Home Sales Rise 13.6% in May

Why all the downers around existing home sales? Existing Home Sales, unadjusted, year over year, were up 13.6% in May nationally and up 16.7% in the Northeast.

From Bloomberg:

Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Fell in May to 4.55 Million

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes declined in May, showing an uneven recovery in residential real estate.

Purchases of existing properties dropped 1.5 percent to a 4.55 million annual rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 4.57 million pace.

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 74 economists ranged from 4.40 million to 4.73 million.

Existing-home sales, which are tabulated when a contract closes, have climbed since reaching a low of 3.39 million at an annual rate in July 2010. In the buildup to the subprime lending collapse and recession, purchases reached a peak of 7.25 million in September 2005.

The median price of an existing home climbed 7.9 percent to $182,600 in May, the highest since June 2010, from $169,300 in May 2011, today’s report showed. The increase in May reflected more sales of higher-priced properties, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group.

The number of previously owned homes on the market decreased 0.4 percent to 2.49 million in May from a month earlier. At the current pace, it would take 6.6 months to sell existing inventory, compared with 6.5 months at the end of the prior period.

Sales of single-family homes decreased 1 percent to an annual rate of 4.05 million, while condominiums and co-op transactions fell 5.7 percent to a 500,000 pace.

Three of four regions showed sales declines, led by a 4.8 percent drop in Northeast. Purchases also fell in the West and South.

Of all purchases, cash transactions accounted for about 28 percent, down from 29 percent in April. Distressed sales, comprised of foreclosures and short sales in which the lender agrees to a transaction for less than the balance of the mortgage, accounted for 25 percent of the total last month, the lowest since the group began tracking the data in 2008, down from 28 percent in April.

Investors accounted for 17 percent of purchases in May, a decrease from 20 percent in April. First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of the market in May.

“First-time buyers are really not stepping up,” Yun said. Typically, first-time buyers make up 40 percent to 45 percent of the purchases, he said. Instead, most sales were homeowners who were trading up, he said.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to Home Sales Rise 13.6% in May

  1. Marilyn says:

    I beat you Mike!! Good Morning NJ

  2. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    New Housing Crisis: Not Enough to Buy

    Sales of existing homes declined in May, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, not just because the overall housing market is struggling, but because there are simply not enough homes to buy.

    There are currently 2.49 million for sale, a drop of 20 percent from a year ago. To make matters worse, supply is lowest on the low end, where so much of the investor activity has been over the past several years.

    This lack of supply has seriously skewed the readings on home prices for the second straight month.

    The median price of an existing home, as reported by the Realtors, rose 7.9 percent in May annually, but NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun was quick to point out that this does not mean the average home owner gained that much equity; it is simply a big shift in the type of home that is selling. Sales of homes priced under $100,000 dropped two percent from a year ago, while sales of homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 shot up nearly 29 percent (though still at low volumes historically). Again, this is due to lack of supply on the low end, specifically distressed homes.

    While there are still plenty of delinquent mortgages and homes in the foreclosure process, 5.57 million according to a new report from Lender Processing Services, the big bank servicers are still trying to go back and modify many of these loans. There is also still a huge backlog of foreclosures in judicial states like New Jersey, Florida and New York. Inventories of foreclosed properties in non-judicial states (where you don’t need a judge in the foreclosure process), like Arizona, have dropped to under a three-month supply.

    Realtors say they did not see the usual spring bump in supply, as fewer regular homeowners put their homes on the market this year. The big question is, why not? Mortgage rates just hit yet another record low at 3.66 percent on the 30-year fixed, according to Freddie Mac. Home prices are stabilizing, if not gaining. Low supply should be a signal to homeowners that they could possibly get a bidding war. Still, nothing.

  3. grim says:

    From Freddie Mac:

    30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Averages 3.66 Percent

    Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates easing amid worsening economic indicators. Both the 30-year fixed and the 5-year ARM registered new average record lows.

    30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.66 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 21, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.71 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.50 percent.

    15-year FRM this week averaged 2.95 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.69 percent

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Sales Show Housing’s Fragile Recovery

    Sales of previously owned homes in May posted sharp gains compared with a year ago, but were down from April, underscoring the fragility of the housing market’s recovery.

    The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales of existing, or previously owned, homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million units in May.

    While that was down 1.5% from 4.62 million in April, it represented an increase of 9.6% compared with a year earlier and represented the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in sales.

  5. Brian says:

    “Spikes and cooling periods”

    he Connection Between Negative Equity, Inventory Shortage and Increasing Home Values: Why the Bottom Won’t Be as Boring as We Expected


    “What does all of this imply for the housing bottom? Our emerging hypothesis is that, instead of a long, flat bottom with price appreciation constrained by weak demand and elevated foreclosures, we might end up in an environment in which constrained supply (due to negative equity), together with robust demand from investors and first-time home buyers (not weighed down by negative equity), combine to create cycles of home value spikes followed by cooling periods. These cooling periods are created once local home values have risen enough to free some homeowners from negative equity at which point some of these resurfacing homeowners attempt to sell their homes, thus creating additional supply which tempers price appreciation.”

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks Marilyn, A woman after my own heart

  7. grim says:

    From the NY Post:

    Meadowlands mall Super late

    Looks like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s “American Dream” is turning into a nightmare.

    With just 20 months to go before the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, there’s serious doubt the $3.8 billion shopping and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will be ready for kickoff.

