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Anyone here works in Silicon Valley?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by LegendZ3, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. LegendZ3

    LegendZ3 Contributing Member

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    I'm in the process of interviewing with couple companies in the Silicon Valley( Sunnyvale, San Jose area). I heard the cost of living is outrageous over there, but exactly how high is it? Is an entry level programmer's salary enough for 2 people to live comfortably?
     
  2. WWR

    WWR Member

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    Get into p*rn.
     
  3. mlwoo

    mlwoo Contributing Member

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  4. Mango

    Mango Contributing Member

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    Probably 35% (or a bit more) higher in San Jose over Houston in cost of living difference.

    Cost of Living Calculator

    You didn't say what the entry salary is and what you define as live comfortably.............so nothing to add.
     
  5. crose

    crose Contributing Member

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    Not in Silicon valley, but San Diego. It depends on your idea of comfortable, but anything is possible.
     
  6. LegendZ3

    LegendZ3 Contributing Member

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    The entry salary is about 65 to 70k. I'm not a big spender, so comfortable living is mostly being able to pay for grocery, apartment, gas, and utilities. And maybe save enough to pay for a decent used car. But there's also the problem with my girlfriend might not be able to find a job over there so my salary have to support 2 people.

    The opportunities in California is great. The two companies I'm interviewing with are on top of the list of Fortune's best companies to work for. But I just don't want to live like a beggar in California when I can live comfortably in Texas. Especially after being a poor college student for 4 years.
     
    #6 LegendZ3, Mar 28, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  7. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    65 to 70K is not much for NoCal. You wont be able to afford to buy a house for a while with that much.
     
  8. LegendZ3

    LegendZ3 Contributing Member

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    I don't plan to buy a house. Just renting a small apartment will do for me. I 'm not really looking to stay there for a long term, maybe 4 or 5 years tops. I ultimately want to move back to Texas after having some experiences under my belt.
     
  9. Lil Pun

    Lil Pun Contributing Member

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    My friend's wife has a silicone valley.
     
  10. Mango

    Mango Contributing Member

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    What would a comparable entry job pay in Texas (Austin, Dallas area)?
     
  11. LegendZ3

    LegendZ3 Contributing Member

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    I would say ballpark figure is around 50k.
     
  12. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    On this salary you will probably not be able to afford to live close to your job or anywhere in San Mateo County unless it is in one of the depressed areas like East Palo Alto or Redwood City. So you will have to live about a 45min drive further south in a smaller town or in the southern part of the East Bay. Pretty much everything there is going to be more expensive than in TX. But it's still possible to live there if you are willing to make some sacrifices until you get a raise or promotion.
     
  13. ling ling

    ling ling Member

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    This guy is making 70K a year coding in CA and this is his side job to make ends meet.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mango

    Mango Contributing Member

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    Then you will likely need to get around 70K to feel like 50K here.

    The tradeoff is how much does 3 - 4 years there help on your resume in the future?
     
  15. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    Rule of thumb is that NoCal's salary matches salary anywhere else of 10k less.

    So if you take a NoCal job of 70k, it is only comparable to a 60k job somewhere else, say in Houston.

    Here is why. Housing is more expensive. Rent/month for similar apartment NoCal probably cost $300-$400 more. Let's say $300 more, that's $3600/year. General living expense NoCal is more expense, such as car insurance, daily expenses like food, gas, etc. You probably would spend $1500 to $2000 more than anywhere else/year.

    So the overall expense for your lifestyle would be around $5000 to $6000 more in NoCal. That's after tax cash, so that would traslate to more or less 8, 9k depending on your tax bracket.

    But, if you are in the IT business, and that's what you want to be, NoCal provides far more opptunities than anywhere else too. You will PUSHED to learn new stuff, jobs are very challenging. The downside of that of course it is way more stressful over there, long working hours, etc. Also generally there is not much loyalty in NoCal, both the employer and the employee. When times are good, people change job as often as change clothes. when times are not good, company layoff people without mercey.

    Just things to consider.

    For a young person like you, I encourage you to be a little brave to expose yourself with more opptunities.

    But also consider this, if a Job in Houston is a software developer job, and in NoCal is a testing engineer job. Take the software developer job. NoCal companies tend to atttact young puppies that know nothing and squeeze them out once they are in.
     
  16. prs325

    prs325 Member

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    I moved to the bay-area about 10 yrs now and youre right, its a lot more expensive here :( . Id say a 1br apartments/condo rentals are around $900-$1200 range. And as you know, gas prises are rising. Its about $3.50-$3.60/regular gallon. Theres rumors circulating that it might for rise to $4. Its insane :eek: . If you can live near your work, that would be better. Youll see a lot more people walking outside compared to Houston due to a friendlier climate and and geography.

    Groceries should be about the same, as well as utilities. In fact electricity should be less because the majority of the apartments may not have an a/c because its always cool there ;) . The housing market is slowing down, so its not as ridiculous compared to 2-5 years ago.
     
  17. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    Wow, SoCal is catching up with NoCal. These are the typical numbers in LA area. Maybe housing is more expensive here. One bed apart here in L.A is more than $1200.
     
  18. bnb

    bnb Contributing Member

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    High cost of living places are always skewed by housing. Your groceries, etc are not significantly different. You can buy your used car in Houston if you really think there's a price difference. Ask the payroll dept to run you a dummy cheque so you can see what your net is after state tax and other deducts.

    Recreation is often cheaper since there's a lot of great (and free) stuff to do outdoors. If that's your thing.

    But pay attention to housing....and don't cheap out on location. I have a couple of friends who absolutely hated their California time primarily because they lived in a lousy part of San Jose. I have others who loved it -- but they lived in better locations (and paid more money for smaller places).

    If it's something you want to do....now's probably a good time. It will be much harder to justify a move to the coast if you have to move a family, and sell your 3500 sf home in Houston for the equivalent of a down payment in California.
     
  19. CHI

    CHI Contributing Member

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    A one-bedroom apartment in the silicon valley (in a decent neighborhood) will run you anywhere from 1500 to 2500 a month.

    Many people live in the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda) where its slightly less expensive, and commute to their jobs in the silicon valley, which is something I think you should consider. The public transportation is pretty good in the Bay Area. Tons of people take the BART or Caltrain to the San Jose area. It's a 1 1/2 to 2 hour commute round trip.

    The cost of living is high, but there are ways to cope. 70k isn't much, but I think you can stretch that out and be more than comfortable for two people.
     
  20. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    Oh, there is no state tax in Texas, right.

    How about sales tax in Texas, it's %8.25 in Cali.
     

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