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Is $155K enough to have a decent lifestyle in San Jose ? \\n

Advice from anyone living in San Jose appreciated !!

by Anonymousreply 7301/16/2013

I know this is a bit off-topic, but I'm really having a crisis over it and need some famous DL input. Feel free to be bitchy. Posting it as a separate thread would be much appreciated.

My partner and I currently live in Portland, OR and love it. However, he has a job offer and promotion available to him in San Jose. My job is virtual so I can move no problem.

Both of our employers would give us cost of living increases and will pay relocation, so that isn't an issue either.

Our combined income will go from $125K in Portland to $155K in the bay area.

Is a 30K bump enough to justify the move? Is $155K enough to have a decent lifestyle there?

If anyone has lived in both Portland and the San Jose/SF area, your input would be greatly valued.

We can't make up our minds! Help!

by Anonymousreply 106/10/2011

Does Mr. OP mean to say that he has $155,000 a year? Or $155,000 of capital?

by Anonymousreply 206/10/2011

I don't know much about San Jose, but two friends, a couple, who moved outside of San Francisco, to Vallejo, can barely make ends meets.

Their combined income is over $250,000 and they are basically homebodies, so I have no idea where their money goes.

They do have a mortgage on the cheapest house they could find, $650,000 (!!) and it's not even a nice house. They are always complaining that their city charges fees for every little thing like garbage pick up etc.

Not to mention, the taxes in general are outrageously high in the entire state of California.

You have to consider your general expense level will go up in California. From what my friends they tell me, everything is more expensive out there. Even cable TV service.

This is something my friends never considered when they moved from upstate NY to California, all they considered were the raises they both got, not how far their money would go in California, apparently not very far at all!

My suggestion is to simply research, compare prices with everything you use in Oregon.

by Anonymousreply 306/10/2011

"Does Mr. OP mean to say that he has $155,000 a year? Or $155,000 of capital?

Reading and comprehension are fundamental, OP said: "Our combined income will go from $125K in Portland to $155K in the bay area. Is a 30K bump enough to justify the move? Is $155K enough to have a decent lifestyle there?"

Guess you missed that info?

by Anonymousreply 406/10/2011

[quote]Our combined income will go from $125K in Portland to $155K in the bay area.%0D %0D BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!%0D %0D PS If you're moving to San Jose, you are NOT moving to the Bay Area. You are moving to Silicon Valley.

by Anonymousreply 506/10/2011

San Jose has nothing to recommend it, but the suburb of Escazu is quite nice. They even have an Outback and a Hooters!

by Anonymousreply 606/10/2011

San Jose is part of Bay Area and as the couple living in Vallejo but, can't make it on $250,000 k, what a joke your friends obviously have issues.

by Anonymousreply 706/10/2011

$155K, is that all? OMG, you'll have to live like poor people and take in boarders and wash your hair with bar soap!

by Anonymousreply 806/10/2011

Learn Hindi and Cantonese. Learn math in these languages. Learn to drive in these languages. Learn to eat in these languages.

Then you'll be fine.

by Anonymousreply 906/10/2011

"San Jose is part of Bay Area and as the couple living in Vallejo but, can't make it on $250,000 k, what a joke your friends obviously have issues."

They don't have "issues", they pay a ton of taxes, apparently they don't have many faux write offs like so many have. They also have pets, so that's another expense.

I didn't say they can't save, but they are always spending a ton on everything. They were planning on coming back to NY to retire, but that might not be possible.

EVERYTHING is much more expensive in California. It seems NY is not as highly taxed as California. They told me, if garbage is not out on certain day or too much is left out, they have to pay extra for that garbage removal. I've never heard such nonsense. The words they use a lot are "bleeding money".

They feel that California is bleeding it's residents dry with all those high taxes and other inflated prices.

by Anonymousreply 1006/10/2011

OP%0D %0D For what it's worth (not much), I get by on $17,000 a year in Half Moon Bay (pretty pricey town just over the coastal hills from San Jose). But I live like a hermit.%0D %0D The average home price in HMB is probably just under a million.%0D %0D If you like Portland, why leave?%0D %0D Aside from the climate, California ain't what many crack it up to be.

by Anonymousreply 1106/10/2011

"Aside from the climate, California ain't what many crack it up to be."

That's another thing my friends always complain about, the horrible weather!

