Author Topic: Bike or drive a short distance?  (Read 4007 times)

michael

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Bike or drive a short distance?
« on: November 16, 2012, 05:51:33 PM »
This is a question I've been struggling with for a few weeks now.

I currently pay $2700/month to live 5 miles from my office and bike to work. My brother lives with me and pays me $800/month, so my real cost is $1900/month, but for this discussion, let's go with the base rent. I can move closer and find rent for $2200 or more, not really a lot less than that, so it raises the question of whether I should move farther away or not and end up commuting by car or public transit (the latter is not very practical because I work odd and sometimes long hours that are outside transit times).

I've been watching the CL listings and have seen some similar sized apartments and homes for less than $2000/month, and the commute would probably be 20 minutes each way because of traffic.

Also is it worth it to stick solely to apartments that have laundry in-unit? Are there any figures for average cost of coin-op laundry?

The car I'd use is a Golf TDI that gets 35-50mpg (big range, I know, but it drops a lot in stop-and-go traffic).

Finally, the other factor tilting the scale towards driving, for me, is that I can find a house to rent outside of biking distance. That means I can have a vegetable garden and a dog, both of which would increase my quality of life tremendously.

The alternative is to wait for five years while I build more of the 'stache and eventually move out of this ridiculously overpriced area. I want to stay here for this little while longer because I just started the job, really enjoy the people, and am helping my brother get on his feet.

What are your thoughts?

Done by Forty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • Location: Tempe, AZ
    • Done by Forty
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 09:26:22 PM »
Would your brother be moving with you, and what would the rent share look like (i.e. - would he still pay $800, with you then only paying $1200)?

PJ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1427
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Toronto, Canada
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 11:54:32 PM »
In addition to Done by Forty's questions, I'm feeling compelled to encourage caution (or at least careful consideration) of the idea of getting a dog under those circumstances.  As someone who works long and odd hours, and has two dogs, I can warn that there may be extra expenses associated.  I just barely manage to keep things together with a dog walker one day a week, and that only works because he is extremely accomadating about switching days depending on when I need him.  And I can only afford that because he only takes the young dog out on the walk.  My old guy has an iron bladder and doesn't need the same amount of exercise. 

michael

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 11:07:16 AM »
Would your brother be moving with you, and what would the rent share look like (i.e. - would he still pay $800, with you then only paying $1200)?

Yes, he'd come with me for now and would continue to pay $800/month. He's currently receiving a military veteran stipend for education and housing, and when that expires at the end of next year, we might talk about lowering his rent if he hasn't found work.

In addition to Done by Forty's questions, I'm feeling compelled to encourage caution (or at least careful consideration) of the idea of getting a dog under those circumstances.

I agree :) I've raised and fostered dogs, and I wouldn't get one until I had determined my commute routine and general availability, and decided it was a good idea. My office also has an open dog policy (another reason I like working there so much), so I wouldn't need to worry about daily needs or exercise as I could take care of that pretty easily.
If the job changed though, I would definitely have to look hard at my options, so thank you for the caution! Ill consider it a little more strongly if/when I get there.

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4424
  • Location: Texas
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 12:12:48 PM »
Okay... you can move closer for $2200/month (say a mile) or 20 minutes further out for $2,000/month.

So... that's an extra 3 hours or so each week in traffic. 150 hours a year. Plus you have to buy a car. And pay for gas, insurance and upkeep. And spend time on upkeep.


Ozstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 863
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Oztralia
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 01:28:12 PM »
$2700 a month rent? What, are you living in Australia or something because that rent is ridiculous! Unless you're earning triple figures, I suggest you move city, take your brother with you if you feel you must, pick up a stray dog on the way and find a much cheaper place and another job.

michael

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2012, 06:21:02 PM »
Okay... you can move closer for $2200/month (say a mile) or 20 minutes further out for $2,000/month.

So... that's an extra 3 hours or so each week in traffic. 150 hours a year. Plus you have to buy a car. And pay for gas, insurance and upkeep. And spend time on upkeep.

The car's already bought and insurance is already being paid for, but yes, definitely the fuel and upkeep costs would increase! Thanks for the number calc, I hadn't done that yet. An extra 3hrs a week I could be using much more efficiently!

$2700 a month rent? What, are you living in Australia or something because that rent is ridiculous! Unless you're earning triple figures, I suggest you move city, take your brother with you if you feel you must, pick up a stray dog on the way and find a much cheaper place and another job.

Not Australia, but the rent is ridiculous. It really bugs me, as it should! I am earning triple figures and I am making forward strides elsewhere in my budget, but a rent decrease would clearly have a large impact.
The city move and stray dog will happen eventually, but I'm not going to choose either just yet. When moving out of the area becomes a more viable option for me, personally, it will be a much easier decision to do that. The trouble at the moment is making the most of where I am. :)

keith

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Seattle/eastside
Re: Bike or drive a short distance?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 10:39:08 PM »
Agreed that is way too much money for rent.

How many rooms are in these places? Curious if the place is a 3 or 4 bedroom, and you could possibly rent out one of the extra rooms if its just you and your brother?