As Bay Area population rises many longtime Californians move out

- The Bay Area's population is on the rise - in part because technology is fueling a big surge in jobs. At the same time though, many longtime Californians are leaving the state.

Jessica Robertson-Baird has called the Bay Area home for four decades, but that's about to change.

The mother, who was once an executive assistant to Steve Jobs, is leaving the San Jose home she brought her two sons home from the hospital to.

Despite fond memories and extended family still here, the Los Altos Hills native and her husband decided the Bay Area no longer fits their family of four.

Their home in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood sold in a week, and for over the $1.3 million asking price.

Next month the Baird family is moving to Bend Oregon.

"There is a difference! When you go to Bend Oregon everyone is waving at everyone and saying 'hello' and I don't see people with their head down in their phone walking around as much as I do here."

A poll released by the Bay Area Council this month found 34 percent of residents here are considering leaving the region - citing high housing costs and traffic as the biggest problems.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the Golden State's population is still on the rise with more people moving in than out.

When you look closer at migrants, the Bay Area last year had a net increase of 52,000 people from other countries. But there was a 22,000 net decrease of Bay Area residents moving elsewhere in the United States.

"It's important to note by no means is the Bay Area emptying out. In fact the area is still growing. It's just a matter that more people are moving here from other countries than from within the United States.

According to LinkedIn, the most common places Bay Area workers are moving to are Seattle, Portland and Austin, Texas.

Realtor Myron Von Raesfeld, former President of the Santa Clara County Realtors Association and San Jose City Council Candidate, is now looking to move out of the home that has been in his family for four generations. "It's sad that we've come to a place where we're looking at leaving the place where we've spent our entire lives," he said. 

Von Raesfeld is literally surrounded by family in this neighborhood.

But he's eyeing retirement in North Carolina. He says California's overbearing taxes, nightmare traffic and a family member's health condition all made up the decision for him and his wife of 30 years to look for a change of pace. He's even offering to buy each of his six children a home if they move too. He sees a better quality of life in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, as people leave the area it has an impact on classrooms.

The spokesperson for the South Bay's largest school district, San Jose Unified, says enrollment has steadily declined in the last five years.

Peter Allen, San Jose Unified School District Public Information Officer says "The number one factor is the economics of it, and the cost of living in the area. Because we're also finding local charters and private schools are having the same issues in terms of enrollment."

According to the most recent numbers from the California Association of Realtors the median sale price of single family homes in the bay area is $837,720, which is a10% increase from a year earlier.

Daniel and Nicole Gredinberg, who grew up in San Jose and Los Gatos, felt priced out of the housing market and wanted a different place to raise their one year old son. So last July, they moved out of a 1,200 square foot San Jose rental and became first-time homeowners in their 3,400 square foot dream home in Colorado Springs.

"We still have the same stores, retail, shopping, same malls - schools - just a lot less stressful. That's the only difference," said Daniel.

But commuter Paul Brown is not on-board the train to move elsewhere.

The Bay Area native says the beautiful weather, geography and family make this all home.

"What keeps me here is family - so yeah it's expensive but born and raised here and a lot of our family is here, and there's also a lot of opportunity. I think a lot of people leave out thinking they're going to improve their quality of life - but also the job market is very limited in a lot of other areas." 

 

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