Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

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omega
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:38 pm

Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by omega » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm

Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

Edited to include:

Kids: 2, (7th grader and 2nd grader)
Wife: works in IT, currently works for university and makes about 110K
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Family ties in NJ/NY: No
Last edited by omega on Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

quantAndHold
Posts: 4717
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm

Definitely run the various salary comparators to make sure you’re making enough money. If you’re moving from NY/NJ, you might be fine, but people moving from lower cost areas tend to have a bit of sticker shock when they discover how much housing costs, and what that does to their budget. Especially look at the cost of housing within a reasonable commute distance. Right now, everyone is working at home, so commutes aren’t bad, but that’s not a permanent thing.

Unless you’re living in the city, you’ll need a car. Not sure if you already have one or not.

The weather is much better in the Bay Area than where you’re coming from.

Earthquakes are a total nonissue. People fear the unknown, so your wife is afraid. That’s normal. But earthquakes are very infrequent, usually fairly minor, and most of the buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand them.

Personally,I wouldn’t commit to moving until you and your wife had an in person visit to get a feel for the place, and maybe look at some housing, COVID or not. It’s definitely different than NY/NJ. Some people like it, some don’t.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

stoptothink
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:34 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Earthquakes are a total nonissue. People fear the unknown, so your wife is afraid. That’s normal. But earthquakes are very infrequent, usually fairly minor, and most of the buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand them.
This. I don't have anything else to add, but the earthquake thing would be about #999,999,999,999 on the list of things I'd be concerned about when considering a move to the Bay Area.

IMO
Posts: 913
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by IMO » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:35 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!
It is an interesting dilemma, is the grass greener?

When it comes to salary differences, you really need to do an individual analysis on how much your paying in income taxes, property taxes, other taxes and then cost of similar housing (if that is even possible?). Other big ticket things include daycare and private school differences if one is going to utilize those services. Other things are probably about the same from my experience (Home Depot things, other services, etc).

Work changes/improvement/opportunity issue are difficult to assess. What if the new company isn't what you think? You wouldn't be the 1st person to regret leaving their previous position. But one just never knows. Will you be okay passing on the opportunity?

Commuting differences?

Family issues to me would be highest on the list. At the end of the day, it's just another job. Does your family have strong roots/family connections where you are currently? Only you can decide how much that is worth. Maybe your new area will turn out great with great families and environment, maybe it won't. Having lived much of my life in CA, a stereotype that I find true is that many people don't get to know their neighbors, they come home from work/commute and shut their garage door. Typically you get your social circles from work, hobbies, kids/school, etc. rather than from people going out of their way to meet a new neighbor.

Earthquakes. They are a real natural disaster concern, but it doesn't change one's life day to day. Factor in a little more for earthquake insurance per year (my parents bill was about $1000) and a higher emergency fund to cover the large part of damage that is not covered with earthquake insurance. But if "the big one" does occur in San Francisco, all hell will likely break loose in my view. I've lived through a few big ones though and they weren't that big of a deal. Statistically low probability of the big one.

You say you are happy with your current job and the family is happy with where they are living. If you move, your primary goal will be that your happy with your job and your family is happy with where they are living. Seems like you already got lucky in life. That would be a hard sell in my life to up/move everyone when things are going good. But ultimately you'll have to be the one to decide what's most important to you and your family.

muddgirl
Posts: 131
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by muddgirl » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:44 pm

What part of the Bay Area? Very different costs and styles of living in different parts. You also don't say if you have kids. We live very comfortably on less than $200k salary but we are frugal and we don't pay for childcare - very $$$$. You also don't say if your wife works.

Basically every salaried employee is working from home right now and will continue to work from home majority time until 2021. The most I have seen from anyone in biotech here is 3 days in the lab and two days at home. Rents are falling and I expect home prices to follow. Now is a good time to move if you are inclined.

I've done a few cross country moves for work opportunities in my life. The older I get the less attractive they are. The last move we did was to move closer to family and friends. Maybe this is a good push to evaluate if there are better opportunities closer to home.

bdylan
Posts: 72
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by bdylan » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:44 pm

Be very, very sure you understand the culture of the company. Lot of places in tech promise you the moon to hire you (and comp will likely be very, very good - though make sure it’s also significantly better on the cash front as well) and then treat you terribly once you’re there.

Also, if they’re that interested in you, definitely ask for a lot of cash comp - id probably target at least 300k base plus the bonus.

bogledogle
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by bogledogle » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:56 pm

Always take the new position if that aligns with your career goal. No, you don't need to worry about earth quakes. You should be worried about expensive real estate if you want to buy a home.

I work in Biotech in the Bay area. Expect to work harder than you are used to in the east coast, Tech industry has a bad influence on the pace of work here. We have offices in the east coast and they have better work/life balance.

