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Old 02-03-2015, 10:59 AM
 
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My husband has an opportunity for a possible relocation to Winston-Salem. The job would be approximately a 15% pay cut for him from what he is making here and I'm trying to understand how that balances in the end with the cost of living decrease. I've done all the online calculators they vary so much and are pretty vague, so I was hoping for some real life answers. I see that housing and taxes are considerably cheaper in the Winston Salem area but what about other household expenses such as Gas/Oil, Electric, Water, Sewer, Trash collection, landscaping, other I'm not thinking of? We have a 1600 sq foot house plus full basement (finished but we do not use it often so heat is kept low).
Current approximate monthly costs:
Oil: $250-$300
Electric: $ 150 - $175
Water/Sewer: $30 - $40
Trash: $0 (Included in taxes)
Landscaping: $60 ($30 biweekly)

We have two small children (4 and 6) and plan to visit the area to get a feel for it. What are some good and fun places to take them when we have time?

Last edited by LoriH1234; 02-03-2015 at 11:12 AM.. Reason: Additional information
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,401 posts, read 19,422,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH1234 View Post
My husband has an opportunity for a possible relocation to Winston-Salem. The job would be approximately a 15% pay cut for him from what he is making here and I'm trying to understand how that balances in the end with the cost of living decrease. I've done all the online calculators they vary so much and are pretty vague, so I was hoping for some real life answers. I see that housing and taxes are considerably cheaper in the Winston Salem area but what about other household expenses such as Gas/Oil, Electric, Water, Sewer, Trash collection, landscaping, other I'm not thinking of? We have a 1600 sq foot house plus full basement (finished but we do not use it often so heat is kept low).
Current approximate monthly costs:
Oil: $250-$300
Electric: $ 150 - $175
Water/Sewer: $30 - $40
Trash: $0 (Included in taxes)
Landscaping: $60 ($30 biweekly)
In general, people say that the main savings from NY to NC is in housing cost and especially property taxes. Most other things are about the same, plus NC has a tax on food and groceries.

Basements are rare in NC, FYI (not that you said you were expecting one).

Also, I don't know if you have children in school, but NC school districts are (with few exceptions) at the county level, not every little town and village. Many New Yorkers are not happy about that.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:10 AM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,527,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH1234 View Post
My husband has an opportunity for a possible relocation to Winston-Salem. The job would be approximately a 15% pay cut for him from what he is making here and I'm trying to understand how that balances in the end with the cost of living decrease. I've done all the online calculators they vary so much and are pretty vague, so I was hoping for some real life answers. I see that housing and taxes are considerably cheaper in the Winston Salem area but what about other household expenses such as Gas/Oil, Electric, Water, Sewer, Trash collection, landscaping, other I'm not thinking of? We have a 1600 sq foot house plus full basement (finished but we do not use it often so heat is kept low).
Current approximate monthly costs:
Oil: $250-$300
Electric: $ 150 - $175
Water/Sewer: $30 - $40
Trash: $0 (Included in taxes)
Landscaping: $60 ($30 biweekly)
A lot of this really depends on your usage, doesn't it?
Oil is running around 3/gal last I checked. Your estimate is on the high side in my experience, but that really depends on the efficiency of your furnace and how warm you keep your house. I will say that oil is the exception here, not the norm. Gas is more common. Either way, I think your estimate is high, especially given the milder climate here.
Your electric estimate is also quite high for winter. In the summer, your AC will push your costs higher than your estimate. Again, that all depends on how energy efficient your home is and where you keep your thermostat.
Water is close to right, and I have no idea about landscaping, as I've always done my own.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:14 AM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,527,643 times
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Originally Posted by Francois View Post
In general, people say that the main savings from NY to NC is in housing cost and especially property taxes. Most other things are about the same, plus NC has a tax on food and groceries.
Good point, though the grocery tax is lower than the regular sales tax (2%)

Quote:
Basements are rare in NC, FYI (not that you said you were expecting one).
They're not that rare in Winston-Salem. A whole lot of homes have them here, and most of the ones I've been in are walkouts.

