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Retrogression, priority dates and Visa bulletins Issues surrounding the retrogression of the priority dates for the various employment based categories

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  #136 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2008, 04:11 PM
NKR NKR is offline
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Originally Posted by nojoke View Post
I am sorry, the housing will fall by 99K every year and not 100K. So you can predict how much the housing will fall and not us. If you can predict that housing will not fall down why shouldn't I. 100K is just a round figure. It can be 60K or 160K per year.
You asked for which fruit picker. Here is one---
---------------------------
"Despite making only $14,000 a year, strawberry picker Alberto Ramirez managed to buy his own slice of the American Dream. But his Hollister home came with a hefty price tag - $720,000.

A year and a half later, Ramirez has defaulted on his loan, and he's hoping to sell the house before it's repossessed. And according to many housing advocates and civil rights groups, Ramirez is not alone. As mortgage foreclosures rise, many minorities are suffering.

Brown said the language barrier (Ramirez, a native Spanish speaker, is not fluent in English, and spoke to the Free Lance through a translator) can also play a big role.

"When you go into Washington Mutual ... you can't always get someone to speak your language," she said.

"The real estate boom covered a multitude of sins," Simmons said. "Once the market started depreciating, the rug was pulled back to show the rot underneath.""
-------------------------------
Read my previous post. You have insulted every member by comparing their intelligence with someone who was so dumb enough to buy something beyond his reach. BTW thanks for taking the pain to google out the fruit pickerís story. This is my last post for you guys. You go ahead and discourage people while I will take some rest in my house.
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  #137 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2008, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by NKR View Post
Read my previous post. You have insulted every member by comparing their intelligence with someone who was so dumb enough to buy something beyond his reach. BTW thanks for taking the pain to google out the fruit pickerís story. This is my last post for you guys. You go ahead and discourage people while I will take some rest in my house.
I am not here to pick a fight. I am showing what is happening in the housing and where it is heading. When I saw all those recomendations of "go ahead and buy" and the rosy pictures you guys are presenting, I wanted to show the other side and what is in store for the future of this economy. NAR has destroyed the economy with slogans like "they are not making any more land". They are liers to the core. Imagine these guys making 300K plus ...and they certainly have incentive to lie and mislead.
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  #138 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2008, 05:16 PM
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As many have already suggested, location and time frame you have is the key. If you are in an area where there are more jobs being created and population is growing (parts of TX, NC) you should seriously consider buying if you plan to stay there for atleast 3 yrs.
We are in a period of stagnant income growth for most of the population and increased inflation and hence there is little money left to pay for inflated houses.
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  #139 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2008, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Refugee_New View Post
Apart from location, area, school district and population etc,

If you think the price of a house that you are looking to buy has come down to 2002 or 2003 price range, then i think you can buy. If not then one should wait.

What do you guys think?
The price may be right if it goes to 2002 level. But the way the economy is heading, I will wait for things to become more clear...
It is not just happening in US. The housing crash started in Europe(UK in particular). It is going to be a mess and blood bath for a year or 2.
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  #140 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2008, 11:40 PM
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Default UK housing crunch

I remember the 1990's UK housing crunch
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7336010.stm

I often call the British "mortgage slaves", that was actually a factor in my move here. I could see people putting every penny they earned into their mortgages. When my parents bought their house 35 years ago, you had to put a hefty deposit down. After the housing crunch of the early 1990's which really killed off the economy (largely because people could not move to where the jobs were because of negative equity). I saw the same happening there again. Even being well paid in the UK does not mean that you can afford more than a cardboard box. Whenever interest rates drop there, housing prices shoot up, I considered an interest rate drop to be a disaster. The majority of the population thought that high house price inflation was great, but didn't consider that either the bubble must burst or their children will never be able to afford a house. People just pay the same percentage of salary into mortgage when interest rates are low, so prices go up. In the UK fixed rate loans are not the norm like here, more normal would be a 35 year variable rate loan (up from 25 years in 1980's). So when interest rates go up people are crippled. I see the UK economy as being underpinned by the emperor's clothes. People get 35 year variable rate mortgages for 125% of value on a salary when they can barely cover interest let alone capital, if one of them (assuming couple - because single cannot afford house) loses job they are screwed.

