So much for that Code of Ethics

From the NY Daily News:

Real estate agent fired from job after dumping dead animals on neighbor’s property: cops

If good fences make good neighbors, these folk should have opted for barbed wire.

Two Pennsylvania realtors have been cited for disorderly conduct and harassment after reportedly scattering dead mice and snakes onto their neighbor’s front yard.

Jonathan and Andrea Straub were caught on a security camera tossing dead animals, cutting branches off trees, and knocking over their neighbor’s “For Sale” signs, Lower Merion police say. The high-powered realtors had put their own home up for sale and allegedly didn’t appreciate their neighbor’s tacky attempts at marketing.

Both of the houses on Booth Lane are listed for at least $1 million, Philly.com reports. Neighbor Mary Martell’s home sits directly behind the Straub’s home. She was trying to sell the house by herself.

Andrea Straub, on the other hand, was born into the real estate industry. Her father is a top builder and developer while her mom worked as a broker. The award-winning real estate agent graduated from New York University with honors and handled multi-million dollar home sales for Prudential Fox & Roach. On her website, she calls herself a skilled negotiator and a “people person.”

After Martell was hospitalized for an unrelated condition, her house sitter noticed that someone had been knocking over the signs and stealing the real estate flyers advertising the home.

Martell then had security camera installed on her property and managed to catch the Straubs red-handed.

Straub was fired from her job at Prudential Fox & Roach on Friday, Mainline Media reports.

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81 Responses to So much for that Code of Ethics

  1. anon (the good one) says:

    Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.

    I celebrated our nation’s birthday by re-reading:
    ” A People’s History of the United States”
    by Howard Zinn.

  2. grim says:

    From the WaPo:

    Home price gains bring ‘underwater’ sellers off sidelines, relieving frustrated buyers

    Robert and Emerald Oravec were itching to sell their condominium late last year to move closer to a favorite surfing spot, but they were stuck. They owed the bank $194,000 and figured the most they could get was $180,000.

    When they put their San Diego home up for sale a few months later, they fielded five offers within two weeks. It sold for $260,000 in May, allowing them to invest profits in a new home that’s more than twice the size on a large lot and 40 minutes closer to the surfing beach.

    “We’re stoked,” said Robert, 50, a facilities engineer at Solar Turbines Inc., a maker of gas turbines that has employed him for the last 22 years. “It was better to be patient and wait it out.”

    Soaring prices are leaving fewer homeowners owing more money than their properties are worth, bringing them off the sidelines of the nation’s surging housing market and offering relief to buyers who are frustrated by bidding wars. As more homes are put up for sale, price increases are expected to moderate.

    Mark Fleming, chief economist at real estate data provider CoreLogic Inc., calls it “a virtuous circle.”

    “The fact that house prices have increased so dramatically … has unlocked a lot of that pent-up supply,” said Fleming, whose firm found that markets with the largest percentage of “underwater” or “upside down” mortgages often have the lowest supply of homes for sale.

  3. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    As Jersey Shore homeowners look to rebuild, many realize their homes are ‘a goner’

    For many at the Jersey Shore rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy first means tearing down their weather-beaten homes.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that demolitions have spiked along the state’s coastline, where hundreds of homeowners are deciding to build from scratch rather than try to repair their residences.

    Between January and April of this year, there were 1,030 demolitions in the 20 towns with the most in the state, according to data from the state Department of Community Affairs. During the same time last year, there were 332 demolitions in those towns.

    Of those 20 towns, 17 are Shore communities.

    For instance, in the first four months of this year Toms River has had 220 demolitions. Over the same time period last year, the township had 33 demolitions, according to the report.

    In Union Beach, there have been 148 demolitions between January and April, compared with two during the same time last year.

    “It’s a goner,” Janet Shepler told the Inquirer about her home in Ventnor Heights.

    “When they got down to the footings, there was still water,” she said. “Any insulation left was molded and black. The floorboards, joists, were all rotted. They said the best thing you could do was tear this down.”

  4. grim says:

    Nothing could possibly go wrong here, from Bloomberg:

    Blackstone Raising $5 Billion Rental Bet With Loans: Mortgages

    Blackstone Group LP (BX), the private-equity firm that has spent $5 billion on more than 30,000 distressed houses, is preparing to expand its bet on the housing recovery by lending to other landlords.

    The firm, which already owns more rental homes than any other investor, has set up B2R Finance LP to offer loans starting at $10 million, according to four people who reviewed the terms. B2R is reaching out to landlords with portfolios of properties seeking to grow in the burgeoning industry for single-family homes to rent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

    The world’s largest private-equity firm said last month that it was entering the later stages of its buying spree after leading a group of institutional investors who’ve spent at least $17 billion on more than 100,000 homes over two years, helping fuel the fastest price gains since 2006. By increasing its stake in the rebound through lending, New York-based Blackstone could benefit from smaller landlords already investing in what Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates to be a $2.8 trillion market.

    “The more financing that comes to the space, the better to legitimize the industry,” said Sudha Reddy, chief executive officer of Haven Realty Capital LLC, an investor with 1,500 rental homes backed by Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management LLC. “Not all investors are able to get a large credit facility and small ones from community banks aren’t big enough.”

