Author Topic: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!  (Read 4691 times)

theonethatgotaway

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Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« on: November 27, 2014, 10:40:13 AM »
Hello all!

I'll jump to the chase. My husband and I (30 and 27) are moving back to NY with our 2 kiddos (7 and 2). I'm a stay at home mom.
We've made an accidental mess of our finances over the past year with an abrupt move to London for health reasons. We are now trying to 'get back on top' and stay there. My husband was just offered a position with one of the tech giants, which is why we are moving (otherwise I would stay).

His salary is 180k with 100k stock options.

We used to live on the UES in a three bedroom with garden for, wait for it- $2450!, this was 2009-2012. but also his salary was (only) 100k at the time. We pretty much spent all income eating out/shopping/private preschool living ANTI-mustachian lives. We realized our misguided ways earlier this year.

Coming back to the city, a quick look and wow rent has gotten pricey. We value short commutes (more time with our family-especially when his hours can be demanding).

His offices are in the Tribeca area so this had me looking over at Jersey (looked at Battery Park but I think the rent is too high). The suburbs of Jersey are a pretty far commute (1hour plus).

We are now looking at Jersey City. We see there are some tax advantages (about $500 per month) and a short commute (20 minutes) and nice buildings or brownstones to live in.

What are other NYers/NJ thoughts on this? Are the tax advantages that much better? I read that 401k contributions are taxed in NJ and not in NY.

We plan to be there a few years and would like to settle in an area. Our kiddos are getting older (we HS at the moment, but I'm not against a good school nearby to get us more acquainted with the local community- I realize this probably puts us in the private zone)

Thoughts?

Thanks!

lhamo

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 02:58:48 PM »
We looked briefly in Jersey City before ending up in Queens.  I really liked JC, but the schools are a concern.  If you plan to continue homeschooling that shouldn't be a huge issue, though.  There are probably lots of other homeschooling families you can connect with.

Good luck with your decision and with the move!

K60

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 07:35:08 PM »
Try the West 50s.

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 07:51:22 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

Queens: I had briefly looked at a couple of homes there a few years back (for schooling reasons and space). After the public and privates that we tried, I just completely opted out. How is your school there?
The commute still seems a bit far coming from queens down to lower manhattan (45 mins?). Would you recommend Long Island City? (I had friends that moved into manhattan because they felt the commute was too long- also with families).

As for the west 50s- I have looked around that area a bit. It is far from transport, although many buildings seem to have shuttle services. I did have a friend there that rented a beautiful place for cheap, though. So I'll look into the area again. Does anyone know if there are many kids in this area?

K60

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2014, 11:18:02 AM »
I suggested West 50s because it's a bit cheaper.  Transportation is not too far with subway lines on 8th Ave and 7th Ave.  Lots of new restaurants and shops on 9th and 10th Aves now. It's also close to Lincoln Center and not that far from Central Park which, of course, are both v. kid friendly.  My kids are grown and gone so I'm not an expert on the neighborhood schools but my general impression is that they are getting better.

I wish you good luck in your search.  NYC is not the most Mustachian city but it's a great place (especially if you can keep costs down.)

lhamo

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 03:04:02 PM »
We left NYC in 2002 -- my first kid was only 9 months old then, so didn't experience the schools ourselves.  We lived in Jackson Heights and commuted to the West Village, and yes, it was about 45 minutes to 1 hour door to door.  That was ok when it was just me and DH, but kind of a drag once we had DS. 

I'd look carefully at Jersey City and see if you can find a place that looks nice/suitable and give it a try.  If you rent, you can always move again later easily if you find you don't like it.

My DH stays there when he visits his office (still in the West Village) and really likes it -- one stop on the PAth train is a pretty quick and easy commute as far as NYC goes.

KingCoin

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 06:05:29 PM »
The market in New York is pretty darned efficient. You're going to face definite trade-offs between apt size, commute, and schools.

Battery Park has good public schools, a great commute, and is generally a nice place to raise a family. You may be able to find a no-frills 2-bedroom if you diligently look for $3,500-4,000/mo. Not cheap, but not crushing if your husband is making ~$280k/yr. Private schools will erase the advantages of moving to an outer borough.

I'd consider Hoboken over Jersey City. I think it has more of a neighborhood feel.

I'd also look in the Upper West Side near express trains. Good schools, not a bad commute, near Central Park. You can probably find a brownstone 2-bed for $3,500, though a doorman type apartment will run you closer to $5,000. I think the saving in the West 50s won't be big enough to justify living in a worse neighborhood much farther from the park.

Brooklyn is nuts these days and Queens puts you pretty far afield.

FSL

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2014, 12:35:25 PM »
There are very nice high rise apartments in Jersey City - check out the Newport and Exchange Place area. Very quick commute to downtown on the path.

cashstasherat23

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2014, 09:30:24 AM »
Also consider looking just a bit outside of JC/Hoboken. Weehawken has some nice apartment complexes, right on the Hudson. Secaucus also has a brand new development right next to the NJTransit train station-about 15 minutes right into Penn Station. Edgewater is a bit farther past Weehawken, but still a nice neighborhood with some great places.

I live in Weehawken right now, I have a 25 minute commute door to door from my apartment to my job in Midtown!

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2014, 10:14:08 AM »
Wow, just checked back in!

