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View Poll Results: How much of your net worth does your home represent?
Less than 5%. 16 5.48%
Equal to or more than 5%, but less than 10%. 66 22.60%
Equal to or more than 10% but less than 20%. 104 35.62%
Equal to or more than 20% but less than 30%. 55 18.84%
Equal to or more than 30% but less than 40% 18 6.16%
Equal to or more than 40% but less than 50%. 9 3.08%
Equal to or more than 50%. 6 2.05%
"Other" - - I don't have a main home, I rent, or I just need an "other" category for whatever reasons. 18 6.16%
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:26 PM   #41
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So I'm guessing you'd rather live where you don't have to pay $1.8M for a former hoarder house?

Hoarder House In Palo Alto Is On the Market for $1.8 Million
Wow! I would guess the contents go with the house, therefore pushing the price up a bit. Crazy.

We used to live in Thousand Oaks (Ventura County) back in the mid-1980s. Loved the place (back then). Very crowded now that it's the home of Amgen.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:28 PM   #42
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Our primary residence is somewhere between 10-15% of our net worth, not including pension or social security. If we include the NPV of those cash flows it's between 10-15%. The assessed value is between 7-10%, but I don't think the assessed value has much relevance to anything but hedonics.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:41 PM   #43
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... Our house is a fairly standard tract home (not a McMansion) ... In 10-15 years, when the kids have grown and moved out on their own, we'll sell it and use the proceeds to buy a much smaller place ...
Is the new place still in CA? If so, it will be even smaller.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:44 PM   #44
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5.8%.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:46 PM   #45
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Is the new place still in CA? If so, it will be even smaller.

For sure. A nice 1200sf place in Temecula or the Coachella Valley would be perfectly agreeable, and would free up 500k.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:46 PM   #46
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So I'm guessing you'd rather live where you don't have to pay $1.8M for a former hoarder house?

Hoarder House In Palo Alto Is On the Market for $1.8 Million
Wow! "... cracked-on-the-outside, hoarder-on-the-inside". Nice!

Listing said "Property is not habitable. Property is located in a flood zone. Prospective buyers to drive or walk around property only."

Hurry up. Deal like this at $1.8M would not last long. Here's the curb appeal. Don't you feel love at first sight?

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Old 11-07-2014, 03:46 PM   #47
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So I'm guessing you'd rather live where you don't have to pay $1.8M for a former hoarder house?

Hoarder House In Palo Alto Is On the Market for $1.8 Million
It's possible to get a nicer house for 1.8M in Palo Alto. I have good friends that recently did. They were able to buy an Eichler house (mid century modern) in Palo Alto for 1.8. Fortunately, they're used to living small - it's only 1600sf... but the layout works for them.

Their rental they lived in prior to purchase sounds more like the hoarder house - small rooms, not a lot of light, etc.. But the rent was still super pricey.

His google salary doesn't go as far as his qualcomm salary did when you look at home values.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #48
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It's possible to get a nicer house for 1.8M in Palo Alto. I have good friends that recently did. They were able to buy an Eichler house (mid century modern) in Palo Alto for 1.8. Fortunately, they're used to living small - it's only 1600sf... but the layout works for them.
There's almost nothing listed in zillow for under 1.8M in palo alto now -- I'm very curious as to what the final sale price may be (it's listed pending). It maybe that the market moved somewhat (it can jump quite quickly even in a few months).

The listed house is on Middlefield road between embarcadero and university. This is an awesome spot. I have no doubt that a developer is going to buy this and put a $4M house there instead.

When we were selling our house in San Jose, a developer bought a 6000 sq ft lot (with a free house) for 800k just a few blocks from us. Although we were in a pretty nice area (willow glen), it's certainly no palo alto.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #49
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A $4M house in a flood zone? I dunno.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:03 PM   #50
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In regards to the poll, we're at 0% right now (renting). When we were in San Jose (8 months ago) we were at 35%. If we buy a new place, we'll be targeting 15%.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:07 PM   #51
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Ours is also about 7%, but I hardly think of it as part of our net worth, because we would have to have somewhere to live, even if we sold it.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:09 PM   #52
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I'm not sure what would flood in Palo Alto. There's nothing there unless the entire bay overflows.

Ok. Here's what the city website shows:
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Yes. The entire city of Palo Alto is in a flood zone of one kind or another. But most of the city is in an "X" zone, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes as an area either lying outside the so-called 100year flood limit and inside the 500year flood limit, or as lying within the 100year flood limit but shallow enough to not represent a special hazard. The remainder of the city lies within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), which, roughly speaking, means the area of special hazard from a so-called "100year flood". (The Foothills area is a special case. It has not been studied and is Zone X by default.)
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:12 PM   #53
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It's possible to get a nicer house for 1.8M in Palo Alto. I have good friends that recently did. They were able to buy an Eichler house (mid century modern) in Palo Alto for 1.8. Fortunately, they're used to living small - it's only 1600sf... but the layout works for them.

