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Old 01-26-2013, 01:41 PM
 
189 posts, read 156,256 times
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Default Housing in SF Bay Area vs. the DC metro area

I am considering relocating from the DC Area to the SF Bay Area. While DC is not cheap by any standards, how do housing and rental costs compare in the two areas? I know that the SF Bay Area is more expensive, but by how much (for a comparable house in one of the burbs)? Do salaries compensate for the difference?
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:49 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
5,073 posts, read 4,211,809 times
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Try one of the cost of living calculators that are online, such as this one:

Cost of Living Calculator: Compare the Cost of Living in Two Cities - CNNMoney

You should also note that there are tremendous variances in cities within the SF Bay Area itself.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaijin_samurai View Post
I am considering relocating from the DC Area to the SF Bay Area. While DC is not cheap by any standards, how do housing and rental costs compare in the two areas? I know that the SF Bay Area is more expensive, but by how much (for a comparable house in one of the burbs)? Do salaries compensate for the difference?
It really depends upon where in the Bay Area vs DC area you're talking about. If you take the averages, then the Bay Area is a lot more expensive than the DC area, despite wages only being slightly higher. However, if you're already living somewhere expensive in DC, such as Georgetown or even Alexandria and are looking at a city on the far perimeter of the Bay Area, you may find it cheaper.

If you're talking burbs to burbs, for the most part, its a lot more expensive here in the Bay Area.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadwarrior101 View Post
It really depends upon where in the Bay Area vs DC area you're talking about. If you take the averages, then the Bay Area is a lot more expensive than the DC area, despite wages only being slightly higher. However, if you're already living somewhere expensive in DC, such as Georgetown or even Alexandria and are looking at a city on the far perimeter of the Bay Area, you may find it cheaper.

If you're talking burbs to burbs, for the most part, its a lot more expensive here in the Bay Area.
When you say a lot more expensive, how much more would that be? Double? Because the salaries for comparable jobs in the Bay Area (engineer, accountant etc.) are only fractionally higher.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaijin_samurai View Post
When you say a lot more expensive, how much more would that be? Double? Because the salaries for comparable jobs in the Bay Area (engineer, accountant etc.) are only fractionally higher.
I haven't seen any evidence of salaries in bay area being higher at least in my line of work (biotech). It's higher than say San Diego where salaries are unusually low but for the most part east coast salaries (in Boston/NYC/DC) are on par or even higher. I guess it might be higher for tech industry down in south bay but I don't think you can generalize to other industries.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaijin_samurai View Post
I am considering relocating from the DC Area to the SF Bay Area. While DC is not cheap by any standards, how do housing and rental costs compare in the two areas? I know that the SF Bay Area is more expensive, but by how much (for a comparable house in one of the burbs)? Do salaries compensate for the difference?
I moved to Oakland from DC. I lived mostly in Logan Circle, but also Columbia Heights and NOMA.

SF is far more expensive for housing than DC. I had a beautiful studio in the center of everything in DC for $1325. For a similar place in SF I'd say you're spending $2000. Nice 1 bedrooms in good neighborhoods seem start around $3000.

The great thing about The Bay Area is that there are two urban cities right next door with lots of character that are a lot cheaper. In DC you just had the VA and MD suburbs which are -- to put it nicely -- uninspiring. Oakland is especially a good deal. I live in a great building (think the apartments on 14th/P St. right across from Whole Foods) and the rent is barely above $2000 (in DC it would be $3000+ and in SF $4000+).
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaijin_samurai View Post
When you say a lot more expensive, how much more would that be? Double? Because the salaries for comparable jobs in the Bay Area (engineer, accountant etc.) are only fractionally higher.
Yes but people are willing to pay more to live in some cities, even if income levels are similar to cheaper places-because they are more desirable and offer a preferrable lifestyle.
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