Finally! Great New Affordable Bay Area Housing!


These are highly educated well paid workers at a San Francisco tech company. They’re mostly young. Some are single. Some are newly coupled. Some are married with young children. There are exceptions, but they tend to want to live in a vibrant urban neighborhood with a short commute rather than a distant suburb.

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Some enjoy living in a rented apartment above a trendy wine bar right on the edge of the downtown core. They can effortlessly pop down for a drink or a bite to eat with friends. When the weather is good they can ride a bicycle to work and skip the traffic congestion for a healthy commute.

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Others choose to own a loft style condo above shops. They can step outside their door and immediately find good food, good company, clothes, groceries, a hairdresser… most daily needs are close at hand.

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Still others love a little detached cottage in a courtyard with shared garden space. This arrangement provides all the benefits of a traditional home on a smaller scale.

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Then there are those who gravitate toward a regular stand alone single family home – of various styles, sizes, and price points.

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In this new development all of these options are available on a single block just a ten minute bike ride from downtown. This is exactly what San Franciscans desperately want and someone has finally figured out how to build it at a price people can afford…

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…in Nashville. Uber, Lyft, Eventbright, and many other tech companies that began in San Francisco have all opened branch offices in Nashville. The standard offer is simple. Relocate to Tennessee, take a 30% pay cut, and enjoy a much higher quality of life with much more cash left over at the end of each month. Go ahead. Soak up the complimentary affordable home ownership.

John Sanphillippo lives in San Francisco and blogs about urbanism, adaptation, and resilience at He's a member of the Congress for New Urbanism, films videos for, and is a regular contributor to He earns his living by buying, renovating, and renting undervalued properties in places that have good long term prospects. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

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To answer the other commenter's question, the reason Nashville and not some other spot in CA is because the kids want "vibrant." Nashville is "vibrant" and CA outside of SF, LA and SD is not. Nashville has "vibrant" restaurants, "vibrant" music venues. It even has hairdressers!! People vibrantly ride vibrant bikes there. Just look at those joggers and diners. Man are they living life to the fullest! Looking at them, I'm like, What have I done with my life?

Related Washington Post article

In pricey Bay Area, some turn to vans for cheap living quarters

SAN FRANCISCO — Dwayne Golstein works for a pathology firm in Los Altos, Calif., handling delivery and lab work during a swing shift from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Every morning, he wakes up in his home on a street nestled between a shopping plaza and office building complexes.

Faced with the most expensive rentals in the nation, workers in the Bay Area increasingly are searching for creative housing options. Somewhere between homeless encampments and luxurious lofts, another in a growing list of alternatives has surfaced for Golstein and others priced out of the market: renting a van not to drive but to live in.

“At least once a day I lose my mind. It’s low light, I’m tired, and I’m trying to get out of my clothes,” said Golstein, 38.

You shouldn't have to go to Nashville

It's a shame that these firms thought that expanding operations in Nashville rather than elsewhere in California where housing is also reasonably priced was their best course of action. It's really a problem with state policies. Too many home grown companies when they expand want scurry across that old state line and not to say some Central Valley city where the housing costs are reasonable, there are some lovely old homes on tree lined streets, the humidity is less, the mountains are nearby, and you can drive there in 2-3 hours rather than fly.