At what point do we (tech workers) move out of the bay?

IBM / Eng WYmS28
May 24 38 Comments

gle.com/amp/s/kkkk://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2019/3/19/18256378/tech-worker-afford-buy-homes-san-francisco-facebook-google-uber-lyft-housing-crisis-programmers

When you calculate your real wage with respect to cost of living, are you doing that much better than say a geologist in Texas? Sure we can save a little bit, but buying a home just isn't happening for most of us in the Bay area.

I come from Phoenix where housing costs are relatively reasonable (median home price in Phoenix is about $250k). You can do fairly good for yourself making just $75k in Phoenix. Or in other words, in terms of home buying ability, a $75k salary in Phoenix is equivalent to a $250k salary in the bay area. (These are ballpark guestimates, I didn't actually do the calculations).

So, the question is, are you really getting paid that much?

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TOP 38 Comments
  • F5 Networks RRA
    Microsoft meant to say people have been leaving (and arriving) for years, I think.

    And yes, I think I'm doing better than a geologist in TX, unless they're doing way better than I thought.
    May 24 5
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      The average salary for a Geologist is $82,503 per year in Texas according to indeed.com

      https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Geologist-Salaries,-Texas

       median home value in Houston is $187,800.

      According to Zillow

      Making 45% of your housing cost, gross, in salary is pretty good.

      The median home value in San Jose is $1,054,500

      Meaning you would have to be making roughly $464,000 a year gross salary in San Jose to be making what that geologist is making.
      May 24
    • F5 Networks RRA
      Got it. Yes, I am pretty well past 464.
      May 24
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      Congrats? But that's not the point. The point is most new tech workers in bay who didn't already have a house here... don't make enough to ever dream of owning a home in bay area.
      May 24
    • Amazon / Eng srd
      Why do I need to own?
      May 24
    • F5 Networks RRA
      Didn't mean to brag. But a lot of people are willing to live in SFBA as renters, or with dual incomes, etc. It's in high demand for a number of reasons--and so the Texas geologist may be better off but he's stuck in Texas being a geologist. (I love TX and used to live there, so spare me the hate mail.)
      May 24
  • Google
    teamedward

    Google

    PRE
    Amazon
    teamedwardmore
    You can easily make 300k in Texas in tech, it’s only worth being in the bay if you can get 500k or more.
    May 24 4
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      $300k in Texas would be wayyy more valuable than $500k in Bay area
      May 24
    • Airbnb de Bosch
      “Easily” is a stretch. In Austin 250k is a more normal top level TC
      May 24
    • Apple / Eng srand()
      This 👍
      May 25
    • Google
      teamedward

      Google

      PRE
      Amazon
      teamedwardmore
      Top-Level? According to the share salary doc in Austin 250k is bottom level. There are people at close to million TC
      May 26
  • Salesforce linusklava
    A bmw costs the same in the bay as it does in Texas
    May 25 1
    • Apple
      ST8izGr8

      Apple

      PRE
      BT
      ST8izGr8more
      ^ this
      May 25
  • Instacart Finstacart
    Man, these articles annoy me. “Adjusted salary” is just a bunch of BS made up by second-rate tech cities who are trying to convince you that their city is “the next big tech hub” or “silicon valley of the east coast”. Back on the east coast, I was making 140k. Got a job in the bay, same role, but 315k TC (~200k base). I had a studio apartment which ran for about 2000/mo. In the bay, I split a place with roommates, but pay 1400/mo for rent. Lower standard of living, but if I really wanted to, I could have a luxury studio out here for 3000/mo and still save 2x what I was able to save when I was working in some med-COL city on the east coast. And we haven’t even started talking about stock options yet. I’m not trying to brag here at all, just giving some real numbers to try and prove a point.
    May 24 1
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      Yes, but as I said before, although the nominal value of your TC is more, the buying power of it hasn't changed much because of the regional inflation of the bay area. In order to capitalize on the increased nominal TC you have to move out of the bay into a lower cost of living area. This in turn makes the bay area a revolving door and not a place for one to realistically permanently live.

