Why Bay Area tech workers are packing their bags for Seattle


Technology workers are increasingly leaving the Bay Area for Seattle. A new study from Zillow and LinkedIn makes it easy to see why: Seattle tech workers have the most money left over after paying for housing.

A tech workers on average in Seattle keep nearly 55 percent of his or her paycheck, or $5,500, after paying rent. Bay Area tech workers generally make more but have only 35 percent, or nearly $4,000, left over after paying rent.

Seattle technology workers who own homes have an average of 59 percent, or nearly $6,000, of their paycheck left over each month after making a mortgage payment. By contrast, Bay Area tech workers have an average of 37 percent, or about $4,200, left over.


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Well, the late arrivals are going to be facing the same challenges anybody went on in this SF. The late ones to move in there will face the NIMBYsm of Seattle. Nothing changes, except we won’t miss them.

I thought they loved SF?:stuck_out_tongue:

Darn traitors!

I hope they stay over there and fix their own hell holes. They own them now.

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My ex tenants were in the same boat. Husband was an Apple engineer making $200k a year with $250k stock grant. They left all that for a job in Minneapolis with huge paycut and no stock options! I asked them why in the world would they do that? They said they could never afford a home here and they purchased a $450k house in Minne and even with the tremendously reduced income they thought they would come out ahead with reduced spending, home ownership, and better quality of life. I don’t know what they are going to think now that Apple is at $140 a share though… they have left so much money on the table and I have tried my hardest to convince them to stay to no avail.


It always rains in Seattle. No one wants to move here.

NIMBY doesn’t really exist. I walk past 6 huge construction sites every day. I can see more cranes within a mile. They only add 8+ story condo/apartments or office space though. SFH is built out, and the only land where you can add more is a long commute. That makes me really bullish on SFH here. Condos have insane $1000-15000/mo HOA fees. I haven’t looked into why they are so crazy, but my guess is there’s a doorman, concierge, etc. They light rail is elevated, so it’s much faster than VTA. Manch posted the article on the expansion of it. The public transit system is actually excellent and very popular with 375k+ riders a day. in a county of 2M.

While SF worries about rent control and rejects new housing developments, Seattle builds new office space and luxury residential space to attract people.

Oh, and there’s no state income tax. That’s not trivial for tech incomes. Also, it can make a big difference in a big RSU vesting year.

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What is the main source of income for state then?
Is property tax much higher there than here?

Property tax is lower in Seattle. Same is Texas, no state income tax.

The main reason is that WA has low number of illegal immigrants and low welfare spending. CA, SF has huge state and city budget.

Tax is a discretionary spending. California can also survive without state income tax, but that would mean a smaller government and a less powerful liberal machine


Why does illegal immigration has to do with this topic?
Jesus! Give it a rest lady! It sucks to be you I guess…

And there’s no state income tax. If you keep the same salary in the move (sometimes possible when transferring in the same company, though it always comes with a “don’t expect raises for a while”), you, keep another 10% of your income.


Illegal immigrants consume tax dollars, Lady. Tax payers use the state income tax to pay for the illegal immigrant’s education, hospital bills etc. some cities even pay illegal immigrant’s lawyer fees


The total sales tax in WA state can reach 10%. In Bay area i think it maxes out at 8.75%.

We are planning to move out of this area in 2 years max. Going to a sunny and out of miserable people’s complaints state. Too much complaining, no action. We’ll pick preferably a no tax state.

I hope $300K lasts us long. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

What’s the percentage of sales tax revenue compared with total budget? How about California state income tax weight in state budget?

Thats a good question. I dont know :slight_smile:

Sales tax. It makes up more than 50% of Washington state’s tax revenue. Oregon is the mirror opposite.

So you can potentially live on the Washington side of the border and do all your shopping in Oregon?


CA publishes all of that. You can see the sources of revenue, where it’s spent, etc…

WA property tax is 1% of home value, and home values are lower. Oh, WA is also an exporter of electricity. We produce so much hydroelectric power it can be sent to other states.

Everyone I know that moved to WA got same or better salary. It’s a mix of people staying with the same company vs changing employers.

Sales tax is only 9.x% in King County. That’s barely more than bay area. Plus, it’s not on rent/mortgage which are the largest bill.

Many professionals are proficient in their professions but very bad at finance and investment, and short sighted. Good for idiots like me who is gainfully unemployed, and technically moronic.