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Leaving the Bay Area ...

Leaving the Bay Area ...

Old Jul 24th 2017, 5:47 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
The last real-estate bubble certainly ended in tears in 2008/9, and there were prior bubbles too. I was surprised to see the prices rise above their 2007/8 levels recently. As much as the recent rise has been crazy, the values have only just exceeded their 2007/8 levels. See this chart, from https://www.paragon-re.com/trend/cas...ng-home-prices . All indications are, the current cycle is coming to a close (based purely on cycle dynamics).
Inflation-adjusted, we're below the 2008 peak in the Bay Area. You can play around with both non-adjusted and inflation-adjusted graphs on this page:

Case-Shiller Home Price Trends in 20 Cities - Real Estate Decoded

Last edited by Giantaxe; Jul 24th 2017 at 5:50 pm.
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Old Jul 24th 2017, 10:05 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I don't understand this 'distrust' of tech companies. Tech companies are not charities; they exist to make money. They hire like crazy when things are going well, and they fire like crazy when things are not going well. Do you see people complaining when they are hiring people in droves, and at crazy rates? It's this flexibility to hire and fire that keeps the Bay Area tech companies agile. Some go bust, but others come in to take their place. Everyone I know that was laid off back in the various 'crash' cycles pretty quickly got a new job, and in general for more money than before. It seems very narrow to be worrying about one company downsizing/moving elsewhere, when 5 other companies are hiring / expanding next door. If you look at the Bay Area over the past 30 years, I think you'll see a net increase in employment and in salaries.
All very well if you are a Techie, you are taking a very narrow view of the demographics of the area, there are a lot more people who don't make anywhere near the salaries paid by Tech companies, the so called blue collar jobs, which are fewer and fewer. Meanwhile all that's left are low wage service industry jobs. It's difficult to imagine how someone on minimum wage could survive in the Bay Area, even people with modest incomes are force to the fringes at as far Tracy and beyond.
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Old Jul 24th 2017, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Part of the issue with house prices are generational changes in attitude among millennials. The previous generation wanted a big detached house on a corner lot and were happy to have it in the suburbs - CBDs were for commerce and warehouses. Today's millennial, in contrast, wants the loft apartment in the CBD and dreams of buying the warehouse below and turning it into a craft brewery. Yes, that apartment is a horribly expensive shoebox, but that's now seen as "part of the experience" and a major part of growing up.

San Francisco and New York have been the two massive hotbeds of this; for whatever reason they were the preferred spots (and SF not exclusively for tech). There was about a 10-year period where it was almost seen as a "rite of passage" that you had to live in both for a few years for "the experience" before "settling down."

American parents have by and large been willing to sacrifice their own retirements to chip in, which has put prices in range for many youngsters when otherwise it wouldn't be.

So, I have no idea if we are at the peak or not, but the market has changed.
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Old Jul 24th 2017, 11:16 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Inflation-adjusted, we're below the 2008 peak in the Bay Area. You can play around with both non-adjusted and inflation-adjusted graphs on this page:

Case-Shiller Home Price Trends in 20 Cities - Real Estate Decoded
Not sure what the graph proves, but I know for sure that homes in the Pleasanton, San Ramon and Danville areas are at an all time high. I know that my home is selling for far more than it would in 2008.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 12:26 am
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Part of the issue with house prices are generational changes in attitude among millennials. The previous generation wanted a big detached house on a corner lot and were happy to have it in the suburbs - CBDs were for commerce and warehouses. Today's millennial, in contrast, wants the loft apartment in the CBD and dreams of buying the warehouse below and turning it into a craft brewery. Yes, that apartment is a horribly expensive shoebox, but that's now seen as "part of the experience" and a major part of growing up.

San Francisco and New York have been the two massive hotbeds of this; for whatever reason they were the preferred spots (and SF not exclusively for tech). There was about a 10-year period where it was almost seen as a "rite of passage" that you had to live in both for a few years for "the experience" before "settling down."

American parents have by and large been willing to sacrifice their own retirements to chip in, which has put prices in range for many youngsters when otherwise it wouldn't be.

