “No one really knows what’s in the foreclosure pipeline.” Many potential buyers expect prices to fall further if a wave of new foreclosures hits the market, he said.

    The Record recently visited three North Jersey homes being sold by Fannie and Freddie; here’s what we found:


    Owned by Fannie Mae, the three-bedroom, 1960s ranch on leafy Maple Court is listed for $379,900, down from $399,000. It’s been on the market for two months, with no offers as of late September.

    Baldino, the listing agent, said it’s the most attractive foreclosure listing he’s had in several years — in much better shape than many urban foreclosures. At the peak of the market about five years ago, the house could have sold in the $500,000 range, he estimated.

  7. Mike says:

    No. 5 He may be living there for nothing waiting for the foreclosure eviction notice to come in the mail but THE WAITING IS WORSE THAN THE NOOSE AROUND YOUR NECK!

  8. yo says:

    Is the housing market back to the growth,where it should be in prices before the bubble?As per Grim,his area is.Are we suppose to fix it to the bubble price or when prices were affordable compare to income? I don’t know what fix the housing market mean.To me,prices are mostly in the affordable price compare to rent.The problem is demand.Prices needs to be stable.Is this the bottom?.Potential buyers are not buying because they know prices are still going down and there is no hurry to get low rates mortgage.As the FED promised

  9. Shore Guy says:

    So, anyone who is floating through school or their work life listen up:

    “Indeed, there is no “in” or “out” anymore. In the hyperconnected world, there is only “good” “better” and “best,” and managers and entrepreneurs everywhere now have greater access than ever to the better and best people, robots and software everywhere. Obviously, this makes it more vital than ever that we have schools elevating and inspiring more of our young people into that better and best category, because even good might not cut it anymore and average is definitely over. ”

  10. Shore Guy says:

    From that same piece:

    “He describes the mind-set of many C.E.O.’s he works with: “I run a global company with a global mission and one set of shared values in pursuit of global objectives. My employees are all over the world — more than half outside the U.S. — and more than half of my revenues and my plans for growth are out there, too. So you tell me: What is out and what is in anymore?”

    Matt Barrie, is the founder of, which today lists 2.8 million freelancers offering every service you can imagine. “The whole world is connecting up now at an incredibly rapid pace,” says Barrie, and many of these people are coming to to offer their talents. Barrie says he describes this rising global army of freelancers the way he describes his own team: “They all have Ph.D.’s. They are poor, hungry and driven: P.H.D.”

    Barrie offered me a few examples on his site right now: Someone is looking for a designer to design “a fully functioning dune buggy.” Forty people are now bidding on the job at an average price of $268. Someone is looking for an architect to design “a car-washing cafe.” Thirty-seven people are bidding on that job at an average price of $168. Someone is looking to produce “six formulations of chewing gum” suitable for the Australian market. Two people are bidding at an average price of $375.

  11. “Catfish recovery”, indeed.

    Sharga had limited credibility before; now he has none. No diff between him and Larry Yun. They are both just talking their books.

    Smoke ’em if you got ’em, folks. The stench of death permeates everything.

  12. Dissident HEHEHE says:

    Occupy Wall Street Protesters Call For Totalitarian Government, Re-Election Of Obama

    The crooked leading the ignorant…yawn

  13. Anon E. Moose says:

    Title post:

    “We’re looking at a catfish recovery,” he told attendees at the Asian Real Estate Association of America conference in San Francisco Friday, saying the market will bump along the bottom for some time before starting to revive.

    “Bumping along the bottom for some time” is what constitutes a recovery, huh? Not exactly a strong buy signal, is it?

  14. JJ says:

    Unemployment is funny. Majority of resumes I see are from people who had good jobs at some point between 1999 and 2008. Most should of never had good jobs to begin with and are hanging on to notion they will once again get one. That combined over experiences, non US work visas, names where I can’t tell are they male or female and are extremely long and very hard to pronounce. Those I find the weirdest. Give the employer a clue how to pronounce your name and tell us should I call you ms or mr. those ones I just don’t get.

