Friday, July 8, 2011

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  • GCKaMaara
    01-07 10:13 AM
    Looks like Israel goofed up this time:

    Oh really? Thats how they bombed the school and killed more than 40 kids?


    If Israel want to kill terrorist, they have every right to kill those terrorist who kill Isrealis. Instead they are bombing kids. Which is not acceptable by any people or any nation.

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  • fide_champ
    03-23 11:21 PM
    it is not just america losing - the person who has bought the house would lose his downpayment / equity too -not to speak of the mighty credit score - am I right ??
    depends on yr situation and your priorities and more important the place where you are planning to buy. is it in florida, mich, Ohio, california or nevada (I guess no - else you would not have asked this question). if you think of a house as investment and you dont want to take a loss - then wait. if you need the space desperately and you are o.k with the prospect of yr house depreciating for couple of years - then go ahead and buy. BTW there was another thread where this was discussed in detail

    I live in NJ close to the cherry hill area and i am looking to buy only in Burlington county. I have been living here for about 9 years now and so far haven't thought of investing here. I invested in india and the investment appreciated 4 times or more so i am happy about the decision. I actually needed a bigger place now and i am not seeing that as a investment but if it turns out that way that's fine with me. I just wanted to find out what are people's experiences with the house escpecially for those who are under H1/EAD.

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  • go_guy123
    07-28 03:37 PM
    The most likely scenario next year is Republican House and Dem senate with lower seat difference. This is a disaster for any type of immigration. Senate would be only pro-illegal and house against any kind of immigration.
    On top of it the only political agenda would be 2012 Presidential election. So 2011-2012 are No-No years for anything good on immigration.
    On the other hand you can expect several anti-immigration bills passing with more and more venom in each bill as the clock ticks and enforcement drive firing on all cylinders.

    yes its a NO NO for any amnesty...things will get better once skilled immigrants can seprate from the illegal immigrant lobby. Thats what happened in 2000

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  • rkgc
    03-23 03:21 PM
    Hi All, Let's post some useful information for gimme_GC2006, s/he must be anxiously waiting for our reply.

    Did you get in touch with a lawyer yet?



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  • bfadlia
    01-09 06:15 PM
    The question is about common sense and not who said what... Israel might make mistakes but it has no need to bomb civilians or school compounds deliberately. It is a strong enough country that can wipe out the entire middle-east if it chose to but it does not do so probably because it isn't a failed state with an inferiority complex like most of its neighbors.

    a common sense guy like you would have dismissed iraqis claims of abuse in abu gharib.. america is a strong country, it doesn't need to molest prisoners..
    how luxurious for you to use ur common sense while victims still suffer after their stories were corobrated by unbiased witnesses

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  • Legal
    07-10 09:54 AM
    Actually this "slavery" terminology is good for us, we can strategically use this to promote legislation like SKIL among anti-immigrationists and Congressmen/ senators.




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  • somegchuh
    03-25 02:14 PM
    I am glad you see the spirit. I love hearing counter points.
    Good Points. I like discussing real-estate; I'm deeply interested in it. So in that spirit of having a good conversation, here's my response:

    Couldn't agree more. Real estate is really local. IMHO, rela estate in SF Bay Area where I live, is still very inflated. It will slide for at least a few years before it starts stagnating. Off course even in Bay Area there are bright spots where the schools are really good.

    Real Estate market is always local. Unlike the market for -let's say- rice, which can be transported from one place where it's abundant to where it's scarce easily. Real Estate remains where it is. It's also subjected to a lot of local laws, municipal regulations etc. So, any discussion we have here will NOT apply to every single location. You have to research your own local regulations/market etc.

    If you have rent control, it significantly changes the picture. It usually doesn't make sense to buy if you have rent control.

    Could you explain property tax a little more? i.e. when you own it what % of your house is the tax? Is it a state tax? Is it fed deductible?

    Yep, you pay it when you own a house. And yes, you pay it when you rent (it's rolled into your rent). The difference is that when you own, it's tax-deductible; if you pay it as part of your rent, it's not.

