April 11, 2006

‘Buyers Reclaiming Bargaining Power’ In The Northeast

Inman News has this report on the changing markets in the northeastern US. “Only a few months ago Joseph and Kianna Jackson made a resolution for the coming year: They vowed to make an offer on their first home by March 15, their daughter’s second birthday. But like so many other New Year’s resolutions, their promise has so far been unkept.”

“As mortgage rates crept higher in the first two months of 2006 and sales in their local market slowed, the Jacksons decided to postpone their home-buying plans because they think prices could be a lot lower in the summer or fall than they are today. While real estate agents from Brooklyn to Boston say that the Northeast’s housing market will remain strong, it’s the decisions made by families like the Jacksons that will ultimately determine whether the region’s sales and prices gains simply moderate or come to a screeching halt.”

“‘A year ago, the market was super-hot and it was hard to find a Realtor or builder who would even return our calls,’ says Joseph Jackson. ‘But now, I’m getting a couple of calls a week from people who want to sell me a home,’ Jackson says. ‘I just tell them to call back in a few months, and I’ll let them know whether I’m interested in buying again.’”

“With inventories nearing 10-year highs in some Northeastern markets, ‘buyers are reclaiming some of the bargaining power that they had lost as prices soared over the past several years,’ says Lawrence Yun, an NAR economist. ‘The most softness in values will be felt in the priciest markets, like Boston and New York City,’ the economist adds. ‘Those are the areas most at risk from rising interest rates, their prices are already so high that a lot of buyers who could qualify for a mortgage at 6 percent won’t be able to qualify as rates move toward 7 percent later in the year.’”

“As price gains cool, a handful of Northeastern markets have found themselves at the top of some dubious lists. Foreclosures in pricey Connecticut had leapt tenfold from a year ago.”

“Further proof that many Northeast markets are shifting came in a conference call that publicly held Cendant Corp., the New York-based parent of realty giants Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, placed just a few weeks ago. In the call, Cendant execs said that its company-owned real estate offices in New England (as well as Florida and Southern California) had seen a staggering 30 percent sales-cancellation rate in December.”

“The softness in the Northeast’s resale side is also being felt by builders of newly constructed homes. Northeast building giant Toll Brothers Inc. recently announced that its orders for new homes plunged 29 percent. To stimulate sales, the company is offering free upgrades at many of its projects and has even slashed asking prices at a few. CEO Chad Dreier of development giant Ryland Group Inc. said his company’s sales in some East Coast markets during January and February were down sharply from year-earlier levels.”

“Dreier said it was ‘too early to tell’ whether the recent slowdown in sales represented a mere pause in housing’s long run-up or the start of a long-term decline. ‘The year,’ said Dreier, ‘is going to depend on what we sell from March to July.’”

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Comment by bairen
2006-04-11 15:20:08

The Northeast is way overpriced. People are finally waking up and saying no to these high values. Why put yourself in the poorhouse for the pleasure of owning a home. Any SFH in North Jersey under $350k is either in a ghetto or makes me want to throw up and should be a tear down.

Comment by rentinginNJ
2006-04-11 19:48:08

My wife went to look at a few open houses this past weekend in the $350 range, because she didn’t beleive me. She returned and asked “what was the place in North Carolina you were talking about?”

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 15:22:10

Here’s something for the person who told me 2K was a fair rent for Cedar Park (Austin). That’s not my recollection. This is


Wonder if the Cali floppers can cash flow with rents of $1K per month? I think not!

Comment by Ben Jones
2006-04-11 15:40:16

I rented a house near downtown in Austin at the height of the tech boom for just over $1,000/mo. We were told that 4,000 people were moving there every month, and that may be true. But that isn’t the case now.

Comment by need 2 leave ca
2006-04-11 15:22:27

Ditto for pretty much all of California. Maybe the ocean will reclaim it in a quake (like New Orleans is going back to the sea).

Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 17:16:27

If it doesn’t break off into the ocean, the illegal aliens will successfully lead a secession from the union.

