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Old 12-20-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Newport Coast, California
290 posts, read 166,370 times
Reputation: 486

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
In my current situation, I'm way out on the other side of the country in the Southeast. I make $52K. My wife works too for about half of my salary and we live fairly comfortably, though we live in an apartment that is too small and though I have a job that I strongly dislike. I figure we'll burn through $10K just to move our stuff cross country. If it's not going to be worth it because we'll be living in a shoebox, then we might as well stay put. I'll talk with my wife tonight and see what she thinks.

I knew the Bay Area would be expensive, but I didn't think it would be PROHIBITIVELY expensive. That caught me by surprise. We have very good credit and not a lot of debt, but even that doesn't seem to be enough for San Jose life.
Dear Mazerunner,

Please for the love of your family and life and your health, do NOT try this. Silicon Valley is not feasible for the life you are used to living at the money you are talking. Double the income would still be tight.

The sweet siren song of CA looks good until you are in torment or the pressure to make ends meet for such meager rewards. Your kids will live happier lives having their dad not in a constant stressed out state or commuting 2 hours+ each day.

All the best to you in your decision
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:20 PM
 
89 posts, read 76,648 times
Reputation: 145
I really appreciate all the feedback I've gotten in this thread. It helps a lot.

For what it's worth, my son (age 3) is in full-time daycare now and my daughter will be a newborn at the time of the possible move. We've had our dog for almost 7 years, so selling or "getting rid of" him is out of the question. There is ZERO promotion potential at my current job. I currently work for the federal government. The job in San Jose is another federal government job that gives me a promotion with the high probability of a second promotion after a year. Suggestions of moving to Texas or other locations cannot be considered because I can only move where the job offers are. I was not big on moving out to California to begin with, but since that's where the job offer is, I am trying to be optimistic about it.

My understanding from reading this thread is that living in San Jose proper is out of the question. If I have to commute an hour to work, I can do that. I'm thinking that I'd tough it out in San Jose for two years and then apply for another federal job (with another promotion) elsewhere. People who understand federal employment know how hard it is to get selected for ANYTHING. In my case, I've applied for more than 200 federal jobs over the past 18 months and I have a PhD. Leaving the feds is out of the question because of the health insurance, job security, and retirement benefits.

It looks like I should check out the eastern and southern sides of the Bay Area. If schools are a problem, that might not be an issue for us if I only stay for 2-3 years and get another job elsewhere right before my son starts elementary school. I'll keep your feedback in mind as we do more research. I just wanted to reiterate that we are not moving out to California/San Jose because of the allure of California. It really is about moving on from my current dead-end job whose salary is too low to allow us to save any money.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:10 PM
 
748 posts, read 1,013,202 times
Reputation: 627
Quote:
It really is about moving on from my current dead-end job whose salary is too low to allow us to save any money
And what we are trying to tell you that you are better off staying at your current dead-end job rather than moving here. You are better off where you are.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:32 PM
 
6,805 posts, read 1,353,559 times
Reputation: 1911
You might look into Gilroy if you really want to take the job. Long commute to San Jose, but it's a San Jose bedroom community. Famous for it's outlet mall shopping, hehe.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:56 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,177 posts, read 1,408,283 times
Reputation: 3447
Please keep in mind that an hour long commute in the Bay Area doesn't cover much physical distance, thanks to traffic and geography. Without knowing your budget and how much you're willing to spend a month on housing, you could be looking at more of a 1.5 to 2 hour commute. (I work with people who routinely spend 90+ minutes in the car, each way. But when inclement weather happens -- like the recent heavy rains-- it turns into more of a 3 hour commute.)

If you're dead-set on doing it, see if you can come out here for a week to actually see the reality of the commute, cost of living, etc, before accepting the job.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:20 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
131 posts, read 318,133 times
Reputation: 54
Look into Gilroy if you want to be in a house right away. If you can get that promotion to 80k you'll feel that much better. I started my job in San Jose at 57k and got a couple raises. Since then we've added a dog and a kid and moved from a 2br apartment to a house.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:50 AM
 
748 posts, read 1,013,202 times
Reputation: 627
Have you done the actually numbers on this move?

California Salary Paycheck Calculator | Payroll Calculator | Paycheck City

Once you account for taxes, student loan payment, insurance/gas/repairs for 2 cars, daycare and your rent (check Craigslist - even in Gilroy rent is averaging 2000 for 2 bdrm), what are you going to live on?
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:23 PM
 
1,263 posts, read 1,634,166 times
Reputation: 1029
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
My understanding from reading this thread is that living in San Jose proper is out of the question. If I have to commute an hour to work, I can do that.
While I'm usually the last person to be a downer...this isn't feasible either. There is nowhere within ~60 miles (which could be 2+ hours each way, depending) of San Jose or San Francisco where a family of four can live comfortably, or even tight but successfully on 65k.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:39 PM
 
818 posts, read 436,341 times
Reputation: 939
I think all the expenses associated with a cross country move to one of the highest living cost areas in the country will wipe out many future years of extra pay and promotions...so you will be financially worse off even with higher pay because the extra pay doesn't offset the extra costs of your proposed move. I think being patient and trying for a promotional opportunity to a lower cost area such as the mid-west is far better for you and your family, since you appear to be geographically flexible. Being impatient in this case and moving to San Jose with only a modest increase in pay but a huge increase in living costs will probably set you back financially for many years and at worst financially wipe you out and put unnecessary pressure and stress on your family.

Last edited by fumbling; 12-23-2012 at 11:49 PM..
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:18 AM
 
239 posts, read 258,900 times
Reputation: 291
One idea is a mobile home in Santa Cruz county. Scotts Valley, for instance, is pretty close to San Jose. It's a nice town and the mobile home parks are nice. Here's an example of a resident-owned coop park that is a family park (not just for seniors). Most parks allow pets, but most have a restriction on how many and what size.

6011 Scotts Valley DR #39, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 - MLSListings.com

While I agree that $65K is very low income for this area, especially for a family of four, it might be possible if you were able to buy, or rent in a family park. But, you would still need to live very frugally. It's the only possibility I can think of and still think that passing on the job offer in San Jose and waiting for another opportunity in a lower COL area is a better idea.
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