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Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Scraping By On Six Figures? Tech Workers Feel Poor in Silicon Valley's Wealth Bubble (theguardian.com) 805

Big tech companies pay some of the country's best salaries. But workers claim the high cost of living in the Bay Area has them feeling financially strained, reports The Guardian. One Twitter employee cited in the story, who earns a base salary of $160,000 a year, said his earnings are "pretty bad", adding that he pays $3000 rent for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco. From the article: Silicon Valley's latest tech boom has caused rents to soar over the last five years. The city's rents, by one measure, are now the highest in the world. The prohibitive costs have displaced teachers, city workers, firefighters and other members of the middle class, not to mention low-income residents. Now techies, many of whom are among the highest 1 percent of earners, are complaining that they, too, are being priced out. The Twitter employee said he hit a low point in early 2014 when the company changed its payroll schedule, leaving him with a hole in his budget. "I had to borrow money to make it through the month." He was one of several tech workers, earning between $100,000 and $700,000 a year, who vented to the Guardian about their financial situation.
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Scraping By On Six Figures? Tech Workers Feel Poor in Silicon Valley's Wealth Bubble

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  • Poor on $100k? Sure (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JDAustin ( 468180 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:24PM (#53940501)

    As a resident of the east bay, earning 100k and being able to own a house can be a problem so I sympathize with them.

    But if your making 200k+ then you're just being jealous.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:40PM (#53940699)

      He makes 160k, with bonuses I make 80k. He pays $3k in rent, my Mortgage is $1500 a month. I'm not broke, somehow this guy is?

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:48PM (#53940799) Journal

        I was wondering this too.

        160k, takes home about 10k/month.

        after rent that leaves 7k for all other expenses? Unless everything else scales incredibly high (higher than the rent, which I doubt), that's a pretty comfortable life, even with some student debt.

        • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @04:15PM (#53941071)
          Take-home would be closer to $6.5-7k in California. That makes $2,300 the traditional limit of affordable rent and $3.5k the "new normal" limit on affordability. I am in a similar boat; California can feel punitive, although I pay less rent for a smaller place.

          From a tax perspective what sucks is you are considered "rich" by both the state and the IRS, but it is what it is. I wonder if the people who vote republican without a 6-figure income understand how disproportionately lower taxes will hurt them.
          • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @06:49PM (#53942391) Homepage Journal

            The "traditional limit" assumes all expenses scale across all income levels and that technology sits at a standstill forever.

            Even in the Bay area, I can feed an individual human pretty decently for under $100/month (I can actually feed a human passably for $25/mo, but that's a grueling exercise in finances). This is because it still costs $5.83 for 50 pounds of bread flour at Sam's Club no matter what city you're in; the same goes for beans, various meats (although beef is cheap in Wisconsin--still expensive as all hell; pork is cheap everywhere), and a lot of other things. Vegetables are universally-expensive--even frozen--although I don't put much stock in vegetables; I put more vegetables in stock.

            Food in home basically doesn't scale, while food out of home scales linearly: a 16-inch pizza will cost you $12 in Baltimore and $30 in Seattle. Chain fast food might hold about the same price--McDonalds doesn't charge $4 for a hamburger anywhere--and everything else tries to play up to the area's income spread. Likewise, you can get the same clothing (and you can order it online for the same price--size yourself in Sears if you want), electronics, and cars, at the same price, anywhere in the country; people like to use cars as a metric because the most commonly bought car in rich areas costs $38k, and the most commonly bought cars in poor areas costs $12k, and then they can say an "affordable" car in San Francisco is $28k and so people "can't afford a new car" and thus complain about rich people and salaries again.

            With all that in mind, food has fallen from 40% of the median-income household spending in 1900 to 33% in 1950, and then to 12.5% today as agricultural technology advanced rapidly up to the 1980s (and continued more-moderately since). Clothing has fallen from 12% of expenses in 1950 to 3.5% today. We spend 6% to buy more and better healthcare than we got on the 4% we paid in 1950; and we spend an utter assload (about 40%) on entertainment, luxury, and other discretionary spending, versus about 25% in the 50s.

