As I have mentioned previously, we moved away from the "big city" to get away from the smog, the hurrying and the higher cost of living.
One of the sections in our national newspaper I frequent is the real estate one where they feature some of the recent "done deals" home sales in various parts of the city.
One such deal was in the area I used to live while going to school and where had I stayed, would have wanted to buy in. It is a pretty sought after location for families as it is close to a couple of well know public and private schools.
It sold for $722000. In order to afford it, the couple who bought it would need to gross approximately $12000/month, put $50000 down, pay $21000 or so in default mortgage insurance and be ok with $3400/month mortgage payment for 25 yrs. The mortgage rate is a 2.25%, 5 yr variable.
We are currently paying just over $4000/month total (regular mortgage and prepayment) so the amounts are similar. We'll get it done in a few years, not 25.
I guess we could afford something like that house above if we wanted to as cash flow wise, it can work but I wouldn't want to pay a mortgage til I was 63 yrs old. And another thing, it is half the house we currently live in and on 1/3rd the lot.
Everyone views value differently. If anything, I make more money not being in the bigger cities so the combination works well for me. For D, he would make more money in a larger city.
Big picture, there are a lot of options and combinations of options that can work in the favour of someone looking to get out of debt or the rat race earlier.
If more people thought outside of the big city box, did some math, maybe a smaller city lifestyle could work and the benefits of more time, better air, less traffic jams, less debt would be possible sooner.