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Millennials flocking to 10 US cities to get a job, buy a home, and start a life (businessinsider.com)
34 points by kimsk112 on Dec 7, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments

As a Californian millennial articles like these make me frustrated. my one bedroom apartment is ~2200 a month and came without a refrigerator. home prices start at a million dollars, traffic is horrid and the city i live in is currently on fire.

That having been said, im not sure id trade California for Ohio or other so called "flyover" states. The only time they end up on the nightly news is when they violate marriage laws (Kentucky) for gay couples, stage a massive white supremacy rally (Virginia) or pass some arcane law that either wipes out womens healthcare or edifies teaching autonomous ignorance in place of biology in school.

Is there an independent perspective on these cities? Something that cuts to the point of what living in Tennessee is actually like? can I still get bulgogi and ramen? how does healthcare work? I know these states would get quite a few more transplants if they or someone just explained what it was to be a part of them.

Because lines like "Residents commute to work without insane traffic, pay low property and income taxes, and spend time with their happy families" don't make national headlines.

The vast majority of America is a wonderful place. Ditto that the vast majority of Americans are wonderful people. Seriously go for a road trip and expand your mind. Plus the country itself is beautiful.

If you can find fulfilling employment (or work remote) then you can have a wonderful life just about anywhere. Usual advice is to pick somewhere where you have family and happen to like the seasonal weather (or lack thereof).

> The vast majority of America is a wonderful place.

True if you're white, male, and heterosexual.

> Seriously go for a road trip and expand your mind.

So maybe my initial thought was out-of-context. I do agree on the beauty of this nation. We really do have quite a bit to offer in terms of natural sights to see.

Sounds like you've been bubbled by search engines and social media. I'm in Denver but my wife is from Nashville. Nashville has bulgogi[0], has 3 different companies competing on the health care exchange this year[1] and Vanderbilt is an amazing medical college, and the city has 3 different ISP's offering gigabit internet[2]. There is a ton of greenspace with bike trails through the city. The sports teams have been doing pretty well the past few years. There are tons of "lakes" nearby for enjoying during the summer, there is some amazing hiking nearby, especially near Knoxville (including the Appalachian trail). Homes definitely aren't as cheap as they used to be there but still doesn't even compete with Denver, which doesn't compete with Seattle, which doesn't compete with SF. And that is all before I even got to the music scene which is by far the best in the country for more than just country music. Pop, country, jazz, rock, all have a home in Nashville. Karaoke in Nashville is an incredibly fun and incredibly intimidating proposition.

I've heard the Thursday evening flights into Nashville called Bachelorette Flights because so many bachelorette parties go to Nashville because it is a really fun city to go out on the town at night.

All of that and they still have no income tax.

[0]: http://www.dishtip.com/s/tn/nashville/top-dishes/bulgogi [1]: https://www.healthinsurance.org/tennessee-state-health-insur... [2]: http://www.ispprovidersinmyarea.com/tennessee/nashville-giga...

You have a very biased view about what it's like to live in states like that. You're hearing the bad stuff, but on the ground most major cities in the US are fairly similar.

You casually throw out Virginia like it's some backwards callback to the confederacy, but Northern Virginia probably has as many progressives as any area in the country due to government jobs.

Northern Virginia has something like 8 out of 10 of the richest counties in the country (due to government jobs)!

And lawyers. Lots and lots of lawyers.

To be fair, most of the state is very different from Northern Virginia and in a lot of not good ways - I have heard stories of murders being swept under the rug because people didn’t like the way they looked & acted, with police participating, all spoken casually to some others and me.

There is an ugly side to many of these places outside the major cities in the US, there is good reason to be very wary if you don’t fit into the social norms for the more remote areas.

Why are you basing your opinion of places you have never been on the nightly news? They have zero interest in giving you a balanced sense of a location. If your main goal is just to be surrounded by fellow liberals, then I guess just stay put and don't explore.

I really don't think lack of information is driving population. If you really want to move somewhere, visit it first and see if you like it. No one else can tell you if you will like it, or if the trade-offs you will inevitably have to make will be worth it. If you can't be bothered to do that, then your high rent and home prices probably don't bother you as much as you think they do.

Also reach out to any friends of friends who may be there. Tennessee is one of the healthcare capitals of this country. Many people in your network will be medical residents / fellows / etc there.

