Author Topic: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?  (Read 2436 times)

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Location: WNC
How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« on: March 02, 2020, 11:33:10 AM »
I mentioned this in the "stupidest thing I'm lusting after" thread, but basically, I want more walkability at our current location.  We live on a dead end street that is off of a very busy two lane with no sidewalk or shoulder.  To do anything outside of the house, we have to get in the car and drive 15 minutes.  I'm a bit frustrated that I didn't really think about this aspect when I bought the house, but we were moving from a different area and we were really time crunched with our house selection process.  If I didn't make a decision RIGHT AWAY I wouldn't have been able to take advantage of the ~$7k relocation package being offered by my employer.  Nothing like impulse spending $200k, right?

Anyways, in order to move, we'd basically lose $10k of our downpayment, and an identical house (1200sqft, 3/2) in a more walkable neighborhood is about 30-40% more expensive.  Taxes go from 1150 to 3000/year too, the schools are worse, and I'd add 10 minutes to my 5 minute, 1.3 mile commute.  Overall, its a terrible idea financially to make the move, but I'm still considering it, I think the quality of life increase might be worth it. 

So, the question is, how much would you pay to be able to walk places?  30% more? 50% more?  Did anyone make a similar move?

Alternatepriorities

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1007
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Alaska
  • Engineer, explorer, investor
    • Alternate Priorities
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2020, 11:50:44 AM »
the schools are worse

If I had kids and walk-ability meant sending them to worse schools the price would be too high. I've seen the difference the quality of the school made in my niece's life. It's not just academics either.

The rest of it money can solve so for me it would just be a calculations of the time I'd have to spend at work to buy a more walkable life. Rather than think of it in terms of 30% more than the current house, I'd think of it as X% longer required working period.

Malcat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4481
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2020, 12:00:49 PM »
It's hard to say.

I'm not willing to pay more if I don't have to, but I am willing to make the trade off of living in a very small place in an area that most people would avoid if they could afford "better".

I like to be right in the heart of a major city. Walkability/bike-ability is absolutely crucial for both DH and I.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4584
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2020, 12:25:16 PM »
I paid something like $250k (house is $200k more expensive than our previous one, overhead costs to sell/buy/move probably added up to $50k) to move 5 miles to a walkable/bikeable/on the bus route neighborhood. Worth every penny.

The neighborhood school is technically "worse", but still just fine.

I think in your shoes, assuming the schools aren't full of gangbangers/actually dangerous/super bad, I'd do it. As long as there are teachers who give a crap at all and it's not physically dangerous, any elementary school is just fine regardless of how high of test scores the kids get.

-W
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 12:34:14 PM by waltworks »

Alternatepriorities

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1007
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Alaska
  • Engineer, explorer, investor
    • Alternate Priorities
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2020, 12:55:09 PM »
As long as there are teachers who give a crap at all and it's not physically dangerous, any elementary school is just fine regardless of how high of test scores the kids get.

-W

I respectfully disagree. In an class room overloaded with kids who brought all of their home problems to school, the cheerful little girl with dyslexia doesn't warrant the teachers time no matter how much they care. In a room full of average students she does... At least that's been my observation.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3842
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2020, 01:22:01 PM »
I am paying probably ~50% more than I would for a comparable house (if I could find such a thing) about 20 minutes away.  I am a few short blocks from a delightful downtown street and I can walk to nearly everything I could ever need except a movie theater (and we see maybe 2 movies a year).  I can also walk to a train station (which is how husband commutes).  It's worth every penny.  We get some of that money back by driving *very* little and only owning one car. 

Jon Bon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1220
  • Location: Midwest
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2020, 02:23:32 PM »
A whole lot.

Our neighborhood is actually rather unique. Its a tiny little municipality right next to downtown. So we are super close to everything and have complete control over our schools/taxes etc. So needless to say I am a huge fan of where I live.

I would say it is 60/40 location/schools. So I would rather live in a place with a great location and meh schools rather than the other way around. Luckily both are good here.

