Sunday, July 3, 2011

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  • Macaca
    09-24 04:30 PM
    How To Write To Congress (http://consumerist.com/consumer/your-government/how-to-write-to-congress-302775.php) BY CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER | Consumerist, SEP 23 2007

    Writing to Congress is the single best way to express your view on public policy. The average consumer has a surprising ability to influence legislation by crafting a well written missive and avoiding several common mistakes.

    Why Personal Letters Beat Form Letters

    Don't get suckered in by the quick and easy "Write to Congress!" form letters littering the internet. Form letters are not an expression of values; they are a show of organizational strength. If the NRA convinces five million people to send letters opposing gun control, it shows that the NRA can muster five million people to action, not that five million people necessarily care about gun laws. Congressional offices know this and generally disregard form letters.

    So what happens when you send a letter?

    Every office has its own procedures for tabulating constituent correspondence, but most will produce a report at the end of week breaking down how many letters were received by issue area, separating out form letters from letters sent by individual constituents.

    Members treat each type of letter differently, but most look for individual letters as a barometer of their district's concerns. These are the letters that have the most influence, the ones we will show you how to write.

    What Should Your Letter Say?

    We adhere to the three paragraph rule: introduce yourself, introduce your issue, request action. Congressional offices have staffers whose days are spent solely on the mail, so make their lives easier by keeping letter succinct and to the point.

    Introduce Yourself: There is a two-prong test for determining your worth: 1) Are you a constituent? 2) Are you an important constituent? Feel free to puff up your chest. Are you a lifelong member of the district? Are you associated with community groups? Say so! Convince the reader that yours is a voice of experience and wisdom.

    Be specific: Don't just ask a Member to oppose mandatory binding arbitration agreements. Ask them to rush to the floor to support S.1782, The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

    Marshall Facts: Your argument - and you are making an argument - must be supported by facts. Feel free to use facts gleaned from us or other sources, but don't copy and paste paragraphs of pre-written text from form letters. Personal experiences are particularly effective, and often moving. Share them!
    Be Exceedingly Polite, Please: Congress attracts haughty personalities. Staffers don't appreciate being spoken down to or insulted. You are trying to rally them to your cause, so be nice!

    Clearly State Your Request: Plainly tell your representative that you want them to support or oppose a certain bill. If you want a response, explicitly (but politely!) ask for one.

    It should go without saying that your letter should follow all formal style guidelines, such as a return name and address, and should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Send Your Letter To The Right Place

    Only write to your representatives. You have three: one Representative in the House, and two Senators. Do not send more than three letters. Some citizens try to get their voice heard by writing to all 435 members of the House. Congressional courtesy compels the 434 Members who do not represent the zealot to forward his letter to the one lucky Member who does. This angers the Member's staff greatly at the expense of any point you are trying to make.

    The addresses for your Representatives and Senators are available online, but don't waste your time with an email. Letters carry significantly more weight. Send your letter to the Capitol, where the legislative staff is based, though it will take a while to arrive since all incoming Congressional mail is irradiated thanks to those still-unidentified Anthrax mailers.

    For an even greater impact, send your letter care of the staffer covering the issue. These staffers - called Legislative Assistants - are the Member's eyes and ears on their assigned issue areas. Finding the staffer destined to read your letter is easy: call the Capitol switchboard (open 24 hours a day!) at (202) 224-3121, ask for your Member's office, and ask the person who answers for the name of the staffer handling the issue area or bill number. Once you get that name, address your letter like this:

    Member Of Congress
    c/o Staffer
    Office Building/Number
    Washington, DC 20515

    What Should You Expect In Return?

    Depends. There are 535 Congressional offices and each handles constituent correspondence differently. The vast majority respond to letters with either a form letter pre-written by a Legislative Assistant, or with a more personal response written by a Legislative Correspondent. Controversial issues that attract many letters normally receive a form letter response, while smaller issues or specific questions often receive the attention of a personalized response.

