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Old 11-28-2017, 11:38 PM
 
150 posts, read 163,293 times
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I lived in the DC area for several years before moving to San Jose.

It's more expensive here for sure. My husband's salary doubled when we moved, which was more than enough to offset the increased cost of living. However, I don't think that's the norm - he works at an established company that pays exceptionally well. You wouldn't get that kind of salary bump at a startup (they don't have the cash) or with contracting gigs.

Contracting is common here as a work arrangement in general, but not the kind of contracting where you need a security clearance and are funded by a 3 letter agency. So it's a different feel. The hard part about contracting, as others have mentioned, is that it's tricky to live close to your job if your job is always changing. If that's what you want, target San Francisco proper rather than the general Bay Area/Silicon Valley, which is large and spread out.

Not having children does give you more flexibility than we had. We probably could have made the move for 1.25x - 1.5x my husband's salary if it was just the two of us, since we wouldn't have to find a house with multiple bedrooms and worry about school districts.

Personally, I preferred the DC area to the Bay Area overall. But I do actually find traffic in the Bay Area more manageable than DC, unlike most of the commenters on this thread. A big part of that is where we live - we deliberately landed in a neighborhood within a couple miles of my husband's job so we don't fight commute traffic very often. That decision has increased our cost of living, but has absolutely been worth it. Again, though, it only works because the salary is so much higher here. If I had to drive from San Jose to Mountain View every day, I might have a very different opinion. I don't find traffic to be a problem here on the weekends at all because there are so many shopping options - I can think of three Trader Joe's locations within 10 minutes of my house and if there is traffic in one direction, I just go to a different one. In NoVA, my choice was to sit in Tysons Corner traffic to get to the Trader Joe's near me, or sit in the 24/7/365 traffic on I-66 to go to a Trader Joe's in Fairfax. I still get tickled that some of the highways here that are bumper to bumper during the week are free and clear on the weekends - it didn't work that way back East.

Plus my power doesn't go out every other week here like it did in NoVA. The infrastructure is far from perfect in Northern California (the recent wildfires attest to that) but it is more modern and that's nice. On the downside, there are more homeless people here, and a lot more random trash strewn about.

Being here has done great things for my husband's career aside from the salary. He's upped the level of technology he works with overall, and met some amazing colleagues. He always wanted to try Silicon Valley and he's glad he did. I do wish we'd done it before we had children, but that's life for you. I really miss intelligently talking politics with just about everyone I met - all everyone here wants to talk about is real estate/housing prices because so much of their money is tied up in their homes.

Anyway. If you've got flexibility and tolerance for risk, there might not be harm in trying - you just have to be careful.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:38 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
1,318 posts, read 3,328,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04kL4nD View Post
This thread was posted in the SF forum and got basically the same responses. If the OP has already decided to move (against the wise/common sense replies posted), I'm not sure why another thread is necessary.
Because OP is asking about Silicon Valley instead of SF in this context. They have different commute patterns, tradeoffs, and housing costs, despite being 40 miles apart.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:25 PM
 
12 posts, read 10,974 times
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The Bay Area was a great place for many years (when there was about 5 million less people). It changed around us and doesn't feel like home anymore. It will, however, always be a special place to me because I grew up there. The weather there definitely is a nice draw and if you're in tech, it's millennial nerd heaven. But to me, its appeal is quickly overshadowed by the ****ty things that come with living there - insane traffic, the frustrations of getting from one side of town to the other, the massive urban sprawl, the materialistic vibe, the global influx of people pouring in, and the ridiculously high cost of housing. We could have stayed in the Bay Area but we didn't see a future there for our kids (unless they plan on living with us in our house for the rest of their lives or win the lotto).
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
6,067 posts, read 7,530,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockidog View Post
The Bay Area was a great place for many years (when there was about 5 million less people). It changed around us and doesn't feel like home anymore. It will, however, always be a special place to me because I grew up there. The weather there definitely is a nice draw and if you're in tech, it's millennial nerd heaven. But to me, its appeal is quickly overshadowed by the ****ty things that come with living there - insane traffic, the frustrations of getting from one side of town to the other, the massive urban sprawl, the materialistic vibe, the global influx of people pouring in, and the ridiculously high cost of housing. We could have stayed in the Bay Area but we didn't see a future there for our kids (unless they plan on living with us in our house for the rest of their lives or win the lotto).
The Bay Area was better 10 years ago.. or is that 25? maybe 50?
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
6,065 posts, read 11,038,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
The Bay Area was better 10 years ago.. or is that 25? maybe 50?

