“By the end of last year, San Francisco had an estimated 30,700 tech jobs, just shy of the 32,800 around the peak in early 2001…In Silicon Valley, tech positions reached 106,300 in the fourth quarter, nearing the 112,700 crest.”
“Jobs in the [tech] industry now account for 16.6 percent of private-sector employment in San Francisco, up from a low of 12.5 percent in September 2003…Tech represents 25.2 percent of employment in Silicon Valley, up from 24 percent in December 2006.”
“For the most common type of office buildings in SoMa, average rents climbed 16.4 percent to nearly $33.50 per square foot [last year], as vacancy plummeted from 17.4 percent to 8 percent.”
Tech jobs near all-time highs, fuel office-space boom [SFGate]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by A.T.

    Not sure I’m willing to accept “an analysis of state employment data” by a real estate firm as gospel, but even accepting these numbers at face value, note the “rough ebb” of tech employment in SF was in Q1 2004 — right when the real estate boom took off. So how, exactly, are a few thousand tech jobs going to bring back the bubble glory days of SF real estate?
    Anecdotally, a good friend of mine just started at twitter (Stanford grad 12 years ago), in charge of a 10-person engineering team. His salary is $110,000. Not bad, but it’s not going to land him in a big SF house. They’re going to stay in their Cole Valley rental.

  2. Posted by TechDefender

    I am very impressed that this was posted here.

  3. Posted by tipster

    I’m pretty plugged into this market. 2010 was about the same as 2009, the start of 2010 was worse than 2009, but the end of 2010 picked up. For 2011, we are seeing tech companies at the very low end have lots of activity.
    People have formed companies at a fairly fast clip. Money is no longer impossible to get, but it isn’t being thrown at just anyone. And companies are doing everything on the cheap. We’re seeing more pushback on prices than we have in the last 20 years.
    Unlike the tech businesses, however, the small financial firms have largely moved on to greener pastures and are leaving the area.
    What that means is high end space is going begging, but low end space is in demand. People are slowing the running of companies out of coffee shops and into real office space, but only cheaper space. Startups will take absolute crap space if the price is right. They will not take the good stuff no matter what.
    Tech companies are being very stingy: with costs, and salaries. Nothing nonessential is being bought or used. They have money but not much, and they have seen the flow get shut off before, so they are watching every cent.
    Services jobs that support them have been cut way back as a result. The ISM report was no surprise to me. We’ve seen a pretty substantial pullback from businesses marketed to service businesses in the last two months.
    Will the uptick in tech translate into an uptick in business to the higher paying companies? Too soon to tell. The tech uptick is certainly real, though you can expect it to be inflated by the usual suspects, but the businesses aren’t spending like they were in 2008.
    As a result, the *economic effect* of the jobs increase is more muted than before. Hiring a bunch of 20 somethings fills a lot of office space, but if the pay isn’t there, than it doesn’t make any difference to me. My business to tech companies is up, not to 2007 levels, but it’s up from nearly dead in 2009 and not that much better in 2010. My business to high end service businesses has fallen off a cliff and I’m now losing money hand over fist in that segment.
    I’m hardly a large player, so take all this with a grain of salt.

  4. Posted by nnona

    QE2 at work here. Banks needed to find places to invest their free money.
    When, inevitably, the Fed shouts that “the queen is dead”, the crucial question for these tech firms will be “long live the ??????”.
    It does seem that the tightened rental market has been affected more than the declining sales market in SF proper by the influx of tech jobs/money.
    The following quote stood out in the WSJ article Brahma linked to in another thread…..
    “These numbers don’t seem real to me,” says Twitter co-founder Isaac “Biz” Stone (referring to the valuation of Twitter on the secondary market).

  5. Posted by curmudgeon

    thanks, Tipster, that was a great perspective.

  6. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    A $110,000 manager may not make a whole lot compares to financial folks, but this is not the whole story. (6 figures is being look down on, only in San Francisco!) The thing special about tech companies is they often experience hyper-growth. Today they hired a $110,000 manager. Next month they suddenly need 10 more manager plus the 10 engineer team under each new manager. Zynga growth from nothing to a few thousand strong in a few years. They bound to have an effect on real estate.

