We all know someone who’s made the move. Fed up with brake lights on I-880 or I-680, discouraged by seemingly intractable problems plaguing the Bay Area like rampant homelessness, or simply seduced by the idea of selling their million-dollar home at the top of the market, folks are heading for the exits in droves.
As my colleague Marisa Kendall recently wrote, “from Santa Rosa to San Jose, more and more residents are making the bittersweet decision to leave the Bay Area, abandoning its near-perfect weather, booming economy and thriving arts, culture and food scenes in favor of less-glamorous destinations like Austin, Boise and Knoxville.”
The subject, not surprisingly, has become de rigueur on the cocktail-party circuit. Moving out of the Bay Area these days evokes all kinds of conflicting emotions, from joy to dread to relief to severe disorientation. And if you traded, say, Foster City for, say, Missoula, you’re also probably asking yourself “What the hell did I just do?!”
After digesting Kendall’s story, readers let loose with their commentary. Here’s a taste, edited for clarity and space:
A reader named Prefiero Figurados kicks things off:
“I was born and raised here,” he writes. “Until this year, I would have sworn I’d live here for life. But an hour ago we got back from house shopping along I-395 (Reno, Carson City, Minden) for houses. Wow. It’s unreal what you can buy there for $500-600K! No income tax either. Property taxes are a bit lower, but not by much. Car registration is a bit cheaper (maybe 20%). A lot depends on county.”
He went on to explain why he was thinking of leaving the Bay Area.
“Due to the cost of living, over-taxation, hyper-bureaucratic government (ever tried to get building permits in the City of SJ?) and the acrid political climate against even moderates, I’m ready to get out of here and work from home . . . And I NEVER EVER thought I’d be writing this post.”
From Brian Reed: “You guys ruined Santa Clara County. It used to have beautiful orchards of cherry trees and all kinds of other fruits trees, too. Now it’s a concrete wasteland with pinko commie nutjobs running around loose instead of being locked up in a looney bin.”
William Orrach took issue with Reed’s comment: “Pinko commie nutjobs? Who? Where? I see a lot of stressed out, overworked parents — none of them ‘nutjobs.”’
“We are probably going to have no choice but to leave California in the next five years or so. What with the hard left turn politically, ever more taxes and bans on personal liberties, overpopulation, the mean-spirited people moving in, it’s just getting to be too much. I’ve been here since ’81. Its heart-breaking to see what is happening. I’ll miss the nice weather.” — from Zeezladon
“Can you name one personal liberty that has been taken away from you? And I don’t see mean-spirited people moving here, but smart hard working techies… Although I agree that it feels like too many people here, the traffic is horrible.” — Frank H.
“Seems logical to move if you are property rich (own a house) but money poor (retired or not wealthy). You can always go back for a vacation. I’d wager once you find a new place, the old place won’t seem quite so swell anymore.” — J.J.
This same writer commented on Figurados’ newfound appreciation for Carson City: “Houses in the desert are relatively cheap for several reasons: No water, no jobs, no real economy,” J.J. wrote. “Actually, water is the worst problem, but not many see it…..yet. Millions depend on the Colorado River for H2O in that area. It’s running dry, close to emergency crisis right now.”
A reader named “chrissyc” questioned whether people were really fleeing the Bay Area in search of cheaper real estate. “If the top spot to move to . . . is Seattle, it aint the cost. Maybe the area has just lost it luster from top to bottom.”
Another reader blasted local developers for putting “high-density housing in every remaining open lot in the Bay Area, turning it into something more like LA than anyone who lives here wants. Insufficient transit, schools, emergency services, police, and so on. It’s a freaking slow-motion nightmare. That said, I’m not going anywhere, and just waiting for the next downturn that will likely return soon. The next crash will help lower my property tax.”
But “Donna Juandotcom” was doubtful the home prices were coming down anytime soon, saying “keep waiting for the crash, it’s not going to happen. The high cost is here to stay all over the USA.”
“Frank H” was having none of it, telling Juandotcom that “they said the same in 2007. And the next year everything crashed. It happens once a decade roughly. I’m not that old but remember early nineties crash, 2001 crash and 2009 crash very well. It always feel that good times go forever and one day the music stops.”
Published at Mon, 16 Jul 2018 09:15:04 +0000