I do robotics in Northwest Florida (much less Florida Man, much more "Basically Alabama"). Trump is coming to our city tomorrow. The rally will have high turnout. There's also going to be a high turnout of protestors.

As others have mentioned, your views on these areas seem a little colored by the actions of the vocal/vitriolic minority. It's the exact same mentality as the view that everyone in tech in Cali is a douche-nozzle tech-bro. Patently false.

Just because an area leans one way or the other doesn't mean that you can't find like-minded people. But that's also a little insular, I think. In fact, I think it's healthy to have a mix. Living somewhere that everybody thinks and feels the same is how you end up with the legendary SV "Echo Chamber" that the world decries so vehemently. It's okay to occasionally meet someone you disagree with. I'm not right leaning at all but I know plenty of people that voted for Trump who aren't racist jerks and who I am perfectly comfortable to call my friends.

> That having been said, im not sure id trade California for Ohio or other so called "flyover" states. The only time they end up on the nightly news is when they violate marriage laws (Kentucky) for gay couples, stage a massive white supremacy rally (Virginia) or pass some arcane law that either wipes out womens healthcare or edifies teaching autonomous ignorance in place of biology in school.

Virginia is a flyover state now, what? Like half the federal government lives in Virginia.

Oooof Charlottesville didn’t stage a white supremacist rally. Charlottesville is an exceptionally progressive city. The white supremacists came here because Charlottesville is so progressive.

Not to swamp you with a lot of East Coast geography, but Virginia has two of the three airports for the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, and could perhaps count as "fly-outa" country instead of "flyover".

Perhaps the nightly news is not the best source of information? Flights are cheap enough that you could look at some of these places and form your own opinions.

It's not so much of a "flyover" state dynamic -- it's more rural vs urban.

States like OH and KY have more rural space, which tends to lean conservative, which increases the chances of hearing about extreme-right nonsense.

I would imagine the opposite is true in states with more urban space and the nonsense of the extreme left.

Urban areas in OH and KY are similar in terms of cultural offerings and advanced technology of most cities. Or at least they are in Columbus....

Yep. Did school in Boston for several years, almost exactly the same as my life in Cincinnati and Columbus except more expensive. There are definitely pros and cons to any decision about where to live, but your life in most places is always going to be “work, go home, pay for stuff, spend time doing fun stuff with friends when possible.” The only valid exception is if you’re working in a field and position where you truly need to be exposed to the absolute highest levels of industry, e.g. NYC for finance, D.C. for law and politics, SV for tech. But the people who are truly operating at the level where that matters are a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a %, and if Warren Buffet can work from Nebraska I assume that’s true even for many people who are at that level.

Yep. Cincinnati is just a smaller version of most every other major metropolitan area I've ever visited, and the small visits I've made to surrounding big cities (Louisville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Des Moines, Nashville, etc) has proven the same.

>can I still get bulgogi and ramen?


>how does healthcare work?

The same as the rest of the country (read: badly)

>these states would get quite a few more transplants if they or someone just explained what it was to be a part of them

"Flyover country" is dozens of states and regions. It's different from state to state here in the Midwest, much less the Southwest or the Rockies or whatever. There's no one-size-fits-all description. As for the negative media stereotypes, shitheads doing shithead things isn't unique to the non-coastal areas. You don't hear about good news or positivity because nobody cares that Arkansas is doing well when there's other things to talk about.

As others said, take a long weekend and fly to places you're curious about. You'll see a lot of the cities are the same as ones here in CA. Some as lively, some as sleepy. It depends on what's right for you.

Also, by moving to a state that leans more conservatively or is a mixed back, you as a concerned liberal actually have a better chance of standing as a bulwark against more conservative policies since your votes actually matter more.

A lot of those states get people because of what you mentioned - the high cost of living here. When you're a parent, your needs change, so a lot of young couples I know who can't compete in the housing market or daycare costs here (LA) have been looking elsewhere.

In terms of job prospects, you're unlikely to find yourself in the reddest of red areas, which are mainly rural. You might be a slightly more limited depending on what you do but as long as you have a skill in need, you can probably find a job. There are some major, major US companies in 'unlikely' places.

Here's a geographic showing of the Fortune 500:


Maybe that's a good place to start in terms of looking at states with something to offer.

