Moving Time?

» 29 May 2004 » In Bay Area, Me »

Yesterday I got an unpleasant surprise when I got home after work. The management of my apartment complex has left a note in my door saying that my lease is expiring in two months and that the rent is being increased $300 (about 30% from the current level). Now I know that the economy is recovering, but this seems like it’s the height of the boom again. So, I have to seriously think about looking for another place unless they agree to a more reasonable increase.

I’d like to find something fairly close to work (not more than 15-20 minutes away by car) and probably an apartment complex rather than a townhouse or a condo. Fairly close to 237/101 would be nice and a proximity to some semblance of social life even better. Any suggestions for a good place? Palo Alto is another option I guess, but may be more expensive.. Anyways, let the search start.

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  1. andrei
    30/05/2004 at 11:48 am Permalink

    I figured you’d be raking in the big bucks, like Rasmus :P. Whereabouts do you live now? What’s the total rent (inc. utilities, etc.)? I’d guess Palo Alto is near the center of the sky high rates. There are always the bedroom communities with <3 hour commutes :(.

    BTW, do the military jets frequently blast the skies over Yahoo? I was by there a few days ago and they (numerous planes or maybe just the same one continuously circling) and it was frickin LOUD!

  2. andrei
    gabriel ricard
    31/05/2004 at 2:12 pm Permalink

    Hmm.. Palo Alto / Stanford / Mountain View is a wonderful area. I lived in Mountain View during the whole dot com thing. My roommate and I were paying around $1800 / mo for a two bedroom apartment in a nice complex close to the central expressway. In recent years it has dropped to slightly more reasonable prices ($1400/mo last I checked). I’m sure there are even more affordable places in that area, I was picky and wanted one with a pool though. 😀

    $300 / mo increase in rent is unreal. I’ve heard of $50-100 / mo increases before, but $300 is nuts. Unless they’re going to start making breakfast and dinner for all of the residents, as well as doing their laundry for them, I’d tell them to go screw. 😉

  3. andrei
    31/05/2004 at 7:58 pm Permalink

    I live in Mountain View currently. Total rent, including utilities and such is about $1200. This is a fairly nice one bedroom apt, but lacking central air, pool, and my own W/D. I will definitely negotiate pretty hard about this place before considering a move..

  4. andrei
    terry chay
    31/05/2004 at 9:31 pm Permalink

    It probably goes without saying but a search for apartments on CraigsList should give you a lot of hits and thus a general idea of prices.

    I found the rates in Mountain View and Mary Ave. in Sunnyvale–very close to where you work–roughly comparible. Of course, I’m all for you staying in Mountain View since that’s walking distance from me. 🙂

  5. andrei
    terry chay
    31/05/2004 at 9:35 pm Permalink


    You were probably at Y! either Memorial Day weekend or just before. There was an airshow at Moffet (just north of Y!, just south of where I work) on Saturday and Sunday and it was quite loud for the few days leading up to it.

    Normally Moffet has transport planes, not fighter jets.

    So no, it normally isn’t that loud.

    Of course, when I bother to golf, it is directly west of Miramar so what do I know about loud.

  6. andrei
    31/05/2004 at 11:58 pm Permalink

    I was relatively happy with Avalon Silicon Valley over at Lawerence & the 101 when I lived up north. I know quite a few other Yahoos lived there as well, as it was a quick easy drive to work. Central A/C, D/W, & W/D in unit. (However, I have no idea what rents are these days.)

  7. andrei
    Ted K
    01/06/2004 at 8:12 am Permalink

    No telecommuting at Yahoo?

  8. andrei
    03/06/2004 at 10:38 am Permalink

    Wow, $1200-1500/month. Why don’t you BUY some real estate?

  9. andrei
    Jeremy Zawodny
    06/06/2004 at 9:20 am Permalink

    Gabe: if you think rents are high, wait until you see house prices!

  10. andrei
    06/06/2004 at 8:48 pm Permalink

    Yup. But if you can scrape together the down payment, that $1200-1500 going for mortgage payments is way better than going for rent.

  11. andrei
    06/06/2004 at 8:52 pm Permalink

    For $1200-1500/month, you could probably rent a HUGE house in Lincoln NE, eh?

  12. andrei
    07/06/2004 at 1:19 am Permalink

    Gabe, not necessarily. You have to run down the numbers and see whether your particular situation would benefit from your own house rather than an apartment. The first few years you are mostly paying off the interest on the mortgage anyway, and if you want to move elsewhere you will not have much investment in the actual house.. It is not a universal truth that ownership is better than renting.

  13. andrei
    09/06/2004 at 6:58 am Permalink

    Gabe, $1200 – $1500 wouldn’t necessarily be a HUGE house in Lincoln either. My house was just shy of $1300/month with a 6% 30 year mortgage. We had ~1400 square feet on the first floor and about 700 square feet in the basement. Granted it was a new house, but it was not that large, as Andrei can attest to.

    Of course, property taxes in Lincoln were almost 2.5%.

  14. andrei
    09/06/2004 at 12:57 pm Permalink

    What’s the average property tax rate?

  15. andrei
    11/06/2004 at 4:38 am Permalink

    I’d say 1.5% is generally pretty average, unless you are living in places that heavily subsidize education or something (like Lincoln did).

    1.5% on a $100,000 mortgage is $1500/year (an extra $125 / month)

    Not to mention home owners insurance, which is usually $100 / month.

    Plus any upkeep — owning real estate can get very expensive, very quickly. But don’t get me wrong, homeownership can be very nice also 🙂

  16. andrei
    16/06/2004 at 12:45 pm Permalink

    To conclude this, I’ve actually managed to work out a deal with my current landlord and will stay in the complex for another year.

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