Author Topic: Move closer to work at a steep cost?  (Read 3660 times)

hdizz

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Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« on: June 22, 2016, 12:24:21 PM »
Here's the basic figures and my conundrum

Right now I spend about 30 minutes in the morning and about 50-60 minutes in the evening driving 17 miles each way to/from work.

I have 25 years left on a mortgage that's $1900 a month with a balance of 280k
The house is a 3bd/2ba, 1200sf that's worth ~525k (We bought at a good time and did some improvements)

We are fortunate in that at the moment we have a ton of equity in our house and a very low mortgage compared to most of our neighbors.  I also like our neighborhood, very pleasant, good schools, not too hoity toity.  We have two kids, they like having a yard and parks around.

However, I have had this commute or worse since I switched jobs about 6 months after buying the house. 

I've looked for a job closer to our house a few times, but generally the pay isn't competitive with what I make at my job(s) further away.

To move closer to work would probably involve us moving into the city, into either a rented townhouse that would run $2800-$3200 a month or purchasing something similar for $625 to $700k and would put me within 3 miles of work. To get into a single family home would run even more. With our down payment the mortgage, tax, ins on that would probably run $2300 to $2500

What do you think - is it worth it to move?  For context I should make around $140k this year, my wife brings in between 20 and 40k a year depending on a lot of factors, comparable job closer to where we live now would pay about $90-100k plus 10% bonus.





rubybeth

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2016, 01:18:44 PM »
Someone else asked a very similar question earlier today, and this got posted (haven't had time to read), but check it out:

http://lifehacker.com/5855550/the-true-cost-of-commuting-you-could-buy-a-house-priced-15900-more-for-each-mile-you-move-closer-to-work

The other thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/shorter-commute

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2016, 01:37:55 PM »
Can you move to be able to ride public transportation to work and complete work on your ride that will allow you to spend less time in the office?

onlykelsey

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 01:40:14 PM »
Is there any sort of middle ground?  If you could shift your schedule an hour earlier or later, or work from home one day a week, it might make the commute more bearable.  Also, do you intend to work full-time for a long time? or are you getting close to FIRE?

I would be hesitant to leave such a perfect-sounding neighborhood.  I think relatively walkable but not hoity-toity neighborhoods are becoming harder and harder to come by.  When I had a 30 mile but rush hour 80 minute commute, one or two days a week I would take running gear and go on a run before coming home.  If it's something you'd take time out of your week to do anyway, going on a run or doing an errand near work could help.

acroy

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 01:52:10 PM »
I would do it.
It is difficult to add up the total costs of long commutes
- transportation (reallly hard to be honest with this one)
- time (away from DW and 2 yougsters! this is the kicker for me)
- stress

Go for the townhouse, embrace and enjoy the city life, trim commute costs (transport, time) down to the bone. Enjoy life.

A thought: you might consider doing a 'test drive' of this by renting a condo via VRBO or airbnb for a work week. Sounds weird, and will be a disruptive week for all, but this is a big decision you're making.

hdizz

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 03:33:57 PM »
Is there any sort of middle ground?  If you could shift your schedule an hour earlier or later, or work from home one day a week, it might make the commute more bearable.  Also, do you intend to work full-time for a long time? or are you getting close to FIRE?

I would be hesitant to leave such a perfect-sounding neighborhood.  I think relatively walkable but not hoity-toity neighborhoods are becoming harder and harder to come by.  When I had a 30 mile but rush hour 80 minute commute, one or two days a week I would take running gear and go on a run before coming home.  If it's something you'd take time out of your week to do anyway, going on a run or doing an errand near work could help.
Realistically (barring some sudden upshoot in company stock that turns me into a millionaire) I'm probably 15-20 years out from FIRE.

Unfortunately not a lot of middle ground as far as arrival/departure.  I'm already working what is close to the optimal traffic work schedule, I have the ability to pretty well choose my own hours, but to cut the evening traffic down to a 40 minute drive home I'd likely need to work something like a 10am to 7pm or 6am to 3pm, and while I've done them before, they are pretty hard on everybody for any extended period of time.