In the UK a house I could afford would be about 1000 sq ft. Here my house is 1800 sq ft (nicely sized but not McMansion), and net zero energy -- with a huge amount of solar power and ground source heat pump heating http://tinyurl.com/2jzbfq

Then around 2002 I saw the same starting to happen here. I must have brought the British disease here with me!!
I should have been quarantined

So other than a rant what's my point:
* Buy something that you can afford, without becoming a mortgage slave.
* Buy something that you really like.
* Buy something that you are prepared to live in for a long time.
* Think of your house as your home, not an investment (or at least a very long term investment -- like 10 years plus).
* Use the down housing market to your advantage to find something that you really like (without over extending yourself).
* You decide what you can afford, but the bank or Mortgage broker. Mortgage broker tried to tell me that I could afford more, I told him where to go, I want to live not just pay mortgage. I would recommend not going above x3 salary or x2.5 for a couple.

If you think this way market timing is less of an issue. It is hard to judge the market timing just right in any market.

Being an energy saving geek, I also recommend buying something with a large south facing roof (for lots of solar panels).
__________________
Mark Bartosik, Chartered Software Engineer, from UK
IV Spokesperson
IV NY Chapter
If my post has been helpful, please consider contributing to immigrationvoice. It will help us continue this effort and serve the community. Thank you.

Last edited by mbartosik; 04-08-2008 at 11:45 PM.
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  #141 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mbartosik View Post
I remember the 1990's UK housing crunch
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7336010.stm

Being an energy saving geek, I also recommend buying something with a large south facing roof (for lots of solar panels).
Hi Mark,
a quick question - has IV thought about using the housing problem to push for faster GC processing (or for getting a very relaxed multi year EAD) ? a poll was conducted recently and as one would guess lots of legal immigrants are waiting for a GC before buying a house.
I am not suggesting that giving GC's to legals would solve the problem but I am suggesting to use it as a selling point. (ofcourse at the micro level even if 1 house is sold ..then it helps the economy ..and if 100,000 houses are sold ..it definitely makes a difference)
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  #142 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 12:44 AM
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GC_Applicant is a jewel in the rough GC_Applicant is a jewel in the rough GC_Applicant is a jewel in the rough
Default Financing Options.,

Not that I am going to buy right now., but want to get my home work done.

Can anybody suggest some good guidelines for mortgage financing., like FHA loans (if I-485 applicant can qualify) and good lenders.

Thanks for all the great info.
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:23 AM
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Default housing down turn not a useful argument

We've met with a lot of law makers and their aids, and really the housing down turn is not an argument for GC that is productive to use. If I get 30 minutes with a law maker's aid, each minute is valuable I can muster many more compelling arguments in that time.

So to answer your question: yes IV has considered this, but only for about 2 seconds. It is something that is not worth raising with law makers or media.

---------
When I bought my house no one was bothered about I485 etc., partly because they thought prices only moved up, and more importantly I had over 20% deposit, I had the money credit score and an SSN that's all they cared about then. I would only put mortgage in name of people with SSN, do not use tax payer ID. My wife does not have SSN, and it causes delays and hassle for things like credit cards. Also hope you have US driver license that is not marked as temporary as I could see that causing trouble at closing if someone is overly fussy.
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If my post has been helpful, please consider contributing to immigrationvoice. It will help us continue this effort and serve the community. Thank you.
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  #144 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:38 AM
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Default for lenders...

There are a few banks with names like "first immigrant bank" around NY.
If they turned you down, you could say, hey, just remind me what the name of the bank is?

Of course H1B, L1, J1 are non-immigrant visas (with dual intent) to be more precise. But you get the joke.

You might consider using a mortgage broker.
They get commission on the loan so they will work harder to find something. Only be careful they don't stick you with something with crap terms. Also if you give a deposit make it not only contingent on mortgage, but contingent on mortgage at no more than X% APR and Y mortgage terms, that way if the mortgage company changes the deal at closing (bait and switch - dirty practice - more likely to occur with a broker) then you can just get your deposit back and walk away. In this market, a small deposit (if any) should be acceptable.

