Mid Pen location near Caltrain would be my choice for job flexibility. When we moved to the Bay Area in 1990 DH was working in San Mateo. I got a (non tech) job in the City. Over a 13 period of time his job location went from San Mateo, Redwood Shores, Burlingame and ended up in SF. Mine went from SF to the Coast (part time consulting gig) and then to San Carlos before we moved out of State and then out of the Country.thepicard1 wrote:Thank you that's helpful. We really have only been looking in the Mountain view, Sunnyvale area. San Jose homes are definitely cheaper by a few hundred thousand, which means they're in reach now. One reason for trying to stay further north is because we've heard that the prices are "stickier" should there be a downturn.favoriteagency wrote:I'd consider RSUs as part of your income. It depends on which company you work for, but the big ones will give you refreshers every year to maintain your expected income level. In other words, if you work for one of those companies, you can probably consider your income as roughly 550K/yr before tax. But I really don't think you need to consider RSUs in this calculation.thepicard1 wrote:Any advice bogleheads? What have others in our situation done in the past?
Do you have to live on the peninsula? You said you don't have kids -- do you have to live in an area with good schools? If you do choose to have kids in the future can you use the house savings to send them to a private school if necessary? The reason I ask is because 1.7 million seems like an awful lot.
We were in roughly the same boat when we bought last year. Our budget was 800K-1.2M and we ultimately bought for less than 1M. Have you looked around San Jose -- particularly in Willow Glen, the Rose Garden, and the Diridon area? Those are all close to Caltrain so you can quickly get anywhere on the peninsula if you need to. The big companies all have shuttles nearby. Willow Glen schools are actually getting a lot better, so by the time you have kids the public schools could be really great.
Our house is about 1500 sq feet 3/2, completely remodeled, lots of amenities (including AC), in a transitional neighborhood with great neighbors. Our mortgage + taxes + insurance is less than what we would pay to rent a similar house in the same area. We can afford the mortgage on one of our salaries (without considering RSUs). We have a nice yard for the dog. So far it's been a great decision and our quality of life has improved substantially since we stopped renting.
My advice on buying would be to pick some areas in your price range, and then be very patient. Sometimes things come up that are in really great shape but are staged poorly, or have minor cosmetic deficiencies that make them hard to sell. Believe it or not, buyers in the Bay Area (particularly San Jose) are a picky bunch -- if something doesn't look perfect during an open house, it could be the case that the place gets no offers. Also, look at buying near the end of the year, September -- December. There was a bit of a lull last year, and our real estate agents told us that happens every year.
Best of luck to you!
All joking aside I'd PM Watchnerd and get an early viewing. A 3/2 1400 sq.ft. house sounds like a great starter home.