As for how much I am paying? probably 50% more then a similar house further out? It would probably be a newer house with better materials and more creature comforts. So maybe call that another 10%? So sure I am paying about 60% more.  I think my spouse commutes 6 miles? I am about 4? It is most definitely worth it to us.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4584
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2020, 04:12:37 PM »
As long as there are teachers who give a crap at all and it's not physically dangerous, any elementary school is just fine regardless of how high of test scores the kids get.

-W

I respectfully disagree. In an class room overloaded with kids who brought all of their home problems to school, the cheerful little girl with dyslexia doesn't warrant the teachers time no matter how much they care. In a room full of average students she does... At least that's been my observation.

If you have a special needs kid, all bets are off regardless of the student test scores, and school choice is going to trump everything.

OP did not mention that as an issue, though.

And to be fair - think how much you could do for your daughter if you had even just an extra 20 minutes a day of not commuting...

When you get a chance to buy time, you go for it, IMO. Especially if you get exercise and health benefits at the same time.

-W
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 05:04:02 PM by waltworks »

Wintergreen78

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2020, 06:18:00 PM »
To me walkability and bikability are huge for quality of life. I could probably save $250/month in rent by moving 15 minutes by car from where I live now to a place that is your typical suburb where all the shops and restaurants are in strip malls. I could probably save $400 or more per month (or easily afford to buy a house) if I moved back to my hometown. But one of the big reasons I moved to where I live now is it is a good place to walk and ride your bike and it has a real downtown that is a nice place to walk around.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1636
  • Location: Ohio
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2020, 08:20:34 PM »
Looks like the market value of my house is about $75/sf higher than a house in the same city, but not walkable to the main part of town with the bulk of restaurants, retail, and grocery. 

Now thatís not a perfect comparison as the other houses are 2x the size, so price/sf isnít a 1/1 ratio with size increase.  So in reality, it may only be 40-50/sf difference.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Location: WNC
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2020, 07:19:27 AM »
As long as there are teachers who give a crap at all and it's not physically dangerous, any elementary school is just fine regardless of how high of test scores the kids get.

-W

I respectfully disagree. In an class room overloaded with kids who brought all of their home problems to school, the cheerful little girl with dyslexia doesn't warrant the teachers time no matter how much they care. In a room full of average students she does... At least that's been my observation.

If you have a special needs kid, all bets are off regardless of the student test scores, and school choice is going to trump everything.

OP did not mention that as an issue, though.

And to be fair - think how much you could do for your daughter if you had even just an extra 20 minutes a day of not commuting...

When you get a chance to buy time, you go for it, IMO. Especially if you get exercise and health benefits at the same time.

-W

Our son is 4 months old, so its a bit early to tell about learning disabilities, fingers crossed that he doesn't have any issues though.  The schools aren't THAT much worse in town, but we currently live 3.8 traffic-infested, completely unwalkable miles from the best high school and middle school in the county. 

I think that's one of other frustrating thing about this location--on paper its perfect. Its in the infill between two larger towns, its right next to Pisgah national forest, we're districted to the best schools...but you need a car to get anywhere.  Maybe some urban planning will happen and this place will get better. 

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1877
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2020, 07:32:09 AM »
We paid a small premium (10%) for a walkable place in our midwestern small town. But we definitely pay an annual premium in taxes. After living in cities for years and then buying our first home in an unwalkable area, we realized how important it was to us.

This was about 4 years ago. Prices have definitely gone up and more young families are moving in.