  15. 3B says:

    #11 There: Didn’t we see see something psoted the other day about bank risk managers not seeing any real recovery until 2020?? Mr. Sharga must expect an awful lot of good news over the next 2 years to predict a turn around in 2014. Just saying.

  16. Confused in NJ says:

    Mortgage help for unemployed disappears

    Tami Luhby, On Monday October 3, 2011, 5:44 am EDT
    The federal government can’t even give money away to help the unemployed pay their mortgage.

    A $1 billion program to assist the jobless will likely end up spending only half the funds, at most, because so few people met the strict criteria.

    The Housing Department, which had to approve the applications for the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program by Friday, expects that only 10,000 to 15,000 people will qualify. That’s only a small sliver of the roughly 100,000 who applied.

    “No one could have anticipated how difficult the statutory requirements make it to reach homeowners,” said Lemar Wooley, a HUD spokesman.

    Those who make the cut are expected to receive between $35,000 and $45,000 in aid, he said.

    Many had high hopes for the loan program because it was targeting a segment of delinquent homeowners not being helped by other federal initiatives, such as mortgage modifications.

    Passed last year as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, it was modeled after a very successful program in Pennsylvania that has helped tens of thousands of residents since 1983.

    The federal effort offered interest-free, forgivable loans to homeowners who lost at least 15% of their income because of the economy or their own medical condition. Applicants had to be at least 90 days delinquent, facing foreclosure and show that they could resume payments if they found a new job.

    If they qualified, they could receive up to $50,000 or 24 months of assistance, whichever came first.

    The initiative quickly became a quagmire of delays and requirements, however. The rollout was postponed for months, finally launching in late June. HUD originally gave people less than six weeks to apply, but then pushed back the deadline to mid-September.

    But it was the income and delinquency guidelines that prevented many seemingly eligible people from getting assistance, housing counselors say. HUD used a complicated formula that took into account monthly payments, income and arrears.

    Only 34 of the 174 homeowners who came to Tierra del Sol Housing Corp. in Las Cruces, N.M., met the criteria, said Rose Garcia, the agency’s executive director. Some people were turned away because they were already too far behind in their payments or because their income fell because of a family member’s illness.

    “This program could have made a difference to save people from being homeless,” she said. “But it doesn’t meet people’s needs.”

    In Philadelphia, Michelle Lewis is waiting to see how many of the 400 applications her Northwest Counseling Service received will be approved. She fears it will be few.

    One problem she ran into was that many applicants lost their jobs more than a year ago. Under HUD’s rules, the circumstance that caused the delinquency had to have occurred within the past 12 months.

    The Pennsylvania loan program, which ended in June because of state budget cuts, allowed for many more hardship conditions so it was able to reach more people than the federal effort, she said.

    “The [HUD] guidelines were so restrictive that it knocked out a lot of otherwise eligible and worthy consumers,” said Lewis, the agency’s chief executive

  17. JJ says:

    I actually don’t understand what is good news about a catfish recovery. Even if you had pristine credit and could borrow at 4% to buy a house. He is saying homes have bottomed but will stay flat for many years, which is zero percent rise in home values over next few years. If you borrowed 500K at 4%, that is like 2k a month which is nearly all interest first few years, by year five you have lost 120K. You are borrowing at 4% to invest in an asset that is rising zero percent. Back in early 2000 rates were 7.75% but homes were rising 20% a year. Which is better? I guess if you are staying 30 years lower rates are better. But if you plan on selling anytime in next ten years appreciation is more important than low rates.

    3B says:
    October 3, 2011 at 8:33 am
    #11 There: Didn’t we see see something psoted the other day about bank risk managers not seeing any real recovery until 2020?? Mr. Sharga must expect an awful lot of good news over the next 2 years to predict a turn around in 2014. Just saying.

  18. 3B says:

    #17 Agreed. As far as appreciation over the next 10 years. I do not see it.

