Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

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

Post by legionnaire » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:13 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
Kids: 2, (7th grader and 2nd grader)
New job location: South SF, close to airport
Potential towns: Freemont, Berkeley, Oakland, Dublin
Plenty of others have highlighted the issues with Commute. I'll just say that the time you lose to commute is not coming back. Your call how much that time is valuable to you. If traffic (both driving and transit) returns to pre-COVID levels, you will be spending 60-90 minutes one way from all those towns you mention (and tri-valley, Walnut creek etc areas others listed). I would pick a home in Millbrae, Burlington, San Mateo, SSF.

The 7th grader will be starting high school in 12 months. It would be best to relocate now so they get one year in a middle school in the bay area to form friendships of which a few can carry over into high school. The 2nd grader has time and will adapt.

The high schoolers in the Bay Area are very competitive (Grades, GPA, extra-curriculars) as they all target colleges 4-5 years out. Just as you will be going through a fast pace at work, the 7th grader should expect to have to work hard to keep up. The good schools have children (and parents) that are hyper focused on colleges and admission. If targeting a STEM field, that has its own pressures. Outside the STEM field, no one really seems to know what other college majors lead to in the Bay Area. That's what you get from the intense tech focus of the parents.

When picking a city/locality to live in, definitely research the public school's finances, teachers, student-teacher ratio, budgets. Private schools cost a pretty penny (12-23k p.a. per child) and have competitive tests to clear to get admitted. Public schools and their school districts continue to suffer from funding gaps that puts pressure on the parents to supplement what is taught in school with private lessons (which is a separate cost).

Things might change in the next 4-6 years with the SAT and ACT evolving. But if those are still in consideration by colleges, expect to pay to take practice tests to chase that high SAT/ACT. Those practice tests etc. can add up to 3-5k p.a per child, not counting any counseling you might engage with for college essay prep, guidance. Private schools provide better quality counselors, removing the need for a separate external counselor.

Also consider how you might be impacted if state voters bring back affirmative action in admission to state colleges.

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

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:32 pm

Additionally: (Things not financial or logistic but matter)
NY/NJ to S.F. Bay Area

Differences:

Children’s school peer group.
Neighborhood where you live change in children’s peer groups.
Overall cultural differences.
Lifestyle and pace differences.
Recreational and off work pastimes.

This can be an exciting and memorable time.
The Bay Area/Region is unique in many ways.
Good luck!!

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

Post by TimeTheMarket » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:52 pm

Given your current situation I would not do this unless you can get 400 and accelerate path to financial independence accordingly. The cost of housing is outrageous. Taxes and legislative burden are worse in ca than in ny.

CA is beautiful now doubt. The money would have to be astronomical and they cover a very very nice relo package.
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Jim Profit
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Jim Profit » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:58 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
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.
For this "team" you are leading would you have hire/fire ability? How long has the team been together? Any recent turnover in it? If so why? Any nepotism or friends of executives on the team that you won't be able to get rid of? Nothing worse stress-wise than being made fully responsible for something that you do not have full control over.

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

Post by PhoebeCoco » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:23 pm

As well as the horrible commute from Berkeley or Oakland, you might want to consider that homelessness is out of control in those two cities. I would not advise anyone to move to either of them, unless they have a high tolerance for disgust.
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1789
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by 1789 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:41 pm

If you are getting 200+ now , I would not move a finger without seeing 350+ in Bay Area
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Random Musings
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by Random Musings » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:57 pm

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).
No joke if you lived in that area. A friend's friend lived in that area. Wasn't funny to him.

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

Post by Archean » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:00 am

I worked for the USGS when I lived in the Bay Area, so I might comment on the house location, earthquake concerns that have been raised. The seismic risk varies quite a bit in the Bay Area, and you can easily find seismic hazard maps. A classic story is in the 1906 quake, areas of landfill were devastated due to seismic amplification, yet people who lived in the Twin Peaks area of SF (which is on granite bedrock), hardly noticed a quake! The last place I would live is on water-saturated landfill (e.g., Foster City).

In addition, be careful about areas prone to landslides. Because coastal CA has been tectonically active for 10's of m.y., there are faults everywhere. It is not that these are an active seismic hazard, but that the rock is very weak. I recall looking at a house clearly built on a landslide, and the Real Estate Agent said, "well, the owners placed pylons down to bedrock 20 feet down". To which I replied, "looking at the geometry of the slide based on the fault scarp up the road, I'd say the slip surface is 100 ft down, so their pylons are still within the slide". The problem really gets bad when it rains and/or you put in a garden/lawn/pool and locally change the water infiltration rates - that is when the slide can become more active. I'm always suspicious of newly patched road sections - hmm....