    “People keep talking about the Super Bowl, but I’m more interested in when shovels get in the ground,” Wayne Hasenbalg, head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, told The Post. “I’m . . . optimistic . . . by the end of year.”

    American Dream Meadowlands’ amusement park, originally slated to open in the fall of 2013, won’t be finished by the Feb. 2, 2014, date for Super Bowl XLVIII, developer Triple Five conceded in March. And it now says the shopping mall also may not be ready by then.

  8. freedy says:

    In other News keeping in step with NJ pols another indictment ohttp://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/06/hamilton_mayor_john_bencivengo_6.htmlf a town offical.

  9. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Grim, etc… we got the appraisal back and it shows $15k more than we are paying but then it lists recent sold comps and they show $30k higher than what we are paying. Not that we care that much about appraisal price but are mortgage appraisers being more conservative these days?

  10. Brian says:


    I had my house appraised last year when I refinanced. The lady who appraised it asked me point blank exactly why I needed an appraisal. I know my house had lost a ton of value since I purchased it. The number did actally surprise me, I really assumed it was going to come in much lower.

  11. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Any truth to this? Yes imo. Nobody wants mcmansions anymore and the tens of millions of empty foreclosures are not for sale and will never ever be dumped onto market. At best they’ll become parks at worst bought by govt and rented out as section 8.

    “Sales of existing homes declined in May, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, not just because the overall housing market is struggling, but because there are simply not enough homes to buy.”

  12. grim says:

    The appraisal docs should clearly outline why the appraiser valued that property higher, or yours lower, just look at the line by line comparison of adjustments.

  13. Fast Eddie says:

    Realtors say they did not see the usual spring bump in supply, as fewer regular homeowners put their homes on the market this year. The big question is, why not? Mortgage rates just hit yet another record low at 3.66 percent on the 30-year fixed, according to Freddie Mac. Home prices are stabilizing, if not gaining. Low supply should be a signal to homeowners that they could possibly get a bidding war. Still, nothing.

    Why was there no bump in supply and why isn’t there more competition for the low inventory? Anyone care to have a theory?

  14. Neanderthal Economist says:

    Brian i wonder if appraisals are coming in more aggressive/conservative depending if they’re conventional, refi, heloc, etc? Perhaps one of the gurus can shed some light…

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    Neanderthal [13],

    Or, are people simply flat broke.

  16. grim says:

    Appraisals are coming in conservative. It has been quite a while since I saw an appraisal significantly over contract price. Most times they come in at contract price (not surprising since the appraiser gets a copy of the contract).

  17. Essex says:

    15. Moving is expensive. The transaction is only the beginning. Then you have to think what is the upside to moving within the state? Nada.

  18. Essex says:

    Pick a spot and stay there. Low rates? Not a primary driver for someone with a high income.

  19. Essex says:

    Lebron Bitchez….MVP….take dat Clebeland

  20. grim says:

    From the Daily Record:

    Appeals court upholds Jefferson woman’s deal

    Saying Bank of America tried to “pull the rug out from under” a Jefferson Township homeowner, a state appeals court Thursday enforced a loan modification plan that will let the homeowner keep the mortgage on the almost $600,000 house she bought in 2007.

    The appellate panel went so far as to say Bank of America’s tactics bordered on “unconscionability” in its dealings with Sylvia T. Ficco.

    Ficco in 2007 got a 30-year mortgage of $591,913 for a home in Jefferson but defaulted, with BAC Home Loan Servicing L.P. (Bank of America) filing a foreclosure complaint in June 2008. But Ficco applied for a loan modification and the bank accepted it in October 2009 on a trial basis.

    As part of the process, the parties entered into a so-called Home Affordable Modification Trial Period Plan and the bank sent Ficco a letter on Oct. 12, 2009, that encouraged her to start a three-month trial period for a loan modification.
    Ficco provided necessary financial information and, at the bank’s urging, continued making mortgage payments. The bank on March 30, 2010, advised her in writing she qualified for a permanent loan modification.

    Though Ficco faithfully made payments under the new deal, the bank eight months later, in November 2010, sent her a letter saying its position had changed and she wasn’t eligible for a loan modification.

    Ficco sued in November 2010 to enforce the loan modification deal, and state Superior Court Judge Stephan Hansbury, sitting in Morristown, ruled in her favor. Hansbury found that the bank failed to submit any legally competent evidence to support its opposition and ruled that the bank was bound by its loan modification offer and Ficco’s acceptance.

  21. Fast Eddie says:


    Here’s one of my “chores” around the house while I’m home:


  22. veets (16)-

    Different lenders have different guidelines for appraisers. In my experience, every major lender has an overarching policy that they will definitely inform their appraisers of. Flowing from that, appraisers will generally use “market condition”-based inflators and deflators to adjust their final appraisal numbers accordingly.

  23. During the boom, if you had 90 days from contract to closing, the appraiser would give a plum property a “bump” of 1.5 to 2% appreciation per month from the date of the contract to the close.

    Likewise, I’ve seen some pretty draconian downward adjustments the past few years.

  24. Fast Eddie says:

    There is also still a huge backlog of foreclosures in judicial states like New Jersey, Florida and New York.

    So, that means the food chain gets broken resulting in no clear direction. We have no idea what that means for first timers or the trade-up crowd; thus, uneven and choppy data. It becomes all speculative with no consistency.

  25. Fast Eddie says:

    It is never a good thing to hear that one of the top 4 service providers is closing down 7 call centers across the nation. T-Mobile is planning to shut down 7 call centers by the end of June (today), effectively going from 24 centers to 17. A total of 3,300 employees will be effected by this move.

