Re: The Cost of Living in the Bay Area

Mike Masnick (
Wed, 19 Aug 1998 22:54:13 -0700

Okay, so I'm continually a few weeks behind in reading FoRK-posts. I'm
getting there... I swear.

At 11:47 PM 8/5/98 -0500, < wrote:
>I looked at a few apartments in the lower Pacific Heights and in Berekely
>and (despite warnings from people about the cost of living in the Bay
>area) still felt a sense of horror when I was shown places that were mere
>holes in the wall and then told that the rent would be $1,000 per
>month plus utilities. I did look at two "bachelor" apartments
>in Berekely that rented for $700 month, but they were pretty
>skanky and not anywhere near the standard of my current place.

As someone who just made the move from upstate NY to the Bay Area, I have
to say that if you look around there are places that are not nearly as bad
as what you're talking about. I've got a *great* place for a very
reasonable amount. It just took some looking. The area you are in is key.
There are some towns that are outrageous, and some that are quite
reasonable (relatively).

> Not that
>I am turning down the job offer because of the outrageous rents,
>there are other more significant reasons than that. Essentially, the
>company I was interviewing with did not impress me and at the end of
>the interview they became extremely inflexible about things such as
>moving allowance and actually tried to give me less than they had
>offered me originally! Plus, there were no stock options or
>merit bonuses. What's the use of leaving academia to go and work
>in the corporate sector if you don't get a few perks? Oh well, at
>least I got a 4 day all-expenses paid excursion to San Fran out of
>the deal :-)

Yeah. Sounds like a dud company all around. I took the job I have now,
despite not believing in the original premise of the company, because the
people I spoke with here were *incredible* in terms of smarts and
sharpness. They honestly convinced me of their business model and in their
ability to execute. Plus, they understood the marketplace, and made a
reasonable offer. So far I have to say that it was a smart move... The
people you deal with are extremely important. Find a company (okay, I'm
late, you probably already have) where the people impress you. I love
being surrounded by people who I know are smarter than me.

>My advice to Ian and others considering a move to CA from the
>Great White North is this: spend at least 4 or 5 days looking
>around the city and get a feeling for it. Look at some
>apartments and try to visualize yourself living in the shoebox
>that you are viewing.

I have more space than I know what to do with...

> Look at the traffic on the freeways

Learn to take backroads... or 280.

>and the cost of gas.

Depends on where you are...

Sorry. Just rationalizing my decision. :)