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Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Old Apr 7th 2012, 6:49 pm
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Default Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

My wife and I are considering a move to the US for 2-4 years - she has an offer with a US tech company based in San Jose in an executive role. I would likely be a house husband while we are there. In the UK i split my time between childcare and trading UK shares and investments. We currently live in London and have two kids aged 3 and 5. We need loads of advice, but for starters any help in these areas would be great :

- Where to live? Benefit of being in town and close to work (office near Campbell) so mum gets to see more of the kids versus other further out nicer areas potentially and better accommodation and schools.

- Commuting / transport - is it just cars or are there better ways to travel / get to work? How long would it take to get from eg Los gatos to Campbell area? or Alamaden etc.

- Housing - a look at some websites seems to indicate that a 3 or 4Bed in a nice area w/ good schools could cost $6,000 to $8,000 and a lot of them look pretty naff and are bungalow-ish. Am I wrong / how does anyone afford this!

- Are there any other guys playing mum out there? Any advice? I realise it cld be pretty lonely playing parent when you've left your old friends behind!

Thanks for any advice or tips!
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Old Apr 7th 2012, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by Nimco View Post
My wife and I are considering a move to the US for 2-4 years - she has an offer with a US tech company based in San Jose in an executive role. I would likely be a house husband while we are there. In the UK i split my time between childcare and trading UK shares and investments. We currently live in London and have two kids aged 3 and 5. We need loads of advice, but for starters any help in these areas would be great :

- Where to live? Benefit of being in town and close to work (office near Campbell) so mum gets to see more of the kids versus other further out nicer areas potentially and better accommodation and schools.

- Commuting / transport - is it just cars or are there better ways to travel / get to work? How long would it take to get from eg Los gatos to Campbell area? or Alamaden etc.

- Housing - a look at some websites seems to indicate that a 3 or 4Bed in a nice area w/ good schools could cost $6,000 to $8,000 and a lot of them look pretty naff and are bungalow-ish. Am I wrong / how does anyone afford this!

- Are there any other guys playing mum out there? Any advice? I realise it cld be pretty lonely playing parent when you've left your old friends behind!

Thanks for any advice or tips!
Where to live? Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose itself, Menlo Park

Los Gatos to Campbell : Approx 10 miles.

How to get around in the area: Most people do it by car.

Yes, renting in the area is expensive. I was in 2 bed, 2 bathroom apartment in 2000 in Sunnyvale and it was 2.3K a month then. However, if you live in London you should not have too much sticker shock.
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Old Apr 8th 2012, 12:20 am
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Los Gatos to Campbell : Approx 10 miles.
Los Gatos (very nice, but very expensive) to Campbell (not so nice and not as expensive) is a very reasonable commute, but note that, in general, the distance isn't nearly as important as the driving time which can and will vary a lot depending on the time of day and traffic conditions.

I have a 40 mile commute which usually takes about 50 minutes when I am coming home in the evening - the most frustrating thing (which happens perhaps once or twice a month) is to get stuck in traffic for 20 minutes when you are only a mile or two from home.
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Old Apr 8th 2012, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

As the parent of a school age kid, plus one who will probably attend school before you leave, then make sure you consider school in your decision where to live. The system works differently here in that the school your kid goes to is based on the street address of your house/apartment. Just because you have a Saratoga address, doesn't mean your kids go to Saratoga schools (some go to Campbell schools - big difference).

The school system can make a different in the rental price of the properties you look at since people will rent in specific school districts just to get their kids into those schools. The better the schools, the higher the rental price.

And I'd agree with the PP on distance vs commuting times. We have a 30 mile 40 minute commute (against the traffic) while friends have a 10 mile 50 minute commute (with the traffic). Definitely worth considering.

http://schoolperformancemaps.com/ca/...30139%2C10%2C1

And here is some more qualitative info on specific schools rather than just a one-off score.
http://www.greatschools.org/california/san-jose/

Bungalow houses are quite normal here (called "ranch") and yes, some are quite naff. $8000 does sound high for monthly rental though.
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Old Apr 8th 2012, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

http://www.greatschools.org/
http://www.city-data.com/

Hope this helps a bit. Also, your wife's company may be able to help steer you in the right direction of good housing.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 9th 2012, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

I would definitely consider school areas unless you are considering home schooling. (And if that is something you would consider, I believe there are very good networks for homeschooled kids around here, so they get quite a bit of the social experience.)

Almaden would be a good place if you're working in Campbell. It's a nice area to live and quite good access. I would estimate rent on a nice three or four bedroom house to be around $3000 a month, maybe up to $3500. Can't see why you'd have to pay more than that (although I'm sure there are houses higher than that there).

As an example, this search on craigslist shows a few available (choose "San Jose South" for the area to get Almaden, then check on google maps).
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/a...drooms=3&nh=39

You'd probably both need a car, there is light rail in the area but nothing that's convenient to many places.
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Old Apr 9th 2012, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by Nimco View Post

- Are there any other guys playing mum out there? Any advice? I realise it cld be pretty lonely playing parent when you've left your old friends behind!
Can't help for the area, but meetup.com and facebook will be a good start for meet up groups...also see if there's any free kids groups, ACCEPT are the fed funding agency, which funded the group in our last town which had a few kid and dad events, a couple dad drop in play groups and monthly dad play at the library. Our current town has a similar program but because of budget cuts also hosts for other towns near by, there wasn't any dad specific groups, but over the last year there's been more dads popping in so they're starting to have dad specific play groups being introduced...so certainly worth looking into.