    Here is the full list of centers on the list of closure:

    •Allentown, Pennsylvania
    •Fort Lauderdale Florida
    •Frisco and Brownsville, Texas
    •Lenexa, Kansas
    •Thornton, Colorado
    •Redmond, Oregon

    Carry on…

  26. Bystander says:


    I have to think the bottom is nearly in for any desirable town in this area. I am looking in Fairfield County and plenty of declines to come in Stamford and Norwalk. Loads of inventory. Darien, Wilton, Westport have very little. Spring was busy. Most decent homes are, gone. Unless FKs start coming fast then enough demand to keep prices falling more than 5%. Crazy. On another note, rejected by hwdge fund and another said they would bring me in but never did. Job market still tanking.

  27. Brian says:

    t-mobile sucks BTW. My brother went to the verizon store to port the number on his T-mobile phone over to a new verizon phone because he was tired of not having a signal and getting dropped calls. The verizon guy must have been so happy he was curling his toes in his boots because when my brother picked up his T-mobile phone in the store to call T-mobile customer service for some account information he had zero signal bars! Hilarious, he was holding his T-mobile phone up in the air in the middle of the verizon store trying to get a signal and finally had to walk outside……

  28. Fast Eddie says:


    Job market still tanking.

    This is the worst job market in my life. So, if there’s very little inventory in the trade-up range, are the retirees not moving? Are they staying put for now? Are they not getting “their” price? Are they waiting for a bounce? I can’t understand it.

  29. Brian says:

    New Jersey pushes back against property tax cap unrest
    Published Jun 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm (Updated Jun 20, 2012)



    TRENTON — In a handful of New Jersey towns, residents who already bear the burden of the nation’s highest property taxes are starting to see new and increased fees on everything from recreation programs to ambulance service.

    Local officials argue it’s their only means of coping with the rising cost of government and meeting state mandates under a sweeping 2010 law that imposes a 2 percent cap on property tax increases.

    Just defeating the purpose

    But the emerging practice has riled both Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who made reining in property taxes a signature issue of his 2009 gubernatorial campaign, and Democratic state Senate President Steve Sweeney. They contend it violates the intent of the law, which allows municipalities to exceed the cap only with voter approval, and they have promised to close what they say is a loophole.

    “Municipal governments must do more to control property taxes,” Sweeney said. “Paying lip service to their residents’ needs for cost containment, then turning around and hitting them with a separate bill, is just taking more money out of the same pocket.”

    Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said that while not many towns have tried to go around the cap yet, the governor wants to put a stop to it.

    “Our intention is to prevent this from becoming a slippery slope,” he said.

    New Jersey has the nation’s highest property taxes, averaging $7,758 per household. More than 40 states have some kind of property tax limit, the first of which was imposed in Florida in 1855.

    Sweeney is sponsoring legislation aimed at stopping municipalities from using new or higher fees to circumvent the property-tax cap. The Senate passed the measure and sent it to the Assembly on May 31.

    Bill Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, said the cap is too strict, and decreasing aid has made the situation tougher. State aid to municipalities has fallen from nearly $2 billion to less than $1.5 billion.

    Municipalities have limited revenue

    Unlike local governments in many other states, those in New Jersey can’t enact local sales taxes, personal property taxes, amusement taxes, etc. That leaves property taxes and a limited hotel/motel tax to support a wide range of services.

    At the same time, Dressel said, towns are facing increasing state mandates for things such as environmental permitting and employee training.

    In Passaic, officials have gone so far as to consider charging fees for using the jaws of life at major car wrecks, said Assemblyman Gary Schaer, who is also the city’s council president.

    “At some point it’s going to hit fundamental services, police, fire and EMS,” said Schaer, a Democrat. “Although we might differ on how many times if at all municipalities should pick up garbage, or on building recreation centers, I think all of us would agree that every government includes, necessarily, protection.”

    Local officials said the state’s withholding of more than $1 billion a year in energy tax money due municipalities is another part of the problem. For nearly 100 years, cities received payments from energy companies with operations in their communities. But for the last 25 years, lawmakers have diverted some of that money to balance the state budget.

  30. Brian says:

    31 –

    The purpose of the property tax caps is to take less money out of residents’ pockets you dopes!

  31. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    Brian fair school funding ammendment solution to every ones problem with taxes. Also firing just about every public employee

  32. Fast Eddie says:


    Regardless if T-Mobile su.cks or not, still thousands unemployed now.

  33. Fast Eddie says:

    Eliminate property taxes and enact a line item menu for services that you wish to pay for. That includes education. We had a revolution based on extortion and threats, so how did we get to this point again? I’m tired of funding some fat f*cks 9 to 4, lazy slob job and then paying for his diabetes meds until he drops dead.

  34. 3B says:

    #17 Fast: I am not seeing a shortage of listings in BC towns where I am looking, (except for Midland Park), are you?

  35. Brian says:

    Gary, it’s not entirely unexpected. T-mobile has not been growing their market share for years and they were banking on the failed AT&T merger.

    T-Mobile Ready for Comeback Post AT&T Merger Flop

    34.Fast Eddie says:
    June 22, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Regardless if T-Mobile su.cks or not, still thousands unemployed now.

  36. 3B says:

    #35 Fast: It will never happen.

  37. Jill says:

    Anyone know a good deck builder that works in Upper Wannabe Haughtyville (Pascack Valley)? I found a guy but when he is calling composite “vinyl” I get worried. He has to be good because the deck will be built one story up, so posts and joists have to be strong.