We aren't walking distance to large shopping, but are walkable to elementary school, library, small grocery, several restaurants, farmers market and community events. It is a pretty ideal setting for a young family.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 08:19:51 AM by StarBright »

PoutineLover

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1371
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2020, 07:52:59 AM »
I'm lucky in that the cheapest place for me to live right now is also in a very walkable neighborhood and I can bike/transit/walk almost everywhere I need to go. But in a couple years when I'll be thinking about buying with my partner, it's going to be a big issue. I prefer to live where we can have only 1 car that we use infrequently. But those types of houses are likely 2-300k more expensive or much smaller than if we moved to a suburb. But then our commutes would take at least 2x as long, and we'd need a car for everything. I'm hoping there's a middle way, where we can still get around without a car but not spend a crazy amount either. I grew up in a place where you needed to drive to get absolutely anywhere, and I really don't want to go back to that, but my partner thinks that with kids that'll happen anyway, which I hope to prove him wrong on.

affordablehousing

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 505
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2020, 11:00:07 AM »
I switched cities, and moved from an exurban neighborhood with a couple things a long walk from the house to a more urban neighborhood with many walkable things and mass transit 10 min away and paid an extra $650K. I honestly think it was worth it. Life is short. I'm a city guy, and after moving to an area with things to do nearby, I don't think I could ever return to the burbs.

dandarc

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4213
  • Age: 38
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2020, 03:32:19 PM »
In 2014, we paid ~$40K to move from our 1-bedroom condo to a much more centrally located house. Condo sold for $90K, house cost $125K, round up for various things.

The house is not totally walkable but that is more because of the nature of the city we're in - fairly spread out. Is in the middle of town - 2 miles to downtown. If they ever finish the sidewalk on the busy road near our house, walkability will improve substantially. There's a route through the hood that cuts off the "on the grass near cars doing 40+" part of the walk, but it adds 5-10 minutes depending on where exactly you're trying to get to. Phase 1 of sidewalk project completed in 2016 I think - phases 2 and 3 - the ones that connect the sidewalk to the more commercial area nearby - have been stuck in limbo since then.

But here's the thing - pretty sure the complex that condo was in was required by the city to approve zoning for the much, much more expensive single family homes all around it. Or maybe someone just made a bad bet on an apartment complex in that part of town? If we were in a single family home in that same area, our move into our current house would not have cost $40K - we'd have made at least $100K from the transaction.

Real estate is very, very location dependent.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2020, 03:36:11 PM by dandarc »

Halfsees

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2020, 03:52:02 PM »


Quote
Our son is 4 months old, so its a bit early to tell about learning disabilities, fingers crossed that he doesn't have any issues though.  The schools aren't THAT much worse in town, but we currently live 3.8 traffic-infested, completely unwalkable miles from the best high school and middle school in the county. 

I think that's one of other frustrating thing about this location--on paper its perfect. Its in the infill between two larger towns, its right next to Pisgah national forest, we're districted to the best schools...but you need a car to get anywhere.  Maybe some urban planning will happen and this place will get better.



We are in a similar situation. Moved half a mile from a fantastic elementary school and public park, but none of the roads have shoulders so you have to drive everywhere else and the kids don't walk to school. When I have walked  my kids, a ton of drop off cars go by me and I've even have nice neighbors offer me rides because no one walks around here. We can now afford to move almost anywhere but there is nowhere walkable that that has the schools and people like us (redneck geeky), and having come from a title 1 school were my son got ignored and having tried homeschooling him, it's not worth the risk to go somewhere with bad test scores. I've got my fingers crossed that we'll grow better in the future as us suburbanites keep invading the area.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4584
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2020, 04:27:47 PM »
We can now afford to move almost anywhere but there is nowhere walkable that that has the schools and people like us (redneck geeky), and having come from a title 1 school were my son got ignored and having tried homeschooling him, it's not worth the risk to go somewhere with bad test scores. I've got my fingers crossed that we'll grow better in the future as us suburbanites keep invading the area.

If this is really the case, go check out the 2010 census data and start taking road trips!

That is literally how we picked our location - we just took the top 10 counties in the NYT rankings and went from there.

-W

Halfsees

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2020, 05:46:32 PM »
We can now afford to move almost anywhere but there is nowhere walkable that that has the schools and people like us (redneck geeky), and having come from a title 1 school were my son got ignored and having tried homeschooling him, it's not worth the risk to go somewhere with bad test scores. I've got my fingers crossed that we'll grow better in the future as us suburbanites keep invading the area.

