Stanford Graduated Software Engineer Can't Afford Palo Alto


Huang moved to Palo Alto with her parents at the age of four. She attended local high schools and Stanford University. Yet despite her hard work, the Palo Alto housing market is too challenging for her to foresee a future in her hometown.

“I went to Stanford, I work as a software developer, I make a six-figure income, and I still have to live with three roommates,” Huang said. “What more can I do?”

Huang isn’t worried about not being able to pay her rent, but she is worried about doing anything that might upset her landlord. “Landlords have a lot more power here than they used to,” she said.

“They know how impossible it would be for their renters to find anything else locally.”

While her concerns for herself are real and serious — “With the current housing market, I’m afraid I’ll have to live with roommates for the rest of my life” — she’s equally concerned about what the housing market means for the many Palo Altans who weren’t fortunate enough to go to Stanford and make six figures.

“I’ve seen a lot of people accepting crazy conditions in order to have somewhere to live,” Huang said. “Conditions like, the renter can’t use the kitchen, or the renter can’t have guests after 10 p.m., or the rent is 80 percent of someone’s income.”


Someone needs to tell Huang there are other towns in the Bay besides Palo Alto… ever heard of Redwood City and San Jose?


Maybe she should find a life partner and move on…Living with roommates ia a dead end…

Or better yet become political and get rid of those old white nimbyies that run PA…


There is a YIMBY movement that’s gathering strength. Young people are getting sick of old farts complaining about building shadows. I am hopeful things will get better.


Millennials should be marching for more housing instead of for BLM and Antifa…


Jane Huang is a lot better than antifa :heart_eyes:

She just wants the city to be more friendly to new development and make the housing price drop or rise more slowly. She has the freedom of speech per my approval.

Will the next generation liberals want less regulation?


I commuted 85 miles each way every day. There were people who live in Sacramento taking the train to work.
How many people at age of 29 have saving for $500K down payment and no student loan?

This poor me Stanford attitude is not viewed highly. I was there. So what.


Perhaps not, but since you are in the biz I have been hearing that Mommy and Daddy Bank is more in play than ever. True, from your perspective???


One needs to be realistic about himself what is achievable. I do not see too many daddy bank people. I have little interest to work with first time home buyers. SFBA is not an ideal place for them.

Either you get your downpayment from stock options or wait til you have saved enough. No way to get around.


One of my previous co-worker commute from elk grove to palo alto to work everything for like 7 years. crazy commute.
I’m pretty sick of these young people wants everything but do not want to sacrifice. All they know is how to spend money and travel


Has the SF Chronicle run out of recent news? This has been happening for the last (at least) decade. Back in 2004, I shared an apartment with a Stanford PhD candidate and became friends with a number of folks who went on the get PhDs (engineering and chemistry) from Stanford around 2006. I’m still in touch with many of them. A number of them work in PA but I can’t think of one that lives in Palo Alto now. Redwood city, Fremont, Mountain View, out of state or country.


Probably some truth to that (running out of news) but they are in the biz of trying to sell newspapers. On the surface, how is it that a successful software engineer from Stanford of all places can’t afford PA??? Just like that story remember about the City Manager or some admnistrator who was leaving PA for Santa Cruz since she couldn’t afford it anymore.


If Huang wants to move to PA before her parents kick the bucket, she better get herself into a C-level position, or go back to law or med school to become a partner at a firm or surgeon. Other than foreign investors, that is who buys in PA these days.


I get it, but you have to admit that it is kind of sad that Huang, who probably represents the top tier in salary generally speaking for her age and education level, can’t make a go of it. Fairly negative news for those folks who are in the majority that you better win the lottery if you want to sniff PA air…


Totally! It does suck. It’s unfair to just call millennials complainers who need to suck it up and work harder. She could be more educated and work her butt off way harder than her parents ever did and not get what their generation got.

If the younger generation is forced to have dual incomes & work 50+ hours, I can see why they are upset not to have housing near work. Millenials should be pissed and start insisting corporations move off the peninsula and that more housing is built. How about rezoning some of the corporate land.


we should start complaining tech managers, business owners, small company ceos cannot afford atherton, hillsborough and beverly hills.


How many metro areas are there where recent college grads can afford the most desirable neighborhoods? My guess is very, very few. It’s not possible in Detroit of all places. The most desirable suburbs are out of reach for even the highest paid college graduates. You can still afford a nice area but not the best. Most people need to build equity and trade up to afford the best areas. People just have unrealistic expectations now.


Many of my friends’ sons and daughters are saving money for downpayment while they live with their parents.
I guess this becomes new trend here.
Is living with Parents better or living with roommates better from millennial’s perspective?


Living with parents potentially can make the transition that much faster if Mommy and Daddy Landlord doesn’t charge anything or anything close to market rents…


Totally agree with this - I can think of almost no where this is possible in the US. Unless they are an outlier and make a few X the normal salary in the area AND also live in a cheaper metro area.