    Also…looking for advice on wood vs. composite when I am the one who will be stuck with all the maintenance.

  38. Fast Eddie says:

    3B [36],

    I don’t know how to interpret it. I go back and forth on it. I’m looking in the Pascack region primarily in the 500K to 650K range and at times it appears the selection is a little shy. I’m having a problem deciding which metric(s) to use as a barometer. Maybe I’m making it too complicated.

  39. 3B says:

    #40 gary Understand. I am in the 350ish range, more than enough inventory in 2 of the towns I am looking in (the other one as I said not a lot), just not seeing anything at the moment that is compelling. Have to get moving though.

  40. Brian says:

    Dunno about a contractor in your area but thought I’d add my 2c regarding decking materials. My parents just completely replaced their deck. They went with treated lumber. This stuff actually does last quite a while. My dad, brother and I put on the side deck in the early 90’s (made of treated lumber) and it still looks great. Might need another coat of stain though. Plus, the quotes came in MUCH cheaper. I mean, if you didn’t want to do the maintenance, you could always pay a guy to stain it and still come in spending less money…I haven’t done the math but something to think about.

    My wifes uncle loves low maintenance stuff. I do too. The composite obvously has this going for it. One disadvantage i noticed though, is that the stuff he used is quite slippery when it rains….

    Also, he did actually put on a “vinyl” railing…

    39.Jill says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Anyone know a good deck builder that works in Upper Wannabe Haughtyville (Pascack Valley)? I found a guy but when he is calling composite “vinyl” I get worried. He has to be good because the deck will be built one story up, so posts and joists have to be strong.

    Also…looking for advice on wood vs. composite when I am the one who will be stuck with all the maintenance.

  41. grim says:

    39 – The most high-end decking available is actually vinyl (PVC), sold by brands like Azek, Gorilla, and includes the high-end lines from Trex and Timbertech. This stuff is more expensive than straight composite, or vinyl-clad composites.

    Framing inspection on my new deck is Tuesday, just finished the railing posts and stringers yesterday. It’s 15×25 (375sqft) and we built it ourselves.

  42. grim says:

    Owner of my local supply house says they are selling tons of treated decking this year, says that homeowners and builders just aren’t shelling out the money for composites.

  43. seif says:

    another one under contract in The ‘Fly:

    Est Cls Dt: 8/15/2012 UCD: 6/21/2012 DOM: 241

  44. Shore Guy says:


    Does the Nompound come equipped with a shortwave radio transmitter to serve as a numbers station? If so, who is in charge of generating the one-time pads to allow the nompounders to get instructions for how to get in without getting shot?

  45. Brian says:

    When we considered the fact that the original deck we reaplaced was actually untreated lumber and survived 20+ years the treated was actually an upgrade. I will say though, that my father and I had to replace many broken/rotted boards in that time and even had to sister many of the joists in order to keep it standing. Plus there was a lot of painting. But that’s just my dad’s super el-cheapo way of keeping stuff working. Plus he had two sons which doubled as live-in slave laborers. He actually waited until it partially collased before he decided it might need to be replaced….

    44.grim says:
    June 22, 2012 at 9:34 am
    Owner of my local supply house says they are selling tons of treated decking this year, says that homeowners and builders just aren’t shelling out the money for composites.

  46. Jill says:

    A couple more questions, if I may:

    1) Does the treated lumber still have arsenic in it?

    2) What about termites/carpenter ants? I’m terrified of infestations and don’t want anything to attract it.

    3) My sister the realtor says vinyl looks cheap. I see a lot of deck guys by me use the TimberTech stuff a LOT. Bergen Decks has a great web site but his reviews on Angie’s List are atrocious.

    I was thinking I might go to a couple of the local building supply places this weekend (Behnke and Kuiken Bros.) and ask them. Maybe they can recommend someone? Do I want to get a recommendation from them?

    I have no problem with paying someone to stain/waterseal a wood deck if it is a better choice. I don’t even have a problem doing it myself, other than the fact that I often work 7 days a week. But I cannot do structural repairs.

  47. chicagofinance says:

    Gary: guy on Bloomberg radio said it yesterday….potential sellers are looking at the prices and saying NFW…..as we have said here, unless there is a push to sell, people are waiting….the good stuff is being held back…..essentially these are the people with the same mindset as the sellers who are at above market asking prices, but there properties are not on the market….l

    Fast Eddie says:
    June 22, 2012 at 7:33 am
    Realtors say they did not see the usual spring bump in supply, as fewer regular homeowners put their homes on the market this year. The big question is, why not? Mortgage rates just hit yet another record low at 3.66 percent on the 30-year fixed, according to Freddie Mac. Home prices are stabilizing, if not gaining. Low supply should be a signal to homeowners that they could possibly get a bidding war. Still, nothing.

    Why was there no bump in supply and why isn’t there more competition for the low inventory? Anyone care to have a theory?

  48. AG says:


    Fast Eddie,

    I would love that. Too many legalized, lazy b_stards getting a pay check from g_v. Throw those worthless parasites into the real world and lets see if they can sink or swim.

  49. grim says:

    49 – Yes, I believe CCA is still used, there are alternatives (copper azole). Ipe is an option as well if you want real wood without the treatment, it isn’t cheap though. It is beautiful when maintained. Your framing will be treated however, so realize if you have health concerns, there are not many alternatives that don’t include very expensive steel (which would require engineering).

