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Old 04-05-2013, 07:27 AM
 
308 posts, read 255,403 times
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For those who live in San Jose already, is it a good place to live for you?

For people considering moving here, would you generally recommend people to come or to stay away?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
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I'm a working musician. I rent a nicely appointed apartment in a safe neighborhood of south San Jose. I don't need to look for work, it looks for me; hardly a week goes by that I don't have to turn someone down because I'm just too busy. All the services I need are close and I love the company I work for. The only thing I'm missing is a healthy work-life balance; I'm constantly running into problems because of long hours and an unpredictable schedule, but I need all of the income I get to make sure I save up for retirement and that first home purchase. That said, I don't mind the challenges. The hard part was getting to the point where I am now. Now that I have the experience and have established myself in the Silicon Valley, I know that if I lose my job tomorrow, I can pretty much just go door-to-door on North First Street with my resume and I'll find something within a week.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:24 PM
 
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As someone who has grown up in the bay area, with two kids of my own now and family in the area, I can't imagine living elsewhere... But there have been times in my first few years of marriage, without kids and without a house, at the top peak of the housing prices, where I've scoured the Internet trying to figure out what other state we could move to where we could afford a decent size house (not a 2 bedroom unremodeled condo in east San Jose for 650k--remember those days?), good size lot, and live comfortably without having to penny-pinch....but also somewhere that might be as beautiful and diverse as California.

Fast forward several years later and with two kids, pay increases, housing crash-bottom of market we did buy a nice size house, remodeled, in a quiet friendly neighborhood and I'm quite happy and comfortable here. ::knock on wood:: Still, not carefree with money and a bit thrifty with certain things, but comfortable.

For those moving from out of state, if you are looking for a temporary adventure and are not out to buy a house here, it might be a great move if you pick a location to live close to work and are looking at this as a fun adventurous short-term stint of sorts. If settling down is what you have in mind and making this place permanent with a house purchase, and you are making less than 200k, unless you have serious pulls to the area (lots of family) I would probably stay put where you are or look into a state that offers cheaper housing. Around 180-250k income...(200k is what I call middle class for this area for a family) you can live an average comfortable life here, buy a house in a decent neighborhood, and afford some luxuries here and there.

For newcomers (families with kids) below "middle class" status, it's a place to move for a temporary career boost or to experience the beauty and activities the area offers.

Last edited by StandingRoomOnly; 04-05-2013 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,180 posts, read 1,478,706 times
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It's been a good place for me, I've been (back) here less than 2 years and have been able to buy a condo. (I lived out here when I was a little girl.)

However, I'm one of the engineer-types, so my compensation package definitely helps with the COL. I've had to make some sacrifices and economies, so I'm not living quite the high life that relatives of mine in other states assume is the reality for anyone making a Silicon Valley tech salary.

My condo is small, approx 800 sq feet and a one bedroom. I'd love to have a 2 bedroom or a 1 bedroom with a tiny den, but that's just not financially viable. My mortgage is really at the high end of what I can afford, but I plan on staying here rather than trying to trade up in a few years.

I drive a nice car -- I could have made some more economies here, but I spend so much time commuting that I wanted to make it a more pleasant experience. I'm single, no kids, and the cat is pretty cheap to support. I also have the luxury of having my student loans already paid off -- I have coworkers who are still drowning in that dept.

But for anyone thinking about moving here, I'd recommend they take a long, hard look at the financial side of things, and also take some time to go out house hunting or apartment hunting, to see the reality of SV real estate. I had looked at apartments online before moving and thought I could find a place for much less than I wound up paying . . . when I actually went and looked at some of these places in person, I ran screaming for the hills.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:20 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,755 posts, read 6,814,642 times
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Livin' large on measly wages right in the middle of San Jose. Just gotta find that awesome deal on a SFH and hold onto it for dear life. Then you can enjoy your garden, hot tub, HDTV's, and P.A. system/instruments to your heart's content. (In other words, you don't have to be rich to enjoy SJ).

Chopper here agrees (even with a mouthful of zucchini)

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:00 PM
 
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San Jose is okay. A slightly above average place to live in the U.S. imo

Positives are weather, low crime, and proximity to natural beauty and other western cities.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:14 PM
 
Location: California
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Sadly, there have been many recent reports about high increases in car theft and home invasions. Just a few hours ago, another bank robbery two blocks away at our local Wells Fargo. Many of my long term neighbors moved away the past few years and we no longer know who is living near us.


Shopping is wonderful in my area. Just a few miles away is the Trader Joe's, Costco, Whole Foods and more, all within a two block area. The weather is also great in the South Bay as we don't get as much rain as further north. We also love being close to light rail so it is easy to go the City for the day. Lots of good stuff and I can only hope the crime situation is handled.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:19 PM
 
1,063 posts, read 687,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
Shopping is wonderful in my area. Just a few miles away is the Trader Joe's, Costco, Whole Foods and more, all within a two block area. The weather is also great in the South Bay as we don't get as much rain as further north. We also love being close to light rail so it is easy to go the City for the day. Lots of good stuff and I can only hope the crime situation is handled.
I rarely hear of people spending a whole day in downtown San Jose You're a special person Heidi, it's nice to know there are folks out there that got love for our charming downtown

I'd rather be in Portland though :P But then I'd be so broke living there, it would not be funny
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,755 posts, read 6,814,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
I can only hope the crime situation is handled.
It's the pension battle between the city and police (& fire) unions. Can't afford an adequately-staffed police dept. right now.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: California
2,979 posts, read 2,234,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby_guz_man View Post
I rarely hear of people spending a whole day in downtown San Jose You're a special person Heidi, it's nice to know there are folks out there that got love for our charming downtown

I'd rather be in Portland though :P But then I'd be so broke living there, it would not be funny

The City is San Francisco...I don't go downtown San Jose unless I'm on light rail and just passing through.
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