Silicon Valley…a hub for technology innovation, and one of the most expensive places to live in the US.
I grew up here, and I’ve seen it change a lot over the years. I wanted to experience other places, so I went to college in Colorado and graduate school in Maryland. But, when it came time to look for jobs, my husband and I decided to return “home” to be closer to our families. We knew the cost of living would be high, and we were prepared for it. But now, as an adult with children of our own, we are seeing more negatives than positives to living in Silicon Valley. That’s why we’ve decided to pull the plug and start a new life in Colorado. Here are some of the key reasons why we’re leaving:
- Ridiculously High Cost of Living – A report from Coldwell Banker found that 7 or the 10 most expensive cities to buy a home in the United States were in Silicon Valley, with Palo Alto (average home price of over $2M) having the second highest home prices in the country! Folks here know what it means to be “house poor.” And rent prices are just as outrageous ($2500 a month for a run-down one bedroom apartment…yikes)
- Too Hectic – people here work very long hours in a competitive environment. Many of my friends go to work all day, and then come home to spend a couple of hours together as a family, before hitting the laptop again for several more hours at night. And, because of the high cost of living, most families I know need to have both parents working full-time. People here are stressed and exhausted.
- Too Much Traffic – because of the high cost of living, people live further away from work, and are commuting for 1-2 hours a day. The roads are horribly crowded, and aren’t designed to handle so many cars. Inadequate public transportation. The other day we tried to use the “carpool” lane as we headed to San Jose for dinner. It was at a dead stop, and it took us an hour to go ten miles.
- Family Life Takes a Back Seat to Work Life – children grow up in day cares, after school programs, or at home on their own while both parents work to make ends meet.
- Too Crowded – more and more people, coupled with a lack of infrastructure and planning to support the growth. And, green space is disappearing at an alarming rate.
- Too Competitive – when a child believes they have failed miserably after getting a B on a test, there is something out of whack.
- Our Kids Won’t be Able to Afford to Live Here – housing prices go up significantly every year. Our house has almost doubled in value in 6 years. How will our kids be able to afford a house here? Most 25-30 year olds here can’t, unless they started saving when they were 10 or have financial help from mom & dad
- Earthquakes – the next “big one” should be any day now.
- Severe Drought – my kids now think it’s bad to flush the toilet after going #1. Want new landscaping?…don’t bother. You won’t be allowed to water it any way.
- Cost of Living – I know, I already mentioned it. But, did you know that even Girl Scout cookies cost more here? Crazy.