22 August 2007

Update on Moving

I don't know if it's the D.C. heat and humidity or what, but we've been rethinking our decision to stay put after C finishes his indentured servitude to the county. Here's what I have done so far in our research of other places to live: gathered information on teachers' salaries, costs of health care, state and local taxes, and housing costs for a few places across the country. Put all of this information in a pretty little spreadsheet that calculates a "net monthly income." So given that here in Maryland teachers earn a lot but pay a lot for housing, how does that compare to a place with a smaller salary but much lower housing costs? Well the magical spreadsheet says that of the 19 places for which I have data, our local county comes in with the sixth highest net monthly income...not bad. Tops is Cheyenne (their teachers' salaries are pretty high and housing costs are low), with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh PA, Harrisburg PA, and Indianapolis following. So given that C likes his current setup and given that in two years he would be making more than a lot of teachers EVER make in other school districts, we made the decision to stay.

BUT then we started thinking. What was the amount I put in for housing costs in Maryland? I figure we can spend about $250,000 on housing here. But what kind of house does that get you? This. It is only a condo that is not much bigger than our current apartment. And a condo is about all you're going to get in our current county at our price. We can find houses, but they're small, old, and much farther out, like this, which isn't even located in our county. For what we think we can afford in, say, Indianapolis we could buy this.

The realization was that for the houses we really want (like the one in Indy), if we were to get the same house in Maryland, it would cost us about $450,000 to $500,000. And if I put those numbers into the spreadsheet, our net monthly income would be negative. So while we can afford to continue to live here, and even buy here, our standard of living is so much less here. And for some reason, this didn't occur to us until recently. But it definitely has us thinking.

The current top ten as far as our net monthly income go are:
  • Cheyenne, WY (although I'm not really sure I could do this)
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Where we are currently
  • Nashville, TN (how the heck did this get in here?!)
  • Rochester, MN
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Frederick County, MD

I'm saddened by the lack of western locales, but unless you're California, you pay your teachers crap. And equally sad, we can't come close to affording California (although certainly we would consider it as we both think it's beautiful there).

If you have any other thoughts on where living is cheap and teachers' salaries are high, please let us know!


linda said...

We just drove through Indianapolis and Nashville! Nashville is gorgeous! Indianapolis isn't bad either. Either way you are going to end up with the heat and humidity...

emily said...

you forgot one thing when factoring in all your figures, etc.: the Family Factor. :) i would think that would put Montrose as #1 of course.

Gretchen said...

Ix-nay on Cheyenne. Nast.

But the next 4 or so are great! They would all be fun places to live, I think. Do they have colleges where you could teach? Or did that not make it into the spreadsheet?

Ruth & Ryan said...

Harrisburg, all the way! We really do love it here. Come and stay with us for Labor Day and check out the area. We'll show you a good time! It is so nice to have the nice pretty rural setting but still live close to a Target and other assorted businesses. We couldn't be happier with our decision. And our friends can visit us both at the same time, how handy is that?

nckuhn said...

harrisburg is on of my favorite little places. you have to know that for me to say anything nice about PA., there must be something to it.

Megan said...

Misery loves company, so I'm begging you to come to Missouri. Many people love it here, so maybe we could learn to like it together. On the unselfish side, I have friends who live in Indy and they really like it. These are some of the hardest decisions, but I know you will make the right one. Maybe C. should send out resumes to jobs in every place and then go from there.

Camie said...

My vote is here or Harrisburg for selfish reasons of course.

Niederfam said...

my vote is for st.louis, it's the only one i've had experience with, but i loved it, total traditional good family fun there, at least from what i remember, i know it's low on the list, but it's got my vote!!!do you think i could actually punctuate and use full sentences??? NAAA!!!! :)

holly said...

try Yreka! it's in CA and right by Mt Shasta and a bunch of fab outdoorsy destinations.

]\[-]{ said...

If I could be so presumptuous, try this site for comparing your current situation and your relocation choices:
Click "Relocation" near the dead center of the page.

And hearken to Gretchen.