People are fleeing California, are you?

311 Replies

I only know 3 families that have moved there in the last few years.

Tech entrepreneur, his wife and their daughter. Sold company. Bought some crappy place in SF for $1 million. Will never leave.

Google mid-level employee, her husband who is in finance and their son. Making low-mid 6 figure moneys. Used to rent a place in NYC for like $6k/month anyways.

Physician ($250k/yr) and his professor wife. Will make okay money, and know they won’t be able to buy a baller home but lifestyle for both and the children is good.

Everyone else is moving out.

Outsider looking in. 

My challenge to anyone in CA, specifically the Bay area, is to post a link to the methodology used in the "study". The results came from EMC Research and their results came from 1,000 interviews of registered voters to make their conclusions, but the methodology is not explained. 

The Bay Area Census says there are about 7,000,000 people there in the Bay area, so a sample of 1,000 is about 0.0143% of the population. That's about 1% of 1% using 1 significant digit. Hmmm. 

Any time I see a "study" with certain results and there is no corresponding "methodology", my first bias is to conclude the publication is biased. I have no idea if this is the case, just my observation. I just want people (everyone in BP Nation) to question "facts" presented, and spend a moment seeing if the "facts" echo reality. 

U-Haul is a for profit company (publicly trades Amerco, 2018 10-K here contains no mention of the CA mass exodus) and IMO their pricing model simply reflects supply and demand. Here (below) are screen shots of the first two cities I selected and the prices for U-Hauls... not too alarmingly different. But Raleigh to San Jose... that's about 50% less. I conclude that practically nobody from RTP moves to Silicon Valley;) (hint: humor!)

I lived in SF for a year back in 89-90, and was there for the earthquake. I can understand the appeal of many areas of CA. In recent years when looking for jobs CA hasn't been a place I looked at. My salary would have been maybe 25% higher than elsewhere, but of course COL is way higher than that in CA. 

It seems to me that as the COL continues to rise, more individuals and companies will start considering how much their costs could be reduced by relocating.

Lived there 2003-2010
Got crushed in real estate on my SFH
Recovering nicely in Midwest now.
Took a pay cut of $6,000 and still doing way better.

Originally posted by @George Sudarkoff :

• Have you lived in California in the past 5 years?
Yes, 18 years.

• If so, where?
Bay Area, San Carlos

• Will you be staying or leaving? 
Leaving. Heading to Seattle Area.

• Why?
People that move to Bay Area come here to play the startup lottery. They are educated, alright, but don’t seem to care about anything other than money. There’s genetic diversity for sure, but a total lack of thought diversity. Everything revolves around tech, and the tech industry has been building inconsequential and unsustainable products for over a decade now. Which affects people’s satisfaction with their lives. The area itself is poorly developed. It’s neither a big metropolis, nor a rural expanse. It’s crowded and dull.

• What is your full time income producing job? 
Engineering Manager at a tech “unicorn”.

I think it’s a mistake to think that it’s only the people who can’t make it here that are leaving. And that they are being replaced by the highly educated and successful. Though I’m sure it’s flattering to think that way if you’re staying. :) And there ARE plenty of opportunities to make it big here. But it’s simply not about money, it’s about life.

A good friend of mine, who was born and lived here all of her life until a few months ago, who is a very successful lawyer, is into outdoor sports on one hand, but is also a club-going urban dweller on the other, and who recently moved to Seattle, summarized the Bay Area the best, in my opinion: there’s a lot of everything here, but everything is either shallow, mediocre, or so overcrowded that it’s no longer accessible or enjoyable (e.g.: Yosemite).

Seattle is not that much cheaper than Penninsula..  and the traffic is just about as bad if not worse and the weather far worse.

now if you said she moved to Friday Harbor or whidby or someplace like that I get that.. but not Seattle .. its just more of the same. sans the nice weather.  

@Jay Hinrichs

That’s cool you did a talk at Google about real estate . You mentioned it wasn’t about rentals , was it more about investing in syndication type deals or note investing ?

I have heard the food there is amazing , they hire gourmet chefs I heard .

Speaking of the techies buying the $2 million dollar homes , i had read this article recently about how many of them are using their stock options to buy in the “silicon beach area “

They make high salaries but it seems many wouldn’t be able to buy such expensive homes without the stock options .


