Author Topic: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?  (Read 5177 times)

GRardB

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Hey, everyone! This is my first post. I'm new to the forum and FI/RE in general, but I've been a dedicated reader of MMM's blog for the past month or so. I'm around 60% done with the blog, reading from the start.

I've got some questions, mostly about my living situation and my strategy to retire by 30-32. I apologize if I've misunderstood anything regarding the information I'm supposed to give; again, I'm new to this, and I'm also pretty young.

I apologize in advance for the super long essay that I ended up writing. I just have a lot to think about, and it's a huge decision for me.

Life Situation:
  • Age: 24
  • Dependents: 0
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • IRS filing status: single
  • Occupation: software engineer
  • No debt!

Gross Salary/Wages:
  • June 2013: $95,000 USD
  • May 2014: $105,000 USD
  • June 2014: $110,000 USD
  • May 2015 (latest): $120,000 USD

Pre-tax deductions:
  • 401k: 15% ($1500/month, to max it out)
  • Health FSA: $25/month
  • Public transit FSA: $112/month
  • Healthcare is fully paid for by my company

Other Ordinary Income: Twice, I have taken on a part-time instructor job (10 weeks long, 6 hours of teaching per week). The first time (2014), I received $9,000 before taxes. The second time (2015), $10,000. I will likely do this again. I get a 1099-MISC for this, and an accountant handled my taxes, so I'm not sure exactly how much was deducted. There are no real expenses associated with this job, so I'll estimate somewhere around 30-40% total.

Adjusted Gross Income: $61,486.20/year from my full-time job alone, after taxes, medicare, and OASDI, and before tax returns. In my most recent tax return, I'm only receiving about $600 before paying my accountant.

Current expenses:
  • Rent: $1600/month - my only big expense, which is why I'm posting here
  • Cable internet: $44.50/month unfortunately, no cheaper alternatives in my area except really slow DSL
  • Electricity: $35/month - for only around 70-90 kWh
  • Groceries: $50/month or less - I'm a vegetarian and don't drink coffee/tea/alcohol, and I also get lots of free food from work
  • Electricity: $35/month - for only around 70-90 kWh
  • Heating/gas: $25/month most of the year, historically $50-80/month when it's super cold
  • Aside from these, I don't spend much money anymore (again, I'm new to all of this). One week into July, and I've spent around $11 besides my bills (for groceries and laundry). Let's be conservative and call it $100-200/month for miscellaneous, but it's hard to know since I just got started with FI/RE thinking in the past month.
  • Total: Around $1800-2000/month

Assets:
  • 401k: $5,859.66 (more has been put in, but prices are falling for the mutual fund)
  • Vanguard investments: $22,006.56 (same situation as above + more details below)
  • SEP IRA: $1500 - this was for minimizing my taxes for the 1099-MISC instructing job
  • Checking account: $85,000 - more details below

Vanguard investments
  • I'm investing at a rate of $3k/week from my checking account into Vanguard in order to get the "averaging" effect (is that what it's called?). Before reading MMM and asking my father for financial advice, I was afraid of stocks, which is why there is so much in my checking account.
  • I'm *also* investing $3k/month from my paychecks into Vanguard (twice per month, $1500 each time).
  • My allocations for each "buy" are: [10% VWEHX, 25% VBISX, 10% VGTSX, 55% VTSMX]

Specific Question(s):

Alright, now to the good stuff. I think my financials are pretty good, especially for someone my age. I could maybe use investment advice, but the main thing I'm concerned about right now is my housing situation. My rent is absurdly high; it's about 1/3 of my take-home income, and even though I'm saving more than 50% of my income, having an extra $1600/month would be an incredible boost to my savings.

