Friday, July 21, 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!

135 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed someone can follow the prices of one property, how to check it?
Suppose I know one property is on market for several months, and I know this property's has changed, how can I know the previous price? Thanks!

7/21/2006 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ramesh Reddi said...

I love this website so much. After reading this site i came to conclusion that i should never buy house before december 2008. Thanks a lot

7/21/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ramesh Reddi said...

i felt ditech's eAppraisal is very good tool to find out home's approximate worth.

http://ditech.com/equity/calculators/appraisal/data.do

7/21/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ramesh Reddi,

Now you are thinking, in the mean time, raise cash and get of out any debt.

SAS

7/21/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger pinebrook said...

Attack of the real estate rip-offs
Urge to cash in on the housing bubble has spawned an industry of schemers

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13954429/

7/21/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened to walk to my mechanic the other day to pick up my car, and I walked most of Abbott Blvd in Ft.Lee which is considered a very nice area because of the park like 100+ feet median that separates north from south lanes.

A total of 14 houses - 2 for sale/rent. 3 Empty. 3 with some work being done to it. All asking $650K+ where 2+ years ago, thery were in the 300K+ range.

Mind you, when I graduated High School in '86. I took a summer Real Estate course and became a licensed salesperson (my hope was to pay for college). Did not have much success in selling (who would trust an 18 year old kid, but good at rentals. But I got to see the Real Estate market from '86 thru the collapse in '89 until I left my license expire in '91.
I'm telling you it's going to be ugly-my bet 50% off high - but it won't be felt till 2008+, when prices plateau out and stay the same till 2016+

7/21/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ramesh Reddi said...

can i go ahead and purchase in 2008 december or should i wait till 2009 Dec?

7/21/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger lindsey said...

OK, the "Plateu people" need a new mantra.

I understand that past experience indicates that nominal price drops are exceptional and usually small, but all of the factors that led up to today's situation indicate something else is afoot.

Wages have not risen, and even if you want to argue they have, they certainly have not risen in a broad spectrum of the economy.

Add to thatthe horrible mess that lending institutions have created with no standards and toxic loans coupled with the unsustainable nature of both those strategies. Mix in rising interest rates and you have a real recipe for one of the bubble blowers favorite phrases about conditions on the way up, "It's different this time."

People are priced out of homes right now, if prices don't fall by at least 15-20 percent in nominal terms (as opposed to real terms which add in the deteriorating effects of inflation)there will still be too many people locked out of the market.

To quote Charles Grodin in Midnight Run, "These things go down."

7/21/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are still buying homes. I know
a guy few days ago purchased a 2 bed
TH in montville for 635K. If this kind of guys are around, how the prices are
going to come down? I am looking for a
home in parsippany. How is the school system there? I was told that some gang activity is there! Is that true?
SFD homes are going above 0.5M in that
are and most of those homes are worth
only half of that few years ago. Very
confused what to do.

7/21/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gangs, In NJ, Shocked , Shocked.

You a crip or blood? Perhaps an
M10 or a Latin King.

7/21/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

parsippany schools are ok but i hear montvilles are much better...any one have insights on either montivlle/pinebrook or livingston...i'm moving to area and have small kids and need a house soon (unfortunately can't wait for 2 years)

7/21/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Housing BUST!

patience kick back and relax watch the misery.....
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAA

Bob

7/21/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see S--it boxes for 600k in
NJ.

We need at least 30-35% discounts.

Take a look at the property taxes
on this s boxes.

One car gargage for 600k, come on

7/21/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mind you, when I graduated High School in '86. I took a summer Real Estate course and became a licensed salesperson (my hope was to pay for college). Did not have much success in selling (who would trust an 18 year old kid, but good at rentals. But I got to see the Real Estate market from '86 thru the collapse in '89 until I left my license expire in '91.
I'm telling you it's going to be ugly-my bet 50% off high - but it won't be felt till 2008+, when prices plateau out and stay the same till 2016+

7/21/2006 03:03:29 PM

Keep these real life stories coming!

Many need to think for themselves not be led down the path to be slaughtered!

Bababababa

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bob

7/21/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parsippany,,,,,,,,,,,,Ugh.

Montville, great town, if you got
big bucks.

Townhouse Montville : 600k, not
unusual.

7/21/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT RIPOFF $500-600k CR@P BOXES

tELL'EM MAYBE $300K

BABABABABABABA

HOUSING BUST!

Bob

7/21/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have elections coming up
maybe they will prop the housing
market.

so perhaps we just have a summer
slowdown. Adjustment?

7/21/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Oakland, NW Bergen, we have experienced another almost 10% rise in our property tax. This adds about 1000 to avg tax bill bill. No relief in sight next year either. So, even if interest rates stabilize, affordability will remain very much an issue. And this based on an average home in the 480k range.

7/21/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I guess we have to take the
message of the market.

Inventory UP.

Days on Market UP.

Interest Rates UP.

Price Cuts UP.

Remember The Trend is your friend.

Cash,

Those $300 jeans might have slowing
sales.

7/21/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe this has been answered, but what happened to "lowball!!" lately - my favorite feature on this blog!