            While that suggests that spending more than the traditionally-prescribed amount on housing is viable, your financial management plans may suggest it's less-sustainable than you'd like--you still have a smaller proportion of your income to pull from if you get into a pinch. That would be sound finances, but every single person in America has ignored that as the median new single-family home size increased from 978sqft in 1950 to 2,300sqft in 2010, and the percent of income spent on housing (shelter plus utilities, maintenance, etc.) increased from 28% to 33%. People can buy more stuff, so they spend a bigger proportion of their income to buy much larger houses in which to keep all this stuff; if they had just stayed with 978sqft homes and the 400sqft 1-bedroom apartments of the 1920s, they'd only spend 14% on housing today, as a national average--New York would still rape you for renting a 395sqft studio.

            So yeah. Maybe grow up a little and get your head out of the 50s. Technical progress happens.

            • Even in the Bay area, I can feed an individual human pretty decently for under $100/month

              You can feed a person for that much. "Decently"? I would dispute that. They aren't going to starve if that's what you are saying but it won't be an ideal sort of diet.

              Vegetables are universally-expensive--even frozen--although I don't put much stock in vegetables; I put more vegetables in stock.

              Maybe if you get them at Whole Foods. Vegetables can be very economical if one bothers to shop carefully. Better yet you can even grow them yourself with some effort and seeds are incredibly cheap if you are willing/able to trade some time and effort tending them.

              and we spend an utter assload (about 40%) on entertainment, luxury, and other discretionary spending, versus about 25% in the 50s.

              Don't forget about the $2000 EVERY person in America (on average) pays to ha

            • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

              I wish I could find a reasonable sized 960 sq foot home in a decent neighborhood. instead all you can find is giant oversized homes that really stupid people want because they hate their families.

              When I go to Ikea I really love the 680sq ft apartment. The only place you can find those are NYC/ Chicago/LA and usually in a pretty shitty part of town.
              and sadly the small home movement is not allowed to grow because of stupid laws that require houses be a certain size or worse, the scourge of humanity... t

          • I wonder if the people who vote republican without a 6-figure income understand how disproportionately lower taxes will hurt them.

            That's strange, I don't feel hurt when I don't hit my thumb with a hammer, and I don't feel hurt when I don't pay taxes. That's why I left the Land of Fruits and Nuts.

          • I live in mtn view, I rent (I have never owned; looks like it may be YEARS before I can even think of owning) and my rent is over $3300/mo for 2br/2ba

            yes, its insane. I moved from a house in santa clara just a year ago; 3br/2ba, single fam home (no shared walls), full front and back yard, and yet the rent was $3k. $300 less for a HOUSE than for a stupid-assed apt!

            its insane.

            plus, employment is not stable. I can't count on constant income, else I would have had a house by now. when they let you go every

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @08:31PM (#53942987) Homepage

          I am thinking what a pack of whiny shallow pricks. The taxes they pay are more than the wages of those on minimum wage and those fucking whiny arseholes do not give one fuck about how people on minimum wage are meant to live. They just demand those minimum wage workers serve their every single whiny demand. I wander how many of those ass hats support raising the minimum wage or demand it be reduced or eliminated because they can not afford to be served sufficiently by the 'not real job and hence do not deserve real pay, pay them even less class' on a wage of $150,000 per year.

          From the corporate view point of course there is a shift, how to attract tech workers whilst paying them less. Obviously make it easier and more enjoyable for them to live near the point of employment, offering better lifestyle and living conditions, with relocation and home establishment support services, coupled with easier access to immigration services.

          If it does not make a difference where you company is located is terms of production, distributions and sales, obviously it should be located to suit staffing requirements. So can the wage of those whiny pricks (they deserve that because many of them do not give one fuck about people on minimum wage and even go so far as to claim those minimum wage earners should be paid less to promote more employment), be effectively halved, so instead of $150,000 they are paid say $60,000 but they are offered a far better access to accommodation and lifestyle, for them and their families, even future citizenship in a more 'quality of life', focused country, as well as assurances of extended employment ie not fired the first second you are not required (problem in that part, who they fuck would believe future employment claims from any modern psychopathic styled corporation).

    • As a resident of the east bay, earning 100k and being able to own a house can be a problem so I sympathize with them.

      But if your making 200k+ then you're just being jealous.

      Depends on cost of living. COL is one thing for a single person and quite another for a family with kids. $160K is nothing in SV as far as I'm concerned, unless you want your kids to live in a shit hole.

