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NYC_2011
October 21st, 2008, 07:20 PM
My wife & I plan on moving to New York City in about 2-3 years hopefully. This will not be our first time living in a "city" so we have an idea of what to expect and yes living in Manhattan has always been our dream. We would love to live in London, England but financially we don't think that could happen, not to say that Manhattan is inexpensive but at least attainable (?).

I have a bachelor in business and work for a large investment firm here in the Phoenix area. My passion has always been to work in the airline industry so I am currently trying to pursue that with US Airways since their headquarters are located out here. My wife tells me to stay on the financial investment side of things since that would make my job search easier than if I were to be coming from an airline background. Don't many airlines have their corporate offices in Manhattan anyways?

She is a Human Resources Generalist and has 5+ years of experience with healthcare and aerospace companies. She plans on changing career paths and pursuing her lifelong passion of hospitality whether it still be in human resources or not. Restaurant manager, event planner, or even corporate roles are her goals in hospitality. By the time we move she should have about 2+ years of experience if she gets a job with a hotel out here in the next few months.

We don't have any kids but plan on having 2 kids in the next 3 years hopefully. I would assume we should make more than 100K+ on combined salaries.

Example: Combined salaries of roughly 120K - 22% taxes= $93,600

Annual figures:

Rent - 30K ($2500/Mo is the average of what I have been seeing on craigslist for areas such as Chelsea, Grammercy Park & SoHo areas for 2 bedrooms)
12K per year on Utilities & apartment expenses such as cable, phone bills, etcs...
24K per year on spending money (that's $500 per week)
10K per year for sending each kid to private school which would be 20K per year if we have 2 kids.

That's a total of $86,000 per year considering all costs which would leave us roughly $7,000+ extra per year.

Are we being realistic on our figures?? I don't question whether we will fit in or not, I know we will be perfect and have a blast! We are not "city life" first timers.

We plan on going to "the city" sometime in January of 09 for the first time ever for about a week to check everything out including apartments and all. We are not cut out for suburban living and don't like living in the West. We want to move back east and live the city life again.

Opinions and comments would be appreciated.

Thank you!

NYC4Life
October 21st, 2008, 07:28 PM
not to mention Manhattan is inexpensive but at least attainable.

Manhattan is very expensive my friend ;)

You may also want to consider the outer Boros which are generally less expensive.

lofter1
October 21st, 2008, 08:04 PM
... Rent - 30K ($2500/Mo is the average of what I have been seeing on craigslist for areas such as Chelsea, Grammercy Park & SoHo areas for 2 bedrooms)

In SoHo proper the actual rent for a new tenant moving into a 2 BR would be more in the area of double (or triple) the amount shown.




... 10K per year for sending each kid to private school which would be 20K per year if we have 2 kids.


That seems way low and should be doubled, if not more (you'd be looking 5+ years down the road, seeing as how you have no kids now and it will be the future cost that must be considered).

KenNYC
October 21st, 2008, 11:10 PM
Example: Combined salaries of roughly 120K - 22% taxes= $93,600
How would you pay only 22% taxes on $120k salary?


Rent - 30K ($2500/Mo is the average of what I have been seeing on craigslist for areas such as Chelsea, Grammercy Park & SoHo areas for 2 bedrooms)

The average rental for a non doorman studio in SoHo is about 2400 a month. A 2 bedroom is 4000 at the very cheapest, 7000+ in a doorman building. Grammercy and Chelsea are both in the same area.


12K per year on Utilities & apartment expenses such as cable, phone bills, etcs...
24K per year on spending money (that's $500 per week)
Seems reasonable. Frugal, but definitely possible.


10K per year for sending each kid to private school which would be 20K per year if we have 2 kids.
I'm sure there's a wide range in tuition at private schools, but the ones I am familiar with are at least double to triple of that. That being said, if you don't have any kids yet, you're probably not going to be sending any to school right away either? :)


Are we being realistic on our figures?? I don't question whether we will fit in or not, I know we will be perfect and have a blast! We are not "city life" first timers.
Your housing costs are not even close to reasonable. If you want to stick to that budget you will need to look at different boroughs than Manhattan and get used to a subway commute. That's not the end of the world though, so do consider it.

Also I'm a bit surprised by your 22% budget on your salary. I haven't investigated your tax bracket, but that seems very low to me. Also do remember that no matter who wins the election and what they have promised, taxes are going up in 2009 and probably 2010.

Other than that, best of luck. It is absolutely possible to live in NY on the budget you've outlined, just keep your expectations reasonable.

NYC_2011
October 22nd, 2008, 12:02 AM
How would you pay only 22% taxes on $120k salary?

True, I forgot about the tax brackets! Then for a salary around $120k, do you know what the tax bracket would be roughly?


Your housing costs are not even close to reasonable. If you want to stick to that budget you will need to look at different boroughs than Manhattan and get used to a subway commute. That's not the end of the world though, so do consider it.

