December 2, 2009

Affordable and lucky houses in Daly City

359 IRVINGTON St, Daly City, CA 94014 | MLS# 80941830
359 IRVINGTON St Daly City, CA 94014

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 790
$/Sq. Ft.: $747
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1910
Community: ‘Original’ Daly City
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80941830
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 75 days
REGULAR SALE !!!! NO WAITING ; -) !!, come see this 2 bedrooms , 1 bathroom upstairs plus 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom downstairs (unwarranted). One block from Mission Street, walking distance to BART and Bus Stations. If you; re tired of waiting !!!

Thanks to Burbed reader sonarrat for this find.

Wow, the investment opportunities keep pouring in. This house comes witn an unwarranted (meaning you don’t really deserve it) 2br/1ba downstairs for you to rent out. Cha-ching!

Of course this probably means you’ll never be able to park your car anywhere… but, hey, revenue trumps everything.

There’s a few other things I love about this listing:

1. The smiley face. It tells you Gen-Y/millennials that the Realtor gets you. He speaks your language. LOL OMG!

2. The yellow and blue house next door. Wow. How awesome would to live next door to that. If you’re a Cal fan you can say it is Bear pride. If you’re a Farm fan, then you can… uh… say that you don’t live in that house. Either way you win!

Comments (78) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:48 am

78 Responses to “Affordable and lucky houses in Daly City”

  1. bob Says:

    Looks like Australia has us beat on having the biggest houses.

    “Australia has overtaken the United States, the heartland of the McMansion, to boast the world’s largest homes, according to a report by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    Research commissioned by the bank’s broking arm, CommSec, shows the Australian house has grown on average by 10 percent in the past decade to 214.6 square meters (2,310 sq ft) — nearly three times the size of the average British house.

    By contrast, the average size of new homes started in the United States in the September quarter was 201.5 square meter (2,169 sq ft), down from 212 square meter (2,282 sq ft), with the average U.S. home shrinking for the first time in a decade due to the recession.

  2. Joe Says:

    Hmmm, I wonder how many foreign US investors are snatching up properties Down Under now?

  3. bob Says:

    If it weren’t for the fact that my family lives in the US, I’d move to Australia in a second. They have a system in place where if the government doesn’t have the money to pay for something… they don’t won’t buy it. Sounds rational to me. Secondly, they’re positioned inbetween China and India and have cozy trading relations with each primarily in raw materials. Their economy is doing quite well.

  4. anon Says:

    Bob, I’m getting the feeling that all you want is a big house. Don’t be so materialistic.

  5. steve Says:

    If it weren’t for the fact that …, I’d move to … in a second.

  6. SmilingCat Says:

    Somehow, being worked to death in a mine by Chinese/Indian masters after the collapse of the US and consequent military weakness of Commonwealth countries, doesn’t appeal to me.

  7. bob Says:

    Forgive me for being stupid, but I don’t get the connection between Australia- or wanting to move there- and bad music.

  8. steve Says:

    the title “promises, promises” should tell you all you need to know, but here is the chorus:

    You made me promises, promises
    Knowing I’d believe
    Promises, promises
    You knew you’d never keep

  9. anon Says:

    Psst…bob…Steve’s saying you’re never going to leave.

  10. bob Says:

    Actually I just made the final cut for a tech firm in Austin. I will be talking with them sometime this week or early next week. If they give me an offer, I will be packing some bags and getting out of this pretentious hell-hole. But the bottom line is that I will be leaving California one way or another. If that means just moving and looking for a job elsewhere, I might do that too because I’ve saved enough to survive for years.

    So its not like I’m doing nothing to make the move. Its hard work living out of state. But if it works out it will be well worth it. But I’m in no immediate rush but will jump given a job offer.

  11. anon Says:

    if it weren’t for the fact that …, I’d move to … in a second.