      See $160K for a family in SV is just barely scrapping by, if you want to feed your kids well and give them some room to live and to go to a decent school district. That's a nice-to-have for some. It is a must-have for me. I didn't work my ass through school and work long hours in the industry just to get a

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:26PM (#53940527)

    If getting paid slightly late forces you to take out a loan, you're a dumbass who doesn't know how to manage his money. This is true regardless of how much or how little money you make. Rule #1 of personal finance is "live below your means."

    • by chewie2010 ( 2551696 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:33PM (#53940619)
      You obviously have never lived in the Bay Area. When I want to prove to someone how crazy expensive the Bay Area is I show friends this: https://www.zillow.com/homedet... [zillow.com] This is a listing for a poorly built 70's townhouse. Cost 1.2 million. The average starter home in the Bay Area is 1 million. Rent averages $2500 to $3500 (with roommates). Say you are moving and want to overlap a month, which is very common. For 2x $3000 a month rent and 2 x a $3000 deposit you are temporarily out $12,000! Not to mention the $30 for a grilled cheese and coke. Not kidding. I live in Austin when I dont have to be in Palo Alto. My rent here is $800 with a yard for my dog. Dont diss the bay area money complaints.
      • by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:37PM (#53940671)

        You obviously have never lived in the Bay Area.

        Trying to live in the Bay Area on an inadequate salary is part of being "a dumbass who doesn't know how to manage his money".

      • by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @07:15PM (#53942559)

        Yeah, I'm going to echo some of the other comments back to you, it's stupid to decide to live in the Bay Area in the first place. You yourself moved to Austin, which is a great idea.

        I had a startup company in the Bay Area for about a year, discovered the financial black hole that is Bay Area housing, and moved to San Diego as soon as I could. I own a 3 bedroom house here for the same cost as a one room studio in monthly rent in the Bay Area. Two of my employees bought houses last year as well. I have easy access to Bay Area VCs, it takes me 3 hours to get from my door to the door of any VC in the Bay Area, and there are flights hourly (at least).

        So why would you base yourself or base your company in the Bay Area? It's a bad idea. As an employer or an investor, you're wasting money paying people bigger salaries than you need to, and the quality of life is crummy. Investors who want you to base in the Bay Area are not looking out for the health of the business, and should be avoided. Anyone working in the Bay Area needs to understand that their location is no longer an asset, it's a liability.

    • Also:

      One Twitter employee cited in the story, who earns a base salary of $160,000 a year, said his earnings are "pretty bad", adding that he pays $3000 rent for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco.

      Now maybe my math is bad, but $3k/month is $36k/year. He makes $160k/year. As a rough estimate, let's say he pays 1/3 of his income in taxes, which means he's left with $106k in take-home pay. $106k - $36k is still $70k to spend on living expenses. That's around $5,833/month, or around $194/day.

      Now that's just an estimate, admittedly, but the assumptions I'm making aren't completely crazy. If he can't manage to pay his bills or had to borrow money to make it though the month, barring any big unac

  • by bobm ( 53783 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:28PM (#53940539)

    Serious question, how are people working in retail or supermarkets or places like that manage to live there?

    How do people with kids make it work?

    • by Robyrt ( 1305217 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:32PM (#53940617)

      Serious question, how are people working in retail or supermarkets or places like that manage to live there?

      They don't. Generally, anyone working a blue-collar job in San Francisco is commuting from far out of town.

    • The serious answer is that they take the BART in from East Bay.

      All these discussions have a subtext of only being willing to live in high class or trendy neighborhoods.

      Blue collar workers who want to live in SF have to have good roommates, and some luck. Otherwise they can live fairly close in Oakland with roommates. Or way out east by themselves.

      One limiting factor for the rich is that they demand secure private parking. So they wouldn't even apply at the places that the workers rent, where there is no par

  • So leave (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:28PM (#53940547)
    It's not like there aren't any other metro areas with strong tech communities. California is a great place to visit, but I'd never live there again.
    • Re:So leave (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @04:16PM (#53941083) Journal

      That's really what it comes down to. You have to make a decision on employment not just based on the size of your paycheck. Quality of life, proximity to activities/transportation, cost of housing, general cost of living all play into the equation.

      It's as if nobody every taught these kids any sort of financial management or business skills, or even analytical thinking to work out the finances themselves. This is not, as they say, rocket science.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:30PM (#53940577)

    I live in Oakland, and make exactly 100k. Last year the rent on my 1 bedroom apartment was $2,800 a month and I split that with my partner. I still managed to travel, eat out, and save $25k. Just learn to budget and stop spending money on useless shit. I have no sympathy for the person making $700k that was complaining. Fuck that guy.

