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Old 02-09-2007, 10:21 AM
 
52 posts, read 222,002 times
Reputation: 63

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Greetings,
I have a chance to move to either Houston or New York and would like your feedback to help me decide. I'm looking at it from a career point of view. I'm a 34 yr old male with 10 yrs corporate finance experience. Both cities are large, international cities and offer great career opportunities. I'd be interested in hearing from people that have lived and worked in either city about thier experiences, likes/dislikes, etc, quality of life , etc. I realise New York's real-estate is untouchable (at least for me) and have taken that into account. Just want to read about different thoughts/perscpetives to make sure i've covered all my angles when making this tough decision. My family is in the NE.

thanks
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:24 PM
 
59 posts, read 295,733 times
Reputation: 42
Hi,

I'm a native New Yorker who lived worked there most of my life. My husband, family and I are currently in South FL and have just purchased a home in The Woodlands, TX (suburb of Houston). We originally moved to FL for a job transfer...now my husband is self employed and I'm a stay at home mom. We've chosen Houston for its overall affordability for housing. However, I would tend to be biased toward NYC if I were going to be aggressive with my career and wanted/needed to work for a major corporation. Although Houston does have a growing job market, there will be no city in the country that can compare to the opportunities that NYC will give you. Many may argue but I've lived in several major cities as well as have familiy members who live in other major cities and none of us have ever equalled what NYC is able to give us (with the exception of one cousin who was transferred from with the same company to New Orleans...but now they've got him back in NY again.

Now...as far as real estate. No way you're going to live in the city (Manhattan) unless you want to shell out BIGGGGG bucks for a closet. My recommendation is to check out Queens, Brooklyn (both have very nice areas these days, although they can be very pricey too)...then check out the further out suburbs going toward upstate. I have plenty of friends and family who live in Rockland County, Westchester County and Putnam County. I also have relatives who commute in from Connecticut and New Jersey. Now you may think that this all sounds like what the heck I'm talking about, but the truth is that our mass transportation is excellent and affords you to live far out and still be commutable into the city. Even if you were to live in Queens or Bkly you'd still have at least a 45-60 minute commute to your office by subway. In comparison, the MetroRail from CT or upstate will get you into the city in about an hour or so. I don't recommend driving in the city AT ALL. (When I say city I mean Manhattan).

You'll have excellent dining options (again better than any other place in the country), shopping, culture and nightlife in NYC.

Having said that....you won't get a mansion sized house in pristine condition for an affordable price like you can get in the Houston area. You will have inclement weather during the winter, and it will be hot and humid in the summer. Schools? Private.

Houston probably won't be able to match salary, but you won't need to make as much with the lower cost of living. Houston DOES have a very decent cultural scene, with the number of theater seats 2nd only to NYC. Very good restaurants, it's own resident opera house and ballet troupe. Don't know much about the nightclubs...but I can't imagine they could top what you'd see in NYC (trust me I've seen a lot).

Anyway, I can go on and on...if you have specific questions feel free to send me a pm.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:13 PM
 
107 posts, read 405,160 times
Reputation: 42
I've never lived in NYC, but my husband is from Brooklyn. Something he mentioned to me once is that if you work in NYC and live outside the city (New Jersey, Connecticut, even Long Island I think), you end up paying double taxes. Not exactly sure how this works, or even if it's accurate, but it's probably something you'll want to research, as it could add to your expenses if you choose NYC.

I think HonieB made some excellent points about the pros and cons of each location.
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:58 PM
 
Location: san francisco bay area
300 posts, read 1,402,375 times
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I am originally from the Northeast and my spouse is from Brooklyn. Your spouse may be referring to the non resident city wage tax (also called the commuter wage tax), which people who worked in New York, but lived in Connecticut or New Jersey, had to pay. A commuter wage tax still exists in some Northeast cities, most notably Philadelphia. In 1999, however, New York's commuter tax was repealed. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer in spring 2006 discusses this issue.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:45 PM
 
Location: The house on the hill
872 posts, read 2,144,780 times
Reputation: 566
My brother lived in Houston for four years, then moved to NYC for four years. I asked him his thoughts on this. One of the big things he mentioned was owning a car. He didn't take his with him when he moved to NYC because it isn't necessary to own one there...it's a walking city. If you like having a car, and a house, Houston would make more sense. If you are solely looking to make the most of your career, NYC may be the way to go.

