Has the housing ship sailed?

From the WSJ:

Did You Miss Your Chance to Make a Real-Estate Killing?

Only a year and a half ago, none other than Warren Buffett told CNBC he would invest in “a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it were practical.

But in that short period, the national housing market has gone from the cheapest it has been in a quarter-century to slightly overpriced—at least according to some measures.

Relatively cheap mortgages still make it a great time to buy a home to live in, but anyone hoping to treat it as an “investment” should be wary.

In early 2012, homes did indeed look inexpensive. To measure home values, some researchers divide home prices by rents. The resulting price/rent ratio is similar to the price/earnings ratio commonly used to evaluate stocks.

By that measure, in the fourth quarter of 2011—when the ratio was 19.9—homes were the cheapest they had been since 1987, according to data from Morris Davis, academic director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin.

Since then, though, the housing narrative has done an about-face. Money managers have launched private-equity funds and real-estate investment trusts designed to scoop up homes and rent them out, and real-estate agents once again tell of bidding wars for homes in some areas.

In all, between May 2012 and May 2013, the latest month for which data are available, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index of home values climbed 12%. Home prices in two of the index’s metro areas—Denver and Dallas, which missed much of the boom—hit all-time records.

Instead of signaling a bargain, the national price/rent ratio in June was at 22.8—already above the historic long-term average of 20.6.

That isn’t to say home prices will start dropping again. Even more so than the stock market, the housing market is a slave to momentum. Prices get out of whack but continue to spiral upward as stories of double-digit gains spread from owner to owner. The last bubble, for example, took many years to inflate before popping.

But for value-seeking investors, the recent brief era of cheap prices is over.

Since 1960, home prices have increased only by about 1.3% annually after inflation, according to Mr. Davis. He says that the current price/rent ratio suggests home prices will increase more slowly than rents over the next five to 10 years.

Based on different data, other researchers have found home prices over long periods merely keep up with inflation.

Other ways of valuing homes are slightly more optimistic but still don’t call for a continuation of last year’s boom.

Instead of comparing prices to rents, some economists prefer to compare prices to average household income for a quick measure of homes’ affordability.

Right now, that ratio stands at about 1.78, according to Moody’s Analytics, compared with 1.92 between 1989 and 2003, before the housing boom started. To get back to average, home prices would have to rise another 8% if incomes stayed constant, says Moody’s Analytics economist Greg Bird.

A significant drop in prices is unlikely, says David Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, who also tracks the housing market.

“Mortgage rates, even though they’ve popped up a bit, are still close to as low as we’ve ever seen,” he says. “If you’ve been thinking of buying a house, you better get out and do it.”

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

137 Responses to Has the housing ship sailed?

  1. Essex says:

    All Aboard! Foist.

  2. Essex says:

    BLS chief regional economist Martin Kohli told 24/7 Wall St. “In these states, the statistics are showing some positive and some negative developments.” In high underemployment states like Mississippi and New Jersey, he noted, the rate of people involuntarily underemployed increased over the last year, even as the national rate declined.

    For those high underemployment states where the rate has declined, however, such as California, Nevada, and Michigan, the declines in underemployment rates in some of these states is a sign of job market growth. In these states, Kohli noted, there have been “increases in their labor forces, as well as significant over the year increases in payroll jobs, so the changes in the [underemployment] rates are additional confirmation of improvements in their labor markets.”

    For many states with high underemployment, a strong year for job growth in 2012 still has not been enough to help all workers find jobs. High underemployment states like Washington, Arizona, and California had some of the fastest job growth in the country in 2012, but still have not recovered all of the jobs they lost prior to the recession. In Arizona, there were about 2.5 million jobs in July. In late 2007, there were nearly 2.7 million nonfarm jobs. In California, where the number of jobs rose 3.3% in 2012, the third-fastest growth in the country, there were 14.6 million jobs in July, just under half a million less than in late 2007.

    Many of the states where people cannot find full-time, consistent work were especially hurt by the housing market collapse in the previous decade. At the end of 2012, according to the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes, home prices in the majority of the states with high underemployment were still at least 20% lower than they were at the end of 2007. In Arizona and Nevada — both high underemployment states — home prices declined by one-third and almost half, respectively.

    Read more: States Where It Is Hardest To Find Full-Time Work – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/08/06/states-where-it-is-hardest-to-find-full-time-work/#ixzz2bl5poIFi

  3. Fast Eddie says:

    To measure home values, some researchers divide home prices by rents. The resulting price/rent ratio is similar to the price/earnings ratio commonly used to evaluate stocks.

    This formula doesn’t apply in the NJ/NY area. Why do we keep talking about it? The monthly property tax extortion fee is almost an additional mortgage payment.

  4. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    I hear this book is making a comeback just in time


  5. Ragnar says:

    David Blitzer implied “buy now or be priced out forever”
    I heard from former colleagues that he was known to flatulate freely in shared elevators.

    Can’t one always say that significant drops are “unlikely”?

    Well I got my house in 2010 and refi’d twice, lower capital, lower rates, shorter maturity. So I’m done for a while. Everyone in my family is happy with house and location.

  6. grim says:

    This formula doesn’t apply in the NJ/NY area. Why do we keep talking about it? The monthly property tax extortion fee is almost an additional mortgage payment.

    You could move to the South / Southwestern US where the monthly air conditioning and water usage bills are almost an additional mortgage payment.

  7. 1987 Condo says:

    #6..good point. Anyone “know” what the average (or median) monthly utility bill (gas and electric, annual cost/12) is for a 2,000 or so square foot home?

  8. Juice Box says:

    Although cooling a double wide can’t be that expensive, NJ generally has a higher Kilowatt hour cost. Not that running the A/C full blast all year around in you double wide won’t make up for the 30% higher cost in NJ vs Arizona.


  9. Fast Eddie says:

    grim [6],

    There’s no excuse for it. We get abused like Abna Louima and allow ourselves to be subjected to whatever perks, pay raises and allowances the politburo decides we can endure until the next assault. For better or worse, I have control over my AC and water usage, I don’t have control over the assailants.

