Until recently, most people have had to live where they made their living. Farmers lived on farms. Workers lived near mines, mills, factories and offices in which they worked. Even rich people lived in the cities where their businesses and investments were located, at least until the late 1800s when rail commuting to nearby suburbs allowed them to live in more pleasant surroundings. Even so, the wealthy continued to identify with their cities, participated in civic life, indulged in philanthropy, and were reasonably concerned about their city's quality of life.
In the 1960s, jet travel became cheap and frequent for the wealthy. The really rich became detached from the cities and moved to enclaves of wealth in Newport, Carmel, Palm Springs, Palm Beach, etc. from which they could reach cities occasionally, but from which they could safely ignore urban problems. The urban cores declined, in part, because the wealthy no longer cared.
Information technology enables a whole new slice of the population to detach where they live from where they make their living. Their political and social interests will shift to where they live, and they will abandon where they make their living.
The point is that we’re making long-term decisions based on short-term problems. Specifically this week JP Morgan asked its traders to return to the office.
You can counter this with examples like Facebook opening an office in Austin some years ago because that’s where the talent had moved. Similar in Boulder.
There will certainly be some % of employers who keep remote-first. And another scenario where they are forced to or the employees decide they love their lifestyle (which is likely). In the latter employers are either forced to adopt it or or the employees just leave or in some concentrations big companies start building offices in a distributed way.
We’re severely limiting our job choices if we stay remote but most employers don’t.
Before when we go off and buy houses or sign long-term leases we should really just wait this out until the Spring or whenever the virus is neutralized.
The FAANG crowd is used to pulling down $100k-$150k. Developer jobs that are advertised as remote from day one tend to be closer to $50k-$70k.
(These numbers are based on a combination of rumors and job board postings, so no, I don't have a source to cite.)
That said, I agree that your average non-FAANG job pays about half of FAANG. Although this is true regardless of remote-ness.
If you're a good developer with experience, it doesn't really matter where you are. I actually get paid more total comp than I would in SF, my cost of living is lower, and my tax situation is much better.
Once I found the company and nailed the interviews, I got an offer ~30% lower than the SF salary because of CoL adjustment. My position was that if my salary could be offset by much riskier equity (aka more than the 30% cut, but essentially free for the company), I would accept the position. So I ended up getting a larger total comp than would have been available to me in SF. Also I don't even need 50% of my salary to live outside of CA anyway, so it's a major lifestyle upgrade.
This only works because I get to choose any company in the world. That means the equity I get is something I would have invested in anyway given the opportunity.
For the first time in my career I feel that I negotiated well and have confidence in my employer, and it never would have happened by just being another dev in the bay area.
On the flipside, many many remote jobs pay significantly more than you're describing, more in line with every other non-FAANG developer jobs. If you're just looking at those poorly managed "Remote Job Board" sites, of course you'll think that, because most of those jobs are just subcontracts and gig-type roles.
Yes, there'll be a COL difference, but it's not like you're describing. Gitlab, as an example, pays a Data Engineer in nowhere Indiana 90-120k for remote work.
I would guess that more than one percent of office workers will be permitted/encouraged to go remote, but I think that few companies will go remote. There is no reason why remote needs to be a company-wide Boolean selection.
I suspect not before 2022. And even that is generous.
I live in a town - Bend, Oregon - that already had a lot of remote workers. It also has a housing affordability problem that is getting rapidly worse.
I'm also curious about the "non-zoom" towns and what the dynamics might look like there. Bend was already fairly well-known, but there are tons of former mining/logging/ranch towns throughout the west that have access to a lot of fun stuff to do in the outdoors, but are still relatively cheap because they aren't "on the radar".
I facilitate a local YIMBY group here in Bend, but it's an uphill battle. A town of 100K people can enact some good policies (and we have), but if even 1K people from the bay area decided to move here, that would massively change our housing market.
Perhaps moving onwards into the 'next hot spots' is what will keep happening? But that still leaves people in service jobs that can't be remote and don't earn as much as all the remote workers in a really bad spot. Who's going to teach their kids? Take care of them in the hospitals? Fight fires?
I wrote about it here: https://journal.dedasys.com/2018/07/27/fight-or-flight-yimby...
