Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

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dumb_lucky_20
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Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

Hi,

I'm looking to buy a house in the SF bay area (most likely alameda or contra costa county) in the next 3-6 mo's. Here is some info about me

- 33 yo w/ wife and newborn
- gross income ~250k (single income)
- parents will live with us ( ~100k retirement income (pension + rental income + social security))
- NW: 4.5m (~3m in taxable, ~900k down payment money, remainder in cash) + ~3-4m post tax in unvested equity (all vested by 2023)

So obviously I can probably afford to buy a home upto 3-4m with a large downpayment but I am trying to spend no more than 20% of my NW on a downpayment. The reason for this is I want to maximize how much I have in investments with the hopes of growing my overall NW to 15m+ in 10-15yrs.

So given these parameters, I think I can buy a 2m home now with a 900k downpayment. My plan is to then put up to 1.5-1.7 total down on the house by the time all my equity vests. I want to have a low living expenses so I feel paying off the home asap will help in achieving this. I don't know if my monthly income will substantially increase and I also don't want to feel obliged to work just to pay down a mortgage.

The only issue with targeting a 2m home is that I would likely move further away from where I work in an effort to buy a large newer home in a good school district (san ramon, danville).

I wanted to get others' thoughts on whether I am being overly conservative in my affordability or what you would do differently.
manuvns
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by manuvns »

with 900k for down payment and 350k income you should be able to buy something in bay area i would buy something conservative given the current state of RE
Golf maniac
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Golf maniac »

I wouldn’t worry about what others think, the issue is what are you comfortable with. My suggestion is to prepare two budgets. The first will be for the $2 million home and the second for a $3 million home. See what you are comfortable with given your down payment. One question, is the $100k from your parents going to be used to help support your mortgage? Are they paying rent? It wasn’t clear to me in your post.
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Watty
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Watty »

dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:40 am .....or what you would do differently.
Why buy now and have a long commute when the housing market is so crazy?

With a newborn you do not need to worry about the schools for about another five years. You will have enough to pay cash for a house so you do not need to worry about mortgage interest rates go up. If you have a long commute you will miss out on a lot of your baby's waking hours.

I would probably just rent a nicer or bigger place if necessary with a very short commute until the rest of the stock vests and then buy a house for cash once you actually get the rest of the money from the unvested stock. That may or may not happen or it may be for an amount that is a lot different than what you are expecting.

Especially with kids at home a long commute is brutal.

When you have a lot more money in the bank you may decide that buying a more expensive house with a short commute is worthwhile, or you may decide that you want to move somewhere less expensive where you can have a higher standard of living and retire or semi retire.

But that is just me.

Did I mention that having a long commute sucks?
Topic Author
dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

Golf maniac wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:20 pm I wouldn’t worry about what others think, the issue is what are you comfortable with. My suggestion is to prepare two budgets. The first will be for the $2 million home and the second for a $3 million home. See what you are comfortable with given your down payment. One question, is the $100k from your parents going to be used to help support your mortgage? Are they paying rent? It wasn’t clear to me in your post.
Sorry I should have clarified that, yes they would be supporting on the mortgage.
Topic Author
dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

Watty wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:27 pm
dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:40 am .....or what you would do differently.
Why buy now and have a long commute when the housing market is so crazy?

With a newborn you do not need to worry about the schools for about another five years. You will have enough to pay cash for a house so you do not need to worry about mortgage interest rates go up. If you have a long commute you will miss out on a lot of your baby's waking hours.

I would probably just rent a nicer or bigger place if necessary with a very short commute until the rest of the stock vests and then buy a house for cash once you actually get the rest of the money from the unvested stock. That may or may not happen or it may be for an amount that is a lot different than what you are expecting.

Especially with kids at home a long commute is brutal.

When you have a lot more money in the bank you may decide that buying a more expensive house with a short commute is worthwhile, or you may decide that you want to move somewhere less expensive where you can have a higher standard of living and retire or semi retire.

But that is just me.

