Author Topic: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco  (Read 1043 times)

Jaayse

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Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« on: August 01, 2018, 04:27:29 AM »
I have a job opportunity in Mountain View, CA and I would be paid around 4500 for housing (BAH that would be in addition to my salary and BAS).  The advice I got from a fellow officer was that most people who choose to go there end up spending more than their BAH on living expenses... is this just because they are spendypants, or is it really that expensive to live there?  If I could bank quite a bit of that housing allowance, it would make the destination my number one choice. 

Any advice or comments on how to live there on a budget would be greatly appreciated!

affordablehousing

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 11:15:44 AM »
I feel like that might get you a two bedroom apartment. Just look on Craigslist to get a feel for prices.

mm1970

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 11:19:57 AM »
I have a job opportunity in Mountain View, CA and I would be paid around 4500 for housing (BAH that would be in addition to my salary and BAS).  The advice I got from a fellow officer was that most people who choose to go there end up spending more than their BAH on living expenses... is this just because they are spendypants, or is it really that expensive to live there?  If I could bank quite a bit of that housing allowance, it would make the destination my number one choice. 

Any advice or comments on how to live there on a budget would be greatly appreciated!

I don't live there, but I live in California.

Where exactly?  Will depend on where your work is, and how far of a commute you want, and how big of a space you need.

Long ago and far away, I was in the Navy in DC.  As an ENS, it was easy for me to live under by BAH + VHA amount.  But I'd imagine that SF is like any other expensive place like DC - depends on commute, how much space you need, whether you care about schools, etc.

For San Fran (which, you prob don't want to live in if you are working in Mountain View)

https://sf.curbed.com/2018/7/31/17636240/rent-sf-mission-tenderloin-2018-prices-lofts

https://sf.curbed.com/2018/7/24/17608092/rent-sf-loft-soma-portola-prices-2018

https://sf.curbed.com/2018/7/12/17565040/rent-sf-excelsior-hayes-valley-renting-2018-cow-hollow

For Mountain View:

https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/ca/santa-clara-county/mountain-view/

If you are looking at houses, not apts:

https://hotpads.com/mountain-view-ca/houses-for-rent

Yeah, probably more than $4500!

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 11:23:00 AM »
SF Bay area is great for mustachians if you're in a field that pays well here.  When I moved here my expenses doubled ($1k/mo to $2k/mo), but so did my salary, which meant my savings doubled.  Since I don't plan on retiring here, it didn't effect my 'number' but greatly decreased the time to get to it.

I don't know if you have a family to say if $4500/mo for housing is enough but that alone is 2x my entire COL as a single person.  Most people in this country spend everything plus extra, so I wouldn't take the advice of the other officers to heart.

Look on CL at housing prices near your work to get an idea of COL.  Most other things here are a little more expensive, but housing is the main one.  You can still find cheap groceries.  Gas might be more expensive, but if you design your life to not need to drive every day that's a minimal expense.  Going out to eat and drink is more expensive, you can still find $8 plates and $3 beers.  Maybe not in MV itself, that place is trendy as shit, but in nearby areas.

If it's a big pay bump, I'd say go for it.

Jaayse

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 11:50:36 AM »
@mm1970 I am not planning on living in San Fran itself, but hopefully not far from work, so probably in the mountain view area unless someone knows of a cheaper neighborhood nearby. 

@RyanAtTanagra I am single, so housing is just for me (and my cat), probably 1br 1 bath.  Unfortunately, since I'm military, my pay doesn't increase with the change in jobs, only the BAH.  I've heard public transit is fairly good in the area, and if I can live in a close enough area I wouldn't be against some biking around.  Monthly salary would be around 10750 pre-tax per month with the 4500 BAH included. 

I currently spend around 2500 a month, but I am living in Italy and gas is around $5.00 per gallon (subsidized, otherwise would be around 7 euro per gallon) and my housing cost is set at 1750 (1440 euro).  Are you only spending a total of 2k per month in SF Bay area?  Do you have a lot of roommates in order to do that, or perks from your job that cover expenses?

