Author Topic: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?  (Read 10943 times)

jeromedawg

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2016, 10:48:19 PM »
I live in the bay area, and even though you see rentals/housing for a certain price advertised, there are hundreds of people that show up for them. Most houses sell for all cash and often there are 20 people ready to bid over. So, even if you think you can afford to rent or buy, it doesn't mean you will be chosen.   What I've heard is that it's really hard for people to save money here, even if they make a lot.  A 2 BR house next door to me in a uninteresting area of Berkeley just sold for $1,250,000. And that is because people are fleeing SF and Silicon Valley. It's even worse there.  Sorry to be a downer, but it's what is going on.

Ugly...just ugly. You're right. My brother in law and his partner are currently in a 1 bed loft in SF that's worth well over a million and are looking to move to new homes in Alameda. I was just looking at Zillow and am astonished by how insane the market is up there...

That said, I had the phone screen today and it went OK. We'll see if they want to move forward. I answered a fair amount of questions but am sure I bombed others and sounded like a fool. The interviewer kept saying "this is just a gauge to see where you are" but I'm sure if I missed enough crucial ones my name will be tossed. We'll see what comes of it.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 10:55:40 PM by jplee3 »

meteor

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #51 on: August 22, 2016, 11:34:01 PM »
Jplee3 -- Just to add: I've lived in the bay area for 30 years and I've always had 2 pieces of advice for people considering moving here. And it still hold true through all the economic ups and downs I've seen:

"If you can find a place to live, and if you can stay out of your car, you will be happy here."  Those are the 2 biggest obstacles.  No one should spend 50% of their income on housing.

Of course now, my definition of "live" means something affordable.  There are Google buses (and a lot of other Silicon Valley companies have buses )that stop near some bart stops. Then you can stay off the freeway and let a bus drive you to work, that will increase your happiness 100% . You might explore Albany, El Cerrito for some affordable options with nice, walkable neighborhoods if you have Google bus that can take you to work.  Alameda is often overlooked too.  A place to explore -- although I think that island is on landfill, so I wouldn't buy property there (earthquake).

jeromedawg

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #52 on: August 22, 2016, 11:45:14 PM »
Jplee3 -- Just to add: I've lived in the bay area for 30 years and I've always had 2 pieces of advice for people considering moving here. And it still hold true through all the economic ups and downs I've seen:

"If you can find a place to live, and if you can stay out of your car, you will be happy here."  Those are the 2 biggest obstacles.  No one should spend 50% of their income on housing.

Of course now, my definition of "live" means something affordable.  There are Google buses (and a lot of other Silicon Valley companies have buses )that stop near some bart stops. Then you can stay off the freeway and let a bus drive you to work, that will increase your happiness 100% . You might explore Albany, El Cerrito for some affordable options with nice, walkable neighborhoods if you have Google bus that can take you to work.  Alameda is often overlooked too.  A place to explore -- although I think that island is on landfill, so I wouldn't buy property there (earthquake).

Alameda is definitely an option, as half my family is there. My parents claim to live on the non-landfill portion of Bay Farm Island (they are in one of the houses that purportedly was part of the original farm land). It would be an option to live there but I hate the idea of commuting over an hour into an office... BTW: it's not Google I'm interviewing with but I'm thinking they would allow the company I'm considering to let employees 'hitchhike' as the main office appears to be very close, if not on, Google's campus. Even if this doesn't work out though, it'll be good to have a lay of the land and to know my options in case I ever do want to consider moving back up there.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 11:57:56 PM by jplee3 »

FINate

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2016, 12:33:01 AM »
Alameda is definitely an option, as half my family is there. My parents claim to live on the non-landfill portion of Bay Farm Island (they are in one of the houses that purportedly was part of the original farm land). It would be an option to live there but I hate the idea of commuting over an hour into an office... BTW: it's not Google I'm interviewing with but I'm thinking they would allow the company I'm considering to let employees 'hitchhike' as the main office appears to be very close, if not on, Google's campus. Even if this doesn't work out though, it'll be good to have a lay of the land and to know my options in case I ever do want to consider moving back up there.

I don't know of any instances of them letting employees from other companies hitchhike - they want everyone riding under NDA. Besides, most Google shuttles are already jammed to capacity.

