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  • sk2006
    06-06 03:44 PM
    why are all the non-GC-holder desis even debating owning a home?!!
    is that not, like, the most laughable, stupid thing to do?

    what the fu$k!! you dont have a GC, you dont have any job security, you dont have any unemployment/social security, you blow your savings on a house, stocks and houses will take about 4 solid years to get back to where they were (if ever), this country's economy is tanking, there is no love for legal immigrants, we are still only in the middle of this recession (depression?).................aah, what the hell.........

    go buy your american dream you stupid desis...........you get what you deserve.


    Truth: Harshly put.

    In the words of the famous Indian poet Mirza Ghalib:->

    "Mar chuk kahin ki tu Gham-e-Hizran se chhoot Jaye,
    Kahte to hain bhale ki wo lekin buri tarah"

    Translation:
    "Kill yourself and you will get rid of your miseries! Well, what is said is for my good but the way it is said is very bad".





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  • sayantan76
    01-11 02:20 AM
    Palestine was never a country. Even historian knows that there was a kingdom of Israel & Kingdom of Judah. The kings and the timeslines when the kingdoms were destroyed are also known. Due to numerous invasions there was a great diaspora of Jews to the other parts of the world. Even Jerusalem belongs to the Jews. The Romans under Titus burned down the Jewsish temple and killed entire tribes of Jews during the Jewish revolt against Rome in AD. 70. The modern state of Israel was in fact simply returing the ancient land of Israel to the Jews. Kashmir belongs to India. Pakistan has occupied Kashmir.
    I hate selective use of historical context to justify certain acts.

    First - going by your logic - we should perhaps consider returning entire Europe to Italy (since it was all Roman Empire) and also returning pretty much entire West Asia and parts of South Asia to Macedonia (Remember Alexander's campaign?). Kingdoms expanded and contracted based on the power and territoial ambitions of the ruling sovereign - ancient legends should not form basis for modern map drawing.

    Second - since when have religious groups started having monopoly over a piece of land?....a geographical entity belongs to the natives of that area.....the natives may follow the same of different religions....Native Jews and Native Palestinians (you may not want to believe it - but Palestinians or philistines as a distinct population group existed even before the advent of Islam) have lived in the modern Israel + Palestine since time immemorial and the land belongs to these natives.....

    To blame only Palentinians for the current aggressions is not really fair......and honestly, there is no moral victory or military superiority on display here on part of Israel here either......no one wins when innocent civilians and children die





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  • my2cents
    04-13 09:56 PM
    i can not speak for everybody but
    i bought in east coast in 2004 for $330K. it peaked to $425K in 2006 and now it is somewhere $350K. it may go even go down to $300K

    I will break even if i stay for another 3 years. (total 7 years)
    If renting then : 110K in rent with no benefits for 7 years.

    Good Side:
    - Tax benefits with dual income. ( proabably $300 per month)
    - Bigger house

    Bad Side:
    Maintenance
    IF i have to sell now then will be loss for me for sure so key is location and how long u stay.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 12:48 PM
    How to tell the sex of a fly

    I stopped at a friends house the other day and found him stalking around the kitchen with a flyswatter.

    When I asked if he had gotten any flies he answered, "Yeah, 5 .... 3 males and 2 females."

    Curious, I inquired as to how he could tell the difference.

    He answered, "It's easy, 3 were on a beer can and 2 were on the phone.



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  • unseenguy
    06-24 11:51 PM
    Why are be debating 3 - 4 years rent vs own? As the subject indicates "long" term prospects of buying a home..we of all the ppl should know the meaning of the word "long" based on our "long" wait for PD (which I think should be renamed to retrogress date because I see nothing priority about it)..the point being lets debate 10 years rent vs own..as against 3-4...I think over a 10 year timeline the buyers would come out ahead of the renters..maybe not in CA but in other states that's quite likely..

    coz, next 3-4 years make it special due to immigration status and special status of the economy and you can plan for 5-7 years but whats going to happen after that is beyond anyone.





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  • sunny1000
    03-27 05:39 PM
    ok..My docs have been received by AO.

    Here is the email I got back today




    I hope everything goes smooth...still waiting :o

    good luck with your processing.;)



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  • nojoke
    04-14 03:47 PM
    Again, it may not be applicable to ur situation.

    in my case, i am paying $400 in equity and $300 in tax deduction so i am paying effectively $1300 .(My mortgage is $2k, includes eveything(Insurace,HOA).In $1300, i can get 1-2 bedroom in DC Metro area depending upon location.
    Yes, over a period of time tax benefits decreases but equity increases. so i stay , and after 10 years i will be paying $800 evey month towards principal.

    now depend upon when i sell , if i sell and price is same as when i bought, only advantage i have i enjoyed 3 bedroom instead of 1-2 which may not be needed depending upon family size/need.