    …1 = need a job
    …2 = austin tx

  12. bob Says:

    Try to understand figurative language. Yes- I would “Like” to move to Australia. I think it’d be a hell of a nice place to retire. But again, my family lives in the US. Yes- I am planning to move to Austin because it has the next biggest supply of jobs in my field, is also artistic and obviously affordable. I’ve been looking for jobs there for around 3 months. Most companies want you to actually live there so its been slow going. Like I said- I might have something lined up and if I do, I’m heading out there.

    What’s wrong with that? Its not like any of you really like me all that much with my constant bitching about the Bay Area. Just think- once I’m gone, you can have RE all to yourselves. I won’t care anymore because I’ll be living the life I want to live somewhere else and be glad to put the Bay Area behind.

  13. DreamT Says:

    bob – The odd thing about your tirades on burbed is that they seem designed to reassure yourself as opposed to convince someone, anyone else. Maybe it’s the long-windedness and the rambling. Hence the skepticism all around (the approximate Math does not help either).
    But again, best of luck in landing a satisfactory job in the place of your dreams.

  14. nomadic Says:

    good observation, DreamT.

    and bob, we’d miss you and your bitching. 🙂

  15. bob Says:

    Its more simple then that. Simply put, the high cost of living in the Bay Area is aggravating to me and many others. That’s why the Bay Area has so many blogs like this one and in most cases they serve the purpose of allowing those annoyed by the situation to rant about it. I’m no different. Its rather therapeutic.

    But to address your point, why would I take the time and effort to visit other cities, drive thousands of miles looking at neighborhoods, picking up real estate pamphlets, and talking to local people? Why would I spend hours and hours looking for and applying for jobs in Austin? Why would I spend years saving money for a house outside of California?

    Its because I’ve been planning for it for years. A lot of Americans make decisions without careful planning and wind up getting into financial trouble. I’m the opposite.

    Basically I had a financial goal to reach. I calculated how much money would need to be saved in order to buy a house out of state. In addition, I wanted a safety cushion and a decent amount of retirement saved up. This took around 5-6 years to do. This was accomplished by living cheap, which is something else I preach here because it makes saving a lot easier and quicker. That meant renting, eating, and driving cheap. But it has worked.

    So now the last part of the plan is being undertaken- finding the job. Just like the other steps, its a rather slow process and it isn’t easy. None of the others were so why should this one be? I’m still in my early 30’s so why the rush? I’ll likely own a house and be set, living a modest but comfortable life by the time I’m 35- or about 5 years before most Bay Area people these days put the down payment on their first “starter” home.

    So you can say that I’m bluffing all you want. But I’m sticking to the plan. When its all over and done with, I might on occasion pop up on here just to poke fun but likely I won’t really care.

    In the meantime you all will have to put up with my shenanigans for awhile longer.

  16. nomadic Says:

    was there a cost/benefit calculation before you got married?

  17. anon Says:

    Burbed’s purpose is to allow those annoyed by the housing situation a place to rant about it?

    Funny. I thought it was to poke fun at real estate.

  18. steve Says:

    bob, I associate myself with DreamT’s concluding wishes in #13. however, you post in #15 astonishes me. I can’t believe that your plan was really to subject yourself to complete misery ages 24-34 all to buy a house. why not just move to somewhere that makes you happy and rent? the money isn’t worth it; and, life is too short.

  19. bob Says:

    I think there’s a misunderstanding here. In no way did I say I was miserable or unhappy.Secondly, I don’t think my story is any different than most Americans. We all work hard so that we can get what we want out of life. Right? Most people want to live in a comfortable neighborhood, buy a home, send their kids to school and college, then later retire and maybe do some traveling here and there. These are the basics, but that’s the extent of it.

    My goal is simply not have to be pestered by things like a mortgage which in turn means I can have more freedom to do as I please. Perhaps I’m doing things differently than most of you would. I imagine most of you did like most Americans, bought a house, make payments, maybe even paid more so your kids could go to the good schools and so on. But the bottom line is that you have to work to pay that mortgage and that puts pressure on you whether you want to admit it or not.

    I don’t want that pressure. Instead I’d rather have few financial obligations. Save money to buy a house and save for retirement. For most people that’s a lifetime of work, and especially in places like the Bay Area where a home costs so much it takes decades to pay it off.

