Should I consider moving closer to work?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:58 pm

I am 30 something and have been working at the same job for 8 years. I purchased a small house prior to starting my current job but the previous company I worked for went out of business and I have been driving 45 minutes to get to work (100 miles a day, mostly expressway). When the roads are icy and snowy, a handful of times a year (or more if a winter like last year) it takes twice that long. I like where I live and the job has been going alright. They pay isn't so great but I am good at what I do and it has been stable so far. Who knows what happens down the road but I think it is safe for the near future.

Anyway, there are very few opportunities in my field closer to home. There is no way I would be willing to add to my current commute, but if I were to add another half hour to my commute, that would open a larger number of possible opportunities which would be located in a big city.

I'm debating whether to move closer to work or just suck it up and stay put.

Complicating this situation is that there are mostly "bad" areas and expensive areas between my home and work...but there are a few options:

1) I could rent a studio department in the small town where my employer is located. A small studio would cost about as much as current mortgage and a larger apartment would be about $200-250 more. However I enjoy working out at home and wouldn't be able to fit my gym equipment in such a small space. There are no gyms in this town to workout in so I would have to drive at least 20 minutes to get to a gym. I don't really care much for the town and the ONLY reason I would live there is because it is close to work...about 5 minutes away. I would save about $250 in gas plus wear and tear on the car.

2) There are a couple of middle sized towns about 25-30 minutes from work. I wouldn't have to do any expressway driving but there would be more stoplights since I would be driving through town. I'd go from 100 miles a day to 20-30. I was thinking about possibly renting or buying a condo. Renting an apartment/condo would cost $400-500 a month MORE than my current mortgage and I'd save $150-200 in gas. I could buy a decent condo and the payment would come out to about $200-300 more than current mortgage.

3) Stay where I'm at and be on the lookout for the few opportunities that might pop up but I'm not really too optimistic that anything better will come up closer to home (it hasn't happened yet).

Moving would require that I either rent out or sell my house. I really don't want to sell it but I'm not sure I want to be a landlord either. There is a close family member that would likely want to rent it but I'm not sure that is such a good idea either.

The commute isn't horribly bad as long as I have some podcasts (I have heard of worse) but it can be rough in the winter. What would you do if you were in my situation?

wassabi
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:06 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by wassabi » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:07 pm

As much as I hate to say it, I'd probably stay where I'm at right now (if in your situation).

I hate commuting (with a passion!) but it seems like you have a good routine down. Don't move closer to work if you will be in a town you don't enjoy. You'll be increasing your quality of life by reducing your commute, but significantly reducing your quality of life overall by removing something that is important to you (working out). Driving 20 minutes to the gym is a deal breaker for me.

The second option is interesting but seems like a pain in the butt. Although you'd drive fewer miles, would you really save much on time because of the traffic lights, etc? If not, then stay on the expressway. Stop and go traffic is worse on the car, anyway.

I'd stay put, keep an eye on the market, and probably start a small "emergency weather" fund and contribute monthly around the year. That way, when the weather is bad, you can just grab a hotel or something, treat yourself to a pizza (cheat day!) and kick back and stay dry and warm near work.

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 7423
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:29 pm

If your on the fence about moving for your current job, have you considered moving for a new job? At least examine the job market and housing in the big city (and possibly anywhere else you would consider relocating).

As for the winter driving. If it's really only a few awful days each year it may be possible to just not drive during a storm. Take a personal day if at home. Get a hotel room (or a friend's couch) if at the office. Get-home-itis is a deadly disease, but it is avoidable.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:34 pm

wassabi wrote:As much as I hate to say it, I'd probably stay where I'm at right now (if in your situation).