Did I mention that having a long commute sucks?
So I've had a hard time selling renting to my wife. She wants to put our 'roots' down and the impermanence of renting doesn't give her that feeling.

I definitely take your point on the long commute. I do feel like it is a short term problem though as in three years time I will likely only consider remote-only positions or go into semi-retirement
Thesaints
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Thesaints »

If you vest by 2023, what difference does it make putting 900k vs. 1.5-1.7 M down ? I mean, keeping that extra 600-800k invested for another couple of years is negligible regarding your goal.
bayareaBH
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by bayareaBH »

Congrats on the big equity event! Hard to say what level of house makes sense without full picture. FWIW, we chose peninsula over east bay after renting in both at different times. The bridge commute was just a killer.
  • What are your other monthly expenses? What % of household income would the mortgage be?
  • How risky is the unvested equity to bank on for future income? I'd feel differently if it were FAANG stock versus less established company
  • How many days in the office vs. WFH?
Last edited by bayareaBH on Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

Thesaints wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:27 pm If you vest by 2023, what difference does it make putting 900k vs. 1.5-1.7 M down ? I mean, keeping that extra 600-800k invested for another couple of years is negligible regarding your goal.
Well the additional 600-800k I would be paying down on the house as I sell shares. So when I buy the house it would be with the 900k down
Thesaints
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Thesaints »

But you already have the share to sell now, haven't you ?
On a 2 million home, if you put down 900k, it means a jumbo mortgage, which is more expensive.
If you put down 1.5-1.7 M, it would be a regular mortgage and my advice for the Bay Area would be to go for an all-cash offer and skip the mortgage entirely. You'll see a lot more doors opening. Pun intended.
Topic Author
dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

bayareaBH wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:29 pm Congrats on the big equity event! Hard to say what level of house makes sense without full picture. FWIW, we chose peninsula over east bay after renting in both at different times. The bridge commute was just a killer.
  • What are your other monthly expenses? What % of household income would the mortgage be?
  • How risky is the unvested equity to bank on for future income? I'd feel differently if it were FAANG stock versus less established company
  • How many days in the office vs. WFH?
Thanks, yes I've been dealing with the bridge commute and it definitely sucks.

- The mortgage will be roughly 50% of gross income based on my estimates. I don't really have any other large expenses (650 car lease payment).
- The equity isn't as secure as FAANG stock but it is pretty secure. It's a enterprise software company with good future growth in the pipeline. I think in the worst case I would still come away with 2m after tax

- It is likely going to be 2 days at home 3 days at the office
Topic Author
dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

Thesaints wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:53 pm But you already have the share to sell now, haven't you ?
On a 2 million home, if you put down 900k, it means a jumbo mortgage, which is more expensive.
If you put down 1.5-1.7 M, it would be a regular mortgage and my advice for the Bay Area would be to go for an all-cash offer and skip the mortgage entirely. You'll see a lot more doors opening. Pun intended.
At the moment I've sold most of my vested shares. It is every month for the next ~2.5 years
interwebopinion
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by interwebopinion »

Congrats on the good fortune!
dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:58 pm Thanks, yes I've been dealing with the bridge commute and it definitely sucks.
A friend who has to do the bridge commute daily said the traffic was much better recently because of the pandemic. If it's sucking for you now when people are home, I'd recommend getting something on the peninsula, because it will suck worse when they are back at offices.
- It is likely going to be 2 days at home 3 days at the office
This seems to be the standard re-opening model currently, but I wonder how long this will hold. If you're buying in the Bay Area, given Prop 13 considerations, you'll probably want this to be the house you retire in. Given that, you'll get more job flexibility buying in the peninsula long-term. My gut feel is that in one year, all those who fled to the far exurbs will be thinking about coming back.
Thesaints
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Thesaints »

dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:04 pm
Thesaints wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:53 pm But you already have the share to sell now, haven't you ?
On a 2 million home, if you put down 900k, it means a jumbo mortgage, which is more expensive.
If you put down 1.5-1.7 M, it would be a regular mortgage and my advice for the Bay Area would be to go for an all-cash offer and skip the mortgage entirely. You'll see a lot more doors opening. Pun intended.
At the moment I've sold most of my vested shares. It is every month for the next ~2.5 years
Maybe I misinterpreted
- NW: 4.5m (~3m in taxable, ~900k down payment money, remainder in cash) + ~3-4m post tax in unvested equity (all vested by 2023)
I thought you had 3M ready to be spent, plus the 900k already slated for the house, plus another 600k cash reserves.
somekevinguy
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by somekevinguy »