Also if the realtor selling the property is a licensed mortgage broker, after you have agreed a price, you could use them to get your mortgage. There is an obvious conflict of interest and you are trying to work it to your advantage. If they cannot find you a mortgage with terms that you like they lose on both sides of the deal! That's what I did, and I'm very happy with the mortgage deal I got.

Also do research on mortgage terms. Understand what is ARM, LIBOR, t-note, types of fees and penalties, you are high skilled -- do your research so you know as much as the mortgage broker on technical terms. If you understand the terms and they know that you know, then you will be taken more seriously.
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IV Spokesperson
IV NY Chapter
If my post has been helpful, please consider contributing to immigrationvoice. It will help us continue this effort and serve the community. Thank you.
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  #145 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:05 AM
Donor
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GC_Applicant is a jewel in the rough GC_Applicant is a jewel in the rough GC_Applicant is a jewel in the rough
Default Lenders.., FHA Loans

Thanks for the info. Did you enquire about FHA loans., and how hard or easy it is to get.
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:50 AM
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Default FHA - no I didn't

I cannot remember what FHA is. If it is what I'm guessing, then my income would have been too high anyway. Basically the broker found something that I liked, in the end I paid less than most US citizens pay, but that was because I took an 5 ARM and was happy for it to adjust where as most take a 30 year fixed. I worked the mortgage system to my advantage, more to do with personal finance than immigration status.

My basic points are be knowledgeable in the mortgage technical details, and a broker should be able to find you something good assuming you have good credit and deposit. Only put people with SSN on mortgage. If you use the seller's realtor (after agreeing price terms etc) to find mortgage (if they are licensed, and legal in your state) then they may work double hard because they lose double if it don't work, but be aware of the conflict of interest, understand all technical details, and make deposits if any contingent on something you like (not just mortgage acceptance -- otherwise you could be 'accepted' for at a 10% APR). You are the boss not them. Since you may be more vulnerable to job prospects, factor that into the about of debt you are prepared to accept -- all personal finance more than immigration.

You might also like to consider independently getting a valuation and inspection of the property, paid for by you directly, not via mortgage application. I am more bothered in conflict of interest there. But in my case I knew mortgage finance inside out after my research, but knew less about home inspections and valuations.

My experience is that finance industry here knows little about GC, H1, AOS, etc. they care about credit score, SSN, deposit, employment/salary verification, state ID (maybe), and their commission. Do not handicap yourself.
__________________
Mark Bartosik, Chartered Software Engineer, from UK
IV Spokesperson
IV NY Chapter
If my post has been helpful, please consider contributing to immigrationvoice. It will help us continue this effort and serve the community. Thank you.

Last edited by mbartosik; 04-09-2008 at 03:00 AM.
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  #147 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 08:29 AM
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Default

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Originally Posted by mbartosik View Post
We've met with a lot of law makers and their aids, and really the housing down turn is not an argument for GC that is productive to use. If I get 30 minutes with a law maker's aid, each minute is valuable I can muster many more compelling arguments in that time.

So to answer your question: yes IV has considered this, but only for about 2 seconds. It is something that is not worth raising with law makers or media.
o.k. ..Thanks.
In that case, I honestly don't know why a lawmaker would care much about faster GC processing. if I was a lawmaker and someone comes to me complaining about USCIS - I would think in my mind "hey that is the system ..live with it". I would think the lawmaker would be thinking about other things (like having fun :-)) ..or taking care of the lobbyists who give them donations.
..I guess the only other hope would be if other countries in europe start giving super fast blue cards and the talent starts to go there. unless there is urgency the system will never change. even the namechecks were relaxed because of lawsuits.
I guess the only silver lining is that I will continue to rent (become richer ;-) and have fun while watching the home prices go down and down)
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:39 PM
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Default housing is not a compelling argument

we've found that the more compelling arguments tend to be those related to US competitiveness. If I was to use the housing argument in a meeting, I would use it in a light hearted way while making a serious point. But it would certainly not be an issue that would be worth focusing on.

You said it in post above -- e.g. competitive with European blue card.
(The Blue Card is not like GC, however, comparing with UK and right to remain after a fixed 5 year period would be an argument more compelling than housing)

Which are the most compelling arguments will also depend on the law maker's background. For some family issues are a factor, then housing can be brought into the mix with other issues like age out. However, law makers with which the family issues hold greater sway also are more likely to hold us hostage for CIR and relief for the undocumented.