  5. grim says:

    3 – Governors across the shore are beaming with glee over the untold riches they’ll be swimming in when all these new homes get taxed at full value.

    If you had to struggle to pull together enough money to rebuild, you’ll certainly not be able to afford the property taxes ongoing. Some of these properties can easily see their taxes double.

  6. grim says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    N.J. Supreme Court set to rule on whether dunes are special benefit to oceanfront homeowners

    The state’s highest court is expected to issue a decision this morning on whether homeowners can be compensated for their blocked ocean view by a dune constructed to protect their town from storm damage.

    The case, wending its way through the courts for five years, is being eyed by officials and homeowners up and down the New Jersey coast as the state begins massive dune and beach reconstruction projects following devastating destruction from Hurricane Sandy in October.

    At issue in Harvey Cedars v. Karan is whether towns must pay oceanfront homeowners for their blocked ocean view when a portion of their property is condemned for beach replenishment projects. Local officials say that type of compensation could add greatly to the cost of projects or discourage towns from participating in future beach replenishment work.

    Under current eminent domain laws, homeowners are allowed to recoup money for the negative effects a beach replenishment project may have on the value of their property. Now, the justices are being asked to determine whether dune construction projects provide a special benefit to oceanfront homeowners that can be used to offset any negative effects.

    Harvey Cedars homeowners Harvey and Phyllis Karan contended the construction of the 22-foot high dunes in front of their home – built using a strip of land condemned by the town – blocked their views and lowered the value of their home.

    Condemning the strip for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, Harvey Cedars offered the couple $300. After they rejected that offer, a board of court-appointed commissioners recommended they get $700. They took the issue to court and were awarded $375,000 for the ruined view of their $1.7 million home.

  7. Note to self: acquire some dead mice.

  8. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. revised its forecasts for the 10-year Treasury note yield upward Sunday in the wake of announcements from the European Central Bank and a strong U.S. unemployment report last week. The investment bank now expects the benchmark yield to hit 4% by 2016 and begin 2014 in a range of 2.75% to 3%, according a report by analyst Francesco Garzarelli. Goldman cites an improving economic outlook in the U.S., a scale-back in the pace of the Federal Reserve’s bond-purchase program, and waning systemic risks in the euro zone.

  9. grim says:

    A 10 year rate at 4% is consistent with mortgage rates round the 6% mark.

  10. grim (8)-

    GS setting up the muppets for another beat down.

    ZIRP 4eva, bitchez!

    QE 4eva, bitchez!

  11. Brian says:

    Letter
    A Palisades Building PlanPublished: July 4, 2013

    To the Editor:

    Your June 24 editorial “Don’t Spoil the Palisades” disappointingly repeated arguments that have been promoted by opponents of LG Electronics’ $300 million building project in New Jersey. To bolster its weak case, the opposition ignores wider economic and environmental arguments.

    LG does care about the Palisades, and we can assure you that the proposed building does not “rise far above the tree line,” but only slightly above it.

    Your editorial describes the project as a “tower” and quotes others using that description, which was coined by the activists in the first place. By virtually any definition, a tower is a structure higher than it is wide. The reality is that the LG building is a state-of-the-art, low-slung horizontal office building that is significantly wider than it is tall. It will be built on private land, a quarter of a mile back from the Palisades cliff, and it will be a glass building designed to reflect its surroundings.

    Your editorial concludes, “The company would be serving history, the environment and its corporate image if it agreed to a new plan.” LG is continuing to explore various design alternatives that would mitigate concerns over the building height while not compromising the essentials of this important project, namely its LEED design and creation of hundreds of much-needed jobs.

    New Jersey needs employment and investment, and the whole area needs a sensitive approach to the environment. It is possible to achieve both.

    WAYNE PARK
    Pres.
    and C.E.O., LG Electronics USA
    Englewood Cliffs, N.J., June 24, 2013

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/opinion/a-palisades-building-plan.html?_r=0

    Don’t Spoil the Palisades
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/opinion/dont-spoil-the-palisades.html

  12. anon (the good one) says:

    I closed my refi last month. It wasn’t truly the lowest available rate, but some of those places offering 2.65% smelled of mob. Went with a reputable place for a couple of bps more. New lender is suggesting that I pay bi-weekly to convert my 15 to 13.5 yr. why not?,say I.

  13. grim says:

    New lender is suggesting that I pay bi-weekly to convert my 15 to 13.5 yr. why not?,say I.

    Because they are going to charge you a fee for the service.

    Instead, make an additional mortgage payment every year, towards principal, which is essentially the exact same thing as this (26 half payments = 13 full payments).

    I’ve seen lenders charging as much as $495/yr for this “service”, which is outrageous.

  14. Ottoman says:

    New lender is suggesting that I pay bi-weekly to convert my 15 to 13.5 yr. why not?,say I.

    You should also make sure the extra payments are applied to principal as soon as you make them and the bank doesn’t sit on the money and apply it once a month like a regular mortgage payment. Otherwise, you’re giving the bank a free loan each month. Why not just throw a few extra hundred towards principal each month when the bill is due.

  15. Ottoman says:

    Hurry kids! Huge price cut on this brick charmer in downtown Camden. Now only $1.8 million.