  10. Ragnar says:

    The dollar value is about the same as here. Higher cooling costs, lower heating costs. Some may be running their pools year round too.
    It’s about equal to their mortgage payment because when you pay only $750/mo for a $100k home, other stuff looks big in comparison, like home insurance, utilities. Property taxes for such houses may be $1500/yr.
    In part, home prices are low because many people don’t make much money.

    I see homes in my Sister’s neighborhood in central FL, selling about $100k. lots of 3/1.5 ranches with 1700sf. For an extra 20k step up to a 4/2 with 2000sf.
    Not an exciting place to live, and not the kind of place in FL where I’d retire (I’m thinking of golf, beach, tennis, neighbors that I like), but people can live there without a lot of income.

  11. Fast Eddie says:

    How much does it cost to heat a home in the Southwest during the winter?

  12. Ben says:

    Put in offer on Friday, signed a contract on Saturday. That may be all she wrote for me holding out for 6 years.

  13. Juice Box says:

    re #11 – Eddie you are paying for the prestige of the least amount of double wides in the nation next to Hawaii. We are all rich here in NJ.


  14. Ben says:

    Who cares what the utility cost in Arizona is. They pay $900 in property taxes all year and they can get an immaculate home for $200,000. Unfortunately, the jobs out there are few and far between…

  15. grim says:

    On average, it is cheaper to heat a house with Nat Gas than it is to cool a house with Electricity.

  16. Fast Eddie says:

    You want to claim that a house here should cost double than anywhere else. that’s fine. But to say that 12K, 13K, 14K, etc. in property taxes is justified, that’s bulls1t. Give me a school voucher and let me pay for my garbage pickup and other services, etc. It will never happen. Why give up gorging yourself at the trough when someone else is paying for it.

  17. Juice Box says:

    “Zero-net homes” in the South West with no electric bill at all. This company has built up a a dozen communities with about 3,000 homes.


  18. Fast Eddie says:

    Juice Box [17],

    Stop throwing water on the parade! Don’t you know the appearance of presitge is justified? We’re different here!

  19. grim says:

    What do you mean “everywhere else”?

    Are you talking about where people want to live? Or are you talking about where nobody wants to live?

    Buddy of mine out in LA pays just under $9k for a “modest” house. By your definition, it’s a “shithole”, but that doesn’t matter to buyers, it’s probably worth $700k easy. I don’t think it’s a whole 1600 square feet.

    I’ve got friends in Texas who are paying just under $10k per year. Is that cheap? I suppose so if you consider that the same house in NJ would probably get $20k property taxes. But most folks going down that way are doing it to get the big McMansion. So you sell your Jersey cape with the $9k tax bill and buy a Texas-sized Mansion with a $10k tax bill for the same price.

  20. Libtard in the City says:

    Had a 3rd world commute into the city today, which is becoming more and more commonplace. On a morning where the outside temperature was in the low 70s, I still ended up drenched in sweat by the time I got to my office.

    Our Bloomfield to Penn (NY) was a car short, but somehow I got a seat. The train had very little AC though so it was still pretty uncomfortable. It didn’t help that the 12 mile NJ Transit commute took almost 50 minutes. Well once in the homeless den, I hustled over to the 1 on the MTA and ended up in a real sweat box. No AC at all and no windows open. I would have waited for the next local, but the board said it would be another 8 minutes (at rush hour no less). At each station I jumped off and walked another traincar back. Finally, at 14th Street, I made it to the last car on the train and it did have AC. Unfortunately, I only got to enjoy it for two stops before I had to get off.

    Pensions for everyone!

  21. Anon E. Moose says:

    Repeating – call for interest of a NJRER GTG, happy hour Thu eve. 8/29. Venue TBD. Pipe up here or RSVP to john (underscore) doebinski (at) yahoo (dot) com from your anonymous disposable e-mail of choice.

  22. Libtard in the City says:

    Moose…I’m still in.

  23. 1987 Condo says:

    #19….my brother’s $450,000 house in SI has $4,750 RE taxes, plus he pays $6,000 on NYC income tax (3% on household $200k income)..so his “local” tax is over $10 k in NYC anyway. Friends in tampa, house is $200,000, property tax around $5k and HO insurance over $4k….so bad in NJ, but as you say….only real cheap where there are no jobs…check our Taxes in Milwaukee and Chicago!!

  24. Anon E. Moose says:

    Lib [22];

    Thanks, Lib. Just repeating for the benefit of any who only drop in occasionally.

  25. grim says:

    What are the property taxes in the nice Chicago suburbs, $500k SFH? $10k? More?

  26. grim says:

    24 – Pick a place and I’ll start posting it on the main page

  27. clotluva says:

    Not to stoke Fast Eddie’s fire, but as a Manhattan renter I don’t think I could justify a $20K tax bill that some of the Jersey (and Westchester) towns are foisting upon their residents for a $750K house in need of TLC – unless I had a couple kids enrolled in the school system. For example, I like the inventory in Maplewood, but the taxes are pretty crazy and from what I gather the school system isn’t as good as some of the other towns (e.g. New Providence, Summit).

    What is interesting about Maplewood is that it illustrates that there is a correlation between PRICES, SCHOOL QUALITY, and TAXES. (i.e. even though it is a shorter commute to Manhattan, and the inventory is solid, the price is lower due to (1) the relative quality of the school district and (2) the magnitude of the tax liability). This leads me to believe there will be a corresponding relationship between PRICES and INTEREST RATES (i.e. should rates rise another 2-3%…look out below!)

    In summary: The housing ship hasn’t sailed, it is simply pricing in the existing dynamics of the market, of which the lack of inventory caused by underwater homeowners is a notable factor, as are historically (and, dare I say, artificially) low interest rates.

  28. grim says:

    Maplewood is a shitty value prop. Why pay Glen Ridge taxes, to not live in Glen Ridge?

    It’s the reason why there are almost no houses for sale in GR, and plenty in Maplewood.

    Same goes for South Orange, you need to have your head examined.

    What’s the train in from NP? 45-50 minutes? Summit – 40-45? Maplewood – 40?

