Author Topic: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?  (Read 2492 times)

KittenJoe

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Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« on: November 08, 2017, 01:31:58 PM »
So my budget for rent is around 1200 or 1300 with roommates. In CO, that pretty much means having to live in the worst areas/apartments. However, I have an opportunity to live somewhere nicer but it is further away from my work, 30 minutes by car or an hour by bus. I was hoping to sell my car and rely on bus and bike but I might keep the car a bit longer with the long commute.

I also want to point out that I am a 5'2 105 pound girl, I'm not exactly the type of person who is comfortable walking alone in areas where the rent is 1300 or cheaper (the store I work at is also in a pretty ghetto place, although the area has been improving). My job is FT with benefits and lots of room for promotion and it is pretty enjoyable, so I don't want to look for another one right now.

Is worrying about living somewhere shitty and dangerous just a case of excuseitis, or is it a legitimate reason to have a longer commute?

Thanks so much
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 01:38:07 PM by KittenJoe »

ketchup

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 01:40:17 PM »
Being able to sell your car and bus/bike would definitely 100% be the ideal situation.  By "worst areas" do you mean gang violence and used needles on the streets or just less-nice?  I wouldn't recommend feeling unsafe as a matter of course, but you could re-evaluate if you should actually feel unsafe.  "Ghetto" is relative.

KittenJoe

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 01:45:55 PM »
That's pretty much exactly what I mean :/ also if you believe google reviews almost all the other places I can afford had a lot of cockroach, bedbug, and noise complaints as well as terrible management so reading all of that scares me too.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 01:47:38 PM by KittenJoe »

ketchup

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 01:48:54 PM »
That's pretty much exactly what I mean :/ also if you believe google reviews almost all the other places I can afford had a lot of cockroach, bedbug, and noise complaints as well as terrible management so reading all of that scares me too.
One thing to keep in mind for reviews is that people rarely write reviews when they are happy with a place.  I'm not saying that explains away all the bad stuff, but you have to take it in context.  I've stayed in plenty of hotels that have been fine but looking later, people bitched endlessly about on reviews.

LifeHappens

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 01:56:47 PM »
Could you get a better job in a nicer area?

surfhb

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 02:04:22 PM »
No Brainer....move to the nicer place.    There's more to life than just saving money.   Ask yourself how much this will put off your FIRE plans to live in this new area ?   1 year?  3 Years?   

Helvegen

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 03:16:35 PM »
I took a longer commute based on the caveat that it would only be temporary. I think if you want to do it and know it will be more than a year, you should consider looking for a job closer to the nicer area.

sequoia

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 03:30:26 PM »
So my budget for rent is around 1200 or 1300 with roommates. In CO, that pretty much means having to live in the worst areas/apartments. However, I have an opportunity to live somewhere nicer but it is further away from my work, 30 minutes by car or an hour by bus. I was hoping to sell my car and rely on bus and bike but I might keep the car a bit longer with the long commute.

I also want to point out that I am a 5'2 105 pound girl, I'm not exactly the type of person who is comfortable walking alone in areas where the rent is 1300 or cheaper (the store I work at is also in a pretty ghetto place, although the area has been improving). My job is FT with benefits and lots of room for promotion and it is pretty enjoyable, so I don't want to look for another one right now.

Is worrying about living somewhere shitty and dangerous just a case of excuseitis, or is it a legitimate reason to have a longer commute?

Thanks so much

To be able to live where one do not have to worry about anything (or almost anything) is imo worth every penny and longer commute.

Definitely find a nicer and safer place.

Freedomin5

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 01:45:10 AM »
Yes, I vote for safer and nicer place too. Your emotional health, stress level, and physical safety are not worth risking to save a few bucks.

Having lived in both luxury condos and roach-infested illegal basement apartments, and everything in between (including a place where someone was stabbed outside our front door), I am firmly in the camp of spending a bit more and traveling a bit farther to find a place that is in line with my personal values (safety, health, etc.).

boarder42

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 02:44:54 AM »
So you work in a mj shop. I would assume you could find a job much closer to where your apartment is 30 mins away making probably more money.

YoungInvestor

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 06:13:10 AM »
Can you figure out the costs associated with the car and add half of them to your target rent?

