I don't know the broader trend but, anecdotally, I know people who have/are in the process of moving out of cities for more rural locations. One couple I know just moved out of a major Northeast city to the coast of Maine. Others are seriously considering vacating NYC etc.
With many tech industry jobs mostly WFH until the end of the year and the future in general uncertain, a lot of people, especially those with leases coming up for renewal, are thinking this is a good time to make a move.
ADDED: I suppose this is good news for people looking for cheaper city housing prices. Maybe not so good for those who were especially attached to either the vibrant city life or busy office life.
I don't understand this reasoning. Was city life not vibrant when rents were 1/3rd the price?
If anything, "hypergentrification" tends to have a sterilizing effect on city life.
To be honest I'm kinda looking forward to it. Nothing against HENRYs (High earners, not rich yet)... but their "cultural tastes" are both expensive and not for everyone.
I'm not under the impression that the droves of techies riding free company shuttle buses from SF to Silicon Valley want to live outside of the city.
Maybe that's a uniquely SF thing, as I believe Silicon Valley still employs more tech people than SF, despite SF becoming a tech hub itself post-mobile. People don't live in downtown SF because they need to, they already live there because they want to.
People tend to leave expensive cities to start families.
Maybe downtown SF is just the lesser of two evils between SF and SV because of job location. Maybe they really want to be with their extended family in a suburb of Cleveland.
This especially made me laugh because the VP of Eng at one of my Silicon Valley startups was from Cleveland and would often joke "I escaped a prison sentence by leaving Cleveland" and "The place is so polluted the river caught on fire, TWICE!".
I've been to Cleveland and it's actually a pretty solid place to live. I would argue you could have a far better life there with a $50k house than slavishly working for the rest of your life for a multi-million dollar tiny home in a giant sprawled out suburb.
FWIW I never met a single person in the bay area that didn't want to live basically anywhere else, but couldn't because of work (and access to work). I'm sure they're there but I never met them. Networking is going to be terrible during COVID too, which is arguably the best thing about being down there for a startup anyways.
I just think people are going to be amazed at how much that place hollows out as more tech companies decide to permanently go remote. I loved the weather, but I also like not having to work as much to put a roof over my head. I'm sure that resonates with a lot of other people too, that don't think retiring early surrounded by friends and family is a prison sentence.
I'm really hopeful that remote work becomes widely accepted so that everyone gets more of what they want. That those who don't want to live in a city are no longer forced to and for those that want to live in a city, it becomes more affordable.
The most recent tech boom finally managed to get some construction going on in SF, but in a city where living rooms were converted into bedrooms and wildly successful 20-somethings having roommates, it's going to have to fall a long way before the city is affordable again on minimum wage.
All this says is you live in a bubble. I know many people who would love to live here but can't afford to do so. I also live here and the only reason I'm considering leaving is the expense. I imagine most people who own a home here don't stay here because they hate it. They could sell their homes and probably retire early anywhere else. FWIW I'm not from here. The only people who want to live "anywhere else" aren't from here and are only here for the money. Those people will leave, sure. But then again, maybe not, when they see that employees here make more than they do in Cleveland.
> I'm sure that resonates with a lot of other people too, that don't think retiring early surrounded by friends and family is a prison sentence.
I think you're vastly underestimating the number of people that are from here that want to stay here. I've got many, many friends that have left the area simply because they can't afford it.
It's going to be decades before the bay "empties out", because as soon as that starts happening, those people living six adults to a three-bedroom home are going to start spreading out and the people that left against their will are going to come back. And there is still going to be an absurd amount of money here, even it gets spread around some.
And as much as companies may start to allow remote work (not at all a forgone conclusion in my mind, although the $$ seems right), there are still going to be competitive advantages to employees and founders who decide to live here.
Sure it's not as bad as say, northern Minnesota, but once you get away from the ocean and desert areas, if there's standing freshwater around there can be plenty of mosquitoes. The last time I camped in Big Basin everyone was running through clouds of them to/from the restrooms.
But yeah, in the cities like SF and LA, there aren't very many. The city would spray for mosquitoes at night when I lived in San Mateo, which surprised me coming from the midwest and not expecting Californians to be ok with such chemicals sprayed throughout their neighborhoods while they slept.
