Moving to the Burbs — Brooklynian

Moving to the Burbs

MODMOD
edited September 2014 in Brooklyn and Beyond
This discussion was created from comments split from: Great rental in Maplewood, NJ!.

Comments

  • Yeah. I was excited about Maplewood until I saw that $500-600,000 houses often had $13-20,000/year property tax bills attached to them. Seriously. That is before adding the costs if heating, electric/gas, insurance, repairs, landscaping... Damn expensive.
  • Thinking of moving to Maplewood, NJ?
    No. Not at all.
  • Yes taxes are higher but that's not the real problem. The real problem is you're going to be living in freaking Jersey.

    @RyanGainesHome You posted an ad about moving to NJ on a Brooklyn forum. You should have known it was going to get some flak.
  • For those who don't know, families who find themselves priced out out of brownstone Brooklyn have been moving to Maplewood, Montclair, South Orange, Hoboken, and other New Jersey communities for decades. Homes large enough for families are much less expensive there, even with the higher real estate costs, public schools are excellent and less crowded, and in some towns public community centers with swimming pools and other amenities are available to all.

    We came close to moving to South Orange back in the 70's, but decided to stay in Brooklyn. I am glad we stayed, but understand why others were drawn to the suburban lifestyle.
  • If I had to choose between LI and NJ, I would choose NJ.
  • edited September 2014
    For those who don't know, families who find themselves priced out out of brownstone Brooklyn have been moving to Maplewood, Montclair, South Orange, Hoboken, and other New Jersey communities for decades. Homes large enough for families are much less expensive there, even with the higher real estate costs, public schools are excellent and less crowded, and in some towns public community centers with swimming pools and other amenities are available to all.

    We came close to moving to South Orange back in the 70's, but decided to stay in Brooklyn. I am glad we stayed, but understand why others were drawn to the suburban lifestyle.
    People should just stick to saying that for the sake of schools they had to move to a really awful place. Places that are vastly inferior to the city in public spaces, history, architecture, walkability, street life, sustainability, public art, intellectual stimulation of numerous kinds, etc. ad infinitum. I fully understand moving to an inferior place if the alternative means a terrible education for your kid. It's an American tragedy that that's the lousy choice we've forced most people into.

    But when people start additionally defending the move by pointing to the size of their man cave and pool I can't help but feel bad for them. It sounds like so much pleading.
  • edited September 2014
    The suburbs are different; they are not necessarily inferior. Life is actually far easier and more pleasant in the 'burbs than in the city. You might consider refraining from making arrogant statements which suggest provincial ignorance.
  • Umm, define better? For me suburbs are inferior. They lack the diversity, parks, arts, culture, museums, restaurants coffee houses, music venues and public transportation that makes life in the city great. I like having things in walking distance or with in an easy bike ride. I don't like commuting in the car for an hour each way to work. So for me the suburbs are inferior.

    Now someone else might point to the quiet, has a lower cost of living, is less crowded, has larger houses, less crime as well as better schools and conclude the suburbs are better.

    Neither person is ignorant. Instead, they just value different things. I fail to see how Mike's statement was arrogant or ignorant at all. He just values different things then you do booklaw. Its disheartening to see you resort to such a shallow and baseless personal attack. If anything he and others are forgetting that the city has some wonderful for schools.

    By the way I'm a suburban kid. I was raised in the suburbs of Atlanta. So I know first hand how one can view the suburbs as soul sucking, conservative, corporate and ever so freaking boring. That being said I attended one of the nations best high schools so I also understand how good there school systems can be.
  • "I fully understand moving to an inferior place..."

    It is arrogant to assume the suburbs are inferior, just because he values the things he finds in the city more than the things other people enjoy and value in the 'burbs.
  • Could we merge this thread with one of threads where some long time resident purports that "we" are trying make NYC into the 'burbs?

    ...because that would be awesome.
  • I was not trying to be mean to the poster, or to insult people who move to the burbs. I was just sharing my shock at finding out that the panacea that I thought Maplewood could be was actually way more expensive than I ever thought possible. For my family, in our particular situation, moving to Maplewood (let's say) would end up costing us at least 3x as much as we currently spend on housing, taxes, and childcare alone, plus a huge amount for things like heating oil/gas (which is expensive!), home upkeep/repair, and cars/auto insurance/gas/commutation. Mr. Crownheightser and I would have to have 2 or 3 more kids to make it worth our while to move to the suburbs. The Northeast is godawful expensive. If I ever leave brooklyn, I'm moving somewhere like Nashville or Portland, where life is, in total, cheaper.
  • edited September 2014
    For many, the trick in the Northeast is to live some place where only the minimum amount of education is provided by tax dollars, and then:

    1. Not have children.

    2. Live in an area in which residents supplement the education that is available publicly via a variety of private means.

