Month / July, 2015

House Hunters Silicon Valley

So far we have covered the process of packing and then moving across the country. Now for the next step of finding a place to stay. 
I would hazard a guess that the finding part is the most stressful. The reason being that you have memories and expectations set by your previous home, and you want at least that same level of feelings at the next. Which means all of the places you look at are judged agains the old. In our case, I feel this kind of hurt us because my wife and I both lived our previous apartment. It was in a beautiful vintage building, it had wonderful furnishings, and our landlords were fantastic. All of that create big shoes to fill. 
Additionally, there is a time crunch to finding something. Many times when moving you are either traveling to the destination for a short time before the actual move process and must find something before leaving. This is actually what we did when moving to Chicago. Again, we got lucky there. Or, maybe you have already started the move and are staying in a hotel burning cash every night you don’t have a permanent address. This is actually, kind of the situation in which we found ourselves. But, not exactly. 
It is true that we had already arrived in the Bay Area before starting to really call and look at places, but we weren’t facing the same kind of crunch of staying in a hotel on our own dollar. I am lucky enough that my new employer provides a very generous relocation package that includes up to 30 days of temporary housing in a corporate long term apartment complex. So we used that. Which gave us the freedom of not having to pinch pennies on that part. We do have a pretty hard limit, but it was long enough out that we weren’t really having to scramble and take the first thing we saw. This was great. We had other time constraints to deal with in that my wife had travel plans for the third week of our stay so ideally we would find something before she leaves. 
All of that made our search much more comfortable, from a time perspective. But that didn’t make the nerves any less when picking a new place. We still had the mental comparisons to our home in Oak Park that we were making. And we still had the concerns of if we were making the right choices. These still lead to plenty of hand ringing and furrowed brows. Additionally we had a few extra parameters we wanted to fill this time that were not a concern last time, like since we live so far from family they are likely to stay a little longer than in Chicago and we would like to have a room (or two) for them to do so instead of shipping off to a hotel. 
I’m happy to say we were able to find a place that we feel is going to suit us amazingly well in the coming year, and hopefully longer. We both hate the process of moving. 🙂

California Dreamin’

We made it! We got to California in one piece and without car trouble. The former I was confident in, the latter was potentially a challenge. 
Yes, we moved to California. My previous post mentioned packing our apartment up and I don’t think I really said why. This is why. But why the move? I recently got a job out here in the San Francisco Bay Area and needed to relocate. 😀

The wife and I are both extreme excited about this change. The weather has been awesome since we got here. Though, it did rain 12 drops on our first day, so I’m thinking we are bringing the weather change that California so desperately needs. The surrounding areas are quite attractive. Mountains around the bay, Yosemite just a short drive away, Napa valley and Sonoma valley just a hop skip and a jump north, and for automotive fans there is Mazda Speedway at Laguna Seca just to the south. And no snow!

Also, housing is tight here. In numerous ways. The most obvious is the cost. Everything is extremely expensive here in terms of housing costs. To get something like we had in oak park would be probably close to 3x the cost of we were to live in San Francisco proper. We are not looking there but rather further south. In those places we can get a bit more for that price but finding the good ones is tough because no ads really provide much context,band google maps’ photos are from 4 years ago when yards were still green. It is surprising how much dead lawns really bring the appearance of a neighborhood down. 

We have faith that we are going to get something great for us and are starting an awesome new adventure here!