7/21/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oakland is another Bergen
County Town they killed with
high property taxes.

And you ain't seen nothing yet.

Wait till Corzine gets finished.

It's Over.

The Unions have killed this State.

7/21/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much shaking this week in Millburn/Short Hills. Looks like the buyers are on vacation!

7/21/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think without this website, I would have bought a home this past year. The links and info. posted here have made it much easier to sit back and wait awhile. Last year, I was reading the misleading reports from RealtyTimes. It is scary to see so many realtors are such filthy liars.

jj

7/21/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

we know that life doesn't always allow us to wait however long it'll take to get a great deal on something, so here's my advice if you are a near term buyer.

1. find a property in a neighborhood that should retain its value the longest (think top town/good schools). they'll all go down with the coming bear market, some more than others.

2. the price paid should be at least 7-10% off comparables sold in the spring. the market literally hit a wall after the spring buying season.

3. make sure your payments are within your budget using a conventional loan. 30-year fixed is best but if you can't afford i wouldn't do shorter than a 7/1 ARM.

4. plan on staying at least 7 years.

that's what i think folks. we read alot on this blog about how not to buy but we all know sometimes ya just got to do things you don't want to.

7/21/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

anon 3:50pm, livingston is a good town. they're building a great downtown center and the schools are pretty good. it's also good proximity to other good areas near NYC like summit, madison, chatham, etc. also prices are reasonable compared to other surrounding quality towns, probably due to the fact that it's not on a train line into NYC. if you work in NJ it's a pretty good choice. you can get a real good modern 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath with a finished basement in the low $500's.

7/21/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone offer a pov on fair value for this house in Wayne, NJ?

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1060199776
MLS# 2278907

Nice house, nice area. Not even sure if I'm interesed, but I've been tracking it for 6 months as a price reduction case study. Was listed at almost $800k when I first noticed it in January, slowly dropped to $669 now.

7/21/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good advice, Richard

I'd also add to not hesitate to make lowball offers on multiple propoerties that fit the profile you suggest - don't get emotional and "fall in love" with one house so that you have to play ball. Keep finding properties that suit you and eventually one of the sellers will become motivated enough to - if not accept your offer - at least negotiate in your range. And be patient - it may take them a few weeks/months to adjust their mindset.

7/21/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

RE: Livingston

Spend a few hours in the mall on a Saturday before making a purchase.

7/21/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

I'll have Lowball! up this weekend. To tell you the truth, I've been procrastinating because they take so much time to do. The last lowball I did took me over an hour.

I usually post them up on the weekends, because it's the few times during the week when I can devote a solid block of time to do it. That usually means waking up at 5 or 6 on both Saturday and Sunday.

grim

7/21/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going to the Mall is a great Idea.

If your interested in the Fairfield
Area. Go to Willowbrook.

What a shocker.

7/21/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Livingston

Most people in the Livingston area shop at the Short Hills Mall. The shoppers and clerks at Livingston Mall is not indicative of the people that live there. You can attribute that to the buses that stop in Livingston.

7/21/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bus stop for the Mall.

What a BS story that is.

Come on Livingston is getting
it share now.

Get the head out of the Sand.

Your in NJ

7/21/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to see another Shocker
go to the Palisades Mall in
Nyack.

I'm suprised the Bloods,Crips,M10
and the Latin Kings don't have
Kisocks, set up inside the mall.

Or maybe they just recruit at the
food court.

7/21/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

I don't think busses explain the problems at the Livingston mall, as the Short Hills mall has the #70 bus route that makes stops in Maplewood, Newark, and probably South Orange.

Consider your 13-year old kids hanging out at the Livingston mall, which they will.

7/21/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Just checked, and in fact the #70 bus stops at:

Newark
Irvington
Maplewood
Union
Springfield
Short Hills Mall
Livingston Mall

http://njtransit.com/sf_bu_schedules.shtml


So much for the bus theory.

7/21/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check with Security,if you can find
them, and ask if shoplifting,and
other crimes are a problem at the
Mall.


And why do you think many malls
have valet parking these days?

7/21/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the Great work Grimster!

BOOOOOOOOYAAAAAAAAAA

Bob

7/21/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bobby , my hero.

7/21/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

Enough!

7/21/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

With the mall talk.

Boooyaa

7/21/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try the Newport Mall, It's great

7/21/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Yeah the mall bit gets tiring.

Anyhow, I'd like to ask everyone what they would like to see more of. Lowball? Price Reduced? More news? Less politics? Got an idea?

Let's hear it!

grim

7/21/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ramesh reddi,

I don't think that calculator is really all that good. It gives me an 80K differnfce between the high and low property estimated value on one property. Give me a 30 K difference, and I'd be happy.

7/21/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Flop that house said...

Grim,

Definitely less politics, both on a national, state or local level.

My suggestion is to let more people share their information/data. I know a lot of people have their own tracking spreadsheet etc. Those are valuable info. i hope this site would encourage more people to share the data. It can also serve as reference for sellers to understand the current market, and not to be blinded by BS of the realtor.

I don't know how difficult it is to upload spreadsheet etc and how to incorporate in this blog though.

- information is power. the more information, the better the decision.

