Author Topic: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?  (Read 4148 times)

chantellee

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Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« on: April 26, 2015, 11:04:26 PM »
Yes I realize the subject makes it obvious that the shorter commute is better. We are up for a move with my husband's job to either Toronto or Vancouver. Currently we live in a small town with a less than 10 minute drive to both our jobs. We will have a less than 1 year old baby when we move. It's a 3 year commitment to live in either city and then we can transfer where we want.

Both cities: no mortgage (our parents have houses in both cities and they have generously offered for us to live there rent-free for 2-3 years, we will do maintenance and updates as they're both outdated houses).

Toronto: 30-60 minute driving commute, husband's sisters + cousins for our baby to play with. This may be our only chance to live in Ontario as per his work.

Vancouver: 15-30 minute driving commute, my mom lives there.

What would you do?


Syonyk

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 12:01:35 AM »
5 hours a week to spend at home vs on the road for the same pay?

How is this even a question? :p

Otsog

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 12:35:45 AM »
Vancouver, and it's not even close

Merrie

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 05:14:23 AM »
I'd probably choose based on what relatives I wanted to live near and how often I'd see them. If you work part-time and your husband's sisters are home with their kids, it could be real nice to have that group of at-home moms to hang out with every week. If you all work FT, it matters somewhat less and in that case I'd probably go with the shorter commute. And on the grandma side, it is realllly nice to have someone in town who will babysit for free.

I don't know squat about Canada so I can't comment on the pros or cons of living in each city. I had to look on Google Maps to see if you'd be able to visit the other city on weekends, lol.

Melody

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 06:21:22 AM »
30-60 mins is a long driving commute. I couldn't hack it personally. And it carries a financial cost. I have a friend who has a 60 min commute (Hwy) - 100kms each way. I worked out she has to buy a late model car every 4 years just to keep her job. (E.g. purchase late model car with 50,000kms on it, it needs to be reliable so she can keep her job, so by 250,000kms it needs to go at which point its worth very little, she eats at least $3k a year of depreciation, not to mention she has to service her car 5-6 times a year!!!) - so I'd factor this cost in as well. Surprisingly this friend wonders why it's so hard to get ahead and save for a house deposit. Every time she's close (she wants to build so only needs $20k down but she's on a lowish income) she has to buy a new vehicle.

DecD

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 08:07:48 AM »
I'd choose Vancouver.  30-60 min commute is just miserable.  Plus- I've only ever heard nice things about Vancouver.  Also, winter in Toronto brr.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 08:42:41 AM »
That's an hour+ a day he can't spend with the baby.  Just something to think about.

Who is the better babysitter, his mom or his sisters?

The variable time indicates that traffic is an issue.  Traffic probably increases communting stress by 2-3x.  I've been doing a fairly easy (all interstate with around 4-5 traffic jams a year) 35 minute one way commute for 7 years.  This is well beyond my "comfort zone".   I have passed up several good opportunites for positions 45 minutes away (similar traffic) because I didn't want to spend any more time on the road.  That said, three years flies by when you have a baby, new job, and live in a new city.  As long as it is truely temporary, I would pick the city I liked the most. If it ends up "sticking", you will probably buy your own house anyway. 

Kaminoge

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 10:58:58 AM »
Is the commute time due to distance or traffic? If I drive, I have a 15 min commute in the morning and 30 - 45 min in the afternoon (same distance - due to traffic) but I can cycle in 45 min (ability to take short cuts, no need to stop for traffic).

So if the timing is due to traffic is it possible to change the commute time by working different hours or cycling?

FranzJoseph

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 12:03:49 PM »
+1 for the bike option!  A 15-30 minute commute by highway has got to be less than 9 miles which is totally bicycle-able! Is that a word?  I love biking to work!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 01:58:42 PM »
I chose the 40-60 min commute.  Nine months in I HATE IT.  I hate sitting in the car when I could be with my kids. 

My inlaws live 30 minutes from us right now.  We see them regularly.  My mom lives 2 hours away, and I see her regularly too.  It makes more sense to me to have the drive time be for the times that I am visiting my family, rather than the daily grind of the commute.

It may make less sense to your family, depending on how often you plan to see the other relatives.

GetItRight

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 02:21:19 PM »
I would choose whichever pays more, if there is a difference. So the commute cost of one is twice that of the other... Guessing commutes are on the order of 15 miles vs 30 miles, that's a couple dollars fuel and maintenance difference. Fairly trivial. I would focus of maximizing income given "free" housing in either location. Any added commute cost is greatly overshadowed in the housing savings in either extremely HCOL area. Work is only temporary, and I enjoy the commute as a relaxing time to mentally shift before and after work, though 60 mins is pushing it. Time your travel time to avoid traffic if possible.

If pay is equal I would opt for Vancouver as I'd expect it to be a lot warmer than Toronto.

chantellee

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2015, 08:47:19 PM »
We are still very much undecided. The job and pay are the same in either city. Vancouver makes more sense due to the weather and having my mom available to babysit. In Toronto, we wouldn't have anyone to help with babysitting and would have the additional expense of daycare.

The largest reason we are undecided is that he has a large family and there are plenty of other kids around (cousins) in Toronto. Plus he thinks this is our only chance to go to Toronto if that's where we want to live and we could go to Vancouver after 3 years; we likely can't go from Vancouver to Toronto.

Overall, Vancouver has a shorter commute and family babysitting available, so financially it's the better choice. However this may be our only chance to try living in Toronto due to his job. The two cities are approx. a 4-5 domestic flight away.

DecD

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Re: Choose 15-30 vs 30-60 minute commute?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2015, 08:55:21 PM »
Daycare is an enormous expense.  Have you looked into what you'll pay for it?  For a baby, I'd be surprised if you paid less than $1000/month- but it varies by region.  What is it in Toronto where you'd be living?

If your mom is babysitting for free, that is a huge difference in living expenses.  Not to mention the awesome benefits of your baby hangin' with grandma instead of at a daycare (nothing against daycares, my kid is in daycare.  I'm just sayin.)  How does your mom feel about babysitting?  That's a big job.  I  know that my mom, though an awesome grandma, wouldn't be willing to babysit full time- she's got her own stuff going on and gets worn out easily.