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Old 10-31-2014, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,642 posts, read 8,344,483 times
Reputation: 7598

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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashystyle View Post
Some of these suggestions are puzzling to me, but so it goes on City-Data...

Part of this decision will be driven by what you need from your job. To my knowledge, the market for economists is pretty small in many cities and if you are looking for a career where there are growth opportunities and interesting work, your choices may be limited.

That said, San Francisco (and the greater Bay Area) meets all your criteria, but of course housing there is very expensive. You would not need to make twice as much as in DC, as stated above, but it is at least as expensive as where you are now. I don't think everyone realizes just how expensive DC is now too. SF has lots to do, should have good career options -- though DC and NYC may be best for economists, walkable neighborhoods, easy access to the ocean, hiking, and other outdoor activities, interesting and smart people, and good (albeit unique) weather.
That's straight up laughable. I frequent the Bay Area often, where the bulk of my family resides. I lived in the Washington DC area as recent as four months ago, in Alexandria and it is no where close to as expensive as San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is by far the most expensive place in America in terms of housing.

Median Housing Price by metropolitan area, 2014:
- San Jose: $899,500
- San Francisco/Oakland: $769,600
- Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: $403,600

Things don't exactly get better for renters either;

Average ENTRY-LEVEL rent per month by metropolitan area, 2014:
- San Jose: $1,881
- San Francisco/Oakland: $1,776
- Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: $1,298

The price differences between the two go even higher if you start wanting more spacious apartments or apartments with more bedrooms.

Washington DC is by far one of the most expensive places in America, that's a fact but it's incredibly CHEAP to live there compared to the San Francisco Bay Area. Keep in mind the average annual salaries overall in both areas are as close as two places can get while being on opposite ends of the country. Also that the rental prices and housing prices in Washington DC aren't going up as astronomically as the more robust San Francisco Bay Area, the gap between them is only getting bigger.

Other things like gas prices, transit fees, groceries, among others will generally lean more towards San Francisco as being more expensive than Washington DC. Yes, in this world of City-Data where sloths sit around thinking they can transport themselves from one city to the other, with the use of pixie dust, then yes, they might be comparable. In actual life, Washington DC is dirty mother-effing CHEAP compared to San Francisco. Why shouldn't it be? It's no where close to as desirable of a city, only thing Washington DC has going for it (had going for it) were the government jobs compared to the Bay Area.

I wouldn't ever recommend anyone moving to the Bay Area without having a job secured there first or the possibility of being enrolled in a school there first before moving. I would also like to repeat that a person should operate on at least 1.5 X - 2 X the housing budget in San Francisco than Washington DC.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:42 PM
 
483 posts, read 423,866 times
Reputation: 654
Portland may be a good option too, and I only left it off my list because I don't know Portland very well (I have only been there a couple times). It may be hard to find an economist job that the OP wants in Portland, compared to some of the other cities. But it does have some great, urban neighborhoods and good access to nature with the coast a shortish drive away.

p.s. -- I don't mean to disparage smaller cities at all, I live in one! I just think that given the OP's preferences and desires that these were the best options.

p.p.s. -- Red John, note that I didn't say SF was cheaper or as cheap as DC. I know DC pretty well and know SF really well. I just said that you don't need to make twice as much money to live there. Most cost-of-living calculators place SF as 15-20% more expensive. Even if housing were twice as expensive in SF, which it isn't, it only makes up part of your budget. And hey, utilities are cheaper! But let's not derail this thread by making it about cost of living.

Last edited by smashystyle; 10-31-2014 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: DC
3,292 posts, read 10,595,104 times
Reputation: 1312
Thank you so much for all the ideas! I haven't been to many of the cities recommended (LA, Minneapolis, Portland, Austin, etc), so the observations are great. I know a lot of it may be subjective, but I value the insight nonetheless!

I know the career thing is a bit specific. I'm inherently risk-adverse, so I wouldn't want to move anywhere until I either got a job or worked out a remote situation with my current employer (rare, but not entirely unheard of). This is a several-year-plan (if you could even call it a plan), so we've got plenty of time to check out new places and ponder the career issue.

Appreciate you all taking the time!

Last edited by akorosdc; 10-31-2014 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:54 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 1,815,654 times
Reputation: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
That's straight up laughable. I frequent the Bay Area often, where the bulk of my family resides. I lived in the Washington DC area as recent as four months ago, in Alexandria and it is no where close to as expensive as San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is by far the most expensive place in America in terms of housing.

Median Housing Price by metropolitan area, 2014:
- San Jose: $899,500
- San Francisco/Oakland: $769,600
- Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: $403,600

Things don't exactly get better for renters either;

Average ENTRY-LEVEL rent per month by metropolitan area, 2014:
- San Jose: $1,881
- San Francisco/Oakland: $1,776
- Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: $1,298

The price differences between the two go even higher if you start wanting more spacious apartments or apartments with more bedrooms.