  29. grim says:

    Train from Rutherford gets you into Penn in under 35, even taking into account the switch at Secaucus.

    Nicer house for the money and you’ll pay 2/3rds of the taxes you do in Maplewood.

  30. xolepa says:

    There was an article in the paper the other day about NJ Transit allowing some off-peak direct to NY train service along the Raritan Valley line in the near future. Wha-hoo!! I live less than 10 minutes from a station here in Hunterdon County. The RE agents here must be salivating.

  31. Libtard in the City says:

    But Maplewood has diversification.

  32. Libtard in the City says:


    Only off peak and very limited. There simply is no more space in Penn to park the train nor is there space in the tunnel. Already, my promised 1/2 an hour one seat commute from Montclair (as promised when Midtown Direct opened), is a 45 minute one seat commute from Bloomfield (2 more stops closer to the city) due to the lack of space in the tunnel.

  33. grim says:

    Here you go, very Montclairesque kind of place:

    85 Montross Ave

    $449k – Sub $10k taxes. Less than 10 minute walk to the train station?

  34. Fast Eddie says:

    What are the property taxes in the nice Chicago suburbs, $500k SFH? $10k? More?

    500K SFH and 10K in a nice suburb sounds tolerable. 649K and 12.5K in a nice suburb for the same house is not tolerable; it’s stup1dity. It’s the difference of 850 per month to fund some fat f.ucks pension. But it’s senseless to defend any of it since we’re all Detroit now anyway.

  35. xolepa says:

    LITC, I understand the limitations. It’s just the thought of hopping the train in town on a weekend straight to the city, which I believe they will also institute – no weekend service yet. With free parking and all, it would be a fine addition to the lifestyle here.
    Personally, weekday service is not relevant to me.

    Last time I commuted on a daily basis to NYC was around 9-11 timeframe. We had service here such that I would board the train at 7:25 and be at WTC by 8:50. That included the path switch at Newark. Just a couple stops along that certain ride. No longer, though. Schedule now looks like a commuter nightmare.

  36. Libtard in the City says:

    Grim…looks like my multi both in and out. :P

  37. grim says:

    129 Wheaton was another nice one in Rutherford that went fast.

    6br/4.1ba Huge, 3 floors – All done – $679k ask. House/neighborhood would fit in very well in Montclair, Glen Ridge, Summit, etc. About a mile walk to the train station. Taxes only $12.5k

    Gone in a week and a half.

  38. xolepa says:

    I once rode on the West Trenton line when I worked at MLPF&S in the late seventies. Two car train, hopped on at Bound Brook. Was in Newark in 25 minutes for the switch. No stops. Path fare then was 30 cents.

  39. grim says:

    And if you want one of those Maplewood Albatross Mansions – I can even hook you up with one of those in Rutherford with a tax bill that is easily one half:


  40. Fast Eddie says:

    Rutherford has a street gang presence known as the Gangster Killer Bloods. I’ll pass on that one.

  41. 1987 Condo says:

    This is just to anger fast Eddie…


    ..In that Bergen County town (Saddle Brook) , 30 of 31 officers made six figures last year, and the median salary was $121,177.

  42. xolepa says:

    Continuing rant:
    Now my oldest kid who is in 3rd year med school commutes from home to S.I. to a hospital for training. Outerbridge Crossing fare: $13. WTF? Wasn’t it 3 bucks 3 years ago? Lucky he’s there only for a month and will move on.

  43. Carlito says:

    Another advantage of Rutherford is you get half price membership at the Nereid Rowing Club. Seriously. Check it out. Great sport.

  44. Ragnar says:

    Sorry I cannot attend. Will be vacationing out of country, otherwise I’d be there.
    Ragnar – aka A.West

  45. nwnj says:

    NJT from the NY exurbs sucks. I used to ride from Dover on the weekends for shows/dinners/etc., but it’s miserably slow and expensive. For a date, it costs you $57 just to get to the city and takes almost two hours each way.

    Instead, I just drive to Secaucus now, park for ~$10(you can find free parking around there if you are willing to risk your car being stolen), and take a $4 ride that takes 10 minutes.

    It nets out to a $26 one hour trip instead of a $57 two hour trip.

  46. Libtard in the City says:

    I don’t think ANY public workers in Montclair make under six figures. I remember a number being thrown around at a town council meeting a few years ago that Montclair had 31 people in 6 figures while Maplewood had 3. Then again, Montclair town councils don’t negotiate with public unions. They blow them.

  47. grim says:

    Rutherford has a street gang presence known as the Gangster Killer Bloods. I’ll pass on that one.

    I’d wager a bet at Clifton (as well as Montclair and Maplewood) being significantly worse than Rutherford (Rutherford isn’t East Rutherford). Vatos Locos, Bloods, Latin Kings, MS-13, etc etc.

  48. grim says:

    Understandably, you need to sell meth on the side just to make the extra money needed to live here.

  49. Fast Eddie says:

    1987 Condo [41],

    Those salaries are justified. The protection of prestigious children in blue ribbon schools by a well-equipped and in-shape law enforcement patrol is neccessary!

  50. Libtard in the City says:

    Well equipped…absolutely. In shape, not so much. 120K per year affords one a lot of donuts.

  51. Fast Eddie says:

    Westfield and Wyckoff clocking in with 2 gangs apiece! Booyaa!

  52. chicagofinance says:

    lib: Wasn’t that JJ’s excuse why he didn’t did get laid during his last threesome?

    Libtard in the City says:
    August 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    Xolepa, Montclair (as promised when Midtown Direct opened), is a 45 minute one seat commute from Bloomfield (2 more stops closer to the city) due to the lack of space in the tunnel.

  53. chicagofinance says:

    Did you check it out recently? They screwed you if you go on a Saturday…..parking is $25 with no discounts……if there is, please show me, because I would use it….

    nwnj says:
    August 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Instead, I just drive to Secaucus now, park for ~$10(you can find free parking around there if you are willing to risk your car being stolen), and take a $4 ride that takes 10 minutes.