    Additionally, I’ll admit that the Bay Area is nice. Nice weather, food, atmosphere, and so on. Its expense is what ruins it. So part of my quest was to find other cities that had their own unique character and were equally, if not even nicer places to live. That’s highly subjective. But I’ve found where I want to live and it also happens to be reasonably affordable.

    Can I bitch about the Bay Area and its high prices? Sure. Why the hell not? That doesn’t mean I’m a miserable SOB. Perhaps some of you think so. But my irritation with the BA has nothing to do with my happiness. If anything I should be thanking the Bay Area. Coming from the background I did, where the cost differences are so drastically opposite and later to here made me realize that I had no desire to live like people do here. If you think paying a minimum of half a million bucks for a house is worth it, go for it. I can think of better ways to spend money but then again- I’m not wired like the rest of you.

    So ultimately I have a plan with goals, I am making it happen, and I am doing so voluntarily and contentedly. Its too bad that some of you don’t seem to understand this. But that’s not my problem.

  20. Alex Says:

    I agree with bob on some of his points.

    This state is being run into the toilet by a bunch of tree-hugging, dope-smoking, birkenstock-cladded liberals. LOL

  21. ehem Says:

    SmilingCat @6–

    I am sure they will put enough happiness serum in the mandatory IV that you will barely notice. That is assuming your application to work in the mines is accepted in the first place, and you are released from the California Regional Barbarian Containment Center.


    It’s completely ok to complain about RBA housing costs, gerontocracy, public sector union plundering, %1000 tax differentials between identical lots, political hyper-dysfunction, etc., on the comment threads of this blog, no further justification needed. If anything it is remarkable how little open discussion there is of something hundreds of thousands of Californians do every year, despite the huge pain of splitting up extended families and real-world social networks. (I smell a facebook app!) People tend to view it as a personal failure not to be able to afford to live here, rather than the massive social breakdown it is. RE prices are just a symptom, the most obvious sign of some political disease that is probably terminal, there is no shame in wanting to skip the finale, especially since it is pretty clear that the political class views us as nothing more than fattened sheep to be fleeced as often and deeply as possible. This really came home to me recently with the UC budget circus. At Cal I would say realistically I averaged about 1:100 teacher-student ratio throughout my time there. It is impossible that the actual expenditure (on me in particular) from the school came anywhere close even to the theoretically subsidized fees I paid; at those rates it would have been about a half million dollars per teacher. And yet at the first sign of trouble the administration, which knows perfectly well that lower division undergraduates are borrowed-money cash cows, immediately launches an unchallenged media circus about how education is dying because these kids are such a burden on them, and cutting enrollment at a time when it is more needed and digital technology makes it feasible to be serving factors of what they currently do for fractions of what it has been costing. (I have since taken real classes from real schools online and it is a much better experience than the grand cramped halls that smell like farts and beer burps.) It is all sickening.

    You will have a blast in Austin. If you haven’t already, go to Barton Springs on a summer day, it is true what they say about the girls there. All the bullshit california microbrews and gelaterias have analogues there except that Shiner Bock and Blue Bell are better than them and cost less than you would pay for Bud or Lucerne at Safeway. I have a friend down there who lives a relaxed middle class life, with a kid, in a nice place, on $35,000/yr., and this is an explicit goal of their whole political and social order. (His wife quit her teaching job when the baby was born and didn’t even feel strapped.) I am slowly acclimatising the wife to this very idea, and making contacts, 5 years is a blink of an eye, and despite all the problems the RBA is not exactly purgatory.


    The cannabis pollen count is announced on the radio in Austin, according to legend. Austin is the last place you want to go to get away from stoned hippies.

  22. Pralay Says:

    This state is being run into the toilet by a bunch of tree-hugging, dope-smoking, birkenstock-cladded liberals.

    LOL! Last time checked, Prop 13 champion Howard Jarvis was neither of any of the above.

