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  • Gravitation
    03-25 05:29 PM
    If you make money using Biggerpockets... send me $100.:D

    If I make money from a due to a piece of information or knowledge directly obtained from biggerpockets, I'll buy you a beer! :D





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  • hiralal
    06-07 09:38 PM
    Chances of loosing right now, is very slim, since everything is lost and if you still have a good healthy job, chances are you would have it, and if you have backup like double income, you are running in no probability zone.

    After your i485 gets denied, I am assuming you can file MTR and wait for it. More senior members may throw light but I am guessing you would have 2-3 months time to leave the country.
    . o.k. Thanks. I don't understand why chances of losing are slim ?
    it is not high but it is not slim either for those on EAD / H1. majority of jobs posted ask for GC. H1 is in complete mess if you talk to any immi lawyer (I have a friend who is lawyer and I heard the same from a lawyer on desi radio).
    buying one house may still be o.k. ...buying 2 - 3 houses to put it on rent is absolute nightmare ..my friend tried that too (he too believed earlier that land is best asset) ... the renter stopped paying rent and he had trouble in evicting him ..on top of it the renter painted the rooms in wierd colors ...also how do you chechk how many people are staying in the house that you give on rent ..it is messy all way around ..if you really believe in land then better to buy some REITS (that is in mess too right now). luckily I had economics in my final year in engg college and the first and the fundamental equation is relation between supply and demand.
    in this country land is in huge huge supply (just look around) and families are getting smaller and green cards is given to 60 year old's (who just leave).
    credit is tight and will be for a long long time ..baby boomers will start selling their homes once prices stop falling ...so supply is massive and less demand ..





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  • mhathi
    09-26 10:01 AM
    Here's something from his website. I am not one hundred percent sure of what he will do but I do remember him talking about increasing EB GCs early on in his presidency bid.

    "Improve Our Immigration System

    Obama and Biden believe we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill. "

    I agree, Durbin will push for H1B restrictions and that is bad, but I think EB GCs may be safe according the the above.





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  • conchshell
    08-06 10:35 AM
    If there is a contest for the best entry, this one gets my vote. But, there is a subtlety that seems to be missed here. Monkeys are mostly brain, whereas lions are all brawn (we are a lot closer to monkeys in our genetic makeup!). So, looking at it from that angle, and in the context of what we are trying to achieve here in US, who would we rather be :)

    This subtlety does not matter. From USCIS point of view, if you entered on Lion Visa you are a Lion, if you came in on Monkey visa you are a monkey. These visas are not based on your genetic makeup, but on the fact that under what category your zoo (employer) filed your visa. Otherwise how come monkeys interfiled and became Lion?? :D:D



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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 02:00 PM
    Good points, but let me put a counter argument. Two people , one is named SunnySurya and the other is named Mr XYZ. Both came to the USA at the same time in 1999. The difference was SunnySurya came here for his masters and the other guy came here through shady means.

    Mr XYZ was able to file his green card in 2002 in EB3 category based on his shady arrangements with his employer, whereas Mr SunnySurya continued to do right and socially acceptable things i.e. studied, got a job and then after several years this big company filled his green card in EB2 category in 2006.

    On the other hand after strugling for several years Mr. XYZ has collected enough years on his resume to be elligible for EB2. Now he want to port his PD

    SunnySurya's PD is 2006 and Mr. XYZ PD is 2002. Now if Mr. XYZ want to stand in EB2 line, I wonder what problems SunnySurya can have???:confused:


    Oh my gosh..This much argument. I do not know the PD porting is law or rule. If it is law, one can not file suit against the amended law. But one can request the law maker to change. If it is a rule, one may do that. But it does not have any merit. It is waste of time.

    PD porting, in theory, is very genuine. (may be not-genuine in many cases; just to cut-short the line or line jump by creating a EB2 job) So, one cannot challagne that. Here is why. A cook may have a PD 2001 in EB3. He has right to study PhD and apply in EB1 catagory, by poring PD. There is no violation of ehics here.