It was an ideal spot for 92/280 access. But while it was equidistant from everything of interest on a map, traffic was often so impossibly bad that everything was equally prohibitively inconvenient to reach. And forget about parking in SF after you've managed to get there, not on any busy night everyone else is out on too.
If you want to access the SF night life regularly, San Mateo isn't really a convenient place for it. Maybe via Caltrain+BART@Millbrae? That wasn't easy from my place, our location was very car-optimized.
I did prefer the San Mateo weather to SF or Berkeley though, even up on the hill we got way less cold damp crap weather ruining our nights out on the deck.
Why isn’t the train a more attractive option? You’re in one of the very few areas in the US with even one train line, and you still don’t sound like you’re very keen on it.
Surely the train is a fine option from San Mateo right into central SF? What’s stopping you?
- no wifi
- relatively expensive for a return trip
- 4th and King terminal is nowhere. You still have to get to FiDi or somewhere
- runs hourly after a certain time, ending at midnite (pre-corona.)
- if you forget/can't prove you paid, $200+fine and interrogation
There is garage parking downtown after 6 pm, but that's $20+.
This happened to me the first time I took BART to Millbrae from the Glen Park station. I did some transfer that I mistakenly thought was covered by my ticket but apparently wasn't. Was treated like a scumbag criminal by a BART cop on a power trip getting in my face and shoving me around, ended up with a stiff fine to boot.
I've had nothing but problems with Clipper cards and tagging on and off the Caltrain.
Brutal commute, though.
They are really eager to see a trend out of small amounts of data. Or proclaim urban life dead, now and forever.
I personally feel strongly in the other direction. We had the infamous "white flight" and car-centric communities and life. We had the peak of urban crime in the 80s and 90s. Then we had a reversal of those trends. Yes gentrification is tough on many, yes the costs are out of control for many, but on the balance I think denser living is the right call.
Yeah, that would be me. Paying a King's ransom to rent a hovel in an urban desert isn't my idea of fun. It would probably be OK if I did 100% of my work on a laptop, but with hobbies / side-hustles that involve physical equipment and space, an apartment isn't just dismal, it's stifling. Renting tools is like renting an apartment: high cost, low quality.
I'm counting the days until I can escape.
It's been so freeing. If I'm working on something late or at odd hours, I don't have even have to think about the the noise impact on my neighbors. Same with music - if I want to enjoy it, I just can. Simple as that; no more mental triage list of precisely where I listen to it so as to have the least impact on the inhabitants of any adjoining units, scrambling if the song changes to one with far more bass and I need to suddenly adjust things, or copping out of those mental gymnastics by settling with headphones after having already had them on for most of the day at work.
I've also got similar hobbies/interests/side-hustles as you, that involve accumulation and use of physical equipment and tooling. I've been able to really dive into those areas far more since I don't have to be hyper aware of spacial efficiency. Without even being fully cognizant of it, I had spent years minimizing how much attention I gave to those areas of interests while maximizing towards things that either had minimal physical prerequisites or leveraged things that both wouldn't cause a disturbance to the others living adjacent to me while also being multi-purpose enough to justify making space for it.
Before moving, it didn't really both me as I wasn't particularly cognizant of the many mental micro-checks I had accumulated organically over the years to ensure my behavior aligned with the noise, space, and practicality constraints of urban living. But now that I've been able to let those go, there's no way I could go back unless I somehow hit it big and suddenly become able to afford the astronomical price of urban living with the suburban luxuries of space and isolation. Anything short of that would now just leave me feeling constantly stifled and constrained at home.
 My neighborhood is packed in pretty tightly on small lots, so still have to be somewhat conscientious of noise impact on neighbors. But sound is sufficiently buffered that I can do pretty much whatever I like whenever I like without having to even think about whether doing so would disturb the neighbors. It's worlds apart from urban living, where SFHs are rare and you're more than likely to have at least one adjoining wall with a neighbor, and potentially have five "outer" walls all adjoining different neighbors.
Getting out of car-centrism doesn't require everyone to live in large cities. Small cities with good design can be more than enough. Living in a dense arrangement might be more tolerable for many people in a small city where the countryside is more accessible.
Kids love yards. They love the little creek that runs past.
I love the safety. Small neighborhood, we all know each other and look out for the kids that run around playing.