I hate commuting (with a passion!) but it seems like you have a good routine down. Don't move closer to work if you will be in a town you don't enjoy. You'll be increasing your quality of life by reducing your commute, but significantly reducing your quality of life overall by removing something that is important to you (working out). Driving 20 minutes to the gym is a deal breaker for me.
Good point. Based on the numbers, it seems like a no-brainer to move 5 minutes from work but then I look at the disadvantages (no gym, grocery store in town has higher than avg prices, living near and running into co-workers on off days, more pollution, possible parking issues, etc). I'm just not really feeling it. It would be great to free up that extra 90 minutes a day but then if I have to travel to the gym then that time is cut in half plus if I go home to visit family on the weekend, that is more time spent on the road.
wassabi wrote:The second option is interesting but seems like a pain in the butt. Although you'd drive fewer miles, would you really save much on time because of the traffic lights, etc? If not, then stay on the expressway. Stop and go traffic is worse on the car, anyway.
I'd save about 30 minutes a day. There would be risks in renting out my place and I'm not sure it's worth the extra headache to save a half hour per way. There are decent condos that are reasonably priced but I'm not so sure about the idea of carrying two mortgages and possible headaches with a tenant.
wassabi wrote:I'd stay put, keep an eye on the market, and probably start a small "emergency weather" fund and contribute monthly around the year. That way, when the weather is bad, you can just grab a hotel or something, treat yourself to a pizza (cheat day!) and kick back and stay dry and warm near work.
Great idea. I did have to stay at a hotel a couple times last year since the winter was so bad.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:44 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:If your on the fence about moving for your current job, have you considered moving for a new job? At least examine the job market and housing in the big city (and possibly anywhere else you would consider relocating).
I have considered that. There are a couple of cities that I have in mind. I've been at the same job for 8 years, wages have been stagnant, limited opportunity for advancement, but there has been job security so far and the stress level is tolerable (at least under current boss, last boss was pretty toxic). Being in my mid 30s, if I'm ever going to make any kind of a move, it will have to be soon. I hear a lot about age discrimination from 40 and 50 somethings.
Epsilon Delta wrote:As for the winter driving. If it's really only a few awful days each year it may be possible to just not drive during a storm. Take a personal day if at home. Get a hotel room (or a friend's couch) if at the office. Get-home-itis is a deadly disease, but it is avoidable.
Yeah I really need to consider this. I drove into work a couple times last year when I really shouldn't have. I've driven home from work in the past when I really shouldn't have and barely made it home.

User avatar
tyrion
Posts: 1112
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:33 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tyrion » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:00 pm

I don't know what kind of job you have, but is there any chance you could work from home one or two days a week? Work 9 hour shifts with every other Friday off? My company has done a lot of this type of thing (although my job function means I don't get to participate). It makes it easier if you're not making that commute every single day Monday through Friday.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:39 pm

tyrion wrote:I don't know what kind of job you have, but is there any chance you could work from home one or two days a week? Work 9 hour shifts with every other Friday off? My company has done a lot of this type of thing (although my job function means I don't get to participate). It makes it easier if you're not making that commute every single day Monday through Friday.
I could do a lot of my work from home. This has been brought up by other co-workers and the boss has not been receptive to the idea. He likes going into the office every day because that is pretty where most of his friend are and he thinks everyone else should want to be there everyday too (even if it isn't necessary). I could probably convince him to let me work from home one day a week but then the other co-workers would get jealous and there could be political issues. There is really no reason why everyone in the office couldn't either work 4 10 hours shifts or telecommute one day a week. There are a couple of other departments at work (including HR) that does this. Maybe if I talked it over with the other co-workers, we can all bring it up with the boss at the next meeting.

Of course this might backfire if the boss went along with it. The last time we brought this up, the boss said something about not having to use all of our vacation time if he were able to work 4/10s. The reasoning is that if we get three days off a week then we wouldn't have to use much of our vacation time....even though we're working a couple extra hours a day.

User avatar
Crimsontide
Posts: 722
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:32 pm
Location: DFW Metromess

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Crimsontide » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:17 pm

I have been having this same debate in my mind for the past twenty years :oops: guess I'll stay put now that retirement is only a few months away. My advice to you, get the commute out of your life as soon as possible, it steals your soul and your life. Do as I say, not as I did :(

Stonebr
Posts: 1462
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:19 am
Location: Maine

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Stonebr » Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:27 pm

It's impossible to say anything definite about your particular situation without knowing more, but I can tell you that the best commute I ever had was a 15 minute walk through the streets of Boston. This was my commute for 14 years. Nothing can beat it. Nothing.
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:05 pm

Crimsontide wrote:I have been having this same debate in my mind for the past twenty years :oops: guess I'll stay put now that retirement is only a few months away. My advice to you, get the commute out of your life as soon as possible, it steals your soul and your life. Do as I say, not as I did :(
How long is your commute?

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:07 pm

Stonebr wrote:It's impossible to say anything definite about your particular situation without knowing more, but I can tell you that the best commute I ever had was a 15 minute walk through the streets of Boston. This was my commute for 14 years. Nothing can beat it. Nothing.
Sounds like a great commute. Yes there are a lot of variables involved.