  23. mike Says:


    > go to Barton Springs on a summer day, it is true what they say about the girls there

    What do they say about the girls there.

  24. Real Estater Says:

    This state is being run into the toilet by a bunch of tree-hugging, dope-smoking, birkenstock-cladded liberals.

    This statement coming from a guy who has run his own life into the toilet.

  25. Real Estater Says:


    If you move to Austin, I wouldn’t be surprised if you plan on moving again in a few years. Somewhere else will always be better, because you haven’t lived there yet, and won’t realize its deficient aspects. This is why many Americans are constantly moving from one place to another, resulting in houses being bought and sold all the time.

  26. austindweller Says:

    >> This statement coming from a guy who has run his own life into the toilet.

    How do you know ? Did you go down the toilet to find it out ?

    Happy holidays guys. I am coming to CA for business. Glad that I don’t have to worry about my tax return from CA for this year. Are they still giving IOUs or real greens ?

  27. Alex Says:

    Pralay, I am not blaming the messes in California on Prop 13. Certainly, Prop 13 is a big part of it. But the crazy politics, entitlements, and me-me-me attitudes is crushing this state.

  28. Herve Estater Says:

    > go to Barton Springs on a summer day, it is true what they say about the girls there

    If you like topless girls (or guys?), you might as well go anywhere in Europe.

  29. DreamT Says:

    Actually Herve I read that the younger generation (< 30) prefers to cover up. Sorry, I did not bookmark the article 🙂

  30. Herve Estater Says:

    It’s not quantity, it’s quality.

    Now can we talk real estate? 🙂

  31. Alex Says:

    DreamT, cover up? It seems like everyone has sex tapes 🙂

  32. steve Says:

    sadly, DreamT speaks the truth, especially regarding the French. the Germans, on the other hand…

  33. Herve Estater Says:

    British propaganda if you ask me…

  34. ehem Says:


    Or you could go to the coed hot spring baths in Japan or New Zealand, and I hear in Somalia all the women know how to do certain things with certain muscles. None of which, like your observation about European beaches, is relevant to a comparison between SF and Austin. I suppose the closest comparison you could make would be with Baker beach, where I once went with some (admittedly European) friends and saw one fat woman, several elderly gay men, and a naked napping homeless guy with an erection. Actually, I wasn’t even talking about the fact that at Barton Springs they are sometimes topless, just that they are gorgeous.

  35. Herve Estater Says:

    Looks like Steve went to France with high expectations 🙂

  36. Real Estater Says:

    Don’t expect too much out of France. I don’t really care for their cities, their food, their history, or their women (in my book the Anglo countries have the French women licked). France has many ghettos looking worse than the shabby parts of San Jose.

  37. DreamT Says:

    After the French sandwich experience, introducing the French ghetto experience!
    (they must have misplaced that 4 Seasons hotel, silly French)

  38. bob Says:

    We spent a week in Austin. All told, we drove around 1,500 miles exploring the area. Downtown was really happening. There were lots and lots of brew pubs, outdoor resturaunts, bars, and clubs all crammed into roughly 5-6 blocks on the East side of town. What was nice about Austin the city was that there are lots of neighborhoods within the city itself. We particularly liked South Austin, which was full of mostly 1920’s, 1930’s smaller homes that went up a hill. It was sort of like Berkeley in terms of the atmosphere. The city itself is very pretty. Its well laid out. The capitol building is something else. It was purposefully built to be larger and more ornate than the US capital building. There were also quite a few good museums, the best being the history of Texas museum.

    We also liked the Hill Country. The area was settled by Germans in the 1850’s and they built a lot of cool looking limestone buildings. We spent some time in Freidrickburg, which was a sort of upscale town. Very pretty. There were around 15-20 wineries along the way. Most had moved from California or were extensions of larger wineries. Not bad. Definitely had a different flavor.

    Let’s just say that after the trip it was everything I could do not to immediately pack bags and go. So RE, I doubt we would be moving again once we got there. Austin to me was everything good that you find in the Bay Area without the crushing expense and throngs of people. Will it stay that way forever? I don’t know. Hopefully we’ll be there long before that happens.

