Settle down in San Diego or rent in the bay

Illumina tech lead
Apr 1 28 Comments

Household income of 340k TC in San Diego.

Decent new construction homes are 1.3MM here
https://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/Sendero/Plan-2/home/147533783

Older smaller homes can be had for $800k with a short < 10 min commute.
https://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Diego/8814-Via-Andar-92122/home/4869945

Income has room to grow, both late starters. PhD and MBA.

Worth pursuing a switch to the bay? Would be switching to a PM/TPM role at google/Facebook. (Household TC would move to 450k-550k?)

Or have we already found our sweet spot of income / housing / effort / location / weather ???

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 28 Comments
  • Jet.com JNHG66
    You’re already winning
    Apr 10
  • Microsoft / Eng
    temp_

    MicrosoftEng

    PRE
    Amazon
    temp_more
    Stay in San Diego. It's an awesome place to be. You have decent comp and if it grows, much better living in San Diego.
    Apr 10
  • Look at what 1.3M gets you in Menlo Park and Mt View now on Redfin. Then laugh. Even if you were willing to endure an hour commute from say San Jose 20-15miles away (you heard me right), 1.3M will get you an old, small SFH or a newer townhome in a not so great area (don't plan on sending kids to public schools here).

    To get something like that new construction in the Bay Area, you'd have to live somewhere like San Ramon (1.5-2 hours one way away from Mt View and Menlo Park). And you'd pay more like $1.7M+. Your commute from the new construction to Illumina is like 15min for 9 miles.

    I've lived and worked in SD before. At your TC in SD, I would probably stay there. But if you are willing to suffer a few years for 150k more pre tax, or 90k post, go for it. Make that money for as long as you can stand the Bay then move back down to So Cal. Bay Area life is significantly worse either for singles or married couples IMO. I'd only think about moving if TC is in the upper range of your estimates (500k or more).
    Apr 11
    • Google notez
      Totally agree. Moved to Bay from SD. You can always go back with money.
      Apr 1
  • Nokia FXBj20
    Don’t forget to take Bay Area traffic into account too vs. where you are now/how that will impact your quality of life. Not sure how traffic is in SD.
    Apr 11
    • Illumina tech lead
      OP
      We have no traffic currently. As I understand it, it would be horrible in the bay :). We’d want to live as close as possible to work to potentially walk or bike (which may simply be unaffordable).
      Apr 1
  • LabCorp / IT
    [🗿]

    LabCorpIT

    PRE
    Amazon
    [🗿]more
    San Diego is beautiful and better , however if you think about career opportunities to switch to FANG or any top companies in the future , then San Diego is not the right place.

    However San Diego is golden when it comes to traffic plus your comp looks decent..
    Apr 10
  • Intel g3forever
    San Diego is better lifestyle wise than the bay in every way imaginable. Especially if you can have a less than 10 minute commute and afford your mortgage.
    Apr 12
    • Yeah you could sort of live on an Intel salary. Almost.
      Apr 1
    • Intel g3forever
      2 intel salaries would be comfortable.
      But 340k is def comfortable
      Apr 1
  • Airbnb / Engsawee
    You would be crazy to give up what you have in San Diego and move to the Bay Area. I would only do it as a very short term thing if you were going to make $1mil TC combined for a few years and save it.
    Apr 10
  • Microsoft
    🐙M🐙

    Microsoft

    BIO
    🐙
    🐙M🐙more
    “Hoping I can just find a sweet spot in SD and just hold onto long enough to retire early :).”

    I think you’ve found it
    Apr 10
  • Instacart Carrottr0n
    Traffic is pretty bad in the burbs to jobs (both houses you posted.) A hour and a half in a car both ways isn’t uncommon in SD.
    Apr 10
  • Equivalent housing in Menlo Park would be north of $2.5M . You do the math . Better off in SD
    Apr 12
    • LinkedIn zngN37
      It's more like $3.5M for a 3000 sqft new construction in Menlo Park
      Apr 1
    • True , I was thinking 1800-2000 sq ft
      Apr 1
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Flagged by the community.

    • Amazon / R&D
      ps.ily

      AmazonR&D

      PRE
      Google
      ps.ilymore
      Delete this nephew
      Apr 1
  • LabCorp / IT
    [🗿]

    LabCorpIT

    PRE
    Amazon
    [🗿]more
    There are not that many companies with that comp in San Diego, if I am right. Please consider that one as well for future career opportunities.
    Apr 11
    • Illumina tech lead
      OP
      Yes. That would be a major reason to go to the bay temporarily. Get a big name on the resume to hopefully expand future career growth. But the plan would never be to stay in the bay long term. Hoping I can just find a sweet spot in SD and just hold onto long enough to retire early :). But yeah, if things go south, not a ton of backup options.
      Apr 1
  • Illumina tech lead
    OP
    Intel in SD. What sort of TC is normal there? Principal at Qualcomm looks to be low 200s?
    Apr 12
    • Similar to Qualcomm. Maybe slightly less in TC depending on position. YOE after PhD? Fresh PhDs get Grade 7 at Intel, maybe in a hot field or biz unit like AI, Grade 8. That's like 160-210k TC in the Bay Area. In SD, take 13-10% off the Bay Area TC, so like 145-190k. You probably would want to avoid working at Intel. Or even Qualcomm for that matter. Apple is openly poaching Qualcomm engineers for their new San Diego office.
      Apr 1
    • Illumina tech lead
      OP
      I’m at 3 yoe post PhD. Right around 200k TC. Looking forward to the new Apple SD hub - would potentially switch there once things get going.
      Apr 1
  • Amazon amazons
    Not for an extra 100k. More than a 50% increase would be hard to pass up though. I’d interview and get a sense for your exact worth up there and then make an informed decision.
    Apr 10
  • Apple parking
    If money is a key objective then Bay Area is the best place to go. San Diego is great to retire but the money is in the bay. Just rent a nice unit in bay and once you have enough money move to SD. Rent is still extremely cheap compared to buying. You get amazing homes to rent for $4-5k which would cost $2+M to buy
    Apr 10
  • Microsoft holaaa
    Stay and save morey
    Apr 10
  • Netflix Usuah
    San Diego period
    Apr 10

Join verified employees in our anonymous social network!Download the app!

close