Crow Hunter
Posts: 884
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Crow Hunter » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:51 am

I have had 3 jobs in my professional working life.

One was a 45 min commute, one was a 30 min commute, and the current is a 25 min commute.

I liked where I lived on the 45 min commute WAY more than the other two and given my druthers would pick that.

I would go with staying where I preferred to live than trying to live closer to work.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 36029
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:22 am

Tough one, tough one, tough one. Most of my working life involved commutes of about an hour each way, and it is corrosive. For about two years I live about 9 miles from work, had a lunch hour, and felt amazingly liberated by the possibility of occasionally driving home and eating a quick lunch there, or doing a quick errand.

Commutes are tougher than you realize. A sizable percentage of your life wasted, especially if it's in a car. You are using up a lot of coping energy in a car.

However, one of my worse commutes was a forty-mile-each-way-by-car on a variably-congested highway. It often took 50 minutes, but several times a month could take 1-1/2 hours for no apparent reason, and in winter occasionally 3 hours. (MY tires are getting traction on this hill, ALMOST everyone's tires are getting traction on this hill, but ONE car is stuck...)

That was the job in which I thought I'd finally made it to the big leagues, big Fortune 500 company, offices in thirty countries, forty thousand employees worldwide. My wife and I were toying with the idea that we really ought to move. And we kept toying with the idea for a couple of years and I'm glad we did, because that's when the layoffs started, and although it took another year for them to get around to me, it would have been very unpleasant to have moved.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

mmmodem
Posts: 1272
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by mmmodem » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:42 am

I don't know what you should do. I know what I am doing. I live in the Silicon Valley and commute 1 hour to work far away from the Silicon Valley. Supposedly, all the great jobs are located in the Silicon Valley right? Well, I've been looking for about 6 months, not a long time for sure and haven't gotten anywhere. Meanwhile, I just celebrated 7 years at a job I absolutely love. We're choosing to move closer to work. We'll rent our current house to my parents. I know I don't know want to be a landlord and I don't want to rent to my parents. But it's convenient doing it this way since I need renters in order to qualify to purchase another home. Otherwise, I would have to sell first, then rent while looking for a new home. It almost never works out where you can sell a home and buy a home and time it perfectly. I made it clear that if my parents are unable to pay the rent or whatever reason, I am going to sell the home as I cannot afford mortgage on both. I see my risk as relatively low since the home has already gone back to pre bubble prices.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:07 am

nisiprius wrote:Tough one, tough one, tough one. Most of my working life involved commutes of about an hour each way, and it is corrosive. For about two years I live about 9 miles from work, had a lunch hour, and felt amazingly liberated by the possibility of occasionally driving home and eating a quick lunch there, or doing a quick errand.

Commutes are tougher than you realize. A sizable percentage of your life wasted, especially if it's in a car. You are using up a lot of coping energy in a car.
Very true. Listening to podcasts help but it still gets old after awhile. At 7.5 hours a week at 50 weeks, that's about 375 hours a year.
nisiprius wrote:However, one of my worse commutes was a forty-mile-each-way-by-car on a variably-congested highway. It often took 50 minutes, but several times a month could take 1-1/2 hours for no apparent reason, and in winter occasionally 3 hours. (MY tires are getting traction on this hill, ALMOST everyone's tires are getting traction on this hill, but ONE car is stuck...)

That was the job in which I thought I'd finally made it to the big leagues, big Fortune 500 company, offices in thirty countries, forty thousand employees worldwide. My wife and I were toying with the idea that we really ought to move. And we kept toying with the idea for a couple of years and I'm glad we did, because that's when the layoffs started, and although it took another year for them to get around to me, it would have been very unpleasant to have moved.
That's what I'm afraid of...foing through all the trouble to move and then lose the job (especially if carrying two mortgages). OTOH I'd be in a better position to find something else...then again there is a small chance of finding something closer to current home (although those opportunities are rare and the ones I pursued never went anywhere)

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:09 am

Crow Hunter wrote:I have had 3 jobs in my professional working life.

One was a 45 min commute, one was a 30 min commute, and the current is a 25 min commute.

I liked where I lived on the 45 min commute WAY more than the other two and given my druthers would pick that.

