Suburban Sticker Shock: Why Does the Same House in L.A. Cost Three Times as Much as Atlanta?8

Brace yourself for the ultimate sticker shock in the life of an American family.

Your company is relocating its headquarters from Atlanta to Los Angeles, and since you prize the middle manager job you’ve held for 20 years, you’re making the move with your wife and two kids. You want to live in the kind of average-sized, three-bedroom, two-bath, sub-2000-square-foot house that you own in Atlanta. But as you learn house-hunting in the L.A. ‘burbs, a home with the same living space as your old one, in Spanish-style stucco instead of brick, in another 1990s subdivision where olive trees supplant Atlanta oaks, on another postage-stamp-sized lot, costs over three times more, around $680,000 compared with under $220,000 in your old home town.

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