  19. gary says:

    RealtyTrac’s Sharga calls bottom…

    Same words every year for the last 4 years. I wonder whose declaration I’ll post next year?

  20. Bystander says:

    Huge concessions today on CT MLS. Haughty Westport with 20% drops. We are getting closer but still no cigar.

  21. Juice Box says:

    There is no such thing as bouncing along the bottom folks.

    Flat prices are declining prices with inflation baked into the cake.

  22. yo says:

    The only reason a faamily will buy in this housing market
    1)Mortgage = Rent
    2)School kids=offset property tax
    3)tax deduction

  23. gary says:

    When “they” say flat prices, that means nominal drop. And we still have a way to go. Print out the Case-Shiller graph and carry it in your pocket; it’s the only weapon you’ll need.

  24. JJ says:

    Kodak up 70& today. Crazy at one point on Friday bonds hit 23 cents on a dollar. Kodak made its 10/1/11 coupon payment today. Buying opportunities come so quick and disappear so quick. Pretty much all you had was like 2pm to 4 pm to get in on this.

    Kodak would have been a perfect 2009 long the bond short the stock opportunity. Which is not supposed to work. Stock falls for years on end but bond keeps paying interest and no bk.

  25. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [14] jj

    Back then, we called the people employed by BIGLAW firms “bubblehires.” I was one such bubblehire insofar as my firm would have never looked at someone with my credentials (not a top 20 law school grad, 2nd career as an attorney). Indeed, I was shocked to get an offer.

    I considered whether taking the job was right. I knew that I was entering rareified air, not because I felt inadequate (okay, a little), but because I knew that “my type” never got in the front door as a rule.

    So I rationalized it this way: I won’t last here (few do), so I will take the astronomical salary, get some experience, get a top flight firm on my resume, and seek more hospitable pastures. It would have been a good plan if the economy held together long enough for me to pull the ripcord.

  26. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [9, 10] shore

    At the risk of being repetitive, I saw this coming (generally, I didn’t predict social media) 20 years ago. It gave impetus to my drive to get my law degree.

    I always expected that one day I’d be out on my own because no one else had jobs anymore. And I am seeing that a LOT of my former colleagues are now out on their own, or have jumped ship. BIGLAW is a dinosaur and the very forces mentioned in the article will lead to its near-extinction.

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [14] JJ

    When you need them (and I suspect that will be soon), I can recommend good, effective, and reasonably-priced employment law attorneys.

  28. gary says:

    Shore 9 & 10,

    Which is exactly the reason why most Americans have become a bunch of Kent Dorfmans’.

  29. yo says:

    If a company went IPO,sold 50% of shares on secondary market.Got their money.Let us say they are flush with cash and stocks tank.Why does it matter?They can always buy back shares or bring company private.No?

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Zombie Alert:

    Clearly this is now a problem if the CDC is touting preparedness

    The CNN story where I got this link suggests more practical things to get. And it turns out a have a few of them. So Zombies beware.

  31. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [29] yo

    I suppose they could, but I cannot imagine why they’d want to.

  32. 30 year realtor says:

    Articles about nationwide real estate projections are too broad for my taste. There are always areas doing better or worse than others. For me North Jersey is about as far as I can see.

    Just picked up the keys from a woman walking away from a house and doing a deed in lieu with one of my clients. Cape in Maywood, about 1200 square feet. Very average condition and location, 80’s kitchen & bath, some paneling, typical stuff. Was listed for at least 6 months for $249,000 and didn’t sell. Homes like this are now worth between $200 & $220,000 and still declining.

    Catfish recovery would put a floor in under prices. Flippers could buy with greater confidence. First timers and move ups could pull the trigger without as much fear of depreciation in that type of environment. Too bad there is 5 to 10 years or more until we get there!

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:


    Here’s your zombie defense shopping list. I’ve already got a steel pot (Vietnam vintage), and a Husqvarna. Don’t need the crossbow though; more than enough barrels and ammo to put up a sustained rate of fire.

