Author Topic: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant  (Read 21171 times)

Eric

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Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« on: October 22, 2013, 04:40:50 PM »
Holy shit!
Okay, I know that I chose to live here.  And it's gorgeous and I love it.  But this is getting fucking ridiculous.  When my wife and I moved to Silicon Valley in the winter of 2009-2010, we moved into a 1 bedroom apartment in Mountain View.  We're close to a walkable downtown, the Caltrain, the light rail, the huge glorious farmers market, and it's generally a great area.  That said, there's no dishwasher, a/c, it's an older building, and not in the greatest shape.  This apartment was $1175.00/mo.  Fast forward 4 years, and we're now paying $1525.00 for the same place.

So I have an idea.  We'll move to a less desirable location, get closer to our jobs, and save some money on rent.  Should be easy, right?  OH. MY. GOD.  I've been looking for 1.5 months now.  I've looked at a one bedroom for $1195 that was small and smelled like cat piss.  There were 7 people filling out applications at the open house.  I looked at another for $1250.  The bedroom was about 8x8.  I'm not even sure my bed would've actually fit.  I looked at one today for $1195 that was so dirty and disgusting I thought I might throw up.  A lady was handing in her application as I was walking out.

Today I saw a post for a studio, a fucking studio, without a kitchen but instead a kitchenette.  But not your own kitchenette.  A shared kitchenette.  Guess how much?  $1200.00.  For a fucking studio with no kitchen.  Jeezus Christ.

I've attempted to contact the landlord/broker on dozens of places around the $1300-$1350 range, only to get no response.  I've taken to carrying my checkbook, pay stubs, and credit report with me everyday. (and a tape measure)  There are dozens of posts everyday that DON'T EVEN HAVE PICTURES and these places are flying off of the market.

I just want a shitty apartment that isn't more than 50% 25% of my net pay.  It doesn't have to be new or fancy.  It doesn't even need to have laundry.  It can be in a rundown area.  Why the fuck is this so hard?!?  And how can these disgusting shitty smelly no picture having places ACTUALLY command $1200+ per month?  THIS IS FUCKING INSANE!!!!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 09:27:16 PM by Eric »

SnackDog

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 05:14:39 PM »
Rentometer.com says your rent is average. Sounds like your location is above average. Enjoy it!

Ellen

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 05:15:08 PM »
I am sorry for your pain -- it's a brutal market out there. I've been an owner (not landlord) in Santa Cruz for more than 15 years, and yes, the Bay Area rental and home buying market was and is insane. I was a renter in Berkeley, SF, Oakland, Menlo Park, and SC in the 90s ... I used to carry a checkbook and renter's resume to every viewing. If you're serious about moving, remember that like a job, you just need one. Someone somewhere is going to "click" with you and your partner and you're going to get a place at a price you can live with. There are some good and fair landlords out there. And, who knows, maybe your current place is looking better and better ...

One of the things that rent vs. buy calculators or rules don't always take into account is the stress of renting in high-demand COL areas. Rates go up and up, people keep moving in, and tenants are absolutely at the mercy of landlords. We have lots of friends in SC who didn't buy and now can't. They have been asked to move by owners looking to move in or to charge astronomically high rents for multiple students (6 students/young tech earners paying $700 each is a lot more than most couples or families can afford). If you have young kids or pets, it's even more of a nightmare.

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 05:29:52 PM »
If you're serious about moving, remember that like a job, you just need one. Someone somewhere is going to "click" with you and your partner and you're going to get a place at a price you can live with. There are some good and fair landlords out there. And, who knows, maybe your current place is looking better and better ...

Thanks Ellen.  I know it only takes one.  I'm still looking multiple times a day, but I just had to get this rant in. :)

Luckily my job affords me enough time to be on Craigslist all day so that I can jump on something that looks promising.  But man, is it frustrating.  I just cannot believe some of these places that are small and gross can rent for $1200-$1300.  That's like the mortgage payment on a frickin 6 bedroom mansion in my hometown in Michigan.  (granted I don't want to live there, but still...)

