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Old 09-03-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Campbell, CA
34 posts, read 46,343 times
Reputation: 12

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Thanks for all your advice...I was wondering how everyone handles the heat? I realize it is extremely hot there in the summer. So what does/can everyone do during that time? Is there a lot of activities indoors? How do people keep cool?

Also, with the research I've been doing and the opinions of others...I am a little concerned about some of the higher costs in TX, i.e., property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, etc. I figured that it would be offset by the fact that there is no state income tax, but others are saying different. I'm sure it will vary for different situations, but I would like to here people's opinions and experiences on this forum. Does the fact that TX does not have state income tax outweigh the other higher costs? Thank you very much for any advice...it all helps me make an informed decision!
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:25 PM
 
1,523 posts, read 843,158 times
Reputation: 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssillen View Post
Thanks for all your advice...I was wondering how everyone handles the heat? I realize it is extremely hot there in the summer. So what does/can everyone do during that time? Is there a lot of activities indoors? How do people keep cool?

Also, with the research I've been doing and the opinions of others...I am a little concerned about some of the higher costs in TX, i.e., property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, etc. I figured that it would be offset by the fact that there is no state income tax, but others are saying different. I'm sure it will vary for different situations, but I would like to here people's opinions and experiences on this forum. Does the fact that TX does not have state income tax outweigh the other higher costs? Thank you very much for any advice...it all helps me make an informed decision!
Secure your jobs first. No need to suffer with the commute.

During the summer (April-October), well, we stay in the house or in the pool.. This summer had been better (or it is supposed to be) than couple of the last ones.

House taxes as a percentage are higher, but a comparable house would cost much much less here (outside Park Cities and some of North Dallas). Now, for people who bought in California long time ago, it is a different story because of Prop. 13.

House, insurance is bad, because of weather. Cars, I don't know, mine currently is relatively reasonable.
However I still hate the explanation "Your insurance is going up because of hail storms in your area during last year".

The offset would depend on your income.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,947 posts, read 18,685,568 times
Reputation: 7182
I spend a lot of time in the East Bay area. Politics and State government deficit aside, I like everything better about it than DFW. I have lived in DFW area since 1978 but my parents settled in the Berkley area when I was a young adult. I would have moved there years ago except for the cost of housing. My late husband was transferred to San Diego but we just got him a condo and I stayed behind with the kids in the late 80's because again, the cost of housing on one income would have placed our kids in bad schools. So, in the end, I make several trips a year between DFW and SFO. I hate the TX heat in the summers, I hate the lack of decent public transportation, I hate that no town has any real identity here. You can drive from town to town and there is no significant difference.... the natural beauty of N.TX and CA are not comparable. No mountains, no ocean, no towering redwoods. Summers are the time to get out of the State or hang inside. Indoor fun parks, water parks, malls and move theaters! For a few years we lived about 35 miles from Dallas where I worked so we could have a beautiful home in a small town setting. It was nice but I left the house a 5:30 am to get to work a little past 6 am....where I went to the gym, ate and got ready for work to be at my desk before 8. Otherwise my drive would have been about 90 min. if any accidents and I would have arrived all frazzled and upset. I didn't even leave for home until 6pm because, again, traffic. Those long hours were great for my career but tough on family life. I thought it was wonderful for our family to live in a big beautiful house on a golf course in a small, safe community. Now, however, I think it would have been better for us all if we'd lived closer in to work in a smaller, older house and I would not have had all those commuting hours in my life. So, in a nutshell, it is easier to become homeowners here than in the bay area for folks without mountains of cash or very high incomes. But, the big shiny dream homes are still going to be very expensive close in to the city. It is cheaper to live here simply because of the cost of housing, I'd say taxes and insurance are not significantly lower. I pay a bit more for gas and groceries in the Bay area, but not much more. You alone have to decide the value of the tradeoff,
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:34 AM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
Reputation: 5371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
I spend a lot of time in the East Bay area. Politics and State government deficit aside, I like everything better about it than DFW. I have lived in DFW area since 1978 but my parents settled in the Berkley area when I was a young adult. I would have moved there years ago except for the cost of housing. My late husband was transferred to San Diego but we just got him a condo and I stayed behind with the kids in the late 80's because again, the cost of housing on one income would have placed our kids in bad schools. So, in the end, I make several trips a year between DFW and SFO. I hate the TX heat in the summers, I hate the lack of decent public transportation, I hate that no town has any real identity here. You can drive from town to town and there is no significant difference.... the natural beauty of N.TX and CA are not comparable. No mountains, no ocean, no towering redwoods. Summers are the time to get out of the State or hang inside. Indoor fun parks, water parks, malls and move theaters! For a few years we lived about 35 miles from Dallas where I worked so we could have a beautiful home in a small town setting. It was nice but I left the house a 5:30 am to get to work a little past 6 am....where I went to the gym, ate and got ready for work to be at my desk before 8. Otherwise my drive would have been about 90 min. if any accidents and I would have arrived all frazzled and upset. I didn't even leave for home until 6pm because, again, traffic. Those long hours were great for my career but tough on family life. I thought it was wonderful for our family to live in a big beautiful house on a golf course in a small, safe community. Now, however, I think it would have been better for us all if we'd lived closer in to work in a smaller, older house and I would not have had all those commuting hours in my life. So, in a nutshell, it is easier to become homeowners here than in the bay area for folks without mountains of cash or very high incomes. But, the big shiny dream homes are still going to be very expensive close in to the city. It is cheaper to live here simply because of the cost of housing, I'd say taxes and insurance are not significantly lower. I pay a bit more for gas and groceries in the Bay area, but not much more. You alone have to decide the value of the tradeoff,

I find this sort-of post somewhere between annoying and maddening. I get that you more or less hate it here and feel stuck to some degree and I empathize with that.

