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Old 04-13-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,610,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
Go! And bring me back a wife!
dude, if i bring any others back, i'm not sharing! she has cousins here though. haha.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:57 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Wow, Hindsight. I guess my middle-class neighborhood is an anomoly in that it's full of forty-something, college-educated, one-income, two (or more) kid families. Nearly all of the women have degrees, but most left their professions to raise children in their early thirties. The men typically work in IT or engineering, with a few marketing/sales and health care types thrown in for good measure.
i understand hindsight's points, but i guess i've just seen things differently in my experiences. the area i grew up in has plenty of single-income households. and though i think the dual-income family has become more important, i don't think it's as critical as he states. i think the "middle class" is facing trouble, but i think it still exists. the problem i see is that people in this country have become so obsessed with consumerism, that there's people who could actually convince themselves that an ipod is a need and not a luxury. not only that, but that a new ipod every 3-4 years isn't all that crazy. or that a new car every 3-5 years is normal activity, for middle class. i don't know. my father is not college-educated. he comes from a different generation that was given pensions for retirement, so that helps, but he's pretty solidly in the upper part of the middle class. my mom has worked different jobs along the way as extra income, but she raised us. she didn't have to work to maintain our lifestyle all the time. maybe those families aren't as common now. i dunno. thinking out loud a bit i guess.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:02 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
There's a reasons why land is expensive in certain towns. My town (Princeton Jnc., NJ), for example, has expensive land because of the features the town involves. It's got one of the best public schools in the country and has a train station with express trains to NYC all day long. As a result of the train station, 71% of the working population in our town works on Wall Street. And there's no McMansions here. Older homes are small and have smaller pieces of land (.5 to 1 acre), but all newer (1980s and later) homes have 1.5+ acre lots.

$300K gets you a fixer-upper 2-bedroom ranch if you're lucky. Whatever the prices may be for normal homes (probably dropped down to $900K at this point), people seem to want them... mostly just to get into the school system... but still, they're in demand.

So while you might not understand why people buy homes in areas with high land-values, appearently it makes sense for a lot of people (atleas in their minds).
yeah, and i'd hardly say that we're slitting our wrists in NJ. those of us who want access to NY salaries and NY lifestyles have chosen this. as property goes up and down, people sell one house and buy another, it really doesn't matter.

but man....5 to 1 acre is "smaller" land in your town? i'm jealous! i need to relocate!

but yeah, $300k, sadly, in many parts of NJ is a starter home or a fixer-upper. but unless NYC is wiped off the planet, we're not slitting our wrists here.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:06 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,610,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I was not questioning whether it made sense "for a lot of people", indeed, that was implicit in my assertion. The land evaluations in some areas of the country are highly inflated, well beyond any real benefit one gains from the land, yet there are still young people out willingly transferring their wealth to their rent-seeking seniors. Anyhow....a totally different topic...well sort of.

Anyhow, I've never been to your town, if 70% of the population works on wall-street I'm glad.
good point. maybe i'm not jealous anymore...

but to the land value...if land value in areas close to NYC is high, what's causing it? you have towns with great easy access to NYC, and the job pool that comes with that. many towns may also have reasonable access to philly, and that job pool, which ain't too shabby. there's also great public schools in many of these towns, and a lot of services offered in many of them as well. the reason why the land value has maintained is because there is a pretty solid demand for it. even in the economic downtown, much of NJ weathered that storm pretty well, even as it suffered pretty badly in unemployment. but i think the downturn helped adjust many towns that were getting crazy, but the adjustments were not huge.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:11 PM
 
24,511 posts, read 33,863,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
good point. maybe i'm not jealous anymore...

but to the land value...if land value in areas close to NYC is high, what's causing it? you have towns with great easy access to NYC, and the job pool that comes with that. many towns may also have reasonable access to philly, and that job pool, which ain't too shabby. there's also great public schools in many of these towns, and a lot of services offered in many of them as well. the reason why the land value has maintained is because there is a pretty solid demand for it. even in the economic downtown, much of NJ weathered that storm pretty well, even as it suffered pretty badly in unemployment. but i think the downturn helped adjust many towns that were getting crazy, but the adjustments were not huge.
The best part of living in NJ is that buying vacation homes in FL and along the east coast is pocket change considered to our inflated cost of living. And we can take our inflated 401ks down to cheaper states when we retire and live worry-free. We're not along though. This applies to CT, MA, and parts of CA as well.