    It nets out to a $26 one hour trip instead of a $57 two hour trip.

  54. clotluva says:

    Re. 28 “you need to have your head examined”

    Not sure the cause of the hostility, but my orginal point was that I don’t understand why people without kids would take on a $20k tax liability without using the school system. I brought up Maplewood as an illustration of a town that has extremely high taxes – and mentioned it because unlike other towns, it has a lot of inventory in the $500K-$750K range. I understand that an equivalent house in a nicer town would be priced higher.

    And Libtard, while I am not familiar with the differences between Glen Ridge and neighboring towns (other than Monclair, which I’ve read about on this blog), my significant other would like a neighborhood with diversity, so as not to completely disconnect from her heritage (hence why some towns are probably not a good fit). Could you provide some context to your comment in #31? What diverse towns commutable to NYC do you think pose a good value?

  55. anon (the good one) says:

    any news about ‘NotRagnar’? is still around?

  56. xolepa says:

    Grim, dang nabbit, look at Franklin in Somerset County, my alma mater. They built a huge school 5 miles away from the old one to remove themselves from the New Brunswick ghetto. Guess what? Now the gangs can no longer walk to the schools to start trouble. Instead, they are bussed to make trouble. I feel for the bus drivers who cart the monsters back and forth. We rioted back in the 60s and 70s (race based). I wonder if things have changed.
    Nope, next generation of kids without fathers make their mark.

  57. nwnj says:


    This says $7 for 12 hours.


  58. xolepa says:

    ‘my significant other would like a neighborhood with diversity, so as not to completely disconnect from her heritage’

    Is it worth sending a kid to a lesser school system where the chances are they will go astray as opposed to a better one, with less diversity? This ‘diversity’ approach sounds very ego driven. Most kids nowadays don’t care about ethnicity.

    Big mistake, in my opinion.

  59. Libtard in the City says:

    Maplewood is fine. Really not much different than Montclair. I would venture to say that it is better run too.

  60. Libtard in the City says:

    On the weekend, as long as you are not coming/going in the evening, it’s easiest to drive into the city and park at the PA parking lot. Or on the street if you are far east or west side.

  61. Anon E. Moose says:

    Adventures in “Not Quite Back to Peak YET”

    3600 sf 4/4 on .65 ac.; bought Jan ’04 $720k; just reduced to $700k from $729k (why not $699k, I don’t know)

    3350 sf 5/3 on .9 ac. — borders a double-yellow thoroughfare, but decent wooded buffer that you would own; Bought May ’05 for $727k; now $599.9k from OLP $749k (Listing Agent says “Zestimate [$615k] too low.” Maybe not.)

    2900 sf 6/4 on .6 ac.; bought Jun ’06 $900k; now UC from list price of $680k .

    3360 sf 5/2.5 on 1.66 (hilly) ac.; bought Dec ’06 $700k; rented.

    2000 sf 4/2.5 on .65 ac.; nicely finished, IG pool; now $525k from OLP $595k

    Lesson to be learned, particularly from No. 3: Take your lumps when you list it; don’t chase the market down. We’re not back to peak yet.

    The ship may have sailed on bottom mortgage rates, but to quote the old Jaws movie, if the aggressive sellers are any indication “They’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

  62. Libtard in the City says:

    Though on the diversity tip, I’m with Xolepa. I would find the town with the best public schools (if you want to go that option) and let the kids spend their Summers in a diverse camp if maintaining culture is important.

  63. Ragnar says:

    Regarding RVL direct, it sounds more like wishing than reality.

    Governor Christie f’ed the dreams of NJ commuters in the arse when he shut down the tunnel project without thinking of any new solutions. He hopes to be vice president or something before people notice that suburban commuting is bursting at the seams like his clothes.

  64. StarGazer says:

    Hi all,

    We just had an offer accepted on a home in Holmdel.

    Can anyone make any lender recommendations? We got our pre-approval from Wells but would like to make sure that we get the best pricing possible. (We have perfect credit + finances + huge d/p)

    Thanks for any and all comments.

  65. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Wohoo Randolph no gangs, Roxbury TWP WTF 5 gangs? I went my frosh year of high school there in 87 it was your typical 80s high school. there was no gang activity unless you count dirt merchants listening to slayer in their bedrooms and getting high in the woods. Man how times have changed.

  66. Ottoman says:

    “What diverse towns commutable to NYC do you think pose a good value?”

    Maplewood is a (mostly) nice looking town. The issue is that its within walking distance to Irvington and Newark. Unless those towns gentrify, that location will always be a drag on values regardless of the quality of the school or the easy commute. You can really see how close you are when the train crosses the border from South Orange to Orange. Not everyone is happy to spend 3/4s of a million dollars to live so close to wall to wall poor people and abandoned buildings.

    I’m sure its too far for you but I’d say Morris Township would be one of the best places in the state to find solid property values and “diversity”. Its insulated from the inner cities by some very expensive towns but it also shares the school district with Morristown and Morris Plains and they even bus the kids around so you’re living among everyone from illegal immigrants to multi-millionaires.

  67. Fast Eddie says:

    I wish my Dad was alive to tell you the joys of being a firefighter amidst the “diverse” citizens of a “thriving” metropolis. :o

  68. 1987 Condo says:

    #67..well, that’s true diversity!

    “Not everyone is happy to spend 3/4s of a million dollars to live so close to wall to wall poor people and abandoned buildings.”

  69. Lurker says:

    No surprise Montville is again one of the towns in Money’s Best Places to Live. Berkeley Heights beat it out for top of NJ however


  70. xolepa says:

    But Berkeley Heights has gangs!

  71. clotluva says:

    59 xolepa – I believe it is more a function of emotional attachment (to her parents, family, and SoCal upbringing) than ego. That, and it’s not fun being a minority in an area where everyone of your type is instinctively viewed as “the help” – no matter how successful you become.

    67 Ottoman – Thanks for the insight.

  72. grim says:

    My grammar school was a bunch of polacks and waps, with a couple of micks and two chinese kids. Who said we didn’t have diversity?