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  • vactorboy29
    10-01 04:18 PM
    I do support Obama reason for that he got good plans to rescue this economy .He also understand how it feels when you treated differently .Another thought I have is, his father was came to this country for higher study and he understands What is American dream.
    That is how i feel he will do better on our cause than his opponent.



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  • lost_in_migration
    04-07 08:22 PM
    The point missed here is most of us have our GC applications pending at a stage in which we cannot change employers... If we had our GCs we didn't had to worry about this bill ..and a lot of things :(

    I am not sure why we are worrying about this bill. This makes restrictions on Consulting companies, so what Clients won't be able to find people, so they do hire people as full time instead of temporary consulting position. That is good for us we can find more full time positions from client it self. I even heard that this bill makes sure H1B are paid by market rates instead of DOL wages which are often very less than market value. Good thing for us the staring salaries would be at higher rate than present rates. This bill is bad for consulting companies but good for us. Am i missing any thing here??





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  • suavesandeep
    06-26 03:05 PM
    Would you share what calculator are you using.

    I used one here:
    Mortgage Calculator - Bankrate.com (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/mortgage-calculator.aspx)

    Loan Amount: 600K (Note much less than million dollars)
    Period: 30 years fixed
    Interest Rate: 5% (On the lower side using historical averages)
    Monthly Payment: 3220.93

    Total Interest Paid across 30 years: 559,534.71

    In general the thumb rule is across 30 years you will always pay interest which is approx equal to the principal you signed up for.

    Am i missing something here ?



    Yes its not clear cut but lets replace your X, Y and others with numbers

    Suppose your rent is 1500$ a month

    You pay 540,000 $ in 30 years

    so your point 1 - the interest payment is always going to be less than rent if you look over the 30 year term of mortgage since there is no way to pay 540,000 dollars in interest in 30 years looking at the amortization table unless you are buying a million dollar plus house. ( I assumed 5 % rate of interest )



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  • trictrac
    08-02 12:49 PM
    My case is intent-to-hire for 485, so my attorney just took 3 paystubs and 1 w2 for filing. Is that ok?





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  • wantgc23
    08-11 07:55 PM
    really good thread



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  • Macaca
    12-21 10:53 AM
    Bush boxed in his congressional foes (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-congress21dec21,1,2311328.story) Democrats took the Hill but were stymied by a steadfast president By Janet Hook | LA Times, Dec 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON � Just over a year ago, a chastened President Bush acknowledged that his party had taken a "thumping" in the congressional elections, and he greeted the new Democratic majority at the weakest point of his presidency.

    But since then, Democrats in Congress have taken a thumping of their own as Bush has curbed their budget demands, blocked a cherished children's health initiative, stalled the drive to withdraw troops from Iraq and stymied all efforts to raise taxes.

    Rather than turn tail for his last two years in the White House, Bush has used every remaining weapon in his depleted arsenal -- the veto, executive orders, the loyalty of Republicans in Congress -- to keep Democrats from getting their way.He has struck a combative pose, dashing hopes that he would be more accommodating in the wake of his party's drubbing in the 2006 midterm voting.

    Bush's own second-term domestic agenda is a shambles: His ambitions to overhaul Social Security and immigration law are dead; plans to update his signature education program have foundered; few other initiatives are waiting in the wings.

    But on a host of foreign and domestic policy issues, backed by a remarkably disciplined Republican Party in the House and Senate, Bush has been able to confound Democrats. It has been a source of great frustration to the party that came to power with sky-high expectations and the belief it had a mandate for change. And it is a vivid reminder of how much clout even a weakened president can have -- especially one as single-minded as Bush.

    "We have custody of Congress, but we don't have control," said Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village). "Bush has shown, time and again, that he's a very stubborn guy. November 2006 didn't change that."