    As a standard practice coming up with 20% down payment should be the right practice. But in Bay Area where an average house is 700K, coming up with 140K just for down payment is not easy. Again, this is really local. In ohter places coming with up with 20% makes it really easy. But in Bay Area ppl end up paying 5-10% as down payment and then pay monthly PMI.

    You don't pay PMI, if you put down 20%. Not a bad idea to save that much. It forces one to learn financial planning and forward thinking.

    Completely agree. Primary residence is for living but you don't want to buy something for .5 mil and realize you got sucked into a bad deal.

    Profit/Loss is not what the primary residence is for.

    Well, rents in the longer eventually do go up.

    You can rent for less, now, but how about later? You're assuming rents don't go up, but they do. One of my neighbors pays $250 per month in loan payment for a house he bought 20 years ago (property tax and insurance adds $550 more). It was a big payment then. Now it's almost live living for free. If he rented this he'd by paying $2500 at least. Again, if you don't plan to settle down, don't buy.

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  • hiralal
    06-08 09:34 PM
    There you go - "inflation"! This is another reason why investing in a house makes so much sense (iff your gc/job etc are sorted out).

    Let's say you buy a house today for $300,000, and you're paying $2,000 towards your monthly mortgage. Even if you don't build too much equity on it because of the falling real estate, you will STILL come out better because inflation will make sure that your monthly payments of $2,000 in 2019 will really become $1,500 in today's money.

    But if you continue to rent, you will pay let's say $2,000 today in rent, and 10 years from now you'll be paying $2,500, and you don't have a home to call your own!!!

    During times of inflation, commodities, home, etc are the winners. you are partly correct in my view ....but to buy when prices are falling is a sure shot loser ...
    even if prices are stable or lower than the rate of inflation will be losing money on the cost of the house ( 300K + for many homebuyers ..since you pay interest on the cost of the house)..for home buying to be a good investment, it needs to appreciate more than the rate of inflation (that seems years away from now)

    for e.g the person above who put in almost 80K in down payment ..
    1) if that downpayment was invested in better way ..then he could easily get 10% returns (u need to do some homework though) ...that means around 600 - 700 per month.
    so his effective rent is around 1200 per month.
    2) 5 years from now, rent may still be the same (or lower) ... it depends a lot on supply and demand on rental units too
    in majority of cases, we end up buying a house further away from our work ..that means additional 300 - 400 in gas and vehicle wear/tear per month.
    add property taxes, HOA fees, extra utilities, mntc, realtor fees, termite, lawn maintenance, long term prospects of USA, immobility (additional 800 - 1500 dollars) etc etc and you can easily say that home buying / investment in real estate is not a good bet (in USA atleast).
    if you are on temporary status - then add extra $200 - 300 risk premium per month as invisible risk cost (for risks plus extra headaches )
    so home buying should be more of lifestyle choice and not an investment point of view (in countries like India, singapore it is different since demand will always be strong for a long long time).


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  • 485Mbe4001
    06-05 06:23 PM
    The biggest mistake one can make is to consider your house as an investment option. Your example is good when you have enough equity and the cost of your house increases from 270k. factor in annual HOA, pmi, maintenance ect and the fact that when you sell you will have to pay ~6% for broker comission. People who were prudent or had the ability to buy during 1999-2003 are doing good so far.
    As for buying in the current they say location...location...location

    here is a slightly technical article about the current interest rate, FC and impact on housing in San Diego.

    rent Vs own calculator after factoring in annual home expenses..

    Your leverage is $270,000 in this investment, and you pay 5% interest on it which is tax deductible. You don't suppose one can borrow 270Gs to invest in, per my example, S&P 500 to get 10% annually? Of course the you are able to borrow that much on a home is because it is considered relatively a safe debt for the lender. That can't be said for stocks.

    How/where else will you earn $15,000 (equity) per year by spending $13,500 (interest).

    Remember, every payment I make, I also include the principal payment, so I am closer to owning more of my home as time passes.

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  • validIV
    06-25 01:46 PM
    I couldn't agree more. My first home is almost fully paid off. Peace of mind is a great thing.