Let's say we up the budget just a little...what other areas in Manhattan do you think would be a little cheaper than the ones I listed?

I appreciate the feedback...

Any thoughts on which career path would be better to pursue (airlines vs. financial)?

scumonkey
October 22nd, 2008, 12:08 AM
Hells Kitchen is a little cheaper than Chelsea- but not for long.

stache
October 22nd, 2008, 12:16 AM
Financial is shedding jobs by the tens of thousands right now, but maybe in three years hiring may pick up a little. You need to do basic research on which airlines have their corporate headquarters here. Put a little effort into this! Morningside Heights is currently a little cheaper, as well as Yorktown. There's also Inwood and Washington Heights.

Derek2k3
October 22nd, 2008, 02:03 AM
There are dozens of apartments in SoHo under $3000...

http://newyork.craigslist.org/search/aap?query=soho&minAsk=min&maxAsk=2800&bedrooms=2

lofter1
October 22nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
Craigslist of course would NEVER represent something if it wasn't true :rolleyes: .

Note that many listed apartments on that link are NOT in SoHo but simply (or rather make that maybe) South of Houston.

Despite the search for "soho" at the link shown, on the first page of 100 listings less than 10 claim to be in SoHo, and the reality of that is questionable.

For instance this one (http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/fee/887861389.html):

DOWNTOWN 2 BR for under $2300! MULBERRY/CANAL!

That's Chinatown.

stache
October 22nd, 2008, 10:28 AM
Or, wishful thinking SoHo. :p
Edit: As they say in Los Angeles. 'Soho adjacent'. :p :p :p

Schadenfrau
October 22nd, 2008, 11:51 AM
I didn't know that Soho encompassed all of Bay Ridge, Bed Stuy, Washington Heights, and Whitestone, Queens?

In all seriousness though, $2,500 a month is far too low for a 2-bedroom in the neighborhoods the original poster is aiming for.

stache
October 22nd, 2008, 11:52 AM
Rumor has it SoHo has crossed the Hudson River. ;)

Schadenfrau
October 22nd, 2008, 11:56 AM
I heard that, as well. Everybody get your apartments in SohoWeHud- they are going like hotcakes.

stache
October 22nd, 2008, 12:49 PM
Let's share a SoHo loft in Philadelphia! ;)

718Bound
October 22nd, 2008, 02:25 PM
True, I forgot about the tax brackets! Then for a salary around $120k, do you know what the tax bracket would be roughly?

That is very hard to say because there are so variables to be taken into account... The biggest question would be if you have kids or not when you move... Less dependents = more taxes paid... ...but if you move beofre you have children just the two of you wouldn't need as big of place and you could live in that $2,400 studio in Soho. ;)

I think you are making yourself crazy playing what if with all of these pretend figures! I love this nice round $150,000 figure... How in the world with the economy as it is how do you know you both will get offers in two years for a combined salary of $150k? Not trying to be negative but EVERYTHING works out better on paper then in real life...

What are your commitments now in AZ? It seems you want a pat on the back telling you everything will work out ok to live on a pretend salary in a city you will only visit for the time in a few months...

Why not (if you enjoy your visit) decide to come live out here for 6 months to year in 2009 and decide if is worth working your behind off to pay about what your average American makes in year on just rent... Might be a smart move before you move with with two children or waiting in Arizona for someone to offer you a job...

Ninjahedge
October 22nd, 2008, 03:44 PM
The suggestion would be simple. Find out what jobs that you can apply for would be paying at your experience level, then see what you could afford on ONE salary to start. You move out here with your wife, and she looks for a job.

When SHE finds a job, you look for another place you can afford.

It all depends on what jobs you land. If you are not able to earn $75K apiece on your first job here, you will have a hard time finding enough $$ to not only live in a place like Tribecca/SoHo/Brooklyn Heights/Nice Nice. You may be getting the hovel in Chinatown above the fish market. You may be at the far east side of Alphabet City (not bad, but the commute may be a walk, and it is not as cheap as it used to be!).

You have to set your sights realistically and move up as you can.

As for private school, don't even worry about that. There are some good public and target schools here. If your kid does well, they can go to an arts or tech school that offers better than most of the US (except some of the more affluent 'burbs...).


Finally, taxes. Seeing how you do not know what bracket you would be in at $120K COMBINED salary for a couple, that probably means you are not earning that. Don't assume you will get that just because NYC is said to pay more.

Your taxes may be at 22%, but mine, with insurance, transit, 401 and everything is about 35%-40% (I will not tell you the ##'s specifically, but suffice to say, tax is not the only thing coming out of your salary). $120 coming from a single unmarried person... well... You would have to find ways to spread the wealth to avoid bumping yourself to a higher bracket despite your increased expenses....


Bottom line. Don't be afraid, but do not expect too much to start with out here. It is very expensive, but people have survived on less. Also, do your homework, look around at listings, job postings and the like. See if you can get something you like over here before you make a jump.


Good luck!