So, I have no idea if we are at the peak or not, but the market has changed.
Not exclusively tech, but 'Google' commute buses to Santa Clara County show the extent the tech sector plays in gentrification.
Whether one considers gentrification a good or bad thing is another matter.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 12:37 am
  #21  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by johnwoo View Post
Not sure what the graph proves, but I know for sure that homes in the Pleasanton, San Ramon and Danville areas are at an all time high. I know that my home is selling for far more than it would in 2008.
I don't doubt it, but in the context of discussing whether or not we're in a fresh bubble, I think inflation-adjusted figures are more indicative.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 12:57 am
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Either way, housing costs are a huge problem for essential workers who are not making mega salaries. How are we going to attract and retain public school teachers, for example?

As for the corporate shuttle buses... I'm a huge fan. We have very limited public transit. And those buses are keeping a lot of cars (thousands) off the very clogged roads. It's good to see these companies contributing toward some (partial) solutions.

We're not going to get much help from the Valley Transit Authority (VTA) which is something of a joke. Despite horrible road congestion their light rail and bus ridership has been in steady decline.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 1:27 am
  #23  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by malch View Post
Either way, housing costs are a huge problem for essential workers who are not making mega salaries. How are we going to attract and retain public school teachers, for example?
How do you define a mega salary ? I mean...we were on a healthy joint salary of $150K and by myself $110K. After we had a kid we were technically going to be able to go on the list for "affordable" housing.

As for the corporate shuttle buses... I'm a huge fan. We have very limited public transit. And those buses are keeping a lot of cars (thousands) off the very clogged roads. It's good to see these companies contributing toward some (partial) solutions.
Good attitude, unfortunately not all concurred. It got to the point where our company told us to "vary" our route when walking home as activists were following some people. After being photographed 3 times getting off the bus, I gave up and started driving every day with a couple of colleagues. The end result was that our company bus lost ridership and let a few drivers go.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by deadshoppingmalls View Post
Good attitude, unfortunately not all concurred. It got to the point where our company told us to "vary" our route when walking home as activists were following some people. After being photographed 3 times getting off the bus, I gave up and started driving every day with a couple of colleagues. The end result was that our company bus lost ridership and let a few drivers go.
That is very sad. I was aware of a lot of opposition coming from certain activists, and certain cities like San Francisco. It calmed down a lot when the shuttle operators agreed to pay a tax/permit fee (averaging $100,000 per company).

But I'm assured it was never "just about the money" :-)
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 4:03 am
  #25  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
I don't doubt it, but in the context of discussing whether or not we're in a fresh bubble, I think inflation-adjusted figures are more indicative.
Perhaps not a bubble as in 2008, I'm wondering quite what is going on in this area with houses selling $40 to $50k above asking price, and the coming demand from a specific demographic, high tech Asians.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by deadshoppingmalls View Post
How do you define a mega salary ? I mean...we were on a healthy joint salary of $150K and by myself $110K. After we had a kid we were technically going to be able to go on the list for "affordable" housing.



Good attitude, unfortunately not all concurred. It got to the point where our company told us to "vary" our route when walking home as activists were following some people. After being photographed 3 times getting off the bus, I gave up and started driving every day with a couple of colleagues. The end result was that our company bus lost ridership and let a few drivers go.
Of course shuttle buses are a good idea in principle, but they are symptomatic of long term residents being evicted to make room high tech high salaried workers who find it cool to live in the city.

SF's Tech Bus Problem Isn't About Buses. It's About Housing.

"The real problem—the reason the protests won't stop for good anytime soon—is that to many, these private shuttles are the rolling symbol of a class war pitting young, cash-rich tech workers against long-time San Franciscans who are being pushed out of their homes by evictions and out of the city altogether by astronomical rent prices. (Indeed, a 2015 Forbes ranking of worst cities to rent in closed with San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco in the top three spots.)"

http://https://www.wired.com/2016/02...about-housing/
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 4:38 am
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by johnwoo View Post
"The real problem—the reason the protests won't stop for good anytime soon—is that to many, these private shuttles are the rolling symbol...
But at least those shuttles are getting thousands of people to work (and keeping cars off the road).

Better to get mad at Facebook, which doesn't contribute anything useful :-)
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by johnwoo View Post
"The real problem—the reason the protests won't stop for good anytime soon—is that to many, these private shuttles are the rolling symbol of a class war pitting young, cash-rich tech workers against long-time San Franciscans who are being pushed out of their homes by evictions and out of the city altogether by astronomical rent prices. (Indeed, a 2015 Forbes ranking of worst cities to rent in closed with San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco in the top three spots.)"
You see, the bolded is part of my beef with SF.