    Many Republicans have been surprised and impressed with Bush's continuing power -- even when he has used it to ends they disagreed with.

    "At the beginning of the year, most of us viewed the president as having less control over the process than ever," said Rep. Michael N. Castle (R-Del.), a moderate who voted against Bush on healthcare, the budget and other issues. "But this year, he realized more goals than in a lot of the years when he had Republicans controlling Congress."

    At a news conference Thursday after Congress adjourned for the year, Bush had kind words for much of Congress' work and did not gloat over his success in keeping Democrats' ambitions in check.

    "What ended up happening was good for the country," he said.

    Democrats blamed this year's congressional gridlock on Bush, but his inflexibility on key issues was just one factor.

    Republican lawmakers showed scant interest in compromise. Democrats were riven by internal divisions. And Bush did little to unite rather than divide the factions on Capitol Hill. He did not much resemble the kind of politician he was as governor of Texas, when he forged a strong relationship with the Democratic lieutenant governor.

    Immediately after the 2006 election, it looked as if Bush might offer Democrats an olive branch and set a more bipartisan tone. He let go controversial Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He called incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) at home on Christmas. After years of ignoring congressional Democrats, he began inviting them by the dozen to the White House to hear them out.

    But the honeymoon did not last long. Democrats were furious when, after an election they believed was a mandate to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, Bush in January announced a buildup. A few weeks later, he went around Congress and issued an executive order giving the White House greater control over the rules and policies issued by regulatory agencies. White House meetings with Democrats turned partisan -- and then petered out. Bush repeatedly reached for the bluntest of presidential tools -- the veto.

    His first veto this year nixed a war spending bill that included a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. Democrats' promise to press the issue all year lost steam after testimony in September from the top commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, instilled confidence in Republicans whose commitment to the war had grown shaky. Without more GOP defections, Democrats in the Senate were powerless to undercut Bush's war policy.

    Bush also wielded his veto power to great effect on domestic issues.

    He blocked Democratic efforts to expand stem cell research, a popular bill that had broad bipartisan support. The failed effort to override that veto provided a window onto a dynamic that was key to Bush's source of strength throughout the year: Many moderate Republicans parted ways with the president on the stem cell override vote -- as they later did on his veto of the children's health bill -- but there were enough conservatives who agreed with him to sustain his vetoes.

    Bush issued a barrage of veto threats to curb Democrats' domestic spending plans -- an effort that helped him regain some favor among fiscal conservatives who had lambasted him for allowing the Republican-controlled Congress to jack up spending to record levels.

    "Fiscal conservatives can see the president getting stronger on spending this year than in the previous six years," said Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the Heritage Foundation.

    Democrats had wanted to add $22 billion to Bush's funding request. But he drew a line in the sand and guarded it for months. He vetoed a bill packed with spending for education, health and other popular programs. The final budget approved this week adhered to his overall spending limit -- and dropped riders on abortion and other issues he objected to. And it included the money for the Iraq war with no strings attached.

    Bush also held the line against Democrats' efforts to raise taxes, which they proposed to offset the costs of new health spending, energy programs and a middle-class tax break. Faced with Bush's veto, Democrats could not enact taxes on such inviting targets as cigarettes, wealthy hedge-fund managers and big oil companies.

    Bush's Republican allies were almost giddy with their unexpected success.

    "Who would have thought a year ago that Democrats would have come down to the president's budget number, that we would be ending the year by funding the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that we could complete the year without raising taxes on the American people?" said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "And all despite having a Democrat majority in Congress."

    Heading into the 2008 elections, Democrats will have to keep their supporters from becoming demoralized over not being able to deliver more with their majority.

    "It's hard for them to understand, and it's even harder for us to live with," said Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.).

    But Democrats are trying to turn their tribulations into a campaign issue by telling voters that the party will not really have a working majority until they expand their Senate caucus from the current 51 to 60 -- the number they need to block GOP filibusters and other stalling tactics.

