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Old 04-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #61
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At some level I think they would step back and say we make 400K and we life in a very cramped 800' apartment with the 2 kids. You don't have to have the highest status/best in every aspect of your life, your address, your food, nanny, Pre School etc.
Like I said, the same struggle everyone goes through at that age. It would be interesting to see who wins the battle... them or life. (Well, maybe not. I think we all know how this tale is going to end -- the harder you push the harder the world pushes back.)

what just came to mind was the ol' definition of Bankruptcy -- the end of a dream.
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:59 PM   #62
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Tonganoxie, Kansas before the curve - but keep it under your hat before it gets discovered.



heh heh heh -
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:16 PM   #63
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Tonganoxie, Kansas before the curve - but keep it under your hat before it gets discovered.
Like Colorado in the 60's:

Bring your money
Bring your dope,
and we all sincerely hope
that you don't forget to leave here when you're done.

(Hmmmm... that still holds true today.)
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:39 PM   #64
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Makes $400k and pays $200k taxes? Somethings wrong with that picture..
Canada isn't that far off, or wasn't a few years ago. Top marginal income tax rates exceeded 50% in my province. Add sales tax, property tax, gas tax and a few others, I can see it.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:51 PM   #65
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Though prices have gone up since we lived there, you can still get a beautiful 3-4 br co-op in a historic building in Jackson Heights for well under a million, with monthly fees of less than 1000/month. There is a beautiful listing in the NYTs of a duplex 4br on our old block that they are asking $698k for -- it has been listed for ages so that price is probably too high. There are also lots of cheaper options -- tons of 3-4 brs in the 600k range, and plenty of decent 3brs in the 500ks. There's even one 3br on our old block, same layout as our old place, listed for $467k -- needs work, though.

The commute is not that bad -- 20-30 minutes to midtown, 40-50 minutes downtown. Nannies are cheaper out there, too. The Garden School is a decent preschool-private school in that neighborhood with much lower tuition than the Manhattan elites -- only 13k/year. Our neighbors sent their pre-schooler there and really liked it. Im sure it is at least as good as a decent suburban school.

Life is all about choices. These people sound like they might be book smart but seriously lack common sense. For god's sake, if they must stay in Manhattan why not at least consider moving uptown or downtown -- is Fifth Avenue life really that great? I'd be happier on a side street, myself. Who wants to live on a main arterial? Just did some quick browsing on one of the major NYC agents' websites and found a 2 br rental off fifth avenue near Bryant park for $4500/month -- maybe they should consider selling and renting, which would at least bring their housing costs down to a more reasonable ratio to their take home pay.

Choices, people, choices. You can't have everything all of the time. If she is a sole proprietor couldn't she have her business anywhere? Her takehome might be a little less if she couldn't charge Manhattan rates, but their living expenses could go way down, too. He might have to commute a bit further, but I woner how much time he spends at home as it is. Employers will often be more amenable to a WAH situation, even part time, if you have a long commute.

lhamo
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #66
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This is another case which illustrates the canard of "the American Dream". This pair bought a $1 million apartment in a city where renting is perfectly acceptable. They are paying $100k/yr for an 800 sq ft apartment, when they could rent a 2400 sq ft, 3 br place nearby for $5000 per month. This is an example of how the unfailing belief in the housing market has unreasonably skewed housing prices. If this same couple were to rent, they would have at least another $40k in their pockets each year.

Three administrations of politicians have put the economy in the toilet pushing the "American Dream".
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:52 AM   #67
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We have had a few threads or posts about how people in NYC need huge salaries just to survive there, due to the high cost of living. People like me who have spent the entire life in backward places like AZ just couldn't understand it. However, I just ran across an article that sheds more light on this.

The subject of this Web article is a highly-educated married couple perhaps in their late 30s. With the husband having a doctorate from MIT, and the wife a dentist with her own practice, they make $400K/yr. Yet, they are scrambling to get by with their 3-yr old and a 9-mo old in a 800-sqft one bedroom apartment. This apartment, being on 5th Avenue, still has a price tag of $1M, and costs them 1/2 of the take-home salary. But more on this later.
Instead of going to the movies, they rent videos. Restaurants are reserved for once-a-quarter special occasions, rather than their monthly date nights. They now buy necessities at Wal-Mart and spend more time surfing the Web for sales than ever before.

Despite their income, Fou says he and his wife have little in savings and certainly not enough to support the family for any length of time should one of them lose a job. Nearly every dollar they earn is spoken for.
So, how do they spend their $400K yearly income? Here's what I got from the article

Gross = $400K
Taxes = $200K
Housing = $100K+
Child care = $40K+
Preschool = $15k

This leaves them with $45K for all other expenses -- medical, food, transportation, etc... -- which, even an ignoramus like myself knows, does not get them far in NYC.
Fou still plans to take the family on a winter vacation this year. He wants his son to get on his first pair of skis. But instead of flying to Colorado, they'll probably rent a car and drive up to Vermont for a long weekend. It's unlikely they will visit their families in Texas anytime soon, given the cost of airfares. So Fou purchased a webcam to ensure the grandparents can still see the kids regularly, albeit virtually.

So, why do they choose to live there? "We grew up in Dallas and Houston, respectively, and we just couldn't see ourselves living in the suburbs."

