May 5, 2006

You don't need a vacation – you live in Silicon Valley!

It’s Friday! You’ve probably had a long and hard week. Thinking of the weekend? Thinking of a vacation? Thinking of going away?

Well, if you are – then maybe Silicon Valley isn’t right for you.

You see, living in Silicon Valley is such a gift, that you never have to leave. In fact, you should probably put in a few extra hours this weekend so that the bank doesn’t foreclose on your house. This is a good thing.

Realty Times – Real Estate News and Advice
In the land of technology and sunshine, it doesn’t appear to matter that, according to the California Association of Realtors, fewer than one in five residents can afford to buy the median priced home or that renting a decent apartment requires a two-income household.

Living in Silicon Valley (largely Santa Clara County) is just too good to give up over something as minor as a three-quarter million dollar home.

A recent study reveals residents who live in the county’s largest and capital city of San Jose are more concerned about crime, traffic congestion and public school education than they are about the cost of homes.

“It’s an absolute fact that people want to live here. That keeps housing prices high. If it wasn’t for the demand, prices would drop,” said Richard Calhoun, real estate broker and owner of Creekside Realty in San Jose.


When 1,000 residents where asked what issues most concerned them, 13 percent put crime at the top of their list, 11 percent said traffic congestion, 9 percent said education and public schools, but only 8 percent said housing.

Hm… so basically, there are so many other problems to worry about like the horrible traffic, the lousy public schools that people living here can’t be bothered to worry about the fact that they had to get a 50 year mortgage to buy a 800 sqft termiter.

I guess that makes sense.

After all, who needs disposable income when you have work? Apparently, living in the Silicon Valley means that you never need to go on vacation:

With the increase in jobs, especially in the technology field, landlords are able to lure shelter seekers who are not quite ready to buy, but, like home buyers, are attracted to the area by career opportunities, good weather, geographic and ethnic diversity, and a host of attractions that let them save money on vacation travel.

Hm… Silicon Valley attractions. Let’s see…

  • New York has the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Museum – we have the Winchester Mystery Mansion.
  • Washington DC has the Smithsonian – we have the San Jose Museum of Art
  • Egypt has the pyramids – we have the Fry’s in Campbell
  • Boston has the birth of America – we have Great America.
  • The Mediterranean has villages – we have Santana Row.
  • London has the Tube – we have Light Rail.
  • Alaska has glaciers – we have Valco.
  • China has the Great Wall – we have the Great Mall of Milpitas.
  • Everywhere else has an airport – we have Terminal C at SJC.
  • Paris has Champs Elysées – we have El Camino Real.
  • Asia has Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei – we have Cupertino Village.

Yeah… I guess those are all about equivalent. No need to leave.

In fact, for your own safety, you probably should avoid travelling outside the Bay Area! If you do – you might venture outside the bubble and realize that there are places with only 1 parent needs to work 50 hours a week, instead of both working 80 hours a week! And… then the Matrix would collapse.

But as whacked out as this article is (there seems to be a bias… if only I could pinpoint what it is in this issue of Realty Times), I think we can all agree on this:

“I’ve often said, I would rather live in a one-bedroom condo here than in a five-bedroom spread in Texas and that seems to be the opinion of 99 percent of my buyers. None of them seem concerned about prices. If interest rates rise they will still buy, but they will buy less. Whatever it takes to live here, that is what they will do,” says Boyd.

How insightful! I love using low expectations! Otherwise, if you using a reasonable comparison (you know, Seattle, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC) you might start to question things. And questions are bad.

So let’s all just agree with this new slogan for living in Silicon Valley:

Silicon Valley: 50 year mortgages for a 3 bedroom, but at least it’s not Texas… or Iraq.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:00 am

17 Responses to “You don't need a vacation – you live in Silicon Valley!”

  1. Athena Says:

    Its not that you don’t need a vacation in silicon valley… it is that with the prices people are paying they can’t afford vacations.

    Haven’t you noticed that all the tech industry trade shows go to fairly good destinations? These double as vacations for those in the industry.

  2. marinite Says:

    Its not that you don’t need a vacation in silicon valley… it is that with the prices people are paying they can’t afford vacations.

    And saying it’s otherwise is just denial.

  3. burbed Says:

    >>Haven’t you noticed that all the tech industry trade shows go to fairly good destinations? These double as vacations for those in the industry.

    To be fair though, it’s like that in other industries as well. The medical ones are always in Hawaii.

  4. Mortgage Lenders Says:

    50 Year Mortgages, who could guess. Aren’t the no down loans, stated income loans, and 50 year loans going to come back to bite the banks someday?

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  7. Thomas Says:

    But Silicon Valley has been around for over 30 years.

    When did did the cheerleaders all of sudden come here?

    They sure were not talking like this in the 70’s 80’s 90’s…. heck not even in the mid 90’s many recalled the deep painfull recession we got smacked down with.

  8. vfsv Says:

    If all real estate is local, then you really only want to know where the deals are in the neighborhoods where you want to live.

    Here’s the latest snapshot on our neighborhood:


  9. Says:

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  10. sg Says:

    This is no news. Contrary to the popular belief, most engineers in the valley are “howmuchamonth” crowd.

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  12. Eric in Silicon Valley Says:

    What a great post! I know I’m about 4 years too late, but just wanted to say I enjoy this blog. If only I had been this savvy when I bought my house at the peak in 2005. Always though of the south bay as a cultural wasteland, though in all fairness there are nice pockets with parks and trees that are pleasant for family life.

  13. The Gilroy Alex Says:

    It *is* a cultural wasteland.

  14. anon Says:

    … and therein lies the specialness.

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