“In one recent case, an employee of a dating app company was able to qualify for a $1.4 million home in Silicon Beach this year on a base salary of $120,000. Originally, his salary was only enough for him to buy a $750,000 home.”

https://therealdeal.com/la/2018/06/06/for-silicon-beach-homebuyers-a-salarys-just-a-starting-point/

Originally posted by @Joseph M. :

Jay Hinrichs

That’s cool you did a talk at Google about real estate . You mentioned it wasn’t about rentals , was it more about investing in syndication type deals or note investing ?

I have heard the food there is amazing , they hire gourmet chefs I heard .

Speaking of the techies buying the $2 million dollar homes , i had read this article recently about how many of them are using their stock options to buy in the “silicon beach area “

They make high salaries but it seems many wouldn’t be able to buy such expensive homes without the stock options .


“In one recent case, an employee of a dating app company was able to qualify for a $1.4 million home in Silicon Beach this year on a base salary of $120,000. Originally, his salary was only enough for him to buy a $750,000 home.”

https://therealdeal.com/la/2018/06/06/for-silicon-...

Silicon Beach were is that have not heard that one before.

I spoke on :

1. how to align with developers for 2 to 3X returns compared to 5 to 8% annual on rentals.

2. Benefits of owning a Timberland property in your IRA for future retirement and PASSIVE

3. WE touched a little on being the bank.

4. we went in depth on Markets that are up and coming that no one really talks about on BP that I invest in..

5. And lastly raw land in path of progress for passive investing and HUGE generational returns.. 

my thought is most of these folks are in their 30s making great money what is a few rentals at 200 a month going to do for them I showed them how they could invest in deals that would make millions not.. drip money.. plus they are smart enough on their own to understand the concept of being a landlord.

and the coolest thing is they had two huge screens and Google Earth.. so I could drill down to the google earth do the street view.

show why I think a certain area is hot.. Areas I found 5 to 6 years ago before the HERD.. etc etc.. it was fun.. 

@Jay Hinrichs
I meant to say “Silicon Beach” in L.A , people have been using that name to refer to these neighborhoods because of all the tech companies that have offices there now .
I notice that some real estate offices will now use that name in their name like , Keller Williams - Silicon Beach . A branding thing I guess .

Google , Facebook and some of the other Bay Area tech companies have opened offices in that area too . As well as local companies like Snapchat starting there .

It’s kind of funny though since many of those neighborhoods were just considered kind of regular middle class neighborhoods and not a big deal to live there but now they are like $1.5 million and up .
I guess similar to the Bay Area .

Sounds like the talk was really interesting . Is it available anywhere online for viewing ?

Originally posted by @Joseph M. :

Jay Hinrichs
I meant to say “Silicon Beach” in L.A , people have been using that name to refer to these neighborhoods because of all the tech companies that have offices there now .
I notice that some real estate offices will now use that name in their name like , Keller Williams - Silicon Beach . A branding thing I guess .

Google , Facebook and some of the other Bay Area tech companies have opened offices in that area too . As well as local companies like Snapchat starting there .

It’s kind of funny though since many of those neighborhoods were just considered kind of regular middle class neighborhoods and not a big deal to live there but now they are like $1.5 million and up .
I guess similar to the Bay Area .

Sounds like the talk was really interesting . Is it available anywhere online for viewing ?

my host said it was taped and showed on line to all their offices or areas .. so I suspect  they will give me a copy at sometime. and if I can figure out how to forward it I will..  But I cant stress enough how cool that company is..

I see all these folks posting on BP how in happy they are with their jobs or in the cube or whatever I did not get that vide in the least.

but I think U probably have to be close to the top or the top of your class to get hired there.. this is not an earn your way in place.

Well silicon beach makes sense since sand is what  ?  Silicon. :) 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Joseph M.:

Sounds like the talk was really interesting . Is it available anywhere online for viewing ?

my host said it was taped and showed on line to all their offices or areas .. so I suspect  they will give me a copy at sometime. and if I can figure out how to forward it I will.. ) 

Will your talk appear on the Talks at Google YouTube channel?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbmNph6atAoGfqLoCL_duAg

Originally posted by @Roger Steciak :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Joseph M.:

Sounds like the talk was really interesting . Is it available anywhere online for viewing ?

my host said it was taped and showed on line to all their offices or areas .. so I suspect  they will give me a copy at sometime. and if I can figure out how to forward it I will.. ) 

Will your talk appear on the Talks at Google YouTube channel?

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbmNph6atAoGfqLoCL_duAg

I don't know they did a webinar type thing inter office was what I was thinking 

Originally posted by @Sam Josh :

I think this thread speaks for itself that people are not leaving. But to be fair, people on BP are the smart savvy investors, so for most the cost issue has probably been neutralized or even flipped on its head buy them owning property in the state and also investing in state or out. Actually this past 7 year period had been richly rewarding for investors in the area. So while this poll is interesting it’s not going to be representing the broader population.

