We can't afford a million-dollar Bay Area home yet, but the view is free. The rat race part of the Silicon Valley Tech Bubble is terrible, but once you decide you are not doing it for the money or the status, you can feel the upsides very, very tangibly. You are not buying a house; you are buying into a lifestyle. A safe, cultured, modern, liberal, progressive lifestyle abundant with opportunities.
I grew to love the Bay Area, and Belmont in particular - I love the hills, the parks, the small-town feel to it. A few photos from my walks around the 'hood in the past few days.