I am working on getting one day working remotely a week as kind of a scheduling norm, and that might be my best longer term bet.  Thanks for the input :)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 03:50:11 PM by hdizz »

hdizz

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2016, 03:40:27 PM »
I would do it.
It is difficult to add up the total costs of long commutes
- transportation (reallly hard to be honest with this one)
- time (away from DW and 2 yougsters! this is the kicker for me)
- stress

Go for the townhouse, embrace and enjoy the city life, trim commute costs (transport, time) down to the bone. Enjoy life.

A thought: you might consider doing a 'test drive' of this by renting a condo via VRBO or airbnb for a work week. Sounds weird, and will be a disruptive week for all, but this is a big decision you're making.

Test drive is a good idea, maybe we can spin it as part staycation part longer term exploration. I've thought about this in the past, but the cost of renting somewhere for a week has kind of been what's stopping me, but I guess if I'm talking about taking on several hundred K more debt, it won't hurt to spend $1500 to test the waters, certainly a cheap way to find out if you might be making an expensive mistake.

Basenji

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2016, 05:13:25 PM »

A thought: you might consider doing a 'test drive' of this by renting a condo via VRBO or airbnb for a work week. Sounds weird, and will be a disruptive week for all, but this is a big decision you're making.

This is a great idea.

randymarsh

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2016, 05:31:07 PM »

A thought: you might consider doing a 'test drive' of this by renting a condo via VRBO or airbnb for a work week. Sounds weird, and will be a disruptive week for all, but this is a big decision you're making.

This is a great idea.

Agreed. It sounds kind of fancypants & a lot of money at first, but the cost of picking a terrible commute or wrong neighborhood are much more. More people should do this when house hunting!

Dicey

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2016, 08:43:33 PM »
Do you happen to be in the Bay Area?

pbkmaine

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2016, 08:47:00 PM »
Your kids like it, your spouse likes it, and the schools and neighborhood are good? I would probably stay put.

LAL

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2016, 09:00:30 PM »
Same problem but it's renting for us.  We sold and moved so renting made sense since we had no idea about the new area we lived in.  The area we picked is nice but too far.  We are probably 5 years or less from FIRE but more likely DH will work another 12 years to 50 or maybe 17 to 55.   So now I asked about renting more than what we pay now but testing out another neighborhood. I feel bad though paying so much rent and moving the kids again.  UGGH.

Diniecita

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2016, 07:07:54 PM »
We are thinking about this as well. DH works at an awesome place. They are never going to move...mostly they can't. He loves it, but we bought a house (pre-MMM) in the country (I wanted it) and it's an 18 mile drive or about 36 minutes to work each way for him. We're talking about moving closer to his work (within 5 miles) but neither of us really want to move. The idea is great, but...we can't decide. I'd love to know what you decide.

hdizz

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2016, 08:55:33 AM »
Do you happen to be in the Bay Area?

On the west coast, but not the bay (thankfully), in that scenario we could probably just double the house prices we would be talking about :)


hdizz

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2016, 09:00:15 AM »
Your kids like it, your spouse likes it, and the schools and neighborhood are good? I would probably stay put.

The kids like it, but they don't know any better (both are not even in preschool yet).
Spouse is probably like a 6/10 or 7/10 on our current location. Her main dislike is that the parents of our kids peers can get pretty intense about everyone having the best of everything (High schoolers drive 3 year old Audis & BMWs, for example).
This is not in our immediate neighborhood, which I like, but in the greater school district boundary area.  Thankfully we wouldn't really encounter those precious darlings until our kids were in Middle School at the earliest if we were to stay put.


Slee_stack

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2016, 09:26:28 AM »
I'm very averse to moving for the sake of being closer to any job because there is always the risk you will be let go regardless of how amazing a worker you might be.

Unless you have an employment contract, company loyalty is pretty questionable these days, so why take a financial risk unless the return has a reasonably quick ROI.

Lots of intangibles to weigh in as well.

If it were me, I'd try to put a value on everything and calculate the time for that ROI.  If it came out to a couple years or less, I'd probably do the move.


LAL

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Re: Move closer to work at a steep cost?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2016, 01:24:54 AM »
We decided to rent and keep looking to move closer to job.  For us moving closer is to the area where many jobs are.