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Old 12-24-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,767 posts, read 4,950,735 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical347 View Post
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.
I'm not sure I agree with this. Last I checked, nice 1200 sq ft condos in Morgan Hill were selling for $180k. This is definitely doable for someone on a $65k salary who wants to take a mortgage. That price was about 4-5 months ago. And Morgan Hill is a 20 min drive from San Jose
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:13 PM
 
257 posts, read 396,045 times
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I am surprised you are only going from 50k to 65k from where you currently live...can you get the offer bumped up from 65k? That seems like a low offer unless you will be stepping down in positions. As everyone said here...this area is expensive, and you should go in expecting this. Expect to live VERY frugally--clipping coupons / savemart type frugal. Don't even think about buying a house here! I assume you don't have a 20% downpayment? Not even worth it then. Cost of owning a home is going to be crazy (and stressful!) if you are getting a fixer-upper. Better off renting. I still cringe when I hear about friends trying to get cheap almost-nothing-down home loans.

With that said, your family can survive on 65k, but it's going to be more stressful (think very strict money budget--and lots of talks about money with your wife). I'd say stick with a 2 bedroom apartment or condo close to your work--kids can share a bedroom, they are young. The weather is great here for your wife and kids to get out and about--no need to get the larger place right now and this will cut down on stress SO MUCH by living close to work--both for you and your wife!
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:17 PM
 
257 posts, read 396,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I'm not sure I agree with this. Last I checked, nice 1200 sq ft condos in Morgan Hill were selling for $180k. This is definitely doable for someone on a $65k salary who wants to take a mortgage. That price was about 4-5 months ago. And Morgan Hill is a 20 min drive from San Jose
Hmm...living in Morgan Hill myself--you won't find 180k for a 1200 square foot condo (unless it is condemned and right next to the railroad). Cheaper prices yes, but they are starting around 275k for a 2 bedroom condo. Throw in a $350 monthly HOA, and that 275k mortgage payment becomes less attractive. Doable on 65k with a 20% downpayment? Absolutely.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:53 PM
 
13,821 posts, read 11,390,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easybay View Post
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.
^^^I second this^^^
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:00 PM
 
13,821 posts, read 11,390,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wry_Martini View Post
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.
This is what I was thinking. Not to mention that 1.5 hour one way commute means you'll be spending a lot on gas, as well as on wear and tear on your car gobbling up all or most of your rent "savings". It also takes a toll on your physical and mental health.

It turns out that long distance commuting is linked with poor health (as if we needed someone to do a study to tell us this).

"This is the first study to show that people who commute long distances to work were less fit, weighed more, were less physically active and had higher blood pressure"

Long commute time linked with poor health, new study shows
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:04 PM
 
13,821 posts, read 11,390,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I'm not sure I agree with this. Last I checked, nice 1200 sq ft condos in Morgan Hill were selling for $180k. This is definitely doable for someone on a $65k salary who wants to take a mortgage. That price was about 4-5 months ago. And Morgan Hill is a 20 min drive from San Jose
$180K? No way. My BF lives in Morgan Hill in a condo built in 1980. Not slummy, but very nondescript. 1300 square feet. He bought it from the bank in late 2009 toward the bottom of the market for 190K. It took another 10K to make it livable (They did stuff like rip out the doors, etc.). It went down in value for a bit but it's worth more than that now, probably 200K to 215K, plus the $250 per month condo association payment.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:12 PM
 
13,821 posts, read 11,390,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
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.
I think you're basing your decision on an ideal, rosy, "best case" scenario? Who's to say these promotions are going to pan out the way you think they will? You could very well end up stuck out here in a position with no promotion, and then be under the stress of having to live here on a low salary. Even 80K is NOT a lot here for someone raising 2 kids and a dog. We kid you not.

The East Bay and the far south Bay (such as Gilroy) are somewhat cheaper (but definitely still far above average compared to the rest of the U.S.). However, most or all of the savings will be eaten up with commuting costs. Not worth it, IMO.

Isn't there some kind of side job you can do to earn more income and possibly find some other kind of employment? That might be easier and have a bigger payoff than what you're trying to do.

And by the way, if you think where you live is kind of small and cramped now.....just wait until you see what your rent money gets you, even in the "cheaper" areas. I'm not trying to be harsh, but I really don't think you have a clue. Your unhappiness with your current position is blinding you. Moving here would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire, IMO.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,767 posts, read 4,950,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
$180K? No way. My BF lives in Morgan Hill in a condo built in 1980. Not slummy, but very nondescript. 1300 square feet. He bought it from the bank in late 2009 toward the bottom of the market for 190K. It took another 10K to make it livable (They did stuff like rip out the doors, etc.). It went down in value for a bit but it's worth more than that now, probably 200K to 215K, plus the $250 per month condo association payment.
Well like I said it was last time I checked which was about 4 or 5 months ago. Maybe prices have gone up a bit since then. I don't know. But in any case if you're taking out a mortgage on $180k there's really not much difference between that and doing one for $215k. It's all about the same you know. And still that's half the price of what the same thing would cost in Sunnyvale, which was basically the point I was trying to make.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,097 posts, read 1,232,800 times
Reputation: 3321
One last thought about the idea of renting somewhere small and in a lousy school district, with the hope of moving into a better place/better school district in a few years, when your oldest is ready for grade school.

It's not unusual to see 10-15% annual rent increases out here, so even if you got a raise or promotion 1-2 yrs down the road, the cost of housing will have most likely risen exponentially. Ditto with the idea of buying a home; the real estate market seems to be recovering, here.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:18 AM
 
13,821 posts, read 11,390,291 times
Reputation: 9746
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wry_Martini View Post
One last thought about the idea of renting somewhere small and in a lousy school district, with the hope of moving into a better place/better school district in a few years, when your oldest is ready for grade school.

It's not unusual to see 10-15% annual rent increases out here, so even if you got a raise or promotion 1-2 yrs down the road, the cost of housing will have most likely risen exponentially. Ditto with the idea of buying a home; the real estate market seems to be recovering, here.
This is absolutely true. I know several people who've had their rent increase by 8 - 10% for 2 or more years in a row the last few years, and this isn't the first time I've seen that cycle. When rent prices flatten out, there's a good chance it's because a lot of people have lost their jobs. Although, being a federal government employee would make that less likely for the OP. But rent increases outstripping pay is very plausible.
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