Sunday, July 02, 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.

Have a great weekend everyone, and as always, anything goes!


Blogger grim said...

From the Star Ledger:
Moving day

Two landscapers hauling soil and watering a lawn yesterday in Plainfield paid little attention to movers across the street who were busy lugging furniture into the stately new home of James E. McGreevey and Mark O'Donnell.

It was move-in day for the former governor and his partner, who had closed Wednesday on their $1.4 million Georgian Colonial mansion.

6/30/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

and his wife sits in a 435k ranch
this guy is weasel

6/30/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger JMW977 said...

Does anyone have an idea what current new construction costs per square foot are in northern NJ?

Thanks in advance!

6/30/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Only 135 minutes left in the 2Q06.

Please, please, please don't sell off at all!

6/30/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Check out the 10Y today.


6/30/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

I am a little perplexed by the Fed yesterday.

I agree with this guy.....

"Drew Matus, an economist at Lehman, said the latest statement, by raising the prospect of a pause, seems inconsistent with the hawkish rhetoric of the past month -- and as a result, the Fed could "get caught in another credibility issue."

Yesterday, expected inflation, as implied by the behavior of inflation-indexed bonds, rose three-hundredths of a percentage point."

I think these guys really f'd up.

6/30/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

grim said...
Check out the 10Y today.
6/30/2006 01:51:43 PM


The market is saying Benny and the Feds are a bunch of hacks and we are going to have a hard landing.

Note: we are taking 2007. The crack-addicted traders are having a ball right now. However, instead of hard medicine in 2006 with the chance of nearer term health, we will have a bigger and longer mess.

6/30/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Things got quiet for me this afternoon. I'm reading various accounts of the Fed. A lot of these reporters are confused. Too many of these journalists are focusing on the stock market rally and are not listening objectively to what the bond traders are saying.

Read this article all the way through. It starts out positive, but it ends with a quote from a Mizuho trader this completely contradicts everything else.

6/30/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Shailesh Gala said...

The market is saying Benny and the Feds are a bunch of hacks and we are going to have a hard landing.

Grim - How are you interpret 10Y rates? Do you think of it as Hard landing if it goes high? At least, that has been my thinking, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, Have a nice 4th of July everyone. Remember, no visit to Open Houses !!!

6/30/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger peaknic said...

Well, I've been following this blog for 10 months and I've finally gotten my act together to put my townhouse on the market. Prices in my area (Parsippany) have not gone down at all yet. I priced it 10% below anything else in the development and have gotten 10 walk throughs in the first week and one lowball offer that was another 10% below asking, but I didn't bite. The folks making the offer were from Arizona, where the market has totally tanked, so they are skittish to buy at all and said they'd rather rent then over pay.

I'm planning to rent in the area, so I'm not in any rush. It's one thing to give up 1-2 years of appreciation, which I've already priced in. It's another to give away my place for 100K less than what similar places have recently gone for.

And just in case you were wondering, I'm NOT having an open house you can boycott!

6/30/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


MLS # 2620413 - OLP: 409,000
Now listed at $399,000

DOM - 39

...just to name 1

6/30/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Posted this earlier, guess no one knows the answer?

If the value of a property is assessed at $500K by the town, and you purchase it for $400K, can you ask the town to revise their assessed value to reflect the $400K sale, which would lower your annual property tax?

6/30/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"Does anyone have an idea what current new construction costs per square foot are in northern NJ?"

In the range of $175 to $225 per square foot, depending on quality, etc.

6/30/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"It's another to give away my place for 100K less than what similar places have recently gone for."

How recent? Even from March to today is a big difference.

We're seeing a gradual snowball effect, so if you have an interested buyer, consider that offer carefully, and weight it against what an offer in 6 months might look like.

6/30/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger JMW977 said...

Thanks, Unrealtor...

6/30/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger peaknic said...


Just because they overpriced originally and have now lowered, doesn't mean that the prices are going down. You have to compare new sale prices with what similar houses have sold for in the recent past. My neighborhood is still selling for more than last year.

6/30/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

i agree 6 months from now you may be regretting not taking that 10% off offer. i missed out on a house in queens like 2 months ago
we were 10% apart i am kind of glad i "lost" out

6/30/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...


No, assessed value would stay the same in that situation. While the market value may have changed, the assessed value did not.

Otherwise, the door would be open to a number of tax evasion strategies.

Siblings selling homes to each other at losses for tax reduction purposes, parents to kids, vice versa.

This is different scenario than appealing a high assessment.


6/30/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did anybody send jim over a housewarming gift?

6/30/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

grim if a home is assessed by nassau county in this case for 350k and selling for $480 would it be logical to offer 350 or a little less considering the home
does need updating.

6/30/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Thanks Grim.

Here's some interesting info on NY State rules, but I haven't found a similar link for NJ:

The rules seem like a bunch of voodoo, where the homeowner will always lose in varying degrees.

I'm looking at a house that needs MASSIVE work, yet the assessed value is extremely high, and taxes very high, as if nothing is wrong with the house.

Will 'fixing up' the house (new bathrooms, etc) give me a higher property tax bill? Also, does adding a garage generally increase property taxes?

Seems like a great house, but I'm wondering if fixing it up will actually make it unaffordable, due to increased property taxes.

6/30/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you say you have given up 1-2 years of gain

-is it 2005 + 2004 gains?


- 2006 & 2005 gains?

6/30/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keep it up peaknic. we need folks like you to remember when the market tanks and we reminisce about "oh yeah, remember that dude who turned down a 10% below asking offer"

Have a great holiday weekend!

6/30/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anybody have mcgreevey and
his lovers address , like to send
over a gift?

6/30/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man oh man , in this market you
better take it when you can get it.

Townhomes are just sitting.

6/30/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jimmy's in plainfield. I think.

6/30/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


your statements don't add up -

Why are you selling your house and renting? Do you think house prices are going to fall? :)

>>I'm planning to rent in the area, so I'm not in any rush.

6/30/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


you either need to sell your house immediately [ARM loans?]


you think the house values are going to fall.

It has to be one of the two or else you would not be selling your house and renting in 'the same area'

6/30/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cut peaknick some slack,,,

He is in an area where there are actually growing jobs in NJ. Alot of biotech jobs in that area, decent jobs. I can see that area taking a softer landing than say Bergen county or hoboken. I think peaknic just doesn't want to take the first bite like most of us would if we were selling our house.

6/30/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF I was in Bergen county, I'd be shitting my pants.

6/30/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

One of the papers posted his new address. You can find it in one of the older threads on his new place.


6/30/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 4:17

I would have given him slack if he hadn't posted that macho, chest- beating post.

be humble and i'll be humble too.

6/30/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilbur was humble pig, loved his li'l sty.
Humble is as humble does.
Humble, Humble pie.

O.K. I'm being humble.

Why are we being humble? I missed something.


6/30/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

peaknic: I find it hard to believe that things in you town in north Jersey are selling for more than they were last year, do you mean asking prices are more than last year? i would understand that,a s there are still sellers in deep, deep denial.

I am supposedly in one of the best towns in northern Bergen Co, and I can tell you that things in my town are NOT selling at more than last year, and asking prices are being reduced to below closed prices of last year.

With all ue respect, I think you better do a little more research.

6/30/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

The market value before this now ending real esate bubble was alwasy higher then the assessed value.

I belive people do have the ability to challenge their assessed value if it is higher then the market value, and in the end have their taxes reduced accordingly.

I will do some more research on this.

6/30/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wouldn't the township be forced to reevaluate property value if you add a storage space in your backyard:)

6/30/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw a house a flipper bought last year for 350K in parsippany(that property should be at 280K at that time). She is asking for 410K now. I offered her 240K. she told me "my loan is even higher than that". I can't help laughing. Greedy and idiotic realtors! you would assume they know better!

6/30/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would sell that house at the 10% under, you made your gains easy. So don't be a pig because the pigs get slaughtered for my bbq.

After you sell the house, find a job in your field outside of NJ and nyc metro area, take your fat gains and put huge down payment on a house WITHIN YOUR MEANS. You will be so much better off. Hell, you can goto PA and get something better than armpit, NJ.

