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December 22, 2008


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I used to live in CA and had a horrible commute (one hour each way, if I was lucky). I said never again. Not just the time but the stress and strain (road rage, anyone).

I value my time and well-being over money. Now I live 10 miles from work (used to be 6) and it takes 15-30 minutes depending on the time of day and time of year. I won't ever go back to having a long commute.

I am in Philly and have a 15 mile/30-40 minute commute. My job is out of center city in the NE (towards the burbs). I am in the NW, also out of center city (and towards the burbs, too!).

I am considering moving to the city now. The price would be about the same if I rent, and my commute would be 15 miles/20 minutes. But I would also be $1.35 subway ride away from everything in the city... as opposed to a $6 regional rail ride.

Now I just need to decide if I should rent or buy, and when.

I live in Los Angeles, make over $100k and commute 6 miles each way. I can go home for lunch if I want. Part of keeping your sanity in this town is minimizing your time in traffic, I've always kept my commute to 30 minutes or less (short by LA standards). I definitely pay more for housing, but I don't care, I'd rather have a life. Plus what's the point of living in a big city if you buy in the far flung suburbs, you're too far away to take advantage of the theater and restaurants and other benefits of the big town and still paying inflated prices.

I used to have a 15 minute one way commute. Recently I doubled my income and now have a 45 minute one way commute. I'd prefer to live closer to work but my wife likes where we live so we're staying. And honestly, I'm ok with it. I go with some other employees in the company vehicle so I don't pay for gas at all. I also work 4 days a week so it's basically 4 really long days and then 3 days of bliss. Not too bad. Though, I probably wouldn't commute more than 45 minutes one way. In fact, if it weren't for the pay and the 4 day workweek, I'd either have passed by the job or been a bit more stubborn about my desire to move closer to work.

I live in the DC area and work in a non-metro accessible part of Maryland. My commute is 15 minutes when there is no traffic. With traffic, it averages about 45 minutes to an hour. This is for a 12 mile stretch, mind you. I can't stand it.

We are moving soon, to semi-rural Pennsylvania, and we're specifically looking for a home that is within 10-20 minutes of the part of town we'll be working in. Even in inclement weather it still won't be as bad as DC. No more commuting. I am so tired of it.

I could actually walk to work in 25 minutes, but I usually take the bus and I get there in 10 or 15 minutes.
The longest commute I'll do is 30 minutes, regardless of the salary that is being offered.

I don't mind the time spent commuting if it means I get to use an 'alternative' means. I use to travel 35 miles via vanpool which took about 45 minutes. Then I switched modes to a commuter rail which involved walking a mile to the train, a 45 minute train ride and then a 10 minute shuttle bus for a grand total of 1 hour 15 minutes to go 35 miles. I liked the longer commute better because I was polishing off a novel a week on the train and got about 30 minutes of exercise to boot. Now I live 2 miles from work and walk each way--and no question, that is the best commute I've ever had. Sadly, I'm not reading as many library books these days.

Ironically, your friend in NJ probably lived there because he couldn't afford anything nice in NYC. It's been beaten to death over multiple threads, but $150k is peanuts in New York. When I lived there, between myself and my husband we made a fair bit more than that, and never even considered home ownership.

I make six figures and have a 15 minute (subway!) commute here in Toronto. My bosses, who obviously earn significantly more than I do, all live downtown too. For me, you couldn't pay me enough to live in the suburbs, or to have a job I had to drive to.

I live more than 2 miles away from work and walk and it's a great commute - even though it takes me the best part of 50 minutes. Like guiness you couldn't pay me enough to have a job I had to drive to, and you wouldn't catch me living in the suburbs of a big (London sized) city.

On the other hand, there's a company that I'd really like to work for based in a small town about 40 minutes train ride from the centre of my city. If I worked there my commute would increase to around 1hr 20 and it would be all public transport. They'd have to pay me more to make up for that.

As Nikhila said, it makes a huge difference when public transportation is involved. I'm in Philly, and my drive to work in the suburbs would be 1 - 1.5 hours in traffic (for about 20 miles). I take a 10 min trolley ride from my house, a 40 min train to the burbs, and a 5 min shuttle ride to work. Having the ability to read , catch up on email, and play DS / iPhone games is a godsend.

I wonder if most of the effect here is simply age. I'd imagine in most of these large cities, 20-somethings tend to rent downtown, whereas the 50-somethings buy and raise their families in the suburbs. Of course you'd expect the 50-somethings to earn more.

I live in the "greater Boston area".. my husband recently switched jobs and his commute went from 30 minutes one-way to roughly 75 minutes one-way. Of course, his salary almost doubled. He tolerates the commute because the increased income means I can stay home with our 3-month-old daughter.

We live in the DC area right now and though we're paying through the nose with a new mortgage, we love our house and our location. My husband has a short walk to work, and I am a short metro ride away to mine (while listening to books on cd). We walk to our grocery store, library, mall, kids' park/trails and metro station. You can't put a price on the quality of life you have living close to where you work and play. I lived in a place where the commute was 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic and will NEVER do that again........

I wouldn't consider working somewhere where I had to commute more than 30 minutes unless I had no choice or didn't mind moving closer. It's just not worth it.

I used to work in the financial district of NYC while living in the suburbs, and I had an hour and a half commute each way. Even though it was mostly by train, I was miserable, and I hope I never have to do anything similar again. I moved, and can now walk to work, which had made my life so much more enjoyable.

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