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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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2000 for food and discretionary is fine if you don't have kids. If you do, its a no go if both parents are working full time.
Fulltime daycare in JC starts at $1700 a month for 1 kid (most places are over 2 grand). Its crazy, but true. Most of us can't afford to take off a few years after having a child. I took a relatively long maternity leave for 5 months, but my child was in full time 9 hr. a day daycare from that point forward.
Many of the prices that you see advertised online for daycare are only for "schoolday" hours, from 9 to 2:30 or 3. If you need "early" and "late" hours, the cost is much more. Plus, you have to pay separately for summer camps, and coverage for all of those spring breaks/winter breaks and vacation days. ey yi yi.

I personally think you need to be making a combined family income of at least 200K to afford a home - and that would be really cutting it close. It all depends on many different factors. If your parents paid for college and you don't have loans to pay back, that changes the equation. If you have family that are giving you a sum of money towards your down payment, that changes the equation. If you have family that can provide childcare, that changes the equation. I know plenty of people who make less money but have generous families that are able to make it happen because of that.

Posted on: 2014/6/2 20:30
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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jcguy05 wrote:
...
ps dont eat beans.



...get a dog, share the beans and pass the blame.

Posted on: 2014/6/2 20:15
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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My point is providing an example that anyone can use to calculate their true affordability by isolating the money you have left for discretionary spending after factoring in net debt and income.

Obviously if you have a big car payment, daycare or whatever, then factor those in as part of your monthly net debt, same goes for incomes.

Each situation is different but in most cases you will also receive a decent tax refund from the mortgage interest/property tax that you can apply towards your retirement savings.

If you cant afford it then obviously dont get yourself in the hole but i think $2000 a month for food and discretionary is very reasonable speaking for myself, but if you eat at 5 star restaurants daily then no it wont be enough.

Point is dont be fearful of debt, know your numbers, and learn to manage it. Leverage can work wonders for you especially at today's rate if you make the right investment choice. Sitting on cash like deer in the headlight can be even more risky than making a good investment.

ps dont eat beans.


Posted on: 2014/6/2 20:09
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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jcguy05 wrote:

With 90K salary, you can easily afford a 400k home (assuming you have a 20% 80k cash down). With a 320k 30yr @ 4% fixed, you are looking at $1500 monthly payment, plus $1000 property tax/fees. That's $2500 a month net debt. Net income is $7500 - 40% income tax = $4500. Leaving you $2000 a month for discretionary spending/savings. And with 10% down + pmi, cashflow becomes tighter but still doable depends on how secure your job/income is.



Doesn't daycare alone cost that much? Even without kids, if you have a car loan, student loans , utilities and amenities like internet , commuting costs, groceries, all at around ~$200 each, that's $1000 gone right there. And that's not including dinners out or new clothes or other luxuries, OR unexpected expenses like home repairs. How far is that last $1000 really going to go in terms of savings for retirement, college fund, etc.?

I mean, I have lived off of $2000/month so I know it can be done. But it's not easy and it would be a step down in terms of quality of life for me, which is not my goal when buying property, to become land poor and stuck at home eating beans.


Posted on: 2014/5/31 13:01
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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That calculation presumes no retirement or other savings, no vehicle costs, no basic necessities, and having almost $100K in cash lying around.

Posted on: 2014/5/30 20:35
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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caj11 wrote:

The link is pretty interesting, but I find it hard to believe you could afford a $ 388,900 home in the New York area on a salary of $ 89,788.69. Even if you weren't putting any part of that salary away for retirement and/or a rainy day fund and kept your living expenses low while making that mortgage payment, seems like it would be a tight squeeze. Maybe I just live my day-to-day life too lavishly but I don't think so.

I can't tell on the website, but I'm also guessing it makes the assumption you would be able to make a 20% down payment.


People are so afraid of debt, when in reality debt is GOOD. You just need to manage it responsibly.

There is nothing wrong with getting debt and apply leverage to your money especially if you are young. Considering today's interest rate that we probably will not see again for a decade or more once gone. It's a no brainer to take advantage of it and leverage yourself especially if you plan to use the property as primary residence while it appreciates over the years.

With a 20% down mortgage, you will have a 1:4 leverage on your investment. It's probably the best thing you can do right now, given how over inflated the equity market is and the crapper fixed incomes are in.

It's not rocket science, you just need to understand your cash flow and pick a property that's in a good location always in demand (i.e. not heights).

