Friday, May 19, 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!

59 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the Hoboken site, kannekt (http://www.hobokenx.com/html/modules/newbb/viewforum.php?forum=9)
is connected to real estate agents? There is no information on the site that says it has a real estate connection, but it has been behaving strangely lately.

As an example, the following post is continually deleted by moderators even though it is just part of an article. I think the key is if you create a topic containing the phrase "falling/declining prices," it's immediately removed.

The post:

"Meanwhile, home price appreciation in New Jersey presented an equally mixed bag in the first quarter.

For example, home prices in the Newark metropolitan region -- a six-county span that includes Essex, Union, Morris, Hunterdon and Sussex in New Jersey and Pike County, Pa. -- rose 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2006 to $405,300. However that figure has also been on a downward trajectory since hitting a high of $446,800 in the third quarter of 2005.

The same pattern holds in a four-county span that includes Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties. In the first quarter of 2006, the median home price rose 9 percent to $374,100. Back in April 2005, that number stood at $394,100 and has been falling ever since."

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1147754907158260.xml&coll=1

5/19/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT HOUSES!

No MAAS Ripoff Prices!

Boooooooyaaaaaaaa

Bob

5/19/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GSML LISTINGS

Going up EVERYDAY

Papapapapapa PANIC!

May 19 29,398

May 18 29,260

May 10 28,660

May 3 28,110

April 12 26,582

March 6 24,111


BOYCOTT HOUSES!

Inventory exploding up.

BOOOOOOYAAAAAAA

Bob

5/19/2006 04:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GSML Listings do ot include FOR SALE BY OWNER

There are Gluts of FSBO homes.

Housing Bust!

Bouycott Ripoff Home prices

Cheers!

Bob

5/19/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Anon 4:53PM:

Look at the advertising on the site for an answer. There is no direct connection, but there is a marked sympathy toward the people who pay the bills.

The Moderator was "outed" by someone who posted on my home website several months ago, he lives on Willow Avenue.

Originally, HTTA had a public section, but we thought it was unfair to force our admin to police everything, so we deleted it.

However, in the Spring of 2005, kannket started its Hudson Tea threads, and we became exasperated with the pro-Toll slant [we thought the Moderator was attempting to peddle influence as a way to get some Toll advertising dollars]. As a result, we reinstituted the public section of the HTTA site, and do not delete posts unless there is profanity or pointless flame baiting.

I get stuff deleted all the time on kannekt.

Under the thread "where can you discard old paint?" - I wrote "any real estate office" - POOF

Under the thread "Will they close the Jackson St. projects" - I wrote "Will they close the Washington St. real estate offices" - POOF

Seriously, at least 3/4 of the threads are started by realtors.

5/19/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know about the realtors. I have a lot of fun posting information just to get the "STUPID RENTER!" responses. I figure the more I can keep them away from trying to hustle business, the better off everyone would be.

Also, you don't have to out the website owner. Just use "WHOIS" to look up the domain and you'll even find his phone number.

5/19/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I know about the realtors. I have a lot of fun posting information just to get the "STUPID RENTER!" responses... which side if the fence are you on?"

Anyway, as a homeowner, and one who will be renting as I remodel, I will be sure never to use a realtor again.

5/19/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Lots of Open Houses this weekend, and I'll attend none!

BoycottHousing.com

5/19/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very OT... Define irony:

"What the president has said all along is that he wants to make sure that people who become American citizens have a command of the English language," Snow said. "It's as simple as that."

5/19/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen about the kannekt site. It's a total Realtor monkey house. In fact, that would be a more appropriate name for it.

Either that or "Snake Pit" based on the quickness of attack when a contrary view is expressed.

Or maybe "Romper Room" if the maturity of many of the posters is any indication.

In any event, it doen not give me great impressions of Realtors. The ones that post there don't seem very bright or educated. Yet, ironically, they seem to fancy themselves as the Stephen Hawkings of the real estate/finance world.

