Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weekend Open Discussion

Observations about your local areas, comments on news stories or the New Jersey housing bubble, Open House reports, etc. If you have any questions you wanted to ask earlier in the week but never posted them up, let's have them.

For readers that have never commented, there is a small link on the bottom of each new message that reads "# Comments". Go ahead and give that a click, you might be missing out on a world of information you didn't know about. While you are there, introduce yourselves to everyone.

For new readers that have only read the messages displayed on the main page, take a look through the archives, a substantial amount of information has been put online in the past 6 months. The archives can be found at the bottom of the right hand menu and are categorized by month.

As always, anything goes!

154 Comments:

Blogger bairen said...

What will we talk about once the crash is over? Maybe all the cheap houses we are buying in 2008-09? We can then switch this back to a bubble blog around 2018. It will be

"Deja vu all over again"
Yogi Berra

4/28/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

There is money on the sidelines to be put to work in buying homes. There is still pent up demand. People have been hesitating.

The bubble burst [if it occurs] is not going to be demand driven. As has been noted elsewhere, it is going to be supply driven.

Looking at year over year volumes of transactions may be helpful, but I think the supply numbers “mushrooming” is becoming more and more relevant as an indicator.

Once individuals get a sense that they may risk being upside-down, or are being apparently squeezed, the pain will begin.

I still do not see pain. I see grumbling, I see realtors hitting the bottle, and see some weaker forward estimates, but no pain. No blood. No strife.

Things are fine for now.

chicago

4/28/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago-
I don't agree on demand. I think we have hit a trough. We are at the highest homeownership rate ever. Not to be cruel, but some of those people should not have bought houses, they weren't fiscally fit enough, but got some crazy deal. Plus, I think flippers got in the game a few years ago and started driving up false demand.

I think there is some false demand built in to even the NNJ market. Not as much as Las Vegas or Florida, but it's there. Only time will tell how much.

On another topic, when do you think we'll see a mortgage company crash or a bank? I'll say late this year, beginning of next. I hate to see it happen, but it will help clean up some of the lending craziness from the last few years.

JM

4/28/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is money on the sidelines to be put to work in buying homes. There is still pent up demand. People have been hesitating" are we talking actual demand. people looking for a place to live demand or "investors looking to get in the game? are they using assets other then equity from their homes that have been over inflated in the past 5 years? please tell. i think people see huge home equity gains and are itching to invest when prices come down but dont realize the equity in their homes will go down as well. i often hear we bought in a good area so we wont be effected.

4/28/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have noticed new realtor phrases... i.e. "new price" instead of "reduced". The Jersey Shore sellers are still in denial. A neighbor just listed her rental cottage for $700k. Hopefully after a slow spring/summer, prices will adjust. I want to buy, but am very uneasy about making any offers at this time. Every house on the JS market is overpriced, or has some issues, like non-conforming lot size, underground oil tank, too close to group rental homes sleazy hotels, etc. Buyer beware!

4/28/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In life; you either can write the check or you can't, it is what it is.
My observation's of the newbies that have shown up in the Tenafly, East Hill of Englewood and Englewood Cliffs areas over the last 5 - 6 years, are they are generally "credit players", who traded up. When the real effects of leverage in a down cycle present the bill, I doubt anyone's gonna be home to open the mail.

4/28/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger randolph said...

Anybody see open houses on the weekdays??? There was one in the town of randolph two weeks ago???? Not to mention on Saturday's all the time.

4/28/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm waiting out this housing market. What do people think lending standards will be like in a few years when I want to buy? Do you think a 20% downpayment will be manitory again?

4/28/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know what's happening with South Jersey (Moorestown/Cherry Hill/Mount Laurel)? I wanted to buy here last year but got spooked and decided to wait.

Home prices have doubled here in 5 years, but rents have gone way up as well and there aren't many for-sale signs. I've been hearing for months that there's "no bubble in South Jersey" because we didn't have speculators and exotic loans here. If there's really no bubble then why haven't salaries doubled along with the home prices?

4/28/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry I meant why haven't salaries increased in proportion to home prices?

4/28/2006 07:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often imagine when I read posts here that we are the guerilla soldiers or revolutionaries storming the barricades and overruning the defenses of the NAR and other industry groups, greedy flippers, and shady lenders who are tyrannically ruling the RE market.

Let's stage a open house boycott. Let's make ridiculously low offers and say "...good luck selling, you'll need it!" if we are rejected. Let's post to Craigslist and point to bubble blogs!

Viva the home buyer. Viva revolution!!!!!

4/28/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Bubble-X said...

Chicago,

I agree with you that the story is quickly becoming one of supply. It's hard to get away from numbers exploding like the ones we posted at:
This Post

I also agree that there is money on the sidelines and -some- pent up demand. Some of that sideline money will go to other markets that will offer better/safer returns. Some people waiting will buy, some won't.

Now, on the subject of things being "fine for now".. Technically, your "for now" makes that an accurate statement. The issue is that the fundamentals seem to indicate that “now”will be only a short time..

-X

BubbleTrack.blogspot.com

4/28/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Bubble-X said...

To the other commentators.. If you are doing something as risky as trying to time a market, you should really be out there trying to determine what you want to do yourself. You are not going to find magic answers to such risky questions as market timing on a blog.

To the other question on down payments- tightening lending standards is classic coming off of any strong market. So, if you need to pay 20% to avoid points now, you sure as heck are going to have to do it later..

BubbleTrack.blogspot.com

4/28/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

“Things are fine for now.”

I agree. I equate this to being in the eye of a hurricane. We just came out of a frenzy of 5 years of rising prices. To the casual observer, it looks like the storm is over and things are returning to normal. Two friends in the last day told me that the market has “stabilized”. But as you know, after the eye passes over, the wind starts blowing in the opposite direction.

4/28/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JM,

Mortgage companies, especially subprime ones, are having a bad time. Look up public ones like AIC, ECR etc. The margins in the secondary market have dramatically shrunk.

Some mortgage companies have already folded - Acoustic Home Loans, QuoteMeARate etc. I am sure there are more but I cannot recall.

CNS

4/28/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In support of...."Let's stage a open house boycott. .. make ridiculously low offers...post to Craigslist and point to bubble blogs!@ 9:27 PM "

I have been doing exactly that, calling on for sale houses then scoffing at the realtor/owner. I inform them yesterday's market is gone. I tell them straight out "You are priced way too high...and no thanks I don't want to see the house!"
Get the word out!