Of course, this is because I live in NYC. I could find a cheaper place for sure, but some issues with that:
  • I live and work in Brooklyn. Manhattan is typically more expensive, and the Bronx is way too far away. Even if I got a slightly cheaper apartment at the very edge of Queens, my one-way commute would be over 40 minutes long.
  • My current commute is around 30 minutes one-way (by subway or bike), and it would really suck to increase that time.
  • Anything cheaper in my area (or closer to work) is typically a dump. Seriously, I saw apartments $200/month cheaper than mine with roaches crawling around. In some places between my job and my area, studio apartments cost $2000/month.
  • I cannot live with roommates. I lived with a roommate for the first year in the city, costing me "only" $1175/month, but it was horrible. I've almost never had good experiences with living with friends or strangers, and besides that, my girlfriend is about to move in with me.
  • Moving has a huge cost in NYC. Tenants typically need to pay broker fees in order to move into a new apartment, which are 15% of your yearly rent. Even if I reduced my rent by $300 by some miracle, I would only end up $1260 ahead for the year.

THUS! I don't think that moving to another apartment is a good idea. I do think, however, that I may need to move out of the city in order to boost my savings. I'm a software engineer, so I always have the option to work remotely for my company (or for somewhere else if need be). I absolutely love New York. I essentially grew up here (technically Weehawken, NJ, which is also not cheap). I don't know if I can leave the area long-term, but if it helps me retire more quickly, it's something to consider.

My thoughts on moving out of the city:
  • I absolutely have to live in an urban area. I cannot stand suburbia (no offense to anyone - it's just that my girlfriend and I grew up in urban environments and love it).
  • I realize there are plenty of less expensive cities, but I would rather live near my family (NJ/NYC) or my girlfriend's family (LA).
  • I have flirted with the idea of moving to Los Angeles. My girlfriend is from there, and I'm pretty sure she'd like to go back, at least for a little. The cost of living there is much cheaper overall. We went to visit her family on vacation recently, and I liked the city. It's no New York, but it certainly has appeal, and living there could definitely help my bank account.
  • I have also flirted with the idea of *buying a house* in Los Angeles. Houses are far too expensive (or isolated) in New York, and property taxes in New Jersey are absurd. The caveat here is that most houses in the range I'm looking for (up to $350k or so) are in South Central and/or in horrible condition (foreclosures). I definitely don't want to spend tons of money fixing up a house, but South Central itself isn't a huge deal breaker for me unless it's super south. Still, something to consider.
  • Recently, I have discovered that Jersey City, NJ and surrounding areas have plenty of great deals on houses, at least by my standards. There are dozens of decent-sized, nice homes that I could buy for around $190-300k. The caveat here is that they're usually pretty far from my job (around an hour via three forms of public transit combined), and I'm not sure if I would qualify as a "remote employee" if I lived across the river from my job. On top of that, the property taxes are usually 2-3 times what they are in NY or LA, and the cost of living in general isn't much cheaper than living in NYC.

Alright, with all that being said, here are the big questions:
  • Should I leave New York?
  • Should I buy a home in order to stop paying rent in general? I feel like I should, but I don't know if I'm being naive.
  • If I should buy a home, should it be in LA (likely the northern part of South Central or East LA) or NJ's Hudson County (Jersey City, Union City, West New York, North Bergen, etc.). LA has lower property taxes and a cheaper cost of living overall, but the homes themselves seem to be cheaper in New Jersey.
  • If I shouldn't buy a home, should I rent in LA? I'm not really willing to rent in Hudson County, NJ since it's not much cheaper and our work commutes would be more costly and likely longer. And again, the cost of living is roughly the same even aside from rent.
  • Is it worth it to buy a foreclosed home if I can, and put money into it in order to fix it up? My intuition tells me that it's not good for FI/RE, but I've never owned a home before.
  • Got any other advice for me, perhaps?

Perhaps relevant details:
My girlfriend's salary is around $62,000/year before taxes. She will likely be going through a career change around the end of this year to become a software engineer, boosting her salary to at least $80k/year, but hopefully (and likely) more. Her savings are pretty low, but after I started reading MMM, we had "the talk" and she's totally onboard with and excited about the FI/RE/savings game.

