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Old 05-10-2010, 11:33 AM
 
10 posts, read 26,735 times
Reputation: 13
Default Relocation: Dallas to San Jose?

I've been offered a job in the SJC area with a large, well known tech company in the Bay area. I've visited the area a number of times for various reasons, and have always liked the San Jose area in general, but that's been only as a visitor, not as a resident (those two things aren't always the same). Without getting into specifics about the salary offer, I'll just say it's not huge nor low, just competitive with what you'd expect for a mid-career level technical engineering position.

The opportunity itself has lots of upside for career growth and experience; the main thing I'm obviously concerned about is the transition from a low cost-of-living area to one that's pretty high. I have no illusions about being able to buy a house there, and am also aware of other cost of living issues I'll have to deal with (higher fuel costs, state income tax, food, etc). Being someone who's in the mid-career stage, moving to the area for the job is going to mean giving up some of the things I'm used to in my present location, such as having a large house with two car garage, a decent amount of disposable income due to lower cost of living, and other such tangible items.

Has anyone relocated from Dallas (or even from some other relatively low cost of living major metro area) to the Bay area and can tell me your experience and if you think it was worth it? Do you enjoy living in the area and working in the cutting edge tech field to the point that some of the sacrifices you have to make due to cost of living make up the difference in your personal life? Most importantly, would you do it over again if you could?
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:05 AM
 
748 posts, read 971,196 times
Reputation: 626
We are in the process of moving to Santa Clara from Houston and made the decision to give it a shot. The position my husband accepted included a significant raise in salary to make up for the cost of living difference, so money wasn't an issue for us. My question to you is are you single? If you are single than I would go for it, but with a family - especially with kids in school, you are going to have face all the housing issues with getting into a good school district.

The one big difference I notice when I was there on the weekend, is that you can actually do things outside, because it's significantly cooler. I'm looking forward to enjoying the outdoors once again, and not being limited by the hot humid weather here in Houston. Good luck.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:28 PM
hsw
 
2,066 posts, read 4,257,076 times
Reputation: 1356
Not exact parallels but many engineers at SV's tech cos. started as penniless kids just out of college or grad school

Most value the superior career and intellectual opportunities in SV, precisely because of the intense concentration of talent and entrepreneurs in region...which may eventually entail greater income opportunities than in lesser regions (career mobility to other BigTech cos. or to start-ups), making nominal COL comparisons dubious

For those w/kids, would argue SV is a uniquely inspiring place for any ambitious kid to grow up...amongst many of world's most innovative engineers, most valuable tech cos., top venture capitalists, and arguably world's top university

And need to properly value SV's nr-perfect yr-round weather, compelling topography, quality of fresh produce available, lack of insects...and savings provided by ability to enjoy one's staycations amidst many "free" amenities like the vast Stanford campus and the many open spaces up in the Woodside mtns

IMO, SV has a rather cheap COL if one adjusts for career (and income) opportunities and QOL; however, SV has an onerous COL for anyone with limited upward career mobility
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:43 AM
Status: "California Uber Alles!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,472 posts, read 6,355,909 times
Reputation: 4505
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
however, SV has an onerous COL for anyone with limited upward career mobility
Yup, knew that was coming...



Note to OP: Even the "little people" can afford and enjoy SV.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:48 PM
 
3,001 posts, read 10,055,373 times
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I relocated here from West Plano. The cost of living is somewhat humbling for families looking for good schools and a home purchase, but if you plan to rent - you will do just fine. I know what mid level career Engineers make, and that's still a good salary here if you do not need good schools and to own a home.

Do note that almost everything here, down to dry cleaning your pants, cost a bit more here. However, you can find deals on almost everything if you shop around.

The one thing that will absolutely take your breath here is the Topography. Drive up the 680 into Livermore in April and you will see what I mean.



It's spectacular. Once you go to Lake Tahoe, you will never leave here.

Also, no more of these every April/May.



I did enjoy Dallas though....great place that is extremely under-rated by the rest of the country.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Texas
750 posts, read 474,287 times
Reputation: 845
You hit the nail on the head socketz. I did just the opposite...moved from San Jose area to Dallas area. I really miss the weather and the topography of the Bay Area. There is none to speak of out here. On the other hand, I now live in a large house instead of the matchbox condo I had in Gilroy. It's been a trade off.

If I could afford the same setup in Northern California I'd be back there in a heartbeat. I am amazed at how much lower the cost of living is here in North Texas, and the open spaces (I live in Waxahachie). This being my first Spring here, I could do without the tornado warnings. The whole experience of moving here has been a bit of a culture shock, but not at all negative. Well, except for dealing with these monster spiders and assorted forms of "country bugs". Never had to break out the National Geographic magazines before to identify what ran across the garage floor.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:50 AM
 
1,287 posts, read 2,221,268 times
Reputation: 1494
[quote=socketz;14250318]I
The one thing that will absolutely take your breath here is the Topography. Drive up the 680 into Livermore in April and you will see what I mean.




I moved from Palo Alto to just south of Santa Fe, NM, about 7 years ago. One reason was the beauty of the area. At the link below, are some pics that capture the essence of the area.

Picasa Web Albums - pconleynm - Untitled Album
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:06 PM
 
3,001 posts, read 10,055,373 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloRoller View Post
You hit the nail on the head socketz. I did just the opposite...moved from San Jose area to Dallas area. I really miss the weather and the topography of the Bay Area. There is none to speak of out here. On the other hand, I now live in a large house instead of the matchbox condo I had in Gilroy. It's been a trade off.

If I could afford the same setup in Northern California I'd be back there in a heartbeat. I am amazed at how much lower the cost of living is here in North Texas, and the open spaces (I live in Waxahachie). This being my first Spring here, I could do without the tornado warnings. The whole experience of moving here has been a bit of a culture shock, but not at all negative. Well, except for dealing with these monster spiders and assorted forms of "country bugs". Never had to break out the National Geographic magazines before to identify what ran across the garage floor.
Waxahachie is nice little town. I agree completely that everything in life is a series of tradeoffs. What people don't understand, or perhaps, don't want to understand about Dallas is that the area is actually very cosmopolitan (pretty people, excellent eats and shops). I was surprised that there are more country music radio stations broadcasting in San Diego than in Dallas; people weat cowboy boots for dress up in Dallas, but I found few cowboys. Food is excellent there as well and just about every place you go within the retail space in general has excellent service. I guess since the cost of living is low, people are not as bitter about retail jobs as they are here in CA - it shows for sure. Family life/family activities there are some of the best in the states as well.

In general, I'd say for the 85% of life you do on a daily basis, Dallas places near the top in every category. Shopping, youth sports, education, socializing, eats, etc. Even the weather is not that bad if you can make it through the scary Springs there.

However, it's that remaining 15% where there is essentially a void. There are really no cool places other than Fort Worth/Southlake to drive to and sit and have a coffee or check out sites - or just put your toes in the water. You have to leave Dallas for those activities.

But at the end of the day, excellent suburban style living cost roughly a third of what it cost in the Bay Area, and salaries are not that much different in certain fields, so you could take that savings and retire 5-7 years early if you'd like. I'm not sure retirement in CA is even a realistic consideration any more.

Again, trade-offs. If my family was close to Dallas, I would have considered staying for sure. The place really surprised everyone from CA that visited.

What I learned about home building and architecture while building our 350k home (that would have been 1.1M in the Bay) will stay with me for a lifetime. Texans really know how to build and decorate a home. CA is more of a 'take what you can get' home buying mentality, so it's alot different.

The bugs and birds there are freaking evil. What's with those Crackaws (sp?). Those things are rats with wings.
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