We really do like our current place.  It's just hard to swallow the $1500+ price.  And we're lucky enough to be month to month so that we don't have a time where we HAVE TO find something.  So I can be somewhat picky in trying to find that right fit.  Like the one that I went to view that had a really small oven.  The mustachian in me cooks at home for practically every meal.  How can I have an oven that can barely fit a cookie sheet?  I mentioned that fact to the landlord, and his reply was "well, it's an apartment."  No shit buddy.  Does that mean I'm not supposed to cook?

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 05:42:04 PM »
Does the Bay Area have any areas that are the equivalent of Queens or the Bronx? Accessible by mass transit, but not a long commute, in a safe but not particularly interesting or glamorous area?

There are places like that closer to SF.  BART does a pretty good job covering the area when they're not on strike.  But down here by San Jose, the public transit is sorely lacking.  Granted, the bike riding is excellent, but I'm doing 21 miles a day right now and I think that's just about my limit.  If it were possible to live further and cheaper but on a train line, I would definitely jump on that.

Argyle

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 06:06:20 PM »
I used to live in Manhattan and the situation was like this, only more so.  Insane.  I went to view apartments that you wouldn't think a rat would have settled for.  I went to one apartment share for about $1000 where you, the new roommate paying $1000 a month, would have a single bed in the hallway of the apartment.  It was absolutely insane.

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 06:21:37 PM »
I used to live in Manhattan and the situation was like this, only more so.  Insane.  I went to view apartments that you wouldn't think a rat would have settled for.  I went to one apartment share for about $1000 where you, the new roommate paying $1000 a month, would have a single bed in the hallway of the apartment.  It was absolutely insane.

Wow!  That's incredible.  I am thankful that I'm not looking in San Francisco.  Add 50% or more, easy.

The wife and I had a serious discussion last weekend about possibly living with other people.  We've tabled that for now, as it's been 12 years since we've done that and don't know if we could do it again.  But still, the fact that we even had the discussion kind of shows how crazy it is.  Luckily, not Manhattan crazy!

Peony

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 06:54:12 PM »
I grew up in NYC and lived there during and after college, and what you are describing sounds like that, but to a lesser degree. Based on my experience in NYC, I don't think 1.5 months is all that long -- if you hang in there, I bet you'll find something. If there's any way you can get in somewhere via a friend, that could be helpful (kind of like when you're job hunting). If you can find a small-scale landlord who is old enough to no longer have a mortgage, that could mean more reasonable rent. And my final thoughts are, having experienced the extreme shittiness of NYC housing (Lower East Side tenement apartments back in the 80s, for example), I now have a pair of eyes that can see potential where most folks run away in horror. That has stood me in good stead when it comes to choosing housing to buy and fix up to sell or rent out. So, that's one potential silver lining. Also, another thing I learned is that a coat of white paint can be seriously transformative. If you find a place you can stand with reasonable rent, invest a couple hundred bucks (even if it galls you to pay for it yourself) and a weekend painting and deep cleaning, and enjoy your new place.

Russ

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 08:00:03 PM »
And we're lucky enough to be month to month so that we don't have a time where we HAVE TO find something.
Could you negotiate a lower price for a longer term?

brewer12345

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 08:23:27 PM »
I can't imagine living in one of these markets.

galliver

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 09:00:26 PM »
I'm genuinely asking: What is keeping you there? If your rent is pushing 50% of your paycheck, it sounds like your paycheck isn't keeping up with Bay Area standards? I totally realize there could be reasons such as family, school, etc...but is it entirely unreasonable to move? CA is gorgeous, but there are other gorgeous/outdoorsy places...the Northwest, CO, NM...

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 09:19:42 PM »
And we're lucky enough to be month to month so that we don't have a time where we HAVE TO find something.
Could you negotiate a lower price for a longer term?

You're right, I should ask.  I don't know if it'll matter, as it's one of those big professional management companies and the vacancy rate is like 3% or something crazy like that.  But it's worth a shot. 

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 09:26:18 PM »
I'm genuinely asking: What is keeping you there? If your rent is pushing 50% of your paycheck, it sounds like your paycheck isn't keeping up with Bay Area standards? I totally realize there could be reasons such as family, school, etc...but is it entirely unreasonable to move? CA is gorgeous, but there are other gorgeous/outdoorsy places...the Northwest, CO, NM...

