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If you were going to move out of the Bay Area...

By BayArea follow BayArea   2018 Sep 24, 10:28pm 2,294 views   34 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


Hi guys,

My wife and I are in a bit of a cross road. We sold a condo here in the Bay Area in 2017 and are temporarily renting on the Peninsula.

We both work in the Silicon Valley and have one young child.

We are split 50/50 between buying a 7-fig house in the Southbay over the next 12-24months vs packing up and leaving the Bay Area once and for all. We are both tired of the congestion, insane cost of living, and long commutes. The problem is that we don’t have much of an idea of where we’d go if we left.

I’m hoping you guys could share some ideas covering good options outside of the Bay Area? Here is the criteria we’d be looking for:

- Safe
- Good for raising family
- we don’t need a huge metro city but prefer not to be way out in the country either. We still want restaurants, stores, some life... balance is good.
- a place that’s maybe more bipartisan would be nice. We are both tired of feeling like the only individuals in our perspective offices who aren’t far left leaning.
- we wouldn’t necessarily need to stay in CA, but somewhere within an hour or two flight of the Bay Area would be preferred due to family.
- I’m in tech so having some job prospects would be great. My wife is in a field where she could work pretty much anywhere.
- I’m not a huge fan of scorching weather so Arizona would probably not be a good option.

We do love the weather in the Bay Area, job prospects, and opportunities for our child. But the sacrifices seem like they are catching up to the benefits lately.

We’ve looked at Folsom, Santa Rosa, San Diego to name a few. We’ve had a couple friends move to Nevada (Gardnerville) recently who say they are pretty happy. I do understand that there are no guarantees that the grass is any greener outside of the Bay Area of course.

If you guys were in our predicament, would you stay or go. And if the latter where would you go and why?

Thanks for all the ideas



1   Evan F.   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 24, 10:37pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I have had several friends pack up the Los Angeles area for Portland OR. They love it.
2   BayArea   ignore (1)   2018 Sep 24, 10:41pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Thanks Evan... Portland, Seattle, and Texas seem to be the most common choices from what I’ve read.

I’ve heard it’s extremely awkward to be asked where you came from and answer “California” lol. They hate Californians.

I’ve also heard that Portland during rush hour looks like SF during rush hour lol
3   Evan F.   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 24, 11:02pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Yes Austin and Seattle have legit tech industries. I would love to move but LA is the entertainment biz's home and my jobby job prospects are nonexistent outside of this town... Seattle would be my next choice...
4   Ceffer   ignore (3)   2018 Sep 24, 11:28pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Strange how the Bay Area has turned into a place of such fuckaciousness. I am fortunate that I can avoid most of it, but even the thought of going to SF gives me a brain cramp, and I feel beleaguered at times with the hive ESP crush, crazies, lack of general civility etc. It seems almost every time I wind up on BART, I have strange experience and feel like I am running a gauntlet.

I always thought a metro area of 800k to 1.5 million would be about ideal for mobility, while still having urban amenities, preferably in a college university town. However, I haven't shopped for such. Even tri-valley area isn't anything like it was just ten years ago, with the yuckies starting to pile up there where it seemed a final refuge. Good luck and let us know what you choose.
5   bob2356   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 24, 11:48pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Evan F. says
I have had several friends pack up the Los Angeles area for Portland OR. They love it.


Yep Portland is now CA north. That's why I left.
6   bob2356   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 12:07am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BayArea says

- Safe
- Good for raising family
- we don’t need a huge metro city but prefer not to be way out in the country either. We still want restaurants, stores, some life... balance is good.
- a place that’s maybe more bipartisan would be nice. We are both tired of feeling like the only individuals in our perspective offices who aren’t far left leaning.
- we wouldn’t necessarily need to stay in CA, but somewhere within an hour or two flight of the Bay Area would be preferred due to family.
- I’m in tech so having some job prospects would be great. My wife is in a field where she could work pretty much anywhere.
- I’m not a huge fan of scorching weather so Arizona would probably not be a good option.


