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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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  #91 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 10:05 AM
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Default good time to consider making this move

One thing is for sure that pending GC cannot take over the lifestyles of the individuals. One should continue doing thinking long term prosperity and standard of living. It is a good time to make this move if you have some cash to make 20% down, otherwise the rates, and type of loan programs are no longer attractive. The housing market is probably at the bottom, and hopefully with the new efforts to revive the housing market things may be improving soon. So considering interest rates are still low, housing values at 2004 level, it is a good combination. Just my 2 cents to the discussion!!
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  #92 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 11:24 AM
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fide_champ,

Check your pm
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  #93 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 11:29 AM
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Default Unbridled Optimism about the Housing Market on this Thread!



I have been reading this thread with a lot of interest and could not hold back from commenting on the unbridled optimism many of you guys are showing towards the housing market, which reminds me of the "long tailed" euphoria that followed long after the NASDAQ had crashed over 50% in 2001 after the tech bubble, and people kept wishing it would come back long after it became clear to most cynical observers that it would take decades to achieve the same levels as before (and it hasn't yet)...

Housing has not yet bottomed. It still has a long way to go. You guys may think that the foreclosures related to subprime resets have subsided so the market may recover. You haven't seen anything yet. Consider:



and:



Option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) and Alt-A ARMs are the next two shoes to drop. In case you've had your head buried in the sand, the economy is on verge of a collapse. Unemployment is soaring and many more companies are considering layoffs. Many economic observers are opining that we are already in recession.

Desi junta, and others, I entreat you readers to please consider this seriously in your house purchase decisions. If for some reason you need to sell and move out, at a minimum you will be saving some money (by not losing your downpayment, for example) by choosing to rent. Rent a house/townhouse from a private owner if you are tired of renting an apartment and have growing kids - it's a "renters market" in the private rental marketplace right now with so many investment properties purchased during the housing bubble available for rent.

I would like to offer up a few blogs, whose commentators should be taken seriously. I recommend you read and bookmark the following blogs if you want to follow the housing market and the economy:

http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/

http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/

http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

I like this website for people just starting out to get more financially educated (in an entertaining way):

http://www.minyanville.com/

Good luck and please be careful before 'taking the plunge!'
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 05:05 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jung.lee View Post


I have been reading this thread with a lot of interest and could not hold back from commenting on the unbridled optimism many of you guys are showing towards the housing market, which reminds me of the "long tailed" euphoria that followed long after the NASDAQ had crashed over 50% in 2001 after the tech bubble, and people kept wishing it would come back long after it became clear to most cynical observers that it would take decades to achieve the same levels as before (and it hasn't yet)...

Housing has not yet bottomed. It still has a long way to go. You guys may think that the foreclosures related to subprime resets have subsided so the market may recover. You haven't seen anything yet. Consider:



and:



Option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) and Alt-A ARMs are the next two shoes to drop. In case you've had your head buried in the sand, the economy is on verge of a collapse. Unemployment is soaring and many more companies are considering layoffs. Many economic observers are opining that we are already in recession.

Desi junta, and others, I entreat you readers to please consider this seriously in your house purchase decisions. If for some reason you need to sell and move out, at a minimum you will be saving some money (by not losing your downpayment, for example) by choosing to rent. Rent a house/townhouse from a private owner if you are tired of renting an apartment and have growing kids - it's a "renters market" in the private rental marketplace right now with so many investment properties purchased during the housing bubble available for rent.

I would like to offer up a few blogs, whose commentators should be taken seriously. I recommend you read and bookmark the following blogs if you want to follow the housing market and the economy:

http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/

http://www.irvinehousingblog.com/

http://housingpanic.blogspot.com/

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

I like this website for people just starting out to get more financially educated (in an entertaining way):

http://www.minyanville.com/

Good luck and please be careful before 'taking the plunge!'
jung.lee,

I do share the same concern as you. But after doing a little bit of research about housing in my area, i did figure out that housing in good school areas are always in demand. So it's probably more important than ever to buy in a good school district if anybody is buying. Moreover in NJ you hardly have any land left to build any new houses, so there are not a lot of houses on the market in some areas. I am kind of relieved a little to buy it in the area i am buying. The job losses are a concern though. Right now it's only in the financial field but it could affect other industries also. But it's still a cycle and everytime we see some recession looming, it's been advertised as the worst in recent history still people live and come thru it. Some suffer losses going thru it, some doesn't get affected. During last recession, people lost millions in stocks and some my own friends lost more then 50K and that is no better than the situation we are in right now. So why worry now?
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 05:27 PM
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fide champ,

If you can swing it in today's markets, and live through your losses, then go for it! You know your own financial and family situation the best, so only you are in really in the best position to judge what's right.

