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Old 07-01-2008, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Virginia
9,852 posts, read 7,945,186 times
Reputation: 5826
Wink News, Your salary is $46,075? You can't afford to live in Seattle.

Local News | Housing relief? Council OKs controversial tax break | Seattle Times Newspaper

These are examples of people the new tax break is designed to help: A single person earning $46,705, or 80 percent of the area's median income next year. A household of three earning $90,110, or 120 percent of the area's median income in 2009. The city defines an affordable place as costing no more than 30 percent of a household's income.


****************
Yeah...hard to make it on 120 K these days.......

I don't know if this is sad or not sad. I guess it depends on your point of view.

Look at the examples on the side of the article - You make $46,075? That's low income, chum.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:43 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,651 posts, read 7,103,456 times
Reputation: 3643
I read that article and it said that the typical Seattle home is now worth $440,000. Yeowza. Not very affordable.

Whether or not taxpayers should subsidize affordable housing is a question I can't answer. But I do know that California in particular is struggling with the same problem.

Average teachers, firefighters, police, general middle income families cannot afford housing in California. And the result has been twofold: those workers are leaving the state to more affordable places, and recruitment of replacements is difficult. It is creating middle class flight from the state leaving them with a decreasing number of stable families, and remaining are the poor and the rich. This is not a demographic prescription for future happiness.

I believe New York is also facing the same issues.

Perhaps with subsidized affordable housing Seattle might be able to avoid the pitfall examples of California and New York.


(I know we can never afford to buy a house here. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I don't want to buy a house here anyway.)
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Washington State
389 posts, read 669,615 times
Reputation: 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
I read that article and it said that the typical Seattle home is now worth $440,000. Yeowza. Not very affordable.

Whether or not taxpayers should subsidize affordable housing is a question I can't answer. But I do know that California in particular is struggling with the same problem.

Average teachers, firefighters, police, general middle income families cannot afford housing in California. And the result has been twofold: those workers are leaving the state to more affordable places, and recruitment of replacements is difficult. It is creating middle class flight from the state leaving them with a decreasing number of stable families, and remaining are the poor and the rich. This is not a demographic prescription for future happiness.

I believe New York is also facing the same issues.

Perhaps with subsidized affordable housing Seattle might be able to avoid the pitfall examples of California and New York.


(I know we can never afford to buy a house here. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I don't want to buy a house here anyway.)

Although, on the plus side, if all the "middle income" families leave and there are only rich and poor there, it should force housing prices to come down, at least ideally.

But property taxes on the coast are really killer, too. So the Government isn't helping in this endeavor either. I'm not saying that property taxes are bad, by all means, taxes must exist, but they are too big of a burden.
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:36 AM
 
1,461 posts, read 1,837,846 times
Reputation: 562
I moved here from Boston where 1 bed condos were going for $400k. At least I was making some buck there. I moved here with the belief that I would take a small pay cut since cost of living was lowere here. WRONG. First of all, people here expect salaries to be much lower. Somehow with 14 yrs experience I was offered a college graduate starting salary? (no job offers were coming through so I had to take it)

I am looking to moving out of Seattle.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:27 AM
 
27 posts, read 67,608 times
Reputation: 33
I've been living in Seatle since 1982. My first home was bought for $58,500 (1000 sf, 3 b/r) just north of the city limits. The same starter home today will sell for $300,000.

The reality is you can not afford to live and work in the city for under about $75K (unless you bought a home before about 1985). Add kids to the picture and that cost goes up to about $100K for a family of four (or even more if you want to avoid the Seattle school system by using the many high quality private schools).

Rent: decent 2 b/r, 1.5 bath, 1000 sf: $1200/month
Mortgage: 6% 30 year fixed on $300,000: $1798/month
Property Taxes: $250/month ($3000/year) on a $300K home
Cable TV: $50/month (basic). Forget over-the-air reception. There are too many hills and valleys. You need cable or dish to get any reception.
High Speed Internet: $50/month (cable or DSL)
Sales Tax: 9.7% on all non-food purchases (10.2% on restaurants/bars)
Car Tabs: Appox $100/year (depending on age and value of car)
Transit Bus: $5/day round trip or $100/mo pass
Traffic: Plan to sit in traffic on I-5, I-90 and I-405 any time between 6:00am and 10pm.
Gas: Currently averages $4.45/gal in the city for regular
Heating Oil: $4.90/gal
Natural Gas: ??
Electricity: The city practices peak-load pricing by charging 20% more per KWH in the winter (when you need it most!). Average electric bill for most homes is about $100/month excluding heat). If you have electric heat, average it out over the year to about $100/month. Note that there are only about 5 days a year where home A/C would be "needed". The rest of the summer, it's mid to upper 70's (both days!....: )> )
Water/Sewer: appox $50/month for a family of 4
Waste: Mandatory recycling (glass, plastic, paper, aluminum and yard waste). Cost is appox $40/month for all. You can not opt out of recycling or waste. You pay whether you use it or not.
Groceries: Nothing special, except most of the stores are now carrying a decent supply of the over-priced organic foods for "that" segment of consumers.
Restaurants (dinner for 2): Casual: $40, Nice: $75, Special Event: $110

