All your homes are belong to us

From Reuters:

Spiders, sewage and a flurry of fees – the other side of renting a house from Wall Street

The rental home seemed so beautiful when McKayla Ferreira first laid eyes on it. The roof had three gables, fruit trees grew in the backyard, and the front porch gleamed with a fresh coat of paint.

Then Ferreira moved in.

First, she noticed water leaking through the bathroom and kitchen ceilings. Then she found a furry black mold spreading across the walls and raw sewage sluicing through the crawl space. Worst, to her, were the black widow spiders swarming her kitchen cupboards and linen closets. “Those spiders were so big you could hear them,” Ferreira said. “They sounded like fingernails scraping a table.”

Ferreira called her landlord, Invitation Homes Inc, a creation of private equity giant Blackstone Group LP. The spiders were a “housekeeping issue,” the company representative told her, and she should “clean the place up.” Invitation Homes wasn’t enthusiastic about fixing the leaks, either. Two months passed before it sent someone to cut through the ceiling and fix the pipes, Ferreira said. Then the company took seven more months to patch it all up.

Invitation Homes pitches itself as a singular landlord providing unprecedented ease and comfort for renters of its tens of thousands of single-family homes. But in interviews with scores of the company’s tenants in neighborhoods across the United States, the picture that emerges isn’t as much one of exceptional service as it is one of leaky pipes, vermin, toxic mold, nonfunctioning appliances and months-long waits for repairs.

Tenants also complain about excessive rent increases and fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in May in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, renters accuse the company of “fee-stacking.” They allege that Invitation Homes charges tenants $95 if their rent is one minute late – even if the late payment is due to the company’s own nonfunctioning online payment portal – and then files an eviction notice to add more fees, penalties and legal costs if the tenant wants to stay in the home.

As a Blackstone vehicle, Invitation Homes led Wall Street’s charge into the single-family-home rental business, snapping up houses at fire-sale prices. After its merger last November with Starwood Waypoint Homes, another private-equity-backed foray into the market, Invitation Homes became the largest landlord of single-family homes in the United States by number of rental units.

Today, Invitation Homes manages 82,000 properties, most of them entry-level three- and four-bedroom houses in 17 metropolitan areas concentrated in the Sun Belt. Its portfolio – though still less than one percent of the overall single-family rental market – is 58 percent larger than that of its nearest competitor, American Homes 4 Rent.

Affordable-housing advocates, real estate professionals and other critics of Wall Street’s push into the rental market say the tenant complaints suggest that rapid growth has stretched Invitation Homes’ ability to manage its properties. They also assert that there’s a deeper problem: Invitation Homes, like some of its Wall Street-backed peers, adheres to a business model that pressures it to lean hard on tenants to satisfy investors.

These companies have financed their growth by selling billions of dollars in bonds – the rental-market equivalent of the mortgage-backed securities that led to the financial crisis – to pension funds and other big institutions. Industry critics say that to keep payments to bond investors rolling, companies like Invitation Homes must minimize maintenance costs and maximize rents and fees.

Among those tenants is Contrell Wethersby in Atlanta, who told Reuters she had to go for more than a year without heat or a functioning refrigerator, stove, microwave or garage door – not to mention having to endure a leaky ceiling and black mold.

Some renters, like Willie Jean Brister in Los Angeles, have seen their rent increase by as much as 50 percent over three years. During that time, Brister has filed work orders for an exterminator and repairs on a bathtub, faucets, bathroom door, cabinet doors, fence, hot water and garbage disposal – all of them reviewed by Reuters on the company’s web portal. The grandmother with five children in the house said the portal keeps saying “ ‘work completed,’ but the work is never completed. You get worn out, like you are paying all this rent and not getting any services.”

Invitation Homes has been raising rents by as much as an average of 10 percent a year in places like Oakland, California – nearly double the norm in that market – according to the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), an advocacy group. At the same time, the company has been adding to the types of fees it charges tenants – not just for late payments, but for things like rent paid on debit cards, which incurs a $30 charge.