    ....the suburbs aren't a good fit for them.
  • The suburbs are different; they are not necessarily inferior. Life is actually far easier and more pleasant in the 'burbs than in the city. You might consider refraining from making arrogant statements which suggest provincial ignorance.
    Life is not necessarily easier if you don't have a car.

    Commuting is not necessarily easier if there is any sort of hiccup on the highway (if you drive) or on commuter rail. (If anything goes wrong with NJ Transit, LIRR or Metro north, those people are screwed.) 

    Power is more likely to be knocked out by severe storms than here in the city. (Sandy was an exception and power was knocked out only in parts of the city, thankfully.)

    I've live in the suburbs for a few years when I was in the DC area; it was cool at first, but I missed being in the city by the end. 
  • A lot of people move to the suburbs from places like Crown Heights because they don't want their kids going to school with mostly black people.
  • edited September 2014
    People are going to continue to pursue what they perceive to be in the best interests of their children and wallets.

    For some, that means the 'burbs, for others it is the city.

    Someday, I might move to the 'burbs.

  • As someone who grew up in Brooklyn, lived in central NJ for 16 years and now lives on Long Island I can honestly say that NJ (at least where I lived) is much better than Long Island. Although it took me about 90 minutes to get to Brooklyn to the office in the morning from NJ, when I lived in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan it took me about 75 including the 14 block walk to the train. The subway was much better because I could read or sleep but I don't mind driving though it cost me about $350 a month up until 2003 when I moved. I was only a little over an hour to Manhattan so as for culture and Broadway that was still very accessible. Gas for the car and insurance was much cheaper than in NY and RE and sales taxes were much cheaper than in NY. Also, the kids could play in the yard or on the street and we wouldn't have to worry. So depending on how one wants to look at it, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

    But....I wouldn't live on Long Island if that's not where the second wife was from.
  • I lived out on LI for 4 years while in grad school (SUNY Stony Brook) in the 90s.

    What I disliked the most was how many hours it took to get off the island to see my girlfriend in Boston.

    [MacArthur airport had few flights, and it would take 1.5 hours to get to the Whitestone or the Throggs Neck Bridge.]

    It took me a while, but I finally determined the best way to get sex was to date locally.

    I am forever thankful to Long Island for teaching me this.
  • My wife's son had a full scholarship to Stonybrook starting about five years ago. Would have paid for everything but he turned it down so he could pay tuition at Binghamton.
  • Binghamton is a state school. He could have done a lot worse.

    In a way, he received mountains and trees in exchange for bagels and pizza.
  • I know Bing is part of SUNY. Just like Stonybrook. My sister's brother in law used to be the dean of the dental school at Stonybrook.
  • I've always dreamed of buying a couple acres somewhere along the Hudson or Harlem lines - the further north the better; just a simple fixer-upper where I can escape to for the weekend  every so often.
  • I've always dreamed of buying a couple acres somewhere along the Hudson or Harlem lines - the further north the better; just a simple fixer-upper where I can escape to for the weekend  every so often.
    "But I'm taking a Greyhound
    On the Hudson River Line
    I'm in a New York state of mind" ;)
  • Much of the Catskills is filled with 2nd homes, for that exact reason.
  • Don't ever move to the burbs, whynot! From where would we get our CH gossip?


  • edited September 2014
    I don't want the Catskills; terrible public transportation to and from.  Hudson and Harlem lines are Metro-North and seem pretty reliable with trains running quite often.  

    My planned route: Thursday or Friday afternoon/evening - Grand Central, hop on the train, and 2+ hours later, fresh air and birds chirping...  Early Monday morning - train back to Grand Central and back in my office well before 10am.  I am nowhere near getting this, but I still permit myself to dream.
  • edited September 2014
    @crownheightster

    Fear not.

    At this time, the biggest threat to me producing quantities of inane CH gossip is (strangely) my dog getting older. He is now 13.

    Walking him is one of my primary methods of research, and his walks are getting shorter with each passing year. We now only make it as far east as Nostrand.

    In a few years, I'll get a new dog and extend my range to Utica again. Until then, those of you living between Nostrand and Utica must carry your own weight.