If this isn't another mental masturbation thread I would say check out bellingham. I lived in OR and WA for a long time. Seattle and Portland are both out of control and overrun and have pretty much lost their charm. Bellingham has very impressive schools, a total outdoor lifestyle (as in mt baker and the sound), and not totally unreasonable cost of housing. It's also a kind of off beat funky anything goes kind of place. It is left leaning. If that really bothers you maybe check out Spokane. Tech???? Weather is what it is. Take it or leave it. A couple hours drive puts you in Vancouver or Seattle (of course once you are in Seattle a couple hours drive is about 10 miles). I almost moved there about 15 years ago, but chose south padre area instead because of professional reasons.aka much higher pay and advancement opportunity.
7   MisterLefty   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 4:44am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Auburn, CA and thereabouts. Sierra foothills, Sacto, Tahoe not too far.
8   RC2006   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 6:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Same boat this seams like a topic that comes up between my wife and I every few months but I'm in the LA area. My mother in law moved to Corvallis Oregon we took a road trip up to Oregon for a few weeks and really liked it. Looking at Tigard/Lake Oswego, Salem and a few other areas of Oregon its just hard because we grew up here but most of our family is gone now. Also have a lot of friends that have moved to Texas all for pretty much the same reasons you listed. Its just so much of a rat race here especially with kids and life goes by so quick. My only issue with a lot of OR would be the cloudy days.
9   bob2356   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 6:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

RC2006 says
My only issue with a lot of OR would be the cloudy days.


On the west stope of the cascades It's not cloudy days, it's rain. There is 7 months of fantastic blue skies moderate temps weather (most years) from the north pacific high parked over the gulf of Alaska. Then then the Aleutian low expands south bringing the winter storms and you have 5 months of rain. Southern OR about a month less than Portland. West of the coast ranges on the pacific you have 300 cloudy days and 300 sunny days. The systems move through so fast most days are mix. Windy as hell too. East of the cascades is high desert with dry and sunny. Lots of people love Bend for the weather but traffic is a super PIA.
10   Tim Aurora   ignore (3)   2018 Sep 25, 6:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Come to Atlanta Suburbs of Cobb or Rosewell. Johns Creek ( #4 city in US) , and Cumming are good too but farther away. Good jobs, Cheap and Big big houses. Lot of greenery. Near the mountains and not far from Sea ( 4 hours) Lot of restaurants nearby too and all sports teams too, if you care to follow sports.

If you want a smaller city , Raleigh is good too.
11   FortWayne   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 6:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

LA is probably what you are looking for. Similar, but less busy, cheaper. Especially if you live in the SF valley. I’d stay out of downtown.

I heard San Diego is also nice.
12   Quigley   ignore (2)   2018 Sep 25, 7:02am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I’m pretty comfortable in Orange County. House prices aren’t cheap but they are probably half what Bay Area prices are. Congestion happens but isn’t horrid. More amenities and entertainment adjacent than anywhere else. Politically neutral. Lotta tech around here as well.
13   Patrick   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 7:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I like Eureka, CA, though there are a lot of methheads and not so many jobs. If you could telecommute for a Bay Area company, it might work well.
14   WookieMan   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 7:40am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Being from CA, I assume having legit winters is not a thing you want. But have a buddy living out in Bozeman (Belgrade actually) and he's loving it. Flight is closer to 2-1/2 hours to SFO though with a non-stop with United, so maybe longer than you'd like. If you love outdoor shit you could have some fun year round. Ski/Snowboard too at some of the best, least crowded mountains in the country.

Bozeman has a University, so it's not the typical Montana that you would guess with a ton of gun toting ranchers. Summers are a blast too if you like fishing, rafting, hiking, etc. Best of both worlds. Not sure the job prospects though for your field, but if you're good at what you do you should be able to find a job.

My buddy bought a new home there for $325k I think. Subdivision home so new, but nothing spectacular. You can go 7 figures and get one hell of a home for that out there.
15   RC2006   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 7:54am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Where ever you go even if its still in CA it has to be better than where you are at your stage in life.
16   epitaph   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 8:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

How tolerant are you to cold winters?
17   MrBark   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 8:49am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You should check out the central coast; San Luis Obispo ($$), Santa Barbara ($$$), Carpinteria ($$), Ventura ($) – or, further south – Thousand Oaks ($$), Agoura Hills ($$). Great weather, less congested and cheaper than the Bay Area ($$$$). Down side is variety of jobs, but I haven't had any issues finding work. Thousand Oaks and Agoura have good tech and science jobs and are also an relatively easy commute to the San Fernando Valley (but then you're battling congestion again on the daily). West LA has a burgeoning tech scene where all the big guys have setup shop to support the entertainment industry.
18   Goran_K   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 8:59am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

BayArea says
We’ve had a couple friends move to Nevada (Gardnerville) recently who say they are pretty happy.