If this is really the case, go check out the 2010 census data and start taking road trips!

That is literally how we picked our location - we just took the top 10 counties in the NYT rankings and went from there.

-W

That sounds awesome! I made an omision, though, I meant we can afford to move almost anywhere in the DC area outside the city. We both grew up here so I have tunnel vision 😂 I wouldn't mind moving away potentially, but I don't think my husband would. But if anyone knows any hard surface 3D modeler job openings . . .

Where did you end up moving to? Where else did you like? How has your experience been?

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4584
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2020, 08:06:34 PM »
We bought houses in Park City (Summit County) Utah and Los Alamos, NM. Both in the top 10.

We ended up staying in Park City - better skiing and better airport access. I could see moving to Los Alamos if development here continues at it's current pace, though.

-W

norajean

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 377
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2020, 05:13:10 PM »
Most people borrow the same amount in either case. The way they pay for a better locatiOn is by purchasing less house. I guess I could move to a less walkable location and double my square footage. No thanks.

caleb

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2020, 11:12:48 AM »
I think that's one of other frustrating thing about this location--on paper its perfect. Its in the infill between two larger towns, its right next to Pisgah national forest, we're districted to the best schools...but you need a car to get anywhere.  Maybe some urban planning will happen and this place will get better.

I think you and several others in this thread are perhaps overlooking how these "good" neighborhoods developed.  The car-dependency and lack of walkability, along with the functional lack of public space, was planned as a feature, not a bug.  By requiring that everyone have a base level of private property and resources, you keep the riff-raf out, which means the schools get better.  At least this is how the American mind has worked for 70+ years.

Most people do not think increasing walkability makes a community better.  Instead, it's code for poor people, bus riders, and immigrants.  Push transit and not being car-dependent and they'll break out in hives.

caleb

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2020, 11:27:30 AM »
Also, to the OP, have you read MMM's take on the costs of commuting?  The first time I read it, it was pretty eye opening: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/

At a minimum, and all else more or less equal, a reasonable person should be willing to increase their mortgage payment by the amount of car expenses saved, plus the billable hours of their time saved, plus some premium for better health and lower stress.

If that means you even save the expenses of one $400 car payment, plus $50 for insurance, plus $200 for gas and maintenance, plus five hours a week (20 hours a month) of your time at $40/hr ($800 of time) buys you $1450 of savings to put toward your mortgage without even considering health or stress.  The breakeven point here is about $250k of additional mortgage cost for living in a walkable or bikeable neighborhood. 

Your numbers may vary.  If there are two of you commuting with similar numbers to what I mention above and you're willing to go car-free, you're at an extra half million in purchase price for the walkable neighborhood.

The short answer is that the math almost always favors living within walking or biking distance. 

So why doesn't everyone live close to work?  The best answers I can come up with are: (1) they can't get financed for the more expensive mortgage because our financing system ignores commuting costs; (2) quality of life issues mean they don't want to live anywhere near where they work; and/or (3) cars have become so comfortable that we severely discount our time sitting in them.  It's easy for a person like me to forget that many, maybe even most, people like to drive.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4584
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2020, 12:45:40 PM »
Agreed, people don't properly value their time/car costs/health. And lots of people consider taking the bus too scary/weird because it's "for poor people".

Imagine if you had to do all your commuting at the end of your life, all at once. So, basically, sitting in your car waiting to die.

And since the average 'Merican spends an hour a freaking day in their car (almost all of that is commuting), that's in the ballpark of 3 years of your life.

Really, that's what you're doing. Sitting there and dying. Just in smaller chunks at a time.

-W

moonpalace

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • Age: 45
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2020, 01:47:36 PM »
We have lived for the last 13 years within about 0.5 miles of the core downtown area of our small New England "city" (pop. <10,000). Also always within about 0.3 miles of elementary and middle schools and playgrounds and public library. We've had one car ever since. I walk to work, kids walk to school, DW works at home.

