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How much does bike commuting factor into your moving decisions?

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View Poll Results: How much does bike commuting factor into your moving decisions?
it's priority #1
10.42%
it's a top 3 priority
64.58%
it's a top 10 priority
16.67%
it's a minor consideration
4.17%
it's no consideration at all
4.17%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

How much does bike commuting factor into your moving decisions?

Old 10-24-17, 04:23 PM
  #1  
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How much does bike commuting factor into your moving decisions?

my wife and i are looking to move our family into a larger home (our current 2 bed/1 bath condo is starting to feel a little tight for our family of 2 adults and 2 toddlers).

we have found two prospective properties that will both suit our needs space-wise, but they're in two different locations. they are very similarly priced, with generally similar features, and both in great neighborhoods.

property A is only a few blocks away from our current home, my bike commute would be virtually the same as it is now.

property B is located several miles away in a different neighborhood and would add about ~3 miles to my current 5 mile one-way commute. it would also likely change the route from a mainly city side-street route to a mainly MUP one.

the issue is that my wife and i both like property B better, but i'm struggling with whether or not i like it better enough to offset the longer commute i would have. i know a 3 mile one-way increase doesn't sound like much, but that's roughly 20-25 minutes of additional commute time per day, and time is something that i just don't seem to have enough of these days. is it worth sacrificing that time each and every day to get the property we prefer? i don't know what to do.

my wife works from home so she has no daily commute.


what about you guys? how much do you prioritize bike commuting potential when moving to a new home?

Last edited by Steely Dan; 10-24-17 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 10-24-17, 04:40 PM
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After my office moving closer several times and my commute shrinking from 6 to 2 miles I'm going to be moving further away from the office and end up with a 6 mile commute again. The commuting time was a small factor in things, but overall I'm going to be better off after I move and that will outweigh any negatives from the longer commute. And the longer commute will take me right past my current home, so the ride wont be much different.

Last edited by no motor?; 10-24-17 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 10-24-17, 04:52 PM
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Do you like property B 20 Minutes more?
Are you going to work the same place forever?
How about proximity to the kids' future schools?
I couldn't bike to work at all before moving...it was basically a nice surprise.
If we moved again, it would be a factor but I don't think I'd be splitting hairs for 3 miles.
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Old 10-24-17, 04:59 PM
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If the new place is still under 10 miles from work, that sounds like a pretty manageable commute.
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Old 10-24-17, 05:00 PM
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I'd be on 'practical to bike commute' side - I seldom biked to work before I moved to where I am - basically because I was doing 7-10 running workouts per week, and had free parking - my own spot, actually. (I was in a position that rotates every 2 years - not going to happen again, at least for some time)

My commute is just under 20km (~12 miles) - I'd prefer not to get much further.
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Old 10-24-17, 05:58 PM
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Choose the one that is a better investment.
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Old 10-24-17, 06:19 PM
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From the information given I'd personally take B. Yes, three miles is an extra 25 minutes per day, but you can also look at it as 25 minutes of extra exercise that you probably wouldn't be getting, and a round trip of 16 miles per day isn't all that exorbitant.

Second, you're an MUP. That's rather ideal that you don't have to contend with traffic, even if it is side street traffic.

Last and perhaps most important of all, you like the property better.
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Old 10-24-17, 06:52 PM
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I once drove to work for about nine months. It was awful and I hope to never do it again.

I'm fine with public transit, walking, cycling, or a mix of the three, but the last thing I need to do when I'm half awake in the morning or exhausted in the evening is operate a large machine. The bike commute is my favorite, because I like cycling, and it helps me wake up and/or relax.
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Old 10-24-17, 08:41 PM
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....my wife and i both like property B better....

Easy choice.
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Old 10-25-17, 06:29 AM
  #10  
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We did it...

...my wife and I repaired, repainted, re-bathroomed, re-decked, re-landscaped, and recarpeted a suburban home two years ago so that we could sell it pronto. Did that. We sorted, gave away, junked, donated and sold about 1/3 of our possessions.


Then my wife found a suitable house that is 8.75 miles from my work location. We met the sellers and accomplished a private sale in less than 60 days.


I now am a full time bike commuter, in my 3rd year. Gone is my daily 2.5 hours in the car routine.


Oh, and @Steely Dan, I would recommend property B. 8 miles is a warmup.


Best thing we've ever accomplished together.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 10-25-17 at 06:31 AM. Reason: Edit to recommend B
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Old 10-25-17, 06:35 AM
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We moved to where my wife thinks we should. Luckily, ours is next to a nice bike path that would take me straight to work (about 25 miles) away.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:01 AM
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I applied my answer toward moving to another employer (rather than home) {top 3 priority**

regarding where I live, after having stayed in one place for 27 years & raising two adult children (gotta be a better way to express that) We're glad we chose to be close to our town center & schools. we both commuted by car when we got married & moved to where were are now. we tried to keep the car commute to approx 30 min. which, in our area, works out to be a decent bike commute too (mileage wise)!
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Old 10-25-17, 08:33 AM
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I voted for 'top 3 priority' but would probably opt for house B in your scenario assuming that there's really a significant preference for it other than the commute distance. I've always considered the commute distance&character but the work location has ended up moving around some after we chose a house location. First house we bought was when we were in a temporary work location and picked a spot about 8 miles from that location but only 4 miles from the likely future location. Our current house was only about a 2 mile commute along a MUP but the work location then changed to be about 6 miles in the other direction along the same MUP.