We moved from a big city to suburban hell a few years after having a kid. In those first years, we took our kid to museums, parks, playgrounds, etc. all over the city. Now there is jack shit to do in the suburb we're in except going to the mall, cannot walk anywhere, have to use the car 100% of the time to even go to a shop. A backyard is a sad place compared to something like Central Park. I feel so sad for my kid. If the prices keep going lower in cities and remote work becomes the norm, we're moving back. (Un)fortunately my wife hates it here too, and we've often talked about moving back to a city.
Downsides are that it’s almost as expensive as the city (you can get a bit more space for your money, but not a lot more) and closer proximity to “urban” issues like grit, crime, homelessness, traffic that you can be more insulated from in the sprawl.
I grew up in the suburbs. I loved we had a 2 car garage with tools. My dad had a radial saw and built all kinds of stuff. We ran a neighborhood haunted house in it. We also had a pool in the backyard, all our friends came over often. We had a 20x30ft family room that was build to be sound proof so my dad could practice drum playing. It was at the far opposite side of the house from my parents bedroom and they let us use it for slumber parties often. There was a collection of hobby stores a few minutes away by bike. One neighbor had a small farm in his backyard with 4 fruit trees and various stuff in between. I loved all the neighbors. One had a go-kart that we would ride from time to time. My parents entertained often including an 80person new years eve party every other year. Could walk or ride our bikes to school where we launched model rockets and watched people fly radio controlled gliders.
That said I'm not dissing the city. I can't really imagine what its like to be in NYC as a kid but many European cities seem like great places for both adults and kids.
Personally, I prefer to take my car to the shop because I don't want to carry a car load of stuff home. And Central Park is something I like to visit, but I wouldn't send a young child to play there by themselves.
Back in the suburbs now and the kid would spend his Saturdays watching TV if I didn't stop him because the alternative is ... the one playground in driving distance? The movies? Target?
People really underestimate the volume of activity you can put in front of a young kid in a city.
- regular (meaning periodic) physical activity is essential, for the adults and kids. Sports leagues, gym classes, whatever. If you’re not into sportsy physical activity, you need a physical hobby like woodworking, gardening, or literally anything to get your blood flowing
- your weekly schedule looks totally different as the seasons change. Skiing in winter, hiking and camping in the fall, beach vacationing in the summer, etc
- regular domestic vacations to escape the boredom, and to make you long for home.
- regular home improvement, to make your life in your house 1% better every month
- regular visits with nearby close friends and family. At least one visit to a close relation every two weeks. Non negotiable, and ideally tied to holidays
- overdo your holidays. Birthdays are huge, winter holiday (Christmas etc) is huge. Thanksgiving is huge. It has nothing to do with the meaning of the holiday and everything to do with getting people together.
These kinds of things are less achievable in the city because you have less money, less space, less autonomy. Just my observations from happy suburban families, I’m curious to see others’ notes.
The idea is to expose your kids to a wide range of activities, and support them doubling down on an evolving handful of them. Avoid setting super specific constraints (you must play a team sport), and instead try setting goals (find a physical activity you enjoy and find motivating). From my perspective, parenting is about exposing children to their options, and making some choice recommendations where you have experience.
Parents can do that anywhere, and fail to do that anywhere. I do agree that if your parents aren’t doing a good job of that in a walkable city, kids are more likely to discover those options on their own.
For example, imagine that your kid wants to pursue rock climbing or small boat sailing, and your family lives in NYC. Or, you want to have a holiday gathering of 20+ people. The options exist but they're exorbitantly expensive.
I feel you. We did the same, but that's because our son has ADHD and public or private schools in the city weren't cutting the mustard. We all miss the city and our friends there, and I miss walking everywhere. It was an awesome place to raise a child, but circumstances forced our hand.
What's so bad about a nice suburb? By nice, I mean "with parks, and nearby mountains, and community centers", not just cookiecutter crap from horizon to horizon.
Sure, there's no live jazz around, but it's not like the city is so far away that I can't go and get some of that when I want it, and meanwhile I can leave my kid's bike on the lawn overnight and it'll be there in the morning.
Autonomous Zones are only going to make this worse.
There's no natural law that says kids can't play safely in nature in an urban environment. Plus the added benefit of meeting and interacting with other kids from all different walks of life.