Seriously, what are you going to do with your gains? Piss it away on rent. Relocate. I believe in a real estate bubble and this state along with nyc is going to hit rock bottom harder than anyone really wants to see it, but there are other places that have not had the same type of "irrational exuberance" as in this area and the left coast.

Bottom line take your gains, and get the hell out to make the most of your gains. If you just stick around here, you are going to lose.

6/30/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Thanks Delford, it's an interesting problem, which could hopefully save a noisy homeowner thousands each year.

Hoping to drop a major lowball on this house, but even if they bite, the taxes are insane for a house that's a complete wreck.

And if the tax man is going to double the already-high property taxes if the place gets 'fixed up' the deal is a non starter.

6/30/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"wouldn't the township be forced to reevaluate property value if you add a storage space in your backyard:)

Don't know, doesn't that whole heated space/non heated space come into play? And garages may be assessed differently in general, not sure.

6/30/2006 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 05:00:55 PM,

u offered 240? wow, what was the reaction you got??

Now thats freaking cool...:)

6/30/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just thinking???

Lets say the market across the board drops 20%, is that not still too high? I think it is. Its like the old retail game. You mark up an item high for awhile so people get use to it, then slash the price down 20% and people will flock to it like the pope on SUnday thinking they are getting a good deal, when that was the target price all along.

Make sense? I have started my 4th of july cheer a few days early ...wink and a smile.:)

6/30/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

6 hours left for the budget.. Will Corzine begin to shut down the state government at midnight?


6/30/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I offered 240K(the asking price is over 410K) and we talked briefly on the phone then hanged up. 240K, I think, is reasonable for the property and I don't give it a damn on what the seller thinks. I am tired of the price the sellers set when they are drunken. I just want to set them straight.

6/30/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they raise the NJ sales tax, how much will it go up? On what type of items?

These NJ politicins and Corzine are nothing but whores.

6/30/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Corzine shuts down the govt, why is his first targets beaches, casinos in Atlantic city, and lotto? Things that actually being in money..

Why not just cut the welfare? You get rid of welfare, NJ would be out of this mess in no time.

Welfare low lifes sucking the tit of the government and we sit and do nothing and throw money at it.

6/30/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait theirs more. What about all
the Section 8 housing. 8 kids,
no husband, multiple partners produce the kids, and they don't
work,Have to watch the kids.

But they smoke crack,and Kools,
Drink Ale, and of course complain
that not enough is being done.

NJ is a welfare state.

6/30/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about our Attorney General,
a real fine person.

Anybody read about this low life?

6/30/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whores, they are worst than whores.

At least a Whore tells you.

These DB's try to convince you
that what they are doing is in your best interest.

How about the Abbott School diaster,the School Construction,
it goes on and on .Picking the pocket of the taxpayer.

They should get guns and a mask
and come to you door and just take the money.

6/30/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the prices of housing dropping
like a rock, the problems also
becomes the Taxes on these dwellings.

Many buyers are now reviewing,not only the current ,but also the
steep increases over the last 5 years.

6/30/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to dreamtheaterr and chicago. Huggies baby wipes take out red wine from carpeting much better than other brands.

6/30/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really disheartened and disappointed by the some of the ignorant and racist attitudes expressed in some the posts.

6/30/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 06:29:00 PM

opinions are like a******s.

Everyones got one.

6/30/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

I'm going to keep it short and to the point.

Personal attacks, inflammatory comments, and off-topic arguments will not be tolerated. Take these discussions off-line.

Foul language, racist, sexist, or any other defamatory remarks will not be tolerated.

Messages that violate these rules will be deleted.

The housing bubble is an emotionally charged topic, and I understand that our discussions get heated at times. We don't need to add any more fuel to this fire.

Please help me to keep our discussions on topic and professional.

6/30/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K...sorry to revert back to housing on this fine Fourth weekend (I'm very task-oriented, even when trying new Merlot).

Here's a mystery. I've been watching this house, not because I want it, but because it's one of my ten flipper-mentality calibration homes.

Good school district, mediocre development. Flipper bought it, obviously sheriff's sale for, for $53k on 12/20/2004.

Put in pergot floors, some rooms, and new baths, listed it spring '05 at $269. Dropped it to $249 last winter. Dropped it to $229 this spring, like April.

No go.

Now, how is this flipper making money? What is the break-even point?


6/30/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I do apologize if the huggies suggestions for the new fathers was out of line or racist.


6/30/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Interesting link from Japan..

Bad loans likely to cost govt


6/30/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim, our mortg. bailout cost (of saving the stock market over the last couple of years) will be the next big blog topic starting soon


6/30/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right back on target, I forgot this is NJ where people love the welfare system and glady give the money to welfare class, even though they will steal your eye balls out of your head, and don't know the meaning of the word work, but you do, and pay dearly (in the form of taxation) cause you do

Anyway, Does anyone have inventory stats for foxtons? I have seen alot of foxton houses for sale littering the streets. Not many on these boards mention foxtons (NJMLS and GSMLS gets all the glory).

6/30/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Sugee said...

OK, here is a house in my town that was bought for 215K in Aug 2001. I know those folks that bought it, and so I know that they bought the house in a bidding war for which the original asking price was 195K ! Oh, I also know that they did not do any major works like kitchen update or room additions after they bought the house in 2001, just the general maintenance. They sold the house in June 2005 for 335K.

OK, now the flipper that bought the house in June 2005, wants 410K for that house. I dont intend to buy a house, but I reaaally want to make an offer of 240K just to shock the daylights out of this one. OK, not really. That is what I think I must really offer for a house that asked for 195K in 2001.

6/30/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, sugee, how many of us are there out there?

I thought I was alone in a sea of idiots until I found this blog.


6/30/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you really want to shock them, offer them 200,000.

Why not? They can ask for anything, why can't you offer anything.

Unlike what the RE agents tell ya, this is a 2 way street.

6/30/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


asian times has good press articles.

6/30/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well put grim. lets try to stay focused on heated discussion minus the foul language anf racist crap

6/30/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Even for Cloquet, housing prices are expensive

No realtor or seller has ever forced someone to pay too much for a home. If we’re going to bring the market back down to where it should be, don’t be afraid to make an offer that’s a tad below “too little.” A lot of folks will say, “You don’t want to insult the seller, make your offer fair.” But what about the seller insulting the buyer by asking for far more than it’s worth? And if the seller is “insulted” by the offer, the worst that can happen is you don’t buy the house — and move on to the next one.

6/30/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Hat tip to for that one.

6/30/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

spam alert above.

Beat it spammer, we don't allow racistists in here.

wink, wink

6/30/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They can ask for anything, why can't you offer anything"

Sure. Why not ? Actually 200K sounds even somewhat reasonable !

6/30/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But what about the seller insulting the buyer by asking for far more than it’s worth?"

A convoluted logic can be offerred here ! For a buyer, the concerned house still has not become personal, so one cannot insult him by demanding high, but for the seller the house is personal, a piece and part of himself/ herself, so offerring lower than what is being asked is like telling the seller that his self-worth is lower than what he thinks !! Does this help ? :-)


“You don’t want to insult the seller, make your offer fair.”

This is so stupid. Buying and Selling is business. Making an offer is legitimate and legal business process, there is nothing personal in it and even less anything about insult or flattery.

I must put an offer of 100K on that 410K house. Let us watch the seller wilt and whither from that insult.

6/30/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Sugee said...

BTW, I beleive McGreevy sold his Condo/townhome for 199K in Dec 2003. I saw a similar condo two doors away in the same building for 250K in June 2004. In 2005 similar townhomes in that complex asked for 315/320, and in 2006 the asking is at 339. I would put a fair offer of 225 based on McGreevy's sale :-)

6/30/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous dreamtheaterr said...

Anonymous said...
Note to dreamtheaterr and chicago. Huggies baby wipes take out red wine from carpeting much better than other brands.

6/30/2006 06:01:25 PM

LOL....thanks, I'll keep it in mind when I spill this new Georgia (not GA, but Georgia of the former USSR) red wine I've been drinking.

6/30/2006 08:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the assessment talk - I've been watching Mendham, where they just recently did a reassessment. Property taxes basically doubled for everyone. I found this home which just came on the market and it looks like an older couple's home who can't afford the new taxes. Unfortunately, they're asking about $200k too much for it. What other towns have done reassessments in the past two years?

