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Old 09-10-2019, 12:46 PM
 
7,874 posts, read 4,725,853 times
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What city provides the best value for YOU? That is to say; which city has the best combination of amenities and cost of living for a person with your field career level and household size? A lot of threads tend to focus on median incomes and housing costs, but those medians are often skewed by large presence of certain industries in those cities.



Letís say I can afford a house in the 750k range in Pittsburgh. If I relocated to Chicago, I might be able to afford 800k. In SF, I might be able to afford up to 1mil, based on local salaries. While Iíd earn significantly more in SF, my standard of living would drop considerably. In Chicago, Iíd certainly get less house than in Pittsburgh, but I could still get a very nice place, in a great neighborhood, and have much better city amenities. Simply examining median incomes and housing costs could lead one to conclude that SF is the best option for my family, but itís actually at or near the bottom.

Which cities would provide YOU with the best value?
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Chi > DC > Reno > SEA
1,746 posts, read 812,632 times
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Leaving aside my preferences in what I'd want in a city (e.g. large metro area size, density, a local culture that is distinct from mainstream younger American culture), and focusing purely on finances, it would be the smartest for me as a software developer to live in a small town or an inexpensive Rust Belt or Deep Southern city and find a company to work for remotely.

Assuming I had to work in-person in a city with a large concentration of software jobs, I guess Austin, the Research Triangle, or Chicago would be the best deal, but I don't particularly want to either live in a metro that's almost 100% sprawling or in the place where I grew up.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
2,165 posts, read 1,168,221 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimidBlueBars View Post
Assuming I had to work in-person in a city with a large concentration of software jobs, I guess Austin, the Research Triangle, or Chicago would be the best deal, but I don't particularly want to either live in a metro that's almost 100% sprawling or in the place where I grew up.
That was my answer, verbatim
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs
113 posts, read 52,058 times
Reputation: 150
My choice of best value is Chicago suburbs. This is my main problem, I want to move but everywhere else is more expensive (LA, NY, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Boston)
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:44 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,645 posts, read 19,878,707 times
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Washington DC metro area. The NYC metro area would be "better" but the COL is too high for how I want to live.

It could be that the DC area feels normal for me because I grew up here.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
449 posts, read 171,460 times
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Pennsylvania consistently ranks incredibly high (2 or 3 of all states) for its salary to cost of living ratio for teachers. Philadelphia in particular has about all of the amenities I want for my life, a low cost of living, and my salary is much more acceptable than it was in New Mexico. I now make 20K more than I was in New Mexico (granted I now have a few more years of experience under my belt), yet I pay about $50 more per month in rent. My credit card bills tend to be higher than out there because there is more for me to do (and pay for) in Philly on a monthly basis, but it does not come close to outweighing my pay raise.

Another city which I think does well by teachers for its cost of living index is Chicago. I read the average teacher salary there is 71K, which is even higher than Philly. Wow, lately I am on a roll hyping up Chicago and Philadelphia for their big city amenities for cost of living. But they are both pretty decent places to make a living as a teacher, if you are up to the immense and noble challenge of inner city teaching.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:56 PM
 
30,353 posts, read 27,964,076 times
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All things considered, for me it's probably the Triangle. I think I could end up there at some point within the next 10-15 years.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:59 PM
 
18,013 posts, read 4,290,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
What city provides the best value for YOU? That is to say; which city has the best combination of amenities and cost of living for a person with your field career level and household size? A lot of threads tend to focus on median incomes and housing costs, but those medians are often skewed by large presence of certain industries in those cities.



Letís say I can afford a house in the 750k range in Pittsburgh. If I relocated to Chicago, I might be able to afford 800k. In SF, I might be able to afford up to 1mil, based on local salaries. While Iíd earn significantly more in SF, my standard of living would drop considerably. In Chicago, Iíd certainly get less house than in Pittsburgh, but I could still get a very nice place, in a great neighborhood, and have much better city amenities. Simply examining median incomes and housing costs could lead one to conclude that SF is the best option for my family, but itís actually at or near the bottom.

Which cities would provide YOU with the best value?
Id say Abilene,San Angelo,Lubbock,Waco/Belton/Temple and the Austin suburbs in the Lone Star State for me.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Rochester NY
1,350 posts, read 870,403 times
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The current city in live in (Rochester NY area) is perfect for me. Low housing cost coupled with higher than average wages for my career field makes this area a great "bang for MY buck". The amenities are great. We spend a lot of time outdoors and this area is amazing for that. Not really concerned with theaters, museums, etc. Pro and college sports teams are near by. Plus major cities like NYC and Toronto are close as well.


If I were to move too most other places I feel like my quality of life would drop dramatically. I paid around $160k for a 1900 SF house in a great school district. I'm sure that price would triple or more in a lot of larger more expensive cities. And based on what I've seen within my company/industry the wages would by no means justify the increased cost of living. I feel like right now I am in the "sweet spot" for COL compared to my household income.


If I had to relocate to somewhere and continue my same quality of life I'm guessing maybe somewhere in the Midwest? If I moved south my wages would decrease too much and if I moved out West or the Bos-Wash corridor housing cost and expenses would increase to much.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,319 posts, read 2,270,339 times
Reputation: 7852
The "best bang for your buck" locations will either not be mentioned here - for fear of the spotlight and the mad relocation rush which will doom the location - or the location is already at the top of the radar and is on its way down.
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