    By high school, some of the ethnic divides had morphed into subcultural groups. We had the burners, the jocks, the druggies/hippies, the rich kids, the geeks, but still had some more insular/newcomer groups .. the off the boat polocks, the arabs, the latinos. Some of the creative in the ethnic groups chose to align themselves to subcultures, which essentially recategorized them entirely. For example, lots of the polocks became burners, and were accepted there, the latinos who were on the soccer team became jocks, etc.

    It’s amazing the kind of diversity kids will create.

  73. xolepa says:

    Then again, I moved to Danbury CT one year after it was named the top town in the country. Of course, IBM was imploding there and the town was becoming heavily Hispanic.

  74. xolepa says:

    (72) not true. In my neighborhood, we accept all types, as long as you make more money than ‘I’ make. And my parents moved us kids to a community which had a very strong ethnic background. Little did they know that the other side of town had such diversity that they were ready to put us in private school. They did not make a lot of money. The school system was horrible. I did not put my kids through that.

  75. grim says:

    75 – Everyone wants racial and ethnic diversity without the socioeconomic diversity that typically accompanies it.

    It’s why nobody says – The diversity is awesome in Atlantic City/Clifton/Lodi/Garfield/Hackensack/Dover, I’m moving there.

  76. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    We have plenty of diversity in our town well to do hispanics, asians, indians, blacks, white folks. There is even a synagoue. We even have some COAH housing, our other side of the tracks is the west bound side of route 10. Plenty of diversity, poor people to make fun of, minorities what is not love. Sure the high school drug problem is the high end stuff and I’m convinced the sports teams are an extension of the H!tler youth but what ever.

    By the when did motorcycle clubs get junior auxilaries? Do they ride harley colored mopeds?

  77. grim says:

    I believe Jersey City is regarded as one of the most diverse towns in NJ, if not the entire US.

  78. Painhrtz - Disobey! says:

    Grim if they built walls around them it would be like escape from NY. Me being the Snake Pliskin of Garfield

  79. grim says:

    And I believe the NY Metro Division is regarded as being in the top 3 most diverse in the entire US.

  80. Juice Box says:

    re # 76 – Supreme Court rulings also insure that won’t happen. No busing across district lines for school systems regardless of race the socioeconomic diversity will stay put.

  81. Juice Box says:

    re # 78 – When you are a minority you know it, and every time I was in Jersey City I knew it. I think that Hovnanian new construction in Jersey City has a price tag of more than 800 a sq ft these days, that is allot of cheese to be a minority.

  82. Anon E. Moose says:

    X [42];

    You can get a commuter discount with EZPass. Not much, but it helps.

  83. chicagofinance says:

    Deceptive……it is a link for coupons, but even though it says $7, the coupon is not active and cannot be called-up or printed……check it out and see whether you agree.

    nwnj says:
    August 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    54 his says $7 for 12 hours.

  84. Nice problem to have says:

    I have a JJ question and he’s off on vacation. Anyone else have any comments. My companies stock price has jumped. While it’s up 6% this week on Q4 numbers it is up 40% since Feb. That has brought some old st

  85. Nice problem to have says:

    ock options and RSUS seriously into the money. I am not subject to AMT but If I cash out I will be for this year. I hav

  86. zieba says:

    85) cash out, buy new keyboard

  87. Nice problem to have says:

    Darn android, you get the jist

  88. Ragnar says:

    grim is this what you mean by “burner”?

    A term popular in the Midwest used to describe cigarette smoking teens with long ratty hair and who listen to heavy metal music from the 80s & 90s. Burners typically skip class, assemble in large groups across the street from the school building, and smoke cigarettes. On average, burners are skinny, malnourished, and smell stale. Burner attire includes tight jeans, improperly tied high top shoes, heavy metal tee shirts in the winter, and a plastic comb carried in the back pants pocket. Both burner boys and girls have poor vision due to heavy drug usage and long bangs.

  89. Anon E. Moose says:

    Freedy [89];

    You mean the hormone-addled teen boys will have the chance to ‘self-actualize’ their way into the girls’ locker room? What could possibly go wrong?

  90. grim says:

    90 – rock on

  91. Anon E. Moose says:

    ChiFi [84];

    I’ve done this recently – it’s weekday evenings only. You don’t need a coupon, just pull in after the twilight rate goes into effect. Probably not good on the weekend to wring money out of the MetLife stadium crowd.

  92. Libtard at home says:

    In East Brunswick burners were actually known as “Ginkers.”

    Personally, I played football and was president of the marching band, though I had an affinity for woodworking and auto shop which brought the greasers into play. So many of my friends were from those three cliques. I remember I once had this giant party at my house that I wish I took pictures of. The mixing of the cliques was unheralded. I’m lucky the ginkers didn’t pick a fight with the jocks, cause the band f@gs would have probably been destroyed. The best part of the party was buying a half keg from the trunk of some geezer who pretty much made a living selling kegs to underage parties. Was so much better than Milwaukee’s Beast, the typical brew of the day for such get togethers.

  93. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [39];

    If one does the self-help FSBO thing (pay for MLS insertion only), can you also rent a lock box via the ‘listing’ agent? I’d think making the property available for showings is a big piece of the agent-facilitated value proposition.

    That plus a couple of well-places WiFi webcams…

  94. grim says:

    I did forget about the band fags in my post above, as well as the theater and chorus nerds too.

    Stu your post reminds me of the post-prom shore blowout we had. God, almost completely forgot about that till I read your post. Same thing happened, most of the subcultures threw off their gang colors and got plenty drunk together. Some how, the leaders from each group ended up together in the same house partying that night/weekend. The whole thing went down like a John Hughes movie. Lots of dope smoked, hatchets buried, new friendships forged (if only for a night), grim made out with the rich girl brunette he was in love with for the 4 years leading up to prom (and never spoke to her again). The only thing we were missing was the stereotypical 80s one hit wonder credits roll.

  95. ccb223 says:


  96. Fabius Maximus says:

    #9 Fast Eddie

    The is the price, if you don’t like it move to the Poconos, because it’s not changing no matter how much you complain.