Fees have helped lift earnings by 20 to 30 percent a year. In a recent earnings call, the company attributed rising profits in part to its “system” to “track resident delinquency on a daily basis.” This system allows the company to start charging fees and penalties the minute a tenant fails to pay on time.

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84 Responses to All your homes are belong to us

  1. grim says:

    Like a dying American car company that lets accountants and committees design vehicles.

    The Pan America bike is a hideous monstrosity.

    The cruiser is nicely styled, but I imagine would have an impressive price tag, looks like it would be it’s new pinnacle bike.

    The “street fighter” looks like a rehashed Buell, maybe they should consider bringing Eric back.

    None of these appeal to anyone but boomers, because they were all clearly designed by boomers, for boomers. An $8000 Zero FX is way more exciting than any of these.

  2. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    How great is it that they were able to get that entire soccer team and the coach out of joyce’s flooded vag1ina? I heard the passage wasn’t as narrow as they thought.

  3. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I’ve been listed as the agent for joyce’s vag. It seats 50, sleeps an infinite number.

  4. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    ^^^ No worries, it’s a dry heat.

  5. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    They moral of the story: subtle, cunty, blackmailing midgets never proseper. Care to comment, joyce?

  6. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    If only I had something as powerful to vanquish Pumps. Unfortunately, he’s too clever.

  7. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    LOL. joyce is fingering herself, but not enjoying it…at….all.

  8. Yo! says:

    Buy INVH. Single family rental articles will flow like Amazon warehouse reports. Hate the haters, buy the stocks.

  9. homeboken says:

    A lot of you older readers are becoming completely unglued.

    The posting and answering your own question 5 times in a row is a pretty clear sign that you have lost your mind, ExPat.

    Why not unplug and go get some air today.

  10. 3b says:

    Did I miss something?

  11. The Great Pumpkin says:

    A 350-Square-Foot Apartment Is on the Market for $750,000 – Bloomberg

  12. chicagofinance says:

    Dude….lay off…. and also stop with the gratuitous bad language directed at people …. it makes you look bad….

    The Original NJ ExPat says:
    July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am
    LOL. joyce is fingering herself, but not enjoying it…at….all.

  13. chicagofinance says:

    I don’t want to stay silent, because it creates a perception that this board is a sausage fest, which it is not.

  14. Juice Box says:

    Pumps – that is a six-story walk-up, had a friend who had one for years was always the deal breaker for any potential girlfriend, by the time they made it up the stairs drunk they usually sobered up from all the steps..

  15. Juice Box says:

    Chi assuming gender? You might get a lifetime ban doing that.

  16. No One says:

    ExPat, Joyce an ex-wife?
    I’ve never had a problem with her contributions but you two seem to bicker for no apparent reason.
    Let’s try to stay within one degree of separation from real estate, rather than no connection at all.

  17. The Great Pumpkin says:

    So what’s some people’s plan? Wait to see if a recession hits next year, buy on the dip, hold like 5 years and sell into the millennial buyer bloc coming early next decade. My plan as of now.

  18. The Great Pumpkin says:

    That’s great! Lmao

    Juice Box says:
    July 31, 2018 at 9:32 am
    Pumps – that is a six-story walk-up, had a friend who had one for years was always the deal breaker for any potential girlfriend, by the time they made it up the stairs drunk they usually sobered up from all the steps..

  19. Fast Eddie says:

    A disgusting mess on a main road. Fat Mary expects top dollar:–2006714111

  20. Fast Eddie says:

    Another one on a main street that’s still 100K overpriced:–2088591323

  21. Juice Box says:

    Pumps – As Mark Twain said history rhymes and speaking of sausages, we are now seeing the meat grinder startup again.

    The sausages in the last bubble were made up of adjustable-rate mortgages. Those are about to undergo a big change. Will it introduce more lending and more risk?