    If i would have bought in 2006 (peak time) calculation is different and i may be loosing $200-300 per month based upon interest rate. (Currenlt i am on 5.25% 30 year fixed) .

    Another big factor is interest rate. if you buy house (when it is has bottom) you may end paying same if interest rate is high. that's why i think it is best time to buy since interest rate is low and housing is slow and good inventory.

    Location..Location.. Location...is most important thing.
    worst hit market are ohio,michigan because Big 3 automakers are suffereing.

    more you stay in house ..7 , 10 or 15 years. Your equity build faster.

    Best use i think i was able to do.. took out a equity loan which is now 6% and paid my ICICI loan(house in india) which was averaging 12-13%.

    but again if i have to sell now ..then i am sure i will loose money because it will not sell.

    Some of my frnd bought house in $800K in DC metro. yes they lost 20% big amount ...but there main worry is cash flow. You need dual income all the time to pay mortgage.

    My only advise is always limit ur mortgage to one salary. it may means that you have to commute longer, may be remote area.

    Media is the one who created the hype & and also they are paritally responsible for downturn.

    For 330K house, the calculations are probably splitting hairs. If it had already lost value to what the income in your area can support, then it is good time. But if it is still going down, I would rather buy a house at the bottom even if the interest rate gets higher. I can sell the house immediately without loss, if I have too.





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  • Pineapple
    12-26 09:39 PM
    Thanks Macaca, for doing the hard work no one else will (or can!!), and unearthing articles/compiling/collating research papers on the broader issues... My hats off to you!



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  • validIV
    06-26 02:47 PM
    I don't know what else to tell you except what I've already stated. Frankly I am surprised that this debate has gone beyond 1 page. I am tired of beating a dead horse.

    If you are renting for 1500/month thats 18,000 a year, or 540,000 in 30 years that you lose with no chance of claiming as a deduction or ever using for anything. Rather than losing that money, why not use it to own the property you are living in?

    As a homeowner, you can use that 540,000 to own the home. The interest and property taxes you pay are tax deductible, and the principal means that at the end of the 30 years, the home is yours (20 if your loan is 20 years). Even when you are paying the mortgage, you are saving. You are getting bigger tax returns and you are owning the home that you live in. No amount of rent will guarantee either.

    Through a combination of tax deductions, home equity, and property value, I am willing to bet you that I can save the same amount you do by renting, but still be ahead by owning the property I live in in 30 years. Just take a look at any home owner's history and tell me someone who hasn't doubled the value of their home (home only, not including their savings) in the past 30 years or more.

    Everyone here that is dead-set on renting, by all means continue to throw your money away. And it REALLY is throwing your money away. How you wish to justify doing so is fine by me as long as you can sleep at night and explain to your family, friends and kids why you chose to rent for 30 or so years.

    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.





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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:24 PM
    The Year That Was: Corruption Scandals of 2010 (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/12/27/the-year-that-was-corruption-scandals-of-2010/) By Tripti Lahiri | IndiaRealTime

    This week, as we countdown to 2011, India Real Time casts a look back at the big news events of this year.

    We�re not sure we can say it was the best of times, but sometimes it certainly felt like the worst of times, at least for the Congress-led government, which saw a series of corruption scandals unfold on its watch.

    Here are the top five scandals of 2010, in chronological order:

    Tharoorgate: In April, then junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor, a first-time MP from Kerala, was forced to resign after Indian Premier League founder Lalit Kumar Modi raised questions on Twitter about the equity given to a woman close to Mr. Tharoor in a consortium that successfully bid for a new franchise for an Indian Premier League cricket team.

    Mr. Tharoor denied that he stood to gain financially from the team, which was to represent a Kerala city.

    The ruckus led income-tax authorities to examine the ownership holdings in the league�s other teams. Meanwhile the body that regulates cricket in India began to look at Mr. Modi�s financial dealings with regard to the league and also relieved him of his post as IPL commissioner.

    By the end of 2010 Mr. Tharoor and the woman, public relations executive Sunanda Pushkar were married. It also looks like a team from Kochi will play in the next season of the Indian Premier League.

    The Commonwealth Games: The Games, estimated to cost $6 billion, were plagued by allegations of financial mismanagement, instances of work safety violations, construction accidents and extreme delays in the preparations.