4/28/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anyone know what's happening with South Jersey (Moorestown/Cherry Hill/Mount Laurel)? I wanted to buy here last year but got spooked and decided to wait"

I have been watching/monitoring South NJ areas since last August. Prices have remained more or less flat since then and in fact I am seeing reduction in asking prices for last few months. Inventory in most of these areas have increased by atleast 30% to 35% and very few homes are selling.
What I do is that I make an offer of around 25 to 30% below asking (depending on what I think should be fair value, which considers around 5 to 6% appreciation per year since 2002/2003). All of my offers so far have not been accepted but instead of engaging in counter offers/bidding, I just move on to another property. There are too many chaoices available now and I am in no rush.

4/28/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"Let's stage a open house boycott."


I've been doing that for months.

Boycott Open Houses!

4/28/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Skeptic said...

Before I proceed with my post, I’d like to let everyone know that I’m not a realtor, a “flipper”, or a mortgage banker; I have no connection to the real estate industry whatsoever. I am a New Jersey homeowner, I own only one house, and I have no intention to sell it regardless of the market condition.

On April 19, we had a long (132 posts) discussion where the user “skep-tic” posted:

“What has changed so much in the past 5 yrs to cause prices to double? I haven't yet come across a RE bull who can explain this to me.”

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=15532093&postID=114546138246080519

I’m not a RE bull; I’m a dollar bear. I believe that the purchasing power of the dollar that you and I earn is rapidly declining. Check another post by anonymous:

“Inflation is low? Right?

Health insurance premiums only up double digits every year the last 8 years, property taxes rising id to high single digits, college up 7-8% a year cable bills up 5-6% a year, gas / energy rocketing up”

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=15532093&postID=114545066478841425

I can only add that my own company’s health insurance premium has increased 26% in just ONE year (2005).

Over the past five years, the construction costs have doubled. During the same period, the price of gold has almost tripled. That means the housing prices in gold equivalent have actually DECLINED. Here is a good example of inflationary changes:

“In my economics classes at Columbia University, I demonstrate the long-term value of gold by holding up a $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin. Prior to 1933, our grandparents carried this coin in their pockets as money. Back then, they could buy a tailor-made suit for one double eagle, or $20. Today, the Saint Gaudens coin, which is worth between $600 and $1,000, depending on its rarity and condition, can buy the same tailor-made suit.”

http://www.investmentu.com/IUEL/2005/20051212.html

I agree with the author about the following:

“Ultimately, gold is an inflation hedge. When gold declines, it means less inflation down the road. When gold goes up, it means more inflation ahead.

What is gold predicting now? As the following chart shows, gold has been in a major bull market since 2001, when the terrorist attacks took place in New York and Washington.

What Does This Mean for the Future? Four things Regarding Inflation and the Markets:

1. War is inflationary. Since 2001, the Bush administration has dramatically increased government spending to fight terrorism and the war in Iraq. The Fed has been accommodating this increased spending with more money.

2. Expect more inflation ahead, as measured by the CPI and other price indexes.

3. Expect higher interest rates as inflation heats.

4. Higher inflation is bullish for hard assets in 2006. ”

However, I don’t follow this advice:

“So, as far as the markets are concerned, I recommend buying gold and silver coins, mining stocks, oil and gas and real estate. “

The reason is very simple: I don’t know anything about the mining industry or real estate, but I have a very good scientific and engineering background. So, I found investing in my own business and technology stocks much more rewarding. But I’m going to hold my hard assets – my house and my land – unless I have to move out of state.

Back to the housing bubble: I believe the bubble is in the minds of the sellers who are demanding exuberant prices based on the last year’s sales. A reasonably priced house will not stay on the market for long. (For example, MLS # 2265205 went under the contract in just four days).

IMHO, the housing market is much more affected by the inflation than by flippers and other “bubble blowers”. It is much more difficult to find a GOOD house now than five years ago, even if you are ready to pay double price. I believe this is especially true in the Highlands Preservation area, where the new construction is almost prohibited by the government regulations.

Grim, thanks again for building this wonderful online community.

4/29/2006 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the banks entitled to a "Margin Call" on a Home Equity Loan IF the value of a home falls?

4/29/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to randolph:

i've been looking in randolph...seems like inventory has gone up quite a bit...i went to see some houses a week ago...noted that real estate agents weren't very busy in the office i visited and homes we went to see had been on the market 30+ day...what have you or others seen in randolph? any other similar towns in nnj where school systems are solid and prices 'relatively speaking' are low?

4/29/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

skeptic said: "It is much more difficult to find a GOOD house now than five years ago."

I couldn't agree with you more. I look at new listings every day and am bowled over by the number of awful properties on tiny lots. Goot segue for a question I wanted to pose to the blog's readers as it has confounded me for a long time...maybe an informal poll:

*********************************
**POLL QUESTION**

How important is lot size to you? How small is too small? What's optimal? How big is too big?
**********************************

I ask because to me lot size is SO critical, yet in so many listings the lot size isn't even MENTIONED! Is that because it's so far down the priority list that it's not worth the time to type in the dimensions? Are people just too lazy to look it up when they sell (this goes for FSBOs and Realtor listings)?

It's confounded me for a long time and I look forward to your replies....Thanks!

4/29/2006 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

Realtor GSMLS listings almost always have the lot size. if not ask, and ask for dimensions as well. A lot that is very narrow is clearly less useful than a lot that is more balanced.

I personally think a lot from 1 to 2 acres in suburban towns is ideal. Any more than that can be hard to maintain, somewhat below .75 acres is too small.

Equally important is how much lot is really usable. A lot with 2.5 acres on a steep hillside is not usable -- but a gentle hillside or a flat level lot (rarer) is better.

And watch out for easements.

4/29/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba BOYCOTT HOUSES!

Booooyaaaaaaaa


Bob

4/29/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to a study by Home Insurer First America,
29% of all Homeowners that took out a mortgage in 2005 are underwater with their mortgage...this amounts to about a loss of $800 billion so far.

also in the study it said if home prices fell just 10% the 2005 buyers with no equity or negative equity would surge to 48%.

bad news for bubble buyers.