  22. JustAsking says:

    Would you guys buy this one in a train-town ??

    But in a 500 year flood zone..

    Whatz the experts opinion on this above and choosing between Lyndhurst and Rutherford. With school age kids.. Appreciated..

  23. 3b says:

    Rutherford has better schools.

  24. Gobsmacked says:

    Fast Eddie, that second one has no redeeming values from an architectural POV. Former office turned into a house? Blech.

  25. Fast Eddie says:


    Yup. A main road is one thing but the office look is another. There’s this one house in Haworth that is on one of the prettiest streets but they built this mod, 60s looking office monstrosity that sullies the neighborhood. I hate the office/house look.

  26. Fast Eddie says:

    Frank Lloyd Wright is another one I could never understand. His designs do nothing for me.

  27. leftwing says:

    No One, big lol, I was going to ask exactly the same thing of Ex and Joyce.

  28. leftwing says:

    “Fast Eddie, that second one has no redeeming values from an architectural POV. Former office turned into a house? Blech.”

    +1. Ugly as hell inside. And I never understood jamming the fireplace on a wall all the way in the corner. How does that make any sense?

  29. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    Love Wright architecture. Then again, I’m a complete sucker for 50s style anything. His Ennis House is pretty wild and were you aware he designed the Guggenheim?

  30. leftwing says:

    Took the last ten minutes glancing at INVH 10-K. Did not like the logic when it occurred, still don’t.

    Big picture it is effectively a roll-up play, a well worn private equity path for a few decades. One cardinal rule is that the sector getting rolled up needs to be able to provide significant *operating* economies of scale to make sense (not just financial economies). Combining distribution. Supplier consolidation and pricing advantage. Leveraging fixed corporate assets over growing operating base.

    I see little of these attributes here. The SFH rental business – its operation – is incredibly micro focused. Stated differently, a corporation can do little *operationally* to more effectively manage a SFH rental unit than a local landlord.

    In fact, I would argue there is a ‘negative benefit’ to corporate management. The rent is not going to be impacted for identical SFHs based on ownership. The top lines are the same, yet in INVH’s case the aggregate individual incomes of their homes need to support an entire corporate infrastructure. Bad math, moving against them. By putting all these disparate units under common management they’ve created corporate costs, not cut existing.

    What specifically jumps out for me from my peek at the 10K is the huge discrepancy between D+A and capex. In each year if capex (improvements and repairs) were equal to D+A rather than a fraction of it INVH would be cash flow neutral to negative.

    Stated differently, rather than these complaints and ‘deferred repairs’ being an anomaly they are in fact core to the business plan. If there is no underspend on repairs, there is no free cash flow.

    I thought Blackstone would buy these homes cheap at the bottom of the cycle, effectively finance warehousing them for a while through rentals, then fix them up and flip them into this part of the cycle for gains (they have some hot markets in their portfolio). Did not think this would be a permanent corporate SFH rental agency.

    Last point, as everyone here knows local jurisdictions can be brutal on landlords that fail in their basic duties and draconian damages (statutory treble damages) are not uncommon. These guys are at real risk of being overwhelmed by a mass of lilliputian claims they’ll need to address across dozens of jurisdictions.

    But what do I know, I swing a mop rhetorically and they are Blackstone.

    I’d still stay away. Bad underlying business models don’t end well.

  31. homeboken says:

    Aggregating a SFH portfolio for the purpose of owning long-term rentals is a disaster even for seasoned, boots on the ground operators. Someone at Blackstone was convinced that this strategy offers all the benefit of high-density rental housing with the X probability of future appreciation and they hit BUY big time.

    There is a reason Fannie/Freddie will not lend against SFH rental portfolios. You simply can’t keep the product in good quality at a proper expense level. HEnce, the strategy to defer maintenance and not make improvements is logical. I’d be interested in what level they fund their replacement reserve accounts each year. These dollars will be held until sale or paid off, then the RR accounts will be liquidated as gains. All to the detriment of the family living in a rental with holes in the roof.

