The dream of working at one of the Silicon Valley technology giants, along with the luxuries that could theoretically imply a six-figure salary, has led many qualified engineers to move to the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States. .

However, in practice, A tech industry salary is not as good as it sounds.

In fact, it may be nearly impossible to find affordable housing in what the data says is the most competitive real estate market in the United States. The real estate crisis in the San Francisco area has resulted in many barely making ends meet to pay for a home and has done nothing to help the city’s homeless epidemic.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco costs, on average, $ 3,360. Taking into account that the average minimum wage in the technology industry is $ 91,738, many of the workers in the sector are dedicating a good part of his salary to paying the rent.

Buying a house is a true chimera for Silicon Valley workers: A recent study revealed that 60% think they could not afford to pay for a home purchase.

And all this without taking into account other high expenses of the city, such as the strips of bacon at $ 7 that are served for breakfast in this restaurant as “the bacon of the millionaires”.

From the hacker communes that live as if they were in a university fraternity to the workers who sleep in the Google parking lot: this is how you really live with a technological salary in Silicon Valley, the capital of the world of technology.

Due to the housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay area, high residential demand has caused prices to skyrocket

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Meanwhile, the tech giants based in the area have not slowed down the recruitment of talent: daily dozens of engineers arrive seeking to fulfill their dream of living in Silicon Valley

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Many arrive looking at life through a pink glass, with high expectations of what it will mean to live working in the technology industry

It’s not as glamorous as it sounds.

Their minds are riddled with luxurious cars, huge houses and a lifestyle full of comforts

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This reality is often very different from what they expected

What attracts the most attention? The astronomical rental price

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They end up spending a large part of their salary solely to pay the rent, leaving little more to cover other exorbitant city expenses

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Images

So tech workers, both experienced and new, have had to be creative to outsmart the city’s absurd rental costs.

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Like the people of Negev, an organization and commune that welcomes workers from the San Francisco technology industry

Gabrielle Lurie / Reuters

It is one of the multiple communal spaces destined to help the ‘techies’ to overcome the shortage of houses and the abusive prices. The house has 50 rooms spread over three floors

Gabrielle Lurie / Reuters

Many Negev residents sleep in bunk beds and pay up to $ 1,900 a month to live here

Tenants are software engineers, UI designers, operations analysts, or virtual reality engineers. Most are under 30 years old

There is also a social element to Negev. Residents are encouraged to brainstorm with others, write code, and create applications

Gabrielle Lurie / Reuters

Zandar Dejah, left, explains to Reuters that it is “basically an extension of the university. We live in a kind of student brotherhood.”

Gabrielle Lurie / Reuters

Every Sunday a joint dinner is held for the roommates and during the weekend the house hosts parties

Gabrielle Lurie / Reuters

Housing is as practical for its residents as it is criticized by some for depriving neighbors of affordable housing.

However, many tech industry workers cannot afford conventional housing …

… especially if they have a family

Micah, with his wife, Jana, and their son moved to the San Francisco Bay area to pursue a technological career

Exploring Alternatives / YouTube

To avoid the city’s high rental costs, they built a mini-house in Texas and brought it to California.

Exploring Alternatives / YouTube

The next step was to find a place to park it …

… and ended up joining an already established family in San Francisco Bay that allowed them to place her there in exchange for paying a monthly fee

They use a cable to connect to the main house’s electrical network and they also have a generator outside for when they want to use the air conditioning or the washer and dryer.

They also have solar panels in the garden for extra energy

This tiny abode has everything the family needs

There is a washer and dryer in the bathroom

Guests are taught to use the toilet properly with a cheat sheet on the windowsill.

And there is a folding table to eat

The couple has a sleeping corner, with another mezzanine in front of them for when their child gets older

D’Andrea’s are also new parents …

Tech Insider / YouTube

And like Micah and Jana, they have become accustomed to the “mini” lifestyle

Google worker Pete D’Andrea …

And his wife, Kara, disbursed more than $ 1,900 for a Winnebago van and moved to Silicon Valley from Chicago when Pete got a job on one of Google’s autonomous car teams.

They parked their caravans in the Google parking lot and lived there for between a year and a half and two years (before having their daughter) saving 80% of their income

A double Ikea mattress served as a bed …

And a small compartment opens as a toilet, sink and shower …

A small sink comes out of the wall

The couple has a mini fridge in a small kitchen …

And there was a kitchen to prepare food

To maximize space, they placed a cutting board over the sink for when they weren’t using it.

Kara knows that it is not an ideal configuration, but she does not care in the least

“I think a lot of people think this is the antithesis of comfort, but I really loved it,” Jana told ‘Tech Insider’ in 2016. “I was very happy.”

They saved enough to pay for the house. Seven months after moving in, they got a dog, four cats, and three chickens. It was also when her daughter was born

As for their van, they will use it to travel. Pete told ‘Tech Insider’ that there are a lot of vans parked in the Google parking lot. “We are not the only ones,” he said.


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