5/19/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

Can I get this blog going. Here is a new senario. All home builders stop building. The cost is to high and there are no profits. The resale market is priced to the new construction prices. No new homes, supply and demand. What would happen to the homes that are listed? anyone got an idea?

5/19/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

where is anonymous boooya, scared the stock market is taking a hit due to fed interest rates but loves the fed interest hikes to hit the real estate market, I like Crammer too. He seems to tell it like it is, Listen to him!

5/19/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

murph - you are right on target. It is obvious they are more in tune with the market than realtors adn sellers. Most builders don't even use realtors to buy or sell. There is a beautiful new home, with upgrades, etc. for sale by owner down my street; a neighbor thinks their older home with no upgrades is comparable to this on the market.
Why would one buy a 12 year old home for 10k less than the brand new one 3 houses away? Anyway - both of these houses have been on the market for over 10 months.

5/19/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

It is called education. Realtors do not educate buyers on value. This is why I say not all homes are overpriced but the buyer that needs to buy has to do his homework and know the value of the home they ar looking at. There is no way to determine price but location, quality, and square footage.

5/19/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

This story is funny and troubling at the same time.

http://tinyurl.com/mazos

5/19/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Oliver said...

So what do you do if you're in our situation?

We've got the down payment saved, and are ready to take the plunge into our first home. We're looking to get into Essex county, the Maplewood/South Orange area.

While I'm very wary of purchasing right now, before the bubble pops, I can't take renting much longer.

If nothing else we need the tax benefits of home ownership. Uncle Sam is killing us (high salary, no kids, no home).

I'm patient and willing to wait it out for a bit, but want to know what people think. Are we going to see a 10-20% fall off by year's end? IS the end of the Summer going to be a marked difference from the market as it now stands?

What would you do in our situation? All advice and opinions welcome.

5/19/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am curious on prospective first-time home buyers here. Do you'll plan to buy the same size house as what you'll are currently renting? Or buy larger?

I just moved to NJ 6 months ago and rent. Wife is stay at home with our 5 month baby. So saving for a 20% down payment on one salary is going to take a loooong time - atleast 2 years given the ridiculous prices here.

We currently stay in a 1 bedroom apt complex. But when we buy, we want a 3 bedroom so that we don't feel short on space in a few years.
Is our reasoning in line with most folks out there?

Peace,

Dream Theaterr

5/19/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

simple, buy a house you really like and will live there for at least 3 -5 years, get the tax saveings and enjoy your home.

5/19/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Richie said...

Can I get this blog going. Here is a new senario. All home builders stop building. The cost is to high and there are no profits. The resale market is priced to the new construction prices. No new homes, supply and demand. What would happen to the homes that are listed? anyone got an idea?

If builders don't build & sell homes, they make no money. That's why the builders will always be the first to slash prices. The bottom line is, they HAVE to. If they don't have income, they have no other source of income. Inventory is bad for builders, they need backlogs. With their backlogs shrinking, they'll look to trim off extra fat (ie: workers) to make up for the slowdown.

If any publicly traded building company stopped building, their stock would drop faster then pets.com.

-Richie

5/19/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

Builders do not have many " workers " they have subcontractors, not employees, these are the ones that build the houses.Ford and GM will slow thier production lines as cars do not sell and lay off "workers" that is there responsibilty to share holders. Cost of building is not in labor. Materials, permits, and land is the rising cost, cost = price

5/19/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous trroll said...

Mr. Oliver,

I’m a strong bubble believer so I would say wait. But I guess it comes to simple questio: is it worth it to wait. Even if the home prices go down by 10% (personally I think it will be more of 15%) by the end of the year you are going to save tens of thousand of dollars (at least $25K – because even with prices down you will not get anything decent for less than $250-$300K). So, I guess you have to ask yourself is it worth it to wait those 8 months to save $20-30K.

5/19/2006 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

would you belive I sold new homes for less than $20,000
.00 in 1970, wake up there is only an upside if you are young and raising a family.