A rental home is just that...a rental. Our first place in SF, we got Ellis Acted. The owner wanted to move his elderly parents in (it was a 4 story walk up with 4 apartments). He was awesome. Not only did he abide by the rules of Ellis to the letter, he slashed our rent to $1 for 3 months to ensure we had enough reserves for deposits and moving costs (on top of the $10K he paid us both as part of Ellis). We found a place across the street and could stay in the neighborhood. But in all honesty, if it wasn't for Ellis, we would have left happily with just two or 3 months notice. It was his apartment, we paid him rent in order to have a roof over our heads.

We moved into a building where one of the residents was paying $900 for a 3BR. That didn't even cover their share of the property tax on the unit for a year. Think about that - the landlord was losing money by having them there.

We're landlords to two apartments in Barcelona (another city with a property crisis akin to SF), both rented out long term to families below what we could get for them now as rentals. But damnit, if we needed or wanted to move back - they would have 3 months notice before we moved back and nothing more. While it's their apartment, it's our home.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 5:40 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by johnwoo View Post
Of course shuttle buses are a good idea in principle, but they are symptomatic of long term residents being evicted to make room high tech high salaried workers who find it cool to live in the city.

SF's Tech Bus Problem Isn't About Buses. It's About Housing.

"The real problem—the reason the protests won't stop for good anytime soon—is that to many, these private shuttles are the rolling symbol of a class war pitting young, cash-rich tech workers against long-time San Franciscans who are being pushed out of their homes by evictions and out of the city altogether by astronomical rent prices. (Indeed, a 2015 Forbes ranking of worst cities to rent in closed with San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco in the top three spots.)"

http://https://www.wired.com/2016/02...about-housing/
As I have said, I love the Bay Area, and I love so much about San Francisco (I lived in the City for 12 years before moving to the 'burbs). But this whole 'shuttle bus' and 'class war' thing just pisses me off and is symptomatic about what is so messed up with the Bay Area.

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, and there are literally millions of people who would like to live there. So what gives 'existing residents' any special right to stay there? If you look at the city historically, there were strong Irish and Russian communities, but they were displaced by Asians. There are plenty of cheaper places outside of SF that people can move to.

I personally lived in SF from 83 to 95, but in 95 concluded it was just too expensive for me, and moved out to Walnut Creek - a move I thoroughly enjoyed. My nephew was renting a crappy studio in the City until recently; he vowed never to leave the City but ended up moving to Redwood City recently and absolutely loves it - he wonders now why he ever put up with all the hassles of the City. These 'activist' people seem to think they are a special class of people who deserve special protections from normal market forces. If I want to spend my life being an artist, then I can't also expect to live in the most expensive city in the US ... Oakland is now becoming a haven for these displaced SF folk, due to its affordability. And of course, there are people in Oakland complaining that they are being displaced by these refugees from SF ... it's just the normal cycle of life.

I'm now considering leaving the Bay Area because it's too expensive; I will enjoy 'the next place' just as much, I'm sure, for different reasons.
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Old Jul 25th 2017, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Leaving the Bay Area ...

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
...

Fine of you want to stay indoors; I don't. I just did a cycling weekend by the Sacramento River - temps in the upper '90's. I survived, but that kind of heat is wearing when you want to do relatively strenuous outdoor exercise. Got back to SF last night and the temperature was... 56F.
Remember, it's only 'very hot' in Scottsdale for about 4 months of the year (June-Sept); the rest of the time is really beautiful. And I've found some trails that are in the shade in the late afternoon, so while it is hot, it's not unbearable. Most serious hikers hike very early in the morning (sunrise) in summer, when the temps are surprisingly low - tomorrow morning at sunrise, it will be 84F, which due to low humidity will feel very nice. Also, as you know, Flagstaff is one of several nearby destinations outside of the Phoenix Metro that is very cool in summer (due to high elevation at 7,000 feet). It's a 2.5 hour drive, but its cheap to stay overnight. Sedona also offers wonderful hiking trails and remains cool most of the year, at 4,300 feet.

This year, in the Bay Area, it rained incessantly in winter, and this really impacted my hiking activities - all my favorite trails were inaccessible due to being muddy; I had to find paved trails right up through April. In Scottsdale, my favorite trails remain accessible all through winter, and the temps are 'perfect'.
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