    The tag line on a fundraising pitch by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: "51 seats is not enough. Help us turn our country around."

    Acknowledging that GOP victories this year consisted simply of blocking Democrats, some Republicans say they will have to develop a more positive agenda to build a successful political brand. Said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), "The product we're selling is negative."





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  • cpolisetti
    04-18 06:09 PM
    I don't believe votes such as this are scientific. Also only people who like the opinion given by him watches the show, so everyone knows it will be biased.

    Anyway I did vote NO.

    Lou Dobbs at CNN is doing a quick vote to justify his oppinions against amnesty. So far, the majority of the vote is "against" rather than "for". I myself am not a big fan of the proposal becauses it deminishes efforts put in by legal immigrats like ourselves but regardless consider it necessary for us to support as it currently is the only bill alive including retrogression relief along with amnesty.

    Media generates publicity by twisting a small fraction of reality. Imagine what Lou would say if he gets a unanimous vote against amnesty. I am sure he will make the best of it to promote negativism towards any relief efforts regardless of it being amnesty or retrogression relief. Please go to the URL below and cast your support vote!

    Question: Do you believe Congress should first demand that our borders and ports be secured before taking up immigration reform?


    http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/



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  • validIV
    06-05 05:24 PM
    My properties are in Woodside and Kew Gardens both in Queens, NYC. I have been fortunate as NYC is one of the best areas that kept its home value. I am certain this is not the case in 90% of the country but so far in NYC, the housing and renting market have only dropped slightly or remained stagnant in most areas here. In fact, some places are picking up again.

    I will admit that one unit (3 bedroom) that I was formerly renting out for 1900 had to be dropped to 1700 to compensate for the recession. But the house that the unit was located in (2 family house) appreciated in equity by 30,000 in 1.5 years (also in February 2009) amidst the economic downturn.

    As for generalizing, yes I understand that buying and owning is not for everyone, especially if your situation is temporary and you have no plans to stay in that area for long. But you are in America for God's sake. Take advantage of the system and don't be afraid of it. Why are you applying for your green card here if you dont plan to make it your home or long term? That just doesn't make sense to me. I know in the Philippines we cannot leverage as well as we can here with this system. I'm sure its the same in India? Correct me if I'm wrong.

    As for the housing bubble, it was bound to happen because banks were lending to people living beyond their means. That doesnt apply to us. Most immigrants are smart and don't buy a house unless they've done the math—even if the bank says we can afford it when we know we cannot.

    Renting, in my opinion, is a stepping stone. You rent only when you are saving to buy a home. You CANNOT rent your whole life, that is just a waste and like I said before, not smart. But smart people stop renting early and pay off their homes by their late 40s. At least that is what I am aiming for. Renting out my properties allow me to do that.

    With those rent/price ratio - it makes no sense indeed to rent.

    If I may ask you for a huge favor - could you please PM me more details about where specifically in Queens you have those kind of rent/price ratios?

    Since the market prices got so inflated - my experience is that the rent/price ratios are still wayy off historical trends. My impression (based on a few examples I have seen) is that in most of the situations - the rent would not cover the interest + property tax + maintenance, which would mean throwing away money if you buy.

    If indeed there are rent to buy ratios like the ones you have mentioned - then renting would be foolishness.





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  • rheoretro
    11-12 02:28 PM
    rheoretro Surely there is a distinction between illegal immigrants and Latinos (though I am not sure how thick is the line) but I did say that we cannot have even a whiff of support for illegal immigration be it from any country, including India.

    It is unfortunate that the legal reform package cannot be passed without the CIR and one of the reasons behind that is the tendency of pro-immigration groups to paint both forms of immigration with the same brush.

    A few days ago, I received an email from SAALT (South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow), urging me to lend support to stop passing the anti-immigration bill. Their logic was that there are millions of illegal Indian immigrants as well so we should support them. When I countered them saying that essentially you are asking us to support something based on whether they are "our crooks or not" and not on the basis of whether it is right or wrong, their reply essentially was that we know this better than you so just listen to our argument and support us.