4/29/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

Skeptic,

you make some very interesting points. prices have been going up well above the official estimate of inflation in many areas besides real estate during the past 5 yrs.

however, I still believe the price appreciation in real estate is somewhat unique. take two of your examples: college tuition and healthcare.

prices for these two items have been rising at well above the CPI for 20 yrs. admittedly, the trend may have accelerated during the past 5 yrs, but overall this is not a recent phenomenon, unlike real estate.

I believe that gold presents a more interesting challenge to the notion that real estate is out of line. Both gold and RE are traditional hedges against inflation.

However, RE as an investment class has changed a great deal over the past decade. First, there is the unprecedented leverage. Second, there are the recent and some might argue extreme tax incentives. Third, there is the emergence of REITs. In short, there have been many changes during the past few years w/r/t real estate as an investment, whereas gold remains relatively the same (save for ETFs).

Thus, I think the argument that real estate appreciation is the equivalent of gold appreciation is somewhat flawed. Whereas at one time, these items may have been quite similar as investment vehicles, they are much less so today.

70% of Americans own RE, and they have watched it appreciate steadily and almost uninterrupted for 25 yrs. In this sense, an interesting comparison might be made between RE today and stocks in the late 90s.

After virtually back to back decade-long bull runs in the 80s and 90s, collective wisdom attached to the idea that stocks would "always go up" in the long run, thus it was never a bad time to buy.

I believe that a similar thing has happened in real estate. everybody "knows" that real estate only goes up over the long term now. thus, the sooner you buy, the better off you'll be.

previously, there were credit barriers that prevented this mentality from getting out of hand. but in the last few years, all of those have disappeared.

no similar mentality exists among average people w/r/t gold. even if it did, they would be anable to buy it on credit to the same degree.

4/29/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim,

Thanks for starting this blog. It truly is refreshing to hear other people share my concerns.

I've been investing in real estate for about 10 years now. I unloaded all of my properties over the last 2 years. My reasoning was quite simple: rate of return versus risk. By investing all proceeds into a 4.5% bank account (Emigrant), I could earn a higher net income. Additionally, I needed to factor in a higher vacancy factor due to these aggressive lending practices.

I'll also echo other's comments with finding a "good" house for a reasonable price. I am still in my starter home (3 br/1.5 ba) that I bought when I was single.

I now have a wife and 1 child and it's getting a bit ... cramped.

I wanted to wait 2 years but my wife insisted on looking. So I said fine - go ahead and look. Budget is 650K. Location is Randolph, Denville, Montville, and Whippany.

Well, my wife finally found "the" house in Denville (MLS ID#: 2255945)...

I just had a couple of issues:
Price - 825K
Taxes - 13K

I do not want to touch my equity portfolio, so I only wanted to put down 20%. I found out that I actually would qualify for a 660K mortgage. Of course, my family would need to stop eating or hit investments.

So after seeing this house, it's abundantly clear that we have champagne taste on a beer budget. Told the realtor that we're out of the market now and to simply let us know if she encounters any "deal".

4/29/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anth said...

Just "tweaking" my gauge:

Is this considered a flipper house?
GSMLS #2259040 (Byram Township)

Built in 2004, sold for $355k in Feb. Now on the market for $480k (Reduced from $500k after 30 days).

Is it me, or is it rented furniture in the house?

I think the owners (Looks like they actually live in Andover) are going to be hard pressed to sell at that price, especially with nearly 10k in taxes.

What would you pay for this house?

4/29/2006 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't offer anything. Sure it has 1.7 acres but did you see the lot size? 85X649! Might as well be on a city lot.

4/29/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's still 50 miles from the city! How can it be worth that kind of money?

4/29/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have been watching/monitoring South NJ areas since last August...What I do is that I make an offer of around 25 to 30% below asking"

Just curious, which towns have you been making offers in?

4/29/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a property is 25 - 30% below what I believe as mkt, I don't even bid as I think I'm wasting everyone's time.

Does anyone have any stats on what % of homes actually sell for 25-30 below current not olp?

Thanks,

4/29/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did a complete boycott of Open Houses in April.

Grim, Thanks for posting Edison data.

Lots of new listings in Edion and price drops.

Thanks,

KBR

4/29/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba BOYCOTT HOUSES!

Prices are a RIPOFF!

BOOOOYAAAAAAAAAA!

Bob

4/29/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Carbozo said...

I'm as bearish on real estate as the next guy. But its technically wrong to say "I bid 25% below asking which is what I thought was market." Market price is the maximum price the market will command today, not the price you think is appropriate, and not the maximum price the market will command 6 months to 1 year from now.

4/29/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

getting a bit old, Bob

4/29/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skeptic; great post.
Michelle: lot size is very important to me as well, sitting in the backyard having a cigar is very appealing to me, yet I see houses all the time with almost zero back or side yards...so close you could ask your neighbor for soap out the window.

4/29/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07 pm; I agree regarding Booya Bob, however it is so old, that I actually get a kick out of it.

4/29/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to know how bearish I am? In addition to selling my investment properties, I took 80% of my equity (house was pd off) and invested it in a mutual fund as a hedge against price drops.

Yes, that's risky. However, I am more comfortable with that risk than leaving any exposure to the housing market.

(I am also comfortable with the possibly that both could drop as well)

Honestly, I would rent a 4br, and save 2k per mo, if I could convince my wife to move twice.

SPW

SPW

4/29/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

How important is lot size to you?

Very.


How small is too small?

Depends, but in most cases under 1/4 acre is too small. Not all towns have the flexibility to 'lot shop' as there are simply not many large lots in some towns.



What's optimal?

"Optimal" is not always "attainable" at an affordable price, depending on the town, but 1/3 acre is a good size, and 1 acre in a good town would be amazing (and expensive).



How big is too big?

Big lots are more work and expense to maintain. Past 1 acre would probably be a burden for most.

4/29/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger bairen said...

In Portland, Oregon area they are building developments with houses on tiny lots, maybe .10 of an acre.
Instead of getting a bigger yard they are preserving 3 to 10 acres of woods and having a few open fields/ parks with a playground. It's a fairly new concept out there so who knows what would happen on resales.

4/29/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:38 (Denville 2255945),

You will be better off opening a treasury direct account and building a ladder of short term (around 6 month or less in duration) treasuries (than investing with Emigrant CD's). Not only will you get a couple of basis points better but they also get better tax treatment.

CNS

4/29/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Went hiking this afternoon with the wife and dog out on Patriots Path near Mendham.