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/408-Stevens-St-Camden-NJ-08103/38197649_zpid/

  16. nwnj says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see LG say to hell with it and up and move to TX.

  17. chicagofinance says:

    Bangkok taxi driver allegedly hacks American to death with Samurai sword over $2.25 fare (PUN INTENDED_

    A Bangkok taxi driver accused of using a Samurai sword to kill an American man for a $2.25 fare has been charged with murder.

    Dramatic CCTV footage shows Chidchai Utmacha, 32, brandishing a 12-inch machete as he fights with 51-year-old Troy Lee Pilkington.

    The driver has now confessed to pulling the bladed weapon from the boot of his car before hacking Mr Pilkington to death.

    Utmacha can be seen fleeing the scene holding the sword.

  18. JJ says:

    Math makes no sense. How were they able to sell this and buy a bigger trade up home that is twice the size and in a better location.

    If they sold home for 260K as a seller they most likely paid realtor fee and transfer tax and closing costs. So most they could have net is 240K minus the 194K mortgage which equals 46K. Moving costs and closing costs incidentals on the new home is like 20K on average. Leaving them 26k. San Diego is extremely expensive. So if there home went up 80K in value wouldn’t house twice the size go up 160K in value? With 26K equity they must have a huge mortgage.

    Robert and Emerald Oravec were itching to sell their condominium late last year to move closer to a favorite surfing spot, but they were stuck. They owed the bank $194,000 and figured the most they could get was $180,000.

    When they put their San Diego home up for sale a few months later, they fielded five offers within two weeks. It sold for $260,000 in May, allowing them to invest profits in a new home that’s more than twice the size on a large lot and 40 minutes closer to the surfing beach.

  19. JJ says:

    Of course this would happen. If you have no mortgage on the house and flood insurance the tear down is the smartest way to go. First of all you get paid on the home, then you can use the 30K extra money you can get under ICI if you raise or rebuild.

    Lets say FEMA pays you 200K to repair your shack. If you decide to knock it down and rebuild FEMA will pay you 230K. Once rebuilt to higher level your flood insurance is dirt cheap. Maybe $400 bucks a year.

    Folks rebuilding small shacks that were damaged are folks without flood insurance. FEMA I think is stupid, they should give the 30K extra to folks without flood insurance. Why, they give you 31,900 to fix your beach shack. Then they force you to purchase flood insurance as a condition. Now next flood takes out that shack on the ground and FEMA pays out to build a new one.

    I am a prime example. I spent tops like 2k extra to mitigate against future flood risk on my primary. FEMA would not give me a nickle, neither did NYS. So I fixed everything back as it was. Why should I spend big bucks to mitigate. My flood insurance is dirt cheap as “technically” I never had a claim in the history of my home. Now next storm when I get wacked, if it happens FEMA Flood Insurance pays me to redo whole thing.

    People with crap shacks on the ground in NJ who had flood insurance won the lottery of a lifetime with SANDY. Getting and all new home double the size all for free on the tax payer dime. They can enjoy for generations and when they sell it is worth double to triple and all the profits are tax free. If I could time travel I would buy the worst ten shacks I could fine in the most horrible condition back in August 2012, insure them to the max and would be retired now a multimillionaire

    From the Star Ledger:

    As Jersey Shore homeowners look to rebuild, many realize their homes are ‘a goner’

    For many at the Jersey Shore rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy first means tearing down their weather-beaten homes.

  20. 1987 Condo says:

    #18…
    The median sales price for homes in San Diego CA for Mar 13 to May 13 was $416,975. This represents an increase of 12.1%, or $44,975, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 26.4% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have appreciated 19.6% over the last 5 years in San Diego. The average listing price for San Diego homes for sale on Trulia was $694,247 for the week ending Jun 26, which represents an increase of 0.4%, or $2,610, compared to the prior week and an increase of 1%, or $6,692, compared to the week ending Jun 05. Average price per square foot for San Diego CA was $345, an increase of 32.2% compared to the same period last year. Popular neighborhoods in San Diego include Carmel Valley, Rancho Bernardo, Pacific Beach, Mira Mesa, North Park, and University City.

  21. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (Stupid Hack Financial Planner Gets Quote In Asbury Park Press Edition):

    Financing college used to be an afterthought. Not anymore.

    Prospective college students “really need to make hard decisions” about where they attend school and how, said Jordan xxxx a certified financial planner at Robert J. Oberst Sr. & Associates in Red Bank.

    “It’s going to impact everyone: parents, grandparents,” xxxx said. “People were talking five to 10 years ago about how expensive college is, and it’s accelerated. It’s a different world from five or six years ago. I don’t think people realize how quickly this thing has evolved.”
    http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013307070017

  22. grim says:

    I heard that the first guy actually died pissing on the third rail, the second guy jumped down to help him after he fell off the platform.

    Third rail electrocutes man, 30, on Brooklyn subway tracks, shocks his friend

  23. freedy says:

    Why LG want to stay in NJ is crazy. Keep a small sales/admin office and move the rest.

    tx, tenn, N.C , fla.

    They could buy land and build whatever.

