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Old 04-29-2009, 03:43 PM
 
18 posts, read 44,060 times
Reputation: 18

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Hi,
My husband is a federal government manager, who makes 146K, and I am a freelance writer, who makes, well....let's just say it helps but I can make more in D.C. working in corporate writing.

Anyhow, we have lived away from the D.C. area for 7 years, five in Miami and the last two in Detroit. We have a 10 Y.O. daughter who has been in private schools in Miami and Detroit but has spent the last year in a good public school in the burbs.

Looking at the private school tuitions and recession-proof prices for condos and houses has scared us but we still want to move back to D.C. We used to own in Silver Spring and Miami and are currently renting in the burbs of Detroit metro area.

We're just not that thrilled with the area - after 13 years of mild winters and more stimulating cities, we're underwhelmed and disappointed with the Detroit area. We miss so many things about D.C. - the cultural activities, the Metro, the weather, and yes, even the people. (I'm joking here, it's just that I've been lurking on this forum and people have such negative things to say about D.C. area residents.) Try being a new person in the Midwest where everyone has known everyone else since childhood and they all have their cliques. Not curious in the least about newcomers, even if you are friendly, clever and humorous. They just look at you as if you have cut a huge fart or killed their dog. Compared to the reception I've gotten, D.C. is so much friendlier. Sure, I remember arrogance but I was also able to easily find friends and many aquaintances. I guess I just was a better fit for D.C. than Detroit.

Can a family of 3 afford to own a condo or house in the District or close to a Metro stop in Takoma Park and still send one child to private school on $146K?

Last edited by BookLover08; 04-29-2009 at 04:06 PM.. Reason: Trying not to sound obnoxious
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:38 AM
 
13 posts, read 77,561 times
Reputation: 13
Default Suburban Detroit & DC

I grew up in suburban Detroit and moved to New York City to attend college when I was 18. I now live in DC (within the city limits), and I've been in this city or its suburbs for nearly 17 years.

People in Michigan and the midwest in general are MUCH friendlier and more courteous, in my opinion. But then, I'm a 'native' of the midwest so I'm biased.

You may think of DC as 'friendlier' because most people in the DC area are transplants. This is a very transient area, and it is rare to meet someone who was born and raised here. So the characteristics of the Washington area that you are seeking, may in fact be attributable to all the transplants who live here.

Regardless, $146K is do-able, but you may be hard pressed to afford private school tuition. It depends upon your debt to income ratio; if you have a lot of student loans, credit cards, or car payments, it may be cost prohibitive to buy here and send your daughter to private school. Private middle and high school will probably cost at least $15,000 per year.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BookLover08 View Post
Hi,
My husband is a federal government manager, who makes 146K, and I am a freelance writer, who makes, well....let's just say it helps but I can make more in D.C. working in corporate writing.

Anyhow, we have lived away from the D.C. area for 7 years, five in Miami and the last two in Detroit. We have a 10 Y.O. daughter who has been in private schools in Miami and Detroit but has spent the last year in a good public school in the burbs.

Looking at the private school tuitions and recession-proof prices for condos and houses has scared us but we still want to move back to D.C. We used to own in Silver Spring and Miami and are currently renting in the burbs of Detroit metro area.

We're just not that thrilled with the area - after 13 years of mild winters and more stimulating cities, we're underwhelmed and disappointed with the Detroit area. We miss so many things about D.C. - the cultural activities, the Metro, the weather, and yes, even the people. (I'm joking here, it's just that I've been lurking on this forum and people have such negative things to say about D.C. area residents.) Try being a new person in the Midwest where everyone has known everyone else since childhood and they all have their cliques. Not curious in the least about newcomers, even if you are friendly, clever and humorous. They just look at you as if you have cut a huge fart or killed their dog. Compared to the reception I've gotten, D.C. is so much friendlier. Sure, I remember arrogance but I was also able to easily find friends and many aquaintances. I guess I just was a better fit for D.C. than Detroit.

Can a family of 3 afford to own a condo or house in the District or close to a Metro stop in Takoma Park and still send one child to private school on $146K?

Last edited by marcoreese; 04-30-2009 at 08:42 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:47 AM
 
18 posts, read 44,060 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoreese View Post
I grew up in suburban Detroit and moved to New York City to attend college when I was 18. I now live in DC (within the city limits), and I've been in this city or its suburbs for nearly 17 years.

People in Michigan and the midwest in general are MUCH friendlier and more courteous, in my opinion. But then, I'm a 'native' of the midwest so I'm biased.
You know what's funny, I am also a Midwesterner, from Ohio, but I guess I got used to moving around so much to big cities and their different cultures. I liked D.C. the best. I didn't mean to come across as a mean-spirited pill when I was comparing the 2 places. It's just a matter of fit, IME. I just haven't vibed with the Detroit suburban areas I've lived in. That and the significantly worse weather have not had a good effect on my personality. Having lived away from Ohio since 1994, I now consider myself a transplant type or 'rolling stone.' I don't dislike the Midwest but I feel that there are other places I'm more comfortable in.

Quote:
You may think of DC as 'friendlier' because most people in the DC area are transplants. This is a very transient area, and it is rare to meet someone who was born and raised here. So the characteristics of the Washington area that you are seeking, may in fact be attributable to all the transplants who live here.
Yeah, I can relate to the transient feeling of having lived in many different places. My DH and I jokingly call ourselves 'citizens of the world.' I miss the 'home' feeling I had when I actually owned a home (our first) in the D.C. area. I also miss the many things that D.C. has to offer that I feel more than compensates for the crowdedness, the rushed rat race, the expense. Those things are the weather, the Metro, the museums, the restaurants, the Writer's Center (I'm a writer so...), I used to belong to a dog training club, actually several clubs where I shared interests with others.

Quote:
Regardless, $146K is do-able, but you may be hard pressed to afford private school tuition. It depends upon your debt to income ratio; if you have a lot of student loans, credit cards, or car payments, it may be cost prohibitive to buy here and send your daughter to private school. Private middle and high school will probably cost at least $15,000 per year.
After doing some research, and knowing the area (I know prices and some other things have changed since 2002), there could be a few places we could buy close in to a Metro stop on the East side of Montgomery County. We used to live there before and liked it very much. Our debt is minimal, thankfully, so our income would go towards private school tuition and mortgage payments. We hope to own just one car and use the Metro a lot, cut out other expenses like eating out too much, cable TV, etc. There are people who can swing just one child in private school with an HHI of perhaps $176K (which is probably what it would be after my earnings added). From what I've heard, they would be like us - investing in education and doing w/o some extras. But hey, I guess cable TV isn't that big a deal anyhow, I mean who needs to watch another mindless reality TV show about top models or whatever.

I hope more people respond with their experiences of private school tuition, rent/mortgage issues, etc. I like to hear about different lifestyles in D.C. so I can get an idea of how to make this move work. (I didn't mean to alienate anyone from any area. )
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