Author Topic: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?  (Read 3003 times)

LouLou

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« on: January 09, 2015, 09:46:05 PM »
A basic tenet of MMM is live near where you work, but DH and I work far apart from each other. Is it generally better to live very close to one workplace or split the difference?

What about us specifically? We are looking for the house where we plan to live forever, but area is the tricky part:
- I am a lawyer working at large firm downtown. DH owns a construction-related company in an industrial park in a far flung suburb about 25 miles away from downtown.
- An interstate runs directly between them, but it is very crowded during rush hour. It would take at least an hour to drive from one to the other in the morning or evening rush. We both like to go to work very early - but usually leave during evening rush hour.
- Job location will not change for either of us. DH's business is well-located and he owns the building. My firm has been downtown for over 100 years!
- Public schools districts along the interstate are all fine, except for the city. We plan to have several children and send them to public schools so this is important.
- We probably won't be a one car household no matter where we live. DH's primary vehicle is also a work vehicle that he uses to go to sites. My firm would cover the cost of a public transportation pass, but public transportation here is not extensive. Plus, I would not feel comfortable using it when I had to work very, very late.

We are looking at areas almost directly in between our two workplaces, but maybe we are approaching this the wrong way. Any thoughts?

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 09:52:28 PM »
Is either one of you comfortable with spending 2+ hours a day in a car?  My husband and I split the difference because neither one of us can stand a commute that long.  It might not be the best financially but I know I personally was going a bit insane after one semester of commuting ~50 minutes each way.  I could not do it for an extended period of time, especially in rush hour type traffic.  It's exhausting and stressful and makes me very cranky!

Also, it sounds like DH owns the type of construction business where he's actually working at job sites, not the company HQ?  If it is, that would argue for being closer to your job (although not all the way downtown due to the school issues?), because there'd be no guarantee of where he's driving to on a daily basis. 

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8019
  • Location: At Home
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 10:18:27 PM »
Who is going to collect sick children from day care and school? It would make more sense for home and school to be close to where that prson works.

Is there any possibility that one of you will be a SAHM/D? It would make more sense for home and school to be closer to the work of the one who will continue working.

Is it a much longer commute time-wise in one direction than the other? It would make more sense to make the commut home at night the same time length.

Obviously these questions and answers are not consistent, and I am sure you have some of your own.


lakemom

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 395
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 05:32:18 AM »
Traffic wise is there more going into the city or out of the city at morning rush hour?  Or is it about equal?  The same for evening?  If there is lighter traffic one direction then I would choose to live closer to the end with heavy traffic leaving the long commute for the one with the lighter traffic.  If traffic is equal, split the difference.  The shorter the commute the better it will be once children arrive.  So, if you find 2 house you like and one has a 30 min commute and one a 45, pick the shorter commute.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8124
  • Age: 62
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 06:07:08 AM »
Is his work more flexible? If so, he might be the one picking up the kids. In that case, you might want to pick the house with the best schools nearest his typical work locations.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2825
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 06:40:53 AM »
I've lived in two different big cities, I would say live as close to your downtown office as possible and let him have a reverse commute.  Since he is also a business owner, a chunk of his transportation costs are a direct business expenses verses yours paid with after-tax dollars.

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1615
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 09:38:43 AM »
Why have you ruled out DH relocating his business closer to the city?

Credaholic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
  • Location: Seattle
    • Credaholic
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 09:58:50 AM »
Agree with above that if DH works all over, makes sense to be closer to Downtown, but that you should also consider which of you will be most responsible for the children, and factor work/school being closer together. Find the sweet spot of convenience and good housing prices.

LouLou

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: Where to live - commutes in opposite direction?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 03:57:19 PM »
Great questions everyone. I think we should probably be closer to downtown, but between the two of us, based on the factors that you've raised. Thanks for your responses - we looked at houses today.

I've lived in two different big cities, I would say live as close to your downtown office as possible and let him have a reverse commute.  Since he is also a business owner, a chunk of his transportation costs are a direct business expenses verses yours paid with after-tax dollars.

This is a very good point. A longer commute for me is more money out of our pockets. We aren't looking to retire early, but we would like financial independence.

Why have you ruled out DH relocating his business closer to the city?

It's really in the best location. The company serves the higher end of the market, and those lovely antimustachians live close to his business. Plus, the location is close to neighboring counties, where they also work. If the business moved closer to the city, that would just mean more trucks, vans, equipment, etc traveling from the business to the sites. (It's a medium size business, about 50 employees). Other locations were looked at, but the tax rates are better (we pay A LOT of taxes), DH got a great deal on the building, DH has other tenants who pay well, blah blah blah.

Traffic wise is there more going into the city or out of the city at morning rush hour?  Or is it about equal?  The same for evening?  If there is lighter traffic one direction then I would choose to live closer to the end with heavy traffic leaving the long commute for the one with the lighter traffic.  If traffic is equal, split the difference.  The shorter the commute the better it will be once children arrive.  So, if you find 2 house you like and one has a 30 min commute and one a 45, pick the shorter commute.

Definitely heavier traffic with my commute. We found two houses that we like - one with a 15 minute commute for me (35 for him) and another with a 30 minute commute for me (12 for him). I'm leaning towards the first.


A lot of comments about kids - my mom will be our full time nanny, and DH's parents are in town as well. My FIL is a retired, full time grandpa. We are very fortunate.