Washington DC is by far one of the most expensive places in America, that's a fact but it's incredibly CHEAP to live there compared to the San Francisco Bay Area. Keep in mind the average annual salaries overall in both areas are as close as two places can get while being on opposite ends of the country. Also that the rental prices and housing prices in Washington DC aren't going up as astronomically as the more robust San Francisco Bay Area, the gap between them is only getting bigger.

Other things like gas prices, transit fees, groceries, among others will generally lean more towards San Francisco as being more expensive than Washington DC. Yes, in this world of City-Data where sloths sit around thinking they can transport themselves from one city to the other, with the use of pixie dust, then yes, they might be comparable. In actual life, Washington DC is dirty mother-effing CHEAP compared to San Francisco. Why shouldn't it be? It's no where close to as desirable of a city, only thing Washington DC has going for it (had going for it) were the government jobs compared to the Bay Area.

I wouldn't ever recommend anyone moving to the Bay Area without having a job secured there first or the possibility of being enrolled in a school there first before moving. I would also like to repeat that a person should operate on at least 1.5 X - 2 X the housing budget in San Francisco than Washington DC.
Why use alexandria to prove your point instead of arlington? Alexandria is where people go to find affordable housing in the dc area besides old town. Try using places like bethesda, potomac, mclean, arlington, great falls, vienna or mclean to compare. Not alexandria where a lot of the low income to middle class families live. There's not a big gap between the dc area and San francisco. The DC area has been named one of the most expensive metro areas in the country and you will not need to make twice as much as you make in DC to live in San francisco..... I don't know where you get your info from?
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:09 PM
 
1,750 posts, read 1,635,947 times
Reputation: 1067
There's a reason why SF/DC are expensive. That's where people practice in the rat race for the next Olympics.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
6,212 posts, read 7,401,553 times
Reputation: 2581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red John View Post
That's straight up laughable. I frequent the Bay Area often, where the bulk of my family resides. I lived in the Washington DC area as recent as four months ago, in Alexandria and it is no where close to as expensive as San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is by far the most expensive place in America in terms of housing.

Median Housing Price by metropolitan area, 2014:
- San Jose: $899,500
- San Francisco/Oakland: $769,600
- Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: $403,600

Things don't exactly get better for renters either;

Average ENTRY-LEVEL rent per month by metropolitan area, 2014:
- San Jose: $1,881
- San Francisco/Oakland: $1,776
- Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: $1,298

The price differences between the two go even higher if you start wanting more spacious apartments or apartments with more bedrooms.

Washington DC is by far one of the most expensive places in America, that's a fact but it's incredibly CHEAP to live there compared to the San Francisco Bay Area. Keep in mind the average annual salaries overall in both areas are as close as two places can get while being on opposite ends of the country. Also that the rental prices and housing prices in Washington DC aren't going up as astronomically as the more robust San Francisco Bay Area, the gap between them is only getting bigger.

Other things like gas prices, transit fees, groceries, among others will generally lean more towards San Francisco as being more expensive than Washington DC. Yes, in this world of City-Data where sloths sit around thinking they can transport themselves from one city to the other, with the use of pixie dust, then yes, they might be comparable. In actual life, Washington DC is dirty mother-effing CHEAP compared to San Francisco. Why shouldn't it be? It's no where close to as desirable of a city, only thing Washington DC has going for it (had going for it) were the government jobs compared to the Bay Area.

I wouldn't ever recommend anyone moving to the Bay Area without having a job secured there first or the possibility of being enrolled in a school there first before moving. I would also like to repeat that a person should operate on at least 1.5 X - 2 X the housing budget in San Francisco than Washington DC.
I was surprised that Vancouver is the most expensive city in North America.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Prince George's County, Maryland
6,212 posts, read 7,401,553 times
Reputation: 2581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger-f View Post
There's a reason why SF/DC are expensive. That's where people practice in the rat race for the next Olympics.
LOL. I personally think the DC area will be better off with the World Cup instead. Rather not deal with the aftermath horror stories of foreign cities hosting the Olympics.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,642 posts, read 8,344,483 times
Reputation: 7598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
Why use alexandria to prove your point instead of arlington?
I didn't use either. I only said I lived in Alexandria, after mentioning that I only compared the DMV to the Bay Area. Not any particular area inside the DMV to any area in the Bay Area.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
Alexandria is where people go to find affordable housing in the dc area besides old town.
Yeah that's great and all but has nothing to do with what I said in my post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
Try using places like bethesda, potomac, mclean, arlington, great falls, vienna or mclean to compare.
What are you talking about? Use them for what?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
Not alexandria where a lot of the low income to middle class families live.
Again, that's great and all but has nothing to do with the point of my initial post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
There's not a big gap between the dc area and San francisco.
There isn't any substantial difference between drinking tap / faucet water and purified Brita water, right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
The DC area has been named one of the most expensive metro areas in the country
Yeah, again, that's great and all but there's even differences between being "one of the most expensive areas in the country" and actually being the MOST expensive area in the country by housing values. The San Francisco Bay Area is TWICE the housing value of Washington DC area on average and the ENTRY-LEVEL apartment rents are 1.5 X that of the Washington DC area. To say nothing of the more spacious one bedroom ones, two bedroom ones, three bedroom ones, so on. It gets even uglier there and it turns into a complete bloodbath when you compare JUST the District of Columbia to San Francisco (city) without their suburbs.