6/30/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry forgot the MLS


6/30/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is fast becoming my favorite blog. I knew there were people out there who saw RE as a precariously overheated and elephantine economic sector. I just didn't know that some of them--you and some of the guests here--actually know what they're talking about...

The current (and currently ending) housing bubble/boom has been in effect for so long, that one would have to be in his or her early to mid thirties to remember (and understand) the last housing bust. I've spoken to some relatively intelligent people a few years younger than myself who simply cannot fathom the purchase price of a home, even one in a desirable location, not increasing by at least 10%/annum.

My story is atypical of this site. I bought in 1998. I'm not sitting on the sidelines waiting for some poor sap to panic and unload his overleveraged McMansion for dimes on the dollar. It's just that I've been waiting for the illusory 300% gain in my home's value to begin to go away and leave me alone: I wanna know what the market will REALLY pay for a home like mine. I'm mostly just curious about this, as I plan to stay in my town at least until my preschooler is of college age.

What can I say? I find reality more comforting than fantasy.

Thanks and keep up the great work. I'm really learning a lot.

J. from Leonia

6/30/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

great reading on this thread

is anyone familiar with metuchen nj? what is a fair price for newish 2002 built 2bdrm townhouse?

also how are taxes in that town


6/30/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

I'm looking at a house that needs MASSIVE work, yet the assessed value is extremely high, and taxes very high, as if nothing is wrong with the house.Will 'fixing up' the house (new bathrooms, etc) give me a higher property tax bill? Also, does adding a garage generally increase property taxes?

Unrealtor, a lot depends on the town and how they do the assessment. Some towns haven't re-assessed in years, and the original asessment is just based on age, lot size and some per square foot value.

In theory, you could get a higher assesment as a result of renovation. But it may also be that the assessment hasnt taken the needed repairs into account so you wouldn;t get an increase.

Look at some more listings in the own and see the property tax on those. You can get a rough esitmate for whether your house is too highly asessed or not. A

6/30/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger rymingrealtor said...

Anyway, Does anyone have inventory stats for foxtons? I have seen alot of foxton houses for sale littering the streets. Not many on these boards mention foxtons (NJMLS and GSMLS gets all the glory).

Foxtons puts there listings on njmls and gsmls- sometimes (lately) immediately but in the past they had a 14 day to 30 day exclusive.. then it was put on the mls

6/30/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Grim, for weighing in on the racism of several posters.

Just a quick follow-up about racism and real estate:

First, remember angry bloggers, that some among us have politics that are nuanced enough so that we can be financially conservative but socially progressive.

That said, did any one else notice the article in today's NYTimes titled "Weekends with the President's Men" about Cheney's and Rumsfeld's weekend/summer houses in St. Michaels, Maryland? Read deep enough and you'll find that Rumsfeld, dearly beloved architect-in-chief of the War in Iraq, owns (for his weekend house) the farmhouse of the most infamous slave-breaker in American literary history, Edward Covey, whom Frederick Douglass wrestled with for his life in his real life and abolitionist narrative.

In this context, I find the bitching about welfare moms earlier in this thread utterly predictable. What more do you expect of the most retrograde element in country where the Sec. of Defense leading the war in Iraq weekends in a national monument to US racial and geo-political injustice?

Happy 4th fellow bloggers--speak the truth, have a beer, make jokes about McGreevey, but don't burn the flag, and remember where Rumsfeld relaxes!


The key paragraph about Rumsfeld's house:

But there is some historical gravity to the name, too. By 1833, Mount Misery's owner was Edward Covey, a farmer notorious for breaking unruly slaves for other farmers. One who wouldn't be broken was Frederick Douglass, then 16 and later the abolitionist orator. Covey assaulted him, so Douglass beat him up and escaped. Today, where the drive begins, Mount Misery seems a congenial place, with a white mailbox with newspaper delivery sleeves attached, a big American flag fluttering from a post by a split-rail fence and a tall, one-hole birdhouse of the sort made for bluebirds — although the lens in the hole suggests another function.

6/30/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to a Nightline video about some folks in Jersey facing an ARM adjustment:

6/30/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Just FYI
WaMu’s Option ARM Portfolio as of 12/31/2005
(millions of dollars)

California $ 33,875
Florida $7,253
New York/New Jersey $7,043
Washington/Oregon $2,615
Illinois $1,972
Texas $735
Other $16,698
Total $ 70,191

6/30/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Don't worry about who owned some house 175 years ago, the nation is filled with houses that have dubious history, for which their current owners and admirers bear zero responsibility.

Interesting how the NY Times took the effort to dig deep about some irrelevant vacation house history, in a weak attempt to smear Rumsfeld, yet refused to print the Danish editorial cartoons. If only that paper put as much effort into portraying accurate, balanced information, as they do attacking those who do not subscribe to their worldview.

6/30/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Anon, that was a good ABC News video report, thanks for posting.

6/30/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Skeptic said...

To WM (anon @ 10:38PM):

I find you your way of thinking quite interesting: Ramsfeld is a racist just because his weekend home belonged to a notorious “slave breaker” about two centuries ago. Applying the same principle to Jim McGreevey, one should come to a conclusion that the next owner of his house must be a homosexual.

Congratulations! You should run for office – you just passed a formal logic test.

6/30/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guys, go out and present your offer, via phone or on paper. Make sure the offer is pre-2000 level. Make sure you don't go beyond asking price*50%.

That is what a smart man should do.
Don't go by the sellers' number, go by yours. It is your market!!!!

6/30/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Three replies:

I agree with you on the whole about how current owners don't have a burden to bear for the dubious history of their houses. Rumsfeld and that particular house, however, are both icons. If the Secretary of Defense, or any other high office holder, shouldn't smoke pot or employ an illegal immigrant as a nanny because of the special nature of those high offices, then he also probably shouldn't pay 1.3 mil. while holding that high office to buy the house of the most iconic slavebreaker in American history.

As for "accurate, balanced information," what are your sources? I'd like to know. And was the Times supposed to suppress that aspect of the house?

Finally, I won't bother to offer anyone here a history lesson on racial and ethnic caricature, how it has most often functioned in the body politic. I'd only say that I don't think it helps to elevate public debate, about real estate or anything else, in most cases.


6/30/2006 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

WM, this is a real estate blog.

While I occasionally wade into politics here, it's always as a response to some partisan absurdity (e.g., 'Rumsfeld is a slave lover').

I think most here don't care about politics much, and even those that do, don't come here to discuss such things, nor care to see such things discussed.

6/30/2006 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7/01/2006 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger Roadtripboy said...


Excellent, well stated points.

7/01/2006 02:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politics are crucial to the real estate bubble. However, because the political powers-that-be change on a dime, it is the results of political decisions that must be discussed, clearly and objectively.

How do we deal with the clean-up?
How do we minimize the damage of political decisions on our own wallets?
Or, for the opportunist, how does one maximize the profits of the political fall-out?

From decisions of the Fed to local land grabs for redevelopment, tax-payers think they are powerless, but they are not.

This is why I put up with the frustrating topic.


7/01/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rummy is neither a slave-enabler nor a closet racist. He bought the house and it's history for one reason--and it's the same reason the war in Iraq is such an abject disaster: Rummy just doesn't give a damn about public perception. He's always been appointed to power; he's never had to win office by impressing a constituency with his ideas and abilities. He's somewhat emblematic of the Bush administration, too: he's essentially a monarchist.

7/01/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't forget to read about
Our AG. She's a real fine American.

The best NJ has to offer for AG.

The boyfriend he's real smart,
an unregistered van,and a suspended
license. Plus he has filed
for BK 3 times over the past 20
years. He must be a flipper.

7/01/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7/01/2006 07:14:32 AM

Your argument is invalid because of the simple truth: he was a congressman....

7/01/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

real estate is buisness, politics involoves race (or racism).

Buisness and politics go hand in hand.

Come on, you guys are smart enough in here to know this, if not, a home will be your only asset and 100% of your net worth will be in housing. And as we all know, housing is going to sink into the Hudson river any day now.

We are about 5 years behind Japan. 5 years ago, interest rates I think were zero there, and still housing in Japan was in the red. Yup, Japan is an island, so the "only so much space to build on an island" propaganda doesn't work as some would say about nyc.