    I will be happy owning one home. And hope to repay it off quickly so i dont have any BANK to answer to. Having a peace of mind that one day when i pay off the home nobody can kick me off my home for any reason is PRICELESS to me.

    It's not for my grandkids. Its for my wife and my kids when I retire.

    Owning 10 homes so that you can donate to your grandkids may be PRICELESS to you. I wish you the best.


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  • unitednations
    07-08 05:31 PM
    united nations,

    welcome back. it would be interesting to hear your views on the whole July VB fiasco and it's aftermath. thanks!

    I along with everyone was pretty surprised that they moved the dates in the june bulletin; let alone the july bulletin.

    The ombudsmen report had nothing new in it; he has been saying the same thing for a few years now.

    Go back to June 2005 when the bulletin for July 2005 came out and it made eb3 unavailable. Any time a total category goes unavailable that means that the oversubscribed countries should not have gotten more then 7%. ROW cannot be sacrificied under the current law for the oversubscribed countries.

    Back in 2005; row was sacrificied. Next time october bulletin came about; they learned their lesson and followed the law exactly the way it was supposed to be; more cases pending then approvable per quarter then hard country quota of 7%. The statistics that came out for fiscal year ended September 2006 was directly correlated to how the law is written.

    This year; everything was moving the same way. the unused from ROW should be spilled over in the fourt quarter for use by oversubscribed countries. This is not my opinion but the actual law says this.

    Now; when department of state moved the visa bulletin for june; eb3 row still wasn't current; which means hard country quota of 7% and no spillover from eb1 row or eb2 row until July. This can't be done on a whim; regardless of whether this may cause unused visas; it is the law plain and simple.

    Now; what department of state and uscis did to correct the mistake is a great piece of americana and how the system works here. that is; we didn't expect you to make the dates current; we will lose a lot of revenue; so how can we correct the situation; to correct the situation; they need to approve enough cases to take up enough visas to go unavailable. This is what they were proabably instructed and did their best to get there.

    If they didn't use up the visas then that is where the lawsuit would be won.

    A big part of this lawsuit during discovery or Q&A would be how the whole visa allocation is done. If it is determined as a side issue that the spillover happened way too early and they broke the law by giving more then 7% of the visas to the oversubscribed countries then that is definitely a death blow to the people who are really being overzealous right now in the criticisms of dos/uscis.

    If this does come out and i can't see why it wouldn't come out then what is uscis to do? rescind approvals? and re-allocate to rest of the world?

    The unused visas is a big problem in AC21; in that it can only happen in fourth quarter and there isn't enough time to approve cases and let them go to waste.

    This might be a catalyst to change the spillover and carryover of greencards from one year to the next.


    I am of the opinion that what happened in june 2007 actually helped greatly the oversubscribed countries in probably advancing the dates for next fiscal year as many people got approved who probably shouldn't have.

    However; it reamins to be seen whether uscis/dos will go to strictly following the country caps and spillover like they did in October 2005 to September 2006. If this is the case then it could be a very long road indeed for people with 2005-2007 priority dates.

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  • nojoke
    04-15 04:31 PM
    We are mixing too many different aspects of home buying and creating confusion.

    We buy homes, when we have clearly done our home work and know we can afford what we are buying and our incomes are expected to be reasonably stable. Everyone knows this and no one is arguing against the above logic.

    The points of contention were home life vs. apt life, and home as a home vs. home as an investment. I got into this thread to point out how some people are so obsessed about resale value that to them a home is nothing more than a piece of investment which should appreciate with time and be sold off.
    But these topics appear to be rubbing some people the wrong way as they are hurt to discover that there exist people who do not think the way they do. For that reason, I will lay off this topic.

    That is not why we are debating. We are saying that the house values will fall down further, so save some money by buying low. Ofcourse if you were to sell immediately you would loose a lot. We are not advocating to look for profits when you sell your house.