Comment by OutofSanDiego
2006-04-12 04:15:41

Though your comment may be in jest and sounds far fetched…I agree with you and am worried about the future of our country (20-30 years from now). Once the populatin of CA becomes majority hispanic (70%) and they make a natural shift to Spanish being the PRIMARY language, AND since the hispanics will be the majority at that point they will be able to vote in all the congressmen that support thier issues, we may very well see issues where they (the new Republica de California) make an effort to split from the rest of the country. Look at the separatist issues in Canada with the French speaking part of Quebec and the Basque issue in Spain. This whole illegal immigration issue will be a make or break point in our nations (future) history and I don’t think our leadership has the cahones to do what needs to be done (i.e. protect the borders, language, & culture). Am I ranting yet?

Comment by pinch a penny
2006-04-12 05:09:56

For most mexicans, California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona are all part of the old Mexico… We just happened to take it away from them.

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Comment by garcap
2006-04-12 05:33:14

But then they’d have to form functional governments and institutions. Why do you think they left Mexico in the first place?

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Comment by santacruzsux
2006-04-12 06:01:40

Yeah that may happen, and then all the Mexifornians will be trying to hop the Oregon border to get into the U.S. again.

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Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-12 08:17:37

I believe we are the first country in the history of the world which has had it’s ethnic makeup so seismically altered without losing a war to a conquering army.

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Comment by SidneyPrice
2006-04-12 14:12:50

No. Check on the history of the Roman Empire sometime. The Bush administration likes to view our position in light of the early expansionist Roman Empire, but the real parallels seem to be with the post-Constantine late empire.

Comment by need 2 leave ca
2006-04-11 15:24:14

Yes. The California floppers are heading to TX in droves. They can’t wait to lose their shorts there also. Floppers belong in BK court.

Comment by homepop
2006-04-11 18:15:34

They’re still coming to Reno from the Bay Area. Unbelievable what they are willing to pay for pieces of crap…

Comment by Ted
2006-04-11 15:27:29

What?! But Suzanne researched this!

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-11 19:19:07

This listing is special, John. You guys can do this!

Comment by cereal
2006-04-11 19:40:28

but the kids are 3 and 1!!?

Comment by BeachBubble
2006-04-12 03:29:00

They’re gonna grow up!

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Comment by fishbones
2006-04-12 06:00:22


I think that saying might become the next “All your base are belong to us” when referring to the housing bubble.

Comment by Bearnanke
2006-04-11 15:27:31

‘Those are the areas most at risk from rising interest rates, their prices are already so high that a lot of buyers who could qualify for a mortgage at 6 percent won’t be able to qualify as rates move toward 7 percent later in the year.’

All areas are at risk from rising rates.

A little simplistic, but anywhere people are renting, prices are either not “affordable” or justifyable. Unless you pick our a great suicide loan, interest rates go up, your price (mortgage) goes up. Plus, if less high-end houses in an area sells, this has a direct impact on the lower ranges.

Of course, this is all dependent on Keynesian economics still being true. (which it is as the bubble + rising inventories will come to find)

Comment by homepop
2006-04-11 18:17:15

Didn’t Keynes say, “In the long run, we’ll all be dead.”?

Comment by ajh
2006-04-12 01:49:49

Also from Keynes:
“When new facts appear which invalidate my position, I change my mind. What do you do?”
(Words to that effect.)

It is widely unrecognised that Keynes’ theory, as well as running large public deficits to relieve downturns, specifies equally large public surpluses during booms to more-or-less yield neutrality over the entire cycle.

If Keynes had seen the application of his theory, with no government ever taking away the koolaid when the good times roll, I have no doubt he would have changed his views about the desirability of “Keynesian” solutions.

Comment by dwr
2006-04-11 16:06:52

“‘A year ago, the market was super-hot and it was hard to find a Realtor or builder who would even return our calls,’ says Joseph Jackson. ‘But now, I’m getting a couple of calls a week from people who want to sell me a home,’ Jackson says. ‘I just tell them to call back in a few months, and I’ll let them know whether I’m interested in buying again.’”

