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Old 06-19-2012, 09:25 AM
Location: Censorshipville...
2,725 posts, read 6,271,918 times
Reputation: 1590


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Old 06-19-2012, 09:42 AM
2,688 posts, read 5,964,549 times
Reputation: 1289
Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
As a guy escaping call center hell in Louisville, I can feel your pain. I honestly think my call center gig was the best job I was gonna get in Louisville. No thanks. Sometimes to get on you have to me on. $35k at my new job in NoVA may not be great now but my first step is getting the local address then go for better jobs after a year maybe.
Glad you made it happen! Welcome back!
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:47 AM
15 posts, read 40,951 times
Reputation: 35
Originally Posted by JBennett View Post
Hi all. My fiancé and I are both 20 years old and finding it pretty impossible to afford to live around here. He works in DC making about 50k and I'm currently taking care of other things in my life and do not have a job.
You should have no problems living on $50k a month in NoVA.

We are living with his mom in Stafford and desperately want to move out, but I just can't see how it's possible. We stick to a very strict monthly budget, but at the end of the month we end up saving very little. Between his commuting costs, car payment, insurance, food, pet bills, giving money to his mom, and unexpected expenses that always come up we're lucky to be saving a few hundred bucks. My parents are still paying for most of my expenses until we get married, so right now we don't have to worry about those thankfully.
Get rid of the pet. Is he paying rent and some of the utilities to his mom? Why aren't you at least working part time somewhere? Even a fast food or retail job is better than doing nothing. Of course I have no idea what "other things" are.

He should be getting paid about 25k more than he is, but because of his age employers won't hire him for that despite the fact that he is doing the exact same job as the rest of his team. How do other people deal with this?
Change jobs. Hop around. If he can demonstrate ability, he can make more money in this town.

We would really like to buy a house because in our minds renting is just throwing money away. The fact that we have four pets doesn't help much either. Although I'm not from around here and don't particularly like the area we're looking to stayin stafford because we cant even come close to affording anything farther north. Despite being so far out of the city the area is still fairly expensive and the homes that aren't either double wides or uninhabitable tend to start at about $225k. How can anyone afford to pay this after taxes and utilities if they're making under 80k? To get anything cheaper would make his commute absolutely unbearable.
I see town homes in the $200k range in the Woodbridge area. Some are close to the VRE station. Get rid of your pets.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:02 PM
Location: Censorshipville...
2,725 posts, read 6,271,918 times
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Originally Posted by FSBox View Post
I see town homes in the $200k range in the Woodbridge area. Some are close to the VRE station.
Back in 2009, I bought a SFH in foreclosure for $162k and put about 15k in repairs and upgrades into. PITI is $922 a month and I'm able to rent it out for $1700. It's about a 10 minute drive to the Rippon VRE, 5 minutes to Wegman and the Woodbridge NVCC campus. The prices have gone up since and the deals aren't as prevalent, but there are still some deals out there if you can qualify for a mortgage.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:39 PM
1,784 posts, read 2,994,444 times
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Originally Posted by FSBox View Post
You should have no problems living on $50k a month in NoVA.
No kidding!
Then again, you probably meant year, not month =)

Of course, the people making 50K a month are probably wondering why they only have the $2 million mansion and can't afford the $6 million mansion.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:07 PM
421 posts, read 821,822 times
Reputation: 417
FSBox, I must give your 2 "get rid of the pet" comments a 2 thumbs down. No offense meant here, but pets are not disposable items. People get 'em, people need to take care of 'em, and that's for life. If one is not mature enough to commit, then they shouldn't get one. If they do, then they need to man/woman up and be responsible. It's not the pets fault. Better to do without some of the other things she is obviously spending money on and obviously not owning up to. We have one child still at home, three cats, and four dogs (all old) and that's mostly what my entire salary goes towards. Up until the past few years, when there were no vet bills or they were minimal. I never worked. I was a stay at home wife and mother. Then the economy tanked and the animals started getting old, all at one time. When the pets started costing money, did I dump them? Nope, I got a job. I just think she's leaving a lot out of this scenario. There is no way her fiance isn't getting by on 50K with no rent and no dependants. She obviously didn"t really want advice from people who know about life as they say things she didn't want to hear.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:05 PM
Location: Fairfax, VA
1,449 posts, read 2,810,100 times
Reputation: 471
I think you can take the "get rid of your pets" comments in different ways. It isn't necessarily about dumping them in a box on the side of the highway. If you truly cannot afford them, there are other options. If it came down to the pets or eating, I'd choose eating...and find someone I trusted to give the pets to who could handle the financial responsibility. We had to give away a cat when my daughter was young (not for money reasons, though) and we found a relative who we knew would treat her well.

Sometimes, pets can be more expensive than someone can reasonably afford. I realize that this is a hard decision to have to make and should not be taken lightly. But you do realize that shelters were filling up in the past few years with pets of people who lost their homes? I'm sure these people didn't want to have to do this, but they had to.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:35 PM
Location: Commonwealth Of Virginia
624 posts, read 1,033,353 times
Reputation: 288
I have read some of the replies here, and my only thought, is perhaps if possible to move to a lower cost of living area. Sadly, that means less pay , perhaps, but that is your decision.

Pets? If you care about them, keep them. Mine stay with me , thick and thin.

Good luck, and yes, its tough on young adults these days, I have a 26 year old son, and see many of the things you discussed going on with him. I really think times are harder on young people now than my youth in the 60s/70s.

Northern Virginia to me is like a foreign land. Going through on Amtrak is enough for me.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:46 AM
19,183 posts, read 28,393,045 times
Reputation: 4002
Taking less pay to work in a lower cost-of-living area isn't necessarily a bargain. In mathematical terms, it's a little like working longer hours for less pay. Maybe you'll earn a bigger effective paycheck, maybe you won't. In real terms -- which is what people experience, even if they don't see it -- costs will tend toward being about the same everywhere over time. Take dinner at a so-called upscale-casual restaurant. We have lots of them around here. Two people can have an appetizer, dinner, a glass of wine, and dessert plus coffee, and the tab including tip will come to something on the order of three hours worth of work at the typical sort of job and median wages paid in the area. The same general relationship would obtain in East Podunk. All of the numbers would be different, but the relationship would be about the same.

A problem could arise in East Podunk however. In Nova, the 50% of people whose incomes are above the median easily extend to levels that are well beyond that. This might not be the case elsewhere. If the upper tail of the income distribution is too highly concentrated near the median, there may not be enough upscale incomes to support the existence of any upscale-casual restaurants at all. In which case, you will lack the opportunity of eating at one if you live there, no matter what your income is. The difference between high and low cost-of-living areas may well be defined in terms of nominal incomes, but it is also and almost as signficantly defined by the range of options that one finds available -- the menu of diverse goods and services that are offered for sale and available for purchase if you wanted them. It may be hard to put an exact number on that sort of thing, but it's sort of like "good art" -- you'll know it when you see it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:53 AM
Location: Mclean, Va; West Palm Beach, Fl
513 posts, read 807,713 times
Reputation: 324
4 pets? Sounds like a petting zoo. Saving for a few years, Dual income that is how couples afford. You need to get a job or some IT certifications or learn dance around a pole.

With current lending standards, you would need to put down at least 30% to even be able to qualify for a loan. And then his income still would not qualify.
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