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The 12 cities where you can live large on $60,000

Looking for a city with a low cost of living, where a $60,000 paycheck allows you to live like a king? Look no further than Buffalo. This was a sentiment that I was trying to relay to a Boston couple just yesterday. A longtime friend told me that his best best buddy was looking to possibly move to Buffalo, so I readily agreed to grab coffee with him, his wife and their young son, to discuss the city. Of course they had heard all of the preconceived notions about why ‘not’ to move to Buffalo, but they were open minded enough to not believe the hype. So we met up over at Five Points Bakery, which is where I take all out-of-towners who are contemplating a move to Buffalo.

To my surprise and good fortune, when I walked in, the couple’s young son was happily playing with a number of other youngsters in the corner, where there is a designated play spot for children (brilliant!). I hadn’t even thought of that hook. While the youngster played, we settled into coffee and toast (from the toast bar) in the far corner. The first thing that they told me was that they had been out house hunting and were shocked at not only the incredible housing stock, but the bidding wars that ensued. The property values were much more than they had anticipated, which I felt was actually a big boost for the city’s image in their eyes.

While talking about the potential difficulties of finding a house in the city (in areas that they found desirable), the husband mentioned that he was willing to extend the amount of money that they were planning on spending in order to secure a house, if and when the time came. First he needed to make sure that the job that he was being recruited for was right for him, and vice versa. When he told me that he would be willing to stretch his wallet to purchase the right house, I told him that in the end, he would recoup that money because, for the most part, living in Buffalo is cost effective (if you want it to be).

If you pick the right neighborhood, and you’re into walking and biking, getting around this city is a breeze (and cheap). There are a ton of things to do that are virtually free, and when there is a cost associated to something, it’s usually pretty affordable – sports games, theater, boating, restaurants (depending on where you go), etc.

I also mentioned that while most Buffalonians have a car, it doesn’t mean that you will ever get stuck in traffic. A couple of my friends recently moved home from DC, and they told me that one of the main reasons that they are so happy to be home is the absence of traffic jams that they were constantly stuck in. Once again, while our public transportation system is lacking (for now), it’s still easy and affordable to get around the city if you live anywhere near where you work.

Getting back to the family that I was meeting up with, before I knew it, the mother was exchanging contact information with the other parents at the café. That alone was the best sight to see, because I had just finished telling the father that Buffalo is such a warm and welcoming place – and it’s the type of city where you can walk into a party and find CEOs, artists, and everyone in-between, all palling around because of their insatiable appetite to make Buffalo a great city once again.

To my surprise, as I was about to take the couple over to Connecticut Street to have a late lunch at Lait Cru Brasserie, the mother opted to stick with with one of the women that she had just met. I asked where they were all going, and it turns out that the new friend worked at a farm around the corner, and they were all going to see the place. I asked if ‘the farm’ happened to be the $2 million MAP Farmhouse that was currently underway, and the young lady confirmed my guess. 

As I walked back home, I thought about everything that had just happened and thanked my lucky stars that, once again, Five Points Bakery had come through. I also thought about the lack of housing in Buffalo, and how unfortunate it is that we can’t accommodate everyone that is looking to move into the city. We need to build more housing, and that is going to come in the form of converting empty lots downtown into residential. That would help to free up some of the housing stock, as some home owners would surely opt to try out the condo life. I also thought back to our conversation about cost of living in Buffalo, which is quite funny because no sooner did I get home that a friend on the West Coast sent me note with the following attachment:

CNBC.com – The 12 cities where you can live large on $60,000

Now how is that for perfect timing?

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Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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  • HousingBubble2

    It all depends what you define as “living large.” $60,000/year will get you a roommate in a decent apartment, limited money for vacations and a few bucks to eat and drink craft beer. Buffalo is not a cheap place to live anymore. You will not be able to buy a home in decent neighborhood on 60k and you will be driving a Kia.

    Rents, home prices, TAXES, food, utilities, insurances have all skyrocketed. I would say you need at least $125,000/year to now live comfortably in Buffalo NY. That is cheaper than Boston and NYC but more expensive that many cities in the sunbelt which offer more amenities!

