I think we're making a bad mistake allowing out-of-control real estate prices and inflated cost of living in general. Somehow everyone got persuaded that inordinately rising housing prices are a good substitute for retirement savings and pensions. This is a bad idea for many reasons: it makes older people vulnerable to housing booms and busts, while making it very hard for young people to start their lives in areas with a vigorous economy. It also forces people to move on their retirement---they need to monetize their retirement fund by selling the house (I do realize that from the macroeconomic point of view this may be a good outcome, as the retiring geezers make space for their young replacements).
I actually like my house and I wouldn't mind retiring in it, so to me, real estate appreciation only means increasing real estate taxes. The real estate industry is the main beneficiary of the housing booms, and I think we would be all better off if housing prices increased very slowly over time and RE was a boring and not very profitable area.
Having done the same thing and moved here to Silicon Valley, obtained a green card and having been educated outside the USA I would do it again. However the times are changing in Silicon Valley and it really is a victim of it's own success. Unfortunately it is getting too expensive to live here a as regular Engineer and as a result talent is not coming in which is unfortunate since the experience really needs to flow down to the the newbies. Engineering is not 100% theory, it is more of an iterative thing where the rubber meets the road (theory meets practicality). This is where we need the experienced guys to train the less experienced. The problem is the fresh grads aren't coming so there's a disconnect as Silicon Valley has some incredible talent that needs to be passed on.
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