7/21/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks grim, i definitely enjoy the lowball/price reduced (any general info that one can only get if you have access to the mls or are a realtor) & hearing anecdotes about the market in the area (long island too, where i am). keep up the good work!

7/21/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

I'm going to post up another:

"Tell them how much you'll pay" thread this weekend, so take the time to search realtor.com and find a handful of listings to use.

For those not familiar:

Tell them how much you'll pay

7/21/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DO NOT BUY UNTIL 2009..... THE MARKET IS GOING TO CRASH. AHHHH!! THE SKY IS FALLING... EVERYONE IS GOING TO SELL THEIR HOUSES FOR 50% OF WHAT THEY ARE VALUED AT RIGHT NOW.

Wait a minute.... if all the people who are selling have 1/3/5 Year ARM's from 2002/2003 as this website has suggested. If they sell now for 50% loss, what are they going to do be homeless? LOL think you fools. A massive selloff would require them to have the ability to buy something else... AND THEY CAN'T. People are going to stick it out they aren't going to drop prices 40-50%. Interest rates are done climbing. Only a fool would eat the crap being served here.

7/21/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If they sell now for 50% loss, what are they going to do be homeless?"

Uh - yes - after the bank forecloses. You think the lender is just going let them live there forever at the teaser rate?

For Gods sake think before you speak.

7/21/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

unrealtor, i've lived in the area for a # of years so i feel qualified to speak on the subject. the people that go to the livingston mall are not from livingston. they're from the oranges and a few other not so great areas. the mall was originally built to cater to low to moderate income families. every year there's talk about closing it down due to the lack of revenue generation and (the real reason) the clientele that frequents it. in the downtown livingston area they're building there's sur la tabla, an high end antiques place, fresh city (good eating joint) and condos stating at $699,900. they have single family homes that start at $899,999. livingston is a decent town.

7/21/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:29:

Hello. Stick around for the party.

I'm planning to grill up some Brats when the real fireworks begin.

We almost put in a bid in March. I was sick of tracking and waiting.
We had our equity sitting and it was BURNING a hole in the money market.

Then I started reading a little more than traditional sites - to make the final decision. The geek in me knew there had to be a high point on that roller coaster incline.

Guess what, anon? We've already saved $25k on the house. Still on the market. Now, I don't want the piece of crap.

Thanks, Grim.

Maybe my daughter won't have to go to Community College after all. ;P

Hope somebody is helped by something I can do.

Pat

7/21/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

hey Anon,

have fun at your empty open houses this weekend. how long since your last sale?

7/21/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Topics:

Any facts about real estate and explained predictions should be fair game based on the name of the blog. Even real estate issues outside of NNJ will have a tremendous impact. I WANT to know if any employers are about to pull up stakes and cross the bridges.

Politics are fine if there is a non-partisan arguement for potential individual actions that can mitigate the political fallout.

For example:

Corzine's budget. I don't mind at all discussing it.. What taxes are being increased, whose getting hit, where is the money going to flow, and how can I and mine deal?
What NJ real estate will be most impacted, and what are the predictions for the 10-year impact?

Who he SLEEPS with? I could care less if he sleeps with Bozo the clown on Tuesdays and Mr. Ed on Fridays.

Dems vs. Reps? Same deal.

International Politics? Ditto.

Helping people with their financial problems? Don't mind that at all. Since I don't have billions to give to Bill & Melissa, the least I can do is encourage someone in a quest for financial stability. But if those discussions are not considered relevant, fine. Won't do it.


Just my 2 cents.

Pat

7/21/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S...sorry, Grim.

I put your url out on Yahoo answers, so you might see some interesting things in the mix for a while.

7/21/2006 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard said: "it's a pretty good choice. you can get a real good modern 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath with a finished basement in the low $500's."


Are you smoking crack???

7/21/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Another house that was "Under Contract" for the past 6-7 weeks and is now back on the market:

MLS 2268791
17 Marion Ave, Short Hills


Buyers are waking up, and hitting the exits on deals all over the place.

Another Greater Fool escapes.

7/21/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

LOL, the listing for 17 Marion says:

"AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY!!!!!"

They must have bought another house. They paid $860,000 in March 2003, so it must be nice to carry two gigantic mortgages.

7/21/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ph.D. said...

"Definitely less politics, both on a national, state or local level."

Party hard Doctor: you may as well have said...
My minds made up, don't confuse me with the facts.
Did ya ever wunda where ya dough goes?

7/21/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

Can't see how discussing a mall located in a town someone is looking is not relevant.

Before buying in ANY town, one should eat at local restaurants, visit the local mall and stores, check out the school as it lets out at 3:00PM, etc.

Seems like common sense to me.

Caveat emptor, as they say.

7/21/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what Loretta Weinberg and Jon Corzine have in store for us?...hmmm less Guns, more taxes.
It takes a pillage, I mean village.

7/21/2006 07:09:00 PM  
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7/21/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Grim

anon@8:09 PM is exactly the sort of guy whose IP you should ban.

7/21/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Space Ghost I guess freedom of speech doesn't fit in your World vision huh?
Politics has everything to do with the mess NJ is in and its outrageous property taxes.