I would go with staying where I preferred to live than trying to live closer to work.
Sounds like a similar situation that I have. If I were to move, the commute would change from 45 to 25-30 minutes. I'm not really sure it's worth the hassle (and possible headaches) to save 15 or so minutes per day.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:17 am

mmmodem wrote:I don't know what you should do. I know what I am doing. I live in the Silicon Valley and commute 1 hour to work far away from the Silicon Valley. Supposedly, all the great jobs are located in the Silicon Valley right? Well, I've been looking for about 6 months, not a long time for sure and haven't gotten anywhere. Meanwhile, I just celebrated 7 years at a job I absolutely love. We're choosing to move closer to work. We'll rent our current house to my parents. I know I don't know want to be a landlord and I don't want to rent to my parents. But it's convenient doing it this way since I need renters in order to qualify to purchase another home. Otherwise, I would have to sell first, then rent while looking for a new home. It almost never works out where you can sell a home and buy a home and time it perfectly. I made it clear that if my parents are unable to pay the rent or whatever reason, I am going to sell the home as I cannot afford mortgage on both. I see my risk as relatively low since the home has already gone back to pre bubble prices.
Thanks for sharing your story. If I do move, I know my dad will want to rent my place. I'm not so sure that is a good idea. He would surely take care of the place but if he were to be unable to pay the rent then I would be stuck with paying on two dwellings. That sounds like a good way to go about it, to let them know that you will have to sell if they don't pay the rent.

cherijoh
Posts: 4785
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by cherijoh » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:06 pm

tony5412 wrote:
tyrion wrote:I don't know what kind of job you have, but is there any chance you could work from home one or two days a week? Work 9 hour shifts with every other Friday off? My company has done a lot of this type of thing (although my job function means I don't get to participate). It makes it easier if you're not making that commute every single day Monday through Friday.
I could do a lot of my work from home. This has been brought up by other co-workers and the boss has not been receptive to the idea. He likes going into the office every day because that is pretty where most of his friend are and he thinks everyone else should want to be there everyday too (even if it isn't necessary). I could probably convince him to let me work from home one day a week but then the other co-workers would get jealous and there could be political issues. There is really no reason why everyone in the office couldn't either work 4 10 hours shifts or telecommute one day a week. There are a couple of other departments at work (including HR) that does this. Maybe if I talked it over with the other co-workers, we can all bring it up with the boss at the next meeting.

Of course this might backfire if the boss went along with it. The last time we brought this up, the boss said something about not having to use all of our vacation time if he were able to work 4/10s. The reasoning is that if we get three days off a week then we wouldn't have to use much of our vacation time....even though we're working a couple extra hours a day.
Could you at least make a case to work from home when the weather is inclement? I would think that would be an easy sell, since the last thing the company needs is someone in the hospital because they were driving when they shouldn't be.

Based on your description of your boss, I would be shopping my resume for a new job even if it required a relocation. Not need all your vacation time, really?

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:31 pm

cherijoh wrote:
tony5412 wrote:Could you at least make a case to work from home when the weather is inclement? I would think that would be an easy sell, since the last thing the company needs is someone in the hospital because they were driving when they shouldn't be.

Based on your description of your boss, I would be shopping my resume for a new job even if it required a relocation. Not need all your vacation time, really?
I think I could on some days (only the worst days), as long as I don't take advantage of it. But if I get that privilege than others will want it too and I'm not sure management will be receptive to that.

That isn't what the boss said but a guy who wanted to work 4-10s suggested tht to the boss "we wouldn't have to take all our vacation time if we had a 3 day weekend every weekend" to try and convince the boss and the boss said that's right (although he still wouldn't go for the idea). I wouldn't work 4 10s if it meant losing ANY vacation time. I realize I would gain about 6 hours a month (not having to drive one day a week) but that doesn't mean the company should get that time. That's my time. My boss doesn't hassle me for taking vacation, however I did hear him and a couple of co-workers were complaining that they left vacation days on the table last year, but whose fault was that?

Valuethinker
Posts: 35031
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:35 am

Hang tight until you get another job.

Moving half way risks being worst of both worlds.

Moving to town sounds unpalatable to you, too.

Reassess in say 12 months time when you have had a decent go at getting another job. *that* job may require you to move.

tim1999
Posts: 3410
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:46 am

OP:
I'd start applying for jobs in the "big city" you refer to and see what comes up. If you get offered a good opportunity, move closer to that opportunity. I'm sure that would put you close to a gym and other conveniences you may enjoy. Might also help with your social/dating life, if that is a consideration.

8 years is a long time in one job for people our age these days (30s).

