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interesting cost of living infographic


ElizabethB
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Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-working-class-families-can-kiss-goodbye-to-the-american-dream-2017-08-31?utm_content=buffer8bb3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer&mg=prod/accounts-mw

Here is a link from the people who made the infographic:

https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-working-class-can-afford-to-live

Edited by ElizabethB
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Wow, Seattle shocks me. My DH makes descent money but we feel pretty strapped since I took time off to homeschool. Housing is astronomical. Everything else (food, gas, electricity etc) isn't too bad so maybe that is the difference. My 23 yo rents outside of Seattle and pays 2 grand per month. That probably seems like nothing in New York or California but I imagine other places that is considered high.

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Wow, Seattle shocks me. My DH makes descent money but we feel pretty strapped since I took time off to homeschool. Housing is astronomical. Everything else (food, gas, electricity etc) isn't too bad so maybe that is the difference. My 23 yo rents outside of Seattle and pays 2 grand per month. That probably seems like nothing in New York or California but I imagine other places that is considered high.

It's why a lot of 20-somethings are still at home. $2K a month for one bedroom apartments. A small befroom in a house is $800. NOT a private bathroom.

 

It's a problem for working-class and single-Income families.

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Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

No idea about Fresno but Bakersfield is much less densely populated than the major cities in California. We can get a family suite with full kitchenette at a low hotel rate when we stop there for the night while driving home from Las Vegas.

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Here is a link from the people who made the infographic:

 

https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-working-class-can-afford-to-live

 

 

Those people must be related to the people who labeled Mississippi as Alabama on one of those hurricane maps. PSA: Pittsburgh is not in NY. 

 

I have no idea how much it costs to rent a 1500 sq ft apartment here. Ours is nowhere near that big, while still being enough space for 4 people. However, with those two jobs, you could definitely afford to live where we live (which is why we can afford for me to stay at home). 

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It's why a lot of 20-somethings are still at home. $2K a month for one bedroom apartments. A small befroom in a house is $800. NOT a private bathroom.

 

It's a problem for working-class and single-Income families.

 

That's higher than NJ and everyone always talks about how expensive it is here.   You can get a decent two bedroom garden apartment for around $1000 a month, if you go where you'll have a 30-60 minute commute to work during rush hour (less if you can go in early/leave early).    We were looking recently for oldest dd.  

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-50,500. Yep. Seems about right if you don't make a solidly middle class salary.

 

Those people must be related to the people who labeled Mississippi as Alabama on one of those hurricane maps. PSA: Pittsburgh is not in NY. 

 

Ha. I spotted that too. I think they just didn't extend the line to the circle below it. Right now it seems to be labeling Rochester. Oops.

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That's higher than NJ and everyone always talks about how expensive it is here. You can get a decent two bedroom garden apartment for around $1000 a month, if you go where you'll have a 30-60 minute commute to work during rush hour (less if you can go in early/leave early). We were looking recently for oldest dd.

With Seattle tech booming we worry about this area becoming the next San Francisco. I adore Washington immensely but if my husband wasn't in science (a career that locks you in to certain regions...most expensive) I would move in a heartbeat. My older boys love their careers but neither are in tech and they could relocate. As much as I would miss them if they moved out of state, I have encouraged them to consider it since all of their funds go to rent and other living expenses. One son is concerned since he is planning to propose to his GF soon and wants children. She wants to quit her job and be home with the baby if and when that happens. Those kids would be so strapped on one income. It is just not a comfortable place to live if you didn't purchase your home back when the market was a buyers market. Those people are doing so much better currently.

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Ha. I spotted that too. I think they just didn't extend the line to the circle below it. Right now it seems to be labeling Rochester. Oops.

 

 

I agree about the line. However, I'm pretty sure that that circle is Buffalo. Rochester is a little further NE. 

 

Thinking about the color of the circle more; iirc 1500 sq ft apartments around here are rather expensive compared to 1000 sq ft apartments. There are a LOT of duplexes that are 800-1200 sq ft or so (typically with a basement or attic that's not included in that square footage, and with a front yard and a backyard, and quite possibly a driveway), but if you want to bump up to 1500, you're really going to have to cough up. Of course, a family of 4 absolutely does not need 1500 sq ft. I mean, it'd be nice to have 1500 sq ft, and if we were buying I'd aim for that, but I'm not willing to pay double or triple the rent for that little bit extra square footage (when buying the cost increase is minor - people just typically don't have places for rent that are that big). 