I know it doesn't really mean anything, but it always just seems peculiar to me when people refer to places with tens or hundreds of thousands of residents as "towns"
I guess mainly because the general consensus is that a "town" is smaller than a "city".
The "town" I grew up in had about 3k residents. To us, the place a half hour away with the big box stores where we'd do our shopping was the "city". It had all of 30k people.
Then again, that was 10x the size of where we lived.
I was born in a City of 6 million people.
I then moved to a City of 2 million people. It feels small by comparison.
To me a "city" is a place with an opera house, multiple museums, multiple options for every type of good international cuisines, shops open in the evening, and a transit system beyond bus (tram, or metro/subway).
I lived for a couple of years in a place that was the capital of a European nation, but was only about 600,000 people, and had "only" 3 Ramen restaurants. It felt like a town to me, not a city.
So yeah, I basically feel like every place below 1MM is a town.
In a city, I should to be able to (though I never have, and never will) streak naked down the street during rush hour, and for it to be a non-event. The European capital I lived in that thinks it's a city once had a frontpage story in the daily newspaper with the headline "Man on <street name> gets on all fours and barks like a dog at passerbys". That's not a city to me.
3k residents I would call a village.
My parents grew up in a town of one thousand people. There was a small bakery in the town and we had a leg up on all the other towns because we had a post office. If I ever misbehaved and did something I wasn’t supposed to, my parents knew before I even made it home because all of the residents knew each other and could call my parents to tell on me.
Anything smaller than that was a village.
Later, I moved to a city of about 300,000 people. There were multiple big box stores and, as you said, shops and restaurants open late into the night. That city was surrounded by suburbia. That was a big city in my eyes.
Now, I live in a city of about 50,000 people and I guess that’s what a normal city looks like in my eyes. It has a few restaurants, a few somewhat culturally distinct areas, and a college and university.
When I visited New York City, I would have characterized it as a metropolis, not just another city.
Going back, I think the defining characteristic for a city is that it’s large enough not to keep everything in your head. You don’t know everyone or everything in the city anymore, so you’re forced to make subdivisions. It’s not “the bakery next to the Jones’s up the street” but instead it’s downtown/uptown/Westside/Eastside.
I think by most people's definitions yours is closer to the standard. My wife did not grow up in the 6MM city like I did but towns of 70,000, 500,000, and 3,000 respectively, and she thinks my "It's not a city unless it's over 1MM people" take is the highpoint of douchey elitist snobbery.
I think that "keep everything in your head" is a reasonable cutting off point. Despite me scoffing at that "only 3 ramen restaurants" city I lived in, it's not like i know and have been to every restaurant in the place. A town you probably would be able to go to each one if you wanted to after a year.
Recently I was surprised to read that at the time of the Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was the nation’s largest city with only 20,000 residents!
This is almost certainly caused by an overly restrictive zoning regime that restricts the supply of housing and thus raises the price. The city likely bans all missing middle housing: https://missingmiddlehousing.com/
I suppose I fall into this category but even houses in the burbs seem more expensive than they should be. I’m specifically looking at up and coming towns, not any random burb but buying a house that’s literally 2-3X what it sold for 3-5 years ago is hard to justify. I really want to finally purchase something but I’m worried the market will fall out from under itself in a year or two after COVID financial aftermath settles down and I end up way underwater.
Charlotte and Raleigh are fairly safe bets, but Winston-Salem seems like it might be on a similar path (but much earlier on in that path if so).
I'm just not sure the allure is there, depending on which of these issues actually affects you.
I moved west for a while too. Eventually moved back to NC though. Most quirks that came from being in the south just didn't outweigh the positives in my case. ABC stores are weird, but the selection and prices are usually decent at least. I certainly never experienced anyone teaching creationism in Charlotte-Meck schools. Racial covenants are also something I've never had a friend or family member experience in Charlotte - though maybe it's because I'm from North Charlotte so most of the homes there are new construction or considered gentrified. I have read about racial covenants and redlining every where though - and Seattle certainly felt far more segregated than Charlotte and Raleigh did in that regard.
I will concede though - that gay marriage amendment that passed a few years back, was extremely disheartening and certainly did play a role in my temporary abandonment of my home state. Notably, all the big cities and every area that had a university voted against it. But still, I was aghast that the bill passed at all. I'm very glad that SCOTUS stepped in and that's not an issue any more.