He who laughs last…

Comment by ajh
2006-04-12 01:51:36

In a few months he will be telling them to ring back in a couple of years :D.

Comment by Housegeek
2006-04-12 04:34:32

I started getting the same calls a few months ago - which also makes me think the latest stats about the northeast’s rise in home sales and prices are juiced. Where exactly is this realtor shangrila of increasing prices and sales happening?

Comment by huggybear
2006-04-11 16:12:46

This was mentioned on another topic but…I think it was the top guy from Toll today saying again how wonderful and rosey everything was. Somebody please date stamp that interview and save it in the file marked as evidence. The white house could learn a lesson about containing leaks from the HBs and NAR. They’re keeping this bubble “Top Secret” and on a “need-to-know” basis.

Comment by cabinbound
2006-04-11 18:54:03

Also note that TOL was downgraded on Monday by a small firm, JMP Securities. Can’t let something like that go unchallenged.

Comment by skep-tic
2006-04-11 16:14:09

asking prices still ridiculous. $1,000,000 for 1000 sq ft in Manhattan.
Median house price in Westchester is 3/4 of $1M. In the nice towns, the median is well over $1M. Million dollar places all over souther CT, Long Island, North Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens. You get the picture

even in NY, there just aren’t that many millionaires to go around.

Comment by beaconst
2006-04-11 16:59:26

Actually there was an article on the net about that subject today, New York came in #8 or #9 on the list I think… something like 12% of the population are millionares (excluding wealth from their primary residence).

Comment by shel
2006-04-11 17:20:41

I wonder if that means it’s a happy place with unstressed people or a worried place…

Comment by skep-tic
2006-04-11 17:24:22

yeah, and they’re all living in queens.

ny has always been an expensive place. always will be. but there’s no reason it should be 150% more expensive than 5 yrs ago

Comment by Housegeek
2006-04-12 04:46:43

Exactly, especially regarding the working class boros. So I’m wondering here whether this Inman report will make the NY Times walkthrough blog — which strangely has not been updated since April 8 — oh well, if you can’t say anything glowing about the market, don’t say anything at all…

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Comment by DebtVulture
2006-04-12 05:09:33

I also recently read a story that New York City (not just Manhattan) was NOT even in top 10 for cities with families that have a net worth (excluding homes) of over $1M. I couldn’t believe this.

Comment by skep-tic
2006-04-12 08:30:25

might be tax driven.

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Comment by Van Housing Blogger
2006-04-11 19:14:16

The funny thing is - prices in Vancouver for new condos are not that different from what you’re quoting for New York. And we don’t have a financial sector, mortgage interest deduction, and the median family income is about C$60K.

Comment by T
2006-04-11 16:35:34

OT. An interesting discussion about housing, the bubble and the economy at a Peak Oil site. Some comparisons to Japan, some European input and many cites. Much good analysis IMHO from some intelligent and polite people.

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 16:35:39

Buyers are reclaiming bargaining position in the bubble areas….. And perhaps in my town but inventory is still incredibly low. However the town I’m interested in moving to is selling like hot cakes.

Two houses I was going to look at tomorrow already under contract w/in 10 days. I told my realtor not to bother sending me any more info. (There is no rental market there)

Local mortgage rates are lower here than nationally (6.18) probably due to some strong growth by local companies: Lockheed Martin, and Bristol Meyers Squibb and Verizon Wireless. The difference between my current town and the town I’d like to live in? This is a bedroom community with 1/2-3/4 hour commutes. In my target town the jobs are down the street…and with energy prices soaring I think my shi-shi town by the lake just lost some of its allure.

Comment by T
2006-04-11 16:38:42

Oil Drum

Comment by mad_tiger
2006-04-11 16:44:21

“…it’s the decisions made by families like the Jacksons that will ultimately determine whether the region’s sales and prices gains simply moderate or come to a screeching halt.”