Aww man, I'm sorry.  I'm an idiot.  I only pay rent every other month, as I split it with my wife.  So I'm looking for "cheap" housing in a tight market because I'm uncomfortable spending 25% of my total take home on housing.  I'm going to edit that from the original post so it's clear, i.e. not a blatant lie.  It's just such a big jump from $1175 that it must feel like that.  Sorry.

We definitely have plans to leave in about ~7 years to make our FIRE numbers work.  That is if I can survive these yearly 10% rental increases.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 09:27:58 PM by Eric »

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 09:37:14 PM »
Whoa!  At least I'm not renting in the city.  I just found this from July.  The San Francisco Rent explosion.  We're feeling it's wave.

http://priceonomics.com/the-san-francisco-rent-explosion/
 

mm31

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 10:09:35 PM »
You're right in Mountain View where there's nothing going at night because everyone is busy coding. This town is really too small for all these companies that have headquarters there. And of course the artificial restrictions on housing construction are not helping. 1.5K is actually cheap, good luck!

RobertBirnie

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 10:40:24 AM »
And we're lucky enough to be month to month so that we don't have a time where we HAVE TO find something.
Could you negotiate a lower price for a longer term?

You're right, I should ask.  I don't know if it'll matter, as it's one of those big professional management companies and the vacancy rate is like 3% or something crazy like that.  But it's worth a shot.

I seriously doubt you could negotiate a lower price. Rents have been going up 10% a year for last 4 years so they would probably be happy to see you leave so they can charge the next guy more. I've also never seen a bay area place that wasn't a 1 year commitment, and after that first year they can increase rent so they wouldn't want to do a 2 year lease.

From what I've seen the longer you stay somewhere the better it is. My wife and I have been in our place for 4 years and although our rent is up from $795 to $900 (not bad but January is just around the corner). Our neighbor just rented out a mirror of our unit for $1400. What are your neighbor's places going for?

And sure its expensive. But have you been watching single family home prices. Sheesh. $700k for that? =)

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2013, 11:19:34 AM »

From what I've seen the longer you stay somewhere the better it is. My wife and I have been in our place for 4 years and although our rent is up from $795 to $900 (not bad but January is just around the corner). Our neighbor just rented out a mirror of our unit for $1400. What are your neighbor's places going for?

And sure its expensive. But have you been watching single family home prices. Sheesh. $700k for that? =)

I'm not sure what my neighbors pay.  I thought I saw a place below mine advertised for $1700 a few months back, but that seems like a lot.  Why wouldn't they just raise my rent to that if they could get it?

And you're right about the home prices.  $700k for that?! indeed.

Lans Holman

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2013, 12:10:08 PM »
Do you sense that there's any sort of political movement afoot to relax the restrictions on new construction?  It seems like all the pissed-off renters ought to have some sort of clout.

Jamesqf

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2013, 12:23:14 PM »
Do you sense that there's any sort of political movement afoot to relax the restrictions on new construction?  It seems like all the pissed-off renters ought to have some sort of clout.

My guess is probably not.  First, you have a lot of owners with even more clout.  Second, a lot of the renters are, as someone said above, busy coding and making so much that the rents are not an issue.

But the ultimate solution is to telecommute :-)  Back when I had a contract that took me there every other week, I was paying nearly as much for a single room as for my mortgage in a place a couple hundred miles away.

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2013, 12:40:42 PM »
Do you sense that there's any sort of political movement afoot to relax the restrictions on new construction?  It seems like all the pissed-off renters ought to have some sort of clout.

I'm not sure there's much restriction.  There's about 5 new buildings worth of apartments going up right next to mine.  And a few more down the street a little ways.  They're building a lot right now, it's just that all the new construction is priced at a premium, so that doesn't do much to ease prices on the lower end.

arebelspy

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2013, 12:48:26 PM »
I can't imagine living in one of these markets.

+1.  I expect a mortgage to cost about 1/3 of that to actually own the house (3br/2ba, ~1600 sqft or so).

Heck I'm gonna be renting some 4br places (~1600 sqft) to tenants for about 700/mo.

Crazy how different some real estate markets are.
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hybrid

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2013, 01:16:38 PM »
I can't imagine living in one of these markets.
Crazy how different some real estate markets are.