If you haven't already, use Google Maps to estimate typical rush hour commutes. It has gotten very bad in recent years. Get map directions between the office and neighborhood you're interested in and then click on the "Leave now" menu to select a departure time. The housing in E and SE San Jose is much more affordable, but the commute is typically 30-60 min to go 10-12 miles! Traffic is congested now such that a consistent 20 min commute to Mountain View means living within a ~5 mile radius. Very few single family homes in that area under $1MM, though there are a few small condos in the $800k range.

jeromedawg

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #54 on: August 23, 2016, 09:36:32 AM »
Alameda is definitely an option, as half my family is there. My parents claim to live on the non-landfill portion of Bay Farm Island (they are in one of the houses that purportedly was part of the original farm land). It would be an option to live there but I hate the idea of commuting over an hour into an office... BTW: it's not Google I'm interviewing with but I'm thinking they would allow the company I'm considering to let employees 'hitchhike' as the main office appears to be very close, if not on, Google's campus. Even if this doesn't work out though, it'll be good to have a lay of the land and to know my options in case I ever do want to consider moving back up there.

I don't know of any instances of them letting employees from other companies hitchhike - they want everyone riding under NDA. Besides, most Google shuttles are already jammed to capacity.

If you haven't already, use Google Maps to estimate typical rush hour commutes. It has gotten very bad in recent years. Get map directions between the office and neighborhood you're interested in and then click on the "Leave now" menu to select a departure time. The housing in E and SE San Jose is much more affordable, but the commute is typically 30-60 min to go 10-12 miles! Traffic is congested now such that a consistent 20 min commute to Mountain View means living within a ~5 mile radius. Very few single family homes in that area under $1MM, though there are a few small condos in the $800k range.

Makes sense - I thought I heard of multi-company buses coming out to Alameda, etc but I guess that's not the case... I looked at what the commute might look like going from Alameda to Santa Clara and it is not pretty. It's pretty much the equivalent of driving from Irvine to El Segundo in rush hour.

FINate

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #55 on: August 23, 2016, 10:22:58 AM »
Makes sense - I thought I heard of multi-company buses coming out to Alameda, etc but I guess that's not the case... I looked at what the commute might look like going from Alameda to Santa Clara and it is not pretty. It's pretty much the equivalent of driving from Irvine to El Segundo in rush hour.

Multi-company busses may exist? Running a shuttle service is a huge upfront cost, so it would make sense for smaller companies to pool resources, though I don't know if anyone is actually doing this. My comment was specifically about the Google shuttles, which is probably the same for the other big tech companies.

I know someone who did the commute from Alameda to Mountain View for a few years. I don't recommend it. He hated it. The commute is consistently bad, and often terrible. This was at one of the big tech companies and he eventually transferred to the SF office and is much happier now. There's a reason for the stories lately about tech workers living in cars/vans/RVs in parking lots near work.

jeromedawg

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #56 on: August 23, 2016, 10:56:27 AM »
Makes sense - I thought I heard of multi-company buses coming out to Alameda, etc but I guess that's not the case... I looked at what the commute might look like going from Alameda to Santa Clara and it is not pretty. It's pretty much the equivalent of driving from Irvine to El Segundo in rush hour.

Multi-company busses may exist? Running a shuttle service is a huge upfront cost, so it would make sense for smaller companies to pool resources, though I don't know if anyone is actually doing this. My comment was specifically about the Google shuttles, which is probably the same for the other big tech companies.

I know someone who did the commute from Alameda to Mountain View for a few years. I don't recommend it. He hated it. The commute is consistently bad, and often terrible. This was at one of the big tech companies and he eventually transferred to the SF office and is much happier now. There's a reason for the stories lately about tech workers living in cars/vans/RVs in parking lots near work.

It would make sense but who knows... I'm sure the big tech companies have a ton of money to throw away (and likely do) so it's probably a drop in the bucket for them to have their own specific shuttles. Yea it sounds like a dreadful commute. I don't think I could do it... especially given the fact that I've never had to commute further than 1 neighboring city away. This particular company has an SF office too (maybe it's the same company) but they seem to require being onsite in their Santa Clara location at least for the first couple years...

Lagom

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #57 on: August 23, 2016, 12:16:42 PM »
Makes sense - I thought I heard of multi-company buses coming out to Alameda, etc but I guess that's not the case... I looked at what the commute might look like going from Alameda to Santa Clara and it is not pretty. It's pretty much the equivalent of driving from Irvine to El Segundo in rush hour.