5/19/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

Mr. Oliver:

Try looking at what you can stand financially under every scenario, even scenarios you may not be considering - what's the worst thing you'd be willing to accept if you keep renting? If you buy now? If you buy later?

Might help if you assess your true risk taking behavior/aversion.

5/19/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know the effects of interest rate increase vs. housing price?
For example, consider the following scenario for the same house:

Case 1: Interest rate 4%, house price $500,000

Case 2: Interest rate 6%, house price $450,000


Which one is better? I'm just trying to understand if 10-15% price reduction means anything given the higher interest rates.

5/19/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

too bad you wern't around for 12%-18% rates for mortgages!

5/19/2006 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger lisoosh said...

That Bach schill was on 20/20 tonight "proving" how being a homeowner makes you rich - using his homeowners are worth $100k, renters worth $5k circuitous "logic". They had absolutely no-one on to point to the holes in his arguements - how about a letter campaign to ABC and 20/20 asking for more balanced reporting and pointing out his bias.

I'm in.

5/19/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gorobei said...

Mr Oliver,

So what do you do if you're in our situation?

We've got the down payment saved, and are ready to take the plunge into our first home. We're looking to get into Essex county, the Maplewood/South Orange area.

While I'm very wary of purchasing right now, before the bubble pops, I can't take renting much longer.


I was in a similar situation 4 years ago. Kid on the way, hated renting, etc.

So, my wife and I sat down and figured what the real cost to own the place we wanted would be. Mortgage, Insurance, Taxes, Maintainence - Tax deduction. Came to about $90K a year. So we looked for rentals around $65K/yar. Found a beautiful one, and moved in (and there were lots of choices at that price point.)

Saved the $25K a year difference (and it's real, physical money in the bank.)
Now, with our second kid we need more space: rented a new place. No 6% broker fees, no need to try to sell the current place, we can just move!

Do the math, then rent and actually bank the savings. You'll feel rich and free within a few years. Alternatively, rent and piss away the savings and you'll think you need to own to get ahead.

5/19/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger new 200 Mbps BROADBAND over POWER LINES said...

Just check home prices in NORTH DOVER- TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY 08753 and compare it to your area in North Jersey !!!

ZILLOW.com: North Dover, Toms River, NJ 08753

5/19/2006 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted a few months ago regarding a brand span king new condo complex across from the train station in Rutherford. I have sold my condo in secaucus for a nutty price I would never have paid for it. I now live in Rutherford and everytime I drive by that new Condo complex, there are NO cars in the parking lot.

Either there are serious problems selling that place out or no one living there drives. Anyone have the scoop, here is one of those overpriced apartments for sale:

Rutherford
Condo

5/20/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So what do you do if you're in our situation?"

We are in same situation. We have $, hate renting, but don't like anything in our price range @550k. We are now looking for the least expensive, smallest house to fix up, add on and rent in the mean time. There seems to be more choices this way, yet some of these shacks are still over priced. Spring selling season was a bust and summer isn't looking much better, so I think we'll be in a better postion in a few months. Good luck!

5/20/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- Rutherford Condo

I grew up in Rutherford, and I will tell you...it is a wanna be Ridgewood. First of all, before those condos were built, they were for sale in the $200's. I think it is absolutley crazy that they are for sale for any more than that.

They built that parking garage for ALL of the commuters they thought they would have as well as the owners of that condo complex. Now, if you look on Realtor.com you will see a ton of those condos for sale, because everyone bought them as investment property. If you are seriously considering buying there, I would definitely wait, because that whole development is going to take a serious dive. As far as the commuters...why would you pay to park in a parking garage when there is plenty of FREE street parking within walking distance of the train? I don't think this whole idea was thought out thoroughly. Hope that helps.

-CJ

5/20/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the advice out there for people near retirement age holding oil stocks? Should they sell since the price is falling? What is the prediction?