  7. Posted by J

    The point is, even 10 year veterans in this field are not able to afford much in SF. And what they can qualify to buy, would be cheaper to rent. Plus they are generally smart enough to realize that last part.

  8. Posted by DanRH

    Good points by tipster. I can see how the tech co’s are going to use the cheaper space first. The financial firms of the past (Robertson Stephens, etc.) aren’t there as much / thus high end space sits.
    I think the 110k quote is realistic. Although, keep in mind that that engineering manager also likely got a fair amount of stock, which if twitter goes public, might turn into a nice $1m+ nest egg, thereby allowing that person to perhaps buy something in the <$2m range. I think you are arguably seeing some sf.com folks starting to purchase as their stock hits crazy highs and folks working there for the past 5-10yrs decide to cash out and purchase a nice home.
    I assume rents will continue to rise as 20/30-somethings come in for the jobs but not to purchase a home…is this already happening (rents rising)?
    [Editor’s Note: Yes and institutional estimates are calling for double-digit annual growth in rents in San Francisco over the next few years.]

  9. Posted by EH

    In order for that nest egg to be in play, the company has to go public, which even with Twitter is not guaranteed at all in the foreseeable future.

  10. Posted by J

    Even if you have a $1M down payment, you still can’t afford to buy a $2M property with $110k income…

  11. Posted by tipster

    Engineering managers are a dime a dozen right now. Twitter doesn’t need to give them $1M in options. They can probably expect to make $50K per year for the next 5 years with the options they’ll get. Could go higher, could go lower.
    Options usually vest over 5 years and they vest at the current price: you only make money if the price goes up. So if twitter shares are valued at $40 per share, you get the excess over that. You get an option to buy at $40. If the stock goes up to $50, you get $10 per share. If the stock stays at $40, you get $0. Twitter shares are pretty hot right now, and that is reflected in the option price.
    You only get 1/5 of the options each year. Someone who is hired right now, even if they were to ultimately make $1M on all of them, which is unlikely, is only going to get $200K in 2012. Sorry.
    This isn’t the dot com days where employees were impossible to find: you can find any number of out of work engineering managers right now: no one is going to grant them some huge option number and the shares are already so high that it’s unlikely anyone getting hired now is going to make $1M. Even if they did, they’d have to wait 5 years to do so.

  12. Posted by Gigi

    “I assume rents will continue to rise as 20/30-somethings come in for the jobs but not to purchase a home…is this already happening (rents rising)?”
    Anecdotally, I recently moved out of my rental that I had only been in for a year and a half and my landlord jacked the price up $400 and got a new tenant in right away.
    A family member of mine who recently moved to SF is now in the process of trying to rent something in the city and the places I’ve gone to see with him I can’t believe what landlords are asking (even compared to a year and a half ago).

  13. Posted by sf_engineer

    I don’t know about an engineering manager, but I’ve been making over $110K for the last 3 years and am expecting a nice race in the near future, and I don’t manage anybody. What’s not known in the salary is the bonus structure, or options. Also, what is the skill set and responsibilities? Is he simply a manager or also doing engineering? It’s not that uncommon in tech that managers make less than the engineers they manage.
    I agree with that enough options to be worth $1m is extremely unlikely. The later you are in the startups life, the less you get in options. I know a relatively recent higher at my company who got less that half the options I got, and his are at a higher strike price.
    From my experience entry level software engineers are getting 90-110, and senior are getting north of 130-160. I’m sure it’s not universal, and it would definitely depend on skill set & experience.
    This seems to be specific to software programmers, the other roles don’t seem to have kept up, used to be DBA’s make quite a bit more than programmers, but as far as I can tell that’s no longer the case.
    I also agree that tech companies are being much more cost conscious than during the dot com bubble, but from what I’ve seen spending has been going up, although still a long way off from the excesses of 2000.
    @tipster, options vesting periods differ by company, mine is 1/4 per year, which seems to be industry standard. I’ve seen others that are as quick as 1/3 although I’ve never seen any more accelerated than that.