I worked in a small-town office for a while. Most people commuted in from 30-60 minutes away. The co-workers that lived in town would tell you they hated everything about it other than the short 5 minute commute and the fact that housing was cheap. The younger people hated it especially, except for the people into hunting/fishing, etc.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:31 pm

Valuethinker wrote:Hang tight until you get another job.

Moving half way risks being worst of both worlds.

Moving to town sounds unpalatable to you, too.

Reassess in say 12 months time when you have had a decent go at getting another job. *that* job may require you to move.
I have reassessed this every year for the past several years but couldn't convince myself to make the move. I do really need to start looking around, it's easy to get comfortable in a job even though that is the wrong thing to do. I hear time and time again that the only way to get a significant pay raise in this field (tech) is to jump ship.

tim1999
Posts: 3410
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:34 pm

tony5412 wrote: I hear time and time again that the only way to get a significant pay raise in this field (tech) is to jump ship.
I don't work in tech, but this is very true in my field, and true with many jobs in large companies. Sure, a few will get numerous promotions and big raises, but most don't.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:47 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:OP:
I'd start applying for jobs in the "big city" you refer to and see what comes up. If you get offered a good opportunity, move closer to that opportunity. I'm sure that would put you close to a gym and other conveniences you may enjoy. Might also help with your social/dating life, if that is a consideration.

8 years is a long time in one job for people our age these days (30s).
Yes that needs to be the focus right now. I have looked around in the past a bit but decided to stay put after taking all factors into consideration (not just pay) when comparing jobs. I haven't done any serious job searching since I started. The work environment is not bad but there has been a lot of belt tightening in recent years and pay raises are harder to come by as well as opportunities for advancement.
Cherokee8215 wrote:I worked in a small-town office for a while. Most people commuted in from 30-60 minutes away. The co-workers that lived in town would tell you they hated everything about it other than the short 5 minute commute and the fact that housing was cheap. The younger people hated it especially, except for the people into hunting/fishing, etc.
The small town I was referring to doesn't even have outdoor activities. It's an old rust belt town that has seen its best days decades ago.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:24 pm

Ok I have pretty much ruled out option #1 (living 5 minutes from work)

I was looking around and did come across a decent townhouse at a reasonable price about 20-25 minutes from work. I would be paying $200 more than I am paying now for my current mortgage (if I took out a 30 year mortgage on the condo with 20% down). This includes taxes, insurance, and HOA fees. I would save around $200 per month in gas...so it would even itself out. An equivalent apartment would likely cost me an additional $300-400 to rent.

I would save 45 minutes driving time and 70 miles per day. This averages out to 350 miles per week, 1400 miles per month, and over 16,000 miles per year. So instead of putting 25K miles on my car, I would be putting 10K miles on the car per year. The car may last at least twice as long as it would now (or perhaps not as much as I think since there would be more stop and go driving).

Another plus is that I wouldn't have to deal with yard work, lawn care, or snow removal. I would have enough room to be able to setup a gym.

The downside is that I would have an extra 80K in debt on top of my current mortgage and would then be a landlord, which could be good or bad depending on who I rent it to.

User avatar
Crimsontide
Posts: 722
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:32 pm
Location: DFW Metromess

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Crimsontide » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:42 pm

tony5412 wrote:
Crimsontide wrote:I have been having this same debate in my mind for the past twenty years :oops: guess I'll stay put now that retirement is only a few months away. My advice to you, get the commute out of your life as soon as possible, it steals your soul and your life. Do as I say, not as I did :(
How long is your commute?
90 miles RT.

User avatar
gunn_show
Posts: 1422
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:02 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by gunn_show » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:57 pm

tony5412 wrote:
tyrion wrote:I don't know what kind of job you have, but is there any chance you could work from home one or two days a week? Work 9 hour shifts with every other Friday off? My company has done a lot of this type of thing (although my job function means I don't get to participate). It makes it easier if you're not making that commute every single day Monday through Friday.
I could do a lot of my work from home. This has been brought up by other co-workers and the boss has not been receptive to the idea. He likes going into the office every day because that is pretty where most of his friend are and he thinks everyone else should want to be there everyday too (even if it isn't necessary). I could probably convince him to let me work from home one day a week but then the other co-workers would get jealous and there could be political issues. There is really no reason why everyone in the office couldn't either work 4 10 hours shifts or telecommute one day a week. There are a couple of other departments at work (including HR) that does this. Maybe if I talked it over with the other co-workers, we can all bring it up with the boss at the next meeting.