We just have to prioritize it - and unfortunately the "got my own piece of nature and I'll drive everywhere else" suburban mindset is part of what forces our cities (and suburbs) to remain dangerous asphalt wastelands.
Also, they raise plenty of kids in other countries where they haven't oriented life around suburbs.
Also, this was more true in the United States before white flight, and the US raised plenty of healthy kids then.
So I don't think the kid thing makes as much sense as they say. But the state of US school systems does make the urban kid raising thing needlessly expensive for many.
Still, I think more of an effort should be made to improve US urban public schools. I don't know what the answer is. It's surely very complex. I am not a specialist.
I might as well just copy your last paragraph.
Additionally, we love the parks, the playgrounds, the gardens, we walk to childcare, walked to work before this whole pandemic thing. We all have memberships with the museum and the zoo that give us unlimited visits. And since the pandemic, my son often rides in a Thule transport behind my bike. we've got a creek along the bike trail, and one in one of the gardens. we've even got a children's farm down the road.
Culturally many Australians are like Americans: the refrain is "you need to move to suburbia once you've got kids" and "kids need a back yard to run around in" and "you can't raise a kid in an apartment". To the point that half of them never move into the city in the first place or reflexively move out without an actual thought or goal. And it IS frustrating to lose friends (so far everyone I've talked to that has moved out regrets it or at least looks back wistfully) , and knowing that this belief is the viscious circle that stops people improving cities.
But while I will admit that rural areas have something we can't replicate in the inner city (we all have trade offs after all), I WANT my child to have the opportunities afforded in the city and will actively fight the forces trying to set suburbia as a default. judging by the number of childcare centres, prams and scooters showing up in my neighbourhood, we might finally be on the verge of a generation that will try to stay.
the pandemic has changed things, but as I've said to my wife and has been echoed by other posters, maybe this will clear the way for people who want to be here...
I grew up in one of the small, very coastal Australian towns that stayed beautiful but got expensive and boring (alternative seems to be: grew big and turned awful, not much middle ground here).
This was a ride your bike to school at 6 years old, spend one third of your life in the ocean, "just try to be home for dinner" town.
Then I spent some time in some of the nicer, central suburbs of a second tier Aussie city.
Then some small, blue collar northern European industry towns, then a major southern European city.
Of those, and given the chance/choice, I'd raise children in the tiny coastal village and the dense European city (within 100m of my apartment - pedestrian streets - there were two small playgrounds, a market, a school, a library, a park, the beach was a 15min walk). Anywhere between those two extremes and adventure turns into a thoroughly planned outing, with a strict time limit on the paid parking if you got lucky and found a spot.
The moderate densities are (or become) sprawling nothings with one coles/woolies/liquorland/bws/bunnings "hub" and long commutes to anywhere. Like you, many of my friends who plan to become young families seem to gravitate towards these starter-package lives, and although I'm probably listening for it, I hear the same regret and resignation from them that you do.
Older relatives live in more expensive versions of the same thing, with a better quality finish on the bathroom and a glass fence on the pool they never use, and an 80k SUV for the just-as-long commute. There might be a flashy bowls club filled with pokies instead of a shitty tavern filled with pokies.
Keep fighting the good fight. We build these 5 bedroom homes in the suburbs so that we're comfortable staying home. Because there's nothing to do outside, because we spent so much energy building nothing suburbs.
Your description sounds the exact opposite of suburb to my experience.
A suburb area is optimal for young kids as they can go everywhere. Parks, playgrounds, forest trails, movie theaters, everything is within a 10 minute walk or 3-5 minute bike ride. That's what the suburb experience means to me and the life we live right now.
In a city (SF/NYC) I couldn't possibly let my <10yr old go anywhere without extreme supervision given the crime, drugs, abusive cops, prostitution, crazy homeless, etc in every corner.
We can walk to many things. We are still considered suburban.
Further out and walking to shops is less plausible. But then you have lots of nature to wak around
Technically this is policy and not law but you could rack up huge fines if you do not supervise your kids. Often times parents trade off and coordinate but it’s still a hassle.
Many HOAs have rules that require children under the age of 13 to be supervised by an adult when outside the home.
Maybe it’s just a “grass is always greener” thing, but I always wonder why people assume kids really want the suburban life.
