Thoughts On Relocation

So lately I’ve been planning my relocation.  My roommate is moving out, I’ve got no current roommates (and that may change), and I want to take full advantage of being in Silicon Valley.

So since relocation is important to we progeeks (since too many of us need to for work), I wanted to share some insights I found in relocating.  It’ll be useful to you progeeks because my goal was essentially “how do I get further into geeky silicon valley, but still find a place that fits my job and career needs.”  That . . .  was informative.

Apartments Are The New Houses:

In several places in Silicon Valley, and I imagine elsewhere in the world, I was finding a surprising amount of apartment construction.  It was enough that locals remarked on how ridiculous it was.  So my guess is that this is the new “houses” in searches for quick living-related cash.

What it means is that some areas are going to have downward pressure on living prices in some locations here – and you should check your relocation targets for the same thing.

Public Transport Isn’t Always Obvious:

This is a big one.  I quickly discovered that “obvious” public transport benefits weren’t often the case.  There may be issues with timing, distance of stations, exchanges, and more.  Don’t take for granted that something is “near enough to take a bus to” until you check.

I found this was easy to test these by taking target locations and seeing:

  • How I could find my way to and from them from any target apartment via Google maps.
  • How they were served by public transport.
  • What the times of this transport was.

Any Reasonably Big Megaregion is not “Sensibile”:

Ever try and figure out all the small towns around Boston?  Navigate the “good” and “bad” areas of Silicon Valley?  Figured out the best places to live in Toronto?  Yeah then you know – regions that are the big boisterous geeky areas are not “reasonable” in many cases.

These areas in general have build up over the years, decades, and centuries.  You’ll find good areas next to bad, odd businesses sandwiched between apartment complex (really, I found a costume store), and more.  No it doesn’t make sense, and that’s OK.  You just have to figure out what it all means.

If things are confusing, looked for planned communities, they may add some sanity.

Work All The Costs:

I found a nice but expensive apartment complex at one point that didn’t seem to have the best public transportation, but when I realized it’s big advantages was buses that could reach anywhere (even with one or two exchanges) I realized its value.  The savings were disturbingly high.

People Want Amenities:

A lot of people renting apartments out noted that washer, dryer, and central air were becoming bigger deals.  The difference in prices got pretty substantial.

Plus, if you’re going cheap, and don’t mind hauling to the laundry room, you have a way to save some scratch.

Some Apartment Communities are Communities:

It depends on your region, but I’ve been to apartment complexes that were fully active communities.  Parties, events, parks, etc.   Some have stores on property (one had a Starbucks).  These may give you the community you seek (others may just seem overdone.

Also?  These communities have their own feel.  If you need one with the right “sense,” make sure you look.

Think Career:

Could your company move?  Do you plan to change jobs?  Can you access all the offices?  Can you reach your clients from your new location?  Think about the financial/career choices of where you go.


I hope these observations help.  The quest for the right area to live is hard, but worth it.

Steven Savage