California is great and has good career opportunities for Biotech. I worked on the east coast before I moved out here and I would not go back. You can always move back to NJ/NY/Boston area if you don't like it. If you are currently making 200+, you can expect Roche will pay you 300 (base + Bonus + Stock) to get you out here. (Roche was a guess)

Look at Glassdoor, Blind ..etc for accurate salary range. I would warn against taking salary advice for bay area from folks who are not in Biotech - they can be wildly wrong.

123
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by 123 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:06 pm

No snow in Bay area.
No snow in Bay area.
No snow in Bay area.

That really is the tilting point.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

bkmcd1
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:35 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by bkmcd1 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:13 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Earthquakes are a total nonissue. People fear the unknown, so your wife is afraid. That’s normal.
I experienced the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and it was scary and sobering. Lots of infrastructure damage, and people died. For months afterward, a crushed car with a chimney lying on top of it sat outside the window of my chemistry class as a reminder. I for one can't say that earthquakes are a "total nonissue." However, I didn't move away until 4 years later, and I didn't leave because of earthquakes. I probably wouldn't stay away due to earthquakes, either, but I sure don't miss them!
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
But earthquakes are very infrequent, usually fairly minor, and most of the buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand them.
IME, large earthquakes were infrequent, but smaller ones occurred relatively often. I usually didn't notice them until they were greater than a 4.0 or so. 30 years of progress should have made things safer than when I lived there.

mervinj7
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by mervinj7 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:17 pm

123 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:06 pm
No snow in Bay area.
No snow in Bay area.
No snow in Bay area.

That really is the tilting point.
+1 I also moved here from NYC. I do not miss shoveling snow or the cold. That said, we love to visit Tahoe every winter for skiing and snowboarding. Since you are already coming from a VHCOL area, you won't be as sticker shocked as other folks.
I would also not move to a place without ever having visited it.

quantAndHold
Posts: 4717
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:25 pm

bkmcd1 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:13 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Earthquakes are a total nonissue. People fear the unknown, so your wife is afraid. That’s normal.
I experienced the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and it was scary and sobering. Lots of infrastructure damage, and people died. For months afterward, a crushed car with a chimney lying on top of it sat outside the window of my chemistry class as a reminder. I for one can't say that earthquakes are a "total nonissue." However, I didn't move away until 4 years later, and I didn't leave because of earthquakes. I probably wouldn't stay away due to earthquakes, either, but I sure don't miss them!
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
But earthquakes are very infrequent, usually fairly minor, and most of the buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand them.
IME, large earthquakes were infrequent, but smaller ones occurred relatively often. I usually didn't notice them until they were greater than a 4.0 or so. Hopefully, 30 years of progress has made things safer than when I lived there.
I remember that quake. And I was living in the Valley when the Northridge quake happened in 1994. Earthquakes happen. But I also remember a lot of seismic retrofitting that happened in the years immediately after that quake, and the improvements in building standards in the 30 years since those quakes.

Every place has something. As an example, NY/NJ area doesn’t have a lot of earthquake danger, but California doesn’t have hurricanes. In most of California, I would be more worried about wildfires than earthquakes, and careful to choose a home that isn’t in a fire prone area.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

cupfire
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by cupfire » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:28 pm

As others have mentioned, you should visit before taking the plunge. Earthquakes are really a non-issue, though wildfires should be more of an issue if recent history is considered. I think the Bay Area is great, but I can understand why others might disagree. You should also not give in to the pressure of buying a house, especially if you are managing your finances the Boglehead way. You can rent a SFH and have a great life here.

BrooklynInvest
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Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:23 am

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by BrooklynInvest » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:32 pm

I moved to the Bay Area for a job when I was in my 30s... so not recently ;-)

Similar situation. Wasn't looking, they offered to double my salary, I figured I'd give it a whirl. Worked in San Mateo, lived in San Francisco so had a not terrible reverse commute. Every Saturday morning I'd get on my motorcycle and explore some beautiful, beautiful areas. A few things -

After a year I moved back. I was single so when I moved none of my circle moved with me. With a family it's very different. In my experience all jobs become ordinary, so I found myself well paid but a bit lonely. Came back to Brooklyn.

Didn't regret going, didn't regret coming back.

babystep
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:44 am

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by babystep » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:40 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!
Housing is a significant factor in the cost of living. Just like Edison vs Newark vs South Plain Field in NJ the cost of housing can vary in the bay area cities: SF vs South Bay vs East bay vs Foster City etc. You can expect home prices to be in the range of 1M to 2M.

You can play with this web-site for the cost of living:
South Plain Field vs South San Francisco
https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-livi ... -ca/200000
Edison vs Foster City
https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-livi ... -ca/200000

Another thing to consider is the opportunities and number of companies in the domain. I would think that NJ has more opportunities in your domain compared to bay-area.

