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  • pointlesswait
    01-06 01:28 PM
    violence is a two way sword..

    its not that hamas is doing gandhigiri there.. even though they were elected to rule palestine..those morons instead of providing good governence and hope to their ppl..have resorted to some mindless/aimless bombing of Israel.

    i care that kids are getting killed... but dont you care then when one of ur jihadi blows himself up..and many innocent get killed.
    I support that palestinians be given their right to self rule.. but they should learn to live and let live..

    so you are saying.. u can kill ppl in the name of god..and when someone responds..u squirm like a toad?

    grow up.. kid..


    Why do you want to end this discussion? Are you scared of speaking the truth or you don't care the killing of innocent school kids?





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  • apb
    10-01 05:45 PM
    Engg from top school in India + MBA + CFA started the process of GC in 2000. Lost first round of GC in the black hole of backlog processing center and restarted again in 2004. Never was out of job even in the worst of economy and always got good pay from company.
    CIR was a disappointment and I took PR from Canada since I lost hope with the system after 9 years in limbo and being a probationary worker without any career hope. My wife with her masters in computer had to remain on H4 for long and now when we have EAD we thought we could be a little better off, the broken system in USCIS again came up during EAD extension processing and gave us a jolt. EAD finally gets approved after several SRs, Infopass and ombudsman mail but only after the current one expires. If 90-120 were not enough, then at least allow EAD extension to be filed much before in advance.
    H1B extension can work based on Receipt notice, 485 is filed based on EB and EAD extension applied based on pending EB based 485--BUT we can work only after we get the EAD in hand. Why? There are many gaps in the way USCIS works and there is no credible transparency for the fee that we pay to get the service.
    We love CHANGE but would that change be for better?





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  • another one
    12-17 04:03 PM
    I agree with you ..Antulay is complete filth.

    But you are just another attention seeker wasting my money by using up the storage space in this forum. Let me predict what you are going to do ... half the posts on this thread will be yours ..mostly picking up a piss contest with anyone posting here. Below is a link to a constructive channel many have used. See you there..

    http://indianarmy.nic.in/career.html


    This is exactly I hate. To divert focus of terrorism to Hindu group, Muslim leader comes out - WOW!

    Sounds like LeT informed Hindu group in advance that they are going to attack so as a by-product they can kill Karkare. Ha ha ha.

    Times Of India Headline: Antulay raises doubts over Karkare's killing





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  • sledge_hammer
    06-05 04:33 PM
    You are right about #8. I should not have included that under "expense". But going with the spirit of my original post, in the long run, the equity you build (15K/yr) will far out weigh the yearly savings you get by renting.

    >> Savings on tax deductions/yr: $ 4,050 (30% bracket, $13.5K interest)

    This assumption may not be correct. You can take tax deduction for mortgage only if you forego standard deduction. Assuming it is a 3 people household (Mr., Missus and Master) - you would forego the standard deduction of around 10k. So the marginal tax saving would only be around 1k assuming 30% bracket.

    In case you itemize anyway (small business owners typically have to do this) - then your calculation of $4k in net tax saving is correct.

    My calculation would be:

    Situation Own:
    Your expense is
    item# 4 +
    item# 5
    - Corrected item# 9

    Item #8 is NOT a mitigating factor to your monthly expenses. To earn the quity - you have to make the same amount of cash payment - cash which you could have used in any other form of investment.

    So the total would be
    13k + 9k - 1k ~ 20-21k.

    So - in this example - renting would come out quite a bit ahead.

    However, in ValidIV's example buying would be superior to renting.



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  • Macaca
    02-25 07:50 PM
    Please post (with URL i.e. verifiable) Lou Dobbs lies. He is believed by some persons in other immigration forums. Thanks.





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  • mariner5555
    04-15 04:18 PM
    I just want to list the difference in your home purchase decision when you have GC vs. you are in H1B/EAD.

    GC - You can splurge a little. Even if you have to move, you are almost certain that you are able to move within the US, or will be able to come back to the US. You will get better interest rates on a mortgage and a higher percentage of financing (upto 97%). You can buy your dream home (this usually means a nice community, big house etc. etc.) Even if the value of your purchase comes down, you can afford to wait for a longer period of time.