They assumed California would be wonderful compared to NY. Unfortunately, the weather in Vallejo, and in San Fran where they both work, seems to always be damp, rainy, cold and gloomy. As I mentioned, they use space heaters!

While there's been a bad heatwave here in NY, they've been freezing when they wake up in the morning and are wearing raincoats for their horrible ferry and Geary bus rides.

That's another thing, the homeless problem in San Francisco isn't really dealt with. One of my friends is always seeing homeless guys masturbating on the Geary bus! No matter how many complaints from the riders, the bus drivers have done nothing.

by Anonymousreply 1206/10/2011

If you rent it's enough. Probably not enough to buy a house, although downtown is overbuilt with highrise condos.

SJ is nice but unexciting.

by Anonymousreply 1306/10/2011

[quote]As I mentioned, they use space heaters!


Really, why do people think California is warm year-round? It just amazes me that people think San Francisco's climate is the same as San Diego's.

by Anonymousreply 1406/10/2011

R12%0D %0D Coastal northern California is indeed cool and overcast. It's natures natural air-conditinging, absolutely perfect for people who love this kind of climate (and there are a lot of us sun-haters).%0D %0D But sun-lovers beware!

by Anonymousreply 1506/10/2011

Well, my point R14, is that my friends DID NOT research much before moving out there. That's why I suggested that OP and his partner do their research!

I think my friends were basically sick of NY, both having been born and lived here all of their lives, they were basically looking for a change of pace.

by Anonymousreply 1606/10/2011

Oh, R16, I'm sorry. I didn't intend any offense. It's just that I encounter this everywhere. People think the Bay Area is going to be sunny and warm all year 'round. When I tell people back East that Monterey, for instance, is often warmer in the winter than in the summer, they just scratch their heads in bewilderment.

by Anonymousreply 1706/10/2011



by Anonymousreply 1806/10/2011

r16, Vallejo is actually considered a shithole, your friends probably live in some decent part but, they have to be spending beyond their means. I live in San Jose have a townhouse to payoff & make a lot less but, do just fine.

by Anonymousreply 1906/10/2011

I'm familiar with both places and you're better off in Portland. Cost of living anywhere in Calif will never decrease and a nice house in a decent neighborhood in/near San Jose would cost at least half a million (with punishing property taxes for newcomers).

I can't think of a single thing that Calif offers that isn't also available in Portland. Unless the rain really bothers you, stay where you are.

by Anonymousreply 2006/10/2011

R16, just when did your friends move to Vallejo? Because right now, I don't think there's a single home listed at $650K. Most homes are in the $300-$350K range. Even when things were at the height of the market 5 or 6 years ago, Vallejo had many homes--many, many, many homes, in decent parts of town--well under $650K. I find it hard to believe they couldn't do better than that for a "not very nice" house.%0D %0D As for taxes? Property taxes have cratered with home prices, and for those rare properties that have appreciated Prop. 13 holds those taxes in check. My monthly mortgage payment has gone down every year because the reassessment (done as a matter of state law by the assessor's office) on which the taxes are based has also gone down. %0D %0D Finally, your friends may complain about the morning fog on the water or in the city, but Vallejo actually has the best weather in the Bay Area--warmer and less foggy than SF, cooler than the East and South Bay because of the Carquinez Straits. (That said, it has been pretty unseasonably sucky so far this June.)%0D %0D Vallejo has an interesting history (first capitol of California) and good "bones," but it's been terribly mismanaged. My partner grew up there, her parents still live there, and we've been living there since 2002. A couple making $250K and commuting to SF should be able to live reasonably well, and certainly not "barely making ends meet."

by Anonymousreply 2106/10/2011

R21, my friends have been in Vallejo since 1999.

They bought this house about ten years ago. They were already renting the house and didn't want to go through the hassle of another move.

Because of the businesses they work in, a lot of their money is spent on expensive clothing because they need to attend special museum etc events, so their spending is not just for everyday expenses, which are already too high. Their most recent events were at the DeYoung and MOMA, they attended some $2,500 per plate event!

A few months ago, The New York Times featured an article about Vallejo and other areas of California, the main point was that Vallejo was broke! So where are all those high taxes going?

by Anonymousreply 2206/10/2011

155K? I make 60k and my partner makes 30k (working part-time) and we do just fine in San Jose. Unless you don't know how to manage your money, 155k is more then enough, with quite a bit extra! If you can't survive on 155k a year then you're an idiot....anywhere!

by Anonymousreply 2306/10/2011

[quote]They feel that California is bleeding it's residents dry with all those high taxes and other inflated prices.