We calculated when moving here that we would save somewhere around $10k per year by living in a place where we could reasonably have just one car. We didn't put all of that towards buying more house, but we probably pay about half that per year in additional property taxes. I would *much* rather put it towards that (pays for sidewalks, parks, library, pool, etc.) than for the privilege of having a second car and spending lots of time in it.

There have been so many (mostly unanticipated) side benefits, all of which basically boil down to "it's less stressful and doesn't suck as much when you deal with cars less"

So that's a long way of saying that, if I had to do it over again, I would happily spend even more for the privilege of living in a walkable place. And you'll pry my current walkable situation out of my cold, dead hands! :-)

tyrannostache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 217
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2020, 02:37:58 PM »
This is a really timely discussion for me, as we are in the thick of the housing search for an upcoming move to a new town. I'm asking myself exactly how much we are willing to spend to be in a walkable location.

Homes close to downtown (my work), the university (dh work), and/or trails run anywhere from $20K-100K more than places farther out, and rentals are anywhere from $200-600/month higher. Closer in, you'll also be looking at a much smaller house/apartment.

Schools around town are all pretty good (ironically, the "better" neighborhood schools are over-enrolled and have wait-lists, so a kid needing services or extra attention might do better to go to a "worse" neighborhood school with smaller staff-to-student ratios).

We could spend anywhere from $350-500K to buy or 1700-2000 to rent more a small 3br home within 1.5 miles of both workplaces, close to school, close to the river and parks, and close to the vibrant downtown. Right now, we are definitely leaning toward this option, even if it means spending a bit more and sacrificing space.

By contrast, for or about $315-380K, we could buy a 3br house with nice views in a "good" neighborhood. Elementary school would be walkable, but nothing else would be. We'd be about 4-6 miles from my work and my spouse's work through some very congested streets--adding about 30 minutes or more to a commute every day. I know that's not as bad as many city commutes, but that's the difference between us walking or biking almost every day to walking or biking once in a while when conditions are just right. We have 2 small kids, so even one extra mile of walking/biking makes a big difference in our ability to bike/walk together.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14550
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2020, 10:33:49 PM »
Uh...walkability to what? We paid a huge premium to live where DH can walk to work. Everything else requires a little more effort. 1 mile to commuter train, which we seldom have need for. About a mile in the other direction to a produce stand-type store, and 1.8 miles to a full-line, premium grocery store/Bucky's/bank/gym/drug store-type shopping center.
Thing is, I'm too cheap to shop there. Costco, Grocery Outlet and the 99 Cents Only Store are in the next town and require a trip by car. Since I grocery shop less often than DH goes to work, it's a good trade. We have top ranked schools, though we have no school-age humans in the household. We love our house, but it is definitely on the clown-ish side. OTOH, it would sell for $500k more than we paid for it in 2013. DH loves walking to work, especially when his long-commuting colleagues pass him on the road between our house and work. He waves to all of them.

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1278
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2020, 05:44:55 AM »
Very little, if anything.  I would never pay more for a house with higher taxes in a worse school district.  I wouldn't even pay the same.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Location: WNC
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2020, 07:01:26 AM »
Also, to the OP, have you read MMM's take on the costs of commuting?  The first time I read it, it was pretty eye opening: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting/

At a minimum, and all else more or less equal, a reasonable person should be willing to increase their mortgage payment by the amount of car expenses saved, plus the billable hours of their time saved, plus some premium for better health and lower stress.

If that means you even save the expenses of one $400 car payment, plus $50 for insurance, plus $200 for gas and maintenance, plus five hours a week (20 hours a month) of your time at $40/hr ($800 of time) buys you $1450 of savings to put toward your mortgage without even considering health or stress.  The breakeven point here is about $250k of additional mortgage cost for living in a walkable or bikeable neighborhood. 

Your numbers may vary.  If there are two of you commuting with similar numbers to what I mention above and you're willing to go car-free, you're at an extra half million in purchase price for the walkable neighborhood.

