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  • mariner5555
    03-24 11:13 PM
    This is total BS.
    Bashing Illegal immigrants for housing market crash and accusing entire race of being theives is nothing new among right wing anti-immigrant "Hatriots"
    But there really isn't co-relation between illegal migration and housing crash.. if anything, migrants are also first time buyers and they support prices towards to lower end market and stop entire lower-middle class neighbourhoods from becoming what Detroit or Youngstown have become..
    So no need to parrot hateful propoganda here.. lets stick to the point..
    o.k. ..I had copied comments from other readers and I have removed the unnecessary remarks ..The only reason I am keeping the remaining portion is to show how many of the first time buyers (I guess Americans) feel. so if lot of people think like the above then housing will take longer to stabilize. (BTW I agree there is no relation between immi and housing crash - nor is it implied in the comments I had pasted). I guess sometimes it makes sense to read what other readers / natives feel about certain situations. a final thought (unless I have to respond to someone else's post) - everywhere I look (articles and in real life) - things are real bad in terms of real estate. will things improve - definitely but it may take long time for things to stabilize and hence it makes sense to do extra research before taking a plunge. for e.g at present I am staying in a rented town home - and I got the deal for $850 - the town homes are inside an apt complex in a good neighborhood. (you need to show income of atleast 3 times the rent to get a place here and many tenants are high tech guys). the same town home during boom time had rent of $1250 other words - there are tons of deals due to excessive supply everywhere. one other important point was made by another person - this winter was harsh and hence people did everything to keep a roof above their head - wait till summer and you will see people literally walking away from their homes ...when u read posts like the above makes sense to wait for some more time esp on H1 / EAD.

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  • gcisadawg
    12-26 11:40 PM
    So, you want to remove the threat of nuclear weapons by using them?

    Well, remove the threat by telling Clearly and unmistakably that use of nuclear weapon by Pakistan would invite catastrophic counter attack. Not by using it. Remember, India has "no first use" policy....

    Otherwise what happens...Pak would keep taunting that " Hey, remember we have nukes...wanna pick a fight with us?" and keep doing what they are doing. They are trying to take the option of war OFF the table. India should keep it in the table but use very very cautiously.

    Peace again,

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  • Madhuri
    04-05 08:12 PM
    I totally aggree with you. I am also from socal and a regular visior to irvinehousingblog.
    Currenly I am in apt and tired of living in apt, but I am definitely in no rush to buy and would probably find a good private home to rent.

    Please check your PM.

    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

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  • Ahimsa
    02-25 06:34 PM
    Of late, people started giving 5 star rating for Lou on RateItAll.
    Please go to this site and rate him as you like.
    I gave him a lowest single-star rating (terrible)


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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:35 PM
    Unique India jail outsourcing unit set to begin ( By Soutik Biswas | BBC

    In a sprawling conference hall in a prison on the outskirts of India's southern city of Hyderabad, a dozen-odd prisoners are tapping away furiously on computer keyboards.

    It is an unusual sight: the prisoners, mostly sentenced to life for murder, are training to become workers in a unique outsourcing unit that is coming up at the impressive 43-acre Cherlapalli jail.

    They are in the middle of a typing accuracy and speed test, having been set a target of typing 35 to 40 words a minute. Other prisoners are shadowing them.

    Of the 2,000-odd inmates, nearly 70 are engineering graduates, say prison authorities.

    By end of January, they believe, India's first BPO [business process outsourcing] unit in a prison will begin working with 50-odd inmate "employees" from an in-house meditation centre which is being transformed into a factory.

    'Expecting orders'

    It will specialise in non-voice based, off-line outsourcing work like digitising records, legal documents, scripts, manuscripts and text books, and medical transcription, says K Mohan Menon, a manager with Radiant Info Systems, a US-based info-tech company which is assisting the venture.

    It helps that Hyderabad is a BPO hub, generating some 50 million rupees ($1.1m; �717,922) annually in revenues from non-voice based business alone.

    "We cannot let prisoners get online and communicate with the outside world. So we opted for an offline business. Some people and companies have already shown interest and we expect some orders soon," says prison chief G Jayawardhan.

    The convicts get a paltry 15 rupees [33 cents] per day for other work like making steel furniture or working on looms in the prison, but authorities expect to pay them 100 rupees [$2.2] to 150 rupees [$3.32] a day for working in the BPO unit.

    M Nageshwar, 37, a software engineer who worked with a company for 10 years before he ended up in prison, is leading the pack of convicts who are training to work at the unit.

    He was found guilty of killing his wife - he says she committed suicide - three years ago and sentenced to life.

