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How much do you/should you spend on food (US)?

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Replies

  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,307 Member
    edited May 2018
    Options
    While I appreciate the cost of living calculators, as someone that has recruited execs for over 20 years (with 100s of relocations), I can attest that most of the websites are wildly inaccurate. Most don't look at suburbs or general areas around an area and don't keep pace with reality.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited May 2018
    Options
    Here, meal at an inexpensive restaurant, $13.50. 1 bedroom city center apartment = $1,783.25. Price per square foot = $328. (Amusingly, my own house (I'm not sure if it would count as city center, as I am 8-9 miles away) = $330/sq ft, although average for my neighborhood = $380/sq ft, according to Trulia, and I live in a house built in 1910 (basically a workers cottage, although it has more sq ft than when it was built), and new construction would be more here.)

    I would have said that groceries are quite reasonable here, and they seem to be. Sales tax is nuts but it's only 1% on groceries.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    Options
    I just got back to Cincinnati from 10 days in AZ. I was shocked at how cheap produce prices were in Tucson, especially, compared to Ohio. Even things that are typically Midwest grown were more expensive. Made no sense to me at all. I would spend 2/3 of what I spend now living in AZ versus Ohio. I can understand things like oranges or perhaps pecans being cheaper (Green Valley has the largest producer of pecans in the US) but I was seeing strawberries, green beans, asparagus, tomatoes all much cheaper. Perhaps proximity to Mexico made that much difference but it was honestly shocking.

    I lived in Tucson for several years before moving to Minneapolis and was shocked by how much more food was here. Tucson, overall, has a really low cost of living (at least it did back when I was there).

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    To answer the question, I don't think there's an amount you SHOULD spend on food. I spend more than I need to, but I don't see anything wrong with that.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
    Options
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    Options
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.
  • rowlandsw
    rowlandsw Posts: 1,166 Member
    Options
    It's hard to judge as we will buy stuff on sale and put in the pantry or freeze it so we only do grocery shopping once a month. I could never live with having to go to the store every week.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Options
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.

    Manufacturing and programming are lower cost in India. Not saying its going to happen but I bet nobody thought the Detroit in the late 1950s would become today's Detroi either
  • ekim2016
    ekim2016 Posts: 1,199 Member
    Options
    two adults and we spend $600 per month on all food and all supplies (excluding gas) does that seem like a lot?
  • Westschmeis
    Westschmeis Posts: 350 Member
    Options
    Just to freak out you Seattle people, in 1972, just out of law school, we bought a nice 2 story house on 3rd West for 23,500 dollars, a few blocks up from Seattle Pacific Universty. We sold it in 1990 for 210,000, it was converted to 3 townhouses with a current value of around 3.5 million dollars.

    Total, unsustainble economic insanity, IMHO.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    Options
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.

    Manufacturing and programming are lower cost in India. Not saying its going to happen but I bet nobody thought the Detroit in the late 1950s would become today's Detroi either

    But what makes Seattle particularly vulnerable?
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    edited May 2018
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    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.

    Manufacturing and programming are lower cost in India. Not saying its going to happen but I bet nobody thought the Detroit in the late 1950s would become today's Detroi either

    But what makes Seattle particularly vulnerable?

    The companies you mentioned above:

    Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software.

    Nordstrom will go they way of other brick and mortar retailers soon. The others real core competency (with the exception of Boeing) and were the employees make any money is tech.

    You can do tech from anywhere. Lots of lower cost places in the US, not to mention India, Eastern Europe, etc.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    edited May 2018
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    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.

    Manufacturing and programming are lower cost in India. Not saying its going to happen but I bet nobody thought the Detroit in the late 1950s would become today's Detroi either

    But what makes Seattle particularly vulnerable?

    The companies you mentioned above:

    Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software.

    Nordstrom will go they way of other brick and mortar retailers soon. The others real core competency (with the exception of Boeing) and were the employees make any money is tech.

    You can do tech from anywhere. Lots of lower cost places in the US, not to mention India, Eastern Europe, etc.

    So what city isn't vulnerable then? I guess what I am saying is you just seem to be generically doomsaying, not being specific to why these particular companies are more vulnerable than any of the other companies headquartered in any other city. Got a bunch of people acting like Seattle specifically is on some precipice it is about to leap off of and I'm wondering why. Why Seattle specifically? Like for example why is Seattle more vulnerable than say San Francisco for example?

    Yeah the housing prices are inflated, but that is because Seattle is booming. Sure booms go bust and people who bought when it was absurdly high will lose out...but that doesn't mean the entire city is about to implode or go bankrupt like what happened to Detroit and Flint where they were mono-industrial and that one industry went belly up.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
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    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.