Shh. Don't spread the secret around. We don't want more people here.
19   mell   ignore (3)   2018 Sep 25, 9:03am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Prime oceanfront well and newly built mansion in CT, 5+ bedrooms, sun room, workout room, pool or hot tub, mayne even your own dock. Probably around 2 million. Seen at at least a handful of these on zillow. Fuck the west coast crap shacks and their bloated crime-ridden states/governments. Just consider it at least. Nevada is an option too. Good skiing, reasonable prices.
20   E-man   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 9:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

This topic/conversation comes up often in my circle of friends too. Some moved to Raleigh, Charlotte, NC. Some moved to Houston, Dallas, TX. Some have considered Denver, CO while others Portland, OR. Some cashed out his house in Sunnyvale and bought a 2,200sf SFH in Oceanside for $600k all cash in Socal and is loving it there. Some completely changed their singing tune after they bought a place here. It's a shithole before they own one. LOL! Weird isn't it?

I've heard good thing about Johns Creek, GA. Good schools with reasonable real estate prices compared to the Bay Area. San Diego is always great as long as you don't go too far inland. Real estate prices there are more reasonable than the Bay Area.

It's really about prioritizing. What's more/most important to you? For me, it's family. All my 5 siblings and wife's 6 siblings are all here. 14 cousins and counting for the kids to play and hang out with on the weekends.
21   MisterLefty   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 10:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says
I like Eureka, CA
I dig Eureka, too. I like the history and the semi-seediness of the town. Humboldt county. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park where they filmed the Ewoks. Arcata. Beautiful country if you can swing it.
22   socal2   ignore (1)   2018 Sep 25, 10:49am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I love San Diego County - especially North County. Still lots of open space, tons of breweries, wineries and great uncrowded beaches with good surf. Schools are great and traffic is not super terrible.

It's less expensive and less Liberal nutty than LA and the Bay Area........let alone Portland and Seattle who are giving California a run for its money in the ridiculous department.

Weather is absolutely perfect too.

Southwest has cheap flights to the Bay Area virtually every hour into San Jose and Oakland.
23   MrBark   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 11:37am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

E-man says
Some cashed out his house in Sunnyvale and bought a 2,200sf SFH in Oceanside for $600k all cash in Socal and is loving it there.


Great call out on Oceanside, it's a little rough around the edges, but it's surprisingly affordable with excellent weather.
24   Evan F.   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 11:44am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag        

Grew up in Santa Barbara. Went to college in San Diego. Grad school in LA, and I've lived everywhere in the LA area except the valley- Pasadena, Beverly Hills, mid City, and South Bay (Manhattan Beach, El Segundo- roughly where I live now). SoCal is a great place to live. Lol

LA, in my opinion, gets an enormously bad rap. It's true that it's expensive (but not SFO expensive) and pretty congested, but it's fantastic on so many other levels. Politically, yes, it's left leaning, but I certainly wouldn't call it foaming-at-the-mouth ultra liberal. Best selection of museums in the country except for New York City (and who wants to live in fucking New York), best variety of colleges in the country, great sports culture with two footballs teams now, 1.5 hours to skiing in the winter, beaches, insanely great food scene, and obviously the best car culture on the planet. The notion that everyone here is phony and plastic is nonsense... Love my current neighborhood, filled with all different cultures and everybody is nice. I'll admit that you have to work pretty hard to make LA liveable, but when you figure it out it can be pretty fun.
25   mell   ignore (3)   2018 Sep 25, 2:25pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Socal and even parts of LA have pretty decent hoods, SB and any of the smaller towns by the Ocean are no doubt pretty. In the bay area you need to go to rich hoods in SF or rich small town oasis such as half moon bay etc., but you'll pay through the nose for not enough value. If you have family and this is your style it all comes down to personal preference. If you are strictly looking at the value though then then entire west coast is terribly overpriced (houses and taxes) say compared to CT, ME , NV and, CO and many other states. There are many reasons for it, prop13 in CA and the proximity to Asia which causes a constant influx of foreigners to put buying pressure on that don't want to be too far away from their roots.
26   WookieMan   ignore (4)   2018 Sep 25, 5:45pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Evan F. says
insanely great food scene


Where is this? I've found CA food to be pretty awful (over exaggerating obviously). Even highly rated places are kind of just, meh. I'm sure everyone will give me 100 examples or places, but fine dining is not a thing in CA.

