2013 – “Breakout” year, or much of the same?

From the Record:

Housing 2013: The recovery is here, but it’s slow

After a long, deep slump, the real estate market is expected to grow stronger in 2013 as rock-bottom mortgage rates and a slowly reviving job market boost demand for housing and encourage builders to ramp up construction.

“It will be the best year for housing in the last five, with a higher rate of home sales, declining inventory and new construction beginning to occur,” said Jeffrey Otteau, an East Brunswick appraiser who tracks the real estate market statewide.

Still, the market faces serious challenges, especially in this region.

“The recovery in New Jersey is a little more sluggish relative to other parts of the country,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for the mortgage finance company Freddie Mac. That’s largely because the Garden State has a weak job market and a large backlog of distressed properties facing foreclosure.

Home prices have plummeted 23 percent in the region and 30 percent nationwide since they peaked during the housing bubble in mid-2006. While this drop has made homes more affordable to buyers, it’s been a brutal correction for people who bought, or borrowed against, their homes during the housing boom. Millions of homeowners nationwide are “underwater” — that is, they owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth. This has locked many people in their homes and worsened the foreclosure situation, since homeowners couldn’t just sell their homes to pay off their mortgage when they hit a financial rough patch.

Home prices nationally showed signs of stabilizing in 2012, and most forecasters predict they’ll be flat or rise slightly in 2013.

But in North Jersey and the rest of the New York metropolitan area, home prices continued to slide during 2012, possibly because the regional market was slower to begin correcting from the excesses of the housing boom. And New Jersey’s weak job market is also weighing on home prices, because people who are out of work — or fear they might be — are not there looking to buy homes.

“The job numbers have headed in the wrong direction recently in New Jersey,” Otteau said. Still, he expects prices to rise 2 percent statewide in 2013.

While home values have lagged in the region, rents have gone up as more households, unable to buy, have turned to rentals.

Foreclosure activity was put on ice in New Jersey for more than a year, after allegations first arose in late 2010 of “robo-signing” — mortgage industry workers signing legal documents without verifying them, in their rush to evict distressed homeowners. Now, after several legal settlements, the foreclosure machinery has cranked up again, and tens of thousands of foreclosures are likely to reach the New Jersey courts in 2013.

So, while most of the rest of the nation has put the worst of the foreclosure crisis behind it, New Jersey still has a backlog of distressed properties that will be hitting the market over the next couple of years.

Aside from the trauma to families who’ll lose their homes, this wave of foreclosures is expected to put downward pressure on home values, because properties in foreclosure are often badly maintained. And foreclosed properties tend to sell for less than market value, because the lender is eager to unload the home.

Otteau said the increase in foreclosure activity will be felt mostly in rural and urban areas, adding, “It will have very little effect in most suburban markets.” Many foreclosed homes are being bought by investors and rented out, or fixed up before being resold, which means they’re less likely to drag down nearby home values, he said.

Existing home sales in New Jersey are not improving as quickly as in the rest of the country, according to O’Keefe, because the state’s economy is lagging the national recovery. The state’s unemployment rate is running well above 9 percent, significantly higher than the national rate.

As a result, said Otteau, “I don’t think 2013 is going to be the breakout year I had expected.”

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

97 Responses to 2013 – “Breakout” year, or much of the same?

  1. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    ‘Fiscal cliff’ deal saved New Jersey homeowners underwater from tax man

    When Congress voted Tuesday to save the country from plunging off the so-called fiscal cliff, it also extended a tax break for struggling homeowners that will help the housing market, especially in New Jersey, according to several analysts.
    President George W. Bush signed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act into law in 2007 to help homeowners whose debt exceeded the market value of their house. Prior to that, having a portion of a mortgage forgiven was considered taxable income.

    The tax break was scheduled to expire in the new year, but has been extended through 2013. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it may cost the federal government $1.3 billion in lost revenue.

    Despite the potential loss to the Treasury, “It was an intelligent decision the first time and it was intelligent to do it again,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of the Pompton Plains-based mortgage research firm HSH.com

    The break has benefitted homeowners looking for loan modifications or short sales. Without it, a borrower who owed $300,000 on his mortgage, for example, and sold his house for $250,000 would pay taxes on the $50,000 that the bank forgave. Someone in the 25 percent tax bracket earning $37,000 a year could pay $12,500 in additional taxes on the forgiven loan.

    Last year, nearly 13 percent of homeowners in New Jersey were considered “seriously delinquent” on mortgage payments, according to Mortgage Bankers Association.

    Gumbinger said not extending the law would have had a ripple effect.

    “Short sales would come to a close, or at least slow down to the levels of a couple of years ago,” he said. “That would result in lower home prices because there would be a greater inventory of distressed properties.”

  2. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Cheap Money Era That Saved U.S. Housing Seen Bottoming

    The era of increasingly cheap money that fueled the housing recovery and record home-lending profits is showing signs of ending in the mortgage bond market.

    Fannie Mae-guaranteed 3 percent securities, which lenders use to price new loans, tumbled last week to the lowest since Sept. 12, the day before the Federal Reserve announced plans to add $40 billion of mortgage debt to its balance sheet each month. The drop, as lawmakers struck a budget deal and the central bank signaled it may conclude the open-ended bond-buying program this year, could lead to further increases in homeowner borrowing costs from the record lows set in December.

