Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 26 to 46 of 46

Thread: cost of living in major metropolitan areas

  1. #26
    from Pennsylvania? I think all of PA's metros except for Philly and the Lehigh Valley are cheaper than $159k.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kansas City, MO-KS MSA
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    from Pennsylvania? I think all of PA's metros except for Philly and the Lehigh Valley are cheaper than $159k.
    True, but salaries are more competitive here in my profession than in Pennsylvania. Therefore the relative cost of housing is better.

  3. #28
         
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    City of Saint Louis
    Posts
    44
    it's almost disgusting how great of a deal living in downtown kcmo is, compared to most cities. i'm having a hard time talking myself back into heading to chicago for a while after i graduate again. i could just take what i'd have to pay for a shack in chicago and head for quality hill.

  4. #29

    Registered
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, Va.
    Posts
    180
    No doubt jaws and others on this list who are of a more libertarian bent are better able to speak to this than am I, but Edward Glaeser has recently been addressing this issue in a number of fora. See, conveniently, his recent piece in NYT Magazine:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/ma...RkxxXPWClk8hdw

    One point that he makes is that until roughly 1970 home values were more closely tied to the actual cost of building the home (wood, brick, marble, etc.). The relationship between cost and value has almost completely broken down now, so that we are at the point that a 1920s-30s era house in, say, Northern Virginia may cost $800K, while in rust belt Ohio the virtually identical house may be $100K, or even less. These same two houses were worth roughly the same amount in 1970. I hope that I am not too grossly misrepresenting his views, but the extent to which he is right is an interesting fact, if nothing else. The reason for this change is, in his opinion, the impact of regulation. See further at:

    http://post.economics.harvard.edu/hi...s/HIER2061.pdf

  5. #30
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,736
    Quote Originally posted by Kovanovich
    No doubt jaws and others on this list who are of a more libertarian bent are better able to speak to this than am I, but Edward Glaeser has recently been addressing this issue in a number of fora. See, conveniently, his recent piece in NYT Magazine:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/ma...RkxxXPWClk8hdw

    One point that he makes is that until roughly 1970 home values were more closely tied to the actual cost of building the home (wood, brick, marble, etc.). The relationship between cost and value has almost completely broken down now, so that we are at the point that a 1920s-30s era house in, say, Northern Virginia may cost $800K, while in rust belt Ohio the virtually identical house may be $100K, or even less. These same two houses were worth roughly the same amount in 1970. I hope that I am not too grossly misrepresenting his views, but the extent to which he is right is an interesting fact, if nothing else. The reason for this change is, in his opinion, the impact of regulation. See further at:

    http://post.economics.harvard.edu/hi...s/HIER2061.pdf
    His argument about large lot zoning may have some merit but the fact is there are a variety of housing types permitted by zoning in most every metro area. And there is plenty of supply. Case in point: south Florida. How can the explosion in condo values be explained then?

  6. #31
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    I'm not sure where I am...or where I want to be
    Posts
    543
    Quote Originally posted by Kovanovich
    No doubt jaws and others on this list who are of a more libertarian bent are better able to speak to this than am I, but Edward Glaeser has recently been addressing this issue in a number of fora. See, conveniently, his recent piece in NYT Magazine:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/ma...RkxxXPWClk8hdw
    His focus on supply only without regard for demand skews his conclusions. He says since there's enough room in this country for every family to live on an acre, that proves lack of supply isn't the reason for raising prices. But he fails to acknowledge that there is no demand for houses in the middle of nowhere 1,000 miles for job centers. The fact is, most of the demand is for houses near job centers, so in that region, there isn't enough land and prices go up.

  7. #32

    Registered
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, Va.
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    His focus on supply only without regard for demand skews his conclusions. He says since there's enough room in this country for every family to live on an acre, that proves lack of supply isn't the reason for raising prices. But he fails to acknowledge that there is no demand for houses in the middle of nowhere 1,000 miles for job centers. The fact is, most of the demand is for houses near job centers, so in that region, there isn't enough land and prices go up.
    One quick follow-up point...Glaeser points out that Somerville and Cambridge, both predominantly working class, saw some of the largest appreciations in housing values from 1980-2000, and in another context refers to Cambridge as a "successful city." But what is remarkable that these cramped cities with outmoded housing stock should have done so well...Had the reality been different and perhaps more houses been built in greater Boston, the fate of Somerville and Cambridge likely wouldn't have been so happy...Many factors at work here, not least of which is the presence of MIT and Harvard, not to mention Tufts...Agreed that his point about the amount of land in the country should allow everyone to live on a multiacre homestead (or whatever) -- till we all can simply telecommute, this point is rather beside the point.