    No idea about ants.

    Vinyl decking looks cheap? Sure they aren’t talking about siding? Azek looks pretty darn good.

  50. AG says:

    Looks like the Turks lost an F-16. Of course the media will tell us its mechanical failure.

    22 June 2012 / TODAYSZAMAN.COM ,
    The General Staff has announced on its website that it has lost all communication with a military jet that took off from a military base in Malatya province at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
    The General Staff’s statement added that the military lost all contact with the jet at 11:58 a.m. as the jet was flying over the sea near Hatay province. Efforts to locate the jet were initiated immediately.


    Twitter saying plane shot down by Syria. Pilots in custody.

  51. Brian says:

    2) What about termites/carpenter ants? I’m terrified of infestations and don’t want anything to attract it.

    My mother asked my father once to hire somebody to put up a fence to keep the deer out of the yard. He took treated 2×4’s stood on a lawn chair and wailed them into the ground with a sledge hammer (your supposed to dig a hole and make a proper footing out of concrete) He then stapled deer netting to it. The bugs have not touched them in ten years.

    3) My sister the realtor says vinyl looks cheap.

    She’s entitled to her oppinion. You can’t please everybody I guess. When it comes to decking, most people I know would say exactly the opposite.

  52. Essex says:

    51. Parasites? Entitlements are dwarfed by bailouts….banks. Corporations. Which drained the coffers.

  53. Fast Eddie says:

    AG [51],

    They would actually float. There is a considerable amount of trapped air in an overabundance of adipose tissue.

  54. AG says:



    Treason for the primary dealers and their enablers. Fair enough?

  55. Essex says:

    23. Amen, let’s write a #1 hit and leave this town behind!!!!

  56. Fast Eddie says:

    BTW, I have the Trex decking. I have to power wash it every spring to remove the green moldy areas. I think I prefer good old-fashioned lumber.

  57. Fast Eddie says:

    Darden Restaurants report disappointing results. Aside from the economy, their products basically s.uck:


  58. grim says:

    59 – You’ll be staining every year instead, no free lunch.

  59. Brian says:

    Stain it Green…

    61.grim says:
    June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am
    59 – You’ll be staining every year instead, no free lunch.

  60. Brian says:

    What’s up with Trulia.com? When I look at houses in my area, the property tax listed is like half what the actual property tax bill is. They must be pulling their data from the wrong place or not including the school tax or something.

  61. scribe says:

    News flash for JJ:

    Something was just said on news radio about half the seats for next year’s Jets games being discounted. No details.

  62. seif says:

    64 – here are the details:

    The Jets suck

  63. Brian says:

    people have no sense of humor.

    Petition objecting to ‘whistling’ Princeton MarketFair billboard leads to its removal

  64. A regular poster with a clue about such things says:

    “Looks like the Turks lost an F-16. Of course the media will tell us its mechanical failure.”

    Depending on the altitude when it was hit, do not be surprised if it turns out to be a missile with a two-color seeker. Given the suupression technologies available, I seriously doubt it was a radar-guided missile. More likely a SA-18 or, my guess, a SA-24. The counter-countermeasures on the 18s and 24s are quite good and we should not be surprised, with Russia’s help (after all Syria becomes the 21st Century’s Spanish Civil War, where both sides test out their technology in a real-world setting) that Syria has been successful in acquiring low-cost but highly-effective anti-aircraft weapons.

    In fact, the Russia, to Syria, to Eritria, to Somalia conduit for advanced MANPADS is well known. Eritria will sell any weapon to anyone they think can harm Ethiopia, even if it means supplying al-Shabaab, who in turn poses serious risk to the world, both from their own exploits on the Horn and with their connections to AQAP.

  65. Anon E. Moose says:

    NE [11];


    I think mine cherry picked to avoid the couple I knew about on my block that traded at lower price (1 FK sale – plus house a wreck; another house just a wreck and slightly impacted land). The comps used were higher price and adjusted down to (conveniently, like yours) about $15k over the contract price; I’m content knowing that my K price was in the middle of surrounding comps.

  66. joyce says:


    Yes, they are parasites… and yes the banksters and other industries in bed with the government are also parasites, BIGGER parasites.

    Both large and small need to be removed from the public treasury.

  67. Keystonepro says:

    Brain- RE:decking. Composite/vinyl decking, like most any product has a wide range of quality. If you’re looking for a low maintenance and a long lasting deck, you’re not going to beat a better quality composite or vinyl. Timbertech, Azek and Trex all have great quality materials on their upper end and many have such a great impregnation of color and grain it’s difficult to tell it from real wood. We’re certified Timbertech installers and while we prefer their product, most major manufacturers have great warranties for fading and warping. Look for whats on clearance or being discontinued from your local lumber yard or Myles Kelly. Buy enough to store under your deck if you ever need a repair; go with a hidden screw installation and you never regret the choice. We don’t work in Bergen County so no conflict of interest…….A

  68. Anon E. Moose says:

    freedy [48];

    Ok ,here comes the Foreclosure Compensation

    It doesn’t bother me that banks have to pay for people that they legitimately screwed. On the other hand, if ‘legitimately screwed’ gets defined down as simply demanding payment as agreed in the contract, then things will have gone vastly awry. As I understood the settlement the banks were to establish a slush fund to pay off people who couldn’t afford the homes they bought.