  14. Posted by DanRH

    @J: Yeah, I said less than $2m but you’re right, should have said something more like less than $1.5m maybe?
    @EH: sorta agree..technically, something that Zynga, FB, few others have done has allowed initial employees to cash out some w/out going public (via private placements, etc.). But agree, this all assumes that Twitter/others do very well…

  15. Posted by sf_engineer

    Regarding salaries and housing, I’m definitely seeing rent prices go up. But they still need to go up a ways before it makes buying attractive. A nice 3/2 ~1250 sqft, in my neighborhood just rented for somewhere around $3,300 (asking) recently after being available for about 1-2 months. At that price it would be financially reasonable, but not an awesome deal, to pay about $650,000 for it, whereas it would probably sell on the market north of $800,000 (possibly well above that) if it were a condo.
    So rents need to go up quite a bit, or prices still need to come down quite a bit for it to make much financial sense to buy.

  16. Posted by TripleB

    “In order for that nest egg to be in play, the company has to go public, which even with Twitter is not guaranteed at all in the foreseeable future.”
    Actually that’s no longer true…companies such as SecondMarket or Sharespost make it possible now to liquidate private shares without an IPO, and employees at local high tech companies have been big sellers there.

  17. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    Oh, it is not true that you’ll need IPO to cash out. Getting acquired is an easier exit these days. These folks just pocketed $212 millions lately http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/08/breaking-salesforce-buys-heroku-for-212-million-in-cash/

  18. Posted by Not Bashing

    @J – Smart enough to realize that the rent vs. buy equation is skewed vs. actually deciding not to buy are two different things. I have many tech friends, from all of the usual suspects. Very intelligent people, as you would expect. And most of them have purchased homes in SF – some before the crash (when rent vs buy was seriously ridiculous) and many thereafter.
    Like it or not, agree with it or not, buying a house is still the path most choose when they have the money to do it and they reach the point in life where they want to put down roots. Most people, most of the time do not make decisions based solely on the numbers – even the hyper-intelligent amongst us.

  19. Posted by TechDefender

    Grain of salt indeed with tipster. If you listened to this dude a few years back you should be wondering why the bay area isn’t now called New Detroit.

  20. Posted by tipster

    We actually would be BETTER off as new Detroit: it’s amazing what trillions of dollars of funny money is doing in both places. Per Redfin March numbers:
    YOY Stat……..Detroit….SF
    Homes for Sale…-11.1….-9.9%
    $/sft…………+38.2….-2.5%
    Will be interesting to see what happens if and when the money evaporates. Probably the same thing that happened in Japan: real estate collapsed. Big surprise when that happens, of course.

  21. Posted by been there

    Editor:
    What’s the source?
    “[Editor’s Note: Yes and institutional estimates are calling for double-digit annual growth in rents in San Francisco over the next few years.]”
    That assumes at a minimum a 33% increase in rent over the next three years? That’s very aggressive.
    And certainly average rents won’t move like that in this rent controlled city.

  22. Posted by lyqwyd

    that depends on how you interpret, I assumed at least 10% over three years, not 10% per year.

  23. Posted by tc_sf

    “Most people, most of the time do not make decisions based solely on the numbers – even the hyper-intelligent amongst us.”
    While I would agree with you here, it does seem worth pointing out the consequences of the above behavior. If people are unwilling/unable to make financially rational decisions for what typically is going to be the largest single purchase then it begs the question; When are they going to make good decisions?
    The people discussed above making in the range of $110k have the potential to become quite wealthy, particularly in engineering careers where my understanding is that an advanced degree, with its attending direct costs and opportunity costs of lost wages, is not typically required. But there is not much margin there for a string of bad financial decisions.

  24. Posted by MarinaRenter

    As a founder of a tech startup, which is about to close our first round of funding, I would say that hiring talented engineers is challenging. Salaries start at $120k+ and the hiring is very, very competitive right now.
    Regarding office space, it is absolutely ridiculous to rent expensive office space for any company, who is trying to grow. Better to spend on employee salaries and benefits.
    This is why SF needs to build more office space and rental housing to decrease the cost of living and cost of office space. We need to make SF a more attractive place for businesses and people to live.