Seeing that traffic here was basically non-existant, what did you folks all do this afternoon?

jb

4/29/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Skeptic about inflation for certain areas of the economy. On the other hand, we are still paying relatively low rates for many other of life necessities. Look at clothing and food, you can still buy clothes for two kids for under $100 if you watch for sales and food is still relatively inexpensive - eat at home for $5 per person.

Yes, healthcare is expensive. From my casual observation, it seems very inefficient and has reached that point where people are going to extremes to beat the costs and don't see the value in covering costs not insured. Why would people (and states for that matter) go to Canada to fill prescriptions, or fly to India to have an operation, or approve laws mandating universal coverage?

College costs are the same way, parents have started to shop for the best financial aid packages, not the best schools. People start taking unusual steps to get in-state tuitions, etc.

With all of that said, I think the CPI is practically a joke. To many things are excluded and not rolled into a more comprehensive measure of cost increases. We are probably somewhere above that number, who can say how high?

So, you're right, inflation is a factor for RE prices rising, but not the entire picture.
JM

4/29/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Hey Grim,

We've been frequenting Patriot's Path on the Morris Twp/Menhand border. If you see someone with 4 dogs next time ask if it's me! Have you been to the dog park in Lewis Morris Park? It's fantastic although I have one pooch who's not so keen on the dogpark concept. I do enjoy the rest of that park with her though...

We spent the day attacking the garage, the final bastion of unpackedness. We have too much stuff and are planning a garage sale. Anyone need a really nice teak mid-century modern dining room set?

Thanks to those who have replied to my question. Interesting.

4/29/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what did you folks all do this afternoon?"

Went to see 'United 93'

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809273193/trailer

Powerful stuff.

4/29/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

Grim - Good question about what we did today afternoon. Whether was great.

Well, I went to Bedminster area took Kids to a B'day party, and driving up to the hill, saw the Hills development up there. I had never driven up there before. It is newer community that came up probably in last 10 years or so. Just for the hack of it, here is the google Satellite link,

Google Satellite Map

Driving around little bit, it was kind of good & bad feeling. It was nice to see normal single family homes, felt bad by looking at prices, it is just out of my reach. Most SFH are listed for $750K or so. Even townhouses with 2 bed are listed for $450K !!!

Skeptic & Skep-tic:
Very nice analysis & opinion. I have one simple question, Why both of you have chosen word "SKEPTIC"???

4/30/2006 02:43:00 AM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

Well, NY is having apartment converted into condos. I wonder, this will be beginning of new trend in NJ as well. I have friends in DC area, where their apartment was converted to Condo. I would not be surprised if this starts in NJ as the prices are pretty high, and owners may just want to time it out.

As New York Apartments Become Condos, Tenants Are Stuck in the Middle

Just to make NJ feel better. The Landlord filings with the attorney general show that they expect to receive about $1,500 a square foot for the condominiums, or about $1.5 million for a typical one-bedroom unit. WHOA !!!

4/30/2006 03:13:00 AM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

I guess, some delayed Press recognition...

Jerseyans being priced out of home market

The Boudiettes' predicament is not unusual in the state, according to a recent Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey newspapers poll, which found 78 percent of New Jersey homeowners say they would not be able to buy a house in their own town if they were first-time homebuyers.

I am just hoping, Politicians listens to this and bring some changes to make Housing affordable.

4/30/2006 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

Grim and others,

I went to the spring-fest in Hackettstown. It is the home of Masterfoods which make M&Ms. They give out tons of candy for free.
My girls and I walked away with 3 milkyways, 6 M&M's a big bag of mini candybars, starburst lollypops and mega M&Ms. it is holloween in the spring except for the costumes.

It is still going on today. There are the typical carnival rides (expensive)but today they have a pay one price bracelet. There is also a petting zoo and pony rides. The petting zoo has a llama, but they caution you with a sign that he spits.

I won a pizza at the local am radio station's booth. In short we got sun and rotted our teeth out.

4/30/2006 05:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a look at the paper this morning. Plenty of "Price Reductions" and "Owner Motivated." This translates into open season for low balling. However, at $2.98/gal, I think I will stay home.

Happy Hunting!

4/30/2006 06:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People need to investigate where they are investing their hard earned money. What was advertised as a "desirable" West Orange location has turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare.

The Brooklyn couple, all happy about owning the American dream, land in Essex County NJ after just seeing three homes. There emotions were overcome when they saw the one house they really liked. Not using their head, they purchased the house at asking price and closed forty-five days later.

After seven months, they had personally experiences 2 stolen vehicles, and a burglary in their "desirable" area. Well, their neighbors who they never spoke to prior to purchasing the house experienced the same thing--it was not uncommon in that "hood" as it was told to them.

Wifey wants to move because she fears more of this will happen--afterall, unemployment is low and they are experiencing these problems, wait to the pendulum swings the other way. She never experienced anything like this back in Brooklyn. However, if they sold today, they will lose $45K-60K plus the work they put into the house.

What is the lesson: investigate where you are planning on investing your money. Speak to the neighbors--they have a lot to say if asked. Talk to the local police department, ask for a crime report for your address.

Use your head--thoughts to ponder this Sunday!

4/30/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, I see alot of pent up demand...

It's called people who post comments on bubble blogs.

4/30/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

Buying a house should not be looked at as an investment. It's where you live. I think that has been part of the problem. That is we go from the runup on tech stocks then RE. NOw gold and oil.

4/30/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shalesh said:
I am just hoping, Politicians listens to this and bring some changes to make Housing affordable.

6:02 AM

how would politicians do this? its a free market? and if your talking affordable housing it only helps the poor not the working poor better known as the middle class.

4/30/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger bubble disciple said...

*********************************
**POLL QUESTION**

How important is lot size to you? How small is too small? What's optimal? How big is too big?
**********************************

Since I am single, a small lot will do for me if it is wooded/park like. The bigger the lot, the more money I spend on lawn care. The problem is people are pricing these houses without taking into account the poor resale value of smaller lots.

4/30/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just my opinion... but i agree with another anon poster... there really isn't that much pent-up demand... people who believe that there's a huge amount of buyers just waiting on the sidelines are really just kidding themselves... as what has been reported earlier, 47% of all purchase in 2005 were for investment purposes... meaning those buyers from last year are either finished purchasing real estate or are on the sell side on this financial equation/transaction.

4/30/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

investors from 2005 most likely used home equity to make their purchase. which leaves them vulnerable at their primary residents.

4/30/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger bubble disciple said...