    • Captain Picard

      I have to agree with this statement. Finding housing “in areas that they [find] desirable” is a VERY difficult and expensive proposition these days. Ask anybody under 35.

      • HousingBubble2

        Buying a prefabbed home on the lower west side for $300,000 plus with on street parking is not really my idea of affordable living or “living large.” These prices rival some of the top metropolitan areas in the country.

        Prices will drop once we get back to a normalized interest rate environment and many of the people that over paid the last few years will be upside down on their mortgage.

        • Johnny Pizza

          No, they don’t. Not even remotely close. At $300k the homes are still 1/2 to 1/3 what you’d pay in any major city (NYC, Boston, Chicago). For someone who loves debating this at every chance, you know absolutely nothing about it.

          The median home value in Boston is $527,300 in 2014. In Buffalo it was $134,900. That’s 75% less. NOT EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE.
          I have a very simple request for you, GET ACTUAL FACTS before pretending to know anything about the reality of the world around you.

          • HousingBubble2

            My facts are straight. You are deflecting. The criteria for the discussion is if $60,000/year will allow you to buy a home in a DESIREABLE neighborhood and live LARGE.

            $130,000 doesn’t get you SQUAT in north buffalo. No pun intended.

            Let me know if you need me to
            clarify any further !

          • Johnny Pizza

            “$130,000 doesn’t get you SQUAT in north buffalo.”

            It got me a 3 bed, 1 bath home with a two car garage and fenced in backyard. Sure it needs some cosmetic upgrades but it was livable from day 1. Seems like a very reasonable and affordable home for a first time homebuyer.

            You’re wrong. I don’t know what else to say other than just look this stuff up, Google is a very easy website to navigate and find the information you need.

      • OldFirstWard

        “Ask anybody under 35.”

        Most of them live with their parents, in the basement.

        • bufforward

          No, you can’t reasonably afford a $300,000 house on a $60,000, but you don’t need a $300,000 house to live comfortably in buffalo. Trust me. Quick example- go to Zillow, set the max price to $150,000 and take a quick look at the map. There are a variety of options all over the place. If you’re not strapped with a bunch of debt, $60,000 is enough to live comfortably, own your own home and car if you wish, and have some cash left over. I’m doing it myself.

          As a side note, as somebody in the under 35 demographic, none of my close friends live at home, and most own their own homes. I know that isn’t the case for everyone but its something many people in this area do early. Maybe you don’t have the most accurate impression of people in my age group…

          • BuffaloGals

            @OldFirstWard:disqus departed the real world some time ago. Best to just ignore him. Or make fun of his ridiculous assertions that Harborcenter ruined the sunset view from Perry and Michigan. He’s just a sad, bitter old man.

        • Captain Picard

          I don’t know anybody that lives in their parents’ basement, and everybody I know who lives with their parents is under 25.

          Do you have kids? Have they ever needed your help? Did you make them feel like scum for it?

          • Johnny Pizza

            OFW is someone who is constantly bitter because he realizes that his time on this earth is limited and rather than embracing his last years here he would rather be bitter towards those with a full life ahead of them.
            I truly pity him.

    • No_Illusions

      What are you talking about? I know people who make much less than $60,000 who own their own homes.

      Maybe if you’re buying a brand new condo downtown or McMansion in East Amherst it’s not much, but the vast majority of people are not doing that.

      If you make $60,000 a year, you can easily afford a $300,000 home which is twice the average home price…

      • Rory

        Even if $60,000 is your take home after income taxes, a $300,000 mortgage plus homeowners insurance, utilities, and town/county/school taxes is going to make most people house poor. Are school taxes that much cheaper in the city?
        A home purchased at $300,000 in my town would have property taxes near $8,000/year.

        • HousingBubble2

          Rory, no illusions in often delusional ! He needs to go back to 6th grade math !

          • No_Illusions

            $60,000 is $4,000 per month after taxes. A 30 year mortgage on a $300,000 home is around $2,000 per month including interest, Buffalo property tax, and insurance. (not including any rental units).

            While that is 50% of your income, its pretty easy to live off that other $2,000 even if you have moderate debts.