So many housing bulls seem to think that prices are pushed higher by some kind of real estate ether. An invisible force of nature. Like gravity in reverse. They can’t see it but they know it’s there. How do they know? Because prices keep going up, dumb-dumb! It is easy to forget the only thing that keeps prices going up are flesh-and-blood buyers like the Jacksons. You can only squeeze so much blood from a turnip.

Comment by beaconst
2006-04-11 17:02:14

The break point might be when the Jackson’s child needs to start school. It sucks, but it can be hard to find a nice, stable rental in a good suburb with good schools. At that point, I think a lot of people are forced off the fence and into the market, fundamentals be damned.

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 17:05:34

Reason No. 764 why I didn’t want kids.

Comment by John
2006-04-11 17:45:16

There’s an infinite number of reasons why you would want kids.

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Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 17:50:14

Would or wouldn’t? I can come up with an infinte number of reason for not wanting them but the being forced to buy a house for a school district would rank right up there at the top for me.

Comment by John
2006-04-11 18:02:33

You obviously don’t have kids.

I repeat, there are infinite number of reasons why you would want kids.

Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 18:06:52

Good school districts are not just about educating the kids - they’re probably just as much about holding property values. This was proven during round one of white flight to suburbia. And the point will be driven home more and more as parts of America are overrun by illegal immigrants. The good school districts are like exclusive country clubs. The high taxes that may go with them and the high home prices are an innoculation against encroachment by a seddy element. This is why you often get above average appreciation in the “best” places.

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 18:13:50

Is that why the highest prices in the country are in places like Manhattan and San Fran, where you would not dare send your little darlings to the public schools?

Comment by shel
2006-04-11 18:23:54

sure, but I’m getting confused…are we talking about the same RE bubble? Where you’re getting double-digit appreciation in Roxbury MA and Bed-Stuy and vegas and crap neighborhoods in LA etc?
I’m not getting the point here…
yeah, homebuying for dummies says you should always care about the school district when choosing a house, because it is always important.

Comment by Chester from Westchester
2006-04-11 18:48:24

The best school districts in Westchester County, NY are probably Chappaqua, Scarsdale and Rye with places like Bedord right behind them. And these are the areas that historically have been the most resistant to market tremors. The old Mark Twain advice of “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore” is by and large misleading, but it’s pretty darn true for great school districts.

The win, win of course is to find an area that’s up and coming - school district wise. If anyone’s crystal ball can locate one, please let me know.

Comment by SAS
2006-04-11 18:59:47

Though I grew up in Scarsdale and it took my parents forever to sell their house in the late 80’s. Values didn’t go down considerably, but there was no traffic at all. Market was completely dead. The people who bought the house sold it 5 years later for exactly what they paid for it in ‘89.

Comment by Chester from Westchester
2006-04-11 19:18:09

Was this after the stock market crash in October 1987? (Can’t believe that was almost 20 years ago).

We bought in Katonah in January 1991 after looking at probably 100 houses in Katonah and neighboring towns. There was such a glut. The previous owner had paid $295 in 1989 and lsited the house for $320 in Novemeber 1990. We bid $230 and got it for $267. We sold for $478 in January 2002 and it’s supposedly worth $750 today.

There’s NFW it should go for $750.

Comment by SAS
2006-04-12 02:34:23

Yes, it ws after the market crash. My parents bought the house new in 1969 for about $80, which was so much money at the time. They finally sold it in 1989 for $650, and the new owners sold it 5 years later for the same. The zillow value of the house now is about $1.5 million. It was a nice house on a half acre, but not $1.5 million worth.

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 17:47:14

I agree with you 100% on that one, Beaconst.

The money isn’t the only consideration when your kids’ safety or future is at stake. When you’re looking at 98% graduating seniors going onto 4 yr college vs 48%, which town’s school are you going to try to get your child into? If the crimerate is 115 on that realtor.com site or 2 (as our current town is) where do you want little Johnnie to walk the streets w/his buds? These facts play a HUGE role for many parents.