The Washington DC area, to my knowledge from as recently as I can remember (Quarter II, 2014) was one of the most expensive places in the United States but significantly less so than any of the major California cities. It's price range is with places like Boston or Seattle. Los Angeles, New York, and especially San Francisco are in a whole different league.

That's not a bad thing by the way. Who actually enjoys paying higher mortgages, housing costs, or rents, honestly? You ever see anyone smiling when they pay bills, huh? Didn't think so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluusions View Post
and you will not need to make twice as much as you make in DC to live in San francisco..... I don't know where you get your info from?
Well my entire argument has been about housing prices, where I suggested to the original poster of this thread to DOUBLE her housing budget if she wants San Francisco over Washington DC.

That is indeed a fact, my friend. Washington DC area's median housing prices are now stagnating and have been doing so for the last year.

To put into perspective, you are getting paid around the same in the Bay Area and the DMV, for the average person and average household, when it comes right down to it. However, the average house in San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland is approaching approximately $1 million dollars. No, we are not talking about an elite house, but just the most ordinary and average one, in the Bay Area.

Washington DC area and the DMV aren't even half-a-million yet for the average housing price. That's difference number one. You are sending less on housing in the DMV than the Bay Area and housing in the DMV is less expensive by SO SO MUCH to begin with.

Get real man. The situation is slightly closer if you are a renter, for now anyways, San Francisco and the Bay Area are 1.5 X the price of Washington DC and the DMV. So no, not double, but might as well be since it's appreciating rather quickly compared to Washington DC and the DMV and wasn't all that far off to begin with.

I think I gave the original poster a legit list with practical cities that anyone could easily transition into. She outruled New York herself and Boston too because of the cold and doesn't think they are worth the price. That's fair. So I didn't suggest either. Due to the cold being a factor, I didn't bother with Chicago or the Twin Cities either. Denver is okay, it is cold but more manageable than the Midwest or Northeast but it's in the interior and days away from the coast.

I wouldn't suggest Vancouver or San Francisco, especially Vancouver. Unless the original poster and her boyfriend have plans save up before moving for years in advance, the housing values in both (renting and home owning) is significantly higher than Washington DC. More of your salary in the Bay Area, annually, will go into housing to boot. Making things a bit rougher when going from Washington DC and the DMV to the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you simply must move, and understand that you wont be finding a place at the same price range or cheaper than Washington DC with as many urban qualities to offer, as many big city amenities, or weekend activities all rolled into one. If you must leave; Seattle, Austin, Portland, and Sacramento. In their core areas, all will offer walkable neighborhoods, plenty of recreational outdoor activity areas where you can kayak, canoe, jet skii, and still go to bars, clubs, lounges after spending time in the water as downtown is nearby. All have growing economies and populations, all incredibly safe, becoming far more cosmopolitan, generally mild weather or at least on the warm side (Austin), and offer either a location on the coast (Seattle) or within driving distance to the coast (Portland and Austin) in their own states, similar to going to the coast from Washington DC to Ocean City. A few hours of a drive. All of those cities (Sacramento less so) also having diverse economies and are expanding their payrolls among the fastest in the country.

All of these cities will have less big city amenities, generally weaker transit options, but have pedestrian oriented cores where all the activities are both natural and nightlife and employment based ones.

If you're willing to go days inland and keep an open mind, then try Denver, Columbus, or Nashville.

Again, none of them will be quite on Washington DC or the DMV's level. Take the drop off if you want to leave, if not, then just stay in the DMV. It has the most to offer.

http://www.realtor.org/sites/default...2014-08-12.pdf
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,715,580 times
Reputation: 2059
LA
Atlanta
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,642 posts, read 8,344,483 times
Reputation: 7598
The entry-level apartment rates by metropolitan area, as of earlier this year in 2014.

What

You can click on different metropolitan areas and compare the rates.

If you want more than just an entry level apartment in any of these places, it'll obviously be more, as an average asking price in every area. In a place like the San Francisco Bay Area, the asking price will be a lot more.

Recent report also has Californians spending well over 40% of their annual incomes (closer to 50%) on just housing alone. That is not so much the case with Washington DC, where you will have a larger disposable income. The suggestions by the two other posters earlier that Washington DC area to the San Francisco area in terms of housing prices / rental prices and budgeting as a lateral move was a stretch of a suggestion. San Francisco is significantly more pricey than Washington DC by almost every housing measure in existence.

Recommendations like those are why people move, naively, and get stuck somewhere because they cannot connect the dots socioeconomically. San Francisco is the sort of place where you need to be patient and look for deals and to do it for a while (few months to a whole year) and to act on it quickly (after securing a job first of course) before other bidders take it off the market OR the price appreciates astronomically, which is occurring right now. In comparison, Washington DC area's housing prices are staying stagnant, meaning the gap between the two cities is increasing more by the day.

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 10-31-2014 at 07:27 PM..
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