    At one point it seemed possible that the Games may not take place at all as visiting delegations complained of filthy and incomplete worker accommodations and health concerns around dengue stemming a surge in mosquitoes in Delhi as a result of heavy monsoon rains this year.

    It looked set to be a national embarrassment but a snazzy opening ceremony smoothed things over and roused some sporting spirit from Delhi residents, though there continued to be reports of disorganization, including around ticket sales and with getting real-time results from the events.

    After the event, the prime minster promised a full investigation. On Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation agency officials searched the office and residence of Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, chief Games organizer, and his assistant. Earlier, two other organizing officials were arrested.

    2G: The scandal over the potential revenue lost from from giving discounted spectrum to telecom companies in 2008 is the biggest of them all.

    The Controller and Auditor General said in November that the flawed allocation may have cost the government $40 billion in lost revenue, and the size of that figure has stoke public ire and given the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party loads of ammunition to attack the government.

    Ahead of the report being tabled in Parliament, Telecom minister A. Raja stepped down on Nov. 14, though he maintains he did nothing wrong. The Central Bureau of Investigation questioned him on Friday and Saturday.

    The 2G scandal led to even more wastage of taxpayer money than the $40 billion the audit report mentioned. The stalemate between the Congress and the BJP over the opposition�s demand for a parliamentary inquiry led to a parliamentary session that, according to some news reports, saw less than 10 hours of work take place.

    Tapegate: Just as the storm of criticism around the Congress Party�s record on governance was at its height, news reports appeared in two magazines that shifted the spotlight away from Mr. Raja and the spectrum allocations and on to reporters instead.

    The news reports carried transcripts of leaked phone taps of conversations between top reporters like NDTV�s Barkha Dutt, Hindustan Times columnist Vir Sanghvi, senior editors at various business dailies and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, who represents the Tata Group and Reliance Industries chair Mukesh Ambani. The conversations were tapped by the income tax department after a tip-off that Ms. Radia might be a spy.

    The leaked conversations led many Indians to feel jaded with the news media, so far a fairly respected pillar of Indian democracy for its sting operations on officials. They accused influential journalists of being too close to corporate and political interests and of concealing the real news. Ms. Dutt and Mr. Sanghvi have said they did not pass on any messages on behalf of Ms. Radia, and that she was just one of many useful sources.

    This scandal made bigger news on Twitter than in the Indian press at first, and distracted attention away from the 2G investigation for a good month.

    Loan-fixing: And if all that wasn�t enough, in late November came the news that eight people had been arrested, including officials from the state-run Life Insurance Corporation�s mortgage arm, state-run banks and an investment firm. The Central Bureau of Investigation said the men collaborated in a conspiracy to funnel loan money to certain firms in exchange for bribes.



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  • axp817
    03-26 03:38 PM
    If they continue to see in 140 filings by a company that there has been more 140's filed then people on payroll

    That is precisely why smaller companies choose to revoke the 140 when an employee leaves them while the 485 is still pending.

    It isn't always to "get back" at the employee.

    That being said, UN, I would love to hear your thoughts on this situation,

    Person leaves employer X (140 approved, more than 180 days since 485 filing, etc.) and joins employer Y on EAD (under AC21).

    Employer X revokes 140 so as to not run into any issues like you pointed out. Nothing personal against the employee, just business.

    That person after a while decides to go back to employer X (485 is still pending) under AC21.

    Does the USCIS look at that as okay to do? Or do they question the employer's intentions since the employer had earlier revoked the 140.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion on this.





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  • puddonhead
    06-05 05:22 PM
    Your leverage is $270,000 in this investment, and you pay 5% interest on it which is tax deductible. You don't suppose one can borrow 270Gs to invest in, per my example, S&P 500 to get 10% annually? Of course the you are able to borrow that much on a home is because it is considered relatively a safe debt for the lender. That can't be said for stocks.

    How/where else will you earn $15,000 (equity) per year by spending $13,500 (interest).

    Now we are getting into another different fun topic - how does a real estate "investment" compare with other forms of investment.

    1. Leverage = speculation = risk. By taking the leverage and buying the house - you lock in a 3-5% return and a lot of risk (for a 200k house - that would be 10k/year max). The 3-5% comes from long term price appreciation trends.

    If I did not buy that 200k house - I would invest the initial 40k and the rest of 160k gradually every month. For simplistic calculations:
    return from 40k - 5% (I can show you reward checking accounts with that rate even now). Inflation protected TIPS could be a good place if you are afraid of hyperinflation
    Earnings = 2k.

    You save 3k each year by renting.
    Running Total = 5k.