    The national servicing settlement includes $1.5 billion in cash payments, or up to $2,000 per borrower, for homeowners who went through foreclosure between September 2008 and December 2011. That was a different approach from bank regulators, who required banks to hire independent consultants who are undertaking a more detailed review of each consumer’s case.

    So every deadbeat who got foreclosed on gets paid off. Cheap and easy to administer, I guess. Better than paying off the deadbeats still living in their free homes (HAMP, HARP, HOPE… whatever). Still, how about something for the people who didn’t stick their thumb in the eye of their lenders?

  69. Brian says:

    70 –
    Yeah I’m all for the composite/vinyl, it was Jill that has the pending project.

    I understand though, why someone would want to save money and go with treated lumber instead.

    Just curious, do you install and/or have any oppinion on treated lumber vs Composite/vinyl…I may rebuild mine in a few years….

  70. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    A poster who knows about ahh f*ck your nanme is too long

    Turks fly 2nd gen F-16 no look down shoot down capabilities, probably have 2nd gen countermeasures as well. If Syria goes extra regional I could totally see it getting out of hand. Except for the pentagon getting a hard on for more war the more rational folks would hold back newer tech to not tip our hand same goes for the russians. You may see an influx of stuff that is close to being de classified but nothing that is state of the art. We and the russians tend to save that stuff for the larger conflicts

  71. Essex says:

    69. In nature it’s called mutualism methinks.

  72. Bystander says:


    Gary- hard to generalize but I think retirees are waiting it out and older people just dying in homes or kids taking over. Since free money they are just listing it high and waiting for suckers. Just a guess bases on uptaick in property transfers with “estate of” in title. FKs not picking up from what I can see.

  73. Because pain thinks my name is to long says:

    One last thing about Syria. The key is not that the Turks lost a plane, it is that even our latest IRCM (think LAIRCM and related systems) have very limited ability to deal with two-color seekers and even a significantly-degraded focal-plane array is not likely to break lock because of currently-deployed countermeasures. Remember that the current seekers are capable of distinguishing the radiation from the airframe and no longer need intense IR sources in order to avoid breaking lock.

    This will complicate whatever air campaign occurs in Syria, and, I trust, makes it more likely that we will find ways of arming the rebels and that we will tend to rely more upon standoff weapons to disrupt C3I, which means the US. Maybe it is time to buy some Raytheon stock, as we may be buying a bunch of replacement Tomahawks.

  74. The Original NJ Expat says:

    My underwater neighbors made an interesting move, literally. They’re under water ~$50K on their 2BR 1 bath condo. Married couple, nurse and cop, with a 6 year old son and a border collie, but the guy’s MIL moved in with them almost a year ago and 900 square feet wasn’t cutting it any more. They’re not delinquent, haven’t refinanced from their original 80% 1st and 10% 2nd they took out in 2005 or 2006. They rented a townhouse in the next town over(Newton, MA) and have a professional couple signed to a year’s lease for their Boston place. They’re hoping to get the MIL set up in senior housing during the next year and then might move back to their smaller place. If their new rent equals about what they’re getting in rent for the smaller place, I guess it’s basically a labor intensive wash. Probably well worth it if it gives them enough space so the cop doesn’t pull his gun on the MIL.

  75. Brian says:

    Wow. I really like this trulia.com site. they value my home at $36,000 more than what zillow.com does plus, they state my property tax bill is half of what it actually is! It’s like a wonderful dream!

  76. Outofstater says:

    Jill – I have a 20 yr old treated lumber second story deck and it is still very stable and in good shape. We have it pressure washed and stained about every two years. We’re in the south so bugs are always a worry. We have carpenter bees bore holes into other wood on the house just about every year but they have never touched the deck.

  77. Shore Guy says:

    All this talk of “wars and rumours of wars.” Clot may be right afterall.

  78. Brian says:

    Lady from Greece, NY who was bullied…..

    now the “retirement” fund full of internet donations is up to $443,057 as of this morning.


    Story has turned from “empire decline” to heartwarming. Captain Sunshine would be proud.

  79. Painhrtz - Oooh a Donut! says:

    jeez I thought they were all out of service. Had to be a recon variant

  80. seif says:

    “Christie, in the presence of Springsteen—whom he would marry if he were gay and if gay people were allowed to marry in the state he governs—loses himself. He is, as is well known, a very large man—twice the width of Mitt Romney—but he is a very large man who dances at Springsteen concerts in front of many thousands of people without giving a damn what they think.”


  81. daddyo says:

    FYI – Tmobile prepaid is one of the best deals in the market right now. $30/month for 100 minutes talk, unlimited text, 5gb 4g data. Assuming you have coverage (big “if”), you can’t beat it. It’s the only part of the company gaining subscribers, but it’s substantial.

  82. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [46] shore,

    That’s classified.

  83. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [81] Brian,

    Watching MSNBC and Martin Bashir linked, or tried to link, the people sending the kids death threats with people who don’t like the Obamas.

    Not kidding.

    Don’t know what is his research source was but I believe he went further out on a limb than I ever saw Maddow go, and she is the queen of hyperattenuated syllogism.

  84. Brian says:

    Newsflash: Beer will save NJ economy and create jobs! Yes! Citizens of NJ! Don’t you worry! We will drink like crazy to help the economy until we are all in recovery!

    McHose: Craft breweries could improve the economy
    Allowing small breweries to increase production and open more facilities will create jobs


  85. Shore Guy says:

    “That’s classified.”


  86. Brian says:

    87 –

    That is some fantastic reporting.

    Maybe it’s all fake and he knows it. The bus monitor is probably a front for a Romney superpac.