You could then find a nicer place within biking/walking distance, which would be my ideal scenario.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 07:11:30 AM »
Don't let a bunch of anonymous internet folks make you feel guilty for making an entirely reasonable decision. "Mustachianism" is not necessarily about always taking the cheapest way out, but it's about being incredibly conscious about what you're spending every month and why you spend that way. You've achieved that by already hesitating a bit here, but you've seemingly already weighed the pros and cons and made the reasonable choice--live in a safer, nicer, area and deal with the commute.


Retire-Canada

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 07:19:51 AM »
Is worrying about living somewhere shitty and dangerous just a case of excuseitis, or is it a legitimate reason to have a longer commute?

If your concerns are based in fact than being safe and not stressed out all the time is more important than saving money. That said I would validate your concerns are real and if you need to move 30-60mins from work start looking for a job in that area. That lets you transition on your own schedule and you'll end up with a short commute, higher savings and a nice place to live.

ketchup

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 08:07:37 AM »
After further reflection, my vote would be to find a new job in a "better" area first, then find an apartment nearby after you're settled in.  You're still living with your parents at the moment right?  So you should have the present flexibility to tee it all up.

Noodle

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 08:38:14 AM »
The Mustachian solution is not intrinsically one of these choices.

The Mustachian solution is

A: Make your decision based on actual data, not word of mouth or conventional wisdom. Look at crime maps. Talk to people in the area about where they live and whether they like it. Online reviews, as pointed out above, chronically tilt toward the strongest reactions. It's really hard to tell from an online comment if the management really is terrible, or if the tenant is angry because management did something they didn't like. I once read an online review bashing my condo complex for a policy that they were required to have if people selling units there were going to be able to attract buyers.

B: Be a systems thinker. The optimum solution is a decent job and a decent place to live with a decently short commute between them. I know you said you don't want to change jobs, but after you exhaust all the other options, maybe that's the best direction to go. Don't lock yourself into A vs B thinking. What about C? How about D?

C: Spend your money and your time according to your values, and with the consciousness that you can't have everything--spending here means cutting there.

Good luck!

undercover

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 08:44:59 AM »
Your previous posts say you're making $11/hr in a retail job. There is absolutely no reason you should be paying $1,300/mo (and maybe not even $650)* for an apartment if the current area you're in has treated you mostly fine and you're saving a significant amount of money. If you haven't been catcalled or mugged on a daily basis and you enjoy your parents company to an extent, I don't understand why move except for the fact that society is telling you to. My advice is that if you really want to move out, you should really be looking into making more money and/or moving to a cheaper overall area. Paying that much for an apartment in your situation when you really don't need to is crazy IMO.

*It's unclear whether you mean your half would be $1,300 or the apartment is a total of $1,300. If the former, I don't think that's quite right. I looked at the most luxurious of apartments in the best area (most expensive) in Denver and the total for a 2BR ranged from $2k to $2.5k. Do not confuse super luxurious with safe.

LittleWanderer

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 10:04:33 AM »
*It's unclear whether you mean your half would be $1,300 or the apartment is a total of $1,300. If the former, I don't think that's quite right. I looked at the most luxurious of apartments in the best area (most expensive) in Denver and the total for a 2BR ranged from $2k to $2.5k. Do not confuse super luxurious with safe.

I was also wondering about this.  $1300 rent for just herself WITH roommates?  In Colorado?  That can't be right. 

ixtap

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2017, 10:07:27 AM »
*It's unclear whether you mean your half would be $1,300 or the apartment is a total of $1,300. If the former, I don't think that's quite right. I looked at the most luxurious of apartments in the best area (most expensive) in Denver and the total for a 2BR ranged from $2k to $2.5k. Do not confuse super luxurious with safe.

I was also wondering about this.  $1300 rent for just herself WITH roommates?  In Colorado?  That can't be right.

Ahhh, that explanation makes a little more sense. Still, is OP working in the last ungentrified area or something?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 10:27:38 AM »
Are your parents kicking you out for some reason? According to your first posts here, you were making $11/hour at a retail job and living at home with your parents.

I get wanting to be independent but you literally can't afford it unless you get a much better job. You would be making a very poor choice to move out at all at this time unless you vastly increase your income.