If you are going to drop $1-2M+ on a house, be sure to consult a geotechnical engineer. That is a cheap way to ensure your investment is reasonably safe. As housing demand increases, houses are increasingly built in places they should not be.

Good luck. Prepare to be out-bid. There are a lot a great things about the Bay Area - it is finding that balance for the quality of life you are after. And as others have said, check the commute history (Looking at directions under different times with Google Maps is a nice feature to see that).
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smby
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by smby » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:20 pm

it is an emotional decision first and then a financial decision. You and spouse need to figure out if giving up your current life makes sense to move to the Bay Area. I have been here for 25+ years and can attest to the advantages of this place. Commute is definitely an issue. I have a global role and can live anywhere in the US but still live on the Peninsula due to our eco-system. Housing is expensive. Bought a $3M+ house a couple of years back after bidding for over 50 houses. It comes down to a personal decision and a leap of faith

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

Post by Carefreeap » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:40 pm

Archean wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:00 am
I worked for the USGS when I lived in the Bay Area, so I might comment on the house location, earthquake concerns that have been raised. The seismic risk varies quite a bit in the Bay Area, and you can easily find seismic hazard maps. A classic story is in the 1906 quake, areas of landfill were devastated due to seismic amplification, yet people who lived in the Twin Peaks area of SF (which is on granite bedrock), hardly noticed a quake! The last place I would live is on water-saturated landfill (e.g., Foster City).

In addition, be careful about areas prone to landslides. Because coastal CA has been tectonically active for 10's of m.y., there are faults everywhere. It is not that these are an active seismic hazard, but that the rock is very weak. I recall looking at a house clearly built on a landslide, and the Real Estate Agent said, "well, the owners placed pylons down to bedrock 20 feet down". To which I replied, "looking at the geometry of the slide based on the fault scarp up the road, I'd say the slip surface is 100 ft down, so their pylons are still within the slide". The problem really gets bad when it rains and/or you put in a garden/lawn/pool and locally change the water infiltration rates - that is when the slide can become more active. I'm always suspicious of newly patched road sections - hmm....

If you are going to drop $1-2M+ on a house, be sure to consult a geotechnical engineer. That is a cheap way to ensure your investment is reasonably safe. As housing demand increases, houses are increasingly built in places they should not be.

Good luck. Prepare to be out-bid. There are a lot a great things about the Bay Area - it is finding that balance for the quality of life you are after. And as others have said, check the commute history (Looking at directions under different times with Google Maps is a nice feature to see that).
Thank you for your thoughtful and educated post. When we bought our "move up" house we got our own Geotech report. Seller had disclosed a problem got a Geotech report and recommended repair...but their contractor did a different repair using helical screws. Our Geotech review the repair, said it was fine and recommended one of the cheapest fixes ever...French drains. Our lots are cut and fill with small springs in the street. Keeping the water diverted is very important for the house's health. Our former house was sold to someone who didn't maintain the sump pump. When she finally lost the house to foreclosure the bank/buyer had a huge mold problem to remediate.
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DebiT
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by DebiT » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:47 pm

I’ll just throw in that relocating during COVID makes it much harder to make friends. Probably easier with kids (other parents), possibly work friends if you like that. But many activities that would help with that are curtailed. Definitely need to visit.
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RetiredArtist
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by RetiredArtist » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:01 pm

Archean wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:00 am
I worked for the USGS when I lived in the Bay Area, so I might comment on the house location, earthquake concerns that have been raised. The seismic risk varies quite a bit in the Bay Area, and you can easily find seismic hazard maps. A classic story is in the 1906 quake, areas of landfill were devastated due to seismic amplification, yet people who lived in the Twin Peaks area of SF (which is on granite bedrock), hardly noticed a quake! The last place I would live is on water-saturated landfill (e.g., Foster City).

In addition, be careful about areas prone to landslides. Because coastal CA has been tectonically active for 10's of m.y., there are faults everywhere. It is not that these are an active seismic hazard, but that the rock is very weak. I recall looking at a house clearly built on a landslide, and the Real Estate Agent said, "well, the owners placed pylons down to bedrock 20 feet down". To which I replied, "looking at the geometry of the slide based on the fault scarp up the road, I'd say the slip surface is 100 ft down, so their pylons are still within the slide". The problem really gets bad when it rains and/or you put in a garden/lawn/pool and locally change the water infiltration rates - that is when the slide can become more active. I'm always suspicious of newly patched road sections - hmm....