I hear both of you.  I have friends that live in expensive areas and in my neighborhood $180K will get you 1/2 acre and 2500 SF, brick, with peace and quiet and good neighbors.  But the schools aren't the best (far from bad though) and the shopping kinda sucks so there just isn't much driving demand (especially compared to the hot, trendy parts of Richmond).  My friends in expensive areas marvel at our cost of living right up to the point where I say "So move here already" and then they don't.  Mustachian Buddy was the exception to the rule and he loves his new place (that he got for a steal in a foreclosure).  He doubled the size of his home just by giving up some prime "location" within Richmond.  And then rented his 1000 SF rancher he moved from.  Smart guy.

dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2013, 02:04:52 PM »
I can't imagine living in one of these markets.
Crazy how different some real estate markets are.

I hear both of you.  I have friends that live in expensive areas and in my neighborhood $180K will get you 1/2 acre and 2500 SF, brick, with peace and quiet and good neighbors.  But the schools aren't the best (far from bad though) and the shopping kinda sucks so there just isn't much driving demand (especially compared to the hot, trendy parts of Richmond).  My friends in expensive areas marvel at our cost of living right up to the point where I say "So move here already" and then they don't.  Mustachian Buddy was the exception to the rule and he loves his new place (that he got for a steal in a foreclosure).  He doubled the size of his home just by giving up some prime "location" within Richmond.  And then rented his 1000 SF rancher he moved from.  Smart guy.

Eh, I'd take the 1000sf in a "hot" part of town over 2000sf in the boonies

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »
So I found a CL ad late last night for a 1br for $1350 in a so so area of San Jose.  It was in an old Victorian house that had been converted to apartments.  We kind of like that stuff.  I called the guy this morning.  He said the place was rented already as someone applied online, overnight, and was approved.  That means that someone rented the place WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT IT!!  I mean, there were a couple of pictures, but come on!  That is crazy!

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2013, 03:44:06 PM »
Next stop - Living in a van by the river.

msilenus

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2013, 04:21:05 PM »
There are a *lot* of RVs parked in low-density commercial areas around Mountain View.  Cruise some of the side streets between 101 and Middlefield up near Rengstorff some time.  I'm not sure if they're being lived in or not.

gimp

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2013, 04:26:58 PM »
I am moving back to the bay area soon and I am not looking forward to this. Everything else is awesome, but not this.

They bay area has some really stupid issues:
- NIMBYs who demand we "preserve the skyline" and block new construction, and high-rise construction
- Shit public transportation - BART doesn't even go to San Jose really! It's a 70-mile-long massive metropolitan area and the public transport only serves a small part.
- Middling road infrastructure - if major arterial highways are crawling every rush hour, that means they need more lanes (also, a bump in speed limits). There's certainly plenty of tax money in silicon valley. But see point 1.

There are literally venture capital companies who are flush with [usually off-shore] cash, didn't find enough companies in which to invest, and spent the difference on buying private houses to flip. Treating houses as a commodity to invest in only works so well until people can't put a roof over their heads; demand is not elastic enough for this to be without serious drawbacks. But they don't care because it's not their problem (and if they cared, someone else would take the profits for themselves.)

It's an area where one can afford a quiet house quite well -- if they're a married couple with a double engineering salary. $750k for a 3-bed in the foothills is completely normal.

I know quite a few people who were fine living right by work in apartments, but when they got married and had kids, they ended up moving way, way out into the boonies to give their kids a yard. And now have a 2-hour train ride to and from work.

The easiest example of the effects of NIMBYs in the area is to go downtown San Jose. Wait, what downtown? Exactly. Downtown San Jose is a ghost town, with about as many high-rises as I can count on one hand, which are short enough that you can count the floors without having to start over. Bah.

/rant

dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2013, 05:10:34 PM »
I am moving back to the bay area soon and I am not looking forward to this. Everything else is awesome, but not this.

They bay area has some really stupid issues:
- NIMBYs who demand we "preserve the skyline" and block new construction, and high-rise construction
- Shit public transportation - BART doesn't even go to San Jose really! It's a 70-mile-long massive metropolitan area and the public transport only serves a small part.
- Middling road infrastructure - if major arterial highways are crawling every rush hour, that means they need more lanes (also, a bump in speed limits). There's certainly plenty of tax money in silicon valley. But see point 1.