Thank you so much for reading, and again, sorry for the super long essay.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 04:42:14 PM by GRardB »

mozar

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 07:48:07 AM »
Dude stay where you are! Only paying 30% of your income in rent is a great deal in nyc. Especially with that commute. If you think that moving to the edge of Queens is too far, you would hate LA where everything is an hour away in traffic. You've got a sweet deal, and if your girlfriend starts paying part of the rent, you'll be killing it.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 08:04:17 AM »
+1 to staying where you are.
It's called dollar cost averaging, here is a post about it
http://jlcollinsnh.com/2014/11/12/stocks-part-xxvii-why-i-dont-like-dollar-cost-averaging/
here is another good post to read
http://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/02/23/rent-v-owning-your-home-opportunity-cost-and-running-some-numbers/
I also recommend reading JLCollinsNH entire stock series.
Good LucK!

humbleMouse

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 08:04:51 AM »
I think you are overthinking this big-time.  Stay in brooklyn.  You are spending peanuts and saving a ton of money. 

Bearded Man

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 08:14:22 AM »
I'd say keep saving money, and relocate to a state with good jobs for your line of work, low cost of housing, and preferably no state income taxes. Pay cash for a 100K or so house and keep working just a little longer, your savings rate will grow as a result of less expenses for housing, growing salary, etc. FI will be had long before you hit 30 with this strategy IMO.


MissStache

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 08:15:33 AM »
$1600 a month seems cheap for rent in NYC!  And if your GF is moving in with you, won't she be paying some of the rent?

mandy_2002

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 09:14:39 AM »
This is specific to your weekly and bi-weekly investments.  I'm currently doing bi-weekly investments with Vanguard, since that's how I'm paid.  There is a note at the bottom of the commission and fees page for the company.  You didn't mention if you change investments in these regular actions, but the note says "If you buy and sell the same Vanguard ETF in a Vanguard Brokerage Account more than 25 times in a 12-month period, you may be restricted from purchasing that Vanguard ETF through your Vanguard Brokerage Account for 60 days."  I'm unsure if this includes the type of regular investing that you and I do, but you may want to call them to verify that your strategy isn't going to bite you in the butt in a few months.

GRardB

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2015, 10:38:45 AM »
Whoa, thanks for the advice, everyone!

Dude stay where you are! Only paying 30% of your income in rent is a great deal in nyc. Especially with that commute. If you think that moving to the edge of Queens is too far, you would hate LA where everything is an hour away in traffic. You've got a sweet deal, and if your girlfriend starts paying part of the rent, you'll be killing it.

I think you are overthinking this big-time.  Stay in brooklyn.  You are spending peanuts and saving a ton of money.

$1600 a month seems cheap for rent in NYC!  And if your GF is moving in with you, won't she be paying some of the rent?

I'm surprised that I'm being met with this type of advice on the MMM forum! From reading the posts on how MMM got where he is (paying super low rent and buying houses in low-cost areas) as well as Get Rich With: Moving to a Better Place where he makes fun of where I grew up, I was expecting people to think I'm foolish for spending so much! I realize that everyone has different opinions, but still.

I did really dislike the sprawl of LA, but my line of thinking was that I could easily keep my job if I moved. We have a number of remote employees, so the bulk of my travel/traffic would be for things like groceries or anything else I can't do at home. Still not ideal, but not as bad as spending hours in traffic every week just to get to/from work.

Lastly, yes, my girlfriend will be paying part of the rent when she's all moved in. She's going to be unemployed for a few months while training for/transitioning to a new career, so I don't want to make her pay too much (again, her savings are pretty low). After she gets on course, though, rent will be less of a burden on me for sure!

+1 to staying where you are.
It's called dollar cost averaging, here is a post about it
http://jlcollinsnh.com/2014/11/12/stocks-part-xxvii-why-i-dont-like-dollar-cost-averaging/
here is another good post to read
http://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/02/23/rent-v-owning-your-home-opportunity-cost-and-running-some-numbers/
I also recommend reading JLCollinsNH entire stock series.
Good LucK!

