Difference between HCOL and LCOL [High and Low Cost of Living]

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rrppve
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Difference between HCOL and LCOL [High and Low Cost of Living]

Postby rrppve » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:36 pm

I'm wondering how one can quantify the difference between living in a HCOL vs LCOL area while maintaining the same lifestyle.
If your home is paid off, the housing cost difference which is normally a big part of the difference doesn't factor in. In California, property taxes are low but income taxes are high, so I can see that there would be income tax savings also maybe insurance costs. Cars pretty much cost the same around the country, are car mechanic prices that different? For comparable quality restaurant meals is there a big difference.
How much could one save by moving from a HCOL to MCOL or LCOL area? 10%, 30% ??

livesoft
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby livesoft » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:38 pm

I've seen folks in HCOL areas quote outrageous prices for daycare.
Gasoline prices and tolls would be higher.

As for property taxes, I'm sure they are not lower in some HCOL areas when talking about the same size home. Suppose I bought a 3000 sq ft 4 br 3.5 ba home in San Diego for cash. What would the property taxes be? I just checked: Home price would be at least 4 times a Houston home price. Property taxes are 50% higher for the current owner, so would jump with a new owner to be about 100% higher (that's double).
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby pierremonfrere » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:57 pm

rrppve wrote:How much could one save by moving from a HCOL to MCOL or LCOL area? 10%, 30% ??



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corwin
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby corwin » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:58 pm

"In California, property taxes are low but income taxes are high"

My wife and I would love to leave IL for CA in a couple of years. We would go from being homeowners to renters. The COL would be slightly higher. The state income tax, however, would more than double. Maybe we could live in NV and visit CA on the weekends.

harikaried
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby harikaried » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:04 pm

rrppve wrote:How much could one save by moving from a HCOL to MCOL or LCOL area? 10%, 30% ??
We moved from San Francisco Bay Area to Reno almost 4 years ago, so comparing our yearly budget from then and now…

Auto: about the same as we removed commuting gas for road trips (although not being stuck in traffic every day is priceless)
Bills: about 40% higher for winter heating and summer air conditioning
Food/Health/Shopping: about the same
Home: 95% less with no mortgage and much lower property tax even with a larger house
Income: about 5% higher after-tax when going to 0% state income tax
Travel: almost 50% higher as a choice of enjoying our additional savings

We didn't have kids in California, but a quick search for current prices show we're paying about 40% of Bay Area day-care costs.

Overall, compared to 4 years ago, even with our increased Travel expenses, we're saving 75% more dollars each month. Although our savings rate was pretty high already at 40% and now 60%.

blueberry
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby blueberry » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:11 pm

I'm not sure if this is generally true about HCOL area but I haven't yet felt it's a mistake to live in HCOL as a home owner because property values are increasing so rapidly.

I'm done with expensive daycare and that was bad, but do have high property taxes. Eating out is expensive too, and home remodeling is ridiculously expensive.

-bb

rrppve
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby rrppve » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:24 pm

harikaried wrote:
rrppve wrote:How much could one save by moving from a HCOL to MCOL or LCOL area? 10%, 30% ??
We moved from San Francisco Bay Area to Reno almost 4 years ago, so comparing our yearly budget from then and now…

Auto: about the same as we removed commuting gas for road trips (although not being stuck in traffic every day is priceless)
Bills: about 40% higher for winter heating and summer air conditioning
Food/Health/Shopping: about the same
Home: 95% less with no mortgage and much lower property tax even with a larger house
Income: about 5% higher after-tax when going to 0% state income tax
Travel: almost 50% higher as a choice of enjoying our additional savings

We didn't have kids in California, but a quick search for current prices show we're paying about 40% of Bay Area day-care costs.

Overall, compared to 4 years ago, even with our increased Travel expenses, we're saving 75% more dollars each month. Although our savings rate was pretty high already at 40% and now 60%.

Thanks for providing a real data example. Other than housing costs, which aren't a factor for us with a paid off home, it looks like your costs went up. No day care for us. Also, retiring basically got rid of the commuting headache.

