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Old 05-01-2013, 12:48 AM
 
19 posts, read 83,208 times
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Hi, my name is Justin. I live in the Los Angeles area (right between Burbank and Glendale) and I'm considering moving to the Bay Area.

I'm interested to know from people who've experienced both cities if the increased average wages in San Jose and the rest of the bay area compensate for the increased cost of living up there. I've done research and although different places say different things I've used math to aggregate some statistics.

It appears that San Jose is about 13% more costly to live than Los Angeles. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics the median hourly wage in San Jose is approximately 42% higher than in Los Angeles. This data would make it seem like a paycheck would stretch much further in San Jose, right? I'd like to hear people's opinions on whether this data sounds accurate or not.

This is about San Francisco. San Francisco is about 27% more expensive to live than Los Angeles. BLS says the wages are 34% higher. A paycheck would also seemingly go farther here.

I used Bestplaces.com, www.city-data.com, Mortgage Rates Credit Cards Refinance Home CD Rates by Bankrate.com, and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate these statistics using excel.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:14 AM
 
38 posts, read 123,101 times
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Do you have a job offer in hand that is giving you that extra paycheck? I didn't see the statistics you used, but to me reading that the median wage is higher in San Jose doesn't imply that you'll get paid any more for any certain job, but rather that the area has a concentration of high paying jobs (primarily technology sector jobs).

It would be dangerous to move and assume that you'll get paid 40% more to keep doing the same thing that you're doing in LA.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:56 AM
 
28,738 posts, read 31,379,985 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karwosts View Post
Do you have a job offer in hand that is giving you that extra paycheck? I didn't see the statistics you used, but to me reading that the median wage is higher in San Jose doesn't imply that you'll get paid any more for any certain job, but rather that the area has a concentration of high paying jobs (primarily technology sector jobs).

It would be dangerous to move and assume that you'll get paid 40% more to keep doing the same thing that you're doing in LA.
^^This^^

The concentration of tech industry jobs skew the median wage higher. If you're outside tech, wages are probably still higher, but possibly not by enough to make up for the difference in the cost of living.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,665 posts, read 18,057,152 times
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Keep in mind that many a home is purchased with employee stock options, not wages.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:45 PM
 
679 posts, read 2,673,838 times
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I have family in So Cal and I am there, often. I really do not see any difference in the cost of living. The salaries are definitely higher, however.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:06 PM
 
310 posts, read 621,144 times
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I grew up in Manhattan Beach (L.A. but a world away from Burbank/Glendale) and now live in San Jose. Just now, I looked around Google Maps and Zillow in Burbank/Glendale.

I'd say that the average wage/cost of living ratio in San Jose versus Burbank/Glendale is similar with Burbank/Glendale edging out to be a little better. But, as others say, average doesn't mean much in San Jose when faced with specific individuals.

I think that Burbank/Glendale has a wider selection of nicer houses than San Jose and surrounding cities at slightly lower prices which more than offset the extra pay that could be earned in San Jose.

If you are single, you are probably better off in Burbank/Glendale, too. Dating in San Jose is difficult.

If you have kids, your proximity to Disneyland and a collection of other great amusement parks is something that I really miss for my children about San Jose. San Jose has some amusement parks but they really aren't on par with L.A.

On the flip side, if you are computer guy, Silicon Valley is paradise. L.A. can't come close to all the cool jobs, cool startups, hacker events, gadgets and being at the center of all things tech like Silicon Valley. Being a software developer in L.A. is very discouraging, career wise.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:11 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California
16,548 posts, read 17,455,438 times
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Having lived in LA for many years, this is quite true.

LA has the edge on dating and amusement parks, while the Bay Area is definitely better if you are a "techie" and work in the tech sector.

Overall, the cost of living in LA is less than the Bay Area/


Quote:
Originally Posted by nagleepark View Post
I grew up in Manhattan Beach (L.A. but a world away from Burbank/Glendale) and now live in San Jose. Just now, I looked around Google Maps and Zillow in Burbank/Glendale.

I'd say that the average wage/cost of living ratio in San Jose versus Burbank/Glendale is similar with Burbank/Glendale edging out to be a little better. But, as others say, average doesn't mean much in San Jose when faced with specific individuals.

I think that Burbank/Glendale has a wider selection of nicer houses than San Jose and surrounding cities at slightly lower prices which more than offset the extra pay that could be earned in San Jose.

If you are single, you are probably better off in Burbank/Glendale, too. Dating in San Jose is difficult.

If you have kids, your proximity to Disneyland and a collection of other great amusement parks is something that I really miss for my children about San Jose. San Jose has some amusement parks but they really aren't on par with L.A.

On the flip side, if you are computer guy, Silicon Valley is paradise. L.A. can't come close to all the cool jobs, cool startups, hacker events, gadgets and being at the center of all things tech like Silicon Valley. Being a software developer in L.A. is very discouraging, career wise.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:31 PM
 
3,245 posts, read 4,574,960 times
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I think it is still a lot more expensive here than LA. I was talking to a friend in LA who's looking to trade up from her home in Burbank and to buy a 4 bedroom house in Calabasas. She was saying it was so expensive at $1M. That amount would really be cheap here (Mountain View/Palo Alto area) and I don't think the increase in wages makes up for that. Of course, that's also inland, so maybe that's a better comparison to the Danville area vs the Silicon Valley being more comparable to West LA, which is very expensive.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:17 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,150,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karwosts View Post
Do you have a job offer in hand that is giving you that extra paycheck? I didn't see the statistics you used, but to me reading that the median wage is higher in San Jose doesn't imply that you'll get paid any more for any certain job, but rather that the area has a concentration of high paying jobs (primarily technology sector jobs).

It would be dangerous to move and assume that you'll get paid 40% more to keep doing the same thing that you're doing in LA.
I'm with Mysticaltyger on supporting this answer. Measures of central tendency of income means little for a given individual if you don't know the overall spread of incomes.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 25,258,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
I'm with Mysticaltyger on supporting this answer. Measures of central tendency of income means little for a given individual if you don't know the overall spread of incomes.
The problem with measures of central tendency of income is that they can't tell you how much YOU will make.
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