Employment in Texas

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Ronburgandy2468
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Employment in Texas

Postby Ronburgandy2468 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:01 am

So, cost of living calculator says making like 85k in Austin is the same as making 160k in NYC.
Do employers in Texas pay less in general than employers in NYC due to the cost of living etc?
Or, is it just better to start out in TX to make money.

I mean, I assume the calculator is misleading in that it "spending" 160k in NYC is roughly equal to spending 85k in TX.

DreamShake
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby DreamShake » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:13 am

depends on the employer. biglaw (Vinson Elkins, Fulbright, Weil, Locke Lord, Haynes Boone, etc.) pays the same initial $160k salary. i think the lockstep increases & bonuses tend to be a bit smaller, but not nearly enough to change the relative financial superiority of biglaw in TX > NY biglaw in an immediate sense. however, boutiques and mid-law in TX pays less than similar firms in NY.

the calculator isn't misleading--the difference in cost of living between the cities is huge. the costs of housing in particular are day and night between the two markets...$1100 in NY will get you a studio in the city. $1100 in Houston is the mortgage on a 3,000+ sq. ft. house. food is also cheaper; transportation probably is not, and electricity is somewhat higher b/c of having to use A/C 270 days a year. also, TX has no state/city income tax.

Ronburgandy2468
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby Ronburgandy2468 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:30 am

ty for your response.
It kind of seems unfair hahaha.

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kalvano
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:41 am

The above poster is kind of right, but a little optimistic in some respects as far as costs go. Housing isn't quite that cheap, unless you go to the ghetto. The initial mortgage may be cheap, but Texas bends you over on property taxes and usually HOA dues in newer developments. My property taxes add almost $500 a month to my mortgage.

But yeah, Texas is far cheaper than NYC. Of course, you also give up a lot of things by living here than in other places like NYC.

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emptyflare
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby emptyflare » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:45 am

Texas also has a higher sales tax (8-10 percent, I believe), but this needs to be confirmed

LawIdiot86
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:53 am

kalvano wrote:The above poster is kind of right, but a little optimistic in some respects as far as costs go. Housing isn't quite that cheap, unless you go to the ghetto. The initial mortgage may be cheap, but Texas bends you over on property taxes and usually HOA dues in newer developments. My property taxes add almost $500 a month to my mortgage.

But yeah, Texas is far cheaper than NYC. Of course, you also give up a lot of things by living here than in other places like NYC.

True, but for the first five years you'll be working to many hours in either place to actually enjoy the things NYC has to offer.

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kalvano
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:57 am

emptyflare wrote:Texas also has a higher sales tax (8-10 percent, I believe), but this needs to be confirmed


Yes. 8.25% in Dallas.

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kalvano
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:58 am

LawIdiot86 wrote:
kalvano wrote:The above poster is kind of right, but a little optimistic in some respects as far as costs go. Housing isn't quite that cheap, unless you go to the ghetto. The initial mortgage may be cheap, but Texas bends you over on property taxes and usually HOA dues in newer developments. My property taxes add almost $500 a month to my mortgage.

But yeah, Texas is far cheaper than NYC. Of course, you also give up a lot of things by living here than in other places like NYC.

True, but for the first five years you'll be working to many hours in either place to actually enjoy the things NYC has to offer.



But not too busy to enjoy the 30+ days every summer over 100 degrees with high humidity!

Good times.

But, at least in Dallas, there are a lot of smaller firms with less ridiculous hours that pay in the $85K - $100K range.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:47 pm

What is it about Dallas? You either love it or hate it. Make no mistake, Dallas is VERY Texan with all that implies. It's also huge and set in the middle of a featureless, endless prairie. And as someone noted above, the summers in Dallas will make you long for Phoenix.

I don't even like the airport (meaning DFW but I'm not overfond of Love Field either).

But there's MONEY in Dallas and a solid chance to get ahead. My personal perception is that Texas is not as class-stratified as the Northeast. It certainly isn't as hideously over-lawyered as NYC or Boston (though all those Texas law schools are doing what they can to flood the market.)

Hope you like Baptist services, though. :wink:

DreamShake
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby DreamShake » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:13 pm

kalvano wrote:The above poster is kind of right, but a little optimistic in some respects as far as costs go. Housing isn't quite that cheap, unless you go to the ghetto. The initial mortgage may be cheap, but Texas bends you over on property taxes and usually HOA dues in newer developments. My property taxes add almost $500 a month to my mortgage.

But yeah, Texas is far cheaper than NYC. Of course, you also give up a lot of things by living here than in other places like NYC.


