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Old 01-16-2010, 03:18 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,364,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
It's misleading to convert the price of a house in Europe to dollars. You'd need to convert the owner's salary to dollars as well to get a fair comparison. Exchange rates change all the time as well.

For instance, our home in Scotland would sell for about 250K GBP. At the present time that would convert to $407K. However, a couple of years ago when rates were 2 to 1 you'd say our house was worth $500K. Misleading.
I understand that there will be fluctuations in the Euro to Dollar exchange. However, when a "falling down shack" that does not have indoor plumbing, is not insulated, and does not even have glass in the windows goes for $100,000 Euros - or when a "fairly decent" house, something that I would be comfortable with, goes for $350,000 Euros. I don't care if Euros and US Dollars are "on Par" it's still represents an EXTRAORDINARY expense for the value of what you are getting.

Are you telling me that the waiter who works at the corner Bistro in some little French Village - or the man who cleans windows , or the guy who even OWNS a bakery or a small diner (that seats 20 or 30 people) can actually AFFORD to buy these places?

I am trying to ascertain, I guess, if salaries are PROPORTIONATELY as high as the cost of housing is, or if there is some secret here that I am missing. I understand that many of these places have been inherited, but they are nevertheless for sale, so WHO'S BUYIN' THEM?????

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:07 PM
 
4,899 posts, read 16,624,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
I think you must to take all those *amenities* (mentioned above) into account, to fully understand how it all works there. We received *child support* even though I do not think we *needed it*. In Germany it was called *Kindergeld*, and it comes to a sizable sum because the first one gets only so much and then it increases substantially with the amount of kids you have (by the time you have eight, no more taxes to be paid ...). Personal opinion is that if they do not give some kind of incentive to have a family (family = meaning with kids), Europe will breed themselves into oblivion......

I have to figure out what you really mean here, since I find that Europeans are more apt to go on vacation then USA inhabitants. In our case, I had a total of 6 weeks off (I did not have to wait for my 10 year tenure in order to get more then 10 working days off, as in the USA). This included all the national and religious holidays, you get off *by law*. Then I received *vacation pay*, which is *in addition* to my regular pay .... ( I could not believe it when I first received it ...).
So not so sure what you mean by *but don't really travel* ?

LBNL, I can understand why so many posters here, ask about how to get to Europe, and *enjoy* life there for a while .....

yes you are right--they do get a lot of vacation time---if they are not working "in the black"---or under the table. most people in southern italy work this way and therefore do not get a paid vacation. if they do, they put that money toward things they need as opposed to a vacation. i am not saying EVRYONE does this. i am saying the people i know live this way.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:18 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,922,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
However, when a "falling down shack" that does not have indoor plumbing, is not insulated, and does not even have glass in the windows goes for $100,000 Euros - or when a "fairly decent" house, something that I would be comfortable with, goes for $350,000 Euros. I don't care if Euros and US Dollars are "on Par" it's still represents an EXTRAORDINARY expense for the value of what you are getting.
I guess they want to live there in that spot?
Quote:
Are you telling me that the waiter who works at the corner Bistro in some little French Village - or the man who cleans windows , or the guy who even OWNS a bakery or a small diner (that seats 20 or 30 people) can actually AFFORD to buy these places?
I think it depends on location and other variables.
I could not compare Greece to France any more than I could precisely compare north Florida to Malibu.
Quote:
I am trying to ascertain, I guess, if salaries are PROPORTIONATELY as high as the cost of housing is, or if there is some secret here that I am missing. I understand that many of these places have been inherited, but they are nevertheless for sale, so WHO'S BUYIN' THEM?????

20yrsinBranson
I will leave this question to those more knowledgeable than I.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:41 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,334,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by findinghope View Post
yes you are right--they do get a lot of vacation time---if they are not working "in the black"---or under the table. most people in southern italy work this way and therefore do not get a paid vacation. if they do, they put that money toward things they need as opposed to a vacation. i am not saying EVRYONE does this. i am saying the people i know live this way.
Southern Italy is not typical of the rest of Western Europe. When I lived and worked there I would usually take a two week vacation in summer (to Spain, Turkey, Tunisia, etc) plus a one week ski vacation ( Val D'Isere, La Plagne, etc.) and the rest of my vacation would be one or two day breaks.

