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Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Why is the NE region of the U.S. so expensive?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7892points) December 5th, 2010

What makes it so expensive?

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11 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Convenience in terms of resources and ability to get to other parts of the country and the world. A lot of the countries major cities crunched together, and the wealthy suburbs produced by that. Plus, being one of the first parts of the country settled and developed, land is a more limited resource.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It has everything Los Angeles has, without the Angelenos and the palm trees and the smog and the merciless summer sun. Plus fresh water and trees. We also have four seasons here that some of us (and I’m one of them) have learned to enjoy every day of, even the ones that some think are ‘miserable’. And the traffic. Traffic in New England (and New York) can be a bitch, but it’s not always a bitch the way it is around L.A.

Did I mention that you can breathe the air? And that we don’t have earthquakes, mudslides and forest fires very often?

marinelife's avatar

Because the population density pushes up the prices.

jerv's avatar

How much is it worth to you to live near some of the best schools and medical facilities in the entire world?
How much is it worth to be able to go out into pristine wilderness? Yeah, it may be a couple hours drive from Boston, but I actually lived in the woods less than 100 miles away.
How much would you pay for white winters that most people only see in movies?
How much is it worth to you to live in an area with low crime rates? Last I checked, NH (with it’s lose gun laws) has less firearm-related violent crimes per capita than Japan (where guns are practically illegal. and I never had to worry about locking my car.)

Many people are willing to pay quite a bit for stuff like that, and supply and demand pushes prices up.

That said, the rents here in Seattle are comparable to what we were paying in NH, though we cut expenses a bit by moving somewhere where 30F is cold as opposed to a heatwave (I recall some weeks in NH where -20F felt warm :P ) so our heating costs are considerably lower. We were paying about $2,000/year just for heat. However, there are other things that are much cheaper in the Northeast.

If you like to eat, especially if you like good food like fresh milk, or have a taste for cheese then the Northeast is less expensive. Out here, Pepsi averages $6.50 a 12-pack compared to the $4 or less that I paid in NH. Cabot cheese is $8 instead of $2, and good bacon is hard to find at any price.

So part of it is the expenses related to living in a cold climate where they salt the roads (which increases car maintenance costs) but most of it has to do with the quality of life in the region, and the fact that many people are willing to pay that cost. Hell, there are a lot of people from other parts of the country that have vacation homes up there, whether it be for the cooler summers or for the skiing.

@CyanoticWasp That is why I avoided the Boston area and coastal NH as much as possible. I miss how people back East actually know how to drive though, and the 2 inches of snow we had here last week (and the resulting flurry of funny Youtube videos last week) slammed that point home recently.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I know what you mean, @jerv (in some ways, anyway). When I lived in Olympia, the headline news story in the Daily Olympian was about the weather any time the temperature dropped below +20°F or exceeded 80°F. Good times.

Of course, on those days that were below freezing, it also meant that I faced a 40-mile drive every winter weekday over black ice that ‘looked like’ normal wet roads.

jerv's avatar

I disagree; good times are when you only have to drive 25 miles on black ice, but most of that is on twisty hillside roads. Any slack-jawed yokel can handle a straight, level highway, but try it on a real road.
Oh, and try not to hit the turkeys, bears, or moose that occasionally wander out in front of you. The turkeys will mess up your car while the other two will ignore the car and mess you up.

josie's avatar

Like @marinelife said.
Lots of people.
More people, more demand for real estate, manufactered goods, services etc. Greater demand means higher prices.

YARNLADY's avatar

Wait, North East? I thought that California and the South West corner of the U. S. is the most expensive place to live.

jerv's avatar

California is higher, but the rest of the Southwest is dirt cheap comapred to New England.

Look at this map of median rents by state to see what I mean.

YARNLADY's avatar

@jerv nice, thanks

mattbrowne's avatar

Supply and demand.

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