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Over-qualified for mediocrity. Under-qualified for greatness. 


5 easy tips for cutting down on Bay Area housing costs

Robynn Garfield


Oh man. Not another bay area housing article.

But wait! By following these easy tips, you’ll not only be able to afford that one bedroom “industrial loft” going for $3,900 (may or may not be located on the ground floor of a fish packing plant) but you’ll be able to have a little left over each month for luxuries like soap and calling Mom.

  1. Do you own a car? Don’t EVER own a car. Car ownership is for people who live life way too fast. Sell you car, use public transportation, Uber, a bike, a hang glider, a mule, a pedicab, a solar-powered go-cart, a prius….ANYTHING but a car. Living in the bay area is a privilege in an of itself. Don’t get greedy thinking you can live here AND own a car.

  2. Eat out. Of dumpsters. Do you spend money on groceries? That’s not going to fly if you want to afford even a moderate dwelling in the bay area. Don’t spend your money on food. There are plenty of places to get food for free, like the Whole Foods dumpster, the In N Out dumpster, the sidewalk, the grocery store (don’t pay for it though, just shove that Lara bar in your pocket and run), or any children’s birthday party located at a park.

  3. Don’t (ever) have kids. Living in the bay area is expensive enough without a bunch of ratty little mouths to feed and bodies to sleep in second bedrooms. If you live out here and have dreams of family life, buy a pet bird and house it in your one bedroom loft. Kids cost money, money that could be used to pay for amenities such as walls, doors, and not living in a tent. If you have kids, consider renting them out to childless retired couples who think their 800 square foot house built in 1947 is worth $1.6 million after taxes.

  4. Lower your expectations. So you want to live in a house? You mean, a house that’s not attached to another house? You want a ruddy YARD???!!! Nope. That’s not going to happen unless you just sold a sexy little startup to Google for more money than the annual GDP of Vietnam. Lower your housing standards. Look for apartments advertised as “cosy”, “livable”, or “nearly snake free.” You don’t need a kitchen. You won’t be buying food anyway (see tip #2).

  5. Be willing to do things your mom wouldn’t be proud of. Did you find that perfect rental, close to the train and within walking distance of a hip little organic, gluten free coffee roastery? Do you want to live there more than life itself, more than anything you’ve ever wanted ever in your 28 years on God’s green earth? Good, you’re in a good place. Get weird with it. Offer to do things to and for your potential landlord you wouldn’t admit to, even on an anonymous Craigslist forum. See if he or she likes fake accents, leather, milkshakes, pictures of dogs riding horses…whatever it might be. You do it and you do it for the $3,100 a month studio that smells like meth and cheap hairspray. It’s the bay area. You’re just lucky to be living here at all.