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Old 10-29-2018, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,853 posts, read 2,978,355 times
Reputation: 3399

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Quote:
Originally Posted by QCongress83216 View Post
L Plus, people in these cities take cheaper rent/housing for granted for example, I can buy a small house in Cleveland for $300,000 that I would have to pay $600,000 for in California and it could be in a bad neighborhood.

I say some people wanna pay 3 paychecks just to say they live in NYC, L.A., Chicago, San Fran, Atlanta, D.C. and there's some people who wanna pay 3 paychecks to live in a low cost city where their rents and bills are paid, food on the table and maybe have a little something left over to go out or save up for that vacation.
I gotta say, you're right, sometimes it is an ego thing. Atlanta is pretty inexpensive though.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:57 PM
 
17,665 posts, read 4,062,179 times
Reputation: 5587
I think my city is in a unique situation.Its a small to mid-sized city by my standards (Midland,Texas) and has the highest cost of living like highest rent in the state even more than the big cities.We have lots of jobs but the thing is a lot of those jobs cant keep up with the cost of living.Having a lower cost of living means everything to me because i could possibly have my own place if i lived somewhere else.
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Old 10-30-2018, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,713 posts, read 36,132,256 times
Reputation: 63310
Quote:
Originally Posted by C24L View Post
I think my city is in a unique situation.Its a small to mid-sized city by my standards (Midland,Texas) and has the highest cost of living like highest rent in the state even more than the big cities.We have lots of jobs but the thing is a lot of those jobs cant keep up with the cost of living.Having a lower cost of living means everything to me because i could possibly have my own place if i lived somewhere else.
Midland is indeed an anomaly. Hang on -what booms must eventually bust and the oil boom in Midland is what is making such a huge difference in the COL.

I tell all my single women friends that if they want to meet a man, they might ought to check out Midland - LOL! If they don't mind a pick up truck and steel toed boots, they just might find themselves in high cotton!

My husband works in that area but he drives to and from Midland back home to NE Texas. I can't imagine living in Midland - besides the COL which is insane, the terrain just seems so barren to me. But I have always heard that Midland has a lot of positives, so who knows?
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,572 posts, read 17,544,804 times
Reputation: 27640
There's a definite sweet spot.

I live in a small metro of about 200,000 in northeast TN. The economy here for anything white collar is lackluster - about the only places to work for professionals are the regional health system, an F500 HQ (that has outsourced or offshored many positions), and government/schools/universities. Outside of that, it is incredibly slim pickings. Due to a lack of competition among employers, wages here are consistently at the bottom of metro areas in Tennessee, which is itself a low wage state.

The cost of living is fairly low, but is not that much lower than when I lived in Indianapolis or Des Moines. Some things actually work the opposite way of what people might expect. If you're looking for a <20 year old house that is fairly up to date and zoned to the city schools (you don't want county schools here), the bottom of the market starts around $250,000. In an area with a median household income of just about $40,000, that's quite a chunk of change! That same home in the Indianapolis suburbs, aside from the toniest towns, would probably be $175,000 - $200,000 AND you have access to a much more vibrant job market. If you have a good job here (a big if) and something happens to that job, there may not be anything else for you locally. That usually won't be such an issue in larger markets. The vast majority of my savings here come from a lack of state income tax, and generally low taxes and fees across the state. That has nothing to do with my immediate area and I'd get most of the tax benefits no matter where I lived in Tennessee.

Anything "nice" actually goes for a premium in this market because there is so little of it! Amusingly enough, groceries, car insurance, and most retail items are more expensive here than when I lived in DSM or Indy. There is a lack of competition in many markets, driving prices higher.

If you go a hundred miles down the road to Knoxville, the cost of living is basically a wash, but wages are, on average, much higher. The Tri-Cities metros are normally the bottom of two of wages in Tennessee - Knoxville is usually right below Nashville. While small metros like I am often have a low cost of living, jobs often pay poorly, have limited availability, and there are few options in the event something happens.

I don't want to live in a place where I have few employment options.

Somewhere like Boston is just too expensive for everyone outside the top 10% or so. Those folks are better off moving to interior metros where the wage/cost of living ratio is better.

My opinion is that the best value in the country remains in mid-sized Midwestern metros - Indy, Columbus, St. Louis, Cincinnati. Places like that. Wages in the Midwestern metros are generally higher than in similarly sized Southern metros, and the Midwestern metros often have a cheaper cost of living.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:08 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
1,174 posts, read 655,073 times
Reputation: 1738
I can't think of a single low cost of living area of the United States I could stand to live in. So I've learned to put up with the sacrifices (small living/roommates, crowds, competition) that it takes to live in a high COL metro. I'll take a lifestyle over a fatter bank account any day of the week.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,853 posts, read 2,978,355 times
Reputation: 3399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
There's a definite sweet spot.