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That's higher than NJ and everyone always talks about how expensive it is here.   You can get a decent two bedroom garden apartment for around $1000 a month, if you go where you'll have a 30-60 minute commute to work during rush hour (less if you can go in early/leave early).    We were looking recently for oldest dd.  

Here' the thing, though:  some (not all) millennial are just flat not open to sharing living quarters.  You CAN get a  2 br for $200 more per month than a 1BR...but oh my you would have to share a KITCHEN and maybe a bathroom.  :::clutches pearls:::

 

Sorry bub. My first apartment had a drain in the living room floor, a shared bedroom and bathroom, and a fridge up a flight of stairs.  And lo, I survived.  

 

My second apartment was a converted garage I shared with three people.  We had to work things out, but we also had a lot of fun together!  And besides that, it was what we could AFFORD.  I have less sympathy for the "won't share a stove" singles crowd than I do for the families who are trying to make it on one income--because really, in this area, by the time you figure taxes and so on, daycare for one kid costs more than a second income can earn, anyway...although at least it does keep one current in one's career.  

 

I am very attached to my parish.  But it is a costly attachment.  We bought our house 4 years ago for around $650K.  It would sell in two days for $950 right now.  Yay for me.  But I am sad for the young people who want to get a toe-hold without a 2 hour commute.  And it kind of ticks me off to have this much of my net worth tied up in a lawn, if you know what I mean.  I like my home, and I am very very glad we got on the homeowner escalator when we did.  I just don't know how people do it now...except that I know of many college graduates starting at $120K salaries.  I guess that is how.  

 

:::rant over:::

 

All this to say that I think the expectations that create this infographic are a *little* skewed.  Even so, I take the point.  

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San Bernardino (2.5K) and the Inland Empire in the South are affordable because they are farther inland and very hot, more like Arizona than what people think California. Many people there have long commutes to other areas like San Diego (-34.2 K) and Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

 

Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-working-class-families-can-kiss-goodbye-to-the-american-dream-2017-08-31?utm_content=buffer8bb3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer&mg=prod/accounts-mw

 

Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

 

Here is a link from the people who made the infographic:

 

https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-working-class-can-afford-to-live

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Even in CA, there are places where you are 2-3 hours from the coast but COL is much lower than in the Bay Area or SoCal.

Like Patty Joanna said, I don't want a $300,000 postage size lawn. My niece in the North Bay has 2 kiddos, a working husband (firefighter in SFO) and they are looking at a fixer-upper - typical 3/2 arrangement that would be about in the $600 - 700,000 range. Absolutely crazy and discouraging to young people.

 

Here, young people can still get started in a decent size apartment or rent a small house. We live on the outskirts of a metro area, have about 35 min - 1 hour commute but still have land around us and COL is affordable in relation to salaries.

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Odd. NC has no green, but it is considerably lower cost of living, even in the cities, than many places.

 

In fact, my friend just moved from Charlotte to Dallas and Dallas seems to be much higher cost for her.  She had a $200K house here, but got a smaller house for $300K in the greater Dallas area, and although there are no state taxes, their property tax is very high, and she was telling me their utilities are also much higher.

 

As for my own kids......we have strongly encouraged them to consider living at home, on our dime, as long as they are wiling after college, and save, save, save.  Of course, I can't dictate what my kids do, but we have strongly talked about living within or below your means for all of their lives and they seem to get it. 

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What do they mean by "working class?"  I know it would be different for different areas, but when I look up working class.....it says around $50,000 per year?  Is that maybe what he is talking about?  So, if that is the median, then for lower cost of living areas (Alabama outside of the major cities) we would be talking around $40K?  And for places like Chicago we might be talking $75K?

 

I am trying to figure out some concrete numbers he might be referring to.

 

I see the professions he is talking about.......one spouse an appliance repair person, the other a manicurist.  So, would my numbers be about right?

Edited by DawnM
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San Bernardino (2.5K) and the Inland Empire in the South are affordable because they are farther inland and very hot, more like Arizona than what people think California. Many people there have long commutes to other areas like San Diego (-34.2 K) and Los Angeles.