    Manufacturing and programming are lower cost in India. Not saying its going to happen but I bet nobody thought the Detroit in the late 1950s would become today's Detroi either

    But what makes Seattle particularly vulnerable?

    The companies you mentioned above:

    Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software.

    Nordstrom will go they way of other brick and mortar retailers soon. The others real core competency (with the exception of Boeing) and were the employees make any money is tech.

    You can do tech from anywhere. Lots of lower cost places in the US, not to mention India, Eastern Europe, etc.

    So what city isn't vulnerable then? I guess what I am saying is you just seem to be generically doomsaying, not being specific to why these particular companies are more vulnerable than any of the other companies headquartered in any other city. Got a bunch of people acting like Seattle specifically is on some precipice it is about to leap off of and I'm wondering why. Why Seattle specifically? Like for example why is Seattle more vulnerable than say San Francisco for example?

    Yeah the housing prices are inflated, but that is because Seattle is booming. Sure booms go bust and people who bought when it was absurdly high will lose out...but that doesn't mean the entire city is about to implode or go bankrupt like what happened to Detroit and Flint where they were mono-industrial and that one industry went belly up.

    Both of the cites mentioned are among the highest cost of living in the US. People demand big$ to work there, employers say, what benefit do I get from this?
  • maureenkhilde
    maureenkhilde Posts: 850 Member
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    How much to spend on food, I believe was the original question. Which I believe seems to have gotten a wee bit off track. Which the off track group I totally get because COL in the different big, and midsize cities varies a great deal and from coast to coast as well. And from my days of being involved in it at work it is all over the place for food, rent, mortgage, gas, and other items that goes into the cost of living from how it was viewed in 1960, 1980, 2000, and the last one I saw back in 2000. Lots of wild swings and even what was counted where.

    I remember looking at one in year 2010 that talked about doing a budget weekly and monthly called the average American food budget for NY and area again we were given zip codes to include, Chicago area (meant out to Aurora area) LA area, they gave us zip codes to include, Irvine Texas with zip codes, Tampa area with zipcodes.
    One of the first questions asked was did they mean strictly items that were edible? If so where did we put items for cleaning, and where did Pet food go? As real people need a place for that somewhere in their budget. At first they came back and said I kid you not, well just items you buy monthly. After laughing in one of our calls, we went back and said um yes most people are buying some type of household cleaning or keep the household running item once a month. Same with Petfood and or catlitter, or other animal supplies. We did them separate but they were then added into what was known as the household all inclusive budget including food, and supplies.

    But how to spend, varies on how much you are willing to spend. What type of exact diet you are following. There is no black and white answer for how one should spend while being on a diet of any kind that I have seen or even followed. Example I really like fish, I also like chicken. And most green vegetables. So to get my protein in I will buy more fish, which is not cheap. So willing to sacrifice other things so I can buy Sea Bass and Halibut, Red Snapper high protein. When on sale I buy 4-5 pounds and cut up in 6oz pieces and freeze. For berries I go hand pick much cheaper bug bites are worth it, eat some fresh rest I freeze. But in end my choice. Pretty much have stopped buying any drinks outside of house. Another way to save money. Again done on choice. Good Luck.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,122 Member
    edited May 2018
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    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
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    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
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    CSARdiver wrote: »
    amandaeve wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    We live downstate IL mid-size community....same house in S. Cali or Seattle would be 4-5X as much.

    Yeah not even an exaggeration....pretty spot on. Median price per square foot for houses:

    Seattle: $506
    Los Angeles: $635
    Illinois: $141

    Illinois x 4 = Seattle
    Illinois x 5 = So Cal.

    Your house would probably be ~1.2 million in Seattle. Food prices probably a little higher in Seattle as well but not nearly to that degree.

    Acutely aware after family moved from St. Louis to Mission Viejo in the mid 1970s and living as a single sailor in San Diego in 1996. Food, gas, basics in general were about double the price largely due to taxes associated with the product. Economics in motion - supply and demand.

    I don't want to divert too much from the thread's topic, but housing (in Seattle at least) is NOT economics in motion. It's investors having their fun. The demand for low-income housing is through the roof. Nine percent of children attending public schools do not have a roof over their heads at night. An overwhelming number of adults living without shelter are employed full time. But there are plenty of housing options for the top 20% and plenty of vacant properties too (although a lot of that is zoned for business). I'm sure we'll be like Vancouver, BC soon, with vacant overpriced properties everywhere you look.