    • Last year the rent on my 1 bedroom apartment was $2,800 a month [...]

      I paid half of that for a studio apartment in San Jose. The only difference between my studio and a one-bedroom is a wall that cost an extra $300 per month.

    • I have no sympathy for the person making $700k that was complaining. Fuck that guy.

      I am sure some one is making good money doing exactly that. How else do you blow 700K?

  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:30PM (#53940579)
    I make $50K+ per year as a virtual ditch digger (IT Support) and live in Silicon Valley. I get by just fine by living a modest lifestyle. Never mind that everyone else thinks I'm poor because I don't have the big house, big cars, big wife and big kids.
  • by cahuenga ( 3493791 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:30PM (#53940589)
    So he is clearing $124,000 after housing and is crying poverty?
    • Well, there's state and fed income tax, let's say they come to 30% after deductions and credits, so he's left with $76,000 for groceries and utilities. $6K and change per month. Scraping by, really.
  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:31PM (#53940595)

    One Twitter employee cited in the story, who earns a base salary of $160,000 a year, said his earnings are "pretty bad", adding that he pays $3000 rent for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco.

    Rent is usually the biggest expense of a budget. So that's $36K for rent, leaving $124K for every other expenses. Saying it's "pretty bad" to have $10333 left to live after paying rent every month is why people around the world hate Americans. You fuckers are rich and you're still complaining.

    • by Herkum01 ( 592704 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:57PM (#53940899)

      You do realize that 160K is before taxes, right. You can easily pay 35% of that between Fed, state and local taxes, include company provided healthcare insurance that can easily bring it to 40%. Drop that 124K for OTHER expenses down to 60K. Depending on what the other expenses are, you can easily spend 5K for utilities, 5K for having a car, and another 8% in sales taxes. Now you are easily down to 46K and you have not eaten or clothed yourself yet.

      You can probably save enough to get 15K in savings. That is not a lot if you have kids and want to send them to college, and retiring, please!

      • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @05:37PM (#53941851)

        Sample Bay area budget for family of 4 with 1 income

        125K a year = 10400 pm
        -401K 1000
        -FICA taxes 900
        - Fed Taxes 700
        - Health Insurance 600
        -CA Taxes/SDI 300

        6900 Take Home
        -3000 Rent for 2 BR Apt
        -550 Utilities (150 PGE, 125 Water&Garbage,80 Internet, 150 2 Cellphones+Vonage, Netflix+Hulu+Amazon 30 )
        -350 Gas, insurance,maintenance,registration for 2 paid off used cars
        3000 Flexible income
        -2000 For Food and non food Groceries for family of 4 including clothes, shoes, school supplies,sports equipment
        1000 Disposable income
        -1000 Paying medical copays/Saving for a downpayment/saving for college/Maxing out 401K/Vacation/Paying down student debt if any etc
        0
        This is living very frugallly. If you start having coffees and eating out or sending your kids to piano lessons than suddenly 125K is not enough.

        • by Dorianny ( 1847922 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @07:34PM (#53942677) Journal

          This is living very frugallly.

          I would say 2 kids and a homemaker wife are quite the luxury

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ghoul ( 157158 )

            For many in the valley who are on work visas the spouse is not allowed to work legally and since software engineers are educated folks with respect for the law the spouse doesn't work illegally. And once you have a kid, the second kid is kind of necessary as an only child grows up to be self centered and spoilt unless you want software engineers to not have kids at all.

            Even if the wife did work all her income would be taxed at the highest bracket so the effective taxation on the wifes income would be 50%(FI

  • Leave. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:33PM (#53940625)

    Do it. I did. I thought I was banishing myself to a life of dreariness when I decided to leave the startup bubble in the Bay Area where I worked for the better part of 12 years. I worked for 2 very successful startups which are no longer startups but long term viable businesses now. I took a job in the midwest and I really thought I was actually doing it as sort of a lark or social experiment. I knew I would have a much better quality of life in terms of traffic, home I could afford, etc... I figured I would be comfortable but have no one to date, no one to hang out with, nothing to do. What I discovered was such an epic drop off in general douchiness, not just among the tech crowd but SFers in general and where I moved to. What I also found was a dating life that was amazingly more real and fulfilling that it ever was out there. People who were just much more substantial, even if not so well versed in all 12 kinds of Moroccan coffee presses. I think I was desensitized to the sheer amount of douchebags and vapid women in my every day life in the bay, both professionally and casual social circles.

