Martin Little posted this bit about craigslist.com's latest housing availability chart:
According to craigslist, there is plenty of housing in the San Francisco area at the moment. Perhaps now is the time to pack up and head west, especially now that the buzz seems to be returning to the Valley. Being able to head down Highway One or finally make it to the Monterey Jazz Festival is certainly appealing. The taxes and issues finding employment might not be so welcoming though.
I've actually come around to looking back at San Francisco for apartments again. At one point I was thinking that I'd rather be out in the burbs - like in San Ramon, Mill Valley, a university town like Santa Cruz or even down South in the massive sprawl of San Diego so I could have my little house and garage and all that. However, after chatting with my friend Chris who played the same exact game of moving to the U.S. with his European wife (Anne, his wife, is from The Netherlands), and seeing the chart above, it made more sense to go back to San Francisco.
The reasons are varied, but in general I *love* San Francisco having left the city to come to Madrid and always wanted to go back. Also, Ana doesn't drive (yet), so living in the City will be a lot easier for her to have a life during the transition period while I go to work, etc. San Francisco is the U.S.'s most "European" city, so it'll be an easier adjustment from that perspective, and it'll have a lot of Spanish language resources like bookstores, movie rentals, etc. In general, it seems like the best solution. If we were out in the burbs, Ana would just be trapped in the house and that would suck. Better to be in the city for a while until the adjustment phase is over - which could be a while.
Ever live in another country? If you haven't then you have *no* idea. I'm going to try to buffer Ana as much as possible, but there's no getting around the general emotional roller-coaster when changing surroundings so drastically. Being in one of the most incredible cities in the world will hopefully help it. I mean, you *cannot* hang out within site of The Golden Gate with views of the bay and the hills, etc. and think how lucky you are to live where you live.
Of course, I spent 4 years there bitching about how cold it was... You have to imagine how much I *hate* cold and how much I *love* SF in order for me to put up with it. That's going to take some getting used to again, but I think we can deal.
I was looking at places in RentTech and I'm really amazed at the places you can get. In 1999 I was paying $1400 a month for a one bedroom, but now for a little more than that you can get 2 or 3 bedrooms in some pretty decent areas. I'm going to try to find the cheapest place possible at first so it's not a huge strain on our budget - I doubt Ana will be working for a while and I won't be earning a 1999 salary by any stretch. But still, to see so many apartments available warms my heart.
The transition is the hardest to figure out how to plan. First I need to find a job, but finding a job from here is going to be a challenge. I've got some irons in the fire for a contract job with a top-tier name in the computer industry (I've already signed the NDA which says that I can't say much more, but imagine *top* tier). That would really help, then all I would have to do is look for an apartment and go. If that doesn't work out, then I may have to start applying from here, see if I can get some interviews and then go back and see if I can land one. I'm not really looking for full time work unless its for a super cool company (like that Nokia job I was lusting after before), but we'll see. A nice 6 month contract in the Bay Area would rock, that way we could go over, get our bearings and go from there.
Of course, "a job is short term solution to a long term problem". So I should get back to work on my big plans.