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Old 09-26-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Default Annual income for a family in SF

What would be a comfortable annual income for a family, 2 adults, 2 children ( 3 & 5 years old ) living in SF ?

Thanks!

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Old 09-26-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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I'd say a minimum of $200,000.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Depends on your standards. With a typically small SF 2-br apartment, one used car, and sending your kids to public school, you could probably get by on around $100,000 a year but it will be tight.

A lot of the suburbs have bigger and cheaper apartments and schools are better so most middle class parents move out of SF when their kids hit kindergarten age.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Depends on your standards. With a typically small SF 2-br apartment, one used car, and sending your kids to public school, you could probably get by on around $100,000 a year but it will be tight.

A lot of the suburbs have bigger and cheaper apartments and schools are better so most middle class parents move out of SF when their kids hit kindergarten age.
Wouldn't "comfortable" mean a 3-4BR SFH in a nice neighborhood, two newer cars, vacation and eat out regularly, and send the kids whereever is best for them? You could probably do that on $200K, assuming you don't have a whole lot of other debt or monthly obligations, no?
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:02 AM
 
Location: South Korea
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Probably couldn't do that at $200k unless you were renting and sent the kids to parochial school and bought Hondas.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Wouldn't "comfortable" mean a 3-4BR SFH in a nice neighborhood, two newer cars, vacation and eat out regularly, and send the kids whereever is best for them? You could probably do that on $200K, assuming you don't have a whole lot of other debt or monthly obligations, no?
I have to respectfully observe ... San Francisco is a major city with probably the best and most-used public transit outside of NYC and relatively few single-family homes. Something like 50% of people take transit to work; others bicycle, walk or take scooters. And parking is seldom free.

I would have to say "comfortable" must be defined in this context. For me comfortable in San Francisco would mean a 3BR+ townhome and one small car that is used on weekends, for grocery shopping or taking the kids somewhere they can't get on foot or bus or at off hours when you can actually find parking. Plus a nice bicycle and a MUNI pass.

Unless "single-family" in San Francisco lingo includes the stock of townhomes? In the 'burblands no one seems to think a townhome is "single-family."

Some might be willing to compromise more, or prefer a truly urban lifestyle and live in a condo. I guess it's up to the person.

San Fran is a beautiful place, though. I remember when a townhome in the Sunset was still within reach, if barely, of a middle-class household. Is Daly City still affordable - that's practically in San Fran as far as being served by both Muni and BART and being attached to the city street network? A compromise might be nieghborhoods in Oakland where single-families seem to go for $400-$500 in good neighborhoods.

The lifestyle of a single-family home and two cars is more suburban in nature and seems to me it would be very difficult to afford in a city. But if you live out of the city and commute, it may be worth considering the time you spend commuting instead of having fun or being with family, the money for cars (I would take BART and avoid the traffic, but even so some people drive to the park-n-ride), the health impacts of the long commute, the extra take-out food you'd buy b/c you don't have time to cook ... its all a balancing act, eh.

One other thing to consider is every $500 a month spent maintaing a car has zero return ... it's a declining asset as the blue book shows. $500 invested in a mortgage, in contrast, hopefully builds you equity.

Last edited by docwatson; 09-27-2010 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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interested to hear more opinions on this.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:08 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Really if you were a couple in your 20's and renting a $1400 1 bedroom you could get by on $70,000 altogether and be comfortable if you didn't have high standards like a luxury apartment and two brand new Acuras (or a 2 bedroom and two newish cars, period). But having kids is expensive and so is paying for gas even if you have an old used car. Some people could probably do it on $100,000 but that would be stretching it.

Like I said most people with kids who are middle class move to the suburbs. SF has one of the lowest rate of households with children in the US.

Somewhere like Oakland or elsewhere in the suburbs you could rent a 2 bedroom for $1200 which is very doable with a combined income of $60,000 a year. $100,000 with kids in the burbs would be a lot more comfortable.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anoush View Post
What would be a comfortable annual income for a family, 2 adults, 2 children ( 3 & 5 years old ) living in SF ?

Thanks!

Depends on if you're renting or buying.

Depends on whether you're going to send your kids to public or private school.

Depends on what you mean by "comfortable". Camping trips or European vacation once a year...

Depends on what kind of food you buy, where you shop for clothes and where you tend to shop.

Depends on what kinds of cars you drive, how many cars you have or if you plan on owning a car at all.

More specifics please!
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Thanks all!

Yes I guess I have to be more precise and define what I mean by "comfortable!" :-)

We live in Canada and my husband been offered a job in SF for approx 135K ( still negotiable )
We only have few days left to accept or refuse the offer and believe-me we dont know what to do. I just want us to be able to maintain the same life style we are used too here! We have one car, a house in the city, going out with the kids every week, small trips around the country, activities for the children, we were gonna send them to private school in few years, etc... nothing fancy really!

I just dont want us to struggle financially.

Maybe I should have ask what is the average yearly income for a family of 4 ? ( middle class ? )

Thanks everyone for your help... and sorry for lousy english, lol maybe my next question should be is there any french school in SF ?
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