  87. Shore Guy says:

    “hyperattenuated syllogism”

    I liked their first album but, the second album was a bit of a letdown.

  88. Shore Guy says:

    From CNN. I wonder if we will need to kick in a few billion more to cover the costs:

    General Motors announced today it will recall all Chevrolet Cruzes in the United States for the 2011 and 2012 model years to modify the engine shield under the vehicle that could result in a fire.

    The company is recalling 413,418 Cruze sedans.

    GM said it didn’t know of any crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issue.

  89. NJCoast says:

    84 Seif

    Christie might be a big fan of Springsteen but you should have heard the Turtles, Buckinghams, Grassroots , Gary Puckett and Mickey Dolenz hanging out in the green room talking about how Springsteen is not such a great guitarist or singer. Then I asked them if any of them wrote their own hit songs or had the publishing rights and they all got real quiet. Nothing like bitter aging rock stars. Fun times.

  90. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [92] Nice Fix, GM. They’re going to cut a piece of the car away so leaking fluids can fall directly on the ground.


  91. Jill says:

    #70: Do you install both wood and composite? What do most of your customers get? I’m looking at the TimberTech, which from what I can tell is used in a lot of Upper Haughtyville houses. The various lines are dizzying, though…Earthwood Evolutions, Reliaboard (which seems to be their budget line) XLM, Floorizon. There seem to be a lot of XLM installations, what do YOU recommend?

  92. Jill says:

    #93: Yes, but the Turtles played with Frank Zappa.

  93. NJCoast says:


    ….and we’re the vocals on Springsteens’ Hungry Heart.

  94. NJCoast says:

    97-were- not we’re

  95. Shore Guy says:

    “Then I asked them if any of them wrote their own hit songs or had the publishing rights and they all got real quiet.”

    Excellent putdown, in the best tradition of NJ. Bravo. While there are better guitarists, and better technical singers, than Bruce. And there are others who have penned tunes as or more compelling than those Bruce has written, when it comes to the entire package, there are but a few people who can stand in the same room with Bruce. Add his longevity and showmanship, and many of those others get ushered into the hallway.

    The number of people making Rock music who were able to pack arenas in the ’70s and can still do so today is infinitesimal. Those other artists might have shot to the top some years before Bruce but, he long-ago shot past them and is still well above where they are. Heck, even Aerosmith was playing the State Fair Circuit their last tour.

  96. Shore Guy says:

    By the way, what was the last good song written by Mickey Dolenz?

    Is that crickets I hear in the background?

  97. Shore Guy says:


    How is the cabana today?

  98. seif says:

    93 – i was surprised to recently learn that carole king wrote a bunch of those monekees hits.

    once i got past the visual of christie dancing (and nausea subsided), the christie/springsteen article made for some interesting reading.

    my favorite springsteen on backing vocals track is “Endless Night” by Graham Parker (bruce may have a writing credit on there as well, not sure). about 20 or so years ago i had one of those “that voice sounds familiar” moments while listening to it.


  99. Shore Guy says:


    There are alot of great songs that came out of the Brill Building days.

  100. AG (51)-

    Why go to all that effort when you can just line them up against a wall and bust a cap on them?

    “Too many legalized, lazy b_stards getting a pay check from g_v. Throw those worthless parasites into the real world and lets see if they can sink or swim.”

  101. zieba says:


    Have you guys been following, or perhaps are interested, David Israelite’s (of NMPA fame) table pounding for a concerted campaign to standardize and clarify the reporting of streaming royalties? This is an area of publishing that is of particular interest to me going forward.

    As you may know, publisher’s cannot negotiate deals for the exploitation of their copyrights (unlike record labels) and are essentially held hostage by the statutory provisions of the copyright law which afford licensees a right to exploit non first use copyrights so long as it is done at prescribed royalty rates. Digital licensees simply serve a notice of intent onto the publisher and start serving streams from a server somewhere. The per unit rates effectuated by the CRB recently are macabre revenue based models which are a nightmare to implement.

    One of my clients’ statement lines showed roughly $2,500 in for 35,000,000 (appox) streams. A few lines below that, same configuration, sample splits, $10,000 for 8,000,000 clicks.

    The USCC, which grants these statutory rights to licensees, requires that parties who license via the NOI, submit monthly/quarterly accounting and be subject to audits. Where the industry is now is that nobody knows a f*kin’ thing and even the majors can’t get their hands on source docs to support receipts coming in.

    Israelite contends that if royalty recipients interests aren’t advocated now, before a structure/framework is put into place, it’ll be too late once these pennies reach critical mass.

  102. Jill says:

    #104: For that kind of a payday, I’ll let a bus full of middle schoolers call me fat too. Ain’t like I don’t already know it.

  103. joyce says:


    Wow, look at that voluntary charity… I never thought such a thing existed.

  104. shore (80)-

    My biggest growing fear is that so many things I predicted as complete wild-ass guesses 3-4 years ago are now happening. It’s scary, because at first I honestly used to just spew crazy ideas here to stir the conversation, but now it’s like every week of my life should be an episode of Doomsday Preppers.

    The shit that really scares me now are the people who go around saying things are all better and housing will being going great guns again by the fall. I have a neighbor who utters this drivel non-stop, and I’m beginning to think he’s being paid to watch me.

    I am so ready to be wrong. I would be really happy to be wrong. Unfortunately, it just keeps getting worse and worse out there.

