Good for you that you are making some money off the real estate investments....but why generalize?
The right decision on whether to buy or rent depends on many factors including your financial capabilities, location, taxation and future plans.
For some, renting makes financial sense, for others buying! :)
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My main concern is two fold:
1. Let us assume I am a very bright individual and I am currently in Harvard. If I graduate from Harvard Business School, and I want to join McKenzie, can I do that? Can I ever be a Management consultant in US if I want to (read I as any random Joe who is not US citizen/GC holder)
2. Can I switch jobs within a couple of weeks if I need to (I refers to someone who works for a good company but perceives opportunities else where) - this is important as my competition (US citizen/GC holder) has no restriction in place for them. This is also important during recession when I might be a valuable asset to another company but the company cannot afford to wait.
My point is: definitely prevent abuse of the system, but not by putting more shackles on the hapless employee. Give the employee freedom to move anywhere for a certain period of time (could be 3 yrs renewable 2 times as per current H1b) and have strict penalties if this employee overstays visa etc.
Additionally, if employers abuse the system, send them to jail right away (and have whistle blower immigrant status protection). Make employers more accountable than they are today.
Just my 2 cents.....
Hamas is such a coward orgn that they hide behind school, mosque, hospitals to shoot their rockets, so they really are luring israel to bomb those areas. Unfortunately innocents die...the blame should be on hamas. In fact, before bombing Israel even goes to the extent of calling and texting people in the target area to warn them before bombing. which country at war you know does that. Inspite of all these the biased media portrays Israel as the evil one. time to think. if only india shows some courage like that.
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In West Bengal, in early 90s Banks wanted to introduce computerized system. Union opposed heavily keep saying this is "Inhuman" and against the labor. And to the surprise, union won. They had to postpone plans to introduce computers on lower level.
Meanwhile, private banks came in. Their services were much better and faster and nationalized banks started facing serious customer satisfaction problems consequeted to business loss. Then the same union came on road against nationalized banks - actually broke couple of them like a riot saying that these people are stealing our breads.
Isn't this the same some religious organizations are doing? They are not training kids for professional world. And then they teach people like Kasab that other side of border is rich and we are poor.
Think over this.
U should look more at Pre-forclosure ( if u can get hold of one) than the foreclosed properties. Most of forclosed properties need substantial investment to fix them. Generally public gets the last chance of good foreclosed properties. It is a bank- real estate nexus which eats up the good inventory before hitting into the market. US home auction is not a real auction but more like a open house for 100 properties at the same time. Quality of inventory is not worth it.
I think Barrack Obama is really interested in strengthning its ties with India. I think he will definitely do something to help legal immigrants waiting in queue as one aspect of strengthning ties with India.
Based on current outlook, the prices for houses will fall until end of 2010 and will stabilize in next 5 to rise again by 2015 to 2017. This is purely based on historic pattern.. Now god kows what these crazy folks like Bernankie (15 fold increase in currency base projected in Fed Reserve BS. :D) and Gessner' (foolish tax payer investment in GM though it looks like payback to unions) interfearance will do to this country...
Some people jump guns and create demand for home to get $8000 credit... you can see now the builders are increasing prices for homes in the market... slowly.. but will not sustain into 2010.. it will fall for one important reason, supply is too much.. oh by the way.. 30% of home owners want to sell their homes in this market to avoid further fall... based on recent survey..
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Well, then why are they allocating Visas to EB3s. They should give all visas to EB2 and then only go to EB3.
Your statement that EB2 requires higher qualification is correct. But the number of jobs requiring those qualifications are less.Doesn't mean people taking up jobs that fall into EB3 category have inferior qualifications. Think of it this way. There may be many people who may be qualified to be a CEO but there will be only one CEO for company.
EB3 has a lot more applicants because of the 245 cases that were filed in 2001. So get off the pedestal and think normally.
So you are an undesirable/inferior when compared to people in EB1? If you feel so then you have serious self esteem issues.
Don't try to spread such inferiority complex.
What are your thoughts on h1bs/GC sponsored by universities. Do you forsee any problems with them? Also any insight on long time it takes for visa stamping?
No problems with Universities. I was surprised to see how many h-1b's are actually held by universities.
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If you believe in Science, you wont tend to believe in any religion or for that matter any God..
God was created by man..
Imagine this :
Take for ex : God is human.. How can a human being be supreme or whatever and manage other humans.. For ex if 1000 people commit crime how can a God being a instance of human being watch them.. Even if he watch them how can he punish them.. all not humanly possible.. so God cannot be human..
