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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by reedandbamboo View Post
5% per month is easily attainable with some options strategies. But not everyone has the temperament/stomach/psyche for active trading.
Reward checking accounts are your friend....
Reward Checking Account Discussion


They typically have some requirements like you may have to
1. Make 8-12 debit card transactions a month. Automatic payments for small amounts are usually your friend here.
2. Some of them may also need one or two direct deposits per month into the account.

The max balance up to which they will pay this interest rate is usually 25k. If you are rich - simply open up more than one at different financial institutions.

Right now - the rates are in the 4% range - but this is a very unusual time. I have seen rates in 6-7% range most of the time.

And if you are worried about risk - I guess nothing in this world can beat FDIC insurance in terms of risk hedge. I don't mean to say that the US government can never go bankrupt. In fact - the current strategy to spend spend spend out of the recession increases that chance. But there is NOTHING, not even stuffing your money in your mattress (hint: inflation) - which is superior in terms of preserving your capital.
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 07:46 PM
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Default Sound investment advice

Thread gets more interesting...way of life..love the way it transformed from home buying good/bad to sound investment advice...here is my bit:

With all the $$ spending by government, inflation is inevitable. FED can try to fight it by increasing interest rates, but that will open another box of worms. In a hurry now and will post a detailed discussion later about interest rates, fed and inflation..very interesting indeed

my take is gold...solid investment in these times and a proven hedge against inflation

goodluck guys..more later
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by USDream2Dust View Post
When it comes to house or condo or town house, it is always location location and location. If you think buying a house or condo just to put on rent is foolishness and not calculated risk, I cannot argue with you to fill up pages on forum and again I don't want to give you a lesson there. Like other things in life, you have discover your own way to make money may be in renting or may be owning a store or just doing your job.


Any way, coming back to first time home buyers, it is once in lifetime opportunity to get houses in high demand areas, and if people have good solid job (or multiple income sources with working spouse) and credit, with plans to live there for atleast 3-5 years, I don't think there should be any reason not to buy it.

There has always been more land and if there wasn't more land in US, it may start occupying ocean to build houses. So I don't think there was ever in history a question whether people would occupy every inch of land. But still there was a boom and people were buying 4-5 houses when they can only afford one. Everybody knows what happened after that. But yes in Good location, there is always shortage and there is shortage right now too. Now good location is a subjectable term. You can go 40 miles off any major city and live in woods and consider it as a good location. So we have to be careful there. But yes prices are low compared to boom time and interest rates have been historically low. If the above two are not good point to take risk, then you are not in right business of taking risk.

Hey nobody can predict tomorrow. You can get hit by a bus and then who cares about money and house .

Life life king size may be after 10 years your GC is denied, but then for 10 years you lived in half million dollar house and enjoyed every second of it, rather than living in one bedroom apt.

Chill out and have a good night
Living life king size is what caused this massive bubble and the repurcussions of this recession will be felt for years to come. Living beyond your means never was and will never be, a good idea. What is the point in buying a mansion and then worrying about paying the mortgage on it every month... I dont see any king size lifestyle there.
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by supreet View Post
I think it really is a matter of personal choice. A house is much more than a mere investment. For people like us it adds another layer of complications
due to our status (or rather...lack of status).

We are in Bay Area (San Jose Metro area) and were paying around $2000 in rent. We just bought a condo where our payments (mortgage + Taxes + HoA) are going
to be around 2300. Hopefully we will be getting back around 400-500 in taxes and this makes it a good deal. However only 15 days after moving into our
new house, I was laid off and now our biggest concern is if I am not able to get a job in next few weeks and if we have to go back we will be almost
80k down the hole.
Personally I would wait till 2012 beginning to consider getting into Cali, Las Vegas, Florida markets. The neg-am/interest-only bubble (BusinessWeek Article) is just beginning to burst with their interest rates resetting, and wont peak until late 2011. This bubble is just as big as the sub-prime one (in terms of dollar value - around USD 0.5 - 1.5 Trillion) and will probably have much higher default rate (north of 50% by all estimates I have seen so far). These loans were originated to make the high priced homes in these area affordable. So it will hit the middle class to aspirational neighborhoods the most - unlike the sub-primes, which mostly hit the lower income areas.