Crime stuff in cities, nice family comedies in the suburbs.
Walking to school requires school/daycare/extracurricular center in walking distance walkable city. The spread in suburbs means that distances are higher then in the city.
But parks? In the NYC suburbs (maybe exurbs is more accurate) where I grew up, I had like 5 beautiful state parks within walking distance from my house. I could walk through my friend’s backyard to a pair of beautiful lakes where we could swim, fish, kayak, whatever.
It’s interesting. I’m not trying to be argumentative, but when I go to the city (any American city, at least), I find it to be really dirty, loud, and I find the people to be generally rude. I also don’t like the complete and total lack of outdoor space that isn’t public. Nothing beats a backyard to me.
People aren't typically at this stage until they're secure in their careers and have partnered up. These days that's people well into their 30s (and maybe 40s).
The notion that a bunch of 28 year old single people making $30,000-$50,000/yr while paying down student loans are going to be rushing out to the suburbs to buy homes because of COVID or "social unrest" seems unlikely.
 Which, incidentally, tend to be fairly large since municipalities discourage smaller "starter home" construction.
What would they be bitter about?
The suburbs of "thriving" cities are "thriving" in basically exactly the same way as the city centers are. Even in the extreme examples like the Bay Area, the crazy SF prices haven't stopped prices in Mountain View from also going nuts.
By contrast, the Boston area for example you can get to significantly cheaper (though not exactly cheap) housing out where a lot of the, especially local, tech employers are. Things have shifted more towards the city in recent years but a lot of tech is still 30-45 minutes outside the city.
Having parks, beaches, produce shops, restaurants, schools and friends in walking distance is the value.
Covid has proven those things can’t be replicated online.
The benefits of remote working are largely lost on those with children.
Remote work dramatically increases my opportunities in my current location.
I also think the environmental cost is lower, for example if you're not burning fossel fuels in single occupant SUVs in order to do everything. My personal experience is also that avoiding that last part is good for your health, physical fitness and stress.
On the other hand it might be a good idea to be on the move and buy/rent something cheap.
I don’t know any official figure but I’ve seen entire blocks half-occupied or even less than that (storefronts) about half a year ago when I ventured to Manhattan. I was shocked then and imagine it must be worse now. I was reading an article about the real storefront occupancy rate in Manhattan and it is not a known thing. Various realtors have their internal figures but they don’t share it with the world, so any figures may as well be inflated by them. The bubble is wobbly if you ask me
Vibrant may not have been the best choice of words. But there have certainly been periods over the past few decades when life in major cities was more dangerous, grittier, less polished, etc. than it was today. e.g. Bryant Park in the 80s, Some may not consider that a negative.
Cities were not very desirable back then.
My grad school cohort in the late 80s, many of whom worked for Boston area computer companies or in finance, basically none of them actually lived in the city.
Which plays into a lot of the noise about city housing prices. Basically, the urge among young wealthy urban professionals to live in cities is mostly quite recent.
The previous (somewhat derogatory) term was "Yuppie" ("young urban professional" or "young, upwardly-mobile professional") .
More seriously, DINK seems to be approximately the plural of HENRY in this context.
Get off my lawn, etc...
Besides, in the tech world, JS frameworks become ancient in months.
My experience with any gentrification is a place with almost nothing interesting to do or see gets renewed with new restaurants, bar, venues, etc... so a place that was boring with nothing to do suddenly has new an interesting things to do. Attracting new business brings in other things too like festivals, farmers markets, etc..
That's hardly "... tends to have a sterilizing effect on city life" but maybe you have a different experience.
It's really not as colourful as the melange of labourers and aspiring artists in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods with historical communities.
These are gross caricatures, but my impression is that's why people don't like gentrification.
decent salaries but not a lot of accumulated wealth, e.g. stocks, real estate, etc.
I think it's good for those people too, because urban housing prices will also go down as people move away. It could become more affordable to have that vibrant city life alongside the others who actually want to be there and don't just have to be there.
I'd personally be really excited to see Austin's skyrocketing growth and gentrification take a hard slowdown. So many of the locals and local businesses that made Austin so charming and "weird" in the first place have been driven out by the swelling cost of living.