    H1/EAD - Think 10 times before purchasing a home. Take a conservative approach. If you think you can really afford a $400,000 house, purchase only a $350,000 house. Prepare to pay around 8% down-payment (some times even 20%) and you may not get the best interest rate. Plan very well for the possibility that you may have to move within the US or even out of the country. And prepare some plans considering that you may have to go out of the US and may not be able to come back. Consider the possibility of renting a town home or a single family home. In this market, you can even find homes by paying a rent which could be some times lower than the mortgage on the home. I agree with what h1tech has said ..and that is good advice. I guess there is enough info on this thread and hopefully people will take right decisions (so I will stop for the time being). btw ..nobody said bigger house is not better if everything else is constant .. maybe people are misreading things.
    and I guess inspite of all these arguments ..people will rush to buy ..which is good too ..as it helps the economy.. ( I guess some like to shoot themselves in the foot ..).
    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080415/foreclosure_rates.html
    note - ARMS will reset in may / june (the batch that is referred below) ..which means many of these will foreclose in early 2009.
    -----
    The onslaught of homes facing foreclosures has yet to ebb, a research report showed Tuesday, with bank repossessions skyrocketing last month as more troubled homeowners mailed in their keys and walked away.

    And the worst isn't over: the wave of adjustable-rate loans resetting to higher rates will crest in May and June. And that's expected to push more homeowners into default and foreclosure in the third and fourth quarters of this year, according to RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif.

    "Once we're through that batch of loans, the worst will have been worked through the system," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president of marketing.
    He estimates between 750,000 and 1 million bank-owned properties will hit the market this year, or about a quarter of the homes up for sale. In some areas, these properties will continue to slow sales and depress prices further.
    ----------



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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 09:27 AM
    Those who said, Hamas was hiding inside school and firing rockets, go check the fact in CNN.

    U.N. 'sure' no militants at school hit by Israeli troops

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/07/israel.gaza.school/index.html

    Human sheild, hiding in hospital, hiding in mosques, hiding in school - All are big lie and bullshit. Just to justify the killing of innocent lives.





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  • sanju
    12-18 01:09 PM
    the main message of the bible is forgiveness

    And what do bible say about people who do not believe in bible. How can the creator who created everything, including "believers" of your faith, and "non-believers" of your faith, how can such a creator who knows nothing but giving, how can that fellow say - "non-believers" go to hell. Don't you think that was purposefully put in there by Saint Paul, or someone who showed up after him. That shallow view cannot be coming from a supereme being, its just not possible.


    and the sacrifice that God made in order to save mankind. the person the bible portrays is the man who wanted to sacrifice his life for all of us. history proves that to be true. I don't think any king would want to change that message.
    God hates evil, and both God and evil cannot exist together. Man is doomed to eternal death because of sin. but God loved us that none of us should perish, and that's how he gave us a way to escape death (not mortal). that is through the great sacrifice He made for mankind.

    Book of Romans 5:8
    "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

    Your version of history and the way you have been tought histroy proves that to be true. And just like the other fellow who said that books of hindu religion is not doctored, you come up with reasons who books or your faith are not doctored, which is not surprising. Why is it called "King James Bible" if King James did not create his won version? Why are there so many versions of bibles qurans, Geetas? Which version of each of those books is correct? Let me guess, the answer is, the one that I believe, or the one that was handed to me by my parents. And thats just too much bull, you know....

    Some of the parts of each holy book emanates view of supreme being, but then there are others which preach hate. All that I am saying is, be critical when you read yuor book, and question everything that it has to tell you. Don't live in medival period and follow these books blindly, you are an educated man, for christ sake. Even Christ or Allah or Krishna or whomever you beleiev in, even they will not want you to follow a twisted belief system in their name, would they? Just think.... So why is it not your responsibility to critically think about that is being taught in those books is not some form of hate in the name of religion.

    First thing that all religions do is, tell you that you r are a sinner, because just like George Bush, every religion works on the principle of fear. No. I was not born as a sinner, no one was. Everyone else is an extraordinary creation of creator created out of love and giving. And anyone telling you that we are sinner is simply abhomination of the creation of the creator.

    Say you are a computer programmer. The question is - Why are you a computer programmer? Because you applied your mind to become a computer programmer, and thats why you are now called - computer programmer. Now say you worship the true nature of GOD, which is not but love, none of this sinner and kafir stuff, ok. Now you apply your mind towards God, what will you become, and reflection of god itself. And during a period of time people will identify you with the object to which you applied your mind. I believe Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad, Guru Nanak, were great visionary souls and applied their mind to GOD such that their coming generations identify them as GODs, just as I applied my mind to become a computer programmer and now I am identified as computer program. This applies to every so called "GOD" in every religion.