    Every year - you put in some money to your investment vehicle = mortgage amortization. So over 30 years - you would have been earning investment income on $80k @5% on an average = 4k.
    Running Total = 9k.

    So you are making 1k more by buying - AND taking a lot of leverage = risk.

    Inflation can upset this calculation - but not much. 1980 - 2008 was an unusual period of low inflation and high growth = high housing price increase. Any bets on how sustainable that would be? Typically housing price appreciation would be at or below inflation - which would favor other investment vehicles over real estate.

    I personally would need much more compelling reasons than the above to buy.

    This calculation does not take into account the flexibility in relocation if you do not buying a house. It alos does not consider the risk associated with having the largest chunk of your portfolio invested in a single non-diversified house instead of having a properly diversified portfolio.

    Probably not very relevant - but you can get a lot of leverage if you have the stomach for it by opening a brokerage account with 40k (your initial downpayment). A good semi-professional one would be IB (interactivebrokers.com). Margin accounts give a 3X/4x leverage any day. Buy a few interest rate, currency or commodity swaps with that - and your leverage can reach stratospheric levels. I know I dont have the stomach for that.



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  • nojoke
    04-08 05:35 PM
    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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  • mariner5555
    04-22 03:52 PM
    this is from schiller ..an economist ..I am sure he knows more about housing than others ..I guess this is a worse case scenario (if not the worst).

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080422/economy_shiller.html?.v=2
    ----
    Economist cautions housing slump could exceed drop of the Great Depression, require bailouts

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- An influential economist who long predicted the housing market bubble cautioned Tuesday that the slump in the U.S. housing market could cause prices to fall more than they did in the Great Depression and bailouts will be needed so millions don't lose their homes.

    Yale University economist Robert Shiller, pioneer of the widely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index, said there's a good chance housing prices will fall further than the 30 percent drop in the historic depression of the 1930s. Home prices nationwide already have dropped 15 percent since their peak in 2006, he said.

    "I think there is a scenario that they could be down substantially more," Shiller said during a speech at the New Haven Lawn Club.

    Shiller's Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index is considered a strong measure of home prices because it examines price changes of the same property over time, instead of calculating a median price of homes sold during the month.

    Shiller, who admitted he has a reputation for being bearish, said real estate cycles typically take years to correct.

    Home prices rose about 85 percent from 1997 to 2006 adjusted for inflation, the biggest national housing boom in U.S. history, Shiller said.

    "Basically we're in uncharted territory," Shiller said. "It seems we have developed a speculative culture about housing that never existed on a national basis before."

    Many people became convinced that housing prices would increase 10 percent annually, a notion Shiller called crazy.



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  • axp817
    03-26 03:38 PM
    If they continue to see in 140 filings by a company that there has been more 140's filed then people on payroll

    That is precisely why smaller companies choose to revoke the 140 when an employee leaves them while the 485 is still pending.

    It isn't always to "get back" at the employee.

    That being said, UN, I would love to hear your thoughts on this situation,

    Person leaves employer X (140 approved, more than 180 days since 485 filing, etc.) and joins employer Y on EAD (under AC21).

    Employer X revokes 140 so as to not run into any issues like you pointed out. Nothing personal against the employee, just business.

    That person after a while decides to go back to employer X (485 is still pending) under AC21.

    Does the USCIS look at that as okay to do? Or do they question the employer's intentions since the employer had earlier revoked the 140.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion on this.





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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 12:08 PM
    How did you verify if the call was really from Immigration services?

    well..thats good question..I couldnt..because calling number was Unavailable..

    Call came to my cell which is the number I put in 485 app.

    She was reading some information from my Biographic form..like my first employment dates etc..so I just assumed it to be legit calll...but I never know until I get an email..so far nothing..



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  • SunnySurya
    12-22 11:28 AM
    A supporter of terrorism left a red dot with this message:
    "if u r so concerned about india and attacks on india,,,what are u doing in US? U should be in politics in india if u think so bad about the indian politicians,,,go get ur hand dirty in it first then blaim the politicians"

    My very simple reply to that person.
    ---

    I am in every right to express the concerns for my country of origin. Of course not blindly. It takes for ever to hang Afzal Guru and almost no concrete repsonse to the bombings in Delhi, Gujrat, Karnataka, Hyedrabad etc etc, which directly affect my freinds and family over there. If it is not politics then what it is.

    Finally, if Jews can express their concerns for Israel (which I also support full heartedly and unconditionally) so can we, with the same passion.





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  • siravi
    09-30 05:41 PM
    If Obama becomes president can he restore the faith of high-skilled immigrant who play by the books and still have to wait for decades to get their Green Card.