I don't mean to sound disheartening - just want to provide info and interpretation as I see it so that people can avoid getting into this trap.

Personally, I am also surprised/uncomfortable that the prices in the NY Metro Area has not come down so much even though all the indicators (rent/price ratio, affordability) are way off base and getting worse with rents heading south. I don't know how these ratios will correct themselves (the neg-am mess is unlikely to hit this area too much) - but my intuition tells me that it has to. If anybody more knowledgeable can add more insights then that will be great.
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by USDream2Dust View Post
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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  #96 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 11:47 PM
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For me its a very simple thing, print that damn thing of plastic and I will buy. I have kept my down payment safe aside in CDs. If not, I am sending some chunk of yearly saving back to India, making it harder for me to live and settle here. No plastic, no investment.
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old 06-07-2009, 11:50 PM
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I definitely agree with the post above . ..here is another article ..not the best bit vague but still good ..it came in just now on cnbc
note the line marked in red ..it still depends on economy ...but predictions are that US economy may stagnate plus tight immi ..and you can see what will happen in future
http://www.cnbc.com/id/31151346

--------------------
Home prices in the United States have been falling for nearly three years, and the decline may well continue for some time.

AP

Even the federal government has projected price decreases through 2010. As a baseline, the stress tests recently performed on big banks included a total fall in housing prices of 41 percent from 2006 through 2010. Their “more adverse” forecast projected a drop of 48 percent — suggesting that important housing ratios, like price to rent, and price to construction cost — would fall to their lowest levels in 20 years.

Such long, steady housing price declines seem to defy both common sense and the traditional laws of economics, which assume that people act rationally and that markets are efficient. Why would a sensible person watch the value of his home fall for years, only to sell for a big loss? Why not sell early in the cycle? If people acted as the efficient-market theory says they should, prices would come down right away, not gradually over years, and these cycles would be much shorter.

But something is definitely different about real estate. Long declines do happen with some regularity. And despite the uptick last week in pending home sales and recent improvement in consumer confidence, we still appear to be in a continuing price decline.

There are many historical examples. After the bursting of the Japanese housing bubble in 1991, land prices in Japan’s major cities fell every single year for 15 consecutive years.

Why does this happen? One could easily believe that people are a little slower to sell their homes than, say, their stocks. But years slower?

Several factors can explain the snail-like behavior of the real estate market. An important one is that sales of existing homes are mainly by people who are planning to buy other homes. So even if sellers think that home prices are in decline, most have no reason to hurry because they are not really leaving the market.

Furthermore, few homeowners consider exiting the housing market for purely speculative reasons. First, many owners don’t have a speculator’s sense of urgency. And they don’t like shifting from being owners to renters, a process entailing lifestyle changes that can take years to effect.

Among couples sharing a house, for example, any decision to sell and switch to a rental requires the assent of both partners. Even growing children, who may resent being shifted to another school district and placed in a rental apartment, are likely to have some veto power.

In fact, most decisions to exit the market in favor of renting are not market-timing moves. Instead, they reflect the growing pressures of economic necessity. This may involve foreclosure or just difficulty paying bills, or gradual changes in opinion about how to live in an economic downturn.

This dynamic helps to explain why, at a time of high unemployment, declines in home prices may be long-lasting and predictable.

Imagine a young couple now renting an apartment. A few years ago, they were toying with the idea of buying a house, but seeing unemployment all around them and the turmoil in the housing market, they have changed their thinking: they have decided to remain renters. They may not revisit that decision for some years. It is settled in their minds for now.

On the other hand, an elderly couple who during the boom were holding out against selling their home and moving to a continuing-care retirement community have decided that it’s finally the time to do so. It may take them a year or two to sort through a lifetime of belongings and prepare for the move, but they may never revisit their decision again.