Inertia can play a big role in prohibiting future moves. Another what-if scenario to run with the family is that one stays in the new area for 30/40 years/rest of the life.

palanzo
Posts: 816
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by palanzo » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:56 pm

bkmcd1 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:13 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Earthquakes are a total nonissue. People fear the unknown, so your wife is afraid. That’s normal.
I experienced the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and it was scary and sobering. Lots of infrastructure damage, and people died. For months afterward, a crushed car with a chimney lying on top of it sat outside the window of my chemistry class as a reminder. I for one can't say that earthquakes are a "total nonissue." However, I didn't move away until 4 years later, and I didn't leave because of earthquakes. I probably wouldn't stay away due to earthquakes, either, but I sure don't miss them!
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:32 pm
But earthquakes are very infrequent, usually fairly minor, and most of the buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand them.
IME, large earthquakes were infrequent, but smaller ones occurred relatively often. I usually didn't notice them until they were greater than a 4.0 or so. 30 years of progress should have made things safer than when I lived there.
Loma Prieta 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. Loma Prieta happened 31 years ago. Nothing like this since in the Bay Area. How many people die in tornados and other East coast disasters every year?

supalong52
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by supalong52 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:07 pm

Lived in NYC for a few years after college then moved to the Bay area. Was getting tired of the crowds in NYC and felt trapped. The Bay area was a great change of pace at the beginning and I felt free. But over the years the culture changed so much... Like a cancer. Rampant greed and homelessness. Inequality was off the charts. Even making high six figures did not feel like enough to buy real estate without tying yourself down. We left for San Diego and are really happy with the change. I'd probably still make the move in your shoes though.

Stick5vw
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:46 am

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Stick5vw » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:09 pm

Everyone I know who moved to the Bay Area from NYC (as my prior company has big offices in both places) loved it. Quality of life immediately went up especially if you are more of an outdoors-y type.

The X factor is obviously cost of living and salary adjustments. I've found this guide to be a useful guide for moves I have made (though not to SF): https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp

Sounds like the company really likes you, so you may have some leverage to negotiate in your favor.

Would also add that they've mentioned the homeless situation has got a little bit out of hand over the past 5-10 years. The moment any of them had kids, they either left SF or moved to suburbia.

Good luck!

Monsterflockster
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Monsterflockster » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:17 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!
What specific area? Bay Area is a big place. Woodside is a bit different than Vallejo.

RocketShipTech
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Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:08 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by RocketShipTech » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:18 pm

Monsterflockster wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:17 pm
omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!
What specific area? Bay Area is a big place. Woodside is a bit different than Vallejo.
Considering the industry, probably SSF or Foster City.

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Watty
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:18 pm

I lived in the Bay Area a long time ago.

A couple of things to consider;

1) Earthquake risk. When I was thinking of buying my first house I tried to figure out what the earthquake risk was. The best I could figure out was that if I bought a house in the Bay Area it might have significant earthquake damage maybe once in 200 years. (Do your own research and come up with your own numbers. ) That does not sound to bad but it means that if you own a house there for 20 years then there is about a 10% chance that it will have significant earthquake damage while you own it. Even if you are OK with the financial risk finding a contractor after a large earthquake will be next to impossible. The earthquake risk was one of many reasons that I decided to move, but it was one of the reasons.

The odds of you actually being hurt in an earthquake are pretty low though. There are around 8 million people in the Bay Area, even in the unlikely event that there were 80,000 people hurt in a major earthquake that is only a 1% chance that you would be hurt.

2) If you have kids they may not be able to afford to live near you when they grow up. I was just out of college when I lived there but some of my older coworkers had grown up kids that were well into their 20s who were still living with their parents. The problem was that they did not have high paying jobs so they could not afford an apartment even with roommates. It is likely expensive where you are at now but I would suspect that there might still be affordable housing within an hour or so drive from where you live. In the Bay area you would need to drive a lot farther than that to get into an area with somewhat affordable housing.

3) If you have kids take a look at what the state college situation is, as I recall many of the California State universities are very hard to get into. Also look at what the relative costs are.

rich126
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by rich126 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:39 pm

happiness is tough to find and i would have to think things very carefully. I have moved around multiple times across country. Being unhappy in a job can be very frustrating. I have talked to a company in CA recently but while working for the company would be interesting I can’t see myself living in CA. In my case I may turn down the technical interview although i’m curious whether I could pass it.

MathIsMyWayr
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Location: CA

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:56 pm

I also relocated from New England to the Bay area when I was in the middle age.
Some of my thoughts and experiences:
1. Bay area is work, work, and work.
2. Work is more like around the clock: work is always in my mind (partially due to my personal trait and the nature of work - R&D).
3. Competition is brutal. With high salaries, there is no limit to their ability to attract talents around the country and around the world. At my previous company, they used to say that money is not an issue.
4. Because of 2 and 3, don't expect to make friends at work. It may burn you.
5. At every place, pace is rapid.
6. If you can keep up with the work demand and expectations, you may expect high rewards. It looks like I was able to save most of the base salaries earned in the Bay area
7. Young people have definitely advantages.
8. Expensive housing. Expect to spend $1.5MM and up depending on the locations.
9. Yes, weather is nice, but it becomes boring after a while.
10. Diversity (refer to 3)
11. opportunities

SB1234
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by SB1234 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:43 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!
As some others have said, a lot depends on where in Bay Area. And also if kids in picture and how old. If around San Mateo/Redwood City then 250 -300 k is bare minimum. If around east Bay it is not bad.
The big factor is housing, renting SFR in decent school districts can be easily more than 5000 pm. Buying in same areas is like 2 million for a little more than starter home. Child care including after school care is also very costly.