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Watty
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Watty » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:46 pm

rrppve wrote: For comparable quality restaurant meals is there a big difference?


That got me curious so I looked at the Olive Garden for the same food in different cities where you can see the menu online. I picked one of the first things on the menu.

Hcol: San Jose, CA (Bay Area) Suburban, Grilled Chicken Piadina $9.99 ( San Francisco, $10.49)

MCOL: Surburban Atlanta, $7.99

LCOL: Springfield Missouri, $7.99

That does not include a tip or sales tax.

Depending on how you look at it the HCOL area was 25% more expensive or you could save 20% outside the HCOL area.

harrychan
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby harrychan » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:55 pm

livesoft wrote:I've seen folks in HCOL areas quote outrageous prices for daycare.
Gasoline prices and tolls would be higher.

As for property taxes, I'm sure they are not lower in some HCOL areas when talking about the same size home. Suppose I bought a 3000 sq ft 4 br 3.5 ba home in San Diego for cash. What would the property taxes be? I just checked: Home price would be at least 4 times a Houston home price. Property taxes are 50% higher for the current owner, so would jump with a new owner to be about 100% higher (that's double).


I think YMMV for day care. My friends in Bay Area and SD cannot find a reasonably priced day care and have to go through a waitlist. They go upwards of $1500+ per child. In Los Angeles, you can find an in-home or institutions day care at $800+ easily with no wait list.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

engin33r
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby engin33r » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:00 pm

My experience in CA was that property tax was not low. I was paying nearly 8k/yr on a small old townhouse valued at 580k. percentage-wise, CA may be low, but when it costs 10x as much for a small, old, single-family home in a bad part of San Jose, you actually pay through the nose on property tax. A 1500 sqft house built in 1960 will set you back 1.5M and the taxes on that will be like 22k/yr. Of course if you have an existing paid-off house that was purchased many decades ago, then yes, your property tax would be low.

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burt
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby burt » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:14 pm

Retired last year and moved to LCOL area.

- no traffic
- no crime
- no commute
- no noise
- housing 1/3 of HCOL
- I know my neighbors.
- lower stress
- more exercise. can walk anywhere.

Goodness, the cost of access to restaurants, sports, and maybe an opera.

burt

rrppve
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby rrppve » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:21 pm

Watty wrote:
rrppve wrote: For comparable quality restaurant meals is there a big difference?


That got me curious so I looked at the Olive Garden for the same food in different cities where you can see the menu online. I picked one of the first things on the menu.

Hcol: San Jose, CA (Bay Area) Suburban, Grilled Chicken Piadina $9.99 ( San Francisco, $10.49)

MCOL: Surburban Atlanta, $7.99

LCOL: Springfield Missouri, $7.99

That does not include a tip or sales tax.

Depending on how you look at it the HCOL area was 25% more expensive or you could save 20% outside the HCOL area.

Looks like you've developed the Olive Garden index to compete with the Big Mac index.

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby IowaFarmBoy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:42 pm

Our daughter and son-in-law visited us over the holidays and were commenting about egg prices. They live on the Jersey side of the Hudson right across from midtown Manhattan. Normal grade A eggs are their neighborhood store are $2.49/dozen. Here in downstate Illinois, Walmart was .62 and Farm and Fleet was .39. Grocery stores like Kroger are maybe a dollar but I didn't check them. A lot of this may be due to their shopping at a small, neighborhood grocery store but that is where they can go without a car. They will occasionally get a zipcar and load up but this is their day to day shopping.

Rodc
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Rodc » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:38 pm

livesoft wrote:I've seen folks in HCOL areas quote outrageous prices for daycare.
Gasoline prices and tolls would be higher.

As for property taxes, I'm sure they are not lower in some HCOL areas when talking about the same size home. Suppose I bought a 3000 sq ft 4 br 3.5 ba home in San Diego for cash. What would the property taxes be? I just checked: Home price would be at least 4 times a Houston home price. Property taxes are 50% higher for the current owner, so would jump with a new owner to be about 100% higher (that's double).


