Should you pay for a downtown house that reduces your commute?


A person stands and looks out of their apartment window.

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It really boils down to how much time you deserve.


the main points

  • Remote work is not an option for everyone these days.
  • You can pay to spend extra money for easier transportation.

When the epidemic hit, many people had to move to Distance working They do their work from home. Then a lot of companies endorsed this setup as new variants of COVID-19 emerged and vaccine launches took a long time to implement.

But at this point, a lot of people who worked in offices before the pandemic went back to work themselves. This means that many people may struggle to commute long distances.

The proportion of Americans commuting more than 90 minutes a day nearly doubled between 1990 and 2000, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. While some workers today enjoy mixed work schedule Where they work from home for at least part of the week, those commute days can be grueling.

If you have a long commute, there might be a viable solution that doesn’t involve leaving your job: moving closer to your desk. But in many cases, that may mean moving to a city center where housing costs are high.

It begs the question: Should you spend more on rent or? Mortgage To live near work? Or do you have to put up with this commute and enjoy the savings?

tough call

From a financial perspective, living further away from the city center and taking longer trips may be the most cost-effective option. You might spend, say, $1,000 a month on rent now, but see that number double if you’re moving into a home that puts you within minutes of your office.

But it’s not just the money you’ll need to consider when thinking about moving downtown. You will also need to consider your personal well-being.

For many people, a long commute can be a source of stress. It can also lead to poor sleep and less time spent with friends and family. Plus, if you’re the type who enjoys different hobbies, your commute may prevent you from pursuing them.

Let’s say you enjoy running outdoors but need to be at work at 8 am and spend 90 minutes commuting. Also suppose you work until 5:30 or 6 p.m. during the winter, when the days are shorter, that doesn’t give you hours of daylight during the week to run safely (assuming you can’t or don’t want to run on your car. Lunch break because there’s no a place to shower afterwards).

As such, you’ll need to think about how your long commute will negatively impact your life, and how much you deserve to get that time back. You may decide that it is worth spending more money on housing if it saves you a few hours of your time each day.

Another point to consider

Moving to the city center to be closer to work may not mean spending more on housing. It might also mean giving up square footage. This is most likely a negative.

So, in addition to the financial aspect, you’ll need to weigh the benefit of spending less time on the road with the potential downside of having a smaller living space to get back home. But even with that in mind, it can still pay to take steps to get rid of that long journey — and reclaim precious hours on a daily basis.

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