High taxes? If anything, property taxes are too low due to prop 13. It's why the state is broke.

by Anonymousreply 2406/10/2011

[quote]Their most recent events were at the DeYoung and MOMA, they attended some $2,500 per plate event!

So OP, do you plan on attending many $2,500 a plate events? If not, it seems that $155K will do you just fine.

by Anonymousreply 2506/10/2011

Um, EXCUSE ME, but wtf would anyone want to live in the SJ, CA area anyway? Seriously. I mean, come on. It is strip malls, Mexicans, tract houses, no culture, meth, desert, the people are evil, and the land is dying.

by Anonymousreply 2606/10/2011

I agree r26, SJ is completely overrun with Mexicans which of course means big gang problems. The murder rate is way up this yr.

by Anonymousreply 2706/10/2011

It's not only the Mexican (or all Mexicans) -- the problem is also Asian gangs, and heavy illegal activity among the poor whites who were left behind when technology boomed then busted then replaced everyone with H1-Bs. Meth production and use is way up, with the associated crime in the Valley crowded with scores of little high tech sweat shops, but even more empty buildings.

by Anonymousreply 2806/10/2011

If they would deport all the illegals back to Mexico, I'm sure it would Clear out a major portion the gangs and Mexicans just feeding off the system.

by Anonymousreply 2906/10/2011

[quote] So where are all those high taxes going?

Property taxes go to the county, not directly to the city.

by Anonymousreply 3006/10/2011

"They are always complaining that their city charges fees for every little thing like garbage pick up etc."%0D %0D Well that's what happens in many places around the world!

by Anonymousreply 3106/10/2011

[quote] They are always complaining that their city charges fees for every little thing like garbage pick up etc.

All cities charge homeowners for this. It's sometimes included on a municipal utility bill.

by Anonymousreply 3206/10/2011

No, $155K is not enough. You will have to sleep in your car and eat what you scrape out of discarded pizza boxes and dogfood tins.

by Anonymousreply 3306/10/2011

Yes. My partner and I make about $125k + consulting here and there, and we do just fine in LA. The good parts of LA are just as expensive as the Bay Area, so you'll be fine. You'll probably have to rent, but I think anyone buying a house now in insane, anyway. Taxes are not much higher than Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville, or any of the other places I've lived. Cable is cheaper, as are all utilities except maybe power. Gas is a tiny bit more. Groceries can be a bit expensive, so I go to Trader Joe's and do a farmshare. As to the guy whose friends can't get by on $250k, that's ludicrous.

by Anonymousreply 3406/10/2011

White people just love having a brown boogie man.

by Anonymousreply 3506/10/2011

No, but at least you're $25K under the cut-off for welfare benefits and government subsidized housing!

by Anonymousreply 3606/10/2011

OP, $155K is definitely enough to have a "decent" lifestyle in San Jose, but at the same time it is not the same as $125K in Portland - the money in Portland goes farther; I don't think $30K is enough to cover the cost of living increase.%0D %0D A lot depends on where your partner's job is located, and whether you can find semi-affordable housing within reasonable commuting distance. What type of housing are you looking at - a condo / apartment development, or a single-family home? Latter is definitely pricier (a lot of run of the mill Silicon Valley suburban homes are $1M+, etc., which $155K is not going to cover. There are some places with more affordable housing - but they're generally located farther out). %0D %0D Also, how long of a commute is your partner willing to tolerate? Even a "short" commute in the Bay Area can involve traveling over several miles of freeway, and gas isn't cheap. Your driving costs will almost definitely increase vs. being in Portland.

by Anonymousreply 3706/10/2011

You'll have to ride the Geary bus around all day barefoot and masturbating.

by Anonymousreply 3806/10/2011

Thank you for the replies so far, guys. I'm still not any further along in my decision-making progress, but any and all info is welcome.

I know things are expensive, we will likely have to get a 2nd car, and that our 155K wont go as far as 125K does in Portland, but what I'm wondering is...will it be worth it?

We've outgrown partying and aren't into the bar scene, but do like to take in shows, see live music, check out diverse restaurants, etc. Portland also has a very artsy vibe I love. All of that is possible in Stumptown.