    The amazingly more affordable lifestyle was the was the only improvement I thought I would see, but it turned out to the be the least of the improvements I saw in my life.

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @06:42PM (#53942339) Journal

      I was born and raised in the midwest, and while everyone around me was convinced it was a dead-end hellhole, lacking in any sense of "style" or appreciation for the arts -- the time I spent in California convinced me that was so untrue.

      I mean, one thing you will find in the midwest is a larger percentage of folks who aren't highly educated by formal institutions. If you're used to living in an area with far more college grads running around, it can be off-putting. But if you get to know these people better -- they're often far more substantial folks with real concerns and aspirations. They may laugh at the idea of ordering a coffee being more than deciding if you want cream and sugar or not -- but chances are good they have real skills doing useful things the CA crowd has to pay someone else to do for them.

      But IMO, it's really nice living someplace where people don't *care* if your clothing choices are just practical and reasonably priced, vs. spending 5x more to chase after trends, and it's something you grow to really appreciate when your neighbors want to look out for each other and volunteer to help you when they see you working on something.

      In CA, I just ran into a lot of people who invested WAY too much time in superficial stuff they collectively deemed important. My friends from CA who came to visit me in the midwest couldn't stop complaining about such things as stores that closed by 9 or 10PM instead of being open 24 hours a day. You know? These things really aren't a big problem for everyone who gets used to the concept of things having schedules that don't just cater to your whims ....

    • Re:Leave. (Score:4, Funny)

      by Fear the Clam ( 230933 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @07:47PM (#53942761)

      People who were just much more substantial

      It's okay to say "fat."

  • Tough luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:39PM (#53940687)
    You chose to live and work out there. Meanwhile, here in metro Atlanta (which has a pretty decent tech scene itself, although it's not my field), I own a house and have 2 paid off cars on a combined income of 90k between me and my wife. This even includes paying off student loans every month and putting money away into savings. My wife's sister's family makes it on my brother-in-law's $80-90k a year salary at Redstone with 3 kids. You can get by just fine on less than 100k in NC near the research triangle as well (and Charlotte is big with banking if working in the financial sector is your thing). There's more to the country than just SF/SV and NYC
  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:46PM (#53940769)

    Now techies, many of whom are among the highest 1 percent of earners, are complaining that they, too, are being priced out. The Twitter employee said he hit a low point in early 2014 when the company changed its payroll schedule, leaving him with a hole in his budget. "I had to borrow money to make it through the month." He was one of several tech workers, earning between $100,000 and $700,000 a year, who vented to the Guardian about their financial situation.

    In 2013 to be in the top 1% of US earners you had to earn over $1.15 million per year. That's quite a bit more than $100,000 and even $700,000 a year. See here:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/inde... [mlive.com]
    I'd guess the top 1% is even higher now.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:49PM (#53940813)

    Let's round it up and say you are paying $40K/year for housing and say $40K for taxes. If you are burning through $80K a year on food, clothing, transport and entertainment, then you are doing something very wrong.

    Stop eating at restaurants for every meal.
    Stop buying expensive coffee.
    Stop using uber for everything.
    Stop subscribing to every stupid service.
    Stop spending real money to buy fake money in video games.

    • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @04:44PM (#53941355)
      In California, it would be closer to $65-70k in taxes: $8k FICA, $16k State income, $40-45k federal income.

      If single, $4-6k per year healthcare, $4k for parking, $5k for car and insurance... things add up. Hopefully you are putting $18k in your 401k as well. Student loans can easily be $10k per year. You could end up with just under $2k per month for all other expenses, which can get tight without being extravagant. Throw in an unforeseen expense, and it can turn to ruin quickly... just as it does for anyone else living paycheck to paycheck.
  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @03:55PM (#53940879) Homepage Journal

    He's paying just less than 23% if his gross income for housing. Not may Americans can pay less than 30% of their gross.

    Take job for half the pay where you can get a 40% cut in housing costs. Because that's the alternative for most of us.

  • Why the mystique? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @04:07PM (#53940995)

    I live in metro New York, another very high cost-of-living place, but slightly less insane than SV or LA. I can understand wanting to live in places where the cost is high. California has really great weather. Metro DC has a combination of extremely stable federal jobs and gov't contractor jobs that are basically like pulling money out of an unlimited ATM. New York has a very good public education system, access to a large, diverse pool of jobs and the city itself. But, I've never had the desire to move to Silicon Valley or San Francisco despite my interest in the computer field. Especially now, there's no justifying the huge cost of owning a house there or throwing away thousands a month to rent a bedroom.