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  • xyzgc
    12-28 01:56 AM
    I am begining to beleive that WAR is not the answer, even though for the past 20 odd years, they have bled Kashmir, driven certain relegion members out, making them penniless, killing some of them and their family members mercilessly, doing the same in punjab (thanks to KPS Gill that was eradicated from the core), and using India's peace meaures in the last 7 odd years to infilitrate members who have created havoc in India.
    What India needs to do is strengthen internal security ('our sardar.....the chief...respectfully meant as i am a admirer of him, has done the right think by bringing in his most trusted man, PC to run home ministry....that man has been an asset in which ever position he has of v.v. high integrity and honesty like our chief)
    Secondly as i said before,...... the super powers also are pretty much behind India and will not make the same mistake as they have done in the past as they know that this is universal/global problem...and the doublespeak will not work...the worry is....who to talk to there...(neighbouring country)....there are so many power centres....its total i agree we should not go for war as that could be disastrous and open a exit strategy for all the dangerous elements and give them a longer/extended life to survive..........and continue with their nonsense......globally....WHY because once the war breaks out these dangerous elements will use their deadly toys that they have been provided with thanks to some of the regional powers....who....will then step in and insist on a dialogure....peace...etc etc..
    I am also surprised how sri lanka has agreed to go ahead with their cricket tour...i mean come on such a huge India....clear evidence...and to think and we sacrified a leader(possible PM) for them....STRANGE Behaviour....

    Without doubt, the internal security needs to be strenghtened. That is absolutely necessary. But is that sufficient?

    Why spend $26 billion yearly on defence budgets, if we are not to fire a single missile, worrying about the repercussions and what the dangerous elements will do?
    Is this only to be used in another Kargil-like war? WIf the answer is yes, that at least we should reduce our defence spending and divert it to make our nation secure. There is no possibility of that happening either.

    What is the probablity of another Kargil when a single terrorist attack is sufficient to throw the country into chaos?
    The whole idea is to destroy these terrorist outfits. Pakistan is not doing it. Should we not do it using our own arms?

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  • sledge_hammer
    06-27 11:52 AM
    Right, you pay for what you called "service", which is what your landlord is providing. And you pay him to let you stay in his house, which means YOU my friend are paying more than 80% of HIS mortgage. At the end of his mortgage, all his tenants would have collectively chipped in to pay more than 80% of HIS mortage and he has a house at the end of it all. What do YOU have? Zero, zilch, nada!

    Money paid as interest is the "service" cost of the money being loaned to you. You are paying so that you can live in the house you did NOT pay full cash for.

    My interest in a year is 2 times more than the standard deduction. I don't have a business yet, but when I start one, I'm going to have more deductions. Do the math!

    Its not logical to think of rent as money flushed down the toilet. It is the money you pay for a service aka for a service that provides shelter without any maintanance involved.

    Is the money that you are paying as interest for mortgage money flushed down the toilet???:rolleyes:

    Taxdeduction is overrated, remember everyone gets a standard deduction, so even if you
    dont have mortgage you get a break.


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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-07 10:31 AM
    Some actual bumper stickers:

    * Watch for finger.

    * Your kid may be an honors student, but you're still an idiot.

    * Cover me. I'm changing lanes.

    * Learn from your parents' mistakes - use birth control.

    * Forget about World Peace...Visualize using your turn signal.

    * I get enough exercise just pushing my luck.

    * I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.

    * Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.

    * I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

    * Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off NOW.

    * Some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill.

    * Warning: Dates in Calendar are closer than they appear.

    * Keep honking...I'm reloading.

    * Caution: I drive like you do.

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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 03:13 PM
    It is not the Law. It is just a guidance provide in one 2000 Memo by a USCIS director.

    Wondering whether the post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 was also a memo. If so when was that memo written - before or after the Yates 2000 memo?


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  • jungalee43
    07-28 03:19 PM
    The most likely scenario next year is Republican House and Dem senate with lower seat difference. This is a disaster for any type of immigration. Senate would be only pro-illegal and house against any kind of immigration.
    On top of it the only political agenda would be 2012 Presidential election. So 2011-2012 are No-No years for anything good on immigration.
    On the other hand you can expect several anti-immigration bills passing with more and more venom in each bill as the clock ticks and enforcement drive firing on all cylinders.