    Mr Nageshwar has contested his conviction in the Supreme Court.

    "I am excited about the project. Educated people like me can easily slip into depression when they are incarcerated. It is a relief for convicts like me and a good opportunity to prove ourselves," he says.

    "Also, remember," he whispers, "an idle man's brain is a devil's workshop."

    G Rama Rao, who was sentenced to life 15 months ago for murdering a political opponent - he says it was a case of "political conspiracy" - echoes a similar sentiment.

    Mr Rao is a postgraduate in commerce from a leading university and owns a rice mill, which his family runs in his absence.

    "As an educated man, I can't find good work in a prison and get bored. I can't do all the factory work here. At my rice mill, I did my accounts on the computer. So I will use my skills to spend time better," he says.

    'Living in hope'

    Most convicts believe that their work experience with the outsourcing unit will fetch them jobs if and when they are released.

    Ravi Kumar, 26, was an army clerk for seven years, before he ended up shooting a colleague dead while he was posted in Indian-administered Kashmir.

    A commerce graduate, Mr Kumar says he has worked on computers in the past.

    "When I come out of prison, this is going to help me," he says.

    Twenty-four year old Mahesh Goud, who has been in the prison for 14 months in connection with the murder of a friend, is an electronics graduate.

    He worked in a hydroelectric plant as an electrical engineer for nearly two years, earning $280 a month till the crime.

    "I am feeling useful again. I am spending time more fruitfully. I hope this is a success," he says.

    Bank manager Ratna Babu, 53, was working with a state-owned bank before he was arrested on charges of misappropriation of money, a charge he denies.

    The case dragged on for 13 years before he was sentenced to six years in prison about a year ago.

    Mr Babu says he began learning computers only three months ago.

    "After I am free I will never get a job in a bank. I want to work for a BPO then. This training will stand me in good stead.

    Mr Goud agrees wholeheartedly.

    "It will help in my future. All of us will be released one day. All of us have to go out and find work then. This experience will help us. We all live in hope, don't we?"

    Outsourcing unit to be set up in Indian jail ( By Omer Farooq | BBC

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  • CT_Green
    02-02 01:42 PM
    We can atleast send an email to CNN and let them know that they should be ashamed of themselves by alowing someone to go on air and use it as a platform to spread his own views and then call it independent reporting.

    I have sent an email via
    I know it might not make much of a difference, but atleast they should know that he is not reporting on facts.


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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 08:23 PM
    ok...this is something..

    apparently they called my employer also and has asked them to provide all details.

    All I-9s
    All performance appraisals
    my works schedule
    my vacation requests this year
    current salary
    supervisor details


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  • shanti
    08-10 08:05 PM and you will find in the second half:

    "...BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Attorney John Miano had a simple request. He wanted to know how many H1B visas were issued in the years 2004, 2005. The government would not tell him.


    JOHN MIANO, CO-FOUNDER, PROGRAMMERS GUILD: I filed Freedom of Information Act request to get copies -- electronic copies of the records and applications for H1B guest worker visas.

    TUCKER: H1B visas are temporary guest worker visas which allow foreign workers with specialized skills to work in the United States. Miano's reasons for wanting to know the information are basic.

    MIANO: We do not know how many of H1B visas are being issued each year. The second big question we would know is, who is getting these visas?

    TUCKER: So, what was the government's response to his request? "We have completed our search for records responsive to your request but did not locate any." In other words, they lost the records.

    The response came from the person in charge of handling Freedom of Information Act requests. We asked the USCIS for a clarification, and a spokesman told us, "The response was a mistake and the letter was sent in error."

    The mistake came to their attention after LOU DOBBS TONIGHT asked them about it. The agency tells us that the information Miano was looking for could be available, but he would have to buy it for a fee of roughly $4,500 to $5,000.

    The former director of the Office of Internal Affairs at USCIS finds it outrageous that the information isn't immediately available and points out that Congress has been asking for this information for six months.

    MICHAEL MAXWELL, FMR. DIR. OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS, USCIS: If they are at all honest with the American public, we will see that there is a real problem with fraud in the H1B system, and it is being gamed by both terrorists and foreign agents.

    TUCKER: The national security implications are obvious.


    TUCKER: The USCIS is supposed to publish an annual report on the program, but no such report has been filed since (AUDIO GAP).

    And the Senate's so-called immigration reform would nearly double the size of the H1B program, and, Lou, it would add additional guest worker programs for USCIS to manage.

    DOBBS: It is stunning that the Citizenship and Immigration Service, the very agency that would be responsible if the Senate and the president have their way with this amnesty bill and so-called guest worker bill, they can't even administer a pathetically-run program like this. It's crazy.