    Ray of light from Sun is a medium for light & warmth, but no one prays the ray of light, everyone prays the Sun becuase thats the source. Likewise, all the great souls who showed up from time to time, they are like rays of Sun light, showing us the direction to the Sun, but in this metaphor, mankind started praying the ray of sun light instead of the Sun and formed all those different religions based on the ray of sunlight. And now everyone fights with each other over whose ray of sunlight is better. Just imagine how ignorant and foolish this behavior is?

    I don't think that every word of bible is the word of Jesus Christ. I don;t think that every word of Quran is the word of Mohammed. I don't thin that every word of Geeta is the word of Krishna. If there was a way for these great souls to appear before us in this age and talk to people who "appear" to follow them, these great souls will tell their so called "followers" to stop this nonsense in their name.


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  • sk2006
    06-05 02:53 PM
    Totally agree ! To add, the decision to buy a house for people like us (who are stuck in this muck) also depends on the life situation you are in. Meaning, the decision to buy a house inspite of the uncertainity was over-weighed by the fact that my kids need to enjoy certain things. Watching them play with kids of their age in the neighborhood, riding a bicycle or playing with the water sprinkler while I sip my beer is priceless.

    Yeah, but why do you have to BUY that house to live in it if in the same neighbor hood same or similar house can be rented at much lower price?

    Kids can still play and enjoy the sprinklers and you can still enjoy your beer. Isn't it?

    Infact we have attached a sense of pride in owning even if we can't afford it. I am not talking about you but in general. People bought 700K houses in 100K salary. And this is a VERY good salary but it still can't afford a 700K house!





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  • jgh_res
    06-12 10:57 AM
    It's just not all media hype. I live in fairfax county and in the last 3 months any house that was listed at market price got sold. I have 3 friends that bought houses in the last few months.

    In Arlington County, the median sale price was up 11 percent to $469,000 and 239 homes were sold — up nearly 5 percent from the same month a year ago.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2009/06/08/daily55.html

    I am not saying that this is the right time to buy or anything like that. All I am saying is "Its just not media hype".


    Guys.. stay put for now..
    Did you hear that home sales are up! All these media and those streaky economists and so called "housing experts" claiming in the news channels for past couple of weeks?.. that is media messing around with people's head.. I was looking at the public records for home sales and found that a huge portion of current homes sales are nothing but LOW END old homes between (75K to 150K).. Only a neglegable percentage are the ones between (200K and above). This is exactly what media doesn't speak about.. they conveniently skip this part when they report on home sales lately...

    Its the gotcha guys.. now they started to increase price a bit.. banks are pushing up interest rates to create a scenario where people are made to believe soon, its going to be out of reach again.. so grab one now.. and get that $8000 credit for yourself.. What they are trying to do is, create an artificial demand.. We all know that it isn't going anywhere.. by Q409.. we will see the prices again going south.. only thing they can do is delay the natural correction during this summer.. Its going to happen any way.. and by end of fall into winter, it is highly expected to reach the floor and stabilize during 2010 spring and summer ( average price in the range of 4 times disposible annual income), if not further decline as we saw in certain areas of california and florida..

    When you are in the market for a home, do not go by these general claims by media folks.. brokers and realtors who fake the confidence.. you will have to segment and compare the specs to sales price with in your choice of segment.. (such as..homes below 200K, between 200K to 300K, 300K to 400K and so on.) Public records are available online for almost all the counties in US, you can pull that up to see whats going on in your area before you jump into conclusion. This will give us a better feel of the market and even better, bargain opportunity.



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  • radhay
    04-08 04:16 PM
    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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  • pitha
    01-28 09:57 AM
    lou dobbs is not a reporter, dont get confused. He is an opinion dispenser. Just like Rush Limbaug, Sean Hanity, Glen Beck etc. But either ways he is after us in immigration.



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  • DallasBlue
    09-29 07:22 PM
    USINPAC and AJC should support us for talented future lobbyists. :-)

    Forget the Israel Lobby. The Hill's Next Big Player Is Made in India (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/28/AR2007092801350_2.html) By Mira Kamdar (miraukamdar@gmail.com) | Washington Post, September 30, 2007

    Mira Kamdar, a fellow at the World Policy Institute and the Asia Society, is the author of "Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming America and the World."