Love this board, but I really don't see anything inflammatory going on, just because you may not agree with a bloggers political view, doesn't warrant it as inflammatory.

I thought this was an open board? Or just open to the majority point of view.

Not trying to be a jerk, so save the nasty comments, I don't care for a rebuttal, just giving my 1 half cents worth.

7/01/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, it seems when you say something that the libs dont like,
its called racism.

Politics and race go hand in hand.

and in NJ, housing , well housing
has been

7/01/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's Bob? I am by no means a substitute, but I miss his posts as they have become an anthem for me. So...


Let the greedy sellers/agents sit in their open houses. Maybe they can learn how to make balloon animals with the neverending supply of balloons I keep seeing every weekend. I wish I would have become a balloon salesman, I would have made a killing.

-frustrated in Hudson County

7/01/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Corzine begins government shutdown..


7/01/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger rymingrealtor said...

31,264 properties advertised for sale in NJ

Lost alot over night - expireds! over 300 - some will relist, some will not - just lost one yesterday - they are going to rent it! That's what they say... will probaly find another realtor that will really do the job. ( the job being selling their overpriced listing) time will tell.

7/01/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"the same reason the war in Iraq is such an abject disaster"

A "disaster" measured against what metric, the hysterics of the "mainstream" media? Which other US wars have been less of a "disaster" with fewer US casualties?

These are the partisan / mindless comments to which I was referring before.

"[Rumsfeld has] always been appointed to power; he's never had to win office by impressing a constituency with his ideas and abilities."

Rumsfeld was elected to Congress four times, and was the CEO of two different companies, bringing them both out of chaos and into prosperity. Rumsfeld is why NutraSweet exists on store shelves.

"He's somewhat emblematic of the Bush administration, too: he's essentially a monarchist."

A lack of facts and rational thinking are emblematic of those afflicted with BDS ("Bush Derangement Syndrome").

Now let's get back to real estate discussions.

7/01/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, if I wanted to hear pundits FROM BOTH SIDES I could turn on the TV - anybody here want to actually talk about real estate? Anybody?

7/01/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

31,264 properties advertised for sale in NJ

Lost alot over night - expireds! over 300 - some will relist, some will not - just lost one yesterday - they are going to rent it!

At what point, if any, do you think we could start seeing listings decline, as some sellers give up and decide to stay put or try to wait out the down market. It has been said that real estate bubbles end in illiquidity. Of course, there will always be sellers that must sell; job loss, relocation, ARM resetting etc.

7/01/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Theo said...


Come now, the Iraq war isn't a disaster because only a bit over 2,000 of our servicement died. It's a disaster because a bit over 2,000 of our servicement died needlessly attacking a country that wasn't at war with us, didn't threaten us, posed no threat to us.... Get real.

7/01/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...


Mr. Bike Man - any Tour de France commentary [desperately trying to move in another direction]?

7/01/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

I do not endorse nor disagree with this opinion from the WSJ editorial satff.


Jon Corzine Florio
July 1, 2006; Page A10

Nearly every state in the nation is celebrating the new fiscal year that begins on Monday with record tax revenues. The big exception is New Jersey, which is headed instead for what could be a government shutdown.

The political showdown isn't between Republicans and Democrats, but is between Governor Jon Corzine and his fellow Democrats who control the state legislature. On Wednesday, Democrats cursed each other and, according to our eyewitness sources, came close to blows inside the capitol in Trenton. Mr. Corzine is now threatening a government shutdown if his own party doesn't bend to his proposal for a $1.5 billion tax increase.

Remarkably, all of this intra-party feuding isn't over whether to raise taxes, merely over how. Mr. Corzine wants to raise the state sales tax to 7% from an already high 6%. Many Democrats in the legislature believe this is political suicide, especially with the Governor low in the polls. But somehow they've convinced themselves that voters will happily swallow new levies on payroll, tobacco, computer services and car rentals instead. Meanwhile, the one promise that Democrats made to voters in last year's election campaign -- lowering what are some of the highest property taxes in the country -- remains conspicuously unfulfilled.

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that 47% of voters identify taxes as the biggest problem in the state -- the highest number for any issue the polling firm has ever found in New Jersey. The Garden State has raised taxes nearly every year since 2000 and nearly twice as much per resident as the next highest tax state. Yet, no surprise, Trenton still has the biggest budget crisis outside of the states ruined by Hurricane Katrina. This taxing binge hasn't balanced the budget because state expenditures have ballooned by $8 billion, or about 45%, in six years. Mr. Corzine is nonetheless sticking to his story that state schools and services are underfunded.

The real New Jersey story is that a rising cost of living and taxes have spurred an exodus of businesses, high net worth individuals and working families. U.S. Census Bureau data indicate that, in 2004 alone, 60,000 more people left New Jersey than moved in. This outmigration led to a loss of $1 billion per year in the state's personal income, according to IRS statistics analyzed by the Manhattan Institute. Thus New Jersey finds itself in a spiral down: Taxes are raised, more taxpayers flee so the tax base shrinks, the politicians raise taxes again, and the cycle repeats itself.

Political history is also repeating itself here. Sixteen years ago Jim Florio was elected Governor and pushed through the largest tax hike in Jersey history. The economy sputtered, and Mr. Florio was dumped by voters in favor of Republican Christine Todd Whitman and a veto-proof GOP legislature. Undeterred, Mr. Corzine is testing the same tax, spend and don't elect theory. Which is why things are getting ugly among Democrats in Trenton.

7/01/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have given the store away.

The entitlements have broken the budget of the State.

7/01/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one again for some people, real estate is buisness and politics and buisness are in bed with each other.

Remember my words when you pay your property taxes and it sends you to the ER, or come april.

If you guys are such RE bubble watchers, need to look at this bubble from all angles, and not just cherry pick the way you want to see it. If you do, we call that going to "Fred Astair school of dance" because you really know how to dance around the points.

7/01/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called Cash Flow. Expenses
have outstripped income.

Don't wait till the last minute,
List your house now.

Get the equity out while you can.

The longer you stick with it,the
less your prospects are.

7/01/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if Corzine shuts it down for a year. Those welfare checks will still keep a rollin. Compliments of you, the taxpayer.

Imagine, if that welfare money went to fund public education? or perhaps go in your pocket and you could actually afford to put your kid in college. Buy hey, social progression speaks,,,screw your kid, we would rather give money to the crack addicts.

You don't think these issues influence real estate prices? (amongest others as well, so don't try that route either)

yawn, wheres the beef on this freaking sandwhich.

7/01/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The beef on the Sandwhick.

You are about to be called a racist. Watch them come out of the woodwork.

I agree with you . They smoke
crack as well as Kools.

7/01/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wheres Jimmy when we need him?

7/01/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

true, anyone whom asks for more beef on the sandwhich is the biggest bigot of them all.

Thats the thinking of some these joe 6 packs around here.

Turn the tide here. I am thinking the fed will raise rate in Aug. In order to stabalize the dollar.
If they pause, they are sending the wrong message to the overseas people. I want that Red China money to keep coming into this country. It pays my rent

I think no major hurricanes (in energy terms, I don't give a rats ass if someones house blows away, but I do care about them oil rigs in the Gulf) or further conflicts with Iran, and if life stays status quo, we might hit 6.5%. I really do. Thats what the bonds and precious metals are telling us. If we hit 7%, and if something happens that oil hits $100 around the same time, you better batten down the hatches.

I just hit a note, can the fed hold an emergency meeting and lower rates or raise rates?
I guess they could, they control the money supply, so I guess they can do whatever they want....any other one have a input?


7/01/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Can we move the political discussion over to the message board?


7/01/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking for an opinion on this house in Chatham -


asking 699 - any pov on fair value?

7/01/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Housing market is AWEFUL!

prices are going down down down. maybe just maybe prices come back down to earth. At least prices are goping down in the right direction.

Bad news sellers.


7/01/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you guys write an MLS # how do I know what web site you are using? NJMLS or GSMLS?

If you use GSMLS, do you have to become a registered user?

7/01/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know any information about a mansion in Montclair that was listed at $4.9 million? It is referred to as Cobble Court and is no longer listed. It doesn't seem to have been sold. Any news?