    Why do they not know how many people are in this country?

    TUCKER: Well, it's been told to me by sources they do know. They just don't want to let anybody know because...

    DOBBS: Well, we've got a couple of answers to go with here. Either they don't know, they won't give it to you, and if they do have it, which they now say they might have, it's going to cost you five grand to find out.

    TUCKER: You got it.

    DOBBS: I've got to say, this -- this government is absolutely dysfunctional. And why this Congress, this president -- well, to the degree in which they're not aiding and abetting in the effort, are tolerating this kind of incompetence is beyond me, and a whole lot of other folks, obviously, including you, Bill Tucker. Thank you for that fine report. Taking a look now at some of your thoughts, Bob in Kansas wrote in to say, "Thank goodness for British Home Security. At least someone is protecting our borders. ..."


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  • Vsach
    01-09 06:19 PM
    What a waste of time & energy!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Why can't we all plan a strategy to get the Green Card process going....rather waste time discussing something like this????:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::m ad::mad::mad::mad:

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  • xyzgc
    01-09 01:04 PM
    refugee, you must learn a few thing from alisa. alisa is a pakistani and look at his well-structured arguments. In contrast, look at you and your abusive language. When will guys you (buddyinfo, acool) learn to show restraint and be intellectuals instead of howling like mad dogs?


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  • gccovet
    08-05 04:10 PM
    WOW!!!!!!!!!!Rolling_Flood will be ROFLOL!!!!!!
    What a waste of time, folks!!!!

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  • mrajatish
    04-09 11:42 AM
    Pete, I am myself a manager at a leading company and do not fit into the typical "consultant" profile.

    That does not mean I want more shackles on myself because I feel someone is abusing the system. If someone (employers) are abusing the system, go after them - why do you want to go after the employee who, in a lot of cases, has nothing to do with the abuse?

    In fact, if this bill passed in its current form, it will probably not affect me but I will still oppose the bill - why, because it goes against my fundamental belief of freedom of movement. If the senators want to reform the system, may I ask

    1. Why prevent H1Bs from joining legitimate consulting companies such as Deloitte, IBM, BCG etc

    2. Why should H1B's pay Social security and medicare when they are "temporary" and do not get a dime back?

    Think of the bigger picture and then about your own objectives - I am sure you are a well educated person and you will understand the consequences of arbitrary decision making based on vested interests.


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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 12:31 PM
    You/lawyer/employer may have forgotten to shred the extra/unwanted documents. Someone may have got hold of them.

    Google 'identity theft' and you will be surprised.

    Do not answer anyone unless to check. Ask for a call back number. Find the name , badge number. ask them to send you an email with a legit id and you will call back.

    You should anyways never talk alone to such people even if they are real. Ask them to talk to your lawyer. If they ask you his number, tell them to find from the application.

    Basically never give any information on the phone.

    well..I guess..I will take Infopass and checkout whats going on..
    I know my file is at local office..not sure if they transferred it back to NBC or TSC..(atleast there are no LUDs)..

    and I hope whoever called me can see it in their system that this case is pending at local dont know why they wanted all the detailsfrom me rather than taking from the file..may be thats how they work..

    but I am heading to Infopass have enough doubts now :cool:

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  • sdrblr
    03-23 11:57 AM
    I just wanted to point out that please be careful of what personal information you give as this is a "Incoming Call" and it is hard to verify the authenticity of it.


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  • americandesi
    08-06 02:09 PM
    After making a trip of South India, Santa Singh, his wife and his son were returning to Punjab in Tamilnadu Express.

    Santa Singh was occupying the lower berth, his wife the middle berth and his son the top most berth in the train. When the train stopped at one of the stations on the way back the son requested Santa Singh to bring him a cup of Ice cream to which Santa readily agreed. When Santa and his son returned they found that a South Indian who couldn't understand Hindi had occupied his son's berth.

    Outraged, Santa Singh called the TT and asked him to help. TT requested that he could not understand Hindi/Punjabi so it would be better if Santa Singh explained the whole situation to him in English.

    Santa Singh explained, "That man sleeping on top of my wife is not giving birth to my child."

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  • jung.lee
    04-12 11:52 PM
    :eek:I don't think it's good time to buy in CA.. Just wait for option ARM reset and market will drop more.

    I agree with this statement!

    See this chart?

    Most of the higher priced properties purchased in 2003 - 2006 in the coastal areas of California were purchased using Option ARMs. I was talking to an acquaintance last week who was in the loan broking business in Orange County (had to switch careers since then) who told me that over 90% of several hundreds of loans that he was involved with were Option ARMs and very little 3% to no cash down.