    The fall's most controversial book is almost certainly "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," in which political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt warn that Jewish Americans have built a behemoth that has bullied policymakers into putting Israel's interests in the Middle East ahead of America's. To Mearsheimer and Walt, AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying group, is insidious. But to more and more Indian Americans, it's downright inspiring.

    With growing numbers, clout and self-confidence, the Indian American community is turning its admiration for the Israel lobby and its respect for high-achieving Jewish Americans into a powerful new force of its own. Following consciously in AIPAC's footsteps, the India lobby is getting results in Washington -- and having a profound impact on U.S. policy, with important consequences for the future of Asia and the world.

    "This is huge," enthused Ron Somers, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council, from a posh hotel lobby in Philadelphia. "It's the Berlin Wall coming down. It's Nixon in China."

    What has Somers so energized is a landmark nuclear cooperation deal between India and the United States, which would give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and deliver fuel supplies to India's civilian power plants in return for placing them under permanent international safeguards. Under the deal's terms, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- for decades the cornerstone of efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons -- will in effect be waived for India, just nine years after the Clinton administration slapped sanctions on New Delhi for its 1998 nuclear tests. But the Bush administration, eager to check the rise of China by tilting toward its massive neighbor, has sought to forge a new strategic alliance with India, cemented by the civil nuclear deal.

    On the U.S. side, the pact awaits nothing more than one final up-or-down vote in Congress. (In India, the situation is far more complicated; India's left-wing parties, sensitive to any whiff of imperialism, have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of surrendering the country's sovereignty -- a broadside that may yet scuttle the deal.) On Capitol Hill, despite deep divisions over Iraq, immigration and the outsourcing of American jobs to India, Democrats and Republicans quickly fell into line on the nuclear deal, voting for it last December by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Even lawmakers who had made nuclear nonproliferation a core issue over their long careers, such as Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), quickly came around to President Bush's point of view. Why?

    The answer is that the India lobby is now officially a powerful presence on the Hill. The nuclear pact brought together an Indian government that is savvier than ever about playing the Washington game, an Indian American community that is just coming into its own and powerful business interests that see India as perhaps the single biggest money-making opportunity of the 21st century.

    The nuclear deal has been pushed aggressively by well-funded groups representing industry in both countries. At the center of the lobbying effort has been Robert D. Blackwill, a former U.S. ambassador to India and deputy national security adviser who's now with a well-connected Republican lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers LLC. The firm's Web site touts Blackwill as a pillar of its "India Practice," along with a more recent hire, Philip D. Zelikow, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who was also one of the architects of the Bush administration's tilt toward India. The Confederation of Indian Industry paid Blackwill to lobby various U.S. government entities, according to the Boston Globe. And India is also paying a major Beltway law firm, Venable LLP.

    The U.S.-India Business Council has lavished big money on lobbyists, too. With India slated to spend perhaps $60 billion over the next few years to boost its military capabilities, major U.S. corporations are hoping that the nuclear agreement will open the door to some extremely lucrative opportunities, including military contracts and deals to help build nuclear power plants. According to a recent MIT study, Lockheed Martin is pushing to land a $4 billion to $9 billion contract for more than 120 fighter planes that India plans to buy. "The bounty is enormous," gushed Somers, the business council's president.

    So enormous, in fact, that Bonner & Associates created an India lobbying group last year to make sure that U.S. companies reap a major chunk of it. Dubbed the Indian American Security Leadership Council, the group was underwritten by Ramesh Kapur, a former trustee of the Democratic National Committee, and Krishna Srinivasa, who has been backing GOP causes since his 1984 stint as co-chair of Asian Americans for Reagan-Bush. The council has, oddly, "recruited groups representing thousands of American veterans" to urge Congress to pass the nuclear deal.

    The India lobby is also eager to use Indian Americans to put a human face -- not to mention a voter's face and a campaign contributor's face -- on its agenda. "Industry would make its business case," Somers explained, "and Indian Americans would make the emotional case."

    There are now some 2.2 million Americans of Indian origin -- a number that's growing rapidly. First-generation immigrants keenly recall the humiliating days when India was dismissed as an overpopulated, socialist haven of poverty and disease. They are thrilled by the new respect India is getting. Meanwhile, a second, American-born generation of Indian Americans who feel comfortable with activism and publicity is just beginning to hit its political stride. As a group, Indian Americans have higher levels of education and income than the national average, making them a natural for political mobilization.