  34. yo says:

    alot of companies holding large capital and assets.But getting killed because of analyst.Example is MS.They hold large capital yet their CDS and stocks is tanking.Capital is saved for finishing buy out of Smith Barney.Company can still exist if stocks goes down to nothing by taking company private.

  35. gary says:

    30 year [32],

    If it was any more clearer, we’d be looking at the back of our heads. Those in the know are armed and solvent; the others are ripe to be swindled.

  36. yo says:

    30 year,What is the difference between deed in lieu and mailing your keys back?

  37. 3B says:

    #32 30 Year: So if in your estimation that House is worth 200-220K, than that it would put it’s value back at mid to late 1990’s. I would think a lot of people will be shell shocked before this is all over. You could have bought 15 to 20 years ago, and the value of your house is the same as the day you bought it.

    Of course there is inflation and all. But form what I have seen over the years people only look at what they paid for it, and what it is word today, to determine if they made money on the house or not.

  38. 3B says:

    #37 Sorry word should be worth.

  39. 30 year realtor says:

    #36 yo- Only difference is orderly transition and about a $10,000 incentive to owner. It saves the bank from broken pipes and letters from the municipality for property maintenance violations.

  40. toomuchchange says:

    #9 – Shore Guy

    I would assume the point of the article is to inspire both fear and determination.

    Yes, there are a lot more people available than jobs to be done.

    But if the solution is to make every America above average — better or best — then we are in deep trouble.

    I am not sure that anything could make even 1/4 of us into the type of people that Friedman and the heads of multinational corporations want. I am not sure that I want any of us to become the all-work frightened drones that the new world order seems to be demanding, but that’s another question.

    How long will it take our dreamy intellectuals to realize they’re making the same kind of mistake they did in the 1990s, when they decided we didn’t need manufacturing because we could transform our population which of course we didn’t?

    I wish to God I knew what would bring people like Friedman back to reality. They will not even contemplate the question of what we’ll do with the majority of our populuation who will never be fit to compete in the new global talent show, so they’ll never realize they have no answer.

  41. plume (27)-

    Can you also make recommendations on the guns and money parts of the equation?

    “When you need them (and I suspect that will be soon), I can recommend good, effective, and reasonably-priced employment law attorneys.”

  42. funnelcloud says:

    A few years ah,,, Think again, Buyers are waiting for a bottom, Sellers are waiting for a recovery, Sellers can’t dictate price any longer but they can sit on there houses and wait. Buyers will not overpay in this market so they will wait for sellers to come to their senses. Sellers are frustrated because they can’t “get what they need” to move on in this market, Buyers are frustrated because banks will not finance the homes at present prices, so they have to be overpriced. Buyer’s “Foreclosures and short sales do count,”….. “Seller’s” No they don’t , I’m not giving my house away. Soooooo,,,Its a great big circle jerk for now that will probably will take more than a few years to work itself out. Ultimately I am of the opinion that housing will continue to decline because Salaries are declining and future college educated home buyers of America are going to earn a lot less than the preceding baby boom generation in salary and benefits, but that my friends is a whole different argument.

  43. change (40)-

    Friedman and the NYT are both pawns of the New World, imperialist, we-need-less-freedom set. Average people are just a statistic to this elitist liberal.

    Just another egghead with lots of great ideas that don’t work/aren’t practical. Kinda like the Bojangles-in-Chief and Chairman Inflator of the corrupt Fed.

  44. Happy Renter says:

    [40] I remember Friedman saying all we need to do is spend more money on education, like Ireland, and we’d be all set. I also recall some glowing article he wrote about how great Portugal was because they were buying laptops for all their public school students, or something like that. Apparently all we need to do is have the government spend more money it doesn’t have and we will be in good shape – ponies for everyone!

    Germany is the new example I hear put forth all the time as the way forward for America, in terms of skilled manufacturing for America’s, er, manufacturing class. Pay no attention to the minor factual difference that Germany is full of Germans and America is, well, not.