Anonymous 7:14 AM said:

"After seven months, they had personally experiences 2 stolen vehicles, and a burglary in their "desirable" area. Well, their neighbors who they never spoke to prior to purchasing the house experienced the same thing--it was not uncommon in that "hood" as it was told to them."

I'm curious - which neighborhood of West Orange?

4/30/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious - which neighborhood of West Orange?

10:37 AM


Here is a clue: it's not Redwood, Pleasentvale(?), St. Cloud, or Lourdes--it's in the Valley of the Dolls!

4/30/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buying a house should not be looked at as an investment. It's where you live. I think that has been part of the problem.

My grandfather who was an average working man put all of his money into real estate. He treated every property as an investment. He died property poor--a multi millionaire!

Booooyaaaaaa Thank You Papa ;-)

4/30/2006 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4/30/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*********************************
**POLL QUESTION**

How important is lot size to you? How small is too small? What's optimal? How big is too big?
**********************************

Since I am single, a small lot will do for me if it is wooded/park like. The bigger the lot, the more money I spend on lawn care. The problem is people are pricing these houses without taking into account the poor resale value of smaller lots.

10:06 AM



After living in 4,000 sq feet (and sold it when things were HOT), I want a smaller house and a larger lot so that I can put in a heated pool to enjoy as I age. House work suchs--lounging in the pool is more my speed.

4/30/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

how would politicians do this? its a free market? and if your talking affordable housing it only helps the poor not the working poor better known as the middle class.

Well its not Free market completely. There are lot of rules & regulations that can improve situation.

I will give couple of items:

1. Building only McMansions is bad, as it takes more space, provides less housing. Govt can encourage Single Family Housing. This can be done by increasing tax on vacant land. This will promote builders to make normal SFH, then McMansions.

Read the article in the link. They mention many such ideas like Smart Growth etc... If more supply becomes available, prices will come down. Govt does not need to spend money, Free market will do that.

http://www.rpa.org/pdf/propertytax101705.pdf

2. By having Regional Education administration, Towns will spend less and will not discourage families with Kids.

3. They can reduce cost in getting permits. It costs $80K per house. Just reducing that can reduce the price by significant ideas.

4. On Federal level, if they put cap on interest deduction, that will reduce speculative activities as well.

I can go on, but you get the picture. There are ways to do it, the trouble is who will BELL the CAT !!!

4/30/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Your points are sometimes salient, and sometimes apalling, Shailesh.

"Govt can encourage Single Family Housing. This can be done by increasing tax on vacant land. This will promote builders to make normal SFH, then McMansions."

What a discgusting and horrible idea. You're so PRO-FAMILY and PRO-KIDS - but just think about the impact that has on a municipality, not just in terms of education but in terms of sewer, roads, rec programs, etc. Yet you think that VACANT land which has, as far as I can tell, NO negative externality to speak of, should be TAXED so that YOU can have YOUR perfect house at a perfect price?

Well, you keep calling for people to get involved with government - and I guess I'll have to in order to prevent the likes of you from making ideas like this into reality. Just because some people value privacy and space and have vacant acreage, why should they have to pay because you don't want any of the exisiting 25000+ houses for sale on the GSMLS? You are so determined to raze each square foot of land - NONE OF WHICH YOU OWN - so that the market is flooded with housing and prices drop dramatically and YOU get to hold on to your dough.

Dude, if you buy 10000 acres and you want to pave them over for parking, housing, basket weaving to whatever you want to do, you go right ahead. BUT DON'T MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PAY FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

4/30/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where the "Valley of the Dolls" is in West Orange, but I'm guessing it's down the hill.

Anyhow, I've had my car vandalized twice and I live in the part of WO that borders Livingston.
The reason for this is that the advantage that West Orange offers (it's proximity to 280) is what works against it. That and an inept police force and mayor. We should shut down one of the 3 entry/exit ramps into 280 (like the one off northfield), and the other 2 should remain guarded by the police all hours of the night.

Also, there should be a stricly enforced noise pollution law which would allow offers to pull over vehicles which emit too much noise (most of the vandalizing is of vehicles and is done by kids who have pimped up the performance of their own cars).

There are some promising signs I suppose. The police do appear to be carefully monitoring the parking lots of shopping plazas and maintaining a presence in certain stores (Shop Rite most notably). Also, the arrival of Whole Foods (and, hopefully, Starbucks) will likely change the demographics of the people who shop in that plaza as well, hopefully making it safer.

4/30/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

And oh, PS:

That article Shailesh links to is by an organization that is dedicated to the economic philosphy of Henry George - a specious philosophy at best, at a dangerous one at its worst. Anyone who espouses the "redistribution of wealth" doesn't make my respect list.

4/30/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Josephine723 said...

I just got back from a weekend at Beach Haven on Long Beach Island. I helped a friend open up his house.

I cannot believe the building that has gone on there in the past year. The entire island is becoming similar to the Hamptons. Little by little the beach bungalows are becoming extinct. From Beach Haven to the bridge you could practically look down every street and see one or two for sale signs both on the beach side and the bay side. Hmmm, is this area going to be oversaturated with available properties? Perhaps for a little discount in the next few months? Curious to see if anyone is following this particular area and has comments. Thanks

4/30/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FREE MARKETS WORK'

BA BA BA BA BA BA BA BOYCOTT HOUSES!

BOOOOYAAAAAAAAAA

BOB

4/30/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:52am

With that conviction about your Grandpa, You should buy as much real estate as possible, as soon as possible...just think, if you put your plan into action immediatly May 2006...you will be on the Forbes 400 by May 2010... go get em tiger!!!
LEVERAGE, LEVERAGE, LEVEARAGE DO IT NOW, BE ABOUT IT, DON'T TALK ABOUT IT...BUY, BUY, BUY.
(LOL...by the tone of your post, I know you are a no money midget...Shut up or get up boyyyyyy).

4/30/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grandpa payed max 3 to 4 times his income for his house...very reasonable prices; X out inflation and maintenance costs and property taxes costs... and net net he was good at saving money.
People dumb enough to pay 2006 asking prices are paying 10 to 12 times their COMBINED (Husband & Wife) income's. Ugly is too soft a word for what is to come.

4/30/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Just hung out with an i-bank friend and also a IT consultant. Both are doing fine, but their liquidity is completed tapped out. If anything bad happens to them in the next 24 to 36 months, they will need to make major lifetstyle changes. Their problems? Each has recently upsized their real estate holdings, due to family requirements.