What I could suggest is to look at more liberal or techy centers first and do the appropriate research. Places like Austin, Nashville, Raleigh (near the research triangle), and there's probably at least one in every state, are all very comfortable for those who live in California (with their own quirks all over the place).

It's such a personal decision its hard to say there's just one. For instance if bulgogi and ramen are important, Raleigh actually has a very large Asian population (or at least it did the last time I researched it thinking it might be a nice place to live).

But like the suburbs of southern California, even the flyover states have an embarrassment of riches whether it's food, culture, or whatever. Some may have stricter blue laws or laws on cannabis, some may have better infrastructure or social programs, and some may have better internet and tech infrastructure.

It all comes down to your own deeply held values and desires, but I do think there's something for everyone in this crazy country we're blessed to live in :)

> came without a refrigerator

Funny that you pointed this out, does that make any difference to anything? A fridge is pretty cheap to buy. About 1 week's rent.

In the UK each landlord has their own idea of what to supply. So some places have a fridge/washing machine other's don't. It is a bit frustrating when moving as sometimes you need to buy new stuff, sometimes you need to sell stuff as you have duplicates.

I don't think the decision to include a fridge or not is intentional. If someone lives in a property, decides to rent it out and can't be bothered moving the fridge they think 'sod it the tennant can use it'. Conversely someone 1000 miles away using an agent would just say "rent it out" and not even think about appliances.

I imagine even in the flyover states they have apartments for rent that don't come furnished with all the creature comforts.

I'm not sure what more I can say on the topic of "fridges in rented apartments" - so I will finish there :-)

> As a Californian millennial articles like these make me frustrated. my one bedroom apartment is ~2200 a month and came without a refrigerator. home prices start at a million dollars, traffic is horrid and the city i live in is currently on fire.

I'm a California Gen-X-er, my 2+2 house rent is less than that, comes with refrigerator and other appliances, and my city is not on fire.

And I can get bulgogi and ramen just fine.

Also, VA isn't fly-over; it's (like California) one of the coastal places fly-over is contrasted against. And it was hostilely targeted for a white supremacist rally by largely out-of-state groups, it didn't choose to have one.

>im not sure id trade California for Ohio or other so called "flyover" states. The only time they end up on the nightly news is when....

Not sure I see a connection between national news-worthy headlines for a given area, and how it might be to live there. If everyone took this approach, Florida would be zero population.

See if you can find local news sources, as small-scale as possible, to get a better feel for a particular place.

> See if you can find local news sources, as small-scale as possible, to get a better feel for a particular place.

No, that's a fucking terrible idea; just a little less terrible than using non-local news sources. No 'news source' has any reason to disclose all the wonderful but boring details of any places it covers.

>No 'news source' has any reason to disclose all the wonderful but boring details of any places it covers.

Disagree. Tiny town super local news is often hilariously revealing when it comes to the day-to-day mundane realities of the area.

There are other options out there besides deciding between SV and the flyover states, such as Portland, Oregon or Austin, Texas.

Can you articulate why "(ending) up on the nightly news" is important to you?

I grew up in rural Ohio (left because of the horrid economy of the 00s) and have spent over the last decade in Southern California and the California Central Coast.

I would never move back to Ohio, but that is for very personal reasons. I'd actually absolutely love to get out of California right now, but my wife is working her dream job for her dream company and cannot work remotely -- So, we are here for the long haul, it would seem.

Columbus is an amazing city with some of the very best health care in the world in the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Cincinnati wasn't far off, either, at least back in the 00s, and Cleveland, as well, but don't quote me on that. How it _works_, I couldn't really comment on. My experiences with health care in the area are almost 2 decades old at this point, but my father is a very sick man who has managed, miraculously, to keep trucking (on pacemakers for the last 13 years) in no small part because of the access he has to great health care living somewhat close to Columbus.

Columbus, OH is also very gay friendly. Are there bigots there? Yes, of course. There are also bigots in every neighborhood I've lived in, in California, in Atlanta, GA, in San Antonio, TX, etc...