    He also said that all the loan guidelines are so strict now that a majority of those who took these dicey loans will not be able to refinance when the payments reset in the next 3-4 years.

    As an example he said he knew someone who had bought a $750k house with 3% down ($22.5k), with an Option ARM at 2% interest only with negative amortization of unpaid interest (i.e. principal payment and a portion ofthe interest payment was "Optional" in the first 3 years). This interest even with today's low interest environment will reset to LIBOR ( 3.75%. Furthermore, this will reset to a "fully amortizing loan", i.e. paying principal is no longer an option.

    So can you imagine trying to refinance this house in two years, when it has declined say conservatively 20% in value down to $600k, and one still owes the full amount of $750k+ unpaid principal on the original loan? Right now lenders are asking for a minimum of 20% down and financing no more than 80% of current appraised value. In bubble markets such as ours in CA, they are asking to finance no more than 75% of appraised value in some cases. So all in all, these "homeowners" are pretty much screwed. Experienced observers are positing that there will be increase in foreclosures and walkaways.

    For those who rented and saved, there will be lots of choices in the best areas. Just be patient!


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  • burnt
    03-31 06:36 PM
    Today I received a call from my lawyers office asking me whether my wife had taken the TB test as we skipped that test when we applied for I-485 in July 2007 as my wife was expecting at that time. My PD is Feb 2007

    Lawyers office said they received a call from USCIS as they are getting the cases ready to be adjudicated. USCIS wanted to know whether my wife got her TB test done or not.

    Did anyone else got such a call from USCIS? And Gurus, what do you all think this means?

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  • ilikekilo
    03-26 07:05 PM
    As far as I know, yes it is...I remember doing H1 myself few years ago and the LCA form has prevailing wage rate section. As we know, the wage rates differ from place to place and so since H1 is based on prevailing wage rate on LCA, then H1 is also location specific. Even though LCA form has been changed since then, I think it still holds true...

    I am sure that per law or whatever when you filed for a h1b for a location A and the petitioner moves to a location B, then I believe you have to file an amendment for ur h1b to that new location...the question is Iam not sure how many people care to do that

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  • GCScrewed
    07-13 09:27 PM
    I hope you get your GC soon. As for me its 'wait until dark'. It'll come some day.

    And NO I am not an IT EB2. I am a non-STEM MBA in Finance who does not pratice engineering anymore.

    Between an MBA and Pharmacist, of course the pharmacist is more valuable. So is a nurse.

    06-07 10:42 AM
    As per Zillow estimate, the value of the house I bought already appreciated by $10k above the purchase price.

    For the sake of discussion that it did not appreciate in the next 10 years (which I doubt because there's no other way to go but up) but the value stayed at purchase price, as per my amortization schedule, my loan would be at 75% of the purchase value. It means therefore that I already have a 25% equity of the house, which is $60k.

    If I saved the $250 per month at zero interest, I would have $30k. I don't know where you can find 5% interest p.a. investment today but for the sake of argument that I found one, I think I can't get the $60k at the end of 10th yr.

    JunRN, it all depends on how much risk are you willing to take in what area. Equity is generally believed or historically trended to provide 10% returns over 10 years span (multiple market cycles). Where as dwelling as an investment provides a marginal 3 to 5% depending on location in a normal growth rate (Exception to Bubble). Equity market has nose dived as did housing market and people consider it too risky to invest at this stage in equity due to uncertinities (lot of companies may not make it through though times or No. PC companies which has become QPC -filed for chapter11 protection has increased) even though it doesn't involve huge amounts as housing at per unit basis. For investers, same applies for dwelling investment as well at a higher scale. More Chapter 11->more job losses->more houses on foreclosure.

    Just to counter your argument, Let me tell you one scenario, When stock market went down, I invested in shares some time back in February 09, as of today, If I look at the individual investment, it stands at 60% increased. But I do not think that it will provide me a 60% returns.. over 10 years... I expect only 10% and may increase to 15% in the long run which is a ball park number.

    Lot of sellers/brokers referred Zillow during 2006 and early 2007 (Bubble) to sell their houses at an inflated prices as I mentioned earlier, when it went up 20000 per month for several months.. Based on these numbers..people streached themself and jumped to grab one before it goes beyond their reach thinking that it will continue to go up.. Now, the houses values under water and they are whining about it every day and night.. some of their home values evapourated by 30 to 40%. (I am talking about 100,000 to 150,000 south). Zillow goes up and down.. in short term depending on historic sales and builder's listing price changes, not based on any economic outlook. Every agent wears two hats and is two-faced, because a home’s “value” has to be higher when represent a seller and lower when represent a buyer. The Zillow range of value represents best hope for buyer at the low end of the range, and highest for seller at the high end of that range.

