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Old 05-06-2013, 07:17 PM
 
13 posts, read 58,170 times
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My head has been spinning from searching all these income and affordability threads, so I will add another one I guess. I am currently in Richmond, VA, and deciding on a move to Raleigh-Durham, NC or the Haymarket-South Riding - Manassas area. My income will be very similar in both areas.

What kind of incomes do people in those nice houses in Haymarket and South Riding have? Seems like everyone has a high income to afford houses in say, Dominion Valley. But I talked to a friend and he didn't seem to have the income I thought he did. That means he probably isn't saving much money and most of it is just going into a house. Can I find average household incomes to a specific township or narrow it down to a specific area?

We would be looking for a 3500+ sq ft. house, new construction. We were looking at Toll Brothers in Haymarket/Dominion Valley. In Raleigh, we would probably look at Toll Brothers, but I think there are more possibilities with using local builders who build in the same price range, maybe slightly higher?

I will need to spend more time to see if I can deal with the traffic. The rudeness of the drivers is always brought up -I think I can handle it, there are rude drivers everywhere. What's the big deal? Or am I missing something here?
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:35 PM
 
7,958 posts, read 9,695,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay321 View Post

We would be looking for a 3500+ sq ft. house, new construction.
If salary and house price is a concern, you should likely lower your standards. Why must you have a new construction house that is over 3500 SF?
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:38 PM
 
939 posts, read 1,608,287 times
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You will get way more in Raleigh-Durham for the price, and the best part is it won't be in the middle of nowhere like you would be in Haymarket/South Riding/Manassas. Even if the prices are comparable for those areas to Raleigh, you won't be 45 miles from the center of the urban area. If those were my two choices, I would not consider the Virginia options at all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,869,904 times
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If you can find a job in the Triangle area, why not take it? There's of course other considerations, like family/friends/etc., but the main draw of Northern VA to outsiders is that there's lots of jobs here.

Don't be one of those folks that come here and then complains about the area.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,569 posts, read 12,663,611 times
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Financially-wise, you will get so much more for your buck here in the Triangle. You will also get much less traffic. On the other hand, there is so much more to do in DC. If you are the type to just sit in your large home, watch movies on your big-screen tv and sit on your hammock, then do it in Raleigh. If you like going out, having tons of cultural amenities at the drop of a hat, hundreds of ethnic restaurants to visit in the area, the monuments and history of DC nearby then choose DC. On the other hand, as someone mentioned upthread, much of that is a haul from Haymarket.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:29 AM
 
504 posts, read 652,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay321 View Post
What kind of incomes do people in those nice houses in Haymarket and South Riding have? Seems like everyone has a high income to afford houses in say, Dominion Valley. But I talked to a friend and he didn't seem to have the income I thought he did. That means he probably isn't saving much money and most of it is just going into a house. Can I find average household incomes to a specific township or narrow it down to a specific area?
This site has household income by census tract, from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009: Mapping America ? Census Bureau 2005-9 American Community Survey - NYTimes.com

From looking at the site, the census tracts containing Dominion Valley and South Riding both had median household incomes of about $130k. But, this underestimates the earnings of people who are buying 3500sqft houses there now because of several reasons:

1. There is a mix of those 3500sqft houses, older/smaller houses, townhouses, and some rentals within the census tracts. In general, people with the more expensive 3500sqft homes will be making more than the median and those with the less expensive places will be making less (yes, I know there are lots of exceptions)

2. Some people may have bought before the bubble or rolled over a bunch of equity from a previous house so they may do just fine with a smaller income and mortgage now than their current house value would suggest. Of course, the reverse is true for those who bought at the height of the bubble

3. You have people in any neighborhood who may own their house outright or have a small mortgage but relatively low income (retirees, people with inheritances, some small business owners etc)

4. The census data is based on surveys from 2005-2009, so it is likely the people living there are making more now than they were then
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:31 AM
 
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If your income would be about the same in both areas, why choose the area with the notably higher cost of living and worse traffic?
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:40 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,765,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay321 View Post
My head has been spinning from searching all these income and affordability threads, so I will add another one I guess. I am currently in Richmond, VA, and deciding on a move to Raleigh-Durham, NC or the Haymarket-South Riding - Manassas area. My income will be very similar in both areas.

What kind of incomes do people in those nice houses in Haymarket and South Riding have? Seems like everyone has a high income to afford houses in say, Dominion Valley. But I talked to a friend and he didn't seem to have the income I thought he did. That means he probably isn't saving much money and most of it is just going into a house. Can I find average household incomes to a specific township or narrow it down to a specific area?

We would be looking for a 3500+ sq ft. house, new construction. We were looking at Toll Brothers in Haymarket/Dominion Valley. In Raleigh, we would probably look at Toll Brothers, but I think there are more possibilities with using local builders who build in the same price range, maybe slightly higher?

I will need to spend more time to see if I can deal with the traffic. The rudeness of the drivers is always brought up -I think I can handle it, there are rude drivers everywhere. What's the big deal? Or am I missing something here?
I think people can afford different amounts based on how much debt or savings they have. If I didn't have debt, then we could afford something amazing. If my husband didn't like to save a lot, then we could also put more into a house. As it is, we have what we have more because of the real estate boom than because of salary. We bought something just before the boom hit and then sold just before the bubble burst, making a whole bunch of cash. We rented until the market went down a little, and then put that cash into a new home.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,943 posts, read 36,139,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
If salary and house price is a concern, you should likely lower your standards. Why must you have a new construction house that is over 3500 SF?
I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:59 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,128,397 times
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Everyone has a different comfort level regard what they feel they can afford for housing. I am VERY conservative in my housing. I see people who make a good bit less than I do in a MUCH nicer house. Personally, I'm just not comfortable with that much debt. You probably should not try to compare yourself to others as it's really not a one-size-fits-all approach.
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