[FoRK] today

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Sat Jun 1 22:47:30 PDT 2013

On 6/1/13 7:36 PM, Adam L Beberg wrote:
> Silicon valley is great. The (housing / income) is sky high, places in San Fran are still available for rent upwards of 5 minutes 
> after posting, and if you want to BUY a house in the bay area, you have to have cash (not a loan) and go 100k+ over the already 
> insane asking price to outbid the Chinese. You have heard about the property insanity in China - full cities of empty property. 
> Since even the little old ladies know that's now a bad investment, all that money is flowing elsewhere but still in property. On 
> top of all the local millionaires.

It is tough to raise a family with kids, pets, yard, etc. in a close-in area in Silicon Valley.  If you have a couple good salaries 
or enough savings you can swing it.
For families, often the only alternative is to commute from further away where things are more reasonable, or go down-market.  I 
know of a family of 4 renting a house with a yard in SJ for $1100, so it is possible.

Without children, if you're flexible, there are a lot of ways to get by reasonably.  Buying traditional properties, large houses or 
anything in SF etc., in this area is not likely to be a good idea without a lot of money to waste.  We found a great solution in 
Sunnyvale that is perfect for us.

SF seems crazy from the outside, but South Bay doesn't seem quite as bad unless you really want to be in the hot school systems or 
something.  Fremont seems reasonable and Oakland cheap.

> But to really love California you need the uniqueness of 9.3% income tax starting at poverty level, ~10% sales tax, environmental 
> laws that will never let fiber be deployed or more housing be built, and violently anti-business state government make it a very 
> "special" place.

Rates are progressive from 1% to 9.3%, and stretched for couples and head of household.  For HoH, the 9.3% rate doesn't kick in 
until $93,532.  That means that the first $93,532 is taxed at a 4.4% rate.  A fairly large range works out to about 5% in both 
Virginia and California, making them essentially equivalent.

Head of Household in California, not including additional exemptions (mortgage interest, schedule C, etc.) or pretax amounts:
ans =  0.044028

Sales tax rate is currently back down to 8.75%.

> In other words, everything is in place for Si Valley to become the place that startups _used_ to be.

I've heard that for a long time.  Doesn't seem like those marginal differences really make a difference.

> Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote on 6/1/2013 4:39 PM:
>> On 6/1/2013 12:24 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:
>>> What criteria do most people use for comparing quality of life between
>>> cities?
>> Median household income.
>> Greg


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