Moving to the bright lights of Silicon Valley is the dream of every entrepreneur around the world who believes they can be the next MarkSteveElonMuskJobsZuckerberg.
But it’s getting quite crowded around these parts. Housing is scarce and cars are gumming up the highways and byways.
In the past, the antidote was to take the Bay Area Regional Transit system that links the region, or Caltrain along the Peninsula. Just get a place within walking distance of BART or Caltrain, and zip into the city. Boom.
Alas, you’re going to have to live pretty far out to find something reasonable, according to a new map published by Estately, a Seattle-based home buying site.
“It’s no secret Bay Area home prices are among the highest in the country, but Estately wanted to show how those prices vary depending on which BART or Caltrain stop a home is near,” the company writes. “To do this, Estately Real Estate Search analyzed the last six months of home sales for houses, townhouses, and condos that were within a one-mile radius of each BART and Caltrain transit stop. We then broke them down by price per square foot.”
Your best bet for the Bay Area is living near the Pittsburgh/Bay Point stop. Average cost per square foot is $219, lowest in the region. But according to BART’s website, that’s a 52-minute train ride to downtown San Francisco at a cost of $6.55 each direction.
Of course, if you want to save time, you could look near the downtown Embarcadero stop. But that’s the priciest in the region, at $1,191 per square foot.
Caltrain, the north-south train line that connects San Francisco with Silicon Valley and San Jose is also beyond pricey when it comes to real estate. If you want to live in Palo Alto near a station, you’ll cough up $1,630 per square foot.
The cheaper bet is Gilroy (the garlic capital!). At $314 per square foot, it’s still nutty, though. It’s doable if you’re going to work in San Jose, or maybe even Palo Alto. But it’s a two-hour train ride to San Francisco, and a $17.50 ticket each way.
So, by all means, dream those dreams. But better start saving now to afford the box under a freeway that you will likely be calling home.