I Will Get Outbid… (and “Am I a Horrible Yuppie?”)

Today’s update on the house hunting process…. so I have found a place that I am REALLY excited about. They’ll be taking offers next week. I have an inside shot at getting it. But I won’t.

I met the guy who will outbid me, I just know it. To make things worse he and I share a few similarities that make me squeamish, and then again we have many disimilarities that give me the heebie jeebies (as in ewwww gross!)….. and leave me asking how much of a yuppie scum am I?

Here’s the place:

It’s 2 fabulous units “in the hip Valencia corridor!” as the marketing materials put it… I went to see it again on Sunday to see the bottom unit which I hadn’t gotten a chance to see. I also stuck around to chat with the two tenants who live there (& will do so whether I get it or not*). The tenant I talked to the most seemed really really sweet and very amiable – he refurbishes wheelchairs and gives them away to people who need them. In fact, his (beautiful) unit was stuffed with wheelchairs… VERY cool.

Anyway, as we were talking, a clean cut, tall, good looking, young guy sauntered in and proceeded to chat with the tenant while I was also talking with him. A few salient comments the new guy made:
– “I just want you to know I have no interest in kicking anybody out or anything, i just want a place to live for me & my girl. The upstairs is perfect.”
– “There is going to be a bidding war on this place”
– “I just want to live here, I already own a couple of apartment buildings in town.”
– “If I’m a little slow, its because the Union Street Fair is today, so I’ve been drinking for like 24 hours straight.”
– “If you want to put in a good word with the owner for me, my offer is the one from XXXXX [his first name], XXXXX@ebay.com”

And then, the coup de gráce: after a bit more chatting, he walked out, climbed into car parked illegally in the center median, and drove off. Guess what kind of car? An SUV. A BMW SUV no less.

We’ll see what happens. But my guess is that if we really do get into a bidding war, I lose. Having your email address be just your first name at a big successful dot com suggests a lot of money, and so does the “owns some apartment buildings” bit.

I’d like to say that the sense of dislike I feel for this guy has to do with the fact that he drives an SUV. Clearly wrong (planet? what planet? self-involved much?). Or that he parks in the center median lane. Pretty wrong. Or that he’s better looking than I am. Ok, that is a lame reason to dislike someone. Or that he’s a rich Silicon-Valley-type taking over the Mission. Well, um… Some would say I’m not that different**. Sigh.

Yeah, I can see how some people would look at me as uncharitably as I look at this guy. Damn you, self-awareness! To be fair, I’m not yuppie scum, in so far as my own definition is concerned: I give a lot back to the world, both in terms of time & money, and I try really hard to look out for others as much as I do for myself. But there is a note of truth in the critique no matter what I do to mitigate it.

About a decade ago, I was trying to decide whether to stay in software engineering or go to grad school in environmental policy or public policy. I thought I “should” do the grad school thing because I wanted to do work that was about the greater good, but I wanted to stay in software engineering because I loved doing it and I liked going to work everyday (which is incredibly fortunate). I ultimately decided that I could do work for the greater good but it didn’t have to be my day job, and that in a world that seems to be rapidly becoming more “have vs. have-not”, I could possibly do more good by being a “have”.

Well, it was a good descion, but I think I will always feel the tension between those options. And here are the fruits of that ambivalence. Obviously this is the hand-wringing guilt of relatively-rich person*** on some level. And I can hear the “Boo-hoo, poor wittle rich guy”… but it is nonetheless where I’m at.

Oh well. Let’s see what happens Monday when the bids are due….


* The tenants are protected and thus will not be moving out. Of course, even if they weren’t, imagine how many pages of guilt-abatement I’d have to write to needlessly evict someone 🙂

** There are really MANY differences from the trivial to the significant, but there is no time to enumerate them all here… And I should add that I’m obviously being prejudiced about this guy in that i know nothing about his life or the way he moves through the world… luckily his SUV keeps me with at least some justifiable disdain 🙂 & besides he already seems to know & like Cow Hollow, his natural habiat! So why invade Deepistan?

And some of you may note that I have an email address that is deep at a large Silicon Valley company, but please note, I’m like the 50,000th Apple employee (over its history), so no huge early stockholder $$$ for me….

*** Just so no one gets the wrong idea, I’m not rich by local standards – certainly nowhere close by the standards of my co-workers and friends in Silicon Valley, but I’m definitely pretty well off by the standards of my friends in SF – a.k.a. “my people”. And finally, by the global scale – which I think is the one that matters, I’m pretty seriously rich.

UPDATE See the next post for the update….

2 thoughts on “I Will Get Outbid… (and “Am I a Horrible Yuppie?”)

  1. At least he didn’t park in the bike lane like some of the other folks I saw at that open house on sunday. Grrrr

  2. I love SF architeture. Drafty as hell, but I suspect that was the point. The soffits in particular look cool.


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