    “It would present a test for the housing market just as we’re going into the key spring selling season,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist in Charlotte, North Carolina at Wells Fargo & Co., the top U.S. mortgage lender. “I wouldn’t wind it down when it is poised to do its most good.”

    While no one expects mortgage rates to skyrocket, higher rates could challenge the rebound in U.S. residential real estate after a five-year slump by cutting how much homebuyers can afford to pay. Rising borrowing costs may also “spoil the party” for lenders that profited from a more than 20 percent jump in mortgage originations last year, according to Deutsche Bank AG, by slowing refinancing that’s benefited firms led by Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

  3. grim says:

    If you thought mortgage lending in the US was loose:

    Canadians can still buy a house without saving their pennies

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Bank-Foreclosure Settlement Nears

    Banks were closing in on a $10 billion foreclosure-abuse settlement with regulators that could be announced as soon as Monday, according to people familiar with the talks.

    The settlement was nearly complete Sunday afternoon, the people said, after the Federal Reserve backed down on a demand for more compensation for consumers and other changes to the pact.

    Bankers threatened to walk away from the deal if the Fed’s demand for an additional $300 million was included, a person briefed on the talks said.

    In 2011, 14 banks were cited for foreclosure abuses by the Fed and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Although the exact number was uncertain, most of the 14 banks cited for improper foreclosure practices were expected to sign onto the deal, the people said.

    The settlement would end a review process set up in 2011 amid public outrage over banks’ foreclosure practices. Swamped with foreclosure filings, many banks used “robo-signers” to sign off on thousands of cases, stating falsely that they personally reviewed each one.

    Under the settlement, these reviews will halt, and the banks are expected to pay a total of $3.75 billion in cash and the balance in other forms of borrower relief.

    Under the settlement, 4.4 million homeowners who were in some stage of foreclosure in 2009 and 2010 would receive a check of at least $250. Larger sums are to be sent to the 495,000 homeowners who asked to have their foreclosure cases reviewed. The amount will depend on the severity of the alleged violation, a person briefed on the process said.

  5. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  6. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    N.J. landlords fear Sandy will hurt summer rentals

    By this point in winter, Sharon Roher would ordinarily be closing in on renting her two Seaside Heights properties for the entire summer.

    This year, she has only four weeks booked and is struggling to figure out how many of her customers will return to the Ocean County beach resort, which is among the Jersey Shore towns hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy nearly 21/2 months ago.

    Even though Atlantic and Cape May Counties – geographically about half of New Jersey’s 127-mile coastline – were left largely unscathed, it’s the entire blocks of homes and businesses reduced to rubble in Ocean and Monmouth Counties that are seared into the nation’s consciousness.

    Sandy’s enduring image has been Seaside Heights’ roller coaster, which once sat upon a boardwalk made famous by the exploits of Snooki and Pauly D. It remains partially submerged in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Those images of devastation, fearful Shore homeowners and businesses say, could ultimately have a negative impact on New Jersey’s $38 billion-a-year tourism industry – a trade that depends heavily on the coast for its bottom line.

    “The first thought out of everyone’s mouth is, ‘Are they going to have a summer season?’ ” Roher told The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 60-year-old lives year-round in Pleasant Valley, Pa.

    The answer from municipal officials, businesses, and property owners is loud and clear: Yes, Virginia and Maryland, North Carolina, and Delaware . . . New Jersey will, indeed, have a summer season.

    Yes, despite the delay in passage of federal recovery aid and the bevy of beach towns from Delmarva to the Outer Banks that would love to poach – ahem, woo – vacationers with their Southern charms. Marketers in competing coastal states have initiated plans to put the hard sell on target audiences in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

    “This is a very critical moment for us in the vacation rental market,” said Diane F. Wieland, director of the Cape May County Department of Tourism. “They may not be ready to sign on the dotted line right now, but they are formulating their plans. If we lose the tourists now, they could be gone for good. “

  7. Mike says:

    Tourist gone for good? I don’t think so Diane

  8. grim says:

    Lewes, Rehoboth, Dewey? These are all pretty small places in the grand scheme of tourist destinations, and while it’s been a few years since I’ve been down there, they had always seemed to fill up pretty quickly. Not really sure any of those places could handle much overflow at all, even if they were selected as alternates. I’d think the only actual near option/alternative with capacity is what, Ocean City, MD?

  9. JJ's B.Se says:

    underwater homeowner is an oxymoron

  10. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    [8] grim,

    The Deplumes have been going to OCMD for the past few summers but not this year, partly due to demand shift resulting from Sandy.

    There ar other reasons, such as school start dates in PA and the two expensive vacations we just took, but Sandy demand was part of the reason we wrote off OC this year.

  11. Brian says:

    9 – financially yes…legally no.

    Anyway, I’d rather be my kind of underwater than yours :)

  12. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    [6] grim,

    One wonders if Ms Roher is feeling the effects of Hurricane Snooki and Hurricane Barack on her rental almost as much as from Sandy?