I live in a VHCOL area near a major city. If you go even 20 miles out daycare drops in about half.

Plumbers, painters, etc all expect people to have lots of money and charge a lot more for their work. There is enough work that they can estimate high and still get work.

Of course they either have high commuting costs to get here or have high living costs to cover themselves.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby NoGambleNoFuture » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:56 pm

Watty wrote:
rrppve wrote: For comparable quality restaurant meals is there a big difference?


That got me curious so I looked at the Olive Garden for the same food in different cities where you can see the menu online. I picked one of the first things on the menu.

Hcol: San Jose, CA (Bay Area) Suburban, Grilled Chicken Piadina $9.99 ( San Francisco, $10.49)

MCOL: Surburban Atlanta, $7.99

LCOL: Springfield Missouri, $7.99

That does not include a tip or sales tax.

Depending on how you look at it the HCOL area was 25% more expensive or you could save 20% outside the HCOL area.


One of my first fast food meals in SF a few years ago was at a national burger chain (can't remember which) and I ordered the "$7 combo meal" which the menu referred to it as... and it literally cost like $9.49+tax hahah. One of my favorite Cali stories.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby jjunk » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:20 pm

I can give you the LCOL to HCOL perspective. We moved to the Seattle area ~5yrs ago from the Carolina's (outside Charlotte).

Housing: 980/mo mortgage for 2100SF 3B x 2.5BA in a very safe suburb (house was 153K when we bought it, sold it for 190K), here I pay 2800/mo for a 2B x 2BA apartment thats 950sf. To be fair, if I threw in my insurance, maintenance costs, etc it would be closer to 1300/mo before.

Food: Ruoghly 20% higher here, eating the same frozen meals we did before

Gas: 25% higher

Entertainment: 15% higher for things like going to the movies, eating out is 15-20% higher depending on where we eat. There arent as many chains in Seattle

All in all we pay ~25% more overall I would wager and we average ~4500/mo now (and thats living frugally). I do make that up in salary however so it's been about a wash when it was all said and done. My rent tends to go up 10-15%/year here though so that will be wiped out sooner than later. I prefer the Seattle area much more than the Carolina's so that's been a large positive and has made it worth the move but I plan to retire to a LCOL area when the time comes.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby The Wizard » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:34 pm

I think CA property taxes are capped for the current owner but not for a new owner initially. Correct me if I'm wrong.

In MA and possibly other states, assessments are done every few years irrespective of sales...
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blinx77
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby blinx77 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:40 pm

burt wrote:Retired last year and moved to LCOL area.

- no traffic
- no crime
- no commute
- no noise
- housing 1/3 of HCOL
- I know my neighbors.
- lower stress
- more exercise. can walk anywhere.

Goodness, the cost of access to restaurants, sports, and maybe an opera.

burt


I assume most people in HCOL are paying primarily for access to strong job markets and secondarily to be close to family and friends. Amenities is probably third. That was at least my reasoning.

There is a reason everything is expensive in my HCOL area (DC). Everyone is freaking rich! Also, here they are rich because they work hard and make lots of money (not a trust fund area). There really are large swarths of the area where a $200k income is totally pedestrian, if not below average. It can be demoralizing sometimes, actually. But if you are smart and work hard opportunities abound.

ausgenf
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby ausgenf » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:27 am

We moved from a medium-size city in the Southeast to San Francisco.

Besides much higher real estate costs, we also saw noticeable increases for groceries, car insurance, parking, tolls, utilities, gasoline, health insurance, eating out, services (including physicians, veterinarians, pet sitters), etc... State income taxes tripled as well. I would say +25% overall without taking taxes and real estate into account.

Carrying costs for real estate can be pretty large here, even without a mortgage. If I were to purchase the 2-bedroom condo I am currently renting, property taxes, HOA fees, and insurance would be 10x what I used to pay for our 4-bedroom house in the SE.

rrppve
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby rrppve » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:17 am

The Wizard wrote:I think CA property taxes are capped for the current owner but not for a new owner initially. Correct me if I'm wrong.

