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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Krnten on August 17, 2014, 08:57:33 PM

Title: Dilemma: Short commute v. close to family?
Post by: Krnten on August 17, 2014, 08:57:33 PM
Hi everyone,

I've lurked for about a year here and learned so much.  I'm hoping you can answer a dilemma my husband and I are having.

Here's the tl;dr version:  money aside, is it better to have a short & easy commute, or live near family support?

Longer story:  In 6-8 months, my family (husband, toddler, and I) will be moving.  For 5 years, we've lived in a "bad" neighborhood but nice apartment that I bought before I met my H.  He hates the neighborhood, esp. now that we have a kid.  Our current work situation is that I walk to a job I love, and he commutes by subway, a crowded 40 minutes each way. Our kid is thriving in an in-home daycare in our building.  We live in NYC.  Living in this apt has been great for us because it's affordable and close to my work, but I can't convince H to stay much longer. 

Option 1:  Move to Manhattan and rent for the next 2 years while he's at his current job.  He'll probably leave sometime in early 2017.  I would become a SAHM for a while (we're trying for a second) or stay at my current job.  Although I've grown used to not commuting and might not want to do it to keep my job. Pros: H could cut his commute in half and maybe even walk.  We'd both enjoy a neighborhood that's pleasant to walk around.  Con:  It'd be just as hard to visit with our families as it is now, although they might want to visit more since we'd live a in a "nicer" place.

Option 2:  Move to the suburban town where my sister lives, and buy or rent a house.  Pros: have the extra support of my sister's family, whose kids are the same age as mine, and be closer to both sets of parents.  H also really wants a yard.  Cons: longer/worse commute for H, just under an hr door to door to Penn Station (ugh).  I don't know anyone in this town except for my sister and would have to leave my job for sure and my friends in the city.  Neither of us is sure we want to live in the NY suburbs long term.

Part of the dilemma is that we don't know where we want to be or what we want to do after H leaves his job.  We should be FI by then, and I think I've sold him on taking a break from work.  But where to take that break, and where to settle down?  Being near family is a big priority for me, less so for him.  Short commutes are a big deal for both of us.  All of this is up in the air.

Thanks for any advice!
Title: Re: Dilemma: Short commute v. close to family?
Post by: urbanista on August 17, 2014, 10:02:21 PM
Can you find a job in Manhattan if you exercise option 1? If yes, I vote for a shorter commute. You only see your sister every now and then, but you have 4 commutes daily between yourself and your husband. Especially, if your friends are in the city.
Title: Re: Dilemma: Short commute v. close to family?
Post by: TrMama on August 18, 2014, 02:42:03 PM
Option 1. Your DH gets the short commute that's important to him and you can visit with your sister during the day when DH is at work.
Title: Re: Dilemma: Short commute v. close to family?
Post by: Krnten on August 18, 2014, 03:08:10 PM
Thanks for your advice!  Urbanista, I should be able to find a job in Manhattan.  Re-reading my post, I think *I* want option 1 also - I definitely described it in a more appealing way!
Title: Re: Dilemma: Short commute v. close to family?
Post by: RFAAOATB on August 18, 2014, 04:26:51 PM
I would only take option 2 if you could move in to your sister's house with a monthly payment that is beneficial to all parties.