California landlord, angry with high cost of living in Bay Area, moving to Colorado with tenants

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A California landlord who is fed up with the high cost of living in California is moving to Colorado and he’s taking his tenants with him.

San Jose landlord Tony Hicks is fed up with the Bay Area's high cost of living. It started when Hicks, who owns three houses in San Jose, started worrying about earthquakes.

“All that caused me to think about moving,” Hicks said. “Then the sanctuary state came on. That was kind of like a clue. And then I said OK, I think I need to go.”

But he didn’t want to leave his longtime tenants, whom he calls his friends, out in the cold. So, he asked them if they wanted to go with him. Seven of them said yes.

“I’m in favor of moving out of California. Of course, I never expected to move in to coal country again," tenant Edwin Blomgren said.

They’ll be moving into a four-bedroom home in Colorado Springs that Hicks bought with cash from the sale of his San Jose homes.

“It’s like a caravan. It’s like an exodus, right?” tenant Retta McDaniels Setser said.

They’re all in their 60s and 70s, on fixed incomes, and would never find rents in the $400 to $500 a month range that they pay now.

Hicks hasn’t raised rents in more than a decade.

So for some, the reasons for leaving the Golden State are more economic.

“I don’t mind being here, but everything’s just too expensive," tenant Dan Harvey said.

But others mentioned changes in the Bay Area they don’t like.

“I’m getting fed up with the bull crap going on in the state, with the governor and all. I’m getting fed up with that. Politics. Crime,” another tenant said.

“To me, San Jose has lost all of its charm. It looks like one ugly strip mall to me now,” McDaniels Setser said.

Hicks sold his primary home, which he bought 30 years ago, for $1.2 million. It was $200,000 over the asking price.

So while people are leaving California, others are eager to come into the state.

“It’s not hurting the Bay Area, in fact it’s freeing up housing that we desperately need," real estate agent Sandy Jamison said.

The group plans to set out for their new lives in Colorado next month.