  24. JJ says:

    For seniors who live off income and never sell bonds so a fall in value is just a paper loss this is good news. When I worked in bank, Seniors would do the IRA think, come to back around April and I would “roll” their matured CDs into 1-5 year CDs, 10 year treasuries or Savings Bonds, only products the bank was allowed to sell as it was a savings bank. Seniors just picked whatever was highest rate. Could care less about principal loss. So lets say Senior was just doing a 50/50 split of a five year CD and a ten year treasury. Every year 15% of bond/cd mature and they reinvest them at 6%, since they are not selling principal loss is meaningless, all they know is month interest payment is going up. These folks sometimes just bought in the 12 statements some unopened once a year for me to help them. Luckily if they were rolling 10’s they still have their 2004-2008 ten year treasuries active and can re-roll them at equally high rates and only have the 2009-2012 stinkers left.

    grim says:
    July 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

    From MarketWatch:

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. revised its forecasts for the 10-year Treasury note yield upward Sunday in the wake of announcements from the European Central Bank and a strong U.S. unemployment report last week. The investment bank now expects the benchmark yield to hit 4% by 2016 and begin 2014 in a range of 2.75% to 3%, according a report by analyst Francesco Garzarelli. Goldman cites an improving economic outlook in the U.S., a scale-back in the pace of the Federal Reserve’s bond-purchase program, and waning systemic risks in the euro zone.

  25. grim says:

    Keep a small sales/admin office and move the rest.

    Is it so simple? Isn’t the LG employee base at that location largely (and by that I mean exceptionally so) Korean? I don’t care either way (so don’t take my comment as Xenophobic), but if you peruse the local BC forums, a number of vocal locals seem to be saying that LG is disproportionately hiring Koreans. It may not be true, or it may be, but if they leave, they might need a large number of their employees to move with them. (It very well may be that their internal company language is Korean, so speaking the language is a requirement, who knows).

    So… Maybe they can’t leave. Is there really any other option but the LA metro area?

  26. freedy says:

    Flush with cash, Chinese homebuyers are flooding into the U.S. housing market, and paying top dollar.
    “The Chinese came out really huge in the past year,” said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, a New York-based appraiser.
    Chinese buyers accounted for 18% of the $68.2 billion that foreigners spent on homes during the 12 months ended March 31, according to the National Association of Realtors.
    At a median price of $425,000, the Chinese are also buying more expensive homes than other foreign buyers, who spent a median of nearly $276,000 on U.S. homes. And nearly 70% of those pricey Chinese deals were made in all cash.
    Nowhere is the influx of Chinese homebuyers felt more strongly than in California, where more than half of the homes sold to foreign buyers went to Chinese nationals.
    Related: 10 booming cities
    Sally Forster Jones, an agent with Coldwell Banker International in Los Angeles, said Chinese are snapping up many of the trophy properties on the city’s Westside. She estimates that she’s sold about 10 multi-million dollar homes to Chinese nationals over the past 12 months.
    “The uptick in sales to Chinese buyers started several years ago but it has increased dramatically lately,” she said.
    Most of her Chinese clients are wealthy industrialists or real estate tycoons, many of whom spend less than half the year in the States.
    “Some have children going to school in Los Angeles and use the homes as residences for them and [as a place] to stay at when they visit their kids,” said Jones.
    China’s gross domestic product has grown by high single-digit, sometimes double-digit rates for the past 10 years, producing a lot of cash for the country’s top business people who view U.S. real estate as a safe and stable investment.
    Related: Venezuelan money helps fuel Miami housing boom
    Rick Turley supervises real estate offices for Coldwell Banker in eight counties in and around San Francisco, including Silicon Valley. Many of his Chinese clients work in technology.
    “The current hot spots are Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Cupertino, near Apple headquarters,” he said.
    Most purchase the homes to raise their family and they pay special attention to the local school systems. Turley also has Chinese clients who buy homes for their kids. Last year, a family from Shanghai bought a condo for their daughter who was attending Stanford. The daughter has since graduated and now works at Google, he said.
    Many Chinese buy homes through the U.S. government’s EB-5 Immigrant Investor program, which is considered a fast-track to getting a green card. To qualify, foreigners must invest at least $500,000 in a business that provides or preserves 10 jobs. This could be a home that is part of a bigger business project, such as a condo complex. Nearly 80% of all EB-5 visas went to Chinese nationals in 2012, according to the government.
    Related: Fastest growing boomtowns
    Beyond California, sunbelt states in general are attracting a lot of foreign attention these days. Post-housing-bust bargains in resort and retirement areas like Las Vegas and Naples, Fla. have have gotten buyers from Canada, for example.
    Four states accounted for 58% of all foreign sales. Florida had 23%, California 17% and Arizona and Texas 9% each. New York, an international business center and immigration gateway, and Virginia, close to the Washington corridors of power, both came in at 3%.
    View this article on CNNMoney

    More From CNNMoney.com
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  27. freedy says:

    then LA it is . LG could do better than Englewood cliffs

  28. JJ says:

    This is not news. The Chinese have bags of cash. They are best buyers.

    Chinese care about three things, neighborhood, schools and location. They could care less what house looks like, is it on busy street, is it run down. No matter.