Multi-company busses may exist? Running a shuttle service is a huge upfront cost, so it would make sense for smaller companies to pool resources, though I don't know if anyone is actually doing this. My comment was specifically about the Google shuttles, which is probably the same for the other big tech companies.

I know someone who did the commute from Alameda to Mountain View for a few years. I don't recommend it. He hated it. The commute is consistently bad, and often terrible. This was at one of the big tech companies and he eventually transferred to the SF office and is much happier now. There's a reason for the stories lately about tech workers living in cars/vans/RVs in parking lots near work.

It would make sense but who knows... I'm sure the big tech companies have a ton of money to throw away (and likely do) so it's probably a drop in the bucket for them to have their own specific shuttles. Yea it sounds like a dreadful commute. I don't think I could do it... especially given the fact that I've never had to commute further than 1 neighboring city away. This particular company has an SF office too (maybe it's the same company) but they seem to require being onsite in their Santa Clara location at least for the first couple years...

You might as well live in San Jose, Milpitas, or Santa Clara itself, if that's where the company is located. Both are cheaper than Mountain View or further north. I am not an expert on Alameda housing costs, but I would be surprised if you would save enough by living there to be worth the added commute.

CanuckExpat

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #58 on: August 23, 2016, 12:46:02 PM »
Will try to answer your others questions later, but just don't consider commuting from Alameda to South Bay daily. Just don't do it unless you have some incredibly good reason to, and you are masochistic and/or love sitting in idling traffic.

tonysemail

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #59 on: August 23, 2016, 12:56:29 PM »
an example of public ride sharing / commute option is - https://www.takescoop.com/
By necessity, you have to live near other people and nobody else is gonna commute alameda->mountain view.
I also think sunnyvale and santa clara are better options.
But Fremont would be closer to your family and still have highly rated schools.

Dicey

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #60 on: August 23, 2016, 01:15:39 PM »
IF I was sure that my job was secure, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm from SoCal. I've lived in both LA and Orange counties. I have a heart condition which is exacerbated by stress. When I finally pulled the trigger and moved to NorCal, I noticed that everything was just a bit more relaxed. Even freeway driving was easier by comparison. (Not easy, but not as insane as SoCal.) As my stress level eased, so did my need for medication. My (new) cardiologist and lifestyle weaned me off of it completely. That was over twenty years ago. Same job, BTW, just different location.

I was just in SoCal last month for a family reunion. I don't regret my decision for a moment. FWIW, I live in the East Bay, where we have sunshine almost every day and just enough fog overnight that we generally only use the A/C about one week per summer. So far this year, it has been on exactly Zero times.

That said, I would not live in SF proper*. Too fucking crowded, not enough sunshine or parking and the RE balloon feels overinflated, IMO. Anywhere else in the Bay Area, I'd be surprised if RE prices were significantly different than OC. I also found it much easier to make friends, as people were much less guarded.

*Yes, I've lived in The City proper before. Had a sweet living arrangement in Noe Valley. Was there on a four-month job assignment and company let me rent a house that came complete with a private garage! I missed the sunshine too much, so when I moved up permanently, I headed east for the technicolor days. Oh, and the Open Space here is beyond compare. I can be out on an open trail in five minutes by foot. That's been true of all three houses I've owned here so far. It's part of why RE is so expensive, because a lot of acreage has been deeded as Open Space. The breathing room is incredible!

+ $1000 for living as close to work or light rail as possible.

jeromedawg

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Re: What would it take for you to move to a HCOL?
« Reply #61 on: August 25, 2016, 09:25:54 AM »
I'm still waiting to hear back from the recruiter, and I have doubts based on how the screener went - there was a lot I was asked but didn't know or couldn't articulate well enough. I wouldn't be surprised if they've tossed me as an option at this point. But no worries if that was the case, since this was a no-loss situation :)

As far as commuting from Alameda to SV, yea that's pretty much a non-option. I might do it as a one-off/last-resort thing if there are really no other options but it would be the very last option on my list. The only way Alameda would be an option is if working at the SF office were an option.

EDIT: Just heard back after reaching out to the recruiter and they don't want to proceed. I was probably bumbling like a fool too much during the screener that the interviewer was like "this guy doesn't know anything and doesn't sound confident" hahaha oh well.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 12:50:45 PM by jplee3 »