    Many have been looking at the high-skilled immigrants through a narrow pin hole, even Sen Durbin has been swayed by such critics. NFAP report shows that almost 50% of the private venture backed companies started between 1995 and 2005 are founded by immigrants. Guess what Sen. Durbin and high-skilled immigrant critics majority of those immigrants would've taken the route of H1 -> GreenCard -> US citizen. Why are Sen. Durbin so short sighted on the high-skilled immigration system? Hope Obama can look at the high-skilled immigration system with a long term perspective and persuade his colleagues in Congress to enact a legislation to fix this broken system.

    http://www.nfap.com/researchactivities/studies/immigrant_entreprenuers_professionals_november_200 6.pdf

    Hmm this is a tough one ....as much as I'd like to see, really, see Obama get the chance to make the "change" he wants to bring about, having Sen. Durbin along with him, driving the immigration policy does not bode well. And by the way, with that outlook on high-skilled immigration how can he claim he is "for change"? Very likely, am missing something here, so forgive me (and enlighten me!). Because I do, sincerely want to see him as the president. But it does seem that Sen. Durbin has been rather hostile towards employment-based immigration and that makes the Obama-for-prez a really tough deal.

    Have been here for 12+ years, working as now a teacher and before that as a student. Have always been responsible --paying regular taxes, following the long, obstacles ridden trail to get GC, but I think now its getting very tiresome and unfair and its high time someone really looked into our issues and made "change" for the better.





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  • BMS
    07-10 02:19 PM
    After going through this post
    I checked my I 94 last entered in 2006 it has different number than other I 94
    I am working with only one company since 2004
    They wrote company name src number correct on I 94
    but number is not same as the one on I 797 bottom totally different

    should i get it corrected ? How





    Gravitation
    03-25 03:28 PM
    is there a website/magazine where i can get list of foreclosed properties?

    Google will find you plenty but they charge money. I search real estate through ziprealty.com. It's free. It doesn't specifically mark the foreclosed properties. However, there're a few ways you can find if a property is foreclosed:
    Some properties are listed as bank-owned in the description. they're foreclosed.
    Some properties say "pre-approval" required with offer. That's -likely to be (75% of the time) a foreclosed property.
    Banks reduce price of property at a consistent basis (say reduce by 20K in the second week of every month). The website I mentioned has a history of price drop of all properties.
    If a property is offered As-Is, it's likely to be foreclosed.
    If you want to double check, goto the municipalities web-site, most of them have owner's information of all properties on their websites. If the owner is a bank, it's a foreclosed property.
    Look for a combination of the above factors to identify a bank-owned/foreclosed property.





    puddonhead
    06-05 03:53 PM
    This is your justification for renting? Your 1300 goes to that owners mortgage. You are paying so that he can own the property you live in. I would not be surprised if he has multiple condos renting to others like you.

    Since you cite an example, let me cite one of mine.

    Co-op bought in 2004, Queens NY 2 bedroom: $155,000
    Rented now for $1,350 / month (Wife and I live in another home we also own also in queens)
    Appraised value (Feb 2009) $195,000, Peak market value (my opinion) ~230,000 in 2006 but it seems to be worth more now which is clueless to me.
    Outstanding balance: 60,000
    Current mortgage (15y fixed@4.25): 452 / month (+525 maintenance)
    Monthly cost total: ~1,000
    Comps in area: See for yourself: http://newyork.craigslist.org/search/rea?query=kew+gardens+co-op&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max&bedrooms=2

    Lets say that person is you renting it. You are paying to stay in my unit, pay my mortgage, pay my monthly, allow me to build equity which i just used to buy another property (thank you) and using standard deductions, allowing me to have a healthy tax return from interest paid based on your money. I dont even need to do any math here to prove I am making money from your rent because believe me I am.

    Renters will never understand why owning a home is better than renting as thus they will continue to make arguments to continue doing so. And I'm sure that giving 1 example or 100 examples will not change your mind in the slightest. Which is why you will always be paying owners like me for a roof to live under.


    With those rent/price ratio - it makes no sense indeed to rent.

    If I may ask you for a huge favor - could you please PM me more details about where specifically in Queens you have those kind of rent/price ratios?

    Since the market prices got so inflated - my experience is that the rent/price ratios are still wayy off historical trends. My impression (based on a few examples I have seen) is that in most of the situations - the rent would not cover the interest + property tax + maintenance, which would mean throwing away money if you buy.

    If indeed there are rent to buy ratios like the ones you have mentioned - then renting would be foolishness.