            Obviously, you can go cheaper and find a $200,000 home or a $100,000 home that you use some of the left over money to fix up.

            If you cannot find ahome for those prices in Elmwood or North Buffalo, then Blackrock, South Buffalo, or the near Eastside have you covered.

            Do you even live in Buffalo?

          • HousingBubble2

            $4000/month after taxes – I would love to get in to your tax bracket. Do you work ? try more like $3,350/month – unless you don’t plan on paying NYS income tax, SS Tax, health insurance. Most people like to have a car, eat and be properly clothed. Cable and internet is nice too at $155/month.

            NO ONE AGREES WITH YOU! PLEASE TAKE NOTICE!

          • No_Illusions

            Does Donald Trump have a Buffalo Rising account now?

          • buffalorunner89

            What? I make just about $60K even, and my take-home would be $3600/month max if I contributed literally zero to my retirement. I’m pretty smart with my money, I have zero debt, and I would get laughed out of town if I tried to buy a $300,000 house on my income alone. My boyfriend also makes around $60,000, and we’re able to live in a nice apartment and save quite a bit, but I still would not say that we “live large.” Maybe it’s a mindset.

        • grovercleveland

          Why is $300,000 just appearing as a standard? I know plenty of people who bought in the city for much less than $300,000. You are setting a strawman

          • HousingBubble2

            I think most people are referring to living in a desirable neighborhood. Most home in the Elmwood village now go for upward of 300,000 and North Buffalo is close. Where neighborhood were you referring to and why do you take this thread so personal?

      • HousingBubble2

        What rock do you live under ? You most certainly can not qualify for nor budget for a $300,000 mortgage on a $60,000 income. This is just simple math. Get a clue!

        • No_Illusions

          Uh, go find a mortgage calculator and set it for 30 years.

          • HousingBubble2

            Go put on your skinny jeans and snazzy plastic framed glasses from 1983; you obviously still live at home with your parents! You are clueless and no one on here agrees with you – haven’t you noticed ?

          • No_Illusions

            Yep, those personal attacks are really proving your point.

            Why don’t you actually calculate some numbers instead?

          • HousingBubble2

            why don’t you respond to one of the many others on this website that emphatically disagree with you. You are a TROLL!

      • Ward Scardino Jr

        I think you need a calculator. I make over $60k a year and my take home pay is less than the mortgage, taxes and insurance would be monthly on a $300k house. That’s not taking into consideration utilities, car payment, gas, oh and food. Then there are those pesky costs like student loans and credit cards….

        • No_Illusions

          I’m assuming no kids and minimal debts here, buying a $300,000 would be half your yearly expenses at $60,000 (accounting for taxes and insurance).

          My point is that you need not go for the $300,000 house but can definitely afford the average home up for sale in the region.

          If you buy in the city not only are taxes lower but chances are you’ll also have a rental unit or two to offset some of the costs.

          • HousingBubble2

            You disagree with people on the internet for sake of disagreeing. We are talking about living in the city, not Cheektowaga. Please read the article and get your facts straight.

    • S Mills

      $60,000 gets you a roommate in a decent apartment? What dream world do you live in?

      30% of that take home to housing, $1500 a month, would put you living alone in an excellent apartment in a prime location in Buffalo.

      • HousingBubble2

        Do you plan to drive a vehicle to work and have a cell phone ? How about eating ? Perhaps buying yourself a winter coat ? Eating food is nice….can you do a budget for us on here at $60,000/year w2 income and let us know how one could afford $1500/month.

        Please also note, do you plan to have health insurance or will you be collecting medicaid? You are completely out of touch with reality. The city of Buffalo is no longer a cheap place to live. Do the math.

        • eagercolin

          He (or she) already did the budget. Hence “30% of take home to housing.” The rest of the expenses you mention are paid out of the remaining 70%. None of this is difficult to understand.

          • HousingBubble2

            You can’t qualify for a $300,000 mortgage with 60,000/year in income. The ratios do not work dippy.

          • eagercolin

            I’m not talking about a $300k mortgage. I’m talking about this claim — “30% of that take home to housing, $1500 a month, would put you living alone in an excellent apartment in a prime location in Buffalo.”