    Sleazeside couldn’t be getting a boost from Jersey Shore, which is likely driving away high margin families in favor of low margin bennies. And those bennies aren’t making much, and what they are making they are banking due to the economy. So Seaside was already losing the renters they needed.

    So I think that a slowdown in Seaside was baked in but Sandy landed a body blow on Seaside. I wonder if there is evidence, even anecdotal, to support this.

  13. JSMC says:

    I have family that owns a rental house in Ocean City, NJ. At Christmas, they were telling me that the rental weeks for their house were starting to fill up now, and at a faster rate than last year (there was no damage sustained during Sandy). The southern shore towns are going to going to happily take the tourists who can no longer go to the Ocean/Monmouth County locations. Points AC and south are going to have a record-breaking summer.

  14. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    [14] jsmc


  15. grim says:

    Perhaps that’s why Wildwood is looking to transition to paid beaches.

  16. Anon E. Moose says:

    Top 5 cities where home prices rose the most in 2012

    No. 1: Phoenix, AZ +28.4% YOY. They also has some of the sharpest declines, -51.2% from peak. Pretty striking argument in favor of ripping the band-aid off quickly. Alas, NJ housing…

  17. JJ's B.Se says:

    Good news is my house is being finished this week!!! Downstairs I got a new furnance, oil tank, floor in Den, porcelain floor in bathroom and laundry room. Granite slab above new washer/dryer. Did move walls to make laundry room and bathroom bigger. Did top of line stuff in bathroom mixed with value stuff to give illusion it is all expensive. Put in a new built in cabinet, the large flat screen in last night. Two new staircase, three new carved doors. New to code oversized self closing metal fire door to furnance. Double sheet rock in furnance room. All new sheet rock, electrical, ceiling, hit pipes on ceiling, new baseboard heatting. New closer installed, new fancy trap door to crawl space, Benjiman moore paint and I did all new high hats and a custom dropped ceiling around edges or room with high energy lights and the fancy colored lights on top. Did new marble door entance and nice expensive marble store ways and a shelf that was made of oak around room fully finished and threw in a new sewer line and sumppump and new instalation all around including crawlspace. And custom cabinets in laundry room.

    I never would have done this project if not for flood. 25% down there was from 1955 and rest was from a 1982 renovation. It was overwelming to do on my own voluntarily. Wall to wall carpet of absestos tiles and wallpaper over paneling over sheetrock on walls and a popcorn ceiling to boot with tons of old cloth wiring mixed in. Doing it all at once ment it was a package deal and paying cash for everything also helped. Also helped in flood all permit rules noisy neighbors were out the window. I could work on it 7 days a week sun up to sun down. Power tools going at 8am on a sunday. Neighbor to left and right are still not living there which ment no noise issues.

    Go that project down for like 40k including furnance and oiltank. Once I throw in furniture and miss I will be close to 50k.

    By raising oil tank, raising furnance on blocks, using stone floors and doing built in on walls and a vanity on legs I removed nearly everything from ground and I have a sumpump now.

    I got exactly the same amount covered for my damages as if I had flood insurance but that is no big deal as I was only thinking of buying flood insurance after Irene. I was lucky as most of heavy damage was in the part of house that was techincially a basement, even though one foot down and 90% of room above ground. Flood insurance screws you in a basement. My damage in garage, porch and upstairs was only like 4k.

    Most folks without flood insurance dodged a bullet in this storm. Thank you mr. Cuomo. He threw in an extra 10k. So in NY you could get paid up to 41,900 without insurance. So as long as your damage was under 50k you did ok.

    Lucky for me. Some folks got hit with 200k worth of damage near me and that 41,900 is peanuts.

    BTW going short sale, bk etc hunting in Long Beach soon. My “crew” said they would support me in next project. Lots of folks hunting down their as old timers are throwing in towel, Would love a small bungalow cheap get crew going in March, done in early May and turn around and rent. Just get a ton of flood insurance. As uncle sam does not bail out landlords.

    Brian says:
    January 7, 2013 at 8:58 am

    9 – financially yes…legally no.

    Anyway, I’d rather be my kind of underwater than yours :)

  18. chicagofinance says:

    JJ: congrats…..so when are you going to have your “inauguration ceremony”?

  19. Ragnar says:

    This is a great essay, I’m curious about what response the board lefties have for this:
    The topic: European welfare statism requres European (or higher) levels of taxation on the broad majority.

  20. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [16] grim,

    I have to believe that if certain shore towns can gentrify, they will. Offhand, I would imagine that gentrifed towns have higher ratables, tourists spend more, and they have lower public costs for police OT and other stresses on the fisc that exist in a Seaside but not in an Avalon. So why not use this crisis to remake the town? Seems like a golden opportunity.

  21. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Anecdotal OT: After looking at yet another story of gun stores selling out to the bare walls, I did a search to see what my used Mini-14 would bring if I were to sell it.

    I bought it about 4 years ago and I could look forward to at least 150% profit.

    Thank you Mr. President.

  22. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [20] ragnar,

    Even if we don’t impose european-style democratic soc1al1sm (and we are largely there already), the mere fact of our debt and current spending means that the tax man cometh for the rest of us eventually. As The One would say “it’s math.”