Comment by OutofSanDiego
2006-04-12 04:28:09

Some urban areas have a sort of reverse phenomena in regard to public schools and RE costs. In some areas, the homes are so expensive that no normal worker can afford to live in the area and what happens is that literally all the rich people that live in the neighboorhood (near the public school) actually ALL send their kids to private school. The local public school ends up serving either the fringe residents or the service workers children. I noticed this in Coral Gables (Miami). It was quite a surprise after moving from SoCal where the quality of the public school pretty much conincided with the socio-economic class of the neighboorhood. I was priced out of the neighborhood more because I wasn’t willing to spend 10K+ per kid per year for private school tuition than the going rent for a nice house. I am sure this is the type of situation in pricey area of NYC.

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Comment by va_investor
2006-04-12 07:14:42

This is very true in my neighborhood. The grade school is one of the best in the county. The middle school is still very good - but considered only so-so by the upper income. It is not just the nuts and bolts of reading, writing and arithmatic- it is who the classmates are.

Too much time devoted to english as a second language, too many “bad kids”, gang activity, etc. People with money send their kids to private school. People who “squeeze” into the neighborhood are happy to be in one of the best school districts.

Comment by shel
2006-04-11 18:04:42

I’d like to politely call bullshit on that one…please be more specific with that kind of claim. In fact, I’d argue that the prices for homes in many of the more desirable school districts are so high that in service of the don’t-be-a-renter-mentality people are willing to buy in less desirable places because at least they’re able to squeeze into a home/mortgage there. I know I almost did, and bet many many others do as well…
it sucks, but I think people are so worried about their kid’s financial futures if they make the “mistake” of not buying now and getting priced out forever, that they are more willing to buy in places with less desirable schools and neighborhoods.

Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 19:41:32

If enough people squeeze into mortgages in less desirable school districts, and particularly if they become active in supporting school funding via taxes, those areas become up and coming. On the other hand, if mediocre schools and concommitant lower home prices allow some rot to seep in, you could be f_cked.

The whole process is one big socio-economic centrifuge where colloidal particles are eventually separated into discrete bands, i.e., some areas end up becoming really good, and some really bad. Some stay the same.

You might be really worried about your kids’ financial futures to such a point that you dive into homeownership so as not to be left out, regardless of school district stature. That’s fine if enough people follow suit in the same area.

But just know that the really elite districts are always getting inundated with people trying to squeeze in too. Whether they are Wall Street wunderkind or just have wealthy parents helping them, they squeeze into the nest places.

The rich get richer.

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Comment by va_investor
2006-04-12 06:03:08

Schools are highly important to a large majority of buyers with kids. Schools are also extremely important to immigrants. In the early 80’s we lived in a condo in McLean, VA. - one of the best school districts in the country.

When I started seeing alot of foreign kids roller skating in the parking lot, I scratched my head. Why in the world would anyone with kids choose to live in a highrise condo? No yard, little space…..why? Then it dawned on me. These were the only affordable (i.e. not single family or townhouse) units in the school district. Ah - the “price” people will pay to educate their kids.

Also, know that if the schools are bad - people will (at least me) discount the house value to reflect the cost of private school.

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Comment by Upstater
2006-04-12 14:28:25

Hi Shel, Yeah our first home was in one of those places….then I went to a kids day event and found out our town had a SWAT team.

Days later, there was a knock at our door and the police wanted me to keep my kids inside because a man wanted for an outstanding assault charge was hiding in our woods.

Weeks later someone committed a home invasion on his cousin and killed him. The idiot was crying that he killed his cousin. It was blocks away from us.

Down the road in Yarmouth, someone was doing home invasions and tying up the wealthy elderly and stealing all their stuff. Between the crime spree, 9/11, the fact that I felt like an outsider in an increasingly Brazilian neighborhood and wanting to be able to stay at home w/kids we got out of there.

Months later in my old neighborhood, they found a guy who had been set on fire in the woods behind the mall. They determined he had been alive when it happened. I never regretted getting my kids out of there. And I’d rather rent than go into that maelstrom again.

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Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 17:20:57

Turnip - you mean a tulip.

