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Old 10-21-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,306,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawaweewa View Post
Don't listen to these crazies on here. They'd have you think you can't live in NYC unless you're making over 500k. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the people in this City survive on much less.
What you say is true, the vast majority do live on less. 20% of that majority live BELOW the poverty line; and another 20% or more live marginally above the poverty line; another 20% earn relative middle class incomes and compared to the rest of the nation live in less space, lower quality, greater stress, and their children attend unsatisfactory schools. Most of these people are 'locked' into their lives, and cannot escape.

So, what you reccommend is for people to come to NYC and join the 'trapped' and lower life living; rather than to advise as to how to come to the NYC area and live WELL.

Just because there are people who live on crappy salaries, in crappy apartments, in crappy neighborhoods, and send their kids to crappy schools is NOT any reason to reccommend such a lifestyle.

Be honest.

A family with one child, a stay at home mother and aspirations for another child, needs a certain income to avoid the 'crappy' life. Such an income is relatively significant.

$150K w/b minimally sufficient, and entail frugality and strict budgeting. Schooling is a priority and w/b an issue. Unless this couple found an affordable home in a good school district AND was able to obtain a spot in the local school, then private school is a requisite. The range for private schooling in the five boroughs is $12K to $50K. Catholic schools are cheaper, but not for everyone.

The sort of space the OP wishes, 3bdrms, 2 bths, indictaes the level of comfort she desires. Such is de riguer everywhere else but NYC. Anything approximating what she wants comes with a minimum cost of $3K and ranges to $5K PLUS!

So, if you would care to outline for us "crackpots" how a couple earning less, say $100K, can pay the minimum for rent, schooling, and other expenses, not to mention daycare, and NOT live the 'crappy' life, it w/b appreciated.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:30 AM
 
3,333 posts, read 3,282,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbook2 View Post
I'm not so sure you're going to like it here in NYC. I just started a job in Manhattan with the same expectations as you. We wanted a single family house with a yard, good schools, and within 30-45min of NYC. We also have two little children, a 4yr old and a 10month old. We could NOT find a house under $500k that met those criteria. and the property taxes are at a minimum $12k/yr for those houses. Do the math, that's a minimum $3000/mo mortgage! Day care... in Hartford, it was $650/mo for 4 days, in NYC it's $2500/mo for 6 days, or $1900/mo for 4 days in New Rochelle. My wife and my combined salary would $120k/yr and that was just unrealistic in NYC unless we lived in a crappy neighborhood or a 2 bedroom closet.

And the commute?? Yes, the train from New Rochelle or other places is 30min into Grand Central......... but you first need to get to the train station, then probably take a subway or bus to your final workplace. Depending on where you work, you CANNOT find a door-to-door commute shorter than 1hr no matter where you live and no matter what mode of transport you take (drive, train, bus, walk, bike, ferry). That's at least 10-15hrs a week that your husband will not be home, in addition to the 60hr work week he'll be required to do at his job.

I am thankfully planning to go back to West Hartford and return to my old job, after being in NYC for 1 week. The pay is 40% higher here, but the cost of living is at least 250%. It was simply not worth it to attempt to scrape by every step of the way. There simply won't be enough time in your day leftover to spend time with your family. There's another thread in this forum, started by me, on this same topic. A basic way of looking at it is that your current "difficulty of living" index (based on my own experience) is about a 1 in the midwest, which is the same for me in West Hartford, CT. Boston might be a 1.5, Philly a 2, DC a 4. NYC is 500 or more. I've stayed in the city too, I love it, and I have family in Manhattan, however its INSANE to try to work here with a family.

If you have no other job, then try it out, especi
ally since your baby is only a year old. No need to rush to settle so they can start kindergarten. However, it is bloody expensive, and unless your husband is making $200k/yr, it really is impractical. I never ever thought it would be this hard before I came here. Take it from someone who just did what you are thinking of doing!
The problem is that you didn't know where to look.

I live in a very nice neighborhood in Brooklyn (Mill Basin/BergenBeach). This is a perfect neighborhood for families. Within the last 6 months a few houses sold for around 500k. Property taxes around here average 5k for a 40x100 lot. We have a huge (and clean) park (http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/josephtmcguirepark) with tennis courts, roller hockey, voleyball, baseball/soccer/football fields and we're right by the bay. The parks dept. is building a toddler park now that should be done by the summer of 2012.

