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Old 03-17-2007, 04:17 PM
 
7 posts, read 35,414 times
Reputation: 11

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16 months ago I moved to West Islip after living my whole life in Brooklyn. I moved there because after I married I decided to move to my wife's town (her daughter was a student at West Islip High). I really liked the town and decided to buy a home here.

That's when the sticker shock hit us. Most "starter" home were priced at 350,000 and up. We could have afforded something in this price range but there was one problem: it would have required BOTH of us working full time. Since we had decided to have children (she is currently 7 months pregnant), we knew that we had to rely on one salary alone. So we decided to rent a house in town for 2,000 a month.

After a year of renting, we again looked for homes on the south shore with good school districts and a reasonable commute to the city (West Islip, Babylon, West Babylon, East Islip, etc.), but were still priced out. So we decided to buy either a condo or small starter home in central Jersey.

We are now closing on a small ranch in Monroe Township for 280,000 with property taxes of 2,500 a year. There is no way we could have gotten anything like this in a good school district on Long Island.

It's a shame that Long Island is continuing to bleed young couples and families at an alarming rate because of its high housing costs. In the future, where will civil servants and working class people live on the Island? One reasonable solution would be to have condos, town homes, and apartment complexes in good school districts, but most of the homeowners have continually opposed these alternative housing options. The result is that their children will not settle on Long Island.

While central Jersey is not cheap, at least there IS a diversity of housing options. Those who think they might be priced out of top school districts like Manalapan, Marlboro, Monroe, and East Brunswick can buy a condo or town home, keep it for 5 or more years and build equity, and then buy a bigger home when the need comes. In both Nassau and Suffolk, this option is almost non existent (except in poorer school districts like Amityville, Freeport, Hempstead, etc.)

I liked living here in West Islip, and I have nothing good things to say about the people in this town. The school system is excellent, crime is low, and the commute to NYC is good. But unless the people of Long Island start thinking outside the box as far as housing is concerned, the "youth" drain will continue.

--H
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Old 03-17-2007, 04:39 PM
 
480 posts, read 2,611,694 times
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It's unfortunate that you couldn't make a go of it. Thems is the breaks.

Good luck in New Jersey.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:08 PM
 
62 posts, read 301,553 times
Reputation: 25
Good Luck in NJ...I feel your sentiments about LI are dead on when it comes to the housing markets here. I think although many LOVE being here, when it come down to simple numbers on paper it just can't work. I don't think in the future there will be any room for working class or middle class (although this is becoming more extinct). We are looking outside of LI too...either PA, upstate NY or NJ. Many of my contemporaries either own homes or have families but say they can't do both b/c it is very expensive to own a home on one salary but putting a child in day care and working full time can be just as expensive, therefore it is not like you even have the second salary to contribute to the mortgage. This is why you see so many "youth" on LI living with their parents into their late 20's early 30's or doing Mother/Daughter homes..it is just too hard. Good Luck to you!!! I hope you get what you are looking for!
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:47 AM
 
1,241 posts, read 3,602,120 times
Reputation: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by colonhcp View Post
16 months ago I moved to West Islip after living my whole life in Brooklyn. I moved there because after I married I decided to move to my wife's town (her daughter was a student at West Islip High). I really liked the town and decided to buy a home here.

That's when the sticker shock hit us. Most "starter" home were priced at 350,000 and up. We could have afforded something in this price range but there was one problem: it would have required BOTH of us working full time. Since we had decided to have children (she is currently 7 months pregnant), we knew that we had to rely on one salary alone. So we decided to rent a house in town for 2,000 a month.

After a year of renting, we again looked for homes on the south shore with good school districts and a reasonable commute to the city (West Islip, Babylon, West Babylon, East Islip, etc.), but were still priced out. So we decided to buy either a condo or small starter home in central Jersey.

We are now closing on a small ranch in Monroe Township for 280,000 with property taxes of 2,500 a year. There is no way we could have gotten anything like this in a good school district on Long Island.

It's a shame that Long Island is continuing to bleed young couples and families at an alarming rate because of its high housing costs. In the future, where will civil servants and working class people live on the Island? One reasonable solution would be to have condos, town homes, and apartment complexes in good school districts, but most of the homeowners have continually opposed these alternative housing options. The result is that their children will not settle on Long Island.

While central Jersey is not cheap, at least there IS a diversity of housing options. Those who think they might be priced out of top school districts like Manalapan, Marlboro, Monroe, and East Brunswick can buy a condo or town home, keep it for 5 or more years and build equity, and then buy a bigger home when the need comes. In both Nassau and Suffolk, this option is almost non existent (except in poorer school districts like Amityville, Freeport, Hempstead, etc.)