    Bottom line? Illegal immigration in any form is not acceptable.

    English_August: Actually, it is a very thick line between legal and illegal immigration, as far as Latinos are concerned. There has been strong Latino/Hispanic immigration (legal) into the US for several decades now, if not a whole century, which is also possible. There are third and fourth generation people in the US of Latino/Hispanic ancestry. It's just that there was a serious influx of illegal immigrants in the US over the last ten to fifteen years, and the media makes it seem as if they are all illegal. That is not true.

    I agree - illegal immigration in any and every form is unacceptable. I am familiar with SAALT, including their executive director, Deepa Iyer. While I admire the community outreach work that they do, I too differ with them over a blanket amnesty. BTW, it was Deepa who corrected my false impression recently. The numbers for illegal immigrants from India are astoundingly high - the estimate is between 300,000 and 400,000. That number compares with the number of people in the legal immigrant EB pipeline from India, probably.

    At the end of the day, it, sadly, does come down to numbers. Even in 1986, in Reagan's time when the Simpson-Mazzoli bill was passed, amnesty of some form was given to people who had either entered the country illegally or had over-stayed their visas. This time the number of illegal immigrants is much higher, and Congress can't ignore this problem anymore. At least the American people seem to have clearly told Congress to put aside petty partisan squabbling, and get the people's work done on Capitol Hill.

    I am simply amazed by this dismal statistic - IV claims that there are about half a million people stuck in immigration backlogs/retrogression. Then why does IV have a membership that merely represents barely 1% of this pool? 6500 members isn't enough. Capitol Hill treats you differently if you say that you have 20,000 or 30,000 members...you get more attention.



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  • logiclife
    07-09 01:11 AM
    Well, we had a good debate on Radio on KPFK today.

    I would like to thank Rajiv Khanna, Stuart Anderson, Carl Shusterman, Ashish and Swadha for participating on this show. Also Aman and Ashish for arranging this with Debo.

    Today, a caller called the show when Debo opened the phone lines and this guy, named Mike, went on and on about how H1B program is similar to slave trade and H1B workers live like insects by piling up 10 people in a one-bedroom apartment and work 100 hours a week for 30 thousand dollars a year bla bla bla.

    Without studying due process, or policy analysis, simply crying "Slave Trade", "H1B stole my job...waaaah...waaah", "H1B replaced me...waaah...waaah", they create good sound bites and play victims.

    Really, H1B program and employment based greencard program, that brings professionals in skilled occupation into this country to fill a shortage of skilled workers has been vindicated beyond limit. And they keep beating the same drums. "They steal jobs". "They drive down wages". They make good soundbites. And they make good quotes for Lou Dobbs.

    Let me say this to Mike and the likes of Zazona.com

    Employers dont just go around spending thousands of dollars on H1B fees and greencard fees to hire a guy with foreign accent if a native citizen was available. And they do not underpay them, because they HAVE to pay prevailing wages based on the wages determined by the Department of labor. If they apply for greencard, then that's because they want him on a permenant basis and there is a another labor certification process for that too, where there are newspaper and other advertisements for the job available to citizens first. Upon not finding a suitable fit, they file for labor certification. And let me remind you all that it takes 2-3 years for department of labor to do that coz they do an exhaustive review of the job offer.

    Go Here on this link of Department of labor (http://ows.doleta.gov/foreign/perm.asp)and read the process for yourself. This system is designed to protect the citizens and IT WORKS.

    Now in a few cases, if there was fraud, then that doesnt mean that the system does not work and should be abolished. Its like saying that we should abolish driving privileges of everyone just because some drivers drive drunk and kill pedestrians. By that token, we must also ground all commercial air travel because sometimes the planes crash and they kill people.