7/21/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen CEPR buy/rent calculator?
Here is the link. It assumes housing
prices will go down by 45% in our area
over sevaral years.
http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hb/hcc.html

This scares the crap out of me!!

7/21/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

RE: Livingston

Spend a few hours in the mall on a Saturday before making a purchase
-----------------------------------

That mall has always been an eye-sore for the town.... except for the 1st few years it opened (short hills mall was still an outdoor strip center, still high-end of course).

However, I wonder about the new towne centre in Livingston. Are those condos/townhomes & SFH there selling??? And what kind of nightmare will traffic be when their finished??? Talk about an overcrowded town making things even worse...sheeesh!!!

I agree with whomever said Montville is a great town. Definitely a better choice than Livingston IMHO. Although anyone buying a 2 BDRM townhome for 625K there is just begging to get fleeced.

7/21/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

Anonymous said...
parsippany schools are ok but i hear montvilles are much better...any one have insights on either montivlle/pinebrook or livingston...i'm moving to area and have small kids and need a house soon (unfortunately can't wait for 2 years)

I have a friend with 2 kids in Montville schools and she is very happy with the system and the teachers. This is noteworthy because this family is very particular -- prior to moving to Montville the kids were in a top notch private school in Hudson County.

My niece and nephew are in the Livingston schools and they are excellent - ranked #2 in the state.

7/21/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

UnRealtor said...
RE: Livingston

Spend a few hours in the mall on a Saturday before making a purchase

Unrealtor, Livingston Mall is not indicative of Livingston. (Livingston people do not shop there) And if you're referring to Short Hills, that's not either. Both places draw people from many other places aside from Livingston.

7/21/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

you can get a real good modern 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath with a finished basement in the low $500's.


That's a stretch for Livingston. 3 bedroom splits with 1.5 - 2.5 baths are still in the 700K + range. For NY commuters, it's an easy drive to the Harrsion path station, which gets you to 33rd or lower Manhattan in less than 30 minutes.

7/21/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

If you want an idea of Livingston culture check out either the Ritz Diner on a Friday eve or weekend morning, Calabria's Pizza on a Friday or Saturday evening or the Landmark on a Friday night. The new town center draws a heavy Livingston crowd on a Sat, especially Fresh City. As far as the housing at the Town Center, I see some of the units are already in resale.

Grim - I like Lowball and reduced.

7/21/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Carlin said...

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1063860810
To:Grim and my Blogger Friends
House is in good condition in Scotch plains
I saw the house 4 months ago
asking price $424K

3 BR
2 Bath
nice yard,good school system
what do you think? 370K ?
let me know please

7/21/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

"My niece and nephew are in the Livingston schools and they are excellent - ranked #2 in the state"
-----------------------------------

Erhh.... maybe 20 years ago. Not that I put too much weight in those rankings.... but I believe Chatham, Tenafly & West Windsor have held the top spots for the past few years.

Livingston probably ranks in the upper teens to low 20's... still solid, but certainly not at the very top of the list. FWIW.

7/21/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone out there know anything about Leonia? Amazing to find a town like that in the midst of Bergen Co's impossibly badly zoned sprawls, like Pal Park, Englewood, and Ft. Lee.

Is there something weird about the place, like Village of the Damned?

7/21/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, all this carefully "Koded" mall talk. NJ has nothing on Mississippi, when it comes to misplaced white rage.

7/21/2006 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maryannnj said:

"Livingston Mall is not indicative of Livingston. (Livingston people do not shop there) And if you're referring to Short Hills, that's not either..."

Can't agree more. Both are decent towns, the malls say little about a town. If you don't want your kids hanging out in burger king after school, neither would you want to see them hanging out in Shorthills Mall looking at designers 'bags and clothes.

It's how your educate your children that matters.

We've been looking in Livingston for months, but decided to give up, certainly not because of the mall, but the lack of train.

Route #280 can get very congested in rush hours, and also in winter time it's going to be difficult to drive with harsh weather.

KC

7/21/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Livingston Schools:

http://www.greatschools.net/city/Livingston/NJ

When visiting this link,
a "10" means that the group is in the top 10% for test scores when compared to students in the same group statewide. A "1" means the bottom 10%.

7/21/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

regarding school rankings... I forgot to add, that Montville has ranked ahead of Livingston in recent years as well.

Ritz Dinner... you can keep it. the Landmark is a great place though.
personally, I miss the old Don's restaurant. Can't seem to find a place like that anywhere. what a bummer. :-(

7/21/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...


Politics has everything to do with the mess NJ is in and its outrageous property taxes.


Which again has NOTHING to do with housing prices. If you want to discuss NJ politics, there are plenty of places to do it, in any case. This blog is about NJ real estate prices. Property taxes are relevant only so far as they impact purchasing.

7/21/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

Gravitymatters: I am not referring to thr Ritz as a 4 star Restaurant, but because it will give you an idea of Livingston, the people, etc. More so than the mall. Please find me the school rankings since you seem to so sure of yourself. Boy, you are negative.

7/21/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Carlin said...