Topic Author
omega
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by omega » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:16 pm

Thank you all for your wonderful insights.

I have edited to include the following:

Kids: 2 (7th grader and 2nd grader)
Wife: works in IT, currently works for university and makes about 110K
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Family ties in NJ/NY: No

RocketShipTech
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by RocketShipTech » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:20 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:16 pm
Thank you all for your wonderful insights.

I have edited to include the following:

Kids: 2 (7th grader and 2nd grader)
Wife: works in IT, currently works for university and makes about 110K
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Family ties in NJ/NY: No
Assuming your wife continues to work, and your job is at least Director level, the two of you should be able to pull down $500-600k.

That means you can afford to live on the Peninsula close to work. $5k/month rent or $7k/month mortgage (PITI).

None of the areas you listed are reasonable commuting distance to SSF.

random_walker_77
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by random_walker_77 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:55 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company.

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Kids: 2, (7th grader and 2nd grader)
Wife: works in IT, currently works for university and makes about 110K
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Family ties in NJ/NY: No
Would you be ok w/ renting a home, or do you plan on buying?

Houses are going to be very expensive, starting from 1M on up. Commute times can also be a big problem. Fremont to South SF is not going to be pleasant, unless you're used to spending 2-3 hrs/day commuting, or are ok w/ commuting home very late.

While homes are expensive, all the value is in the land. A 2M home might be a 300K house on 1.7M worth of land, and earthquakes won't destroy the land. Your odds of dying in one are also pretty slim.

School quality varies a lot. W/ kids at those ages, you probably don't want to both be working too far away. And because of traffic, places just 10 miles away can become an hour away during rush hour (which can run from 3pm-7:30pm). Traffic can also be pretty bad even on weekends.

The work culture in the bay area is different -- faster-paced, energetic, perhaps even frenetic. When we go back to visit, you can sense the energy/stress everywhere. People are harried and you can tell, both in the airports, supermarkets, restaurants.

Be aware that CA state taxes yield no quarter. Sure, there's the 9+% income tax and the 9% sales tax. But whereas with federal taxes, you get a discount for long term capital gains, CA still taxes those at the full 9+%. Qualified dividends? 9%. Even your HSA (health savings account) is taxed at the full state rate.

The weather is great, and the career opportunities can be amazing. But you really do need to get your wife and family behind you on this. This is a hard one to recommend without at least visiting, but on the other hand, maybe this could be really good for your career. What sort of vibes are you getting -- is this something you'd deeply regret if you turn it down?

gubernaculum
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by gubernaculum » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:18 pm

For your children, you should consider school districts and their location. There are very few teenagers in the city, families move out of the city to look for good public schools in surrounding counties and towns.

It is expensive. You should ask for 400K at a minimum. Live close to work as traffic is bad. Public transportation is OK, many homeless make rides amusing. The city is where everyone wants to be, because once you leave the city, its suburbia. some of it lovely, but still suburbia. The city is full of techies and has become more sterile. That said, it still has many charms and diverse neighborhoods. People do feel able to express themselves.

San Francisco can not be compared to larger cities, it actually feels more like a coastal town with a downtown. But it doesnt fall in the class of New York, Paris, London. The architecture is not there. What it lacks in architecture, it makes up in spectacular views and microclimates where a distance of 5 miles may lead to temperature differences of 10 Fahrenheits. It is 45% Asian, with many interracial couples. Areas around financial district have large homeless population. It is actually sad that a rich city like San Francisco cant solve homelessness and mental disease.

If you are ambitious, have energy, and a great team to work with, sky is the limit and you are likely to do great. You will work hard, expectations are high, and you need to find out if you want that lifestyle. The stress will be high. Negotiate well and given that you have a good position now, dont be shy. Research and dont settle for less.

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Watty
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:50 pm

gubernaculum wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:18 pm
San Francisco can not be compared to larger cities, it actually feels more like a coastal town with a downtown. But it doesnt fall in the class of New York, Paris, London.
San Francisco does have a lot going for it but you need to keep in mind that around 90% of the Bay Area is not San Francisco and a lot of the rest of it is suburban sprawl that is little different than you would see around any major city.

When I lived there I lived in the South Bay and would only get up to San Francisco a few times a year if even that often.

