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SF Bay Area California Class System is Whack


Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
East Bay NorCal
I just need to post here for catharsis. Feel free to downvote me to oblivion or flame me for sucking.

I live in the SF Bay Area. I didn't grow up here though... I moved out here about 8 years ago. My wife is also a transplant having lived here about 12 years. I want to believe that we're doing ok in life... but man, it's straight garbage how different the class system is out here.

So I just took delivery of some gear to do a DIY home improvement project. The guy who dropped off the palettes of raw material was cool. It took a while to get all the stuff out of the truck, so we got to chat a bit (I actually helped him move the jacks since it was tough to get up to my garage). He lives about 5 minutes North of me. He's got a nice big azzz pool and he says he likes it out here a ton since he's grown up out here, raised his family, and he's looking to retire soon. Nice American dream for this guy.

So here's my beef. No knocking on this guy. He works hard for his money, and he's doing well. But how the effing hell does this Bay Area economy work?

For the last 8 years, my wife and I have been absolutely getting torn to shreds trying to scrape and a half to save enough to even attempt to settle down. We were getting denied for a loan just about everywhere in the Bay Area up until we both got promoted at work, and could finally get a foothold in 2019. And yet somehow, a lot of people in the Bay Area view households like mine as part of "the problem" because we're somehow driving up cost of living and displacing the natives.

For clarification, the guy I spoke with today wasn't calling me the "problem"... I'm just pointing out I've been called the "problem" before when shopping for homes.

Are you kidding me? If I could work (instead of posting on TMC all the time) as a driver for an LTL carrier and buy a house, I would have done so a hell of a long time ago. Is the only way "in" this area to have grown up out here or have some super wealthy family to kick down assets as necessary to finance a home? How the hell are people in their 30s who show up out here supposed to make things work in anything that resembles what people pulled off a decade ago?

Or is that kind of the point... they aren't supposed to make things work... maybe the intention is for transplants to be transient in-N-outs that don't take permanent resources?


Aug 11, 2020
San Jose, CA
Hey I grew up in the Bay Area, so I know the deal. My wife moved here when we got married, so she's gone through the same pain you're going through. To understand, you've gotta think long run. Your first decade or so living in the Bay Area, you'll be convinced you made a stupid financial decision. Your second decade though, your effective cost of living starts to drop off and your savings is going to swell. After about 20 years or so in the Bay, you're actually going to be better off than Austin or all those other trendy places.

Thirty-somethings in the Bay Area may get crushed by cost of living, but by the time you hit middle age you'll be saying "Cost of living? What cost of living?" It's not new; it's always been like this.

My parents' friends circle was mostly techies from back in the 80s and 90s. People think it's different now but actually it was the same deal back then as today. Those guys all were working great jobs but raising kids in tiny little apartments. Thirty years later all of them live in huge houses in the hills and have more money than they know what to do with. Even the non-techies!

You stretched and scrimped and saved to buy a home in 2019. You did the exact right thing. Now your cost of housing is locked in. As your kids get bigger their daycare gets cheaper too. Housing and daycare are the biggies that have been keeping you poor. Everything else is either not that expensive out here or discretionary. And now your steady salary increases are going to go to your pocket instead of your landlord's pocket and your daycare's pocket.

Hang in there. By the time you complete a career in the Bay Area, between your home equity and your savings accounts, you'll have plenty.

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