There are literally venture capital companies who are flush with [usually off-shore] cash, didn't find enough companies in which to invest, and spent the difference on buying private houses to flip. Treating houses as a commodity to invest in only works so well until people can't put a roof over their heads; demand is not elastic enough for this to be without serious drawbacks. But they don't care because it's not their problem (and if they cared, someone else would take the profits for themselves.)

It's an area where one can afford a quiet house quite well -- if they're a married couple with a double engineering salary. $750k for a 3-bed in the foothills is completely normal.

I know quite a few people who were fine living right by work in apartments, but when they got married and had kids, they ended up moving way, way out into the boonies to give their kids a yard. And now have a 2-hour train ride to and from work.

The easiest example of the effects of NIMBYs in the area is to go downtown San Jose. Wait, what downtown? Exactly. Downtown San Jose is a ghost town, with about as many high-rises as I can count on one hand, which are short enough that you can count the floors without having to start over. Bah.

/rant

A) Caltrain.. It's understandable why Bart to sjo would be low priority
B) how high can you count?  There are no building on earth that have so many floors I'd have to "start over"

But yeah, I dislike the nimbys, particularly the ones that live near me.

dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2013, 05:50:54 PM »
Dragoncar, I think he means there are no high rises with more than 10 floors. As in, count all the floors on your fingers, and if you run out of floors before you run out of fingers, it isn't *that* tall a high-rise.

There are at least 23 buildings over 10 stories high, so I doubt that's what he meant

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 05:52:13 PM »
There are a *lot* of RVs parked in low-density commercial areas around Mountain View.  Cruise some of the side streets between 101 and Middlefield up near Rengstorff some time.  I'm not sure if they're being lived in or not.

I've seen a lot of those.  I'm pretty sure they are being lived in.  I don't think they're all fans of Jacob at ERE though.

That reminds me of another post I saw.  A "1 br" that was actually an RV parked in this dude's yard.  Cheap!  Only like $1000/mo!

rufflina

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2013, 06:11:08 PM »
And of course the artificial restrictions on housing construction are not helping.

What artificial restrictions on housing? Seems like there's a decent amount of new development, like the developments by Classic Communities. Or Prometheus for apartments I think. I'm really interested in buying a home in Mountain View in the future so any insight would be greatly appreciated. :)

Jamesqf

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2013, 10:35:12 PM »
They bay area has some really stupid issues:
- NIMBYs who demand we "preserve the skyline" and block new construction, and high-rise construction
- Shit public transportation - BART doesn't even go to San Jose really! It's a 70-mile-long massive metropolitan area and the public transport only serves a small part.
- Middling road infrastructure - if major arterial highways are crawling every rush hour, that means they need more lanes (also, a bump in speed limits). There's certainly plenty of tax money in silicon valley. But see point 1.

I disagree.  You don't solve problems by doing things which only increase the size of the problem.  As for instance, if you build more housing (and particularly less-expensive housing), you'll have more people moving in, which will put even more pressure on all the already over-extended resources.

I really can't see the rationale for BART going to San Jose: it would just encourage more people to make long, pointless commutes.  I certainly found that everything I needed that could be found in a city (which admittedly is not all that much) could be found within biking distance of the south part of San Jose. 

Same applies to building more roads.  The fundamental problem is that traffic always increases to fill whatever amount of roads you build.  The solution (to the extent there is one) is to increase telecommuting, and so reduce the need for travel.

cats

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Expletive-Filled Rant
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2013, 10:48:52 PM »

I'm not sure what my neighbors pay.  I thought I saw a place below mine advertised for $1700 a few months back, but that seems like a lot.  Why wouldn't they just raise my rent to that if they could get it?

And you're right about the home prices.  $700k for that?! indeed.

It's a balancing act.  If you leave, they will have some vacancy period, they'll have to pay to clean the place out, and the new tenant miiiiight be a headache and need kicking out. If you're renting for less than what someone brand new is, you're basically getting the good-behavior discount.  Honestly, depending on the quality, what you're paying sounds pretty decent for a central part of Mountain View.  When we looked earlier this year, the cheapest 1-bedroom we could find was $1450, and it was a DUMP!

dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2013, 12:37:57 AM »
They bay area has some really stupid issues:
- NIMBYs who demand we "preserve the skyline" and block new construction, and high-rise construction
- Shit public transportation - BART doesn't even go to San Jose really! It's a 70-mile-long massive metropolitan area and the public transport only serves a small part.
- Middling road infrastructure - if major arterial highways are crawling every rush hour, that means they need more lanes (also, a bump in speed limits). There's certainly plenty of tax money in silicon valley. But see point 1.