            You responded to it by claiming that someone spending that much on rent would have trouble meeting basic expenses. Your response was stupid.

          • HousingBubble2

            how did you get to be so tough!? Explain yourself. This seems to be a matter of opinion. avg tax rate on 60k is 33%. If you are paying $1500/month in rent – you are not living large. you barely have enough to eat. You seem like you have a real axe to grind on BRO. I have read your comments on other posts. You insult people, name call, make proactive statements with no facts and then disappear. Are you trolling or just taking anabolic steroids. Please do the math with all utilities, car payment, insurances and living expenses or get off my dam thread. You are a violent liberal extremist.

          • eagercolin

            You’re in the midst of a manic episode.

          • HousingBubble2

            Great response ! Have fun eating ramen noodles in your $1500/month apt and taking the bus.

          • Jordan Then

            No one making $60k pays 33% in taxes…

          • HousingBubble2

            please send me the name of your accountant….then again I make more than 60k

          • Jordan Then

            Congrats, me too.

          • grovercleveland

            WHY ARE YOU OBSESSED WITH $300,000 HOUSES?

          • Johnny Pizza

            There are 63 homes for sale in Buffalo listed at $300k or above on Zillow today. Coincidentally, there are 63 homes for sale in the 14216 zip code only that are for sale for $300k or less. Why do you continue to push the $300k home price?

    • eagercolin

      No, you don’t need $125k/year to live comfortably in Buffalo. This is a stupid thing to say.

      • HousingBubble2

        I don’t know how you live buddy, but in order to afford a 300k home in the city with ALL EXPENSES, you need 125,000/year to live “comfortably” –

        • eagercolin

          I have no idea why you’re hung up on this 300k home. You don’t need a home that expensive in order to live comfortably.

          • HousingBubble2

            I have no idea why you are hung up on my comments, plenty of other people on this thread feel the same way. Go organize a protest and march against them ! Maybe throw some rocks and break windows !

          • Jeff Brown

            This guy really wants people to “go organize a protest and march” for some reason.

          • HousingBubble2

            And throw rocks ! Don’t forget

    • R L

      I am under 35. I own a home in a great neighborhood in the City of Buffalo with low crime and mostly owner occupant neighbors. My house cost less than $65k, and my combined mortgage, taxes and insurance is less than $500/month. At $60k/year, that leaves me with more than enough disposable income. Now consider that I’m happily partnered, so double the income and cut living expenses in half. We’re living the dream!

      • HousingBubble2

        your house cost less than 65,000 ? Where do you live…in a card board box ?

      • Captain Picard

        This anecdote is underwhelming without the following information:

        1. More specific location
        2. Year of purchase
        3. Total cost including any renovations
        4. Definition of “low crime”

        I’m not doubting you, but I suspect you’re leaving important info out.

        • R L

          1. I live in a very nice part of Riverside. No, that’s not an oxymoron. It may not be cool, but people can still find affordable and decent housing in places like Riverside and Kaisertown, among others. There are pockets throughout the city with nice, well-kept neighborhoods that aren’t in the Elmwood Village, West Side or North Buffalo.
          2. Purchased in late 2012. Houses in my immediate neighborhood have gone up a bit since then, but generally sell for $70k-$90k.
          3. No renovations necessary, all newer mechanicals. I did less than $5k in cosmetic improvements, but they weren’t needed.
          4. I haven’t experienced any crime personally in 4 years. Looking in my immediate neighborhood (approximate 3 block radius) on crimereports.com, there was one theft in the past 6 months, which is as far as back as I can go. Anecdotally, it is extremely quiet and peaceful, unlike my time spent in the EV.

          • Captain Picard

            Ok, that’s a reasonable explanation. Congrats on a good find.

            However, your contentment with your particular situation does not change the fact that most relatively middle to upper-middle income people in the city (i.e. the $60k+ crowd) would not consider Riverside “desirable.” Also, 2012 is five years ago. prices have gone up a lot since then. Finally, that you have not personally experienced crime in the past 4 years does not mean that crime isn’t higher in Riverside than many other parts of the city, including every one of the “desirable” neighborhoods.