The Train is literally a 15 min ride by car and then another 30-40 min into the city. If you want to go bus--> train then it'll take up an extra 20 min. The belt parkway is a 5 min ride away and so is the Flatbush Ave commercial strip.

I'm sure there are neighborhoods like this in Queens and there are certainly a few more in Brooklyn (certain sections of Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach).

You didn't know where to look. Many transplants believe that the outer boroughs are jungles to be feared when in fact they could find everything they want in them. You just have to know where to look.

Last edited by wawaweewa; 10-21-2011 at 09:43 AM..
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:41 AM
 
3,333 posts, read 3,282,964 times
Reputation: 2834
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoltrane View Post
What you say is true, the vast majority do live on less. 20% of that majority live BELOW the poverty line; and another 20% or more live marginally above the poverty line; another 20% earn relative middle class incomes and compared to the rest of the nation live in less space, lower quality, greater stress, and their children attend unsatisfactory schools. Most of these people are 'locked' into their lives, and cannot escape.

So, what you reccommend is for people to come to NYC and join the 'trapped' and lower life living; rather than to advise as to how to come to the NYC area and live WELL.

Just because there are people who live on crappy salaries, in crappy apartments, in crappy neighborhoods, and send their kids to crappy schools is NOT any reason to reccommend such a lifestyle.

Be honest.

A family with one child, a stay at home mother and aspirations for another child, needs a certain income to avoid the 'crappy' life. Such an income is relatively significant.

$150K w/b minimally sufficient, and entail frugality and strict budgeting. Schooling is a priority and w/b an issue. Unless this couple found an affordable home in a good school district AND was able to obtain a spot in the local school, then private school is a requisite. The range for private schooling in the five boroughs is $12K to $50K. Catholic schools are cheaper, but not for everyone.

The sort of space the OP wishes, 3bdrms, 2 bths, indictaes the level of comfort she desires. Such is de riguer everywhere else but NYC. Anything approximating what she wants comes with a minimum cost of $3K and ranges to $5K PLUS!

So, if you would care to outline for us "crackpots" how a couple earning less, say $100K, can pay the minimum for rent, schooling, and other expenses, not to mention daycare, and NOT live the 'crappy' life, it w/b appreciated.
You're nuts.

I know for a fact that what you say isn't true because my family grew up on less. All of my friends families grew up on less. All of our families made way under 150k yet we led perfectly normal middle class lives n Brooklyn, Queens, and Upper Manhattan.

You can't expropriate the sex and the city lifestyle Manhattan into the rest of NYC.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,306,676 times
Reputation: 2021
Quote:
Originally Posted by wawaweewa View Post
Why are you listening to these crackpots on here?

If your household income is upwards of $200k/annum then you'll do fine.

You can find plenty of houses in Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx in good neighborhoods for around 500k-600k. With a 200k+ income, the mortgage shouldn't be that much of a problem at all (provided you;d qualify for one at today's low rates).

If you'd like to rent, then you can rent within Manhattan but it'll cost you twice what you'd pay monthly for a house in the outer Boroughs.

Don't listen to these crazies on here. They'd have you think you can't live in NYC unless you're making over 500k. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the people in this City survive on much less.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbook2 View Post
I'm not so sure you're going to like it here in NYC. I just started a job in Manhattan with the same expectations as you. We wanted a single family house with a yard, good schools, and within 30-45min of NYC. We also have two little children, a 4yr old and a 10month old. We could NOT find a house under $500k that met those criteria. and the property taxes are at a minimum $12k/yr for those houses. Do the math, that's a minimum $3000/mo mortgage! Day care... in Hartford, it was $650/mo for 4 days, in NYC it's $2500/mo for 6 days, or $1900/mo for 4 days in New Rochelle. My wife and my combined salary would $120k/yr and that was just unrealistic in NYC unless we lived in a crappy neighborhood or a 2 bedroom closet.

And the commute?? Yes, the train from New Rochelle or other places is 30min into Grand Central......... but you first need to get to the train station, then probably take a subway or bus to your final workplace. Depending on where you work, you CANNOT find a door-to-door commute shorter than 1hr no matter where you live and no matter what mode of transport you take (drive, train, bus, walk, bike, ferry). That's at least 10-15hrs a week that your husband will not be home, in addition to the 60hr work week he'll be required to do at his job.

