Author Topic: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?  (Read 19645 times)

factoryflame

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2015, 02:59:05 PM »
One thing I don't completely get -- I understand that you love San Francisco, but sitting on such a big pile of money (especially if you stayed put for a few more years for the extra income and retention bonus), I can only think of one thing --- get the hell out of dodge!  There are nearly unlimited places around the country (many that aren't all that bad, even) that you could buy a nice house and retire for good. 

Is there a specific reason you are planning to continue in the rat race for longer?  Just to stay in San Francisco indefinitely?

Well, *I'm* not in the rat race, my partner is. He loves his work and has no interest in retiring early. I just love SF. I love the weirdos, and I love the conversations I overhear other people having, and I love the food, and I like the weather. I just feel at home here. It's changing all the time, but I don't mind the changes (I guess because I'm on the lucky side of this gentrification/boom).  If we were to move, I suppose we'd have to go Back East, like near Atlanta. And I don't relish that thought.

Where would you move, if you were in our situation? What places turn you on, and why?

Malaysia41

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2015, 05:59:08 PM »
I just find zero appeal in San Jose, you know? It's pretty, but its so BOOOORING. I'm getting the feeling that we should stay here. With rent control, we're feeling pretty secure and stable. Why leave a good time in search of a better one?

Sorry, but I can't help but think anyone who calls San Jose unexciting or boring is at best immature and at worst an inveterate snob.

edit: I can see the appeal if you are single, but for a married couple?  Unless you are looking to swing, I think SJ has plenty to do.

You are absolutely right. I've actually never spent much time in SJ, and I don't really know at all. I'm just parroting. However, most of our friends live in the Bay Area. Its snobbery based on hearsay.

Regarding San Joser: yes - it is a sea of urban sprawl.  But - there are pockets of cute little downtown areas surrounded by nice neighborhoods.  Willow Glen, Campbell, Los Gatos, Mountain View, etc.   I'd continue to list others but places like Los Altos, Saratoga and Palo Alto are often more expensive than SF.   

But there are also a lot of soul-sucking poorly planned swathes of suburbs down there.  We were fortunate to find a house near one of the cute main street towns. 

So, there's good and there's bad.  But that's the case in SF too. Honestly, when I was in SF - Nob Hill -  a few weeks ago, the whole hipster vibe - emanating from both people and cutesie ironic storefronts - was a little too much to take.  Same feeling in Portland.  It's just a mild allergic reaction, however.  I still love both places. 

As I type I'm realizing what a hypocrite I am. I feel toward east SJ & south SJ as you feel toward all of Si Valley.  IMO, the only redeeming feature of Fremont is the Indian food.  The only redeeming feature of Gilroy is the redolence of garlic.  But honestly I haven't spent much time in either. 

brandino29

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #52 on: January 27, 2015, 10:51:39 AM »
One thing I don't completely get -- I understand that you love San Francisco, but sitting on such a big pile of money (especially if you stayed put for a few more years for the extra income and retention bonus), I can only think of one thing --- get the hell out of dodge!  There are nearly unlimited places around the country (many that aren't all that bad, even) that you could buy a nice house and retire for good. 

Is there a specific reason you are planning to continue in the rat race for longer?  Just to stay in San Francisco indefinitely?

Well, *I'm* not in the rat race, my partner is. He loves his work and has no interest in retiring early. I just love SF. I love the weirdos, and I love the conversations I overhear other people having, and I love the food, and I like the weather. I just feel at home here. It's changing all the time, but I don't mind the changes (I guess because I'm on the lucky side of this gentrification/boom).  If we were to move, I suppose we'd have to go Back East, like near Atlanta. And I don't relish that thought.

Where would you move, if you were in our situation? What places turn you on, and why?

I didn't mean for that to sound snarky if it did.  I just see your numbers and think "Wow! They could already be living free and clear on their own terms."

Personally, all I need is something near mountains and trails with half-decent weather, a local microbrewery nearby would be nice to go with it :)  Or maybe a move abroad --- Latin America abroad not Europe abroad (though I could go that route myself as well, but it would probably require a good bit more cash). 

CanuckExpat

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2015, 05:57:17 PM »
..
Depending on where your partner works in Silicon Valley, there are neighborhoods in San Jose that might work, where walking and biking are good and so are the schools.  I know, San Jose is unexciting.  But you could get a decent house for several hundred thousand less than SF, and your partner could still probably catch a shuttle and spend more time with the family.  And the weather is better.  Anyway, before I plunked down all that $ to buy in SF, I would at least check on homes near your partner's job - you might get lucky.
I just find zero appeal in San Jose, you know? It's pretty, but its so BOOOORING. I'm getting the feeling that we should stay here. With rent control, we're feeling pretty secure and stable. Why leave a good time in search of a better one?
Sorry, but I can't help but think anyone who calls San Jose unexciting or boring is at best immature and at worst an inveterate snob.
edit: I can see the appeal if you are single, but for a married couple?  Unless you are looking to swing, I think SJ has plenty to do.

You are absolutely right. I've actually never spent much time in SJ, and I don't really know at all. I'm just parroting. However, most of our friends live in the Bay Area. Its snobbery based on hearsay.

Eh.. I live in San Jose and can't totally disagree with you. It's not what I would call urban. All other things being equal, I'd rather live in San Francisco, but I hate commuting, can ride my bike to work, and am really enjoying sunshine. Life is all about trade-offs, you just have to decide which ones work for you :)

chasesfish

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2015, 06:01:07 AM »
One thing I don't completely get -- I understand that you love San Francisco, but sitting on such a big pile of money (especially if you stayed put for a few more years for the extra income and retention bonus), I can only think of one thing --- get the hell out of dodge!  There are nearly unlimited places around the country (many that aren't all that bad, even) that you could buy a nice house and retire for good. 

