Millennials – Listen Up – Go To College – Buy A House

A College Degree is Key for Millennial Homeownership in the San Francisco Bay Area, say my friends at Trulia. They just shared this with me (after a few edits to my liking), so I’m sharing it with you.

To go to college, or not? This is one question many millennials ask themselves. For households between 25 – 30 years of age who want to live in California’s major metros the answer is GO! A recent Trulia study found, it takes almost 20 years for degreed millennials to save the 20% down payment in San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. For millennials without a degree, they need to save for decades. In San Jose, the amount of time is 45 years.

The landscape in San Francisco is daunting even with a degree. It takes a whopping 29.5 years with a degree and without it is 50+ years.


Where Saving For a 20% Down Payment Takes Decades

With College Degree Without a College Degree
# U.S. Metro Years Needed to Save for Down Payment Required Down Payment at time of purchase U.S. Metro Years Needed to Save for Down Payment Required Down Payment at time of purchase
1 San Francisco, CA 29.4 $560,590 San Francisco, CA Not Possible N/A
2 Los Angeles, CA 18.8 $196,616 San Jose, CA 45.4 $665,508
3 Orange County, CA 18.5 $235,959 Los Angeles, CA 39.9 $353,270
4 San Diego, CA 17.7 $192,081 Orange County, CA 32.3 $347,842
5 San Jose, CA 17.7 $289,072 San Diego, CA 29.0 $262,589
6 Honolulu, HI 16.0 $165,588 Oakland, CA 27.3 $267,605
7 Oakland, CA 15.6 $193,453 Ventura County, CA 22.9 $230,929
8 Ventura County, CA 15.5 $189,325 New York, NY 20.2 $149,905
9 Denver, CO 14.3 $125,314 Fairfield County, CT 20.1 $185,494
10 Cape CoralFort Myers, FL 13.3 $74,130 Honolulu, HI 18.0 $173,574

In the study of 250 major metropolitan areas California swept the top 5 spots for number of years to save for a 20% down payment (Honolulu, HI was 6th, Oakland was 7th & Ventura County was 8th).

San Francisco tops the list, requiring 29.4 years with a college degree and 50+ years without it. Los Angeles comes in second, requiring 18.8 years with a college degree and 39.9 years without. San Jose and San Diego are not far behind, requiring 17.7 years with a college degree, but it takes much longer without a college degree for San Jose (45.4 years) than San Diego (29 years). The numbers for Orange County is 18.5 years with a college degree and 32.3 without.

What are Bay Area millennials to do? Consider a 10% down payment. Saving for the down payment can be done in less than half the time. How is this possible? Because price appreciation outpaces income growth for this group. Millennials without a college degree in San Francisco will actually be able to save a 10% down payment in 28.5 years, compared to not being able to save for a 20% down payment ever. San Francisco millennials with college degrees are able to attain a 10% down payment in 13.7 years, compared to 29.4 years for a 20% down payment.

In other Bay Area metros, the time to save for a down payment is significantly less as well. The time plummets from 45.4 years to just 15.4 years for San Jose millennials without a degree and with a degree it drops from 17.7 to 9.3 years. In Oakland, millennials without a degree the time needed to save goes from 27.3 to 11.3 years and with a degree it drops from 15.6 to 8.8 years.

In summary, a degree will get Bay Area millennials into a home by their forties if they opt for a 20% down payment. By choosing a 10% down payment both the degreed and non-degreed can enjoy the benefits of homeownership considerably sooner.

When you are ready to buy, browse Trulia all you want for the perfect home, but hire a professional, like me, to help you win.

Sophie Says: “Silicon Valley [real estate] is bullet-proof”

Well, our frequent reader and commenter, Sophie, doesn’t really say it, the article on does, but she tipped us off, so we’re passing it on.

And yes, we still focus on San Francisco real estate, but find ourselves looking more and more that way (San Jose/Penisula), and receiving more and more tips from there, so why not talk about it. Half of our residents work down there anyway.

Unlike other California markets that have been battered by foreclosures, real estate in Silicon Valley, part of the pricey San Francisco Bay area, has remained relatively strong and has been buoyed by the job growth in the technology sector and some of the highest salaries in the nation. The subprime problems that have vexed other parts of California have been relegated to parts of San Jose and to the outskirts of Silicon Valley. The towns with the best schools, including Palo Alto, Woodside, Los Altos Hills, and Cupertino also tend to have the most robust markets.

Please don’t go moving there. The city is more fun.

San Jose Stepping into Luxury High Rise Game

And we’re stepping outside our normal boundaries of San Francisco (It’s kinda scary in San Jose…don’t you think “james”?) by posting about a project going up in our tech power house neighbor town to the south.

picture provided by chasepr

-Axis is downtown San Jose’s first luxury high-rise condominium development, opening in May 2008.

-Neighbor to historic Hotel De Anza at the apex of Almaden Boulevard

-Homes will be priced from $400,000 to over $2M.

-22-story, 228 ft. tall glass and granite high-rise designed by noted architects Ankrom Moisan.

-329 spacious homes with luxury services and amenities, including floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breathtaking views of Silicon Valley.

-V.I.P. Reception Friday November 9, from 5-7…we might be there, but unlikely, and they’re opening the sales gates Saturday morning, hangover or not.

-Presentation Center open daily beginning Saturday November 10th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 38 N. Almaden Blvd. in San Jose; call (408) 297-9888; or, visit online at

What could all this high rise development possibly mean for the future of our real estate market? You’d have to think those developers are counting on a bit of a return on their investment, wouldn’t you? (And yes, we know they planned these projects a long time ago, but they’re still planning more.)

high rise development [theFrontSteps]

The Jury is in on what’s Going Up Transbay Style [theFrontSteps]

More details…read on…..