    One standout member of the first generation is Sanjay Puri, who founded the U.S. India Political Action Committee in 2002. (Its acronym, USINPAC, even sounds a bit like AIPAC.) He came to the United States in 1985 to get an MBA at George Washington University, staying on to found an information-technology company. A man of modest demeanor who wears a lapel pin that joins the Indian and American flags, Puri grew tired of watching successful Indian Americans pony up money just so they could get their picture taken with a politician. "I thought, 'What are we getting out of this?', " he explains.

    In just five years, USINPAC has become the most visible face of Indian American lobbying. Its Web site boasts photos of its leaders with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and presidential candidates from Fred Thompson to Barack Obama. The group pointedly sports a New Hampshire branch. It can also take some credit for ending the Senate career of Virginia Republican George Allen, whose notorious taunt of "macaca" to a young Indian American outraged the community. Less publicly, USINPAC claims to have brought a lot of lawmakers around. "You haven't heard a lot from Dan Burton lately, right?" Puri asked, referring to a Republican congressman from Indiana who has long been perceived as an India basher.

    USINPAC is capable of pouncing; witness the incident last June when Obama's campaign issued a memo excoriating Hillary Rodham Clinton for her close ties to wealthy Indian Americans and her alleged support for outsourcing, listing the New York senator's affiliation as "D-Punjab." Puri personally protested in a widely circulated open letter, and Obama quickly issued an apology. "Did you see? That letter was addressed directly to Sanjay," Varun Mehta, a senior at Boston University and USINPAC volunteer, told me with evident admiration. "That's the kind of clout Sanjay has."

    Like many politically engaged Indian Americans, Puri has a deep regard for the Israel lobby -- particularly in a country where Jews make up just a small minority of the population. "A lot of Jewish people tell me maybe I was Jewish in my past life," he jokes. The respect runs both ways. The American Jewish Committee, for instance, recently sent letters to members of Congress supporting the U.S.-India nuclear deal.

    "We model ourselves on the Jewish people in the United States," explains Mital Gandhi of USINPAC's new offshoot, the U.S.-India Business Alliance. "We're not quite there yet. But we're getting there."





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  • pmb76
    12-17 02:40 PM
    Guys and Gals,

    Everybody his entitled to his/her views and express them freely. That in itself among the many great things about this country. However at the same time this is an immigration forum. Please desist from making comments that diverge from the topic or create rifts in achieving our common goal - EB reform.
    When you're in this country you are not judged by the color of your skin, religion, faith or beliefs. You aren't judged by where you came from but where you're going. We are all in that pursuit of happiness.

    Remember you have several other newsgroups, message boards and blogs to express your views. Stop using IV for matters other than immigration - particularly the ones that are controversial and cause to create sense of discomfort among members.



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  • kaisersose
    04-15 10:22 AM
    We are looking to buy a house and the bank is asking us to put down 10%. How much money is considered safe to have after down-payment if we are buying a home. I know it depends on the situation, but I would like some estimates/ball-park figures.

    Banks are asking 5% down payment and 10% if the real estate market in that area is not currently stable.

    If you are a first time buyer, you will have several other costs to foot such as

    Closing costs
    Moving costs
    Apt lease breakage (if applicable)
    Initial basic furnishings at home that cannot wait

    Plan for all this, and in general it s advisable to have some money squirreled away to pay bills during emergency situations such as layoffs. Since you have already decided to buy a home, the one thing I would tell you *not* to worry about for now is selling the home.





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  • a_yaja
    05-17 07:20 AM
    You have no arguments that make sense. You are arguing that doing something illegal is a great thing to do. Not so. And yes, I do support the bill as it will weed out some fraudsters from amongst us, who give the H-1B program a very bad rep.
    You still have not told me why you are support the Durbin-Grassley bill and you are OK with consulting on a "full-time" basis. The Durbin-Grassley bill bans this.
    The present laws are more then enough to go after offenders. The law is not being enforced. What makes you think that if the Durbin-Grassley bill is passed, all abuse will stop? People who abuse the system will continue to do so. They will simply say that the job is "permanant, full-time" or whatever the bill requires the job definition to be and file for H1B. And the show will go on. I guess at that point you will then dance when someone else will propose another bill to restrict H1Bs to some other sector that includes you.



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  • GCOP
    07-13 09:36 AM
    Does IV want to change the format of the letter ? If so, modified letter from IV will be appreciated. I thank pani_6 and IV's effort to address the EB-3 situation. If necessary, IV can also arrange meeting with Department of State for discussion of EB-3 Visa allotment and delays. EB-3 situation is really dier. IV is requested to please arrange meeting with DOS.





