Author Topic: planting our pennies (Living in Florida vs. DC)  (Read 867 times)

clarkfan1979

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planting our pennies (Living in Florida vs. DC)
« on: August 27, 2018, 02:29:18 AM »
http://www.plantingourpennies.com/move-to-florida/


The article is from 2013 and compares the cost of living for DC vs. Florida. This article really hit home for me because I was offered a job in DC in 2011 and turned it down and ended up moving to Florida instead. Best decision of my life. 

The DC offer was my first coming of grad school at $67,500.  I turned it down mostly due to the high cost of living. At the time, I had no other offers so everyone thought I was crazy to turn it down during the recession. It was for a non-profit with good work/life balance for an office job.

I ended taking a faculty job in Florida for 40K. I could make $46,500 with a summer course, which I did. I typically taught an on-line class during the summer, so I could still travel during my 3-month summer break.

I currently live in a high cost of living area (Kauai) and recently bought a house for 603K. However, I only made this move after living in low cost of living for 7 years previously.

I would have never moved to Kauai right out of grad school because I would never be able to afford to buy a house. I bought houses in LCOL areas and used the equity to purchase on Kauai.

I think this is a good real for young professionals (22 to 28) that want to move to a HCOL area. Your offer letter will look impressive with such a big number. However, you are unlikely to build wealth because you will be forced into a very expensive rental market.

I am starting to notice quite a few posts along the lines of, "My wife and I make really good money, but we can't afford to buy a house because our local area is very expensive." I would argue that if you can't afford to buy a house your income might not be as good as you think. If you are ok with not buying a house, that's fine. But if you want to buy a house, but can't, because it's too damn expensive, then maybe you should move. It's really that simple. Making 80K in DC isn't really that impressive. I would rather make 50K in Florida. 






LG89

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Re: planting our pennies (Living in Florida vs. DC)
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2018, 09:56:41 AM »
DMV person here. No arguments that DC is ridiculously expensive (exactly why I can't buy and feel extremely lucky to have landed the great and steal of a rental I have). But comparing a big metro city to an entire state? Too exaggerated. Should have compared FL to VA and/or MD instead. Or compare Miami or (other FL city) with DC. Article is still right, but wrong comparisons.

clarkfan1979

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Re: planting our pennies (Living in Florida vs. DC)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 10:21:38 PM »
I agree. They are comparing Southwest Florida to DC. Southwest Florida is Port Charlotte south to Naples. Median house price in 2013 was probably 150K. Now it's probably 250K.

One of my friends that lives in DC has a 5 month old baby and pays $2400/month for daycare (M-F). He claims that he and his wife make really good money but they can't afford to buy a house. If you are making really good money shouldn't you be able to afford to buy a house?

I am not against HCOL areas. I currently live in one. However, I am against them if you don't make enough to buy a house and are forced to rent. I'm not against renting. I am against being forced to rent. Choosing to rent is different.

Mrs. PoP

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Re: planting our pennies (Living in Florida vs. DC),
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2018, 11:13:04 AM »
@clarkfan1979 thanks for pulling this old post out!  It was one of my favorites to write, because I, too, chose between Florida and DC for my first job out of grad school and Florida has been a great choice for me financially compared to friends that went the DC route.  (Though that wasnít the reason for my choice - I didnít have that kind of foresight.)

These days, I think of SWFL as medium COL.   Housing has definitely gone up, but not to the stratospheres that DC is at.   And what weíre all spending on has changed over time, too. 

Since 2013, my DC friends have had kids and theyíve had to pay a DC premium there, too.  $2400/mo for daycare sounds about right for what they were paying per child, and I know one of them even had to pay for ~4 months before the kid was old enough to go to secure their spot.  So while on maternity leave, getting some sick/disability pay, but probably having to go on cobra and pay more for health insurance costs... the DC premium cost them an additional about $10K for services they couldnít even use.  It sucked.  Those prices and the general scarcity around daycare just doesnít happen here in the same way. 

So yeah, Florida has gotten a bit more expensive to buy in right now, but overall I think the logic still holds that COL increases on salaries arenít generally enough to make up for differences in taxes and Price differences due to relative scarcity on some of the big items in a budget.  Maybe Iím overdue to update this with some additional daycare costs/moving to a more expensive house to get in a better school district and see how things shake out then.  But I still think FL is likely to come out the financial winner.