5/20/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dream Theatrr,

Buy a house you can afford first!

Do not listen to real estate shills that pump you up and get you in a financial bind by pushing suicide loans to get you in a house.
You canNOT have everything you want. You should only buy what you can afford.
Save and wait 2 years, you will probably be able to buy something alittle nicer then....and do not expect anything grand. This is and always will be an expensive area relative to other pasts of the country even after the 35% drop in prices.

BOYCOTT HOUSES!

Boooyaaaaaa

Bob

5/20/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"too bad you wern't around for 12%-18% rates for mortgages"

That's right murf.

Houses sold for 2.5 times incomes at that time also!!!!

Not the 7-9 times today!

Boycott Ripoff Home prices

Boooooooyaaaaaaa

Bob

5/20/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cost of building is not in labor. Materials, permits, and land is the rising cost, cost = price"

Yes Murf take a look at the price of lumber recently it has been collapsing!
Also raw land prices will be coollapsing soon!

Boycott Houses!

Bob

5/20/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous willyboy said...

A few people have posed the question “what should I do, should I buy or wait?” For what it’s worth, here’s my story, and my thoughts:

I discovered this Blog in early November 2005. The Blog seemed to indicate that the North Jersey market was starting to fall apart. Although I don’t live in North Jersey, I’m not that far away. Because, I had been buying, remodeling and reselling houses in my area, I was concerned that what was apparently happening in North Jersey might spread to my area.

I marked November 14, 2005 as the official date that I recognized that the boom in my area was over. (In reality, it may turn out that the party was over as early as September 2005, or perhaps, after this current lull, it still may not be over. Who knows? (Anybody who tells you they know with certainty where the market will be a year from now is deceiving you or themselves.)

This past winter I owned a vacant, remodeled house that I was trying to sell. Held some open houses, but didn’t have many visitors. I wondered what should I do? The data was showing that inventory was up a little and sales were down a little. But the spring selling season was coming soon, and in previous years I had seen people reduce and sell houses after holding them all winter, when they could have gotten a much higher price by just hanging on another month or two. Should I wait and hold my price or should I reduce and get it sold? As it turns out, I got some good advice not to “chase the market down” but instead “get in front of it.” I decided to lower my price (several times) and eventually I got the property sold. I may have sold a little below market value, but houses are meant to be lived in, and now a nice family is enjoying a good house, and I made a few bucks, which I “took off the table.”

During the time that I was trying to sell my property, I had occasion to speak with other investors and realtors, and found most to be unconcerned or oblivious. Because I was concerned and they weren’t, I think I probably missed out on a couple of good buys. I can live with that. Going forward, I probably will buy again, but with my eyes wide open, meaning that I will factor the possibility of a little depreciation (rather than appreciation) into the equation.

Interestingly, at the time that I bought my first property for resale, there was already much evidence that real estate was dangerously overpriced with respect to the underlying fundamentals, I just never knew it or even thought about it that way. Since then I have seen many people sell their current home and buy a bigger, better one, or alternately, take some equity out of their current home, and buy a second home at the shore or in the mountains. Many of these moves seem to have panned out, these people look good on paper, and I admit that I am envious. Many of these people were lucky! But some who bought late in the game and/or over-extended themselves might not be so lucky. (Unlike some people on this Blog, I don’t view recent buyers or sellers as “idiots” or “greedy.” If real estate values do depreciate as much as some on this Blog have suggested, many very good people are going to get hurt, each with varying degrees of culpability for not being more careful.)

Now on to the question, “What should I do?” It seems to me that you, dear prospective buyer, must be considered a prized commodity. With rising inventories and slowing sales, any realtor would love to get their hands on you. Enjoy that status while you can, before you become slave to a large mortgage on what may turn out to be an overpriced property.