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  • jonty_11
    07-13 05:51 PM
    willwin - What we are essentially saying is to artificially retrogress EB2 than it otherwise would have so that an EB3 who is waiting for 7 years gets his GC first - thats really what the spillover break up will do. Similarly an argument can be made to artificially retrogress EB1 so that an EB2 who is waiting for 4 years gets his GC first.
    Whether EB1 is presently retrogressed or not doesn't matter.
    Let's think about this for a moment. We are trying to completely negate the category preference established by law and asking them to grant GC's based solely on PD regardless of category.
    Ain't gonna happen - dont want to be a pessimist but at some point we have to call it as we see it.
    Agreed.....the categories were made for a reasson.....and the same logic is being followed by the DOS to spillover unused VISAS. While I understand the frustration of EB3 folks, I would encourage those same folks to folllow IVs initiatives like - call campaigns for House bills...etc. As I have said before IV is working for one and all...w/o caring for their categories. It was not IV that created this spillover policy...however IV is the one that will fight for you irrespective of whether you are EB1, 2 or 3. The key is to post a united front and some level of participation from every member...I was sad to see Pappu publish low numbers for contributions and phone calls....and only wish we would come together as a group rather than breaking apart.
    While I fear this will create an offshoot EB3 group within IV, I hope that goos senses will prevail.

    FYI - EB2 is still retrogressed over 2 is not that it is current

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  • sledge_hammer
    06-05 12:52 PM
    First off, a house is really both an investment and a home. I would disagree with anyone that says it is one and not the other.

    When you look at a house as an investment, one has to realize that there is a certain risk involved. So unless you are ready to lose some money if you made a bad decision, you should not invest. The most important thing to remember is that "investing" is never a bad decision. But investing w/o analyzing the risk involved is definitely bad. At the cost of sounding like any financial advisor, diversification is the key. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    1. You do not want to buy a house because the real estate market may collapse.
    2. You do not want to invest in stocks because the stock market could go down.
    3. You do not want to buy gold because their track record for long term returns is a joke.
    4. You do not want to park your money in a savings account because the interest doesn't even beat inflation.

    Then what is an average investor to do?

    The answer is "diversify" to minimize risk. Each of the above is a solid investment if you know how to play it. We need to invest in house, gold, stocks, bonds, savings account, etc, and be prepared to take a the risk of losing some money in any one.

    ..And those who bought in the bubble lost money much faster than they would have "Lost" the money renting! Some of them even lost the whole House along with their Credit score!


    05-02 05:45 PM
    Glass Half Full on Obama's New National Security Team ( By THOMAS P.M. BARNETT | World Politics Review

    President Barack Obama reshuffled his national security team last week, and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The White House proclaimed that this was the "strongest possible team," leaving unanswered the question, "Toward what end?" Obama's choices represent the continued reduction of the role of security as an administration priority. That fits into his determined strategy to reduce America's overseas military commitments amid the country's ongoing fiscal distress. Obama foresees a smaller, increasingly background role for U.S. security in the world, and these selections feed that pattern.

    First, there is Leon Panetta's move from director of the Central Intelligence Agency to secretary of defense. When you're looking for $400 billion in future military cuts, Panetta's credentials apply nicely: former White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton, and 9-term congressman from defense-heavy California. But, truth be told, Panetta wasn't the president's first choice -- or his second, third, fourth or fifth.

    According to my Pentagon sources, the job was initially offered to Hillary Clinton, who would have been a compelling candidate for the real task at hand: working to get more help from our European allies for today's potpourri of security hotspots, while reaching out to the logical partners of tomorrow -- like rising China, India, Turkey, South Africa and Brazil, among others. She would have brought an international star power and bevy of personal connections to those delicate efforts that Panetta will never muster. But Clinton has had enough of nonstop globe-hopping and will be gone at the end of Obama's first term.

    Colin Powell, next offered the job, would have been another high-wattage selection, commanding respect in capitals around the world. But Powell demanded that his perennial wingman, Richard Armitage, be named deputy secretary, and that was apparently a no-go from the White House, most likely for fear that the general was set on creating his own little empire in the Pentagon. Again, too bad: Powell would have brought a deep concern for the future of U.S. national security that Panetta -- with the "green eye shades" mentality of a budget-crunching guy -- lacks.