I liked living here in West Islip, and I have nothing good things to say about the people in this town. The school system is excellent, crime is low, and the commute to NYC is good. But unless the people of Long Island start thinking outside the box as far as housing is concerned, the "youth" drain will continue.

--H
Starter houses in decent areas of Long Island (especially Nassau County) are more like $500,000 and up not '$350,000 & up' unless you are considering Suffolk county east of Ronkonkoma. And seriously... having kids and thinking surviving on ONE Income in the NYC metro area AND even considering buying a house. Sounds pretty risky to me -- unless one of you is making over $300,000 a year and comes from a very wealthy family. What happens after taking a few years off when you finally want to go back to work?? How do you think employers will treat that employment gap??

And the reason why 'so many people' in their 20's & 30's are still living at home has nothing to do high housing prices & rents but everything to do with bad financial management & the desire to spend money on designer clothes every day or so, $50,000 cars usually leased, and a few hundred or more every weekend going out to clubs. If you are living completely rent free in mommy's basement you can do all of these things on an $70,000 year entry level salary.

And your analysis of townhomes, condos & other 'alternative options' both on Long Island & Central Jersey is completely flawed and wrong. There isn't this group of homeowners who are opposed to this type of housing on Long Island. There are more going up across Nassau county than any time in recent history. Housing both in type of housing & price is dictated by market forces & demographics.

And no, they usually aren't much cheaper in 'top school districts' in those areas of NJ that you mentioned especially when you add in HOA fees, & Real Estate taxes to your mortgage payment.

Last edited by NickL28; 03-18-2007 at 12:56 AM..
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:22 AM
 
7 posts, read 35,414 times
Reputation: 11
While its true that in Nassau good areas are well over 400,000, in Western Suffolk there are still homes just under 400,000 in decent school districts. But like I said when you have children and your spouse needs to stay home, even a 400,000 home is impossible on a civil servant's (teacher in my case) salary.

The only reason Central Jersey is possible is because there are more housing options; Long Islanders have repeatedly refused to consider diversifying their housing stock unless they live in depressed areas (Central Islip just built "workforce housing" for example).

Another reason driving away many is the high taxes, mainly because Long Islanders insist on maintaining their boutique school districts. Most areas of the country have county wide districts, and New Jersey has township districts. The village of Babylon has less than 3,000 students and pays their superintendent a salary between 200,000 -400,000 dollars! There are many high schools in the city that big, and the principals who run them make only 130,000. Going to town wide districts would save money, but would Long Islanders go for it? I doubt it. But they moan and groan about their sky high taxes knowing full well that school taxes are the biggest part of their bill.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
161 posts, read 626,756 times
Reputation: 37
LI is a great place to live if you make enough money to support the taxes and utilities. Then, you are usually only left with enough money to fix up your older home or update your reasonably aged home. While raising a family, double wage earners are a necessity in most homes at some point in the family's life. I love LI; born and raised there. When my taxes hit 16,000 pr yr.,and my husband's two business; manufacturing, aggregate mining/construction, began to experience a cyclical downturn, we began to consider a relocation. We decided on Raleigh, weather is great, climate is business friendly, and it has a real LI feel. We made the move last year and although I miss my friends, there is nothing else to miss. Homes, taxes, utilities, and even car insurance are almost half. There is a wholesomeness that can only be experienced by living here. No $150. per plate Sweet Sixteen parties etc....My daughter doesn't ask for designer jeans or pocketbooks and she is just as happy-probably more so. We don't live like hicks; on the contrary we have a thriving business and a great deal more discretionary income. I feel sorry for the people of LI because there are so many issues that will dampen any upturn economically for many industries. In Manufacturing alone, there was just no way to compete with other areas of the country let alone other areas of the world. Unions add a grave impact on costs. There is much waste in that area in that the Unions have to self perpetuate their jobs; hence inefficiency in school budgets. Costs are high for Insurance and the Department of Labor/ Workmans Comp due to the large amount of Fraud.
The bottom line is that LI is and island, no where else to build affordable housing, out east is protected by the Pine Barrens Association and local townships are corrupt and do not allow business friendly master plans to be enacted. That leaves no growth which translates to no future for your children, unless of course they are doctors, nurses, lawyers, wall street exec.,teachers, cops or owners of insurance companies. Check out the demographics and it's plain to see that in the last 5 years, adults leaving the Island are numbered at 12,802. This means a contraction for this region. Remember Allentown. Most regions do not recover from contractions, demographically speaking. Information derived from www.enterprise.star-telegram.com (broken link). Good luck to all of you, try to fight for your island and if you realize you can't win, consider Raleigh NC.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:25 PM
Status: "Seattle here I come!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Dirty Jerz
1,020 posts, read 4,231,355 times
Reputation: 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by colonhcp View Post
16 months ago I moved to West Islip after living my whole life in Brooklyn. I moved there because after I married I decided to move to my wife's town (her daughter was a student at West Islip High). I really liked the town and decided to buy a home here.