    Maybe I'm just not enough of a hipster to "get" startup culture -- but why would anyone other than a new college graduate want to sign up for paying a million plus for a tiny starter home that they're never in because their "all inclusive" company provides all their meals and 16 hours of work a day? Worse yet, why would anyone pay _more_ to live in San Francisco, then let their all inclusive company bus them out to the suburbs 2 hours each way?

    I can definitely sympathize with the "scraping by on 6 figures" sentiment -- but the keys to living in a high cost area are living below your means, and not living where everyone else wants to live. I don't care how gentrified and hip some of the former industrial sites in Brooklyn are; there's no way I'm paying $2 million for an apartment there...I live further away where house prices are still way high but not bubble-esque. Plenty of New Yorkers pull up stakes and move to North Carolina or Texas all the time; they hate paying taxes and (IMO) don't take full advantage of the place they live in. If you're childless and don't care where your house is as long as it's huge and on 2 acres of land, then there's no reason to pay the premium. I know plenty of people that have gone from a starter home with $10K in taxes to a McMansion out in the country in a gated community with $3K in taxes. They're happy and that's fine, everyone's entitled to do what makes them happy.

    I do feel like you get what you pay for though - I have 2 kids who are going to get a decent public education without paying tuition to a private school. I was asked by a former company to relocate to Florida a while back, and even the real estate agents trying to sell me on the idea agreed that I wouldn't get the same educational experience unless I shelled out for expensive private schooling.

  • by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @04:19PM (#53941109)

    San Francisco is full of crappy little houses [redfin.com] that sell for $1 million because there is so much demand for so little supply. The obvious thing to do in such a situation, of course, is to let people build higher. The owner of this house is selling for $1 million, but they would much prefer to build a 10-unit tower on the spot and sell each of the units for $500k. They would make an extra $4 million minus building costs, and the buyers would get the same footage for half the price. Since much of San Francisco is walking distance to a rail line, this wouldn't create unsolvable parking problems. It would be a win-win situation for everyone.

    But because San Francisco (and the whole Bay Area) think that everyone should have a veto on what everyone else does with their property, rebuilding doesn't happen, demand continues to rise, and the city becomes affordable only by the rich.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @04:36PM (#53941261)

    >> He was one of several tech workers, earning between $100,000 and $700,000 a year, who vented to the Guardian about their financial situation.

    I could imagine the 100k guy might be feeling the burn, but I have zero sympathy for the 700k guy. It must be a bitch playing your pity violin in the cramped space of your Lamborghini.

  • by scatbomb ( 1099255 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @05:03PM (#53941537)
    Prices need to go up to reflect the growing demand and dwindling supply. That is how developers know to build more housing. There are tons of housing projects going on in the bay area and supply will rise steeply in the near-term. I think prices should fall after that. This is the market functioning as it's supposed to, right? Am I missing something here?
  • LOL Wut (Score:4, Funny)

    by Afty0r ( 263037 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @05:16PM (#53941653) Homepage

    a base salary of $160,000 a year, said his earnings are "pretty bad", adding that he pays $3000 rent for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco.

    Soo this guy clears $105k after tax, pays rent of $36k (some of which he could offset by having a roommate) and yet somehow has a problem in that his $70k of disposable income a year - nearly 1500 bucks a week... is not enough? Perhaps he needs to learn how to cook and get off the coke and hookers?

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Monday February 27, 2017 @11:52PM (#53943849) Journal

    I get $11k a year because I'm disabled.

    So when I hear someone that make $160k a year complaining it sort of pisses me off.

    You can have it a lot worse, so serious, fuck off.

  • by bferrell ( 253291 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @04:23AM (#53944497) Homepage Journal

    let's see... My crude rule of thumb, that kept me out of IRS trouble when I was self employed was set aside 28% for taxes. Call it 45,000/year out of 160,000. Leaving 115,000. Rent of 3000/month... 36000/year and now I see 76,000/year or 6500/month.

    Oh the poor baby!

    I'd say he needs to learn how to manage his money. From the looks of his complaint, he's a windows or Mac weenie... Quicken will help him a lot

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