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 01:05:01 PM »
Are you only spending a total of 2k per month in SF Bay area?  Do you have a lot of roommates in order to do that, or perks from your job that cover expenses?

When I first moved to California I was in San Jose and shared a 1-bedroom with my gf at the time.  Rent was $1200 split evenly, so $600 rent, total COL of about $2k.  Then I moved to SF and my COL fluctuated for a few years, but went up a lot overall.  Now I'm living on a boat paying about $550/mo in slip fees + liveaboard permit, so expenses are back to around $2k total.

Single in a 1br will be a lot more expensive, of course, but if you want to keep costs down you can find a room in a house w/ 2-3 other people.  If your work is within biking distance of a Caltrain station, that opens a lot of options.  Caltrain is pleasant for commuting, and easy with a bicycle.

cats

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 02:11:54 PM »
If it's just you, yes, you can get a decent 1 bed/1 bath in MV for under $4500/month.  I would say under $3,000, though having a cat may limit your options or drive up costs.

Do you have any sense of how long you might live in the area?  MV has NO rent control and when we were there we had annual rent increases of 10% or more, though I think things might have started to hit a ceiling on that front.

We are a family of 3 (3 adults, 1 toddler) and our non-childcare expenses also run under $2k/month per adult, so it's certainly possible, though a single person would definitely need a roommate or a creative living situation.

KS

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 02:49:28 PM »
If it's just you, yes, you can get a decent 1 bed/1 bath in MV for under $4500/month.  I would say under $3,000, though having a cat may limit your options or drive up costs.

Do you have any sense of how long you might live in the area?  MV has NO rent control and when we were there we had annual rent increases of 10% or more, though I think things might have started to hit a ceiling on that front.

We are a family of 3 (3 adults, 1 toddler) and our non-childcare expenses also run under $2k/month per adult, so it's certainly possible, though a single person would definitely need a roommate or a creative living situation.

Actually Mountain View just got some rent stabilization recently! On some properties, not all, (more than 4 units, built before 1996, I think... but you can look into it if it's a factor for you) and the landlord associations are fighting it, but for now anyway. Agree that under $3k should be very doable, although I don't know how the cat will factor in. If you are open to living with a roommate you can probably keep it even lower. We are in a MV 2 bed 1 bath (no pets though) for well under $3k, in what I'm betting is a pretty convenient location for a military person although I of course don't know exactly where you would work. Sunnyvale's close too, and can sometimes be a little cheaper although not always.

diapasoun

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 03:21:11 PM »
For just you and a cat, yes, you can get a decent place for under $4500; my guess is $2500-$3000 if you want a studio or one-bedroom to yourself, plus pet rent or a pet fee (or both). If you're willing to acquire a roommate, you can of course pay less than that; sharing a $3800 two-bedroom is still cheaper than $2500 studio.

If you're working at Moffett, be forewarned that Google's lease on the hangars means that housing near there may suddenly jump up in price. >__>


mm1970

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Re: Question for Mustachians in San Francisco
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 03:27:33 PM »
@mm1970 I am not planning on living in San Fran itself, but hopefully not far from work, so probably in the mountain view area unless someone knows of a cheaper neighborhood nearby. 

@RyanAtTanagra I am single, so housing is just for me (and my cat), probably 1br 1 bath.  Unfortunately, since I'm military, my pay doesn't increase with the change in jobs, only the BAH.  I've heard public transit is fairly good in the area, and if I can live in a close enough area I wouldn't be against some biking around.  Monthly salary would be around 10750 pre-tax per month with the 4500 BAH included. 

I currently spend around 2500 a month, but I am living in Italy and gas is around $5.00 per gallon (subsidized, otherwise would be around 7 euro per gallon) and my housing cost is set at 1750 (1440 euro).  Are you only spending a total of 2k per month in SF Bay area?  Do you have a lot of roommates in order to do that, or perks from your job that cover expenses?
Mountain view is pricey, but you should be able to do it for under $4500.