What's going to give you the best quality of life?
~K~
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 403,793 times
Reputation: 206
Not all of New York is big in dense, especially the suburbs.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:27 PM
 
107 posts, read 405,160 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nooneknowsmyname View Post
I am originally from the Northeast and my spouse is from Brooklyn. Your spouse may be referring to the non resident city wage tax (also called the commuter wage tax), which people who worked in New York, but lived in Connecticut or New Jersey, had to pay. A commuter wage tax still exists in some Northeast cities, most notably Philadelphia. In 1999, however, New York's commuter tax was repealed. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer in spring 2006 discusses this issue.
Thanks for clearing this up! I'll have to pass it along to the husband.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:44 PM
 
59 posts, read 295,733 times
Reputation: 42
Hi again,

The commuter taxes (when they existed), city taxes, etc. would all be taken out of your paycheck before you get it. So it's not like you actually "miss" the money, or have to save up to make sure you're paying your taxes at the end of the year. Like I said before, I lived and worked in NYC most of my life. The paychecks are larger than what you'd generally get elsewhere, and although it looks like the taxes are draining your wallet, I still think you have more money in the long run, especially if you work for a large corporation...you have your bonuses, benefits, etc.

Unless the originator of this thread is very wealthy I don't think he's going to want to buy a home in Manhattan....it's just way too out of control for what you get. However, that depends on his desire to be part of the city "life". If I were single, no kids, I'd love to live in the city...married -- the suburban life for me for sure. Although you definitely don't need a car for the city itself, if you do live in Bklyn/Queens/Long Island or other suburban areas, you will need the car. But most likely you'll be using it mainly on weekends.

I'm not sure, but I think the cost of gas will be more expensive in NY than Houston.

Oh, and I forgot to mention one other thing.....the people in TX (in general) will probably be more friendly in terms of neighborliness. New Yorkers tend to mind their own business....period. I need to clarify this a bit though since everyone who's not from NY seems to think that New Yorkers are not friendly. Not true....it's just that the city is SO fast paced and we are trained young to "keep to ourselves" to avoid getting singled out by would be scammers, muggers, etc. I personally have never been mugged, but I have had a few minor incidents with thug personalities. New Yorkers need to be tough...but that does not mean they won't run to your aid if you need it. Also, if you need to ask directions from someone on the street be sure to ask loudly or the person will probably just rush by you (not intentionally)...that's just the way it is. It's FAST PACED.

Houston seems much more laid back, with the exception of the traffic thing.

There....that's enough diatribe for now. lol
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:00 PM
 
Location: san francisco bay area
300 posts, read 1,402,375 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by HonieB View Post
Hi again,

The commuter taxes (when they existed), city taxes, etc. would all be taken out of your paycheck before you get it. So it's not like you actually "miss" the money, or have to save up to make sure you're paying your taxes at the end of the year.
Of course non- resident city wage taxes were/are taken out of ones paycheck before the person received it. This is just like other taxes--federal and state, which are taken out of a paycheck before the person receives it. As far as whether a person "misses" the money, that is debatable. If by missing the money you mean that you never had it to begin with, then I agree. However, whether the taxes taken out are federal, state, or non resident city wage taxes, the end result is that one has less money in one's paycheck. Therefore, I am not sure one doesn't "miss" the money unless the argument is that one can't miss what one never had. I'm not sure I agree. When I worked in Philadelphia, I paid 5% percent city wage tax and belive me, I "missed" that money.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:12 AM
 
59 posts, read 295,733 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nooneknowsmyname View Post
If by missing the money you mean that you never had it to begin with, then I agree.
Of course that's what I meant. And if you're going to "miss" money that's being taken out of your paycheck then it doesn't matter where you live, taxes happen. Payscale at the level the original writer of this thread works at will obviously be at a good amount to offset cost of living in NYC. Again, I've already commented on the lower cost of living in the Houston area...but pay will also be lower most likely.
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