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Old 12-11-2012, 07:59 AM
 
89 posts, read 76,741 times
Reputation: 145

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I've just been offered a federal government position in San Jose. I don't know much about the West Coast or California in general. The only thing I know is that it is EXPENSIVE. So I'm really worried about moving out there. Here are the details:

1. Family of four. (Me, my wife, two kids too young for school, one small dog)
2. I will be making about $65,000 a year. My wife will have to quit her job because of the move.
3. We will bring two cars with us, but both of them are paid for.
4. I pay about $400 in student loans each month.
5. We have no other outstanding bills, such as credit card debt.
6. We aren't clamoring to live in an upscale or "nice" neighborhood. We just want a decent house and yard.
7. It would be nice if we could live in a part of the city that has a large Asian community, but this is not a requirement.

Earlier this year we were about to move to the Seattle/Tacoma area and did a bit of research on houses there. So we were using this information as a baseline for homes in the general San Jose area. We were hoping to move into a 4 or 5BR house for under $350,000, but after a bit of preliminary research, that looks out of the question.

So, ummm...are we really in a world of hurt here? Can we make it in San Jose on $65,000? And if we can't make it in this city, are there any nearby cities where this salary might go a little farther?

Thanks for any information you can provide!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:07 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 1,635,726 times
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Sorry, it's impossible. There are no nearby cities where money goes further. If you think housing prices were bad in SeaTac, wait 'til you see them here.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:13 AM
 
89 posts, read 76,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical347 View Post
Sorry, it's impossible. There are no nearby cities where money goes further. If you think housing prices were bad in SeaTac, wait 'til you see them here.
Oh no...

Now I'm truly scared. What about renting an apartment? Are they REALLY $2500 a month?! I'd even buy a foreclosure if I had to! If the cost of living is as high as you suggest it is, then I might be better off not accepting the job at all. I am so scared.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:38 AM
 
748 posts, read 1,014,275 times
Reputation: 627
Maze-

There are countless threads on this board about salaries/renting/schools in San Jose - and you are WAY under the minimum salary for a comfortable lifestyle.

There are also a lot of posts on moving here with a dog. It is TOUGH to find a place that allows dogs. The rental market here is insane. Houses rent within days of posting on Craigslist - many for immediate occupancy. Landlords don't allow pets because why rent to a family with pets when you can rent to people without.

If you are planning a move making $65K year then stay south. Move to Texas where the COL is low and there is no state income tax. California will kill you. We moved here from Texas 3 years ago because my husbands salary DOUBLED, and it kills us to go back to Texas and we see how inexpensive EVERY THING is. Housing, gas, food........................
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,378 posts, read 2,094,035 times
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My wife and I make substantially more than $65k/year, rent our home, have one kid, have minimal debt and money is tight for us.

Moving here with a wife and four kids to support on $65k will seriously put you in the poor house. The last time I was making about $65k/year was when I was single and kidless...it was fine then.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:02 PM
 
14,352 posts, read 12,180,566 times
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No way are you going to be able to get a 4BR or 5BR house here for $350K. You are being completely unrealistic. Living here with a family on 65K? You'd be lucky if you could afford a 2BR apartment (and that's if you get rid of the dog). Prices and rents here are higher than in Seattle.

65K is a comfortable lifestyle for a SINGLE PERSON WITHOUT KIDS here. It would even probably work for a couple without kids. But 2 kids and a dog? No way. Not even close.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:06 PM
 
14,352 posts, read 12,180,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
My wife and I make substantially more than $65k/year, rent our home, have one kid, have minimal debt and money is tight for us.

Moving here with a wife and four kids to support on $65k will seriously put you in the poor house. The last time I was making about $65k/year was when I was single and kidless...it was fine then.
He has 2 kids, not 4, but your statement still applies even with 2 kids.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:08 PM
 
14,352 posts, read 12,180,566 times
Reputation: 10255
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
Oh no...

Now I'm truly scared. What about renting an apartment? Are they REALLY $2500 a month?! I'd even buy a foreclosure if I had to! If the cost of living is as high as you suggest it is, then I might be better off not accepting the job at all. I am so scared.
You can probably get an ok 2BR for less than $2500. But even at, say, $1800, you still can't afford one. And you'd most likely still have to get rid of the dog to get an apartment at that rate. Landlords here are ruthless and have no problem jacking up the rents 8%-10% year after year.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:09 PM
 
89 posts, read 76,741 times
Reputation: 145
Wow. Three emphatic "nos." I guess my choices are to either have my wife find a job or simply decline the offer. I'd have the opportunity for a promotion and a raise to $80K after a year, but I guess even that still makes things unrealistic for us.

Looks like San Jose might not be the best place for us to drop anchor. Maybe I could stay for a year or so, get my promotion, and hopefully transfer. I found a few properties that were in the $350K range, but most were foreclosures or very old. Suddenly I'm not so excited about moving out West.

I do appreciate the info though.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:11 PM
 
14,352 posts, read 12,180,566 times
Reputation: 10255
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazerunner View Post
Wow. Three emphatic "nos." I guess my choices are to either have my wife find a job or simply decline the offer. I'd have the opportunity for a promotion and a raise to $80K after a year, but I guess even that still makes things unrealistic for us.

Looks like San Jose might not be the best place for us to drop anchor. Maybe I could stay for a year or so, get my promotion, and hopefully transfer. I found a few properties that were in the $350K range, but most were foreclosures or very old. Suddenly I'm not so excited about moving out West.

I do appreciate the info though.
You're welcome. Even 80K for a family of 4 is not that great. And multiple moves are very tough on a family (not to mention expensive). In your situation, your wife would end up working, probably full time. That leads to the typical rat race where parents are working full time but end up having their kids raised in day care, never seeing their own kids or being too tired to actively engage with them. There are lots of people here living that life, but it's not much of a life, IMO. I'd rather not see you join that rat race. It's very tough to get out of once you're in it.
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