    We can take through taxation the entire wealth of the 2% and it would fund the government for less than a year, and would not dent the debt at all. And is anyone really naive enough to think that the wealthy are simply going to let their wealth be taken? If they are, they should write me for a new investment opportunity!

    So when the wealth of the 2% suddenly isn’t available for our “higher and better” use, to whom will they turn next? You know that is happening when Fabius and dope suddenly start complaining about taxes being too high. And they will; history proves this to be so

  23. Juice Box says:

    re # 16 – Wildwood was supposed to lay off 40 or more workers. The chose not to and instead raised parking rates etc, and deferred pension contributions. Any move to charge for beach access is to keep cousin Anthony and Uncle Jimmy working.

  24. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Nom 21 you would think that would be the best course of action. go full on Ocean City MD. Make it highly attractive to families market the vacation in your backyard, top notch restaurants etc.

    unfortunately it will probaly look like haiti with hair gel this summer with tent cities and low end luxury cars.

    Seaside could be our our own Favela.

  25. Keystonepro says:

    21-While I agree that you’ll see some borderline C+ shore towns impose stricter zoing requirements that will “gentrify” their towns, you’re simply not going to convince most beach towns, and rightfully so, that creating a high value, less dense town is going to fill the coffers. There is an enourmous amount of $ generated in towns like Seaside Heights which is still a day tripper/week-ender destination. Ask the restauranteurs or shop keepers anywhere on LBI, they’ll tell you their communities are largely homeowners. The days where everyone rented for 2 weeks each summer are long drying up. People eat at home, don’t play mini-golf twice a week, or buy souvenier T shirts like they did years ago. Besidews, where will Hudson?NY crowd end up without places like Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant? Doylestown (?)

  26. Brian says:

    JJ, just curious, since your furnace and oil tank were wrecked anyway, why didn’t you convert to natural gas?

    Glad to hear your house is almost back to normal…now you understand what people went through with Irene…there were torrential rains with that one and a lot of inland flooding. Many of my neighbors had water filling their basements destroying all of hte contents and we are no where near a flood zone! Lots of street flooding during that one that overwhelmed municipal storm sewers.

    18.JJ’s B.Se says:
    January 7, 2013 at 9:39 am
    Good news is my house is being finished this week!!!

  27. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [27] keystone,

    That had occurred to me, and it certainly augurs for certain towns continuing to suck up that demographic. I wasn’t expecting the entire shore to go this route and I think we agree on the fact that it will be at the margins. And some towns have their niche so well-developed, it would be hard for them to break out of it.

    But one thing to watch for is accidental gentrification: If the new code requirements make it expensive to rebuild, we may see some areas become further gentrified by the push-out factor. More affluent owners will want more affluent amenities and so it goes.

    In sum, the weekender bennies will have fewer options.

    (ATEOTD, I am not an economist nor do I know that much about the Shore. But I think that these forces bear watching).

  28. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [26] pain,

    OCMD, especially on the south side, is very Jersey Shoreish. I would expect that would only get worse and make its way north. But I also expect that OCMD will be expensive this year and that will keep the element you speak of down.

    In any event, I don’t much care. I’m not going this year.

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    CNBC reprints this from the NYT. And because it is the NYT, the liberals have to accept the analysis and conclusion.


    I wonder if the Times even knows that they inadvertently pointed out that Obama lied about taxes?

  30. grim says:

    Nom – Plausible to believe that shore property (in aggregate) will increase post Sandy. As renovation work is done and properties are upgraded to current codes/standards/finishes the value of those properties rise.

    Question is, how do you define gentrification? Is it directly related to the cost of an area, or are there other qualitative factors involved?

  31. grim says:

    Here is the Dallas Fed study:


    Our results show that the typical hurricane strike in our sample raises real house
    prices for a number of years, with a maximum effect of between 3 to 4% three years after
    occurrence. There is also a small negative effect on real incomes. These results are stable
    across models and sub-samples. Thus, hurricanes play an important role in the real estate
    market of US coastal cities.

  32. prtraders says:

    I went for a bike ride up to Point Pleasant Beach yesterday. It was packed with disaster tourists. And now that the parking kiosks are destroyed, free parking everywhere. The rebuild effort is in full swing and I certainly wouldn’t bet against Point Pleasant coming back better than before.

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [30] grim,

    I guess I define it as the process by which an area’s overall net worth rises dramatically.

    The trigger has to be a migration of lower income owners out of a desirable area. In the case of the Shore, the towns are desirable because of the shore. Often, this takes years because of the migration process. As older, less affluent owners sell, newer affluent owners come in and improve properties. They create their own economy and this builds on itself.

    With Sandy wiping out so much stock, I see this process being compressed dramatically from a multiyear (or even decade or longer) process to 2-3 years. As the houses are rebuilt, they will be worth more, not so much because of code changes but because of all the new SS appliances, granite, italian tile, Restoration Hardware fixtures, and, of course, the replacing of crush valor with rich corinthian leather.

    The houses will also be bigger, better appointed, and thus more expensive. This will attract the more affluent buyers. And as they come in, the lower-end commercial also goes out in favor of higher end commercial. Family Dollar moves out; Pottery Barn moves in, you get the idea.