Pomegranate
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Pomegranate » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:05 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Hello all:

I work in biotech/pharma industry as a scientist in NJ/NY area. I am very happy at my current job and make good money (200K+). I was not looking for a job but was recently contacted by a bay area biotech company for a senior level position to lead a team. I was not interested initially but they kept contacting me and out of curiosity, I interviewed with them. Now, they were very impressed with me and are working to send me an offer. I have never been to Bay Area and hesitate to consider the offer without visiting the area and the company. They offered to fly my family to Bay Area for a visit but I hesitate because of COVID situation. After doing some research, I found out that this company has bright futures. I am now in dilemma and my family at present scenario is not keen on moving across the country (but this can be persuaded).

Pros at current job: Good pay, challenging work, top performer in the group for last several years, boss will consider promotion for next year (but cannot guarantee), possibility of leading the group after current boss retires in 3-5 years (but nothing is guaranteed), people are appreciative of the work I do, strong company with stable job for next 10-15 years

Pros at new job: Senior level position to lead a group (this is my longterm carrier goal), attractive stock options (potential to yield significant amount in 3-5 years but again this is not guaranteed), opportunities to have significant impact on the drug discovery, interesting science

Please help me assess the situation. Obviously the cost of living is a concern. How much more I should get to meet the expenses in the Bay Area - 250 plus or 300 plus? My wife is rightly worried about earthquakes. any thoughts on this?

Anyone moved from NJ/NY to Bay Area in recent years? Could you please share your experiences? Am I crazy to consider this when things are going well at present?

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

Edited to include:

Kids: 2, (7th grader and 2nd grader)
Wife: works in IT, currently works for university and makes about 110K
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Family ties in NJ/NY: No
Major thing to consider nowadays - check for autonomous zones / riots in the area and how officials handle it. I passed few interviews for a Seattle company and was thinking about relocation about a month ago. Still negotiating with the company - they want onsite but I don;t want to move there anymore, remote only :oops:

ClaycordJCA
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by ClaycordJCA » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:29 pm

As others have said, your targeted areas for housing are not commute friendly. If your work hours are conducive to taking the ferry (limited schedule), Alameda might be an option. But, ferry service is currently suspended due to COVID. I’d look for a location on the Peninsula.

Since your wife is worried about earthquakes, make sure your house is not on landfill - it magnifies the shaking.

SB1234
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by SB1234 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:32 pm

I think another way to think how much to ask is consider house much you save currently, and how much salary would be needed to maintain same savings dollar amount and then add whatever you think is a good raise for you (to make the move).
Savings = After tax income - expenses
Taxes will be around 35% (aggregate) including FICA, State, and federal
Expenses will increase primarily because of housing but also because other factors. Use 20% more for your non housing expenses and the estimates above for the housing expenses. After school 'enrichment' would be 200-500 per kid.

It's not like commuting from your listed cities is not doable, but you have to start really early and if both are working its very difficult. My manager used to do it, and he started at 530 but his spouse was stay at home. So ideally you would be looking at neighborhoods between Menlo Park and Daly City.

Speaking from experience, in general biotech is bit lower than salaries at other tech companies (FANG) here. Plus If you are a scientist then being on the cost side of the business, salary range will likely be constrained because of budget etc. But 300k+stock should be doable at team lead, 400k+stock maybe not.

boogiehead
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by boogiehead » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:34 pm

Seems kind of risky to me as well as there's still a lot of missing info to get a better picture.

What is your current housing situation (renting or own, mortgage, etc..), I would be more inclined to move if I was just renting.
What's the relocation package, does include helping you sell/rent/buy a new place if you were to relocate? Can you work remotely and maybe fly in once a month or so?
Is there signing bonus?
What is your current stock options at in terms of vesting timeline? I'm assuming you would be walking away from some options that are about to vest.
Is your wife close to getting a vested pension at her university? How stable is her current job? Most universities have budget cuts and have a freeze on hiring.

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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:47 pm

Pomegranate wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:05 pm
Major thing to consider nowadays - check for autonomous zones / riots in the area and how officials handle it. I passed few interviews for a Seattle company and was thinking about relocation about a month ago. Still negotiating with the company - they want onsite but I don;t want to move there anymore, remote only :oops:
Too much watching TV.

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jjunk
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by jjunk » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:49 pm

Pomegranate wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:05 pm
Major thing to consider nowadays - check for autonomous zones / riots in the area and how officials handle it. I passed few interviews for a Seattle company and was thinking about relocation about a month ago. Still negotiating with the company - they want onsite but I don;t want to move there anymore, remote only :oops:
I know this isnt the OPs question but I hope this is a joke. The entire CHAZ/CHOP thing was blown way out of proportion by the national media and wasnt nearly as bad to those of us who actually live here. Also, riots happened in most major American cities, not just Seattle. Hell, we had riots where I live in downtown Bellevue, which many thought would never happen. The Cap Hill area of Seattle has always been a little different but its also a really nice part of the city (my BIL lives a couple blocks from where CHAZ/CHOP was set up). If you dont like Seattle because of how liberal it is, that's one thing. To not want to move here because of a single incident is another, you'd be missing out on a great city and likely a great opportunity. Tech folks here make similar wages to the Bay area but our COL is still lower than the Bay area (although its definitely still a VHCOL city).