Of course this might backfire if the boss went along with it. The last time we brought this up, the boss said something about not having to use all of our vacation time if he were able to work 4/10s. The reasoning is that if we get three days off a week then we wouldn't have to use much of our vacation time....even though we're working a couple extra hours a day.
Frankly this doesn't sound like a great, or even good, place to work. Stagnant pay and advancement, an old school boss that likes going into office and thus mandates everyone else do it, horrid horrid commute. Other than being "safe" what are the positives? Haven't heard any. I am your age and have taken many risks in my career vs. safe route, and it has worked out very well for me. Of course many life factors and financial factors (no debt, confident resume and experience) truly go into how you approach your career, but this sounds like an ideal time for you to kick the tires and then some.

And if you agree, I would start out with requesting at least 1-2 work from home days per week, if not more. I work from home selling software full time and I do just fine, hit my numbers, make my calls, talk to and web-chat with my teammates all day, no issues. It's not for everyone, but man the 100 foot commute in my PJs are non-negotiable for me daily. If you have the skills and guts to go find another job, then you have the leverage to ask your current boss/employer for the things you want like telecommuting (and perhaps a long overdue raise?). Because, if they so no, who cares? Go find another job and screw them. The fact this boss is lording over you with his preferences, and trying to use vacation time as leverage against 4/10 splits is ridiculous. There are many employers that offer BOTH and do just fine in business world. Many gov/military/defense contractors use those splits and get 2-3 weeks vacation. Happy employees = better results.

As others have said getting more detailed responses is tough, not knowing exactly where you live or what career field you are in. Some variables may not apply or be possible depending on what you do and where you live.
Whatever you do, if you move, don't rent to family, usually never works out. And start out in a new place renting before you buy.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

User avatar
gunn_show
Posts: 1422
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:02 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by gunn_show » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:00 pm

Cherokee8215 wrote:
tony5412 wrote: I hear time and time again that the only way to get a significant pay raise in this field (tech) is to jump ship.
I don't work in tech, but this is very true in my field, and true with many jobs in large companies. Sure, a few will get numerous promotions and big raises, but most don't.
100%. I am in tech and have changed jobs/employers several times within 4 years to get raises/promotions. Hoping the current post will finally be the long-term play ...
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

User avatar
kenyan
Posts: 2922
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by kenyan » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:19 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Commutes are tougher than you realize. A sizable percentage of your life wasted, especially if it's in a car. You are using up a lot of coping energy in a car.
I live in SoCal, which is one of the places that people think nothing of spending 2-2.5 hours on a roundtrip commute each day. Some of them vanpool, which is admittedly better (especially since all of the vanpoolers work shorter days and never stay for late meetings due to 'having to catch the van'), but long commutes just feel like a waste of life to me.

In my mind, the math is not 2.5 hours roundtrip / 24 hours = ~10% of your day commuting; it's 2.5 hours roundtrip / (24 hours - 7 hours sleep - 10 hours work - 1.5 hours getting ready/breakfast/dinner = 5.5 hours potential free time/family time) = 45% of your free time during the week spent on commuting.

Spending half of your free time doing something annoying/frustrating? I just can't abide that. I understand that there are circumstances that cause people to take on commutes they'd rather not live with, but I could never do it long-term.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

User avatar
Meg77
Posts: 2311
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:09 pm
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by Meg77 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:13 pm

Commutes are terrible; they eat up a lot of the time and energy that could be spent doing all the things that boost people's happiness the most - things like socializing, exercising, cooking. The only thing I feel like doing after a commute is drinking and plopping in front of the TV - not the best habits. I would start looking for a new job. Then once you get it (and the corresponding raise!) you can re-evaluate your housing options and move closer to said new job.

Also, rent the place to your dad. Sure it could get messy, but if he runs into financial difficulty you'd probably end up involved anyway. In the meantime you'll have a trusted tenant taking care of an appreciating investment.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:30 am