7/01/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the market to buy a home @ 500k and there is only crap for this price. If I up my search to homes in the 700k range, in a few months, maybe they'll be open to a 500k offer. Any suggestions on this thought/hope?


7/01/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


you are a fool if you are buying at the top of this market. Although prices have come down a little, we are still at the top and the just now entering phase one of a bear market here. Just don't buy, unless you get one hell of a deal. But with the disgusting greed displayed by sellers and stupidity of buyers over the past few years, I doubt you will find such deal. Not in NJ anyways...

You buy today, you will be upside down tomorrow (oweing more $ than the house is worth), and when that happens the bank calls your loan (you have to pay them the loan, you are now considered a risk, always read the fine, very fine print of the contract, don't listein to those god dam lawyers who don't know their heads from their toes either). Thats where I come in, and buy what was once yours for pennies on the dollar and wait for the cycle to repeat itself again and sell high to some naive fruitcake who thinks real estate "only goes up" idiot. Get my drift?

If your budget is only in the 500k range, you don't have the type of jack (money) to be a speculator and take a calculated gamble. As much as you want to buy, don't do it, in my humble opinion. Even a 15% reduction is still way overpriced. Right now, cash is king baby. Hold your onto your jack in a 5% savings account. Yes they have those now, because I have one (and you better have one too). Get your 5% return ( I know, only 5% but at least you will not be upside down), get your FICO score perfect, i.e no debt whatsoever, and just be patient.
And don't get emotional on me either, we don't use emotions in the buisness world, use your common sense. If you wait and be patient, you have so much to gain, and really nothing to lose.

I have seen this market before during the 70s, denver housing bust in 80s, and on long island in early 90. I have seen people lose it all and sell their soul to the devil and banks to get it all back.
They never did get back half of what they once had. I think all those people are dead now too of cancer and heart disease. The stress just got to them.


7/01/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one last tip BC,

if you are not satisfield with a 5% for sure return in a savings account. I suggest pehaps investing in silver (poor mans gold) & if you like stocks, check out uranium stocks. Break it into thirds. 1/3 cash, 1/3 silver, 1/3 stock (uranium). Keep away from the Dow 30 its proped up by hedge funds. If you do this and just play it cool, you will be the next freaking Trump and be buying 2 houses outright.

God damn, why am I so nice today with all the good tips.

This is just one mans opinon, so take from it what you will.


7/01/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such the gloom and doom crowd

7/01/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you SAS! -
I will continue to hold off buying at this time. It is scary being told that I am "priced out of the market".
I stopped listening to realtors and started reading these RE blogs.
It is comforting to know that there are still some people like yourself, who tell it like it is. Thank you again. I appreciate the feedback and honesty - Happy 4th!


7/01/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

one thing is not guesswork. prices sold on houses mid-late last year and this past spring would not sell for those prices today. do your own research and you'll see this is the case. where we go next is speculation but when interest rates go up affordability goes down meaning you can buy less house. the psychological aspect has also turned. we don't have to debate which came first the chicken or the egg, all we need to look at is the current state of the market. houses are sitting longer even given multiple price reductions, inventory is rising, the speculators have mostly abandoned the once hot sector. that is not a good recipe for price stability let alone increase.

you've been warned. if you buy in this market try to get yourself 10-15% under comparable sales in the last 60 days and plan to stay at least 7 years IMO.

7/01/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you can get a good price now, buy. What's a good price? Probably 30-40% off current asking price. Why wait 3-5 years if you can get a good deal now? Try submitting bids and see how the sellers react. You don't know what their situations are. Maybe they must sell for financial or personal reasons like moving out of town for work or a divorce situation.

7/01/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

came accros this blog. what are you people dreaming with what you
think sellers will take for their
houses. You people need a little

worry about the wrong things.Get
a life.

7/01/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This must be somekind of a trash
blog,were people with no money
gather and dream about buying
something. I can't get over the
nonsense in some of these posts.

7/01/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Anon @ 8:20,

We have a good mix here. While there are probably some moneyless dreamers here (I haven't met them), we have a pretty even mix across the board.

What you fail to realize is that you don't need money to buy property anymore. No doc, no money down. Having no money is no longer an impediment to purchasing a home.

Thanks for taking the time to offer up your well written comments, we appreciate them.

Caveat Emptor!

7/01/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Theo, according to Madeleine Albright and others, Iraq was "the greatest security threat we face."

More here:

Before the Internet, the media and others could hide facts to manipulate public opinion, but today people can see for themselves that Saddam didn't magically appear in January 2001 when Bush took office.

Back to what matters, I'm seeing inventory climb, and a few new FSBOs. They'll cry uncle in a month and call in Suzanne.

And so July begins.

I may throw in a 40% off lowball soon, we'll see. Didn't expect to make a move until 2007, but if they accept 40% off, this house is very unique (great architecture), and worth jumping on.

7/01/2006 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with Richard's point about the 7 year bit. Just don't get a 7 year ARM. ARMs are nothing but predatory loans cooked up by competing banks to seduce people in taking out bigger loans than they can really afford. Remember, once you sign that dotted line, you are nothing to them.

I shall comment on the doom and gloom post. My question for you is, if you saw a train wreck coming, and you saw your buddy standing on the tracks, is it doom and gloom to tell that guy to get off the tracks? And once the train goes by, we thank god he didn't get hit?

I have been accused of doom and gloom during the tech ralley. People called me every name in the book, lets say I didn't lose a dime.

And to the person whom thinks this is a trash blog. It has its moments, I admit, this is the internet afterall, but most people on here are really on the ball and know their stuff, in time you will see. And another point to remember, you can't free a slave who loves his chains, chew on that one graduate.

ta ta,


7/01/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 8:20

Did you ever work at Macy's? You sound familiar.

[Sorry, Grim, after traffic on 287 today, I'm much less appreciative of well-written comments.}

Was the following pending HUD leg. discussed in any past post? Can't remember and can't find:


7/01/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before the Internet, the media and others could hide facts to manipulate public opinion, but today people can see for themselves that Saddam didn't magically appear in January 2001 when Bush took office.

Indeed and people can also see the vast differences between promised and actual war expenses, war impact, wmds and other.

7/02/2006 12:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20pm said...
"This must be somekind of a trash
blog,were people with no money
gather and dream about buying
something. I can't get over the
nonsense in some of these posts."

House been listed a while :) huh? you be da dreama! little person :)

7/02/2006 02:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have many open houses today.

Anyone zero in on any areas.

How about Bergen, many coming
down in price.

7/02/2006 05:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 08:20-

You might think some people are dreamin', but the price of a real asset is only worth what someone else will pay for it.

7/02/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think is going to happen to this person, they are stepping up and closing on a bigger house in about a week but have not sold their current house yet?
Looks like a disaster ready to happen or a really motivated seller at some point!

7/02/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 6:29pm

"I think all those people are dead now too of cancer and heart disease."



7/02/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gluts and gluts of overpriced inventory rotting on the market!

The SIRENS are going off and the greedy grubbing sellers are not listening.
Prices are on the way down now. Deny Deny Deny Sellers all you want as prices continue lower and lower and lower. It took several years to inflate and it will take a few years to hit rock bottom!


NO MAAS to Monthly Slave Payments



7/02/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Batten down the hatches Grubbers that paper wealth is evaporating!


BOOOOOOOOYcott Houses!


7/02/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We thought you went over to the other side and became a realtor

7/02/2006 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

after reading this blog and others on the web i do not want to buy anything, i will continue to save save save earning solid interest in my money market.

it may get very ugly
blood in the streets ugly

7/02/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many smug comments by internet bloggers who seem to know it all

While the jury is still out on whether we are headed for a real estate crash, I wonder will anyone here come back and admit if they were wrong in a year or two?

Herd mentality, go the other way

7/02/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

welcome back booya bob -- u know we love ya and miss ya when ur not around

7/02/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just went to an open house.
(preinvite) so sad an overpriced
townhome. Actually, feel sorry
for the Seller. Over by , I would
say. 100K, easy.

7/02/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anon. "This must be somekind of a trash blog,were people with no money gather and dream "...
You must be a stupid realtor. For your information my husband and I have saved over $600k and can buy anytime we want.
We are college educated and have great jobs. Because we are not stupid to over pay for a house, you get an attitude.
What the hell are you doing on this blog? You are a realtor or seller spreading more lies. Why don't you get an education and a life. We are going to the beach today, passing all those over priced open houses. Have a nice, lonely day jerk.