    Conclusion

    Members of Congress work for you. Without your votes, they won't stay in office. They go to great lengths to cultivate a positive relationship with you, their boss. Very few people take the time to write to a Member of Congress, so the few that do carry a disproportionate influence.

    Fifteen minutes is well worth the time to influence a $2 trillion enterprise.





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  • Winner
    03-25 11:01 AM
    Thanks for contributing to IV with meaningful discussions. Would you all consider making a monetary contribution to IV?





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  • axbasit
    12-28 03:52 PM
    I always believed that this was the place to talk about problems faced by potential immigrants, and it would not matter from where they came from? but this
    forum is turning into something else.

    would administrator(s) act professionally and lock this discussion? and if these discussions would further be allowed at this point, I suggest change this website to indianimmigrationvoice.org





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  • munnu77
    08-07 04:37 PM
    Two little boys, ages 8 and 10, are extremely mischievous. They are always getting into trouble and their parents know all about it. If any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved.

    The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually.

    So the mother sent the 8 year old first, in the
    morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon.

    The preacher, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Do you know where God is, son?"

    The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open.

    So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?!"

    Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed,

    "Where is God?!"

    The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him.

    When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?"

    The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, "We are in BIG trouble this time.

    .........................

    ("I just LOVE reading next line again and again")

    ...............................

    ...............................

    .........................

    ..................

    ..............

    .....

    ..

    ..

    ..
    .
    GOD is missing, and they think we did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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  • bajrangbali
    06-05 05:35 PM
    Your analysis is so spot on except for item #8 and item # 9. I have a question though.. The example you have given suits my scenario so well. I am planning to buy a house (310k ) very soon. The loan offers I have from my lender has interest rates pretty much the same for both 10% down payment and 20% down payment, 5.0 with 20% and 5.25 with 10% down payment. I can down pay 10% right away and the other 10% is also available in a risk free(can withdraw without penalty) cd which yield me a return of 3.5% . So which is better for me 10% or 20% down pay. thanks in advance.

    As for buying or renting..it is more of a personal choice - to me, buying a house has tangible benefits over renting.. like a sense of entitlement to call some place ur true home and most likely a good enviroment for raising the kids. Life has phases like education, marriage, kids, job, etc..Now that I am into my 30's, I would like to see
    what it feels like to have owned a home.

    If I were you..I would go with the 10% down payment option. Your monthly payment would not increase much and you would have more cash safe in CD for life events.

    Consider the rent you are currently paying and make a choice...buying a home should not burden you with more than 10-20% of you current rent payment. In my case I am more conservative and going with a mortgage < my current rent payment.

    If it helps, here are my details:

    Condo cost: 300K
    Down payment: 5% - 15K
    Using fed stimulus: 8K towards down payment
    Total payment: 7K+closing costs

    Current rent: $2200
    Mortgage: ~$1500-1600
    Price trend in the past 5yrs: down <20% from peak prices

    Estimate living time: 2yrs min

    Even if house value drops after 2yrs by 10%, the tax savings, equity, happiness would compensate more than enough for it...

    I agree everyone's situation is different, but please do not make the mistake of taking a huge burden of payment if you are buying. Always buy within/below your means...





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  • puddonhead
    06-07 06:22 PM
    I think it really is a matter of personal choice. A house is much more than a mere investment. For people like us it adds another layer of complications
    due to our status (or rather...lack of status).

    We are in Bay Area (San Jose Metro area) and were paying around $2000 in rent. We just bought a condo where our payments (mortgage + Taxes + HoA) are going
    to be around 2300. Hopefully we will be getting back around 400-500 in taxes and this makes it a good deal. However only 15 days after moving into our
    new house, I was laid off and now our biggest concern is if I am not able to get a job in next few weeks and if we have to go back we will be almost
    80k down the hole.