And what's wrong with working on Wall Street? You do realize that Wall Street has all sorts of jobs such as IT, Marketing, Accounting, etc. It's not just financial gurus.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:41 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,610,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
The best part of living in NJ is that buying vacation homes in FL and along the east coast is pocket change considered to our inflated cost of living. And we can take our inflated 401ks down to cheaper states when we retire and live worry-free. We're not along though. This applies to CT, MA, and parts of CA as well.

And what's wrong with working on Wall Street? You do realize that Wall Street has all sorts of jobs such as IT, Marketing, Accounting, etc. It's not just financial gurus.
it's not that working ON wall street is bad. it's the people surrounding you that makes it unpleasant.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,886,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
honestly, i don't know what the heck the OP is talking about. as many others, i think he's a bit off base on his classification of what one needs to be "middle class". but hey, to each their own i guess.
I don't think the classification is that off-base for someone in the Dallas metro area, perhaps on the high end of "middle-class" but not off-base.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,886,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
but to the land value...if land value in areas close to NYC is high, what's causing it? you have towns with great easy access to NYC, and the job pool that comes with that. many towns may also have reasonable access to philly, and that job pool, which ain't too shabby.
The causes of increased land-values in and around a large metro area are pretty obvious, I'm not suggesting that land in Manhattan should cost the same as land in Iowa. I am suggesting that the land-values are out of whack in some areas, for example much of the Northeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
the reason why the land value has maintained is because there is a pretty solid demand for it. even in the economic downtown, much of NJ weathered that storm pretty well, even as it suffered pretty badly in unemployment.
Solid demand? Not even close. Not only are sales rather anemic, but demand is being stimulating by the government. The numbers just don't add up, incomes just don't support current land evaluations in high valued metro areas.

Real estate prices are set on the margins, hence a situation in which you have low demand and few sellers can maintain current evaluations...at least for awhile. The fact that middle-class and upper middle-class communities have largely weather the storm so far should be suspected, unemployment in these communities is modest and they have the ability to hold out longer. This says nothing about the longer term dynamics in these communities.

High-priced communities throughout the country have the same sorts of dynamics, they are in or around older metro areas and are boomer dominated. They are the result of a generational real estate bubble 2-3 decades in the making. The youth in these communities that are following the lead of their parents are indeed slitting their wrists.

Anyhow, the OP is in Texas and these issues don't apply, but the fact that states like Texas have been a magnet for young middle-class families tells you a lot about the future of the high-priced boomer dominated communities on the West and Northeast.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,610,733 times
Reputation: 3678
Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
I don't think the classification is that off-base for someone in the Dallas metro area, perhaps on the high end of "middle-class" but not off-base.
maybe we interpreted the original posting differently, but it seems like most people responded thinking that it is the high end of "middle-class", which means it is off base. so we might be saying essentially the same thing just in different ways.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 16,886,374 times
Reputation: 4304
If I recall most people suggest it was "upper middle-class", that is not what I meant by "high end of middle-class", I just meant the higher end of the income scale for what someone in the middle-class would likely receive in the Dallas metro area. Unlike others in this thread, I don't think the middle-class are those that are neither rich or poor. A two-income 30's something middle-class family in the Dallas metro around is likely to make around $100k/year give or take. I mean, just think about some prototypical middle-class careers, the lower end is a good $40k.
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