Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big City vs Little City

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.


  1. It would take a significantly large increase in salary (minimum double what I am making now) to get me to even start to think about moving to a larger city (like Boston, which is the closest large city to us here in NH). In addition to the added cost of living for city living, I would also have to deal with crowds, traffic, noise, and filth, and a scarcity of open/green space. No thanks.

  2. How weird is this. Here it is a lot cheaper to live in the city. I pay more for living on the edge of the countryside on the outside of the town. Moving a few miles into town would knock maybe 30% of the house prices. I prefer a less dense level of population though and will be happier around here.

  3. I agree with you on that everyone's values are different. Some are willing to spend a lot of money to live in a more expensive house but not willing to spend more on food. Another may be willing to spend lots on travel but refuse to spend on pet clothes. BTW, I have no idea why dogs/cats need clothes...

  4. @ The Executioner;

    I can understand your point of view. I've only been to NH twice and have good memories of the beauty and the winding roads.

    Boston is great though, like you, not sure if I could live there. Have a soft spot for Boston as I found my highschool prom dress there.

    By the way, your new hot water heater looks sleak! I like it.

    Hi Lizzie!

    I would not have guessed that! As foreigners, I keep hearing just how expensive London is, I couldn't imagine it getting even more expensive. It is already out of reach of so many people.

    Hi Sandra!

    A confession here. I did have a sweater for my English Bulldog for the coldest days of winter. Other than that, I don't understand the whole pet dress up thing either. You can spend a fortune on it.

    It all comes down to priorities. Mine are early/semi retirement, real estate and travel.