We may be from different parts of Texas--Houston is basically as I described. You could live in the nice part of Meyerland or Westchase for that much. But TX does have much higher property taxes and a higher sales tax than nearly every other state. Although I'm not sure sales tax matters much in comparison to NYC, because the starting price in NYC for just about everything is higher than sales price + tax in TX. The only thing it might actually make a difference on is a car. Speaking of which, you have to drive pretty much everywhere in TX, so that also evens the balance a little.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:03 pm

And as someone noted above, the summers in Dallas will make you long for Phoenix.


This cannot be stressed enough. Summers in Texas are hellish. People tend to think "well, at least Texas summers are better than the winters in [insert northeastern or midwestern city here]." No, they're not. Even in frickin' Minneapolis, you'll get stretches during the winter where it's in the 30s and you can go outside and not be miserable. In Texas, from mid May until late September, you are living in an unrelenting hell. For example: When I was visiting family in Dallas last June -- NOT EVEN THE HOTTEST PART OF THE SUMMER -- the thermometer on the car never dropped below 103, even at night. It maxed out at 114. (Yes, temperature is hotter on the roads, and yes, asphalt retains heat well after sunset. It's still hell-type hot.)

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kalvano
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:48 pm

1) Driving - you basically have to have a car.

2) Insurance - on cars, houses, whatever...Governor Goodhair loves to suck the ass of the insurance industry, so our rates are the highest in the nation. Homeowners insurance is triple the national average, car insurance is sky-high, etc.

3) The summers - they suck. It was over 100 something like 70 days last summer. And I don't mean 101. It was up to 110, 112 some days. With humidity. The duration was unusual, but there are always 30-45 days of 100+. And it doesn't cool down at night. Last summer it rarely dropped below 80 at night, so your A/C runs constantly.

Texas is cheaper than NYC, for sure. But that's not saying much since almost every place is. For some reason, people have this idea that Texas is dirt-cheap all-around, and it's not. I'm unfamiliar with Houston, but housing is still expensive in Dallas proper, for a decent house in a decent area. These articles I read talking about big houses for $100K make me laugh. Maybe out in the boonies, but not in any major city. It's not as expensive as some other places, at least in initial cost, but they get you in other ways. And forget natural beauty, there's very little of that anywhere around. It's flat, open prairie. Four real seasons don't exist, either.

Some people love it here, some don't. It's certainly not this dirt-cheap mecca that it's made out to be. And there is plenty you miss out on. But that's always the thing...the places that are naturally pretty or desirable to live in, everyone wants to live there, and typically there is a limit to the available housing, so prices stay high. I find it funny to compare why people like living in other places, like NYC or Seattle, and they usually have this long list of reasons why the areas are awesome to them. Ask people why they like living in Dallas, and the usual answer is "it's cheap." Not exactly a glowing recommendation.

But, on the flip side of that, it is cheap. You can live really nicely on $85K a year here. Not models and bottles, but very comfortably. If you aren't in to cold winters, and are willing to trade the awful May-October for it, it rarely gets super cold here.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:44 pm

The summers - they suck. It was over 100 something like 70 days last summer. And I don't mean 101. It was up to 110, 112 some days. With humidity. The duration was unusual, but there are always 30-45 days of 100+. And it doesn't cool down at night. Last summer it rarely dropped below 80 at night, so your A/C runs constantly.


I remember my last summer living in Dallas (1998). It was the hottest summer of the past several decades. (There was a stretch of like 3-4 days where the temperature didn't drop below 100 degrees, even at night. One day had a high of 115 as measured at DFW, so with the urban heat island effect, it was probably 120+ in the city.) I was working just outside of downtown, in an area without covered parking. I'd have to either wait until 6:30 or later to go home, or go out and start my car and run the AC, because if I tried to drive home at 5:00 PM after letting the car sit in the sun all day, the steering wheel would be partially melted and I'd ruin it while gripping it. That's right: It was so hot that you couldn't drive at 5:00 PM because your car would have melted and you might damage it.

Ronburgandy2468
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby Ronburgandy2468 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:40 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:
The summers - they suck. It was over 100 something like 70 days last summer. And I don't mean 101. It was up to 110, 112 some days. With humidity. The duration was unusual, but there are always 30-45 days of 100+. And it doesn't cool down at night. Last summer it rarely dropped below 80 at night, so your A/C runs constantly.


I remember my last summer living in Dallas (1998). It was the hottest summer of the past several decades. (There was a stretch of like 3-4 days where the temperature didn't drop below 100 degrees, even at night. One day had a high of 115 as measured at DFW, so with the urban heat island effect, it was probably 120+ in the city.) I was working just outside of downtown, in an area without covered parking. I'd have to either wait until 6:30 or later to go home, or go out and start my car and run the AC, because if I tried to drive home at 5:00 PM after letting the car sit in the sun all day, the steering wheel would be partially melted and I'd ruin it while gripping it. That's right: It was so hot that you couldn't drive at 5:00 PM because your car would have melted and you might damage it.