Bay Area homeowner (peninsula, bought 2018).

If I were you, I would optimize for location (commute, schools) and buy something slightly bigger/nicer than you’re comfortable with- ie maybe even 3.5-4.5M. This is partly prop 13 considerations and mostly about balance between “life” and savings. At least by your post, you seem to be on the more conservative side and seems like you have plenty of money to buy a home that you won’t grow out of and your family can enjoy long term- all without substantial effects on lifestyle or ultimate savings. This is assuming you plan to stay in the area long term. Also would involve a larger down payment to make the mortgage payment work. Just my 2 cents.
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Watty
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Watty »

interwebopinion wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:11 pm Congrats on the good fortune!
dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:58 pm Thanks, yes I've been dealing with the bridge commute and it definitely sucks.
A friend who has to do the bridge commute daily said the traffic was much better recently because of the pandemic. If it's sucking for you now when people are home, I'd recommend getting something on the peninsula, because it will suck worse when they are back at offices.
I am in a different part of the country but one thing to watch out for is that once a commute gets worse it not only takes longer on average but it also becomes a lot less predictable. You might have a 45 minute commute on a normal day but it could go up to 1.5 hours several times a month when there is some problem. In addition to the actual time this can be a big problem if you need to be at work at a specific time for an important meeting or at home at a specific time to pick up a kid from daycare.
bayareaBH
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by bayareaBH »

I would target something a little bit above $2M on the Peninsula and put a bit more down to keep the mortgage manageable. You could still get a 3/2 or 4/3 in need of renovation in a place like Belmont which has excellent schools, and then remodel / add an ADU for your parents once the rest of your equity vests. I’d solve for location (assuming you prefer to be on the peninsula all else equal), and deal with solving for extra space later. With a newborn you probably don’t need all the extra space just yet.

Example of a $2.25M that sold within a month: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Belmont/1802- ... ntent=link
pbjzyxuzpf
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by pbjzyxuzpf »

somekevinguy wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:23 pm Bay Area homeowner (peninsula, bought 2018).

If I were you, I would optimize for location (commute, schools) and buy something slightly bigger/nicer than you’re comfortable with- ie maybe even 3.5-4.5M. This is partly prop 13 considerations and mostly about balance between “life” and savings. At least by your post, you seem to be on the more conservative side and seems like you have plenty of money to buy a home that you won’t grow out of and your family can enjoy long term- all without substantial effects on lifestyle or ultimate savings. This is assuming you plan to stay in the area long term. Also would involve a larger down payment to make the mortgage payment work. Just my 2 cents.
+1 also a bay area homeowner (east bay since 2017)

We bought a 3/2 at 1600 sqft before kids. Now with #2 on the way - wish we bought a 4/3 2000 sqft which we could have at the time. Depending on how many kids you're looking for. I'd say look for amenities like an additional bedroom or office shed as hybrid WFH will be a thing in the Bay.

+1 optimize for commute, community, school, and things you like nearby. If that is Tri-valley San Ramon/Danville, you'll get a lot of bigger houses in the $1.8-$2.8M range. You can certainly find $2-$2.5M 1800-2000 sqft houses in the east bay (newark, fremont) or certain areas in the peninsula. All depends on where you want to live.
Tingting1013
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Tingting1013 »

pbjzyxuzpf wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:44 pm
somekevinguy wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:23 pm Bay Area homeowner (peninsula, bought 2018).