It's not for everyone, and I'd even say that Fayetteville is not for anyone... but there are real reasons the metropolitan areas have grown like crazy. Charlotte and Raleigh now have something like 60% of residents being people who were not born in NC. It's probably just weather, house prices and jobs - but if somebody just wanted to live somewhere affordable that was going to go up in value - you could probably do a lot worse.
It's not "doom and gloom" to say that when there are examples of it happening before.
San Francisco's tax base is leaving. What do you think is going to happen?
Rent wise, San Francisco will just be Anytown, USA with a little bit of scarcity due to plethora of rent control and old tenants with grandfathered in low property tax due to state law.
City better balance its budget.
For one thing, they'll tax the remaining taxpayers until they move or die.
yes, to them it seems like a lot of business
evictions and foreclosures have barely started in San Francisco and will be completely backlogged
nationwide: a few hundred thousand people playing around with low interests rates, millions of people pending default
like I said, scarcity and views will continue to help San Francisco prices as it has for the last 170 years, but it can also become like those midatlantic satires of civilization.
So much culture left sf to Oakland due to cost. As SF rent gets cheaper, I suspect we’ll see art, food, and activism jobs come back.
Of course, sensible landlords are in short supply; a lot of amateur landlords do seem to see it as a magic money tree.
IMO, that's completely dependent on how much SF tech companies embrace remote work.
It also depends on whether those who move away from (or would potentially have moved to) the Bay Area come back, especially if prices are a bit less eye-watering. Which to some degree depends on how badly restaurants, bars, retail, etc. are ultimately hit.
And just what the attitude towards urban living generally is. (This applies more specifically to SF than the Bay Area as a whole.) The urban inflow among college educated young professionals is only about 20 years old. No reason it couldn't reverse again.
The thing is though, there are huge shifts going on in how finance operates today and how it will be going forward in the future…
A lot of things that most people in various societies have not questioned for long time are being brought into the forefront of awareness because of the pandemic, but arguably have developing for many years now and have become the reality for people at the margins of various societies.
I assume they: 1) know for sure they can wfh permanently, 2) are betting they will be able to wfh permanently or 3) are willing to quit when asked to come back to the office.
On the other hand, some destinations like Tahoe probably are good investments no matter which way WFH goes. As I understand it, that was an area that didn't really feel the previous housing crisis in 2008 either. And many buyers from the Bay Area may easily imagine they would hold their new mountain home even if they later move back to the city, whether as a low occupancy vacation home or to try to operate a rental...
They simply moved money from their brokerage account into the home.
The mortgage, if any, was small to them and is completely serviceable as they were saving for a mere downpayment on a SF or peninsula home, minimum downpayments are often 20% of the home value which would be close to $400,000 of $2,000,000. You typically want to reduce interest payments by putting larger percentages down.
They can sell the houses whenever they want and not lose anything or much. Its a store of value that also puts a roof over their head without having to pay someone else every month.
Seems like they’ll be forced to adopt remote first whether they like it or not. No company is going to be able to lay off half its workforce. The labor market for software engineers and most other professionals is still extremely tight. Until it’s otherwise, the workers are essentially in charge, and management will mostly have to accommodate.
High performer who is hard to replace? Sure, we’ll be flexible.
Low performer with 10 people lined up, ready to take the role? If you’re not in the office on Monday, you’ll be fired.
And the thing that gets me is some of the booming housing markets are far away from jobs. Tahoe for example. If you can’t work from home, it’s unlikely you’ll find another job locally.
Who knows, maybe all these folks thought all this through and took the risk eyes wide open?
That’s the situation now, but after 1000 remote tech workers move there and 500 decide not to go back to the city, 100 might pivot to lifestyle startups that employ 100-200 more. And now you have a little incubator that wasn’t there before and might grow a nice little self-sustaining eco-system. And once it gets going, it can always rely on the nice geography to attract some talent, even if the cities become huge employment centers again.
In a way, I think this would be a very healthy development for these tourist towns. They are too dependent on tourism, and even when they were prosperous before Covid, they had issues with high property prices (due to empty second homes and Airbnb) and low service wages. Having a healthy middle class independent of tourism would be great for their economic stability.
