Why I'm moving out of the SF bay area...

28 Replies

Not that I am planning on moving to Oklahoma...but I think this is crazy.

Oklahoma City, OK home:

Price: $2,950,000

6 bed, 6.5 bath, 12,186 sq. ft.

$242 per sq. ft.

Lot size: 2.28 acres

Palo Alto, CA Home:

Price: $2,895,000

3 bed, 2 bath, 1,357 sq. ft.

$2,133 per sq. ft.

Lot size: 6,873 sq. ft.

*(BTW, this has been on redfin for 13 days, and is pending as I write this; the OK home has been on the market almost half a year)

Put the pictures really tell the story:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Palo-Alto/1879-Hamilton-...

https://www.redfin.com/OK/Oklahoma-City/2204-E-Ove...

**Please note: I have lived in the bay area for the last 10 years, and have managed 100+ properties on the peninsula, so I get it. But I still think it's crazy.

Median Household income in OKC is $47k per year, so it's not like there are a ton of people who can afford that house.

Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353), and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)
(301) 893-4635

one thing to keep in mind ultra high end in the mid west is some of the softest real estate in the market today.. there is only so many  Blake Sheldons in the world that want to live in some of these areas.. LOL.

but of course there are plenty of very wealthy oil folks in those areas as well.

I grew up in Cupertino and bought my second home not far from this one in Palo Alto for 185k.. in the mid 80s.. I guess I should have kept it as a rental.. but it would not cash flow it would have cost me 300 a month to keep it at the time.. you know that thought process.. that is so popular on BP.. :(

Haha, @Nathan Adair, that is the best side by side comparison of what $2.895M buys you between two US markets I've ever seen. Kudos.

As absurd as it would be to spend that kind of money for a small ranch in Palo Alto, I can't imagine the OKC buyer will ever see a return on his investment, either.

Still, quite amusing and (horrifying)!

if those were the options I'd take the tent.  Nothing against Edmond.  I've been to OK a few times, and it's just not a great fit.  I do like tents though. 

@Levi Ballard while okc might not be top of my list when looking at the whole country I am always interested at how many folks will bash an area when they know so little about it.   I try to avoid that and only speak from experience but i guess to each his own.  I have lived in 5 states in my short time on this little ball and managed to find things I liked and didnt like in each place.  

@Nathan Adair I do look at some of the flyover markets and think: "Even if my dirt was free there's no way that I could build that home here for that price!"  And it's also interesting to look at (as you point out) days-on-market for those extremely large, high-priced homes in the same areas.  From my anecdotal perusing it's not uncommon at all for them to be on 1 year+ and it's not even uncommon to see them delisted and relisted on an annual basis.  There's no OKC-based company IPO happening in 2018 (well maybe there is, I don't know) that going to give someone a windfall to enable them to purchase that $3MM home.  

And I do think that the Bay Area has interesting dynamics around work/life balance where people do work themselves to the bone, with odd schedules, travel a lot, but have a massive priority on living close to the office.  Go to flyover country and people seem a little more willing to drive a ways to get their acreage-ish property.  Not that I'd draw parallels between Bay Area (or Los Angeles) traffic and flyover country but you get the point.  

Not for nothing, but what the heck do you do with 12,000 sq ft.  I like a large home far more than the next guy (I could never do the whole "live in one unit of a quad" househack) but there's some point where I can't quite figure out what you would do with 5,000 vs. 10,000 sq ft.  Then again, dump me in one of those homes and I'll give it a shot...

@Dylan B. it's just a personal preference, although I have been to OK City more than once, and many other land locked states because of my time with the UFC.   I used to jog cities to get an idea of what was happening, both good and bad neighborhoods, or sometimes I'd take the bus. 

OK is too isolated for me, and there were other factors that didn't sit well with me.  But if you like it, what else matters? 

I'd definitely take this in Bay Area over anything in a lot of other places.

I would certainly invest in OK if it was profitable!

I'm going to make a wager that within 10 years the OK City Thunder are no longer there. 

@Nathan Adair move to my city and you can get something comparable for $2M. You will have one of the nicest homes in the city. It will be a palace sitting on top of a hill overlooking the city. Indoor movie theater, basketball court, 8 car garage, 7 bedrooms each with a walk in closet, 7 bathrooms, pool outside with pool house. Usually homes in the $2-3M price range here sell for less than new construction cost. There is just not that many buyers at the high end and there are still buildable lots available, so people with that kind of money just build it how they want it. Houses in that price range sit on the market, so don't expect any appreciation in value if you buy that price point in a small market.