Tommy Gunn! Weren't you in Rocky 5? :)
tommy_gunn wrote:I don't know what kind of job you have, but is there any chance you could work from home one or two days a week? Work 9 hour shifts with every other Friday off? My company has done a lot of this type of thing (although my job function means I don't get to participate). It makes it easier if you're not making that commute every single day Monday through Friday.
I do software development/IT. For most of my work, I really don't need to be in the office. Most of the others in the department do have to be there to do most of their work...although I don't see any reason why the boss shouldn't let them work 4/10s and allow me to telecommute once a week (or even work 4/10s). I don't want to be the only one to work 4 days because that will just make the others jealous and could be a political issue.
tommy_gunn wrote:Frankly this doesn't sound like a great, or even good, place to work. Stagnant pay and advancement, an old school boss that likes going into office and thus mandates everyone else do it, horrid horrid commute. Other than being "safe" what are the positives? Haven't heard any. I am your age and have taken many risks in my career vs. safe route, and it has worked out very well for me. Of course many life factors and financial factors (no debt, confident resume and experience) truly go into how you approach your career, but this sounds like an ideal time for you to kick the tires and then some.
Here are some of the reasons I have stayed there - I built up a decent amount of vacation time, co-workers in the department are hard working and get along pretty well (although interdepartmental politics are a pain in the ***, which is why I don't want my boss's job), flexible schedule (decent work hours, no big deal if a few minutes late or need to take a few hours off to take care of business), the boss doesn't micromanage, the boss does a good job shielding us from upper management, 40 hours work week, very rarely called during off hours

With that being said, the boss seems a bit insecure and I sometimes get the feeling that he sees me as competition. Yet, at the same time, he needs me because nobody else in the group has the same skillset (not better or worse, just different). We get along for the most part but I have to be careful not to show him up (or be perceived as showing him up). I think he is afraid that I am either going to take his job or quit on him.
tommy_gunn wrote:And if you agree, I would start out with requesting at least 1-2 work from home days per week, if not more. I work from home selling software full time and I do just fine, hit my numbers, make my calls, talk to and web-chat with my teammates all day, no issues. It's not for everyone, but man the 100 foot commute in my PJs are non-negotiable for me daily. If you have the skills and guts to go find another job, then you have the leverage to ask your current boss/employer for the things you want like telecommuting (and perhaps a long overdue raise?). Because, if they so no, who cares? Go find another job and screw them. The fact this boss is lording over you with his preferences, and trying to use vacation time as leverage against 4/10 splits is ridiculous. There are many employers that offer BOTH and do just fine in business world. Many gov/military/defense contractors use those splits and get 2-3 weeks vacation. Happy employees = better results.
I like your commute! I think I would only get one day a week telecommuting max if I were to bring this up.
tommy_gunn wrote:As others have said getting more detailed responses is tough, not knowing exactly where you live or what career field you are in. Some variables may not apply or be possible depending on what you do and where you live. Whatever you do, if you move, don't rent to family, usually never works out. And start out in a new place renting before you buy.
Thanks for the tips.
Last edited by tony5412 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:46 am

Meg77 wrote:Commutes are terrible; they eat up a lot of the time and energy that could be spent doing all the things that boost people's happiness the most - things like socializing, exercising, cooking. The only thing I feel like doing after a commute is drinking and plopping in front of the TV - not the best habits. I would start looking for a new job. Then once you get it (and the corresponding raise!) you can re-evaluate your housing options and move closer to said new job.
My head spins as I think about all the hours that I have commuted since I have been working.

Sounds like a good plan. There is a chance that I will find something closer to home but not a very good chance. Most of the jobs in my field that I see closer to home are entry level jobs that would pay less. More than likely, I would have to move if I do find something that pays better.
Meg77 wrote:Also, rent the place to your dad. Sure it could get messy, but if he runs into financial difficulty you'd probably end up involved anyway. In the meantime you'll have a trusted tenant taking care of an appreciating investment.
Good points, guess I will cross that bridge if I get to it. If I move then I will probably just rent. I wouldn't want to buy a place and then potentially deal with two mortgages (regardless of who the tenant is).
Last edited by tony5412 on Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:57 am

tony5412 wrote:Ok I have pretty much ruled out option #1 (living 5 minutes from work)

I was looking around and did come across a decent townhouse at a reasonable price about 20-25 minutes from work. I would be paying $200 more than I am paying now for my current mortgage (if I took out a 30 year mortgage on the condo with 20% down). This includes taxes, insurance, and HOA fees. I would save around $200 per month in gas...so it would even itself out. An equivalent apartment would likely cost me an additional $300-400 to rent.

I would save 45 minutes driving time and 70 miles per day. This averages out to 350 miles per week, 1400 miles per month, and over 16,000 miles per year. So instead of putting 25K miles on my car, I would be putting 10K miles on the car per year. The car may last at least twice as long as it would now (or perhaps not as much as I think since there would be more stop and go driving).

Another plus is that I wouldn't have to deal with yard work, lawn care, or snow removal. I would have enough room to be able to setup a gym.

