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This is Insane! - Page 2

post #21 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
Because it shouldn't take an upper class salary to live a middle class lifestyle in the NY (aka Queens), kwim? It shouldn't take 2.5 times the salary to live the same lifestyle in NY as in Dallas (50k vs. 123k). I can understand things being more expensive, but seriously, 2.5 times as expensive? And NY is an extremely populated place. If MOST of the people there can't make a middle class lifestyle, then that shows a problem.

Yes, it's more expensive on the coasts, but that's also were most of the people are. If most of the people on the more populated areas can't scrape by on an average middle class income, then that speaks to erosion for me.

Ami
And yet, I and many of my friends who were just-off-the-boat emigrants, with no third level educationl, were able to live there just fine. In fact, I was the only one among the many I knew from my country who was NOT undocumented at that time. But all the college educated, privileged Americans can't afford to live in NY? Something strange about that.
post #22 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
And yet, I and many of my friends who were just-off-the-boat emigrants, with no third level educationl, were able to live there just fine. In fact, I was the only one among the many I knew from my country who was NOT undocumented at that time. But all the college educated, privileged Americans can't afford to live in NY? Something strange about that.
I'm not talking about 'living there fine' I'm talking of being middle class. Most recent fob immigrants (btw, I am an immigrant myself as well--just got my green card 1 yr ago) are NOT middle class. I'm not saying it's impossible to live there, just that it shouldn't take an upper middle class salary to be middle class, kwim? And no, the majority of Americans are not college educated. About a quarter of the population has some tertiary education (not necessarily a degree), and even fewer have an actual degree. So I'm not sure where your statement about 'educated, privileged Americans' comes from.

I'm not sure why you find something 'strange' about my post? What's strange about saying that it shouldn't take 6 figures to be middle class in NY? That's all I was saying.

Ami
post #23 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by cravenab00 View Post
$2800 for rent!!!!!!???????????

(faints)
Not surprising to me at all. We pay $1,440/month for 1,250 sq.ft. in a townhouse (rowhouse?) - no yard, just a patio, and a tiny, tiny (about 4' X 10'...maybe) "garden plot" at the front of the house, which is half taken up by a large bush. It's an old complex, in a not wonderful (but not terrible) part of town. When we moved in here, it was by far the best deal available in our municipality. Smaller units in basements (so less space, but at least some yard access) were going for around $2,000.

I can't imagine living in New York.
post #24 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
And it isn't just a question of loving it there. What if your whole family is there, and has been for a century? You have the choice of either a low standard of living, or moving away from your family. Not a great choice.
Yup. Cost of living isn't anywhere near as bad here as in New York, but dh and I are facing exactly that. DH doesn't care - he gave up his family and hometown already (for me), but I'm dreading it...absolutely dreading it. We're going to have to go, for sure. We're basically just hanging in for a couple years to let ds1 graduate with all his friends (some of whom have been classmates since kindergarten).
post #25 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
And it isn't just a question of loving it there. What if your whole family is there, and has been for a century? You have the choice of either a low standard of living, or moving away from your family. Not a great choice.
Yes, you are right. It is not always about loving a city. I grew up in LA and left because of the cost of living/quality of of lifestyle and it was just this kind of choice -- live in a crappy apartment, deal with the traffic and crime or move on and live a long ways from family. We chose to move on, but it was a hard decision to make. It would have been harder had I loved living in LA, but I didn't.
post #26 of 90
I believe it.

My bro lives in Manhattan and makes 6 figures, yet his apartment could fit in the space my formal dining and living room takes up.

He loves it, though.

ETA: I haven't read past the OP, so sorry if this doesn't add to the discussion
post #27 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
I'm not talking about 'living there fine' I'm talking of being middle class. Most recent fob immigrants (btw, I am an immigrant myself as well--just got my green card 1 yr ago) are NOT middle class. I'm not saying it's impossible to live there, just that it shouldn't take an upper middle class salary to be middle class, kwim? And no, the majority of Americans are not college educated. About a quarter of the population has some tertiary education (not necessarily a degree), and even fewer have an actual degree. So I'm not sure where your statement about 'educated, privileged Americans' comes from.

I'm not sure why you find something 'strange' about my post? What's strange about saying that it shouldn't take 6 figures to be middle class in NY? That's all I was saying.

Ami
Define what middle class means to you and I'll let you know if we were living that way. I'm saying that we didn't need upper middle class incomes to live in NY and enjoy our lives there immensely.

Congrats on the green card, I know how much it means!:
post #28 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I believe it.

