Almost Retired wrote:The median price of homes between 2 distinctly different locations is not a very useful tool. An assessment of the value you get in return for price is left out. If my 4 bedroom, 3 bath brick home on a 9,000 sq ft fully landscaped lot cost $425K, and a comparable house in Downers Grove, Illinois costs $625K...who is getting the better value? (I use Downers Grove as my example because my sister and her family live there and I am familiar with the town.) Again, Goodle the house we just sold: 2804 Tinmouth, in Austin, TX 78748. The Zillow listing is still up there. Compare it to your house in Chicagoland. And Austin is no backwoods shanty town. It has every amenity that Chicago has except Professional Sport Teams and lakefront beaches. Having lived in both places (our last Chicago house was near Addison and Central Park) there is no comparison in terms of value received per Dollar spent. You can live in a nicer house, on a bigger lot, for less money in the purchase price and less money spent yearly on taxes in Texas than you can in Chicagoland. And you can leave your snow shovels, windshield ice scrapers and sidewalk rock salt behind for your neighbors. In my line of work I make approximately the same whether I work in Texas or Illinois. By living in Texas, with no income tax and much lower COMPARABLE housing prices, our salary Dollars go farther. So I have more left at the end of the month to invest and save. And we want for nothing (except those addicting Ricobene's breaded steak sandwiches dipped in tomato sauce and the Pizza). I'm not totally down on Chicago. I wish the crime rate were lower, and from a recent report on the news they seem to have a rat problem....but it is still a world class city. But Covid is going to take a toll on all big cities. Public transportation is going to be suspect as a driver of virus spread. And more people are going to be allowed to work from home, negating the need to live close into a central business district. And lastly, some of the reasons for living in the city...the theaters, restaurants and bars might not survive the pandemic. If people don't revert back to their old ways then those amenities might not be available. Many are hanging by a thread and their survival is touch and go. If the fall and winter bring a severe Covid resurgence those communal gathering places will not survive. Further reducing the attractiveness of city living.
It’s pretty hard to follow this without any line breaks, but comparing a house in Austin (a huge diverse city) to a house in Downers Grove (a small, well-off suburb) is not even close to apples-to-apples. Of course homes values are higher in Downers Grove the median income is almost $100k. A home in Portage Park, a neighborhood in Chicago, is a much better comparison. (https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/4032-N-Mason-Ave-60634/home/13474169). 4 bed, 3 bath, $449k, good schools, $4,500 property taxes, very low crime. Or maybe Jefferson Park (https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/5202-W-Strong-St-60630/home/12665165) a 4 bed, 3 bath, $449k, $5,500 property taxes, great schools, low crime, public transportation. Or maybe Norwood Park (https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/5912-N-Newburg-Ave-60631/home/13506782) 4 bed, 4 bath, $439k, low crime, $5,000 property taxes, really good schools. Each of these homes have far smaller lots than you mentioned. The flip side is the ability to walk your kids to school, the park, the library, the train, etc. The point isn’t that one is “better” or “cheaper” than the other, the point is that you can get a 4 beds and 3 baths SFH in Chicago for about the same as Austin. The schools might even be better and your property taxes might be less in Chicago, but you’ll have a smaller yard and pay income tax.
The prospect of COVID this spring shouldn’t really impact someone taking on a 30-year mortgage. Live music and restaurants aren’t likely going to close forever. The museums (which Austin isn’t in the same category as Chicago) have already re-opened. City’s have survived pandemics before, it’s likely they will again. Either way, the home values in my neighborhood are doing just fine and all the renovations/tear downs suggest this part of the city will do just fine (sorry to burst your bubble).
Your views aren’t that surprising given your “ANTIFA is destroying Portland” comment. The problem is when facts meet political bias, the facts win. There must be something about Chicago/Illinois when people who haven’t lived here for 15 years still follow it so closely to know the status of it’s rats and politics.