For the ordinary folks who are not home owners and investors, the story might be different depending on where you stack up on the income and career scale.

As I look around me, I don’t see things slowing down. Highly paid young tech workers are marrying their own cohorts and creating “power income” households in the Bay Area. Companies are going IPO or getting bought out. Stocks of tech companies have risen ballooning the stock equity component of people’s income. It’s not uncommon to see young couples in their early 30s making a combined income of 4 -500k, So while prices rise, as is the purchasing power in many parts of the population.

But, I will say that the story is dramatically different for those at the lower end of the income scale. Teachers, social workers, non tech jobs, blue collar workers etc. I think we have deeper problems in that segment in terms of affordability. So the options are either to find housing further out in the area or simple look for other options. But even for this segment jobs are a plenty here. This is where the tech community and tech royalty in particular can stand up and help.

Net/ net: I think people at the lower end of the income scale might have an incentive to move but even they may not given family ties, kids etc. But handful will and should move esp if their incomes are location agnostic.

Also people moving does not equal to money moving! Likely a lot more money is moving in, as more educated people moving in the area.

 Bingo. Not only is it not representative of the CA population, it will select specifically for real estate investors who have enjoyed massive appreciation, and who are members of BP, who decided to comment on it. I would look at census or actual data that has enough statistical significance and power.

In any rate, California is fun but I've visited many countries than were more appealing than California. In terms of scenery, lack of stress, lifestyle, and weather. I guess Californians are similar to New York Cityers who think nothing is better. Many are there because they can make a higher income, little do they know that they need that higher income to stay afloat in their VHCOL location and to pay the taxes.

One of the posters (I think on page 2) listed a bunch of nature features that are "available in a 2 hours drive" like that is short. I guess I am used to a 5-10 minutes drive for mountains, rivers, beaches, hiking, etc as being short :P I don't want it to sound like I am hating on CA because I am not. Like many have pointed out, people with family and roots will stay in their home town.

Ever hear of Oymyakon? The coldest inhabited place in the world (in Siberia). -90F temps, -60F every year. 10 month winters, 3 week summers. Take a stroll there and ask the residents "would you consider moving?" The answer: "No, this is my home." This shouldn't surprise anyone. On a larger scale, people are voting with their feet.

Originally posted by @Jenelle Harris :
Originally posted by @Karen Margrave:

I was born and raised in CA. It's so heartbreaking to see what is happening to it.  A recent poll says that 46% of the people plan on leaving the bay area. Let's do our own poll (FOR CALIFORNIANS or those that recently left in the past 5 years) 

  • Do you live in California? 
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years?
  • If so, where?
  • Will you be staying or leaving? 
  • Why?
  • What is your full time income producing job?  
  • Yes for 3 more days.
  • Yes
  • Born and raised in Los Angeles and lived in Sacramento and Santa Rosa.
  • Leaving in 3 days, going to Austin Texas
  • For new opportunities and experiences and lower cost of living
  • Full-time Real Estate Investor and Realtor, previously, an Accountant.

For what it's worth, my opinion is that I don't think California is going bust anytime soon.  I think it will always be a desirable place to live and do business just based on the weather alone, so that will always draw people to CA.  

Also, all those people who say they "plan on" leaving are most likely  just paying lip service to leaving, almost like how everyone you meet says they want to invest in real estate or flip houses, because it's sounds so cool.  It just sounds good to talk about or fantasize about or even to threaten about, if you're mad at "the man" or the system or your job or the county or...whatever you're mad at. These people never actually go anywhere, though, they just talk.

 So far, you are one of at least 5 {update: 7} people on this thread who happen to be leaving CA this very moment or plan on doing so. I am actually shocked at that number. I guess maybe this thread is representative of the general sentiment. Looks like Texas, Las Vegas, and Florida are popular migration sites from CA.

Updated over 1 year ago

6/10 update: 14 people in this thread are leaving/plan to leave.

Updated over 1 year ago

Total 10 people in this thread leaving CA.

@Andrey Y. I agree most people are going to stay with what they’re accustomed to. For me I’m just a city boy 100%. My fiancé is the same. We complain about traffic and crime etc, but at the end of the day we feel so out of place when we travel to smaller cities. For me a city with less than 5 million is small. My sister lives in Cincinnati and when I visit her I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a field lol.