ANYONE???
http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1063860810
To:Grim and my Blogger Friends
House is in good condition in Scotch plains
I saw the house 4 months ago
asking price $424K

3 BR
2 Bath
nice yard,good school system
what do you think? 370K ?
let me know please

7/21/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

House is in good condition in Scotch plains
I saw the house 4 months ago
asking price $424K


What was the original asking price? When was it reduced to 424K if this is not the original price?

7/21/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...


That's a stretch for Livingston. 3 bedroom splits with 1.5 - 2.5 baths are still in the 700K + range.


I disagree. When I was looking in Livingston (last September), we saw prices that were generally lower (and I can't believe prices have gone up since then in the slow market). Among other things, we saw a 4 bd/1.5 split that was offered < $600K and finally went for around $550K. We also saw a 5 bd/2.5 bath house in cul-de-sac that was listed at 695 and droppd to 650K. I don't know how much it went for.

And looking in realtor.com, I see lots of 4br/2.5 bath houses in Livingston for < $700.

Livingston does have bus service (not NJ transit, but another line) to NYC.

7/21/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Scotch plains is not that great a school system, I think. Property taxes are very high too.

7/21/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Carlin said...

Ref.Scotch plain house
http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1063860810

I believe the original price was 450K, it has been in the market for more than 4 months
thank you

7/21/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Carlin said...

taxes $6300

7/21/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

Please find me the school rankings since you seem to so sure of yourself. Boy, you are negative.
-----------------------------------

Just going by the STAR LEDGER'S annual rankings. Don't have a link...sorry. Going by memory of reading the articles.

as far as being negative...because I think the ritz diner's food & crowd blows doesn't make me negative, just very opinionated. ;)

7/21/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yee...good talk on the blogs tonight.

I was talking to some of my connections today, got some good insight. I have a buddy who owns and operates a sign store. He makes signs of all sorts. He told me right now he is really busy because all the RE brokers are feeding him buisness because they are increasing there order for signs. And you know what kind if signs he is making?....You guessed it, the "For Sale" signs that people are peppering all over there yards in NJ. He is making bank on this glut of inventory.

Also, a buddy of mine does photography, he is doing good these days thanks to real estate, because with all the house for sale on the market....his work load has increased to take all the pics of the houses for the RE agents.

These are two guys are all smiles these days. They are making a hell of alot of cash right now due to the glut of inventory.

I never thought about it, but it makes sense. These guys told me all about how the workload just increases month to month. They don't even follow RE that much, but they too were shocked about the glut.

Its tid bits like this that you need to know, hear, and listein. Not some damn penicl neck geek who does lip service to the boob tube, or uninformed so called financial press. Its the joes out in the trentches you have to listein to. They tell the true story.

Now, the hard part is predicting when the bottom will happen...but my dear friends....we are on that path now with great velocity.

SAS

7/21/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon said:
"Wow, all this carefully "Koded" mall talk. NJ has nothing on Mississippi, when it comes to misplaced white rage"

I thought the mall talk was about the damaging traffic, impact on services expenditures, and the kid gangs who don't buy stuff, just hang out to goof with their friends, thus reducing mall rents (leaving defunct store) and the quality of life overall.

I'm confused, or maybe naive.

7/21/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

Montville has a huge selection of townhomes called the LongView townhomes. They are actually quite nice, but the prices are amazing. 700k Plus for 3 bedrooms.

One other town worth considering is Roseland. It shares some schools with Essex Fells and North Caldwell, and prices are lower than thsoe 2 towns.

7/21/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...

IIRC, the West Windsor system has been the highest ranked for the last year or so.

West Windsor is a nice enough town, but property taxes are high. The train station is unbelievably packed too.

7/21/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

"Koded" mall talk.

FWIW...my uncle has been on the Livingston police force for over 25 years. That mall has been nothing but headaches for them (and i've heard plenty of his stories over the years, which barely scratches the surface).

That is not "koded", just a fact.

7/21/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SAS.. not the bottom. By then, too late.

I want to think about the downward slopes of the curve. If we skiing, are we coming down the bunny schuss, or the devil's drop?
When will the slope level out before continuing, and for how long?

The rate of fall will greatly determine how people can adjust.

Who moves where, and what jobs are lost for good.

7/21/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone who has taken the NJ transit train could tell me how crowded the train will be in the morning from say, Chatham to NYC Penn Station. Can I normally get a seat, does it get delayed all the time, etc.

Any comments will be much appreciated.

KC

7/21/2006 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gravitymatters, you're being antagonistic. The poster is merely citing the Ritz as being representative of Livingston and I have to agree with maryannenj on that. It draws a big town crowd -- I know. I live there. As far as the schools, whether the they're 2,5, or 20, Livingston is still up there in the rankings. Keeping with the subject of this blog, it all adds up to Livingston is a good choice as a place to live. Not whether or not the Ritz has good food.

7/21/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KC, ther are a few midtown direct trains from chatham on the Morristown line. You can also drive to Summit to catch the midtown train. They are generally not too bad. You can still get a seat in Chatham. It may fill to standing room in Newark and Secaucus when transfers get on for Penn, but by that time the train is near final destination. It's generally on time, occasionally 5 - 10 minutes late. However, there is a waiting list (I believe a few years) to park at the Chatham station.

