Author Topic: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute  (Read 1121 times)

haflander

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Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:36:26 AM »
So I just read the below MMM post about embracing hassles to save money. It encouraged me to finally calculate the math of moving and breaking my lease (expires early December).

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/24/unleash-your-inner-hasselhoff-for-greater-riches/

Using a lot of the math at the bottom of that post, these are my #s...

Currently: 919 Rent + 700 driving = 1619
60 min round trip X 20 working days = 20 hrs/month
20 hrs/month X $25/hr* = $500/month of commuting time
+ driving costs of 20 miles round trip** X 20 working days X .50 = $200 per month of commuting costs
Total: $700/month for commuting
*rough estimate based on MMM's guess of $22/hr after taxes for a 60k salary (I'm at 70k)
**yes, it takes me 30 minutes to drive 10 miles. Why? A bazillion stop lights and no good highway alternative.

New #1 WALK 1 MILE: 1005 + (breaking lease 919 + 250 fees divided by new 12 month lease = 97) + 100 = 1202
The walk will be enjoyable, so no cost of commuting time. Obviously no driving costs. Washer and dryer included.
Estimating I would drive 1 day a week for bad weather or needing to do errands quickly at lunch or go somewhere after work. I'm going to call this $100.

New #2 WALK/BIKE 2 MILES: 935 + (919 + 175 fees + 200 washer/dryer divided by 12 = 108) + 100 = 1143
Same as above, no costs other than 100 for driving occasionally.

New #3 BIKE 5 MILES: 803 + 112 + 100 = 1015
Same as above, no costs other than 100 for driving occasionally.

The result of the maths looks like I would save anywhere between 417 and 604 each month, so obviously the earlier I moved the more I would save. If I moved next month, that would be 6 months of savings, or around 3k. Is there anything I missed? Incorrect calculations? I spread the one-time costs (breaking lease, fees, washer and dryer) over 12 months. There's a decent chance I would be there for more than one lease if the place was acceptable, so those one-time costs would spread out even further. I wouldn't work more if I had a shorter commute, but I do value that time driving at about the same rate as I make at work. Even if I spent the same amount of time biking/walking (one hour a day), I wouldn't consider that a time cost, as the time is spent doing exercise and enjoying the ride. I don't like driving and I don't really want to debate that commuting time cost ($ value of not driving and saving time). Options 1/2/3 each have a few alternatives in the same neighborhood that are slightly more expensive, so I picked the cheapest one for each group.

Other factors...My work is moving locations to a nice area. Obviously, the closer I live to that area, the more $. I acquired a free POS mountain bike and I'm a complete biking noob. The further away (#3) areas get progressively shady, but I'd still call it a medium quality apt and area. I've been waiting to move offices before seriously considering moving apts. We are moving offices at the end of the month. I have to give my current apt 30 day notice that I'm leaving. I currently get a washer and dryer included in my rent. These are not in most apts, so if I moved to one without, I'd need to buy a used w+d, cruised CL and estimated 200 total. Cable and internet is paid to my apt as a part of my lease (additional 88); pretty good deal. When I move I'll have to set those up on my own and the cost would be around or a little more than 88 (considering no cable or cheaper Sling/YouTube TV/whatever). I didn't consider that cost as it's too hard to guess right now. Not cost related, but I live on the first floor and am tired of listening to the above loud af family and their kid. Oh, and the loud af barking chihuahuas on the third floor.

Main ?s: how do ya'll calculate the value of living closer to work? Similar to MMM's math that I used above? Which option above would you prefer? Is the hassle of moving too much to pay for breaking the lease? Would you just wait until December?

haflander

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 02:34:08 PM »
:( and here I was thinking ya'll loved math! I hate to be That Guy and bump...but I promise I'll only do it once.

diapasoun

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 02:52:02 PM »
Things to check out:

1. Is there a good safe bike route between these new places and your work? Especially if you're a biking noob, you want to be careful to scope these routes out. If there aren't good safe routes, you cannot assume you'll be biking. If you have the time when scoping out apartments, actually try doing the ride.

2. You should do a calculation without that $500 based on your time. If you have to add in internet, the amortized cost of a washer/dryer, other possible differences in utilities (will your AC costs go up in a nice sunny apartment?), repairs to a bike and possibly gear (do you have a pannier rack?), and so on, your actual monetary expenses could go up by breaking this lease early. I too believe in the value of time; however, you should know what the calcs look like without figuring your time in. Right now you're smooshing the financial considerations and the happiness considerations together, and you need to know what they look like separately. You'll have a better handle on all these details if you do that.

3. Are these new apartments convenient to grocery stores, restaurants, your gym, etc in ways that will facilitate money-saving behavior? Or are you going to be tempted to buy lots of cheap burritos from the taqueria across the street after a nice sweaty bike commute?

haflander

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 08:05:35 AM »
1. I'm pretty familiar with the area as I've lived and worked there before. Those were pre-Mustachian days, so I didn't bike back then or think about any of this. However, I do know that it's decent for biking. There are a few bike paths several feet away from the road in some places and smaller streets that still have two lanes both ways, so I think I'd be fine. I see about one person biking every day. It's also a yuppie area, which makes me think they're more aware and considerate of bikers. The far away zone #3 would be a stretch for biking, I'd have to be creative about side roads. I still think I could make that happen though.

2. Yeah you're right. Taking out the 500 makes it a wash or more expensive to break the lease. That's why I'm on the fence about this.

3. The area immediately around the office is pretty urban and walkable. The further out #3 zone is more suburban and similar to where I live now. Cheap burritos sound like a plus to me :)

diapasoun

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 10:28:47 AM »
Dedicated bike paths are wonderful. As far as the yuppie-ness goes - ehhhh. I just moved into the yuppiest part of my town and it's been some of the worst biking (who cares about hitting cyclists off you can't get to work two minutes sooner?). Ymmv though. ;)

Cheap burritos are great... until you start having all your meals be cheap burritos instead of home cooked and even cheaper. For me, the haunting call of a nopales quesadilla is hard to resist!

If you waited until your lease is up, what would the math look like then? Could you get a cheaper apartment in off season housing searches?

haflander

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 10:33:39 AM »
I think the rates would be lower in December than they would be in June. I always ask the apt people about this, which seasons have lower rates. Without fail, they always say "we don't normally see rates as low as they are right now so you should sign a lease soon!" bs...This makes me think they get a commission just like salesmen.

diapasoun

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 11:02:03 AM »
I think the rates would be lower in December than they would be in June. I always ask the apt people about this, which seasons have lower rates. Without fail, they always say "we don't normally see rates as low as they are right now so you should sign a lease soon!" bs...This makes me think they get a commission just like salesmen.

This sounds right to me, too. This is the busy season in most areas when everyone wants to move.

Given that, it might be more fiscally sensible to stick out this lease, not pay the penalty for breaking the lease, and get cheaper rates in the winter. You'd have a better idea at the time, of course. If you can make a move that keeps the same level of spending on housing, or stays within a narrow tolerance band for increase, moving just because you feel like it seems reasonable; if your days become easier and less frustrating, it will be much easier to save money in other areas as you don't feel the drive to spend as much.

Nemesis.

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Re: Cost of Moving Apts: The Maths of a Shorter Commute
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2018, 07:26:55 PM »
Donít forget the cost of moving! Unless youíve got friends helping you, the cost and availability of movers fluctuates between summer (busiest) and winter.