Originally posted by @Joseph M. :

Jay Hinrichs
I meant to say “Silicon Beach” in L.A , people have been using that name to refer to these neighborhoods because of all the tech companies that have offices there now .
I notice that some real estate offices will now use that name in their name like , Keller Williams - Silicon Beach . A branding thing I guess .

Google , Facebook and some of the other Bay Area tech companies have opened offices in that area too.

When the Cold War ended and President Bush declared a peace dividend from the military base closures and reduced defense spending, LA was hit hard and the aerospace industry there took it on the chin. The Bay Area was also hit hard, but not as hard as LA was hit. California real estate prices actually dropped between 1988 and 1997.

Howard Hughes, the aviation pioneer of an earlier era, built his empire in Culver City (now part of Silicon Beach). I worked at Hughes Aircraft Company in the 1970s before moving to Silicon Valley. I received my graduate degree there while working at Hughes during the day and attending classes on a Hughes scholarship at night.

The hanger where Hughes built his Spruce Goose (an experimental airplane made of wood) is going to be housing Google.

https://la.curbed.com/2018/1/29/16938828/google-office-playa-vista-spruce-goose-hangar

The university (Cal Tech, UCLA, USC, and others) and industry infrastructure in Los Angeles is pretty much the same as the university (Stanford, UC Berkeley, and others) and industry infrastructure in Silicon Valley. Once the cold war ended, both infrastructures were looking for their next big thing. Commercialization of the Internet provided the answer.

If you feel like geeking out on the origins of the personal computer and the Internet, PBS aired two shows in the late 1990s as the dot-com era was unfolding. To find the shows on YouTube, Google Triumph of the Nerds (personal computer) and Nerds 2.0.1 (Internet).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_of_the_Nerds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerds_2.0.1

Surprisingly, the Internet was invented at the Pentagon just weeks after the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Today, most people know about the Internet, but the lunar landing is something they have to learn about in history class.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0ib-U4dZRM

• Do you live in California? Yes
• Have you lived in California in the past 5 years?yes
• If so, where? Silicon Valley
• Will you be staying or leaving? Trying to leave. Even moving to LA or SD would be better then the Bay Area.
• Why? Old / ugly housing stock, high traffic and high cost of living. Lack of diversity. SF proper is cold.
• What is your full time income producing job? I run an Executive Search firm

Do you live in California? Yes

Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? Born and raised in CA. Grew up in Marin County (north of SF).

If so, where? Currently in Visalia, CA for work

Will you be staying or leaving? We are considering leaving in a few years..

Why? High taxes, mismanagement of state, new water bill (AB 1668 and SB 606), water issues (drought,releasing of millions upon millions of gallons of water into ocean to protect Delta Smelt while human suffer the consequences), sanctuary issues, cost of living, just too liberal for us.. 

What is your full time income producing job? Real Estate

I live in Arizona and have rentals.   

Many of my new renters are people that are moving to Phoenix from California.   In chatting with the renters they are leaving to come for jobs, better cost of living, less traffic, less taxes, and LESS crime.

Several of the people said their overall quality of life is better in Arizona due to the lower cost(s) of living.

Cali has been overpriced for years and will continue to be that way.  It's not really RE investor friendly either.

Someone said earlier that the 'smart' people are not leaving CA. Guess I'm an idiot then, because I'm planning to leave. But I'm leaving for a different reason (at least in part) so I wanted to chime in.

Do you live in California? - Yes

Have you lived in California in the past 5 years? - Yes, born and raised in the state

If so, where? - Fremont, Bay Area for the past 10 years

Will you be staying or leaving? - Leaving, in 2020. Likely to Washington State (not Seattle though).

Why? - Can't afford a house/not willing to pay the ridiculously-inflated prices. Horrendous traffic day in/day out. Taxes ripping chunks out of my wallet. Finally, I'm beginning to experience prejudicial treatment.

What is your full time income producing job? Content/Digital Marketing for an IT agency.

  • Do you live in California?
    - Not anymore
  • Have you lived in California in the past 5 years?
    - Past 30 years!
  • If so, where?
    - LA County (Covina)
  • Will you be staying or leaving?
    - Leaving!!
  • Why?
    - Because Seattle has much nicer scenery! And trying to break into the REI scene in the PNW or elsewhere
  • What is your full time income producing job? 
    - Mechanical design engineering

Interesting.   We get a lot of CA investors in our Midwest market due to extremely low returns on property.   Really sale with all coastal areas east/west the last 4 years.    

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