That's when the sticker shock hit us. Most "starter" home were priced at 350,000 and up. We could have afforded something in this price range but there was one problem: it would have required BOTH of us working full time. Since we had decided to have children (she is currently 7 months pregnant), we knew that we had to rely on one salary alone. So we decided to rent a house in town for 2,000 a month.

After a year of renting, we again looked for homes on the south shore with good school districts and a reasonable commute to the city (West Islip, Babylon, West Babylon, East Islip, etc.), but were still priced out. So we decided to buy either a condo or small starter home in central Jersey.

We are now closing on a small ranch in Monroe Township for 280,000 with property taxes of 2,500 a year. There is no way we could have gotten anything like this in a good school district on Long Island.

It's a shame that Long Island is continuing to bleed young couples and families at an alarming rate because of its high housing costs. In the future, where will civil servants and working class people live on the Island? One reasonable solution would be to have condos, town homes, and apartment complexes in good school districts, but most of the homeowners have continually opposed these alternative housing options. The result is that their children will not settle on Long Island.

While central Jersey is not cheap, at least there IS a diversity of housing options. Those who think they might be priced out of top school districts like Manalapan, Marlboro, Monroe, and East Brunswick can buy a condo or town home, keep it for 5 or more years and build equity, and then buy a bigger home when the need comes. In both Nassau and Suffolk, this option is almost non existent (except in poorer school districts like Amityville, Freeport, Hempstead, etc.)

I liked living here in West Islip, and I have nothing good things to say about the people in this town. The school system is excellent, crime is low, and the commute to NYC is good. But unless the people of Long Island start thinking outside the box as far as housing is concerned, the "youth" drain will continue.

--H
I hate to break it to ya. But NJ isnt much better! You bought a condo thats why your taxes are low. Wait till you buy a house!
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:57 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 19,303,398 times
Reputation: 4664
Good luck to you, OP.
Sadly, the North East is so expensive. Every day we hear about the exiting of our families to the south.
People don't understand 'how' you can leave Long Island, but for many of us, it's not a matter of 'how' but 'must'.

Why this upsets people (when others say it's very hard to make it here) confounds me.
Enjoy your new place.
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Old 03-19-2007, 06:17 AM
 
991 posts, read 4,154,766 times
Reputation: 288
Congratulations on the new place! and best of luck with the new baby!
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:53 AM
 
62 posts, read 301,553 times
Reputation: 25
[quote=NickL28;468962]Starter houses in decent areas of Long Island (especially Nassau County) are more like $500,000 and up not '$350,000 & up' unless you are considering Suffolk county east of Ronkonkoma. And seriously... having kids and thinking surviving on ONE Income in the NYC metro area AND even considering buying a house. Sounds pretty risky to me -- unless one of you is making over $300,000 a year and comes from a very wealthy family. What happens after taking a few years off when you finally want to go back to work?? How do you think employers will treat that employment gap??

And the reason why 'so many people' in their 20's & 30's are still living at home has nothing to do high housing prices & rents but everything to do with bad financial management & the desire to spend money on designer clothes every day or so, $50,000 cars usually leased, and a few hundred or more every weekend going out to clubs. If you are living completely rent free in mommy's basement you can do all of these things on an $70,000 year entry level salary.
QUOTE]

I disagree with your statements above...but you are entitled to your opinion. I don't understand why so many people are so upset about those of us who have to leave LI, it is not that we don't like it here, it is the truth about being priced out of an area. All you want is the best for your family w/o having to go into bankrupcy in the future just to stay here. My husband and I have minimal debt, he has a great paying job and I worked a job f/t until I had children and left to care for them. Now I work 2 part time jobs at night so we don't get stuck with the biggest day care bill on top of everything else. It is a sacrafice one will make to spend time with their children. But depsite the 3 incomes we have, it is still to expensive for us unless we want to live in a less than desireable location on LI. So we are opting to move. The school taxes are out of control. And it is sad b/c some of the schools don't really do great things for their students but many of their teachers make over $100K a year (take CI for example..the high school teachers make so much $ and more than half the students can't speak english or can't pass the regents or state exams). But yet my mom who lives in CI pays school taxes/property taxes through the roof.

All I can say is being a working mom in the HR profession who spent years recruiting for companies and is now home raising her own children...it is easier to explain staying home to take care of your children, then having no job for months, or running from job to job. Many mgrs that I worked for would rather have someone who had a leave from their employment due to raising a child, then job hopping b/c it shows how unloyal you are to a company and are not likely to remain there long term. So I would not worry about your wife staying home to care for the baby. When she is ready to go back to work, I am sure she will have no problem. But enjoy your time with the baby. The years go by to quickly.
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