    Case in point when I sold my mothers house we used a realtor, no use. We mls no use, word of mouth no use. Then I talked to a rich chinese girl and she could not understand how I could not sell house in one day. So I tell her our marketing strategy. She goes, English no good, no one speak English with money, Realtor no good, no one trust realtor, then she go internet no good, very few sites have american stuff in chinese so no one looks at internet and no one reads american papers.

    So I go help me sell house. She goes I will. We wrote an Ad in Mandarin in the World Journal. We wrote in Chinese, please bring English Speaker with you. We did a 2 day open house by owner. After one year of trying with a realtor and MLS we had 200 people at open house, 10 cash offers at asking or above and we sold it for 50K over asking no mortgage as is. Since we had open house signs and lots of balloons and arrows to house as I was afraid folks could not read street signs and we had two 8 hour open houses in one weekend and we did a NY Times ad for good measure we also had some white folk come in. Only 1 white person made an offer, for 25K under asking contingent upon a mortgage contingent upon an inspection and they only had 5% down, meanwhile I had folks with checks who showed up.

    In china there is no such thing as home inspections, no lawyers, few realtors, buying a house is like buying a used car. One lady showed up with personal check said she will take it as is. She even was going to let me go to her bank with her, give me money and sign over title on the spot.

    Realtors for some reason like to do business in English. Which makes no sense in a town with good schools and a good commute. White people are broke.

    freedy says:
    July 8, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Flush with cash, Chinese homebuyers are flooding into the U.S. housing market, and paying top dollar.
    “The Chinese came out really huge in the past year,” said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, a New York-based appraiser.

  29. Comrade Nom Deplume, Bostonian says:

    (1) anon,

    A friend posted a quip that reminded me of you: an Obama supporter celebrating the Fourth is like an atheist celebrating Christmas.

  30. Comrade Nom Deplume, Bostonian says:

    (7) scrapple

    I can get you all the dead mice you want from traps in the houses i visit. And all of the disclosures say no pests.

  31. Juice Box says:

    No mice at my place. Dead Frogs however are a difference story. There is no water nearby either. I wonder where the heck the are coming from.

  32. Comrade Nom Deplume, Bostonian says:

    working out at a gym in West Chester. Mark Zandi walking around but not working out much. I thought Moody’s would have their own gym.

  33. I wish you were around when I needed all this information.

  34. xolepa says:

    (25) Grim hits it on the button. It didn’t really occur to me but, yes, NE Bergen is damn Korean. The only time I was in Bergen County in the last 7 years, other than a driveover, was at the BMW dealership in Tenafly. The dealer had a separate roped off area inside – Korean speaking only. Then I left for home and got lost – wound up passing a Korean outdoor celebration – WTF? Man this was the closest I got to the DMZ. Haven’t gone into BC since. Yuch!

    Either way, my mother went to work for a short while for a Japanese company in the 1970s. There, the Japanese employees were given extra benefits available only to Japanese nationals. Bets are on that LG is looking for Korean nationals. That way they can discriminate. Wouldn’t put it pass them. American citizens need not apply. On the other hand, they will need a minimal staff of accountants. Koreans can’t work within the US govt. framework. It’s a culture thing.

  35. anon (the good one) says:

    30. The 4th is one of my favorite holidays. I celebrate and thank America for all it has given me.

    Btw, I won’t do the biweekly mortgagepmts if involves fees.

  36. anon (the good one) says:

    yep, govt should stay out of our lives! unless involves women’s rights over their bodies.

    @MotherJones: Texas lawmakers too busy targeting abortion providers to deal with exploding fertilizer plants: http://t.co/3EdZNNHZMu

  37. plume (34)-

    Would’ve thought Zandi got all the workout he needs when he’s on his knees in DC.

  38. Brian says:

    That case bothered the living sh1t out of me. Thanks for posting this. I guess there is some justice in this world.

    32.NJGator says:
    July 8, 2013 at 11:20 am
    Grim (6) –

    NJ Supreme Court overturns award in dunes case

    http://newjersey.news12.com/features/sandy/nj-supreme-court-overturns-award-in-dunes-case-1.5643340

  39. Juice Box says:

    re #40- No Justice they ordered a new trial.

    “The Karans are entitled to just
    compensation”

    Court took issue with the calculation.

    http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A12011HarveyCedarsvKaran.pdf

  40. grim says:

    Yeah that headline and the article is wrong. The Karans are going back to court for a new trial, and will be awarded something, maybe even the same amount.

  41. NJGator says:

    Juice 41 – The original jury was not allowed to take into account the added protective value that the dunes created for the Karan’s home since that protection was gained by other homes on the island. The Supreme Court reversed on this.

    The next Jury can well decide that the dune added as much/more value to the property than the loss of the ocean view. Let’s hope that the next jury gives due consideration to the fact that the dune actually saved the Karan’s home from destruction during Sandy and weighs that appropriately in it’s determination.

  42. joyce says:

    If some of their land is taken, they should be compensated.

  43. Juice Box says:

    re: # 45 – tell that to the American Indians.

  44. grim says:

    Don’t they still own the land, the only thing “taken” was an easement for dune maintenance.

    By the way, there was already a dune in front of the house, it was just 8 feet lower than the new 20 footer.

  45. grim says:

    Wonder if all the Hobokenites that paid top dollar for NYC views will sue when the next set of buildings goes up on piers, over the water. Probably not, the last set didn’t.

