Author Topic: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?  (Read 3491 times)

Mustache_In_Training

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At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« on: October 06, 2015, 08:04:32 AM »
Hello all,

I have been doing a hellacious commute for 4 years now. It's about an hour commute each way, 50+ highway miles. I do have the benefit of carpooling with a fellow coworker, so it was somewhat tolerable. Previously my wife had a job close to where we lived, so I did not consider moving. Recently my wife got a job right down the road from my current place of employment. Now we're both commuting 2 hours a day (along with coworker) to our jobs.

We both like our jobs reasonably well, however do not feel this will be our "long" term workplaces (I put long in quotes because we plan to FIRE by 40) . We plan to stay for about 3 years. The reason for 3 years is due to financial obligations to our workplaces we would have to pay if we left prior to that time. At the end of the 3 years, we will likely move back to the city from which we came.

With the knowledge that this will be a 3-ish year endeavour, does it make financial sense to relocate close to our work places? We found a home that is less than 2 miles from both our work places and very reasonably priced. So essentially, our commute cost goes to $0.

The thing(s) that are holding me back:  Our current home is located in a city that is rated best place to live and work for our profession. It has great school systems (we don't have kids now though) and desireable real estate market, friends and family are also within a few mile radius.

It seems like a step in the wrong direction to move away from that. Where we would be moving is not that desirable, there's not an abundance of jobs for our profession (although its odd how we both ended up getting jobs there) and in general is extremely conservative whereas we have more liberal leanings.

Despite all the "fluff" that keeps us in our current home, does it make financial sense to move to a new home for 3 years, reducing commuting costs to $0 and then move back to the original town? At what length of time does the payback occur? I'm struggling with how to quantify this.

Thanks for reading, look forward to your feedback.

mozar

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2015, 08:40:57 AM »
Can you rent a place near work and rent out your house?

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2015, 08:43:31 AM »
Can you rent a place near work and rent out your house?

This could be a great option if the numbers on your home pencil out. I would definitely be looking to move closer to work, one way or another. Commuting 2 hours/day for three years is crazy.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2015, 08:44:22 AM »
For 3 year period, I would rent close to work. It would not make financial sense to buy and sell within a 3 year period.

MissStache

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2015, 08:45:12 AM »
Agree with everyone else.  See if it works financially to rent a a few years and lease out your current home.  Stop that crazy commute!

Proud Foot

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 08:48:29 AM »
Quote
The thing(s) that are holding me back: Our current home is located in a city that is rated best place to live and work for our profession.

If this is true, why do you not have jobs there? How hard would it be to get a job in your profession where you live? I see your financial obligation to your workplace (contract?) but you could include that in negotiations for a new job.

Left

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 08:48:59 AM »
Get a RV and live in parking lot? I knew someone that did that. We worked 12 hour shifts so only 3 days a week. He kept a cabin a few hours from work so he lived there on days off and out of RV while working.

Or yeah just rent a place and rent your current place, or a home swap with new owners? Not actual trade but a rent swap? They live there in city and you in their's?

frugaliknowit

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 08:50:45 AM »
Never buy property with a projected 3 year hold.  Most say 5 years is the minimum; I say 10 years.

Easye418

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 08:56:24 AM »
Another point that would sway my decision is if you could sell the property for a gain.  If the gain covers the say 10% haircut you will lose from selling, then I say do it.  Then, I would find a rental for 3 years.

norabird

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 09:41:12 AM »
No need to stay in a place with a good school district if you don't plan to have kids there! It might be hard to be further from friends and family, but how often do you see them now? If you could "commute" to see them at off times (not every day at peak time as you are doing now), it's probably be a win. Renting does seem to make more sense since it's only for three years though. Or as others have said job hunt and see if a place will give you enough to pay back the obligation to current work.

Mustache_In_Training

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 12:07:01 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. It looks like we'll be looking for rentals close to work. That or we'll get lucky and find a new employer to provide some really amazing sign on bonuses.

MoonShadow

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 12:26:10 PM »
Hello all,

I have been doing a hellacious commute for 4 years now. It's about an hour commute each way, 50+ highway miles. I do have the benefit of carpooling with a fellow coworker, so it was somewhat tolerable. Previously my wife had a job close to where we lived, so I did not consider moving. Recently my wife got a job right down the road from my current place of employment. Now we're both commuting 2 hours a day (along with coworker) to our jobs.

This is insane.  Move, now.  Sure, you could rent out your current home, if you love it & expect to move back into it after FIRE.  If you don't love it, sell it.  Rent something close to work.  No kids means no real need for a yard, so rent an apartment or condo if you can find one closer to work.  Live close enough to ride a bike, and sell any vehicle you have after the first one. 

If you decide that you would live in your new home for 5+ years, buying a home next to work is okay too.

Again, if you don't simply love your current neighborhood, don't keep it to rent it.  Renting out an old home sucks, particularly when you have moved quite a distance away.  I speak from experience here, the possible gains of keeping it don't justify the aggravation.  Just sell it and put the money into a REIT, and the end result is likely to be comparable over a 3 year time horizon.

redbird

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 08:36:51 PM »
People always forget that commute isn't just about gas costs and wear and tear on a vehicle. It's also time costs. You and your wife are essentially working (hours worked per week) + (2 hour commute x days worked) each. If you work 40 hours a week over 5 days, then it's like you're ACTUALLY working 50 hours a week, including commute, but you're not getting paid for 10 of that.

JustTrying

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Re: At what point does it make sense to relocate for work?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2015, 12:13:16 AM »
I like the renting suggestion! I work 2 miles from home, and words can't express how wonderful it is to not have a commute. I hate working. All I want to do is be home doing the things I love. Likely, you're the same way: You could have TWO hours per day of your life back! If you work 5 days per week, that's 10 hours per week that you'll have to enjoy however you'd like! DO IT!