    I’m also having to crank down my salary expectations from the jobs I’ve been looking at. I’d probably be looking at a $60,000 max salary in my field, which is a significant pay cut. But that’s ok because they don’t have any state income tax and obviously when houses are $120,000-$150,000, $60,000 is just fine. Since I already have the money saved for a house, it would be more than sufficient. Putting it that way, $60,000 would be like making $250,000 in the Bay Area.

  39. Pralay Says:

    But the crazy politics, entitlements, and me-me-me attitudes is crushing this state.

    Please help me to comprehend the connection between #20 and #27. “Tree-hugging, dope-smoking, birkenstock-cladded liberals” is lot different from “crazy politics, entitlements, and me-me-me attitudes”. Howard Jarvis and his follower indeed had “me-me-me attitude”.

    Or did you just changed your position between #20 and #27? That was quick!

  40. Real Estater Says:

    Moving to Austin to make $60K. You’re moving up in life, Bob! Come on, a garbage man in the Bay Area can make $60K.

  41. CB Says:

    Come on, a garbage man in the Bay Area can make $60K.

    I think that is part of the problem with CA.

  42. bob Says:

    You’re forgetting that the cost of most other US metros is anywhere from 2 to 4 times cheaper than the BA. So $60k goes much further. For example, my parents in TN make around $65-$70k total. They live comfortably on that amount. They own a nice house on 17 acres, own 2 newer cars, have a pool, and so on. What they have would cost millions of dollars in the BA where 1/4 acre costs a million or more in some places.

    Anyway, while its too early to say for sure, I might have gotten the job.If so… its adios Bay Area.

  43. Pralay Says:

    Anyway, while its too early to say for sure, I might have gotten the job.If so… its adios Bay Area.

    Don’t leave Bay Area, bob. You will end up being like a crying Austin man. You will come here every weekend and meet RealEstater in plane. Which one is worse? Living in Bay Area or meeting RealEstater in plane?

  44. bob Says:

    I have to be honest. Now that its becoming a realistic possibility, I’m scared as hell. Scared and excited. I’d be moving halfway across the country and leaving an area I’ve lived in for 10 years. That’s dramatic no matter where you live. But I’ve wanted to do this for years. Its just the packing and moving crap that I worry about because after 10 years… you accumulate A LOT.

  45. bob Says:

    PS: I love the “Austin cryin’ man” story. We aught to write a country song about it. I’ll go first even though I SUCK at lyrics. Where’s Madhaus when we need her?

    ” I was sittin’ on a plane comin’ back from Austin, and there next to me was a man who looked sad, I asked him right nicely what was the matter and he told me that he missed the Bay Area really bad.

    Ohhhh he cried about wine, water, sushi and liberals- none which existed in his awful new home. He missed the expensive houses and the golden gate bridge, but in Austin he found himself to be sad and alone.

    Wellll I told him buck up cuz Austin had good BBQ, cheap houses and beer, but I admitted that the Bay Area he’d never be near…”

    God that was awful. I know some of you guys can do a better job then that. Oh Madhaus…

  46. nomadic Says:

    Come on, a garbage man in the Bay Area can make $60K.

    I think that is part of the problem with CA.

    Even worse? When they retire, they STILL make $60k with their pension!

    bob, moving is a piece of cake. Shed some of the useless stuff and don’t sweat it! (But you did find one more benefit of moving every 3-4 years!)

  47. Real Estater Says:


    Things are not looking swell when you’re making less than your parents.

  48. bob Says:

    RE… you know my situation. I’ve already saved up enough to be good to go as far as the house, retirement, and other stuff goes. At this point in the game, I’m not sweating the salary as much. Anyhow, you should be happy I might be out of here. It’ll make more room for people who might love the Bay Area more than me.

    Nomadic, 60% of the stuff we have is crap. Furntiture found on the side of the road, beat up home electronics, gobs of scrap metal, engine parts, and so on. So most will have to be either donated or sold. All in a VERY short time. So yeah, I’m a little worried about it. Secondly, all the cars need to be moved. I reckon one or two can be driven. The old car would not make it that far and needs to be trucked out there. Let’s just say I’m a tad overwhelmed.