  105. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [108];

    Some NGO with a government grant will be along shortly to put a stop to that. To mich risk that they might actually solve the stated problem without creating a publicly funded patronage job to fill.

  106. Keystonepro says:

    Jill-We install wood and composite decks, about a 30/70 split respectively. The percentages work down to the Homeowners choice, but I don’t think we’ve installed a treated lumber deck in over 2 years. The quality of treated is just too inferior to what you can get for a fraction more. Stick with a major brand composite and look at the warranty that comes with your choice. We’ve done warranty work and our experience is most companies will stand behind their product. Again, alot of these styles and colors change so look for a discontinued style and you’ll save some real $. I’m a bid fan of using “natural” products, but I have a composite mahogany colored deck that is 10 years old on my own home and unless you’re within 2′ you wouldn’t know it’s not real. Good luck!

  107. Wait until Montklair has to do this. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — There are no signs of rioters, wind-damaged homes or flooding. The brand new City Hall features gleaming marble floors and the public recreation centers offer Zumba, karate and Pilates classes.

    Despite all of its suburban trimmings, North Las Vegas is officially a disaster area.
    After five years of declining property taxes, massive layoffs and questionable spending, leaders of the blue-collar, family-oriented city outside Las Vegas declared a state of emergency, invoking a rarely used state law crafted for unforeseen disasters.
    No matter that the statute, which allows municipalities to suspend union contracts and avoid paying scheduled salary increases, doesn’t actually include fiscal emergencies among the list of potential disasters.

    “It says, in case of ’emergency such as.’ You can’t list how many different types of emergencies there are in the world,” City Council member Wade Wagner said of the move, which will save the city $9 million.

    There are many cities across the nation grappling with declining property values and growing expenses like North Las Vegas, but few, if any, have declared financial emergency.

  108. Juice Box says:

    Get this, I have a snot nosed intern Kid A who comes in late every day, disappears for hours on end and now just told me “I don’t want to work ever.” Spends most of his time texting when he knows he is supposed to be at least working somewhat if not learning. Kid A’s dad is C Suite exec who is pretty wealthy and he is a hard worker but it seems this kid was coddled way too much, is not really physically fit for his age either looks like he never did a pushup ever. When he graduates dad should cut him off completely, with no student loans he will be way better off that 99% of the kids coming out of college today anyway and most of them want tot actually work. I have another intern Kid B who although is pretty green is hitting the books and working hard. I would hire Kid B in a sec over Kid A. Guess who will get the job next year? Kid A of-course, I need to dump Kid A on another dept ASAP!

  109. Fast Eddie says:

    My biggest growing fear is that so many things I predicted as complete wild-ass guesses 3-4 years ago are now happening. It’s scary, because at first I honestly used to just spew crazy ideas here to stir the conversation, but now it’s like every week of my life should be an episode of Doomsday Preppers.

    The ghetto administration campaigned on a promise to transform Amerika. They knew exactly the direction they wanted to take this country and the ghetto electorate was all too ready to comply… tats, rolls and all.

  110. Afe says:

    Other than visual inspection, does anyone have any ideas how to determine whether an entire ceiling was painted or only a portion?

  111. Fabius Maximus says:

    Clot ,
    I’m convinced there are a few people who have been paid to post here. I would bet that Jamil was on the Koch payroll.

  112. Fast Eddie says:

    Fabius [116],

    I don’t need to be paid to state the obvious.

  113. Juice Box says:

    You mean I have been posting for Free all of these years? Grim – backdated invoices are is in the mail!

  114. husky says:

    Greeting from over the ocean. Great blog I shall return for more.

  115. gluteus (116)-

    Funny; I always thought Rachel Maddow was paying you to hang out here.

    “I’m convinced there are a few people who have been paid to post here. I would bet that Jamil was on the Koch payroll.”

  116. And if gluteus isn’t on the Maddow payroll, I’m pretty sure he’s being underwritten by Growyourp*nisintwoweeks.com

  117. Fabius Maximus says:

    #121 Clot

    My only sponsorship is from “Taunt a Toon!”

  118. gluteus (124)-

    Wanker is probably a customer of Growyourp#nisintwoweeks.com

    “My only sponsorship is from “Taunt a Toon!”

  119. shore (125)-

    Meh. The interior looks like a Howard Johnson’s.

  120. I could go for some clam strips right about now…

  121. Fabius Maximus says:

    #126 Clot

    No, I hear his is long and distinguished, just like his career.

    Worried much?

  122. Fabius Maximus says:

    #118 Fast Eddie

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is disputing a Washington Post report on Bain Capital’s record of investing in companies that outsourced jobs, calling it a “fundamentally flawed” story that elides the difference between outsourcing and shipping jobs overseas.

    Any Questions?

  123. Fast Eddie says:

    Fabius [131],

    Let me know when you hear anything on those shovel ready jobs. I have a feeling we have a better chance of seeing the Titanic pulling into port. Oh, and I hear the Oblama campaign is spending more than they’re taking in (shocker!). I think the circus monkeys in Hollywood better pump up the volume.

  124. AG says:

    All turning to shit. It will be worse than most expect. Wolves and sheep. Dont be a sheep. Time for talk is alomst over.

  125. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Stupid Questions of the Week:

    1. NNJ Real Estate pricing, how would it be affected by the majority of finance jobs leaving NY?

    2. Would anything more extraordinary than PC’s and personnel situated somewhere else be required to effect #1?

    3. To prevent 1 & 2 above from happening, doesn’t NY hold all the cards?

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