Job offer has me considering move to Bay Area – concerned about costs!

posted 2 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area
Post # 2
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

The Bay Area is suppppper expensive but if you are working in a start-up/tech company, you’ll probably be able to get by. Prepare to spend at least $1400 a month to rent a so-so studio/1bd apartment in North San Jose, if you can find something. The South Bay would probably be your best bet to rent in: San Jose, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara all have some nice parts to them (I like North San Jose a lot, and it’s close to downtown.) Unless you want a long and potentially sucky commute, I would avoid the East Bay/Fremont area and Peninsula/SF is astronomically expensive. Like, sell a left kidney expensive. 

I would say it is hard to live out here and not share living expenses with someone else. You might want to try finding a roommate. Hope this helps! I personally don’t LOVE the Bay Area, it’s very competitive and I feel like there’s a bit of a bubble with the tech industry right now that might pop soon (inflated salaries for entry level jobs and so many tech start-ups that can’t all be fully-funded forever), but it’s home for now…

Post # 3
1244 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I grew up in the Bay Area and love it, but it is definitely expensive. It’s doable, but your money won’t go as far as it could in other areas. As far as housing, this will likely cost you the most money; we paid around $2100/month for a two-bedroom apartment and that is not uncommon. It wasn’t until I moved across the country that I realized that everything from movie tickets to the cost of services was more expensive in the Bay Area.

That being said, I think it’s worth it for what you get: lots of diversity, great weather and food, and different opportunities that don’t exist elsewhere, especially in the tech world. There’s a good public transportation system that you could likely leverage to get to work and save time on your commute, and you’re in close proximity to San Francisco and other neat places.

Post # 4
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

chillinchillin: I’ll give you average numbers since that’s easier for you to gauge how far your income will take you. Average after tax income is approx 60% (this includes deductions for medical/dental/vision, 401k, FSA, federal/state income taxes). Personally, I feel a minimum salary of $70K is needed to live here comfortably.

Without knowing your actual expenses, I would approximate it at $2500/month:

-Rent and utilities: $1500

-Food: $700

-Gas/insurance: $300

I would look in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, SJ areas. You probably wouldn’t want to go north of San Mateo. The commute is approx 30 minutes drive during rush hour (can be more or less, depending on where/how far from work you live).

I also agree with what PP said.. if you’re moving here by yourself first, you can consider finding a roommate. Renting a room in a house/apartment will usually bring it down to the $800-$1000 range.

Despite all this, I love the Bay Area! It’s expensive and overcrowded, but I love the dynamics of this area. Hope this helps.. Best of luck to you!

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