  49. anon Says:

    “Furntiture found on the side of the road, beat up home electronics, gobs of scrap metal, engine parts, and so on.”

    Come on bob, don’t get rid of that stuff!! It’s a yokel starter kit! The furniture goes on the porch and in the house, the gobs of scrap metal are what you look at while you drink beer sitting on the porch couch, and the beat up old home electronics contain tons of old analog parts which you can use for fun projects! You could try putting the engine parts in an engine or you could use them as paperweights or something else. The possibilities are endless!

  50. nomadic Says:

    It’s a yokel starter kit!

    OMFG. That is hysterical.

    bob – list that sh*t in the free section of Craigslist or see if Freecycle ( will take it off of your hands. You might be able to save the landfill drop-off fees.

  51. bob Says:

    See, The “Junk” I have is actually quite useful and it took years to build the supply. I do a lot of welding and fabricating and its always handy to have scrap metal laying around. I also keep loads of lawn mower parts around because I repair them on the side. Some are expensive if you buy them new. I have whole engines as well, some that are $800 new, but I got for free from junked mowers. The rest is an assortment of nuts, bolts, hardware, electronic parts, and so on. There’s a lot of if and I hate to get rid of the stuff… But I’m afraid a lot of it will have to go. Probably to a scrap yard.

    The furniture can go. Most of it is worn out anyway.

  52. CB Says:

    #46, Perhaps garbage men and women work very hard for their money. The point is that there are many unimpressive jobs in CA that more than skilled workers out of state.

  53. nomadic Says:

    I think garbage men have some of the highest rates of on-the-job injury too. At least until they started using the fully automated trucks to pick up the trash.

    I don’t think anyone works so hard in their career that they deserve to continue their full salary (or even a large percentage) after they retire. That was my point. Look at the politicians in DC for another example.

  54. Real Estater Says:


    Is 60 grand even worth working a whole year for? Since you’ve saved up enough, what’s the point of spending 8+ hours a day, driving back and forth for grand total that can barely match a Lexus window sticker before taxes?

  55. Pralay Says:

    Is 60 grand even worth working a whole year for?

    Certainly worth more than working a whole year fulltime for frequent flyer miles.

  56. bob Says:

    All I can say is no. income. tax. See, as it is now, over 30% of my income goes down the toilet in taxes. Texas doesn’t have income tax. Thus that 60k would be like making 75-80k in California. And again… A house in Austin is 150-200k. A house in the Bay Area is 500k-1 million. That’s all that needs to be said.

  57. Real Estater Says:


    Let me try this again. You’ve been holding your breath to see if they would pick you for a $60K job? I think that’s all that needs to be said. You can probably move to China and take a less pay cut. Do you realize that once you agree to work for $60K, your next employer will treat that as your base? It will take you years to get back to normal pay scale for your age. Go check around; I think you’ll find that most people’s wives get more than $60K.

  58. Real Estater Says:

    One more thing: Texas has very high property tax to compensate for lack of state income tax.

  59. nomadic Says:

    #55 (Pralay), you are stepping in with some real zingers today! 🙂 (The crying Austin man reference earlier was also appreciated.)

    #56 (bob), CA state income tax is under 10% last I looked. You’re using your special math again.

    #57, you were doing so well not being a complete schmuck lately. Now you’re back to your old tricks. I’m disappointed in you.

  60. Pralay Says:

    I think you’ll find that most people’s wives get more than $60K.

    Especially Trophy wives. By definition they are supposed to earn less than their chauvinistic spouses.

  61. bob Says:

    You don’t get it. Its simple and I don’t know how to say it any more simplistically. Austin costs a LOT less to live in than the Bay Area. Trust me- I looked at houses, grocery stores, gas stations, and so on. Most everything there was cheaper.

    But let’s use a real-life example. Let’s say I buy this 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in Austin for its listed price of $145,000.

