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Old 03-29-2013, 04:44 AM
Location: NOVA
4,521 posts, read 5,213,628 times
Reputation: 1926


How do cabbies afford $400k houses?

It's amazing to see so many cabs parked outside houses that run in the $400k range. It's usully older drivers so it's not a 21-year living with their parents. Is cab fare that profitable?

D.C. taxi czar Ron Linton talks about cab upgrades, Uber tussle and his future - District of DeBonis - The Washington Post

The rates for Fairfax County are about $5 for the first mile (link) but it seems that even full time, covering a $3000/mo rent or mortgage would be too challenging.
ARTICLE 6. - Rules, Regulations, Rates, Fares, and Charges.

The HOA requires covering the cab markings which is extra work when arriving home from work and the commute from Fairfax adds another 90 minutes driving each day where the taxi isn't earning any fares. More common is the line of taxicabs (and other utility vehicles - not just taxis) parked along the streets outside a townhouse community.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:16 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,554,769 times
Reputation: 3656
I don't know about your neighbors, but a lot of my students have parents who drive cabs, and they often fall into one of a few situations.

1. The house is shared with another family.
2. Parents had a great job in their former country, but cannot do it here. They had money saved from before when they were a doctor or whatever in their old country.
3. Other spouse makes decent money.

I am honestly amazed how many parents tell me they had master's degrees in their former countries, when they are now cashiers and cabbies.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:15 AM
504 posts, read 651,092 times
Reputation: 512
I think CaliTerp pretty much nailed it. In addition:

Rent or mortgage on a $400k place is closer to $2k than $3k. Also, they may have bought > 10 yrs ago when things were cheaper. If someone is careful with their money and doesn't have a lot of other expenses, they could make that work on $6k/mo.

And keep in mind, that $6k most likely isn't coming from one wage earner. Not just multiple families as CaliTerp mentioned, but you often have multiple generations of the same family living together. So it may be 4, 5, 6 incomes going towards that rent or mortgage payment. This is how things work in many (most?) other parts of the world and is what many immigrants have always done in the US.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:54 PM
248 posts, read 638,964 times
Reputation: 143
Not to forget that cab service is quite a lucrative business.. but its a hard job driving all day in traffic, and not everyone can do it easily..
And some cabbies put in 12 to 15 hour days for 7 days a week. so thats like having 2 fulltime jobs..
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