  • Whynot, my dog is also 13! While her walks have gotten shorter as the years go by, I must admit she has never been more awesome.

    Lest I be accused of hijacking the thread, I'd like to add that those who want to move to the burbs because you're looking for a quieter life, but can't quit NYC just yet, should check out Inwood. I am five minutes from the A and 1 trains, yet often feel like I'm out in the country up here, what with the crickets chirping and the occasional skunk and woodchuck at the park down the street. Super-miss Crown Heights though, hence the blog-stalking :)
  • Y'know, if I wanted to move to the suburbs, I would probably move back to Milwaukee and pay $200,000 (or less) for a beautiful prewar bungalow, $6,000 a year in taxes for a great school district and recreation department, and easy travel to the admittedly-lesser but very much present amenities of the city.

    Or, if I wanted a better economy, Pittsburgh, or Chicago, or Minneapolis, or one of the many Midwestern cities where a suburban lifestyle much like those outside NYC is available at a far, far lesser cost, with a far less soul-sucking commute.

    And the state universities are better, and subsidized by east-coasters paying full freight since they couldn't get into the Ivies.

    And yeah, Inwood/Hudson Heights is a nice subway-suburb with giant wild hills and far easier access to the Palisades and other outdoor treats.
  • Y'know, if I wanted to move to the suburbs, I would probably move back to Milwaukee and pay $200,000 (or less) for a beautiful prewar bungalow, $6,000 a year in taxes for a great school district and recreation department, and easy travel to the admittedly-lesser but very much present amenities of the city.

    Or, if I wanted a better economy, Pittsburgh, or Chicago, or Minneapolis, or one of the many Midwestern cities where a suburban lifestyle much like those outside NYC is available at a far, far lesser cost, with a far less soul-sucking commute.

    And the state universities are better, and subsidized by east-coasters paying full freight since they couldn't get into the Ivies.
    Penn State is better than SUNY?
  • It has better football!
  • Sure, if you care about such a thing (college football) ;) 
  • edited September 2014
    I love how there are songs making fun of the suburbs because of their blandness:


    Yet, many of the people feeling superior to those in the suburbs are sitting in a 800 sq ft new condo with stainless steel appliances, work in a cubicle, belong to a CSA, listen to NPR, drink craft beer and extol the virtues of public transportation.

    It is ironic.    
  • MODMOD
    edited September 2014
    Where does Staten Island stand in all this?

    11 reasons why Staten Island is NYC's most underappreciated borough:

       www.thrillist.com/entertainment/new-york/staten-island/staten-island-most-underappreciated-nyc-borough
  • edited September 2014
    Staten Island is the asshole of America. 


    The only thing worth seeing in SI:


  • Staten Island is the asshole of America. 


    of America?!  I can think of much worse places.



  • of America?!  I can think of much worse places.
    Really???? Where??? I cannot even imagine someplace actually worse than SI.

    Staten Island is the shitiest shit hole of all shitstyes. 

  • edited September 2014
    Have you forgotten parts of Florida?
  • edited September 2014



    of America?!  I can think of much worse places.
    Really???? Where??? I cannot even imagine someplace actually worse than SI.

    Staten Island is the shitiest shit hole of all shitstyes. 

    ...Detroit comes to mind.  If you had to choose today - Detroit or Staten Island?
  • Which has bigger hair?
  • Well, there's lots of new companies moving to Detroit, right? Start-ups and what not? There's a whole revitalized downtown area. There's amazing real estate opportunities (new frontier-ish, if you're into that sort of thing) on the outskirts. There's still quite a bit of crime there.....but, still.

    Staten Island is one big butt hole. You could not pay me enough to live there on that smelly funk mound of an island. 

     
  • Whatchuwant... don't hold back... tell us how you really feel...

    (just kidding!)
  • @whatchuwant - Thanks for the laugh; I actually "lol"ed.  I kind of agree with your description of Staten Island, but it's proximity to Manhattan and Brooklyn, even though the commute is terrible, is a redeeming factor.
  • Whatchuwant... don't hold back... tell us how you really feel...

    (just kidding!)
    Yea, no- lol. There's not much I love to do more than trash SI. 

    It should be called SUCKEN Island. 

    The commute sucks! Have you ever been on the SI expressway, like, ANYTIME? There's SO much traffic. The ferry is fine.....I guess. But that's only because you get to be on a boat. But it takes you to....Staten Island. 

    Fucking barf.    
  • Whatchuwant... don't hold back... tell us how you really feel...