petrisunset
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by petrisunset » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:22 am

I did exactly this move 2005: In biotech and from NY/NJ to to South San Francisco.
Love it and would not go back.
Work culture in general more laid back when it comes to office etiquette. Still demanding and tough in terms of deliverables. Work hard + play hard attitude.
Earthquakes are completely outside your control. When/if the Big One hits is destiny. I would not factor this into my decision making.
Weather is much much better. If you are an outdoors family: National & State Parks, Beaches and nature in general are way more beautiful.
Real Estate is way more expensive (double what you are paying now and estimate to get the half space)
Beware if the commute. The neigborhoods you mention require a bridge to get yo SSF. Many hate this and are willing to pay more for housing on the Peninsula to avoid the bridge. With school age kids do NOT move into the city. School system there is a nightmare.
Finaly: SSF is a micro-cosmos of biotech companies of all sizes. For sure 40+. Relatively easy to find another job. Some people don’t need a car to interview: They just walk across the street (or take the elevator) during breaks in their regular day.
Good luck with your decision.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:35 am

petrisunset wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:22 am
Finaly: SSF is a micro-cosmos of biotech companies of all sizes. For sure 40+. Relatively easy to find another job. Some people don’t need a car to interview: They just walk across the street (or take the elevator) during breaks in their regular day.
Good luck with your decision.
This is the story of tech companies in the Silicon Valley before 2001. A fond memory. A rosy world does not last long.

blovia10
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by blovia10 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:54 am

I'm curious how you got noticed by them. Linkedin? Journal publications? Employee referral?

Barsoom
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Barsoom » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:05 am

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:16 pm
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Can't speak to the job, but know this.

South San Francisco/San Bruno (close to the airport) is farthest away from Fremont. Next is Dublin, then Berkeley, then Oakland.

From Fremont, you will have to take the San Mateo Bridge over the bay to Hwy 101 north to South SF.

From Dublin, you will either take I-580 east to I-880 south to the San Mateo Bridge, or I-880 north to I-80 over the Oakland/San Francisco Bridge to go through SF to South SF. This is probably the worst commute.

From Oakland or Berkeley, you will take I-80 south over the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Unless there is a BART station near your work location, there are no public transportation options for you.

For children, I would probably suggest Dublin over the other communities to live in. I'm partial to the tri-valley area, as it is mostly bedroom communities. If you're interested in Dublin, I might suggest San Ramon instead, as it is in Contra Costa County instead of Alameda County, and isn't weighed down by the expenses of Oakland (but that's just me).

If you want more exclusive, there is Danville, Alamo, and Blackhawk. If you want to step down a notch, there are the neighborhoods just outside of Blackhawk that are very nice, and the school districts are one of the best in the area.

But you'll pay for it with the commute to South San Francisco every day.

-B

Mustang8307
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Mustang8307 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:51 am

Watty wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:18 pm
I lived in the Bay Area a long time ago.

A couple of things to consider;

1) Earthquake risk. When I was thinking of buying my first house I tried to figure out what the earthquake risk was. The best I could figure out was that if I bought a house in the Bay Area it might have significant earthquake damage maybe once in 200 years. (Do your own research and come up with your own numbers. ) That does not sound to bad but it means that if you own a house there for 20 years then there is about a 10% chance that it will have significant earthquake damage while you own it. Even if you are OK with the financial risk finding a contractor after a large earthquake will be next to impossible. The earthquake risk was one of many reasons that I decided to move, but it was one of the reasons.

The odds of you actually being hurt in an earthquake are pretty low though. There are around 8 million people in the Bay Area, even in the unlikely event that there were 80,000 people hurt in a major earthquake that is only a 1% chance that you would be hurt.

2) If you have kids they may not be able to afford to live near you when they grow up. I was just out of college when I lived there but some of my older coworkers had grown up kids that were well into their 20s who were still living with their parents. The problem was that they did not have high paying jobs so they could not afford an apartment even with roommates. It is likely expensive where you are at now but I would suspect that there might still be affordable housing within an hour or so drive from where you live. In the Bay area you would need to drive a lot farther than that to get into an area with somewhat affordable housing.

3) If you have kids take a look at what the state college situation is, as I recall many of the California State universities are very hard to get into. Also look at what the relative costs are.
No. 2 is a very good point. I grew up on the Peninsula and I’m grateful for the positive experiences I had as a child here. I’m now in my mid-30s with young kids and my wife and I are looking to move out of the area. We make about $160k combined, which isn’t very competitive in the Peninsula housing market. It’s sad to feel pushed out of my home, but I have to take ownership of the fact that I don’t make enough.