If I were you, I would optimize for location (commute, schools) and buy something slightly bigger/nicer than you’re comfortable with- ie maybe even 3.5-4.5M. This is partly prop 13 considerations and mostly about balance between “life” and savings. At least by your post, you seem to be on the more conservative side and seems like you have plenty of money to buy a home that you won’t grow out of and your family can enjoy long term- all without substantial effects on lifestyle or ultimate savings. This is assuming you plan to stay in the area long term. Also would involve a larger down payment to make the mortgage payment work. Just my 2 cents.
+1 also a bay area homeowner (east bay since 2017)

We bought a 3/2 at 1600 sqft before kids. Now with #2 on the way - wish we bought a 4/3 2000 sqft which we could have at the time. Depending on how many kids you're looking for. I'd say look for amenities like an additional bedroom or office shed as hybrid WFH will be a thing in the Bay.

+1 optimize for commute, community, school, and things you like nearby. If that is Tri-valley San Ramon/Danville, you'll get a lot of bigger houses in the $1.8-$2.8M range. You can certainly find $2-$2.5M 1800-2000 sqft houses in the east bay (newark, fremont) or certain areas in the peninsula. All depends on where you want to live.
+2

My Boglehead ways in buying below my means have really destroyed my quality of life in the last year or so with two toddlers in a 1600 sqft Peninsula hovel.
jarjarM
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by jarjarM »

Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:50 pm
pbjzyxuzpf wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:44 pm
somekevinguy wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:23 pm Bay Area homeowner (peninsula, bought 2018).

If I were you, I would optimize for location (commute, schools) and buy something slightly bigger/nicer than you’re comfortable with- ie maybe even 3.5-4.5M. This is partly prop 13 considerations and mostly about balance between “life” and savings. At least by your post, you seem to be on the more conservative side and seems like you have plenty of money to buy a home that you won’t grow out of and your family can enjoy long term- all without substantial effects on lifestyle or ultimate savings. This is assuming you plan to stay in the area long term. Also would involve a larger down payment to make the mortgage payment work. Just my 2 cents.
+1 also a bay area homeowner (east bay since 2017)

We bought a 3/2 at 1600 sqft before kids. Now with #2 on the way - wish we bought a 4/3 2000 sqft which we could have at the time. Depending on how many kids you're looking for. I'd say look for amenities like an additional bedroom or office shed as hybrid WFH will be a thing in the Bay.

+1 optimize for commute, community, school, and things you like nearby. If that is Tri-valley San Ramon/Danville, you'll get a lot of bigger houses in the $1.8-$2.8M range. You can certainly find $2-$2.5M 1800-2000 sqft houses in the east bay (newark, fremont) or certain areas in the peninsula. All depends on where you want to live.
+2

My Boglehead ways in buying below my means have really destroyed my quality of life in the last year or so with two toddlers in a 1600 sqft Peninsula hovel.
+3, optimize for commute/school. Also, tri-valley weather and culture will be a bit different than pennisula and the commute time can be quite substantial. Since you have the mean, put in some extra $$$ to get what you wanted rather than upgrade later, given the nature of prop 13. Don't regret 5 years down the line when you have to deal with 2-3 active kids. An office room was a godsend for us during this pandemic and will be well worth it during hybrid time with active kids. Congrats on the financial success. :beer
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

How certain are you about being able to either only work remotely or semi-retire in the next three years? If you're not all that certain, I would not quickly jump into buying in the tri-valley. At the very least, try out the commute from San Ramon/Danville before actually making the purchase. It's best to try it on a Friday afternoon, especially before a three-day weekend. You don't want to sign up for something and then find out you can't handle it.

We live in the area you're considering (tri-valley) and love it out here. The weather is great (warmer than on the other side of the bay, which I personally prefer), there isn't much congestion so you can find plenty of parking without a problem, the community is clean and visually appealing (there are lots of hiking trails and rolling green hills and parks), and the schools are excellent.