  46. Brian says:

    Public opinion on the matter is much different today. Everyone’s seen video of Mantoloking where the houses, and the land beneath them disapeared….

    http://www.app.com/VideoNetwork/1937603412001/The-Bay-meets-the-Ocean-in-Mantoloking-10-31-12-

    43.NJGator says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    Juice 41 – The original jury was not allowed to take into account the added protective value that the dunes created for the Karan’s home since that protection was gained by other homes on the island. The Supreme Court reversed on this.

    The next Jury can well decide that the dune added as much/more value to the property than the loss of the ocean view. Let’s hope that the next jury gives due consideration to the fact that the dune actually saved the Karan’s home from destruction during Sandy and weighs that appropriately in it’s determination.

  47. Brian says:

    Thaty may be true howevever, I think Grim is right. They are upset that they lost a view….not land.

    45.joyce says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    If some of their land is taken, they should be compensated.

  48. grim says:

    Lawyers – what court will preside over the retrial? Is this remanded to county? I wonder if the Karan’s lawyers will ask for the trial to be held outside of Ocean County? Perhaps they may feel the jurors in the area to all be biased. I wonder if the court would be forced to recluse itself due to the disaster? What if they move this far from the beach, say, to Sussex County?

  49. Libtard in Union says:

    Better to lose a view from your living room than the living room itself. They deserve nothing. If I was LBI, I would give them their $300K. Then I would bulldoze the dune in the shape of a V where the point is missing so they could maintain their view of the ocean…until the next high tide.

  50. Brian says:

    52 –
    Funny you should say that, I saw some comments online today that suggested they just build the dune behind their house.

  51. grim says:

    I liked my prior suggestion of allowing non-beachfront homeowners to sue for damages, the beachfront owners who opt-out of the dune program.

  52. JJ says:

    I see both sides of story. Every house on that block was at risk of being destroyed if his oceanview was kept. He was willing to risk his 50 or 60 neighbors houses being destroyed so he could have a view. Granted his neighbors without a view this is all upside, it protects their home with no impact to them and no cost to him.

    On the other hand you cant go giving away money to everyone whose home is impacted. At beach this weekend I see new bathrooms/chair ugly cinder block things being built by folks houses to replace old wooden ones on beach. Am I to pay all those folks cause they are looking at the rear of a bathroom. Nothing would ever get done.

    He should use his appraisal to show his house’s fall in value and take a casualty loss and get over it.
    Libtard in Union says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Better to lose a view from your living room than the living room itself. They deserve nothing. If I was LBI, I would give them their $300K. Then I would bulldoze the dune in the shape of a V where the point is missing so they could maintain their view of the ocean…until the next high tide.

  53. JJ says:

    When I worked at Brown Brothers we had an amazing view of ocean in Pavonia. Then a building went up and blocked it. We only had a lease but nevertheless I am sure they paid extra for the view

    grim says:
    July 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Wonder if all the Hobokenites that paid top dollar for NYC views will sue when the next set of buildings goes up on piers, over the water. Probably not, the last set didn’t.

  54. Brian says:

    Post Sandy, I think it can be argued that an oceanfront home without a properly engineered dune in front of it could detract from it’s value. Therefore, I think the Karans should be taxed more to compensate government for the increased value to their property.

  55. JJ says:

    If I lived in Jersey on the beach I would not need a dune. Next Hurricane I would just invite the girls from DJs and Jersey Shore over, have them lay spread eagle on the sand and those big hairy bushes could easily soak up a few 100 thousand gallons of water. Dam they aint called Bridge and Tunnel girls for nothing. Those bushes are as deep and as long as the Holland Tunnel.

    Brian says:
    July 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Post Sandy, I think it can be argued that an oceanfront home without a properly engineered dune in front of it could detract from it’s value. Therefore, I think the Karans should be taxed more to compensate government for the increased value to their property.

  56. grim (51)-

    Move the trial to Warren County. People there think “oceanfront” means the parking lot next to the river at Hot Dog Johnny’s.

  57. xolepa says:

    (61) …and drinking buttermilk is such a sign of high society.

    p.s. Their hotdogs suck.

  58. grim says:

    Lots of chatter about opening up the door to general benefits being a potential negative for property owners in similar easement/eminent domain situations… I’m not talking about beach front either.

  59. JJ says:

    I still would jump on the casualty loss deduction and heavily grieve assessed value.

    I grieved my primary home back to 1992 prices based on some flood house fire sales comps.

    I grieved my vacation place back to 1998 prices using the Billy Joel Defense.

    The Billy Joel defense is he grieved a place he just bought saying it was half as much. He showed evidence of several bad deals where he paid twice what things were worth on bad business deals. The assessor concurred and cut his assessment to half his recent purchase price.

    What is interesting is it shows the big lie realtors like to tell that “a home is worth what someone will pay for it” is actually a lie. Plenty of fools over pay for homes, plenty of smart shoppers underpay for homes. The purchase price is not always a good indicator of homes value.

    grim says:
    July 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Lots of chatter about opening up the door to general benefits being a potential negative for property owners in similar easement/eminent domain situations… I’m not talking about beach front either.