If so, that’s great and we could see some pretty interesting changes to the demographics of small cities.
If they don’t have a plan B, well... that’s not good.
Work has been pretty cagey about what post-pandemic is going to look like. Nobody is outright saying we’re 100% coming back to office or we’re definitely going optional WFH forever. It’s this uncertain “wait and see” that keeps us from pulling the trigger on Tahoe or Redding or somewhere else way out there and less expensive.
If they ever make a clear decision: “WFH is optional for all employees” we put our house for sale that day.
And, while I don't think people buying houses outside of commuting range did it for this reason, it is a clear signal that, if forced back to an office for other than sometimes trips, they'll leave.
Now, of course, you are betting to some degree that remote work will continue to be sufficiently popular that you can switch jobs if need be. But the concentration of a certain type of job in the Bay Area actually isn't that representative of job density in general.
I suspect that they may be incorrect, here.
I’m curious why you’d think that? It will be over a year before many workplaces are in a position to end the WFH policies. A year is a long time, enough for cultures to adapt.
* edit: I mean over a year from the start of WFH policies in March-April of this year.
I may be biased; personally I can’t wait to be back in an office.
The market dynamics shifted. No big deal.
“Wild that tenants having to deal with rent going up and having to negotiate a commercial transaction is “grim””.
“The market dynamics shifted. No big deal.”
No, but the people on the opposite side of the transaction (the landlords) for damn sure do. "Market price has gone up, what can you do" is something I've been told when trying to negotiate lease renewals, and I'm outside the Bay Area.
Landlords could, as a group, have pushed to help make pricing stable and make their investment a long-term, very secure asset. Instead, just like virtually every other part of this fire-encrusted economy, they grabbed for the short-term gains at the expense of plodding consistency. Landlord groups are pushing back on the idea that tenants should do anything except blithely pay whatever duly-increased price is passed onto us and we should thank them for the privilege besides.
My heart bleeds.
The only reason it’s dropping is because of Covid. How could they have avoided a mass exodus due to a pandemic?
Could landlords have completely forestalled people leaving? No. Could they, as a group, have done a lot more to actually agitate for--versus opposing--things like new housing to keep market prices stable (rather than a hockey stick) and worked with tenant groups to aim for a tenancy system that balances each group's needs more directly, rather than "rent consumes almost all available resources?" Yes.
Had landlords tried to work in concert with the people who provide the source of income for landlords, rather the opposing them at almost every turn, the "exodus" might be a rather expected "trickle."
They made their bed of housing scarcity in these possibly-former-hot markets...they can lie in it.
But screw her right?
Eat the loss, move on -- that's what most landlords would tell their tenants in the opposite situation.
I am playing the world's smallest violin for them as a class.
But there's a third option - towns.
I know you have them in the US! I've been to a few of them. Walkable towns with coffee shops, restaurants, bars, culture, dating. You can even find a few in the Bay Area if you don't want to look too far.
Isn't the small town an icon of American living? Why are people so incredibly snobby about it?
Everything is in walking distance and most of the houses and buildings are 100+ years old (the town is on a river in a bowl of a valley so most of the buildable land ran out 100 years ago). We have a drug store with a soda fountain counter, a nice grocery store and a few nice restaurants and bookstores.
I moved here around 20 years ago after stints of living in Boston and Chicago after college. It has been a great place to raise kids but now that they are in their teens the main downside I'm seeing is the public high school options are sub-par compared to "magnet" schools available in cities. I don't think my kids are as ready for college as they would have been if we would have stayed in Boston. However, if we did want to drop the money there are a lot of world class private schools in the area.
We have been lucky enough to make sure to travel as the kids have grown so they don't become "townies". They have been on trips to England, Spain, France and Italy and many places in the US. We have also hosted two year-long exchange students so they realize there is a wider world out there. In my mind the biggest risk of raising kids in a small town is that they become provincial.
I've been spending embarrassing amounts of my time looking for a place to live that's like this, and I haven't found many that aren't just as expensive as the city for something that's comparably walkable / livable.
The only promising affordable towns with lots to do & decent weather that I've found are Silver City, Los Alamos, & Taos NM. And San Marcos TX looks promising, too.