There is a lot of culture in the area, as well, and it can be had for affordable prices. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra is great and tickets are, I believe, still easy to come by (financially). There are plays. There are museums. There's only 1 professional sports team in Columbus, so it is utterly dominated by The Ohio State University sports, but Cleveland and Cincinnati both have MLB, NFL, and the Cavs are obviously in Cleveland. Pittsburgh is a great city to visit, has major sports teams, great food, lots to do, interesting history, and is only a 3 hour drive. The Bourbon Trail is nearby (though I've heard mixed reviews from friends). There are Frank Lloyd Wright homes that can be toured (Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob both being about 4-5 hours from Columbus, close to Pittsburgh -- I've taken my wife to both in the 3 times that we visited the area). Cedar Point and Lake Erie are fun in the summer.

> can I still get bulgogi and ramen?

Some of the best Korean food I've ever had in my life was in the middle of Georgia, for what it's worth, and I now live in Irvine, CA and eat Korean at least once every week. It's very easy to discount the places in the middle of the United States without ever having been to them. And I'd encourage you to visit some of these places. I spent quite a bit of time in Nashville and Memphis and Raleigh and Savannah for work and loved my time in each of those cities. I have friends working in Nashville today and they're always droning on about how much they love it. I've been to Austin, TX, and it's a fun town, too, but I'll never live in Texas again by choice, but you may have a different experience.

There are a lot of great cities out there with a lot of opportunity, especially for raising a family, and people should stop making judgement calls on them based on things they see in the news (or, at least, do your own research).

Of course they will only make the news in CA when those things happen. The news here in CA caters to people who live here.

You are quite narrow minded and exhibit exactly what they describe as "coastal elite".

The cities in this list in no way represent the top 10 cities that millennials are "flocking" to.


> millennials are flocking to 10 US cities to get a job, buy a home, and start a life


> 10 US housing markets Trulia expects will grow next year while remaining affordable and attracting young buyers.

I could not have been more wrong in my predictions of this trend. At Y2K I looked at a future where better technology would allow people to spread out around the country and still tap into meaningful cultural and job opportunities. Lower cost of living and higher quality of life. Instead, it's like the opposite has happened, and we're increasingly roped together by a noose that tightens more every year.

You're likely right but early.

What happened with Silicon Valley is that the ease of working remotely increased, but the pace at which new innovations are discovered and commercialized increased more, which means that the returns to moving really fast (which usually means a colocated team, to cut out travel/timezone delays) went way up. It doesn't matter if you can save 30% on labor costs if it means that you miss out on a $100B market that just opened up.

If you read Carlota Perez, this trend usually reverses itself in the "deployment" phase of a new technology, where market structure has stabilized, best practices become widely known, and the expertise surrounding the technology becomes distributed geographically. For example, the deployment phase for mass production (initially a Massachusetts monopoly in the U.S. in the 1830s and 1840s) came as the great Midwest steel mills and factories were built in the 1890s, the deployment phase for railroads (initially a Midwest & Northeast thing in the 1850s & 1860s) came in the 1910s as railroads were completed linking the South & California into the nationwide network, the deployment phase for automobiles (a Detroit thing in 1900) came in the 1950s and 1960s as suburbs spread throughout the U.S.

The catch is that usually the transition from "frenzy" phase to "deployment" phase is marked by a financial crisis, depression, and war. If the new geographic region was on the same side of the war as the new means of production (as with the U.S. after WW2), then the mechanism of diffusion is usually that lots of people are trained in the new technologies as part of the war effort, and when they go home, they bring these technologies with them and start up new businesses that become part of the fabric of the local economy. If the tech monopoly is on the opposite side of the war as the new geographic regions (as with the U.S Civil War, or Asia post-WW2), it's usually because the side with better technology won the war, conquered everyone who resisted, and a bunch of carpet-baggers move into the occupied territories, bring their technology with them, and then integrate with the economies they left behind.

It's not really technology pushing people into cities is it ?

I assumed its really due to a lack of well paying jobs, combined with an increased debt burden from college.

I guess one could argue technology has lead to increased automation and reduction of jobs typically found outside of cities.

>I assumed its really due to a lack of well paying jobs

Close. It's because there's been a massive reduction in low-skill jobs that can still pay the bills outside of cities (whose size sustains their service sector, so you can keep the people who can't cut it at university employed).

Robotics did this somewhat; Chinese slave labor doesn't help.

I suspect this is almost more of a "marketing" (for lack of a better word) problem than anything else. It's this negative feedback loop where no one thinks non-costal cities are cool, so they don't move there, so they don't become cool, etc, etc.