As far as a city to live in, I would suggest Burlingame if your salary/savings line up. Excellent schools and a beautiful area. If you and your wife can make 400k combined, it should be an option. I don’t see a need to commute from across the Bay if you end up being highly compensated.

Pomegranate
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Pomegranate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:17 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:47 pm
Pomegranate wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:05 pm
Major thing to consider nowadays - check for autonomous zones / riots in the area and how officials handle it. I passed few interviews for a Seattle company and was thinking about relocation about a month ago. Still negotiating with the company - they want onsite but I don;t want to move there anymore, remote only :oops:
Too much watching TV.
Interesting point. I called my friend who lives in the area to check how the things are. He said that few of his friends had to show up at entries of their communities with AR’s to protect it. He is actively looking for a job in other cities now :oops:
Good luck with ‘ignore it’ strategy :sharebeer

Pomegranate
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Pomegranate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:30 am

jjunk wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:49 pm
Pomegranate wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:05 pm
Major thing to consider nowadays - check for autonomous zones / riots in the area and how officials handle it. I passed few interviews for a Seattle company and was thinking about relocation about a month ago. Still negotiating with the company - they want onsite but I don;t want to move there anymore, remote only :oops:
I know this isnt the OPs question but I hope this is a joke. The entire CHAZ/CHOP thing was blown way out of proportion by the national media and wasnt nearly as bad to those of us who actually live here. Also, riots happened in most major American cities, not just Seattle. Hell, we had riots where I live in downtown Bellevue, which many thought would never happen. The Cap Hill area of Seattle has always been a little different but its also a really nice part of the city (my BIL lives a couple blocks from where CHAZ/CHOP was set up). If you dont like Seattle because of how liberal it is, that's one thing. To not want to move here because of a single incident is another, you'd be missing out on a great city and likely a great opportunity. Tech folks here make similar wages to the Bay area but our COL is still lower than the Bay area (although its definitely still a VHCOL city).
I don’t really care if city is liberal or not and if riots have left or right agenda. I want officials to handle it in a safe way and Seattle failed miserable. If it’s a joke for you - lucky you. Unfortunately I don’t have this risk tolerance :confused

JD2775
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by JD2775 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:29 am

Lots of good advice above but I’ll just add.,,

All those “potential towns” you have listed would leave you with a nightmare commute to south SF, unless your work is close to a Bart station. I’d rethink that list

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jjunk
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by jjunk » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:47 am

Pomegranate wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:30 am
jjunk wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:49 pm
Pomegranate wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:05 pm
Major thing to consider nowadays - check for autonomous zones / riots in the area and how officials handle it. I passed few interviews for a Seattle company and was thinking about relocation about a month ago. Still negotiating with the company - they want onsite but I don;t want to move there anymore, remote only :oops:
I know this isnt the OPs question but I hope this is a joke. The entire CHAZ/CHOP thing was blown way out of proportion by the national media and wasnt nearly as bad to those of us who actually live here. Also, riots happened in most major American cities, not just Seattle. Hell, we had riots where I live in downtown Bellevue, which many thought would never happen. The Cap Hill area of Seattle has always been a little different but its also a really nice part of the city (my BIL lives a couple blocks from where CHAZ/CHOP was set up). If you dont like Seattle because of how liberal it is, that's one thing. To not want to move here because of a single incident is another, you'd be missing out on a great city and likely a great opportunity. Tech folks here make similar wages to the Bay area but our COL is still lower than the Bay area (although its definitely still a VHCOL city).
I don’t really care if city is liberal or not and if riots have left or right agenda. I want officials to handle it in a safe way and Seattle failed miserable. If it’s a joke for you - lucky you. Unfortunately I don’t have this risk tolerance :confused
Given this and your prior comment above, I would definitely not recommend the PNW/Seattle area for you. FWIW, I dont see it as a joke. I thought your comment might be made in a joking manner given how crazy the national media made things out to be here. It's clear now that you were being serious. Folks like your friend actually contributed to that by bringing firearms into a public area and adding to the "hysteria". Good luck with your job negotiation.

Mordoch
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Mordoch » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:51 am

I am going to add another voice as someone currently living in the SF bay area that the commute from the OP's suggested locations would be absolutely brutal. Really with that sort of combined income (at least what you two should end up making) options in the SF Peninsula area should be viable and I would prioritize this over any possible savings from the other locations. If you pick a location a bit south from your workplace you also would get some of the benefits of an effective reverse commute.

The one possible variable is if the your wife determines her own new job prior to your move and it is in a significantly different part of the bay area.

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willthrill81
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by willthrill81 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:52 am

Some of the big factors that come to mind are the cost, commute, climate, and culture.
123 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:06 pm
No snow in Bay area.
No snow in Bay area.
No snow in Bay area.

That really is the tilting point.
That would greatly erode its value for me. We love snow in the mountains surrounding our home, we're 90 minutes or fewer away from five legitimate ski areas, and occasionally having a white Christmas is very special to us.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

2commaBH
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by 2commaBH » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:41 am

Commute from the four listed cities to SSF would be awful. Look at the Peninsula and consider schools, commutes and "microclimates." Maybe Burlingame or Belmont? With your joint income, RE will be expensive but on the table, just pricey.

