Another Sunday, Another 20 $2M houses

They range in price from $1.4M to $2.2M — that is, houses that in any other part of the country would range in price from $200k-$600k, but in the Bay Area are priced beyond comprehension. I took a solo day of open house touring to check out a few on the “lower” end of the range that I thought might work for myself, my husband, my son, my future child(ren), my husband’s dad and my husband’s mom. You know — a 1500 square foot 3br/2ba on a lot at least 6000 square feet with an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) that we could all live in together as one big happy family…

I even started, in previous weekends, exploring further south (as in San Jose) – but prices aren’t much better there. You get a bit more for your money space wise, but you’re still spending $1.5M+. For a 2 hour commute to SF, you can possibly find something for $1.2M. It’s just extremely depressing and every day it weighs on me. I constantly text my husband “let’s move to NY” and I’m partially serious but he’s very serious he doesn’t want to leave. He’s right that with his mother and father we can afford something here. And I do want to stay but it’s just too much pressure if he’s going to continue to make $90k freelance income per year without asking for a raise or seeking additional projects –though his flexibility is helpful with childcare, but not so much with home buying.

I know, I know – we should keep renting. We’re fine in our 1 bedroom right now (which at 800 square feet and $2500 rent controlled to inflation is a STEAL!) When I have kid #2, we can move to a 2/2, which will likely be $4500/mo, but that is going to be in at least 21 more months. (hopefully) as I don’t plan to get pregnant again until May. That’s nearly two years of saving $$$ living in a one bedroom if we can survive it.

But I’m still just a train wreck over the whole “so this is it” mentality I have now… this is it… I’ve “made it” – heck, this year I may bring home over $350k in total income – and yet there is no way I can buy a house as my career won’t consistently deliver $350k / yr in income. I’ll be back to $150k in a few years probably and we can’t afford to buy on $240k income. I don’t know how anyone does it.

I’m trying to just let it go… to stop wanting so much because I know that’s what makes me unhappy, and outside of feeling a little distraught by the state of my bedroom (because it includes my husbands office and looks like a college dorm room in terms of furnishings), I’m pretty happy where we are now. I wish my son had an outdoor space to run around in,  because we don’t get to the park often enough and our balcony isn’t safe for him – but he has the entire living room floor as his toy room. There are no stairs (inside our home anyway) for him to hurt himself on. We have a pool in the apartment complex I’ll definitely be enjoying with my son this summer. So it’s not all that bad.

I just don’t see how I go from where I am now to that next step. Buying a home is probably the wrong move financially. So we wait. We wait and probably get more and more priced out of the area until we have to move. Maybe that’s the strategy now. I wish it didn’t have to be. But these $2M houses make me spit out my water and laugh so hard… $2M should buy you luxury and I don’t think I’ll get over that to buy a home in that price range, nor can I get over spending $1.5M to buy a fixer upper on a not-so-great street. So, yea, for now, for-ever?- we rent.

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4 thoughts on “Another Sunday, Another 20 $2M houses”

  1. Tough choice all around.
    I wouldn’t feel comfortable signing up for a $2M house with some risk to job stability and always cranking out that high level of income for another 30 years.
    I’m not sure how much in laws would be willing to pay into the house to make it more reasonable, but I think you are in a situation where your net worth is growing incredible amount with your high income and low expenses – waiting is the best option – until you mentally can’t make it work for another month – which may come with baby #2.
    Even the increased and almost double rent sounds much better than a payment on a $1.5M unsatisfactory incomplete house or a $2M good enough or much better house.
    We are building a new 5000+ sqft home with everything at very high quality luxury custom home build, including an inlaw basement suite, and tons of upgrades for 1/2 to 1/3 of that amount in the midwest on multiple acres… you could actually afford that yourself in cash from investments that you already have saved up already!
    Is there any reason your in laws wouldn’t move with you to another part of the country that’s lower cost when the time is right?
    Please make sure to put yourself first, don’t feel rushed and realize that you are currently in an amazing situation which is giving you tons of flexibility in your next career and life choices.
    It would be you sacrificing for 30 years to make that income, so you should have the right to say no.
    Even if you may not want your current situation to last too much longer, you will have both time and options in your future to follow for you and your families happiness.
    So many options in fact, that in x amount of years (5-7?) if investments keep growing that you would even have that $2M to stay in SF if everything keeps on track with job if SF is the right place for you!

  2. I would just rent a 2 Bedroom Pl. You will feel much happier with an extra room. It is worth the extra expense. Isn’t inventory up massively down in San Jose right now?

    I actually bought a slightly larger house earlier in the year in San Francisco. It is a fixer for sure and I’m currently fixing it up. It’s a pain in the butt process, but it feels good to actually make everything new including the wiring the kitchen and all the bathrooms. It was for under 2 million.

    The sweet spot really is the 1.5 to two million $ price range, because everybody in the bay area seems to be able to afford this.

    What I fear is that thousands of new tech IPO employees get Liquid in November and December after their six-month lock up. Is over. Then the spring of 2020 could be really really crazy.

    With a $240,000 average income, I see you continue to rent and enjoy the flexibility. That extra bedroom will really improve your happiness though. I swear it.

  3. Why don’t you buy a house in Oakland, Berkeley, Maraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, San Ramon.
    All of these places are close to Bart, relatively cheaper, and closer to SF than San Jose.

    1. Because I work in the South Bay/ Peninsula at a place no where near BART. I’d have to drive and the commute would be a nightmare (though lots of my colleagues do it.) Also, my husband’s parents don’t drive and they at this point anyway provide childcare and are very close with our son, so they wouldn’t be able to get to us (or it would be pretty painful to do Caltrain to BART)…

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