Thanks for these posts! They're making me rethink these things and be more analytical about how I look at them. I should probably do the math to see how much buying a house would cost me vs renting, since there's more to it than I thought.

As for DCA, he makes some really good points. Part of me wants to continue doing it, at least for a little, since I've lost $300 so far, and the prices keep dropping everyday. I know it's probably a fool's game to try to guess when it'll start going up again, but it would be nice to buy more shares at a lower price if it continues to drop. I do see what he's saying, though, about it simply being a matter of trading one risk for another, as well as DCA making you lose out on dividends. I may end up doing a lump sum investment sometime soon.

I'd say keep saving money, and relocate to a state with good jobs for your line of work, low cost of housing, and preferably no state income taxes. Pay cash for a 100K or so house and keep working just a little longer, your savings rate will grow as a result of less expenses for housing, growing salary, etc. FI will be had long before you hit 30 with this strategy IMO.

Thanks for taking the opposing side of everyone else! Fortunately for me, if I moved, I could keep working at my job. I considered this as part of my strategy, since NYC salaries are typically much higher than other places. For example, if I moved to a super small/cheaper city like Charleston, I doubt that I would be getting paid $120k to be a programmer at age 24. I have a friend in Austin (no state taxes), and the cost of living is much lower in general, but salaries are also lower in terms of raw pre-tax numbers, so there's a tradeoff if I ended up leaving my job.

Unfortunately, this likely isn't something we could do. Like I said, we're not big fans of suburbia, and we'd like to live somewhere close to one of our families. I know living in either NY/NJ or LA can be setbacks because of the higher cost of living compared to most of the country, but it's a tradeoff we're willing to make. I know I could retire much more quickly if I moved to the middle of South Dakota or something, but it would cost us quite a few years of unhappiness (no offense to anyone who lives there! It's just not our thing).

This is specific to your weekly and bi-weekly investments.  I'm currently doing bi-weekly investments with Vanguard, since that's how I'm paid.  There is a note at the bottom of the commission and fees page for the company.  You didn't mention if you change investments in these regular actions, but the note says "If you buy and sell the same Vanguard ETF in a Vanguard Brokerage Account more than 25 times in a 12-month period, you may be restricted from purchasing that Vanguard ETF through your Vanguard Brokerage Account for 60 days."  I'm unsure if this includes the type of regular investing that you and I do, but you may want to call them to verify that your strategy isn't going to bite you in the butt in a few months.

Thanks for pointing this out! I'll check it out as soon as I can after work today. I technically have a personal investors account and not a brokerage account, but perhaps similar rules apply.

partgypsy

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 08:54:42 AM »
I think you already answered your question based on the information you gave. You are saving 50% of your salary. Your housing is 30% of your spending, but the rest of your spending is low.
You really don't want to increase your commute time which is what you would do if you moved to Bronx, Queens,
Saving money by getting a "dump" is not desirable (it sounds like you have a deal right now)
To move into another apartment would cost 15% broker fees

If you want to work remotely,
but- you "absolutely love New York", you "have to live in an urban area"
your girlfriend is intending to move in with you soon.

The LA option.  If you purchased a house in LA, sounds like you would have to buy a poor condition house/and or one in a non-desirable neighborhood, and be paying property taxes. I honestly don't think a cross country move would necessarily make you save more money, esp if you purchased a house. I would do this only for non-financial reasons, that after your girlfriend moves in, she is unhappy with situation, wants to move closer to her family, and you are willing to relocate for her. But don't do it for cost savings, which I really don't see happening moving from one high cost area to another high cost area, esp considering it is a cross country move. 

The other option is moving to a completely different low cost area, but as you already said you love the city and do not like suburbs, not going to discuss.


Ricky

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2015, 09:26:30 AM »
I'm surprised that I'm being met with this type of advice on the MMM forum! From reading the posts on how MMM got where he is (paying super low rent and buying houses in low-cost areas) as well as Get Rich With: Moving to a Better Place where he makes fun of where I grew up, I was expecting people to think I'm foolish for spending so much! I realize that everyone has different opinions, but still.