  8. #33

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by Kovanovich
    One quick follow-up point...Glaeser points out that Somerville and Cambridge, both predominantly working class, saw some of the largest appreciations in housing values from 1980-2000, and in another context refers to Cambridge as a "successful city." But what is remarkable that these cramped cities with outmoded housing stock should have done so well...Had the reality been different and perhaps more houses been built in greater Boston, the fate of Somerville and Cambridge likely wouldn't have been so happy...Many factors at work here, not least of which is the presence of MIT and Harvard, not to mention Tufts...Agreed that his point about the amount of land in the country should allow everyone to live on a multiacre homestead (or whatever) -- till we all can simply telecommute, this point is rather beside the point.

    The Usonian Dream of Frank Lloyd Wright.

  9. #34
    Plus, with multiacre lots for all we wouldn't have all that pesky, wasted "open space" in the center of the country.

  10. #35
    BANNED
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally posted by plankton
    Seven years of city and county planning experience. Senior planner position, $56k salary with annual step increases. California pay is tempting. Housing prices are not.
    Seven years experience in the private or public sector as a senior planner with a graduate degree in planning or architecture in the Bay Area or Los Angeles will land you in the upper 80s to low 90s. Even with the high cost of real estate, that is a pretty sweet deal!

    Don't even think about San Diego unless you are a fool (like myself). It has identical real estate costs as LA or SF and the pay averages 30% less. One of the most unaffordable places in the nation to be a planner.

  11. #36
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,587
    Quote Originally posted by vtboy99
    Seven years experience in the private or public sector as a senior planner with a graduate degree in planning or architecture in the Bay Area or Los Angeles will land you in the upper 80s to low 90s. Even with the high cost of real estate, that is a pretty sweet deal!

    .

    I beg to differ. 56k in Oregon is going to end up being more real money than 90k in the bay area or L.A.

    Housing costs are just way way too out of control in SF and L.A.

    I used to work in So Cal and for the cost of what my mortage is now (outside of California) on a 4 bedroom house on 1/2 acre I was renting a 300 square foot studio.

  12. #37
    BANNED
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I beg to differ. 56k in Oregon is going to end up being more real money than 90k in the bay area or L.A.

    Housing costs are just way way too out of control in SF and L.A.

    I used to work in So Cal and for the cost of what my mortage is now (outside of California) on a 4 bedroom house on 1/2 acre I was renting a 300 square foot studio.
    But have you looked at how bad San Diego is? That was my point, not how bad SF or LA are. Please reread my previous post.

    Also, given that the mortgage for a 2BR/2BA condo in SF (East Bay) or LA (San Fernando/San Gabriel Valley) is around $2000/month including HOA fees (same in San Diego) and you would be netting around $5500/month @ $90,000/year, which leaves you with around $3500/month left over.

    On the other hand in Oregon where you would be making $3400/month net @ $56,000/year and your mortgage for the same property + HOA fees for a 2BR/2BA condo would be around $1300/month, that leaves you with roughly $2100/month to spend. Thats close to $1400/month in "real" money extra in your pocket by choosing to be a planner in either LA or SF over Oregon.

    You tell me what is the better scenario.

    Again San Diego is not included because you would be making approximately $65,000/year with 7 years experience as a Senior Planner and would be paying roughly the same mortgage as in LA or SF.

    Needless to say, my fiance and I are moving either to LA or the Bay Area next year. Hell, if I am gonna live in a big city (as opposed to San Diego), I might as well be making the bigger bucks, right!?
    Last edited by vtboy99; 06 Apr 2006 at 3:39 PM.

  13. #38
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,587
    Quote Originally posted by vtboy99
    Also, given that the mortgage for a 2BR/2BA condo in SF (East Bay) or LA (San Fernando/San Gabriel Valley) is around $2000/month including HOA fees (same in San Diego) and you would be netting around $5500/month @ $90,000/year, which leaves you with around $3500/month left over.

    On the other hand in Oregon where you would be making $3400/month net @ $56,000/year and your mortgage for the same property + HOA fees for a 2BR/2BA condo would be around $1300/month, that leaves you with roughly $2100/month to spend. Thats close to $1400/month in "real" money extra in your pocket by choosing to be a planner in either LA or SF over Oregon.

    You tell me what is the better scenario.


