How do people afford housing in San Franciso, CA?

I have seen small houses that cost 750k-850k! How do people afford this? Are there any regular working stiffs in this city?

11 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Another element missing from these answers is population density.

    In the city proper at least, there are a lot more people living in a single house than in many other cities.

    I rent a room in an old Victorian that was converted to 2 apartments. In this "single family home"-sized lot, there are actually 8 people split between the apartments. I lived in another converted Victorian, where there were 15 of us in one "house". This is the case in many neighborhoods. It is very very common to rent just a bedroom within an apartment, because it is generally affordable for all of us making average wages.

    Source(s): dedicated SF renter
  • 1 decade ago

    Most people who own houses bought them more than 7 years ago when house price were less than 1/3 of price now. People who bought after 2000 are either rich people, investers or stretching themselves very thin families. For many families, both husband and wife have to work. I think the whole house price thing is a low interest rate game uncle Sam plays with common people. So the higher the price, the higher the property tax. With a high property tax, uncle Sam doesn't have to worry about war spending. If uncle Sam raise the interest rate to 12%, house price will drop right away.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the houses are expensive then the salaries are higher. There are probably more people with 6 figure income and so can afford homes. Also, there may be many couples that both work so that they can afford the mortgage. There are a lot of homosexual couples in San Fransisco, so they usually tend to have less children and so they are both working.

  • 1 decade ago

    Many people I know and some whom I talk to say that they often have to work 2 jobs to keep up with paying property tax, mortgage, and bills etc. The prices of houses are higher in SF but that also means the minimum wage is higher also, compared to other countys or cities. Like some of the postings above, lots of families move outside of SF and commute to work because the houses are bit cheaper out in the East Bay or somewhere else.

    Also there are lots of wealthy landlords because majority of people living in SF rent their flat or apartment.

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  • SFdude
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    They can't afford it.

    Most of the working and middle-class people live in the suburbs and commute into Downtown San Francisco (or Silicon Valley) for work. Those who do live in the city proper are either poor renters... or wealthy landlords. The income gap is huge in San Francisco, and there's very little "in between."

    So much for the myth that the city is communist. In reality, San Francisco is a cut-throat, dog-eats-dog capitalist town that soothes its guilty conscience by embracing liberal rethoric...just like New York City.

  • 1 decade ago

    I live in the north bay area, and there's no way we could buy a home here. Little shacks start at 500K. We're perfectly content to rent. It's a lot cheaper than a mortgage payment!

    And we're regular working stiffs. :)

  • 1 decade ago

    San Diego housing is just as expensive (or more) than San Francisco, and the median salaries pay 30-40% less than the Bay Area.

    The affordability in San Francisco is actually not as bad as Southern California (even though the media will never leak that out).

    I moved up here last year from San Diego and can actually more easiliy afford to live in San Francisco than San Diego.

    Also, remember gas is $0.30/gallon MORE expensive in San Diego than San Francisco...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I live near SF and most people that work in the city actually live in the suburbs where it's slightly cheaper. The salaries are pretty high in the city, I think I just saw that the average salary is $92,000.

  • 4 years ago

    Brentwood does have huge houses for low prices but it is a long drive to Alameda and it is one of the areas where there have been a huge number of home foreclosures. I don't really know what homes cost in Alameda. If you're willing to commute, you can get cheaper homes but you need to factor in the cost of commuting.

  • 1 decade ago

    oh this one is simple have you ever seen the show the riches? well either off someone and take over there house or you are out of luck, kidding no you are out of luck san fran is the most expensive place in the united states unfortunatly

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