It's all relative. You aren't paying that much in rent for NYC, but the main points are that you're happy where you're at and you have a short commute. Those things are just as important as raw numbers. It means you will likely stay motivated to reach your financial goals since you're not stressed and want to move. That said, it's pretty disheartening to see a $120k salary get smashed to $60k after taxes. That's just the price you pay I guess. In a few years, you could be making well over $150k+ so I guess it's worth it in the long run.

There's plenty of smaller places with lower costs of living that pay well above six figures. I just don't think it's going to make a huge dent in advancing since you're happy where you are.

In short, I'd stay put. Having never lived in either city, I'd much rather live in NYC since I hate sprawl as well. LA is great weather and all (not always) but there's so many downsides to living there. It seems like the only place dedicated NYC'rs ever consider is LA, and I'm not sure why. I'd much rather be in San Diego or Austin.

GRardB

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2015, 02:45:23 PM »
More responses! Thanks for the additional thoughts :D

I think you already answered your question based on the information you gave. You are saving 50% of your salary. Your housing is 30% of your spending, but the rest of your spending is low.
You really don't want to increase your commute time which is what you would do if you moved to Bronx, Queens,
Saving money by getting a "dump" is not desirable (it sounds like you have a deal right now)
To move into another apartment would cost 15% broker fees

If you want to work remotely,
but- you "absolutely love New York", you "have to live in an urban area"
your girlfriend is intending to move in with you soon.

The LA option.  If you purchased a house in LA, sounds like you would have to buy a poor condition house/and or one in a non-desirable neighborhood, and be paying property taxes. I honestly don't think a cross country move would necessarily make you save more money, esp if you purchased a house. I would do this only for non-financial reasons, that after your girlfriend moves in, she is unhappy with situation, wants to move closer to her family, and you are willing to relocate for her. But don't do it for cost savings, which I really don't see happening moving from one high cost area to another high cost area, esp considering it is a cross country move. 

The other option is moving to a completely different low cost area, but as you already said you love the city and do not like suburbs, not going to discuss.

I see what you're saying. I didn't mean for it to sound like I was leading answers; I just wanted to put down all my thoughts/findings and explain why I narrowed it down to the choices I did (stay in NY, rent in LA, buy in LA, and buy in Jersey).

And yeah, I'm absolutely keeping an open mind to relocating if my girlfriend is unhappy, even if it won't necessarily save us money. She's been in NY for years now and loves it, but there are things she misses about where she grew up, and I think not seeing her family takes a toll on her (certainly more than not seeing mine takes a toll on me). At the very least, I've got another year in my apartment, so I'm in no rush, regardless.

I'm surprised that I'm being met with this type of advice on the MMM forum! From reading the posts on how MMM got where he is (paying super low rent and buying houses in low-cost areas) as well as Get Rich With: Moving to a Better Place where he makes fun of where I grew up, I was expecting people to think I'm foolish for spending so much! I realize that everyone has different opinions, but still.

It's all relative. You aren't paying that much in rent for NYC, but the main points are that you're happy where you're at and you have a short commute. Those things are just as important as raw numbers. It means you will likely stay motivated to reach your financial goals since you're not stressed and want to move. That said, it's pretty disheartening to see a $120k salary get smashed to $60k after taxes. That's just the price you pay I guess. In a few years, you could be making well over $150k+ so I guess it's worth it in the long run.

There's plenty of smaller places with lower costs of living that pay well above six figures. I just don't think it's going to make a huge dent in advancing since you're happy where you are.

In short, I'd stay put. Having never lived in either city, I'd much rather live in NYC since I hate sprawl as well. LA is great weather and all (not always) but there's so many downsides to living there. It seems like the only place dedicated NYC'rs ever consider is LA, and I'm not sure why. I'd much rather be in San Diego or Austin.

The salary is technically brought down after my 401k contributions as well, which are set to max out at the limit ($18,000). I do agree, though, it's really disheartening. It's amazing to me that some people only have to pay federal taxes. I get taxed by the country, the state, and the city. Not fun.