 

 

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-working-class-families-can-kiss-goodbye-to-the-american-dream-2017-08-31?utm_content=buffer8bb3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer&mg=prod/accounts-mw

 

Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

 

Here is a link from the people who made the infographic:

 

https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-working-class-can-afford-to-live

 

 

 

I was trying to explain some of this to some friends who are from CA.  Well, he is.  He grew up in Los Angeles and his family is still there.  He and his family have a rather low income and they plan to retire soon.  They would love to move back to SoCal but only want to spend about $350K tops for a house/townhouse.  And since they will be retired, being a couple of hours away would be fine, it is still MUCH closer than a 5 hour plane trip!

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Here' the thing, though:  some (not all) millennial are just flat not open to sharing living quarters.  You CAN get a  2 br for $200 more per month than a 1BR...but oh my you would have to share a KITCHEN and maybe a bathroom.  :::clutches pearls:::

 

Sorry bub. My first apartment had a drain in the living room floor, a shared bedroom and bathroom, and a fridge up a flight of stairs.  And lo, I survived.  

 

My second apartment was a converted garage I shared with three people.  We had to work things out, but we also had a lot of fun together!  And besides that, it was what we could AFFORD.  I have less sympathy for the "won't share a stove" singles crowd than I do for the families who are trying to make it on one income--because really, in this area, by the time you figure taxes and so on, daycare for one kid costs more than a second income can earn, anyway...although at least it does keep one current in one's career.  

 

I am very attached to my parish.  But it is a costly attachment.  We bought our house 4 years ago for around $650K.  It would sell in two days for $950 right now.  Yay for me.  But I am sad for the young people who want to get a toe-hold without a 2 hour commute.  And it kind of ticks me off to have this much of my net worth tied up in a lawn, if you know what I mean.  I like my home, and I am very very glad we got on the homeowner escalator when we did.  I just don't know how people do it now...except that I know of many college graduates starting at $120K salaries.  I guess that is how.  

 

:::rant over:::

 

All this to say that I think the expectations that create this infographic are a *little* skewed.  Even so, I take the point.  

 

My oldest is 23, graduated last year.  She currently lives with her grandmother but was originally going to live with some friends in a house owned by one's grandparents.  It ended up not working out, but she has quite a few friends sharing a house or apartment.  Usually a house because there are a lot more houses for rent around here than apartments.   I know very few singles her age living on their own.  Usually they are still with parents or sharing space with friends.    Although, I also don't know any making $120,000 right out of school.  Most of dd's friends are either working retail/food service jobs because they are going back to grad school, or in careers like teachers or firefighters. 

 

ETA:  I went right from my parents home to ex's parent's home.  When I divorced I rented.  One place was a 450 square foot house with only a shower stall and a pellet stove for heat.   $750 a month plus utilities, but the owner was a real problem.

Edited by Where's Toto?
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What do they mean by "working class?"  I know it would be different for different areas, but when I look up working class.....it says around $50,000 per year?  Is that maybe what he is talking about?  So, if that is the median, then for lower cost of living areas (Alabama outside of the major cities) we would be talking around $40K?  And for places like Chicago we might be talking $75K?

 

I am trying to figure out some concrete numbers he might be referring to.

 

I see the professions he is talking about.......one spouse an appliance repair person, the other a manicurist.  So, would my numbers be about right?

 

 

For appliance repair, the numbers I'm finding are $40-something thousand per year. For manicurist, I'm finding $20-something thousand per year. Add those up and you roughly have our household income. Somehow, I don't think $700 rent for a 3bd/1bath, water included, is all that hard to afford on that income. Paying double that to get 1500 sq ft would be silliness though. Since neither of those jobs seem like the kind that you'd need to move for, it'd make more sense to buy a house. I'm not entirely sure how cheap you can go to get something livable in a neighborhood that's not dangerous, since I'm personally unwilling to go under six figures, but you probably could find something that fits those specs under six figures (Trulia says there are 226 houses with 1500+ sqft under $100k - not that Trulia is super accurate about what's still available, but it gives you an idea).