    But there is always Mahwah, you should be able swing no mortgage so you can make the numbers work for the taxes … :*)


  97. Fabius Maximus says:

    #29 grim

    Rutherford town finances were a bit of a train wreck last time I looked.

  98. chicagofinance says:

    You would ask JJ for advice? What are you cracked? Do you know what I do?

    Nice problem to have says:
    August 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    I have a JJ question and he’s off on vacation. Anyone else have any comments. My companies stock price has jumped. While it’s up 6% this week on Q4 numbers it is up 40% since Feb. That has brought some old st

    Nice problem to have says:
    August 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    ock options and RSUS seriously into the money. I am not subject to AMT but If I cash out I will be for this year. I hav

  99. Fabius Maximus says:

    #73 grim

    Just started working with Accenture Poland. They are living up to the standards of their worldwide counterparts.

  100. chicagofinance says:

    The End Is Nigh (Splice JJ & Clot Aquatic Animals Edition):
    Testicle-biting fish invading Denmark, authorities warn

  101. chicagofinance says:

    In Papua New Guinea, the invasive species has reportedly earned a reputation as the “ball-cutter” after castrating a couple of local fishermen, LiveScience said.

  102. grim says:

    101 – IT management outsourcing group?

  103. Juice Box says:

    re # 96 – “post-prom shore blowout”

    Seaside Heights motel? We took one over after prom. Nerds, Jocks, burnouts etc all were welcome we knew High School was over. Besides the nonstop fist fights that week between rivals from another town I ended up taking the drunk kid with a BAC of 3.0 to the local Hospital after he took a bad dive off the second floor balcony and broke several bones when he missed the pool. Good times!

  104. Juice Box says:

    re: #101 – We outsourced some work to Poland. I firmly believe they have outsourced that work to China.

  105. Juice Box says:

    re: # 94 – Tard – I did football as well as band, I never did march on Saturdays since I was on the football team and my skills were needed. How did you manage both?

  106. Juice Box says:

    re: # 85 – Anyone else have any comments? Buy and Hold is dead….

  107. grim says:

    Worst I’ve ever dealt with was HP. Weren’t they the old EDS guys? I’d dealt with EDS before years back, both as a client and a vendor, and I swear I’d remembered them as being much, much better. Then again, everyone I’d talked to recently was probably in Chennai, as opposed to somewhere out in the midwest/south.

  108. Libtard at home says:


    I played center for Brian Forte, perhaps the biggest NFL prospect QB out of Jersey with an unmatched ego to boot. Josh Miller was our field goal kicker. Funny thing, Miller ended up with 2 super bowl rings and Forte blew it by going to the U and never getting to play. He ended up suing Miami and winning, but no one knows how much it was for.

    Freshman year (JV), I started but our games were at different times than the high school so band wasn’t an issue. Sophomore year I started and quick changed into the f@g uniform at halftime in back of snack bar. About 3/4s of the way through the season, Clarkie, the backup center roided up and that was the end of my football career. Junior and senior year I was band only. I was never big enough to scholarship for the o-line anyway. And I wasn’t willing to shrink my testicles to compete.

  109. Juice Box says:

    re: #110 – Tard we never met on the field, we were group II North Jersey although we did win the states back then. Lots of Dbol back then too, I did not partake. Hopefully they all don’t get what Lyle Alzado did.

  110. Juice Box says:

    re#111 – correction “meet” on the field.

  111. bad anon says:


    ignore the maplewood bashing and the corresponding glen ridge praise. It’s random if not prejudiced.
    Fact: Maplewood has lower taxes than glen ridge.
    Fact: Whites do better in Maplewood than glen ridge (see NJ stats)
    Fact: Maplewood crime index 50, Glen Ridge crime index 32

    Conclusion: Some people are willing to pay crazy taxes and pick from a tiny inventory in a high crime area to put their offspring to a worse school so to avoid blacks. Said people are probably dumb.

    As for Rutherford just observe the sat scores (2011)
    Rutherford High Sat avg 1489 (2% black)
    Columbia High (Maplewood/SO) Sat avg 1556 (52% black)

    I would avoid Rutherford unless you like under performing whites.

    Be careful some people here are ignorant or worse intentionally misleading.

  112. bad anon says:

    in above crime index higher is safer (100 safest-50 us average)

  113. Fabius Maximus says:

    #104 grim
    Well they are trying to.

    106 Juice
    I think that’s were they are sourcing their bags of hammers.

  114. BearsFan says:

    Lib, I played for Borden in the first Snapple bowl. 20 years went by quick.

  115. Libtard at home says:

    I played for coach Borden. What a jack@ss, though he was pretty successful.

    Anon….You are aware that I spent nearly half of my life living in Montclair. Ignorant I am not, though I can’t be sure you are referring to me. Though there is something I can vouch for. That your tax dollar goes a whole lot further in Glen Ridge than it does in Montclair. Perhaps it was the part of Montclair where I lived (4th ward) versus upper whitey Montclair that helped form my opinion. Or the fact that former mayors and managers ignored many of Gator and my ideas which would have saved the town millions, but we are 300% happier with Glen Ridge services than we were with those in Montclair. I could tell you story after story of mismanagement at town hall, but you would simply claim that I’m racist. Then again, I chose to buy my home on the most diverse block in Montclair/Glen Ridge. Enjoy the pools Anon.

  116. Libtard at home says:

    Oh…and tell me the crime index after this Summer of shootings and burglaries in Montclair. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  117. bad anon says:

    I was not talking about you-usually you are very matter of fact.
    You need to admit that you are somewhat obsessed with Montclair as I was talking about Maplewood.

  118. 1987 condo says:

    #113……since all students don’t have to takethe SAT, you need to understand how participation may impact the averages.,.

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume at the beach says:

    [90] Ragnar,

    We used to call them burnouts. But I think burner is more accurate. When they get older, they are burnouts.

    But not always. One guy I always thought was a burnout later became a transplant surgeon.

  120. Libtard at home says:

    So I’m obsessed. And a bit tired.

