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Thread: Housing Choices

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    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Housing Choices

    My wife and I found a near perfect house. Good schools, neighbors we already know, and it has plenty of room for our family of 4. The problem, location. Although the house is only 9 miles away as the crow flies and 13 miles away via surface street, a co-worker who lives in the neighborhood tells me the commute in a car can be anywhere from 30 minutes to well over an hour. Probably not as big of a deal to me on a bicycle since I would probably filter past a lot of the stop and go stuff, but for my wife who drives the commute is a deal breaker.

    So now everyone thinks were nuts staying in a place that like the grinch’s heart is two sizes too small instead of just putting up with the crazy commute time. It never ceases to amaze me what people will put with just to get a bigger home. To me two hours extra a day with my family is a lot more valuable than a 1000 extra square feet.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

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    Senior Member Juilin's Avatar
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    Commutes being the way they are for people these days, often 50 miles and more, your situation doesnt sound too bad. Then again, you weighed your priorities, and made the call. As my british friend likes to say, "good on ya mate."

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    No-Pants Island bbonnn's Avatar
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    I know, people in the Bay Area commute from crazy places like Modesto and Stockton and Petaluma, just so they can buy a huge house for cheap. I want to ask them, is your time really so worthless that you can waste 2-4 hours of it every day in traffic? Enjoy your picket fence, sirs. It's too bad you never get to see it during daylight hours.

    We picked our current place based on biking distance from my work. Not everyone can do this - we rent, and my job's pretty stable - but I'm amazed at how many people are surprised at the basis for our choice, that distance was even a factor.

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    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Dude, I would have gone for the bigger, better, perfect house.

    Then I would have bought a bike for my wife.
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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    I've heard that commuting in the ATL metro area can be brutal, because of the combination of overloaded roads, poor public transit, and high real estate prices. Someone told me that house prices drop by about $10,000 per mile from the city

    It sounds like you made a good choice to me. But I like jeff-o's suggestion as well!!!

    If you keep looking, I hope you can find a place that's the right size, the right distance, and the right price for your family
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    babyjuniorsonofa***** The_B.O.C.'s Avatar
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    my wife and i are looking at buying a house and i am having a hard time stressing how important it is that the location of our house be cycle commute friendly, but i'm still working on it.

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    GATC
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    When we were house-shopping I admit to having been leery of places that were a shorter commute than the rental we had at that time, though starting at the top rather than bottom of the big hill could have been nice.

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    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    The situation's the same everywhere, it seems. The closer you want to be to a main commerce area, the more you'll pay, and you'll spend more time stuck in traffic for it.
    My g/f and I are pricing condos around the Redmond, WA area. It's insane what people are willing to pay for their convenience. Three new locations are pre-selling their new builds: All within 0.5 miles of Redmond Town Center, which means they're right by a couple of Cingular and Microsoft buildings. Prices start in the $300k range, and that's for a place that's between 470 and 620 sq.ft. The 1200 sq.ft. models are going in the $500k range. The same holds true for Bellevue, Bothell, and Sammamish. If you want to live near the tech centers, restaurants, and shopping malls, don't expect less than a $400k price tag for anything over 800 sq.ft.
    Meanwhile, we could move to a 1250 sq. ft. condo in Woodinville (not near the tech centers, or the two majour highways) for under $200k. My g/f has to drive (perm. injuries) and her commute would be about the same because she can avoid the highways. If we move to Woodinville, my commute would unfortunately become a 1.5 mile ride instead of 7.5 miles. I guess I'd just have to go and ride more after work.
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    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    Dude, I would have gone for the bigger, better, perfect house.

    Then I would have bought a bike for my wife.

    Trust me my youngest daughter and I have wasted good chunks of the last few years trying to get my wife on a bike. Sigh...
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuddha
    Trust me my youngest daughter and I have wasted good chunks of the last few years trying to get my wife on a bike. Sigh...
    My wife won't touch a bike (discomfort), and won't go near a SWB recumbent (balance issues) but she's smitten with her trike...
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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Speaking from experience with commutes in the ATL area....I'd stay in the smaller house and make do with what room you have.