I am thankfully planning to go back to West Hartford and return to my old job, after being in NYC for 1 week. The pay is 40% higher here, but the cost of living is at least 250%. It was simply not worth it to attempt to scrape by every step of the way. There simply won't be enough time in your day leftover to spend time with your family. There's another thread in this forum, started by me, on this same topic. A basic way of looking at it is that your current "difficulty of living" index (based on my own experience) is about a 1 in the midwest, which is the same for me in West Hartford, CT. Boston might be a 1.5, Philly a 2, DC a 4. NYC is 500 or more. I've stayed in the city too, I love it, and I have family in Manhattan, however its INSANE to try to work here with a family.

If you have no other job, then try it out, especially since your baby is only a year old. No need to rush to settle so they can start kindergarten. However, it is bloody expensive, and unless your husband is making $200k/yr, it really is impractical. I never ever thought it would be this hard before I came here. Take it from someone who just did what you are thinking of doing!
Thank you for your very honest and real comment.

Your post s/b turned into a stickey and be the standard response for inquiries for families seeking to relocate, and live a fairly average American middle class lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are many in this forum and city, who just do not have first hand experience with the life of the average American middle class.

In addition, here in NYC, more than most anywhere in the USA, there exist an underlying class envy/resentment.

Resentment manifests most markedly in regard to schools. Most natives and long time residents are products of NYC public schools. Consequently, many are either unaware of just how poor a public school education they received; or, they simply refuse to acknowledged the reality. One reason for this is the fact that escaping the public school system, for their children, is financially impossible.

So, anyone seeking information and advise, also needs to comprehend the realities above when talking to people. The "I live there, and I went to that school; or, my kids go to that school, its not so bad....", attitude is strong among some.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:47 AM
 
692 posts, read 886,424 times
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I am going to be brutally honest-if it weren't for me landing a job at a hedge fund (not on the trading side), we would have never been able to afford a house in a good neighborhood, and I don't even mean a tony neighborhood, or a huge house, just decent 2,200 sq feet 4bds/2baths, on 60 by 100 lot. Before that, our combined income was just enough to cover rental for a junior 4 apt, where two kids of a different gender have shared 10 by 12 room, sleeping in bunk beds, and childcare, with 1 vacation a year. Even now, we are driving an 1o year old car because I would rather use the money to bring us closer to the mortgage-free state than buy a fancy set of wheels. I am sure somewhere else we could probably have a nicer and more laid back lifestyle, however, all my family and friends are here, so I wake up every morning, literally praying and thanking God for giving me health and power to make it here.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,752 posts, read 25,531,740 times
Reputation: 6676
Please read the OP's requirements before projecting a lifestyle on her that she does not want. Those who gave advice regarding the purchase, were doing so with the forecast budget in mind, and being honest about where her family could find a house given those requirements.

Sure, she could rent a 2BR apartment in Riverdale or Eastern Queens and have a 30-minute Metro-North or LIRR commute to Midtown, but the purchase price of a normal house in those areas would top $1M, with little in the way of land. Around $2.5M in Riverdale, they could likely find the land that they want, and the age/style of the house as well. Douglaston would be similar, and there are places in District 26 (highest-rated neighborhood schools in the city) that would cost less, but are on less than 1/4 of an acre of land.

Pelham in Westchester meets all of the OP's criteria, but unfortunately, close to Manhattan comes at a price, and a small house starts in the low/mid-$500s on a postage stamp of land. For a decent, older house on 1/4 acre or more, one should be looking in the $700s, with property tax bills equivalent to purchasing a compact car each year.

Brick houses are not as common in some areas, as there are many clapboard houses in NY suburbs. However, they do exist, but close to the city are at premium prices, especially with good schools. Part of the reason why the taxes are so high in Westchester, NJ, and LI are due to the small school districts that operate on the town/village level. Some towns have three school districts, like Eastchester in Westchester that has Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and Eastchester school districts, each with its own administrative staff, teachers, etc.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:08 AM
 
3,333 posts, read 3,282,964 times
Reputation: 2834
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoltrane View Post
Thank you for your very honest and real comment.

Your post s/b turned into a stickey and be the standard response for inquiries for families seeking to relocate, and live a fairly average American middle class lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are many in this forum and city, who just do not have first hand experience with the life of the average American middle class.

In addition, here in NYC, more than most anywhere in the USA, there exist an underlying class envy/resentment.

Resentment manifests most markedly in regard to schools. Most natives and long time residents are products of NYC public schools. Consequently, many are either unaware of just how poor a public school education they received; or, they simply refuse to acknowledged the reality. One reason for this is the fact that escaping the public school system, for their children, is financially impossible.

