What is the REAL Cost of living in the East Bay??

What is the Real Cost of living in the East Bay?

Did you know that 7.7 million people called the Bay Area their home? San Francisco's East Bay is made up of 2 counties - Alameda county and Contra Costa county. We have professional sports teams, museums, symphony orchestra, theater, as well as three international airports so you can travel just about anywhere in the world you want to go when you live in the East Bay.

You've probably already heard and read that the cost of living in the East Bay is higher than it is in most other areas in the country. We're going to talk about 5 different categories for your budget. We're going to nail down what are the cost of food, utilities, transportation, healthcare and housing

1. FOOD - groceries in East Bay are going to run you about 11% higher than they are for the average in the US

  • groceries for 1 person household average $312/month
  • groceries for a 4 person household average $925/month. Overall,.
  • Date night will average $150 plus tip* at a nice restaurant (ie Va de Vi – Walnut Creek)
  • Large Deep Dish Pizza to go will average $35* (ie Patxi's Pizza – Dublin)

2.UTILITIES – It’s important to consider energy efficiency in homes in order to accurately prepare a budget for living in the East Bay.

  • Pacific Gas and Electric (PGNE) operates both gas and electric.  An Average 3 Bed/2 Bath single family home runs about $400/month.  This is for a home that does not have energy efficient improvements (ie solar panels, whole house fan, older windows etc).  In California, we're really fortunate because we also have alternate energy sources like the sun.
  • Water (East Bay Mudd) for the same average 3 Bed/2 Bath Single Family Home runs about $200/month or slightly less. Water is billed every other month. Mine runs a little higher but I have 2 teenage boys at home.  This can be greatly reduced by drought resistant landscape.

3.TRANSPORTATION - The East Bay area is actually the 10th largest Metro in the US. The area is roughly 550 square miles. It's a really big piece of land. So, if you're going somewhere, more than likely, you're driving. So, if you work in the city or you work in the peninsula usually, there is going to be a bridge involved. If there's a backup on the bridge, this could cause a delay and a headache, because you can't get around it, you can't go anywhere or take a shortcut!  

  • To get over the Golden Gate bridge or the Bay bridge = $9.05 Round trip.
  • Gas prices are really important because of the amount of land you need to cover to get around. In the East Bay, we're seeing some of the most expensive gas prices in the country. As of October 2021, gas prices are around $5/gallon.
  • BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit is a good option and it is fairly well used.  A round trip ticket from Walnut Creek to San Francisco International Airport, is around $23.

 4. HEALTHCARE - without insurance. Overall, in the East Bay, the cost of healthcare is running about 10% higher than the US average. These estimates are just to see the Doctor without any tests or additional items so it may variy depending on why you are seeing the doctor.

  • Annual doctor visit will average you about $150 - $200 per visit.
  • Get your eyes checked will average you about $150 - 200 per visit.
  • Dentist visit will average you about that same $150 to $200 per visit.
  • Veterinarian will charge you about $69 per visit.

5. HOUSING in the East Bay is expensive, but it's probably the least expensive in the Bay area overall. So, how do you find housing in the East Bay? and how much is it going to cost me?

  • Median asking price for a 3 bed/2 bath single family detached home in the East Bay is going to be 950,000. That is the median asking price and not sold price for the last 12 months.
  • When I look at the sale price for the same 3 bed/2 bath Single family, as of October 2021, that breaks down to Alameda county, the median sale price = $1.35M. Now, the same home in Contra Costa county has a median sale price = $960,000.
  • Maybe you’re considering renting in the East Bay. A 3 bed/2 bath, detached single family home in Contra Costa county will cost roughly  $4,300/month.  About 1/3 of the people who live here are renters.  In Alameda county, it will run you about $4,000/mo. And 50% of the population rents their home in Alameda Co.

The East Bay is an amazing place to live. It's a great place to raise a family. And the weather here is unbeatable. We have proximity to just about anything you could want to do (hiking, drinking wine or playing in the snow at Lake Tahoe), it's all very close. And it doesn't come without a cost.


Helpful Links:

Cost of living Comparison for any city https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/

Compare daily item costs: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=United+States&city1=Dallas%2C+TX&city2=San+Ramon%2C+CA

Gas prices: https://gasprices.aaa.com/?state=CA

Website resources: salary.com to play around with numbers

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