    Three others were then offered the job: Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed; former deputy secretary of defense and current Center for Strategic and International Studies boss John Hamre; and former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, who was long rumored to be Obama's preferred brainiac to ultimately replace Gates. But Reed feared exchanging his Senate seat for a short stint in the Pentagon if Obama loses; Hamre had made too many commitments to CSIS as part of a recent fund-raising drive; and Danzig couldn't manage the timing on the current appointment for personal reasons.

    All of this is to suggest the following: Panetta has been picked to do the dirty work of budget cuts through the remainder of the first term and nothing more. If Obama wins a second term, we may still see a technocrat of Danzig's caliber, such as current Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy, or a major-league star of the Clinton/Powell variety. But for now, the SECDEF's job is not to build diplomatic bridges, but to quietly dismantle acquisition programs. And yes, the world will pick up on that "declinist" vibe.

    Moving Gen. David Petraeus from commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan to director of the CIA has puzzled many observers, and more than a few have worried that this represents a renewed militarization of the agency. But here the truth is more prosaic: Obama simply doesn't want Petraeus as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, something conservatives have been pulling for. By shifting him to CIA, the White House neatly dead-ends his illustrious career.

    As Joint Chiefs chairman, Petraeus could have become an obstacle to Obama's plans to get us out of Afghanistan on schedule, wielding an effective political veto. He also would have presented more of a general political threat in the 2012 election, with the most plausible scenario being the vice-presidential slot for a GOP nominee looking to burnish his national security credentials. As far as candidate Obama is concerned, the Petraeus factor is much more easily managed now.

    Once the SECDEF selection process dropped down to Panetta, the White House saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Plus, Petraeus, with the Iraq and Afghanistan surges under his belt, is an unassailable choice for an administration that has deftly "symmetricized" Bush-Cheney's "war on terror," by fielding our special operations forces and CIA drones versus al-Qaida and its associated networks. If major military interventions are out and covert operations are in, then moving "King David" from ISAF to CIA ties off that pivot quite nicely.

    The other two major moves announced by the White House fit this general pattern of backburner-ing Afghanistan and prioritizing budget cuts. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who partnered with Petraeus in Iraq during the surge, now takes over the same post in Afghanistan. Crocker is supremely experienced at negotiating withdrawals from delicate situations. Moving CENTCOM Deputy Commander Gen. John Allen over to replace Petraeus in Afghanistan is another comfort call: Allen likewise served with Petraeus in Iraq during the surge, when he was the key architect of the Sunni "awakening." Low-key and politically astute, Allen will be another quiet operator.

    Obama has shown by his handling to date of the NATO-led Libyan intervention that he is not to be deterred from his larger goal of dramatically reducing America's global security profile, putting it more realistically in line with the country's troubled finances. What the president has lacked so far in executing that delicate maneuver is some vision of how America plans to segue the international system from depending on America to play global policeman to policing itself.

    Our latest -- and possibly last -- "hurrah" with NATO notwithstanding, Obama has made no headway on reaching out to the world's rising powers, preferring to dream whimsically of a "world without nuclear weapons." In the most prominent case, he seems completely satisfied with letting our strategic relationship with China deteriorate dramatically while America funnels arms to all of Beijing's neighbors. And on future nuclear power Iran? Same solution.

    It's one thing to right-size America's global security profile, but quite another to prepare the global security environment for that change. Obama's recent national security selections tell us he remains firmly committed to the former and completely uninterested in the latter. That sort of "apr�s moi, le deluge" mindset may get him re-elected, but eventually either he or America will be forced into far harder international adjustments.

    06-26 10:20 AM
    Renting is not throwing money away..why ? for one - you get a place to stay, flexibility, maintenance / property tax paid by property owner, you can rent closer to your work and move around as per needs etc etc.. housing has its own benefits (but renting has its own too .."it is not as easy as saying renting is throwing money away" ..I have been asked to write about this in detail in the IV wiki ..will post a link here later

    ok if its not throwing money away, how do you get the money back you spent on renting? Nothing you said above answers that question.

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