Honestly, it seems like there's way more affordable houses in nice parts of big cities like Dallas, Houston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc.
And it seems like even hip medium sized cities like Bend Oregon and Boise Idaho are cheaper than the really cool small towns.
You also have smaller cities all over the country.
Now, you get into truly small towns in places like New England and there really isn't a lot in the town center and it's unlikely you'll be living walking distance from it.
Last I looked empty lots went for that much.
They have a town vibe only because they have essentially made development outside of office buildings impossible for decades. There is a ton of pent up demand to live there (meaning it's super, super expensive) and there is a lot of traffic and a surprising population density given the development pattern (because there are a LOT of people working there relative to living there). They're really all a contiguous metropolitan region of the Bay Area from SF-SJ-Oakland, the fact that they're separate political entities is at this point a historical relic
I can't tell if you forgot about Ava's, or if you've never actually _been_ to downtown Mountain View, or if you only consider chain supermarkets to count.
“Town” as distinct from “suburb” usually implies standing alone, being surrounded by farmland and not particularly connected to the nearest metro area.
Go much further north of the Bay and you can live in Yountville and I think you'll have a 3-star restaurant in your town, which is a level of culture you can't even get in most US megacities. Again not Applebees.
I tried to move to a small town this year, one that was woodsy and if possible in the mountains, AK, CO, WA, OR. My requirement was 100mb+ internet that didn't require me paying Spectrum $25k to cable another road. Honestly I would've been fine with DSL at a bunch of these places but they were almost all satellite only. I looked for about 3 months before I eventually just went to the city. But the market is insane right now, I did find some that were gone quickly.
There are 3 "towns" in CO that you can possibly get fiber at but without MLS/Trulia having that as a filter I spent a bunch of time checking zip codes for service and being let down.
I ask because I've been doing remote work web development for 9 years now on a 10mb DSL line, and honestly haven't really seen much any need to go faster. Not at least work-related requirements.
This is the muni fiber map https://muninetworks.org/communitymap
I really wish Trulia or one of them had some way to tie into ISPs and tell us whats there.
This improved my house search a LOT; Get the Clickup (no relation) extension and create a space to send your zillow/trulia/mls links to directly, there is a template for apartment searches  you can edit it and put in your own fields - it basically grabs a snapshot of different keys and you can add columns and rows and start to quickly grab house listings then filter with your own database. It's stupid simple, like airtable, you can probably use that too. I added ISP sections, stars, comments.. All the real estate apps are terrible for critiquing en masse.
I never got around to checking if the ISPs have apis you can interface with..
I'm going to NEXT year try the mountain thing again.
edit: Wow this link is looking positive, I didnt realize there were so many 500Mbps+ connections https://broadbandnow.com/fastest-cities
edit2: Oh, another stupid ISP tip, the business ends will usually be WAY more lenient if you open your wallet. If you cant get X cable, try to get X cable biz they'll happily run a line down a pole for a new $200/mo customer, I've done it in desperation. You don't need to be an actual biz, just tell them youre hackernewsman LLC and they'll sign you up if they can.
I also don't trust the economic incentives of a company that makes more money selling media than it does proper broadband service.
Dealing with fiber to the home providers is much nicer, with symmetric 1Gbps down and up connections. You can feel the connection is much snappier, have multiple FacetimeHD and HD video streams going, and you don't even notice. And I can stream from my devices at home when I'm away because there is actually available upload bandwidth.
300mb+ is still pretty hard to get outside of cities.
I've actually spent ~$20k before to get Spectrum to cable an old house in the middle of a huge city.
I just cut a large check and signed some papers to be the first community fiber island here, with a microwave link to get us service.
Los Altos Hills, CA
We need to be building massive amounts of housing in city centers to let as many people live in them that would like to. Instead we lock down any new construction in cities, which requires the least amount of infrastructure and environmental damage, and instead let pretty much anybody build in ecologically disastrous ways.
California is ruled at the local level, where decisions like this are made, by an older generation of conservatives that have convinced themselves that their personal pastoral aesthetic preferences of cars and suburbs and low density sprawl that consumes vast amounts of wilderness is somehow conservationist. It’s a massive problem!
