Tuesday, August 08, 2006

25% of Jersey Homeowners Can't Afford Repairs

From the Star Ledger:

Dire state of repairs

The wooden front steps on Jane Blake's house in Newark were built this spring by volunteers who installed them above the debris from concrete steps built a dozen years ago by a long-forgotten contractor.

"It wasn't even three years before those concrete steps started to crumble," said Blake, 72, a retired assembler for the Ohaus scale company in Florham Park. "It looked like maybe there was too much sand in the mix. They just fell apart. They were dangerous to walk on, and I used to worry about the postwoman climbing up them every day."

Yet Blake and Sarah Marson, a former Ohaus co-worker who owns the house with her, are still on the hook for the remaining $6,000 of a $12,800 loan that financed both the concrete steps and some replacement windows -- which she said don't keep out the winter drafts. "I can't remember the name of that contractor, but if I could I'd never recommend him to anyone."
According to a study, 12 percent of New Jersey's homeowners, or about a quarter million, can't afford to make repairs on their homes, and that some are losing their homes to foreclosure when they default on loans taken out to make the repairs.

"A lot of people can't take care of their homes, and then you see them pushing a shopping cart down the street," Blake said.

Today, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice plans to release a 25-page report, "House Rich, Pocket Poor and Under Threat: Home Repair financing and Homeownership Preservation in New Jersey." Ken Zimmerman, institute executive director, who co-authored the study with colleague Yahonnes Cleary, said solving the home repair gap will require money from government grants and private loans, and he doesn't have an estimate of the dollars needed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another gov't bailout.


Sell the house then.

8/08/2006 07:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now, now you have to be sensitive.

the gov. is obligated to bail these
people out.

after all nj is the Welfare state.

8/08/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

solving the home repair gap will require money from government

Oh please! Enough already! I can’t afford to buy a decent home in NJ, but I’m supposed to subsidize the house you can’t afford through higher taxes? Maybe some people just shouldn’t be homeowners. I have an idea. Sell the house. Pay off the loan. Rent. Let your landlord worry about future repairs.

My biggest fear is that NJ government will get involved in the affordability crisis. Their response will be even bigger handouts to seniors and the poor at the expense of the middle class, even further exacerbating the problem.

8/08/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A C. Sheets Flipper underwater?

8/08/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the beat just goes on in nj.

trenton gives it away.

watch, its getting worst.

NJ is a long term Welfare State.

And it has finally broke the bank

as the governor said. "if it was a business it would be in a BK"

How about another Mall.

8/08/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12 percent of New Jersey's homeowners, or about a quarter million, can't afford to make repairs.


8/08/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when debt ratios go to 50%, and property taxes rise faster than inflation--maintenance is deferred indefinitely. Though I gotta say I feel fo the homeowner still paying for a repairthat has already crumbled.

8/08/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright people I dont know why people are complaining about home repairs??? I just got my property tax rebate, and I live in an apartment $$$75.00
Wooohooo I am rich. I wonder what I should buy. 75.00 will be the down payment when I buy a house in this state. That will give me a nice low mortage payment. Or may I will save it and put it towards my taxes when I do buy a house, that will make a huge difference in yearly taxes. Thank you NJ government for your kindness of $75.00

8/08/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Anonymous seattle price drop said...

Now this is an interesting twist that never dawned on me before.

People buy houses they cannot afford. When the equity extraction ends, they not only can't go out to eat or buy doo-dads anymore, they also can't afford upkeep on their property.

So we're left with a routed consumer based economy and crumbling houses to boot.

This housing "boom" was the greatest idea for economic comeback that anyone could have dreamed up.

Something else for future buyers to be on the look-out for - shoddy repairs and general neglect. Terrific.

8/09/2006 01:04:00 AM  

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