In MA and possibly other states, assessments are done every few years irrespective of sales...

True. The property taxes are based on purchase price plus a small annual inflation adjustment that is much smaller than market appreciation except for the depreciation in the Great Recession. Rewards long time home owners at the expense of new home owners.
Seems like the general sense is that costs are 20% or so lower in a LCOL area if you ignore real estate and tax effects.

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Watty
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Watty » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:49 am

Some more things;

1) With a paid off house you would also lose a lot of investment income if you have an extra $500k tired up in your home.

2) You may pay more in federal income taxes to support the higher costs in a HCOL area. This is an extreme example but I live in a low to medium cost of living area in a paid off house and I am hoping to pay almost no federal income taxes once I start Social Security. For example with $30K in taxable income and $30K in Social Security a couple would pay very little in federal income tax. If I needed $20K more taxable income I would be in the range were each extra dollar of taxable income would cause more of my Social Security to be taxed.

3) If you ever need to move into a nursing home the costs will vary dramatically.

http://longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pa ... our-state/

(Note: in the top right corner of the map there is a drop down box to select the type of care.)

I am not overly concerned about it since if only one of us is surviving when long term care is needed the costs are not dramatically higher than what our planed retirement budget was and our home equity could fund that for many years.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby ScroogeMcDuck » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:57 am

There may be some savings specific to the HCOL area. For example, San Francisco is so temperate we spend $30/month on gas and electricity in the summer and $50 in the winter. We don't really need to drive. There are very expensive restaurants, but there are also a lot of fantastic cheap restauarnts. A good bowl of pho is $8.

I do think any savings are dwarfed by the high cost of housing though. Even if your home is paid off, there's the opportunity cost of tying up that money.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Pajamas » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:16 pm

ScroogeMcDuck wrote:There may be some savings specific to the HCOL area. For example, San Francisco is so temperate we spend $30/month on gas and electricity in the summer and $50 in the winter. We don't really need to drive. There are very expensive restaurants, but there are also a lot of fantastic cheap restauarnts. A good bowl of pho is $8.

I do think any savings are dwarfed by the high cost of housing though. Even if your home is paid off, there's the opportunity cost of tying up that money.


I was going to post something similar. In some HCOL areas, an automobile is not necessary or even desirable. That can be a huge savings. Health coverage on the exchange may be more expensive or not available for some people in a low-cost state. Groceries can even be less expensive.

Consider moving from a low- to high-cost area or vice versa not just a change in costs but a change in lifestyle. If you move from a 4,000 square foot house in a low-cost area, the equivalent dwelling in a high-cost area may be a 1,200 square foot apartment that costs more. Everything not only has different costs, but is different.

Salaries, taxes, and housing costs are the big factors. Others are generally less important.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby bigred77 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:21 pm

Daycare and Private School costs that get posted on here seem dramatically higher to me.

I think there are some savings when traveling FROM a HCOL city. Airfare is much lower when flying out of an international airport then when you fly from a smaller or rural airport and have to change planes.

Public transportation is often much more usable and cheaper in HCOL areas vs LCOL areas.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:30 pm

bigred77 wrote:Daycare and Private School costs that get posted on here seem dramatically higher to me.

I think there are some savings when traveling FROM a HCOL city. Airfare is much lower when flying out of an international airport then when you fly from a smaller or rural airport and have to change planes.

Public transportation is often much more usable and cheaper in HCOL areas vs LCOL areas.


Private school prices are all over the map and the quality does not always follow the price. We looked at a number of private high schools and settled on one for our son that's great. One that we looked at now lists tuition (day only, not boarding) at $46k. I just got next year's bill for the school where my son is going (an excellent school, by the way) and a year is $8600. To add info, the expensive school is in the middle of nowhere, where costs are half of what they are at the lower cost school, which is in a much higher cost area.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby David Jay » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:35 pm

rrppve wrote:If your home is paid off, the housing cost difference which is normally a big part of the difference doesn't factor in.


