imperio wrote:cbr shadow wrote:imperio wrote:stoptothink wrote:flamesabers wrote:
I was thinking the same thing.
+2. FWIW, my wife and I maxed out both our tax-deferred retirement accounts when we first married (4yrs ago) and our income was about half of $160k, and we had an infant and we aren't misers (well, she isn't).
My SO and I work in the Bay Area and gross approx $190-$200K before ESPP/RSUs. We pay $2k monthly rent for a 1br/1ba for a location 50 miles south of San Francisco and don't feel like we would be able to afford a house here any time in the near future. I honestly don't know how this compares to other states or areas since we've only been here a short while, but we feel like maybe we're around the median household income or slightly below... Is combined gross income of $160K considered a lot? Is the COL in SFBA blown way out of proportion?
I also live in the SFBA and agree that it's crazy expensive to live here. In many situations salaries make up for that though. If you're grossing $200k and spend $24k/yr on rent then why do you think you are below the median household income? You must be saving (or spending) huge amounts of money somewhere. Most people don't have that option.
Our household income is a big higher than yours, but our rent is also significantly higher. Still, we save a ton of money and spend money on lots of things we don't "need" like travel and hobbies.
I'm confused as to why you would think you're below the median household income.
I guess it's because we would rather pay for a mortgage than rent, but can't afford home ownership. And when you walk down a street of houses, every single one of them has to have a owner! That and at work a lot of people seem to have luxury cars, and they're only slightly senior to us in terms of work hierarchy. How do these people afford these things?
Stoptothink posted a link above showing that the median household income in this area is $80K... I find it a little hard to believe.
I had a hard time understanding the house ownership situation when I moved to SF too. How is it that so many people can afford these $1M homes? Why are some of the $1M homes (according to Zillow) run down? How do my neighbors who manage a walgreens afford a $950k home? In many situations the owners of those homes have owned the home for a very long time. They or their families bought the home when they were worth $200k. Check out the homes in your area and how quickly they've gone up in value. It's unbelievable. My point is that the average person who lives in your area also can't buy a home in your area.
If your coworkers are more senior than you and making more than your $200k, I'd say it's not a surprise that they're driving luxury cars.
If you moved nearly anywhere else in the US (and keep similar pay) you would find that you can very easily afford a house.