Nobody knows where real estate prices will be six months, or one year, or three years from now. Estimates generally range from flat to worse, and only time will tell. But we can make some educated guesses by looking at the possibilities, assigning probability factors to them, and coming up with an expected value. For example: House prices might be up this time next year, or they might be down, but by how much and what are the odds? It seems to me that there is very little upside potential at this point, and significant downside potential. Therefore looking at the various data, reports, prognostications, etc., my best guess might be as follows: 10% chance prices go up 6% in the next year, 50% chance that they stay flat, 30% chance they go down 6%, 5% chance they go down 10% and 5% chance they go down 20%. What then is the expected value of house one year from now, given it was purchased today at $400,000.00

Here’s the expected value analysis:

$400,000 x ( (0.1 x 1.06) + 0.5 + (0.3 x .94) + (0.05 x .90) + (0.05 x .80) ) = $389,200

Plug in different numbers, get different results. Make your best guess-timate and live with the results (the probability factors already acknowledge the fact that you’re guessing) Also if your analysis shows that prices will likely be down a year from now, you need to consider that they might go down even more after that.

It fairly obvious that most of this Blog’s aficionados think prices will be down, and many believe the numbers will be considerably worse than the example above. I love this Blog, but it is somewhat one-sided by its very nature. But, you have a very personal decision to make that will affect your life for years to come; one not to be decided because the Realtors say “real estate never goes down” or alternately, because “Boooooyaaa Bob” rants … well, you know, “Booooooyaaa.”

Because the price of real estate is so high in North Jersey, the stakes are high in deciding whether to buy right now. It must be tough to be a renter. You yearn to have your own place, to decorate it the way you want, to work around the house, to add value to it and watch it appreciate in value, to take pride in your neighborhood and have people look at you as an equal instead of some, somehow lower class, renter. If you truly believe that prices are going to tank, you nevertheless might be very concerned that you might be wrong and price yourself right out of the market. And if you’re being pressured by a spouse who see things differently than you do, that can’t be good.

My guess is that the party is indeed over. And, that if someone is very comfortable in their housing situation right now, there will be significant opportunity again down the line. But not 6 months from now, or even within the next year. It seems ironic to me that people on this Blog call those who bought houses recently not knowing prices had peaked, “idiots” and “sheeple”, and then they themselves are sitting on the edge of their chair waiting for prices to come down a little (or even a lot) so that they can buy property in what will by definition be a bad time for real estate.


But, should you decide to buy, take your time and buy wisely, because from here on out, it is unlikely the market will cover any mistakes. I wish you the best!


Will

5/20/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will, thanks for the plug and great post.

You didn't sell your house if you thought houses were only going down 5%.

lets be honest Will.

I question your probability conclusions.

If an asset climbs at abnormal historical rates over a short period of time, the probably of the asset falling is price is much greater. It's called reversion to the mean.

Boycott Ripoff House prices

Boooooooyaaaaaa

Bob

5/20/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Imo the NNJ housing market peaked in summer 2005.

Just look at the Japanese housing bust. The first 9 months after the peak, housing prices barely tended down. BUT after about 9 months the floor fell out on house prices and fell rapidly for about 18 months. But the bulk of the price pain occurred in 18 months or 24 months after the peak. Then it sort of flattened then grinded ever so lower for another 3 years or so.

Imo the price collpase is about to happen anyday now based on this. Oh the japanese consumer was loaded with cash while the US consumer is loaded down with debt. Those 2 trillion in ARM readjustments in 2006 & 2007 are going to wage havoc on the personal finances of those that are stretched. Mid 2007 - begin 2008 is going to be bad imo.

Booooooyaaaaaaa

Bob

5/20/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...they themselves are sitting on the edge of their chair waiting for prices to come down a little (or even a lot) so that they can buy property in what will by definition be a bad time for real estate."

Will, bad time to buy?

Well, you get something at a much cheaper price when either outlook is dismal, inventories are high and want to be moved and under financial distress.

18 months from now will offer much lower prices imo.

