San Francisco’s Tech Workers Are Leaving the Bay Area

Some of the favorite gurus of tech workers are already there, like Tim Ferriss, life-hacker, who left for Austin in 2017, and Ryan Holiday, whose writing about stoicism is influential among the start-up set.

Sahin Boydas, the founder of a remote-work start-up who had lived in San Francisco and its suburbs over the last decade, saw all of that. He looked at his wife and two young children, working and learning from home while crammed into a Cupertino rental that had seen better days. Much of the late summer, the air was full of smoke from wildfires. For days, electricity would go in and out at his house.

“You start to feel stupid,” said Mr. Boydas, who is 37. “I can understand the 1 percent rich people, the very top investors and entrepreneurs, they can be happy there.”

So he and his family moved to Austin. For the same price as their three-bedroom apartment in Cupertino, they have a five-bedroom home on an acre of land. For the first time, Mr. Boydas has outdoor space. He just acquired two rabbits for his children. Sure, it’s (very) hot, but he’s ready for it.

“We’re going to get a cat and a dog,” he said. “We could never do that before.”

And it’s not just the cost of rent that is lower — the water bill is lower; the trash bill is lower; the cost of a family dinner at a restaurant has fallen significantly. Mr. Boydas said he hadn’t even known about the taxes.

“I run payroll for myself, and when I saw zero, I called the accountant like there’s an error — there’s no tax line here,” he said. “And they were like, ‘Yeah there’s no tax.’”

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