    The solution for American is our used car market. We cannot have an economic recovery until the business of selling/reselling used automobiles is once again a pillar of strength in America. We need to make the American Dream of freedom on the open road once again accessible to all Americans.

  45. gary says:

    funnelcloud [42],

    As our brand slogan here says, “We can stay patient longer than you can stay solvent!”

  46. wtf says:

    Here’s one of the sacred “job creators” that we shouldn’t tax an extra 3% because he “earned” and deserves every dollar he makes…

    Léo Apotheker, fired by Hewlett-Packard, will walk away with $23 million for 11 months’ work.

  47. funnel (42)-

    Bingo. 50 to 100 years remains my call. You also can’t discount the fact that there’s billions in worthless paper buried in the system and that no bottom can possibly be in place until that garbage is acknowledged and properly written down.

  48. I’m still also of the opinion that the billions in worthless paper- and the unanimous reluctance to mark any of it at a penny less than par- will eventually trigger a derivatives meltdown that will send us all back to the 16th century.

    Unless, of course, we proceed straight to an extinction event.

  49. renter (44)-

    Wasn’t this also the premise of Mad Max?

    “We need to make the American Dream of freedom on the open road once again accessible to all Americans.”

  50. chicagofinance says:

    clot: some good quotes from HWAS

    Drake: Summon The Plague!

    Drake: When life gives you razor blades… you make a baseball bat covered in razor blades.

    Hobo: Put the knife away, kid… or I’ll use it to cut welfare checks from your rotten skin!

  51. chicagofinance says:

    Vlad Ducasse is a 300 pound pimple of puss…..

  52. I use the “razor blades” quote at work all the time. It both confuses and scares my employees.

  53. 3B says:

    #42Salaries are declining and future college educated home buyers of America are going to earn a lot less than the preceding baby boom generation in salary and benefits, but that my friends is a whole different argument.

    The sellers do not want to hear that arguement.

  54. A.West says:

    The elites are all in favor of improving education until someone suggests that this would involve moving the industry out of the state’s hands and the deathgrip of the teachers unions.

  55. gary says:

    A. West [54],

    It’s for the children’s sake! Who’s gonna protect the children!

  56. gary says:

    3b [53],

    Do you expect them to give it away? Besides, it’s very competitive here in North Jersey and we’re insulated. And don’t forget proximity to NYC. It moves 1 inch closer to us YOY.

  57. grim says:

    Gary – you forgot the part about how we are all beautiful.

  58. Happy Renter says:

    [56] Except in Brigadoon-on-Hackensack, where it recently moved 26% closer to New York City, YOY.

    Scientists chalked it up to all the neutrinos emanating from the unicorn herds.

  59. JC says:

    #40: Thomas Friedman speaks with the assuredness that only a pundit whose job cannot be sent overseas can.

  60. gary says:


    Unicorn’s are beautiful; North Jersians are hot!

  61. 3B says:

    #58 Happy: Hysterical!!!

  62. Prof. McDullard says:

    Does anyone here tout the Rartian line? Had the misfortune of taking it a few days ago — long long wait followed by painfully slow train to Dunellen. This is the same line for Brigadoon/Cranford and up.

  63. Happy Renter says:

    [62] “Does anyone here tout the Rartian line?”

    Anyone who touts anything done by NJ Transit is smoking something; or working for NJ Transit.

  64. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Sharga – So long as there’s any inflation, isn’t a flat market really a falling market?

  65. Anon E. Moose says:

    3b [53];

    People gotta live somewhere, I guess. Instead of “buy and hold”, the optimal strategy considers that the longer you hold the house, the more money you lose. So the choices are now “throw your money away on equity” or “throw your money away on rent”. Buy now if the price is low enough and you put enough money down so you can afford to dump it when the time comes (or put nothing down and pay the FHA premium to be able to walk away).

    This is an object lesson on people who clamor for “equality”, particularly equality of outcomes. Equality can mean everyone has equally sh!tty results, too.