I actually made a huge spreadsheet of my perceived pros/cons of LA vs NYC. I definitely know it wouldn't be perfect, not by a long shot, but I guess I was just thinking that it would save me money and perhaps make my girlfriend happy to live close to her family for the few time in years. As for San Diego, Austin, and other cities, I've actually never been! I've been to Philly, San Francisco, and Detroit, but none of those are places I'd want to live, and none are close to either of our families, which I would consider the main deal breaker, at least for now.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2015, 09:18:14 PM »
South central L.A.??????  You REALLY aren't from around here, are you?  South central is by far the most dangerous neighborhood in L A.  Also don't forget if you moved to L.A. you would have to have a car and all the expense of that.

metaphysik

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2015, 05:28:26 AM »
Of course, this is because I live in NYC. I could find a cheaper place for sure, but some issues with that:
  • I live and work in Brooklyn. Manhattan is typically more expensive, and the Bronx is way too far away. Even if I got a slightly cheaper apartment at the very edge of Queens, my one-way commute would be over 40 minutes long.
  • My current commute is around 30 minutes one-way (by subway or bike), and it would really suck to increase that time.
  • Anything cheaper in my area (or closer to work) is typically a dump. Seriously, I saw apartments $200/month cheaper than mine with roaches crawling around. In some places between my job and my area, studio apartments cost $2000/month.
  • I cannot live with roommates. I lived with a roommate for the first year in the city, costing me "only" $1175/month, but it was horrible. I've almost never had good experiences with living with friends or strangers, and besides that, my girlfriend is about to move in with me.
  • Moving has a huge cost in NYC. Tenants typically need to pay broker fees in order to move into a new apartment, which are 15% of your yearly rent. Even if I reduced my rent by $300 by some miracle, I would only end up $1260 ahead for the year.

Suck it up, buttercup. Many people live with commutes much longer than yours. You effectively get paid (in lower rent) to sit longer on the subway, which is sweet (and tax free!). It's time to move further out into unhip parts of Brooklyn.

You work in Brooklyn (MetroTech perhaps?) so you have more ability to push deeper than those of us working in Manhattan. My commute is over an hour and involves a short bus ride to the train, but I always get a seat on the subway and it's pretty good me time. I read, play games on my phone, do work on my laptop, people watch, meditate. Thanks to the MTA's flat fare structure I pay the same as you, too!

Some neighborhoods I would check out would be Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, and Flatlands. PM me if you want to know more.

GRardB

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2015, 06:56:42 AM »
Of course, this is because I live in NYC. I could find a cheaper place for sure, but some issues with that:
  • I live and work in Brooklyn. Manhattan is typically more expensive, and the Bronx is way too far away. Even if I got a slightly cheaper apartment at the very edge of Queens, my one-way commute would be over 40 minutes long.
  • My current commute is around 30 minutes one-way (by subway or bike), and it would really suck to increase that time.
  • Anything cheaper in my area (or closer to work) is typically a dump. Seriously, I saw apartments $200/month cheaper than mine with roaches crawling around. In some places between my job and my area, studio apartments cost $2000/month.
  • I cannot live with roommates. I lived with a roommate for the first year in the city, costing me "only" $1175/month, but it was horrible. I've almost never had good experiences with living with friends or strangers, and besides that, my girlfriend is about to move in with me.
  • Moving has a huge cost in NYC. Tenants typically need to pay broker fees in order to move into a new apartment, which are 15% of your yearly rent. Even if I reduced my rent by $300 by some miracle, I would only end up $1260 ahead for the year.

Suck it up, buttercup. Many people live with commutes much longer than yours. You effectively get paid (in lower rent) to sit longer on the subway, which is sweet (and tax free!). It's time to move further out into unhip parts of Brooklyn.

You work in Brooklyn (MetroTech perhaps?) so you have more ability to push deeper than those of us working in Manhattan. My commute is over an hour and involves a short bus ride to the train, but I always get a seat on the subway and it's pretty good me time. I read, play games on my phone, do work on my laptop, people watch, meditate. Thanks to the MTA's flat fare structure I pay the same as you, too!