      Or if you do decide to permanently live in the bay area, well you don't gain any more buying power, and you have to deal with lower standards of living.
      May 24
  • Microsoft / Data T Gracchus
    They have been for 10+ years
    May 24 2
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      Who has been what? Use your words. 😔
      May 24
    • Yahoo / Design getAway
      Tech boom happened with FANGM companies during 2013-2019. People who held a lot of stocks on these coupled with bitcoin maestros got a lot of cash. Cash enough to roll into upgrades w.r.t housing. That's what you see now
      May 26
  • Facebook tTFN31
    You probably still have more money in the bay area. Your example is ridiculous. Say your TC is 250k, tax is 100k and spending is 50k. You’d still save 100k, more than your entire earnings in Pheonix.

    More likely, your TC here is 200k and elsewhere its 150k. It would still probably be worth it.

    Keep in mind you can spend 75% of income in one place and 50% of income in another and still end up saving more in the 75% place.

    I still want to move out though because the monoculture here is exhausting
    May 24 6
    • Facebook tTFN31
      No I’m saying you’d save more even if you maintained the same quality of life (ie purchased the same things, QoL here suxx). Everything except housing costs the same. Like restaraunts are 20% more or sales tax is 10% more.
      May 24
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      While that is true that most other costs are the same, housing is such a significant cost that the other expenses are inconsequential.
      May 24
    • Facebook tTFN31
      Just do the calculation yourself then because it comepletely depends on your situation (job opportunity, etc). But even a 2000000 home, its like 50k interest and 20k property tax. Not that much out of 250k TC
      May 24
    • Airbnb de Bosch
      Just don’t buy anything. Pay rent, save up for 5 years, move.
      May 24
    • IBM / Eng WYmS28
      OP
      @airbnb exactly. Bay area is a revolving door. I would imagine very few transplants start families here.
      May 24
  • Microsoft Yved
    I left the Bay Area a few years ago (for Seattle) and I’ve never been happier. Net worth is increasing a lot faster now. Pay increase (TC $380k now, was $300k in SF), waaay cheaper and nicer housing, and no state income tax.
    May 25 1
    • F5 Networks RRA
      But the gray...
      May 25
  • Google Sergey Got
    I was offered L5 level with 430k TC in Bay area from both FB and GOOG. I preferred 400k at Seattle due to big difference in cost of living.
    Jun 10 0
  • New / Other
    DuQvV7y

    New Other

    BIO
    Did stuff. Hustled hard. Retired
    DuQvV7ymore
    Lead by example, leave first
    May 25 0
  • New
    wsGD04

    New

    PRE
    PayPal
    wsGD04more
    I'm outta here after 5 years. I keep burning more RSUs than I can really save because EVERYTHING is expensive. I'm going remote, and heading to a place with a shit ton less people for sure.
    May 25 0
  • Target hvt654jji
    Loads of refugees coming to the Midwest and appear happy as hell
    May 25 0
  • Lyft / Eng HXRt44
    I can see a future where a dot-com style tech crash would shake up everything with a huge round of tech layoffs.

    Then people who were thinking of moving to the Bay would redirect to another hub, and the Bay could finally catch up with it's housing demand.
    May 25 2
    • Amazon / Eng Yolo!
      You know one of the primary problems in the bay is lack of available land to develop and older people not selling homes due to Prop13? Burst or no burst, this problem does not go away and any glitch will be temporary. I expect the median home price in Bay Area ( SC county ) hit $1.5M in the next 5-7 years.

      https://www.bayareamarketreports.com/trend/3-recessions-2-bubbles-and-a-baby
      May 25
    • Salesforce linusklava
      Yes. There are a lot of policies here like prop13 which are designed to help people short term by patching holes. However patch based solutions is like plugging a leak. The water will always find a way to leak somewhere else. The right way is to fix the system, not patch the hole.
      May 25
  • New / Eng SharmaG
    It is always someone else's problem until it is yours. We have to find a solution for the displaced people. There is a lot of stress around this for a lot of people.
    May 25 0
  • Google Sergey Got
    Comp is 1.1x
    Jun 10 0
  • Google Sergey Got
    Housing in Bay area is 2.5x of Redmond
    Jun 10 0
  • Apple VgahFff23
    Go back to Phoenix? 🤷‍♂️ supply and demand?
    May 24 0