So let us take like what Islam says.. God is not human nor he is physically presence.. In that case how an Supreme being again watch all of our deeds when even a human kind of thing is not possible.. So God cannot be supremely supreme to watch us..
Earth all happened by itself and it evolved by itself.. It will destroy itself and it will retransform itself.. this is the absolute truth.. believe it or not..
Everyone has some kind of inner consciensus.. you be afraid to that and answerable to that.. (You can call it as God if you want..)
Other than that start believing in Science and be answerable to yourself.. Nothing else matters...
You are saying all this out of sheer ignorance and you yourself dont know what you are speaking about your own creator. If you know little science you will go away from religion, if you know more science, you will come towards religion. You are a victim of the former.
All through out the history, Religion has been in competition with science. Why? Because Religions want to be the answer to every question -why do we have day and night, earth is flat,...? Then came science, providing valid reasoning to these questions. So there was competition. In earlier years, as we all know, people who said that earth was round were executed by the religious people who felt thretened. That close mindedness did not end there, it still flows in everyone still praticing some form of oraganzied religion.
Human behavior is such that we try to make up reasons to explain everything around us. And for the things we don't understand, we go to our religion to find answers for the unknown. Religions always comes up with some answer, which is proved wrong 100% of the times as science progresses. It would be ok to believe religious view that earth is flat and "GOD" is spinning the earth on his/her fingers. But you see, we no longer live in medival period, and know better than that. Although, we have gained knowledge and we continue to find out more things, but the religious leader still wants mankind behave as if we are living in medivial period. Based on what the so called religious leaders tell us, people still follow these books litterally and blindly, because mankind continue to look towards religions whenever we are not able to find answers to our questions. And this bahvior pattern has gotten embrossed into our genes during 100s of generations.
And scientist do not have answers for everything, yet. And for the things they don't have answers, because of their genes and their lack of ability to answer every question, they look upon religion for answers to questions that they cannot explain. But great scientist have never relied on "a religion" to explain GOD, although most have acknowledged their believe in the existance of GOD. But that in itself is not enough for us to take the word of the book each religion preaches litterally, and call people from other faiths as non-believers, evil, kafirs or every other synonym out there. That's the same kind of ingorance and disease as demonstrated and abetted by people who killed scientist in the middle period for saying that earth is round. Its the same kind of behavior that tells others to riot because some newspaper published a cartoon in some part of the world and that cartoon offended my GOD. I mean, how shallow is that God or show narrow minded is that religion which gets offeneded by a cartoon. And that doesn't applies to one religion, it applies to evey organized religion out there. Just think ....
Following an organzied religion doesn't mean that you acknowledge the existance of GOD or you "believe" in GOD. It just means that you believe in the religion in which you were born, and inspite of everything you learned, you fall short of finding answers to your questions, and hence the narrow world view.
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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 this decade.
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USCIS seems to be making a coordinated attempt to preadjudicate in order to avoid future backlogs (to achieve their metrics on processing times). See thread on Processing Time Targets they have set for themselves: http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24747
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Indian Americans ask UN to declare Pak a terrorist state
Weren't you the one who said India should gift kashmir to pakistan to solve all terrorrist activities and war ?
How come you became a patriot and started caring about india all of a sudden ?
Do you have any consistent opinion ?
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highly skilled immigrants have a buying power
Yes, that is why they have allowed you to keep renewing your H1s and/or EADs so that you can keep buying. They will not give you GC soon
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Fed is trying to supply short term funds to ease this crunch. I don't know how low Fed will go for this. What I am seeing is mortgage rates being stable or going down a little in near term bcoz of Fed easing. For long term, I believe rates will go up as bonds have to become attractive to get new investors.This may not be the best ( absolute bottom) but definitely very good time to refinance if it makes sense for your conditions.
For first time buyers like me, there are a lot of parameters to be considered. In my opinion the parameters are tilted towards faster house price drop . Hence I am waiting at least for a year. I will not do anything till next spring.
> Hence I am waiting at least for a year. I will not do anything till next spring.
Perfect ....exactly the same timeline for me too. I guess by that time GC picture and economy picture will be more clear too !!
This is from CEO of Lennar builders
"Lower consumer confidence has quieted demand among prospective homebuyers and deterred them from a buying decision, while contraction in the lending markets has reduced the availability of credit for those prospective homebuyers that do wish to buy a home," CEO Stuart Miller said in a statement.