    Now, I don’t know the Shore worth a damn so I would be hard-pressed to say where this will occur. Perhaps the affected areas were already there so gentrification won’t occur. Or it could be at the margins: Surely not all of Seaside Heights that was damaged resembles Snookiville. Perhaps those outlying sections become gentrified so you have that dichotomy that exists in OC-MD where the south side looks like Wildwood and the north side looks like Rehobeth.

  34. Mike says:

    33 How was their boardwalk?

  35. JJ's B.Se says:

    Gas and Oil companies were only servicing existing customers only. I had to use my oil company Slomins, or get on back of the line. The second issue with Gas I needed a plumber to do hook up. I have no gas from street to house. There are no plumbers around. Plus I needed a licensed plumber. They were vastly overcharging and were unavailable.
    I would have an unlivable house for an extra two months, mold was starting to grow as house was damp and cold from lack of heat and also the contractor could not sheetrock or move ahead in house till heat was on for a few days. Sheetrock, tiles, lumber etc. I need heat to install properly. Plus I could not really live there, I had no heat or hot water so I would need too spend two months in hotel. Final one was I have an electric oven and dryer that was broke. I replaced it right away as I had electric. If I waiting another two months for gas it ment no stove or dryer.

    In the end new oil burner is up on cinder blocks raised up and new oil tank I put an extra long nozzle and air thing that goes above flood line so no water can get in tank. I went from a 1955 burner to a 2012 burner which is supposed to be a lot more efficent

    Brian says:
    January 7, 2013 at 11:10 am

    JJ, just curious, since your furnace and oil tank were wrecked anyway, why didn’t you convert to natural gas?

  36. Ernest Money says:

    It is now ok for banksters to commit forgery.

  37. joyce says:


    You gotta love the propoganda media machine… wasn’t it reported that the deal was signed and sealed many months ago?

  38. JJ's B.Se says:

    Long Beach they are starting to demo whole boardwalk this week, will take 30 days. Whole new one will be up by summer.

    Long Beach values of houses will go way up due to storm. Mostly older poor crowd who cant afford to rebuild are being pushed out and long beach is getting tons of fema money to rebuild infrastructure. This is a big plus long term for home values.

    Look at my block of 1950s splits. Many were outdated, old furnances, wall to wall carpet etc. All the house are going to be showpieces come summer. My house will look twice as good as before. Many houses all new appliances, furniture, floors etc. Now is the time to buy. I had a few sales close near me since Sandy and prices do not show any change. It sucks cause my annual tax grievance I was betting on some cheap comes.

    I would price my home if I sold it today at maybe 50K higher than pre-sandy. It is now mint, with tons of great upgrades. Also little things like looking at all the crappy old cars near me. 11 year old taurus, 15 year old dented minivans along nieghbor eyesores. They are all gone. All new 2012/2013 cars in all the driveways. Any newlywed couple in 2014-2020 will be drawn to towns that were damaged in Sandy. Most housing stock is run down in NJ/LI, near me we will have estate sales advertising new kitchen, bathroom, freshly painted, new boiler, new appliances. While land locked folks will have the junky houses. Plus I would say the average house in my town will spend between 100k to 200K between Sandy and the Summer to rebuild. What a boost to local economy, heck I spent 90K on cars alone in last few weeks.

  39. JJ's B.Se says:

    This agreement includes Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. For these participating servicers, fulfillment of the agreement would meet the requirements of the enforcement actions that mandated that the servicers retain independent consultants to conduct an Independent Foreclosure Review.

    BAC, JPM, Sovereign and SunTrust bonds were very good to me during TARP. God Bless the banks.

  40. joyce says:


    Will there be a sentence containing the words “flood zone” in the listing ads? Or how about mandatory (expensive) flood insurance?

  41. yome says:

    The previous robo signin deal was with the states worth 25 billion. Another 10 billion to settle regulators. Who is next? BA is going to settle Fannie worth less than 10 billion on defaulted mortgages.

  42. Ernest Money says:

    Want to know who the guarantor of all the bad mortgages and crap student loans is?

    Look in the mirror. Then, break out the lube.

  43. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [40];

    I would price my home if I sold it today at maybe 50K higher than pre-sandy.

    I saw alot of that in the Irene-affected flood areas around Wayne, etc. “BRAND NEW BASEMENT!” screamed the listing. “Furnace and HWH less than 1 year old!” I passed.

  44. yome says:

    You would think the gubmint will be away from guaranteeing those mortgages after 2006. The politicians just love to put that lube because they can.

  45. raging bull jj says:

    I dont have expensive flood insurance. Only $390 bucks a year. Plus only mandatory if you have a conforming mortgage. I say half of flooded folks still dont have flood insurance. Some folks are waiting till summer. We are past flood season.

    According to Floodsmart every home is in a flood zone. It is risk factor that determines rate.

    The most important issue one should ask is did your house every receive in excess of a 5k payout from FEMA in a federal disaster when it did not have flood insurance. It turns out a house can only get a one time FEMA payout of $31,900. So if a new owner buys my house does not maintain flood insurance and gets flooded and FEMA starts handing out $31,900 checks it is no soup for him.

    floodsmart and fema will tell you this type of info. To be honest if I could keep getting some payout without flood insurance I might take the risk. Odds are I wont get flood ed again.