          • Captain Picard
          • R L
          • Captain Picard

            Understood. I wasn’t trying to invade your privacy. I’m starting to get what you’re saying.

            And you’re absolutely correct about crime being more serious on the West Side. Which is why I don’t consider it desirable even if a bunch of hipsters do.

          • R L

            After reviewing the crime map for most of the streets west of Richmond, I’m not feeling so bad about the overall Riverside crime map anymore. Allentown looks pretty bad, too. Of course, the crime maps only tell part of the story when it comes to overall quality of life and desirability. As I suspected, Kaisertown also looks pretty good overall, as do a few other scattered areas where prices haven’t skyrocketed. Having advised on many house purchases, I will acknowledge the difficulty of actually getting people to consider these areas, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

          • benfranklin

            There’s a pocket of homes to the immediate north of the medical campus that fit a similar profile. Yes, they would need work, but in the not too distant future you would double your money.

          • R L

            I don’t doubt that most middle to upper-middle income people wouldn’t want to live in Riverside, or anywhere else that isn’t considered desirable. I merely wanted to point out that it is a choice that exists. Affordable housing options in Buffalo are not dead. I would also argue that the crime is lower and quality of life is better than many of the neighborhoods on the West Side where people are willing to pay much more for a house. It’s all about the choices people want to make, and how they would rather spend their money.

  • Bob

    It’s definitely true that Buffalo area housing stock is pretty darn cheap, compared to plenty of other cities. Then again, Buffalo does have expensive shortfalls.

    E.g. in living outside of DC, my wife and I use public transit and Uber regularly – making it easy to forego a 2nd car (and the 1st car is just a luxury item we could also do without, if needed) and the ~$10K/year a vehicle costs. Public schools here are excellent v. having to pay for private school in Buffalo proper or paying insane property taxes in Amherst (my $600K DC-area house has a prop tax of about $6K v. a $350K house I was considering in Amherst having taxes of over $12K).

    And of course you have the other side of the equation: I make over $100K in DC while comparable job offers I’ve fielded in Buffalo are in the $65K range.

    Overall, it’s much easier to get by w/less $$ in an area like Buffalo, but if the family from Boston is looking for a similar quality of life as what they’re leaving then there will be additional costs they need to take into account. Unfortunately, those expenses are commonly overlooked in superficial CNBC-like lists.

    • No_Illusions

      Eh, Boston’s graduation rate is 66% and DC’s is at 69%…

      Better than Buffalo’s 63%, but not by much.

      Also, Buffalo public system is fine if you work and live in the city. The suburbs not so much however. Try taking the bus some time.

      • Bob

        No doubt there are plenty of crappy schools and crappy neighborhoods in other cities, but there are also plenty of nice neighborhoods feeding into viable public school options. In Buffalo, even if you pay the Elmwood premium, you’re still stuck shelling out for private school or praying for GT/magnet placement.

    • Johnny Pizza

      And the other part of the equation is that your mortgage payment for a $600k house vs a $350k house is probably $10k more per year, thus completely offsetting your perceived low cost living.

  • Ivan Putski Jr

    they won’t be living large for long if Five Points becomes a part of their rotation. Was there last summer and bought a coffee and toast and spent about $10. I know the bread is suppose to be high quality but still seemed like a total ripoff. That’s not the Buffalo I know and love. Take them to Sophias on Military or Trina’s on Clinton. That would show them the real Buffalo character. The comments about the insane taxes in NY are legit…one definite perk of Buffalo is the access to free events in the summer…concerts, festivals etc is a real bonus compared to what a lot of other cities offer.

    • Cvepo

      There are literally a million Sophia’s and Trina’s in cities across the US. Doubt those would sway anyone…

  • Rand503

    I just did a search on Zillow. In the city of Buffalo, there are currently 720 houses for sale under $100,000 and another 500 in foreclosure or pre foreclosure. If you expand to Erie County and Niagara County, the numbers are in the thousands.