But. Your analysis of taxes is so wrong it's almost funny. Maybe it's just a dose of psychological transference on some level.

From a USA Today article a few weeks ago - overall state imposed tax burden, this data is from 2010 so Cali's numbers are actually worse now.

California 4th in the country at 11.2%
Texas 45th in country at 7.9%

So for every $100K in income Texans are $3,300 (3.3%) better off. That's a massive number.

Overall cost of living metrics in California are even worse. If we set the national average COL to 100, Texas is 91.4 and California is 126.6. San Francisco itself is close to 200.

That means the guy/gal earning $100K in each city has the following buying power:
1. Dallas - $101/102,000 Dallas per se is just below the national average COL
2. Generic California - $79,000
3. San Francisco - right around $50,000

Last edited by EDS_; 09-04-2013 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:04 AM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
Reputation: 5371
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssillen View Post
Thanks for all your advice...I was wondering how everyone handles the heat? I realize it is extremely hot there in the summer. So what does/can everyone do during that time? Is there a lot of activities indoors? How do people keep cool?

Also, with the research I've been doing and the opinions of others...I am a little concerned about some of the higher costs in TX, i.e., property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, etc. I figured that it would be offset by the fact that there is no state income tax, but others are saying different. I'm sure it will vary for different situations, but I would like to here people's opinions and experiences on this forum. Does the fact that TX does not have state income tax outweigh the other higher costs? Thank you very much for any advice...it all helps me make an informed decision!
You are asking the right questions and you've read a ton of more or less bogus advice/input in this thread vis a vis COL v. income metrics.

I used San Jose because I couldn't find a COL calculator for Campbell regardless of that this will be close.

In Plano a $96,506 income is equal to $150,000 in San Jose.

Costs in Plano v. San Jose
Groceries 11% less
Housing 65% less
Utilities 19% less - You'll likely use more power here so this number will be closer to a push
Transportation 11% less
Health Care 11% less
Insurance 9% more


I'll DM you the link to this calculator as its a TOS violation to post the same link.


Anecdotally, for years our next door neighbors in Plano were ex-of San Jose. He took a transfer that included a 10% pay cut (his company actually paid a COL premium to everyone in SJ/SF).

With that this family was able to:
1. Live in a much bigger and nicer home
2. The wife/mom stopped working part time
3. They were able to send both kids to private schools
4. They were able to save more money


Second anecdote, ~20 ago a college buddy worked for HP in San Jose he was making $210,000 and his family lived in a trailer. He took a significant pay cut moving to Austin to work for Dell. They bought a non-trailer home immediately sent their kid to private school and as he has told me 100 times they were immediately better off in every way.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:32 AM
 
55 posts, read 65,900 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
I spend a lot of time in the East Bay area. Politics and State government deficit aside, I like everything better about it than DFW. I have lived in DFW area since 1978 but my parents settled in the Berkley area when I was a young adult. I would have moved there years ago except for the cost of housing. My late husband was transferred to San Diego but we just got him a condo and I stayed behind with the kids in the late 80's because again, the cost of housing on one income would have placed our kids in bad schools. So, in the end, I make several trips a year between DFW and SFO. I hate the TX heat in the summers, I hate the lack of decent public transportation, I hate that no town has any real identity here. You can drive from town to town and there is no significant difference.... the natural beauty of N.TX and CA are not comparable. No mountains, no ocean, no towering redwoods. Summers are the time to get out of the State or hang inside. Indoor fun parks, water parks, malls and move theaters! For a few years we lived about 35 miles from Dallas where I worked so we could have a beautiful home in a small town setting. It was nice but I left the house a 5:30 am to get to work a little past 6 am....where I went to the gym, ate and got ready for work to be at my desk before 8. Otherwise my drive would have been about 90 min. if any accidents and I would have arrived all frazzled and upset. I didn't even leave for home until 6pm because, again, traffic. Those long hours were great for my career but tough on family life. I thought it was wonderful for our family to live in a big beautiful house on a golf course in a small, safe community. Now, however, I think it would have been better for us all if we'd lived closer in to work in a smaller, older house and I would not have had all those commuting hours in my life. So, in a nutshell, it is easier to become homeowners here than in the bay area for folks without mountains of cash or very high incomes. But, the big shiny dream homes are still going to be very expensive close in to the city. It is cheaper to live here simply because of the cost of housing, I'd say taxes and insurance are not significantly lower. I pay a bit more for gas and groceries in the Bay area, but not much more. You alone have to decide the value of the tradeoff,

I get what you are saying. New McMansion in exurb is cheaper here but costs a lot more in other terms. Its all a trade off. We were looking at homes in Prosper and my wife said that I'm not shallow enough to make you spend precious hours of your life on highways away from us for a fancy house, I would rather live in an older and smaller house and spend more time with you and doing fun things with the kids.

