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Home > Living in the Most Expensive City in the U.S. is, well, EXPENSIVE!!!!

Living in the Most Expensive City in the U.S. is, well, EXPENSIVE!!!!

July 27th, 2007 at 03:00 pm


Was just seeing some discussion on another forum about some guy moving to the most expensive city in th US (which he appeared to be well aware of this fact - talking about San Francisco) and was asking for advice on rent ranges. But it was funny because he demanded all sorts of fancy stuff that I would never dream of affording in San Francisco. He asked if a 4 bedroom for $1500 was reasonable (he had seen an ad). ?????? Where in hell is he looking? Of course someone obviously from the area mentioned that a studio apartment would run a good $1k (not luxury by any means either) and 1-2 bedrooms would probably be in the $2k range. Um yeah, in San Jose our condo would have rented for $3k/month but luxury - hardly. I thought SF was more expensive (though not by much). HArdwood floors, granite countertops, and washer/dryer??? Is he for real? I have never seen apartments like these since most people my age were renting hell holes in the $1k range. & our condo though a decent size had nothing in the realm of that. So I would guess what he is looking for will cost him a good $3k-$5k/month. He didn't say how many bedrooms he needed but it was clear that the thought of a studio hadn't crossed his mind.

But hey, he heard the wages were good. WHo cares that the rent is $50k a year if you can get a 10% raise? Big Grin

He then came back later whining he only had to pay $800 or something for a luxury apartment where he lives now. ???? He said so himself he heard it was expensive. SO why is he surprised that it is REALLY expensive?

I suggested he come look at some apartments and jobs before he decides to move cross country for these "bigger wages."

I don't know, it just annoys me. We have $400k equity in our house and I could probably get a $20k-$30k annual raise easy to move back to the Bay Area, now that I have more experience under my belt. I still have to say I have no idea how we could afford a house even 1/2 the size of ours down there, even with all that to boot. I honestly feel bad about these people getting sucked in. But then you wonder, have they done ANY research?

Oh he was also saying he demanded A/C which went over my head. Someone else pointed that one out. There is no, nor there needs to be no AC in SF. Gah. Is he going to show up in shorts and tanks? because he might just freeze his ass off.

Oh, I am sorry to rant on and ream the guy. I guess mostly I Don't understand how people can make such a rash decision to move across the country with such little info. & with little regard that maybe the most expensive city is more expensive than you imagined. I don't get what is so shocking about the rents. Has he heard of NY? DC? There are plenty of cities that rival SF, unforunately.

I probably mentioned before but we had all sorts of accountants moving in from other states to SF and surrounding area for a $35k wage because it was so grand compared to back home ($30k back home???). They never lasted very long. They always said, "We heard it was expensive but we had no idea." After a while you wonder why the HR is even bothering with them. A giant revolving door. Wasn't the kind of industry that brings significant more wages, not at that level anyway - fresh out of college and all... ANother $20k-$30k/year at this level hardly does much once you pay uncle sam and property taxes - forget about the mortgage...

So anyway, being bitter that I can not figure out how to live in the city I grew up, without great financial risk anyway, I get extra annoyed when people get all excited about the prospect of the wages. It pretty much makes me sick. If you are in the tech industry, you just might make it. But you ain't going to start out in a luxury apartment - for sure. You're gonna live somewhere pretty supbpar and it is still going to be insanely expensive.

Still sound appealing?

IT was funny when we moved here because we always got a lot of questions why we moved. I had a friend who asks me over and over like she doesn't remember. She has been to my parents' home. One day she was asking me again why we moved here. In her head it is expensive HERE so she just doesn't get it. I finally said one day, "um, my parent's house is a million dollar home." You can tell she didn't believe me. "Your parent's house????" That old, little thing??? When she realized I was serious I think her eyes were about going to pop out of her head. I also had a coworker tell me if his wife got a job offer at Stanford they would so move to Palo Alto. He didn't understand why we would ever leave. I asked him how he was going to aford the $1 million starter home? He looked at me blankly. Not to mention he had something like 10 kids. Yeah - a whopping 20% raise is worth paying an extra $800k for a home 1/2 the size???? Did you figure property taxes would be $10k/year or so? People just don't GET IT! Like they figure anyone who doesn't see the joy in the Bay Area is a raving lunatic. We couldn't know what we are talking about. It couldn't be that expensive! Guess you gotta see to believe it or something...

3 Responses to “Living in the Most Expensive City in the U.S. is, well, EXPENSIVE!!!!”

  1. scfr Says:

    That guy sounds like a friend of ours who recently accepted a transfer from Washington to California. He was SHOCKED when he got his first paycheck to see that there was state income tax withheld! Imagine that!

  2. nance Says:

    Although that area is beautiful, I don't know why anyone who doesn't make a fortune would ever think about moving there.
    I know of a couple who moved to Kansas, because they could get a great house, inexpensively, and live well on their teacher's salaries, with lots of money left over after paying the mortgage.
    Quality of life IS important, and I don't think that paying a fortune to live in any area is worth the sacrifice.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Oh yes - and the state taxes. I will always have rather sympathy for our doctor clients who make $250k/year but only get to keep HALF. They have huge student debts and work VERY hard. I know all the time people say who cares about the taxes when you make good money. To me it is plain as day it is not worth the effort to pursue that high wage when the government demands so much. It truly is like, why work so hard when you can work 1/2 as much and keep more of it? The state taxes is a huge dagger here - in the 9% range for the upper middle class. Not to mention the housing and property taxes, yadda yadda yadda.

    For us it comes to why work a full-time job and only keep a sliver after daycare and taxes. Why not just work on the side and make as much for 1/10 the effort??? Really what it comes down to. Not opposed to the money. It's just there are so many easier ways when taxes get so high. It feels kind of futile to work full-time for so little in return. That's the problem out here. & taxes is a huge factor. Of course taxes are driving out the wealthy in droves...

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