They are holding their breath and hoping for the best.

AND THESE ARE RICH GUYS!

4/30/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Michele.
Shailesh Gala is a scary lefty... not really scared though thanks to the 2nd Amendment :)

4/30/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

Small piece of trivia:

Pleasant valley sunday (by the monkeys) was based on the pleasant valley way in the area.

4/30/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Epilogue to my comment from Friday at 5:20PM about a supply driven bubble bursting.

Just remember on the way down, there will first be all the pent up demand that will pile into the market, and that means that there will be a short-term floor on how low prices will go.

The way demand if overwhelmed is that the pent-up demand will eventually be exhuasted, but more waves and waves of supply will keep coming.

This process sounds as if it will unfold over several years, not months.

If you keep hearing stories about first-time owners being locked out of the market, then pent up demand is still out there. We are talking about everyone getting pulled in and then the market STILL continues with its malaise.

chicago

4/30/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From NJ Herald...very interesting, 2nd grader with or without a calculator can tell you where prices are going.

"New Jersey's most recent real estate market collapse occurred in 1989 when three factors created a so-called perfect storm, Otteau said. Homes were becoming less affordable, New Jersey builders overdeveloped at a rate of 50,000 new homes per year and the economy slipped, resulting in widespread job loss.

Today, those factors are not accumulating as they did then, he said. Affordability continues to be an issue, particularly for first-time home buyers, but New Jersey builders are putting up homes at about 18,000 per year — when age-restricted and million-dollar homes are removed from the equation, Otteau said.

By most accounts, New Jersey's economy remains strong.

Still, it's hard to ignore the shifting statistics in Sussex County:

* The number of houses under contract between January and March decreased by 18 percent since the same period last year; and

* The number of houses on the market increased by 47 percent since last year.

Together, those numbers represent a 65 percent negative market swing, which is still 12 percentage points better than the state average, according to Otteau's report. The report shows that Sussex County's market is faring better than most other counties in the state because houses on the market are more affordable — Sussex County ranks sixth in the report's affordability index.

Sussex County's population has increased by 4,600 people over five years while the populations in Hudson County and Essex County have dropped by 76,000 and 61,000 respectively, showing that homeowners are migrating northwest, the report shows.

Still, Otteau said, "The market has lost the sense of urgency that was present a year ago."

Last year, buyers felt compelled to purchase a home as quickly as possible, had fewer homes in their price range to choose from and often found themselves bidding an amount greater than the asking price, real estate professionals said.

Today, buyers are a bit more cautious. There are more homes sitting on the market longer, giving the buyer more leverage to negotiate below the asking price, they added.

The trend has resulted in homes throughout neighborhoods in Sussex County staying on the market longer, a negative from the point of view of the seller, whose next purchase often relies on the sale of their home. According to Otteau's report, it would take seven months to sell every house currently on the market in Sussex County.

Real estate professionals say anything less than a five-month supply is considered a seller's market, anything more than six a buyer's market and anything between five and six months is considered a good, balanced market.

"There's a saying in this business that there's nothing price won't cure," said Kenneth Miebach, a Realtor at Century 21 Gross and Jansen in Vernon and the president of the Sussex County Association of Realtors. "Just because a home has been sitting on the market for 364 days, doesn't mean it's at the right price.

"You're seeing homes on the market not adjusting to the market. You have to be able to accept price reductions."

Miebach described last year's real estate market as "super" compared to "average" this year.

"Your best bet is to list your house with a Realtor," he said. "We can get you the most money for your house today. I don't know what it will be worth tomorrow."

4/30/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.freddiemac.com/speeches/syron/ds120605.html

4/30/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

Chicago,

I'm sure there could be a bounce from buyers waiting on the sidelines, but then again homeownership in the region is at an all time high.

Add to this net outmigration and an aging population increasingly looking to downsize and I just don't see where the next big wave of buyers is going to come from.

then again, I am heavily biased.

4/30/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago,

I'll do you one better. I have friend who's MD/senior partner at a large fund-to-fund, mutual fund. She has a nice 1 bdr. apt., nothing super luxurious, in NYC and a place near the beach in CT. She's saying she couldn't afford her place in the city if she tried to buy it now. If someone in that tax bracket can't afford her home, who can?

Ok, back to the pent up demand argument, yes, there probably are some people on the side line who are looking for a certain price point to justify buying. Here are my counter arguments:
1. Investors- if they are looking for at least a 12% return, the pickings are few and far between for quick flips to even get that much after transaction costs, carrying costs, renovation cost, etc.
2. Affordability - why did nearly half of all home purchases need ARMs. The buyers could not really afford their houses. That, to me, = false demand. When lending guidelines go back to normal, people like this won't be able to get in the game.
3. Very high, maybe even historically high, homeownership rates. We're above where we probably should be with this number. Who's left out there to buy, who didn't in the last four years?

I think you're right we'll hit a plateau, then flatten. After August, all bets are off if inventory is still very high.

JM

4/30/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, we went to one open house today in Flanders. And boy did we meet the definitive starving realtor! He was giving out personalized coffee mugs, magnets, pens, and packets of mls listings of other houses in the area. He was really insistent that if this wasn't the house for us, that he'd find us the perfect house - and don't wait, interest rates are going up! We couldn't get out of there, let alone fast enough!

We almost felt sorry for him, but he was spewing so much sleazy realtor speak it was hilarious. We got into the car and just cracked up!

PbW

4/30/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Examples like that can run the gamut. I have a friend who is an IT consultant who lives in the city, makes the expected salary for an IT consultant. Has saved up a bunch since he travels a lot for consulting and many of his expenses, as such, are covered. So, he is now ready to buy, and able to afford, a 1 bedroom apt in the city at current price levels.

Everyone's situation is different.

4/30/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"So, he is now ready to buy, and able to afford, a 1 bedroom apt in the city at current price levels."

Cool, I hope he likes that 1 bedroom enough to keep it for 8-10 years, or sell at a loss before then.

Is he familiar with the phrase "upside down on a mortgage"?

4/30/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Boca Expert said...

Boca Raton, FL, updated May 1, 2006 -- Experts call real estate a local industry. When analysts slide Cleveland, Ohio, under their microscope, it does not reveal what’s happening in Los Angeles or Boston.