  66. 3B says:

    #65 If one were to buy now, (myself included), I cannot see putting anything more down than the bear minimum. It should simply be looked at as a long term rental.

  67. The Original NJ Expat says:

    People gotta live somewhere, I guess. Instead of “buy and hold”, the optimal strategy considers that the longer you hold the house, the more money you lose. So the choices are now “throw your money away on equity” or “throw your money away on rent”. Buy now if the price is low enough and you put enough money down so you can afford to dump it when the time comes (or put nothing down and pay the FHA premium to be able to walk away).

    This is an object lesson on people who clamor for “equality”, particularly equality of outcomes. Equality can mean everyone has equally sh!tty results, too.

    Back in 2002 we had an infant and a cat. It was hard enough to find a good rental with a cat in tow, forget about a cat and an infant. When we lived in Huntingotn, LI I think I had to write checks for nearly $8K just to rent an $1800/month house (and that was back in ’97 when $1800 was worth a lot more). I was sure in 2002 that the RE market would eventually fall, but we need some place to live that we couldn’t get kicked out of. I think my mortgage broker pre-approved for a $675K mortgage. That scared the sh!te out of me, no way was I taking on that much debt. We put $90K down on a $260K 2BR condo with high ceilings and fireplace, because I wanted a McDonalds mortgage, one that I could pay even if I had to work at McDonalds. $90K down because I always wanted to have enough equity that we could sell at any time in any market without bringing money to the closing table. Now we have two kids (luckily both girls) in the same 2BR and we’re down to paying off the last $100K on our place. Our taxes are ridiculously low and our services in Boston are ridiculously wonderful. On top of that, Boston shaves $1500 or so off our $3500 tax bill which brings it down to $2000K for the year because we owner-occupy. When we moved in I couldn’t stop laughing at our tax bill. It was $2K with a $1200 reduction for owner-occupying, $800 for the year. I joked with my wife back then that when we paid the house off our cable TV would be our largest monthly expense. Now that I’m 51, our place is so cheap that I can put 90% of my income into my 401K and the $22k banged in before we reach our coldest temps in February and I’m done for the year. Luckily I have a spouse who also likes to live way below our means, but I couldn’t take any chances, we lived together for 10 years before I proposed in 2000;-)

  68. The Original NJ Expat says:

    BTW, if anyone is looking for a new car, there are great deals out there on 2011 models. We just bought a brand “new” (a 2011 with 7 miles on the clock) for $5500 below MSRP and it was only a $25K car to begin with, a Mazda6. Back in ’99 we got a similar deal on an $18K car for $5K off, $13K. My wife totaled it in 2002 and we got all our money back, $13K, so we bought it for it’s 3 year future book value.

  69. 3B says:

    #68 That might explain the good sales numbers released by the auto makers today.

  70. The Original NJ Expat says:

    The dealer we bought from had about 60+ Mazda6’s in stock last week. Looks like they’re down to 43 right now. 5 of them are 2012 models, the other 37 are all 2011 models.

  71. Barbara says:

    Stop sweating the sellers, they already lost and the choice between throwing money away on a mortgage vs throwing it away on rent is not a new choice, it’s the normal choice and the only choice that counts. The equity game was, an anomaly, a silly little fantasy fueled by greedy and weak minds.

  72. Juice Box says:

    Anyone think Amanda Knox is going to bring back some chocolates from the gift
    shop at the airport?

  73. I bet Ms. Knox was out of Italy within 30 min. of her release.

  74. Juice Box says:

    3B – Wall St bonuses and stock options/grants won’t be saving NJ Train Town Real Estate this year or next it seems, options/grants are underwater and apparently bonuses will be reduced as much as 50% – 100% if you don’t get a pink slip.

    Old one but a good one from dot com days.

    Pink Slip Panic

  75. Anon E. Moose says:

    Jucie [72];

    I’d be shocked if there wasn’t an intercontinental bizjet with engines spooling on the tarmac as the verdict was being read. If $500,000 is the going ransom per lost hiker held by a hostile regime, I wonder if this cost more or less.