7/02/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous NJrefugee said...

I'm a New Jersey refugee from the crazy home prices, real estate taxes, auto insurance and etc. There are many who are becoming "refugees" for the same reasons. I'm in the Lehigh Valley which is right over the Jersey border and straight out route 78. There's been a huge influx of people here from NJ, NY and Philadelphia as described in the following article.

Home prices are up here dramatically, but even with the increase they're well below price levels in NNJ. Most people seem to think that the flood of people coming over from NJ will not stop for the forseeable future. I'd tend to think as prices equalize between our area and the areas folks are fleeing from, that the migration will slow. Although the locals think that property taxes are pretty high, they're approximately half the levels in most NJ counties.

The commute into NNJ depending upon where you're going is about an 1.0 to 1.5 hours. There are quite a few buses going into Manhattan and that's a 2.0 hour commute. The Manhattan commute time is similar to that from Long Island and some areas in NJ. Most of the incoming folks are commuting.

25 more people - every day : The Morning Call Online

7/02/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patient Homebuyer, you said:

is anyone familiar with metuchen nj? what is a fair price for newish 2002 built 2bdrm townhouse?

I grew up next door in Iselin. Metuchen was once a part of Edison Township and succeeded - in the 1960's, I think. Metuchen was classier than Edison, which was more industrial, and wanted a divorce.

Metuchen's property taxes went to the moon, or so my father said. The residents of Metuchen were known locally as crazy snobs.

Really check on those taxes.

I think I know the townhouses you're talking about. We drive through Metuchen on the way to my brother's house. Red brick complex along or near downtown? No idea of what those sell for.

But be aware there are a LOT of condos for sale or rent in Iselin. Apparently, these were apartment complexes that converted. A lot of the condos in Iselin are in less desirable locations - areas that weren't suitable or desirable for single family homes - like Gill Lane, which was always a back road. The Gill Lane condos are sandwiched in-between a big cemetary and a minor rail line, and right near a major commercial/strip mall/shopping center area that lies along one of the highways.

I'm not suggesting that you consider the condos in Iselin. But I think you should look at the MLS and see how many two-bedroom condos are available in Iselin, where property taxes are probably much lower. Iselin is a part of Woodbridge Township, which is huge - 7 towns and a lot of commercial and industrial entities that lower taxes for homeowners.

But that glut right next door might help you get a better price in Metuchen.

If the townhouse complex you're talking about is the one I'm thinking of, it's in a much, much better area.

7/02/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJRefugee..yeah, me too. Bucks.

I used to feel guilty working in NJ but hiding out in PA from the NJ political hacks. But the 6 grand a year we've saved in property taxes has a way of making all the guilt go *POOF* after seven years.

Other than folks stuck in NJ because PA is too far to commute, I could never understand those paying twice the taxes we do, for 1/3 the services, when all they have to do is drive over a bridge.

Here's some more info for any other asylum seekers: (real estate site with taxes and street address listed)


7/02/2006 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't knock the Indians. Before they came along, downtown Iselin was largely boarded-up, abandoned mom-and-pop storefronts and turning into a slum. It had been largely abandoned in favor of the malls and strip malls.

Unless you're Native American, your ancestors were immigrants, too.

7/02/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Herd mentality, go the other way


When the shoeshine boy on the street tells you that real estate is the best investment you'll ever make, you need to run, not walk, away from it.

How quickly people forget what happened through the last downturn.


7/02/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unless you're Native American, your ancestors were immigrants, too."

Reality check: go back far enough, and EVERYONE's ancestors were immigrants from some place or another.

My parents were born here and so were their parents and so on for four to thirteen generations depending on what side of the tree we're talking about.

I'm a native american as far as I'm concerned.

7/02/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

SAS has some valid points...but is a little over the top negetive. I must admit I am trying to sell in this market. Just to balance out your opinion of sellers. As a property seller let me state I am not out to make a killing on the sale of my house. I have lived in this house for almost fifteen years. The home is an cute ranch on 1.46 acres. Over the years I have replaced everything starting with the plumbing. In the last two years alone I have spent 100k updating, re-roofing, repaving a 100 ft.driveway etc. I must be one of those crap houses you mention because I want 474,900. for my home. If you add up what I have spent including hooking up to city water (old well!!) you would see that I love this old ranch. Let me tell you the average buyer wants bullshit new drywall construction. All the amenities they want is mind boggeling. My property tax is low for my area. I have more land than house. Everything around me is twice my price. Guess what ???? People laugh at my poor house. I don't have walkin closets, double sinks in the bath. etc. What I need to tell you is a castle with tons of square footage inside the house is whats expensive. The builders and developers/realtors are hiking up the cost of real estate...not me. If I sold today I would probably have just enough to relocate out of state....OKAY!!! Not all sellers have ARMS, of no-doc loans etc. I have a 30 year fixed at 5.5%. My main reason for moving is to be closer to my elderly parents (who can't Drive). I also don't want to spend my whole adult life in one house. I am bored and change is good.

Not all sellers are out to get the buyer. My price I might add is now lower than the townhouses down the street.

love the blog

Chow dog owner

7/02/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an apropos name for someone welcoming back these blog clogging
stupid comments

7/02/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
welcome back booya bob -- u know we love ya and miss ya when ur not around

I second that.

7/02/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"What an apropos name for someone welcoming back these blog clogging
stupid comments"

To you I say, relax.
I am not BM, nor do I know BM.

7/02/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unless you're Native American, your ancestors were immigrants, too."

So called native americans (I assume you mean indians) did not just evolve from atoms here. They immigrated from the north and killed/drove off the earlier inhabitants. In the southern tip of south america there are still some people who have strong links to the pre-indian people (I think they were ethnically close to some pacific races..meaning DNA is close to the australian aboriginals et cetera.).

Anyway, the point is that there is no such thing as native people unless you mean citizens who have born here.

7/02/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know grim will catch this, but for anyone else interested, take a look at for an interesting (though perhaps overly technical for some) analysis of the state of housing and the potential for recession.

If you can handle the econospeak it is well-worth the read.


7/02/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous njrefugee said...

Other than folks stuck in NJ because PA is too far to commute, I could never understand those paying twice the taxes we do, for 1/3 the services, when all they have to do is drive over a bridge

I don't understand it either. I guess it boils down to preferance about commuting.

Whenever I tell people I know in NJ that I live in PA, the standard response I live "far away". To me, it's not far at all and the distance is more than offset by the savings in real estate taxes and housing.

I moved to the Lehigh Valley about 5 years ago, right before the rush. The last three years has seen a bunch of folks coming in from NJ and they've driven up prices. I've heard the same thing is happening down in Bucks.

7/02/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some parts of Bucks, yes, are NJ transplants. Approximately 30% of sales transactions are "job relo,"
according to the numbers on the realtor sites. Commuter traffic over the bridge, as far as I can tell, is the same as it was in 1999, maybe a little heavier on 95.

I honestly haven't seen the huge influx I expected. Really, there are more immigrants from India and Russia than NJ!

Prices have gone up, but not proportionately as much as Somerset and Mercer. Taxes are stable, although we've been hearing about a pending re-val for years.)

For example, in 1999, we looked at primarily 3 or 4 bedroom/2 baths SF, decent school districts (Yardley, Lower Makefield up through New Hope/Council Rock). At that time, such older (1950's) homes were $120k to 150k selling prices (listed at 150-200). Taxes 4K.

By 2001, the price was $250; by last year at peak, $350-450, easy.
Taxes about the same, maybe 5k.

In May of this year, for the first time, I'm seeing several back under 300 list price.

The long and short- houses and taxes are still way lower in PA for anybody working in Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon, etc.


7/02/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...anybody in NJ who can commute from Bucks, there are approximately 150 homes for sale under $350K down to $175K - low taxes in Pennsbury School District. Really good schools; low child care costs.

It takes exactly 45 minutes in rush hour from most of these homes to get to where J&J is on Route 1.

40 minutes to Bel Mawr beach.

7/02/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous njrefugee said...

