The Silicon Valley is the tech mecca of the nation where numerous workers earn a respectable six-figure income. Many of these employees work for cutting edge companies including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and NASA. The trend to live and work in the same general vicinity has resulted in Mountain View, which is home to quite a few top tech companies, becoming highly coveted. As such, quite a few residential complexes are being renovated and resold, forcing even high income renters out of the market. When it comes to housing, a six-figure salary doesn’t cut it in Mountain View.
Prometheus Real Estate Group owns a number of upscale townhome and apartment communities in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale. With impending plans to renovate one of the Mountain View properties, tenants residing there including well-compensated workers from NASA and Google, have been given notice to move.
Software engineer, Brandon Jones, who has been given a year to find new housing, pays $2,800 a month for his 3-bedroom townhome. Once the remodel is complete, he and other residents are concerned that despite their impressive take-home pay, they will not be able to afford the upgraded housing, which could go for up to $4,000 per month once all the improved amenities are in place.
“It is a long-running joke at Google that none of the employees can afford to live nearby the office because things are so astronomically high,” says Brandon. “Anywhere else in the world [six figures] would be great. Here in the Bay Area, it’s barely enough to provide a home for your family.”
Neighbor and NASA engineer John Scarboro says he will most likely be forced out of Mountain View to find housing that he can afford. “I love Mountain View and I’d hate to leave. But I guess I have to realize that is a possibility. There’s nothing that says we have to be here or it has to be affordable.”
Affordable housing isn’t a new issue in the area. Inventory for single-family homes in Mountain View remains at an all-time low while bidding wars cause prices to go well above asking. Many professionals have been priced out of the housing market, forcing them to rent. But the high demand for housing due to the tech explosion in the city and the increase in those wanting to live near work has resulted in a steep increase in rent.
Though many developers are investing in high-end properties with extravagant amenities to meet the increasing housing demand, the price tag is excluding even highly compensated professionals.