All that to say, you may see the opposite of a slowdown.
moving from SF/LA/NY
But, to your point, yeah a return to a more gritty and bohemian version of urban life would be appealing to some.
(If I'm being honest the latter have a certain appeal to me too, but I think it's a travesty when they supplant things that are irreplaceably more human)
I grew up in the Midwest, which people romanticize as the real America, small town life, etc. But now it’s mostly strip malls, chain stores, and deranged, adversarial politics. In LA, by contrast, I could find a small, locally-owned business for just about any service or need and people were friendly and accepting of everyone.
If you can separate yourself out from the Hollywood BS and gentrified neighborhoods, it’s really a great place.
Live and learn.
Where you have the perfect stew composed of a high mixture of all walks of life, from economic background, educational background, ethnic background, cultural background, etc..., and until someone figures out how to combat the change, it always seems to be overrun by gentrification.
I’ve seen a few higher reaching accounts over the past couple of years saying, “When you make improvements to your community, always be aware the actions you take may attract gentrification which will decimate the community you’re trying to build and price you out in the process. You could be improving yourself right out of your house or business. Build that community but beware of gentrification.”
I’ve seen gentrification happen in a couple of places, but one of the most stark examples has to have been Portland, OR.
I know multiple people who have moved from California to Portland like 4 years ago. When visiting, they raved about how amazing all of the small little shops were, how green everything was, all of the amazing little restaurants, how many people walk/biked everywhere, the lack pretentiousness, how everyone preferred dive bars, etc...
Many of those same people who have moved here now variously complain about the people who walk/bike, drive or take ubers the mile or so to work, complain about the lack of parking, don’t shop at any of the little stores, drive 15 minutes out of the city to shop at big box stores, and seem enraged they cant find clubs that only allow in “beautiful people.”
I know Portland isn’t the only place to experience this and to be clear, I’m not trying to shame them, but I’ll never understand how someone can like a place so much, they go out of their way to hunt for a new job, pick up and move to an entirely new city, and then complain or refuse to do the things which it takes to maintain that which made you fall in love with a place.
I think many of the people which cause gentrification, they see the cosmopolitan nature of a place, love it, and then want to make it exactly like the place they left.
Prior to coming back to Portland, I lived on a Caribbean island for a couple years for a work project, and I saw first hand how adamant they are at pushing back against newcomers trying to change the culture which make the place so beautiful in the first place. I think they understand on a gut level how attempts to make something more like some other place has ripple effects and those usually lead to economics which price out the good stuff.
The worst part is, when we see a place that has a vibrant community, with open mic nights, and cute little shops with locals who own the shops etc..., those communities spent decades making their own little spaces in their image and people move in and just don’t adapt.
I mean some people just prefer living a suburban existence, and that’s OK. Plenty of people are proud to be rural, plenty of people who are proud to be cosmopolitan, why not just be proud to prefer suburbs. We all have different preferences, we don’t need to force cosmopolitan areas to lose all resemblance of itself when there’s already a place tailor made for people who prefer strip malls where parking lots seem to always be 90% unoccupied.
Sorry for the ramble, I’ve just seen gentrification decimate cosmopolitan communities that spent decades building them up and force lifetime old residents and businesses out time and time again, only for the new residents to complain about the very cosmopolitanism they loved in the first place and before ya know it, its looks shockingly like the suburb which is a mere minutes away.
But another thing to keep in mind is that things change constantly. The reason why a cute cultural enclave is not anymore might of been because of a disaster back at the home country isn't happening anymore and the second generation kids are all now doctors and engineers now.
The opposite of gentrification can happen too (ex detroit), and TBH it's even worse. The only thing that you can guarantee is that the city and culture you grew up with will not be the same city 10 or 50 years later in many ways.
The power of the big city - and why it's associated with the cosmopolitan - is that it provides a space too large for any endogroup to fully dominate, and an allowance for the exceptional case.
 Outlined in detail in The Creation of Me, Them and Us. But briefer versions can be found in her blog: https://georgiebc.wordpress.com/
Because most people are consumers, not creators, and when an excessive amount of consumers enters a space that previously had a balance between consumers and creators, the prices get bid up and the imbalance results in a situation where people drive 15 minutes to go to the big box store.
