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Old 04-06-2013, 09:21 AM
 
171 posts, read 172,278 times
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Mild climate, public transportation, close to the mountains, close to the beach, and tons of things to do
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:04 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,853,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Pittsburgh and Northern Virginia are obviously very different areas. One was mostly just farmland in the 1950s when the other one was hitting its industrial peak. As such I can agree different people will obviously prefer one over the other based upon different criteria.
Yes, some people prefer to live in an area where population has been growing due to a multitude of positive factors (high economic growth, excellent school quality, low crime, great cultural amenities, etc.); others -- obviously considerably fewer in number -- prefer a region that has experienced a dramatic population decline for the past fifty years due to destruction of industry, falling school quality, high crime and lack of cosmopolitanism.
Quote:
I chose to focus on housing because purchasing a home (or condo for that matter) is still part of the "American Dream" for MOST (not all) people. I earn less money in Pittsburgh, yet I'm able to buy a home here. Why earn more money in NoVA if I would still be unable to buy a home there?
One could buy a home in NoVA. Many people from a wide variety of financial backgrounds do it every day. Obviously since it is a very desirable area with a fast growing population, price is higher. That means one has to earn more and save more judiciously.
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The home we keep circling like Jaws in a kiddie pool is listed currently for $40,000, and we could potentially snag it for less. If we buy it, then our mortgage payment (including PMI, taxes, and insurance) will be HALF our current rent payment. We'll probably just make double mortgage payments, pay the house off quickly, and then use the money we would have been spending on rent or a mortgage to invest like crazy in our early-30s.
You are buying a $40,000 house, but have to pay PMI? I am guessing from the price that this is not a new home. If so, you need a cash reserve to deal with "house emergencies." I obviously cannot give you a good financial advice without knowing your specific situation, but in general if you can't afford a few thousand dollars in downpayment, buying an older house that might require repairs might be an unsound investment.
Quote:
How many people in NoVA can say they own a home free and clear?
How many people in all of America under retirement age can say they own a home free and clear?

Besides, with the incredibly low interest rate, tax deductibility and a high rate of return in the equities market, I'd say the government is giving most folks a free primitive arbitrage opportunity. In NoVA, that math improves even further by the fact that a house is likely to be an excellent long-term investment.
Quote:
buy more cheap homes and rent them out.
Have you been in the landlord business before?
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
729 posts, read 1,304,740 times
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One thing I miss about living in NOVA is that I was always out doing something. I spend most of my time in Richmond sitting on my couch. It's not that I'm a recluse; it also has to do with the fact that most of my friends have commitments of their own (spouse or SO, kids, working odd hours, etc. I just got lost in the fray). Also, NOVA is the only place I lived where I had a normal 9-5 M-F job which allowed me to have free time. I cannot wait to be done with school so that I can move back.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,651 posts, read 33,457,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabscuttle385 View Post
If you want to travel, make sure you live near an airline hub. Here, that's IAD (United) or DCA (US Airways).

I will agree with you that it's tough to travel on an entry-level NoVa salary.



What field are you in? IT?

You can get reasonable IT pay in places like Austin, SF, Seattle, and Denver. I have plenty of friends who started out here and then ran to more affordable cities (Austin, Denver) and others who landed sweet gigs in pricier cities (NYC, SF).
To be honest, I really don't have a field. I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and banking experience. However I want to get out of banking and do something different. I'm just completely clueless on what direction to go. I've thought about human resources a bit but still totally clueless.

If the right opportunity came available elsewhere, I may have to take it, even though I'm not exactly emotionally inclined to leave NoVA again at this time.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:28 PM
 
1,784 posts, read 2,993,655 times
Reputation: 1271
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
You are buying a $40,000 house, but have to pay PMI?
That struck me as well - I realize at a price so low the PMI wouldn't amount to much, but on principle I would do everything I could to get that 8K down payment for 20%.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:56 AM
 
46 posts, read 53,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
Yes, some people prefer to live in an area where population has been growing due to a multitude of positive factors (high economic growth, excellent school quality, low crime, great cultural amenities, etc.); others -- obviously considerably fewer in number -- prefer a region that has experienced a dramatic population decline for the past fifty years due to destruction of industry, falling school quality, high crime and lack of cosmopolitanism.
One could buy a home in NoVA. Many people from a wide variety of financial backgrounds do it every day. Obviously since it is a very desirable area with a fast growing population, price is higher. That means one has to earn more and save more judiciously.
You are buying a $40,000 house, but have to pay PMI? I am guessing from the price that this is not a new home. If so, you need a cash reserve to deal with "house emergencies." I obviously cannot give you a good financial advice without knowing your specific situation, but in general if you can't afford a few thousand dollars in downpayment, buying an older house that might require repairs might be an unsound investment.
How many people in all of America under retirement age can say they own a home free and clear?