  25. Posted by ex SF-er

    I think that a strengthening job market can only help the SF RE market. this is good news indeed.
    My only qualm (disputed vigorously) has been that high salaries are not enough. Two people making $120k/year is not going to be enough to get the SF RE market booming again. One needs blowout salaries or bonuses to do that. However, a strengthening tech market will definitely help support current RE pricing and perhaps push it upwards.
    Can tech 2.1 deliver the same oomph that the .com years did or that the tech 2.0 did? Some believe it will. I have never been sure.
    nosebleed RE pricing demands nosebleed compensation.
    ===
    that depends on how you interpret, I assumed at least 10% over three years, not 10% per year.
    @lyqwyd: then someone must have mispoke…
    the editor’s quote was :
    “are calling for double-digit annual growth in rents in San Francisco over the next few years

  26. Posted by lyqwyd

    looks like I just mis-read the quote! my bad.

  27. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    I’m happier if the RE market do not boom again. It is pathetic that 2 people making $120k cannot live a happy and secure life and instead have to stress for high rent and the volatile real estate market. Stable market is bad for investors but good for people living there.

  28. Posted by [anon.ed]

    Who said two people making 120K each cannot live a happy and secure life here? Or not afford to buy anything, let alone rent? Since when does “happy and secure” = “2M 4br home in best neighborhood” ? San Francisco has changed since the last time rent vs buy calculators favored buy. Also those calculators did not exist then.

  29. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    120k each or 120k total? I think he said 120k total. That’s not a whole lot around here, especially if you have kids and both work. Add up rent + taxes + nanny = you will be lucky to have money left over for food!

  30. Posted by [anon.ed]

    OK, yeah, I misread “two people making …”

  31. Posted by sparky-b

    2 people who’s income is $120K combined don’t have a nanny. The woman in that scenario is making, what, $50K and paying a nanny $20/hr. I think they would do a Stay home vs. Nanny calc. while they were doing their Rent vs. Buy.
    This discussion was based on a single tech worker who makes around $120K, so not $120K combined for the sake of the ongoing discussion

  32. Posted by Rillion

    As part of a couple making right around that combined figure, its pretty comfortable living if you don’t have the kids & nanny.

  33. Posted by tipster

    Well, scratch Zuckerberg off your list, realtors. He just bought 1456 Edgewood Drive in Palo Alto.
    Which also proves the hillarity of people claiming to buy in advance of the Facebook IPO. None of the employees has to wait for an IPO any longer, as was noted above. The people claiming to want to buy in advance of the facebook IPO are way out of touch, and prices aren’t going to get any bump from it – people are already buying right now.
    About the home: it will be the oldest house in Palo Alto (there is one older but it just got green lighted for demolition) and is 5617 square feet.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=map+1456+edgewood+drive+palo+alto,+ca&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1456+Edgewood+Dr,+Palo+Alto,+California+94301&gl=us&ll=37.452087,-122.137005&spn=0.012163,0.01929&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.454155,-122.139099&panoid=fzXXkqrIkD-W6yxA5jUxmQ&cbp=12,217.99,,0,0.21
    I guess clean, crime free and pristine in a good school district is winning out with the tech crowd over smelly, homeless-ridden, crime ridden with ridiculous schools. Go figure.

  34. Posted by [anon.ed]

    “I guess clean, crime free and pristine in a good school district is winning out with the tech crowd over smelly, homeless-ridden, crime ridden with ridiculous schools. Go figure.”
    Ridiculous is right. A couple things. By what insane stretch of a fevered mind does Mark Zuckerberg = “tech crowd”? And of course, why do you live in SF if you hate it so? Because you do hate it. Don’t deny that, you’ve made that fact painfully obvious over the years.

  35. Posted by eddy

    I guess clean, crime free and pristine in a good school district is winning out with the tech crowd over smelly, homeless-ridden, crime ridden with ridiculous schools. Go figure.
    Zuck buys a house near his company HQ where he probably spends 120hrs a week and this is what you deduce?
    Oh, and his property closed for 1.15m over asking. Look at below!!! :)
    http://www.1456edgewooddrive.com/Uploads/50/90/15090/73836/attachments/History%20of%201456%20Edgewood.pdf
    http://www.1456edgewooddrive.com/Uploads/50/90/15090/73836/attachments/1456%20Edgewood%20Drive%20-%20Detailed%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