As a result, we will have a seller and no buyer, and there will be that much less demand relative to supply — and one more reason that prices may continue to fall, or stagnate, in 2010 or 2011.

All of these people could be made to change their plans if a sharp improvement in the economy got their attention. The young couple could change their minds and decide to buy next year, and the elderly couple could decide to further postpone their selling. That would leave us with a buyer and no seller, providing an upward kick to the market price.

For this reason, not all economists agree that home price declines are really predictable. Ray Fair, my colleague at Yale, for one, warns that any trend up or down may suddenly be reversed if there is an economic “regime change” — a shift big enough to make people change their thinking.

But market changes that big don’t occur every day. And when they do, there is a coordination problem: people won’t all change their views about homeownership at once. Some will focus on recent price declines, which may seem to belie any improvement in the economy, reinforcing negative attitudes about the housing market.

Even if there is a quick end to the recession, the housing market’s poor performance may linger. After the last home price boom, which ended about the time of the 1990-91 recession, home prices did not start moving upward, even incrementally, until 1997.

Last edited by hiralal; 06-07-2009 at 11:53 PM.
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by unseenguy View Post
For me its a very simple thing, print that damn thing of plastic and I will buy.
lol, can't blame you.
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 02:37 AM
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Default Gold is really expensive at this time

but I don't see the price coming down anytime soon either. Whoever invested in gold about 5-6 years ago made good money. Commodities are definately a good buy in this economy but any investments these days comes only after building up a 8-12 month emergency fund. This thread is getting interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bajrangbali View Post
Thread gets more interesting...way of life..love the way it transformed from home buying good/bad to sound investment advice...here is my bit:

With all the $$ spending by government, inflation is inevitable. FED can try to fight it by increasing interest rates, but that will open another box of worms. In a hurry now and will post a detailed discussion later about interest rates, fed and inflation..very interesting indeed

my take is gold...solid investment in these times and a proven hedge against inflation

goodluck guys..more later

Last edited by santb1975; 06-08-2009 at 02:39 AM. Reason: more info
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 02:41 AM
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Default Interest rate and metro atlanta reference

It is very nice discussion.

I am in process of buying forclosure home in SUWANEE ( Atlanata) area. I based on my survey and research feel that I am getting good deal(175 K price for 2800 sqft, 2004).by th


Recently interest rates are gone up. Does any one has any idea that it will come down in a week or two due to possible federal intervention to keep houising going further down? can some one point to the relevant articles?

Also if you know this area and have any reference for the good lenders?

Also any points to keep in mind while buying foreclosure? apart from routine home inspection, termite inspection etc. Does survey is required for lot and property?

Also is it good to put higher down payment or not? How much is better to put, assuming no financial constrain. Is it wise to put 20% down or not? Is it wise to purchase points to get interest rates down?

Thanks for your continuing suggestions and discussions.
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pmpforgc View Post
It is very nice discussion.

I am in process of buying forclosure home in SUWANEE ( Atlanata) area. I based on my survey and research feel that I am getting good deal(175 K price for 2800 sqft, 2004).by th


Recently interest rates are gone up. Does any one has any idea that it will come down in a week or two due to possible federal intervention to keep houising going further down? can some one point to the relevant articles?

Also if you know this area and have any reference for the good lenders?

Also any points to keep in mind while buying foreclosure? apart from routine home inspection, termite inspection etc. Does survey is required for lot and property?

Also is it good to put higher down payment or not? How much is better to put, assuming no financial constrain. Is it wise to put 20% down or not? Is it wise to purchase points to get interest rates down?

Thanks for your continuing suggestions and discussions.
Interesting questions. What are your plans for buying the house ? Just looking to take advantage of the good deals ? Do you have the conditions and like the area to settle there 5-10 years ?
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 07:34 AM
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Hello,

Great discussions...remember a similar thread that was hot in 2008..

IMHO, buying house has little to do with 'status' in the country, but much more to do with your financial capabilities, location and timing...

