Sunday, May 11, 2008

Drive Until You Qualify

People make choices.

LIVINGSTON -- Zack Guettinger's alarm sounds at 3:45 a.m., bringing with it a cruel reminder that he must drag himself out of bed for another three-hour drive to his job in San Ramon.


On a typical day, he drives 200 miles there and back. It's not a short drive, but as he explained, it's what must be done.


There's a phrase, "Drive until you qualify," meaning that a Bay Area worker can afford a house only if he moves farther from his job.

Guettinger lives on Arena Way in rural Livingston, where he moved a few years ago with his wife and kids because he couldn't bear the thought of his sons growing up in an unsafe Bay Area neighborhood.