Sorry to derail the thread a bit, but just speaking honestly from my experience and peers I know that live there. It's frankly not good, including the $200 a couple per dinner places. Too much hype out there to be honest. You can't charge $200 a couple in Chicago and not have good food. You'd be out of business very quickly. In CA you can get away with that shit.
27   veruca   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 6:04pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Just moved to Tulare; looking to buy in Visalia. I still work from home and part time in the Bay Area but I am actually loving the central valley. It's not a bad drive to LA and to SF for big city events and baseball games.
28   Evan F.   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 6:18pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
You can't charge $200 a couple in Chicago and not have good food. You'd be out of business very quickly. In CA you can get away with that shit.

First thing that comes to mind is seafood.. I've eaten a bunch of places in Chicago but recall visiting Japonais at least three times when I was working on an Oprah show and being... whelmed. Sorry, but high end Asian food, especially sushi, out of the Midwest, even Chicago, still has a long way to go to catch up to West coast establishments.

BTW, I didn't necessarily mean fine dining. LA's fast food and food truck scene is pretty tops. I work in Santa Monica and can walk to a parking lot filled with about 20 trucks every day. Makes for a nice variety.

Also, deep dish pizza sucks. 😂

ETA: In spite of distaste for deep dish, I should add that I think Chicago is a pretty goddamned great city.
29   B.A.C.A.H.   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 9:29pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You mentioned that you have a child.

The hypercompetitive environment in the "good" (ie, high-standardized-test-score-schools-with-high-admissions-to-coveted-universities) schools can be toxic. In my years in the trenches of tech, I had colleagues with personal connection to three different families who lost a teenager, each one a different mode of suicide (including the CalTrain). The toll reflected the "diversity" of those Fortress schools: one Indian, one white, one Chinese. Both genders.

Other happier outcomes are hypercompetitive kids who grew into hypercompetitive adults, or disaffected kids who rejected the whole proposition and rebelled into slackerdom.

Quality of life is not just a financial/weather/restaurants/"tech"/politics/traffic consideration.
30   Ceffer   ignore (3)   2018 Sep 25, 10:49pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

A friend of my wife's has a friend who was a psychologist in the Fremont schools system. She said the incidence of nervous breakdowns, ulcers, and medication is high in one of the hyper-competitive tiger mom schools.

A relative whose wife counseled at Stanford said half the students are on some kind of anti-depressant. She got mad at me when I seemed skeptical, but then, I guess she would know.

So, the price of success is higher orders of competition and perceived failure/shortcomings leading to more depression.

If I had kids, I would send them to some cozy private school in the Bible Belt and tell them to study and learn, but also have some fun. Better to have them graduate with some semblance of mental health rather than just traumatized survivors of a destruction derby.

On the other hand, the gold star shit is nowheresville at the other end of the telescope.
31   Evan F.   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 11:14pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

We see the same thing down in LA. Places like San Marino (everyone calls it Chan Marino) USD are pressure cookers, also many of the hoity toity private schools. Being a kid these days has such potential to be un-fun... Sucks.
32   ThreeBays   ignore (0)   2018 Sep 25, 11:14pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I like Colorado, beautiful place and strong economy.
33   clambo   ignore (5)   2018 Sep 26, 9:20pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I could suggest a specific area of South Florida which is very low density and has some high tech development coming.

Scuba diving and sea fishing are very good. The weather is nice 9-10 months of the year, it's not as hot as Texas, Arizona, Nevada. The downside of summer is not heat, rather rain in the late afternoon. Last summer wasn't rainy. It's comfortable at the beach and you can swim in the blue water. My friend from Aptos visited and I could not get him out of the water. He is thinking of selling his $1.4 million house to move here and have a $1 million investment account with the money left over.

There is no income tax, property cost is low. Costs of everything are lower, energy for example is from FPL owned by NextEra energy.

There are people retiring all of the time from NY, NJ, CT, PA so it's strange to hear people who sound like Tony Danza here and there.

The natives are generally friendly and easygoing.
34   Iranian_Oil_Burse   ignore (6)   2018 Sep 26, 10:58pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

clambo says
The downside of summer is not heat, rather rain in the late afternoon.


Downside? I fucking love rain in the late afternoon!

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