My bro lives in Manhattan and makes 6 figures, yet his apartment could fit in the space my formal dining and living room takes up.

He loves it, though.

ETA: I haven't read past the OP, so sorry if this doesn't add to the discussion
That's the kind of trade off you make to live in the city. I live in downtown Boston now, and could have a McMansion in the suburbs for the same price as my 2 bedroom condo. We have no car either. It's worth it to us to live in town. Friends that live in the suburbs and need two cars, etc end up paying around the same as we do in living expenses. Every family has different priorities, and different ideas about what adds up to a good life. For us, living in a small space is not a problem. We wouldn't use a formal dining room if we had one

The houses in Europe tend to be much smaller, with smaller rooms than the US, so my apartment does not seem that small to me. Friends' suburban houses always seem huge in my eyes.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
That's the kind of trade off you make to live in the city. I live in downtown Boston now, and could have a McMansion in the suburbs for the same price as my 2 bedroom condo. We have no car either. It's worth it to us to live in town. Friends that live in the suburbs and need two cars, etc end up paying around the same as we do in living expenses. Every family has different priorities, and different ideas about what adds up to a good life. For us, living in a small space is not a problem. We wouldn't use a formal dining room if we had one
oh, we don't use the formal dining room. Someday I want a nice table in there but we wouldn't eat there because of the white carpet and small children. And we don't live in the suburbs, technically, nor have a McMansion. A huge house, yes, but it's custom and in a more rural area. But, I hear ya and know what you are saying. When we lived in Denver it meant small apartments for not much less than what we are paying now.
post #30 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
Because it shouldn't take an upper class salary to live a middle class lifestyle in the NY (aka Queens), kwim? It shouldn't take 2.5 times the salary to live the same lifestyle in NY as in Dallas (50k vs. 123k). I can understand things being more expensive, but seriously, 2.5 times as expensive? And NY is an extremely populated place. If MOST of the people there can't make a middle class lifestyle, then that shows a problem.

Yes, it's more expensive on the coasts, but that's also were most of the people are. If most of the people on the more populated areas can't scrape by on an average middle class income, then that speaks to erosion for me.

Ami
I guess I see it as trying to compare apples to oranges.

What would be an upper-middle class salary in the middle of the country or a small town, is just not going to be an upper-middle class salary in NYC.

You just can't make that comparison. It doesn't work...

And like previous posters have mentioned, you may not need a car, can walk many places, it's seems to be commen to share an apartment there, salaries will be somewhat higher, etc.

I wish I could explain better. But "average" middle-class income is just that...an average. It will be more in some areas and less in others. Most people will fall in that middle, average area, but for some areas the numbers will be different.

Same with COL, housing prices, etc.
post #31 of 90


Um, yeah. This is my apartment: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/s...-studio-050441

It's 640 square feet in Manhattan. We're middle class, could not afford private schools, do not have a car. Do have a car sharing service, a house keeper once in a while, paid for private part-time preschool.

I am not going to say what we make, but um, yeah, middle class here is 6 figures.

When we moved here from Atlanta, DHs income literally doubled (I became a grad student). Our rental costs doubled too, though in both we were medium-distance from the "hotspots" and work areas of the city. However, that was over 10 years ago now.
post #32 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post


Um, yeah. This is my apartment: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/s...-studio-050441

It's 640 square feet in Manhattan. We're middle class, could not afford private schools, do not have a car. Do have a car sharing service, a house keeper once in a while, paid for private part-time preschool.

I am not going to say what we make, but um, yeah, middle class here is 6 figures.

When we moved here from Atlanta, DHs income literally doubled (I became a grad student). Our rental costs doubled too, though in both we were medium-distance from the "hotspots" and work areas of the city. However, that was over 10 years ago now.
Wow, I LOVE your place! That is so cool. I always wanted to live in the Village. I could afford it now, but back then, Queens was what I could afford.

Our space is bigger than yours (about double) but my kids are 15 and almost 12, so we do need a bit more space. I'd be willing to give fitting them into yours a shot, though, to live in the Village
post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post


Um, yeah. This is my apartment: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/s...-studio-050441

It's 640 square feet in Manhattan. We're middle class, could not afford private schools, do not have a car. Do have a car sharing service, a house keeper once in a while, paid for private part-time preschool.

I am not going to say what we make, but um, yeah, middle class here is 6 figures.

When we moved here from Atlanta, DHs income literally doubled (I became a grad student). Our rental costs doubled too, though in both we were medium-distance from the "hotspots" and work areas of the city. However, that was over 10 years ago now.
Your apartment is awesome. Our house is more than 1000 ft. bigger, but not even close to as cool (we're actually looking to downsize). I'm gonna have to show this to my husband.
post #34 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Wow, I LOVE your place! That is so cool. I always wanted to live in the Village. I could afford it now, but back then, Queens was what I could afford.