For a view of the 800-sqft $1M one-bedroom apartment for a family of 4, see video below.

See inside a 5th Avenue apartment - MSN Video

The full article is here.

Getting by on $400K
bs !
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:54 AM   #68
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Three administrations of politicians have put the economy in the toilet pushing the "American Dream".
Agreed. And we've bought the myth that each generation has to live better than their parents as if it's some sort of birthright or economic law. Pursuing that in the headwinds of global economic changes and over the last several decades has led to this debt-fueled mess.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #69
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We have had a few threads or posts about how people in NYC need huge salaries just to survive there, due to the high cost of living. People like me who have spent the entire life in backward places like AZ just couldn't understand it. However, I just ran across an article that sheds more light on this.

The subject of this Web article is a highly-educated married couple perhaps in their late 30s. With the husband having a doctorate from MIT, and the wife a dentist with her own practice, they make $400K/yr. Yet, they are scrambling to get by with their 3-yr old and a 9-mo old in a 800-sqft one bedroom apartment. This apartment, being on 5th Avenue, still has a price tag of $1M, and costs them 1/2 of the take-home salary. But more on this later.
Instead of going to the movies, they rent videos. Restaurants are reserved for once-a-quarter special occasions, rather than their monthly date nights. They now buy necessities at Wal-Mart and spend more time surfing the Web for sales than ever before.

Despite their income, Fou says he and his wife have little in savings and certainly not enough to support the family for any length of time should one of them lose a job. Nearly every dollar they earn is spoken for.

So, how do they spend their $400K yearly income? Here's what I got from the article

Gross = $400K
Taxes = $200K
Housing = $100K+
Child care = $40K+
Preschool = $15k

This leaves them with $45K for all other expenses -- medical, food, transportation, etc... -- which, even an ignoramus like myself knows, does not get them far in NYC.
Fou still plans to take the family on a winter vacation this year. He wants his son to get on his first pair of skis. But instead of flying to Colorado, they'll probably rent a car and drive up to Vermont for a long weekend. It's unlikely they will visit their families in Texas anytime soon, given the cost of airfares. So Fou purchased a webcam to ensure the grandparents can still see the kids regularly, albeit virtually.

So, why do they choose to live there? "We grew up in Dallas and Houston, respectively, and we just couldn't see ourselves living in the suburbs."

For a view of the 800-sqft $1M one-bedroom apartment for a family of 4, see video below.

See inside a 5th Avenue apartment - MSN Video

The full article is here.

Getting by on $400K
it's true, but NYC real estate prices vary. A LOT.

couples with children moved to Park SLope a long time ago if they wanted a trendy neighborhood. there is a long list of places to live where housing will cost 1/3 or less than what they pay. Abbey Joseph Cohen used to live in Kew Gardens even though she made a lot of money and could have moved somewhere else. and Kew Gardens has one of the best elementary schools in NYC.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:08 PM   #70
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Abbey Joseph Cohen used to live in Kew Gardens even though she made a lot of money and could have moved somewhere else. and Kew Gardens has one of the best elementary schools in NYC.
Before we bought our first house in Westchester County, DW and I lived right next to Kew Gardens, in Forest Hills. It is a beautiful part of Queens with some of the loveliest single-family homes in NYC. It was like a suburb with lots of grass and trees, yet very accessible to Manhattan via the subway or LIRR. Best of all, rents were about 2/3 of those for a similar apartment in Manhattan. The lower rent allowed us to save up a down payment for a house much more quickly than had we lived in Manhattan.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:21 PM   #71
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it's true, but NYC real estate prices vary. A LOT.

couples with children moved to Park SLope a long time ago if they wanted a trendy neighborhood. there is a long list of places to live where housing will cost 1/3 or less than what they pay. Abbey Joseph Cohen used to live in Kew Gardens even though she made a lot of money and could have moved somewhere else. and Kew Gardens has one of the best elementary schools in NYC.
I second Brooklyn. I worked there a couple of summers ago, and it's changed A LOT from when I lived in NYC full time. There are a lot of great neighborhoods around Dumbo and west toward the river. Further east get dicey, but some neighborhoods around the Atlantic Yards neighborhood could turn in the next 5 years.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:29 AM   #72
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Before we bought our first house in Westchester County, DW and I lived right next to Kew Gardens, in Forest Hills. It is a beautiful part of Queens with some of the loveliest single-family homes in NYC. It was like a suburb with lots of grass and trees, yet very accessible to Manhattan via the subway or LIRR. Best of all, rents were about 2/3 of those for a similar apartment in Manhattan. The lower rent allowed us to save up a down payment for a house much more quickly than had we lived in Manhattan.
i remember the days when Austin Street had a lot less banks and not a single starbucks
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:39 AM   #73
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Austin Street is an odd little piece of the suburbs in the middle of Queens. I would agree, that if money is an object - and it almost always is - Forest Hills has a great compromise of suburban quiet and easy access to Manhattan.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #74
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live in rego park

one thing i don't like about FH is all the red brick buildings are built very poorly and the walls are paper thin. my building is made of steel and concrete and i rarely hear anyone or anything. and the FH prices are too high. you can buy a house for the price of a 2 bedroom apartment and the maintenance on it

the good thing about co-ops is they have held their value very well. my building the values went up over the last few years and are flat over last year. the condos and SFH's in the area haven't done so well
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