    Plus Joyce I have a cadillac and new gmc denali parked right my old two cars floated away. Brand new bathroom, den etc in an area that was six feet undewater. Isnt that why I now have insurance. Most folks near me are moving forward, I see lots of 2013 BMWs in the flood victims driveways. FEMA and FLood Insurance people from down south always look bilwarded when us LI folks are fighting them tooth in nail to get paid while 100K worth of brand new cars sit in driveways
    joyce says:
    January 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Will there be a sentence containing the words “flood zone” in the listing ads? Or how about mandatory (expensive) flood insurance?

  46. joyce says:

    If 72ft of sqft is all one person needs… why did you buy a new car? Think of the investments you could have purchased with that money.

  47. raging bull jj says:

    Techinically according to my neighbor I was never flooded. I have no insurance claim, no insurance payout. Plus I got no permits. It just would be advertised as super mint etc. Unless I sell it today how could someone tell in the year 2018 that work was all done after storm. I did not ask my guys details. Plus LI is different from NJ. Most contractors dont give receipts, lots of off the book workers, permits are rarely given. For intance I hired a guy to do some work for me post sandy he gave me a recept that said Bob. Had to pay him cash. No clue who Bob is. I dont see how anyone can figure it out. Also what does it matter. It was a once in a lifetime event.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    January 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm
    JJ [40];

    I would price my home if I sold it today at maybe 50K higher than pre-sandy.

    I saw alot of that in the Irene-affected flood areas around Wayne, etc. “BRAND NEW BASEMENT!” screamed the listing. “Furnace and HWH less than 1 year old!” I passed.

  48. raging bull jj says:

    I did not buy a new car. I got a deal on a good used one from upstate ny. My wife bought a new 52K truck as I dont control that. All the ladies in town bought new cars from 40-70K. I got paid out on three cars and only bought two cars so that helped.

    I tried to get her to buy used but there was no inventory. Oh well. BTW I did zero down zero percent financing six year loan on car. I kept my 52k in the market so my goal is to trade enought on the 52k to pay off loan each month. So far so good.

    joyce says:
    January 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm
    If 72ft of sqft is all one person needs… why did you buy a new car? Think of the investments you could have purchased with that money.

  49. joyce says:

    I would never have thought you didn’t get a Deal and a Good car.

  50. Juice Box says:

    re: # 49 – JJ you will be leaving your place feet first anyway. No way are you going to trade up your blue collar neighborhood and go Gatsby at a Glen Cove Mansion.

  51. JJ's B.Se says:

    I got screwed on my wifes car. She needed it asap as we had no cars at all and with no phone, heat or electric at home we needed transportation asap.

    I beat the dealer to death on my deal. I got a 2011 CTS with 5k miles on it for 26k. I rarely drive. Maybe 1-2k a year so I did not want a new car but I also did not want a beat up used car so I get someone else’s problem. Trouble is I had to go upstate a bit away from the flood to get car. This one was traded into dealer week before sandy and dealer only has 60 day float to sell. I bought cash a few days before float ended. He had to move it either way in a few days,. Very difficult to get a good used car in the 20-28k price range after Sandy. I know what I am doing and it took me several weeks.

    joyce says:
    January 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I would never have thought you didn’t get a Deal and a Good car.

  52. joyce says:


    I’m sure you know what you’re doing.

  53. joyce says:

    4bed 2.5bath house for rent in Madison… and this is the picture they choose to put first:

  54. grim says:

    3 grand don’t go too far these days

  55. Anon E. Moose says:

    JJ [49];

    Techinically according to my neighbor I was never flooded.

    Quack, Quack.

    More power to you, brother. I never mistook you for the kind who was unwilling to play the ‘greater fool’ game for a couple of turns around the block (e.g., buy C, BAC; buy GM).

  56. Jill says:

    Nom #22: That’s nothing. I’ve got a few hundred collectible Steiff animals to sell from my mom’s house.

  57. nwnj says:

    Leave it to JJ(predictably) to turn a sewage tsunamai into a positive. I kind of wish my place were hit by one after reading his tales.

  58. Libtard at Maxon says:

    Well after all of our car searching, looks like we ended up in a Mazda CX-9. The Veracruz’ were all pretty much gone or too equipped. The Santa Fe extended rlease date keeps getting pushed out. The Mazda 5 is just too small and both our close friends spoke of the shock issues. Considered American but mileage sucked. Ended up with a new 2012 on 0 percent financing and a fair trade for the Xterra. Sorry I recently bought such good tires for it. All car salesmen are such crooks. This place offered a great price on car, but then offered us 2k less than the trade was worth. Claimed car had a leak. I said where? He said he couldn’t tell me. Complete BS. Eventually got the manager to give me fair Edmund’s trade value. I just hope new Mazda is more reliable than old Mazda. Got power drivers seat for free too.

  59. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    gentrification = growing Asian population.

    Question is, how do you define gentrification?

  60. yome says:

    gentrification = growing Asian population= with money?