Besides, with the incredibly low interest rate, tax deductibility and a high rate of return in the equities market, I'd say the government is giving most folks a free primitive arbitrage opportunity. In NoVA, that math improves even further by the fact that a house is likely to be an excellent long-term investment.
Have you been in the landlord business before?
Excellent post. I had many of these same thoughts. We've never paid a PMI and can't imagine buying a home that required one. If we needed a PMI that would mean we couldn't afford to buy the property. Most people a PMI by waiting until they've save the down payment. We have no desire to pay off our mortgage with a very low interest rate and a tax deduction. Lastly, being a landlord can be a nightmare, the return on investment is too low to go through that. I think that the poster you were responding to needs to speak with a good financial planner. It sounds like he's young and needs some solid financial advice.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:01 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,874,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryNThyme View Post
Excellent post. I had many of these same thoughts. We've never paid a PMI and can't imagine buying a home that required one. If we needed a PMI that would mean we couldn't afford to buy the property. Most people a PMI by waiting until they've save the down payment. We have no desire to pay off our mortgage with a very low interest rate and a tax deduction. Lastly, being a landlord can be a nightmare, the return on investment is too low to go through that. I think that the poster you were responding to needs to speak with a good financial planner. It sounds like he's young and needs some solid financial advice.
How many people, in Northern VA or elsewhere, save up $150k before age 40? ($100k for a downpayment on a $500k place and then $50k for emergencies/etc.) Or maybe $100k ($60k on a $300k place and $40k for emergencies.)

PMI at his price range would be what, an extra $20-$30 a month? I wouldn't disqualify things based on that. OTOH, I would want at least a few months' income in an emergency fund.

As for the tax deduction, I'd rather have the money free to spend on whatever (including house repairs), than to spend $500 a month to pay $50 less in taxes. At their income range, they'd probably get less of a mortgage interest deduction than the standard deduction, anyway. I wouldn't blow through my last $40k to pay off a mortgage, but reasonable folks can agree to disagree on that one.

If you can buy a TH for $50k, charge $500 a month in rent, that's an over 10% yield. IIRC, isn't it the annual rent should be under 1/15 of the cost of the house?
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:35 PM
 
3,789 posts, read 3,005,600 times
Reputation: 7563
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcleanexec View Post
World class shopping at Tysons2. Not an abundance of obese people in Fairfax like other parts of the state (Richmond, Hampton, Roanoke).
I don't know the exact stats, but having moved from Fairfax to Roanoke nearly two years ago, I can tell you that Roanoke is an outdoors enthusiast's dream. Hiking, biking, climbing, etc is practically right outside your door, plus an excellent greenway system (no, this is not a toll road!). How that translates to weight of the general population, I don't know, but I haven't noticed an obesity epidemic here --and am puzzled as to how a perceived lack of obese people in Fairfax impacts your quality of life, anyway.

One of the best things about NoVa to me is its prime location, as already stated upthread. A few hours by car or train to several other major cities, plus mountains, beaches, and historical areas. I don't think any other major city is as well-positioned as DC in this regard.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,585,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpickrell View Post
How many people, in Northern VA or elsewhere, save up $150k before age 40? ($100k for a downpayment on a $500k place and then $50k for emergencies/etc.) Or maybe $100k ($60k on a $300k place and $40k for emergencies.)
Not too inconceivable for a young professional couple with no children. When we were renting, we lived on my husband's salary alone and saved my entire salary. Within 3 years, we had enough for a down payment (and that included paying for my grad school). You just have to be willing to live below your means for a few years.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:47 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,644,238 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsChick View Post
I don't know the exact stats, but having moved from Fairfax to Roanoke nearly two years ago, I can tell you that Roanoke is an outdoors enthusiast's dream. Hiking, biking, climbing, etc is practically right outside your door, plus an excellent greenway system (no, this is not a toll road!). How that translates to weight of the general population, I don't know, but I haven't noticed an obesity epidemic here --and am puzzled as to how a perceived lack of obese people in Fairfax impacts your quality of life, anyway.

One of the best things about NoVa to me is its prime location, as already stated upthread. A few hours by car or train to several other major cities, plus mountains, beaches, and historical areas. I don't think any other major city is as well-positioned as DC in this regard.
Here are the Virginia rankings according to the Wisconsin-based research organization that attempts to assess the relative well-being of residents of the various states:

Rankings | County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

I'm not an insurance underwriter - do some types of health insurance end up lower if you live in a jurisdiction where people are, on average, healthier?
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