For most, common sense of justice is an issue, in which case housing can be brought up, but again, not an issue to focus on too much, more in the context of 'it is ironic that many of us want to buy houses but GC wait is what prohibits that, not the credit crunch'. Can be mentioned in passing, but not worth focusing on.
__________________
Mark Bartosik, Chartered Software Engineer, from UK
IV Spokesperson
IV NY Chapter
If my post has been helpful, please consider contributing to immigrationvoice. It will help us continue this effort and serve the community. Thank you.

Last edited by mbartosik; 04-09-2008 at 01:44 PM.
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  #149 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 01:51 PM
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jung.lee is a splendid one to behold jung.lee is a splendid one to behold jung.lee is a splendid one to behold jung.lee is a splendid one to behold jung.lee is a splendid one to behold jung.lee is a splendid one to behold jung.lee is a splendid one to behold
Lightbulb Energy Savings!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbartosik View Post
Being an energy saving geek, I also recommend buying something with a large south facing roof (for lots of solar panels).
Mark, I looked at the pics of the roof of your house. Nice work. Being a little bit of an energy saving geek myself, and this being Earth Day month and all, do you mind sharing some details on the solar panel roofing project?
  • What brand of panels did you purchase and where?
  • What is the price per foot raw material, and with installation? Did you use a specialized installer, or a regular roofing contractor?
  • What is the total area (ft-d or m-d) of the panels?
  • What is the energy generated by the panels (I am guessing something in kWH/m-d)?

Last but not the least, how the heck did you get snow to stay away from the panels, when it is clearly visible on other roofing tiles at the edges of the roof? Is this a property of the panels' surface (smoothness of surface - like glass)?

Also, hate to dump out here - how about some details the geo-thermal system? (I admit that I know nothing about them, expect for the basic underground heat exchange concept. I did not know that a compact residential system was available).

Thanks for sharing!
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  #150 (permalink)  
Old 04-09-2008, 02:18 PM
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Default re energy savings

jung.lee

I'll conspire with you and hijack the thread for a little while at least
The solar system on my house: http://tinyurl.com/2jzbfq

The tiles are by Open Energy Corp (www.openenergycorp.com)
You will find my house on their web site.

Price in round figures $10 per watt installed, it is a complex calc and depends on installer and what is included. There are a lot of rebates available and various tax credits (fed tax credit is only $2K). My rebate was $3.75 per watt, plus state tax credits.

Capacity 9KW.

I did a lot of work myself (mostly design - and it is a unique in US design) and worked with a professional installer (first install like this he had done). I also did a lot of the physical work on the roof too.

KWh (per year) depends on location, angle and direction of roof.

In Long Island multiply by about 800 for a steep west facing roof like mine so KWh = 9000*800. For more south facing and lower pitch multiply by 1100. In southern California I don't know what the multiplication factor would be, but you sure get a lot more sunshine, my guess would be more like x1800 for south facing. There are calculators where you can plumb in long/lat angle/direction and size.

Roof area about 1000 sq ft including the concrete. So about 900 sq ft of solar tiles.

Snow does not stick because the glass surface is too smooth, the tiles at the edge where the snow sticks are concrete.

Geothermal heat pumps, they work like an air conditioning unit but exchange heat with the ground (via pipes) rather than the air. This is much more efficient because ground temp is about constant 55F (in NY). They can run forward or reverse (heat or cool) too. They can be used with forced air or radiant floor heating (not baseboard).

If you are seriously interested in installing something like this my email is mark at immigrationvoice .org

On the immigration side: So I've gone out on a limb, and bought a house and installed a load of upgrades, but still waiting for I485 to be processed. I consider this to be a hugely patriotic thing to do -- (could the Iraq war have anything to do with energy supply), yet still no GC. I would love to ask Mr. Dobbs, what he has done to reduce his demand for foreign energy imports!! He probably uses 4000 gallons of oil a year for heating :-)
__________________
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IV Spokesperson
IV NY Chapter
If my post has been helpful, please consider contributing to immigrationvoice. It will help us continue this effort and serve the community. Thank you.

Last edited by mbartosik; 04-09-2008 at 02:23 PM.
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