Miller added that the glut of homes on the market continues to rise due to foreclosures and homeowners who have been forced to dump homes they can no longer afford.
"The housing industry continues to be impacted by an unfavorable supply and demand relationship, which restricts the volume of new home sales and, concurrently, depresses home prices in most markets across the country," he said.
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Another backdoor lobbying technique (oops, I mean opportunity to celebrate and assist members of Congress) is to conspicuously contribute to a foundation that supports a congressional caucus.
Congress is filled with caucuses -- the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus and the Congressional Internet Caucus, to name just a few. These are groups of like-minded lawmakers who meet regularly to discuss the subjects in which they have a common interest.
But, Washington being Washington, money quickly enters the equation. Some caucuses have foundations that help bankroll events.
The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus, for instance, sponsors gatherings in conjunction with the House co-chairmen of the Congressional Internet Caucus. Its "supporters group" includes dozens of tech firms that lobby Congress intensely, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
The advisory committee's next large event is an April 25 "Wireless Policy and Practices Dialogue." To pay the tab, its Web site lists "sponsorship opportunities," available for $500 to $5,000. A sampling (before it was apparently altered yesterday):
"Pens and other promotional items: Distribute pens with your logo to event attendees."
"Coffee breaks: We'll announce your sponsorship of the morning continental breakfast or mid-morning coffee break and feature your logo or brand in the break area."
"Wi-Fi Hotspot: We will blanket the meeting area with wireless Internet access and include you as a promotional sponsor."
"Post-Dialogue VIP Dinner: End the conference on a high note and host a VIP event; choose from some of D.C.'s finest restaurants."
None of these constitute lobbying. Companies become sponsors "to prove that they are not only a thought leader in the space but also that they are a good corporate citizen," said Danielle Yates, the advisory committee's spokeswoman.
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I got 100% loan (80-20) with no PMI. both 30yrs fixed. You can try with Mortgage agents who would do better deal initially and may transfer loan to big companies later. I got it at 5.7% first and 7% second last year.
Best of luck on your new Home(Lifestyle)!
BEIJING -- It's almost 8 a.m., and former U.S. commerce secretary Donald L. Evans and his team are standing in front of the St. Regis Hotel, preparing for their day of meetings with Chinese finance officials.
Small but meaningful gifts in Tiffany's signature baby-blue boxes? Check. Briefing books with the pronunciation of everyone's names? Check. Black Audi A6s to whisk the group to the meetings? Check.
Evans was in town representing the Financial Services Forum, which is made up of chief executives of 20 multinational banks. His goal was to convince Chinese regulators that opening their financial sector to more foreign investment would be good for China's economy.
Armies of lobbyists are descending on the Chinese capital in anticipation of the 17th Communist Party Congress beginning in mid-October. The gathering will choose a new generation of leaders, setting the political agenda for the next five years.
But the dark-suited Western lobbyists are an odd spectacle given that in China, policy and legislative decisions are still made behind closed doors. Lobbying exists in a gray area; because there are no laws specifically pertaining to it, it isn't even supposed to exist.
Nevertheless, some of Washington's marquee lobbying firms -- including Jones Day, Hogan & Hartson, DLA Piper and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld -- have set up offices in China. Officially, they are just investment advisory and communications firms. Chinese companies mostly work through government-affiliated industry associations, although some have also hired Western-style lobbying firms.
In June, foreign companies successfully lobbied Chinese officials to remove conditions on hiring temporary workers in a new labor law that they said would make it prohibitively expensive to do business in China. Likewise in August, they were able persuade China to remove some language in early drafts of the anti-monopoly law that seemed to discriminate against foreign companies, according to Chinese and foreign academics.
The Chinese government has said it took input from domestic and foreign interests into account but has not been specific.
Foreign companies are interested in what happens in China, as its economy is becoming the world's third-largest as well as a capitalist instead of planned one. There's concern that the legal framework for business that China's legislators are writing today could affect the fate of multinational businesses for decades.
Evans said that the degree to which Chinese officials are interested in hearing foreign perspectives on business issues has increased dramatically. In the past, he said, he would go into government meetings and recite a set of bullet points, and the meeting would end. These days, he said, there's real discussion and debate.
"They are very proactive in wanting to engage and share with the business community," Evans said.
Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University and author of "The Business of Lobbying in China," said that as recently as a few years ago foreign companies would grumble that they heard about new policies only after they were announced.