Comment by Steve in Flyover Land
2006-04-11 18:32:48

People keep saying this is a good market for buyers. That’s crap! Who want’s to spend a fortune for a house that is going to decline in value. The buyers (those with any brains) are terrified of buying right now. If this was such a great market for buyers, why are they deciding NOT to buy?

Comment by goleta
2006-04-11 20:15:30

I think they got it completely reversed. It’s a bad market for buyers because if they buy, they will watch the prices fall. But it’s a good market for sellers, because they will never see prices this high again.

Comment by Steve in Flyover Land
2006-04-11 18:35:40

When you start seeing stories about how real estate is no longer a good thing to own; how the world is now different somehow and in the future everyone is going to rent all their lives because real estate is such a crappy investment…that will be a great time to be a buyer!

Comment by Portland, Mainer
2006-04-11 17:13:51

A home in our development just went on the market for $725,000. 3,645 square foot 3.5 bath Colonial on 1.44 acres and has a view of big power lines right behind it. The prior sales history is as follows:

4/9/2003 520,000
3/18/2003 574,500
8/27/1999 410,000
1/8/1999 84,900 (lot)

I’d be shocked if they break $600,000.

Comment by hd74man
2006-04-12 15:05:40

Back to $410k.

And then who the f*ck wants 3645 SF with energy prices blowin’ thru the roof and the local property assessor lickin’ his chops.

Comment by jmunnie
2006-04-11 17:26:48

OT but brilliant:

The Big Bet

“Why the U.S. will not solve its economic, educational, health, retirement, energy, and other major structural problems until it suffers a major financial crisis.”

Comment by Upstater
2006-04-11 18:01:43

JMunnie, I checked out “The Big Bet” It sounds like too many of the arguments I spout to my husband every night about why our country is going to hell in a handbasket. (He tells me to get a job if I need to think so much LOL :0)

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-11 18:09:23

Excellent article

Comment by pinch a penny
2006-04-12 04:41:38

Years ago tech companies were desperate to hire any engineers that knew what they were doing. Now there are no tech companies hiring, unless you are in bangalore. There is very little stimulation for studying hard, getting a good education, just to see your friend from HS selling mortgages, or RE making 6 figures, while you are stuck in a shitty job.

We will reap what we sow. US high school standards even in the best schools are apalling compared to schools in other coutries. College is a joke, except for the most competitive universities, and those you can only get into if you have 150K sitting in the bank, and a poltical connection. Ask Dubya..

We stopped manufacturing a long time ago, and now we are outsourcing all services to third world countries because it is cheaper to do so. Guess what is holding house prices up? Wages.
There are no good paying jobs out there. They have been outsourced.

When people realize that their job, and any job, can be outsourced, including medical, and financial, then they will not comit themselves to buy an overpriced house.

What is the proportion of housing on a monthly budget here compared to India, or China? That is the difference in the wages that need to be paid, so in essence, our housing is putting us out of business!.

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-11 17:51:45

OT but has anyone else been hearing radio ads for Benchmark Lending that states you have four monthly payment options and you can pay whatever you want monthly….where are the Feds and other concern people of the RE industry?

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-11 18:15:08

That’s an option arm loan damn near every bank has one. you have a neg-am payment, a IO, 30 yr and 15 yr. Every month you decide which one too make. Perfect for small business owners, mortgage brokers, realtors, stock brokers. Average Joe it’s a kiss of death. Herein lies the root of the problem. Too many average joes have them

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-11 17:54:46

My wife just came home and said that one of her co-workers was thinking of buying a new house in Visalia because it was cheap ($285,000) and then they’d have a house here in Salinas and one there. The kicker, she’s never even been there and doesn’t know anything about it. And you wonder who is going to keep this bubble afloat !

Comment by arroyogrande
2006-04-11 19:33:17

If she wants a house in a place she’s never seen, have her buy in Trona, CA:


At least she’ll not have to risk as much money, prices there are still under $100K…

Comment by santacruzsux
2006-04-12 06:07:23

I love Trona. What a place, what a town! The gateway to the Panamint valley.

