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Moving [Jan. 2nd, 2016|03:37 pm]

We live walking distance from Google's headquarters (perhaps a long walk). Between November 2014- November 2015 the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro region had 5.1 percent job growth, second largest in the nation. We're just north of Sunnyvale in the run-together sprawl that covers all the flat areas around the bay. In May the median house price in the county was $900,000, which reflects the 60% growth in housing prices by the year's end. "Among counties with a population of at least 1 million, those with the biggest increases in rents are Santa Clara County, California in the San Jose metro area (up 9.3 percent)." If our landlord increases the rent by the same amount he has the past four years, we will have had a 50% rent increase over our 2012 rent. From news about the rent control wranglings at city hall, this is common in the area.

Against this background, two of our neighbors were given 60 day notice. Their respective landlords have renovated the units to increase the rent, the unit next to us doubling. Listening to how hard it was to find a place with pets led us to realize we should decide what we would do it it happened to us. We looked at places and thought about it for a good while and decided moving east was our answer.

We have family back east to whom we'd like to be closer, and we've been thinking about that too. We've come to the conclusion that we want to move in a few years, anyhow. Currently the line in the time-sand is when a friend of mine retires from work.

Right now the biggest uncertainty is whether we'd be moving to the HQ of my current employer in Ohio or to be near our family in and south of Chapel Hill, NC. That can't be decided until we determine whether my employer would let me telecommute. If they didn't, we still might move to NC: there are plenty of attractions there.

So moving has become an undercurrent in our thoughts in the past months. Where would we like to go before we leave California? Is this purchase something we'd want to move? Something we'd want after we move?

--== ∞ ==--

We drove by our mechanic's today so i could get a look at a pickup truck he has for sale, a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT. (I think it's an automatic with inline 4.) We really like our mechanic, T---, and he'd bought the truck for his son. This helps me believe we will not be committing the same expensive infatuation mistake we did with the Wrangler. His son just happened to be pulling up in his HUGE four wheel drive black shiny -- did i say HUGE? HUGE. lifted RAM truck. I can just imagine the offhand comment from the son. "I think I need a truck." And the father finding just the thing: a practical, decent gas mileage, reliable, durable vehicle with low mileage. And the son saying ... what? "Thanks Dad, but that's not really what i had in mind." Christine asked him, "So what do you use it for?" Christine said T--- Jr got this funny look on his face like he never really thought he needed a reason to have such a vehicle. "Getting around mainly, going to Tahoe this weekend," was the eventual answer.

Pfft. If that was my vehicle i could go *anywhere* in the Panoche Hills. I can't imagine the place where you have to ford the creek ever being as high as that vehicle was jacked up.

Christine says she'd feel better with me driving the Ranger in the Panoche Hills than our cars. It does have better clearance. The gas mileage is comparable to my commute car, and i'm planning on taking the train more, anyhow.

So, i think we'll get the Ranger.

Which means we'll need to find a name. I'm thinking Liandra, the Ranger ship in "The Legend of the Rangers." We advertised the show by having our then commute car, a Jetta, wrapped in an advertisement for the pilot.


[User Picture]From: zyzyly
2016-01-03 03:34 am (UTC)
My dad lives in Burlingame and is facing the same thing. He has had the same apartment for about 30 years, and they like him so go easy on the rent increases, but the units that vacate are going for 2-3 times what he is paying. If they do jump his rent, he will probably move closer to us, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

I wonder where the people with average incomes will eventually be able to live, and what will happen to the workforce when even the cheapest place is $4000 a month.
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[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2016-01-03 04:59 am (UTC)
The $4K/mo thing will happen probably just about when supermarkets have entirely abandoned cashiers/baggers and have restockers trucked in every night from their homes in Nevada...
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-01-03 04:40 pm (UTC)
Telepresence EMT and self driving ambulances?
City subsidized barracks for teachers, nurses, firefighters, librarians, and police?

It's hard not to become cynical when you get passed by both Google delivery vehicles and Google's self driving cars when walking past Knightscope's Daleks, i mean Autonomous Data Machines. (http://www.knightscope.com/about.html)

I'm glad to hear your Dad's landlord is showing some sensible sensitivity.
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[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2016-01-03 04:57 am (UTC)
Yow. I'd love to live in Santa Clara... but not quite enough to handle that.

Rangers appear to be pretty reliable. I've owned enough cars with Jeep somewhere on them to have nothing but apprehension when the name comes up. Granted, they were all 20-70 years older than yours (I'm pretty sure) but they were maintenance nightmares, even compared to their contemporaries.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-01-03 04:48 pm (UTC)
The 1989 Jeep Wrangler was a tragedy. I did get some practice replacing signal lights in the dashboard before we discovered there was no way the car was going to pas smog -- and probably hadn't really passed smog before we bought her. Heavens, though, were we smitten.

The main lesson was never buy a vehicle you aren't allowed to take to your own mechanic for a once over.

Now we get to find the lessons around buying a vehicle from your mechanic.
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[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2016-01-03 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, nooooo! That IS a tragedy. I'm sorry.
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[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2016-01-03 11:39 am (UTC)
900,000 median is staggering. Moving back to Texas from southern California 15 years ago gave us a huge cost of living break which helped a lot when I started a new practice with a friend.

Trucks occupy such a wide range of price and feature ranges. You can pull an Airstream behind yours :)
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-01-03 04:52 pm (UTC)
Oooh, and there are nifty campers that fit on the bed of the truck.

My employer will probably cut my salary by 20% when we leave the bay area, but it will be worth it.
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[User Picture]From: dabroots
2016-01-03 04:13 pm (UTC)
I lived in Greensboro NC for seven years and visited Chapel Hill a few times. As you know, that area has lots of nice things about it. Ohio is a state I drive through, going from Pennsylvania to Illinois and back again, so I have no strong feelings about it. Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-01-03 05:02 pm (UTC)
Visiting the HQ in Ohio, i've found that there's much similar between Ohio and NC, at least from my California accustomed eyes. But one significant difference stands out for me: most Ohio residents were born in Ohio. In North Carolina, since I left, there's been a great deal of immigration to the state from outside the southeast. I think the diversity will make a difference to us compared to Ohio.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2016-01-13 04:38 am (UTC)
Yi... with real estate shooting up that fast, I can see the need for a change, but when you said "east" I thought 10, 20, 50 miles east of where you are, so your options were a bit of a surprise!

I hope you find a good new home and that it works out well and your company completely forgets to adjust cost of living :-).
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2016-01-13 03:15 pm (UTC)
We looked on the other side of the bay, and the other side of the hills on the other side of the bay -- the crazy prices don't drop off that fast.

And, once we get far enough from our current community we realized we might as well move to the other side of the county

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