    Another accusation is that H1B employees pay for their own fees sometimes and also for lawyer's fees. And they work like donkeys. Well, not everyone pays for the lawyers. In some rare cases, if the employees hire lawyers, its their own choice, for their own comfort and for their own complicated cases which are many time due to problems of their own making. Why would the employer pay for individuals immigration problems that are not tied to H1B or GC petitions filed by Lawyer? As to working additional hours, its called overtime my dear friend. And they are paid to do that. No one works for free. And no one works for less. If they are paid less than what they think they deserve, then they quit the employer and go to another employer next door who pays them more and treats them fairly.

    And ya, another thing. Biggest subscriber of H1B program, especially since the late 90s has be the IT industry. Unemployment in IT industry is less than 2%. If H1B program is really making life worse, I am sure IT industry unemployment would have been more than national average of 5%.

    And now, let me mention a few slaves and their slave-masters that I am really proud of...

    There are nearly 2000 doctors who are on their path to permenant residency(Green card) in America. They are under Conrad-30 (J1) program. They serve 4 million americans in medically underserved areas. These are rural areas where its hard to find a proper grocery store, let alone a Doctor.

    One of my friends works as a Doctor in Yuma, Arizona. The greencard process for him stalls him for years and years to move to a more desirable area even if he has done his due of serving in rural areas for X amount of years. His process would start over again if the area is no longer medically underserved.

    And then there are nurses, who also make it to America from all over the world on H1B program. Now, if you've ever been to a Hospital, you would know that its not really the most pleasant job in the world. And there is a severe shortage of nurses in America. Even a 5 year old knows this. So by abolishing H1B program and employment based immigration program, you would get rid of the SLAVE nurses too, who work 12-hour shifts on jobs that American born RNA nurses dont accept.

    Such Doctors and nurses are a beacon of hope to 4 million Americans where healthcare is difficult to come by. If such Doctors are slaves, then I am proud of those slaves and their slave masters, and I would love to be either one of them any given day of the week.

    -Have a great weekend-





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  • h1techSlave
    04-07 03:19 PM
    In early 2000 when the stock market was going crazy, every pundit worth his salt was proclaiming at the top of their voice to buy stock. And then the whole thing collapsed.

    In the same time period, not many experts recommend buying a house. I remember in 2002 a community near my work was selling town homes for around 200,000 and there were no buyers. Today (after correction) those same houses are still selling at around 450,000.

    I 100% agree with you that this is a good time to buy. I know many people are saying that the market would crash another 20%. But the fact is that you can negotiate 10-15% from the advertised price. And there are enough homes in the bank-repo and short sale categories where the prices are 20-30% below the price mentioned in zillow.

    Having owned a town home for the last 2.5 years, I can very confidently say that the yard work and house cleaning etc. etc. are not such a big deal. Actually we mow our lawn with a manual push mower (may not be practical if you have more than 10 cents to mow) and clean the snow using a $10 snow shovel. Who said a little exercise is bad for you? I have also helped my single family friends in their yard work and never thought working outside is such a bad thing.

    But there is a risk. And house is big ticket item, you have move cautiously.

    I firmly believe in the Contrarian Theory. When speculators run, its time to get in and BUY. I owned two homes and I am in the process to getting a third one. I would be a good candidate for those TV shows on HGTv/TLC. I buy a home build equity(through appreciation) and flip. This will get me closer to my DREAM home. I cannot see myself in a home for more than 5 years.

    The inventory glut in (SF Bay Area) is not desirable, they talk about east contra-costa and south Santa Clara but there are not much available in core bay-area. The inventory is basically non-desirable.

    Simple math, just estimate the number of immigrants that will be ready to buy a home in SF Bay. Just look at the inventory in desirable neighborhoods. They dont match.
    Stretching (financially) yourself is always uncomfortable but it can reap you huge dividends. If you are not comfortable, then I would say keep aside monthly payments that would cover 6 months and your home should be sold incase you need to get out of it.

