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Old 10-22-2006, 09:54 PM
 
1,329 posts, read 3,133,782 times
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I've done a back of the envelope analysis of two states - NJ vs TX. NJ and TX have median household incomes (average of 2002 - 2004 medians) of 57,000 and 41,000 respectively. That's a gross income difference of 16,000 a year, and nets out to a take-home pay difference of 10,000 a year, or about 800 a month.

A median income household in Texas can buy a median-priced property in Euless (median income 49,000 a year, population 45,000), a Dallas suburb, for 138,000 - or a 20% downpayment and a fixed monthly payment of $700*. A median income household in New Jersey can buy a median-priced property in Bayonne (median income 41,566 a year, population 61,000) an NYC suburb, for 399,000 - or a 20% downpayment and a fixed monthly payment of $2,018.

To stack the odds against the Texan, let me assume that he takes the standard Federal deduction, i.e. his mortgage payment nets to $700 a month because he doesn't have enough deductions to benefit from itemizing. The New Jerseyan gets a $500 monthly benny from itemizing on his 1040, meaning that he pays net $1518 a month. That means the best case scenario has the median income New Jerseyan spending $818 a month more on his home than his Texas counterpart while receiving $800 more after tax income than the Texan. In other words, it's a wash. After mortgage expenses, the median income New Jerseyan and Texan both have the same amount of spending money.

And that's the best case. What happens if the New Jerseyan loses his job? A tax deduction is worth something only if you're generating income. That means he'll have to dig into his savings to come up with $2,018 a month to cover his mortgage or the bank takes his home. If the Texan loses his job, he only has to come up with $700 a month to keep his home. Note that the New Jerseyan doesn't have the ability to save more than the Texan because they both have the same amount of disposable income after mortgage expenses.

Bottom line is that materially speaking, the median income New Jersey homeowner doesn't live any better than his Texas counterpart, but is subject to more financial stress. The payoff for him is that he lives right next to New York City. If he is an avid theater goer or cannot live without attending every New York Philharmonic performance at Lincoln Center, then Texas is out of the question. For individuals less attached to the fine arts, living in Texas may be a way to lower the stress levels associated with balancing their personal finances.

* The Euless property is a standalone 1618 sq ft 1966 brick 3BR, 2BA home with a 3 car garage on what looks to be a lot double the size of the home and attached garage. The Bayonne property is an standalone (indeterminate square footage and age) 3BR, 3BA two story home (plus basement) with street parking on a 2500 sq ft lot.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:42 AM
 
147 posts, read 202,728 times
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Default Missed the cultural angle

Yes, you have completely missed the cultural angle. Although most people in Dallas are from New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Michigan, and California, and the fact that you won't meet a native Dallasite in Dallas, you are not factoring in how different the cultural angle will be.

You should probably talk to someone up there in New Jersey who has lived in the Sunbelt states and moved back and ask them how much they disliked it.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:18 PM
 
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I lived in Abilene, Texas in the early 90's and I HATED it. I am from Brooklyn, NY. Now I have recently moved back to Texas but to the DFW area. I wanted a better quality of life for my son. I think depending on where, why and what a person is looking for in there lives makes all the difference as to whether or not they will appreciate where they reside. My life is sooo different from then to now just as NYC is diffferent to Dallas, and Abilene.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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Default What suburb fits the descrip?

Single mom. Looking for a home under 150k with great schools, safe, good afterschool care and a 10 -15 minute commute to dt Dallas.
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:06 AM
 
3,035 posts, read 13,541,999 times
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Jenny,

Maybe Momof2DFW can pull a rabbit out of a hat on this one, but I'm not sure of anything that close to Dallas that has all those attributes. You may find something in Garland or Richardson, but I think both of those spots are more than 10 mins from downtown. The only place closer in I'd live is the Park Cities, and those homes go at prices closer to CA price levels.
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Old 01-13-2007, 05:15 AM
 
3,035 posts, read 13,541,999 times
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Zhang Fei,

I like your envelop analysis, but I'm not sure what's in Euless or if there is even employment in those parts, so personally, I'd roll another factor in that covers mobility between jobs. This is important to me, so I would only live in Northern Dallas where the employment is....in these parts, a comparable home would be 250-300k, which changes your results alot. However, the saving grace is that the median income in places like Plano, Frisco, Richardson, Mckinney is probably alot higher than 41k.

Also, did you factor in the fact that we have no state income tax here and that our property taxes are in some cases lower that most of the East Coast ?

Also, what kind of quality of life does someone have that commutes from Jersey to NYC....that must be brutal.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:18 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 38,668,370 times
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jen-ny,

Not much close into downtown Dallas in that price range in an area that I would live in w/ good schools. There are a few and I mean VERY few. Lakewood is one option. Recently another poster moved to Dallas from out of state that was a single mom and she ended up picking Lakewood and loves it. It is close to lots of things to do w/ your child (the Dallas Arboretum and White Rock Lake being the two best). Most of the homes in the areas that you will want to be in for that price range are going to need some work. I'm looking on realtor.com in a few area codes and I'll post them below. I'll list the area and zipcode first.