1. Financial Capabilities
a) Can I afford to make payments even if I've to leave US and settle somewhere else?
b) Does buying house give me any tax breaks in US that I otherwise won't get?
c) Do I have 'reserve' funds (5-6% of purchase price) to take care of maintenance etc of the house?

2. Location
a) Is the neighbourhood dependent on a stable source of economic activity (e.g. tech industry areas like Bay Area or traditional industry areas like Texas)
b) Can the house be rented (if not, I would be cautious)?
c) Is the demographics well off (if not, bad economy may have a larger impact)?

3. Timing
a) Has housing appreciated by more than 2-3% per annum in the neighbourhood since 2000 (if yes, I would be cautious)?
b) Can I get 1-time tax benefits?
c) Can I make more money through other investments (leverage adjusted)?

The final decision is always personal and is neither right or wrong...its just a choice that the individuals make... good luck to those who are considering home ownership....

@pmpforgc,

Make as low a down payment as possible as the money supply is cheap as of now....if interest rates are higher than what you can get as investment return in the market, then making as large a down payment as possible makes sense... as of now, cost of money is at 5-6% and you can get more than that through investments...just my 2 cents!

Last edited by Pagal; 06-08-2009 at 08:46 AM.
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 09:24 AM
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similar arguments and predictions by different analysts
------------------------------
And here's Whitney and Glenn's take on the future of house prices:

We think housing prices will reach fair value/trend line, down 40% from the peak based on the
S&P/Case-Shiller national (not 20-city) index, which implies a 5-10% further decline from where
prices where as of the end of Q1 2009. It’s almost certain that prices will reach these levels.

The key question is whether housing prices will go crashing through the trend line and fall well below fair value. Unfortunately, this is very likely.

In the long-term, housing prices will likely settle around fair value, but in the short-term prices will be driven both by psychology as well as supply and demand. The trends in both are very unfavorable.

– Regarding the former, national home prices have declined for 33 consecutive months since their peak in July 2006 through April 2009 and there’s no end in sight, so this makes buyers reluctant – even when the price appears cheap – and sellers desperate.

– Regarding the latter, there is a huge mismatch between supply and demand, due largely to the tsunami of foreclosures. In March 2009, distressed sales accounted for just over 50% of all existing home sales nationwide – and more than 57% in California. In addition, the “shadow” inventory of foreclosed homes already likely exceeds one year and there will be millions more foreclosures over the next few years, creating a large overhang of excess supply that will likely cause prices to overshoot on the downside, as they are already doing in California.

Therefore, we expect housing prices to decline 45-50% from the peak, bottoming in mid-2010

• We are also quite certain that wherever prices bottom, there will be no quick rebound

There’s too much inventory to work off quickly, especially in light of the millions of foreclosures
over the next few years


• While foreclosure sales are booming in many areas, regular sales by homeowners have plunged,
in part because people usually can’t sell when they’re underwater on their mortgage and in part
due to human psychology: people naturally anchor on the price they paid or what something was
worth in the past and are reluctant to sell below this level. We suspect that there are millions of
homeowners like this who will emerge as sellers at the first sign of a rebound in home prices

• Finally, we don’t think the economy is likely to provide a tailwind, as we expect it to contract the
rest of 2009, stagnate in 2010, and only then grow tepidly for some time thereafter.
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by pmpforgc View Post
It is very nice discussion.

I am in process of buying forclosure home in SUWANEE ( Atlanata) area. I based on my survey and research feel that I am getting good deal(175 K price for 2800 sqft, 2004).by th
Are you new to Atlanta area?
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-2009, 12:11 PM
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Default Strange.!

I think nowadays you can get great deals in suwanee area, but in alpharetta area (ATLANTA) which is couple of exits towards the city on 400 highway.. are still selling for 400K..I am talking about 3000 sq ft, houses.. I got a quote for 420K with basement 3070 sqft.. with decent upgrades...
and these homes are closely built compared to the ones in suwanee area..

The homes prices never came down in these areas!!
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