My practice was fairly normal for French/Swiss/German/Belgian/Dutch
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:50 PM
 
32,477 posts, read 16,633,525 times
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Disclaimer: Europe is anything but homogenous, and what's customary on Sicily isn't the way they do it in Stockholm. So what I'm writing below is super-generic and broad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
However, when a "falling down shack" that does not have indoor plumbing, is not insulated, and does not even have glass in the windows goes for $100,000 Euros - or when a "fairly decent" house, something that I would be comfortable with, goes for $350,000 Euros.
If a falling down shack goes for that sum, it's probably an attractive location. Or it has some historical value - Europeans in some cities fight over the chance to live in authentic buildings - not my cuppa, personally, but I can certainly understand why it's cool to live in a house that has been on the spot for 300 years or more.

The huge US-style house has never really kicked in in Europe. Broadly speaking, the truly house-proud people live in Northern Europe - probably has something to do with the winters - and the tradition is to build something more permanent than the typical wooden-frame/drywall/plaster US construction.

Southern Europe - again, broadly speaking - just don't put the same focus on their homes.

Quote:
Are you telling me that the waiter who works at the corner Bistro in some little French Village - or the man who cleans windows , or the guy who even OWNS a bakery or a small diner (that seats 20 or 30 people) can actually AFFORD to buy these places?
Waiters in Europe are paid better than US waiters, but even so: People with low incomes don't buy the super-attractive houses. They buy condos or they rent - a lot of rental properties are owned by non-profits and if you stay with the same non-profit for a long time, you get priority on their better deals - some very, very nice inner-city apartments can be found at amazing rents that way.

Quote:
I understand that many of these places have been inherited, but they are nevertheless for sale, so WHO'S BUYIN' THEM?????
Successful people. Engineers, managers, dentists, lawyers, doctors and stockbrokers, that kind of people.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Midwestern Dystopia
2,371 posts, read 3,059,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Many of these European houses are inherited. Outside of whatever the property taxes are, often the occupant paid nothing for the house.

In Europe, life is not lived in the house as much as it is in the US. One may have a small flat, but outside of sleeping and other ocassional hours, one spends much time out in the community rather than in the flat. Therefore the smaller space is less of a problem because you're often out somewhere else doing something fun (unlike the US).

I'd sooner have a $400,000 cramped flat in Europe than the same priced 5,000 sq. ft. McMansion in some godforsaken suburb in America where there is absolutely nothing to do.

I'll take the fun over the granite counter tops and walk-in closets seven days a week.
this is very true, and the european lifestyle is that of living more in a community ,taking a stroll evenings, eating al fresco at a cafe, there is just a more social aspect to life there. You come in contact with people far more often via more walking, public transportation. More people live in cities and the cities tend to be more "dense" with true city centers where people congregate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by findinghope View Post
no insurance payments for medical---add up what you pay here in the US for medical insurance and medicine, hospitalization etc.
it used to drive me crazy because i have family in Italy and most households have only 1 person working and supporting a family of 4-5....and my DH and i had NO kids and were working 1-2 jobs each.
BUT most of them have never been on a "vacation". they have had day trips etc, but dont really travel.
exactly right about the insurance payments, the most common reason americans go bankrupt is due to medical bills. Funny how europeans can work less hours per week, have far more vacation and holidays and retire earlier than americans but they've "over taxed" to many americans.

but we in america pay "lower" taxes!!!

Or when you graduate college, you don't have 30,000 or 40,000 dollars of student loans, or 175,000 of debt from going to medical school,

gas is expensive there but there's always the option of public transportation for short or longer trips. At least one has a choice. In america when gas is 5.00 / gallon most of us are stuck paying it as we have no practical public transportation option.