    Question is, how do you define gentrification?

  61. JJ's B.Se says:

    My house had a refreshing salt water wash. Only downside of tale was the two week I spent personally in crawlspace, den, laundryroom and bathroom de-pooping and de-molding stuff. I am sure all that white stuff that fell off my pipes was just cotton candy, the brown stuff was fresh potting soil and the absestos tile was really just well not absestos. And sure windows and sheetrocked painted in 1950s to 1970s contain no lead paint.

    I can with a straight face say my house was absestos and lead abated by the US govt. It is true, I threw it on front lawn and a FEMA backho took it away to god knows where.

    Funny in NYS they have a thing where you have to disclose defects to new owner. Or if you choose not to you pay a $500 fine to new owner and he signs and agreement that house is as is and he waives all rights. Every house in NYS sold a lawyer tells you to sign it. You can’t buy one without it. Most cases you only meet seller at closing if you do a realtor.

    Honestly my house is fine, I live there I got the stuff out. Any flood house that was a primary residence with young kids and a wife, hubbie either had to hire someone or do it right. Cost me nearly $1,000 bucks to demold house properly without hiring someone. That equipment to rent and chemicals are expensive.

    My wife still wants to trade up. Now more than ever. I can get top dollar for my house in next two years. The flood is ancient history. Just need the idiot neighbor next to me to put blinds in as he has no main level of house, you can see straight through to backyard. Schmuck.

    Anon E. Moose says:
    January 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    JJ [49];

    Techinically according to my neighbor I was never flooded.

    Quack, Quack.

    More power to you, brother. I never mistook you for the kind who was unwilling to play the ‘greater fool’ game for a couple of turns around the block (e.g., buy C, BAC; buy GM).

  62. JJ's B.Se says:

    chinkrification no.

    When you have honkies moving into a black neighborhood that is gentrification

    yome says:
    January 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    gentrification = growing Asian population= with money?

    Question is, how do you define gentrification?

  63. Juice Box says:

    Since when does gentrification apply to Jersey Shore expensive beachfront property? Most of the of the homes affected by Hurricane Sandy were all well above low income and weren’t poor housing tracts and developments. Wasn’t the majority single family with a good percentage of second homes in the mix. The few waterfront homes that were bungalows that were ruined or knocked down etc aren’t cheap. Those lots still sell for several hundred thousand.

    Also JJ is right. After Katrina they screamed gentrification. However that has not panned out. Current population down there is 33% honky up a whole 5% since Katrina hit, it is still a chocolate city even though the mayor and city council aren’t anymore.

    There was allot of mumbling around the time of the 12-12-12 concert about gentrification. From what I can tell Robin Hood hasn’t given out much for rebuilding. I think the Robin Hood foundation donated $50k to Hoboken. That won’t do much for the 2,000+ basement and ground floor apartments flooded. If anything the “rich” yuppies renting those apartments won’t come back. Hoboken might actually see the reverse of gentrification when the landlords cannot find any more yuppie suckers to rent out a basement for $2,500 a month due to all of the media cover of the 6 ft high flood waters.

  64. grim says:

    I could imagine Ocean Ave in Seaside turning into Meadow Lane.


  65. Juice Box says:

    Grim – the extended Storino family that owns the Seaside Casino Pier, the water-park and Jenkinsons in Point Pleasant are going to completely rebuild. The Pier will take longer but the rest should be done by Summer.

  66. cobbler says:

    Factually (except for the claim about non-affordability of the Social Security which is a load of bull; increase in FICA needed to make it solvent for another 70 years is less than the one implemented on 1/1), article Ragnar had posted is correct. Putting in the stuff about boiling the frog of liberty, etc. doesn’t really add to the article, and is a major turn-off for many. My opinion always had been that large portion of the revenue should be collected either via VAT, or through the tariffs – with added benefit of supporting the domestic industry.

  67. Ragnar says:

    I watched 5 minutes of Here Comes Honey BooBoo last night. What a freakshow. Some eraserhead baby showed up, and then some bag of crisco turned out to be honey BooBoo’s mom and started talking. Then I saw some “The Biggest Loser”, another freakshow of mega-fatties. I need to lose some pounds.
    Can TV go back to “Baywatch” or have we run out of attractive people in this country? Reality TV is just too painful to watch, or contemplate.

  68. Ragnar says:

    I’d be willing to go back to tarriffs as long as we get rid of the income tax system and revert to tax policies of about 1905. Of course that couldn’t possibly fund big government.
    Sales tax would be better than VAT tax, because sales tax only taxes consumption.

  69. joyce says:


    A simple(r) tax system from a century ago would be phenomenal, if no other reason than, it was so simple!! Talk about misallocation of resources… we have GIGANTIC industries built up all around the tax code. How about the monster company of ADP… just one company of countless that come to mind in a few industries that we never would have heard of if it wasn’t for the tax code.

    And yes, another thing you indirectly said, certain people want the income tax, the sales tax, the VAT, tariffs, etc etc… they want it all. There is no limit.

  70. Ernest Money says:

    Fat, morbid, stupid bags of blood.

    This is what we’ve become. Paying for sickcare, the opportunity cost of mass stupidity and the incarceration of the violent will end our civilization.

