Reno Gazette Journal
Californians are moving to Reno.
About 45,000 people left the Bay Area from July 2016 to July 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s net migration statistics. Many of them are in the process of making Reno their home.
We interviewed five of those Golden State transplants about what attracted them to the Biggest Little City despite rising home prices on this side of the Sierra. All of them are working for technology startups.
For most of the transplants we talked to for this story, the region’s quality of life was a major motivation to move.
Most of them have been familiar with Reno for years. They have witnessed how the city redefined itself after the recession with some of the biggest names in tech like Tesla started to move to the region.
Three out of five people we interviewed are in the process of buying a house. All of them agreed that the housing isn’t really cheap here.
Here’s what they told us:
Lindsey Dal Porto
Dal Porto is a transplant from the Bay Area, the tech-hub in California. According to her, the Bay was becoming increasingly stressful for her lifestyle.
“A lot of people who work in San Francisco commute at least 45 minutes,” Dal Porto said. “The city cracks me up. Because you go two miles and it takes you an hour and a half.”
Now, she lives 8 miles away from work and it takes her 15 minutes to get to work.
“The commute time shaved off has been life-changing for me,” she said.
She also mentioned affordability with rent and cost of living.
“I pay just over a $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment with parking and a dishwasher and a washer-drier,” she said of her Reno home. “And in San Francisco, a washer-drier is a luxury. What I get, my apartment and the amenity I have, is probably a third of the cost of what people pay in the Bay Area.”
Also, easy accessibility to the outdoors has been a major motivation for this triathlete.
“We are in the middle of an outdoorsman’s Mecca,” she said. “In San Francisco, we have to travel very far away to get to those types of places.”
Currently, she works as the Head of Talent at Bombora — a New York-based tech company.
Tanya Silva lived in Silicon Valley with her husband and kids before she moved to Reno, where the ease of renting a home was a major relief.
“You click and you rent. It was not like that in the Bay Area,” Silva said. “You had to spend time looking. ”
Also, she loves the smaller commute time.
In Reno, she’s now training to be a yoga teacher — something she has always wanted to do. The same training was “prohibitive” in the Bay Area in terms of cost and time management, she said.
“I think that’s what makes Reno different from Silicon Valley. It’s the community,” Silva said. “Every weekend there’s literally something going on. And it’s fun and it’s cool. It’s whatever you like. if you like cooking there’s cooking, if you like hiking there’s hiking.”
Silva is the Project Manager with Breadware, a Reno-based tech company previously headquartered in California.
Victor Robinson moved his family from Sacramento to Reno so that his wife could be close to her mother and his three children could spend time with grandma.
Also, Reno’s cultural environment continues to inspire him — from interesting architectural features around town to the city’s vicinity to Burning Man.
“For example, murals in this town — they are everywhere,” Robinson said. “And businesses seem to just sort of welcome that quite a bit. And there’s something about the town and people that move here, I compare it to Portland. Not only the businesses but also the homes are open to a little bit of funkiness in art and design.”
He added, “Sacramento is a bit traditional. And that’s what I like about Reno that they are open to that. And you have Burning Man. When I moved here last year and started working I was amazed at how many people that event brought to the area.”
Robinson is an artist and currently Industrial Designer with Breadware. He hopes to get to know the local art community, he said.
“We notice now that when we go to Sacramento, it doesn’t feel like home anymore. Reno is where we play, live.”
Donovan used to live in Oakland, California and work in the Bay Area before he moved to Reno to work at Talage, a Reno-based tech start-up.
Donovan said he has been impressed by the cooperation of the local community.
“People in the community wants to see startups be successful,” he said. “We participated at a press conference where the governor came about a month ago. Not many states would put an event like that.”
Donovan and his fiancée have been able to enjoy the outdoors more frequently than they did when in California.
“I would say, the nature here has an appeal,” he said. “That has been one major reason why we moved here. We love skiing we love hiking. Mount Rose is 10 minutes drive from where we live in the Incline Village.”
Ron Justin moved from Santa Barbara, California to Reno.
It was his “dream” to live in California as a student at UNLV, he said.
“I moved to California after I graduated. I lived there for 15 years then I got over it,” he said. “It’s beautiful, it’s a beach town. But it’s almost odd. It’s a bubble. Almost as if you are not in the real world there.”
Other problems? Fires and the high cost of living, which made him look elsewhere.
“I did a quick year in Denver. I like the mountains. I enjoy outdoor sports like Mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding,” he said. “Then I quickly realized that it is hard to get to the mountains because of all the traffic. It’s way easier to get to the mountains here versus Denver and certainly versus Santa Barbara.”
Living in Reno “made sense,” he said.
“I do a lot of businesses in Silicon valley. It’s just a three and half hours from Reno. A lot of my friends started moving here. I actually relocated a business I helped found out here,” he said.
“I see younger generation that’s coming here. The new start ups. Seems to be spillover from the valley and even Denver. So it is a mix. It’s exciting!”
When it comes to housing, he pointed out that Reno still has “dramatic cost differences” compared to California.
Currently, he is renting a place within walking distance from his workplace in Midtown — it’s about half the price he would have paid in California, he said.
He agreed that housing costs have gone up in last few years, but “it’s still within reach for families with education.”
In California, you pay a lot for the run-down property and you are working on it every weekend fixing things. Here you can get new construction for much cheaper.”
Currently, he is in the process of purchasing a property, he said.
Justin is the director at Breadware.
Source: Reno Gazette Journal
Read Full Article – https://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2018/08/02/why-californians-moving-reno-we-asked-few-them/790556002/