By 2001, the price was $250; by last year at peak, $350-450, easy.
The long and short- houses and
Taxes about the same, maybe 5k.

In May of this year, for the first time, I'm seeing several back under 300 list price.
taxes are still way lower in PA for anybody working in Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon, etc.

Taxes here range anywhere from $ 2500 to $ 5000 depending upon whether it's existing or new housing. New Homes are 350+ while existing is around 200K. Prices have gone up 75% over the last six years. I moved here right before the rush.

Hunterdon County is about 30 minutes from me on 78, Somerset is another 15 minutes. I think we've seen more influx then you guys because we more directly accessible via 78. There are many folks here working in Morris, Essex, Bergen, Somerset, Hunterdon. Commuting to Bergen is the toughest commute IMO. The other areas aren't a problem.

There are some developments were the majority of residents are from NJ.

According to realtors, things have slowed on the high end but are still moving pretty good at price points at or below 200K. I think Jersey has to drop by nearly half before it get's competative, but you still have to deal with the insane taxes over there even then.

7/02/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A big Hah to anon 3:28 with the open house tips.

There were five open houses within one block of my house this afternoon. Not a looker when I drove past on my way to the supermarket, or when I drove home an hour later.

Maybe they forgot to open the curtains or cool the houses. Maybe they forgot the cookies, or worse yet, had stew cooking on the stove.


7/02/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Stale INSULTINGLY Overpriced Inventory empty and BAKING!

Can you hear it?

Sirens going off sellers!




7/02/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chow dog owner,

he he, I am a little over the top negative, but I have seen this market before, Denver in the 80s and Long Island in 90. I saw alot of hardworking, good, decent people whom didn't understand the times, lose it all and never get it back. Its a damn shame to see something like that happen. History repeats itself.

If you want to sell this market, you better do it now before people really start dumping real estate. Although the tide is turning, I believe (just one mans opinion now) we are still at top of peak, and there are still some useful idiots out there. But, the market psychology is turning.

But, why sell it? I don't think you will make any money on it unless you move outta NJ.

Sounds like their is more to this situation, I just wish you the best of luck. My best advice is don't get too emotional with your home, emotions cloud good solid judgement. And remember, majority of people, do the wrong thing at the wrong time.

ta ta,


7/02/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Do not sign up for monthly slave payments


Bob is Back!

7/02/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Posts SAS

many bubbleheads have their eyes closed and ears plugged.

Sirens going off.

can you hear it?



7/02/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7/02/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen some posts from people saying negative things about this blog site and people on it.

Just remember, people wanna hear what they wanna hear. Tell me what I want to hear, or tell me nothing at all. Tell me my house in value will only go up, don't tell me it can go down. Tell me this RE party is going to last until I sell, don't tell me its last call for alcohol. Know what I mean fellas...(and ladies too)..

This site is really good.
There are alot of mavericks on here who know what they are talking about and really do understand the times (in my humble opinion). I tip my hat to this blog.

ta ta


7/02/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Looking for some feedback on the new blog format:

New Jersey Real Estate Report

I'm sure some of you noticed this blog down last night, I spent over 7 hours moving posts and comments over. I gave up sometime after 1am. It's not entirely up-to-date, but take a look anyway.

Let's hear the feedback.


7/02/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


We should start paying you by the hour.


7/02/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Does this mean you are wanting to phase this site out and slowly move the traffic to your new site?
New Jersey Real Estate Report.



7/02/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Looks good.

Get an enthusiastic high school or college student to move it for you.

7/02/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Chow Dog Owner here...I probably shouldn't make predictions about real estate here in nj. My place is up for sale and the main reason I want to move is the area is now totally developed with new construction. When I moved to my neighborhood there was a five acre apple orchard going facing my backyard. Now all I see is new construction going up all around me starting at 1 million and up. The developer goon is not short on knuckleheads who buy...everything is sold as he builds even now. I used to watch eighty acres of trees across the street from my house turn red, orange and gold in the fall. The Goon head developer cut every single tree down. They just lie and pay off the townships where ever they go. I am from way out of town and when my out of state family comes to visit they are sickened by what they see that has happened on my street. Its just pathetic!!!! Most people today don't stay in their first house thirteen years like I have. I will move when and if I get the price I want. The crazy thing is the price of newer homes here. No way will I ever pay more than 200-300k for anyhouse. I will definitely be moving from NJ. When I bought here prices were not that crazy. You could still get something for 175k that didn't need alot of work. The McMansions that were new then were 450K, now those same houses are 999k. I hated them then at that old price and I hate them now fifteen years later. Nature has totally been paved over here what a joke. Its like CORPORATE AMERICA rules. So much for Gustave Stickley and the craftsman farms.

Isn't SAS a Pharmacuetical Programming Language?????

Chow Dog Owner

7/02/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not just pharmaceutical.

SAS..brings back old memories of Penn State.


7/02/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Annon 3:03
I think you're referring to BELMAR, NEW JERSEY
There's no such place as BEL MAWR, NEW JERSEY yet!

7/02/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chow Dog Owner..

Sorry to hear the trees bit the dust.

I bet you don't even see bunches of rowdy, happy kids playing there to justify the damage.

7/02/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, anon..sorry that my spelling offended you so. Belmar. Belmar. BELMAR BELMAR. It was just so critical to the point being discussed.

A former NJ resident,


7/02/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Belmar,I would not be so proud of
it or the town.

7/02/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Hazleton Pa.Anybody
know much about it. I hear it's
really a nice town.

7/02/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I was out for a while.

Passed a few Open Houses. Looks
like they died a horrible death

7/02/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the State still closed?

What a shame, no lotto tickets.

7/02/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you're going that far, go for Drums or even Mountaintop.

Why Hazelton?

7/02/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous njrefugee said...

What about Hazleton Pa.Anybody
know much about it. I hear it's
really a nice town.

I don't know anything about Hazelton except that it's a good distance from me. It probably has a history tied to coal mining like many towns in that area.

7/02/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,

Chow Dog Owner here...all the neighborhood children in the Cul de Sac McMansions want to come play in My yard because I have a real big yard with woods and a real tree house etc. I also have a courtyard to play basketball and a hill to go sledding down (safely). Most of the people in the big expensive new construction are spend/shop alcoholics. You should see what gets thrown out. Nothing gets donated just tossed. Here in one month's notable trash I've seen...

1. Sterling Silverplate trays (3) all sizes. People throw it away instead of polishing it up?

2. Three handcarved wood pedastools from mexico with a Handcarved Music stand and some king of display table all unbelievably high quality. TOSSED!!!!!

3. A great brand new three draw dresser with matching bookcase. This was put out in the rain insuring that it would be ruined overnight.

Anyway back to my listing I had three visitors. One couple came in a white jaguer (new). My head told me the car was new and costly. I had to laugh !!!! I am the tear down on my street. Everything new is 1 mil and up. People are flocking to my house listing because its acreage and a location they desire. I am at least 200 thousand lower than any
other house in my town decent center hall colonial. They need a bargain price on the house. What they see is not what they want. One lady said I must have central air everywhere including the closets. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

So I will have to have a little chat with my realtor on monday. I have priced my home lower than even townhomes in my area. People still will spend money on whatever they want. I must be a hipppie at heart.


Chow Dog Owner

7/02/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chow Dog Owner,

Just read your post and I could understand were you are coming from.

I remember when Long Island was country, and had gravel roads.
LI use to be a great place to live, now its crap.
NJ use to be like that too, now its crap too. Well, I still like southern NJ. Ahhhh yes...good memories down there.

Tell ya the truth Chow Dog Owner, I would take apple trees over some damn, rowdy, noisey, snot nosed kids playing anyday....he...he..

Take care.

7/02/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Miserable selling weekend for Greedy money grubbing sellers looking to stick YOU with a big massive Slave Payment!

30% off from peak 2005 prices then Just MAAAAAAAAYBEEEE!



7/02/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The kids around here are sort of monsters. I blame the parents. There is some connection. I probably could tell you many funny stories. One kid in particular is really being molly coddled by his mom. He has a tennis coach and his Mom thinks he is going to be the next big thing in tennis. Of course I have to hear aabout it blow by blow year in and year out. I get an invite to everything this kid is in schoolwise. I can muster interest if the child is really in to what he is doing. This poor boy half the time he is just going through the motions. I don't see a great outcome down the line. I have got to get out of this area so my child isn't permantly affected.