Moving to a lower cost of living area even if you can't for some reason find a job that paid better than $11/hour where you are is a possible sideways move, but you're still crippling yourself by not seeing that you have a great opportunity right now to find a better job or get training to get a better job while living at home for a few more years (as long as you aren't taking advantage of your parents by doing this).

And if you are deadset on moving out no matter what the consequences - retail and non-trained jobs would be available in the lower cost of living areas too. The idea that you think you can afford even $1000/month rent on what you make is scary. There are so many variables like furniture, renters and vehicle and health insurance, utilities, food, transpo costs, etc. I just did some back of the napkin math and the rent would take up most all of your monthly check unless you were working well over 70 hours a week... there is no way you actually could afford what you say in the initial post otherwise?


SimpleCycle

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 11:57:06 AM »
There are a whole bunch of things that don't add up here.  First is the obvious $1300 for just you or $1300 split 2 or 3 ways?

But second, the violent crime rate in Colorado and Denver (I have no idea where you are actually located so I'm assuming) are both low.  The statewide violent crime rate is 18% below the U.S. average, and the Denver violent crime rate is half that of DC, lower than Boston, and similar to Seattle, which is hardly considered a hotbed of crime.

I obviously am viewing the world through Chicago colored glasses, but I have a hard time imagining that you can only live in the worst areas and that those worst areas are actually terrible places to live.  Also, places with Google reviews are almost certainly apartment complexes, and generally there are better deals to be had in single apartments if you can find them.

Keep looking and thinking through the plan.

honeybbq

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2017, 12:02:51 PM »
There are a whole bunch of things that don't add up here.  First is the obvious $1300 for just you or $1300 split 2 or 3 ways?

But second, the violent crime rate in Colorado and Denver (I have no idea where you are actually located so I'm assuming) are both low.  The statewide violent crime rate is 18% below the U.S. average, and the Denver violent crime rate is half that of DC, lower than Boston, and similar to Seattle, which is hardly considered a hotbed of crime.

I obviously am viewing the world through Chicago colored glasses, but I have a hard time imagining that you can only live in the worst areas and that those worst areas are actually terrible places to live.  Also, places with Google reviews are almost certainly apartment complexes, and generally there are better deals to be had in single apartments if you can find them.

Keep looking and thinking through the plan.

I agree. I spend a lot of time in CO and I've never seen half the 'scary' things I see here in Seattle every day. Where exactly do you live?

sequoia

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2017, 12:11:51 PM »
Your previous posts say you're making $11/hr in a retail job. There is absolutely no reason you should be paying $1,300/mo (and maybe not even $650)* for an apartment if the current area you're in has treated you mostly fine and you're saving a significant amount of money. If you haven't been catcalled or mugged on a daily basis and you enjoy your parents company to an extent, I don't understand why move except for the fact that society is telling you to. My advice is that if you really want to move out, you should really be looking into making more money and/or moving to a cheaper overall area. Paying that much for an apartment in your situation when you really don't need to is crazy IMO.

*It's unclear whether you mean your half would be $1,300 or the apartment is a total of $1,300. If the former, I don't think that's quite right. I looked at the most luxurious of apartments in the best area (most expensive) in Denver and the total for a 2BR ranged from $2k to $2.5k. Do not confuse super luxurious with safe.

OP forget my post above about moving to safer area. If you really making $11/hr (I dunno but apparently you mentioned this in other threads and I am not going to cross check your posts), but bottom line is, you can not afford that $1300 apartment unless it is split with roommates. I get it you want to live in a safe place, who would not, but you just can not afford it imo.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 12:13:33 PM by sequoia »

reformingSucka

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Re: Is a longer commute worth living in a nicer place?
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 12:15:13 PM »
If you've got time, OP - I recommend re-reading these two MMM classics:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/18/your-money-or-your-life/

Figure out your true hourly wage - remember to add the TWO hours a day you'll be riding the bus. And that does not account for waiting for the bus (in said area). Compared to the cost of commuting. Also, with an hour commute each way - will you be grabbing lunches out, maybe coffee and a muffin in the morning? Will you go to happy hour with co-workers ... needing to uber/lyft home.

If all of that doesn't add up in your given circumstances, looking at finding a job in an area you can feel safe living in and afford (or relatively close commute) may reveal a better option with the rewards of better health, safety, and stash.