​Good question  – in the san jose area there is an opportunity to buy the smallest (there are many 1000 and smaller homes) in a good area (not palo alto. los altos etc unless you have a lot more money).  It is likely you can buy a small fixer house for under $800k where nearby homes that are 1800+ are selling for $1.3 m+.  Then you get a good design and build a home addition on your “little” house – put in sweat equity and in 2 years sell for $1.3+m.

Advantages I think are 1. you are saving on rent 2. you are at the home all the time so you can ensure the people you hire to do the work are doing it  3. the south bay for 50 years has continually outpaced other areas in home appreciation.  Prices are really high now but they are really high every decade and then they just go higher.  Facebook, Google, Apple all within a few miles..creating rich people who will continue to invest and start new companies etc. etc. etc.  4. the profit you make is tax free.   5. you get to live in a nice new house for a year before selling:)  6. as a primary residence you will get really low interest rates on a loan.  7.  if the market is soft for a few years you just g

You can add on 800 sqft for $250k  or $300 per square foot .  Sale price  per square in the san jose area range from $400 to more than $1000 a square foot.    You end up making an average of $100k a year tax free by moving every 2 years..and that is if the values do not appreciate.  If you take into account the market ups and downs the some years you make $50k..otehr years you make $150k..all tax free.  Just please get a good home designer – I see SO MANY ugly ugly ugly remodels in the southbay it drives crazy.