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  • nojoke
    04-14 03:18 PM
    I cannot agree more. I have been trying to drill this into some peoples brain but they are so adamant on renting and has made this thread into a rent vs buy argument. I finally gave up. I am not saying that this is the right time to buy. Fast forward 2 or 2+ years, lets assume the market is good. Then when it comes to rent vs buy I advocate buying a house.

    Let�s say you have a small kid and you are living in an apartment, after 10 years you save enough money to buy a big house and you then eventually you buy it. Then you ask the your kid �do you like the house?�. He will reply �it�s very nice dad, but can you give you give my childhood now?.�. Go figure out guys. If you are not planning on going back for a very long time then at-least get a life in the country you reside and when the housing market is good.

    Where do you get the idea that the child will loose the life in apartments and then get back after buying a house?:confused: It would be nice if we can buy the house on the day one when we join the job. Or even nicer if our parents got us a house in US before we came here:D. Unfortunately there are circumstances that prevent us buying a house. The biggest one is this bubble and the madness of multiple bidding that insanely pushed the real estate prices, all the while the realtors and mortgage brokers where making 300K or 500K yearly income selling shoe boxes for half a million and generating slogans like "you will be priced out forever", "they are not manufacturing any more land", "housing is always a good investment", "renting is throwing away money".





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

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/07/israel.gaza.school/index.html


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

    ....

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





    puddonhead
    06-26 04:43 PM
    All your calculations are meaningless if the house price keeps going down 20% like the past few years. We will reach a point where the house price crash stops and starts to stabilize. That point is couple of years away. Until then, we can ignore the rent vs mortgage calculations.

    Well - your approach smells of speculation, which is pretty dangerous!!

    I take the following approach

    Left Side: Add my rent

    Right Side: Add all my expenses (mortgage + maintenance + tax)

    As soon as Left > right - it is a time to buy.

    If you get to the nitti-gritties - it can get very complicated. e.g. you usually put 20% down. Plus the principal payment is technically not "expenditure" - it is "investment in your home equity". Owning means you lose flexibility. It is impossible to put numbers against all these.

    However, my personal "estimate"/"Tipping point" (taking into account the loss of flexibility etc) is when I have positive cash flow from owning (i.e. rent > mortgage + tax + maintenance). Some very successful RE investors I know take the same approach and are very successful.





    Macaca
    08-01 08:15 PM
    Lobbying Reform, at Last (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/30/AR2007073001552.html) Congress should finish it before going home, July 31, 2007

    IT WASN'T EASY, it took too long, and it's not done yet -- but before Congress leaves for its August recess, it should have completed a lobbying reform bill that would, for the first time, require disclosure of the bundles of campaign checks that lobbyists bring in for politicians. We say "should have" because the measure -- having not gone through the normal conference committee process -- needs to clear significant hurdles in both the House and Senate. Lawmakers of both parties, in both houses, must ensure that that happens before going home to face constituents who appear increasingly unhappy about a Congress they perceive as looking after its own interests, not theirs.

    The lobbying package makes important changes, some of which were written into House rules in January. It would prohibit lawmakers and staff members from accepting gifts or travel from lobbyists and their clients. It would end lawmakers' ability to fly on corporate aircraft at cut-rate prices; senators and White House candidates would have to pay regular charter rates for such flights, while House members would simply be barred from accepting travel on private jets. It would lengthen, from one year to two, the revolving-door prohibition on senators and Senate staff members; the House limit would remain at one year.

    It would require that senators pushing pet projects known as earmarks make that information available at least 48 hours in advance of a vote and certify that they and their immediate family members have no financial stake in the items; earmarks added in conference could be challenged and would have to receive 60 votes to survive. Lobbyists would also have to report gifts made to presidential libraries, now a financial disclosure black hole.

    Most important, the measure would require lawmakers to include on their campaign finance reports the identities of lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them during a six-month period -- shining a needed light on an important source of influence. Keeping this requirement part of the bill was a difficult, and important, achievement.

    This agreement will be brought up on the House floor today, under rules allowing it to pass quickly with two-thirds support. Then it goes to the Senate, where it is expected to run into opposition from Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) over whether the earmarking rules are strict enough; because it involves a change in Senate rules, 67 votes will be needed for passage. Leadership from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will be critical to ensure that the complaints of a few senators are not allowed to derail a change that is badly needed and long overdue.