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Old 05-25-2018, 08:55 AM
 
1,183 posts, read 347,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demographer View Post
Exactly. My suspicion has always been that Westchester County has an outsized proportion of people like your neighbor. There are far too many people living in homes and sustaining lifestyles that are just impossible based on the day jobs they hold.

It continues to support the sky-high real estate valuations, no doubt. But it also continues to make life harder for the rest of us working stiffs by driving up the price of pretty much everything.
Its ok. If you think its not sustainable (a term which apparently no-one on this board seems to understand - probably because of its overuse in recent years. It does not mean "subjectively too expensive in my mind" - it means objectively capable of being maintained in trend or level), you can always move back to a 3-bed in Manhattan. Btw - that's where the majority of the buyers in lower Westchester are coming from. Because the real estate valuations there have priced out a lot of two-income professionals (especially if you are adding private school tuition into the mix when getting into one of the better NYC public schools is too much of a crapshoot for you to tolerate). So they come to the suburbs, and the particular advantages of an MNRR commute into GCT (as opposed to the LIRR or NJT alternatives) are not lost on them. Hence, many lower Westchester towns (those with good SDs) which previously had large blue collar populations are increasing their percentage of white collar commuting workers, and there density is increasing and the demand for which is not falling.


For years on this board, and the LI board, and the NJ boards, the sky-is-falling tax increases, home prices mismatched with incomes, mantra - the same old flannel - keeps getting trotted out. Yet the Westchester market has proven sustainable - even during the worst recession since the great depression. Resenting the lifestyle that the apparently large income you have actually gives you in Westchester, while understandable, is merely a personal reaction. Not a state of the market parameter.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:37 AM
 
218 posts, read 407,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chint View Post
Its ok. If you think its not sustainable (a term which apparently no-one on this board seems to understand - probably because of its overuse in recent years. It does not mean "subjectively too expensive in my mind" - it means objectively capable of being maintained in trend or level), you can always move back to a 3-bed in Manhattan. Btw - that's where the majority of the buyers in lower Westchester are coming from. Because the real estate valuations there have priced out a lot of two-income professionals (especially if you are adding private school tuition into the mix when getting into one of the better NYC public schools is too much of a crapshoot for you to tolerate). So they come to the suburbs, and the particular advantages of an MNRR commute into GCT (as opposed to the LIRR or NJT alternatives) are not lost on them. Hence, many lower Westchester towns (those with good SDs) which previously had large blue collar populations are increasing their percentage of white collar commuting workers, and there density is increasing and the demand for which is not falling.


For years on this board, and the LI board, and the NJ boards, the sky-is-falling tax increases, home prices mismatched with incomes, mantra - the same old flannel - keeps getting trotted out. Yet the Westchester market has proven sustainable - even during the worst recession since the great depression. Resenting the lifestyle that the apparently large income you have actually gives you in Westchester, while understandable, is merely a personal reaction. Not a state of the market parameter.

^^^^All true. It's funny how people on this board don't realize how city folks talk about how cheap areas in Westchester are compared to the city. Just compare what you get in the $2 million range in Scarsdale vs the UES or Carroll Gardens, it's not even in the same stratosphere.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Confines of the 101 Precinct
19,660 posts, read 34,759,267 times
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Originally Posted by Westchesterwannabe View Post
^^^^All true. It's funny how people on this board don't realize how city folks talk about how cheap areas in Westchester are compared to the city. Just compare what you get in the $2 million range in Scarsdale vs the UES or Carroll Gardens, it's not even in the same stratosphere.
It is cheaper in some instances

Especially new construction, because a lot of them are getting property tax abatements

A lot of new listings in the city often say "abatement in place until 2024" or whenever

So until the tax abatement ends, it's cheap, from that aspect.

When it comes to square footage and lot acreage, that's another topic.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,169 posts, read 45,724,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demographer View Post
I'll just put it out there: My spouse and I have a HHI of about $650k. We are considering leaving Westchester because of the insane cost of living. Simply put, after mortgage, taxes, retirement saving and college saving for our kids, we are comfortable, but by no means living large. And that's living in a school district many people consider inferior. We've been looking at homes in some of the "fancier" districts, but paying $30k in property taxes in perpetuity -- for a house that needs work -- is starting to feel like something only crazy people do.

What we always ask ourselves is: Does everyone else just make more money than we do? Have grandparents footing the bill for their kids' college? Have an inheritance that they're counting on to fund retirement? Because it seems to me that you need to pull in about $1M or more to really live well in one of southern Westchester's highly-regarded school districts.

VERY curious what others think.
Are your jobs transferable to another area of the country? Are you getting ripped off? Sure. Most of the country has a much lower SOL. Either quit whining or move.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:01 AM
 
145 posts, read 62,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeventhFloor View Post
It is cheaper in some instances

Especially new construction, because a lot of them are getting property tax abatements

A lot of new listings in the city often say "abatement in place until 2024" or whenever

So until the tax abatement ends, it's cheap, from that aspect.

When it comes to square footage and lot acreage, that's another topic.
Probably need to compare apples to apples. e.g. take a 10 yr old house in Brooklyn area with good public schools (if such an area exists), divide asking price by total sq. feet and compare (in terms of $ per sq. foot) to 10 yr house in Scarsdale or Edgemont. I think, the Scarsdale/Edgemont house will be cheaper per sq. foot. Same comparison should be done for real estate tax per sq. foot in both locations, adjusted for local taxes in addition to real estate taxes for the property in Brooklyn (i.e. up to 3.876% for income over $500K/year in case of someone like OP, in addition to the real estate taxes).
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Old 05-25-2018, 01:29 PM
 
40 posts, read 37,370 times
Reputation: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chint View Post
Resenting the lifestyle that the apparently large income you have actually gives you in Westchester, while understandable, is merely a personal reaction. Not a state of the market parameter.

Of course! No argument here. I'm never the one arguing that the housing market here is unsustainable. There's simply an insane, outsized amount of wealth here to keep it afloat. I started this thread to try to get a sense of how other working people were swinging it. I got that, and then some.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:15 AM
 
1,571 posts, read 2,755,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KensingtonPark View Post
I'm just going to add that there is a distinct difference between income and wealth, and that affects sustainability. Because one is widely tracked and understood while another is not, it is really difficult to evaluate. Take, for example, a neighbor of mine who does not meaningfully work anymore, but has ~$10 million in investable assets. He lives on approximately a 2.5% before-tax yield, which equates to $250k. Compare that to another neighbor who has a job and makes about $350k pre-tax; he, however, has very little in investable assets, and what little wealth he had became the down payment for his house. Now take two towns, one mostly filled with people like neighbor #1 and another mostly filled with people like neighbor #2. They will look for most purposes very similar in terms of income metrics, which is what most demographic surveys show. But they will be VERY different in terms of sustainability.

In the aftermath of the 2008 credit crisis in California (where I lived at the time) it became very obvious which towns were populated by neighbor #1s. Those towns weathered the downturn and home prices eventually rose rapidly after a period of stagnation. The other towns have only recently recovered, and they have not greatly surpassed their pre-credit crisis valuations.

Since data is so hard to come by, people kind of have to go by word of mouth. If a town (or region) is high income+high wealth, then valuations and current lifestyles are sustainable. It will be painful for those towns (or regions) that are not.
Once Neighbor 2 has paid off his house and saved to accumulate some $ he gets part of the way to being neighbor 1. Kind of the plan. Paid off house and $2 million in assets, then your kid, her kid . . .
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