  32. Gobsmacked says:

    Leftwing, the inside of that house is one giant waiting room.

  33. Juice Box says:

    Blackstone/Colony/Invitation/Starwood Waypoint? All small players in housing rentals. Invitation homes above merged with Starwood Waypoint last year, but they are still a drop in the bucket. Rental homes account for 16 million of the 90 million-plus homes in the USA and the mega-holding companies are what less 1% of that, most house rentals are still mom and pop operations. Invitation Homes got money from Fannie Mae to finance purchases, access to capital that mom and pop probably do not get.

    The systematic neglect being mentioned above? It is being glossed over. These companies have all moved to an online system to “manage” the maintenance complaints.

    A threat to the housing market? Not likely seems to note more than a bad condo or apartment rental companies that do not fix things timely.

    Nice recent article from Curbed on it.

  34. 30 year realtor says:

    The play on these single family rental portfolios should have been to acquire portfolios of non-performing mortgages on the cheap at the bottom of the financial crisis, foreclose the loans and warehouse the real estate until values recover. Now would be the time to cash out!

  35. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Koch brothers going after Trump.

    Trump slams billionaire conservative Koch brothers as “total joke” – CBS News

  36. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Looks like Koch brothers are going to break away from GOP and form a new Conservative party.

  37. homeboken says:

    100% agree with 30yr – Putting a tenant in there looks good on paper when you schedule the revenue out but from a risk-adjusted return basis, keeping them empty and selling into the stronger market was the correct play. Hindsight…

  38. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    We used to live in a 4 storey walk up, 5 Park Street in Bloomfield, top floor of course. I thought anything over 4 storeys required an elevator?

    Anyway, the worst part of that building was the flat tar room and how hot it made our apartment. In the Summer it seemed like you would get up to the third floor, and it didn’t seem so bad. Then, on that last flight of stairs, it seemed the temperature went up 1 degree with each step.

    It was hot a s hell in the Winter too (steam radiators). We would have our windows open even when it was close to zero outside. The problem was that the heat went off at 11PM and didn’t come on again until 7AM. If you fell asleep with the windows open you would find yourself running around freezing at 3AM slamming shut all of the double hunge windows. With the weird building shape, we had windows on 3 sides of the apartment. The bad news was even after you shut all of the windows, you still weren’t going to get any heat until 7AM.

  39. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    flat tar roof

  40. Blue Ribbon Teacher says:

    Watch the Koch brothers become the hero of the left.

  41. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    If you ever find yourself at a Chik-fil-A and feel like going off the chicken sandwich reservation….try the “Market Salad”.

  42. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That money isn’t going to find it’s way to positions of influence and power by itself.

    Watch the Koch brothers become the hero of the left.

  43. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    OTOH, that might make George Soros mad enough to start backing Trump.

  44. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    Chik-fil-A Parfait is very good as well.

  45. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    Thanks for the warning Joyce. That’s gonna back route 3 all the way up to 46.

  46. Project on Tap says:

    Hate to take the topic off va – ginas but…

    what kinds of things are usually worthy of getting some kind of concession, after inspection? and what would be ballpark estimates for how much of a concession?

    Some notes from inspection:
    Driveway & Sidewalk – the driveway is in complete disrepair, cracked throughout.

    Doors/Windows – many windows operate with difficulty” or “will not latch. Masonry has moved. Voids observed joints in many of the window wells. In addition, 5 window panes haves visible cracks.

    Electricity/Outlets – Approximately 75% of the outlets in the house DO NOT include a 3rd-prong/grounding wire. The lack of a grounding wire and the age of the outlets makes them unsafe to use with many of today’s electronics and appliances that are up to today’s standards. They should be updated and replaced.

    Nothing major but some other stuff like that as well. Thx for any insight!

