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View Poll Results: Which city is more fun and better to live in? Chicago, Illinois or New York City, New York?
Chicago, Illinois 35 37.63%
New York City, New York 58 62.37%
Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-24-2015, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
3-4k a month is definitely middle class in some areas. I mean, my brother pays 3k a month and he's in freakin Detroit. Upper middle class, maybe, but he's far from rich.
If he's paying $3K a month and still meeting his other obligations without going up to nostrils in debt... then no, he's not "far from rich." He's probably at the very least within the top 10% of income earners.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGuyWithNoName View Post
And half a million is cheap to you? How is $500,000 cheap? Maybe I just come from a poor community.
A lot of city-data posters live in la-la land.

Manhattan has a 20% poverty rate-and the poverty rate is a national figure that doesn't take into account cost of living. NYC also has the highest rate of renters of any US city-67%. I'm sure the rate is much higher in Manhattan. In contrast 57% of Philadelphians own their home.

But housing prices are a different story-a lot of longtimers in NYC can afford a $500,000 house solely because they sold the house they are moving from for $500,000. People that come from outside the region and others usually have very high paying jobs, relative to the rest of the country. Nearly everyone else accepts that they will rent their whole lives.

Last edited by 2e1m5a; 04-24-2015 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
A lot of city-data posters live in la-la land . . .
I suspect people who make $50K a year tend to surround themselves with other people who make around $50K a year. Same with people who make $100K/yr or $200K/yr. They look around and see everyone else around them living the same lifestyle and it looks "normal" to them. It's like the famous Pauline Kael lament, "How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him!" In short... a huge blind spot caused by self-selection bias.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
If he's paying $3K a month and still meeting his other obligations without going up to nostrils in debt... then no, he's not "far from rich." He's probably at the very least within the top 10% of income earners.
Can you explain how he is "rich"?

His home is probably worth around 450k. He put down around 100k. He pays around 3k a month on a 15 year mortgage. I think he probably makes around 125k a year, and that's with two earners. In Manhattan that could be the average for one earner.

I can see "comfortable" or "upper middle class" but 3k a month in rent or mortgage is hardly "rich". It's above-average, of course, but 3k rent is above average everywhere in the U.S., even in the NYC area or Bay Area. But it's hardly some elite, crazy rent. I know people with million dollar homes in cheap places like Michigan and even they aren't really rich; they just bought at the right time, got a little lucky, and got help from parents with homebuying.

In Brooklyn I see people with 50k salaries buying 800k homes with no problem. That's exactly what the Chinese immigrants do. They pool salaries across generations, and then rent out a unit to help cover the mortgage.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
Can you explain how he is "rich"?
You answered your own question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
I think he probably makes around 125k a year . . .
That puts him in or very near the top 10% of household income. That may not be "country club" rich, but it's also far from typical.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Dallas
282 posts, read 257,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
A lot of city-data posters live in la-la land.

Manhattan has a 20% poverty rate-and the poverty rate is a national figure that doesn't take into account cost of living. NYC also has the highest rate of renters of any US city-67%. I'm sure the rate is much higher in Manhattan. In contrast 57% of Philadelphians own their home.

But housing prices are a different story-a lot of longtimers in NYC can afford a $500,000 house solely because they sold the house they are moving from for $500,000. People that come from outside the region and others usually have very high paying jobs, relative to the rest of the country. Nearly everyone else accepts that they will rent their whole lives.
City-proper wise, Miami has the % highest renters. Metro wise, Los Angeles has the highest.

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Old 04-24-2015, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
But housing prices are a different story-a lot of longtimers in NYC can afford a $500,000 house solely because they sold the house they are moving from for $500,000. People that come from outside the region and others usually have very high paying jobs, relative to the rest of the country.
Exactly. You don't (necessarily) need a high salary to buy an expensive home. It depends on the circumstances.

I know a (very working class) elderly Italian-American lady who lives on nothing but social security, in Gravesend, Brooklyn. But she owns her home, so she's technically a millionaire whenever she sells. She will get probably 1.5 million or so for her property because it's in an area that's very desirable for Orthodox Jews, who moved into her area of late.

And if she doesn't sell? Then she will pass away and her home will go to her kids. Then they will get 750k each, and they can buy million dollar homes in the region too, despite having low incomes. That's how it works. Once you get your hands on real estate in a high demand area, you can trade up.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:27 PM
 
9,701 posts, read 6,678,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
That puts him in or very near the top 10% of household income. That may not be "country club" rich, but it's also far from typical.
I'll take your word for it, but that doesn't sound accurate. 125k for two people is 62,500 each. If 62k is rich, then something is wrong here with the calculation. That is a very, very generous definition of rich.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,849,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
I'll take your word for it, but that doesn't sound accurate. 125k for two people is 62,500 each. If 62k is rich, then something is wrong here with the calculation. That is a very, very generous definition of rich.
On the contrary, $125K household income is a stretched definition of "middle class," just like claiming "anyone with a normal job" can afford to spend nearly 50 grand a year just on rent alone. Actually the latter isn't merely a stretch, it's straight-up ludicrous.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Drover View Post
No, it's a stretched definition of "middle class," just like claiming "anyone with a normal job" can afford to spend nearly 50 grand a year just on rent alone.
It's 36k a year, not 50k.

36k would be completely affordable for a normal job in Manhattan. A normal job in Manhattan pays over 100k, and if a young person with no obligations chooses to live in Manhattan and live in a fancy apartment, then it seems totally doable to me.

But most people don't do that. Most workers don't live in Manhattan, and, of those that do, and who aren't rich, they have roommates. Manhattan actually has a lower proportion of income paid to rent than many counties in the U.S. I think it has a lower income-to-rent ratio than most places.
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