Their rental they lived in prior to purchase sounds more like the hoarder house - small rooms, not a lot of light, etc.. But the rent was still super pricey.

His google salary doesn't go as far as his qualcomm salary did when you look at home values.
I really don't understand why people want to live over there. The salaries are at best 10-15% higher then in for example Route 128 but one needs at least 35% more to adjust for cost of living and sky high taxes.

Now I do not argue that places like San Luis Obispo are nice in CA....but that is much different from Palo Alto in quality of life and prices.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:21 PM   #54
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A well-known corp whose name starts with a G wanted my brother back, and offered a stock grant worth $1/2M. I do not know about the salary, but my brother said "NO". There was no way he could afford a 4,000-sq.ft. McMansion like the one he lives in now. Heck, he couldn't even afford that $1.8M derelict shack.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:21 PM   #55
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So I'm guessing you'd rather live where you don't have to pay $1.8M for a former hoarder house?

Hoarder House In Palo Alto Is On the Market for $1.8 Million
That's cheap. Article in the local paper a week or so ago highlighted a 900 sq ft house in Palo Alto that sold for $3M :face palm:. It's all about location, location, location and I'm still kicking myself for not buying the tiny house in Cupertino 17 years ago, although we did pretty well.

We're at 23% not counting SS. Recently got approved for a HELOC and I had to pick myself up off the floor when I saw the appraisal valuation.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:38 PM   #56
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A well-known corp whose name starts with a G wanted my brother back, and offered a stock grant worth $1/2M. I do not know about the salary, but my brother said "NO". There was no way he could afford a 4,000-sq.ft. McMansion like the one he lives in now. Heck, he couldn't even afford that $1.8M derelict shack.
And it is not only about cost of living. It is about quality of life, traffic congestion, lot size, long work hours, interaction with neighbours, property taxes etc etc.

But granted if you are Zuckerberg it is nice place to be. On the other side there are 100s of thousand Software Engineers making 120k-180k scraping by.

We had an option to move other there few years ago but 15% higher salary simply made no financial sense.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #57
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I really don't understand why people want to live over there.
It's an awesome place to have a career. When I moved there, part of the reasoning was that I would have multiple possible employers in the area. For most other cities, I could work at most for 1 or 2 companies. Many cities in the US would have no viable employers for me. People with the 2-body problem are even more constrained.

For example, if I type in "Data Scientist" into linkedIn job search it returns 8-10 pages with reasonable matches centered on Palo Alto. For Austin Tx I get 1/2 page. Chicago yields 1 page.

Startups are also very attractive to those fresh out of school.

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The salaries are at best 10-15% higher then in for example Route 128 but one needs at least 35% more to adjust for cost of living and sky high taxes.
I've always wondered about this and have no clue if this is true or not. Also a huge portion of compensation may be through stock options/grants/rsu which can be quite variable. I'd be very interested in seeing quantitative data on this.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:42 PM   #58
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About 8%, not including SS or pension in the calculations.
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:51 PM   #59
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It's an awesome place to have a career. When I moved there, part of the reasoning was that I would have multiple possible employers in the area. For most other cities, I could work at most for 1 or 2 companies. Many cities in the US would have no viable employers for me. People with the 2-body problem are even more constrained.

For example, if I type in "Data Scientist" into linkedIn job search it returns 8-10 pages with reasonable matches centered on Palo Alto. For Austin Tx I get 1/2 page. Chicago yields 1 page.

Startups are also very attractive to those fresh out of school.



I've always wondered about this and have no clue if this is true or not. Also a huge portion of compensation may be through stock options/grants/rsu which can be quite variable. I'd be very interested in seeing quantitative data on this.
Try monster.com on Boston Massachusetts. 100s and 100s of software jobs just like in Silicon Valley with not much salary/RSU difference.

You can look at glassdoor.com. RSUs and Stock options are here as well.

Now this is also one very very expensive area but it is much cheaper and has lot of European charm and character. We do have wicked Winter storms though
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:52 PM   #60
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And it is not only about cost of living. It is about quality of life, traffic congestion, lot size, long work hours, interaction with neighbours, property taxes etc etc.

But granted if you are Zuckerberg it is nice place to be...
Umm... On the way back from Nova Scotia, I drove by Boston and took 495 to detour around the city (we had visited Boston twice). Good grief! The traffic was terrible, even though 495 circles a 20-mile radius around Boston. Coming back from a Canadian province with a population of 900K, it's tough!

But you are right that if I were at least a hectomillionaire, I could overlook the problems of living in Silicon Valley. But wait! If I were rich and retired, why would I have to live there again?
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