Does anyone know what white jaguars run $ wise? (see my last post)

chow dog owner

7/02/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A loser I knew once bought a used one at a corner car lot for $8k.

7/02/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chow dog owner,

I know I am going to get a rash of crap for this one, but the value system out here is very different. So, the kids grow up in it. Values change from region to region. But I think, like I said this is just my narrow minded opinion, there is too much of "keeping up with Joneses" and the "money is my god" attitude.
Its this attitude that has really put people in the red too.

Yes, you do get that everywhere, but in my travels, I have seen it the worse right here in this area. Shy town (Chicago) area is pretty bad too.

Then again, this area is the buisness capital of the world. So...

Now remember, this is just one man's opinion.


7/02/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger patient homebuyer said...

good evening everyone and happy 4th of july.

my in laws live in freehold and they did the same thing with knocking down all these trees to make mcmansions as well what a shame

im watching flip that house it must be an old repeat lol

oh darn i forgot to go to an open house today!!

open house on the biggest holiday weekend of the summer

denial is not only a river in egypt

7/02/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

friend of mine lives in a mcmansion in manalapan. good guy but all his neighbors are trying to be big shots and keeping up with the jones's. the kids up to the teenages are all snotty brats with a privileged attitude meanwhile never lifting a finger. yep all their parents fault. me, i had an 85 buick skylark and i used to drive to my friend's house and show it off. i like rubbing my 'practicality' in their faces. i'm not impressed by people who walk around like they're something. i used to work directly for the co-chairman of goldman sachs on a non-profit venture. now those people have money and they sure don't spew about it.

7/02/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what white jaguars run $ wise?

Do you mean new or in the long run, after factoring in all the trips to the repair shop? They have a reputation for being a pos.

7/02/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

About commuting from PA
. There are quite a few buses going into Manhattan and that's a 2.0 hour commute

The bus make take 2.0 hours, but figure 15 minutes to get to a bush stop, 15 minutes on the other side to get to a workplace. And thats assuming your workplace is in Midtown Manhattan near the Port Authority building. Thats 5 hrs daily just commuting total in the best of circumstances.

And if you have to take a subway in Manhattan, add 15 minutes to that each way. Normally, I'd go a little early on each side to the bus stop for a lower frequency bush like this (because missing it might mean waiting a fairly long time).

And if theres traffic on Route 78, or snow or anything ....

At that point, a daily commute like that is seriously impacting your quality of life.

7/02/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,

Your comments/thoughts about real estate, cars, people etc. are so dead on its scary!!!! If I need a laugh all I have to do is read this blog. Maybe if the real estate values do really crash here in Morris county, NJ people will get real and stop all the nonsense with their kids and McMansions. Oh did I mention all the little kiddies ( 18 yrs) with their own bmw convertibles yet????? I feel like Rip Van Winkle all of a sudden I just really started noticing what I don't like about conspicious consumer consumption. Now its summer and all the new neighbors I have are now digging up their tiny back yards to put in bathtub pools....Oh GOD HELP ME WHY???????

My car is a 1997 toyota camry that I bought used. It runs well and I maintain it. I see no reason to get a new car. My neighborhood road is a POS. The goon head developers construction vehicles are constantly breaking up the roads around here.

Chow Dog Owner

7/03/2006 04:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people wish they could afford
a mcmansion and a pool. And the
BWM, or the C class.

Very Sad

7/03/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

Right on Anon,

It's very sad that consumerism and conspicuous consumption have become so ingrained in American culture that people would wish for and dream about material posessions. An individuals worth is defined by the brands that he or she displays. Shopping has become the drug of choice for the American self-medicator.

Very sad indeed.


7/03/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous njrefugee said...

At that point, a daily commute like that is seriously impacting your quality of life.

Again, people do spend the same sort of time commuting from Long Island and other areas into NYC.

It gets down to preference. I see my quality of life dramatically impacted by paying a mansion sized price to live in what is effectively a hovel. From my perspective, paying insane housing prices, real estate taxes, auto insurance and etc. generates a very negative quality of life. I don't want to pay twice as much for half as much and have gladly exchanged a longer commute for money in my pocket. There's nothing that special about NJ that would make me ever move back there. I'm satisfied to make my money over there and bring it somewhere where it can go further.

In my case, I'm not commuting to the city, but I do drive into NNJ. I'm self employed and work out of two offices; one here and one in NNJ. I often telecommute when working on clients in NJ when means that I don't have to do the drive that often and can select the times when I do it. Prior to setting up an office here, I commuted daily into NNJ. It took me about an hour each way.

The move has worked out very well for me.

7/03/2006 07:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yippee ki yi yo commute from Pa.

Good luck.

Casino shutting down.

NJ housing prices lower,,, looks
Grim from here.

Construction Spending out today
10 am, it will be up.

Check your listings and have you
checkbook out for value.

Its not the end of the world.

7/03/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...

I think you can commute to Northern NJ from PA. I just don't believe a regular commute to Manhattan is sustainable for the vast majority of people. People who commute fron LOng Island and Connecticut typically use trains, which are generally more likely to stick to timetables than buses.

The bottom line is that moving to PA is not a practical option for the vast majority of people who commute to NYC, and is probably not practical for the majority of people who work in Bergen, Hudson, Union, MIddlesex countries. It may be practical for people who work in mos of Somerset county, portions of Western Passaic county and Morris county.

7/03/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am looking at a condo in Bergen County(Radburn). The area is great and close to NYC trains. My gut tells me its way overpriced. Should I gamble on the unit? Could the price drop so much that I lose when I go to sell it?

7/03/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous njrefugee said...

The bottom line is that moving to PA is not a practical option for the vast majority of people who commute to NYC, and is probably not practical for the majority of people who work in Bergen, Hudson, Union, MIddlesex countries. It may be practical for people who work in mos of Somerset county, portions of Western Passaic county and Morris county.

A two hour commute is the same time whether it's on a train from Connecticut/Long Island or on a bus from PA.

I'm not here to sell anyone on PA as that's a personal choice, however, what's practical is in the eye of the beholder. It is not practical for me to pay $ 500,000 to $ 700,000 for a POS NJ house and face 10K+ in property taxes to boot. From my perspective, the quality of life in NJ, at least from a financial perspective, sucks. Many folks feel the same way which is why they've moved.

Again, it get's down to preference and what you prefer to be "inconvenienced" by. I prefer to not be inconvenienced by having to stress over my finances trying to pay twice as much for half as much.

7/03/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...'re like the antithesis of $300 jeans in queens.

The two of you make perfect bookends for NJ and
believable arguements for a bubble in New Jersey.

7/03/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger peaknic said...

Sorry I didn't respond before now, but I was busy marching in parades Friday evening and Saturday, and I make it a point to leave the computer off on Sundays.

Thanks for the feedback (from most of you, anyway...) ;-) Even as I was writing, I expected to get flamed pretty good.

I realize I was taking a chance not accepting that offer, but as my anonymous defender said, it had only been 4 days on the market and I wasn't going to take that without giving it some more time. If I get the same offer after 2 months, it'll be a different story.

I priced my place just below spring 2005 prices for comparable townhouses, and I'd probably settle for 5% less. It is definitely the lowest-priced place in the development, and the amount of showings I think proves that I priced it right (a dozen in a week). I expect showings to plummet this week because of the holiday.

To answer another question, I do expect the market to flatten or go down, so I've done the math and know that I'll make out from investing the profits even if I rent for $500 more than I pay in mortage and taxes, while avoiding risk. The other reason I'm selling is that I plan to relocate to upstate NY as soon as my native Bergen county wife can handle the culture shock or I can get a decent job up there (the jobs are few and far between). I expect this to be no longer than 2-3 years, so, based on my research (including this blog) I expect that the market will be bottoming out just then.

And I'm not just looking for the greater fool. I'm in a fantastic development and if someone intends to stay for more than 5 years, they should make out.

And by the way, I drive a 1995 Saturn and would be renting somewhere much closer to work to save on gas, which I fully expect to be $5 a gallon in the next few years.

7/03/2006 11:38:00 AM  

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