How much would I need to make in Bay Area to make it worth moving from Seattle (TC 205K)

Microsoft rainy
May 29, 2018 30 Comments

I have been getting called by companies in the Bay area and interviewed with a couple. They may offer me a better position and maybe a more interesting project. Still, live is so expensive in the Bay Area so I wonder how much should I get to make it worth the hassle.

Assuming that the perks of the Bay area have little to no value to me, and I am quite comfortable in Seattle. I own a small place that is worth about 750K. I have a wife and no kids or pets. I would like to have at least a kid soon and get a bigger place in the not so distant future.

My wild guess is 360K. I roughly took what I make, added 10% for extra income tax. Then I took what it could cost me to rent a similar place minus what I would get from renting the one I have (after taxes). Multiplied the subtotal by 1.15 to compensate for higher cost of everything outside housing. Finally I multiplied that by 1.25 because I think that I should make at least 25% more to make it worth it.

Is this right? Would such a huge increase just get me 25% more in practice.

If you have moved to Bay Area from Seattle , what kind of money made you move?

Whether they will give me such an offer is a different question, but I need to be prepared for when/if the offers come.

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TOP 30 Comments
  • Microsoft / Other TeamsTeam
    Is weather playing a role in this decision?
    May 29, 2018 3
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      Nope. Weather is one of those perks of the Bay area I mentioned. I am pretty cool with clouds and the rain.
      Wife is not so cool with it, but she doesn't care that much either
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      It's all about opportunities for growth. I would like to come better off financially as a result of that growth though.
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft ($)^(&)
      Opportunity for growth and options for advancement are waaaaaay higher in bay area than Seattle. Most companies open a Seattle office just to funnel talent to HQ.
      May 29, 2018
  • Square Dhdiidjdjd
    Unpopular opinion on blind: money isn’t everything. Your post doesn’t give me the impression that you want to live in the bay... so why do it for some unknown pay increase.

    Is the difference really worth leaving if you like where you are?
    May 29, 2018 2
    • PayPal / Eng Brooster
      Totally agree. OP you've to think of housing, commute, competition. Seattle area has a lot of good opportunities too and if you like it there, find something better paying. Google Facebook have only marginally better comp in bay area compared to Seattle
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      Thanks. It's true. I would rather not move, but the opportunities may be too good to pass. I want to make a good career move. I don't think I will get promoted here any time soon and some companies are interested in my domain expertise.

      I want to be able to assess what is 'too good' withouts being impressed by the raw number. In fact, I want to be able to answer that last question you asked.
      Jun 1, 2018
  • Google ipue10
    360 is doable. It's hard to say if it's worth it without more details.
    May 29, 2018 7
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      Thanks. What details did I miss? (Sorry if this is obvious)
      May 29, 2018
    • New PooChoo
      360k is absolutely not doable for someone making 200k in seattle. Both cities have almost identical salary bands, so you're basically just demanding a 2 level promotion just because you refuse to live in a smaller apartment with way more city and cultural amenities.
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      I am not asking whether or not I will get that money. I thought that was pretty clear.
      I asked whether that is the right equivalent to come off slightly better financially.

      More people are moving to Seattle from Bay area than the other way around for a reason. If I get a better offer here, I will of course not move.
      So far it seems to me that 260 in Seattle > 360 in Bay Area
      May 30, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng PhoenixAZ
      Knows nothing about OPs qualifications / talent. Jumps to conclusion that OP cannot land 360k. Laughable.
      May 30, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng PhoenixAZ
      Just to give an example, a friend of mine landed 400k in Netflix from 150k in msft..
      May 30, 2018
    • New PooChoo
      Absolutely meaningless. If your friend could make 400k in the Bay then they could make 400k in Seattle.
      Jun 1, 2018
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      PooChoo,the reason for me to consider Bay area is that there are a few options that are very interested in my specific domain expertise. That's why I may get better offers there. Otherwise I would have only focused on Seattle. Let's say I don't get $xx I want to be able to estimate whether I will have to downsize or not and make an informed decision. Simple

      Thanks PhoenixAz. Appreciate it.
      Jun 1, 2018
  • VMware rigged
    Simply put, there is no 1:1 mapping of comp when you move from Seattle to the Bay Area (I live in SEA and previously in SF). You get paid more, yes, but it doesn’t get you an equitable lifestyle. You have to learn to do less with more. It’s just the cost of living there.
    May 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      I understand. I lived in Bay area a while ago. I moved to Seattle for the same salary I had back then and I felt like I could just burn money. My salary of course was a lot lower and the economy was different.
      I wanted to get anecdotal experiences rather than precise data points.
      If you don't mind, could you share your experience? Would you go back to Bay area ?
      May 29, 2018
  • Microsoft ($)^(&)
    A friend if mine who moved from Seattle to Bay Area said about 12-15% increase should do it.
    May 29, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Sct909
    360 sounds about right
    May 29, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Eng
    . Blee .

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Morgan Stanley
    . Blee .more
    In the same boat as you. What's your YOE? My TC is the same thanks to AMZN, but not sure if someone will pay me (I'm 3.5 YOE) about 350 though.
    May 29, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Other JiffBezos
    I am moving there next month. The TC in Seattle is 180k, the TC in Bay is 230k. After tax the new TC still more. I have considerd cost of living. The rent is not so different comparing Seattle to San Jose. The house price is very expensive compare to Seattle. I currently living in a 2400 sqft house with 30 minutes commute time. It is worth 650k. The same house in Bay is almost non existent. 950k *might* get you a small townhouse in San Jose or Fremont.

    But I have rental income for about 5k. I am planning to use these extra money to pay mortgage in California. (I have no mortgage in Seattle)

    Overall I feel, if you having some assets and/or saving, you should be able to live in Bay without compromising too much on life style.
    May 30, 2018 1
    • Microsoft TCorGTFO!
      Besides mortgage and state tax (which is compensated by higher TC) almost everything is comparable to Seattle. Burgers in Seattle are more expensive for some reason. Big bummer. First you took away my sun now you’re coming after my burgers. Seafood is way better in Seattle though. People are willing to pay the sunshine tax for a reason. Also, career trajectory and lifetime earnings are way higher in the bay with makes sense given the opportunities.
      May 30, 2018
  • Google UBdG56
    Why don’t you just move to different company in Seattle for ~25% increase. With PhD + 7 YOE, you should be able to fetch 250-300k TC at competing company.
    May 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      I am absolutely going to interview with Facebook and Google in the next couple of weeks. Truth is that the companies that want me to move have a particular interest in my domain expertise and seems like they "may" give me a more influential role.
      If I get something comparable in Seattle then I no longer have a problem.
      Jun 1, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Fuck Trump
    Your math is way off bro. It doesn't make sense to multiply your total income by 1.15 for cost of living unless you plan to spend all of your income and the company thinks they should compensate for it.
    May 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      So what would you suggest?
      May 29, 2018
  • PayPal laxmipathy
    Don’t come
    May 29, 2018 1
    • Microsoft rainy
      OP
      Why?
      May 29, 2018
  • Apple John!
    People survive on $200k in bay with families.
    May 30, 2018 0
  • OmniTier Storage
    33yKS7xLjI

    OmniTier Storage

    PRE
    Google, Facebook, Apple, Salesforce
    33yKS7xLjImore
    $280+k is good enough.
    May 30, 2018 0

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