I disagree.  You don't solve problems by doing things which only increase the size of the problem.  As for instance, if you build more housing (and particularly less-expensive housing), you'll have more people moving in, which will put even more pressure on all the already over-extended resources.

I really can't see the rationale for BART going to San Jose: it would just encourage more people to make long, pointless commutes.  I certainly found that everything I needed that could be found in a city (which admittedly is not all that much) could be found within biking distance of the south part of San Jose. 

Same applies to building more roads.  The fundamental problem is that traffic always increases to fill whatever amount of roads you build.  The solution (to the extent there is one) is to increase telecommuting, and so reduce the need for travel.

I think building is the answer.  Build sense construction near the corporate campuses.  Dense populations will make public transit viable (eg NYC vs BART suburban rail).  More housing will relieve price pressure.  Finally, get rid of rent control (except possible for the absolute most vulnerable populations like disabled elderly).  Rent control keeps people from moving close to their jobs, because then they give up their low rate.

You'd still have the problem that the neighborhoods near work aren't "cool".  Not sure how to solve that unless we move all the companies to SF (it's slowly happening anyways) and commit to extensive manhattanization of SF in the form of building to the sky.

hybrid

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2013, 07:00:49 AM »
I can't imagine living in one of these markets.
Crazy how different some real estate markets are.

I hear both of you.  I have friends that live in expensive areas and in my neighborhood $180K will get you 1/2 acre and 2500 SF, brick, with peace and quiet and good neighbors.  But the schools aren't the best (far from bad though) and the shopping kinda sucks so there just isn't much driving demand (especially compared to the hot, trendy parts of Richmond).  My friends in expensive areas marvel at our cost of living right up to the point where I say "So move here already" and then they don't.  Mustachian Buddy was the exception to the rule and he loves his new place (that he got for a steal in a foreclosure).  He doubled the size of his home just by giving up some prime "location" within Richmond.  And then rented his 1000 SF rancher he moved from.  Smart guy.

Eh, I'd take the 1000sf in a "hot" part of town over 2000sf in the boonies

Fair enough, but this isn't the boonies.  It's 8 miles and 15 minutes from downtown Richmond, we are just inside the county line in what would be called the inner suburbs.  It just isn't a hot area because of the schools and shopping.  The Interstate is a 3 minute drive away (you can get to it quick, but you can't hear it, perfect combo) and I can be anywhere in Richmond pretty quickly.  It's just not right on top of the hottest areas.  And that drives the price way down.  My neighborhood is a diamond in the rough, and I've discovered most people want fashionable and convenient when push comes to shove (neither of which equal frugal) over practical and affordable.  Location, location, location....

gimp

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2013, 11:07:48 AM »
I disagree.  You don't solve problems by doing things which only increase the size of the problem.  As for instance, if you build more housing (and particularly less-expensive housing), you'll have more people moving in, which will put even more pressure on all the already over-extended resources.

I really can't see the rationale for BART going to San Jose: it would just encourage more people to make long, pointless commutes.  I certainly found that everything I needed that could be found in a city (which admittedly is not all that much) could be found within biking distance of the south part of San Jose. 

Same applies to building more roads.  The fundamental problem is that traffic always increases to fill whatever amount of roads you build.  The solution (to the extent there is one) is to increase telecommuting, and so reduce the need for travel.

We _want_ more people moving in because there's tons of money for it. Currently, there are tons of people who would like to work in the area but can't justify the cost. With extra tax money (from increasing the population, not the tax rate), what resources get more pressured?

With a big increase in population, public transportation becomes more viable. A big increase in public transportation throughput and an increase in road size (not really count, just bandwidth) commensurate with the population increase, I think, would work well - if we double population, double road throughput, and say quadruple public transit. (Obviously those values are made up.)