If I were your hiring manager and was looking at $250k cash comp in NJ, I would plan on $300k to get you to move. Equity would come over 1:1. Some sort of signing bonus to cover the lost cashflow for your wife who might need 6 months to find something here especially during CV-19.

SFBA is a very unique place. Not for everyone, but most love it, as VHCOL shows. Supply vs demand. Only you can know if you will love it.

Some ECers come here and leave within 3 years because their spouses aren't on board. Make sure yours is. Happy wife, happy life.

Consider impact on your kids - leaving their friends vs being exposed to SF which IMO is one of the magical cities of the world.

Also - manager role vs individual contributor means a major growth opportunity for you professionally. If you ace it, income will keep rising and opportunities will abound. I moved from IC to M about 5 years ago (all within SFBA) and have been on a rocketship ever since - exponential comp, job offers, team growth.

Good luck with your decision! Keep us posted!

Manzanita
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Manzanita » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:48 am

Commuting. Traffic is a nightmare in the Bay Area. If possible, you don't want to cross a bridge for your commute, like the Bay Bridge to SF. And BART is packed in the morning and evening during commute hours. (BART can be standing-room only). And you won't necessarily get a parking space in a BART lot (like in Oakland or Berkeley) in the morning--the lots can fill up early, depending on where you live.

If you are going to work on the peninsula/Silicon Valley, then I would advise against commuting from the East Bay (Berkeley/Oakland, which you mentioned).

Schools. Depending on where you live in NJ, Oakland and Berkeley schools can be very different experiences. Oakland and Berkeley are much higher density, and the Berkeley and Oakland high schools are more urban, with little/less open-space and green areas. Many classroom buildings are older stock, and the classrooms sizes are smaller than typical NJ suburban schools. Also, Oakland has had a long history of budget problems, and recently announced another 35 million in potential budget cuts, which will likely involve school closings. Fremont is more typically suburban with more open space.

I personally love living in the East Bay, with all of its wonders and challenges, but I was lucky to buy a home before prices skyrocketed. I don't think of earthquakes too often, but the last couple of years we have had serious fire problems, and I don't think that fire problems are going away too soon.

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Location: Bay Area

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:08 pm

You make good money and it sounds like you and your family are happy. I am not sure why you would give that up.

I agree with the others that the places you’re considering to live are too far from South San Francisco. Will your wife continue to work if you were to move? If so, that makes a big difference on the best location too.

Like several others who’ve responded, I tend to worry more about wildfires than earthquakes these days as well.

The Bay Area has a different vibe from the east coast and some love it here while others can’t stand it. Preferences for culture, climate, etc. are personal so it’s hard for others to know what you will like.

I’ve been living in the East Bay since the 90s and can’t think of many other places that I’d prefer. It’s almost always pleasant outside, there are lots of activities to enjoy, and career opportunities seems boundless at times. However, I also see many people who work long, tiring hours and are overwhelmed by the housing costs here. If you can find a solution to your housing expense (such as renting a place, commuting, buying a small home, renting out a part of the house, living in an area that isn’t the best, making a high enough income, etc.), you will have solved the hardest financial piece.

All that being said, I personally would be hesitant to make this move if I were in your shoes. The grass may be greener here or it might not be. For such a big move, I’d definitely check out the area as thoroughly as feasible before relocating. What your wife thinks is crucial too. If she is not wanting to relocate, I would listen to her. It’s not as if you’ve been laid off and the only job you can find is in the Bay Area. Your own words are that “things are going well at present.” If the family is wanting to have a fresh start and think that California would be the place for it, then it’s entirely different, of course.

refurb
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by refurb » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:26 pm

I did a similar move almost a decade ago. East Coast to Bay Area. Currently work in SSF.

- beware of commute. I know some people doing 1.5 hr (one-way) from the east bay. Brutal lifestyle.

- Bay Area is fantastic for biotech jobs. Boston I think offers more variety, but there are so many companies out here.

- Pay tends to be quite good. Base pay and equity > $300/yr if you’re at the AD or Director level.

- I appreciated the more laid back work culture versus the East Coast. Still intense but much less rigid.

Rf

Carefreeap
Posts: 2765
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Carefreeap » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:08 pm

Hi OP,

I live less than 10 miles from where you would be working, on the coastside of the Peninsula.

I do recommend you and your wife visit. I've relocated 5x for my husband's job. Only once did I turn down a relocation. I agree with the others that you look on the Peninsula. When we first relocated here from the Washington DC area we made the smart decision to not commute over a bridge (and that was 30 years ago!).

Your wife should be able to find a similar job on the Peninsula.

I think it would be a good experience to spend time on both coasts. Looking at your past posts, did your wife relocate from CA?
Every day I can hike is a good day.

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