  47. JCer says:

    dude, house needs to be rewired, 2 prong outlets means un-grounded wiring, you should check the grounding on the outlets with 3 prongs may not be grounded just new receptacles.

    You need to make sure masonry cracks are not structural, windows will need to be rebuilt or replaced. Panes are easily fixed, remove the sashes and take them to an old time hardware store, Schnieder’s in west orange repairs them, it’s not too expensive maybe $30 a pane. You can repair old windows yourself or figure on replacement probably $500 per window for good quality vinyl or 1k per for good quality wood thermopane windows installed.

    driveway plan for replacement or just live with it decomposing for a while.

  48. Trick says:

    Most of those should have been reflected in the original offer, unless you put in an offer site unseen.

  49. Juice Box says:

    Project on Tap re: This old house.

    Gonna cost you 50k to update. Driveway,sidewalk, windows, doors, wiring, and more…

  50. Juice Box says:

    re: “Watch the Koch brothers become the hero of the left.”

    Next gen Koch kids taking over, the two old farts are frankly old. The kids now have a 120 Billion dollar a year black box business to protect along with a $100 Billion dollar family fortune.

    They will try and buy a few dozen congressmen this year on the left and the right. OTC derivative regulation is their main target nothing makes more money than tacking on 40 cents to every gallon of gasoline sold by buying up 20 million barrels of oil and keeping it in tankers off the coast.

  51. Fast Eddie says:


    The price should reflect the work needed. It’s impossible to list everything as a concession. Unless this house is on one of the most desirable streets in the most desirable of towns within walking distance to the train, I need to ask, why this house?

  52. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    You guys are on crack. If it’s an old house, many of these issues are common and pretty easily fixable. I would hit hard on the driveway. Medium on the windows and light on the electric as ungrounded outlets are not the end of the world.

    Though, the fact the driveway was let to get into that condition is not a good sign for how they maintained the rest of the house.

    I gauge Chinese restaurants by their hot and sour soup. I gauge used homes by the maintenance of their driveways.

  53. Fast Eddie says:

    I swear, I get flashbacks from the last 25 years of hearing some fat, bloated slob angrily telling me why a particular sh1thole warrants a certain price every time I get into house discussions. Some of these owners need to be slapped open-handed and forced to pay a penalty fee based on the level of disgust generated just for walking into their rat hole of a house.

  54. Fast Eddie says:


    You guys are on crack.

    Disagree. You said it yourself. There’s a ton more hidden dangers from what the eyes can’t see. God only knows the level of rot that lurks in the walls. The house wasn’t well-kept and listing concessions is useless. In this case, if the offer doesn’t even make the buyer squeamish, then they need to go to the next house.

  55. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    That Route 3 project might depress NJ RE prices all by itself.

  56. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    If I still lived in Nutley and worked in Manahattan, I might move. You have to figure that the buses are still going to have their own lane in the morning, right?

  57. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The place we sold was built in 1926, our new place also built in the 1920’s, but with modern additions to double the square footage. I’ve done zero electrical work, but this is my observation:

    Two prong un-grounded outlets, not a problem as long as you are not trying to shove grounded plugs into them via adapters. Ever notice that TVs, stereo/home theater equipment, cable boxes, routers, etc. are still two prong? Obviously it is not a obsolete technology. Our entire living room entertainment system was plugged into a baseboard, two prong outlet for 16 years, no problem. Kitchens and baths are probably a different animal. Both our old place and new place have nothing but grounded outlets and all of them close to water have the built in breaker. In our old place, only 900 square feet, we had six modern circuit breakers just for the kitchen. We had another modern outlet in the living room for an air conditioner. The other 400-500 square feet – two bedrooms and a full bath – all on a single circuit breaker. No problems in 16 years. We never tripped a breaker, ever. YMMV

  58. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    It’s a ground. It serves absolutely no purpose accept to keep you from frying in the case of a short. Don’t use cheap extension cords and you’ll be fine.

