Author Topic: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)  (Read 3555 times)

jwilliams0215

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • WinningWilliams
    • WinningWilliams
Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« on: March 26, 2014, 09:56:35 AM »
Background: My fiance (age 25) and I (age 30) currently reside in the Tampa area. Both employed, combined income of $125K to $160K (depending on bonus). We're working on the mustachian lifestyle with a current savings rate estimated at 50% to 60%. We have no debt, recently paying off the mortgage on the current house.

Challenge: Transportation costs are one of our highest spending categories (and my commute can be very frustrating). Tampa is notorious for poor infrastructure, lack of public transportation, thus requiring you to need a car. I don't see leaving this area as a desirable option: two jobs we both like/appreciate and are doing well in, close to family (free baby sitting for when we have kids in a few years), and generally enjoy the area (although I've lived here my entire life).

Question: Should we move to a different location in Tampa or are the moving / relocation costs not worth it? I reside 32 miles from work (each way) with my commute time ranging from 45 minutes on the way in to 45-75 minutes on the way home depending on traffic. I drive a Camry with 122K miles and plan on continuing to drive it. My fiance drives 10 miles to work each way, taking less than 30 minutes. She drives a 2005 Jeep Liberty with 95K miles.

Notes: We have talked about real estate as a potential investment vehicle. Prices in Tampa have gone up a good amount, but the 1% rule should still be applicable. There are a couple locations that are central to both jobs and would result in drives of 10-15 miles each way (doesn't help her, but my drive is cut in more than half). One location is viewed as up and coming, prices are reasonable, but the school districts aren't desirable. The other location has some of the best public schools in the nation, but prices are high.

I can give any additional information that would be helpful, but am extremely thankful for any input and ideas you guys have!




plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 10:45:32 AM »
Should we move to a different location in Tampa or are the moving / relocation costs not worth it?

Hard to say if you should move or not without some numbers, but 10 miles each way could be pretty easily done as a bike commute.  We live a bit south of you, and I bike 9 miles each way for my daily commute, while the Mr drives 25 miles each way in the opposite direction.  My biking has dropped our transportation costs pretty dramatically even though he's still putting serious mileage on. 

annann

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Location: Central Florida
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 02:31:52 PM »
If you are serious about acquiring rental properties, I would vote for the home with a better commute in the up and coming neighborhood.  As the neighborhood improves, so may the schools.  If not, you have some years before your potential children will enter school.  By that time, this might be an excellent rental property as you move to a better school district.  I agree that reducing your commute pays off in more ways than $$.  Also when young and buying real estate, something with a greater potential for appreciation would be my preference.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 03:09:30 PM »
Motivated kids (and parents) can succeed in "bad" schools. On the other hand, even great schools can fail to click with kids.

What about other things, like parks and green space? Ability for the kids to play in the neighborhood, ride bikes safely,etc. Proximity to common errand locations.

Both of you could certainly be driving more efficient vehicles worth the same or less money. 10 miles is bikable and potentially quite enjoyable most of the year down there.

GoldenStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 05:22:00 PM »
I agree with Annann.  Up and coming neighbor before you have kids, makes a great rental down the road if you want the better schools.  You will also have a ton saved up for that more expensive house down the line.

jwilliams0215

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • WinningWilliams
    • WinningWilliams
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 06:23:01 AM »
Awesome input and really appreciated. We continue to do all kinds of research to make sure the location is appropriate and can support the mustachian lifestyle. Probably one of the biggest obstacles is the unknown/fear of change when the current situation is status quo and comfortable (now we can bring the backlash out). Meanwhile I'm sitting on too large of a cash position that is not providing any material return until the decision to move is made.

plantingourpennies - what sort of numbers would be a driver for the decision?

apoclater

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 07:59:16 AM »
I'm a Tampa local as well.  I live in South Tampa/Hyde Park and commute to Westchase on a daily basis on the weekdays--I spend ~$250 in gas a month!  As you probably know, Tampa's public transit is really poor and has a complete lack of bike lanes as well.  Right now I'm just eating the cost considering I'm in my 20s--I still want to live in an area with people my age even though it's more expensive.

I'm not sure how long it would make your commute, but have you thought about moving to Seminole Heights?  It fits the bill of up-and-coming real estate, and I haven't heard anything bad about the schools.  It's also very central in Tampa--a short bike downtown or to Hyde Park or Ybor.

jwilliams0215

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • WinningWilliams
    • WinningWilliams
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 08:18:51 AM »
Agreed Apoclater. I'm in Brandon now and commute across the bridge to St. Pete. Seminole Heights is actually the area I've been reading really good things about as the upcoming area, although taking a good amount of time. Then of course South Tampa is the place to be (I've also heard "NoHo", going North of Kennedy is starting to pick up as well).

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move (Tampa, FL)
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 11:42:16 AM »
plantingourpennies - what sort of numbers would be a driver for the decision?

I'd look at how much you're increasing sunk housing costs at the expense of shortening your commute.  IE - a more expensive house will cost more in insurance and taxes, not to mention your taxes will go up on the property you're keeping to rent out (since it'll no longer be homesteaded). 

Also, what's your timeline on keeping your job in your current location?  If you're only planning on working there for a handful of years (for us that's the case), the transportation costs are on a shorter timeline than the increased taxes and insurance since those will go on for significantly longer.