Boycott overpriced houses and enjoy the weekend

Boooooooyaaaaaaa

Bob

5/20/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

Bob i would like to find some raw land in NJ, it's not the cost of the land only, Do you have any idea what the cost to improve it and the cost of permits before you ad in building costs. Lumber is a comodity and will always fluctuate but have you looked at the cost of sheetrock, siding, or insulaton?

5/20/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger murph said...

sorry for the spelling

5/20/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, although I purchased a home in the summer 2005 (third kid on the way . . . first kid entering Kindergarten . . . wanted to feel part of community etc.)I generally agree with Boooyaaa Bob. Prices are so out of whack in terms of their historical trend/wages that it seems only logical that there will be a crash. (With this in mind I bought a larger house that my family would not grow out of . . . one where we could ride out a long decline in prices.)

Being I am now an "owner" I'm trying to look at all sides of this issue despite the fact that my gut tells me the market is going to crash hard. With this in mind I am interested in all of your input on this theory:

We, as a country and individually, are in a TREMENDOUS amount of debt. In order to soften the impact of this debt the Fed might allow/encourage some inflation in order to allow wages to catch up to home prices. Inflation would help us out of the housing bubble and at the same time would allow the country to pay back some of its debt with inflated dollars. I know there are huge ramifications for allowing inflation to set-in but isn't there some logic in this??

5/20/2006 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

A renter has several advantages in this crazy RE market:

* Timing - can buy a property at any time, since no house to sell.

* Liquid - sitting on cash, can buy at any time.

* Patient - Can wait out any seller, and strike when they're in the most pain.

* Saving/Investing - Net worth is increasing, not decreasing like a seller in a declining RE estate market.

* No risk - Insulated from declining RE market, just wait as prices decline, and buy when ready.


Probably a few others....

I think throwing away these advantages to "just buy something now" is foolish. Also, who wants to but a $500-$600K starter house, and be underwater in a year?

Wait for 2007, at least.

5/20/2006 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed that now may be a better time to rent than buy.
However, gorobei, 4 years ago you really probably should have bought, and not rented. Would have been a better financial decision overall, despite the additional money you "saved" in the bank year to year.

5/21/2006 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger REINVESTOR101 said...

We, as a country and individually, are in a TREMENDOUS amount of debt. In order to soften the impact of this debt the Fed might allow/encourage some inflation in order to allow wages to catch up to home prices. Inflation would help us out of the housing bubble and at the same time would allow the country to pay back some of its debt with inflated dollars. I know there are huge ramifications for allowing inflation to set-in but isn't there some logic in this??

I really don't think the fed can control wage levels. Although money supply growth has been fairly steep, all of that has found its way into assets of some type or the other.

If the fed seeks to monetize the federal debt by continuing to print dollars, the main impact will be debasement of our currency with the result being the exit of foreign investors from the USD and USD based investments; something that would be utterly destructive for the securities markets and the economy altogether.

The Fed is in a pickle and is out of bullets. The only thing they've got going for them is the perception that they're all powerful.

5/21/2006 04:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

NJ is still so much more sane than CA...as verified by this article in the SF Chronicle today:

PALO ALTO PRIME
New houses sell at auction -- and at a premium -- before first spade of earth is turned
Judy Richter, Special to The Chronicle

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Make your bid for a piece of Palo Alto history."

That's how home builder D.R. Horton enticed 78 people to pay $1,000 to consider bidding at least $1.7 million for one of 11 single-family houses on the site of the legendary Rickey's Hyatt Hotel.

When they arrived for an informational meeting April 9 at the nearby Crowne Plaza Cabana, they had not seen models, gone on a virtual tour or even studied floor plans.

All they could see behind the chain-link fence were mature trees and several high mounds of concrete debris to be pulverized and recycled on the muddy 15.84 acres bordered by El Camino Real, West Charleston Road, Wilkie Way and the Palo Alto Elks Lodge. Rickey's, which traced it roots back to 1945, had been demolished.