    Gary, I hear ya. I’m assuming there are other things about the house that make it worthwhile. We had $7,000 in inspection items in our GR home. Glad we bought it. House is built like a rock. Nothing ever breaks. At our multi, nothing ever works. Driveway was trashed when we bought it. :P

  59. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    Bus will be the only way to go, but they will all become overcrowded and then PA will back up. You see this every disaster.

  60. JCer says:

    lib those are all visible things, I would say you could ask but I wouldn’t expect. My driveway is clapped out it’s 15+ years old I bought a year ago…it is what it is and I knew that going in. My house needs new or rebuilt windows on the third floor and in the basement, I knew that going in, unless they are rotting you can’t ask for much there.

    The electric is your biggest and most expensive issue that I’d advise you immediately fix. Wiring older than 1960 should be replaced(copper with plastic insulation only), it probably has rubber insulation and a fabric sheathing at best. It’s a safety issue, can you live with it…yes… can you make it safer with gfci and afci…yes but it still needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

    To fix everything(professionally) you’ve mentioned 50k is optimistic unless the home is relatively small.

    -to replace windows figure 10-15k
    -to rewire new panel bring it all to code 20k all in, you’ll need plaster repair and painting(lots of holes)
    -driveway 5-12k depending on size and if it needs foundation work

    to bring the house you’re looking at truly up to speed at least 50k if not more. Be prepared to live with some of the issues and you can spend less and fix it over time.

    Do yourself a favor and do the disruptive work before you move in. Windows and driveways can wait. Make sure you are buying at a low enough price that all this makes sense.

  61. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Heh-heh. One other thing about our old place that I just remembered. Our entire entertainment system, plugged into a non-grounded outlet – that was on the same circuit as our two bedrooms and bathroom. TV in our room and computers in both bedrooms as well, all on one circuit. We had grounded outlets down the hall, but it was all on a single circuit. Now that I think about it, the ungrounded outlet in the living room might have been the only ungrounded baseboard plate on that heavily leveraged circuit. So…obviously somebody did some work there, and they right-sized it. We even had a full size Washer and Gas Dryer in the kitchen. Almost nobody in our condos had a washer and dryer, maybe 5 out of 50 units. I believe we were the only ones with a gas dryer because our dryer happened to be right above our gas meter (everybody had gas stoves/ovens). I didn’t do a lick of the work, and I sold the place without doing a lick of the work to a cash buyer/investor. Interestingly, Lots and lots of Chinese investors are buying up those units. It used to be abut 75% owner occupied when we bought in 2002.

  62. JCer says:

    ExPat it’s a fire hazard….The two pronged outlets aren’t the issue, it’s the old wires behind them, the old BX style cable is the best of very old wiring, if you have old nm or even worse knob and tube you need to replace ASAP it doesn’t age well. Aluminum too is a headache.

  63. JCer says:

    lib your house never breaking is a testament to the people who built it. In my house only modern things break, the original 1926 stuff is solid. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s good but some of the old homes were built by such craftsmen with such quality components they could last near forever. For example my original windows are super air tight with the storms, the new windows leak air like a sieve so much for improving efficiency, none of the openings are true and they did a poor job sealing(nothing I can’t fix without a caulk gun) but the original windows fit the openings so exactly caulk wasn’t needed.

  64. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I used to love, love, love taking the bus from Kingsland and Bloomfield (Hoffman La Roche Gate, stop was in front of New York Pizza). I just loved everything about going to work and coming back from NYC as a 32 year old. Being a Christian, I was amused when I found this inch and a half tall cross by about and inch wide aluminum cross on the floor of the bus one day. I carried it in my pocket every day and I still have it. I used to go to the same shoe shine guy in PA whenever I had time, and I used to give a dollar to the tall black buy singing gospel music so joyfully in the tunnel that led to the 7 train every single day. He used to stop singing and tell me, “Have a blessed day, brother!”. I knew how to get to the farthest 7 train car before the doors closed, which secret stairwell to go up at Grand Central (that led you directly to the street) and which hyphen to stand under (Grand (hyphen) Central) for the ride on the 7 back to PA. I bought an unopened 24 ounce can of Bud from a guy in PA in a transaction that took about 8 seconds and every man on my bus turned their head jealously when I popped that top halfway through the Lincoln Tunnel when we passed the line that said we were back in New Jersey. Good times, good times.