Comment by moonvalley
2006-04-11 17:58:57

In Sonoma a failed restaurant was going to be converted in to Live/Work condos.Midway through the project they turned the place in to a Countrywide Mortage office. I guess they took the hint from the empty Live/Work condos they built behind the heavy equipment rental place off of Highway 12. Shame, they tore down a perfectly good bowling alley for them.

Comment by miamirenter
2006-04-11 18:17:10

that miami market has softened considerable is not news..here is how condoflip website shows its exasperation..now this man had lost his shirt in dot com blow-off, if he does an encore here it would be only just desserts..

…..Stay Tuned, Folks!

We’ve decided to postpone the introduction of our new search engine until June 1, 2006.
We’re doing this for a few reasons:

The Miami real estate market is currently sitting in an unusual “holding pattern”,
and we found that while there are a growing number of units for sale, the buyers
seem to be waiting to see what will happen

As things are with technology, it’s never a good idea to launch a high-transaction
tool unless it is absolutely perfect. And, we’re fussy about quality. So, we’ve
introduced some new features to our developers, and they need the extra time
to make things just right

We’re in no rush to get the flipping of units going. We have predicted all along
that 2007 will be the year of the Condo Flip, so we’re going to use this first half
of 2006 to get our rhythm going

Comment by txchick57
2006-04-11 18:24:19

That is a riot. The guy who wrote that ought to get a gig writing copy for the NAR.

Comment by Salinasron
2006-04-11 18:37:18

And on this your plan to buy an $800,000 house?

You often hear the argument that the types of jobs being created these days are more quantity than quality. Therefore, even though the unemployment rate is going down, American’s standard of living will eventually fall.

But The Christian Science Monitor today refuted that argument, saying that the economy “isn’t just producing jobs these days, it’s producing good jobs.”

The paper points to quality job opportunities from companies such as Honeywell, which plans to hire workers at $40k to $100k to work in a data-storage center, AFB International, which is looking for technicians at $30k to $40k and PhD scientists at $80k to $100k. Also railroads in Southern California are offering positions at $35k to $70k a year.

The Monitor says that the availability of these types of jobs indicates “movement in a positive direction” for the employment situation in the U.S.

Plus, the Monitor points to jobs in the management and professional occupations category tracked by the Labor Department. The category is “employing 1.2 million more people this month than a year ago - or about 1 in 3 new jobs in America.” The highest-paying category tracked by Labor, the median paycheck for full-time workers is $937 a week, far above the median of $651.

In addition, the Economic Policy Institute, which tracks the ratio of higher-paying to lower-paying jobs, reports that the ratio has turned positive this year for the first time since 2001. That means, according to the Monitor, the new jobs tend to bring the average wage up, not down.

Overall, the U.S. added 211,000 jobs in March and 590,000 jobs in the first quarter of this year. The unemployment rate is currently 4.7%.


Comment by Magnetic
2006-04-12 01:46:06

20 years ago those PHDs were earning $70 - 90k. Interesting that the rise in income levels is so small and yest housing prices have tripled.

Comment by NH_renter
2006-04-12 03:11:07

Great point. That’s why so many PhD’s are going to Wall Street.

Comment by OutofSanDiego
2006-04-12 04:35:50

Same at the lower end. My wife has been out of the job market (BA Pol Sci) since 95 to raise our kids and will start looking to work again in summer 07. I would be THRILLED if she was able to start out with what she was earning back in 1991 (first job out of college). I don’t don’t think she will as I’ve been tracking local govt pay and it doesn’t seem to have changed much at all.

Comment by bairen
2006-04-12 06:01:52

Try buying a house on the westcoast or the northeast while making $40 to $50k a year. You’ll be lucky to find soemthing only 5 or 6 times your salary.

Comment by Greg
2006-04-11 19:06:31

Northern Virginia will crash hard but not as hard as other areas with much lower median incomes. I wonder what will happen to LA ?? any suggestions ?

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-04-11 19:47:05

It could be a very big correction in L.A.