Some neighborhoods I would check out would be Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, and Flatlands. PM me if you want to know more.

I actually work a bit farther in DUMBO, and I wouldn't consider my area Flatbush to be very "hip." At least not at the moment, which is something I actually prefer. I understand that other people have longer commutes, but my girlfriend already has a one-hour commute to Long Island City. I also just did a a quick search for apartments in Midwood and Sheepshead Bay for 1-bedroom apartments, and it actually doesn't look like it's significantly cheaper ($0-200/month less on average, which saves me nothing or even loses me money after broker fees). Marine Park and Flatlands basically don't have subway access, so I wouldn't even consider that an option for us. Additionally, I bike for a good amount of the year. If I lived in any of these areas, biking would take a lot longer and be borderline infeasible (e.g. 1 hour or more from Sheepshead Bay).

To be completely honest, I would probably much rather move in a cheaper part of Jersey City, sans broker fees, and make the one-hour trek than have the same commute time in Brooklyn.

metaphysik

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2015, 07:41:53 AM »
Marine Park and Flatlands basically don't have subway access, so I wouldn't even consider that an option for us.

It's not as bad as you might imagine. "Feeder" buses which exist to bring people to subway stations are much more frequent and reliable than buses in neighborhoods with good subway service, like Flatbush. I didn't understand this until we moved to an area without subway service (To be fair the closest station is a 1 mile walk so I guess we do kind of).

For renting it might not be worth the hassle, but you should look at the area for buying before Jersey City. Coops in the area are *extremely* affordable and your mortgage payment would probably end up less than rent after accounting for tax deductions and equity accumulation.

EDIT: There are lots of coops for less than the $350K you cited above which are within walking distance of Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College, the last station on the 2/5, which is my station. You're guaranteed a seat on the train in the morning and it's a quick ride into Manhattan on the express 5 train.
http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/fsba_lt/_type/0-350000_price/0-1322_mp/40.637518,-73.932002,40.625728,-73.962129_rect/14_zm/0_mmm/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 07:58:13 AM by metaphysik »

GRardB

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2015, 09:09:38 AM »
Marine Park and Flatlands basically don't have subway access, so I wouldn't even consider that an option for us.

It's not as bad as you might imagine. "Feeder" buses which exist to bring people to subway stations are much more frequent and reliable than buses in neighborhoods with good subway service, like Flatbush. I didn't understand this until we moved to an area without subway service (To be fair the closest station is a 1 mile walk so I guess we do kind of).

For renting it might not be worth the hassle, but you should look at the area for buying before Jersey City. Coops in the area are *extremely* affordable and your mortgage payment would probably end up less than rent after accounting for tax deductions and equity accumulation.

EDIT: There are lots of coops for less than the $350K you cited above which are within walking distance of Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College, the last station on the 2/5, which is my station. You're guaranteed a seat on the train in the morning and it's a quick ride into Manhattan on the express 5 train.
http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/fsba_lt/_type/0-350000_price/0-1322_mp/40.637518,-73.932002,40.625728,-73.962129_rect/14_zm/0_mmm/

Interesting. It does look like there are plenty of affordable things around here! I'll definitely look around the area when it comes time for me to buy. I've still got at least a year in my apartment, but some of these places are pretty nice and definitely within walking distance of a train. Thanks for the tip :D

metaphysik

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Re: Reader Case Study: Should I move, and if so, where and for how much?
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2015, 09:21:01 AM »
Interesting. It does look like there are plenty of affordable things around here! I'll definitely look around the area when it comes time for me to buy. I've still got at least a year in my apartment, but some of these places are pretty nice and definitely within walking distance of a train. Thanks for the tip :D

Any time! PM me if you have any questions about the area. We're in a house about a mile south of the station so I'm very familiar with the area. If it weren't for the kids, we'd be here a long time. Not happy with the area schools.