||[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?
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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.