With 90K salary, you can easily afford a 400k home (assuming you have a 20% 80k cash down). With a 320k 30yr @ 4% fixed, you are looking at $1500 monthly payment, plus $1000 property tax/fees. That's $2500 a month net debt. Net income is $7500 - 40% income tax = $4500. Leaving you $2000 a month for discretionary spending/savings. And with 10% down + pmi, cashflow becomes tighter but still doable depends on how secure your job/income is.

You will also have $5000-$10000 refunded in tax return each year depends on your filing status which you can apply to your retirement IRA.

Don't let the old timers scare you, just make sure you pick a good location, don't get fooled by those fancy luxury developments in a bad area. Always go for location over renovation, as you can always spend $50k and gut renovate but can't move your house.





+1 This is the best advice on this thread.

Posted on: 2014/5/26 16:36
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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caj11 wrote:

The link is pretty interesting, but I find it hard to believe you could afford a $ 388,900 home in the New York area on a salary of $ 89,788.69. Even if you weren't putting any part of that salary away for retirement and/or a rainy day fund and kept your living expenses low while making that mortgage payment, seems like it would be a tight squeeze. Maybe I just live my day-to-day life too lavishly but I don't think so.

I can't tell on the website, but I'm also guessing it makes the assumption you would be able to make a 20% down payment.


People are so afraid of debt, when in reality debt is GOOD. You just need to manage it responsibly.

There is nothing wrong with getting debt and apply leverage to your money especially if you are young. Considering today's interest rate that we probably will not see again for a decade or more once gone. It's a no brainer to take advantage of it and leverage yourself especially if you plan to use the property as primary residence while it appreciates over the years.

With a 20% down mortgage, you will have a 1:4 leverage on your investment. It's probably the best thing you can do right now, given how over inflated the equity market is and the crapper fixed incomes are in.

It's not rocket science, you just need to understand your cash flow and pick a property that's in a good location always in demand (i.e. not heights).

With 90K salary, you can easily afford a 400k home (assuming you have a 20% 80k cash down). With a 320k 30yr @ 4% fixed, you are looking at $1500 monthly payment, plus $1000 property tax/fees. That's $2500 a month net debt. Net income is $7500 - 40% income tax = $4500. Leaving you $2000 a month for discretionary spending/savings. And with 10% down + pmi, cashflow becomes tighter but still doable depends on how secure your job/income is.

You will also have $5000-$10000 refunded in tax return each year depends on your filing status which you can apply to your retirement IRA.

Don't let the old timers scare you, just make sure you pick a good location, don't get fooled by those fancy luxury developments in a bad area. Always go for location over renovation, as you can always spend $50k and gut renovate but can't move your house.




Posted on: 2014/5/26 15:46
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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bunny22 wrote:
A nice 2 bedroom condo in the heights with an elevator and parking for $90,000? Really? That's pretty cheap--even in this market decent condos in nice sections of the heights are more like $200,000 plus from what I can see, at least anecdotally...
$90,000 sounds more like a studio in the heights or a craptastic small railroad.

Sorry not to be more clear - I meant you could get a nice 2BR place in the Heights if you earned $90K.

Posted on: 2014/5/26 13:34
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Look into buying a 2 family home. it will cut your costs more than half. Rent a nice apartment for reasonable rent and its less out of your pocket. Win-Win! You may also find a place with a garage and a backyard.

Posted on: 2014/5/24 17:14
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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The nice thing I see in this conversation as a native born JC resident, is that people are looking forward to living here long enough to be doing the rent-vs-buy calculations.

Posted on: 2014/5/23 23:33
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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you mention a valid point, i forgot to increase the taxes after the abatement, so that would change the calculus.

Posted on: 2014/5/22 17:28
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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asny10011 wrote:
Apropos to this topic is the NYT calculator on upshot on renting vs buying:
http://www.nytimes.com/upshot/

I tried it and i would need to find a 1 bedroom for less than 1800 to justify renting vs buying. I'm glad i bought already.



I am surprised you got those results. I ran the same tool, plugging in all the minor details into the various columns, and there was not one scenario in which buying was better than renting, even many years out. I was comparing my current rent on a 2-bedroom against a similar, theoretical purchase of a two bedroom condo. The biggest issue I find with the DTJC buildings is that the monthly maintenance fees are very, very high. And, those fees will only increase over time. And, given the tax situation, which is another HUGE chunk of cash, a similar unit to mine in a nice DTJC building would be twice, or more, my current monthly outlay. I rather save the money and remain liquid.

Posted on: 2014/5/22 17:21
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Apropos to this topic is the NYT calculator on upshot on renting vs buying:
http://www.nytimes.com/upshot/

I tried it and i would need to find a 1 bedroom for less than 1800 to justify renting vs buying. I'm glad i bought already.