I certainly wouldn't claim the US has good housing policy, but there's no perfect solution to the conflict that arises when the market-clearing housing price in an area creeps above what most people can pay.
All else being equal, Americans will choose to live in a detached house on a 1/2 acre lot with an SUV or pickup in the driveway.
The higher cost of living in cities is pretty strong evidence that city living is under supplied compared to suburban living.
Seems to me the answer is people don't get a choice a most places. Would people outside of old dense cities want to live in a walkable mixed use development? We have no idea because those have been banned since before WWII.
The proportion of Americans living in urban counties (31%) has not changed in 20 years. The proportion living in suburban counties has increased slightly (53% to 55%) 
The proportion of new vehicle sales that are SUVs or pickups has been steadily climbing for over 30 years 
> The higher cost of living in cities is pretty strong evidence that city living is under supplied compared to suburban living.
Is that true for all cities or just a few large ones? I don’t see how you can conclude that. The narrower conclusion is that demand for city housing exceeds supply in a few key markets.
> this sort of “everybody who doesn’t want what I want is lying to themselves” is elitism that destroys people’s chances to live th way they prefer.
You have apparently without irony proved my point.
My broader point is that rather than force people to do things that they apparently don’t want to do (move to dense housing, ditch or downsize their vehicles) we should seek ways to invest in the efficiency of our existing housing stock, and provide incentives to improve the efficiency of new vehicles. A carbon tax also looks like a promising approach.
That not to say that we should ban all Truckee homes on long roads like we ban apartments in cities, but we should definitely legalize apartments cities. And rural Truckee tree consuming development should be highly controlled and taxed in proportion to the amount of public money that needs to be spent trying to protect these fire traps.
Very true, even though they convinced themselves and everyone else that they were progressives and environmentalists, just because they don't hate minorities and they like the vibe of trees. (Not to downplay the importance of socially progressive measures, but it's one dimension and they are very conservative on most other dimensions).
How many people would ‘like’ to live in a city centre if they didn’t have to for work?
I think this is a very personal thing. I wouldn't consider living far from a city centre, work or no work, personally. Some people love outer suburbs or the country, and that's fine; just wouldn't be for me.
Cities are expensive because they attract lots of people to them because lots of people prefer them. So when you say “how many” the answer is clearly far more people Han are currently allowed to live there. We should build in cities until it’s cheaper to live in them than it is to live in less environmentally friendly ways.
A model/example where this has been done well?
I hear this all the time, but if you build more dense versions of the cities/towns we have now, it'll be miserable. Thin-walled apartment homes built along narrow-sidewalks without proper public spaces and reasonable bike/pedestrian zones, etc.
I think the resistance comes from not showing the grand plan around these kinds of in-fill demands. I can't imagine living in the American version of them, and I've lived (happily) in the dense(r) city centers of Amsterdam, Berlin and Brooklyn.
I've also lived in SF -- never again. It's a terrible version of urban development.
So we...don't do that. Bluntly speaking, it's trivial: all of these issues are of our own making in America. We have hundreds of examples just in Europe of how to make car-lite, walkable, nice cities and towns and that's just on a single continent. And that's artificially restricting ourselves to a single continent with societies that look the most like ours. A quick pivot to most of eastern Asia will show much more variety in how to build those areas.
(I will pause here and throw right out the idea that "Europe is much smaller than the United States so we couldn't possibly..." There is no reason we cannot duplicate those same cityscapes all across the United States; we have sub-national states and counties for a reason.)
We are car-centric and spread out because we choose to be. So we either change those choices and make the commensurate political and financial changes to go along with it, or we don't and we accept the consequences of things like "large swaths of the West Coast burn to the ground" and "we are stuck in our metal boxes powered by carbon fuels or batteries backed by precious rare earth minerals." We already spent a couple trillion dollars propping up the stock market for nothing more than paper gains; the argument that we "can't afford it" is laughable.
California and many other states’ governance has enabled a small number of people to veto what the majority wants. For example, all of SF’s safe streets program during the pandemic have been held up by the actions of only two people . Two people subverting changes that are wildly popular just because is is change rather than maintaining the status quo. Similarly, Minneapolis’ legalization of triplexes city wide is popular with a majority of the city,  but during the government process the representation was quite different, and unrepresentative of the city. Yet that unrepresentative process is somehow considered “democratic”.
