nealric wrote:It's a bit more nuanced than that, though. The 500sq ft apartment in the Village doesn't really have a Dallas equivalent. There are very few apartments that small that are also in hip, safe areas. The middle to upper middle class housing stock in Dallas is going to be all single family homes, which most people will be buying instead of renting. The point is that the average person from Dallas isn't going to replicate their Dallas lifestyle if they were to move to New York the way the COL calculators often assume. Yes, you can probably find a super cheap apartment in Dallas to rent if you are willing to live in a not-so nice or far-away area, but by the same token you could probably live pretty cheap in parts of the Bronx.
Maybe I'm missing the point of this post? Why would someone live in a 500sq ft apartment in Dallas when there are much bigger apartments that are still cheaper than the 500 sq ft one in NYC?
Just to put numbers on some Dallas apartments. You can still find really nice (built in last 1-5 years) apartment buildings in downtown Dallas/uptown/design district/etc. for well, well under $2,000 that have all the amenities (pool/gym/lounge areas/parking garage included). These areas are safe, filled with tons of restaurants, bars, shopping,etc. and all within a ~10-15 minute drive of any law firm down here. I think the arguably the nicest new luxury building in uptown (the Jordan) starts around ~2300-2400/month for 1 bedrooms around 750-850 sq ft. From what I've seen, spending ~2000/month in New York isn't getting you much, but maybe I'm wrong.
I totally get why people live and like NYC. It's more bustling, more culturally active, high quality work, available opportunities, all that. It will just always lose on the quality
available to people compared to other cities, Dallas and Houston in particular, especially when those cities pay market salaries, at least for the first year or two.
Maybe that's obvious? I just don't think it's a point that should really be debated about comparing NYC vs other cities.