    Now… Assume for argument’s sake that I didn’t have the saving I do now and I put down $20,000. My payments on a boring ole’ 30 year fixed loan is $729.00. That’s right, about half what it costs to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in SF. Or about 4.3 times less than a similar sized house in the RBA. This house is in a pretty good school district so taxes would be a bit more.

    The way taxes work in TX is that if you live near more plentiful amenities like schools, libraries, and so on, you pay more. Taxes range from 2-3%. So Assume that this house has a 3% property tax. That would be around $4,350 a year in taxes. So in reality, your payment would be more like a little over $1,000 a month with taxes included. We don’t care about schools and all that other baloney so our taxes would be more like 2%. Thus figure we would actually pay more like $970 a month alltogether, taxes included.

    I pay more then that in rent now. In fact, when I first moved into this house, I had a job that paid $30,000 and so did my wife. We had no problem paying the rent and in fact always managed to save money as well.

    Now in my case, I’d pay down a significant portion of that mortgage up front. Let’s say I pay down 50% of the total price on the aforementioned house. The monthly total drops to $690. Chicken feed. At that cost you could practically work at McDonald’s and still pay the mortgage.

    In the Bay Area you would need to make around $200,000 a year to afford the same house. That’s the difference. You are focusing too much on the dollar amount and not considering the difference in the cost of living. California might as well be another country because cash doesn’t go as far so in reality, salaries are grossly overinflated to compensate partially for the additional expense. Its easy to think: ” Wow! I make $100,000!” But when that $100,000 doesn’t really buy squat… might as well look at it the same way as making $30,000 in Austin.

    I made this realization a long time ago. That’s why I basically considered what I saved to be portable savings to be used more effectively where the money goes further.

    So what I’m saying is that assuming I make $60-$70k, in reality my income will go further than someone in the BA making $100k-$150k or more.

    For me its well worth it to live a better quality life and not be hampered by the high cost of living. Many people are doing the same thing as me. I just talked to my Mother today. She is a school teacher in TN. She mentioned that just in her school alone, they have 10 students who moved from schools primarily in coastal California cities. Half are from Northern California. She asked one of them why they moved since she’s curious about these things since I live here. The kid told her the parents wanted affordable housing and friendlier people. So you see, I mentioned last week that the Southeast and Texas will be the new hot spots for growth. Its happening as we speak and hopefully I’ll be a part of it.

  62. Pralay Says:

    you are stepping in with some real zingers today!

    Under weather today. [Real] Zinger is must!

  63. steve Says:

    bob, why do you always insist on comparing apples and oranges? I could do the reverse. check this:
    to afford a decent 2br apt in austing I’d spend $6K/month:

    for half that price I could rent a house in palo alto with better schools.

  64. steve Says:

    bob, the other part that is odd about your posts is the fixation on ownership. renting is a great deal for those in CA as rents are not any higher than similar cities and quite a bit lower than in NY. embrace it and be happy.

  65. Real Estater Says:


    The house you showed is less than 1000 sq. ft. on a 4400 lot. How big is your home now? You’re going to down-grade everything just so that you can live in Austin? Besides 2 to 3X higher taxes, your utility bills are going to be much higher due to the unrelenting weather. Try eating at one of those restaurants in downtown Austin. A dinner at Sullivan’s cost me (actually my company) $50, and I didn’t even order wine.

  66. bob Says:

    I’ve been renting for 15 years.Ever since I moved out of my parent’s house. Yes- its a deal in CA compared to buying. But we’re ready to own our own house now, silly as that sounds. That’s about as simple as that. Everything in the Bay Area is around $500k minimum in any neighborhood that’s halfway decent. That’s way too much. Even with a good salary. Its too risky in the event one person loses a job. I am not willing to take that risk period.

    Not sure what your first post was supposed to mean. The median home price in Austin is still under $200,000.The house I chose was the first house that popped up on Craigslist Austin. There’s 1000’s of nice houses like this one. That’s all you need to know. Bottom line: we can easily afford what we want elsewhere. That’s why me and most of my friends have left or like me, are leaving.