  36. Posted by tipster

    Eddy, I have posted here several times about this: it is common for high end properties in Palo Alto to be listed for $1M under the actual expected price based on comps.
    When it sells for way over, that allows the realtors to shake their heads in “shock” at the “remarkable strength” of the Palo Alto market, which they tell the buyers loudly, and at every opportunity. Every set of realtors in various cities has scams to mislead their buying “clients” (i.e. suckers) and that is how it is done in Palo Alto.
    You are better off if you expect that realtors everywhere draw a lot of con artists, and con artists are very smooth. In reality, you never actually know when you are being conned. Not all realtors are con artists, and not all con artists are smooth, but the smooth con artists make a lot of money so they tend to stick around.
    They don’t always do the $1M under scam but it happens a lot. That means it went for a few percent over asking.
    But don’t lose sight of the fact that the facebook crowd is buying in Palo Alto, even young single guys like Zuckerberg. Sorry SF, it’s just too smelly and crime ridden for people with choices to want to buy there, other than sons and daughters of rich republicans pretending to “rebel” in the Mission by dressing like hipster wannabes (the laughingstock of real hipsters) of course.

  37. Posted by [anon.ed]

    “Sorry SF, it’s just too smelly and crime ridden for people with choices to want to buy there, other than sons and daughters of rich republicans pretending to “rebel” in the Mission by dressing like hipster wannabes (the laughingstock of real hipsters) of course”
    Can you flash some hipster credentials right quick? You know, in order for anybody to think for one second that you have the ability to discern from real hipster and fake? Or anyone to think you have any idea what you’re talking about?
    “Better off as Detroit West” — it was classic. Gotta give you that. But why live here?

  38. Posted by Dan

    The first rule of hipster is to deny you are a hipster.

  39. Posted by lyqwyd

    Different strokes for different folks. Lots of facebook, apple, google, etc employees own/rent in SF, lots of salesforce, twitter, yelp, zynga people own/rent in the peninsula. Some people like cities, others like suburbs.
    Zuckerberg buying in Palo Alto is not indicative of anything regarding general housing preferences.

  40. Posted by eddy

    Probability of Zuck buying a landmark home in SF within the next 10 years? I’d put it as close to 100% as you could short of him getting hit by the proverbial bus. And he is as close to being married as a person gets.

  41. Posted by [anon.ed]

    “The first rule of hipster is to deny you are a hipster.”
    Really? Some of those folks are practically card carrying.
    I’m thinking if you posed the question, “Are you a hipster?” to your average tight jean’d, elaborately/ironically moustachio’d, fixie-riding, v-neck sporter it would be met with an “I guess so” sort of answer.

  42. Posted by ex SF-er

    This discussion was based on a single tech worker who makes around $120K, so not $120K combined for the sake of the ongoing discussion
    I wrote my last post poorly.
    I believe that a couple making a total of $120k/year is clearly not going to do much in the way of shooting SF Re back to the moon.
    however, I ALSO believe that a couple EACH making $120k/year ($240k/yr total) is not going to help much in the way of really shooting Re prices to the moon either. (my original post meant a Dual income couple with each making $120k/yr).
    the out of control RE appreciation we saw in the mid-aughts required people to have either massive savings, OR access to significant credit, OR grand-slam compensation (or a mixture).
    it is unlikely we will see a return to the access of credit of the mid-aughts. it is nearly impossible (although nothing is possible)
    thus most future SF homebuyers will rely on compensation and/or savings.
    $240k/year is a lot of money. not many households (by %) make that in the bay area. but even that isn’t enough to shoot RE prices to the moon, although it will help push prices higher.
    thus: the re-emergence of tech is great, and it will clearly help RE valuations in the Bay Area. but probably isn’t enough to cause rampant appreciation… at least not yet.
    ——
    on a side note:
    I personally feel that the Facebook affect will be slightly different than the Google affect was. I could very well be wrong here but here goes:
    when Google was not public, there were a lot of young and bright stars of the future, who were not yet rich. they became extraordinarily rich as soon as GOOG went public. (including my first degree family members).
    Facebook seems different to me, but it might just be my social circle. A LOT of Facebookers are ex Googlers and Ex Microsofters and Ex Yahooers and so on. They are already wealthy.
    thus, not sure it will bring as much wealth to new people, as opposed to further concentrating it in those who already had it.
    that said: there are a lot of youngsters at Facebook too, and it looks to be the real deal and perhaps the Tech 2.1 savior. it will pull a lot of money into the Bay area. (unlike Twitter which I think is overhyped, although many disagree).
    people talk about Google a lot, but IMO Google hasn’t created many new millionaires in quite some time. That’s why they had to raise salaries… the stock option game is pretty much in hibernation over there…
    on a side note: I also have contacts at Facebook who have bought in Palo Alto in the last month, so I agree some aren’t waiting for the IPO… but again it’s because they bought using GOOG option proceeds.

