Post # 1
I have a friend from Socal that is interested in moving to the San Jose area. However, as we know very well up here that area is expensive when it comes to living costs. I am not too familiar with the South Bay when it comes to affordable rentals but I figured some of you might have some helpful advice.
Yes she has a car, although a long commute isn’t ideal cost wise. She is a recent college grad and was offered a job in San Jose with a salary of around $45,000 (estimate)….where should she live?
Post # 4
@Treejewel19: Sorry nobody has responded! Is she single and living on that income? Or does she have a SO/kid(s). If single, she would likely only be able to afford a studio apartment in the greater San Jose area. If she has a family, she’d probably qualify for housing assistance from the government (yeah, it’s THAT expensive). Honestly, on that salary, unless she has huge hopes for advancement and raises in her future, and it is the only place she can work, I don’t think she’d enjoy life in the bay area much. She wouldn’t really have any money left to go out and do fun stuff! If she’s willing to commute, she should look into cities in the lower East Bay (Hayward and south towards San Jose). Traffic can be bad, but the housing is a lot cheaper in those places.
We pay $2000/mo for a 1000 sq ft two bedroom in a not great part of Berkeley, to give you an idea of cost. And it was a steal – most places were $2400 and up. A three bedroom place is out of our reach and we make over $150,000/yr combined. Just something she should think about for the future – affording kids and such! At $1500-1900/mo per kid in daycare, we’ll be lucky to pull off a two bedroom and one kid!
Post # 5
@crayfish: Wow, that’s just crazy! How do people manage to make it, especially with children?
Post # 6
Some parts of SJ are rent-controlled, but not all. The bay area is just crazy expensive and they can command that price tag because of all the tech companies in the area. One option would be to find affordable housing somewhere and see if she can take the train to work. I know a long commute isn’t ideal with a car, but maybe a train is better?
Out of curiosity, where in SoCal is she from? If she is from LA or Orange County, she may not get as huge of a sticker shock. If she’s from more of the inland area, then I will say it will be a tougher transition. TBH and a total crazy buzzkill, I think it will be super tough on $45000 to live in the bay area. Is she absolutely sold on living solo? I think one option may be to split a rental (private rentals are usually cheaper than commercial) with some other young professionals. That will give her more discretionary income.
Is $45000 her take-home pay? That breaks down to $3750/month. If rent + utilities was even half of that, we’re looking at $1875. I’m assuming she doesn’t have student loan payments due either. For $1875 on Craigslist, there are definitely some decent options in terms of rentals though they’re not gorgeous or super updated.
Post # 7
San Jose is big. I’m willing to give some advice, but do you know in what general area her job is located in, in San Jose? Does she like to be near a downtown, or fine with a suburban neighborhood? Any other interests?