Wow, a lot of people grouse about New Jersey. Constantly. It's too congested. The taxes are too high. Everything is so expensive. All of these statements are true. But there is one distinct advantage to living in New Jersey: we are dead center in the Northeast megalopolis. That giant, connected city that runs from Boston to [...]
Real estate appraisers use the term "plus or minus" and symbols like +/- a lot. It's not that we don't have confidence in what we are doing. It's because we are reporting on and analyzing a market. A market in which every item is unique. It's artscience.
Last week President Trump signed an Executive Order allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines. This is all well and good, I thought, but how would it work mechanically? So I did some research and realized that this is change could be very exciting, especially for people who own small business or are otherwise [...]
Drew University last week announced that it was slashing its tuition by 20% from $48,336 this year to $38,668 next year. So what prompted this act of altruism? Economic reality. Drew, like many small private universities, has struggled to maintain enrollment while charging a higher-than-average tuition. So how can Drew increase enrollment and maximize revenue? [...]
You may not be familiar with the initials ACC. ACC is Anthropogenic Climate Change, more commonly called Man-Made Global Warming. There are a lot of people who are deeply and sincerely concerned about the effects of ACC, and rightfully so. The stakes are high. Without taking a side, however, it is clear that ACC supporters [...]
The Appraiser Prosperity Coalition is seeking to level the playing field. I think they should just change fields.
I recently received an email request for a donation to the Appraiser Prosperity Coalition. I was not familiar with the organization, but I took some time to read up on who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. What I found was a group of well meaning residential mortgage appraisers fighting their latest [...]
Since the banking crisis reared its ugly head at the end of 2007, a raft of new legislation and regulation has been approved to prevent the darn thing from ever happening again. Among these efforts was, yet again, a crackdown on real estate appraisers. First an attempt was made to weed out the bad actors, [...]
It is sometimes astonishing how often human beings fail to learn from history. For example: This Monday's Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled, Dodgy Home Appraisals Are Making a Comeback. The article by Annamaria Andriotis opens, "Home appraisers are inflating the value of some properties they assess, often at the behest of loan officers [...]
Depreciation is a widely misunderstood concept. Most people don't know, for example, that there are three kinds of depreciation: physical, functional and external. Today we will focus on physical depreciation. The concept of physical depreciation is pretty simple: things break down and wear out. As a gentlemen on the back nine of life (in fairness, [...]
Summer is here and the season wouldn't be complete without loud and strident calls to make New Jersey's beaches "free." First, let's be clear in our definitions. "Free" is not the same as, "managed by a larger, less visible entity." In this instance, the State of New Jersey. Most beaches in New Jersey are managed [...]
There was a boatload of wisdom in Wilson Hall Monday night, words from three true leaders in New Jersey Real Estate at the Monmouth University Kislak School of Real Estate's Stephen B. Siegel Lecture Series. The featured speakers included: Ara K. Hovnanian, CEO and Chairman of Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., a national homebuilder; Ronald S. Ladell, [...]
For the record, I am no Pollyanna. Every day I post news items on LinkedIn and Twitter that I think are important. I am objective in my choice of articles. Cross my heart. But I can't ignore the cold, hard facts: Sign of Spring on Pay: Real Wage Growth Spring Thaw Has Companies Hiring Again [...]
Everybody is all freaked out about the retirement of the Baby Boomers. I am freaked out too, but only because I (technically) am one. And there is no way I want to be associated with those hippies. Heck, I was only six years old during the Summer of Love. The only thing I loved that [...]
Finance and economics blog Calculated Risk reported that the United States Budget Deficit is shrinking rapidly, now roughly 4% of GDP, down from over 10% in 2009. Hold on to your hats. All this capital is now available for private investment. Economic growth is likely to be strong for the next several quarters. Prepare accordingly.