I grew up on the East Coast so that may also bias me a bit, but I'm planning on being in NYC for at least the next 10 years seeing how the "second coming" of tech plays out. I feel a lot better about job prospects in NYC in an economic downturn vs basically anywhere else. Sure, rent is high in the abstract but roommates bring it way down.

It’s also a status symbol to be able to live in a popular place. I don’t think any amount of marketing can change wanting to rub shoulders with the haves versus the have nots.

Cities are the original network effect.

I think even if remote work really catches on where it's the not an exception there's still going to be a draw into cities for a lot of people because there's so many more options for everything.

How can you tap into meaningful cultural opportunities when you live in the middle of nowhere? Cultural opportunities involve two or more people. Jobs sure, remote work is getting easier to find.

Simulcast opera type stuff is pretty useful.

Columbus, Ohio (#8 on the list) native here working in User Experience Design making an average tech salary. At the end of every month I'm always amazed at how much I can put in savings and travel because of the low cost of living. I live downtown and my rent is only $750. There also seems to be high demand for jobs, but not enough talent to fill those jobs.

I'm a CBus expat currently living in the valley. A few of my friends back home have what I would consider to be extremely fancy downtown apartments, and of course what they pay in rent is the same as what I pay to live with 7 people (in an admittedly large house).

sounds pretty cool, but then I'd have to live in Ohio.... more of Michigan person myself

What’s the difference? (honest question)

I can't speak to the parent's reasons, but I do know that Ohio and Michigan are rivals for a variety of reasons, one from the early indoctrination of their public universities (Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines) into the general populace, even those that never attend either. Those two states have an allegiance/pride instilled into their citizens early that most places don't (apart from maybe Texas and NYC). Some of my friends that I went to college with that grew up in Michigan actually rooted for the Wolverines to beat us haha.

Having recently escaped Columbus, Ohio after an extended accidental stop there, it would take a lot more than just the ability to buy a shitty house to get me to go back. The job market is deceptively weak, going anywhere requires getting in a car, and worst of all you share the state with Cincinatti, which is like Columbus, but somehow worse in every way.

Seriously though, of course houses are cheap in Ohio. The 3 major Ohio cities are all giant sprawling semi-urban areas, with very limited public transit, while the rest of the state is in varying states of rust belt recovery (or collapse). The few walkable, connected neighborhoods in Columbus (Upper Arlington, the nice part of Grandview, etc) command prices that would be tough to afford on a west coast salary, let alone the 60k-90k you'd make in Ohio.

I would take exception to a lot of this, but you're right about needing a car. Columbus is extremely lacking in public transportation. Traffic is not too bad overall, but if growth continues eventually the increasing number of cars will create even more problems.

I know I was living in a bit of a special enclave of Columbus (Clintonville), but I I'm finding a car to be much more mandatory in the South Bay. In Columbus I would only drive about once a week when I needed to go out to the suburbs.

EDIT: However I do agree that public transportation sucks there. BUT it can be far, far more pedestrian-friendly than my current environs.

Raleigh is a hidden treasure. Educated populace with good schools, pretty decent jobs, yet peaceful and green.

Their only drawback is isolation from west coast hubs.

I'd say its main drawback is that its enclosing state looks like a right-wing hellscape compared to, say, Massachusetts. I know they have a Democrat in charge at the moment, but the non-urban residents of NC horrify me.

I grew up in Charlotte and a lot of my engineer friends have settled and started families in Raleigh. It's made me consider moving there when I finally burn out on the Bay Area scene.

I can personally attest that every place on that list is pretty damn nice except for Grand Rapids which is to damn cold! They all have low cost of living and a solid tech scene as well.

Don't forget cloudy too. You can go for close to a month without any sunshine around February in Grand Rapids.

Charlotte itself has gotten quite popular among my white collar Atlanta friends who are looking for a smaller town feel. The job market is soft but the city is very nice.

Yeah, I'm in LA but from NC and many of my close friends are still there. I've heard Durham has also exploded.

Not sure what you mean by isolation from west coast hubs. Is it because service from RDU still has to hop over to CLT sometimes? Because that does suck. Even flying home though, I have to connect via Atlanta to then hop to CLT sometimes. Travel was way easier when it was LAX/BUR -> DFW -> CLT.

I mean RDU has fewer direct flights to the west coast. That's where tech is, investors are, initial customers are.

NY has an advantage that there are flights to SF, SEA all day every day.