    High demand, low supply. How is this not economics? Seattle's primary issue is dealing with reality.

    You can either rail against a system which you have no control over, or you can change that which you have control over. Get a group of investors together and purchase property offering low-income housing.

    Eh I think you can understand that when a city (which obviously has to employ a labor force and base-level professional workers) has housing costs that vastly exceed the income of those people it creates a very awkward situation where you need people to work in the city but they can't afford to live in the city. You can't really get a house within the Seattle city limits for less than 500k now and if you get one that is 500k you are talking like a 900 sqft townhome on the outskirts.

    This is precisely my point. We can sit and discuss it, but market forces being what they are those with wealth can either decide to provide necessities to maintain status quo or suffer. Until workers utilize their power there will be no change. Seattle like so many other cities needs to quickly come to terms with reality. Chicago is in the same situation, only the disparity is not as obvious. Government blames industry. Industry blames government. Both have the power to implement a solution.

    No offense but I think that Vancouver and Seattle are in rather unique situations that you aren't fully grasping. The real estate economy is so "booming" or "bubbling" that it has attracted a lot of foreign investment of people buying up property not to occupy it or even to use it really but like they are valuable trading cards or something. So the market is being driven by people who aren't actually affected by the living conditions of the city itself. Sure, free market capitalism balances the whole system, but if you look locally to the actual people who live in the actual city they are getting kind of screwed by investor wars driving up prices and making housing overpriced and non-functional for the general population. When a run down 900 sq ft townhouse costs more than a typically 2 person household can afford that is sort of a problem and if the market "equalizes" by crashing that isn't good either.

    My wife and I both work and are both professionals both earning more than the national average and we managed to buy a 1600 sqft home in the outskirts of Seattle 3 years ago. If we were trying today I don't think we could afford a house in Seattle at all. I don't think anything like that is happening in Chicago. Looks to me from Zillow like in Chcago can buy a 3 bed 3 bath 2000 sqft house like literally in the downtown area for under 500k. In Seattle that would be something like 2 million and you cannot buy something that size within the city limits at all for 500k.

    It depends on the neighborhood in Chicago, and how much of a fixer-upper it is. Downtown doesn't really have houses, so I'm curious what that listing is. I would not expect to see a house near downtown for less than $500K (or near $500K), in many closer in neighborhoods a teardown would be more. (My guess is you may be talking Humboldt Park or maybe certain parts of the South Side.)

    That said, the Chicago market is WAY better for buyers than Seattle and some other places, although it's still quite expensive in others. (Here's a map of price per sq ft by neighborhood, although there's quite a variety depending on different factors: https://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/)

    I was just talking to a friend who is a real estate developer in another city about why Chicago is so comparatively cheap, and I really think a lot of it is the layout of the city. If you get priced out of the longstanding more convenient/better neighborhoods, you can move west (or northwest) within the city and find affordable housing. Now, you might be living in a place that's basically a suburb, but it's within city limits and affordable.

    You see that with some of the neighborhoods now being gentrified and ones that have gentrified more recently, although there's sufficient supply now (and supply is in relative terms for here at a shortage) that there's not pressure on many other neighborhoods and there are dirt cheap neighborhoods with a lovely housing stock and pretty convenient to downtown that are currently impossible because of crime (for example, East Garfield Park).

    People with good jobs are leaving IL. so higher end housing prices stay down compared to "hot" areas of the country.

    Chicago's location is a key factor in this case - it's proximity to Indiana and Wisconsin. Most of my clients are based in the Chicago area, but I moved to Wisconsin due to the more sensible government. Seattle has a monopoly on this and there is no nearby alternative. With Chicago one can easily move out of the immediate area and commute.

    Which ultimately means that Chicago will be able to sustain those numbers much longer. Whereas when businesses(and workers) start leaving Seattle, the potential bust could leave it looking like Flint or Detroit.

    I think you are stretching credulity with that one. I think houses are a bit overpriced due to a tech boom and an influx of people relative to the amount of available housing. I think that those prices cannot continue to go up or even necessarily stay at their current levels long-term because it is pricing out the labor force and even middle-class professionals from being able to own (or even live at all) in the city. That said I think that equalization will be prices dropping a lot when interest rates go up. Not sure how that makes us a ghost town. The problem isn't a dwindling economy from failing manufacturing industries, it is too much influx of money into too small of an area.

    Flint and Detroit didn't end up like they did because they were flush with cash and all the house prices were skyrocketing, they ended up like that because the bottom dropped out of their primary industry that they were a bit too heavily invested in. Seattle has Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software. Seattle has 10 companies on the Fortune 500 headquartered here.Not seeing the bottom dropping out of all of those nor do I see why they would "flee".