  76. JCer says:

    Juice[72], I really wonder if she was guilty? There doesn’t seem to be a motive and the evidence seems pretty thin. But that doesn’t mean very much.

  77. Anon E. Moose says:

    Wall Street protesters dress as zombies in NYC

    This is phenomenal spectacle. I predict its going to come out that this is all a put-up by some viral marketing company, with certain paid provocateurs among the protesters. The rubes (meaning the ones who didn’t get paid) will be outraged, I’m sure.

  78. morpheus says:

    I just don’t fu*kin get it. I have pulled the trigger at least 3x. Bailed out of one contract because of the inground oil tank issue. The other two times the sellers bailed out because even though the offer was accepted, they decided to dick around for more $$$. Now, bid on estate sale. Bid more than what the house is worth based on 2.5% appreciation, bid more than a conservative income to price ratio would allow and yet we are separated by $5k.

    Winter is coming and the house has been unoccupied for at least 4 years. Needs new floors, new kitchen and windows. Apparently, the new paint job makes the house so valuable. House has been on market since approx. May 2011.

    I know there are those on the board( clot), who would bitch at me for a mere $5k: but WTF! bidding beyond a conservative income- price ratio got this whole bubble started.

    Sorry, I bid more than my max. enough is enough.!

  79. jamil says:

    Breaking news
    Cbs reporting holder committed perjury, again. His thugs sent thousands of guns to mexican drug gangs.

    He not only lied to congress, he is accessory to murder.

    Impeachment and special prosecutors in order now. Then extradiction to mexico

    Couldn’t have happen to more deserving thug

  80. morpheus says:

    oh. . . .yeah..And I initially started my bidding at $10K more than I wanted to. This was based on my realtor’s advice. So we were not “insulting the seller”. Oh well….gives me the opportunity to buy more guns.

  81. Happy Renter says:

    [80] “So we were not ‘insulting the seller’.”

    Around these parts, if you’re not insulting the seller you’re overbidding. Don’t sweat it — plenty o’ fish in the sea.

  82. 3b says:

    #74 Juice: heard that too. But there is a special train down, nestled on the banks of the historic Hackensack??

  83. morpheus says:

    sorry …poor choice of words….offer was not made in order to “not insult the seller”. Just bid more of a percentage off list than I usually do. And still, the seller is a sh*thead.

  84. freedy says:

    Maywood holding it s value sort of like River Edge?

  85. Barbara says:

    Morpheus, I stood my ground over the last 5k, and put a three day expiration on the offer. after 6 years of looking and a few offers made, this time they gave in. and as I predicted based on comps, the appraisal came in at exactly my offer, so that 5k counts, yes it does.

  86. morph (78)-

    My advice to you would be a lot different than the advice I gave 3-5 years ago. 5K counts for a lot, when you take into consideration you are buying an asset that will continue to lose value after you buy it. In this kind of environment, an extra 10 cents should be a dealbreaker.

  87. Is MS the next Lemon Bros?

    Morgan Stanley’s Exposure To French Banks Is 60% Greater Than Its Market Cap… And More Than Half Its Book Value

    And where the hell is SAS? He has a way of showing up here when things start getting jiggy.

  88. Oh, great. You get to the end of that ZH article, and it says MS’ entire European bank exposure is 3x its market cap.

    That should leave a nasty mark…

  89. Magpies unbeaten in 12. In contention for a Champions League spot.

    Gooners spit the bit at White Hart Lane. Ripe for relegation.

    All is well with the world.

  90. If I can gun down 1-2 more of these Sixpoint Autumnations, I’ll be able to run through a wall.

  91. A.West says:

    Raritan Valley Line is ok for downtown. I heard there were many delays on NJ transit last week, which could have slowed you down. I didn’t know Dunellen has much parking. My girl has a ballet class in a place near that station, though that area looks run down.

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  93. siteljc says:

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