Depends on what sort of work people are looking for. If you're trying to do a hyper-growth startup, then yes, unfortunately you still have to be near the VCs in SF.

Though maybe that's also changing: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15849795

RTP has plenty of well-known companies that provide a solid base for employment in the area. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to have created the same sort of money flowing into startups as happened in SV back in the day.

And maybe that's a good thing. Don't want Raleigh to become another SV. Life in SV is a miserable rat race. Raleigh-Durham is fun, relaxing and a great place to raise a family.

No disagreement there. I thought you were actually arguing for the connectivity to SV and that culture.

As I argued in the thread I linked to, it might be a bit misguided for these folks to run around trying to fund a hyper-growth style startup in 'flyover country' (which I don't consider NC) when what's probably more beneficial for local communities are stable, sustainable businesses.

I fly SFO -> RDU direct pretty cheaply a few times a year.

That's nice.

RDU is a decent airport too. Maybe not all the amenities of some but much easier than CLT or LAX.

That wouldn't have anything to do with the reindeer, would it?

Seconded. It's got most of the amenities of a big city without the traffic problems or horrendous cost of living. I really miss the greenway bike paths from my college days living there!

> Raleigh is a hidden treasure.

Durham is way cooler than Raleigh!

Added bonus of a cheaper state income tax at any of these places vs CA or NY (expect WA which wins out for the time being, though they seem to be facing pressure to change)

For those also using an ad blocker like myself:

10 cincinnati, 9 madison, 8 columbus, 7 austin, 6 fort worth, 5 san antonio, 4 el paso, 3 raleigh, 2 nashville, 1 grand rapids

I briefly debated turning off my ad-blocker to see this list. Decided instead to check HN in a couple of hours, so thank you!

With how much talent the coasts seem to suck in, there needs to be a better conversation about how the rest of the country attracts talent. It's becoming more and more obvious that economic growth is predicated on solid jobs requiring a college education.

The north central schools (think Big 10 land-grant colleges), Georgia Tech, and Texas schools produce perfectly fine engineering and science grads. They mostly don't leave the locales they are in, because they all do this analysis:

"California: great weather all year, earn much less adjusted for CoL" "(e.g.) Minnesota: great weather for 8 months of the year (11 months if you ski or play ice hockey), earn much more adjusted for CoL"

So maybe you just haven't seen the talent in the rest of the country and assume it isn't there?

I've heard great things about Minneapolis, always with the caveat 'except for winter' but it seems you can still do winter stuff like people do in the rest of the world. Is the winter particularly bad or does it just seem that way if you're coming from a typically sunnier climate?

We can learn from Boulder CO


As someone who will be personally negatively impacted by this tax raise I just want to say that there is more to the tax raise than just plutocracy. Conservatives are raising complaints about what is happening in the academy, and if members of the academy do not want to be personally hurt maybe we should try to understand the kernel of truth in their complaints.

At the very least members of the academy could selfishly try to come to some harmony with the people who control our budgets rather than blindly lash out against them.


I partially agree with this assessment, industry for whatever shortsighted reason sometimes implements bad academic policy, as was seen in the Harper administration in Canada.

However it is fully well possible that in a complex world such as ours that there could be more than one serious threat to the very large set of institutions which is academia. It is also possible that one of the threats, lets say the internal threat, could be used as a smokescreen by a second threat, lets say these nebulous billionaires. We do not need to be worried about either threat at the exclusion of the other.

the nebulous billionaires are really just a illustrative term to signify the disproportionate effect of very centralized money in general in the American system. I think you'll find very few honnest knowledgeable people to dispute this.

if common good is your objective, then there is no doubt that controlling individual & corporate political donations is essential. right now, political corruption is straight up legal. entities can freely trade money for future political measures, and politicians can't live without that money, because otherwise their opponents outspends them, getting a statistically higher chance of winning.

We also tax other benefits that you receive - like if you are granted housing in exchange for services rendered as a property manager. The IRS doesn't like barter systems. If you win money gambling or prizes in a competition you have to pay taxes on that too.

If you're receiving 50k in tuition in exchange for work/research, that's a valuable benefit and part of your compensation. IMO the universities should pay their researchers more. They're effectively using the exemption and the high cost of tuition to lower their research costs. For many top institutions they get public funds, underpay their researchers, and use them to acquire patents which they license out for large sums. So they're publicly funded but they own the patents, earn a lot of revenue from licensing but tuition keeps going up like crazy.