  121. Libtard at home says:

    I just googled ginker and the urban dictionary definitions are a riot.

  122. Comrade Nom Deplume at the beach says:

    Got results of home inspection. Not bad but issues I can ding for. Sellers are classic linear negotiators so my corrective proposal is an overreach. Deliberately did not offer a dollar figure but gave enough detail so they could figure it out. Also gave talking points and arguments to my agent: not for her to use on sellers but for me to argue with her as she will doubtless try to get me to “see reason”. I treat her as I would a sellers agent.

  123. Libtard at home says:

    This is 100% accurate…

    6. Ginker

    Native to East Brunswick, NJ, this term exemplified a specific look and lifestyle. Originating in the 1970’s, the Ginker became iconic at East Brunswick High School (then known as HollyRock High). However, Ginkers could be found in abundance at East Brunswick Vocational & Technical School (aka Vo-Tech).

    The standard garb has been well described in previous entries. In addition, the lifestyle of the Ginker and their actions were equally as important as their wear.

    Leather wear during the winter, spring and fall season were as common as the Levi denim coat with the concert shirt pasted onto the rear panel. Leather jackets, of the motorcycle variety, were commonly worn, or draped over the right shoulder if not being “actively” worn. This is not to be mistaken with the normal over-the-shoulder coat carry; the specific carry of the leather coat was such, so that the collar of the coat rested on the shoulder with the right sleeve of the coat in front and the left sleeve of the coat to the rear as the jacket was effectively used as a blanket or shield on one side of the Ginker’s body while walking.

    In the 1980’s, metallic concert pins were also added to denim jackets, usually depicting the following bands; Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Judas Priest, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Rush, The Who, Led Zepplin, Iron Maiden, etc… and were displayed as a badge of honor. The more pins, the higher in rank the ginker…

    Alpha male ginkers also used a specific walk or swagger which signified their level of ginker knowledge. The ginker swagger was deliberate and specific. It was a slow paced walk which accentuated the body’s natural movement; extreme leaning to the left-and-right while walking was performed with wide-swings of the arms to give a more “rough-and-tough” appearance. Generally, the walk was used as both a mating call, as well as a domination trait to other males, both ginker and non-ginker alike. The walk was intended to protect the Ginker from unwanted attacks based on intimidation.

    Generally peaceful in nature, the appearance of the Ginker was generally enough to ward off unwanted attacks. However, from time-to-time, fights would occur between individuals within the Ginker sects…. it was fairly uncommon for interspecies altercations (i.e. Ginker vs. Football Player). Fighting was generally more for show rather than actual harm, and weapons were rarely, if ever displayed. The fight process involved a lot of hyping of the event, followed by a mad rush of the general student body population to a location usually on a football field or other large space. Fights were announced early on in the day, and ultimately only a few punches or brief scrappling was done before the “fight” would be broken up by an authority figure within a few seconds.

    Female Ginkers tended to be more on the agressive side usually intimidating those in the J.A.P., Preppie or Athletic sectors. Intimidation tactics were often done in the girls bathroom in packs. Physical altercations with females were rare, but when they occurred they often were unannounced and tended to be a little less for show and with the intent to dissuade a non-ginker girl from showing interest in an Alpha ginker male or for making a comment about another Ginker (either male or female). Female ginkers were very territorial and were quick to make that known.

    As stated earlier, Ginkers were highly sociable creatures, however, not boisterous. Greetings between ginkers was generally left to simple phrases such as “hey” “‘sup?” or simple body gestures as a quick upward nod of the head with a raised eyebrow to acknowledge a fellow ginker. Ginkers congregated in packs and were seldom found in the open alone. Ginkers were generally found on Senior Row in the back of HollyRock High, on the side of the cafeteria, or in between building 7&8 at EBHS.

    Cigarette smoking was nearly a required of all Ginkers… and it was a rarity to find one who didn’t. There was a method to smoking which was different from the standard smoking ritual of other people. The cigarette was lit and generally “cupped” in the non-dominant hand using the thumb, first and second fingers. In this method, the tip of the cigarette faced inwards and not blatently outwards as normal smokers would hold the butt (i.e. holding the cigarette with the tip outwards between the first and second fingers in a “V” formation). The ginker would swiftly bring the cigarette up to the mouth, take a deep puff, briskly pull the cigarette out and down to the side of the body, and exhale. There was no other acceptable method. The only exception to this rule was for female ginkers who were allowed to smoke in any fashion they chose.

    After school detention or suspension was a rite of passage, and most, if not the majority of true ginkers spent at least one sentence of detention or suspension. These were generally for minor infractions of school policy, usually smoking or using profanity in public areas.

    During the ginker’s Senior Year, sporting a loud muscle car was a determining factor in the ginker’s overall status. Black or red Camaro’s, Firebirds, Mustangs or Monte Carlo’s were the norm, and glass-packed mufflers on large V-8 engines were a must. Well before “bling” was introduced in the late 1990’s and 2000’s… chrome accessories were added to these vehicles but not overdone, usually accentuating either the wheels, exhaust system or engine components. There was an actual passion for these muscle cars and great pride was displayed; parking of these vehicles was restricted to the “backing in” method only vs. “head on” parking most other students used… that is, the vehicle’s nose pointed outwards from the spot.

    Although drug and alcohol use was usually assumed to be the staple of the ginker society, this was a misconception as many non-ginkers used the same substances in equal or greater quantities… it was the ginker however, that was simply more visible, and therefore was assumed to be using illicit substances in vast quantities, regardless if true or not. Partying among ginkers was restricted in general to “ginker-only” sessions… you would not find those in non-ginker circles to be at a ginker party for the most part, and vice-versa.

    There was no such thing as a “vegetarian” ginker, nor one who was a participant in after-school sports. School sporting events were reserved for social gatherings under the grandstands and on Senior Row while the rest of the crowds were watching the event.

    While there were two Junior High Schools in East Brunswick, it is believed, although unconfirmed, that the vast majority of Ginker recruits hailed from Hammarskjold JHS.