Finally: pointless commutes? I don't understand this argument. I can go from Queens to Brooklyn without stepping foot above ground, and that can be a very long trip indeed. It's important that I can do this, because it would mean I don't need a car in NYC (if I hypothetically lived there, that is). On the other hand, you'd not be in favor of this arrangement because some people might want to commute to work from Brighton Beach to LGA? That would be ridiculous. Similarly, who cares if someone wants to live in SF and commute to SJ to work? It's their business. And from a societal point of view, allowing that sort of flexibility helps a lot.

Jamesqf

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2013, 12:49:30 PM »
We _want_ more people moving in...

Who exactly is "we" here?  Clearly a lot of the current Bay Area population (those you call NIMBYs) don't want this.  Aren't they part of "we", too?

Quote
Currently, there are tons of people who would like to work in the area but can't justify the cost.

But there is absolutely no reason why most of them have to be physically in the area to do the work.

Quote
With extra tax money (from increasing the population, not the tax rate), what resources get more pressured?

Water, air, open space...

Quote
Finally: pointless commutes? I don't understand this argument. I can go from Queens to Brooklyn without stepping foot above ground,

But is there any real reason why you have to go from Queens to Brooklyn to do your job?  I worked quite effectively in San Jose when I was physically several hundred miles away, so the every-other-week commute was pointless.  At other times, I've worked in the US when I was in Europe, and vice versa.

Quote
Similarly, who cares if someone wants to live in SF and commute to SJ to work? It's their business..

If I have to pay taxes for additional roads, and deal with their various unhealthy & unpleasant side effects, it certainly is my business.

arebelspy

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #37 on: October 24, 2013, 01:32:13 PM »
We _want_ more people moving in...

Who exactly is "we" here?

"We" in any argument is always "me, and anyone who agrees with me."

;)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
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dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2013, 02:25:46 PM »
We _want_ more people moving in...

Who exactly is "we" here?

"We" in any argument is always "me, and anyone who agrees with me."

;)


Royal we

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2013, 03:42:33 PM »
We _want_ more people moving in...

Who exactly is "we" here?

"We" in any argument is always "me, and anyone who agrees with me."

;)


Royal we

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E09LU6XVyxs

And speaking of which, I need a to find a landlord like The Dude's.

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2013, 09:01:53 PM »
Okay, one more to get off my chest.

First of all, my boss only comes into the office once a week or so, and I've only been at my current job for 2 months, so I'm still in impress-the-boss mode.  He came into the office this afternoon.  However, I needed to leave at 4:30pm to check out this apartment, so I bailed when I would not normally even consider leaving.

This apartment has new laminate (wood style) floors and new appliances including a dishwasher.  Nice, right?  I show up and it's tiny.  I ask the leasing agent how big the individual rooms are, and she's not sure, but tells me it's about 600 sq ft, which is about what it said in the ad.  I bust out my tape measure.  The bedroom is 10 x 10.  The living room / kitchen is 10 x 15 (one room, no divider).  Okay, so 100 + 150 = 250 sq ft.  Where the fuck are you hiding the other 350 sq ft?!?!?  It's certainly not in the one closet for the whole apartment or the regular sized bathroom.  Dammit! 

cats

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2013, 10:25:44 PM »
So, this thread got me curious, I went on CL to see if our complex is currently advertising vacancies.  They are.  A studio that is identical to ours (two doors down) is going for $250/mo more than we currently pay.  We only moved in this past March, at which time it seemed they were not too overwhelmed with applicants because we were able to get them to delay our move-in date by a week, and they were running a move-in special (get 1/2 off first month's rent, yay).  Now I'm a) freaking out about what's going to happen to our rent when our lease is up (we're expecting it will go up, but hopefully not by $250!), but also b) wondering if you have happen to have chosen a busy time of year to look for a place? 

dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2013, 05:59:18 PM »
So, this thread got me curious, I went on CL to see if our complex is currently advertising vacancies.  They are.  A studio that is identical to ours (two doors down) is going for $250/mo more than we currently pay.  We only moved in this past March, at which time it seemed they were not too overwhelmed with applicants because we were able to get them to delay our move-in date by a week, and they were running a move-in special (get 1/2 off first month's rent, yay).  Now I'm a) freaking out about what's going to happen to our rent when our lease is up (we're expecting it will go up, but hopefully not by $250!), but also b) wondering if you have happen to have chosen a busy time of year to look for a place?