    Problem isn't the city failing, its that the influx of cash makes it hard to afford to live here. If you give an example of a city that failed and got deserted because there was too much buisness going on there then give that example...Flint and Detroit aren't it.



    Flint and Detroit are excellent examples. Because they failed because business was priced out and left. It's happening in Silicon Valley and it certainly could happen to Seattle.

    Seattle's economy isn't based on one business though like was the case with Detroit and Flint whose economies were squarely rested on the automotive industry. There are many fortune-500 sized companies operating out of Seattle in very different areas. If tech crashes we still have Costco, Nordstroms, REI, T-mobile, Alaska Air and Boeing for example. If manufacturing crashes still have MSNBC, Microsoft and Amazon. Don't see how they are all going to get priced out at a similar time.

    Manufacturing and programming are lower cost in India. Not saying its going to happen but I bet nobody thought the Detroit in the late 1950s would become today's Detroi either

    But what makes Seattle particularly vulnerable?

    The companies you mentioned above:

    Amazon in distribution, Boeing in manufacturing, Alaska Air and Expedia in travel, Starbucks, Nordstroms, REI and Costco in retail, MSNBC in communications, T-Mobile in cell and Microsoft in software.

    Nordstrom will go they way of other brick and mortar retailers soon. The others real core competency (with the exception of Boeing) and were the employees make any money is tech.

    You can do tech from anywhere. Lots of lower cost places in the US, not to mention India, Eastern Europe, etc.

    So what city isn't vulnerable then? I guess what I am saying is you just seem to be generically doomsaying, not being specific to why these particular companies are more vulnerable than any of the other companies headquartered in any other city. Got a bunch of people acting like Seattle specifically is on some precipice it is about to leap off of and I'm wondering why. Why Seattle specifically? Like for example why is Seattle more vulnerable than say San Francisco for example?

    Yeah the housing prices are inflated, but that is because Seattle is booming. Sure booms go bust and people who bought when it was absurdly high will lose out...but that doesn't mean the entire city is about to implode or go bankrupt like what happened to Detroit and Flint where they were mono-industrial and that one industry went belly up.

    Both of the cites mentioned are among the highest cost of living in the US. People demand big$ to work there, employers say, what benefit do I get from this?

    I think you have it backwards man. It isn't that Amazon pays its tech employees large salaries so that they can afford to live in Seattle...it is that Amazon pays its tech employees large salaries in order to attract the best people and as a result housing costs in Seattle have gone up with the competition and influx of people with disposable incomes.

    The issue isn't that housing costs in Seattle are going to drive out tech buisnesses, it is that tech buisnesses are driving up housing costs in Seattle which threaten to push out the general labor force.
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
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    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Would people find dollar amounts or percentage of income more useful for comparison? Both can get pretty skewed depending on where you live.

    Percentage of income is probably not best, because everyone's income is different. However I'm guessing we spend about half my fairly decent income on food for a family of four. Mortgage is clear, but I do have other loans now.

    Just this past week I've started a fresh attempt to actually track our spending properly. Might be able to post a more accurate position in a few weeks time.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Would people find dollar amounts or percentage of income more useful for comparison? Both can get pretty skewed depending on where you live.

    Percentage of income is probably not best, because everyone's income is different. However I'm guessing we spend about half my fairly decent income on food for a family of four. Mortgage is clear, but I do have other loans now.

    Just this past week I've started a fresh attempt to actually track our spending properly. Might be able to post a more accurate position in a few weeks time.

    That seems like an enormous amount. Is it that food costs are much higher where you live, do you think? Or do you have a particularly pricey budget?
  • TonyB0588
    TonyB0588 Posts: 9,520 Member
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    TonyB0588 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Would people find dollar amounts or percentage of income more useful for comparison? Both can get pretty skewed depending on where you live.

    Percentage of income is probably not best, because everyone's income is different. However I'm guessing we spend about half my fairly decent income on food for a family of four. Mortgage is clear, but I do have other loans now.

    Just this past week I've started a fresh attempt to actually track our spending properly. Might be able to post a more accurate position in a few weeks time.

    That seems like an enormous amount. Is it that food costs are much higher where you live, do you think? Or do you have a particularly pricey budget?

    Our food is heavily taxed and that makes it expensive. The other thing is, I might be looking at my whole supermarket bill, but some supermarket stuff is not really "food", although it's bought at the same place.

    As stated earlier, I will soon get a better idea of the true percentage now that I've started documenting properly again.