At the meeting, potential bidders could see floor plans and renderings on easels. Horton officials, plus the architect and landscape architect, described the project, explained the bidding process and answered questions.

Called Residences on Wilkie Way, the two-story houses range from 2,168 to 2,200 square feet. One lot is about 7,490 square feet. The others are about 6,223 to 6,888 square feet.

The three floor plans have three bedrooms and 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 bathrooms. Two plans (seven houses) have attached two-car garages. The two-car garage for the smallest plan is detached. Monthly homeowner dues are expected to start at $187.

These homes mark the first phase of a 181-unit project called Arbor Real. Also planned are 41 townhouses and 129 condos.
...
Nine houses were sold this way, all for more than $1.7 million, said Gerry Ferree, Horton marketing manager. Seven bidders got their first choice. The others got their second choice.
...
"Palo Alto is a desirable town," and the price is fair, he said.

5/21/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've got the down payment saved, and are ready to take the plunge into our first home. We're looking to get into Essex county, the Maplewood/South Orange area.

While I'm very wary of purchasing right now, before the bubble pops, I can't take renting much longer.

If nothing else we need the tax benefits of home ownership. Uncle Sam is killing us (high salary, no kids, no home).



Mr Oliver,

You will probably find a house in Maplewood/South Orange because there are many of them up for sale. However, now is not the time to buy. Ever since the "incident" at the public school, people are rushing to get out of there. You may not see it, but the realtors have people lined up ready to sell and are holding them off because it is too many at one time and they know it will be a blood bath.

Do your homework! Talk to people in the town, and know what is going on before you take your hard earnes money and toss it out the window.

If you think taxes are killingyou, what until you start losing equity in hour home!

Good luck and do your homework! Think first, act later!

5/21/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've got the down payment saved, and are ready to take the plunge into our first home. We're looking to get into Essex county, the Maplewood/South Orange area.

While I'm very wary of purchasing right now, before the bubble pops, I can't take renting much longer.

If nothing else we need the tax benefits of home ownership. Uncle Sam is killing us (high salary, no kids, no home).



Mr Oliver,

You will probably find a house in Maplewood/South Orange because there are many of them up for sale. However, now is not the time to buy. Ever since the "incident" at the public school, people are rushing to get out of there. You may not see it, but the realtors have people lined up ready to sell and are holding them off because it is too many at one time and they know it will be a blood bath.

Do your homework! Talk to people in the town, and know what is going on before you take your hard earnes money and toss it out the window.

If you think taxes are killingyou, what until you start losing equity in hour home!

Good luck and do your homework! Think first, act later!

5/21/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what was the "incident" in Maplewood/South Orange?

5/21/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mr. Oliver said...

Yeah, what "incident" are you referring to?

THank you for all the responses to my post.

5/21/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

Mr. Oliver:

RE market is cyclical and most houses are sold in summer. Since you don't have kids, you don't need to make buy decision in summer. I would say, already there are lot of downside signals, it may be worthwhile to at least wait out this summer. Also if houses are sold by Auguest, the sellers who already made upgrade decision, will be forced to sell their current house at lower prices. Even if you may not want to wait for multi-year cycle, you can at least wait yearly seasonal cycle. I bought my house in December 2002, and I can tell, I paid same amount as in Summer 2002. In downward market, in fall or winter you will pay less or in the worst case same as summer.

5/22/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Isn't there supposed to be a review of DM's Borgata show in this thread???

*waits...taps foot*

5/22/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

OT:

Excellent show. The problem?

The PNC show last week was literally one of the best concerts I have ever attended, so my bar was high.

Did you go?

5/22/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I was one of the frozen popsicles on the lawn. It was fab though!

I love that venue, but this was the first chilly show I've seen there. Didn't like that part one bit. Although Dave did warm the whole place up at times...yeah he did.

Borgata let you down, I take it? Not as much energy? Bad crowd?

5/22/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

The guys just showed a ton of personality at PNC.

5/22/2006 08:00:00 PM  
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