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Old 06-20-2013, 12:17 PM
 
6,791 posts, read 7,486,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
Living in the city itself can be a little pricy if you want to live in the few good or even decent parts. Not even close to being as expensive as most major cities though. They have the highest corporate taxes in the nation, so jobs are few and far between. Property can be bought on the cheap, although you couldn't pay me enough to live there. Many Detroiters do their shopping in the suburbs where it's cheaper and you have a greater selection of what you're after. You could do just fine on 40K in Detroit, and own property without a problem. I know people who do quite well out there with less.

If you ask me, 40K for a single income earner in Detroit would be middle class, and probably closer to 35K. A middle class family income would probably start at around 55K, approaching 60K. When I lived in the Metro Detroit area a couple years back, the house I rented cost $750/month, gas was around $3.40 a gallon, and other essentials were remarkably more affordable than where I live now. I almost bought a nice 1 story, 3 br house in the suburbs for 30K, but a bank came along and scooped it up for about 40K. I still buy things like cheese in bulk when I travel back because it's 50% cheaper than the Chicagoland area. The metro Detroit area would be a great place to live if it weren't for the instability in the job market. It's much better now but every decade, there is an exodus of workers who leave because the state bleeds jobs and opportunity. I still have friends who have graduated and can't find anything paying over $10/hr, and some can't find a job period.

Just an aside, but I don't think a cottage up north is a indicative measure of middle class. That's more of an upper middle class luxury. A veteran autoworker represented by the UAW tops out at 58K without overtime unless they are in one of the skilled trades.
Houses prices have risen dramatically, I bought in Oakland County in 09, my house is worth A LOT more now, houses in my city are going for well over asking and are snapped up within a few weeks. Those super cheap houses aren't really available anymore unless you are willing to do A LOT of work, and only in Wayne county which is generally more working class (nothing wrong with that).

In Oakland county, just north of the city, which is the most desirable area for more typically urban professional people who like restaurants, boutique shopping, and entertainment, plus good schools, and you are still within a short drive to all the Detroit amenities like sports stadiums, museums, Eastern market, etc. you can't get anything updated for less than 250K, probably closer to 300K unless very small is okay. You can find a few houses in the 105K range in some areas, but you better not care if it has modern updates, and they will likely still need a lot of work, and be tiny bungalows.

I moved here from Socal and I feel I was mislead about the cheap cost of housing, they way people talked I should have practically been able to afford a mansion, but no, I was disappointed in the selection, I found a house I love in a city I love, but even in 09 it was at the top of my budget. I was looking for updated, move in ready, those were still expensive even then at the bottom of the market.

Everyone I know is employed, and even getting better jobs. A lot of people have actually moved here for work, but the high paying jobs that don't require a degree are gone, and entry level with no experience are hard to find. People judge Detroit by the city itself, but that's misleading, the cities surrounding the city act as neighborhoods do in other cities and they are less expensive than other major cities, but definitely not cheap.

Last edited by detshen; 06-20-2013 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Lemon Heights, Orange County, CA
805 posts, read 1,399,393 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automobilist View Post
PERSONAL INCOMES
Very Low Salary: Under 35k unskilled jobs, retail, food service
Low Salary: $35-55k low skilled jobs that are less pleasant (semi-skilled labor, car sales)
Decent Salary: $75-100k entry-level white collar, average trades, teachers, police patrolman, etc.
Good Salary: $100-250K average engineer, fire fighter, mediocre attorney, average dentist
Great Salary: 250-750k management and quasi-professional jobs, technical workers, average physician
Amazing Salary: 750k and higher upper-management (C-level), professional jobs such as specialty MD

SoCal
In So Cal and agree with this 100%.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:43 PM
 
6,791 posts, read 7,486,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detshen View Post


I agree with this, realistically getting to 100K may mean 3-4 promotions, most will never attain that income per capita, and many of the incomes that people label as entry level/recent grad are the top salaries for A LOT of people. I worked HR for a few years in SoCal where the cost of living is high, I knew everyone's salary, most were between 35-50K, many of these people were over 40, only a few made over 75K. This was a college educated, white collar, professional workplace. I also did the payroll for our SF office, that's one of the most expensive areas in the country, they were more in the 40-60K range, still not what some of these numbers would lead one to reasonably expect to earn. This was 10 years ago, but I doubt it has increased very much.

Only 5.29% of people make between 75-100K. 75% of people earn less than 50K
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckodeirish View Post
In So Cal and agree with this 100%.
I can understand that might be what people want and consider good, but it's not very realistic. I also did HR temp work for awhile so I worked for a number of companies, and know what real salaries look like. I've never seen 75-100K for an entry level job, and 35-55K is not what low skilled jobs pay. Many people with college degrees and years of experience are earning in the 40s, plenty are in the 30s, although usually high 30s for degreed professionals.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
18,082 posts, read 16,538,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detshen View Post
Houses prices have risen dramatically, I bought in Oakland County in 09, my house is worth A LOT more now, houses in my city are going for well over asking and are snapped up within a few weeks. Those super cheap houses aren't really available anymore unless you are willing to do A LOT of work, and only in Wayne county which is generally more working class (nothing wrong with that).

