Author Topic: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?  (Read 4442 times)

BlueYoshi

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Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« on: August 02, 2014, 08:48:11 AM »
Hi everyone,

First post and was wondering what people would do in this situation:

1st Location:
Rent:$500
Commute: ~50 minutes(10 minute walk to the train, 30 minutes on the train, 10 minute walk to work)
-Monthly train pass = $140.

2nd Location:
Rent $1200
Commute: 10-15 minute walk

I know a shorter commute is usually recommended but $560 a month seems like it'd be enough to go with the 1st location. Now if I was driving from the 1st location, it'd take about an hour and I could easily see the 2nd location being better with gas and general car costs.

I'm curious what people's tipping points would be for choosing one over the other. For example, they'd go with the 1st location if rent was $300 or they 2nd location if rent was $1000.

Take home pay is roughly ~$3000(before 401k contributions) a month as percentage of rent to income is probably a factor.

Let me know if there's any other information that'd help.

Thanks!


frugaliknowit

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 08:54:23 AM »
Question:  If you choose the more expensive location, would you be able to live without a car?

senecando

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2014, 08:56:29 AM »
What sort of ours do you work at work?

If you work a ton, ton, ton, walking would be great. But I think if you work closer to 40/wk, that commute sounds wonderful. I really love the bus/walking combination bookending my day. I read, or sit, or--on the way home--calm down and get out of work mode. Is the train comfortable?

BlueYoshi

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2014, 09:10:44 AM »
I'd still have the car, unfortunately. It's kind of tough to tell if I'd drive it more at the more expensive location for meeting up with friends for sports/fun. I'd probably cut back because the more expensive location is north of the city (Boston), while the cheaper location is south of Boston (where I am currently). 03 car ~150k miles on it if that matters.

Very close to 40 hrs/week. Programmer. If I work close to 40/wk the which commute sounds wonderful?

I love the walking/train combination as well! Train is comfortable. I usually check e-mail, listen to music, catch up on news on the way in and just relax on the way home.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2014, 09:50:52 AM »
Why do you feel you need a car in Boston? 

waltworks

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 10:09:55 AM »
Expensive, no commute. Unless you really like sitting on trains (I'm not trying to be snide - you might really love reading and that train time is just relaxation. For me it would be torture). Or could you work from the train to some extent?

-W

BlueYoshi

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2014, 12:13:24 PM »
@frugaliknowit

It's slightly North of Boston. If you're familiar with the area, Somerville/Charlestown. I'd likely still be using the car to drive back down south/west of Boston for friends/sports/family. I don't think I'd spend too much of my time in Boston as I don't now when I'm relatively close.

@waltworks

I didn't take it as snide at all. I enjoy the time on the train for the most part. I do tend to leave ~15 minutes early knowing I'll be replying to e-mails on the train.


I think my concern about the more expensive place is I'll spend the time saved just driving down south/west of Boston(2-4 times a week), which would mean I'd spend more on gas. I realize overall I would save time in the week but when that time means increased driving, I'm not so sure that's worth it.

capital

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2014, 12:15:23 PM »
I live in NYC & trade a 30-35 minute commute by bike or subway for a lot of savings on rent, but I wouldn't be a happy camper going much further out to save more. I think being relatively central is a worthwhile tradeoff in an expensive city where it costs a lot to live near the core— the price increase to live more centrally isn't nearly as much in more suburban cities, like MMM's metro Denver.

When you say 'take the train', do you mean a commuter train or the subway? Because paying for monthly commuter train passes can eat up a lot of your savings, but a subway pass is more reasonable.

Another consideration is what the social considerations are for you? You sound like you're young and single— is there anyone your age or anywhere to socialize near the $500 neighborhood, versus the $1200 neighborhood?

Also, could you cut that 50 minutes to 35 or 40 with a longboard/scooter/bike/bikeshare pass?

To me, I think, the $1200 neighborhood could be worth it if you could ditch your car (to save insurance) and there are a lot more social opportunities. Otherwise, I would make the commute, or look for a $700-800 neighborhood a bit closer to work but still on the train.

Finally, $3000 net a month sounds like a shockingly low salary (even if your taxes were 50%, which they aren't) for a full-time programmer in a big tech market like Boston— have you checked out the job market lately?

BlueYoshi

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 12:57:15 PM »
@ehgee

Good points. I could continue to look for possibly a 3bdr instead of a 2bdr($2400 which is where I get the $1200 from) in a more central part of Boston.

Unfortunately I mean commuter rail to subway which is where the $140 comes from. Works pays for some of it. I think it'd cost me $200~ normally.

I am young and single. The $500 neighborhood would be sharing a 3bdr instead of a 2bdr and would be close to where I am now. I'd be seeing my friends about the same amount at the $500 neighborhood.

I could bike to the train station and make the time to the train station almost negligible but I don't really mind the extra time for walking. Maybe I should and I'm just being complacent because I know I wouldn't put up with a 30 minute commute by car.

I think you're right with the $1200 neighborhood but I really think there will be a lack of social opportunities compared to south of Boston.

I agree, it's a bit low. It's my first job out of college and I took what was the best offer at the time. I need to start looking again. I really do enjoy my current job. That's probably why I haven't looked too much into moving yet.

Ideal situation, find a job closer to the $500 neighborhood that I could bike or take the subway to in under 30 minutes?

defenestrate

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Re: Cheaper Rent with Longer Commute?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2014, 09:42:56 PM »
Why not look for a third option, one that is closer to the train? Its a big city, should have lots of options.