Here is a heard at work:
Co-worker K was complaining about the traffic and stated it took her 2 hours to get to work the other morning because there was so much traffic. I commiserated, but said that is why I like riding my bike.
Later today she was gone for a few hours. Comes back, said she and her husband were looking at houses.
K: We're going to be moving!
Me: Congratulations! How much shorter will your commute be?
K: Oh, it will be longer. We are moving to [names town 10 miles farther away than her current town]. It will probably add 40 min to my commute.
Me and CW J: O.o
J: I couldn't stand to be in the car for an hour and a half a day (obviously referring to her entire round-trip commute of 40+40 min)
K: Oh, no, it will be more like 3 hours. It already takes me over an hour on a good day.
J: [sound of disbelief]
K: Oh, it's not that bad. I have a hybrid
This is hard to even believe. The longer she talks the worse it gets!
I hear this from Silicon Valley workers all the time. They want to "buy the dream" of a huge house, and are willing to sell their lives (and pocketbooks) on a huge commute from a place where such a house is actually purchasable. It's nonsensical.
I can emotionally get this. I used to live in a very high COL area. Houses were very close to unaffordable there for us, even though we had high salaries. I was in my late 20s, and renting, and looking at friends and family and people on tv in their homes, and it was hard not to feel like I wasn't a real adult until we owned. Plus, I really like home projects and decorating, and stability (esp with kids), and felt like I needed to own (and own a bigger home with many different rooms for different activities). And anything affordable close to work would have been a dump, and probably what I would have felt like was too small, and it *still* would have a huge mortgage, which would have gnawed at me.
Luckily, we knew we wanted to move to a lower COL area, so we were able to resist buying (good thing too, would have had to sell right when the market was crashing). And then we did move to our lower COL and I was in heaven looking at largish (2000 sq ft), with land, in good conditions at affordable prices. And we bought right away and worked on making things perfect.
And, only after owning what I had long dreamed of, do I see how it's really not that great or important. We don't need that much room, and I'm not more of an adult, and diy stuff and yard work is a PITA. So, we'll probably be down-sizing, and I might even consider a condo.....
...but, if we were still living in our old area, I probably would have broken down and gotten a house that was not a dump, that was not tiny, and had a long commute to do it. And even if I realized later that it was a bad idea, without MMM I don't know if I would have had enough courage to sell it and down-size. Who wants to give up the big sign that they have made it after all ;)