Will I be missing those things in SJ? After all, SF is just up the road and I already have a paid off car.

Just wondering about things to DO.

Keep the input coming!

by Anonymousreply 3906/10/2011

I don't even know the way to San Jose, hussy.

by Anonymousreply 4006/10/2011

OP San Jose has its own performing arts center downtown so there is art and culture to be found there.

by Anonymousreply 4106/10/2011

[quote]there is art and culture to be found there.

But it is not very good. When the dot coms melted down, so did its symphony and ballet

by Anonymousreply 4206/10/2011

OP, if you love Puddletown, please don't move to San Jose, at least not for a $30K income increase. The only reason to leave Portland would be if you can't handle so many months of gray. SJ is not "artsy". Sure, there's plenty to do (with thick traffic, strip malls, smog), but after a while, you won't even feel like driving into The City very much. San Francisco is not "just down the road" from SJ. $155K is not enough to own a home in SF or any non-plastic area in Silicon Valley. Just. No.

I live in SF and passed through San Jose/S. Valley twice today en route to Santa Cruz. We had a long rainy season, so the whole area is still green and pretty, but things are about to get very ugly and brown for the next six months.

Save your money and visit us a few week long weekends per year when you need a break from the rain.

I have a lot of family in Portland and friends who have moved there. They bitch about the rain sometimes, but none want to move back.

P.S. The couple who earn $250K/year and live in Vallejo must have a serious coke, shopping, and rent-boy problem. The comment about CA taxes is pure BS; when ALL taxes are considered, California ranks somewhere in the middle among the other states.

by Anonymousreply 4306/11/2011

I agree r43 about the couple making 250K but can't make ends meat. TOTAL JOKE! They must have some big spending or drug habits.

by Anonymousreply 4406/11/2011

I was in San Jose for a conference about a year ago - my second visit in 10 years - and aside from a few more hotels and condos going up nothing had really changed much. Its "downtown" is a desert, bereft of any retail. To go shopping I had to take a 15 minute cab ride to a mall north of the city.

That being said I can't imagine SJ being much more expensive to live than my home, Toronto. I make about C$120K a year and live very well here - even with drastically higher income (up to 45%) and sales tax (13%) rates. Oh and gas is currently about C$5.20 / US gallon.

by Anonymousreply 4506/11/2011

[quote]I can't imagine SJ being much more expensive to live than my home, Toronto.

That's what so shocking about the place -- how they charge so much for so little...

by Anonymousreply 4606/11/2011

If you can't live decently on $155k (regardless of what city you're in) you have very fucked up spending habits.

by Anonymousreply 4706/11/2011

r3 - they make $250k a year and moved to Vallejo? Seriously, that can't be right. Vallejo is the Oakland/Detroit/Compton of Sonoma County!

Why didn't they move to American Canyon at least or even the HIlls of Oakland?

by Anonymousreply 4806/11/2011

OP, can you and your partner take a few days off to visit? Meanwhile, look online at maps and realtordotcom to look for housing in the zip codes that you want. That will give you an idea of price. Also, call some realtors and chat. When I was moving I called realtors on houses that I was interested in. Some of them blew me off once I wasn't interested in that specific house, but the realtor I ended up selecting took time to talk with me about areas, which were good and which I should avoid, prices on things, etc., when she didn't have to.

by Anonymousreply 4906/11/2011

We bought a house last year in a more rural part of the North Bay.

Price? 589k but you couldn't buy a place in SJ for that, think $800k or $900k.

Are you ready for that if you want to buy a 2 bedroom condo or a broken down POS 50's home?

Our state taxes were almost $7,000 for our house.

Our water bill is $250 this month and this isn't even the hot month.

Our electricity & gas bill from PGE is $300 a month & we don't have air conditioning (but need it).

PGE will charge you .40 / kwh for electricity and they just got another raise from the useless PUC commission.

Our food bill for just the two of us - we NEVER eat out is $250 - $300 a week and no we're not fat.

We are barely scraping by & our combined income is about $120k. But in Silicon Valley you'd need a LOT more unless you wanted to rent & then renting is a huge rip off plus there's shitty neighbors, etc.

by Anonymousreply 5006/11/2011

OP, if your job is virtual, why in the world would your employer pay your moving expenses and give you a cost of living increase? What's in it for them?