    So, yes, Buffalo is entirely affordable. Some of these houses in Cheektowaga, Niagara Falls, West Seneca, South Buffalo. But some are directly in north buffalo. I’m sure if you look at $200,000, you will find many many more.

    Sure, the days of getting a beautiful 19th century mansion in the Elmwood Village for $100,000 are long gone. But that hardly means Buffalo is more expensive than Florida.

    • HousingBubble2

      720 homes for sale in Buffalo under 100,000 and 710 of them are on the east side or in the ghetto. We are talking about living in a decent neighborhood. If you don’t want to live in the ghetto you are looking at 250,000 minimum for a home in Buffalo and the taxes are now going up on a lot of these homes. Quit dreaming!

      • No_Illusions

        He just said Cheektowaga and West Seneca…why don’t you go onto Zillow and see for yourself…

        • HousingBubble2

          Read the article. The article is discusses affordability in the city of Buffalo.

          • No_Illusions

            Read the article, they’re using Metro area stats…

      • rubagreta

        $250,000 will get you a 1-bedroom coop in Queens. Think about that.

      • Johnny Pizza

        I bought a house in North Buffalo for $130,000 about 6 months ago. My payment is less than $900 a month including taxes and insurance.
        If the average person spends 25% of their salary on housing that could be afforded for $55k – $60k per year in income. That is certainly achievable for even young single homebuyers (like myself) and if you are married-both-working then combined that is almost impossible not to afford.

    • Michael Jarosz

      Are there still any homes available for $1.00? Why not recommend one of them?

  • rubagreta

    Just looked on-line. 29 Lexington on the market for $379,000. 3,172 square feet. Gorgeous. Taxes are 6K.

    A previous poster described the house in the DC suburbs for 600K and $6,000 taxes (presumably in a ticky-tacky 1980’s subdivsion). The Buffalo house is looking good. Oh, and also – No horrible DC traffic.

    There are lots of couples who EACH make 60K. So at 120K you can buy a real fine house in Buffalo with no sweat.

    • HousingBubble2

      my point exactly, prices are already dropping with rates going up. This home has been sitting forever. The other people on this street that bought for $450,000 are now upside down on their mortgages! Good luck!

      • rubagreta

        Addresses please for the alleged $450,000 sale prices.

        There is next to nothing on the market in Elmwood that’s decent. Why would prices drop 20%?

        • HousingBubble2

          dont have time, google last 12 months sales on lexington/highland. Plenty of them. The appreciation is the highest in the entire nation.

          • rubagreta

            Buffalo had almost no appreciation during the real estate bubble of the mid-2000’s. Values were in the dumps for decades. Somewhere around 2012, people realized what a steal properties are. But the appreciation since the mid-1990’s is probably lower than most cities. This is making up for lost time.

            And if you hadn’t noticed, the city is on the rise. Buffalo is not Binghamton.

          • HousingBubble2

            do you live here ? Yes, you are correct, however the article states that you can live large here on 60k/year. If you want to live in a “decent neighborhood” you can not. Values have gone too far too fast and will correct. It can be seen that many others on this thread agree! Have a good one.

          • rubagreta

            You know, renting is also living. You can get a nice place with an income of 60K, and have plenty of money left over.

          • Johnny Pizza

            Do you live here? I know dozens of people who live in the best locations in the city (EV and North Buffalo) who don’t make that much. They are renters, but they still live there and still enjoy going out among other things.

    • Bob

      Did you not read what I said? The comparison is:
      1. paying 2x DC-area property taxes for Elmwood + having to pay for private school or
      2. paying 4x DC-area property taxes for Amherst

      either way, the $379,000 you cite isn’t the whole story (and schools and taxes aren’t the only Buffalo-specific expenses I discussed, either). Buffalo’s cheap, but it’s not as crazy cheap as it appears on its face.