  60. Where do I sign up to grieve jj?

  61. Young Buck says:

    N.Y. / Region

    THE APPRAISAL

    Amid Housing Scarcity, Many Buyers Are Going HomeEmpty-Handed

    Annette Suarez, with her dog Chi Chi, listed her 408-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in the West Village for $595,000 two months ago. At the time, it was the only condominium for sale in the West Village for under $600,000.HIROKO MASUIKE / THE NEW YORK TIMES

    By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS

    July 8, 2013

    Even by New York City standards, Annette Suarez’s Manhattan apartment has a few drawbacks. It is a 408-square-foot one-bedroom and a fifth-floor walk-up. While it is nicely renovated, the miniature stainless steel refrigerator accommodated by its kitchen area is only hip-high.No matter. When the apartment was listed two months ago for $595,000, 55 people hoofed it up the stairs for the first and only open house. Seven offers and 10 days later, a contract was signed. Because, despite its flaws, Ms. Suarez’s apartment had something very powerful going for it, said one of her brokers, Christopher Kromer of Halstead Property: at the time, it was the only condominium for sale in the West Village for under $600,000.The apartment had no competition.The number of homes for sale in and around New York City has fallen far behind demand, with inventory of apartments in Manhattan reaching the lowest levels in at least 13 years. With so few properties on the market, and so many buyers eager to lock in historically low interest rates before they climb any further, many “for sale” signs planted in a window or on the Web are greeted by a tidal wave of desperate buyers and frantic offers. And almost as quickly as they appear, those listings are gone.“In the last several decades of housing, the lack of supply hasn’t been seen on this scale,” said Jonathan Miller, president of the Miller Samuel appraisal firm. “No supply means frenzy, and it means prices rise.”The average price for a Manhattan apartment this spring was a stratospheric $1.425 million.Anthony Francavilla and his girlfriend had hoped to buy a two-family home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, but gave up on that plan after encountering an open house crammed with perhaps 100 people, he said, and another with nearly two dozen offers already on the table. Another would-be buyer, John Clark, a corporate lawyer with a healthy down payment, lost out on at least two apartments because his bids were not all cash.And Michael Munn, a math professor looking to buy a studio in Brooklyn or downtown Manhattan, recently rushed back to the city in the middle of a Fire Island beach vacation to see a newly listed apartment, because he worried it would be gone by the time he got back just a few days later.“Everybody was warning me how emotional it can become,” Mr. Munn said of the buying process. “It’s a huge purchase, it’s exciting and nerve-racking. But this is a whole different emotion.“It felt very manic,” Mr. Munn said.He was outbid.When the economy crashed in 2008, financing for new residential projects all but evaporated, and for the next several years there were few new apartments to buy. But several other factors contributed to this scarcity as well.Tight lending standards and low amounts of equity in some homes meant that many people could not afford to buy a new apartment, even if they sold the one they had. And powerful jitters about the economy in recent years — and last year, concerns about the so-called fiscal cliff — have persuaded many sellers to keep their homes off the market until calmer times.At the end of 2012, Manhattan apartment inventory dropped to only 4,749 listings for sale, the lowest level seen since at least 2000, according to Miller Samuel, which prepares reports for Douglas Elliman, the real estate brokerage firm. In the second quarter of this year, that figure was only nominally higher, at 4,795 listings.Traditionally, the spring is the busiest real estate season of the year, with a big bump in inventory and an influx of buyers who have waited through the winter for those homes to appear on the market. This year, however, that balancing of supply and demand did not happen, and what new listings there were became overwhelmed by a rush of buyers hoping to escape high rents and to catch low interest rates.“We just put up a banner at 7 Harrison, and we have 120 people who have called already,” said Leonard Steinberg, a managing director at Douglas Elliman, of a sign that went up about three weeks ago on an unfinished condominium in TriBeCa. The building is still surrounded by scaffolding and Dumpsters, and from the street it appears to still be without windows and ceilings.It is not just Manhattan that is experiencing a scarcity of inventory. This phenomenon extends throughout much of New York City, especially in Brooklyn, where inventory fell 45.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, according to Miller Samuel. Across the country, the National Association of Realtors found that the inventory of existing single-family homes for sale fell by 9.2 percent from May 2012 to May 2013.In many places, one step toward a solution would be to build new homes. But not in Manhattan.“We are starting to see new projects that will come to market over the next couple of years, but the fact is that most of it will be very high-end,” said Pamela Liebman, president of the Corcoran Group. Because of the high cost of land, she continued, “it’s the only way developers can finance these project.”Mr. Miller estimates that most residential development in Manhattan is now targeted at the top 10 percent of the market, which has started at around $3 million for the last four years.The scarcity creates an extraordinary climate for sellers. They are besieged by accommodating offers and all-cash bids, meaning the buyer does not apply for a mortgage, which takes time and sometimes falls through, especially if the appraised value is lower than the sale price. But sellers must also become buyers or renters themselves, so the very lack of inventory their listing would ease also helps to pin them in their homes.“Sellers who would like to move, they can’t find anything either,” said Hall F. Willkie, president of the real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens.The lack of inventory is helping to push prices higher in Manhattan, though the rise is modest over all. The median apartment price for the borough in the second quarter of the year was $865,000, 4.3 percent higher than the same time last year, according to Miller Samuel. (Median prices are generally lower than averages because they are less influenced by very high-end sales.) But that figure is still far below the same period five years ago, in the period just before Lehman Brothers collapsed, when the median price was $1.025 million, a difference of 15.6 percent. Tight credit and memories of the economic collapse are keeping buyers from drastically bidding up listings, real estate professionals said, and overpriced apartments tend to sit on the market.Just shy of 36 percent of Manhattan sales that closed in the second quarter of this year sold at or above the asking price. Among sales that closed in the third quarter of 2008 — deals that were struck in the first half of that year, during the height of New York City’s housing boom — 51.6 percent of listings in Manhattan sold at a sum at least as high as the ask.Nonetheless, in the face of much frenetic competition, many would-be buyers have decided to go another route; they are giving up. Like Jenna Weiss-Berman, for example, who spent nine months trying to buy an apartment in Brooklyn for a maximum of $475,000.“It was horrible,” Ms. Weiss-Berman said. “It feels like buying real estate in New York is something rich people can do, and I was naïve to think it was something I could do, too.”So a few weeks ago, she started looking for a rental apartment instead. She and her girlfriend signed a lease for a place in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and they will move in this weekend.Ms. Weiss-Berman said that she has not felt so calm in months.