Good luck and welcome to BE
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Old Apr 9th 2012, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by Nimco View Post
My wife and I are considering a move to the US for 2-4 years - she has an offer with a US tech company based in San Jose in an executive role. I would likely be a house husband while we are there. In the UK i split my time between childcare and trading UK shares and investments. We currently live in London and have two kids aged 3 and 5. We need loads of advice, but for starters any help in these areas would be great :

- Where to live? Benefit of being in town and close to work (office near Campbell) so mum gets to see more of the kids versus other further out nicer areas potentially and better accommodation and schools.

- Commuting / transport - is it just cars or are there better ways to travel / get to work? How long would it take to get from eg Los gatos to Campbell area? or Alamaden etc.

- Housing - a look at some websites seems to indicate that a 3 or 4Bed in a nice area w/ good schools could cost $6,000 to $8,000 and a lot of them look pretty naff and are bungalow-ish. Am I wrong / how does anyone afford this!

- Are there any other guys playing mum out there? Any advice? I realise it cld be pretty lonely playing parent when you've left your old friends behind!

Thanks for any advice or tips!
Rental prices have gone crazy over the last year. We took our rental 18 months ago, and are now needing to move again as the landlord has sold the house. To get anything close to similar in size with modern kitchens and bathrooms we're looking at a minimum of 40% increase.

Los Gatos is very expensive, unless you are willing to be in the mountains, which is a 10-15 minute drive on single windy roads to downtown.

I would look in the Almaden area too, prices are certainly cheaper down there.
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Old Apr 9th 2012, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

There's a new boom going in Silicon Valley so expect house prices to be high. I spent a year in Sunnyvale a while back and rush hour commuting was a nightmare....there's no viable public transportation.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 2:05 am
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Schools first, then commute, then 'personal preferences'.

That would be my advice. Look for a school district you like and then try to find housing within their area. Off the top of my head Cupertino, Palo Alto and Los Gatos have some pretty good schools, but as other have mentioned it comes down to 'which side of the street' you live on (sometimes literally). Cupertino schools can be pretty intense.

Here is a primer on moving to the US school system:

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Educat...s_in_school%3F

The houses you are seeing on websites, the basic 1960's "ranch house" is pretty common and ridiculously overpriced in most of Silicon Valley.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
Schools first, then commute, then 'personal preferences'.

That would be my advice. Look for a school district you like and then try to find housing within their area. Off the top of my head Cupertino, Palo Alto and Los Gatos have some pretty good schools, but as other have mentioned it comes down to 'which side of the street' you live on (sometimes literally). Cupertino schools can be pretty intense.

Here is a primer on moving to the US school system:

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Educat...s_in_school%3F

The houses you are seeing on websites, the basic 1960's "ranch house" is pretty common and ridiculously overpriced in most of Silicon Valley.
The rental prices are ridiculously expensive in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, and although the Cupertino school district looks great in paper, it is full of kids who get no opportunity to be kids. Every waking minute is taken up by education, recess is algebra and calculus, the kids work all the time, not TV no going out to ride a bike... a 10 on Great Schools isn't the full story. When you look at the stats Asians score in excess of 970, whites around 920 and everyone else in the 700s, the schools are 80%+ Asian.

We are currently struggling so much to find a rental that is within budget, big enough and anywhere near modern. We are seriously considering moving into an area with a not so great school district, where the rentals are up to $2k lower, and paying private school fees, we'll be better off and be in a house we like.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post

We are currently struggling so much to find a rental that is within budget, big enough and anywhere near modern. We are seriously considering moving into an area with a not so great school district, where the rentals are up to $2k lower, and paying private school fees, we'll be better off and be in a house we like.
Yes, I know the feeling. Every place we want to live is outside our budget. And every place we can afford, we hate.

A few months ago we thought about moving from coast side to central peninsula somewhere (Los Altos, Menlo Park, Palo Alto) to reduce commute to work and school but discovered that it was cheaper for us to stay in our current house (which we own) and get a FULL TIME nanny than it was to rent a house that we'd consider living in! That's scary. And we haven't moved!
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
Yes, I know the feeling. Every place we want to live is outside our budget. And every place we can afford, we hate.

A few months ago we thought about moving from coast side to central peninsula somewhere (Los Altos, Menlo Park, Palo Alto) to reduce commute to work and school but discovered that it was cheaper for us to stay in our current house (which we own) and get a FULL TIME nanny than it was to rent a house that we'd consider living in! That's scary. And we haven't moved!
I read the description for a house in Palo Alto the other day, it was cheap at $4,995. Said 1950's house, no renovations, big windows, well ventilated

Where are you Jackattack?
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

I'm sorry you guys are having such trouble. We don't have kids to worry about, but the two best areas we've lived in in San Jose are Almaden and Evergreen/Silver Creek. I believe the schools (or most of the schools) in both areas are pretty good. You might have a longer commute but you'd have a better standard of living maybe?? For Evergreen/Silver Creek you'd want to be South of Aborn and East of San Felipe. There are some small groups of nice houses outside of that area but the nicer ones are in there. For Almaden the houses are older but there are some very nice ones inside, check the area West of Almaden and South of Coleman too.
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Relocation to San Jose - House Husband needs advice!

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
I read the description for a house in Palo Alto the other day, it was cheap at $4,995. Said 1950's house, no renovations, big windows, well ventilated

Where are you Jackattack?
We live coastside - not far from HMB (moved there when hubbie was working in Santa Cruz and I was working up in city).

BUT hubbie now working in Cupertino. Kid in (private) school in Palo Alto. And I'm due with twins any time this week.

Hands full, yes?
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