    (just kidding!)
    Yea, no- lol. There's not much I love to do more than trash SI. 

    It should be called SUCKEN Island. 


    Even more than Jersey?
  • I don't hate Jersey- there's lots of nice towns and it's really diverse in the areas you can live. Nice mix of urban and farm land. That said, hubby wouldn't mind moving there, but I can't get with the idea right now. The main problem that I have with Jersey is that the roads are such that if you make a wrong turn or don't get off at the right exit, you're fucked. I'm not familiar with the roads there at all, admittedly- I never have any idea where I actually am when I'm there.  

    Staten Island is made up of 100% dump. Wherever you turn, you're in shitsville.   





  • The commute sucks! Have you ever been on the SI expressway, like, ANYTIME? There's SO much traffic. The ferry is fine.....I guess. But that's only because you get to be on a boat. But it takes you to....Staten Island. 


    Unless you have a healthy salary (and time on your hands), the commute alone would be enough to nix Staten Island. The (NYC) subway doesn't go there, so the only ways off the island are either by boat or by a vehicle. 
  • edited September 2014
    ...Detroit comes to mind.  If you had to choose today - Detroit or Staten Island?
    Not a tough call.  Downtown Detroit has parts that are very cool.


    As with many places in the US, the parts of Detroit that have died or are dying are in the car-dependent, unsustainable sprawl outside the city core. 
  • edited September 2014
    "Real NYers," I presume, follow this...

    New Jersey = Fashtoonks - From a Yiddish adjective meaning "stinking, smelly" describing the sometime aromas of the New Jersey industrial wastelands just beyond the Palisades along the Hudson River.

    Staten Island = Stan - It's just plain "Stan" because of its nondescript nature.


    new-yorker


  • And for our area - Lubavistan, named after the Lubavitch
    branch of Hasidic Jews, most of whom live in Brooklyn.

  • edited September 2014
    1. Staten Island also has some cool Sri Lankan restaurants, but the commute is 100% guaranteed awful.

    2. Penn State/Pitt are maybe equal-quality to SUNY, but the University of Wisconsin, UIUC, University of Minnesota, and University of Michigan are all better.

    3. 
    I love how there are songs making fun of the suburbs because of their blandness:


    Yet, many of the people feeling superior to those in the suburbs are sitting in a 800 sq ft new condo with stainless steel appliances, work in a cubicle, belong to a CSA, listen to NPR, drink craft beer and extol the virtues of public transportation.

    It is ironic.    

    My parents belong to a CSA, listen to NPR, and drink craft beer in the Wisconsin suburbs, and have at least since the 90s.

    4. I don't know why anyone would move to Detroit when the are so many midwestern cities that are slightly more expensive but far more functional. Even those cities have plenty of dysfunctional neighborhoods with violent crime problems, bad schools, and nearly-free houses if you want the Detroit experience.

    Detroit's urban core is rotten, due to massive white flight (and black flight too, lately) to semi-functional sprawling areas.

    By the way, if you're curious what the opposite of gentrification is, it's this:

    Here's a well-kept bungalow for $25,000:

    How about a 3,000 square foot brick house with beautiful woodwork for $100k?

    Or a new-construction townhouse for $150k?

    Or a bank for $220k:

    Why spend $396k for a studio when you can have 12 3-bedroom apartments?
  • Don't forget a pool table in the basement and a man cave garage.       
  • edited September 2014
    You can live elsewhere (and even buy a house!) for less money, but will the salaries be enough to cover the COL (and allow you to still save some  money)?

    For example, I work as an admin in education. I seriously doubt I'd make as much at a similar company in another city/town. ( I'd done this type of work in the nation's capital, and I've looked at stuff at another large city that's 2 hours away down the turnpike). 

  • I am in a profession that would allow me to move to just about any urban or suburban setting, and still be in the same strata I occupy in NYC.

    Ms Whynot might have a more difficult time.
  • edited September 2014
    Hey @whatchuwant ...

    Staten Island Ranked Nation's Second-Best Spot for Lovers


    "Staten Island is a great place to live for couples who want access to everything New York City has to offer while still experiencing the best parts of suburban life," 
  • I worked on Staten Island from 1977-78. Bridge was only 50 cents each way. Then it was more like a suburban place. Now if there's a vacant spot of land a few feet wide they stick a house on it. Thankfully the zoo is still there. And the dump is one of the few big green spaces. It's a great place for lovers because there's nothing else to do.
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