      • rubagreta

        Do you make up stuff? Here’s a nice house in Amherst with an asking price of $299,000, and taxes of 7K+ (less STAR rebate, I assume). I think that’s a lot better deal than whatever you can get in close-in Montgomery County, MD. A lot better.

        http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/18-Thornbury-Dr_East-Amherst_NY_14051_M31394-58395

        • Bob

          Right, $7,536 taxes for a house assessed at $229K (the $299K asking price means nothing). For the fourth time, I’m not saying Buffalo is cheaper than DC or Boston, overall; I’m saying Buffalo isn’t as cheap as it appears at first look. Moving back to Buffalo last year ultimately wasn’t affordable for my family after considering the whole picture including, most notably, +$6K/year in property taxes (or lower property taxes in the city, but private school costs), +$10K/year in transportation costs, -$55K/year salary. The lower housing price point wasn’t enough to offset everything else.

          Maybe in a few years I’ll find a better paying Buffalo job or the suburbs will get their taxes under control or the city will get some of their schools out of the gutter or the region will employ a more robust bus/rail system and some of the underlying variables/budget items will shift in Buffalo’s favor.

          • rubagreta

            Hey, that’s even better. I would much rather spend 229K with 7.5K taxes than 299K with 7.5K taxes (subtract STAR rebate) for that house!

            You seem to think that spending 600K with 6K taxes is a better deal. You have an obsession with taxes as a percentage of market value. Who cares?

            Is that 10K for a second car? If it is, what the heck are you driving? You can get a great lease on on a Honda Civic (40 mpg on the highway) for something like $179/month. Insurance + gas + two oil changes. That shouldn’t run you more than 4K. And then subtract your monthly subway/bus fare in DC you are probably below 3K. Plus, you have the intangible of the convenience of a second car.

          • Bob

            “Who cares” that the house I’m living in currently has $6K/year in prop. taxes and the $350K house we wanted in 14226 had $12K/year in prop. taxes? Are you serious? That $6K a year is the same as $100K in mortgage payments, except its infinite and goes into a black hole instead of into home equity.

            $10K/year is the average cost of sedan ownership in the U.S. You’re acting like I’m making all of this up and that the substantial budgetary differences don’t matter. Honestly, I don’t know if you have Buffalove rose colored glasses on or simply don’t have to think about this stuff, but I can assure you that after 6 months of consideration, house tours, and meeting with multiple financial managers to go over the different variables, it matters and it adds up.

          • HousingBubble2

            Welcome to my world…some of these comments are the reason why the city is still the 3 most impoverished in the nation with the highest taxes.

          • rubagreta

            The houses on the east side that are worth $30,000 are paying next to nothing in property taxes. Nice try.

          • HousingBubble2

            you should go live there; we are talking about the affordability of living in a decent area of Buffalo. You seem to be having a hard time grasping the criteria for the discussion. Why?

          • rubagreta

            The impoverished parts of the city pay almost no taxes. The healthy parts of the city (and the suburbs) pay high taxes. You imply that high taxes have caused impoverishment. Lot of things cause impoverishment, taxes on the East Side are not one of the causes. Get it?

          • HousingBubble2

            you seem to be on a much different page than everyone on this thread, no one seems to follow anything you say, but yea sure, whatever.

          • rubagreta

            You must be using “new math” for the car. I’m scratching my head wondering how you get to 10K on a Honda Civic lease. Six oil changes, no depreciation, no repairs. Insurance + gas (40 MPG on the highway).

            http://www.liahondaofwilliamsville.com/newspecials.aspx

          • Bob

            Is your Google broken? Why are you pretending like I’m the one coming up with these facts? What unsatisfyingly superficial half-responses, Rub. Oh well.

          • rubagreta

            By sending you a link on the Honda Civic lease, I am trying to help by saving you $5,000/year. Instead of being grateful you are insulting. So enjoy spending 10K/year on your second car.

          • rubagreta

            Or you could buy a 10-year old Honda or Toyota with 100,000 miles for something like $4,000. Costs nothing to insure.

          • Bob

            Yes, of course some cars are cheaper than others. As I’ve stated, $10K/year is the AVERAGE cost of owning a sedan in the U.S. By definition there are options that are cheaper and more expensive than the $10K AVERAGE figure. Have a nice day.

          • rubagreta

            Feel free to squander your money on a second car. But don’t complain about living expenses. 5K is all you need. The 5K you save pays for 12 months of groceries. Good luck.