In Oakland county, just north of the city, which is the most desirable area for more typically urban professional people who like restaurants, boutique shopping, and entertainment, plus good schools, and you are still within a short drive to all the Detroit amenities like sports stadiums, museums, Eastern market, etc. you can't get anything updated for less than 250K, probably closer to 300K unless very small is okay. You can find a few houses in the 105K range in some areas, but you better not care if it has modern updates, and they will likely still need a lot of work, and be tiny bungalows.

I moved here from Socal and I feel I was mislead about the cheap cost of housing, they way people talked I should have practically been able to afford a mansion, but no, I was disappointed in the selection, I found a house I love in a city I love, but even in 09 it was at the top of my budget. I was looking for updated, move in ready, those were still expensive even then at the bottom of the market.

Everyone I know is employed, and even getting better jobs. A lot of people have actually moved here for work, but the high paying jobs that don't require a degree are gone, and entry level with no experience are hard to find. People judge Detroit by the city itself, but that's misleading, the cities surrounding the city act as neighborhoods do in other cities and they are less expensive than other major cities, but definitely not cheap.
Yes, the cost of homes have risen quite a bit. This is great news for established home owners who've seen their value erode over the past decade. Home ownership is still remarkably cheaper in most of the metro Detroit area compared to other major metropolitan areas. You can still find decent deals if you look around. Property taxes are also quite reasonable. My folks pay something slightly over 1K in property taxes every year. With a house their size, that would easily cost 5K annually in property taxes.

I noticed you were talking about the Oakland area, which is considerably more pricy than other suburban areas around Detroit. I lived by St Clair Shores and there's still great deals to be had. The house I was talking about that I almost bought for 32K was in Harrison Twp, very close to the house I grew up in. That was in 2009 actually. That area is more working class than the Oakland area, and a popular choice for the autoworkers. They have all been called back to work a couples years ago, and working tons of OT these days
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:15 PM
 
6,791 posts, read 7,486,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
Yes, the cost of homes have risen quite a bit. This is great news for established home owners who've seen their value erode over the past decade. Home ownership is still remarkably cheaper in most of the metro Detroit area compared to other major metropolitan areas. You can still find decent deals if you look around. Property taxes are also quite reasonable. My folks pay something slightly over 1K in property taxes every year. With a house their size, that would easily cost 5K annually in property taxes.

I noticed you were talking about the Oakland area, which is considerably more pricy than other suburban areas around Detroit. I lived by St Clair Shores and there's still great deals to be had. The house I was talking about that I almost bought for 32K was in Harrison Twp, very close to the house I grew up in. That was in 2009 actually. That area is more working class than the Oakland area, and a popular choice for the autoworkers. They have all been called back to work a couples years ago, and working tons of OT these days
Yes, it's certainly cheaper than many major cities, it's just not as cheap as some people make it out to be. Of course, that does depend greatly on what someone is looking for. I came from a really great city neighborhood, and wanted to mimic that experience, it turned out that meant paying a lot more. I came from Socal and really thought I was going to have a ton of amazing choices, but it turned out that the type of area I want to live in is still quite expensive, this is the type of area one would find in the great neighborhoods of other major cities, but in many city neighborhoods I'd be priced out, so I can't really complain. In my city a 250K house would pay around 6K in taxes which seems quite high to me, this city is highly desirable, and our schools and services are top notch, in neighboring cities it would probably be closer to $4K. 1K is frickin amazing!
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:59 PM
 
242 posts, read 580,777 times
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In my field things can range widely. I work in Retail Management, and have since 2003. Since then I've seen pay ranges from $40k to $62K and I have heard uppers and coworkers go into six figures. It depends so much on the volume of your location, your relationship with the person who decides and the current job market.

But for me personally I would say...

$35K Low
$50k Average
$65k Good
$75k Excellent
$100k Yes please
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:58 PM
 
7,237 posts, read 11,552,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detshen View Post
Yes, it's certainly cheaper than many major cities, it's just not as cheap as some people make it out to be.
Agreed.

I'd put Detroit's cost of living between the Chicago/Philadelphia level and the Atlanta/Dallas level.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Texas
44,257 posts, read 56,896,314 times
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To me, amazing would have to be in the 7 figures...that is truly amazing.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:54 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,066,916 times
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It all depends on a variety of factors, such as the cost of living in the location where you live, commuting distance, if you have a family, etc. Personally a good salary is one that would enable me to pay for all more basic living expenses along with maybe a few thousand a year in non essential expenses and then save at least 5k a year.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:55 AM
 
419 posts, read 757,510 times
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These responses are rather insightful as to why/how the middle class in Americans is being obliterated.
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