    Lastly, all of my family is in the Southeast. In Austin we could visit them a lot easier. Here its rather difficult. Some of them are getting old.

    Hopefully now you understand.

  67. bob Says:


  68. Real Estater Says:

    Let’s put some thought behind Bob’s situation.

    He’s got lots of money saved but, enough to retire. However, if either he or his wife loses a job, they won’t be able to float a $500K house.

    There are 1000’s of nice homes available in Austin. In other words, supply is unlimited. Appreciation potential is constrained, and if you ever want to sell your house, you’d be competing with 1000’s of sellers. Not sure which way is better – Hard to buy (as in Bay Area) or hard to sell?

  69. bob Says:

    I don’t give a flying F^%ck about appreciation. Its just a house that I plan to live in. Besides, Austin has had healthy growth for over 25 years. Your whole financial plan seems to revolve around your house… which is the opposite of how things should be.

    Why do you have such a problem with me moving to Austin? Its a pretty damned-obvious choice for me. I understand if its not for you. But again- why should you care?

    Lastly- wherever you ate there must have sucked. We ate at great places every day and most were well under $20 per person with drink. Next time you go, check out the BBQ joints, brewpubs, and steak houses.

    Namely: Black’s BBQ, The Hoffbrau, and the Ginger man ( microbrew pub)

  70. steve Says:

    bob, I understand your interest in being closer to family, establishing real roots in a community and reducing financial pressure, and I wish you the best of luck with the current job opportunity.

    unlike RE, I assume you will be happier in austin if you move there. I love the BBQ, the music scene, the age of the city. and, if I didn’t have significant roots here, I would consider it along with seattle and portland as alternatives. but, I do, and I am lucky enough to be able to afford stay, and I will never leave. most people I know fall into the same category and that is why we overpay for housing.

    life’s too short to live somewhere you don’t like.

  71. Real Estater Says:

    I acknowledge Austin has great BBQ, but don’t expect it to be super cheap. Unless you want to eat junk stuff (like everything else in your life apparently), the cost of eating out is comparable to California. Downtown Austin costs about the same as downtown Palo Alto.

  72. Real Estater Says:

    >>I’ve been renting for 15 years.

    Compare that to someone who has been owning for the past 15 years. That person’s mortgage payment will be lower than the payment on your Austin house, and his equity is likely higher than your savings.

  73. Herve Estater Says:

    $60,000 in Texas:
    taxable income is $45K after 401K contributions
    federal tax is $7,500
    no state tax
    -> $37,500 left ($3,125 a month)

    $80,000 in California
    taxable income is $65K
    federal tax is $12,500
    state tax is, say, $4K
    -> $48,500 left ($4,042 a month, $900+ more than in Texas)

    Now that’s a very simplistic view since the Wife would also be working. bob showed a house for $150K (950 sq ft on 4,500 sq ft lot). Such a house would be about $500K in Mountain View. A $350K mortgage would cost you $1,900 a month and give you more tax deductions so all in all it looks like there is no clear winner as far as cash flow is concerned (I did not include the property tax here but I don’t think it changes the cash flow comparison much).

    However after 30 years your house would be worth $1.6M in Mountain View and $500K in Austin (assuming 4% yearly appreciation).

  74. Real Estater Says:

    Let’s not forget, Bob does not care about appreciation. Why would anybody? It’s only money. Does making a million dollars matter when you can live in a $150K shack in 105 degree weather?

  75. DreamT Says:

    come on guys, Bob is cute.

  76. Herve Estater Says:

    > Does making a million dollars matter when you can live in a $150K shack in 105 degree weather?

    It won’t matter since he won’t have kids. However, he could still do a couple of things with that money

    Yes, bob is the cutest.

  77. Real Estater Says:


    Why would you go to Austin when you can get this house for $165K in the outskirts of the Bay Area?

  78. nomadic Says:

    Did I miss the “troll off” announcement?

    bob, did you demote your Wife? She was lowercase up there.

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