Lol. That is quite a story sir.

de5igual
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby de5igual » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:30 am

Ronburgandy2468 wrote:
theaccidentalclerk wrote:
The summers - they suck. It was over 100 something like 70 days last summer. And I don't mean 101. It was up to 110, 112 some days. With humidity. The duration was unusual, but there are always 30-45 days of 100+. And it doesn't cool down at night. Last summer it rarely dropped below 80 at night, so your A/C runs constantly.


I remember my last summer living in Dallas (1998). It was the hottest summer of the past several decades. (There was a stretch of like 3-4 days where the temperature didn't drop below 100 degrees, even at night. One day had a high of 115 as measured at DFW, so with the urban heat island effect, it was probably 120+ in the city.) I was working just outside of downtown, in an area without covered parking. I'd have to either wait until 6:30 or later to go home, or go out and start my car and run the AC, because if I tried to drive home at 5:00 PM after letting the car sit in the sun all day, the steering wheel would be partially melted and I'd ruin it while gripping it. That's right: It was so hot that you couldn't drive at 5:00 PM because your car would have melted and you might damage it.



Lol. That is quite a story sir.


it's not that far fetched. my old car had black interior and it was absolutely necessary for me to have covered parking. the wood trim paneling on my rear doors both melted off, literally.

Anonymous User
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:33 am

DreamShake wrote:depends on the employer. biglaw (Vinson Elkins, Fulbright, Weil, Locke Lord, Haynes Boone, etc.) pays the same initial $160k salary. i think the lockstep increases & bonuses tend to be a bit smaller, but not nearly enough to change the relative financial superiority of biglaw in TX > NY biglaw in an immediate sense. however, boutiques and mid-law in TX pays less than similar firms in NY.

the calculator isn't misleading--the difference in cost of living between the cities is huge. the costs of housing in particular are day and night between the two markets...$1100 in NY will get you a studio in the city. $1100 in Houston is the mortgage on a 3,000+ sq. ft. house. food is also cheaper; transportation probably is not, and electricity is somewhat higher b/c of having to use A/C 270 days a year. also, TX has no state/city income tax.


egregious anti-BB trolling.

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kalvano
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby kalvano » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:36 am

I had a car with a manual transmission, and the shifter had a metal plate on it. One summer, I forgot and got in my car and touched it, and it burned the shift pattern into my hand for a while.

In the summer, with uncovered parking, it's easily 150+ in a car that's been sitting out.

turbotong
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby turbotong » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:50 am

People in the north are used to defrosting and de-icing their cars in the winter before they drive them. I'm from Texas - I'm used to rolling down my car windows and letting them air out for about a minute before I get in during the summer.

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kalvano
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby kalvano » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:52 am

I guess my main point was you're more trading one set of problems for another.

theaccidentalclerk
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby theaccidentalclerk » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:18 am

In the summer, with uncovered parking, it's easily 150+ in a car that's been sitting out.


You know, depending on the meat and your working hours, you quite literally could leave a cut of meat in the front seat and have it be nice and tender by the time you drive home. I mean, (say) 175 for 10 hours? That would slow roast most cuts of pork. I'm a bit disappointed I never tried it. (I did try to fry an egg on the hood of a car one time. I got a white film on the bottom, but it didn't come close to cooking the yolk.)

I think most Texans (and I still consider myself one, even despite the fact that I got the hell out of there at 22 and go back maybe every 2-3 years, even though all of my family is in Dallas) have "crazy sh!t that melted in my car" stories. A college girlfriend bought a Beatles box set in Dallas in the summer, drove to her apartment in San Antonio, left the CDs in her trunk overnight, and by the time she pulled them out the next morning, them were all warped and unplayable.

Guys, I'm not joking. There are many reasons why Texas isn't so fun (rednecks, cultural wasteland, etc.). There are work-arounds to most of them. And the dirty little secret is that there are some really fun parts of Dallas and San Antonio and Houston and (of course) Austin. And it's all cheap! But the weather is really as bad as advertised. Honestly, if given the choice between Nome, Alaska and Texas, my first question would be whether the winter coats count as a tax deductible business expense. Because there ain't no way I'm going through another Texas summer.