  43. Posted by anon

    ^I think it’s just the crowds you run in, ex-SF-er. I know dozens of mid-20′s Facebookers (many already millionaires, because selling some pre-IPO stock is very easy with Facebook) and almost no one who is ex-Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo (or other company). That’s probably mostly because I’m a mid-20′s Yammer employee, but still.

  44. Posted by tc_sf

    Note that Forbes estimates Zuckerberg’s net worth at around $14B, so this home purchase represents about 1/2000′ths of his net worth.
    As I noted above, a typical engineering household making $100-200k would be very wise to apply great effort analyzing the financial impact of a rent/buy decision. That and other decisions of similar scale need be made well in order for that family to prosper.
    However if you find yourself with a $1.6B net worth you need not overly concern yourself with price to rent ratio and other such trivialities when considering the purchase of an $800k house in Bernal.

  45. Posted by curmudgeon

    LOL tc_sf….yes, the relation of Zuckerberg’s purchase to the topic at hand is just A BIT tangential….

  46. Posted by ex SF-er

    anon:
    most likely your comment is right on, especially since I’m not in my 20′s anymore (waaahhhh!) and most of my contacts through Facebook happened when the first and second wave of Googlers defected to Facebook a few years ago.
    I did meet a couple of guys over there who didn’t even go to college… they were like 19 or whatever…
    I also agree that it is easy to basically sell pre-IPO Facebook options (which is also somewhat different from Google).

  47. Posted by A.T.

    To put a few numbers in to illustrate ex SF-er’s correct point that the $240k couple is not going to shoot SF housing prices to the moon, here is a pretty decent budget for a couple making $240,000/year (which puts them in the very top of SF earners):
    Accounting for (annually):
    Start 240,000
    Taxes 160,000
    401(k) 130,000
    Tuition+aftercare 100,000
    (1 child)
    Leaving about $8500/month, then subtract:
    car/gas/insurance $7500
    clothes/food/toys/vacation $5000
    insurance/utilities/cell $4500
    $4500/month left over for housing is pretty good. That would rent you a decent (not great) place for $3000 and leave $1500/mo in savings. 10 years of that and you’d finally have a down payment for a nice $700,000 dollar place. Or if (somehow) you already had a $150k down payment you could afford to buy about a $700,000 place — would leave you with no savings at all other than your 401(k) and be maybe a little nicer/bigger than the $3000/mo rental.
    Even that rich $240,000 couple isn’t going to dramatically impact SF housing. That’s why a lot more people live in the burbs than in SF – a lot more house for the money and good, free public schools (to save that tuition payment). I like SF and live here because I can afford it even though I could get a lot more across the bridge. But if I only made $240k a year there is no way I would stay here.

  48. Posted by [anon.ed]

    All of a sudden it became, “shoot it to the moon” from “afford something” for the sole purpose of being able to tell the site what you always tell the site. Save it. Bears commenting on other bears’ “shoot it to the moon” insert deserves to get mooned.

  49. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    @A.T.: I’m sure others will point out that your tax rate assumption (33%) is far too high. For example, I paid 22% combined state and federal this year even after the AMT clawed back some of my deductions. If I made as little as $240k, my tax burden would have been even lower.

  50. Posted by A.T.

    Jimmy, the tax figure also included payroll taxes (double FICA cap for a two-earner couple). Payroll taxes hit low earners harder than high earners.
    These are just ballpark figures, obviously, but pretty close.