    Personally I would wait till 2012 beginning to consider getting into Cali, Las Vegas, Florida markets. The neg-am/interest-only bubble (BusinessWeek Article (http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/jun2008/bw2008065_526168.htm?campaign_id=yhoo)) is just beginning to burst with their interest rates resetting, and wont peak until late 2011. This bubble is just as big as the sub-prime one (in terms of dollar value - around USD 0.5 - 1.5 Trillion) and will probably have much higher default rate (north of 50% by all estimates I have seen so far). These loans were originated to make the high priced homes in these area affordable. So it will hit the middle class to aspirational neighborhoods the most - unlike the sub-primes, which mostly hit the lower income areas.

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

    Personally, I am also surprised/uncomfortable that the prices in the NY Metro Area has not come down so much even though all the indicators (rent/price ratio, affordability) are way off base and getting worse with rents heading south. I don't know how these ratios will correct themselves (the neg-am mess is unlikely to hit this area too much) - but my intuition tells me that it has to. If anybody more knowledgeable can add more insights then that will be great.



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  • Macaca
    07-08 10:48 AM
    Must an H-1B alien be working at all times? (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a62bec897643f010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCR D&vgnextchannel=1847c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1 RCRD)

    As long as the employer/employee relationship exists, an H-1B alien is still in status. An H-1B alien may work in full or part-time employment and remain in status. An H-1B alien may also be on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity leave, on strike, or otherwise inactive without affecting his or her status.

    He received a notice of intent to denial last month. Reason being he did not have paystubs for a period of more than 6 months during 2000 and 2001. His employer at that time did not pay him even after he worked for 4 months then he took few more months to change his company(more than 180 days).

    I am not aware of any GC stage that requires all pay stubs. How did they detect missing pay stubs for 6+ months?





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  • IL_Guy
    06-08 11:42 AM
    [QUOTE. Life would be boring playing safe.[/QUOTE]

    Thats me, man! I tried both options "playing safe" and "daring out". I liked the later one better. I'm a H1-B, I owned a home for last five years and I'm absolutely happy.

    My thoughts are that you should take risks in life (Home, Stocks...etc) until you are 40, you may win some and lose some. If you lose, you still have time to recover...either in US or your home country, at least you tried.

    Regards.



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  • unitednations
    03-26 06:11 PM
    Oops, I just saw UN's reply. His answer is more specific than mine, and mine is based on anecdotal evidence so please go with what he says since his is based on personal experience.

    UN, Thank you for following up on my question on the Baltimore case.

    here is the link.

    Becausing of uploading issue: follow this link.

    http://www.uscis.gov/uscis-ext-templating/uscis/jspoverride/errFrameset.jsp

    from there click on a-1 certification; decisions issued in 2004; click on second decision from the top. If someone can download the pdf and attach then we can discuss.





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  • gapala
    12-19 07:59 PM
    Funny to see red with comments.. and claims :)

    "Having said that, the very upbringing instills the care for Health, Hygiene, Homes, Human Values, Harmony in Diversity etc. Long story short, help you become a humble and good social being." being an atheist gave me that and much more so quit hatin

    I really doubt your claim :) Otherwise you would not comment anonymously. :) You would rather post a reply instead.

    More over I did not say that you would not get those values being an atheist or what ever you call yourself. To me that is just the way few folks live, think and believe :) they call themself "Atheist" instead of hindu or a christian or a muslim or buddist. ...there are around 40 organized ways people live on this planet earth recognized as "religion".

    Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the affirmation of the nonexistence of gods or the rejection of theism. It is also defined more broadly as an absence of belief in deities, or nontheism.

    You seems to be confused between "Religion" and Theism :D :D :D What can I tell ya?


    Another dumb guy :D:D:D

    Take a science class. Read Kant's philosophy

    Dude, who ever you are, Immanuel Kant was engaged in arguments all along his life on the existence of God, the attributes of God, the immortality of the soul, the problem of evil, and the relationship of moral principles to religious belief and practice. He came up with his own Pilosophy for the role of religion in the dynamics of human culture and history.

    Kantism is not in those 40 recognized religion that I mentioned above. There are many more like Kant in this world who live their life in their own way with what ever way they think and believe. Kant did not succeed after all that effort.. he was more confused. See the accounts below.

