Thursday, January 22, 2015

Housing Must-Haves

Jeff and I hate watching the show House Hunters because we get too envious of how much they can buy with relatively small budgets! Understandably, the show needs to be relatable for the majority of the country and the high cost of living we deal with in NorCal is not relatable to most of them. On the flip side, I can't relate to most of them because I've only lived in high cost areas my whole life (New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley).

When we think about the type of home we will need for the next 10 years, here are the must-haves:
  • Mostly move-in ready - Good contractors are hard to come by in this area. With the housing boom, they're busier than ever and won't necessarily have time for renovations that aren't worth their while. Sometimes a home is perfectly move-in ready but just not quite our style - I'd find a way to deal with it, as long as it wasn't dirty, worn, or falling apart.
  • Short commute to work - "Short" is rather relative but ideally less than 30 minutes in rush hour. Life is too short to spend sitting in traffic!
  • Good school district - Our parents did everything they could to provide us with great education, and we hope to pass that onto our children.
  • Good location - We're light sleepers so we can't live next to major streets, freeways, or under flight paths. Sadly, a lot of the more affordable, newer housing is situated in one of the aforementioned places. 
If we're being truly honest, even our "must-have" list is a stretch for the Bay Area, despite our DINK budget. Jeff and I are constantly discussing which of these items we're willing to forgo. I think the first would be commute length, followed by move-in readiness. I'm so envious of people who live in areas where affordable housing doesn't mean having to make these kind of tradeoffs. We have talked about how if/when kids happen, we will need to have some honest conversations to see if we should stay in the Bay Area or move to a more affordable city. While I'd hate to give up all the amazing things we have here, it's also exciting to think that new changes and adventures still await us. In the meantime, we'll continue to enjoy living it up in NorCal!

A view from Twin Peaks, San Francisco

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