I live in a small metro of about 200,000 in northeast TN. The economy here for anything white collar is lackluster - about the only places to work for professionals are the regional health system, an F500 HQ (that has outsourced or offshored many positions), and government/schools/universities. Outside of that, it is incredibly slim pickings. Due to a lack of competition among employers, wages here are consistently at the bottom of metro areas in Tennessee, which is itself a low wage state.

The cost of living is fairly low, but is not that much lower than when I lived in Indianapolis or Des Moines. Some things actually work the opposite way of what people might expect. If you're looking for a <20 year old house that is fairly up to date and zoned to the city schools (you don't want county schools here), the bottom of the market starts around $250,000. In an area with a median household income of just about $40,000, that's quite a chunk of change! That same home in the Indianapolis suburbs, aside from the toniest towns, would probably be $175,000 - $200,000 AND you have access to a much more vibrant job market. If you have a good job here (a big if) and something happens to that job, there may not be anything else for you locally. That usually won't be such an issue in larger markets. The vast majority of my savings here come from a lack of state income tax, and generally low taxes and fees across the state. That has nothing to do with my immediate area and I'd get most of the tax benefits no matter where I lived in Tennessee.

Anything "nice" actually goes for a premium in this market because there is so little of it! Amusingly enough, groceries, car insurance, and most retail items are more expensive here than when I lived in DSM or Indy. There is a lack of competition in many markets, driving prices higher.

If you go a hundred miles down the road to Knoxville, the cost of living is basically a wash, but wages are, on average, much higher. The Tri-Cities metros are normally the bottom of two of wages in Tennessee - Knoxville is usually right below Nashville. While small metros like I am often have a low cost of living, jobs often pay poorly, have limited availability, and there are few options in the event something happens.

I don't want to live in a place where I have few employment options.

Somewhere like Boston is just too expensive for everyone outside the top 10% or so. Those folks are better off moving to interior metros where the wage/cost of living ratio is better.

My opinion is that the best value in the country remains in mid-sized Midwestern metros - Indy, Columbus, St. Louis, Cincinnati. Places like that. Wages in the Midwestern metros are generally higher than in similarly sized Southern metros, and the Midwestern metros often have a cheaper cost of living.
I really think Denver is that sweet spot
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,894 posts, read 7,654,530 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post
I can't think of a single low cost of living area of the United States I could stand to live in. So I've learned to put up with the sacrifices (small living/roommates, crowds, competition) that it takes to live in a high COL metro. I'll take a lifestyle over a fatter bank account any day of the week.
What do you think you would be missing out on by living in a low cost of living area? It's a serious question from someone who can't think of anything I'd gain by living in a high cost of living area.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:59 PM
 
4,480 posts, read 2,663,831 times
Reputation: 4090
A high-cost, high-demand city will be pushed toward ever-increasing density, and more-urban forms. Expensive land tends to be used very efficiently.

It's sort of a chicken-egg thing...people will pay more to live in a great urban district, but also expensive land drives places to be urban. In a cheap-land city, the market (heavily influenced by land use code) will lean toward quasi urbanity.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:05 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
1,174 posts, read 655,073 times
Reputation: 1738
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
What do you think you would be missing out on by living in a low cost of living area? It's a serious question from someone who can't think of anything I'd gain by living in a high cost of living area.
Interesting diversity, urbanity, good public transit, cosmopolitan culture, huge amounts of choice in food, high wages, progressive politics, etc, etc, etc...

It entirely depends on the kind of lifestyle you wanna live. I'm a gay guy in my 20s. Youngstown, Ohio isn't exactly an appealing place for someone in my demographic. I'm pretty limited in the type of environment I can enjoy living in, and that's okay because I don't think 95% of the United States is a worthwhile place to live anyway.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,853 posts, read 2,978,355 times
Reputation: 3399
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
A high-cost, high-demand city will be pushed toward ever-increasing density, and more-urban forms. Expensive land tends to be used very efficiently.

It's sort of a chicken-egg thing...people will pay more to live in a great urban district, but also expensive land drives places to be urban. In a cheap-land city, the market (heavily influenced by land use code) will lean toward quasi urbanity.
I think a place like Columbus, Ohio has that honestly.
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