Politically it's probably a really dumb move, but they're receiving valuable compensation in the form of tuition. I'd love to have all my primary costs covered by my employer and be paid less (which would drop my tax bracket) too. Unis can pay their researchers more.

I'm Canadian, so not mine. I have free healthcare, free University, and my grants are definitely not taxed. Ofc I will pay it back through higher income taxes, but that's fine, as I can do it when I'm ready instead of being under a giant burden of debt

It's strange to see Austin on this list. It says it takes nearly 50% of your income to buy a home. While all the other cities are nearly half that. Most of the other cities are also Midwest/North and have seasons / snow except for all the other Texas cities.

I'm in Austin, I like it, I don't see myself ever buying a home, but I'm happy renting. I've owned homes in the past and I honestly didn't like it.

My honeymoon with Austin ended a few years ago. In 2011 I absolutely loved it. Pubtrans and traffic has become so miserable (oh boy, express lanes) that I have almost completely quit leaving my 3 mile bubble. I ride my bike sometimes but that's always nerve wracking. Everyone from LA will hop on here and say it's not bad, the problem is it's not getting better. The improvement projects are bad. The metro rail by me runs ONCE an hour.

Also people are being priced out of homes. You know why there are hardly any townhouses here that were built after the 70s? COA banned building single family homes on lots smaller than 5750 sq feet. That regulation was removed LAST year. Your options for buying property here for anywhere near our median house value was basically buying a condo in a midrise or buying a 70s house up north (which is what I had to do). If you go to Dallas or Houston you can find really nice 2-10 year old townhouses in the middle of cool areas for $200-300k. Appraisals skyrocketing 30-50k/yr for the last 2 years has caused my property tax to rise $200/mo .. twice. And that's with homestead exemption. $800/mo in property taxes alone for my 70s regular-old-house. I'm sure it'll go up another $200 next year.

Median household value is $400k now. http://kxan.com/2017/06/14/report-shows-austins-average-home...

Been considering Olympia lately. Visited a few months ago and it was a really cool place. Felt like Austin probably 30 years ago. People still owned houses "downtown." Super walk/bikeable and a lot going on. I was shocked when I realized it only has 50k people.

Also you're so damned central in TX that I can't go camping anywhere fun without a minimum 8 hour drive.

The property taxes here to me are my main concern. Even if paying for a downtown condo in cash I still have a substantial monthly constantly growing property tax. It seems pointless to me.

It is very bike (although all my friends disagree) and walk friendly. I got rid of my car and have been biking and walking every where (my apartment is downtown). Minus insurance, car payment and parking fee my rent is about what it was in Oklahoma, but in a much better location and quality of life.

I came from Oklahoma a few years ago, where I owned a house in Tulsa and then Stillwater. Home prices are very similar to what you describe. For $200,000 to $300,000 you get a mansion, brand new even, in a very nicely kept up community with little to no H.O.A. fee (for keeping it up and access to the community amenities like club house and pool and trash).

Edit: Do you mean Olympia, WA?

Yeah, Olympia WA. I know nothing about it beyond spending two days there while I was hiking around Olympic National Park, but I really liked it. I'm sick of having to drive and find parking etc everywhere.

My mortgage is 1400, my property tax is around 750 for reference. I previously had a fancy unnecessary downtown apt (studio) for about $1700, now I'm around 2500/mo after insurance, etc. I put very little down, my bank only required 3.5% down but I put around 10% down. The house I bought has gone up $100k in the last 2 years so I figured if I didn't buy now I'd never be able to buy.

If only salaries went up 10-20%/yr like my property taxes do.

My apartment is somewhere around 1,800-1,900 per month and that includes all fees and what not. It's also a studio, but it's condo grade (3 feet of sound proofing on all walls and ceilings), concierge, built in Sonos and speakers, ethernet, and option of having Google Fiber. Not sure I ever want to move. I'm kind of content actually.

It's tempting to consider buying a condo downtown over at 360 or even Seaholm for the reasons you list. I would put down 20-30% though. I do not want to live outside the city. I like being in the middle of everything. I've toyed the idea of moving back home to Minneapolis or trying out Portland. I don't want to deal wit cold weather. My parents are retiring and just bought a home in Sarasota. They have invited me down with them. Which is tempting.