Posted on: 2014/5/22 16:33
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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A nice 2 bedroom condo in the heights with an elevator and parking for $90,000? Really? That's pretty cheap--even in this market decent condos in nice sections of the heights are more like $200,000 plus from what I can see, at least anecdotally...
$90,000 sounds more like a studio in the heights or a craptastic small railroad.

Posted on: 2014/5/22 16:24
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Pebble wrote:


I think it also depends on the classification of "New York Metro Area." Does Montclair count? How about Boonton? Parsippany runs buses straight into Manhattan.



The New York metropolitan area includes the most populous city in the United States (New York City); counties comprising Long Island and the Mid- and Lower Hudson Valley in the state of New York; the six largest cities in New Jersey (Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Edison) and their vicinities; six of the seven largest cities in Connecticut (Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury) and their vicinities; and five counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including the state's third-largest city of Allentown.

Right. So you have Trenton included in the "New York Metro Area" for this study.

In short, you can find a home for just about any price in the region given.

Posted on: 2014/5/22 13:51
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Pebble wrote:


I think it also depends on the classification of "New York Metro Area." Does Montclair count? How about Boonton? Parsippany runs buses straight into Manhattan.



The New York metropolitan area includes the most populous city in the United States (New York City); counties comprising Long Island and the Mid- and Lower Hudson Valley in the state of New York; the six largest cities in New Jersey (Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Edison) and their vicinities; six of the seven largest cities in Connecticut (Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury) and their vicinities; and five counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania, including the state's third-largest city of Allentown.

Posted on: 2014/5/22 13:48
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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I think the answer to this question is determined by the quality of life that one values. There is no question that Downtown is vastly more expensive than the Heights. But the Heights certainly has a certain appeal for a good number of people.

I think it also depends on the classification of "New York Metro Area." Does Montclair count? How about Boonton? Parsippany runs buses straight into Manhattan.

If buy in Harrison, you're still in the NY Metro area and you can probably get a home for pretty reasonable. How about Newark? There are places a home can be purchased for dirt cheap.

The closer you are to "the action," the more expensive it will be.

Posted on: 2014/5/22 13:03
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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I don't think I could ever buy into a condo. Being subject to a condo board, and not able to grill over open flame would not be acceptable.



+1 there are so many great bargains in JC. I made the mistake of buying a condo down on Wayne street back in 2004 and hated condo living. My first and my last time.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 21:41
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Probably, but I already have an interest in family property by the Square. Two bedroom railroad style, two enclosed garages, and a 600sqft deck on top of the garages. Older building, but fully detached, so I can make all the noise I want.

I'll be renovating over the next couple of years.

I don't think I could ever buy into a condo. Being subject to a condo board, and not able to grill over open flame would not be acceptable.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 21:17
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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papadage wrote:
I would say about $130,000 or so in Jersey City, if you don't insist on living downtown. And that includes being fairly thrifty otherwise, but still funding a good 401K/IRA combo, and going out once or twice a week.

Less if you want a really modest place, or buy a fixer-upper and renovate in stages.

$75,000 to $90,000 will get you a nice condo in the Heights - older, walk-up, fewer amenities if you want 2 or more bedrooms; a loft 1BR such as mine will come with parking, elevator.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 20:58
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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I wonder what they didnt take into account in that calculation on that article. What about childcare if you have kids? Retirement Savings? Emergency funds? Having money for home repairs? Travel to visit family? How about just plain life enjoyment? ha


Yep, according to that source I should have been able to buy a house yesterday. And if I wanted to be completely cash poor I could. But between emergency savings, investments, retirement savings, travel fund savings, etc. more than half of mine and my partner's assets are tied up. And our expenses are low, we don't have childcare or car payments or much student loan debt.

Right! When I was looking to buy, back in 2008, I was surprised at how expensive some of the condos I was being shown were. I had gone into this with that old rule-of-thumb some of us may remember, of expecting to pay 3X your salary for a place. Luckily, a friend at work talked to me, and recommended aiming a little lower - 2 1/2X my salary, given the economic conditions in our field, the unlikelihood of raises or advancement in our small organization.

I'm so glad I listened, and glad for you, VA2015 that you took a step back, especially in this RE market, not to be over-burdened.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 20:56
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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I would say about $130,000 or so in Jersey City, if you don't insist on living downtown. And that includes being fairly thrifty otherwise, but still funding a good 401K/IRA combo, and going out once or twice a week.