If you are going to drop $1-2M+ on a house, be sure to consult a geotechnical engineer. That is a cheap way to ensure your investment is reasonably safe. As housing demand increases, houses are increasingly built in places they should not be.

Good luck. Prepare to be out-bid. There are a lot a great things about the Bay Area - it is finding that balance for the quality of life you are after. And as others have said, check the commute history (Looking at directions under different times with Google Maps is a nice feature to see that).
I am 3rd gen Bay Area. I live in SF, and my kid & grandkids live here. My grandparents were here for 1906 quake.
Archean gave great advice, to look at detailed seismic hazard maps . No one knows which fault will slip next, but you can avoid major faults & choose your substrate. The earthquake and flood maps are in the 300 page real estate disclosure pdfs.
Also look at the new fire hazard maps. I was amazed how many East Bay suburbs are in the red zone. Last summer PG&E turned off electric power when fire danger was high. Not only will your commute be better if you live on the peninsula, fire & earthquake danger should be lower.
This is such a weird time. How will Work from Home (maybe less prevalent for biotech?) affect real estate? Will it be for your kids to start a new school, possibly with remote learning?

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

Post by omega » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:54 pm

Thank you all for your time and for providing a lot of information for us to digest.

We definitely are not going to rush. I think first priority is to make a visit to the area and we will take it from there. Commute and housing are really concerning us. I have to do more research on the towns and schools.

I will update you in due course.

Thanks a lot.

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

Post by random_walker_77 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:38 pm

Yes, taking your time is very prudent here.

If I were to do it, I'd pick a target school district/schools, and find someplace w/ multiple available home rentals feeding into that school. You're going to want to live in the region for a while before committing to a house, and the way the bay area is, renting can often be less than the equivalent mortgage + property tax. Given the commute situation, you might consider something like Pacifica, Daly City, San Bruno, or San Mateo.

For example, this 3bd/2ba 1700 sq ft house in San Mateo rents for $60K/yr. It's got to be worth at least 1.5M and is probably closer to 2.0M. Assuming about 3.5% interest rates on 2M and another 20K/yr (1%) in property taxes, and this thing would cost you 90K/yr to buy, so renting doesn't look so bad.

Of course, with kids, you might need to move to another rental in the same district at some point, but that's less than 1K to the movers assuming you box it up yourself. The biggest concern is that you'll probably want to preserve continuity in the same schools (assuming you like them), which limits your subsequent rental choices somewhat.

(And yes, in the bay area, house prices are all 2 digits: 1.5, 1.8, 2.0 etc. Past that, it's a rounding error...)

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

Post by novemberrain » Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:21 am

Earthquake, yes it is a distinct possibility in the next few years. But the chance of you personally getting injured are very low in the next big one. For reference, the last big one killed 63 people and injured 3000+
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Loma ... earthquake
This is out of a total Bay Area population of some 8 million. So 63 / 8M is super low.

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

Post by majiaknight » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:04 pm

omega wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 pm
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
My family relocated to the south bay area 5 years ago for jobs.

For the two kids, there are only several very good public schools (don't just look at the GreatSchool ratings) in the bay area and the price for a decent house within the top school districts is probably ~$2m. There are also top private schools but they could be very expensive like the Harker school. Even with $400K salary, tbh your household income is not that competitive in SSF compared to SW engineers working for those big companies like FANG. You need to adjust your expectations in certain areas accordingly.

This is probably not a good time for your wife to look for an IT job in the bay area as a lot of bay area high tech have announced layoffs recently due to COVID-19 and AFAIK some of those IT jobs are being outsourced to low cost regions like India and many companies including mine have been in hiring freeze since April.

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1789
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by 1789 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:49 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
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.
There is worse than that. (No snow + 6 months of rain) on Pacific NW :(
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:12 pm

1789 wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:49 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
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.
There is worse than that. (No snow + 6 months of rain) on Pacific NW :(
That's only true of Seattle and Portland. East of the Cascades, which is most of the PNW, the climate is totally different. Here in eastern WA, we get four distinct seasons, snow, and only 18" of rain a year. It's typical for us to only get 1-2" of rain from June through August.
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Re: Job offer in Bay area - things to consider?

Post by 4nickt » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:36 pm

First, Congratulations on this fantastic opportunity for you and your family. We lived in SF (South Beach) and Pac Heights for 12 years and absolutely loved it. Financially speaking it was great because of pay, benefits, and "cashing" out when its time to sell real estate. Best advice we can offer is live close to work, buy good camping equipment, never look back. Your wife and kids will adjust quickly as you move forward career wise while enjoying the best weather, food, and outdoor activities on the planet. Make Carmel/Monterey and wine country your weekend jaunts. Good luck!

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