I am in SoCal but I follow NJ through the following blog: http://njrereport.com/. Hope it helps.

Good luck,

JL
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 06:03 PM
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Thumbs up Couldn't agree with you any more

Fide_champ,

I am also looking for buying house in new jersey and as you mentioned all good places with good schools have hardly any effect from recession and housing down turn. But any way if you have to buy a house for long term then no point in waiting. The only thing bad times do to good places is value doesn't increase like it does in good times. Any suggestions on areas in New Jersey with good school and affordable (I mean something in 350-450k)? I know some very good areas where worst looking house starts at 700k which is out of scope.

USDream2Dust

Quote:
Originally Posted by fide_champ View Post
jung.lee,

I do share the same concern as you. But after doing a little bit of research about housing in my area, i did figure out that housing in good school areas are always in demand. So it's probably more important than ever to buy in a good school district if anybody is buying. Moreover in NJ you hardly have any land left to build any new houses, so there are not a lot of houses on the market in some areas. I am kind of relieved a little to buy it in the area i am buying. The job losses are a concern though. Right now it's only in the financial field but it could affect other industries also. But it's still a cycle and everytime we see some recession looming, it's been advertised as the worst in recent history still people live and come thru it. Some suffer losses going thru it, some doesn't get affected. During last recession, people lost millions in stocks and some my own friends lost more then 50K and that is no better than the situation we are in right now. So why worry now?
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 06:09 PM
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Default Cost AND quality of life

I think one needs to consider both cash flow and quality of life. Apartment living with kids is not very pleasant, a house with a yard is really the optimal scenario. Mortgage payments may be comparable with rent, depending on your location, but utility bills are greater in a house. Then there are tax issues, whereby you can deduct the interest paid, and you are also building equity.

It's very complex, and our immigration status is just one more complication. However, like the Bible says, "he that regardeth the wind shall not sow". I think if you are at that time of life and you are planning to settle in the USA just go ahead and do it. I did it in my second year of H1B and it is now 5 yrs later. I am now in 485 stage and in the meantime I have built some equity and have no regrets.

Good luck to you!
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 06:12 PM
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Default depends, buying for yourself or investment

jung.lee

The analysis is interesting, but this much amount has already been written off considering 100% of option ARM, and alt-ARM will fail. Furthermore, it is worth noting that if one is buying the property for personal consumption or for invetment. If for invetment, then I agree with your assesment, but if you are buying for yourself, it always a good time :-) Home sweet home!! Also always wise to pay your own mortgage than anyone else's.

Also, if the housing goes down further, you would see a much broader threat to the economy, so i feel that all will be done to contain it. We are currently at 2004 prices, and in some areas escalations on the foreclosed properties are are being seen.... So it tells something, that buyers who have been holding the cash are started to look around. But the inventory being so high that it may some sometime. However, the interest rates may not be friendly for long because of the inflation threat and considering the risks associated with the mortgages. So, this time with low rates, and low house pricess may not last long since these two things are generally inversly proportional!!
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  #99 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 07:07 PM
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Unhappy Write-off's vs. House Prices - Clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaitingYaar View Post

The analysis is interesting, but this much amount has already been written off considering 100% of option ARM, and alt-ARM will fail.
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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  #100 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 09:12 PM
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Default

Jang.Lee,
I totally aggree with you. I am also from socal and a regular visior to irvinehousingblog.
Currenly I am in apt and tired of living in apt, but I am definitely in no rush to buy and would probably find a good private home to rent.

Please check your PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jung.lee View Post
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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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2008, 11:54 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madhuri View Post
Jang.Lee,
I totally aggree with you. I am also from socal and a regular visior to irvinehousingblog.
Currenly I am in apt and tired of living in apt, but I am definitely in no rush to buy and would probably find a good private home to rent.

Please check your PM.
Land cannot be manufactured. The population is growing by the day and people need a place to live. So the space is at a premium here. The housing market maybe down because of the sub-prime crisis and the banks going out of business. But eventually it has to come back. Maybe this market is not for people who are looking to invest.

