Author Topic: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area  (Read 1436 times)

nereo

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feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« on: February 24, 2018, 07:35:39 AM »
Hey all

Question:
How would you weigh where to live when your choices all involve a car commute, and living within town will increase my commute + raise our rent slightly.

Background:
New job relocates us to a fairly rural area for the next two years. My workplace is in a spot where there are no rentals within biking distance.
Choice 1: We could live ~8-10 miles from my workplace outside of town for about $1,000.  The commute would be ~15 minutes but we'd need to drive everywhere, including to the grocery store. We'd almost certainly have a large yard but there are no sidewalks.
Choice 2: We could live in town within walking distance of groceries, library, park, etc. for ~$1100, but my commute would jump to 17 miles (about 20 minutes each way).
SO currently does not have a position, and it's 50/50 whether she would work in the same place as me or elsewhere (there's about a half-dozen possibilities, so very hard to plan).
We've spent the past 6 years living within walking distance to our work right downtown, so we are wrapping our heads around the idea of becoming daily commuters again.

Basically it comes down to living closer to work for slightly cheaper, but needing to drive everywhere else. OR I'd add 16 miles of driving (round trip a day) and another $100 to our rent to NOT have to drive anytime we wanted groceries or to go anywhere else. Annually it would be an additional ~3,500 miles in commuting (est. $1,400 in vehicle costs) and an additional $1,200 in rent, plus an additional 55 hours in the car/year.  Some of that would be mitigated by fewer trips to the store.
Normally I'd try to live as close to work as possible, but iv'e been second and third guessing this strategy here.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2018, 09:18:51 AM by nereo »

startingsmall

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2018, 11:41:34 AM »
If you take Choice 1, how does that position you in terms of groceries, etc? In other words, will your route to/from work take you past those places? I have a long commute in a rural area, and one of my major frustrations is that there are very few amenities (groceries, banks, pharmacies, etc) along my commute... so I can't just swing by the store on the way home without going significantly out of my way. THAT is a huge headache. On the other hand, if the commute will lead you through an area with groceries, a library, etc, then living a bit further away from those things may be less of an issue.

nereo

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2018, 12:14:14 PM »
If you take Choice 1, how does that position you in terms of groceries, etc? In other words, will your route to/from work take you past those places? I have a long commute in a rural area, and one of my major frustrations is that there are very few amenities (groceries, banks, pharmacies, etc) along my commute... so I can't just swing by the store on the way home without going significantly out of my way. THAT is a huge headache. On the other hand, if the commute will lead you through an area with groceries, a library, etc, then living a bit further away from those things may be less of an issue.

No, my route won't pass by those places.

My workplace is at the end of a peninsula.  Choice 1 has me living off the highway somewhere  in between work in town.
In other words - from work it's ~18 miles to town, which includes the closest grocery store (save a small general store where you can buy gasoline, milk/eggs/bread and not much else.

your point of having to drive ~8 miles past my house to town, then back again would be a PITA and something I hadn't thourhg about.  Exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for.

Capt j-rod

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2018, 05:26:05 PM »
It comes down to family and the town's resources. If they have parks, and social events then town may be more desirable. I live 3 miles outside of town. I really can't ride the bike up town because people drive like crazy down our road and have zero respect for bikes. I have seen two hit already on the stretch I speak of.  We like the quiet and simple life away from the city. Our kids play in the back yard, I grow a huge set of gardens, and it's not too far away from the city. Your shopping habits change. We have a deep freeze and I keep a grocery list to avoid too many trips. The condition of the properties will play into this too. Check the quality of the windows, age of the furnace, and levels of insulation in the walls. Do you pay city water and sewer at both places? Can you avoid city income tax in the country? Just things to consider.

BikeFanatic

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2018, 07:20:10 PM »
A 20 minute car commute is not bad at all. I would live close to the grocery and everything else you need.
It is worth the extra money.

startingsmall

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2018, 07:37:48 PM »
If you take Choice 1, how does that position you in terms of groceries, etc? In other words, will your route to/from work take you past those places? I have a long commute in a rural area, and one of my major frustrations is that there are very few amenities (groceries, banks, pharmacies, etc) along my commute... so I can't just swing by the store on the way home without going significantly out of my way. THAT is a huge headache. On the other hand, if the commute will lead you through an area with groceries, a library, etc, then living a bit further away from those things may be less of an issue.

No, my route won't pass by those places.

My workplace is at the end of a peninsula.  Choice 1 has me living off the highway somewhere  in between work in town.
In other words - from work it's ~18 miles to town, which includes the closest grocery store (save a small general store where you can buy gasoline, milk/eggs/bread and not much else.

your point of having to drive ~8 miles past my house to town, then back again would be a PITA and something I hadn't thourhg about.  Exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for.

In that scenario, I would definitely live in town. It doesn't sound like you have a burning desire to live "in the country," which means that you probably won't enjoy the isolation... so I'd live in town, where life will be more convenient.

okits

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 02:04:57 PM »
For me, I do better in a lifestyle that forces me to walk a lot of places.  It's my main source of physical activity.  A kilometre here and there to get groceries, library books, run errands, meet friends, etc. can really add up.  If you're like me, the extra time and money of living in town is worth the health benefits.

RetiredAt63

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Re: feedback: weighing commute distance, rental cost in rural area
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 02:20:40 PM »
I always had choice 1 (rural) when I worked, but could stop on the way home for anything I needed.   Now that I am retired the fact that everything is a drive is not as great.  I would vote for in town, especially since your wife's plans are so up in the air.