  62. joyce says:

    One grower’s grapes of wrath

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/one-growers-grapes-of-wrath/2013/07/07/ebebcfd8-e380-11e2-80eb-3145e2994a55_story.html

    In the world of dried fruit, America has no greater outlaw than Marvin Horne, 68.

    Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 solid years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.

    His crime? Horne defied one of the strangest arms of the federal bureaucracy — a farm program created to solve a problem during the Truman administration, and never turned off.

    He said no to the national raisin reserve.

    “I believe in America. And I believe in our Constitution. And I believe that eventually we will be proved right,” Horne said recently, sitting in an office next to 20 acres of ripening Thompson grapes. “They took our raisins and didn’t pay us for them.”

  63. All these Manhattan bidding war stories will be so fun to revisit once the whole thing goes off a cliff.

    Which it will…once the bubble in little green pieces of paper bursts.

  64. JJ says:

    Back in 1992 I know a couple who basically gave away their fifth floor non elevator place for near nothing. Banks would not give a mortgage on walk ups and coops and condos under a certain size. They would be choking right now if they read this article.

    Funny that girl looks really young selling, she most likely bought in 2009-2011 and made a fortune off that dump

    Young Buck says:
    July 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    N.Y. / Region

    THE APPRAISAL

    Amid Housing Scarcity, Many Buyers Are Going HomeEmpty-Handed

    Annette Suarez, with her dog Chi Chi, listed her 408-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in the West Village for $595,000 two months ago. At the time, it was the only condominium for sale in the West Village for under $600,000.HIROKO MASUIKE / THE NEW YORK TIMES

  65. Right away I am going to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming yet again to read further news.

  66. Comrade Nom Deplume, Halfwit dumbass says:

    I sense a trend . . .

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/100869332

    Actually, a pair of trends. First, the Administration is quietly ratcheting down Obamacare in order to prevent it from hurting democratic election chances, and second, the trend of quietly releasing uncomfortable news on Friday afternoons so that no one will notice.

  67. joyce says:

    freedy,

    For you: (but I’m sure you already knew)
    http://www.nypost.com/f/print/news/business/corzine_off_the_crook_t3VpDFmfEsx9Qd7VdtCLvM#axzz2YUkcJf42

    “After 18 months of investigation, the criminal probe into Jon Corzine is now being dropped,” a person with knowledge of the probe told The Post.

    “There is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing,” this person said.”

    …when you investigate with your eyes closed, what else do you expect?

  68. joyce says:

    72

    Comrade,

    Pretty please stop with the (R) vs (D) b.s. Announcing news on a Friday (esp. before a holiday weekend) has been done for as long as I can remember.

    They. Are. All. The. Same.

  69. anon (the good one) says:

    that being the case, those with an apartment will still have something as opposed to those with only ‘ little green pieces of paper’, no?

    Scrapple n’Ricin says:
    July 8, 2013 at 5:09 pm
    All these Manhattan bidding war stories will be so fun to revisit once the whole thing goes off a cliff.

    Which it will…once the bubble in little green pieces of paper bursts.

  70. Anon E. Moose says:

    Joyce [74];

    Name the last administration to announce that their signature and defining piece of landmark sea-change legislation was being unlawfully held back by a year via a blog post from an assistant under secretary of a department (Treasury) only tangentially involved with the law’s implementation.

    I’m just wondering whether he had to do it because his secretary had already gone home for the holiday…

  71. freedy says:

    Corzine off the hook for a crime,sad, but I knew he would not be held to a higher level than a crime boss. He will pay a fine for the civil complaint, and thats that.

    Matter of fact , he may even beat the Civil, because hes got a friend in Barry

  72. Comrade Nom Deplume, Halfwit dumbass says:

    Following media coverage of Zimmerman trial. It has taken a nasty, political tone, exclusively coming from the left. I think Camden, Newark, Chester, parts of Philadelphia will be best avoided after the verdict. I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6, but the best course is to avoid both.

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