Thank you EVERYONE for your sage advice.
We have decided on *drumroll* Newport (JC)! Although rents have skyrocketed over the year, we are coming in under budget for a place that can fit us and the kids nicely (i.e. without having to leave the apt to get space, which leads to eating out/ doing other un-mustachian things). We are really happy with the area (kids and families galore). Very safe, easy to walk around, parks and waterviews (which are incredible). We looked at lower Jersey City (not much going on there at the moment) and further wes t (too much construction at the moment) and Hoboken and a bit north, and west 50s (nice builds, but not as family vibed), and found Newport to tick all the boxes. My husband has a direct 15-20 minute door to door commute on the Path (from either Hoboken or Newport). And the one stop into the city with the kids is great.

Now, we may get rid of our car as parking is an extra expense that might be unneeded. And luckily, BJs wholesale happens to be in the neighborhood.

Very excited to take the kids along the waterfront walkway bike-riding in the spring!

Thanks again!!!!

mbl

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 11:32:58 AM »
I would take a good look in Queens.  Go further out towards Kew Gardens Hills.   Very nice and much less expensive. 

$180k is ok but not great.
That's also 1 income.   What if your DH was unable to work?   Get and keep your living expenses down and put the extra money towards your future and FI.

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2014, 09:43:32 PM »
Hi!

I looked at queens and the area you mention, but that makes my DH commute over an hour each way (10 hours a week/40 hours a month is quite a long time and just not practical).
As for working in case of inability he also brings in a side income as an author of about 35k a year (we haven't done much with it/tried to expandit yet) and his current employer provides a very very large insurance plan that would give me a few years or more to get something else together, if needed! We are pretty resourceful and when we were here on 100k we lived a great over luxurious life. This current situation will put our savings at over 50%, then side gig income, then stock after that. I think that's pretty decent if it never changed!

We're definitely looking forward to a bright future and preparing if things aren't as bright as we'd like :) which is why I'm here!

MB1443

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 04:24:26 AM »
How the heck did you find a three bedroom with a garden for 2450?!?!   That is so cheap it isn't even funny. 

Problem in NY is that you have to be able to save for a home while paying rent.  A lot of folks forget about this and while they are able to pay their rent they will never be able to own.  It is really hard now to find a decent one bedroom for less than 3k a month so you are correct in looking at jersey city.  What about Hoboken?  Also you know your husband isn't making a lot for new York, right?  I would never move to new York on that salary. 

MB1443

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 04:29:33 AM »
The market in New York is pretty darned efficient. You're going to face definite trade-offs between apt size, commute, and schools.

Battery Park has good public schools, a great commute, and is generals a nice place to raise a family. You may be able to find a no-frills 2-bedroom if you diligently look for $3,500-4,000/mo. Not cheap, but not crushing if your husband is making ~$280k/yr. Private schools will erase the advantages of moving to an outer borough.

I'd consider Hoboken over Jersey City. I think it has more of a neighborhood feel.

I'd also look in the Upper West Side near express trains. Good schools, not a bad commute, near Central Park. You can probably find a brownstone 2-bed for $3,500, though a doorman type apartment will run you closer to $5,000. I think the saving in the West 50s won't be big enough to justify living in a worse neighborhood much farther from the park.

Brooklyn is nuts these days and Queens puts you pretty far afield.

This very accurate. The one thing you aren't taking into account is taxes.  Very high in new York.

Pooperman

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2014, 05:40:14 AM »
I live not super close. Hour fifteen each way door to door. Then again, my rent is $950, downtown area, near all the important stuff. Jersey suburbs. In case you are wondering, commuting monthly pass is $250.

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Moving back to NYC! Need advice!
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2014, 10:41:32 AM »
MLB: Yeah I think you missed my earlier response-

We lived here before for several years on the upper east side on 100k, 125k with side gig stuff. Granted we were young twenty somethings with non-mustachian habits, so we ended up spending most of the income. We ate out frequently, took cabs all over, my fun time was spent shopping, and then we put our kiddo in a pricey preschool (15k per year for part time). We went on a few spendy vacations to the caribbean/mexico and I continued dabbling in my hobbies outside of parenting. It was by no means a hard life, even though some people might think that number does nothing in NY. We also didn't have a car.

We were able to get the three bed by looking in the winter months. It also was at the start of the Great Recession. (We were early-exiting our mouse infested 1750 studio). We looked around with an agent and found this nice place vacant- It had been for 3 months (we thought there were some underlying issues, but nope! it just had a small kitchen for the space). The rent had been reduced from 3700 to 3200 during this time. My husband made an offer of 2400 and they agreed without any counter. We were really surprised and practically ran to their office to sign. Then rent only increased 50 the entire time we were there. It also included gas, heat, and water, sewage and trash (like most places here).

So, currently, I've viewed places from 2500-3800 in rent and you can find 2-3 beds all within that range, doorman or not, in and out of manhattan.

Currently, we will be coming in at over 50% savings rate, while living a decent life. Once I get settled again I'll start making more cuts and see how life is going! Then we'll consider purchasing a home, or not, regardless we'll have the money to work with depending on where we decide to park it.

We looked at the suburbs of Jersey, but with the 2 kiddos they wouldn't see Dad during the week with that commute! We can always earn more money to help mitigate the extra in rent. Travel is $89 on the path here. We do have a car now, but I'll probably ditch it as everything is nearby.

Our taxes will actually be less by living on the Jersey Side rather than in the City (about $650 per month less- city tax).

And! I'm going to keep looking at Jersey suburbs while I live here!