    I just took a 30K a year cut in salary to stop making a 22 mile commute and now only have 8.5 miles, which I now do soley by bicycle most of the time. The previous 22 miles timewise took 1.5 hours each way. That's 3 hours a day of stop and go misery. I just decided my life was too short to live like that. Besides, the radio stations here in the ATL suck, BIG TIME!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere
    Speaking from experience with commutes in the ATL area....I'd stay in the smaller house and make do with what room you have.

    I just took a 30K a year cut in salary to stop making a 22 mile commute and now only have 8.5 miles, which I now do soley by bicycle most of the time. The previous 22 miles timewise took 1.5 hours each way. That's 3 hours a day of stop and go misery. I just decided my life was too short to live like that. Besides, the radio stations here in the ATL suck, BIG TIME!
    When the radio stations suck get XM !

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    duh-river foe
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    I'm of the opinion that extra space is not worth wasting money on it if you're out of the neighborhood you want to be in. Can you get rid of stuff or creatively store it inside of your home? Would you live near parks and open space areas? Can you accept some living areas being smaller? If you feel inclined, check out http://www.simpleliving.net/main/custom.asp?recid=3 , the forums on simpleliving.net . The people on there are top-notch at creative solutions and outlooks. Remember to keep your sense of adventure active!

    As a personal anecdote, BF and I moved to the Boston area and bought a place in the exact neighborhood we wanted for less money than we had expected to spend. We went house-shopping in the low season (Dec/Jan) and got a place that was aesthetically ugly but where everything works. Some of the living areas are oddly shaped, but I really love being able to reach from the dining table into the fridge without getting up.

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    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuddha

    So now everyone thinks were nuts staying in a place that like the grinch’s heart is two sizes too small instead of just putting up with the crazy commute time. It never ceases to amaze me what people will put with just to get a bigger home. To me two hours extra a day with my family is a lot more valuable than a 1000 extra square feet.
    Agree 100%. A small managable house in a neighborhood I like is much more important to me than a big house in a mediocre location. Not only that, but older (smaller) homes are often built of better quality than new developments. Once you own a home you can always make changes, major or minor.

    Unrelated: Whenever I watch "House Hunters" on HGTV it baffles me why people even comment on things like the carpet, countertops, or other cosmetic things that can easily be changed.

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    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garydhatch
    When the radio stations suck get XM !
    Oh Please - get Sirius will you.

    +10 on the suckiness of ATL radio stations.

    I just can't fathom the prices in the new subdivisions going up here in East Cobb. In Particular, one bundle of McMansion cluster homes with no yard, reach out the windows and shake hands with your neighbor in their living room, no view and right on Lower Roswell so you get 24-hour traffic noise. Listed at $1 million+ Say What??
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

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    Conservative Hippie
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    I chose my job partly based on where I wanted to live, which was primarily chosen for the good schools in the area and as an area to support my hobbies; bicycling, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, etc.

  17. #17
    Survival of the Fitest TheDL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere
    I just took a 30K a year cut in salary to stop making a 22 mile commute ...
    *sigh* If I did that I'd only be making about 2k a year, and I commute 18 miles each way.
    ...take your protein pills and put your helmet on...
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    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    I just can't fathom the prices in the new subdivisions going up here in East Cobb. In Particular, one bundle of McMansion cluster homes with no yard, reach out the windows and shake hands with your neighbor in their living room, no view and right on Lower Roswell so you get 24-hour traffic noise. Listed at $1 million+ Say What??
    East Cobb is the land of McMansions. The infill homes they're building near my inlaws are listed at 1 million+ and make their 5 bedroom house look tiny. Of course they're built on lots the size of postage stamps but people don't seem to mind.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

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    Urban "Dirtbag" chennai's Avatar
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    If you are thinking about putting more money into housing, can you add to the house that you have?

    [I have visited Atlanta serveral times and have never figured the place out. Once I set out to write an article about Atlanta and ended up talking about Atlanta's history. After I visited the MLK sites, looked at a cool deco building, and took a walk in the park with the civil war mural, I could never figure out anything else to do with my freetime.

    Except for a small part of the downtown, everyplace my hosts took me was either a shopping mall or looked like it belonged next to a shopping mall.]

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