DreamShake
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby DreamShake » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:
DreamShake wrote:depends on the employer. biglaw (Vinson Elkins, Fulbright, Weil, Locke Lord, Haynes Boone, etc.) pays the same initial $160k salary. i think the lockstep increases & bonuses tend to be a bit smaller, but not nearly enough to change the relative financial superiority of biglaw in TX > NY biglaw in an immediate sense. however, boutiques and mid-law in TX pays less than similar firms in NY.

the calculator isn't misleading--the difference in cost of living between the cities is huge. the costs of housing in particular are day and night between the two markets...$1100 in NY will get you a studio in the city. $1100 in Houston is the mortgage on a 3,000+ sq. ft. house. food is also cheaper; transportation probably is not, and electricity is somewhat higher b/c of having to use A/C 270 days a year. also, TX has no state/city income tax.


egregious anti-BB trolling.


More egregious abuse of the anonymous function :P

I've definitely seen things melt in a car in Texas heat, but some of these stories are either exaggerated or exceptions. I've never seen a CD melt in a car. Nor have I seen wood trimming melt off (though I don't doubt it, given enough time in the sun and a rapid enough cooling). It is true, though, that giving your car a couple minutes to A/C out is a smart call. And the scenery does suck (there are some nice spots--e.g., the hill country isn't bad, and the mountains along the Western border are decent)--what's decent is few and far between. And there is no culture aside from redneck culture, bland middle class white culture, and Hispanic culture. There's a surplus of religiousness and right-wing dumbassery. There are actual debates about whether creationism belongs in schools. If you're in Houston, there are a shit ton of mosquitoes. And roaches--really, really big fucking tree roaches. But is it cheap? Hell yeah.

turbotong
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby turbotong » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:14 am

I once had a mechanical pencil melt in my car. No, it did not turn into goo. One BIC mechanical pencil was resting on top of another and they were left there for at least a day. When I got back, I picked up one pencil and it was stuck to the other pencil by a very small, thin area of contact.

On the other hand, I don't think it is enough to cook meat. It probably doesnt hit 175. Even if it does, you guys have to remember that this is only possible due to the greenhouse effect - once you open your windows or turn on the AC/fan the temperature cools down very quickly (probably faster than you northerners take to scrape ice off if your car). My car can roll down its windows with my remote key. It has a max range of about 20 feet away (which you can cover in about 10 seconds walking at a normal pace). If I roll down my car windows at that range, the car is cool enough to sit in by the time I reach it. Just dont touch shiny metal (your seat belt).

Regarding cost of living, I do know many people who pay <$1500 a month for 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, kitchen, dining room, smaller dining room next to kitchen, game room, 2 car garage, driveway, front yard, back yard, attic, laundry room, study room house. Yes, property tax/insurance/HOA is a bitch.

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ggocat
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby ggocat » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:57 am

Ronburgandy2468 wrote:So, cost of living calculator says making like 85k in Austin is the same as making 160k in NYC.
Do employers in Texas pay less in general than employers in NYC due to the cost of living etc?

They sometimes pay less, but usually not by enough to make a big difference. Others have posted about biglaw. You'll find similar salary ranges for smaller firms, and I've seen comparable state and local government jobs pay about the same. E.g., Manhattan DA pays $60.5K while Harris County (Houston) DA pays $57.5K.

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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:26 pm

theaccidentalclerk wrote:
In the summer, with uncovered parking, it's easily 150+ in a car that's been sitting out.


You know, depending on the meat and your working hours, you quite literally could leave a cut of meat in the front seat and have it be nice and tender by the time you drive home. I mean, (say) 175 for 10 hours? That would slow roast most cuts of pork. I'm a bit disappointed I never tried it. (I did try to fry an egg on the hood of a car one time. I got a white film on the bottom, but it didn't come close to cooking the yolk.)

I think most Texans (and I still consider myself one, even despite the fact that I got the hell out of there at 22 and go back maybe every 2-3 years, even though all of my family is in Dallas) have "crazy sh!t that melted in my car" stories. A college girlfriend bought a Beatles box set in Dallas in the summer, drove to her apartment in San Antonio, left the CDs in her trunk overnight, and by the time she pulled them out the next morning, them were all warped and unplayable.

Guys, I'm not joking. There are many reasons why Texas isn't so fun (rednecks, cultural wasteland, etc.). There are work-arounds to most of them. And the dirty little secret is that there are some really fun parts of Dallas and San Antonio and Houston and (of course) Austin. And it's all cheap! But the weather is really as bad as advertised. Honestly, if given the choice between Nome, Alaska and Texas, my first question would be whether the winter coats count as a tax deductible business expense. Because there ain't no way I'm going through another Texas summer.


Haha. This made me lol. I think it sums it up nicely. However, I would much rather have to put up with a Texas summer every year than an extremely cold winter.

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Ty Webb
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Re: Employment in Texas

Postby Ty Webb » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:13 pm

You don't have to shovel humidity.




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