Author Topic: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?  (Read 4091 times)

S0VERE1GN

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Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« on: March 16, 2014, 06:08:56 AM »
Good morning Mustachians, I call upon you in a time of need:

My wife and I are happily shopping for our first house: 30k down payment saved, and we're looking to spend little on it. (130-180k)  Our original goal was to get a house nearby to our job (we both work at the same place) and simply carpool in as we drop our daughter at daycare, or bike commute on nicer days. Boom,  that's about a mustach-ey as it gets....


enter curve ball: there's a very nice house that is about a 30 minute drive from our job/daughter's daycare: benefits of the house are its low taxes ($600/year.....no that is not a typo) its low heating cost (less than $800/year, wood furnace heat and high efficency insulation) and its seclusion, its really off the beaten path, which is the way I prefer to live)

the drawback is that we would be giving up some liquid cash in the beginning as commuting would be more if we lived there, and the house is also more expensive (213k) however the exceptionally low taxes put it within our budget. Our salaries will continue to increase at our awesome job, so we're not worried about affordability.....


what say you mustachians? do we buy the "retirement" house early? with its energy efficiency and so forth but longer commute? or buy the more reasonable house in town with its minimal commute?  Either way we would keep one car ( and my vintage Porsche....don't judge me.) so that upfront cost would still be there.... any thoughts.



furrychickens

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 07:13:34 AM »
It's hard to put a financial value on the extra hour per day the longer commute requires.

Houses like that will be around when you retire, and I'm always for less driving for environmental reasons. Kids love bike commuting in any weather, or at least mine did when they were small enough to all fit in an enclosed trailer.

Rural

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 07:21:33 AM »
It's really a personal decision. I do a similar, but longer (45 mins each way) commute and wouldn't trade it for the hour and a half I spend daily if I had to spend that hour and a half in the city/town where the college is located. It helps that my commute itself is beautiful and that I really don't have to drive in the city at all -- that would make a huge difference. Drive the commute at the time you'll need to do it and get a better idea of what it's like.

There's also a breaking point; my husband worked near me, but about 20 minutes further on, for a year, and we carpooled, but the car time was just too long for both of us (took turns dropping each other off). Something had to give, and what we chose was his job;  it happened he got a better one five minutes from home, but we didn't know whether he'd have anything when he quit, and didnt have to depend on it. That sort of flexibility is the goal around here. Can you have that and your house in the country, too?

MKinVA

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 08:42:16 AM »
Don't do it. As your child gets older and involved in activities, you will spend all of your time in the car. I believe firmly in the five year rule. Make decisions that are good for the next five years (about the amount of time a child is in each level of school). Life changes and you have to change with it. When you have kids, your life revolves around their schedule, their needs, etc.

Catbert

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 02:23:35 PM »
If one of the draws is the low property taxes then make sure you understand how the assessed valuation is set in your area.  In California, for example, assessed valuation is set at the sales price when a property is sold and then increases are limited until it is sold again.  Here it's entirely possible for property tax to be $600 for a long time owner and $6000 for the new owner.


capital

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 03:27:30 PM »
Are the schools any good anywhere with $600/year property taxes— is there another source of school funding there?

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 06:17:23 AM »
the schools are small and very nice. the elementary has an 8:1 class size, and is touted as one of the better in the area, the high school is regional-ized into the best high school in the area. 

a few of you mentioned that as my daughter grows up we'll spend our lives in the car....I think you're probably right with moving to soccer practice, school plays etc. however the strange thing about where i live (Berkshire county Massachusetts if anyone else hails from there) is that almost anything school function related takes a car to get to. high schools all seem to be put as far away from homes as possible, and this makes it a real pain to try and move to and fro by foot or by bike.

nonetheless, the wife and I have continued to look for homes in town and I think we've found some fix-er upers we really like and we're moving that route now. The close proximity to town, paired with the possibility of some good appreciation through sweat equity makes it a much better investment!

AlanStache

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2014, 06:29:03 AM »
commutes suck, I do 30 each way, it sucks.  that is all.

Jamesqf

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2014, 12:11:24 PM »
I say do it, subject to the caveats re major tax increases and such.  First, depending on the route, a 30 minute drive isn't that much, and could be bikeable.  Second, the kid can find a lot of activities to do in the country instead of city ones (some of which you might prefer her not to participate in).

Spork

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2014, 12:32:39 PM »

It really comes down to how you want to live.

I do a 30 minute commute to live in the boonies.  And I'm glad I do it.  But there are likely some extra expenses (or chores) to maintain this life as well.  For me it's also an extra commute to do things like: go to the grocery store or buy a plumbing part, etc.

AJ

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2014, 12:58:02 PM »
nonetheless, the wife and I have continued to look for homes in town and I think we've found some fix-er upers we really like and we're moving that route now. The close proximity to town, paired with the possibility of some good appreciation through sweat equity makes it a much better investment!

It sounds like you've already decided against the long commute, but if not, I would strongly recommend against it. We did this very same thing a few years ago and in hindsight it was a mistake. I underestimated just how much quality of life there was to be gained from living in-town, walking distance to work and amenities. I love the country and privacy and open land, but it made us so crabby being in the car that much. I do hope to move back to the country when we retire and don't have to commute :)

enigmaT120

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 02:37:24 PM »
I've gone with the face-punchingly stupidly long commute for a long time and can't recommend it.  I'm just stubborn.  I like living in the woods and hate being around people.  The only advantage is I don't need to go any place on my days off (unless it's a bike ride up on the logging roads) because I'm already where I want to be. 

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Rural Commute for awesome retiement house?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 03:34:10 PM »
for some basis, it would be a 20 minute commute for us. actually not bad. and the closest store is only 10 minutes away from the house. so not too bad. its more the fact that we would NEED a car for commuting instead of using a bike.