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Old 08-20-2014, 06:16 AM
 
21,188 posts, read 30,366,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Since they're willing to spend up to 500k, 350-400 seems reasonable.

Both Chicago and Philadelphia share many similarities. Both are huge, mature cities with highly gentrified urban cores. Both have issues with crime (although generally not within the downtown area). Both allow easy car-free lifestyle. Both appear somewhat similar in pricing for downtown real estate (not the cheapest, but seems like a bargain compared to NYC or SF). Both may be considered too cold by OP.
Perhaps, the point however is that Philadelphia is no longer the "great bargain" some make it out to be. That ship sailed about 10 years ago.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:15 AM
 
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Maybe the Highlands in Louisville KY could be a good fit. Outside of weather, the Southeastern Quadrant of Rochester NY would fit. East Nashville may be another possibility.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:05 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,020 posts, read 1,037,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Not so much when one begins weighing the taxation issues, especially the Philadelphia Wage Tax. Philadelphia has the second highest tax rate in the country....

2. Philadelphia, Pa.
Taxes for family earning $25,000: $3,794 (7th highest)
Taxes for family earning $150,000: $25,317 (3rd highest)
Unemployment rate: 8.6%

"Philadelphia's poorer families were subject to a much higher tax burden than those in most other large cities. A family of three earning $25,000 in 2012 paid $788 in income taxes that year, more than all but one other large city. The city's property tax burden was also considerably high for most income levels that year. A family whose earnings fell into the $100,000 tax bracket, for example, paid more than $11,806 in property taxes in 2012, second-most among large cities. After a new property tax valuation system was implemented and some residents' tax assessments more than tripled, the city introduced a "gentrification relief program" at the end of 2013. Fuel was also heavily taxed in 2012, with gasoline costing an additional 31 cents per gallon due to state taxes, which were among the highest in the U.S."


Also while deemed overall affordable in which to buy housing (median home price of 214k), much of the Philadelphia's housing is rather rundown and in neighborhoods where the OP is not likely to want to buy into. Many talk about the small gentrified areas (in proportion to the rest of the city) as being swell to live in, but rest assured the average home price of 214K will not apply there...as evidenced by the attachment below where the home prices in the neighborhoods being extolled are well into the 350K and up bracket, with some even well over 400K. That's not exactly considered "affordable" downtown living.

Philadelphia, PA average and median listing prices - Trulia.com
Regarding the text that I bolded: no. This implies property taxes are tied to income, and that's true only insofar as higher income earners can afford more expensive housing, which will have higher real estate taxes. But there's nothing in the tax code that says "because your earnings are in this bracket your real estate taxes are going to be higher, other things being equal." And even after the new system was implemented, real estate taxes remain at a level where you'd have to have a spectacular home to pay more than $10k a year.

I do agree with the comment that the $214k average is, indeed, just an average, and that $300k+ is the buy-in level for established and gentrifying neighborhoods. That, or more, is affordable to some buyers, prohibitive to others. What you have to factor into the total cost of living, Philly or anywhere, is that if you live and work downtown (like OP's preferences seemed to lean), you have pretty much $0 commuting cost and a lot more time available for enjoying the downtown amenities (Philly has one of the highest walk-to-work populations in the US).

After my first full year in Philly, I compared taxes (income, real estate), insurance, and some other items to what we were paying in Chapel Hill. Philly was about $2,200 more. Since my wife and I were content in Chapel Hill but love Philly, the extra $2,200 is a bargain.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:28 AM
 
21,188 posts, read 30,366,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankInPhilly View Post
Regarding the text that I bolded: no. This implies property taxes are tied to income, and that's true only insofar as higher income earners can afford more expensive housing, which will have higher real estate taxes. But there's nothing in the tax code that says "because your earnings are in this bracket your real estate taxes are going to be higher, other things being equal." And even after the new system was implemented, real estate taxes remain at a level where you'd have to have a spectacular home to pay more than $10k a year.

I do agree with the comment that the $214k average is, indeed, just an average, and that $300k+ is the buy-in level for established and gentrifying neighborhoods. That, or more, is affordable to some buyers, prohibitive to others. What you have to factor into the total cost of living, Philly or anywhere, is that if you live and work downtown (like OP's preferences seemed to lean), you have pretty much $0 commuting cost and a lot more time available for enjoying the downtown amenities (Philly has one of the highest walk-to-work populations in the US).

After my first full year in Philly, I compared taxes (income, real estate), insurance, and some other items to what we were paying in Chapel Hill. Philly was about $2,200 more. Since my wife and I were content in Chapel Hill but love Philly, the extra $2,200 is a bargain.
The point being that Philly isn't "affordable" as many seem to think on this forum. Affordable versus NYC, Boston, Washington DC or San Francisco...yes. Overall....no.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
4,472 posts, read 7,290,097 times
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I'm biased, but consider Savannah in your search.

I lived in downtown Savannah for several years and LOVED it. VERY walkable with a liberal, artsy vibe.
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