My question to you is that, if you don’t like living in SF, why are you interested unmaking sure others can’t live there? Do you assume they don’t like it? Do you assume that you know what’s in their best interests?
Sooooo may people love living in SF, in fact almost everybody who lives there loves it. It works well for them. Let the people that love it enjoy it. It will leave suburbia emptier for those who prefer suburbia.
I work in the city with SFers. They all complain incessantly about their apartments, the noise, the commute, etc.
People in SF, commuting by Bart or bike for 20-30 minutes, complaining to coworkers who spend 50-80 minutes on Bart commuting in from San Ramon and Walnut Creek. Singles in SF don’t seem to understand what dual income, 1-2 kids might want. It’s not SF (not school lotteries, yes to playgrounds).
If it was so great, selling more of it should be easier.
And I know about the two people blocking slow streets... not the same NIMBY story as infill housing nobody is convinced will be great.
Update: There have been a few responses to my OP. No stated examples of where infill housing plus better urban planning have yielded the improvements that the SF infill crowd are trying to sell. It needs a master plan, which doesn’t seem likely from SF governance.
Nah, man, cities can be awesome. London is an example. Love it there.
Winter will certainly spit the "softer" folks out, but it will be interesting to see what sticks.
To the point about making less for remote work... You don't need 200k to have a very high QOL in most these places (assuming you value an outdoor lifestyle).
I would personally take a 50% pay cut before I'd consider moving to the city for a 50% raise.
This seems incredibly concerning, and could suggest an especially hard market in the coming months/year.
oof, that's a savage take for NPR.
Hell, the Buffalo Wild Wings in Daly City has a more diverse crowd than any bar or restaurant in SF.
I'm sure a few people cashed out along the way.
My excitement wore off when I realized that it was literally all budweiser products and most of them had the exact same thing.
I added that bit.
Funny, they always seem to forget about family, even when talking about 30-somethings from hip rental apartments.
In a less abstract sense, roughly 50% of my close friends who did the the whole "move to the burbs, ditch the social life, start a family" and who seemed to go missing for years are now divorced. Roughly in line with the statistics I suppose.
I'd go as far as saying that in the majority of cases when people in their 20s or 30s do this it's some sort of mix of social pressure and biological clock panic than an actual authentic decision.
I personally hopefully a lot because I pay a lot of attention to cultivate them. My grandparents throughout their entire life had a rich social life up until the very end with friendships lasting decades, they even lived entirely autonomously in a cooperative community for the elderly.
It's my parents, who are now 60-ish, who have no friends. Because unlike my grandparents they grew up in what was peak nuclear family era. I'm not repeating that mistake and it's pretty sad that people here don't even seem to be able to imagine authentic communal life.
On the contrary, we’ve never been more lonely and distant as a society. Family gives you a chance of a more permanent safety net and nuclear community. Friends and community are important, but today’s version of these things appears flimsy at best.
yes, because all communal institutions have been disbanded before millennials were even born, that was the point?
Millenials are lonely because they're the offspring of what was the peak of the nuclear family generation. They're growing up without any communal connection, increasingly without religious communities, Gen Z probably doesn't even have military experience and has largely replaced physical with digital connections and seems to be even more isolated than Millenials.
The nuclear family isn't safety but the last escape hatch in the absence of institutions that should enrich people's personal life beyond the family.
This was the case until very recently in fact. The nuclear family is largely an abberation brought on by the commercialisation of what used to be the job of a village. David Brooks wrote an excellent piece on the development (in the US in particular) not long ago:
The dysfunction you're speaking about is actually a result of that very same dynamic. Largely affluent upper-middle classes have replaced the extended family with professional services and shrunk the family unit down. It's poor people and minority communities who, lacking those resources, have suffered the most from the breakdown of the extended family.
That said, I've been living in a fairly urban 'burb with a nice downtown for almost 10 years. It's nice to actually have space to park a couple of cars and hang in your backyard amid some level of quiet.
My personal experience is that when you're younger, city life has its charms. When you find yourself full-on adulting with kids, the burbs (and Applebee's) actually sound pretty nice.
One won't be surprised by the spike in suicides a few years later...