    I disagree with your assumptions. I believe that in the surrounding area around Portland you could be paying 1300 -1500 month mortgage for a 3 bd/2 bath house. A condo possibly in the City would be closer to the amount you are listing but that's not like comparing working in downtown SF/Oakland and working in the City of Portland. You are comparing pay in the major urban areas of SF/LA with housing costs outside those urban areas while at the same time comparing the pay in the urban metro area of Portland AND housing costs in the urban area of portland. Not the same.


    But have you looked at how bad San Diego is? That was my point, not how bad SF or LA are. Please reread my previous post.

    I also don't really believe that housing costs in San Diego are completely equal with housing costs in the bay area. I used to live in San Diego and while it was a long time ago- I still have friends and family who live there and own property and I discuss the market with them on occasion. San Diego real estate in the right areas is still relatively affordable in comparison to the greater SF area from what I have seen.


    I am editing to add that perhaps this merits its own thread (cost of living/salary comparisons or something).

  14. #39
    BANNED
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I disagree with your assumptions. I believe that in the surrounding area around Portland you could be paying 1300 -1500 month mortgage for a 3 bd/2 bath house. A condo possibly in the City would be closer to the amount you are listing but that's not like comparing working in downtown SF/Oakland and working in the City of Portland. You are comparing pay in the major urban areas of SF/LA with housing costs outside those urban areas while at the same time comparing the pay in the urban metro area of Portland AND housing costs in the urban area of portland. Not the same.
    Well I disagree with your assumptions as well.

    Say a 2BR/2BA condo in the middle-class suburbs of Portland has a mortgage + HOA fees of approx $800/month (to be conservative). This is compared to an identical condo in the East Bay of SF (Walnut Creek/Pleasanton/Livermore) or the LA areas of the San Fernando Valley (Encino) or San Gabriel Valley (Arcadia/Alhambra) which would have a monthly mortgage payment of approximately $2000/month. That's STILL a difference of approximately $900-$1000/month extra in real money, very significant...

    Still, your telling me that when comparing a salary of $56,000/year for working in downtown Portland versus a salary of $90,000/year in either downtown SF/Oakland or Downtown LA/Santa Monica/Wilshire District, it's still a better deal in Oregon?

    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I also don't really believe that housing costs in San Diego are completely equal with housing costs in the bay area. I used to live in San Diego and while it was a long time ago- I still have friends and family who live there and own property and I discuss the market with them on occasion. San Diego real estate in the right areas is still relatively affordable in comparison to the greater SF area from what I have seen.
    Also, you are out of touch with real estate trends here in San Diego and sound like a majority of the people who haven't been keeping up with the skyrocketing housing costs over the past three years. A 2BR/2BA condo in Mission Valley hovers around $400,000 (used) and $600,000 (new) and the same condo in Downtown San Diego will run you close to $800,000. Unless you are willing to move to the hinterlands of El Cajon or Santee or the low income portions of National City or San Ysidro, real estate in San Diego is far WORSE for what you get for your money that in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, or even Orange County for that matter.

    If you don't believe me, check out http://www.realtor.com, do a search for condos in San Diego, and inform yourself.

    Also a good source for information which will 100% support my argument is the independent publication, "Voice of San Diego" http://www.voiceofsandiego.org

    Man, it seems like I have this argument all the time with people who are under the false assumption the it is so much worse in Northern California than here in San Diego.
    Last edited by vtboy99; 06 Apr 2006 at 4:39 PM.

  15. #40
    Moving at my own pace....... Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Moderator note:
    Please move back on topic or start another thread. Thanks!

    EDIT: Here's a recent thread about the cost of living in major metropolitan areas - http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=23845
    Last edited by Planderella; 06 Apr 2006 at 5:17 PM.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  16. #41
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2006
    Location
    I'm not sure where I am...or where I want to be
    Posts
    543
    There are free cost of living calculators on the web that compare costs and average salaries for different cities.

    For examle, according to the NY Times website, if I made $50,000 in Richmond, Virginia, I'd have to earn $65,360 in LA to maintain the same standard of living. However, the increase in salary is not proportionate, if I earned $50,000 in Richmond, I could only expect to earn $56,962 at a similar job in LA.

    just google "cost of living calculator" and you can compare any two cities (or MSAs, technically).

    You can also go to salary.com and see that the median salary for all urban planners in LA is $43,042; and the median salary for all city planners in RVA is $37,781.

  17. #42
    BANNED
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally posted by CosmicMojo
    There are free cost of living calculators on the web that compare costs and average salaries for different cities.

    For examle, according to the NY Times website, if I made $50,000 in Richmond, Virginia, I'd have to earn $65,360 in LA to maintain the same standard of living. However, the increase in salary is not proportionate, if I earned $50,000 in Richmond, I could only expect to earn $56,962 at a similar job in LA.

    just google "cost of living calculator" and you can compare any two cities (or MSAs, technically).