Comment by mrincomestream
2006-04-11 20:00:45

Oh Housing Wizard don’t sugar coat, 3% cap rates, Watts at 400K Culver City, Westchester @ 800 - 1m and my oh my the insanity of the South Bay all on Option Arms and IO. Big correction is an uderstatement. Try it’s gonna be a bloodbath of epic proportions. Their going to need Moses to clear the streets

Comment by cereal
2006-04-11 22:07:23

just so my favorite mexican restaraunts aren’t harmed

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by nick818
2006-04-11 21:36:02

Need help fellow bloggers:

I just got a 30 day “notice of termination of tenancy” from the new owners who just purchased the apartment building i live in because they want to convert them into condos. They are saying to either purchase or get out.

Here is what I need help on. From my understanding, these people are supposed to give you a bunch of notices before you are kicked out. When I confronted the new owner, he claims that is not the case since the units were originally built as condos. Then I told him that this matter was never disclosed on my rental agreement, he said that they do not have to. Now something does not make sense here. Can anyone help me?

Secondly, if that was the case, how long can I prolong this matter?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Comment by Tulkinghorn
2006-04-11 23:02:34

I am a lawyer but not your lawyer, so I offer this as information but without establishing an attorney-client relationship.

These new owners can tell you to leave, but can’t make you leave without a court order. Make them go to housing court and get one. In many states there are all sorts of hoops a condo-convertor must jump through to get tenants out. Skipping these steps can create a lot of liability, so you may be able to get payment up front in return for dropping counterclaims.

Call your state Bar Association and ask for a referral. If it is not free it will be relatively cheap, and you will get advice you can rely on.

Comment by Justin
2006-04-12 07:17:10

Also, at the housing court there are lots of lawyers outside the courts that work for free that help people that have no $ for a lawyer. Some lawyers works for the owners, others for the tenants. I just happend to find a real nice lawyer who was teaching some student lawyers from Harvard. He told me not to abuse the law one way or another. I did not. All I wanted was a nice way out of an issue I was uncomfortable with.

Comment by Magnetic
2006-04-12 01:42:06

Nick, I have been a landlord off and on for 25+ years. If you live in Massachusetts or some other tenant friendly state….relax. I suspect that your lawyer could make the case that since the housing complex had been rented and held out to the public as a rental community that the condo conversion clock has just started and that you have 1 - 2 years to move out. Neverthe less..be carteful about buying at todays prices.

Comment by Justin
2006-04-12 07:12:27

Same thing happenned to me.

I used to live in the South End. The former owner told me he wanted to sell and that there was a prospective buyer. One day when the prospective owner asked to look at the apartment where I live I asked her kindly to allow me 2 months to leave. She agreed. Well, 3 weeks later she bought the place and sent me a letter to leave. I was shocked. Anyhow, I asked around about this type of issues. I called her and said I am not going to leave. Not because I wanted to give her a hard time, but because she lied and this was unfair to me. So, she sent me to court. We went. At court they asked both parties if they want to settle out of court and so we both said yes. We went in front a court officer and I explained my case and she explained her case. We did not have any lawyers. At the court there are practicians and other lawyers that can help you for free. It’s amazing how many cases go to court. Some are valid, others are not. So, we found a super nice lawyer that checked the eviction notice and other papers that we had. He quickly stated that the eviction notice was incorrectly filled and we that we could extend the issue for months. I told him, we want no problems with anyone, just need time to leave with no hazzles. So, another lawyer that wanted to help us told me he could get 5K out of her just because she was harazzing me. Amazing stuff. I said no. all I want is for her to give me time to leave. In the end, the court person stated she was not being fair. She agreed to paid for our moving costs, she forfeitted 2 months rent and gave us some $ for all the pain and suffering. To be honest, I was happy. She treated us real bad. I do feel the court lean on the tenant side as long a syou have been a good tenant. Don’t be afraid. If you have paid your rents on time and just need time to move in a decent fashion, then go to court. You may be surprised what may happened. You may settle out of court.

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