The downside is that I would have an extra 80K in debt on top of my current mortgage and would then be a landlord, which could be good or bad depending on who I rent it to.
Ok so this option wasn't as good as I thought it would be. I actually traveled the route during rush hour (instead of relying on mapquest to give me an accurate commute time). It took me 33 minutes to get from work to this townhouse (and I barely missed a train along the way which would have added another 5-10 minutes). So basically I would save only 10 minutes each way (20 minutes per day) and that's assuming I don't get delayed by a train. There were many stop lights as well. It takes almost as long to travel 15 miles through town as it does to travel 40+ miles down the expressway.

saladdin
Posts: 535
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by saladdin » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:30 am

I don't think the commute is soul sucking, the job is soul sucking.

I live exactly 100 miles round trip to work. Made the almost hour drive each way for past 10 years. I will never, ever up heave my life to move closer to work. The drive sucks but I catch up on shows and it isn't a complete waste of time.

There is nothing more soul destroying then picking up your life just so you can have a 10 minute drive to work.


Another thing, most people who live close to work here still have a 20-30 minute drive. I'd only pick up 30 minutes one way. No Thanks.

MDfive21
Posts: 266
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:16 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by MDfive21 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:03 am

if you're unhappy enough with the status quo that you're ready to move, why not figure out where you really want to live and find a job near there? if it's the nearby 'big city' find a job there and move 2 miles down the road from it. if it's another city, you can move there too. you haven't mentioned anything (other than dad being nearby) that's keeping you in the same area, but even so, people move and try out different places.

all the negatives to switching jobs can be overcome. you can find another 'good boss'. you built up vacation? negotiate that with the new employer so you don't lose vacation. you'd be coming in as a mid-senior employee; there's no reason they would expect you to take a cut in vacation time or pay. in fact you could negotiate more vacation if they think you're worth it. also, negotiate a relocation package.

4stripes
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:53 pm
Location: New York

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by 4stripes » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:22 am

I've always preferred to live where I want to be on my free time. That's my strategy for happiness. Proximity to work is secondary, though I haven't ever commuted more than 40 min.

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:01 pm

saladdin wrote:I don't think the commute is soul sucking, the job is soul sucking.
It can be sometimes but many jobs are these days. I am not sure the grass would be greener elsewhere.
saladdin wrote:I live exactly 100 miles round trip to work. Made the almost hour drive each way for past 10 years. I will never, ever up heave my life to move closer to work. The drive sucks but I catch up on shows and it isn't a complete
waste of time.
+1
I use this time to listen to podcasts.
saladdin wrote:There is nothing more soul destroying then picking up your life just so you can have a 10 minute drive to work.

Another thing, most people who live close to work here still have a 20-30 minute drive. I'd only pick up 30 minutes one way. No Thanks.
Same situation here. If I were to move, it wouldn't add too much time to the day....30 minutes max

tony5412
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:09 am

Re: Should I consider moving closer to work?

Post by tony5412 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:12 pm

MDfive21 wrote:if you're unhappy enough with the status quo that you're ready to move, why not figure out where you really want to live and find a job near there? if it's the nearby 'big city' find a job there and move 2 miles down the road from it. if it's another city, you can move there too. you haven't mentioned anything (other than dad being nearby) that's keeping you in the same area, but even so, people move and try out different places.

all the negatives to switching jobs can be overcome. you can find another 'good boss'. you built up vacation? negotiate that with the new employer so you don't lose vacation. you'd be coming in as a mid-senior employee; there's no reason they would expect you to take a cut in vacation time or pay. in fact you could negotiate more vacation if they think you're worth it. also, negotiate a relocation package.
That sounds like a good starting point. I know where I don't want to live. I need to figure out whether I would enjoy actually living in a big city as opposed to just visiting on occasion. Perhaps I need to do a little bit of traveling and stay in a couple of cities that I'm considering in order to figure out the answer to this question.

Most of the jobs in my field are located in big cities. If there were more job opportunities where I am at now, I probably wouldn't be thinking about moving (except maybe to a warmer climate :)). My main reasons for moving are 1) finding a place with more career opportunities and 2) expand my network and meet new people my own age with a similar educational background which I don't have an opportunity to do much of now. I cannot say I'm really into the "bar scene" or the arts or other things that attract people to big cities. I like sporting events/concerts but that's an occasional event and only go a few times a year. Most of my family is in the area and that is the main reason why I have stayed. Most of my hobbies/interests can be done from pretty much anywhere.

Post Reply