The short answer is that the math almost always favors living within walking or biking distance. 

So why doesn't everyone live close to work?  The best answers I can come up with are: (1) they can't get financed for the more expensive mortgage because our financing system ignores commuting costs; (2) quality of life issues mean they don't want to live anywhere near where they work; and/or (3) cars have become so comfortable that we severely discount our time sitting in them.  It's easy for a person like me to forget that many, maybe even most, people like to drive.

My commute to work would actually get longer.  I live 1.3 miles/10 minutes from work right now, but I've been driving since my son was born because I have to grab him from daycare after work.  When we were DINK'ing it, I rode my bicycle in the seasons where it was light out, but it was a super sketchy ride with lots of traffic and no shoulder so I never did it when my commute wasn't daylight.  The area I'm looking at is a 12 mile commute and 20ish minutes.  My wife's 30 minute commute would stay about the same time, but would decrease in distance. 

What would get shorter would be my "commute" to other things.  There's a park, coffee shop and grocery store within a mile.  There's sidewalks on the streets so we could just *stroll* if we wanted to.  I think the thing that bugs me the most with my current place is that its a big production to do anything recreational.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4584
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2020, 08:28:12 AM »
Very little, if anything.  I would never pay more for a house with higher taxes in a worse school district.  I wouldn't even pay the same.

A real 'merican at last!

-W

StarBright

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1877
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2020, 08:49:31 AM »

My commute to work would actually get longer.  I live 1.3 miles/10 minutes from work right now, but I've been driving since my son was born because I have to grab him from daycare after work.  When we were DINK'ing it, I rode my bicycle in the seasons where it was light out, but it was a super sketchy ride with lots of traffic and no shoulder so I never did it when my commute wasn't daylight.  The area I'm looking at is a 12 mile commute and 20ish minutes.  My wife's 30 minute commute would stay about the same time, but would decrease in distance. 

What would get shorter would be my "commute" to other things.  There's a park, coffee shop and grocery store within a mile.  There's sidewalks on the streets so we could just *stroll* if we wanted to.  I think the thing that bugs me the most with my current place is that its a big production to do anything recreational.

So this is us ^ We could have chosen to live by my husband's job and he could have been within walking distance but we would have had to drive to most life things. So my husband commutes 20 minutes and we live in walking distance to all of our life stuff. I work from home so I'm a wash.

It is a very nice way to live when you have small children. We walked to the playground last night and I biked to the ice cream stand to get my husband a sundae after the kids were in bed. We will walk over to our library tomorrow morning for a kids program and probably grab some coffee on the way home.

It would be nice if my husband was also walkable to his job - but as a young family I think we made the right choice.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 09:53:52 AM by StarBright »

tyrannostache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 217
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2020, 09:48:54 AM »
Now that I've got my situation all word-vomited out, I can go back to OP's question. In your case, OP, you're right that it doesn't look like a great financial decision to move to a more walkable neighborhood. But I'd be frustrated with the setup you described, too. If you're planning on having kids, it looks like you'd be signing up for driving them pretty much everywhere.

How much worse are the schools?
There's a pretty large gradient in school quality. There's a difference between "this school scores poorly on GreatSchools because it serves a broader spectrum of the population or a more disadvantaged parts of town" and "this school scores poorly because it's an underfunded mess."

jpdx

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2020, 10:00:46 PM »
A lot.

I save some on transportation costs, sure, but the real reason I am willing to pay much more for walkability is simple: walking everywhere makes me happy.

I love raising my kid in this kind of environment where we walk to errands and the park most days. Itís something I didnít have growing up that I am happy I can provide to my progeny, even if it means pushing FIRE back a number of years.

Halfsees

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
Re: How much would you/did you pay for walkability?
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2020, 08:22:29 PM »
I was just thinking about this thread because now it feels like a different world. I'm doing pretty well in my isolated community where one of the only things walkable is a park with trails that I rarely run into anyone on.