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$2000 for rent sound nuts to me, but I live in a low COL area, outside of any cities and our mortgage is about 40% of that (but for less than 1500 sq. ft.).  Median for Atlanta is $55,700ish and for my county it's $62,500ish.  We've lived on well below either of those for most of our married life and haven't really suffered in any palpable way.  BUT...we're relatively healthy people, family nearby to help if something went sideways, etc.  It's a tenuous position, but if I have a choice between meat and beans for protein, I'm not going to feel poor, kwim?

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My oldest is 23, graduated last year.  She currently lives with her grandmother but was originally going to live with some friends in a house owned by one's grandparents.  It ended up not working out, but she has quite a few friends sharing a house or apartment.  Usually a house because there are a lot more houses for rent around here than apartments.   I know very few singles her age living on their own.  Usually they are still with parents or sharing space with friends.    Although, I also don't know any making $120,000 right out of school.  Most of dd's friends are either working retail/food service jobs because they are going back to grad school, or in careers like teachers or firefighters. 

 

ETA:  I went right from my parents home to ex's parent's home.  When I divorced I rented.  One place was a 450 square foot house with only a shower stall and a pellet stove for heat.   $750 a month plus utilities, but the owner was a real problem.

 

I shouldn't have been so broad brush.  And to be fair, a lot of millennials I know live in shared quarters.  I guess the reason I overstated it is because it never would have *occurred* to any of us at that age that we would live alone OR still be living at home.  But a solo apartment is a "right" according to some of the millennials I know.  (They are pretty strong on *rights*.) :::wink:::  

 

Some of the millennials I know who live alone live in those teeny apartments, and the rent on those is about $800 a month.  

 

My 22yo son is living at home, rent-free.  He's part of a software startup, stock-options/no salary, and in a year, he will either have no money or a lot of money.  But he does want to move out and is getting his things in order to make that happen.  

 

I'm not really picking at millennials.  I know it is complicated.  They tend to graduate college with more debt than my generation did (and they really could NOT pay for college the way we did, with a summer job, and 10 hours a week work study), and that figures in to what is actually affordable.  

 

As for new graduates getting upwards of $100K a year salary, I know about 4.  And they still want their parents to pay their phone bills.  :::eye roll:::  LOL. Growing up takes a while, I guess, no matter how well things go.

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Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-working-class-families-can-kiss-goodbye-to-the-american-dream-2017-08-31?utm_content=buffer8bb3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer&mg=prod/accounts-mw

 

Here is a link from the people who made the infographic:

 

https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-working-class-can-afford-to-live

The green spots on the Ca map are not lovely places to live. Scorching hot, bad air quality, huge drug problems.... they're affordable for a reason.

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The green spots on the Ca map are not lovely places to live. Scorching hot, bad air quality, huge drug problems.... they're affordable for a reason.

Actually, I think we drove past one of those places on a drive once. It claimed to be the raisin capital of the world, scorching hot is good for making raisins, apparently. I wouldn't have wanted to live there.

Edited by ElizabethB
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Aurora?

 

I would have thought that the circles would be pinker for most of the Colorado Springs/Denver/Boulder corridor.

I've always heard that Colorado Springs is the most affordable option in CO.  Do you think the 2 circles represent Denver area and Colorado Springs area?

 

I think the map is way cool, but I like maps...

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Most make sense but I was surprised to see any green in California, and expected Seattle to be redder and Boise to be green instead of pink.

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-working-class-families-can-kiss-goodbye-to-the-american-dream-2017-08-31?utm_content=buffer8bb3f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer&mg=prod/accounts-mw

 

Here is a link from the people who made the infographic:

 

https://howmuch.net/articles/where-the-working-class-can-afford-to-live

Eastern Wa is a whole different ballgame. Wa is divided between eastern and Western. Western Wa is crazy expensive. Crazy. Eastern Wa is much more affordable, but you don't have the high paying tech jobs there and people aren't moving in daily by the thousands.

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If you go to the true cost of living site

 

https://howmuch.net/articles/true-cost-living

 

you can go to the map and break down to particular neighborhoods within a city.  In my area, I could get it to zoom in on about a 10 block region.  The average rent for the town I live in seemed highly inaccurate, but when I zoomed it and got more precise, it did seem like a reasonable estimate.

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