il0kin wrote: ↑Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:38 pm
In my MCOL area a 330k house is either a 3500-4000 square foot "McMansion" or a 2500 sq ft home in an older and highly desirable part of town. These houses have basements with usable finished square footage, though.
My 260k purchase price (appraisal approx 300k) is about 3000 sq. ft including the basement and I would not ever want a house bigger than what we have.
Ok, I'll play. I actually paid just under that price (320ish) for my house. 10 years ago. Its 1400 sq ft on a half acre.
Today its probably worth 400-450. You cant even get a condo in my town for the prices above.
So I guess I qualify as HCOL then?
Funny thing is, I can keep the lights on and food on the table for 4 of us for about 50-60k/year (mortgage included, but other debts paid). 75k a year if you include buying a new Honda every 5 years and annual vacations. Your "MCOL 85k" would get us the house, new cars, nice vacations and at least one major renovation project every year.
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All of that to illustrate - I dont see the point of these cost of living comparisons. It really all comes down to housing, as pretty much everything else is similar and/or discretionary. A Verizon phone plan costs the same for me as it does to somebody in Tennessee. Price for a new Toyota Camry is going to be relatively similar. We can all buy the same TV on Amazon for the exact same price.
Everything else - like expensive daycares, luxury cars, lavish vacations, etc - are choices. Just because I live in an expensive state doesn't mean I need to buy all that crap.
So yeah. Housing.
Did I mention housing?