I think this assumption is invalid, you must consider housing to compare HCOL to LCOL. If are talking about moving from a HCOL area to a LCOL area, your replacement home will be perhaps 1/3 the price, putting 2/3 of the home value in your pocket. A simple way to value that is to use the cash to purchase an annuity, the resulting cash flow change will definitely affect your cost of living.

[edit] Those of you in HCOL areas forget how economical housing is in LCOL areas. I built a 2500 sq ft home in 2009. A close-in suburb (<15 minute drive to downtown) of a 1 million population (total metro area) mid-western city. 4 BR, 2 1/2 BA, 2 stall attached garage (not part of the 2500ft2) on a 1.5 acre, wooded lot. I have a 28 by 40 out-building for our 5th Wheel Trailer and other vehicles. Zillow says it is worth $290,000.
Last edited by David Jay on Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Kevin M » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:48 pm

The Wizard wrote:I think CA property taxes are capped for the current owner but not for a new owner initially. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The state property tax rate is capped at 1% for all. What is different is that the property value assessment increase is capped, so long-time owners have much lower assessed values than new owners. I probably pay 6-7% of what someone who bought my house today would pay. My property tax is about 1/3 of that on a larger house I just bought in a LCOL area, but a new owner of my house would pay about 5X the property tax on the LCOL house. My house here is worth maybe 10X the house I bought in the LCOL area.

Also, there are a bunch of local taxes that get tacked on here, so you might end up at say 1.25%, but this is going to vary by county and city. It seems like every election we get to vote on some new city or county thing that adds a bit to our property tax.

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remomnyc
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby remomnyc » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:13 pm

I live in a VHCOL. Many of my coworkers live in a LCOL. The biggest differences between us are housing, daycare, transportation, and taxes. A 1000-sf apt in VHCOL costs 3x more than a +3000-sf house in LCOL. Daycare averages 2k/mo in VHCOL vs 800/mo in LCOL; however, many of my colleagues who have chosen to live in the LCOL primarily so their spouses can stay at home to care for the kids, i.e. no daycare costs. The lower housing cost allows this. I use public transportation. They need a car (+insurance +gas) and monthly train or bus passes, probably 2x as much as I spend. I pay city (3.6%) + state taxes (6.8%). They do not pay city and pay lower state taxes if they live in an adjoining state.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Wakefield1 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:17 pm

Watty wrote:
rrppve wrote: For comparable quality restaurant meals is there a big difference?


That got me curious so I looked at the Olive Garden for the same food in different cities where you can see the menu online. I picked one of the first things on the menu.

Hcol: San Jose, CA (Bay Area) Suburban, Grilled Chicken Piadina $9.99 ( San Francisco, $10.49)

MCOL: Surburban Atlanta, $7.99

LCOL: Springfield Missouri, $7.99

That does not include a tip or sales tax.

Depending on how you look at it the HCOL area was 25% more expensive or you could save 20% outside the HCOL area.

Some expensive high tax jurisdictions have "meal taxes". Possibly on top of sales tax.
Last edited by Wakefield1 on Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby HomerJ » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:18 pm

Property taxes are hugely different.

(1) Tax rates are different in the various states
(2) Sure, that $1 million home is paid off, but the property tax is still on one million dollars (instead of the $200,000 that same house would cost in a LCOL area).

I mention all the time that I could easily retire on $40,000 a year here in the Mid-west. Coastal people usually say "Man, my property taxes ALONE are $15k a year!"

Well, for my lake condo, property taxes are only about $1,500 a year, so that's TEN times less.

My parents have 110 acres of land with a nice 3-bedroom house with a great view in southern Missouri, and their property taxes are $600 a year. That's TWENTY-FIVE times less. For 110 acres of land.
Last edited by HomerJ on Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.

twins2012
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby twins2012 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:27 pm

engin33r wrote:My experience in CA was that property tax was not low. I was paying nearly 8k/yr on a small old townhouse valued at 580k. percentage-wise, CA may be low, but when it costs 10x as much for a small, old, single-family home in a bad part of San Jose, you actually pay through the nose on property tax. A 1500 sqft house built in 1960 will set you back 1.5M and the taxes on that will be like 22k/yr. Of course if you have an existing paid-off house that was purchased many decades ago, then yes, your property tax would be low.


