Indiana

Don’t listen to Tim. We have a few things going for us in Indianapolis that make us attractive.

First of all, the cost of living here is negligable. My wife and I make a salary that, for my family of six, would approach poverty in California or New York. But here in Indianapolis I live in 2800+ square feet on a nice cul-de-sac lot, inside the beltway. If Progeny does well, I may be able to affort “executive” housing, without being and excecutive.

Our real estate market, while definitely a buyers’ market, is healthy and stable. There are some folks in what appear to be hot markets around the US that are in for a big surprise sometime soon. I doubt we will be affected much when those markets cave. Our real estate is priced well.

If you are looking for work in manufactuing, try elsewhere. The funny thing was, I read Tim’s post, and I was already thinking manufacturing before I even read the article. Sure enough, it’s manufacturing declines driving increased poverty.

If, on the other hand, you are looking to do some technology work, consider basing your company here. There is no shortage of universities. Local governements are motivated to fight a “brain drain” from local universities and will probably offer concessions of you come in well funded. Once you’ve imported or acquired your labor, you will have a dog easy time paying competetive wages. You pay less, and your little grunts’ standard of living is higher. Win win!

Even the traffic is decent compared to the California Bay Area or Chicago.

This is an awesome undiscovered place to work and live, and I think the real estate market reflects that.

Which leads me to some free advice: Know how to do more than one thing.

I work alongside my wife in real estate part time. (That’s on top of raising four kids.) I know I have to know more than one thing. Real estate is good money and it’s not the same as what I already do. The nice thing about real estate is that it exposes you directly to market pressure, so you naturally build up a little market savvy. I’m a more useful tech grunt because of it.

My Dad worked at Intel from before I was born until this year. He will be retiring soon. So that’s around thirty years. I think he’s one of the last people in the US to be able to pull that off. The folks in manufacturing here in Indiana are not so lucky. They were on that track, and went over a cliff.

The rest of us are going to have to figure out how to retire when moving jobs frequently. I’m 31 and have worked my current job, a tech startup, only three years. Not only do I have to be aware that I inherit all the risks of a startup, I compete, in the world theatre, with cheaper labor off shore.

So I do real esate as my “other thing.” Hope you have one too.

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4 Comments on “Indiana”

  1. spot Says:

    Decent when compared to Chicago and the Bay Area? That’s roughly equivalent to making any sort of comparison to a thermonuclear detonation.

    Traffic in Chicago (and the Bay Area) is unspeakably bad. Now, having been to Indianapolis several times, I can say that the traffic levels there are very similar to that of RTP (North Carolina)

    Not that I think that you’re wrong, I think you’re pretty accurate. I think places like Indy and Dayton, OH have the possibility to become signficant hubs of technology growth. Just that comparisons to the far extreme aren’t terribly valid, because they are always true (unless you’re like me, and unlucky enough to actually live in Chicago).

  2. tim Says:

    Listen to Tim because he has many friends who are unemployed (for up to a year) and others who are horribly underemployed. Yeah, skilled laborers &c. A lot of them from the airline pullout, others from industry closings, etc. Some friends are full-time part-time laborers (lower pay, no benes), and some were knowledge and/or ministry workers and they’re now casual day labor.

    Maybe things are different in your part of town.

    Out here, people list their houses for up to a year with no serious takers, hoping against hope that they can get out of the state (where their jobs went, so the families can be reunited) in almost-new housing developments where there are over 70 such houses for sale.

    Yeah, I guess if your family is *at least* bivocational, you can do okay — provided one of the jobs is in one of the remaining lucrative businesses here (insurance, pharmaceuticals, real estate, law).

    But a big +1 for the tech businesses. They can get easy office space about anywhere they like, and a very eager and slightly hungry tech workforce with good qualifications, just dying to do something interesting. It would not be at all hard to staff up and do something interesting here.

    If you’re considering a tech business, then coming here would be cheap for you, and very welcome for all of us. It could be a very good choice!

  3. Eddie Says:

    DON’T listen to Tim. Knowing what I know about factory workers they live beyond there means, thinking the union will protect there job. POOFA! Factories have shut down in Indiana because of the greed of the workers and the unions. But do not be afraid. Indiana is very attractive to Japanese auto and electronics manufactures. We have the factories already built, labor is cheap without the unions, and living here is cheap. With the governors trip to Asia we should see a number of firms open plants here were old ones used to be. It will be more cost effective for them and they have everything they need right here waiting for them. Mark my words, the other states are going to be hating Indiana soon for pulling foreign jobs here instead of going to other states, it will be like when Bob Ore was governor.

    Indiana and Indianapolis are ripe for a boom. We will be one of the economic leaders in the US with in the next 5 years (per capita). And yes Indianapolis is a GREAT place for tech companies. We have everything and if we don’t, we can get it here with-in a day. There’s a reason we’re called the crossroads of America.


  4. That is a good point but the premise is not what I would have expected.


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