Author Topic: Getting closer to work  (Read 3833 times)

Shykiwi

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Getting closer to work
« on: April 16, 2014, 04:47:28 PM »
(This is my first post, I've been reading the MM blog for a few months.)

Could I have your perspective on getting close to work please?

Hubby commutes 3 hours a day by train.  We live in town A, where the houses are very cheap.   If I calculate the time he spends commuting, and add in the cost of train fares,  it is well worth borrowing for a mortgage to get closer to work.  No problem there.
We thought of going to town C, where the houses are affordable for us with no mortgage and the commute is 1.5 hours a day.

The complication?  Town B houses, with a commute of 2 hours per day,  are disproportionately cheap, and we could buy one close to the railway station and have about half the price of the house  left in the bank compounding.   

Putting it all together, if we move to Town B, the shift pays for itself in only 77 weeks.  If we move to town C it takes 87 weeks.

If we lived in town B already, it would be worth paying $80,000 more for a house in town C in terms of fares and time saved.  But the
houses in town C are actually $150,000 more expensive.

I have reasoned throughout that we can't get travelling time down below 1 hour per day no matter where we move, what with traffic jams and train delays.  Hubby gets very stressed by bad traffic so the train suits him well.

Is this a no-brainer?  Am I missing something?  If I haven't expressed things properly,  happy to clarify/rewrite.

Thank you :)

« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 04:56:28 PM by Shykiwi »

windawake

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 05:19:06 PM »
1.5 hours per day is still a lot of commuting. A whole lot. Why can't you get even closer? How close to work is feasible? How much more expensive would that be? What would you save in train fares if your husband could bike to work?

Shykiwi

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 05:29:28 PM »
Thank you Windawake.  It is a lot, and I worry that he will find it too much still and want to shift again.  He currently spends 5 hours a day on travel, because he leaves very early in order to avoid missing that one train or getting a bad seat on it. 

I don't think we can get it down below about an hour a day no matter what we do.

I have done two hours a day, two buses per trip, and I found that very very hard, especially not seeing my home in daylight all week.  On the upside, hubby loves the train and has made good friends on it, which we did not expect.

He says he can't bike.

Is it possible that the housing is so much cheaper that commuting becomes like a second job, in that it "pays" so well?

Yes we could get closer to work.  We would have a rougher, smaller house, which is why hubby wants to commute instead.
Basically I am trying to guess what he can put up with, rather than listen to his wishes,  because he tends to make bad choices and
not care for himself very well.

frugalmom

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 07:19:36 PM »
Personally, I'd rather live in a bug free/bullet free 200 square foot apartment with less than a 30 minute commute than a 2500 square foot house for the same money and a 3 hour daily commute.

Time is worth more than space.  Housing can be as simple as a bed to sleep and a small place to cook.

Shykiwi

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 07:36:12 PM »
I agree with you, for myself.  However I would have to share said space with
hubby and that could get very miserable.  He is not a mustachian and he
has big mood swings.

I didn't  mention earlier, but we cannot actually get a mortgage as hubby's
job is temporary.  So there are plenty of houses that are out of reach for
us to buy. 

He is looking for permanent work and feels that our
location has an impact on how prospective employers see him.

thesinecure

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 07:37:17 PM »
i hate commuting, so i prefer to live closer to work (which also has meant better property values and appreciation in our area, location-location-location)

3 hours a day sounds pretty extreme, but some people like the trains/buses, gives them time to read or talk with friends or just unwind, insert whatever activity you enjoy during that time

if the better house is worth the trade off for him, sounds like moving to B is at least a step in the right direction

getting 30 minutes a day back in exchange for $150,000 sounds pricey, but then again there's probably a reason for it (better local amenities, better access to other areas, better schools, gotta be something)

Shykiwi

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 07:44:49 PM »
Yes you are right, there is something.   Town C is about 15 minutes down the road from Town B, but instead of one train, one time per morning it has two trains, and the other train goes every 20 minutes or so.  So a lot of people from Town B drive to Town C, park their cars, and catch the train there.  They also bus to town C.

The train that goes through Town B is under threat and has had a stay of execution for another 2 years, but it may well go, which means hubby would have to bus or drive to Town C from then on.  However even if do the maths on that, the housing in Town C is still more expensive than it should be.  I feel that either Town B is seriously undervalued,  or Town C is overrated.  Buying in Town B makes more
sense either way.

I could get us only 40 minutes train ride from work if we go into a nearby valley, where the weather is worse and everything is kind of
grim-looking.  You can get a good house there for your money, but what kind of life?

DunkCityFan

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 07:51:06 PM »
This is crazy. Where do you live? I lived 56 minutes by running outside of London that was a 1 1/2 hour trainride. If you are in the U.S., something is wrong. I live in one of the most expensive housing markets in the US and I am a 25 min. bike ride from work, don't make obscene money, and will pay my house off 15 years early. You are addicted to a form of housing. That is A FACT. Choose a different lifestyle.

Shykiwi

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 07:59:03 PM »
I don't know what you mean.  I live in New Zealand.   I'm told our houses are very expensive.  We hope to get a 2 bedroom place (we can't sleep in the same room) that needs redecorating, and garaging for one car. 

spoonman

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2014, 10:16:29 PM »
The thing that everyone needs to remember is that commuting by train or by bus isn't time entirely wasted.  I commute 2 hours each day, but I get to listen to podcasts and read.  During my commute I get to catch up on a lot of interesting things that I would do at home anyway.

Shykiwi

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Re: Getting closer to work
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 02:33:53 PM »
True, true.  Because of that, I did my calculations on only half the cost-per-minute of hubby's salary.  It's completely different from
driving for that long.  He actually has a whale of a time most days.......last night 4 of his friends consumed 8 bottles of wine on the trip  O_o    (they don't have to drive from the station like he does)