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Old 06-29-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,752,211 times
Reputation: 316

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You're a good egg, Caladium.

But living here has just worn me down. It's turning me bitter. I'm tired of working so hard just to keep the crumbling roof of a subpar rental house over my head. For so long I defended this place to anyone who would listen, but I just can't stand these tradeoffs, this traffic, the cost of everything anymore. I was in a conversation with a friend in Canada last week - Canada, where everything is taxed to the hilt! - and felt sick to my stomach when we started comparing cost of living. Forgetting even housing, *everything* is more expensive here, even given Canada's incredibly high taxes. And my friend doesn't have to live 90 minutes from her job to find affordable housing.

I know. The jobs are here. And so it goes, and so are we, for three more years anyway. But I've been nudging my husband to look outside the DC area when the time comes, even if it means changing his field a bit...and it makes me sad because I'd planned on making a home here. But I'm not of the class of people that flourishes here, I guess.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,772 posts, read 10,676,132 times
Reputation: 2498
"That "big, fat check from their parents" did not magically appear from nowhere. Somebody worked and saved for it."

Its not that uncommon that someone simply bought a house back when houses were cheap (a generation or more ago) and particularly lucked out in where they bought the house.

The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,834,609 times
Reputation: 42860
You know, I personally love living here but I've always been glad I lived a lot of other places, too, before settling on Virginia as my favorite. Maybe in a few years you two could check out some other parts of the country. You'd have three more years to save money while you work at the high paying job here, then go somplace where jobs don't pay much but homes are less expensive. That could really work well to your advantage.

As for the $900,000 + houses? I don't know who's buying them. It certainly isn't me. But those things sure seem to be selling, don't they?
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:34 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,848,100 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by athousandlogins View Post
A big house is not a priority at all. At all. In fact, I vastly prefer a smaller residence for a variety of reasons. However, even a small house is prohibitively expensive here.

But thanks for the insulting assumption.

And thanks, also, for the insulting assumption that I know nothing about spending or being thrifty simply because I haven't saved the downpayment on a six hundred thousand dollar rambler.

Do you see how hurtful it is to go spouting about how people should be happy with what they have now, and yet assume at the same time that they are poor with money because they don't own a house? This is what the middle class here is up against. It is no way to live.
Well, my assumptions, as such, were entirely based on your writing. You expressed your frustrations that you couldn't compete for homes with those who had help from their parents. I simply suggested that you should "compete" in other avenues of life where you had more control OR, if a large home were really that important, cut out other things that are absolutely non-essential, invest wisely and then buy that home you desire.

None of it was intendend to be insulting or hurtful. You could've simply responded "you don't know my situation" or "thanks for the advice" or "thanks, but no thanks." There was absolutely no need to take it badly.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:59 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,848,100 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.
Sure. Or sometimes winning is not racing at all or racing somewhere else or just racing for yourself. You get the point.

Since the person to whom I wrote my response seemed, in her own words, bitter about the housing situation, I merely offered her some advice based on my personal experience.

Let me elaborate further. My wife and I deferred immediate gratification and worked and studied very hard since we were young (my wife worked three jobs in high school, one of which was working on a corn field, a very much back-breaking work). We both attended an Ivy League university and obtained graduate degrees. For several years I lived on $695 per month (my "salary" from a fellowship in a Ph.D. program). I ate a lot of ramen.

When we moved to Seattle at one point, I was appearing on TV programs, writing a newspaper column and, yet, we were living in a $200,000 1 bedroom condo (in a very bad condition). My wife and I had acquaintances in our social circles who went to average state schools, worked at IT companies and "hit jackpot" and were living in much more expensive condos and homes ($500,000 to $1 million).

Of course it crossed our minds that this was all unfair and occasionally demoralizing -- we had worked so hard for what little we had and yet there were these jokers who did drugs and partied in high school, went to average schools and were prospering "so easily"! We had what David Brooks called in his book "Bobos in Paradise" Status Income Disequilibrium (SID), a condition in which the sufferer's socio-educational status is much greater than his economic condition.

When eventually my wife and I went into the private sector and began to make very good money, we could afford homes like these folks in Seattle. But then our minds began to wonder about our socio-educational inferiors who were living in $2 million plus homes in NoVA. And, yes, many of these folks bought their homes when they were much more reasonably priced.

Did we feel great that folks who had less education and lower prestige jobs (and several of them lower income) had bigger homes? No, it did not feel good, especially when we were invited to their palatial mansions in upscale zip codes and then had to drive back to our modest home.

Now we can buy such a mansion too. But, after much soul searching, it dawned on our minds that this is a process without an end. Had we maintained this kind of "bitterness," I am pretty sure, soon enough, we'd be having envy toward those with $5-10 million homes. It just never ends.

So, we decided to re-orient our lives... more toward rearing and educating our children to be virtuous gentlemen/ladies, doing even better at our jobs, investing wisely and enriching our religious lives. In other words, we decided to go for quality rather than quantity, over avenues of life in which we had much greater control, rather than bemoaning bitterly at those "undeserving" who had much bigger houses, more expensive cars, etc.
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Ft. Washington/Oxon Hill border, MD (Prince George's County)
320 posts, read 698,442 times
Reputation: 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
It's a futile and utlimately unhappy endeavor to measure oneself materially with those who are materially "next level up" and complain "why don't I have that?" That road never ends. It's best not to take that road.
I agree you will drive yourself batty worrying about this stuff. I try to remind myself that there is someone that looks at my home and zip code and wishes they had that and I remind myself to be grateful for what I do have and that I have worked so hard to attain. My grandparents were not "allowed" to buy land down south but moved up north and bought a modest home near factory jobs in the midwest. My parents were never able to afford to buy a home. I am a homeowner and am hopeful that my children will be even better off. You have to remind yourself of what you are blessed to be able to afford instead of what you can't
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:57 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,848,100 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by athousandlogins View Post
I was in a conversation with a friend in Canada last week - Canada, where everything is taxed to the hilt! - and felt sick to my stomach when we started comparing cost of living. Forgetting even housing, *everything* is more expensive here, even given Canada's incredibly high taxes. And my friend doesn't have to live 90 minutes from her job to find affordable housing.
Canada? That is so 2004:
Quote:
For most people considering a life in Canada, the biggest uncertainty is whether they will find comparable jobs and lifestyles. Teller is a zoologist at Woodland Park Zoo; whether he will be able to find such a position in Canada is unclear. Pallas, a financial analyst, doubts he will be able to find a similar post, with the same pay and benefits. "The job is the main thing I think I will miss," he says.
Unless you are a refugee, I believe Canadian immigration authorities require you to have six-month living expenses as the process to acquire residency and work permits take a while.

Good luck.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:45 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,951,545 times
Reputation: 1288
Haha, I just looked up the two people you quoted from the article and guess what? They both still live here, not in Canada .
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:05 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,848,100 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Haha, I just looked up the two people you quoted from the article and guess what? They both still live here, not in Canada .
Yeah, er, that WAS the point.

I immigrated to the U.S. (and partly grew up in NYC). As far as I am concerned, anyone who wants to leave can and should. More room for me!

There is a LONG line of those who want to come here (including those from Canada, actually!).

Oh, yeah, and death to the Yankees. Long live the Mets!
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,834,609 times
Reputation: 42860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Haha, I just looked up the two people you quoted from the article and guess what? They both still live here, not in Canada .
As do most of the people who repeatedly announce they are leaving. Let's face it, even if Nova isn't 100% perfect, in many ways life here is pretty good. All I know is I'm really glad I didn't move to Long Island. My friends up there have some big problems now.
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