I have family in Sarasota. If you at all like the fact that you can do things after 8pm in Austin do not move to Sarasota. Go visit your parents so you can go to the beach (Siesta Key) and go home.. lol. I lived with my mom in Sarasota for year after college and not only did I have to drive an hour to Tampa for work but the place was one of the most boring places I'd ever lived.

I'm 2 miles from the domain which is one reason my property taxes are so high, $380k 3/2 house. So, while I'm not "in the city" it's a $6 Lyft to go to rock rose, train downtown is 5 minutes away (but stops going north at 7pm).

I lived in midrises forever. I got absolutely sick of dealing with parking garages every time I wanted to go drive somewhere. Beware as well, some of the downtown highrises require you to use and pay for valet services. The Austonian didn't require me to use it but there are a couple that do.

I just wanted a damned nice townhouse like I had in Houston. They started building them in 78704 but they're $800k (because 78704). These sorts of things; https://i.pinimg.com/originals/16/f0/4c/16f04c1392ade123104c...

They're perfect for me, I'm single and just have dogs. Right now I have a front and back yard that nobody ever uses.

Thanks much for the information. I currently live in 78704 (The Catherine). Those types of places are perfect for me as well. I'd love something like those townhouses (also single, would love a dog as a companion). I was looking and tempting like I mentioned a 1 bedroom at the 360 or Sealholm or 800 Brazos, but those start around $400,000. Location is very important to me. I'm not going to live outside the city.

Thanks for the heads up about Sarasota. The reason I left my cushy lifetime job in Oklahoma was because of the lifestyle. I was bored out of my mine. Nearly felt like I needed prozac and psychotherapist just to make it through the days (I didn't, but it sure felt like it). Coming to Austin, with in a day or few I was cured. My parents would have moved to Austin, as they love it, but dad was dead set on a boat and water and ocean front (they bought a house on the ocean and are shopping boats now).

You lived in the Austrian? I don't have that kind of spare cash, at least from the prices I have seen advertised.

If you are downtown and bored and want to meet up or something, my email is in my profile. You should hit me up. Love to chat more if you are interested.

Stayed with a buddy who owns some units there, definitely out of my range and even if it were for that price I'd be on the lake or something.

Not downtown much but I'll drop you a line when I am. I stay in my little 3 mile bubble around the domain mostly these days. Pretty boring and quiet but everything I need out here.

You can find what you want on the (Central) East Side, I think.

One thing Austin has going for it vs more developed coastal cities is the capacity for additional sprawl, if that's the kind of arrangement you're looking for.

Sprawl is awful in Austin because of our lake and highway system. "South Austin" (South of Town Lake/1st st) is 12 miles from my house but going there is basically like driving to another city. 30-45 minutes. What happens is people will live in Central/North Austin and will only take jobs in Central/North. Vice versa if you live South.

Guess it's kind of like the Peninsula / East Bay divide in SV? Crossing any of the bridges is a nightmare.

Hilariously, growing up 880 was known to be the worst highway wrt traffic but with increased employment in the peninsula, 101 has legitimately overtaken it I think.

Only 30-45 minutes? That seems like a good day.

I have a 4 mile commute South (from South Congress/Barton Springs straight up South Congress) on my bike. I easily can beat traffic often times. Even without traffic it takes just a few minutes longer (lights, speed limits).

My 3 mile bike ride takes 15 minutes or 10 minutes by car. The stop lights are so abysmally timed, 5 of that is sitting at various stoplights.

Without even clicking I guessed Grand Rapids would be close to the top of this list.

The job market here has been fantastic, there is a great metro life to be had, housing is decent, plus the country and small towns around it are easy to commute from. 20-25 minutes to a Great Lake, fantastic beaches, even better beer. Grand Rapids is a fantastic place to call home.

True. Except! The bone chilling winters and lake effect snow that accumulates into multiple feet. I remember one winter years ago where, when visiting my girlfriend, the wind-chill temp was 45 below zero and our cars were encased in ice an inch thick.

That being said, I'm from Detroit but if I had to live in Michigan again I'd be in GR.

Indeed. Grew up around grand rapids, spent 15 years in Ann arbor, a year or so in Boston, and now back in GR. Once you get past the winters and the fact that there are a lot of very religious people around (sometimes good, sometimes bad), it's a good place to be.

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