We would move to California in a heart beat if I can find a job there. DFW seems soul less to me.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:54 AM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
Reputation: 5371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple Shade View Post
I get what you are saying. New McMansion in exurb is cheaper here but costs a lot more in other terms. Its all a trade off. We were looking at homes in Prosper and my wife said that I'm not shallow enough to make you spend precious hours of your life on highways away from us for a fancy house, I would rather live in an older and smaller house and spend more time with you and doing fun things with the kids.

We would move to California in a heart beat if I can find a job there. DFW seems soul less to me.
If you really believe that last part don't move here.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Campbell, CA
34 posts, read 46,343 times
Reputation: 12
Default Very Help info

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
You are asking the right questions and you've read a ton of more or less bogus advice/input in this thread vis a vis COL v. income metrics.

I used San Jose because I couldn't find a COL calculator for Campbell regardless of that this will be close.

In Plano a $96,506 income is equal to $150,000 in San Jose.

Costs in Plano v. San Jose
Groceries 11% less
Housing 65% less
Utilities 19% less - You'll likely use more power here so this number will be closer to a push
Transportation 11% less
Health Care 11% less
Insurance 9% more


I'll DM you the link to this calculator as its a TOS violation to post the same link.


Anecdotally, for years our next door neighbors in Plano were ex-of San Jose. He took a transfer that included a 10% pay cut (his company actually paid a COL premium to everyone in SJ/SF).

With that this family was able to:
1. Live in a much bigger and nicer home
2. The wife/mom stopped working part time
3. They were able to send both kids to private schools
4. They were able to save more money


Second anecdote, ~20 ago a college buddy worked for HP in San Jose he was making $210,000 and his family lived in a trailer. He took a significant pay cut moving to Austin to work for Dell. They bought a non-trailer home immediately sent their kid to private school and as he has told me 100 times they were immediately better off in every way.
EDS - Thank you so much for your helpful information. I know everyone has their own opinions, wants, and wishes. Unfortunately everything is a give and take. For us, we need to get our family ahead, into good schools and into a home we can call our own...so I can totally relate to what you are saying and what your neighbors are referring to.

I have used cost of living comparisons and according to that...I make $100k (myself - not including my husbands), and it says I can decrease down to $56,950. With that, I looked at salaries for my position and says median salary is 65k-76k. So to me, that looks like a positive difference :-) I do also realize that money and home are not everything, I want us to make our future destination a home, and for everyone to be happy. It is pretty stressful here and I feel like we are just treading water!
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:15 PM
 
7,283 posts, read 8,116,246 times
Reputation: 5371
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssillen View Post
EDS - Thank you so much for your helpful information. I know everyone has their own opinions, wants, and wishes. Unfortunately everything is a give and take. For us, we need to get our family ahead, into good schools and into a home we can call our own...so I can totally relate to what you are saying and what your neighbors are referring to.

I have used cost of living comparisons and according to that...I make $100k (myself - not including my husbands), and it says I can decrease down to $56,950. With that, I looked at salaries for my position and says median salary is 65k-76k. So to me, that looks like a positive difference :-) I do also realize that money and home are not everything, I want us to make our future destination a home, and for everyone to be happy. It is pretty stressful here and I feel like we are just treading water!
I think it's important to write out a decision matrix with pros and cons and work on it for a good while.

Also decide how much house you need and select one fitting your criteria in the proper proper school district. That takes planning and discipline but people do it all the time. Don't buy a home that's $100K over your budget because you can or buy in the wrong school district because a home seems like a great deal. You are trying to swing what I like to think of as a long term family prospects upgrade a home a better home than you could swing in CA, better COL prospects and maybe most importantly likely better schools.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:49 AM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,792,801 times
Reputation: 2073
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssillen View Post
.I am a little concerned about some of the higher costs in TX, i.e., property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, etc. I figured that it would be offset by the fact that there is no state income tax, but others are saying different. I'm sure it will vary for different situations, but I would like to here people's opinions and experiences on this forum. Does the fact that TX does not have state income tax outweigh the other higher costs? Thank you very much for any advice...it all helps me make an informed decision!
Overall, TX has a much lower COL than most other states.

The general rule is that the offset will be what you pay in income tax in your current state. I got a 10% raise when I moved to TX from CA. For families with two working parents, this savings is substantial.

Some people go all out and get a much bigger home when they move to TX. Then they get the property tax bill. You should have your realtor calculate the property tax bill for the homes you are looking at when you are shopping around. Yes, you can afford that $600K home, but the tax bill will be high, too.

Some people live far from work and then they have to pay the wear and tear on the car and the gas mileage/tolls. Again, something to factor in.

So:

1. Live close to work.
2. Buy a nice home, but stay small.
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