Author Topic: Choosing to live further from work. Sanity Check.  (Read 1671 times)

apricity22

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Choosing to live further from work. Sanity Check.
« on: June 29, 2017, 12:13:12 PM »
We are relocating due to my fiancee's career. I am currently working from home. Her job is far out of the city beyond the suburbs (she is in the warehouse industry and so her employment options are typically located in industrial areas or far outside the city.)

The closest residential option for us is a McMansion type community with plenty of chain restaurants that was constructed in the early 2000's and was hit particularly hard in the 2008 real estate bubble. It would result in a 3 to 4 mile one way commute. The options are primarily 2,500 to 3,500 sf monstrosities that we aren't too excited about owning.

We've begun to look near the downtown area because the community is a lot more lively, bike friendly, walkable, livable etc. It is more expensive but we can afford the space we actually need (900 to 1200 sf). Her commute would become 18-miles one way but it would be a reverse commute. If I had to give up the work from home gig my most likely employment prospects would be in the downtown area.

If we live near downtown we are talking of becoming a one car family as practically anything I might need is accessible via walking, biking or transit which would not be the case in the very far suburbs.

I know this is the reverse problem that most people face so as a sanity check, are we crazy for considering paying more to live in a more livable community closer to the city requiring my fiancee to commute to the suburbs? Going from 2 cars to 1 car would somewhat offset the cost but not entirely. She is totally on board with the idea because she likes the idea of living in a vibrant city community and her commute will be less than half of what it is now (it's horrible but currently she does 39-miles each way) so she sees it as an upgrade no matter what we do.

Novik

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Re: Choosing to live further from work. Sanity Check.
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 12:26:17 PM »
I'd do it.

I made a similar choice last year, to live close-ish to downtown in a walkable neighbourhood and commute ~20k (12.5 miles) to the suburban office park (against traffic). My BF at the time didn't have a job so this also allowed us to be more central to offer him easier commutes overall.

18 miles is a lot, but for all the benefits you describe, I'd go for it. Smaller space means less maintenance/cleaning and more time, so worth paying more for location. Have you considered renting for a year though to get a better sense of the area and your needs, and to make sure the communte/lifestyle/location work?


apricity22

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Re: Choosing to live further from work. Sanity Check.
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2017, 03:23:33 PM »

18 miles is a lot, but for all the benefits you describe, I'd go for it. Smaller space means less maintenance/cleaning and more time, so worth paying more for location. Have you considered renting for a year though to get a better sense of the area and your needs, and to make sure the communte/lifestyle/location work?


Renting is definitely on the table. Rent is relatively expensive in the area so it doesn't take long to break even by buying. Virtually every rule of thumb is saying we should be buy but not be a bad idea to rent for a year and see how the area treats us.

Jrr85

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Re: Choosing to live further from work. Sanity Check.
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 03:50:34 PM »
We are relocating due to my fiancee's career. I am currently working from home. Her job is far out of the city beyond the suburbs (she is in the warehouse industry and so her employment options are typically located in industrial areas or far outside the city.)

The closest residential option for us is a McMansion type community with plenty of chain restaurants that was constructed in the early 2000's and was hit particularly hard in the 2008 real estate bubble. It would result in a 3 to 4 mile one way commute. The options are primarily 2,500 to 3,500 sf monstrosities that we aren't too excited about owning.

We've begun to look near the downtown area because the community is a lot more lively, bike friendly, walkable, livable etc. It is more expensive but we can afford the space we actually need (900 to 1200 sf). Her commute would become 18-miles one way but it would be a reverse commute. If I had to give up the work from home gig my most likely employment prospects would be in the downtown area.

If we live near downtown we are talking of becoming a one car family as practically anything I might need is accessible via walking, biking or transit which would not be the case in the very far suburbs.

I know this is the reverse problem that most people face so as a sanity check, are we crazy for considering paying more to live in a more livable community closer to the city requiring my fiancee to commute to the suburbs? Going from 2 cars to 1 car would somewhat offset the cost but not entirely. She is totally on board with the idea because she likes the idea of living in a vibrant city community and her commute will be less than half of what it is now (it's horrible but currently she does 39-miles each way) so she sees it as an upgrade no matter what we do.

If everything you would want to do after work and on the weekends is in or near downtown, it would at worst seem like a wash to me.  Is the 18 mile commute doable in 30 minutes?  30 minutes is not ideal, but I commute about that long and it's not terrible to have a little bit of time to zone out to a podcast at the beginning and end of a day, and that still leaves plenty of time to do stuff at night during the week.  For us personally, if we lived 20 minutes away from the stuff we wanted to do, we'd end up being homebodies because a 40 minute round trip would just not be worth it for a lot of things we'd want to do.

apricity22

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Re: Choosing to live further from work. Sanity Check.
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 08:18:14 AM »
If everything you would want to do after work and on the weekends is in or near downtown, it would at worst seem like a wash to me.  Is the 18 mile commute doable in 30 minutes?  30 minutes is not ideal, but I commute about that long and it's not terrible to have a little bit of time to zone out to a podcast at the beginning and end of a day, and that still leaves plenty of time to do stuff at night during the week.  For us personally, if we lived 20 minutes away from the stuff we wanted to do, we'd end up being homebodies because a 40 minute round trip would just not be worth it for a lot of things we'd want to do.

Yes it's about 25 to 30 minutes each way. She loves audiobooks so she doesn't mind commuting too much. Pretty much everything we like to do on the weekday evenings and weekends would more likely be nearer the downtown area.