Less if you want a really modest place, or buy a fixer-upper and renovate in stages.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 18:44
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Posted on: 2014/5/21 18:36
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Business partner? Heh.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 17:49
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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VA2015 wrote:
Yep, according to that source I should have been able to buy a house yesterday. And if I wanted to be completely cash poor I could. But between emergency savings, investments, retirement savings, travel fund savings, etc. more than half of mine and my partner's assets are tied up. And our expenses are low, we don't have childcare or car payments or much student loan debt.

So what kind of company are you and your business partner running. I mean if you have no children, no car, and lots of liquid you should be fine.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 17:41
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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I wonder what they didnt take into account in that calculation on that article. What about childcare if you have kids? Retirement Savings? Emergency funds? Having money for home repairs? Travel to visit family? How about just plain life enjoyment? ha


Yep, according to that source I should have been able to buy a house yesterday. And if I wanted to be completely cash poor I could. But between emergency savings, investments, retirement savings, travel fund savings, etc. more than half of mine and my partner's assets are tied up. And our expenses are low, we don't have childcare or car payments or much student loan debt.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 17:14
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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bill wrote:
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user1111 wrote:
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
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user1111 wrote:
I guess it depends on where you live, I only pay 0.7% of my income on mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities. I prefer to save aggressively than pay a balloon mortgage.


0.7% of $ 89,788.69 would be $ 628.52, or $ 52.38 per month. If you can cover a mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities in a place that is even somewhat habitable, I'd sure like to know more about it.

If user1111 owned my condo, 0.7% of your income would be a an salary of, what, around $2.5 million a year! So I have to ask - are you gay? Are you single?!


HA! not single, my partner makes a bit more than I so when you split the cost of the house my share is $618 and yes we put 20% down.


gay. what is the point of that original post when you leave out the main reason you can pay so little.

Why don't I waste everyone's time saying I pay only 3% of my monthly on rent, tax, utilities.

Oh by the way, my partner pays the rent, tax, and most utilities.


The point is even if I was single I still will be paying very little for entire house $1236 a month with a parking space down the road from the rail. So yes, I got a deal gay or straight single or married. 50% of my salary would not got to house payments. Thanks for playing.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 16:33
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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user1111 wrote:
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
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caj11 wrote:
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user1111 wrote:
I guess it depends on where you live, I only pay 0.7% of my income on mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities. I prefer to save aggressively than pay a balloon mortgage.


0.7% of $ 89,788.69 would be $ 628.52, or $ 52.38 per month. If you can cover a mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities in a place that is even somewhat habitable, I'd sure like to know more about it.

If user1111 owned my condo, 0.7% of your income would be a an salary of, what, around $2.5 million a year! So I have to ask - are you gay? Are you single?!


HA! not single, my partner makes a bit more than I so when you split the cost of the house my share is $618 and yes we put 20% down.


gay. what is the point of that original post when you leave out the main reason you can pay so little.

Why don't I waste everyone's time saying I pay only 3% of my monthly on rent, tax, utilities.

Oh by the way, my partner pays the rent, tax, and most utilities.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 16:29
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
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caj11 wrote:
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user1111 wrote:
I guess it depends on where you live, I only pay 0.7% of my income on mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities. I prefer to save aggressively than pay a balloon mortgage.


0.7% of $ 89,788.69 would be $ 628.52, or $ 52.38 per month. If you can cover a mortgage, taxes, insurance and utilities in a place that is even somewhat habitable, I'd sure like to know more about it.

If user1111 owned my condo, 0.7% of your income would be a an salary of, what, around $2.5 million a year! So I have to ask - are you gay? Are you single?!


HA! not single, my partner makes a bit more than I so when you split the cost of the house my share is $618 and yes we put 20% down.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 16:21
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Re: How much do you need to make to afford a home in New York metro area?
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heights wrote:
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Wishful_Thinking wrote:
Well, I make less than the $90,000 cited as the "minimum" salary needed for the NY metro area, but more than the median household income - I pay around 21% of my salary on mortgage etc. for a 1 bedroom "loft" condominium in the Heights. I find it's a comfortable amount, letting me travel on occasion, eat out once a week, have a few nice new clothing items each season. That said, if I had any dependents, or didn't have a pension from work, it would be a hard nut to crack.

Is that $90k gross or net ? Beacuse if gross $1500 a month is average. But $1500 on $70k is about 30% on the net salary.

I always understood these calculations were based on gross salary, as banks do for calculating mortgages, as each individual's deductions are different.

Posted on: 2014/5/21 16:14
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