What Do You Give Up to Afford Housing in the Bay Area?
As part of our the first show in our "Priced Out: the Bay Area's High Cost of Housing" we asked listeners to share what they sacrifice in order to afford housing in the Bay Area. Here are some of the responses:
- I pay half my monthly salary for a condo for my little family of 4. We haven't been on a family vacation for over 5 years. No new cars, hand-me-down furniture. I know we have plenty to be thankful for, it's just a struggle sometimes, and really scary knowing our savings won't last long in an emergency.
- I got lucky and scored a room under rent control and now pay 775. I live with 6 other people though, 5 cats and a dog. And our walls are paper thin, so there's so much noise I've given up sleeping. I just found out that the master tenant is leaving in January so our rent will go up at least 2,000$ overall. After 8 years living in SF I've decided it's probably time to move on
- $2400/mo. rent for our 1100-sq ft unremodeled '50's ranch in Sunnyvale (in a 'bad' school district). We love our little house, but it isn't fancy. We expect rent to rise dramatically in a year when our lease ends (we were wise enough to get a 2-year lease a year ago). We've also watched house prices skyrocket in our 'affordable' neighborhood--from around $400k two years ago to $675k for the same floor plan now. We could have barely bought two years ago, and now I wish we had: we couldn't afford to buy now. The cost of rent on top of the additional high cost of living is making us, as many others, strongly consider moving to a different part of the country--which is a shame, as we would be happy to settle here long-term.
- In 2009 we moved from our amazing two bedroom flat in the mission that was the top floor of a Victorian with a huge roof deck to a junior one-bedroom near Union Square on lower Nob Hill. The rent went from 1775 to 1350, and now we're up to 1400 per month plus a storage unit that's 100 per month. We also sold two cars and now use City Car share. We did this so I could rent an office in a historic building in North Beach. We love our location and my husband can walk to work at City Hall and I can walk to my North Beach office. But we have about a third of the space we had before. We can't really entertain, and we have to rent a car to take weekend trips. Also, our two dogs have to make due with small city parks during the week. Finally, we have put off having kids because there is just no room, and we don't have the income to spare anyway.
- I was paying $2300 a month to rent a place in Parkmerced. I could not afford it and I moved to Pittsburgh, PA earlier this year where I was able to buy a huge old house in a great neighborhood. It's so nice not to stress out every month over how much I'm spending on housing. BTW, I'm a native San Franciscan.
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