Author Topic: Two mustachian principles collide - looking for a place to live - what to do?  (Read 6656 times)

KiloRomeo

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Got a dilemma that I want to run it by fellow mustachians to either reinforce my thinking or talk some sense into me.

I got a new job this past June that unfortunately is a bit of way from where I live. The commute now is approximately 50 minutes with traffic which sucks.

Luckily my lease is up in January and I have a chance to make it better. The problem is my new job is in a weird area. My options include:

Option A) Move close to work. Commute would be 10 minutes and house prices are cheap. The problem is you're in textbook surburbia. Applebees on every corner, cookie cutter houses and I would be far from literally everything else I do. Family, friends, downtown, kickball, beaches....all a bit of a hike. But 75% of the time I am driving to work and that would be a great commute.

Option B) Mover closer to work, but it's still a solid 25-30 minute commute. House prices are through the roof, the same $180k house in option A would run $280k here, if it even existed. Inventory is low and I can't even find anything in my price range here.The good part is it's a great place to be. Central to everything, good school district, close to my hobbies, family and friends. Lots of small family run businesses right around the corner with a lot of character.

I think option B is the place to be. It's a tough decision without knowing all the facts but based on what I presented here,what do you all think?


« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 08:15:27 AM by KiloRomeo »

SingleMomDebt

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We are talking long-term living, yes? If so, option B is a good long term choice where you can see yourself being comfortable and happy; with amenities that fulfill your lifestyle (family, friends, character, etc...). I wish I could even consider the option of finding a 280K house in my area... I say B.

As for commuting, you might consider a van pool, train or the business bus route if need be to save on costs.

TrulyStashin

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I agree with Chippewa.  If this is going to be long term, then Option B is best.  If there isn't anything available for January, can you move somewhere temporarily (Craigslist search for roommate situation) until the spring when more houses come on the market?

If this is short term and you foresee leaving this job in the next 3 years, then Option A is perhaps a better choice.  But, I get your disgust with Option A.   Applebees [shudder]

Rage

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I have faced a similar situation.   I would suggest that you should total up how much driving you would do for different option and choose the one that results in the least amount of driving.   Almost certainly it is option A.  You're better off driving every weekend and an occasional weeknight than grinding away at the same commute day after day after day.

Bob W

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Option c,  rent.

RFAAOATB

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Don't hate on Applebees.  I live in a city without it and miss it dearly along with China Buffet.  I would pick option A to get more house for your buck and minimize commute.  Everything else you would use less often.

deborah

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KiloRomeo

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Long term living? Not really but with a disclaimer. The plan would be to live here for 3-4 years and then use it as a rental. Actually I probably should have included those details. Option B is much more recession proof and commands much higher rents. Although prices dipped with the recent crash, these houses fared much better than Option A which is still littered with foreclosures.

Renting is an option but would be a solid $(200)-(400) hit to cash flow as opposed to buying.Even then, the question remains. Do I rent in A or B? Both have the same issues.

Commuting costs aren't really a big issue because my wife and I both drive old economical cars which I maintain myself. The issue is more so the time suck of commuting 35-45 min each way.

Option A certainly would have much much much less driving. My issue is I don't really want to support the urban sprawl lifestyle with its super shopping centers, need to drive everywhere and cookie cutter house. Having Applebees instead of one of a kind restaurants isn't a huge deal because 95% of the time we eat in. It's more the principle.


I guess it boils down to saving time commuting and money on housing or future rental potential, keeping hobbies and living in a fun place.

2ndTimer

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In a vaguely similar situation, we chose to live in a community we love about 18 miles from where the Hub works.  It has worked out well for us.

Thegoblinchief

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If you're buying with an eye to renting out in the next few years, then the rental market, 1% rule, and all of those rule of thumbs matter a LOT more than the lifestyle change.

How secure does the new job feel?

Could you potentially get a job in your fields near option b in the future?

Why is biking not mentioned as an option at all? ;)

SunshineGirl

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I would say it depends on your financial situation, which you haven't mentioned. I would hate to move to option A myself, as it just feels soul-sucking. Would I do so in a hair-on-fire debt emergency? Sure, I could suck it up.

If option B still allows you to save a lot of money, then option B is the winner in my book.

skunkfunk

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http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/18/get-rich-with-bikes/

Have to get a bunch of junk to and from work that won't fit on a bike? Option A, and bike everywhere else.

Don't have a bunch of junk to get to work? Option B, and bike (or e-bike) to work.

Oh, and from a distance, I recommend that you don't buy anything just yet. Your situation sounds a bit unstable, and if you regret the decision it's much easier to get out of a lease than to ditch a mortgage.