7/21/2006 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed the talk about the malls. You can learn alot from towns about malls, most important if you have kids.

I too had encounters with the gangs. Especially when we were starting up some casinos in California and South Dakota (alot of native american gangs there). Gangs in any area, even if they are just passing through, can pull the value down of your property and buisness in a heartbeat.

I had to kick them out all the time. The funny thing is...it didn't matter what color they were white, black, asian, or mexican....if you told them you were going tear off their heads and shit down there necks if they came around here again, they turned one color...yellow..

yee, that was alot of fun.

SAS

PS-if you run a buisness, always make sure you know the difference between a gang (usually young MTV punks) and the mob.
Because with the mob types you have to get real political with them. Don't have to get in bed with them, but just political.
For the internationals on here (someone on here knows what I am talking about), when you deal with the Russians, always be polite and bring top shelf vodka and just let them do the talking, if not, you will never get the deal.

Hear me now, and you will go far later. Trust me.

7/21/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

earlier on this thread... comparisons between Livingston & Montville were being made in regards to preference for living.

these are 2 towns I have some knowledge (always dangerous) of.

when someone throws out Livingston "is" the #2 school in NJ... and I know this not to be true, why shouldn't I post it.

as I said earlier... I DON'T personally put that much emphasis on those rankings anyhow, BUT there is a big difference between 2 & 20.... especially when the trend seems to be that Livingston's ranking has been on a slow slide in recent years.

I'm really not trying to antagonize anyone. just want to get the facts straight for those who read this blog & are looking for insight into these towns.

don't be so thin-skinned. I actually agree with you that Livingston is one of the better towns to live in.... but perhaps Montville has become a better option these days???

7/21/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1108,

Thanks so much for the info. Really appreciate it.

We are looking into Chatham seriously. We know this is not a good time to buy, but are not sure if we can't wait for another year or so...

The good thing is, by tracing the prices in good towns for several months, the prices are indeed coming down 5% to 10% depending on the locations. We won't buy unless it is a good deal.

KC

7/21/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Bayonner said...

Bayonne is stil up and comming. Property values appear to be continuing to rise and the private Schools seem pretty nice.

7/21/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a pretty reliable website for public shcool rankings:

http://www.psk12.com/rating/index.php

You need to pay $19.95 yearly to get the latest updates, but that is well worth it.

From the 2005 data,

Livingston High ranked #23
Millburn High ranked #10
Chatham High ranked #13
Princeton High ranked #14
Summit ranked #22

The rankings may change a little bit every year, but you get the broad picture. This site also provides an average ranking for each school over the past 5-6 years.

KC

7/21/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

From HTTA [home page]:
=================

second price cut on this Constitution Unit

high floor - good view

originally asking $755,000
dropped to $699,000 two months ago

now $655,000

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/rfs/184144806.html

7/21/2006 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.K., Bartender.

Lemme tell ya what I can't figure out.

That Harvard Report.

I'm not trying to bring up bad memories, or throw any sucker punches. We all read all the bloggers' comments and chewed it like a puppy with homework. We don't need to refry the beans here.

Something just is not right. Where is the intersection between that report and the Harper's report?

I can't accept that it is simply a combination of the six-month lag before publication, combined with sponsor pressure.

O.K...forget it. I'm gonna go back and read both of them again tomorrow and come back when I'm not at the bar.

Pat

7/21/2006 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

What do you mean exactly?

7/21/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

From tomorrow's WSJ:

New Headache
For Homeowners:
Inflated Appraisals


Rosy Valuations, Common
In Boom, Now Haunt Sellers;
'It's Pay-the-Piper Time'

By JAMES R. HAGERTY and RUTH SIMON
July 22, 2006

As the housing market cools, Americans are confronting a problem that was easy to ignore during the boom: inflated appraisals of home values.

Critics inside and outside the appraisal business have long warned that many appraisals are unrealistically high. That's partly because generous appraisals help loan officers and mortgage brokers, who often choose the appraiser, complete more deals. If a home is appraised at less than the buyer offered, the deal is likely to fall through....

(full article. subscription required)
http://tinyurl.com/qwnx4

7/21/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just checked the rankings for Montville, it ranked #75 out of 363 high schools in the state of New Jersey.

KC

7/21/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
RE: Livingston

Most people in the Livingston area shop at the Short Hills Mall. The shoppers and clerks at Livingston Mall is not indicative of the people that live there. You can attribute that to the buses that stop in Livingston.

7/21/2006 05:04:24 PM

Anon@ 7/21/06 5:04:24pm??

How do you come to your conclusion if a "shoppers or a clerks" who either shop or work at the Short Hills Mall is not from the Livingston/Short Hills area??
Do you go by skin color and/or appearance?? INQUIRING MINDS WOULD LOVE TO KNOW!!!!!

R.L.

7/21/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

second price cut on this Constitution Unit


Wonder how much they originally paid and when this was purchased? I looked at a 1 bedroom when this building was just about complete, but not yet occupied. Was that around 1999? The unit was about 220K. Taxes were around 8K. I would guess 2bds were around 300 at the time.