Still, if a “hot” real estate area cools off, who’s going to argue that it does not have larger implications? Boca Raton, Florida, may have some valuable lessons for the real estate industry as a whole.

Within Boca Raton, a “typical” subdivision -- the Boca Country Club -- characterizes the area. This popular subdivision of 945 homes, nestled in over a dozen separate and distinct communities, epitomizes life in the paradise of south Palm Beach, Florida.

Buyers choose from hi-rise condos, town and coach homes, attached courtyard villas, and detached estate homes. Many of the communities have their own clubhouses, while others offer small private pools in every home.

An 18-hole championship golf course threads its way through the Boca Country Club. The links are part of the world-famous Boca Raton Resort & Club, recently purchased by the Blackstone Group. Blackstone, a public company, has a well-deserved reputation as a savvy real estate group.

So how’s the Boca Country Club doing? Like dozens of other subdivisions in the Boca area, it has sizzled with sales for five, price-popping years. Until now.

Absorption Rate’s Crystal Ball

Real estate experts watch “absorption rates” closely. It’s a time-tested yardstick. Homes “go to contract” in an “average” amount of time. Recent history determines exactly how many, and how fast. Simple mathematics determines, over a year, how many homes can be “absorbed” in a particular market … if the immediate past projects the immediate future (which it often does).

In the year prior to Hurricane Wilma, which ripped through south Florida in October, 2005, 64 homes had new owners at the Boca Country Club. At any one time, between 8 and 12 homes were up for grabs. It took less than 45 days, on average, to find a buyer willing to go to contract. In some cases, homes went to contract in a day or two. Prices continually bounced higher at the rate of over a percentage point per month.

That’s the immediate past.

Here’s a snapshot of the present: 48 homes are for sale at the Boca Country Club as of this writing. That’s a record, five times higher than “normal” … and it actually surpasses the bad old days of the early 1990s, when IBM deserted Boca Raton and left its housing market in shambles for almost a decade (IBM has since returned, albeit much smaller).

On average, houses currently take 112.2 days (almost 4 months) to go to contract (up from the low 50s prior to Hurrican Wilma).

Given the current number of listings, 358 homes would have to sell in the next 12 months to “absorb” the homes with For Sale signs. That would be more than seven times the number that sold last year.

It will not happen.

In the first four months of 2006, only 5 homes have been sold.

What’s Next?

One of three things will occur. Only three things can occur. Either prices plummet and buyers rush in. Or sellers take their homes off the market. Or it’s going to take a lot longer to sell a home.

Prices will not plummet in hurricanne-ravaged Palm Beach. Why? Because it costs a lot more to build a house than it used to. Roof tiles, wallboard, lumber, steel, washing machines and water heaters … everything costs more in a new house. And the osmosis of those rising prices drags up the pricetag of used homes.

Prices may not rise as fast as they have in the past five years – no more double digits – but they will not suddenly reverse. The battleship of rising prices does not turn on a dime. Not unless the pre-construction boom goes belly up, which seems unlikely (but stay tuned).

Watch out for 2008, however. That’s when capital gains jumps from 15% to 20% according to current legislation. A 5% hike on a big-ticket item like housing could get a lot of sellers to rush into the market to beat the deadline. Supply and demand. Housing prices suffer. The rush for the exits may have already started.

Will Sellers Stay Put?

Sellers faced with fewer buyers may pull their homes off the market. It’s a pain to keep it in show condition, and strangers rummaging through your kitchen and bedroom gets very old, very fast. It takes time, however, for a listing to “expire” -- most listing contracts are for 6 months or more, with 1-year the norm.

A real estate agent may suggest in a listing presentation that your home will sell for more than you imagined, and in just a few weeks. They may even hint that they have a buyer ready and willing, right now, this very minute. Often, this mystery buyer disappears once the listing is taken (as an aside, offer an agent who suggests a buyer in the wings a single day, one-show contract ... that usually separates fact from fiction).

Regardless, it remains surprisingly hard to cancel a listing contract once you’ve signed the bottom line. The listing agent will sadly explain that it’s his or her broker’s decision not to release the seller. Your home remains on the block until the listing expires, and if you sell your home to anyone who saw it while it was listed, you may owe the broker a commission even after it expires (there’s a time limit of six months to a year on this, depending on your listing contract).

Today, it seems likely that more homes will be listed on the market, not fewer. A record-shattering 48 homes are for sale at the Boca Country Club right now … powerful proof. So it does not look like inventory will pressure buyers into reaching for their wallets anytime soon.

Most Likely: A Stagnating Market

Sellers will suffer through the stigma of stagnation. They stand at that precipice at this very moment. Because a disconnect between buyers and sellers has appeared. A huge disconnect.

While many sellers currently believe that they can sell their homes in roughly 2 months, the absorption rate suggests a lot more time is needed: well over 2 years, not 2 months. That is a real disconnect.

At least one area of real estate seems destined to gain from all this … the long-suffering rental market will start to boom. An increasing number of Boca Raton homeowners have quickly discovered that the best way to “cash out” of a home is to rent instead of buy. That lets them bank the tax-free capital gains ($250,000 for a single person, or twice that for a married couple). No blossoming real estate taxes, no overheads, and you’re just a plane ticket away from outrunning the next hurricane threat. With money in your pocket and nothing to worry about.

Which may, in fact, explain who so many sellers have surfaced recently. They can’t downsize, because even smaller, less expensive homes often carry new, revised real estate taxes in excess of their existing residence. Once the tax assessor gets hold of a sales contract, and reappraises a new home, the new home’s tax base can double or triple. Housing Bubble? There’s no shortage of pinpricks right now.

* Sellers want to cash in.
* Tax assessors seem intent on doing the same.
* Smart sellers would rather rent than downsize.
* A 5% hike in capital gains looms on the horizon.
* Five times as many sellers as usual have listed their homes.
Buyers seem willing to wait a while as things sort themselves out.
* A lot of real estate agents and their brokers are holding their breath.

Every historical event takes time before it gets recorded as fact. But the Housing Bubble does seem to have witnessed a first-class “POP!”

5/01/2006 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Pleasant valley sunday (by the monkeys) was based on the pleasant valley way in the area.

And the lyrics still seem to fit. Great piece of trivia..

grim

5/01/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

My favorite piece of economic data out at 8:30 this morning, the personal savings rate.

grim

5/01/2006 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray she's proud today because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green he's so serene, He's got a t.v. in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don't understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray, to places far away
I need a change of scenery

5/01/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looked at a few open houses on Sunday. I went late in the day (after 3pm) and it was amazing how little house you get for the money. Not only that, but the sign in sheets were EMPTY!!!!!

