Bay Area woman buys house in New Hampshire, commutes to SF to run business

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ABC7 News is exploring the Bay Area's housing crisis as part of our commitment to Building a Better Bay Area. One area of note is housing prices. A Bay Area native shared her story of being priced out. She moved clear across the country-- from San Francisco to New Hampshire-- and still runs her business that's in the city.

Dancing is all about movement and flexibility. Annie Henry is the founder of the company Dance Theater San Francisco. She's had to master "movement and flexibility" not only for dancing but also for living.

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"I was living paycheck to paycheck," said Henry and added, "I'm above median household income but in the Bay Area that's super low income. I was tired of struggling-- that I was never able to own my own home."

This Bay Area native says she was flexible and left her Tenderloin studio apartment for a bigger place in Santa Rosa. But when it came to buying a house that was still not an option.

"Home values here in San Francisco so we're talking about Oakland, Marin and San Mateo is about $950,000 for the median home. In San Jose it's up to $1.1 million to $1.2 million and the next most expensive place is LA-- it's about $300 less than San Francisco," said Cheryl Young, Senior Economist at Zillow.

Henry decided to look east, and we're not talking about the East Bay.

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"To start to see what I could afford in New Hampshire, New England."

Five months ago this single mom made her dreams come true. She bought a two-unit victorian home and the price tag you may ask? $215,000 plus $40,000 in repairs.

Henry is also planning to rent the downstairs unit of her house for $1,800. Her mortgage is $1,400. For the first time, she will be making money.

According to Cheryl Young, other Bay Area residents are also moving out of the region in search of bigger and more affordable properties.

"What are those trends that you are noticing? More people in the Bay Area moving to more affordable places like Reno and Las Vegas," said Young.

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Annie Henry continues to run her business from the East Coast and commutes to the Bay Area for performances.

Take a look at ABC7's latest stories and videos about efforts to Build a Better Bay Area.

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