    No other investment in US(for individuals) is as leveraged as homes/real-estate. You invest 5% and reap the benefits(or losses) of the rest.



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  • acecupid
    08-05 03:15 PM
    Seems like a lot of emotions running high on this thread!

    Given that the USCIS director doesn't visit IV before writing memos on interfiling and porting PD's it's meaningless getting your blood pressure up.

    Rolling flood is definitely free to file his/her lawsuit whether folks here like it or not and SunnySurya has every right to join in.

    Wondering why folks from EB-3 want to just move up to EB-2 and port PD. Why not go for EB-1? After all that category is current.

    If someone is eligible to port to a higher category they will rightfully do so. Your post seems to imply all PD porting is through shady means. Grow up buddy!





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  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier t his decade.
    Jung.lee very good second post from you. People still think it is very easy to keep on holding onto your home for long time till turn around happens.
    But life events can cause you to sell like
    1. Job loss and not able to find job in the same area till back up money runs out.
    2. Kids grow up and you need to pay for college and you have little saving as you are holding to see turn around
    3. Hope not but some medical emergency.

    There can be many more situations. Do you know what people are currently doing in these situation ?
    Get money from Home equity ATM machine !!

    Personally I will be scared to buy now as my payment will be more than 50% of my salary and any of above situations will cause me to sell.
    The prices have to become saner ....
    This is very different from anything we have seen. Wall street will change, money will be harder to come by.
    I think time to say " Welcome savings again ". Long term very good for US as country.





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  • ca_immigrant
    06-23 03:55 PM
    I'm surprised nobody is even considering the other aspect i.e. the pleasure to live in your own house. We people are living in US in a small sized appt. while we bought houses in India, which is on rent. You will never know the pleasure of living in your own space...

    in agreement.....there is definately pleasure in living in your own house....





    hiralal
    06-23 11:30 PM
    good point by suavesundeep...the problem for many desis / Immigrants is that they fall prey to all the marketing gimmicks and tricks by realtors (for e.g ..renting is throwing money away ..in reality it is not because of the flexibility esp for those on visa and the fact that you get a place to live at affordable price ..plus you can invest the remainder and get higher returns )..also, many lose sight of the fact that land is precious and pricey in India and the reason for that is the huge demand from young population and relative boom in economy ..while in US, supply is HUGE and demand is low ..here is an example ..people (and mostly desis) in Atlanta keep on saying that Atlanta is not affected, the prices never increased much, no bubble etc ..but see this small report and you will understand that supply is huge. 40 years supply !!!
    -----------
    ATLANTA -- A one-mile stretch of Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood shows why commercial real estate is emerging as an obstacle to pulling the U.S. economy out of recession.

    Separate developers in Buckhead are building four speculative office buildings at the same time with virtually no leasing activity. The 35 recent condominium projects will help give Atlanta a 40-year supply at the current sales pace. A $600 million outdoor shopping mall under way has suspended construction to save money.

    The glut threatens to worsen the clobbering that many U.S. banks already are getting from nonperforming loans made to owners and developers





    akred
    06-24 12:04 AM
    I am shocked to see the HOA cost in CA, Why is HOA so high there, Obviously CA does not get snow like East coast for 4-6 months, so snow mowing and salt sprinkling(which is expensive) is ruled out.
    Just to mow lawn, gardening and keeping tab on overall resident development you pay $400/month..Thats ridiculously high...BTW,I am not from CA, excuse my ignorance.


    HOA dues depend on many factors. The community may have maintenance or upkeep expenses that are out of the ordinary. Or the board may be building up reserves for future expenses that may be as much as 25 years down the line. Sometimes the board is dysfunctional and will take the easy way out of charging more dues instead of optimizing expenses.

    Before you buy into a HOA, get the minutes of the last year's board meetings and read through them to see if it is the kind of place you'd want to live in.



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