    That is all.

  71. Ernest Money says:

    We need to come up with a way to off about 25mm people real quick.

  72. cobbler says:

    ragnar [70]
    The reason why most countries use VAT rather than sales tax is the ease of tax evasion for the latter, and also the fact that VAT export rebate works as a quasi-tariff.

  73. joyce says:

    How about a flat capitation tax?

  74. cobbler says:

    Flat capitation tax (if it is the main source of revenue) set at a level that doesn’t bring the bottom 30% down to Bangladeshi living standards, can only collect enough to pay the Congresscritters’ salaries, and maybe for a few security guards around the Capitol. At a higher level… you know, such taxes were the main triggers of the medieval peasants’ rebellions…

  75. Essex says:

    Gentrification: The precise trimming of the hair around the ballsack.

  76. Ragnar says:

    Here’s one I heard in Penn Jillette’s latest book, slightly updated:
    Countryside : the murder of Piers Morgan

    The punchline is recognizing the English “cunt-ricide” pronounciation, and thinking poorly of him. It works on all sorts of jerks.

  77. Libtard with sleepless baby says:

    “flat capitation tax?”

    Can we shorten that to flatulation tax?

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  79. joyce says:

    speakig of rebellion, cobbler, do you know what the british army was en route to do to the colonists just before the revolution took off?

  80. Fabius Maximus says:

    One, that should bring a smile to Shores face if he is still around.


    I would take a moment to respond to this comment ““If Obama can’t handle tickets to his inauguration, how will he handle the job of PRESIDENT,”

    This is a good example of the pitfalls of privatization The pursuit of profit can have a big impact on service delivery.

  81. Fabius Maximus says:

    #78 Ragnar

    Morgan is a grade A tool. If they had wanted to bring in a real journalist Brit to replace Larry King, they should have gone for Paxman. Skip forward to 6:16

  82. Ruby says:

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  83. joyce says:

    You are ridiculous. Whatever moron blamed the president for a single company’s mistake is as retarded as I hope you’re not. Also, please expand on how privatization caused this error…

  84. Ernest Money says:

    Jesus. I’d almost managed to forget that Bojangles gets to have another party to celebrate his crowning. Maybe some sickcare company will pick up the tab for the malt liquor.

    Hope he doesn’t trot out that Maya Angelou cow for another braying donkeyfest.

  85. joyce says:

    Here’s a Fabius post (only in reverse):


    Piers Morgan brings on a guest to promote gun control. The guest just happens to be a lawyer that helped defend OJ Simpson who just happened to have murdered his wife… with a knife.

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  87. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    A decent, if somewhat loopy, thread for tax policy discussion. And cobbler is correct (hey, it happens) about VAT.

    Fabius is reaching as usual (with an interesting view considering his industry’s involvement in gov contracts).

  88. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    [87] Joyce,

    Interesting that no one in media is focusing on the fact that a journalists’ duty is to report the story, not become the story. By attacking critics and bringing on synchophants to do the same, Piers has doubled down on that mistake.

    I expect his imminent departure for MSNBC. Or Current TV. Or The View.

  89. Ernest Money says:

    Gluteus is easy. He has the typical Brit outlook: bailouts for me; austerity for you.

  90. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    [91] ernest,

    Oh, come on. It’s working so well in the UK, isn’t it? I hear Sheffield is booming.

    It isn’t just Brit, Ernest. We are passing that tipping point here. Once we do, its a natural progression to that Shangri-la that was pre-Thatcher England.

  91. Ernest Money says:

    Here it is, in a nutshell:

    “So what happens if we continue down the current path, with perhaps some small amount of revenue raised from some additional taxes on the rich? Remember, the only way to finance a big European-style state is to have it paid for by massive taxation of everyone, mostly the middle class. Right now we are avoiding honest debate on this fact, perhaps because those desirous of this change know the middle class would rebel if it saw the future bill it will have to pay. Instead, large government benefits are being continued and increased, and still new ones introduced, with little accurate discussion of who will ultimately pay.

    What happens historically when benefits are bestowed without a bill also coming due is that we get hooked on them. Then, even when they become disasters not worth their cost, people are terrified to change them, as giving something up is indeed quite frightening.

    Of course, as a byproduct of this growth in the state, many of us believe we also suffer a terrific erosion of liberty, free-enterprise, and individual responsibility and initiative.

    Finally, after we become fully addicted to the latest increase in big government, the bill will ultimately be presented to everyone including, and in all likelihood over-emphasizing, the middle class and the poor. The people who were promised they would be untouched will see the largest proportional hikes. That’s exactly what has happened in Europe. We have seen this movie before, but this time we don’t need subtitles.

    In other words, if we told everyone the ultimate destination right now, the country would likely reject it. But if built up in this piecemeal manner with benefits up front and the bill presented later, it can become reality.

    The way to boil the frog of freedom is slowly.”


  92. Comrade Nom Deplume: To Tax what JJ is to Sex. says:

    WSJ reports record high unemployment in the eurozone.

    Someone remind we why we are endeavoring to become Europe? Will our tourism, wine, beer, and cheese become that much better if we do?

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