The consumers wanted to consume the convenience of the little shops, but not in sufficient quantities to continue to make it a viable business in the face of rising demand from other consumers coming in also to consume the convenience of the little shops. Hence you end up at a new economic equilibrium where the big box stores are the only ones left.
Then, if society is lucky, the intial and boundary conditions will allow for a new place to reach a balance between consumers and creators, and rinse, repeat.
This is also a little bit related to this theory:
And get this, there's bars too!!! With real alcohol!
Not a thing in the rest of the country, or even in very leftest areas.
FFS, just ask who they are, what they like to do and see if there is something in common. This politica bullshit really need to end (it is ok for more close relationships, but if the first question I get is if I am Right or Left, I will just insult he person somehow)
I believe the common trolling method is to identify as an "apache attach helicopter", pronouns vrrrrr/bang
What makes sense in a city context doesn't always make sense in a town context. And what makes sense in a town doesn't always make sense in a city. The difference is huge, to the point that the best approach can be the opposite.
I think this is at the crux of a lot of the country's polarization and inability to understand the other side.
The CNN story gives the impression that this is a nationwide trend, but it's really isolated to the housing markets that have been the most unaffordable in recent years.
No surprise. Not all places are equally worth living in. As an American living in Canada I think a 2nd tier California city wouldn't be bad. Maybe not Bakersfield, but Sacramento? Sure.
But I see concern if you're with someone that hasn't really made any statements or really provided any indications beyond "for the duration of the emergency."
Once the pandemic ends and employers stop allowing WFH again, there might be a large surge in pricing as suddenly everyone wants to get back into those cities.
Blue, urban centers will allow WFH for white collar employees, but big corporate places in red and purple states will force people back into the office, even if more get sick and die. This is how the reopenings are already playing out across the country.
We don't know how many companies will require on-site presence.
Some might just allow WFH permanently.
E.g. Twitter already announced that, see: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/may/12/twitter-c... .
We've seen this before with companies that created satellite campuses to take advantage of cheaper labor due to cost of living differences.
When problems arise, only those local to the headquarters survive the layoffs.
My point is that norms can shift without big company announcements so long as companies don't actively prevent them.
I do think this is going to become a big deal for people as they consider current and future jobs. It's probably also going to be a big issue for onboarding junior people.
I'm not sure I understand this. Tech industry is WFH for now. So you move out to Flyover, USA. Once the COVID-19 crisis is over next year, it's back to business as usual, and your company says, "Well, back to the office, everyone!" Now what? Move again? Do people just love moving or something?
Is the rent difference plus the cost to move all your belongings/vehicles (twice), plus the hassle of changing your kids's schools (twice) and uprooting everything (twice) really worth it?
There have been a handful of companies that have indicated the desire to expand their WFH/remote opportunities long-term, but most of them have given no such guarantee. If you're in Iowa and you get called back to the office, what's your plan?
There are no guarantees in life of course but I know multiple people moving from cities to more rural environments.
Meh, if there's less people living in cities that's cheaper rent for me.
What's interesting is what impact this could have on the carbon footprint. Generally speaking, higher density living is associated with lower carbon footprint per capita.
This is where I live. I love it. I encourage others to consider it unsustainable.
Do you care if I live in the middle of nowhere in the mountains if all of my power is clean solar, our cars are electric, I work from home, and pay for carbon offsets for anything I need shipped to the home (until UPS, Fedex, and USPS electrify)? Personally, I'll pay whatever it costs to not have a neighbor within a 15 minute walk of my property, but still have national parks within a 30 minutes drive.
That doesn't change the sustainability argument.
> moved out of a major Northeast city to the coast of Maine
is not necessarily a move that is going to bring a lower rent/mortgage. Coastal Maine can be pricy.
Some industries may also run into legal issues if an employee working in another country has to access data that is not allowed to cross country lines.
Also HR issues. If you're working in France for a US company, are you subject to French employment law?
rather than moving out of the urban areas, folks seem to be looking for a little more separation from strangers, possibly also more WFH space.
Rents for SFH seem about the same as per-COVID, while apartments are dropping.
Context: my firm provides back office services to 50k+ rental units across the nation and unless you're in some oddly hot market, most mgmt companies currently are holding their breath that their renters don't say anything and renew at the same price.