So, anyone seeking information and advise, also needs to comprehend the realities above when talking to people. The "I live there, and I went to that school; or, my kids go to that school, its not so bad....", attitude is strong among some.
Parenting is more important than schools.
Most of my friends are doing fine (as in mid 20's with near 6 figure or 6 figure incomes) and they all went to NYC's public schools.

According to your prognostications, we should all be drooling retards because we went to public schools.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:24 AM
 
3,333 posts, read 3,282,964 times
Reputation: 2834
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
Please read the OP's requirements before projecting a lifestyle on her that she does not want. Those who gave advice regarding the purchase, were doing so with the forecast budget in mind, and being honest about where her family could find a house given those requirements.

Sure, she could rent a 2BR apartment in Riverdale or Eastern Queens and have a 30-minute Metro-North or LIRR commute to Midtown, but the purchase price of a normal house in those areas would top $1M, with little in the way of land. Around $2.5M in Riverdale, they could likely find the land that they want, and the age/style of the house as well. Douglaston would be similar, and there are places in District 26 (highest-rated neighborhood schools in the city) that would cost less, but are on less than 1/4 of an acre of land.

Pelham in Westchester meets all of the OP's criteria, but unfortunately, close to Manhattan comes at a price, and a small house starts in the low/mid-$500s on a postage stamp of land. For a decent, older house on 1/4 acre or more, one should be looking in the $700s, with property tax bills equivalent to purchasing a compact car each year.

Brick houses are not as common in some areas, as there are many clapboard houses in NY suburbs. However, they do exist, but close to the city are at premium prices, especially with good schools. Part of the reason why the taxes are so high in Westchester, NJ, and LI are due to the small school districts that operate on the town/village level. Some towns have three school districts, like Eastchester in Westchester that has Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and Eastchester school districts, each with its own administrative staff, teachers, etc.
Why is it when someone asks for "close to Manhattan",it's always NJ or LI?

I can show you 500-600k houses with 5k property taxes in Brooklyn in great neighborhoods that are just as close to Manhattan. Yes, they're on 40x100 lots but if you want acreage than I suggest moving upstate.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Hamburg, NY
1,172 posts, read 2,296,659 times
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The point here is that if you grew up in the NYC Metro you have no idea how much space and ease of living people are used to in other places. My mother who lives in a middle class suburb of Buffalo has a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, totally remodeled with a jacuzzi in their bedroom, 2 car garage on a 1/4 acre lot. All for 160K and taxes of $3200! Schools rate the same as the district I live in Long Island.

My mother and stepfather may earn less than I do, but they sure as heck live better than I do! They also do not have college degrees and my wife and I do.

So to the avearge American, paying 500K for an 2 bedroom apartment in the outer boros or a 1100 square foot shoebox in the first ring suburbs of Long Island or Westchester seems insane, and way below what they are used to.

I have a "free" house in a pretty decent area and even with that it's really tight living on 80K here when you have a family. Let alone all the health problems I've developed having to deal with the stress of living here.

I don't know why anyone who is not wealthy would consider moving here. New York is not for "normal people". It is for the wealthy and the "low wage slaves" that serve them. Middle America has no place here.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:57 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 20,739,640 times
Reputation: 8155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
The point here is that if you grew up in the NYC Metro you have no idea how much space and ease of living people are used to in other places. My mother who lives in a middle class suburb of Buffalo has a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, totally remodeled with a jacuzzi in their bedroom, 2 car garage on a 1/4 acre lot. All for 160K and taxes of $3200! Schools rate the same as the district I live in Long Island.

My mother and stepfather may earn less than I do, but they sure as heck live better than I do! They also do not have college degrees and my wife and I do.

So to the avearge American, paying 500K for an 2 bedroom apartment in the outer boros or a 1100 square foot shoebox in the first ring suburbs of Long Island or Westchester seems insane, and way below what they are used to.

I have a "free" house in a pretty decent area and even with that it's really tight living on 80K here when you have a family. Let alone all the health problems I've developed having to deal with the stress of living here.

I don't know why anyone who is not wealthy would consider moving here. New York is not for "normal people". It is for the wealthy and the "low wage slaves" that serve them. Middle America has no place here.
Actually, I think you should change that to "Middle American FAMILIES have no place here." Because single people and couples can live just fine. It's the ones with children who are screwed.
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