7/21/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicago, I really need to think about the the common ground, maybe. I'm not getting there. let you know.

7/21/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the 2005 data,
Livingston High ranked #23

Just checked the rankings for Montville, it ranked #75 out of 363 high schools in the state of New Jersey.

Guess that blows gravitymatters' stand on Livingston v. Montville.
As far as the mall, I don't think the "headaches" reflect back to the people of Livingston. You can't judge Livingston by the mall.

7/21/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone who sits and does nothing is a slaker. anyone bids more than 50% of asking price is a fool. Go out and present your offer at less than 50% of the asking price. Show the greedy sellers and realors time has changed.

7/22/2006 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Space Ghost said "Property taxes are relevant only so far as they impact purchasing."


You are right, no one has ever decided to sell a home because of high property taxes...how'd ya get so smart?

7/22/2006 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

livingston houses in the $500's.

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1060813084

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1062209654

7/22/2006 04:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The farmers gave up the ghost:

http://tinyurl.com/kovbv

""It's like the Gestapo was watching us," Clara Halper said. "They're crazy. They're just disgusting. They've just been after us and after us and after us...

Piscataway plans to create a park with gardens and walking trails after cleaning up alleged environmental contamination."

Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it. Gardens. That land does not belong to the community.

I hope every eminent domain case is overturned and when it is, every person is awarded back compensation from "communities" who ruined people's lives.


http://www.reason.org/eminentdomain/

"As one city manager told me, 'What about the community’s right to improve itself and create new jobs?' There is a reason the Constitution doesn’t mention 'community rights' — they don’t exist. Only individuals have rights. Communities have desires." "

Pat

7/22/2006 05:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

make sure your payments are within your budget using a conventional loan. 30-year fixed is best but if you can't afford i wouldn't do shorter than a 7/1 ARM.


The ARMs are just about where the 30 Fix is...what's the logic?

7/22/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

Ref.Scotch plain house
http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1063860810

I believe the original price was 450K, it has been in the market for more than 4 months
thank you

Then depending on how long it's been reduced to 424k, I'd offer 360-370 and see what the counter is.

7/22/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard said...
livingston houses in the $500's.

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1060813084

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1062209654


Knowing people who have been looking in Livingston for a while, I would say that houses priced in the 500s are the exception, not the rule. And if you dig deep enough, you usually find something other than a house priced lower than most houses of similar size.

7/22/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those interested in buying RE in the near future (i.e w/in a year), I suggest you don't do it, or think really, really hard about it.

These so called "price reductions" are not real price reductions. The sellers are just trimming a little bit of the fat. There is still along, nasty, decline ahead of us. I can understand scoping things out and waiting for the time to be right, but that time is not now. Don't get too excited if you see a 10-20% drop. This type of drop just shows you how crazy was the original asking price.

Stay totally out the RE, raise cash, get out of debt, reduce your lifestyle a little, perhaps start a second income (in case you lose your primary job, very much a possibility today. I suggest a home based buisness that you can accept cash---this way you don't have to pay high taxes---worked really good for me...hehe...). Generate emergency cash too. i.e enough to pay all your bills for a few months. IF you don't have any of the above, do so now.

If all your net worth is tied up in housing, ouch....you might have alot of trouble. Perhaps sell your house while you can, move to a smaller house. In this market, you don't want all of your net worth in housing.

I feel since the bubble is starting to burst, I think some of the bears may be too willing to jump in. Last thing you wanna do is be a bull disguised as a bear.

Relax, because this is going to be a long, bumpy ride and you will see people, perhaps people you know and care about, lose it all.

Back in Denver in the 80's, I saw alot of people lose it all in that housing collapse. It can happen, it will happen, and it has happened.

SAS

7/22/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a miserable day Starving realtors and Greedy Money grubbing sellers.

7/22/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

Just checked the rankings for Montville, it ranked #75 out of 363 high schools in the state of New Jersey.

Guess that blows gravitymatters' stand on Livingston v. Montville.
As far as the mall, I don't think the "headaches" reflect back to the people of Livingston. You can't judge Livingston by the mall.
-----------------------------------

Wow...both incredibly defensive of Livingston & able to twist words at the same time. Way to multi-task there (ANON 12:10am).

The mall headaches remark was "mall specific"... it could be in any town. Was in response to the "koded" remark. I certainly wouldn't let that mall stop me from buying in Livingston (assuming I wanted to live there).

I think the congestion & taxes would be more of deterants.

As far as those school rankings go... The Star Ledger has ranked Montville ahead of Livingston for at least the past few years & the Forbes National list last year did the same.

So to quote what a famous Syracuse Alumnist once said: Whip-te-dam-do!!!

7/22/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

correction... Newsweek, not Forbes rankings.

Found an old Link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8759025/site/newsweek/page/8/

notice Montville at 764 & Livingston at 831.

I'd say its very good for both school systems to be ranked in the top 1000.

7/22/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger gravitymatters said...

Link got chopped off at the end.

once more:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id
/8759025/site/
newsweek/page/8/

7/22/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: Are those of you who are wishing doom to the sellers and RE agents (I agree the latter is a strange breed) currently homeowners? Sure I have to agree people are out of control and the market enabled snowballing greed among sellers, but at the same time, I do not wish a crash that will significantly devalue my home.