  51. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Ah. Interesting … I never really think about payroll taxes but you do make a good point about low-income workers paying more overall. That’s the beauty of the US tax system!

  52. Posted by A.T.

    Yeah, my sister is a teacher in the midwest. I literally make 20 times her income, but our tax rates are almost identical. Gross system. (although a lot of my tax savings are really just tax-deferred retirement through our cash balance pension plan, which will be taxed eventually).

  53. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    A.T., your budget is, wow! My budget is half as much, 2 kids, 1 mortgage and surviving. 30,000 a year for a kid! Many Latinos probably don’t make this much for the whole family. No wonder I can’t afford private school. Thank you, we are going to public school this year. So do many of my professional friends.

  54. Posted by A.T.

    WYT, you can run the numbers with the public school option — saves about $1600/mo. tuition for one child, but that’s it because the 2-earner couple still needs after-school care and summer/vacation camps and programs. Not a material difference on the housing issue.
    The families you mention making under $30,000/yr might be able to find a way to survive even in SF, but that was not my point. That impoverished family certainly isn’t going to move housing prices upward! And neither is the 2-earner $240,000/yr family, or half that, even if they send their kids to SF public schools (no way would I take that option btw – I’d move to a town with better schools, e.g. Piedmont or Hillsborough).

  55. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    A.T., do you have a kid going to school? I toured 11 SF schools this year. All of them seems decent to me. And these are only neighborhood schools mostly. It is a shame to reject them without even walking into a classroom. They may not be as nice as Piedmont or Hillsborough. But I don’t know why it is so objectionable either. My professional friends are going there too.

  56. Posted by A.T.

    WYT, I do not reject the public schools. Nor am I saying they are awful or traumatic or anything of that nature. But I do know them quite well, and SF’s public schools are academically sub-par compared to private schools or the public schools in a lot of neighboring areas. I grew up here, and my wife volunteers in one of the public elementary schools – this is not a top, top school but is in the top 1/4 based on test scores, and it is not a good place at all to become educated. The kids are way, way behind where they should be and the teachers don’t (and can’t) devote time to those who are better prepared. And it is getting worse with budget cuts. My daughter is not yet school age. There is actually one public elementary school that we’d attend if we got in (maybe your kids go to that one – I’m not giving the name). Otherwise, it’s private school for us because you only get one chance at this. This is why I assumed school tuition in my hypothetical budget for two fairly high-achieving parents.

  57. Posted by B. Kold

    FWIW, I do a lot of marketing for my business on Facebook. At least, I used to. Long story short, FB abuses its clients. They just created a new kind of Group, and owners of the “old” groups CANNOT transfer their members to a new group! Anyway, FB gets worse and worse as time goes on – the UX is awful, it’s constantly getting spammed, and they reduce the feature set all the time. Mark my words, FB will be the new MySpace in five years…

  58. Posted by tc_sf

    We’re number 3!
    According to Price Waterhouse, we’re the worlds #3 “City of Opportunity”. Though dubiously the project was co-sponsored by the Partnership for New York City and NYC hit #1.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/the-worlds-26-best-cities-for-business-life-and-innovation/238436/
    I’m not sure I’d give too much weight to sponsored reports like this, but you can explore correlations between some factors they measured on this page:
    http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/2011/correlation-heatmap.jhtml
    Interestingly, housing has a -17% correlation with Foreign Direct Investment (Which SF ranked last in), 47% correlation with inflation and only 15% correlation with software development.

  59. Posted by sfrenegade

    Anyway, FB gets worse and worse as time goes on – the UX is awful, it’s constantly getting spammed, and they reduce the feature set all the time.
    What I find annoying is their general disregard for user privacy. You’d be surprised how much non-public information they leak about people who have enabled privacy settings. Sure, some people tell everyone when they have a bowel movement on Facebook and have completely public profiles, but for the people who don’t give TMI, Facebook has constant security breaches and doesn’t even tell people about half the stuff it does (or allow them to opt-out).
    Interestingly, housing has a -17% correlation with Foreign Direct Investment (Which SF ranked last in), 47% correlation with inflation and only 15% correlation with software development.
    Housing apparently has 84% correlation with political environment.

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