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Nowhere in America is the cost of living higher than in New York City and San Francisco. Earl Wells and Ed Knierim learned that the hard way.
The Buffalo area, on the other hand, is one of the cheapest places in the nation. Wells and Knierim know that, too.
Business First studied the cost of living in all 47 metropolitan areas that have populations of more than 1 million, using data compiled by Money Online, the Internet version of Money magazine, and Homebuyer's Fair LLC, a consulting firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
New York City and San Francisco emerged as the most expensive metro areas in America. It would take a salary of $107,501 in Manhattan or $98,388 in San Francisco to equal the purchasing power of $50,000 in the Buffalo area, which consists of Erie and Niagara counties.
That comes as no surprise to Wells, director of public relations and public affairs for Eric Mower & Associates, a Buffalo advertising agency. He lived one year in Brooklyn and six in Manhattan before returning to his native Western New York in 1996.
Wells and his wife rented a one-bedroom, 750-square-foot apartment in Manhattan.
"It went for $1,500 a month, which for New York is pretty good," he said. "I felt lucky."
He felt even luckier after moving back home, finding enough money in the family budget to build a 4,000-square-foot house in Clarence.
"I couldn't even imagine what it would cost in New York City," he said.
Knierim has a similar story. He and his …