I do disagree completely with your vacation comment, they travel far more than us , can afford to and have the requesite vacation and holiday time.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Midwestern Dystopia
2,371 posts, read 3,059,204 times
Reputation: 2962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
Disclaimer: Europe is anything but homogenous, and what's customary on Sicily isn't the way they do it in Stockholm. So what I'm writing below is super-generic and broad.
agreed, there is a large difference between southern Italy and northern Italy nonetheless southern Italy and the rest of western europe.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:48 PM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
3,496 posts, read 8,698,132 times
Reputation: 2700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger View Post
this is very true, and the european lifestyle is that of living more in a community ,taking a stroll evenings, eating al fresco at a cafe, there is just a more social aspect to life there. You come in contact with people far more often via more walking, public transportation. More people live in cities and the cities tend to be more "dense" with true city centers where people congregate.



exactly right about the insurance payments, the most common reason americans go bankrupt is due to medical bills. Funny how europeans can work less hours per week, have far more vacation and holidays and retire earlier than americans but they've "over taxed" to many americans.

but we in america pay "lower" taxes!!!

Or when you graduate college, you don't have 30,000 or 40,000 dollars of student loans, or 175,000 of debt from going to medical school,

gas is expensive there but there's always the option of public transportation for short or longer trips. At least one has a choice. In america when gas is 5.00 / gallon most of us are stuck paying it as we have no practical public transportation option.

I do disagree completely with your vacation comment, they travel far more than us , can afford to and have the requesite vacation and holiday time.
I agree with just about everything this member posted.
However, us in Germany are use to the 19 % sales tax on non food items, and a 7 % sale tax on food items.
Also, in comparison , the Euro has been holding so strong, in comparison to the dollar, that we have the luxury of getting "more". (when traveling to the outside of Germany)
However, unemployment is rampant in Germany as well, but just about EVERYONE has learned a trade (like me), or strives for higher education like College (like my brother).
There's hardly anyone WITHOUT any kind of education or some sort of trade school degree.
Yes...our vacation time differs greatly....and it is government regulated.
And, a "normal" work week accounts for 40 hours max !
Germans usually do it the traditional way....save up to buy a house, rent, or live in the families house and create your own space, and /or inherit.
It is common for us to inherit the parents, grandparents, great- grantparents home.......and continue living in it.
Yes....some people will travel into other countries for vacation...BUT, most of the people I know of will stay in "balkonia" (meaning "balcony" as in staying home)
Life is just much simpler and plain there, and can't be compared to the US at all, IMHO.

Quote:
I understand that many of these places have been inherited, but they are nevertheless for sale, so WHO'S BUYIN' THEM?????
People like here in the US...foreigners or people with an affluent amount of money to spend on ridiculous prices !
Most Germans definately can't and WON'T afford any of the prices realtors are asking for right now !
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
4,836 posts, read 10,190,110 times
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If you travel to small towns in Europe they are pretty urban everyone lives near eachother in smaller apartments or town homes and they do not need a car as much etc.. Things are expensive in Europe besides for Natural Food and health. But then you have those high taxes to pay for that food and health.
But my point is more people live in apartments and smaller homes in Europe then the US. Even walking in a small town can feel pretty urban compared to a small town in the US where people live far away from eachother in larger homes.

The middle class live in Apartments in Europe and not larger homes like in the US.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:59 PM
 
2,024 posts, read 2,987,604 times
Reputation: 1813
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyMIA View Post
If you travel to small towns in Europe they are pretty urban everyone lives near eachother in smaller apartments or town homes and they do not need a car as much etc.. Things are expensive in Europe besides for Natural Food and health. But then you have those high taxes to pay for that food and health.
But my point is more people live in apartments and smaller homes in Europe then the US. Even walking in a small town can feel pretty urban compared to a small town in the US where people live far away from eachother in larger homes.

The middle class live in Apartments in Europe and not larger homes like in the US.
That's a broad statement. Who's is living in all the houses if all the middle class are in flats? We live in a house in the UK, as do 95% of the people in our area.
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