Seattle has it's plusses (scenery, activities, night-life, etc...) but it has become a mini- San Francisco catering to wealthy but also looking to tax you to death to pay for a whole lot of "social engineering" and "social experimentation". I sometimes refer to this city as "The Peoples Republic of Seattle".

By the way, did I mention the 40 inches of rain/year and the 275-300 cloudy and/or rainy days per year???

I'm out of here in about 8 years (after I retire).
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 9,989,936 times
Reputation: 1162
Although I was not living in Seattle at the time - but when I was a single (mom) working professional I made 42K a year and my rent was $1200. This was my choice and I had a lovely place. And enough money to cover my bills.

It's all personal choices. If I was single without kids and thought $1100 was too much in rent - I'd have a roommate and cut my rent in half then (also finding a 2 bedroom somewhere of course) But being single with $46K a year - sounds like living high on the hog to me. You just have to be smart about it
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX!!!!
3,737 posts, read 5,289,087 times
Reputation: 1665
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcticPhoenix View Post
Although, on the plus side, if all the "middle income" families leave and there are only rich and poor there, it should force housing prices to come down, at least ideally.
Not true, middle income people are leaving the city because they cannot afford to buy houses. They are not driving up the prices. Prices are high because the area's population continues to grow and many of the newcomers are affluent. They come with sizable downpayments and the ability to take out larger mortgages.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:32 AM
 
1,992 posts, read 4,445,587 times
Reputation: 747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freebird2007 View Post
I moved here from Boston where 1 bed condos were going for $400k. At least I was making some buck there. I moved here with the belief that I would take a small pay cut since cost of living was lowere here. WRONG. First of all, people here expect salaries to be much lower. Somehow with 14 yrs experience I was offered a college graduate starting salary? (no job offers were coming through so I had to take it)

I am looking to moving out of Seattle.
What line of work are you in? I went to Salary.com and compared my position between Boston and Seattle, and I ended up making slightly more in Seattle.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 9,989,936 times
Reputation: 1162
Same with me - I make more in Seattle on there too (salary.com)
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Virginia
9,852 posts, read 7,945,186 times
Reputation: 5826
Hrmm... I wonder if all those rich people moving in between 2000-2007 caused homes to double in value?......

All we have to do is keep having rich people to move here!

Actually, wouldn't you think that was unsustainable? I would, but that is besides the point. Eventually, you run out of rich people...and you have to house the poor & middle class somewhere. That is what cracks me up.

Where are the people who make minimum wage going to live? With the rich guy down the street? Or somewhere they can afford? You'll end up with a city of rich people who can't get a hamburger because the guy who gets you a hamburger can't afford to live anywhere near where they would make hamburgers. And the guy who makes hamburgers can't afford the lease on the land where he would have a restaurant. And the guy who would build that hamburger shack would have no workers unless they came in on cattle cars from far, far away.

Eventually, every one is priced out so the rich people can live there...and there are no services ....unless... services are subsidized by taxing.....whaddya know.... the rich people. These taxes are then used to subsidize the salary of....whaddya know...the poor people.

Seattle will end up with lords and serfs. I wonder if it is already headed in that direction.

Spooky.

Seattle Population & Demographics: Seattle-at-a-Glance (http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Research/Population_Demographics/Seattle_at_a_Glance/default.asp - broken link)

Population: 563,374
Households: 258,499
Median household income: $45,736
People in poverty: 64,068
Adults with college degree: 53.6%
Median rent: $721

Seattle, Washington (WA) - Sperling's BestPlaces

Population:582,454

Income Less Than 15K 13.50%
Income between 15K and 25K 10.29%
Income between 25K and 35K 11.19%
Income between 35K and 50K 15.78%
Income between 50K and 75K 18.44%
Income between 75K and 100K 11.64%
Income between 100K and 150K 11.28%
Income between 150K and 250K 5.35%
Income between 250K and 500K 1.67%
Income greater than 500K 0.88%

Take a look at those incomes. Think about housing prices. They don't match up very well.
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