im no expert, but i've lived in brooklyn all my life. Lots of your questions are subjective, as many people might consider what i think SAFE, as just OK.
but i'll give you my honest answers. and then i'll rant in general.
1) Brooklyn, queens, bronx, lower parts of long island are not suburbs. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Staten island and the outer part of Long Island CAN be, but the commute sucks.
2) i will generalize for most of the 4 locations mentioned above,
a) a 1-2 bedroom APARTMENT rents on average for 1400 PLUS
b) Houses in "NICE" whitish areas sell for 550k PLUS. dont expect much f a backyard, if any. No front yard either. and most of the houses will be attached.
3) nyc public school system, well its not very good.. yes, there maybe a locality or 2 where its actually ok. but i dont think its GOOD.
a) Most of the public schools have a teacher:student ratio of well over 1:30.
b) Private schools, last i checked cost between 10-20,000 per year, depending on the schools.
c) Daycare and babysitters are expensive as well. babysitters charging between 12 and $19 per hour. daycares are about 700-1000 per month.
d) there only FREE thing is the FREE PRE-K which is only free for 3 hours per day. Then your child enters school at 5yrs old to kindergarten.
4) car insurance, depending on age, marraige, credit score, driving record, and whether you want full or just liability can range from 900-3000 per year. Many of the top insurance firms dont insure for more than 6 months at a time anymore. it used to be just gieco, but now i've noticed many of them are doing that.
5) Groceries. Depends on what you eat and how much. Everything costs more in manhattan no matter what. Supermarkets are generally even priced across the borough, and it would do you well to take advantages of sales. Im sure nyc and the boroughs cost more than most places tho.
6) lifestyle. depends. Drinks in bars, $4-8 beers, 7-12 drinks, $25 covers for most clubs. Dinner for 2 1/2 at a franchise spot, $35 - 80. Dinner for 2 1/2 at a REAL place eating steaks and stuff $75 and up. Lots to see, lots to do. Will you take the time to do them tho?
7) city tax on purchases 8.25%
8) commute. from most "affordable, nice areas" in the boroughs you are looking at a 40minute to an hour and half commute. Lots depends on where you live and where in the city you work.
a) if you live in the boroughs and are nuts enough to drive, you should leave EARLY and parking is roughly $35 a day, depending on WHERE in the city you park. if you have a stable job, you can rent a parking spot for about $700 per month. again, it all depends where you park.
b) most people take the train to work. Train costs $2 each way, with a monthly card (unlimited rides) costing $76
c) express busses from the boroughs exist and work well. to the tune of $5 each way, no "unlimited" options.
d) your average "city" lunch costs about $10 per day, unless you hit the lunch carts on the streets, you can get their food for $5.
Now for my rant.
I speak mostly of what i see in brooklyn, but on my visits to queens and the bronx and stuff, plus my search to buy a house, i will discuss. In no way am i trying to discourage you from a NY purchase, but unless you make alot of $$ or have a few years to wait on a waiting list to live in the projects, nyc is not the place to BUY, unless you can afford it. Personally i think most of the condos are waaay over valued, but im hardly the visionary that can imagine what nyc will be like in 10 years. who knows.
Many many many 1 family homes are being bought up and torn down to put up 3 - 6 family condos. many 3 family homes are being bought to put up 6 story condo buildings. the condos cost roughly 300k-1mil. im not talking downtown either. those condos start at about 700k. for 1 bedroom
Its pretty hard buying a house in nyc these days. it can be done, but it costs a ton for almost no house. a concrete backyard and a 5' x 5' patch of grass in the front. There are still places that it can be done, but the market is still reaaaally hot in nyc and the boroughs.
Even in classically DANGEROUS areas, bed-stuy, buschwick, east ny, houses are going for 600k. and they are beat up peices of crap. but they are there.
NYC in general is going thru a huge turn around. The middle class is leaving in droves, as it has been for ages. And the lower class, which has enjoyed many a fruitful time in nyc with all the welfare and benefits is getting driven out by lack of subsidised housing. All the buildings in "bad" areas are being torn down and IMMEDIATELY being re-built into high priced condos.
As for your ethnic preferences, the asian community still has the advantage over the indian, although not by much. The asian community is older and more established and has moved in to many of the places left behind by the italian community that left in the 80s and 90s. (they went to staten island, outer long island and jersey). at least in brooklyn, those were the nicer suburban type areas of the boroughs.
The closer you are to the chinatowns, the crappier the houses. Same with the indian (im assuming pakistani, indian, middle eastern). Sorry if i generalize and im not extremely politically correct. I was born n raised in brooklyn, so i tend to stereotype much of everything.
From conversations i've had with people, there are very very very few people making 100-150 with families looking to purchase in the nyc area. its just not doable, unless you have 100k to put for a downpayment. I myself am looking to move to jersey. I know cost wise, its almost neck and neck, but $300k will buy you a 1 bedroom condo in nyc and not much else. it can buy ALOT more in jersey. you also have an opportunity to work in jersey and make the same $$ you are making in nyc and then you can drive to work. IN ny, you kinda gotta work in NYC to make the real $$.. and that means the train/bus.
Anyway, theres tons and tons i can complain/compliment, but i would say your BEST options are outer long island or northern jersey. They are just as expensive as NY, but they are not NY. you can buy a HOUSE, grass, trees, etc. Schools where the teacher isnt scared of 75% of her kids and theres only 20 kids in the class. You can still commute to the city to make big $$ but theres also LOTS of opportunity in NJ and LI to work closer to home and still make some nice $$
To give you an idea of my expenses.
i make approx 90,000 per year. information tech industry
pay child support for 3 kids. (thats 30% of my check)so i really make 60k/yr
am remarried with a daughter.
MY wife works (mostly to pay for child care, we got a local babysitter to watch her for $150 a week)
my rent is 1400 per month for a 3 bedroom apartment in a so-so area. and thats CHEAP for a 3 bedroom. in brooklyn
cable tv/phone/internet about $150
electric about $80 average
$80 month for commuting to work.
i dont own a car anymore (too expensive. gas n insurance.)
$250 a month on healthcare for the family, the company picks up the rest.
company paid cell-phone but thats normally another $70 month.
you can do the math, thats not including income tax, food, lifestyle, etc etc.
Originally Posted by webuser
juliann1977 , WOW! 200K to live? Is that heaven or just a peice of earth to live.
To raise a 2y old in a descent suburb close to possible IT job? either Brooklyn, Queens, Edison NJ, Iselin, NJ, Bronx etc.....
How much the 2bdr rent cost/ town home cost?
How much car insurance cost?
How much health insurance cost?
work parking/commute cost if I live in burb?
Any other hidden city cost?