Our space is bigger than yours (about double) but my kids are 15 and almost 12, so we do need a bit more space. I'd be willing to give fitting them into yours a shot, though, to live in the Village
Yeah, we lived for a long time in a tiny Brooklyn apartment where the front was ground level and the back was basement level with little short windows in the bedroom near the ceiling. Then we rented in the village in a building that turned out to be run by a... um... unscrupulous landlord who never paid to actually fix anything. I was always amazed the bathtub hadn't yet crashed through the floor, bc the floor was soft and rotten. So we fled and bought this apartment, which looked NOTHING like this at the time. I don't know how long it will work for us as the kids get bigger, but I love the area and the building, so who knows.
post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Yeah, we lived for a long time in a tiny Brooklyn apartment where the front was ground level and the back was basement level with little short windows in the bedroom near the ceiling. Then we rented in the village in a building that turned out to be run by a... um... unscrupulous landlord who never paid to actually fix anything. I was always amazed the bathtub hadn't yet crashed through the floor, bc the floor was soft and rotten. So we fled and bought this apartment, which looked NOTHING like this at the time. I don't know how long it will work for us as the kids get bigger, but I love the area and the building, so who knows.
Do you remember those old Village apartments with the bathtubs in the kitchen? An ex of mine had one of those...Not middle class enough for some I guess
post #36 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
In some areas, salaries don't keep up with housing. In New England it is like that, big city or small. Salaries are higher than other areas of the country, but not *that* much higher.
yup, we had friends who moved from seattle to boston (surrounds) like us, but unlike us they stayed with the same company when they did it. COL here is higher (in subtle ways) and when they complained that their salary was not commensurately higher they were told their salary was based on the 'cost of labor' for the area. Basically, market rate - people doing their job will work for that amount here, so that's all they will pay, even though cost of living is higher.
post #37 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Do you remember those old Village apartments with the bathtubs in the kitchen? An ex of mine had one of those...Not middle class enough for some I guess
I don't think a bathtub in the kitchen would be considered a "middle class" apartment. But if we'd had a kitchen bathtub in this place, I'd have kept it! It would be the ideal chilling station for drinks at parties, perfect for bathing little kids, could make an awesome planter for kitchen herbs....

Alas, the building is old, but it was a factory until the 1970s, so the apartment fixtures were all 70s era "convert to apartments on the cheap" stuff. We did, however, keep the built in laundry hamper in the bathroom that utilizes the space inside the wall. The architect friend who drew up plans was like "really? you want to keep that? we'll have to do a different path with the stairway lights..." and I said I was keeping my built-in hamper! (If we had room in the bathroom, I would have added 2 more, bc 1 small hamper is not really enough for a family of four, and doing one hamper for each "lights, darks, reds" would totally make me : I know, I'm weird.

I would also looooooove to have a "dumb waiter" even though we have just 2 floors. Save carrying the baskets o' toys and books and stuff up and down. Or one of those vacuum tube things that drive through banks use. My brother and I really wanted to put one in our house as children so we could send messages to one another through it.
post #38 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
oh, we don't use the formal dining room. Someday I want a nice table in there but we wouldn't eat there because of the white carpet and small children. And we don't live in the suburbs, technically, nor have a McMansion. A huge house, yes, but it's custom and in a more rural area. But, I hear ya and know what you are saying. When we lived in Denver it meant small apartments for not much less than what we are paying now.
Might I humbly suggest that, if at that point you are spending money on a table, you also get new non-white carpet (or a rug) at that time?
post #39 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post


Um, yeah. This is my apartment: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/s...-studio-050441

It's 640 square feet in Manhattan. We're middle class, could not afford private schools, do not have a car. Do have a car sharing service, a house keeper once in a while, paid for private part-time preschool.

I am not going to say what we make, but um, yeah, middle class here is 6 figures.

When we moved here from Atlanta, DHs income literally doubled (I became a grad student). Our rental costs doubled too, though in both we were medium-distance from the "hotspots" and work areas of the city. However, that was over 10 years ago now.
REALLY like your apartment!
post #40 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
The New Yorkers I know love New York...love it every way possible and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

I know cities that I love and would pay a fortune to live there. There is something about the right city for the right person, it just sets your soul on fire to live somewhere you love.
That is so true. That's how I feel about Chicago. I love everything about it. Sadly, we'll never move back. But it's still my favorite city.
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