    Walsh see Kant as thoroughly hostile to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

    Other interpreters see Kant as trying to mark off a defensible rational core of Christian belief, but offer differing judgements about the success of his efforts.

    Michalson evaluate these efforts as self-defeating, paving the way for a more radical denial of God such as Nietzsche's.

    Collins and Wood see Kant articulating an account of the dynamics linking morality and religious belief that has positive value for a believer's reflective appropriation and practice of faith.

    Kant lived a different life as you can see from all the accounts above. What is so scientific about Kant? Just curious, do you follow Kantism? You were very particular about that :):D:D:D

    Yet another confused guy.:)



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  • acecupid
    08-05 12:09 PM
    This thread is causing unhealthy division between EB2 and EB3. This thread should be closed and people should concentrate on the call campaign instead on fighting each other.





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  • xyzgc
    12-20 04:54 PM
    Everybody are blaming Bush for his failure in Iraq and Economy. But Bush had a big acheivement in his period. After 9/11 he successfully prevented Terrorist attacks. That was most important acheivement and that was overshadowed by other failures.

    Had it been Mr. Obama he would have done it no different post 9/11.
    What Obama should do differently is stop this policy of appeasing terrorist nations like Pakistan and use my tax money for this purpose...I don't mind contributing to rebuilding Iraq, you destroyed it for a reason (right or wrong) now have a moral responsibility to rebuild it, otherwise there is no difference between you and the terrorists.

    But I am dead against giving a dime of my money to Pakistan, unless I can rest assured that will not go to Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist outfits - either directly or indirectly but will be used for economic progress.



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  • desi485
    08-06 01:36 AM
    We should stop these EB3'ers from wasting USCIS resources. Probably make them wear yellow stars with "EB3" printed on it at all times. They should not be hired by any company unless they have hired EB2's with excellent credentials like rolling flood. No EB3 should buy a car, house or lead a normal life at the cost of hurting EB2's like yourself.

    What kind of a sick immigration nazi are you ? Typical shallow minded mentality - "please please...(beg, beg) let me in but - stop everyone else from getting in (as soon as I am in)" ;-)

    Instead of wasting your time filing a lawsuit why don't you apply your "excellent knowledge in your field" to get a Ph.D from your reputed alma mater do extraordinary research in your "great" field and then cut in line by applying for EB1 which I think will always be current. Then you can port your EB2 PD and enjoy the fruits of PD porting ;-)


    cinqsit

    well said brother. I am EB2, but I am ready to wear red black stars to protest the ppl like Rolling Blood (flood).





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-05 01:49 PM
    A man was sitting alone in his office one night when a genie popped up out of his ashtray...
    ... and said, "And what will your third wish be?"

    The man looked at the genie and said, "Huh? How can I be getting a third wish when I haven't had a first or second wish yet?"

    "You have had two wishes already," the genie said, "but your second wish was for me to put everything back the way it was before you made your first wish. Thus, you remember nothing; because everything is the way it was before you made any wishes. You now have one wish left."

    "Okay," said the man, "I don't believe this, but what the heck. I wish I were irresistible to women."

    "Funny," said the genie as it granted his wish and disappeared forever. "That was your first wish, too!"



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  • alterego
    10-03 02:48 PM
    Fundamental decency and fairness demand that this issue be addressed by congress. When one comes to this country at the invitation of their employer, works hard, abides by all the laws, pays into the social safety net and taxes with not even a vote in the country, and with the implicit belief in the founding principles of this country as a country of immigrants. I feel it is truly against the core principles that strengthened this country.
    What am I to do after 11 yrs here, having invested my youth and my hopes in this country. Where am I to go, to start over. Why? What of the disruption to those whose job depends on my presence here?
    Only a right wing ideologue nativist can argue that those like us should not be given full acceptance in society. It is apparent to every observer that there is a xenophobic slant to their argument. If an argument is made against us, why not an argument by native Americans that their homeland was stolen. No number of generations of presence here could effectively address that. The irony is that the quality of life of indigenous americans has been enriched by the presence of immigrants. It is a part of the magic of America. It is a magic that no ideologue should be allowed to extinguish.
    I sincerely hope Barack Obama can reignite this threatened ideal in America. He has the awareness of the issues around it and the skills to do it, but will he? I don't know but I certainly hope so.