    Bus will be the only way to go, but they will all become overcrowded and then PA will back up. You see this every disaster.

  65. Juice Box says:

    Yeah crack head would be be buying unmaintained 1950s shitbox in New Jersey for top dollar. I don’t give a crap if your town Schools are blue ribbon and the Midtown direct is 20 minutes to Manhattan I ain’t buying it.

  66. Juice Box says:

    Underground tank dry rot cracked foundations flooding basements leaking roofs, sewer line to be replaced electrical upgrades God damn formica in the kitchen paneled walls in the basement.
    I’m with Eddie PTSHD on old houses in New Jersey

  67. Juice Box says:

    Post-traumatic shithouse disorder

  68. Project on Tap says:

    Thanks for the input.

    The inspector told me “this house is in really good shape.” He didn’t list anything as a major issue but he listed things that could or should be fixed or replaced in the not distant future. I got a good price, I believe, and I am putting about $100K into some updates/upgrades. I will have an electrician out this week to look at the wiring.

    If it is $50K worth of work, that is an issue. The owners were old, passed away and hadn’t done much in the way of updates and upgrades. The home is in a good location and I believe a lot of this is factored into the price. Trying to squeeze off a little more doesn’t seem like the wrong approach. The estate is selling the house, not some emotional homeowners.

  69. Juice Box says:

    Project – if their kids have to sign off on the sale price you’re not going to get that much off, since the kids probably already spent the money and a fighting over any scraps now.

  70. grim says:

    Buying from the kids usually blows chunks, greedy infighting cunts.

  71. Project on Tap says:


  72. Long Gone From Bloomfield says:

    Ex-Pat, I lived in 128 Broad St but on the first floor. My bathroom floor was above the furnace and the bathroom wall contained the chimney. It was always as hot as hell in that bathroom. My unit was one with the extra sitting room off of the dining room. I hear that with all the building of apartments in that town they are getting over $2,000 a month in rent now. Couldn’t even imagine.

  73. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Long Gone – LOL, 128 Broad is where the property managers lived, a few floors up. I think the only time we went there was when we gave notice that we were leaving, after 2 or three years, I forget. I’m guessing our rent was around $700 in 1991? The place we moved to in Nutley was $775, IIRC.

    Ex-Pat, I lived in 128 Broad St but on the first floor. My bathroom floor was above the furnace and the bathroom wall contained the chimney. It was always as hot as hell in that bathroom. My unit was one with the extra sitting room off of the dining room. I hear that with all the building of apartments in that town they are getting over $2,000 a month in rent now. Couldn’t even imagine.

  74. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    My wife thinks our rent was $575 at 5 Park in 1991. I can’t imagine it was that cheap, but maybe?

  75. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Now she’s changing her tune to $675. I’m thinking I wasn’t that far off at $700.

  76. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I’m now getting signals from ancient parts of my brain that our rent was $680 when we started, $740 when we left.

  77. Mike S says:

    i have old 70s windows, some cracks, no issues last 7 years…
    have some two prong outlets – i just dont use them

  78. leftwing says:

    30yr, mentioned this to you before…foreclosure outside of the 287 loop. Nice flip.

  79. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I just remembered something. We did trip breakers in the old place, but it was on a grounded circuit. You couldn’t use either the washer or the dryer and the toaster oven at the same time. Washer and dryer at the same time was not a problem, but add in the toaster oven (a modern one) and that would trip the breaker.

  80. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    Is it possible that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Alan Greenspan are actually the same person?

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