Corp dev in SF/San Mateo/Redwood

I'm considering a Corp dev role in SF/San Mateo/Redwood area (~manager role which I gather is total comp of ~$150-200k). How's living in the area with that level of income as a 30 year old married person? Can I afford a house? Can I save at all?

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Comments (19)

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 4:50pm

Does your spouse also work? Do you plan on having kids? Do you have any debt?

On that income alone, especially if you plan on having a family, I think things would be tight. A decent home you can grow into and isn't a rundown shithole will legit cost ~$1.5mm, and when you factor in CA income tax, high general CoL, etc., I wouldn't do, especially if the number is towards the lower end of your range ($150k).

  • Managing Director in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 5:07pm

No debt and no kids yet but would like to have kids in the next 3-5 years. Spouse works now but trying to see if we can do without her working (sounds like not feasible). What level of income is minimum in your mind to live decently in a decent home?

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 15, 2021 - 6:14pm

I'm similar age as you, but with one kid and I want more, so a minimum number for me in the Bay Area would be $300k with long-term expected growth in comp. I know that seems crazy, but shit is just so damn expensive there on top of high taxes, and every decent 25yo SWE is making $200k+ which bids up the price of everything including homes. You say you want kids in the relative near-term, so if you want a nice (not amazing) long-term home you're looking at least at a 4 bed, 2 bath which might legit cost $2mm in a decent (not even great) area. Just look on Zillow for reference, and see the shitholes that "only" $1mm gets you in the places you inquired about.

If your wife also works you might get there, but daycare costs can run $2k+/month out there, which really starts to add up with multiple kids, so you have to put that into your long-term calculus. Simply put, I tell people that if they have/want a family in the Bay Area then their long-term career growth better have significant upside, or just do the smart thing and go somewhere else.

In reality, the Bay Area is not built for middle to upper middle class families, and nothing is happening to change that anytime soon. It's built for youngish singles, entrepreneurs who don't have time for a family, executives who have made their money, and natives who are grandfathered into housing and are living in the majority of their net worth.

  • Prospect in AM - Other
Jan 15, 2021 - 8:08pm

From the SF Bay Area - these areas are certainly expensive, but if you are willing to commute 30 minutes or so you can get a lot more bang for your buck in areas like Fremont, Hayward, South San Francisco, San Jose, Half Moon Bay. These areas also have some decent schools for kids. 

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  • Prospect in AM - Other
Jan 15, 2021 - 11:07pm

If you mean $200-250 total for a house it's gonna be difficult even if its a condo. I'd look into condos in the San Mateo area as well as Redwood Shores/Foster City and Burlingame and see if those work for you. Hayward is about 15 minutes but you have to pay bridge tolls. As you can probably see on realtor website 200-250 is low for any large metro in a decent neighborhood like SF, NYC, CHI, etc,. 

To emphasize how expensive these areas are,  I am not sure if you meant total or down payment... :/ 

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