5/01/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Richie said...

I was in home depot yesterday and saw 2 different people walking around with brand new "FOR SALE BY OWNER" signs.

The only thing that's selling right now is the signs!

5/01/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba BOYCOTT HOUSES!!!

Starving realtors + desperate sellers = Pa pa pa pa pa pa pa PANIC!!!

Booooooyaaaaaaaa

Bob

5/01/2006 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger bubble disciple said...

...had some spare time on Sunday so I checked out 4 open houses in Madison/Chatham area.

typical: small 3 BR/1.5 Ba with detached garage listed at 689.9K; taxes are better than Essex Cty though.

One house was a Vic on a large lot... turns out the lot is being subdivided and a McMansion is being built right next to it; not sure if there will even be enough room for a driveway after this (no garage).

The realtor "explained" that this 685K house would increase in value once they built a 1M+ house next to it. If I hadn't heard this kind of BS before, I might have burst out laughing...

foot traffic was low in spite of perfect weather...

5/01/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw tons of Open Houses at the Jersey Shore this weekend. I'm w/ Boycott Bob and will not go into any. (I can't stand to hear the realtors' lies and BS anyway). No other people or cars around either, lots of empty open houses.

5/01/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let Freemarkets Work


Just say "NO" to "RIPOFF" prices.

Booooooyyyyyyyaaaaaaa


Bob

5/01/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

Grim,

I am glad you liked the trivia. I am one of those people who pick up stuff like that, especially when it pertains to NJ.

5/01/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"I'm w/ Boycott Bob and will not go into any [open houses]."


Same here -- haven't been to one since February. It's a direct way for buyers to send a message to realtors, and thereby sellers, that the ponzi scheme has ended.

Some terms/phrases realtors will hear and say often in the coming months:

* "Languishing on the market"

* "That open house was a ghost town"

* "The offer looks good, it's only 20% below asking"

* "Those last few sales on this street have killed the comps"

* "How can I pay for my Lexus and million dollar home with no buyers?"

* "Make an offer soon, houses are almost selling close to assessed values again"

* "Thank god we sold that one in less than 6 months"

* "Yes, those contingencies in your offer are fine"

* "Thanks for your research Suzanne, but we'll be buying next year"

5/01/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While at an open house yesterday, the realtor informed me that homes were selling over asking price. I looked around--no one else was in the house, then started to laugh. I asked here how that was possible and she replied, "once people think they are competing they raise their offer."

I think the realtors are artificially creating these scenarios to get buyers to increase their offers.

5/01/2006 03:37:00 PM  
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6/20/2006 02:34:00 PM  
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Hint #10 for . Arrange Bedrooms Neatly: Remove excess furniture. Use attractive bedspreads and window treatments, with freshly laundered curtains if you use them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

watch "absorption rates" closely. It's a time-tested yardstick for home sales. Does it prove that the Housing Bubble has already popped? You bet it has.

6/21/2006 08:09:00 AM  
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Hint #4 for . Fix That Faucet! Dripping water suggests faulty plumbing, one of the greatest fears that savvy buyers have.

6/21/2006 10:27:00 AM  
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If you're selling your home, consider . Faded walls and worn woodwork reduce a lot more than house appeal. They cut into your price. Invest in a few cans of paint. Brighten up the interior. .

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The No. 1 sellers' complaint on the is the "showing" process ... the line of people trudging through their home, inspecting their lives, in search of who knows what .

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6/24/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this "cooling off" real estate market, suggest that the average residence is shown about 4 times a week during the first 3 weeks of a real estate listing. After that, an unsold home goes "stale" ... it gets shown less .

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Many people try to achieve goals. Most fail. Some strive, work hard and plan for all the details yet they achieve little or nothing at all. Others strive, work hard, plan and achieve huge success. Yet there are a few individuals who do little else than take small steps and seem to achieve a great deal with what seems like effortlessness. What is the difference between these people and which one would you like to be?
Most members of the human race fall into two categories - those who live in the past and those who live in the future. Most live in the past. Many of these are the people who achieve very little in their lives and are so fearful of the future that they dare not strike out to get anything. They are the under-achievers who hang onto bad episodes in their lives and either relive them time and again or look at new situations as similar potentialities. They say things like "all men are deceivers" or "all women are interested in is money" or "I can't do it. I tried before and it didn't work so why bother!". Due to bad experiences in the past they believe that all future events will turn out the same way if they dare to go after what they want.
The other type of person lives in the future. This type tends to create more of the things they want in life. They have a vision of where they want to go and exactly how they are going to get there. They work diligently at making concrete plans and they pursue those plans with a persistent ferocious appetite for success. These people are the high achievers - The Richard Branson and Bill Gates of the world. These people have much to teach us about setting and achieving goals.
However, there is a third type of person who almost goes unnoticed. They are the person who takes life in its stride and yet achieve most of what they want. I am sure you know of such a person in your life that just seems to saunter through life and yet they always come out on top. Or a person who you hear of that has decided to open a shop. You meet them a few months later and they have three shops all doing well! So what makes these people so successful and if they aren't living in the past and aren't living in the future where are they living?
I suppose you guessed it! Whether they are consciously aware of it or not they are living in the present. It is in the 'living' present that we have our greatest power. Everything happens in the present. You live your entire life there - even if your mind does not!

By becoming more aware of the present and by 'accepting' it as it is we are much more in control of our emotions and focus. When we live in the past we are fearful of making bad choices and/or getting hurt. We do not wish to recreate the past again! When we live in the future we can also be fearful of what might happen. But even if your future vision is full of power and worthy of working towards many people can, and often do, get stuck there. By constantly reaching for bigger and better goals they fail to enjoy what they have in the moment.
If you wish to start living a life that is almost effortless begin first by living in the present. Accept your situation the way it is and then you can enjoy what you have. Your focus changes from a memory of what was or a vision of what might be to a realization of what is. You become much more empowered to then see the beauty of life and also look at where you wish to make changes. But to make changes you must first accept the situation as it is. Trying to escape from your present only increases your focus on your problems by creating resistance to what is. Accept your life as it is now. Make no judgement, just accept it and then you will be free of doubt, worry, pain and fear. For you only experience these things when you live outside the 'moment'. personal development

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