The positives are definitely there but you should know something: the current commute times are not what it was like before the pandemic. I went into work today and it took me about a half hour each way. In early 2020, my commute time was closer to an hour each way - and I just work on the outskirts of silicon valley. I also have pretty good work hours so I can avoid the worst of the traffic headed home. People working in the heart of silicon valley or those who have to contend with bridges could face commutes of 1.5-2 hours each way from here. If you sign up for something like that, especially with a baby at home, you should do so with eyes wide open. Perhaps it's doable for a couple of years but if there is a chance it might be extended beyond that, you may want to think about it really hard first.

We live in a 2150 sq. ft. townhouse (4-bedroom/4-bathroom) valued currently at just a bit over $1M and built new in 2010 when we purchased it. For $2M, you should be able to get a very nice house around these parts.

I agree with others about the benefits of Prop 13. Our home is valued at much more now than it was a decade ago but our property taxes have barely changed during that time. Thanks to the newly passed Prop 19, once we turn 55, we can move anywhere within the state up to 3 times and keep our original property tax base.

On a side note, at sub-3% mortgage rates, you may want to seriously consider just how much of a hurry you're in to pay off the home. You're in your early 30s and locking a low rate for decades and keeping greater liquidity may be worth consideration. Also, it's worth keeping in mind that California is a non-recourse state.
cacophony
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by cacophony »

interwebopinion wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:11 pm Congrats on the good fortune!
dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:58 pm Thanks, yes I've been dealing with the bridge commute and it definitely sucks.
A friend who has to do the bridge commute daily said the traffic was much better recently because of the pandemic. If it's sucking for you now when people are home, I'd recommend getting something on the peninsula, because it will suck worse when they are back at offices.
- It is likely going to be 2 days at home 3 days at the office
This seems to be the standard re-opening model currently, but I wonder how long this will hold. If you're buying in the Bay Area, given Prop 13 considerations, you'll probably want this to be the house you retire in...
Prop 19 allows up to three base year value transfers of the property tax rate within CA after the age of 55
Topic Author
dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

Ron Ronnerson wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:15 am How certain are you about being able to either only work remotely or semi-retire in the next three years? If you're not all that certain, I would not quickly jump into buying in the tri-valley. At the very least, try out the commute from San Ramon/Danville before actually making the purchase. It's best to try it on a Friday afternoon, especially before a three-day weekend. You don't want to sign up for something and then find out you can't handle it.
I know financially I could even go into early retirement, but I'm not entirely sure I will want to. My wife and I really like the San Ramon area, but I know a commute across the bay 3+ days a week will be killer regardless of how nice a home I'm going to.
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dumb_lucky_20
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by dumb_lucky_20 »

jarjarM wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:30 pm
Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:50 pm
pbjzyxuzpf wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:44 pm
somekevinguy wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:23 pm Bay Area homeowner (peninsula, bought 2018).

If I were you, I would optimize for location (commute, schools) and buy something slightly bigger/nicer than you’re comfortable with- ie maybe even 3.5-4.5M. This is partly prop 13 considerations and mostly about balance between “life” and savings. At least by your post, you seem to be on the more conservative side and seems like you have plenty of money to buy a home that you won’t grow out of and your family can enjoy long term- all without substantial effects on lifestyle or ultimate savings. This is assuming you plan to stay in the area long term. Also would involve a larger down payment to make the mortgage payment work. Just my 2 cents.
+1 also a bay area homeowner (east bay since 2017)

We bought a 3/2 at 1600 sqft before kids. Now with #2 on the way - wish we bought a 4/3 2000 sqft which we could have at the time. Depending on how many kids you're looking for. I'd say look for amenities like an additional bedroom or office shed as hybrid WFH will be a thing in the Bay.