Look at india for instance: whatever state the economy is in, the housing always booms because of the supply/demand factor. Eventually US will reach that stage unless otherwise the population shrinks.
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  #102 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:25 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jung.lee View Post
I

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)

Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

this decade.
Excellent analysis Jung.lee

Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti

I couldn't control my laughter. You have a good sense of humor too

Last edited by Refugee_New; 04-06-2008 at 12:54 AM.
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2008, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Refugee_New View Post
Excellent analysis Jung.lee

Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti

I couldn't control my laughter. You have a good sense of humor too
Wow...do people wear lungi at home in winter !! May be in the temperate climates of bay area and further down in So Cal

But up here in North Cal (Roseville), where quite a few times the lawns freeze during early winter mornings, I feel cold even with full length fleece pants inside my home!! . But anyway, that might just be my excuse to not wear a lungi ....Never liked wearing it when I was growing up as well...preferred pajamas !
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old 04-06-2008, 05:50 AM
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Default Please don't be a greater fool

Quote:
Originally Posted by USDream2Dust View Post
Fide_champ,

I am also looking for buying house in new jersey and as you mentioned all good places with good schools have hardly any effect from recession and housing down turn. But any way if you have to buy a house for long term then no point in waiting. The only thing bad times do to good places is value doesn't increase like it does in good times. Any suggestions on areas in New Jersey with good school and affordable (I mean something in 350-450k)? I know some very good areas where worst looking house starts at 700k which is out of scope.

USDream2Dust
I hope this is not a joke. You have any idea what kind of downturn we will be facing? Why did Fed jump in to bail out Bear Stearns against all the criticism? What they did is considered illegal by many. But still they did it anyway. Because the Government is very afraid of this shaky economy. We were just few steps away from bank runs.
My friend bought house in Atlanta and within 3 months the builder sold the same model houses for 100k less. We are going to see a 30% to 50% reduction depending on the area.
People who wanted to convince themselves said it will not happen in california. As things started unfolding, they said it will not happen in Bay area. Then they said it will not happen in San Jose and Santa Clara. Now they are saying not in their block.
If you still think a good school will protect your house price, go ahead and catch the falling knife. To give you some idea of what people here are thinking -------------
“Sinclair: ‘But the prices kept going up. At one time, our house was worth over $600,000. In fact, a model just like this they were asking $699,000 — and now things have entirely collapsed.”

“A similar house down the street is already in foreclosure and the bank is entertaining offers for under $200,000.”

“The Sinclairs stopped paying their mortgage in October when the payment jumped from $3,000 a month to $4,000. Now they’re basically squatting in their own home, living there for free. Sinclair: ‘We had to start making some hard choices, which included going into foreclosure on our house and kind of starting again.’”

“Sinclair: ‘We would do it if the equity was there, but in a case where we’re already so behind… Imagine that for five years, say, we’re gonna pay four grand a month and then we’re just gonna be back up at what we bought the house for. We feel like we’re throwing away money.’”

--------------------------------
They are just walking away from their house because they see that their house value is going down. This all will feedback and cause further decline in the prices. Don't think that the prices will be back in 5 years. For someone who bought a house in 1989, it took 8 years to 9 years to get back to their purchase price. This time it will be worse.

Guys, people are talking about Depression and you guys want to buy house in a good school district. These FB(search google what it means), are waiting for some greater fool than themselves to unload their burden. This is why you will be called "greater fool"
If you want to loose your 200K in 2 years, go ahead. It is your money. Don't tell that you weren't warned, like all these mortgage companies and banks who are now saying - "who would have thought it would get this worse".

Land is plentiful in california and NJ. There are building restrictions artificially imposed to keep the prices high. But this is past. No realtors are saying "we are not making any more land" these days. I have been following the housing blogs and they are laughing at Indians who are buying here in Bay area. Do some research before spewing the realtor propaganda and don't compare situation in India with US. Sorry for the rant. I am doing this with good intention to save atleast some of you guys.

Last edited by nojoke; 04-06-2008 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by USDream2Dust View Post
Fide_champ,

I am also looking for buying house in new jersey and as you mentioned all good places with good schools have hardly any effect from recession and housing down turn. But any way if you have to buy a house for long term then no point in waiting. The only thing bad times do to good places is value doesn't increase like it does in good times. Any suggestions on areas in New Jersey with good school and affordable (I mean something in 350-450k)? I know some very good areas where worst looking house starts at 700k which is out of scope.

USDream2Dust
USDReam2Dust,

Even in good school areas the values came down but not as much as 20, 30 or 50%. In my area, houses above 500K are not selling. But i could see multiple bidders for houses that are good and attractively priced(5 to 10%) reduction. We are probably at 2004/2005 prices right now. The most encouraging thing is people are still buying.

I live in south jersey and i know little bit about the south jersey market. I do not know much about other areas. In south jersey moorestown, mount laurel, marlton, voorhees, cherry hill are good areas to buy. Send a PM and we can discuss further about your specific requirements.
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