Quote:
Also, I don't know if you have children in school, but NC school districts are (with few exceptions) at the county level, not every little town and village. Many New Yorkers are not happy about that.
True in Winston. The district is divided into zones, though.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:20 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,415 times
Reputation: 10
Default Possible Relocation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
In general, people say that the main savings from NY to NC is in housing cost and especially property taxes. Most other things are about the same, plus NC has a tax on food and groceries.

Basements are rare in NC, FYI (not that you said you were expecting one).

Also, I don't know if you have children in school, but NC school districts are (with few exceptions) at the county level, not every little town and village. Many New Yorkers are not happy about that.
Thanks so much! Didn't know basements are rare that's always good to know. I saw what you mentioned about the schools and it did confuse me a bit. We have a 1st grader and one starting Kindergarten, so schools are important. How does the zoning work? Are schools assigned by area from K-12 or is there other criteria that may change what school your child attends?
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:25 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBredChicagoan View Post
A lot of this really depends on your usage, doesn't it?
Oil is running around 3/gal last I checked. Your estimate is on the high side in my experience, but that really depends on the efficiency of your furnace and how warm you keep your house. I will say that oil is the exception here, not the norm. Gas is more common. Either way, I think your estimate is high, especially given the milder climate here.
Your electric estimate is also quite high for winter. In the summer, your AC will push your costs higher than your estimate. Again, that all depends on how energy efficient your home is and where you keep your thermostat.
Water is close to right, and I have no idea about landscaping, as I've always done my own.
Thank you! On Long Island most homes were built in the 50s and 60s so that accounts for why some of it appears a bit high. We've done a lot to make our home more energy efficient but there is only so much you can do. Plus our electric rates are supposedly some of the highest in the nation. I was hoping gas would be more common because it is typically a slightly cheaper alternative.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:34 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,496 posts, read 62,152,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH1234 View Post
We have a 1600 sq foot house plus full basement .
You'll be able to replace that home for a lot less than NY prices.
Focus on the areas West and NW of W-S proper.

Quote:
I've done all the online calculators they vary so much and are pretty vague...
Really? Here are the three I've found reliable, informative and easy to navigate:

https://www.richblockspoorblocks.com/
Cost of Living Calculator | Comparison Tool
Family Budget Calculator | Economic Policy Institute
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:56 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
You'll be able to replace that home for a lot less than NY prices.
Focus on the areas West and NW of W-S proper.

Really? Here are the three I've found reliable, informative and easy to navigate:

https://www.richblockspoorblocks.com/
Cost of Living Calculator | Comparison Tool
Family Budget Calculator | Economic Policy Institute
I appreciate the links.

The bankrate one is way off for me because of the way it calculates the metro area.

www.richblockspoorblocks.com is interesting and will be helpful but I don't see a cost of living comparison.

Family Budget Calculator | Economic Policy Institute has great info and helps

The most informative research so far has been from just the few responses here.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:42 PM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,527,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH1234 View Post
How does the zoning work? Are schools assigned by area from K-12 or is there other criteria that may change what school your child attends?
Based on your address, your child is assigned to a school. The school, meanwhile, is grouped with several other schools into a zone, which acts as a sort of mini-district. If you're happy with your assigned residential school, that's the end of the story for you. If not, you have several choices.
- You can apply to one of several magnet schools, which exists outside of the zone structure and which usually have specific focuses (the arts, STEM, etc.)
- You can request to attend one of the other schools in your zone (residents for whom the school is assigned get dibs, and those who live within the zone but are assigned to another school get second priority)
- If there's a school outside of your zone that you'd like your child to attend, you can apply for any spots that remain after students inside the zone have made their choice.

There's more on the process here: Student Assignment / Student Assignment
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,105,692 times
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IMO a 15% reduction in pay to live in NC would be a no-brainer. I grew up in NYS, and I figure it would take at least a 50% increase in pay to have the same lifestyle if I considered a return to NY.
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