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  • chanduv23
    05-16 06:09 AM
    What if they give you all a chance for applying 485 and retaining PD before they ban h1b consulting??? I guess, you all will be happy with Durbin adn Grassley ;) ;) ;)

    The h1b system was designed to create brain drain in developing nations and bring them to America, but because of the implementation methodologies the opposite is happening, good people are either moving back or not coming or stuck with an employer which is not good for the economy.

    America gains nothing by banning h1b people - I am sure some provision will be there to protect people and get a fair chance towards imigration even if consulting etc.. practices are modified to work in correct methodologies.



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  • unitednations
    03-24 02:50 AM
    Just some other info for people.

    One company I know has this hot list with their employee names. They send it out to their prime vendors or do their current clients.

    Somehow one of the anti immigrant groups was able to get on the e-mail list.

    Person from one of these groups responded back to the company with a statement saying that it is illegal to have people on bench and if any of the following LCA's belonged to the named people in the e-mail (ie., hot list) then he would report to department of labor of the violations. Person went through the pain of downloading the LCA's for the particular company and attaching it to the e-mail.

    Now; who knows whether person passed on the e-mail to depatment of labor, uscis.





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  • sanju
    05-17 10:15 AM
    I am not saying everyone else are less skilled that me. Read my posts please. Nor am I saying everyone are less honest than me. I am saying that people applying for an H-1B without having a FULL-TIME JOB from day 1 are DISHONEST.


    I am saying that people applying for an H-1B without having a FULL-TIME JOB from day 1 are DISHONEST.

    Why do I know that you do not work for a consulting company?

    Conventional wisdom says, if someone is not doing what I am doing OR if someone doesn't think the way I think OR if someone doesn't look the way I look then there is something wrong with the other person. So just because you have a full time job, every consultant in the world has done a huge crime by being a CONSULTANT. If it was for you, you would propose a bill that all H-1B folks who were ever being CONSULTANTS should be hanged until death. Maybe we could pass a law to make CONSULTANT synonymous to 'SERIAL KILLER'. How does that sound???





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  • xyzgc
    12-23 01:50 PM
    I am sure that once muslim community or for that matter any community prospers the radicalism reduces. Unfortunately the religious muslim leaders dont want the community to get educated, prosper and westernized because than they would loose control..its precisely for this reason that the religious leaders of this community have for centuries scared the followers of the community with gods wrath if they changed. The Muslim religion has to become progressive and moderate.

    About the terrorism was thinking what options does India have to fight against this. Yes military action definitely is an option but it does more harm to India than to Pakistan. Attacking Pakistan, India has a lot to loose while Pakistan has nothing loose. It would make Pakistan from a failing state to a failed state, but would put India years behind as far as economy is concerned and create the biggest headache for India for decades to come. A military confrontation and weakening of Pakistan’s military establishment would let Pakistan slip fully into the hands of Religious fanatics and produce million more terrorist who will be a long-term headache for India.

    If one back goes back in the history, Pakistan has lost a lot more than India in the last three wars, and that is the only reason why the establishment in Pakistan including the Military has preferred encouraging and sponsoring cross border terrorism which is of very little cost to Pakistan but a constant headache to India. India has lost more from these terrorist attacks including Kargil war than they would if they had gone through a one time direct confrontation. I personally feel that if India does decide to go in for a military confrontation it has to be long term strategy to occupy the country and wipe out terrorism and help to nurture the economy so that prosperity and wealth creation takes a front seat and religion moves low in the peoples priority. In fact if Pakistan can ever have a strong economy and strong democracy, I am sure the country will move towards a moderate religious society. Lets face it, man is a very selfish being, it will never put its personal prosperity at stake for a larger cause even it that happens to be religion. An example of this is the Middle East Kingdom where the monarchs including the common folk is very possessive about personal wealth and will go to any extent to preserve it.