Yeah, there's a huge difference since basically early 2012

dailycycle

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2013, 06:32:47 PM »
padmapper.com is helpful for visualizing the possibilities.  Then go to Craigslist for the most recent posts. 

I've had luck being the first to reply to Craigslist ads which had scant description and no images.  The places were great, it's just the people posting wanted a quick and easy time of renting them out.  I liked living by the Westgate mall near where Satatoga meets San Jose.  Nice but small 1BR was $1000/month in 2010.  I wonder what it would be now.

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2013, 10:43:53 PM »
So, this thread got me curious, I went on CL to see if our complex is currently advertising vacancies.  They are.  A studio that is identical to ours (two doors down) is going for $250/mo more than we currently pay.  We only moved in this past March, at which time it seemed they were not too overwhelmed with applicants because we were able to get them to delay our move-in date by a week, and they were running a move-in special (get 1/2 off first month's rent, yay).  Now I'm a) freaking out about what's going to happen to our rent when our lease is up (we're expecting it will go up, but hopefully not by $250!), but also b) wondering if you have happen to have chosen a busy time of year to look for a place?

Yeah, there's a huge difference since basically early 2012

I should clarify that when I say "this past March", I mean March 2013, so that's a $250/month difference in the advertised price in 6 months time, which in our case is *well* over 10% (we pay $1350).  I realize that the market is crazy right now, but that level of change suggests to me that there may be some seasonal cycling in prices going on as well.

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #45 on: October 28, 2013, 10:10:57 AM »
Man, I have tons of family and friends in the Bay Area (both parents and their families grew up there) and I was just talking with one of them this weekend about his house search. The numbers he gave me on his current rent and the price of housing just about made me poop a brick  - his annual rent cost would pay my monthly mortgage for almost 42 months! I knew there was a giant premium on living in the area, but I ran some quick math in my head and just don't know how most people can even "afford" to live there.

He and his wife are definitely on the upper end of the income ladder, so that helps, but even then (and with no debt), he has the financial awareness to be questioning  what the best move for their future is. I did introduce him to MMM, which got him to thinking and he's pretty excited about some of the ideas here, especially about early retirement. His wife's in the same boat, financially, so maybe they can escape the rat race together sooner rather than later.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 10:12:47 AM by DebtStubble »

dragoncar

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2013, 01:50:22 PM »
So, this thread got me curious, I went on CL to see if our complex is currently advertising vacancies.  They are.  A studio that is identical to ours (two doors down) is going for $250/mo more than we currently pay.  We only moved in this past March, at which time it seemed they were not too overwhelmed with applicants because we were able to get them to delay our move-in date by a week, and they were running a move-in special (get 1/2 off first month's rent, yay).  Now I'm a) freaking out about what's going to happen to our rent when our lease is up (we're expecting it will go up, but hopefully not by $250!), but also b) wondering if you have happen to have chosen a busy time of year to look for a place?

Yeah, there's a huge difference since basically early 2012

I should clarify that when I say "this past March", I mean March 2013, so that's a $250/month difference in the advertised price in 6 months time, which in our case is *well* over 10% (we pay $1350).  I realize that the market is crazy right now, but that level of change suggests to me that there may be some seasonal cycling in prices going on as well.

I should clarify that market went crazy in early 2012.  So an increase between March 2013 and now also makes sense.

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2013, 01:14:55 PM »
Thanks for allowing this bitch session guys.  I think getting out my frustrations really helped.  I found an apartment!  Just dropped off the check.  Dishwasher, washer/dryer in unit, great location, cuts our commute by 3 miles, and saving $225.00/mo.  Yeah booooooooy!

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2013, 02:20:34 PM »
Big weight lifted off the shoulders, eh?  That's gotta feel nice.  Congrats on finding a great place!

Eric

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Re: Bay Area Rental Prices -- An Explitive-Filled Rant
« Reply #49 on: November 01, 2013, 04:18:37 PM »
Big weight lifted off the shoulders, eh?  That's gotta feel nice.  Congrats on finding a great place!

Yeah, it's nice.  I was looking everyday for a couple of months now.  I guess it was starting to wear on me, hence the expletive-filled rant.  Shit, I just noticed that I didn't spell expletive correct in the title.  See how much this was bothering me?!?  :)