Author Topic: Higher rent or longer commute?  (Read 4139 times)

marblejane

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Higher rent or longer commute?
« on: December 07, 2013, 11:07:52 AM »
Ok, next month I am eligible to terminate my crazy expensive lease so long as I move into another unit at a property managed by my current landlord.

I have found 2 good options that meet this criteria.

Apartment A: 7.5 miles from work, 3 miles from Caltrain, 3 miles from a Costco. I would move in with a guy that has a 2bd/2ba place at this complex. Google maps estimates bike commute to work is 40 minutes each way (several lights, expressway crossings, etc). $1000/mo.

Apartment B: 2.5 miles from work, 1.5 miles from Caltrain, 5 miles from a Costco. I have found another woman moving here next month who is willing to sign a lease on a 2bd/2ba at this place with me. 15 minute bike commute each way to work. $1300/mo.

I have a debt emergency and need to maximize cashflow over the next 6 months (selling house). I do not have a car, and currently bike 3 miles to work each day.

I have considerable anxiety about taking Apartment A, since it is in an unfamiliar neighborhood, and I would be committing myself to a longer bike commute. I also think that I would be more compatible with the roommate in Apt. B. But, I would save an additional $300/mo moving in to Apt. A. I have done a dry run of the bike commute from Apt A; it made me really tired, and there were some sections I'm still iffy on doing in the dark at rush hour. But, I suppose I would adapt to the commute in a few weeks. What do you all think?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 01:18:50 PM by marblejane »

jr1029

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 12:56:25 PM »
Option B
and extra $10 a day saves you nearly an HOUR of commute time. easy choice!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 01:05:00 PM »
2.5 miles is a really short bike commute- can you find a longer route that avoids said iffy intersections?

How are the 7.5 miles from apt A looking?

Can you use caltrain on part of the commute from apt A? How much would that cost?

marblejane

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 01:21:48 PM »
Oops- the reference to the "iffy" intersections was meant for the ride to apt. A, not apt. B. Corrected that. The ride from apt B. is totally straightforward for me (except there is one overpass where I feel *really* high up above the highway, and the guardrail seems kind of low...but I'll get over that).

Overall, I am much more familiar with the area around apt. B, since it's closer to where I currently live and work. The commute would be shorter than my current commute, on most of the same roads I ride now. Apt. A is a steeper learning curve for biking, but probably doable. The 7.5 mile route includes some re-routing that I've figured out to avoid the iffy stretchs.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 01:27:08 PM by marblejane »

_JT

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 01:43:08 PM »
It sounds like Apt B is a slam dunk on all levels except price. I'd take it.

I am curious where you are, though, because I lived in Hollywood and Silverlake for ~750-800 a bedroom (for a 2bd).

marblejane

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2013, 02:12:43 PM »
Thanks JT, jr and Paul. Yes, Apt. B is much better in every way but price.

Just this morning I found a third option: get a different unit in the apartment B complex, 3bd/2ba. This would be $3,000/mo, or $1k each (less if I'm one of the two sharing a bathroom, which I would intend to be). I think I'll pass on Apt. A.

JT, I live in the SF bay area, in Mountain View. Rents are crazy here.

Eric

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 02:18:50 PM »
Hi marblejane,
I just moved from Mountain View to Sunnyvale, so I've been apt hunting in the area for the last 3 months and I feel your pain.  $1300 still seems like a lot though for half of a 2 bd, even with the crazy prices around here.

I don't have much else to add, other than good luck.

marblejane

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2013, 03:08:22 PM »
thanks Eric! Yes, I am limited by staying with my current property management company (Prometheus), to avoid breaking my current lease. I also have a dog, which further limits my options. I feel like all of the great deals are *no pets.*

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2013, 03:55:26 PM »
You know you've got a problem when the housing costs in your area compare unfavorably to those here in Southern California. 

FIreDrill

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2013, 04:09:32 PM »
I would go with option B.  The shorter commute will save you time and since B seems to be a better place overall I wouldn't mind spending a little more. 

Stultepro

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Re: Higher rent or longer commute?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2013, 04:29:40 PM »
Ok - Option B.2 sounds best - assuming that there is no risk of you getting stuck with the whole monthly lease if one of your roommates flakes out on rent or leaves?  Not sure how your lease is structured but this is a risk you cannot afford.

Having been in multiple Bicycle Vs. Vehicle accidents I absolutely recommend the shorter commute with a reasonable rent.
(Being that Rent is cheaper in condos than hospitals, and less ouchy)
 
Alternate thinking - The longer commute and a Moped?

Best of Luck
-Fool for the Journey-