    Academically, ginkers, while appearing ambivalent to school, were often very good at the arts and in certain circumstances sciences. Seating in a classroom was often in the rear and to the left… which allowed the Ginker to remain out of the line-of-sight of the teacher so as not to get picked on for class contributions. Given the chance, a ginker would often suprise teachers with their actual grasp of complex concepts, although, it was not proper for a ginker to boast about academic achievement. It was proper however, for the ginker to possess a vast knowledge about heavy metal or hard rock bands, and to attend several concerts during their high-school years.

    A common misconception was that ginkers were also “Dead-Heads.” While some may have followed the Grateful Dead, the “Dead-Heads” were a different sub-group completely, and while those circles sometimes intersected, they were indeed two separate entities.

    Common meeting places for Ginkers included the aforementioned Movie City 5, the Brunswick Squre Mall (often outside Macy’s or in front of the mall), Vo-Tech sports fields, Seville Diner, Robert Frost Woods or private homes. It was not uncommon for Ginkers to associate with burnouts from surrounding towns such as South River (aka River Rats), Old Bridge and Spotswood, NJ, particularly females from those areas.

    Despite the outward appearance of the ginker, it was uncommon for a ginker to experience legal troubles with local Law Enforcement. In general, the ginker didn’t seek out criminal activity, rather, they were hedonistic rather than sociopathic in nature. Many ginkers have contributed to society in a variety of ways, and are current owners of lucrative companies, have gone on to pursue academic degrees and professional careers or have perfected trades which have yeilded a very comfortable living.
    “Look at all those ginkers cutting a butt by the fence….”

  124. Michael says:

    Great blog posts today!! Enjoyed it!!

    I may repost this tomorrow since it’s rather late. Really want to hear fast eddie’s opinion on the matter. I’m basing this post off of reading the nj.com article citing police salaries in nj that someone posted to add fuel to fast eddie’s rage.

    With the police in northern jersey making (let me get my puke bag) 6 figure salaries on avg, why have teachers been victimized and police left alone? Reason I state this is for the following scenario. Police officers are put into a school for protection. So you are telling me police officers will be put in the same dangerous environment as teachers, yet get paid 120,000 salaries, while the teachers makes 60,000. Biggest joke is that the teachers actually have to teach children (work) in this same dangerous environment for half the pay, while the police officer talks on his cell phone or plays with himself in the bathroom during his extremely risky and unsafe assignment. You know, that’s why they receive this outrageous pay, because it’s so unsafe. This is rather comical, don’t you think?

    Maybe the njea will ask for a 50% raise for working in the same unsafe conditions as the cops, and dealing with having to teach these gangbangers that make being a cop so dangerous. I love how backwards society is.

  125. Libtard at home says:

    I’m not sure how the salaries got so out of whack either. I remember policemen being the academic losers. Lots of ginkers (burnouts) that I knew in high school became policemen. I just think it’s the flawed arbitration in NJ. If one district agrees to give cops a 3.5% raise, then they all get it. It doesn’t take too many 3.5% raises for a 50K salary to grow to 100K.

  126. Michael says:

    I see no problem with paying a police officer a top salary of say 90,000. 130,000 plus ot, now it’s legal extortion. If you were on the beat in Irvington, ok, but closter? Are you serious. So you get paid this much to say hi to the citizens and make them feel safe, by writing them a ticket for speeding? This is crazy. I really can’t believe this.

  127. Michael says:

    I need another barf bag, already filled up the first. I don’t want to ever hear someone complain about any other job being over payed until they address this issue. I don’t know what’s worst, the senators writing their own rules (laws) or the police. Wow!!

  128. Michael says:

    Whatever I’ll try to justify it. Most new officers are minorities, maybe it’s Jersey’s way of being progressive and giving minorities a chance to level the playing field. Lmao I don’t know, I’m just trying to justify this anyway I could.

  129. Fabius Maximus says:

    #125 Lib

    Should that be called “How to be pretend to be as cool as Madonna, circa 1983!”

  130. grim says:

    113 – Don’t come here and call me racist unless you are going to back it up with real facts. Calling me racist because I’m saying Glen Ridge is a better choice than Maplewood for the what is essentially same outlay in taxes? Race is irrelevant to me. Give me a break.

    2010 SAT
    Glen Ridge – 1726
    Columbia – 1592

    2013 High School Rankings
    Glen Ridge – 12
    Columbia – 47

    I posted Rutherford as counterpoint to the comment about NY taxes of $20k being typical for older style “character” homes with a shorter commute to NYC. The fact is it’s cheaper, the taxes are lower, and the commute is shorter. Are there trade-offs? Sure. I’m merely pointing out viable alternatives. The fact of the matter is that school performance is a HUGE driver of home prices in NJ, better performance, higher price, period.

    Where do you live in Maplewood?

    The population north of Wyoming is 98.9% white (per city-data stats). It’s about as un-diverse as North Mountain, or the side streets off of Ridgewood Ave. North of Maplewood Ave it’s probably an easy 85-90% white. Head to the Irvington border and the demographics change tremendously, in some places an almost complete reversal to 80% black. Jesus Christ man, the town of Alpine is more racially diverse than the area north of Wyoming.

    This is diversity to you? By the way, the wealth and income is strongly correlated to this area. To me, this looks like an enclave of rich white money … and then you’ve got everybody else to the south of that.

    And your comment about Rutherford not being diverse? And it being predominantly (poor performing) white? Huh?

    Rutherford NJ (from Citydata)
    White – 68.1%
    Hispanic – 14.1%
    Asian – 13%
    Black – 2.5%
    Two or more – 2.5%
    Other races – 0.3%

    White – 58.7%
    Black – 29.7%
    Hispanic – 7.1%
    Asian – 3.1%
    Two or more – 0.9%
    Other – 0.2%

    Looks like Rutherford is equally as diverse as Maplewood, it has larger percentages of asian and hispanic populations, but a lower percentage of black population. Do I not understand diversity here? Isn’t a large population of all races better than the racial makeup being predominantly one or two races? So, for example, Glen Ridge High is more diverse than Irvington High, for example.

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