Silicon Valley is one of, if not the most expensive regions in the U.S. to live. The San Jose metropolitan area was recently named America’s most expensive housing market. But just how much do you need to get a decent home?
Data from the National Association of Realtors shows that the median home price in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area is right around $1.4 million. But homes are often more costly, depending on which area of Silicon Valley a buyer wants to live in. In Palo Alto, for example, an 897-square-foot two-bedroom home costs $2.59 million. But that isn’t even the most egregious example of little bang for your buck.
A listing on real estate site Zillow for a 2,407-square-foot single-family home on a 0.73-acre lot in Sunnyvale’s West Murphy neighborhood comes at a total cost of almost $5 million. But even at that price, the home –which was built in 1930 — is severely neglected. If one were to make an offer for the full asking price, a 20 percent down payment would still be more than $983,000, and the buyer would have to pay a mortgage of nearly $20,000/month for 30 years.
“Careful evaluation of this opportunity will reveal that this is the right property at a great price and available right now!” The listing states.
Of course, while this is perhaps just a most extreme example, it’s hard to find a single-family home anywhere in the Silicon Valley area for less than $1 million. As Grit Post reported in May, the cheapest single-family home in the San Francisco Bay Area — at just 596 square feet — was still listed at almost $650,000. The home eventually sold for $950,000, and is valued at more than $1 million as of this writing.
But even if a buyer or renter didn’t want to live anywhere near Silicon Valley, housing is incredibly expensive in just about every major metropolitan area in the country. The National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s 2018 “Out of Reach” report found that there was no city or county anywhere in the U.S. where a minimum wage worker could afford to rent a two-bedroom home at fair market rent.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.