7/22/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 10:07,

Homeowner here (3 actually). Have I taken advantage of the RE market. You bet your ass I did. I had alot of property, but I unloaded in the course from 97-03. What I have left is fully paid for and I don't really care if market goes up or down, because I am not going to sell. My daughter lives in one too, rent free. (I know what you boys are thinking, but hey if you could, you would too).

I just want to see a correction, the market had gotten so far out of hand. Remember, busts always follow booms. And the busts hurt so bad, people immediately forget about the booms.

I don't like to see people with false confidence, and huge amounts of debt with no intention of ever paying it off because that effects everyone.

For the health of economics, I just want to see a correction.

Also, you gotta understand this crowd on this site. ALot of people on this site have positioned themselves in anticipation of a bubble cause they are going to clean house. Did the miss the RE run up? proabley. Are most of them renters? yes, I would say so. And a really smart thing to do in this market I might add. They are just waiting, drooling, salivating at the next chance to make money, and in their opinions its the collapse of the housing market. So, of course they want it to fall.
Nothing wrong with that.

Ya gotta know your audience. First thing they teach in public speaking.

SAS

7/22/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My take on RE agents.

Most are a worthless lot. They try to create a need for themselves.

All the property I sold, I never had an agent. BUt let me tell you, they found me somehow. When I sold my 5 level townhouse (not to be confused with an apt) on w78th, they would call me, knock on my door, begging, asking for me to hire them. Hell, I even think one girl was wanting to get fresh with me in order for me to hire her.

Crazy...

SAS

7/22/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SAS I have to agree with you on this. It will probably be a correction vs. a complete fallout. Those living on the edge with interest only, short term ARMs and very little if any equity will feel it at some point, but most of us will be OK.

7/22/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...


You are right, no one has ever decided to sell a home because of high property taxes...how'd ya get so smart?


Tell, you what anon, why dont' you focus solely and excusively on houses where the owners had to sell because of high property taxes.

I'm admit I'm not smart enough to think that way. Nor am I smart enough to realize that I should spend my time on a NJ real estate bubble blog ranting about politics incoherently.

7/22/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

space ghost has all the answers.

just ask

7/22/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking at a house with an active underground oil tank. it's got inspection papers and all. am i crazy purchasing this house? should i demand they remove it and put it above ground? thanks.

7/22/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally yes,but how long it's been underground and if there's a transferable Oil Tank Insurance policy in force can also be considerations.

7/23/2006 06:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the oil tank question, make sure you have a copy of 'no further action letter' from State, certifying that nothing else need be done.

7/23/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually misunderstood - you are talking about active tank - I would insist upon removal and a no further action letter as contingencies.

7/23/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the info. if after signing the contract and during the attorney review can you push the sellers to have the oil tank removed and an above ground one put in or you can cancel the contract during the review period? thanks

7/23/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous MaryanneNJ said...

I drove past this house today to check out the location. The lot is very small and it's up against a bank parking lot. Upside is the train is practically across the street. It's been on the market 7 weeks. Originally listed at 538K.

http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1060864991

7/23/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am so glad that I found this site before we start searching for a 2 family house in Bergen county. We are pretty naive about the real estate business. In searching for a buyer's agent, I thought that getting a reference was an important part of my search. I now realize that most agents don't even want to bother with our request because we are in the market for a bottom price, $400-450K range. Even this price is a heavy commitment for us. I've read through all the suggestions about making the offer...Grim's low ball 30-40% to 5% below the asking price. Any rule of the thumb suggestion for this price range in Bergen county for 2 family houses is appreciated.
AnxioustoBuy

7/23/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AnxioustoBuy,

Don't be anxious to buy. This is a downward market. Just go through some of the threads here and you will soon learn. Grim puts up some really good stats that no one can argue against.

Prices are coming down, what you buy today will be worth less tomorrow. Its cheaper to rent right now.

Continue to save cash. Cash is king right now, and will be for the next few years until money finds a new home. Reduce lifestyle, and get rid of the frills to raise cash, get a 5.5% savings account (they have those now), get out of debt if any, and make your FICO score perfect.

Be patient, and when this market crashes, sweep up like a vulture (baring if you still wanna live in NJ).

I am a verteran of the 70s inflation/oil crisis, 80s housing bust. I feel we are about to have a repeat of history here. The trends are very similar.

Look at it this way. You have nothing to lose if you don't buy now because prices are no longer going up, but if you buy now, price goes down, and if you are over 45...ouch you may never ever recover.

SAS

7/23/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
space ghost has all the answers.

just ask

7/22/2006 04:17:59 PM

Thanks for the assist :)

7/24/2006 12:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi NJ RE lovers....
We've been looking in East Brunswick and Milltown; why the high taxes? I hear it's to pay for the schools..
I am 90% convinced by your blog that the house we buy today will be worth less tomorrow...But how to convince my husband...Also we're lining in a torturous section of Upper Manhattan and wish to move NOW...What happened to optimism?

7/24/2006 07:59:00 PM  

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