"That is increasingly no longer the case. Today, even if they don't agree with the final result, they know it's on the horizon," Kennedy said.
But China's laws have been slow to respond to the influx of lobbyists seeking to take advantage of the closer ties. Zhao Kejin, an associate professor at Shanghai's Fudan University who studies government-business relations and has written a book on lobbying in China, argues that because lobbyists do not need to register or file disclosure forms, the system is vulnerable to abuse.
"There is lots of lobbying money flowing to individual officials' pockets," Zhao said. In addition to straight-up bribery, some lobbying firms keep friends of high-placed officials on the payroll or pay for officials to take luxury "training" trips abroad.
In 2004, Lucent Technologies fired four executives who were part of its Chinese operations for violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign government officials and politicians. Last November, a U.S. software maker, Fidelity National Information Services, was accused of paying for luxury vacations for Chinese banking officials and their families in places such as Rome and Las Vegas. Fidelity has denied the charges.
Lobbying is not only less of an institution in China than it is in the United States, but the people being lobbied are different.
For instance, Murray King, head of the Shanghai office of APCO Worldwide, one of the oldest government relations firms operating in China, said that Chinese academics are among the key players that companies should reach out to. The most important members of that group are those who work with the think tanks affiliated with various state ministries, because they play an important role in the drafting of legislation.
Another crucial part of high-profile lobbying efforts are "guanxi brokers," well-connected individuals who can give introductions to important officials, or "rainmakers," people who are so famous that many Chinese officials might be happy to meet and shake hands.
"Because China is a country that respects authority, former politicians of the United States, when they come to China, can always play a very important role," said Steven Dong, a Tsinghua University public relations professor who studies the reputations of corporations.
A former U.S. official will almost always be greeted by a Chinese official of the same rank, Dong said.
Former officials with star power in China include Henry Kissinger, probably the most sought-after because of the role he played in establishing diplomatic relations with the Communist Party during the Nixon administration. Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, who routinely visits China on behalf of Silicon Valley companies to talk about opening up China's Internet and telecommunications sector, is also a regular in the halls of Chinese ministries. Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington whose consulting firm represents Microsoft and Starbucks, is celebrated for being the first Chinese American governor and is so well known that school girls run up to him to take his picture.
Evans, who was commerce secretary from 2001 to 2004, has been working for the Financial Services Forum since 2005. This was his second trip to China on behalf of the group.
Evans was received by the Chinese government this month with all the pomp and circumstance of a state visit.
His schedule, which included all key financial ministries and regulators, was almost identical to that of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. during his visit in July. Evans even had a private diner with Vice Premier Wu Yi.
There was lobbying on both sides.
Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a rank similar to that of minister, pummeled Evans with questions about the subprime lending crisis and trade protectionism in Congress. ICBC has recently been ranked the second- or third-largest bank in the world by market capitalization.
Evans said the Chinese must make sure that U.S. legislators understand they are open to foreign investment. He said it's important for the Chinese to make sure the U.S. government understands "your view as an important trader, to make sure they understand your commitment to moving your economy toward an ultimate market economy."
The total foreign ownership in a Chinese bank cannot exceed 25 percent. But even as Evans began to lay out his case for why China should raise or do away with foreign ownership caps for banking, securities and insurance firms, Jiang took the opportunity to point out his frustration that his bank's application to open a single branch in the United States has not been approved, while U.S. banks, including some that Evans represents, already have significant operations in China.
Evans said he'd be happy to look into the holdup.
Near the end of the one-hour meeting, the two turned to a less-tense topic: the development of China's countryside. Evans talked about his visits to western China, where he met two blind brothers with whom he has kept in touch, and how much their lives had changed over the years. Jiang said he, too, was concerned about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in China.
The two men smiled and shook hands. That was considered progress.
Isnt that true? If you are in the IT industry for the past 10 years you know it is true.
We, Indians are the ones who has mastered the art of circumventing the H1B process and screwing up the job market. Fake Resumes, Fake References, not working in the state where you are approved, somebody appearing in the phone interview and somebody else showing up in the Face to Face interview and what not.
I am not tainting the whole community here, and i am one of you. I agree that atleast 80% of us are Genuine, hardworking candidates. There are few chosen individuals(rest 20%) who did unethical & immoral things for their own good and we are the ones who are paying the price for this whole mess. You can chose to deny this fact and live in a world of denial.