If the cost of living in a big city is causing you anxiety, then you’re not alone. Rent has become so high in most major U.S. cities that many of us have, at one time or another, considered selling all our things, buying a van, and just living in it forever. Given the bleakness of affordable rent options and the rather slim possibility of being able to buy, it’s tempting. One thing we’ve never considered though–that it might actually be more affordable to buy a private plane to commute to work than pay rent prices in our city. But according to Business Insider that’s exactly what one Houston-based law firm has done in response to the insane prices in San Francisco.
The firm, Patterson and Sheridan, paid three million dollars for a nine seat private jet to transport their patent lawyers between the two cities. It’s a pretty crazy move, but the craziest part? They say it’s cheaper than hiring in San Francisco or relocating staff to the expensive bay city where the average rent for a one bedroom apartment is a whopping $3,360. So even with a plane operating cost of $2500 an hour, they told the Houston Chronicle that the savings of doing most of their work in Houston is worth it. Especially when you consider that commercial real estate is 43 percent cheaper in Houston, salaries are 52 percent lower, and there’s less competition for technical talent. And the firm stresses that this is no luxury. They fly the plane full, and while it costs more per person than a commercial plane ticket, they save hours of billable time by not dealing with typical airport lines and waits. Plus, they’re able to continue working on confidential documents during the flight.
Buying a private jet so that employees can live in a cheaper city (and commute elsewhere to work) is pretty extreme, but given the extreme prices of housing around the country, maybe not as insane as we initially thought. Maybe the really insane thing is that so many of us are dropping 30-50 grand a year to live in crappy one bedrooms with no air conditioning and a resident mouse. So if the rental market stays the way it is now, maybe moving to the middle of the country and pooling our money for a private jet to take us to work is best option we have. I’ll get the “Private Jet” GoFundMe started for us. Just in case.