Makes me think you're just making shit up. A normal person in this situation would go down and scout out the place and your BF would talk with people in the office there, not troll Datalounge.

by Anonymousreply 5106/11/2011

[quote]they make $250k a year and moved to Vallejo? Seriously, that can't be right. Vallejo is the Oakland/Detroit/Compton of Sonoma County!

Yeah, you're nasty and you're also wrong. Vallejo is bad but not that bad, and it's in SOLANO county.

Still, there must be some shenanigans going on with that couple that they can't afford to live elsewhere on 250K.

OP why not visit for a weekend or two before you make up your mind? We currently make about 155K combined and we know that we wouldn't be able to maintain our standard of living (currently in DC Metro). Still, all depends on what you're looking for. Do your homework.

by Anonymousreply 5206/11/2011

r52 ok it's Solano County. I was just through there twice today and at night it was very similar to Oakland/Detroit. We were scared for our lives.

by Anonymousreply 5306/11/2011

OP - from the responses on this thread, I believe the answer is a resounding NO! Do not move from Portland to San Jose.

San Jose is not really that close to SF; it's ugly; weather isn't great and you'll never have the same quality of living as in Portland.

by Anonymousreply 5406/11/2011

It's a boring over priced suburb. There are some really iffy neighborhoods in the area and some really nice ones as well. It's a good 45 minute to 1 hr ride into the city. Weather is warmer than SF proper. You should be able to live fine there for $155K (I live quite nicely in SF for a little less). If you are used to the amenities of living in downtown Portland, you will be dissappointed, as I mentioned it's really just a boring suburb.

by Anonymousreply 5506/11/2011

r48/r53, it's truly a wonder they let you leave town with your pearls intact.

by Anonymousreply 5606/11/2011

Downtown doesn't have much retail. The dining/retail scene is at Santana Row.

by Anonymousreply 5706/11/2011

Santana Row... Thugs drive up from Gilroy to lie in wait in the parking structures for those visiting SR and the neighboring mall

by Anonymousreply 5806/11/2011

R45 u may not be able to imagine it but fact is San Jose is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. to live.

by Anonymousreply 5906/11/2011

Isn't Stanford U. nearby? Does it offer anything interesting or cultural to the community?

by Anonymousreply 6006/11/2011

The best thing about San Jose is the fact that it still has its 6-screen drive-in theatre and it is in close proximity to the nation's finest garlic fields.%0D %0D All the culture anyone could want.%0D %0D Have you considered King City? Now there's a vibrant cultural metropolis.

by Anonymousreply 6106/11/2011

Their little bathhouse is so non-descript among leafy sidewalks and little businesses

by Anonymousreply 6206/12/2011

Not interested in bathhouses, but thanks for the tip R62.

by Anonymousreply 6306/12/2011

OK R53, Why were you so very "scared for your lives" while driving thru Vallejo?

by Anonymousreply 6406/12/2011

So much money for so little life.

by Anonymousreply 6601/15/2013

OP, did you make the move after all?

by Anonymousreply 6701/15/2013

San Jose is the Riverside of San Francisco. Even Palo Alto is 15 miles away. Santa Cruz is 20 miles south.

by Anonymousreply 6801/15/2013

my mother lived in SJ for about a year with her boyfriend. They were in an old shoddy 50's home in a sketchy neighborhood and paid more for that house then the mcmansion in the gated community she had in the valley.

The whole city seemed sketchy the few times i visited,

I lived in portland as a child and loved it,stay put.

by Anonymousreply 6901/16/2013

I read something about a company starting an offshore city in an old cruise ship just outside US waters off the bay area. The idea is that the Indians and Asians can be brought in to do tech jobs without having to register and live in the U.S. They will be shuttled to shore each day to go to work and then back to the ship parked offshore each night.

by Anonymousreply 7001/16/2013

I survive very nicely, a mile from the beach in Half Moon Bay, on $18K a year.

I still have my 1957 copy of "How To See Europe On Five Dollars A Day."

Have a nice day.

by Anonymousreply 7101/16/2013

I do believe that the real Cackle Cackle has returned!

by Anonymousreply 7201/16/2013

San Jose? Yuck. Why not Emeryville/Berkeley/Piedmont/North Oakland? At least you can take the BART everywhere instead of driving.

by Anonymousreply 7301/16/2013
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