A better option is sell your $3M home in California and buy a $500K home in a smaller market. You will still be getting a major housing upgrade, plus a bunch of cash to invest.

Originally posted by @Andrew Johnson :

@Nathan Adair I do look at some of the flyover markets and think: "Even if my dirt was free there's no way that I could build that home here for that price!"  And it's also interesting to look at (as you point out) days-on-market for those extremely large, high-priced homes in the same areas.  From my anecdotal perusing it's not uncommon at all for them to be on 1 year+ and it's not even uncommon to see them delisted and relisted on an annual basis.  There's no OKC-based company IPO happening in 2018 (well maybe there is, I don't know) that going to give someone a windfall to enable them to purchase that $3MM home.  

And I do think that the Bay Area has interesting dynamics around work/life balance where people do work themselves to the bone, with odd schedules, travel a lot, but have a massive priority on living close to the office.  Go to flyover country and people seem a little more willing to drive a ways to get their acreage-ish property.  Not that I'd draw parallels between Bay Area (or Los Angeles) traffic and flyover country but you get the point.  

Not for nothing, but what the heck do you do with 12,000 sq ft.  I like a large home far more than the next guy (I could never do the whole "live in one unit of a quad" househack) but there's some point where I can't quite figure out what you would do with 5,000 vs. 10,000 sq ft.  Then again, dump me in one of those homes and I'll give it a shot...

 So we had some rain the other day.... I was trying to go 18 miles door to door..... at about 3:30pm, it took me over 2 hours. Oh and that's not the first time and for sure not the last. On average it takes me 30 or so in the am and 60-90 min in the evening. 

Traffic is such a disaster here it's beyond tempting to leave it all...

@David Weintraub , that was the point I was getting at, to each their own. 

I would love to take you up on that wager on the OKC Thunder.  In the last Decade, Oklahoma in general has grown significantly from an economic standpoint and is continually growing. 

Hold on to any property you own that pays for itself.  30 years from now we will wish we never sold.  

Frank Romine, Real Estate Agent in CA (#01957844)

If any of you haven't seen million dollar shack yet you should check it out. It talks about this exact topic. It's just a short (23 min) video on youtube, pretty interesting.

@David Weintraub
You bring up the flyover state factor. Though this is obviously a consideration when choosing a lifestyle, its oven extended to investment locals. People ignore these markets because of personal preferences or lack of knowledge.
But, analytics don’t lie. And that’s why we are seeing a quiet influx of both individual and institutional money to the state. From California to Israel, many investors are discovering OK for the first time.

And you’re wrong about the Thunder. Westbrook is going to live forever and usher in a new type of dynasty to the NBA

Scott England, Contractor in OK (#80003442)

@Scott England it’s funny you mentioned the influx of investors to our state. I met with two Israeli investors just last week who are looking at the OKC market to invest several million dollars. They chose OKC over Florida, California, and Texas because of how far your dollar will go with our local real estate. I’m cool with the Cali investors hating on us, I hope they stay away and keep competition lower. The fact is that you could buy an 80 unit apartment complex here in OKC for the price of your $2MM home in Cali. If you are a true investor, I don’t see how those two investment choices can even compare...

One factor to consider is these CA 60 year old 1300 sqft 2 million jobbers are tear downs in some areas. Come back in a year and you might see a 5000sqft modern style with all the latest greatest green smart home features...solar, telsa chargers etc. There are dozen or so of these within a square mile of me going on now.  

Originally posted by @Matt R. :

One factor to consider is these CA 60 year old 1300 sqft 2 million jobbers are tear downs in some areas. Come back in a year and you might see a 5000sqft modern style with all the latest greatest green smart home features...solar, telsa chargers etc. There are dozen or so of these within a square mile of me going on now.  

 Speaking of modern. Here's something that might tickle that fancy in urban OKC: 

https://www.redfin.com/OK/Oklahoma-City/524-NW-8th...

Easy to leave the game! Unfortunately for most it will be a one way ticket. The barriers to re-entry are very high.

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