And it’s especially expensive to live in the lower and mid-Hudson Valley if you’re a family of four. According to Marketwatch.com‘s list of 10 Most Expensive Places to raise a family in the U.S., Westchester County comes in at the number 3 spot, beating out NYC at number 4. Not a huge surprise that a family of 4 would need to pull in around $99,600 a year just to live in chi-chi Westchester – and we’re talking bare bones cost of living, no frills included. But what was more surprising was number 7 on the list: the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown area. Here’s what Markwatch said about it: “These towns typically aren’t known for ultra-posh living, but due in part to high housing costs (which plague many towns near New York City), these municipalities collectively claim the No. 7 spot on the list. It costs a family of four $92,837 to pay the bills in this area.”
Now, we know that the listing prices in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and Middletown are actually pretty cheap compared to the area’s neighbors. But the taxes are the real killers, and taxes are one of the criteria used by Marketwatch.com to assess cost of living, along with child care, food, transportation, and life’s various necessities. With a situation where the cost of living is high but the area doesn’t reflect the same quality of life as, say, Westchester County (or San Francisco, which is number 9 on the list), what’s the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown area to do? Will it experience that Renaissance we’ve all been waiting and hoping for? Only (even more) time will tell. Meanwhile, we’ve noticed an uptick in the cost of living in other areas of the Hudson Valley (Hudson and Kingston, most dramatically), so if you’re considering a move up here, best start squirrelling away your pocket change.