    You can also go to salary.com and see that the median salary for all urban planners in LA is $43,042; and the median salary for all city planners in RVA is $37,781.
    Actually the increase in salary is more than proportionate in the Bay Area and LA, especially in the private sector... A job paying 50/year in Richmond, Spokane, Kansas City, etc w/ 7 years experience will earn you over 80K/year in LA and over 90 in SF. For instance, a Senior Planner position with the City of South San Francisco requiring merely five years experience starts at $99,000/year. That is more than enough to make up for the cost in real estate (especially if you live in the East Bay).

    Fair enough, using the cost of living calculator on Salary.com, you would be losing over $14,000/year in real money by moving from Portland to San Diego.

    Also according to Salary.com you would be taking home approximately $6,000/year more by living in San Francisco versus San Diego...

    So actually, San Diego is the worst possible scenario when taking account cost of living as an urban planner making $56,000/year in Portland and comparing to other major California cities according to Salary.com

    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Moderator note:
    Please move back on topic or start another thread. Thanks!

    EDIT: Here's a recent thread about the cost of living in major metropolitan areas - http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=23845
    So are we going to start a new thread Planderella or include links from other relevant threads?

    Your call!
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 06 Apr 2006 at 7:52 PM.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    the golden state
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally posted by vtboy99
    So are we going to start a new thread Planderella or include links from other relevant threads?

    Your call!

    On topic - Hey vtboy I agree with you on the planner salaries for the most part; planning jobs are very competitive in the Los Angeles metro area and SF Bay area and I assume just as competitive in San Diego. It really does take a bit of luck, networking, and a lot of patience depending on the job climate.

    Off topic - what amount of down payment are you assuming with the $200 mortgage? $70-90k salary might seem like a lot, but when you consider the costs of city living (rent, utilities, parking, etc.) a substantial down payment isn't likely for most working professionals. Hence the percentage of renters to owners in San Francisco who are making $70 -90k or more.

  19. #44
    BANNED
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally posted by high density
    On topic - Hey vtboy I agree with you on the planner salaries for the most part; planning jobs are very competitive in the Los Angeles metro area and SF Bay area and I assume just as competitive in San Diego. It really does take a bit of luck, networking, and a lot of patience depending on the job climate.
    Planning jobs are competitive in MOST large cities, not just the ones in California. The problem is there are very few to come by here in San Diego whereas there are loads of good paying jobs in SF and the ones that are hiring in San Diego are paying criminally low salaries relative to the exorbinant cost of living.

    Check out the job listings on the San Diego APA website to get an idea of the high professional qualifications employers are expecting out of job applicants relative to the low salaries they are offering
    http://www.sdapa.org/jobs/index.php

    Quote Originally posted by high density
    Off topic - what amount of down payment are you assuming with the $2000 mortgage? $70-90k salary might seem like a lot, but when you consider the costs of city living (rent, utilities, parking, etc.) a substantial down payment isn't likely for most working professionals. Hence the percentage of renters to owners in San Francisco who are making $70 -90k or more.
    $2000/month (mortgage + HOA fees) = 20% standard downpayment ($75,000) on a $375,000 2BR/2BA condo with a standard level payment 30 year fixed rate mortgage at a interest rate of 6%.

    Most professional planners making 90K/year can come up with 75K at some point in their career to account for this typical down payment. Again, if you work in Downtown San Francisco but live in the East Bay (Concord, Walnut Creek, Dublin, etc), you have that much more left over income to pocket, so you have the best of both worlds. Plus the Bay Area has a world class public transportation system, so commuting 30 minutes to an hour via BART is really not a negative factor when taking into account issues of quality of life.
    Last edited by vtboy99; 06 Apr 2006 at 7:11 PM.

  20. #45
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,540
    Moderator note:
    Hijack of the salary survey thread now moved to this thread.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  21. #46
    BANNED
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    Moderator note:
    Hijack of the salary survey thread now moved to this thread.
    Moderator, please describe your derogetory use of the term "hijack" in this particular context for the audience will you please...

+ Reply to thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 12
    Last post: 17 Dec 2010, 7:26 PM
  2. Replies: 99
    Last post: 21 Jan 2010, 12:33 PM
  3. Replies: 14
    Last post: 22 Oct 2009, 9:32 AM
  4. Replies: 21
    Last post: 19 Apr 2006, 5:57 PM
  5. Replies: 22
    Last post: 02 Jan 2004, 6:12 PM