If you're reasonable, you can easily negotiate a price drop and the mgmt co will most likely accept it begrudgingly because they do not have the data to call YOUR bluff. every mgmt co right now is taking whatever they can get and locking it down for as long as they can.
happy to respond to individual folks questions but keep in mind that any advice I may provide is not legal nor financial and I guess I should say my posts/comments are my own and do not represent my company's. =)
The last offer was 3 months free and 2 parking spaces free if we stay for 12 month lease, which comes to 34% discount on the rent including parking.
Other buildings are offering by default two months rent-free and they will pay the movers if you decide to move in.
DTLA is a special place as it has plenty of new supply, but I can imagine that it's not too different in other places across LA.
Someone should make a website to share offers that they received like this. It would be super helpful to better understand your local market and negotiate come renewal time.
However, the larger point stand. Most building did offer around a month of free rent to new tenants in last couple of years.
Whenever we spoke with neighbors they were so thankful that they didn't increase the price that they immediately signed. In fact of the maybe 20 people we spoke over the years, none attempted to renegotiate their lease.
My expectation is as PPP is now running its course a lot of white collar jobs will be terminated which will put pressure on the housing market as whole. I believe we should see a dramatic drop in prices by early next year (nobody really buys/sells during holidays).
But even if you don’t like it, there is little to be lost. The worst they can do is to say no and then you pay whatever rate they asked for if you decide to stay.
I tend to reside in more expensive buildings so they have harder time finding tenants. That’s why I ask for the costs of finding a new tenant as a discount.
This only works in falling market or in market with plentiful of supply. When we lived in SF we paid what they asked for.
Great stuff. Thank you for the reply!
Even when we lived in SF, where negotiations were almost impossible as they would have filled the unit within a week, they still were willing to do something in order to retain us.
think of the analogy "even money" in blackjack - when the dealer is showing an Ace but you've got blackjack, most objective people will take the "even money" versus gamble against whether the dealer has BJ or not. also why you tend to not split tens unless you're counting =p
Anyhow this commenter sounds like they know what they're talking about and are saying that landlords in SF cannot beat rent control in this manner: https://socketsite.com/archives/2020/06/complimentary-rent-o...
Generally it introduces more complexity in the process so tenants can't easily share and get outraged by different rent levels, because everyone is "paying the same". So if you rent is $3k/month but you don't have to pay for 2 months, you are still going to pay $3k.
Additionally once the lease is up you are starting with $3k baseline rather than $2,500.
> The last offer was 3 months free and 2 parking spaces free if we stay for 12 month lease, which comes to 34% discount on the rent including parking.
That's weird how everytime I discover something new about "free market" in USA, I'm glad to live in Europe.
Having to negotiate your lease like you would with a bag of apples seems insane to me since rents are regulated as are drops or increases in an occurring lease.
The benefit of the US system is that higher rents create more incentive to produce more supply. It sometimes breaks down, like it did in SF, but in DTLA this worked well. Developers smelled opportunity, build bunch of new apartment buildings and we were able to lower our rent by 35% just within 14 months.
If the market was regulated, then no new supply would be produced as there is no incentive to do so.
they also have to deal with make ready costs, time, and potentially vacancy which any landlord who is objective would gladly say "you want $50/month off your rent? done!" - i would at least.
the only time this doesn't work is in a "hot" rental market where the landlord/PM can charge more for rent and/or have a waitlist (in multifamily scenarios)
Anecdote: I know a realtor who jacked up the price of an apartment in Queens by $250 because it was supposedly under the market price and the landlord priced it wrong. That realtor found the people to move in, but I think what they did was utterly wrong, greedy, etc
So insist, look around and don’t settle for less (in this case for more than you're willing to pay for, and subtract some from that). If there was a good time to bargain now is the time. Be picky! I've seen such oddities in this dirty city, apartments a few feet from the train station - imagine the unbearable noise - which rent for nearly the market price minus 1-200. I've seen apartments with caved in floors rent for almost the market price.
A friend of mine was speculating this as well -- that the market hasn't moved as much as it could because landlords are worried about getting “locked in” at a lower rate. My hunch is that it's not entirely true yet, or else we'd be seeing more concessions (free first month, etc.) that don't impact the stabilized price -- at least in my Manhattan building, even concessions that have been offered (off and on) under normal circumstances are not listed any more.