Being from Texas, I have a lot of smack to talk about the West Coast.
To be fair to me, it’s the law. But the biggest things that irk me about the stupid majestic mountainy, mild weathery, worker protectiony, bodily autonomy-y parts of our nation all have to do with the expense of living there.
Don’t get me wrong, I just escaped not being able to afford rent on non-roach-infested housing in Austin by moving back to the DFW Metroplex. After the decade spent in Texas’ answer to L.A., I got really, distressingly good at killing bugs with my phone, and also autoclaving my phone. But sometimes you just see prices that leach all the goodwill from your body, and that’s what this list of cities requiring a $200k salary to afford the purchase of a typical home has done to me.
Mike Winters gathered this maddening info for CNBC, finding a range of median prices from $763,000 to $1,497,000 for non-extravagant-mansion family housing, requiring salaries from $205,312 to $402,821.
The cities all requiring “F U” money to live the American Dream are:
San Francisco, CA – City of most abnormally toned calves per capita, I assume, due to its walkability, which makes me ‘Commit acts of arson’ level jealous! And bullcrap house prices!
Anaheim, CA – There’s only one thing I, or any outsider, know this place for, and the mouse doesn’t deserve my shoutouts. It’s got bullcrap house prices!
Oxnard, CA – Winner of ‘Dorkiest City Name Ever ‘as voted by me for an audience of me! They can put the plaque I’ll send them next to the bullcrap house prices.
Seattle, WA – Misty and gross, but with lots of natural beauty in the moments you can actually see it. The house prices are wet, and also bullcrap.
San Diego, CA – Their state motto is Semper Vigilans, which gives the bad kind of prepper vibes, and means ‘Ever vigilant’ in Latin. Too bad they didn’t watch out for the rise of bullcrap house prices.
Los Angeles, CA – The jovial snippets of ‘Friday’ I absorbed in childhood could never have prepared me for the true disparities in justice and resources of the city. “Daaaaaaaaaayum”, their house prices are bullcrap.
San Jose/é, CA – If I watched a movie about a city with Spanish-speaking origins and a giant Spanish-speaking population organizing when to spell or misspell its own name, I’d probably cry a little. The reality is almost enough to distract a Petty Patty like me from noticing their bullcrap house prices.
Oakland, CA – Shrooms are legal here, and that’s exactly the kind of trip I need to forget how disquieting the demographic changes in my lifetime alone are. Because of their bullcrap house pricing.
Now of course there are a few things that need looking at here.
These prices are median home prices. The median, like the statistical average, will be pulled in certain directions when there are extremes at either end.
To get a true sense of what the vernacular average price might be, I think the math would work something like taking an average of the modes after grinding down non-statistically significant differences ($178,508 vs $178,509) and doing other number stuff that makes my poor little word nerd head hurt. I don’t know exactly what would need to be done, but I have a hunch that even though the numbers would still be absurd, there’s more math to be done here and with any housing articles than flat mean/mode/median/range.
I also question what’s meant by “a typical home”.
Instinctually, I want to go ‘Okay, it means “not a mansion”‘. But you can’t bring instincts into housing statistics. Is a five-bedroom, three-bath home with a pool typical? I’m showing off my tax bracket saying this, but that’d be a palace to me even now that I’m a few decades past assuming anyone in a two-story house was a crazy, pet white-tiger bajillionaire. It’s certainly difficult to form a standard but to have effective conversations and legislation, we have to.
Considering the levels of horrific disparity in these cities, and every city, we better get the standard down soon. There are only so many places to run.