Is there a specific reason you are planning to continue in the rat race for longer?  Just to stay in San Francisco indefinitely?

Well, *I'm* not in the rat race, my partner is. He loves his work and has no interest in retiring early. I just love SF. I love the weirdos, and I love the conversations I overhear other people having, and I love the food, and I like the weather. I just feel at home here. It's changing all the time, but I don't mind the changes (I guess because I'm on the lucky side of this gentrification/boom).  If we were to move, I suppose we'd have to go Back East, like near Atlanta. And I don't relish that thought.

Where would you move, if you were in our situation? What places turn you on, and why?

Near Atlanta isn't bad, and that kind of money will go a long way!  It all depends on what you like.....

I hope you saw my other post about the actual interest carrying cost, I think you have the means to go through with this purchase.

Ricky

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2015, 07:18:39 AM »
The only deterring factor for me is the rent controlled place you're at now. For that reason alone, buying would be a bad idea. You're much better off with those funds invested, from a financial perspective.

Your cons, honestly, sound pretty typical and even the sum of the parts don't add up to counter that rent controlled pricing in any way. There will always be vagrants and punks in any large city, and any neighborhood that close to downtown is going to have that. I don't see why you need a backyard with all of the beautiful parks in SF.

Long term, I think you'll grow old of being so close to everything. Unless you plan on constantly draining your bank account to the shops around you, I don't see the point long term. The only thing nice about living in a dense neighborhood is proximity to transit, grocery stores, and maybe parks and local facilities. There is no allure to me to be next to coffee shops, cafes, or clothing stores as I know I'd never frequent any of them anyway!

Again, logically, buying is way more expensive than your rent in this case and I don't think you're getting a whole lot more for the money. That said, I agree with the "YOLO" mentality of another poster to an extent. It doesn't make sense to be unhappy with a housing situation with that kind of income. Considering you both could retire yesterday and live anywhere in 99% of America, why skimp on something so essential?  However, if you're not going to buy EXACTLY what you want in a house, which could be well over $2M, then there's no point in making the switch. Trading trade offs for trade offs doesn't make much sense.

So to answer your question, of course, yes, you can afford it. But as you can see there are many intrinsic values at play too when deciding where to live.

chasesfish

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2015, 08:12:12 PM »
I don't think I've ever had anything I've said referred to as "YOLO" before

jmusic

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2015, 11:04:49 PM »
One thing I don't completely get -- I understand that you love San Francisco, but sitting on such a big pile of money (especially if you stayed put for a few more years for the extra income and retention bonus), I can only think of one thing --- get the hell out of dodge!  There are nearly unlimited places around the country (many that aren't all that bad, even) that you could buy a nice house and retire for good. 

Is there a specific reason you are planning to continue in the rat race for longer?  Just to stay in San Francisco indefinitely?

Her SO has the "OMY" syndrome due to a $500k retention bonus in 5 years.  It helps to read through the first few posts... :)

frenchlentils

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2015, 11:35:13 PM »
I was in your position a year ago and went for it - moved from a $2400/month two bedroom apartment to a $1.2m two bedroom house with garage, backyard, etc in Bernal. I probably couldn't defend the choice in the court of mustachianism, but I still feel great about it. Owning a home means feeling settled and not ever worrying about Ellis act evictions or shitty landladies. Neighbors are more interested in getting to know me and I feel more like I'm part of the community. I would happily raise a kid in this house, knowing she would have a yard to play in and a stable place to live out her childhood. Maybe prices will go up and down but I don't plan to sell anytime soon. It sounds like your partner is following the excellent boom town rule of making money while the sun shines - in a cheaper city he'd make 1/4 the salary - so why not make the most of it? You'll rebuild your 'stash quickly with your good habits.

brandino29

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2015, 08:36:25 AM »
One thing I don't completely get -- I understand that you love San Francisco, but sitting on such a big pile of money (especially if you stayed put for a few more years for the extra income and retention bonus), I can only think of one thing --- get the hell out of dodge!  There are nearly unlimited places around the country (many that aren't all that bad, even) that you could buy a nice house and retire for good. 

Is there a specific reason you are planning to continue in the rat race for longer?  Just to stay in San Francisco indefinitely?

Her SO has the "OMY" syndrome due to a $500k retention bonus in 5 years.  It helps to read through the first few posts... :)

(bolded emphasis added)

JMusic, it helps to read my comment thoroughly too :P

dragoncar

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Re: Can we afford to buy a $1M+ home in San Francisco?
« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2015, 08:20:26 PM »
I was in your position a year ago and went for it - moved from a $2400/month two bedroom apartment to a $1.2m two bedroom house with garage, backyard, etc in Bernal. I probably couldn't defend the choice in the court of mustachianism, but I still feel great about it. Owning a home means feeling settled and not ever worrying about Ellis act evictions or shitty landladies. Neighbors are more interested in getting to know me and I feel more like I'm part of the community. I would happily raise a kid in this house, knowing she would have a yard to play in and a stable place to live out her childhood. Maybe prices will go up and down but I don't plan to sell anytime soon. It sounds like your partner is following the excellent boom town rule of making money while the sun shines - in a cheaper city he'd make 1/4 the salary - so why not make the most of it? You'll rebuild your 'stash quickly with your good habits.

I'm also a fan of making hay while the sun shines.  But consider that it may not be prudent to buy the field in the summer when you will be moving next winter.