We lived there starting in 1970 for 33 years. As the population grew and grew and grew, paradise faded into over-crowding and ever-rising prices. The natural beauty of Tahoe, Yosemite. the Redwoods, the Mendocino Coast, Big Sur, and Carmel is etched in our minds forever, but it just became too much of a hassle, day-to-day to eke out a reasonable and peaceful life there. But my memories are golden and forever.
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Old 12-12-2017, 11:37 PM
 
25 posts, read 22,183 times
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Is it worth moving to the Bay Area? Nope
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:22 PM
 
424 posts, read 1,393,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediocreButArrogant View Post
You pay a huge premium here for that convenient commute. If you can work it out so that living in south San Jose is feasible (employer is in downtown SJ, employer offers a private coach, public transportation, or telecommute several days a week), you can significantly lower your housing budget. You could probably find something decent for $1.4M (4br/2ba on something larger than a postage stamp sized lot) in south San Jose. Of course, anyone that looked at your house would say, "$1.4 million??? That looks like a $350k house, tops!"

You're in your early 40s? I'd say that if you can't land jobs that give you a household income of at least $300k, forget it.

A high-end income is needed to buy a house in the Bay Area
Oh my, that's what I thought. And given all the responses, and doing a bit more research, I can see that. But having said that, it is hard to imagine the average household income is $300K either (or is it close to that??). How do people even live in the area if $300K/year is what is required to maintain a reasonable lifestyle?
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:56 PM
 
11 posts, read 8,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Oh my, that's what I thought. And given all the responses, and doing a bit more research, I can see that. But having said that, it is hard to imagine the average household income is $300K either (or is it close to that??). How do people even live in the area if $300K/year is what is required to maintain a reasonable lifestyle?
High cost of owning a house or rent a house is the reason we feel poor in this area.
Double-income family should have less finance burden living in silicon valley. For those couples with no children, rent a 2-bad rooms condo and save money for down payment. If there is only one income in the family ... gotta live somewhere cheaper but far away ... find a good school district, not to send kids to private schools.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:03 AM
 
Location: South Bay
7,187 posts, read 20,545,975 times
Reputation: 3497
Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Oh my, that's what I thought. And given all the responses, and doing a bit more research, I can see that. But having said that, it is hard to imagine the average household income is $300K either (or is it close to that??). How do people even live in the area if $300K/year is what is required to maintain a reasonable lifestyle?
You can live here for less, you just won’t be able to buy much of a home. We make much less than $300k, but have kids in good schools and live comfortably. We rent and still have to be mindful of expenses because rent is pretty high. Having said that, buying the home we rent would cost at least 50% more per month even with 20% down.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:20 AM
 
29,583 posts, read 32,609,104 times
Reputation: 31496
Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
Oh my, that's what I thought. And given all the responses, and doing a bit more research, I can see that. But having said that, it is hard to imagine the average household income is $300K either (or is it close to that??). How do people even live in the area if $300K/year is what is required to maintain a reasonable lifestyle?
Most of them don't. The definition of "reasonable lifestyle" here means a much lesser material standard of living, especially in terms of housing. If that seems unreasonable to you, then don't do it. Even the upper middle class here have to make major concessions in terms of housing compared to pretty much everywhere else in the U.S.
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