1. Lakewood - 75214
7331 CASA LOMA AVE
DALLAS, TX 75214
MLS ID#: 10632897
$169,900
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,086 Sq. Ft.

2. Columbia - 75214
Not "great" area but the house looks like it could be a dream w/ a lil tlc since it still has many of the original wood floors and moldings.
5217 COLUMBIA AVE
DALLAS, TX 75214
MLS ID#: 10679287
$169,900
2,538 Sq. Ft.
3 Units
0.25 Acres

3. 75214
This one is divided into a duplex. You could keep it a duplex and rent out the other half or combine it to have a larger house.
6315 RAVENDALE LN
DALLAS, TX 75214
MLS ID#: 10675487
$170,000
1,718 Sq. Ft.
2 Units

4. Northwoood - 75243 * close to Lake Highlands & Richardson ISD
8812 LAVALLE LN
DALLAS, TX 75243
MLS ID#: 10670619
$117,500
3 Bed, 1 Bath
993 Sq. Ft.

5. Northwood - 75243 * same as above
8521 STILLWATER DR
DALLAS, TX 75243
MLS ID#: 10645461
$149,900
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,348 Sq. Ft.
0.17 Acres

6. Lake Highlands - 75243
9405 TIMBERLEAF
DALLAS, TX 75243
MLS ID#: 10654916
$155,000
2 Bed, 2.5 Bath
1,700 Sq. Ft.

7. Northwood - 75243
This one has already been totally updated w/ granite counters and all.
8936 ANGLETON PL
DALLAS, TX 75243
MLS ID#: 10675771
$164,000
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,520 Sq. Ft.

8. Northwood - 75243
This one is a bit newer than others in the area.
8606 WESTFIELD DR
DALLAS, TX 75243
MLS ID#: 10640595
$175,000
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,866 Sq. Ft.

Below are homes in the Richardson Heights area. I have been in many homes in this area. They are so great. They have the quirkest architecture but in a good way. On the outside they look "normal" but you go inside and you will see it. Richardson Heights is a GREAT area w/ great access to anywhere in the metroplex. Great schools and with the city just about built out this area is already starting to see a huge turn around on the homes being scooped up and redone/updated and going for a lot higher prices. You are going to be a little bit farther from downtown w/ maybe more of a 20-30 minute commute in good traffic but the area is VERY family friendly. Actually I'd personally would rather live in this area vs. the homes above. Zipcode is 75080.

9. 1220 DEARBORN DR
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10649198
$115,000
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,318 Sq. Ft.

10. 739 PINEHURST DR
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10585448
$116,500
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,368 Sq. Ft.

11. 622 NOTTINGHAM DR
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10617787
$119,500
3 Bed, 1.5 Bath
1,276 Sq. Ft.

12. 1405 N FLOYD RD
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10685039
$129,000
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,449 Sq. Ft.
0.27 Acres

13. 639 RIDGEDALE DR
Richardson, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10677178
$134,900
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,488 Sq. Ft.

14. 1223 CYPRESS DR
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10673118
$139,977
3 Bed, 1.5 Bath
1,314 Sq. Ft.
0.18 Acres

15. 803 DOWNING DR
Richardson, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10651128
$144,000
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,551 Sq. Ft.

16. This one has two small apartments built over the garage in the back. I'd probably redo those to be a studio or workout room and large play room w/ maybe a nice outdoor kitchen or something to use to entertain in the large treed backyard. This could be a great home for both of you and room to grow in. And when your child becomes a teen you can make that outdoor area the "teen room". LOL!!
603 NOTTINGHAM DR
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10628128
$144,900
3 Bed, 1.5 Bath
2,490 Sq. Ft.

17. 107 S GENTLE DR
RICHARDSON, TX 75080
MLS ID#: 10678162
$149,900
3 Bed, 2 Bath
1,351 Sq. Ft.

There are many more in this area and in your price range but this will give you a good idea and start of what is in the area. Good luck
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:05 PM
 
Location: DFW, TX
2,935 posts, read 6,274,627 times
Reputation: 571
I believe there are a few things that you are missing in the comparison.

The cost of house to income ratio of course is completely different... around 3:1 to 10:1 for the two areas.

Using a 20% downpayment isn't a good comparison, since there's a huge difference when you look at percentages. Saving 80k versus 30k to put down on a house is a huge difference. The salaries in the NYC metro area aren't 2 2/3rds times better than here.

Also, your interest on your mortage is deductible, however that benefit decreases monthly according to your amortization schedule. It's *much* easier to own your home rather than having a mortgage here in TX... and owning your home outright is an incredible safety net.

Speaking of safety nets... the income to home price ratio is what many analysts are looking at when they are talking about the impending housing crash. There are many areas of the country where the increase in house prices aren't justified by the salaries in that area. While you probably won't see a 15% year over year gain in north Texas, you probably won't see a 15% decline either, especially with the growth projections.

Also, since TX has no state income tax, it's yet another savings over NJ. While the state income tax reduces your federal tax burden, depending on the yearly tax code, state sales tax can be deducted. Since you have to choose between deducting state income or sales tax, it's a huge advantage to be in a state like TX.

NYC definitely has a priceless commodity in its culture... but that's why I love to visit.
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