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Old 05-24-2014, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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The problem is that with trendy cities you not only have to pay a high price to live in them, you have to live in them with all the other little snowflakes trying to look different while looking exactly the same.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:02 AM
 
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With the internet though, for the same job a higher salary in a high COL city can give you more purchasing power in certain aspects - for example - a person in SF is paying the same amount as someone from Iowa for the same items on ebay, amazon & the websites for stores.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:23 AM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,314 posts, read 10,468,319 times
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I currently have the best of both worlds. Fredericksburg, VA is on the southern edge of the Washington Metro. It is very much its own small, self-contained city though. The housing prices are very reasonable, but the market benefits from the stability that comes with being close to Washington. Just a short distance north of where I live the house I live in would cost quite bit more, gaining in price with every inch closer to Washington it gets.

Fredericksburg may not be a "best bang for your buck" kind of place, but it's pretty solid. I moved here from Monterey, where $1800 got me a 1200 square foot home. That's more than my mortgage now and I have 5500 square feet when the basement is factored in.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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Chicago is "cheap to compared to other big cities"!? What cities do you consider "big"? I see only NYC, Honolulu and S.F. as being more expensive. D.C., Boston and L.A. are equal to Chicago in cost. No other big city is close in cost of living to Chicago.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Chicago is "cheap to compared to other big cities"!? What cities do you consider "big"? I see only NYC, Honolulu and S.F. as being more expensive. D.C., Boston and L.A. are equal to Chicago in cost. No other big city is close in cost of living to Chicago.
I think Chicago and Philly are pretty similar in terms of COL.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:18 AM
 
332 posts, read 324,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjb122982 View Post
I really don't have a question or a opinion to proclaim here but after seeing this link on NPR about how far a paycheck stretches in different metros I noticed that you can get far more bang for your buck in "non-trendy cities" vs "trendy" cities. For example, I noticed that a paycheck feels a lot less on in the Northeast, West Coast, and only two Midwestern Cities such as Chicago or the Twin Cities. However, you get the most bang for your buck in almost everywhere in the Midwest.

The link

How Far Your Paycheck Goes, In 356 U.S. Cities : Planet Money : NPR
I wouldn't put twin cities on the list where paycheck feels a lot less. It is still fairly affordable and the pay check goes much further than the other cities in your list.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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On the West Coast you pay for the scenery and the climate. On the East Coast you pay for proximity to the local culture. The buildings are the scenery on the East Coast, IMHO. But rent is high everywhere that is desirable. Over much of the supposed cheaper cities in the Midwest and the South pedestrian, utilitarian housing is cheaper but desirable destinations, particularly downtown, are always expensive, regardless of which city you're living in. West Coast public transportation is often 30 years behind anything on the East Coast, though at times it is comparable to, if not better than, some of the options in the Midwest. Bus service is very good in the Midwest though.

There isn't much to look at around here. You get tired of the beach quick, and the novelty wears off. The really nice views IMHO start in South Carolina and go down to Florida. Anything else is just overcrowded, dirty, just there as "matter of fact". What natural resource are you actually looking at in NYC? Perhaps upstate New York, but then again, upstate is not as expensive as NYC.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjb122982 View Post
I'm glad you brought up Chicago being cheaper than the cities on the coasts. I'm going to be done with school in the fall and I'm debating between Indianapolis and Chicago (as my main options). Every time I talk to people about it, I almost always get the line "Chicago costs so much more." While on the surface that is true but a lot of people don't seem to realize I could get by in Chicago without a car whereas in Indy, I would need a car.

However to your point on the public transit on the West Coast, my understanding is that public transportation only sucks in SoCal, where as the BART in the Bay Area and the public transportation in Seattle and Portland is decent.
I have a friend who moved to Chicago from Indy about a year ago, after being in Indy for 20+ years. Indy is bigger than people think and has more to do than people think, but even an Indy lover like my friend couldn't keep him away from Chicago. When he first moved here, he'd mention Indy a lot since that's all he knew. He barely even mentions it now and says he'd never go back there after being in Chicago for a year. He's specifically mentioned the only place he'd go would be a warmer year round climate because he grew up in another country with an almost tropical climate.

The other interesting thing he mentioned to me was the rising cost of living in Indy. He showed me specifically listings of places that were on par if not more expensive than Chicago prices and told me how prices have risen there a lot in the last few years. He's not the only person I know in Indy to tell me this. If you ended up in Indy it wouldn't be bad at all - but the two cities are not on the same level when it comes to a lot.

The other thing people forget to take into consideration is wage increases. People saying that SF is expensive - it is, but if you have a decent job, it won't matter because wages are adjusted to the COL. It really depends on what line of work you're in. If you are in a non profit that doesn't pay well or theater or something, then yeah that would be something to consider more. If you were an Engineer though, they're going to probably adjust your pay to the COL if you work for a company that doesn't mismanage its finances. Along with this you have to consider cost of housing AND transportation. For example, in many situations it's possible to live in Chicago without a car which puts your monthly costs down a bit. That is pretty difficult in Indy. If the cost of an apartment between two places is less than say $300/month, but in the cheaper one you need a car and don't own it then it's entirely possible that the "cheaper" place becomes even or even more considering the cost of monthly transportation.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,304 posts, read 17,948,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Chicago is "cheap to compared to other big cities"!? What cities do you consider "big"? I see only NYC, Honolulu and S.F. as being more expensive. D.C., Boston and L.A. are equal to Chicago in cost. No other big city is close in cost of living to Chicago.
DC, Boston, San Diego, Oakland, and LA are more expensive. Chicago has about the same COL as Philadephia and Seattle.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Over-the-Rhine, Ohio
548 posts, read 608,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjb122982 View Post
I'm glad you brought up Chicago being cheaper than the cities on the coasts. I'm going to be done with school in the fall and I'm debating between Indianapolis and Chicago (as my main options). Every time I talk to people about it, I almost always get the line "Chicago costs so much more." While on the surface that is true but a lot of people don't seem to realize I could get by in Chicago without a car whereas in Indy, I would need a car.

However to your point on the public transit on the West Coast, my understanding is that public transportation only sucks in SoCal, where as the BART in the Bay Area and the public transportation in Seattle and Portland is decent.
You actually really don't need a car in Indy. IndyGo isn't the best system, but the city is flat and has amazing bicycling infrastructure. Plus, it's really compact and has everything you need downtown including transit connections to Chicago and Cincinnati.

I've lived Car-Free in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Cincinnati. Chicago is always talked about as a "transit city" but it's just bigger than the other cities and there's a difference in scale. People talk about how hard it is to get to Keystone Mall in Indy, or Kenwood Mall in Cincinnati, or Mayfair Mall in Milwaukee on transit...but they always leave out Chicago. That's like talking about going to Woodfield Mall in Schaumberg. Good luck with that...

The fact of the matter is that Midwestern Cities are more manageable, walkable, and easy to navigate than many cities on the coasts. There may not be light rail everywhere, but they're actually pretty darn easy to live in car-free. I've done it for eight years with no issues whatsoever and I plan on raising a family in Cincinnati without a car.
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