In 1996, my parents paid almost 6K a year in property tax. Today, their property tax bill is 11.5K however their house is 1.5 mil per Zillow. This is San Jose.

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HomerJ
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby HomerJ » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:27 pm

David Jay wrote:
rrppve wrote:If your home is paid off, the housing cost difference which is normally a big part of the difference doesn't factor in.


I think this assumption is invalid, you must consider housing to compare HCOL to LCOL. If are talking about moving from a HCOL area to a LCOL area, your replacement home will be perhaps 1/3 the price, putting 2/3 of the home value in your pocket.


This is exactly right.

If you own a $1 million home free and clear, and have $3 million in investments. Pulling 4%, you can spend $120,000 a year.

Moving to a cheaper area, you can probably get a much nicer house for $500,000, and now you have $3.5 million in investments, and you can pull $140,000 a year.

Cheaper area to live (20%+ cheaper), NICER house, plus you just increased your spending money by $20,000 a year (increased income by another 16%).
Last edited by HomerJ on Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wakefield1
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby Wakefield1 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:30 pm

David Jay wrote:
rrppve wrote:If your home is paid off, the housing cost difference which is normally a big part of the difference doesn't factor in.


I think this assumption is invalid, you must consider housing to compare HCOL to LCOL. If are talking about moving from a HCOL area to a LCOL area, your replacement home will be perhaps 1/3 the price, putting 2/3 of the home value in your pocket. A simple way to value that is to use the cash to purchase an annuity, the resulting cash flow change will definitely affect your cost of living.

[edit] Those of you in HCOL areas forget how economical housing is in LCOL areas. I built a 2500 sq ft home in 2009. A close-in suburb (<15 minute drive to downtown) of a 1 million population (total metro area) mid-western city. 4 BR, 2 1/2 BA, 2 stall attached garage (not part of the 2500ft2) on a 1.5 acre, wooded lot. I have a 28 by 40 out-building for our 5th Wheel Trailer and other vehicles. Zillow says it is worth $290,000.

I predict that property would be assessed at at least 3 million in the high tax area where I am. And the property tax would be over $20,000./year. (Forgot what the rate is now)
And most of the area is an ugly traffic snarled/aggressive driving eyesore! (Although the Potomac River corridor is beautiful with its C&O Canal Towpath Park and some parkland and remnant older residential areas in local jurisdictions.

FullYellowJacket
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby FullYellowJacket » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:53 pm

Checking our budgets, we really don't spend any more money in Los Angeles (SF Valley) than we did in Metro-Atlanta, outside of housing costs. I'm guessing that we probably pay 50-75% more in housing costs here, but our increased incomes way more than makes up for it.

We spend more money on entertainment here, but that is part of why we moved to LA to in the first place!

juanovo
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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL

Postby juanovo » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:51 pm

I live in Bay Area and the costs of owning property are very location dependent in CA. I would guess in other HCOL areas it is similar.
I actually only pay 1.32% of my property value in "property taxes". The property value can only go up by a maximum of 2% per year unless I remove or add or something like that.

Here are the catches: In HCOL areas of CA 1.32% of a highly valued home is still a lot of money. In addition there are other fees and assessments that add an additional significant amount to the cost of property ownership. In my case the property tax costs it self is only around half of the total amount I pay for mosquito abatement, special school bonds, library bonds etc. if I moved cities that amount could go down (Oakland) or go up (Palo Alto) just depending on which HCOL area I am in.

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Re: Difference between HCOL and LCOL [High and Low Cost of Living]

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:22 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (not personal nor actionable). General comment threads are off topic in the forums with "Personal" in the title. See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT

- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

- It must be actionable. You must be able to do something specific with the replies that will make a difference in your situation.

If you have a specific question, please ask directly and provide sufficient information for members to supply appropriate advice.

I also retitled the thread to help with the acronyms.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.


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