    Here's what they say about it in disclaimer "The Zestimate is not an appraisal and you won't be able to use it in place of an appraisal, though you can certainly share it with real estate professionals. It is a computer-generated estimate of the worth of a house today, given the data we have available. does not offer the Zestimate as the basis of any specific real-estate-related financial transaction. Our data sources may be incomplete or incorrect; also, we have not physically inspected a specific home."

    My point is, Unless the correction happens in housing market, which is widely believed to be another 10 to 12% further south from where it stands now.. there is always a risk in buying one thinking that its going to appreciate in next 10 years. Remember though the demand cycles for realty market is lenghty ones which will rise once in 10 to 15 years but this does not mean that there's going to be another bubble again to hike it up by 100 and 200% :). It may rise as historically did to provide a 3 to 4% returns. This is regardless of location... location.. location.. First, It will take time to stabilize the market just because there's too much supply, affordiability issue and aging population.

    Buy or not, depends on whether and how much you are willing and open to take risk. Higher the risk, higher the returns.. doesn't mean it applies to stupid decisions... One thing I wanted to mention though, we have utilization value for living in a house, bigger than an apartment, again its an individual perspective.

    12-30 07:20 PM
    In Mumbai, a Place to Showcase an Art Collection ( By AMANA FONTANELLA-KHAN | New York Times

    At Ashiesh Shah’s housewarming party in November, amid clinking champagne flutes, one of his friends joked that his apartment is actually an art gallery in disguise. Looking at the sculpture of a two-foot-long baby made of material from a spinnaker by the Canadian artist Max Streicher suspended above the staircase, any guest to his home might agree.

    Mr. Shah, 32, began collecting art in his 20s when he was still getting his start as an architect. Now he designs interiors for many of the city’s Bollywood actors. But up until last year, he had never had his own space to design. He was living with his parents in an apartment on Mumbai’s scenic Marine Drive.

    It was struggle to find the right space to showcase his art collection in a dense city with soaring real estate prices. “My art is not only two dimensional, it also takes up floor space and in a city like Mumbai, floor space can be just as expensive as art,” Mr. Shah said.

    He looked at more than 40 apartments over seven months, before settling on the one he bought in October 2009, a dark apartment subdivided into several small, boxy rooms in a five-story concrete structure built in the 1960s.

    The 1,075-square-foot apartment was nearly 41 million rupees (about $900,000 at 45 rupees to the dollar) average for an apartment on Peddar Road, a busy arterial in south Mumbai in the affluent Altamount neighborhood. His neighbors include some of his clients, as well as Mukesh Ambani, a business magnate who built a $1 billion 27-story building home, and industrialists like Kumar Mangalam Birla, the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group.

    It took over a year and around 5 million rupees ($110,000) to convert the space from a two-bedroom cramped duplex to an airy one-bedroom studio. Knocking down a total of nine walls, Mr. Sha said, “gave me freedom to place art pieces in a fluid, open space.”

    Still, it wasn’t enough square footage to showcase all of his collection at the same time. As a result, he created a small storage room for pieces not on display, which he rotates into the apartment about every six months. “It means that the art never gets static,” he said.

    But with limited space were opportunities for functional pieces to have artistic elements, as is the case for his staircase. Mr. Shah had initially planned to turn the steps — carved from a solid cube of white Indian marble — into drawers for additional storage, but they were too small. He converted them into what he calls “curious steps” instead. “I am planning to give them out to artists in the future to make commissioned miniature art for them,” he said.

    Other features, such as a partition panel that pulls out from a wall in the living room, have dual functionality, serving as a projection screen for video art and creating a sectioned-off viewing area.

    White epoxy flooring — “Which took three tries to get right,” he says — and white walls on the main floor help create an illusion of greater perceived space, as well as a neutral background for his art collection.

    Mr. Shah also added whimsical elements to “give the flat an element of play,” he said. In the guest bathroom, a light projector positioned above the sink creates pronounced shadows on the walls when people wash their hands. “Guests end up spending those five seconds more in the bathroom and think, ‘That was fun,’ ” Mr. Shah said. He placed a sculpture of obstetric forceps by the Indian artist Anita Dube next to the floating baby that hangs above his stairs.

    Pointing to an antique couch, which he upholstered using a vintage Rajasthani carpet, Mr. Shah said that he made sure the red design motif in the center of the carpet was positioned to resemble a pair of lips.

    “Did you notice that?” he asked. “I did that because this is my gossip couch.”

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