          • rubagreta

            My comment have ZERO to do with Buffalo. Numbers are numbers.

      • Doug Wallis

        If Trump gets his way there will be school vouchers and school choice. You’ll get a voucher to take your kids out of public school and put them in private, parochial or charter schools where they will be better off. These kids are getting indoctrinated with cultural Marxism, sex education, feminism, transgenderism, victimologies and anarchist studies instead of an education. There is no pledge of allegiance, there is no school prayer, there is no civics, there is no Christianity but there is of course islam because islam wants to destroy western civilization which is the same goal as feminists, SJWs and communists. There is no emphasis on a 2 parent family or marriage just ride the carousel and live off the govt until your too fat and ugly…no one wants you…and all you can do live off the govt.

  • RayFinkle

    don’t forget about school loans….the system is broken …and we are feed lies at a impressionable age ….
    fyi my school loans are just about as much as my mortgage…..
    60k does not cut it…

    • HousingBubble2

      NO ILLUSIONS – Please respond to Ray Finkle – show him your math!

  • Captain Picard

    I’d love to hear more about how working for three years at $60K (minus income taxes and expenses, of course) could allow you to retire in three years.

    I’m not mocking you. I want to know your secret.

    • benfranklin

      I’d like to hear it too…

      If he could live on $1000 per month, 48,000 saved for three years, then a return of 8% would just about equal $1000 per month in perpetuity. Not quite the retirement they talk about on the investment commercials. (On second thought, you brought up taxes…forget this.)

    • MrGreenJeans

      My houses (3) are paid for, I collect $2800 per month in rent for 4 ‘flats’, total expenses are less than $1200, and when (if) I get to be old enough, the City will give me a 50% discount on the already minimal taxes for my own place. The worst and getting to be almost intolerable part is the traffic noise & drug trade around here – I am surrounded by scum, selling and buying pot, meth, crack, and whatever else. It’s obvious but the cops refuse to do anything about it. Finding “nice” people as tenants, who have jobs and will pay me and not destroy the place, is almost impossible. Still, I don’t need a job these days.

  • grovercleveland

    While not $60K, my wife and I live in Williamsville and make a combined $80K. We bought a nice house last year for $165,000. Since moving in we’ve spent a few thousands (spread out) on repairs, paid off my student loan, accelerated the payment on hers, put some money into savings, never missed payment, credit card or other and had some money to splurge on our families during Christmas. We also know plenty of people who have bought nice homes in North Buffalo off Hertel, or off Richmond for well under $200K. This notion you need to buy a $300,000 home and eat out at a fancy restaurant every single night to be considered doing well is ridiculous. Some of the condescension in this post as well to those providing anecdotes and to those less well off is pretty insulting.

    • HousingBubble2

      You should consider organizing a march or a protest ! The discussion below involves living on $60,000 in a desirable neighborhood in the city of BUFFALO. If you read more carefully, you will find that many are concerned with the recent run up in home prices downtown and high rents. It can be seen that $60,000 does not leave much left over to “live large” as the article states. Why do you liberals always find it necessary to play the victim card every chance you get. You are taking everything out of context! There is nothing insulting about people discussing their finances.

      • Jeff Brown

        “You liberals”? “Vicitim card”? Are you sure you’re responding to the correct post?

        • HousingBubble2

          Yes

          • rubagreta

            I think your bubble just burst, HousingBubble2.

          • HousingBubble2

            Thanks Ashley Judd!

      • grovercleveland

        Well, for one, I am a Republican. Secondly I referenced multiple people I knew who bought homes in the city and the areas in which they bought the homes in. I’m trying to provide context. I also don’t think “living large” meant to live like a billionaire. Also, telling you not to be an a$$ hole doesn’t make me a liberal, or a protester, it just means you’re a jerk.

        • HousingBubble2

          I apologize if I hurt you in any way

          • grovercleveland

            I’ll be ok Mr. Bubble.

      • rubagreta

        When the article says BUFFALO, most readers would assume that it includes the SUBURBS. 165K on a house in a good school district that’s close to the city. I would call that pretty DAMN AFFORDABLE.