+1 optimize for commute, community, school, and things you like nearby. If that is Tri-valley San Ramon/Danville, you'll get a lot of bigger houses in the $1.8-$2.8M range. You can certainly find $2-$2.5M 1800-2000 sqft houses in the east bay (newark, fremont) or certain areas in the peninsula. All depends on where you want to live.
+2

My Boglehead ways in buying below my means have really destroyed my quality of life in the last year or so with two toddlers in a 1600 sqft Peninsula hovel.
+3, optimize for commute/school. Also, tri-valley weather and culture will be a bit different than pennisula and the commute time can be quite substantial. Since you have the mean, put in some extra $$$ to get what you wanted rather than upgrade later, given the nature of prop 13. Don't regret 5 years down the line when you have to deal with 2-3 active kids. An office room was a godsend for us during this pandemic and will be well worth it during hybrid time with active kids. Congrats on the financial success. :beer
So I definitely take your point on optimizing for school/commute. My fear is overspending on a house. I know I could direct more of my equity to a house but I don't know if that is the most prudent thing. I feel like spending 2m on a house with 6+m invested for long term net worth growth is better than 3m on a house and ~5m invested in long term growth. But I may just be splitting hairs
mervinj7
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by mervinj7 »

dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:40 am The only issue with targeting a 2m home is that I would likely move further away from where I work in an effort to buy a large newer home in a good school district (san ramon, danville).

I wanted to get others' thoughts on whether I am being overly conservative in my affordability or what you would do differently.
In terms of housing, another option is to look for a house with an attached ADU for your parents to live in. That's what we did it. It worked out better than getting one much larger house. Your parents get some privacy and they can come over whenever they want. In our case, our main unit is 2000 sq ft, 4 bed/3 bath, with a 900 sq ft add on. With WFH, the extra space was greatly appreciated.

Also, at your net worth and age don't compromise on commute times.
Last edited by mervinj7 on Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jazztonight
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by Jazztonight »

It looks like your job will be in San Francisco. If that's true, and you don't want to live in SF, then you only have a few options: Through the tunnel to Contra Costa; south to the peninsula; across the GG bridge to Marin. Or...

You could live in the East Bay. If you lived in Piedmont, the schools are excellent. Or you can choose to send your kid(s) to private schools, which is very common. Then there's Berkeley. Alameda? Maybe, but are you going to drive to SF or take the ferry? Meh.

As I see it, the issues are two: School district and Commute.

The commute from Danville, San Ramon, Blackhawk, etc., will kill you eventually, as will the long commutes from elsewhere. And your time with your family will be severely impacted. Traffic will get worse and worse and not stop. How many years of your life do you want to spend on the road commuting?

I'm retired and my grown children are older than you, so I'm not sure what I'd do in your shoes. I know many families, however, who live in the nicer sections of of Oakland and Berkeley who have just sent their kids to public school, after which they've gone to great colleges, etc.

Good luck with your decisions.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche
robertk925
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by robertk925 »

Depending on where your SF office is located, don't forget that taking BART is also an option if you are in the East Bay. I like to have both driving and BART options available, so I would recommend Orinda/Lafayette as a possible buying location. Not many new houses, but plenty of houses in your price/size range, as well as excellent schools.
jarjarM
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by jarjarM »

dumb_lucky_20 wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:43 am So I definitely take your point on optimizing for school/commute. My fear is overspending on a house. I know I could direct more of my equity to a house but I don't know if that is the most prudent thing. I feel like spending 2m on a house with 6+m invested for long term net worth growth is better than 3m on a house and ~5m invested in long term growth. But I may just be splitting hairs
It really depends on how much longer you planning on high income work. IF your goal is to get out after the 2023 when the most of the high quality shares vested then probably stay within $2-$2.5mil. However, if you plan being in the a high income mode for a few year longer, then I think going up $500k to get a slightly better location/shorter commute is definitely worthwhile. You have options, just need to prioritize what's most important to you.
wstrdg
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Re: Another Bay Area House Affordability Question

Post by wstrdg »

Look at the hills of Castro Valley. Short drive to BART. More affordable than San Ramon/Danville and better views, sometimes of the Bay. Schools are not quite as good, but look at UC's ELC policy -- that can be an advantage
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