A San Jose landlord is packing it up and heading east – "it" being his belongings and a majority of his tenants.
Tony Hicks of San Jose told Bay Area media that he and many of his tenants, tired of the region for a variety of reasons, are leaving California and heading for Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hicks, owner of three houses, told KPIX 5 that earthquakes, California politics and the rapidly increasing housing prices are among his motivations for moving. He extended the offer to continue the landlord-tenant relationship in what one companion called an "exodus."
Hicks' tenants, all in their 60s or 70s, have paid the same rent to Hicks for more than a decade: between $400 and $500, according to KPIX. Those rates are virtually impossible to come by in Silicon Valley.
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Of his 10 tenants, seven agreed to make the trek to Colorado next month.
“I’m not going to raise their rent, ever," Hicks told KTVU. "I just worry about the people I’m with. When they come in and rent from me, they’re more than tenants, we’re friends."
After selling his three houses (his main house sold for $1.2 million), Hicks plans to buy a four-bedroom place in Colorado Springs to share with his tenants/friends.
Several cited money as a major motivator.
“I don’t mind being here, but everything’s just too expensive," one tenant told KPIX.
Said another: “I’m getting fed up with the bull crap going on in the state, with the governor and all. I’m getting fed up with that. Politics. Crime."
Hicks' party is a small example of what many believe to be a larger-scale exodus away from the Bay Area, as well as California as a whole. A recent poll found that more than 50 percent of California voters have considered moving because housing is so expensive, with 25 percent considering moving to another state.
Some data show that many who are leaving pricey hubs like Silicon Valley or Los Angeles County are ending up in Sacramento, with domestic migration rates as high as they've been in 12 years.
According to a recent report by real estate website Redfin, Sacramento is the most-searched destination for residents looking to flee. Other hot spots include Phoenix and Las Vegas.