RichMoose

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If you are looking at this from a financial perspective and FIRE is your goal, I would go with Option A. I get that it sucks to live in suburbia, but in your case there's a lot of financial benefits: cheap housing, bike-able commute, and no interesting shops and restaurants to spend your hard earned money. Remember, you don't have to spend the rest of your life there. Once you're FI, or if a better job opportunity knocks, you can leave.

I live in a suburban area myself and while it was a little depressing at first looking at Tony Roma type restaurants on the corners of every shopping centre, once I opened my eyes and started looking I found quite a few mom and pop restaurants, ethnic food, and all sorts of things tucked away in those massive strip mall shopping centres. We only eat out once or maybe twice a month, but its been a few years since we've been to a chain restaurant.

Go with Option A, stash that cash, and walk away smiling in a few years. :)

zinnie

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Is there an option besides driving? Driving for 50 minutes versus being able to relax and read, answer email, browse MMM, etc. can make a difference.

KiloRomeo

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If you're buying with an eye to renting out in the next few years, then the rental market, 1% rule, and all of those rule of thumbs matter a LOT more than the lifestyle change.

How secure does the new job feel?

Could you potentially get a job in your fields near option b in the future?

Why is biking not mentioned as an option at all? ;)

New job seems secure, option B has more options for jobs in my field but really both of them wouldn't be too bad. That being said if I lived in option A and ended up getting a job near option B it would absolutely suck. Where I am now and option B are closer to downtown with a commute going the opposite  way of traffic. Looking at the poor suckers across the median is absolutely depressing, they probably commute 1.25 hours each way. That's why option B commands such a premium.

Biking is a mixed bag. Biking for recreation is actually probably better by Option A, but biking for groceries is better at Option B.

I would say it depends on your financial situation, which you haven't mentioned. I would hate to move to option A myself, as it just feels soul-sucking. Would I do so in a hair-on-fire debt emergency? Sure, I could suck it up.

If option B still allows you to save a lot of money, then option B is the winner in my book.

Option B would still allow me to save a bunch of money, about the same as now while renting. Option A would allow me to save more.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/18/get-rich-with-bikes/

Have to get a bunch of junk to and from work that won't fit on a bike? Option A, and bike everywhere else.

Don't have a bunch of junk to get to work? Option B, and bike (or e-bike) to work.

Oh, and from a distance, I recommend that you don't buy anything just yet. Your situation sounds a bit unstable, and if you regret the decision it's much easier to get out of a lease than to ditch a mortgage.

Biking to work would be an option if I moved REALLY close to work, but only part of the year.

If you are looking at this from a financial perspective and FIRE is your goal, I would go with Option A. I get that it sucks to live in suburbia, but in your case there's a lot of financial benefits: cheap housing, bike-able commute, and no interesting shops and restaurants to spend your hard earned money. Remember, you don't have to spend the rest of your life there. Once you're FI, or if a better job opportunity knocks, you can leave.

I live in a suburban area myself and while it was a little depressing at first looking at Tony Roma type restaurants on the corners of every shopping centre, once I opened my eyes and started looking I found quite a few mom and pop restaurants, ethnic food, and all sorts of things tucked away in those massive strip mall shopping centres. We only eat out once or maybe twice a month, but its been a few years since we've been to a chain restaurant.

Go with Option A, stash that cash, and walk away smiling in a few years. :)

It can be argued both ways. Yes I'll be able to save more at option A for short term. However, at option B I'm still saving 50-60% of my income and I get the added bonus of a more stable housing market that will be better for rental income in the future.

Is there an option besides driving? Driving for 50 minutes versus being able to relax and read, answer email, browse MMM, etc. can make a difference.

Unfortunately no, FL is so sprawled out it's impossible to commute without a car.



I appreciate everyone's insight. As of now I can't even make a decision because there are no houses in Option B that fit the bill. We will see!

deborah

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I chose renting at option A because you don't know how well option A will suit you. If you find it is hell, you can choose a rental (or a purchase) somewhere else. If you actually find you like it, you can choose to buy. This stops you from losing all the money you pay when you buy and sell houses in a short period.

NoraLenderbee

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You clearly prefer option B. What is your priority? To live where you like and save at your current rate? Or to get to FI as quickly as possible, sacrificing some short-term enjoyment? Only you can decide.

Melody

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How much does the houst cost at A, you only mentioned its cheaper than where you are currently. If option a house was something that could be bought an paid off wthin 3 or so years of hardcore stashing, I would consider it. Then you will have a lovely cash flowing rental which would aid a move to option b. Personally I would find even a 30 minute car commute unpleasant,  so I would probally choose a. I am currently dealing with the opposite problem to you. $350k to live in an inner suburb (half an hr bus commute, 10min drive if no traffic) or $500k to walk to work, all my hobbies, friends etc. Its a tough call, both options have merits, as do both of your options.