    The only way this can ever happen is by a willing global coalition, which is ready to be there for a long haul and not by India alone. If India did do a quick military action and left the country, Pakistan would move to become another Afghanistan creating the biggest headache for India for decades and decades to come and effectively dragging Indian economy and prosperity.

    Its sad that India let this headache linger on for so long, had it taken remedial action by taking control of complete kashmir and installing a pro Indian govt in 1971 we would not be confronting an nuclear dragon with very little option to fight it.

    Very good post. The main intent behind terrorist acts is to disrupt the Indian economy.

    Like some one has so consistently maintained - our leaders have committed several mistakes in the past.

    1. Our leaders easily conceded to the demand for a separate country of Pakistan. This has only alienated Hindus and Muslims but has potentially put nuclear arsenal in the hands of the terrorists.

    2. Ok, there was a separation but was the separation clean? The terrorists have just mixed in with the Mumbai crowd. Do they even need to leave Mumbai for Karachi? There are enemies internal and external. 154 millions muslims. Are they all terrorists? Absolutely not.
    But even if there is 1% who have to do anything with terrorism - its trouble and lots of it.

    3. When we had multiple chances to occupy the country, we backed off and retreated.Instead if we had marched all the way to Islamabad, taken out the military dictators and set the country on a path of democracy and economic progress - you would have Pakistani economy flourishing and not living off the IMF, the American and the Asian Bank's doles. We would have seen TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Satyam counterparts in Pakistan.Anything wrong with that? Its finally the same race and the people....

    4. The congress party created vote banks by appeasing muslims. Instead of this kind of appeasement (very similar to appeasements to backward class), if we had created uniform laws, the entire community would havebeen absorbed into the mainstream. Instead, we are ourselves responsible for pampering and alienating them. Its the most unfortunate.





    bajrangbali
    06-07 01:08 PM
    5% per month is easily attainable with some options strategies. But not everyone has the temperament/stomach/psyche for active trading.

    Investment strategies of any kind - options, stocks, etfs failed miserably in the past couple of years. I dont think that argument stands well to justify against buying a house.

    Active trading is a double edged sword, if you lose you lose big..if you win..you bet even bigger..show me one ETF or mutual fund which did not lose money in this market. People are calculating how small they lost compared to their competitors.

    Also, timing the market is very dangerous...maybe even worse than buying a house in boom-time..those who made money in bull run or by betting against in bear run, most will agree there is no such thing as free-ride..you win some, you lose some..same logic some of the other posters tried to convey for buying a house..

    Risk is a risk no matter how we spin it...all those who have invested heavily in indian real-estate took risk as well..rates are flat now..granted we are comparing a developing market with a mature market..

    end of the day everyone is trying to make good of their investment with as little risk as possible...when it comes to home..family, kids adds into the equation...

    I would gladly lose 40-50K on a bad decision on house where I lived for many years with my family than invest in uncertain market and make bad decision there and lose it all on paper...ANYDAY

    I guess everyone atleast most learnt a lesson with this recession...every recession teaches control..i bet those of us who are here during the previous recesison agree..we all came out with something positive out of it upon survuval..

    Buying beyond the means is gone...now people are down to earth and making choices within their means...that is a positive take from this meltdown

    To take this thread further, posters who are looking to close the deal or negotiating or closed can post the info regarding location, price, lenders, agents which would help others who want to get in..





    singhsa3
    08-06 09:06 AM
    Personally I think "Obviously" response was derogatory and not funny at all.
    Obviously dude, lol, your post was very funny, had a good laugh. I can rate that as the funniest. His pis***d off reply in Hindi to your post also tells us that yours is the most effective response to rolling_flood's post, looks like he lost his mind by reading your response.



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