It'd be a shame to go for house A just for the shorter commute and then have your work location move.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:39 AM
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I'd go with B, 8 miles isn't that bad...for me. If you commute for fitness reasons, its not bad but if that's your mode of transportation it may be on the tail end of acceptable. Regardless, it can't be more than an hour round trip.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by VRC
Do you like property B 20 Minutes more?
that's what i don't know. perhaps a few commuting test runs are in order.



Originally Posted by VRC
Are you going to work the same place forever?
forever is a profoundly long time, but barring unforeseen circumstances, i certainly see myself staying at my current job for at least the next 5 years and beyond.



Originally Posted by VRC
How about proximity to the kids' future schools?
both properties are within a 1.5 block walking distance of good quality K-8 neighborhood schools.




Originally Posted by alan s
Choose the one that is a better investment.
they're similar enough property types in similar enough neighborhoods that neither one is anywhere close to being obviously better than the other from an investment perspective.




Originally Posted by mcours2006
Second, you're an MUP. That's rather ideal that you don't have to contend with traffic, even if it is side street traffic.
i'm not sure that the MUP in question is actually better than my current city side-street route. the MUP runs along a canal and is crossed by extremely busy streets every half mile that have obnoxiously long traffic light cycles. i've ridden the MUP in question in the past with mixed results of being able to pace my riding to the timing of the traffic lights.

again, some test rides could probably help me sort some of this out in my own mind.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:44 AM
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When I moved, the commute was a top-3 factor, but I rent an apartment. Buying, it would likely be lower in the list.

My commute is 8 miles door to door, 5.x miles if I don't take the Greenway. That's pretty similar to your choices - most of the time, I choose to take the 8 miles with the Greenway. The commute time is about the same either way.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:03 AM
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Sounds like you are in a good position. If it’s a buyer’s market, throw in a low bid on one or the other and see if you get any movement. If the sellers know you have viable options, you should get at least one to come down in price. If it’s a seller’s market, you are SOL.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:24 AM
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Pretty low on the priority list.

Last house I offered on (before the one I bought) was one the market one day, shown to 7 sets of people, every set made an offer by the next day.

The winner came in at £100K over asking price with an all-cash offer.

Next house, we put an offer on within a few days.

Needless to say, decent places are off the market really quickly in Southsea.

The island is small (9mi2) so it doesn't make a difference really from a biking perspective. Also, the Southsea market is really hot right now, so I don't worry about it.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Sounds like you are in a good position. If it’s a buyer’s market, throw in a low bid on one or the other and see if you get any movement. If the sellers know you have viable options, you should get at least one to come down in price. If it’s a seller’s market, you are SOL.
it's definitely a buyers market in chicago right now. property B has been on the market for many weeks. property A just came on this past weekend, so it may take a while before they start playing ball, but property B might now be ripe for the picking.

we were told property B is owned by a couple going through a divorce who just need to unload the property so that they can move on with their settlement and lives. it seems awfully ripe for a low-ball, i just need to get comfortable with the commuting situation.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 10-25-17 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:30 AM
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If you can't commute by bike, can you ride at other times?
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Old 10-25-17, 10:32 AM
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I chose top 3 priority. When we moved to where we are now. I would only look at homes that I was able to bike commute from. So the longest distance we looked was 10 miles. Something someone told me when we were buying this house(our first purchase after 32 yrs of renting) was buy what you love so you will not have buyers remorse. That being said this house was not perfect in that I loved everything about it, but I love my commute to work enough that it totally makes up for it.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
If you can't commute by bike, can you ride at other times?
not much. with a 1 and 3 year old at home, commuting is how i get in >90% of my riding. sometimes i load the rugrats into the burley for weekend rides, but that's about it these days for recreational rides.

toddlers demand an extreme amount of a parent's (former) free-time.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 10-25-17 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:41 PM
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True. My kids are grown and gone, but I remember. But there must be a way, somehow. If you move and end up driving to work and back, does that free up any time?
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Old 10-25-17, 12:46 PM
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I would definitely not like living too far away to commute by bike.

But the difference between 5k and 10k is no biggie.

Friend of mine does 30k each way almost every day... that's a commitment... but his kids are grown.
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Old 10-25-17, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
True. My kids are grown and gone, but I remember. But there must be a way, somehow.
well, there's always A way, (such as waking up at 4:30am to go on a ride before the kiddos wake up), but there's not always a convenient way.



Originally Posted by noglider
If you move and end up driving to work and back, does that free up any time?
driving in the city at rush hour is more or less a wash (if not even slower in many cases) vs. biking. if i worked a night shift or some other really odd schedule, perhaps, but at 8:00am and 5:00pm, you ain't getting anywhere in chicago much faster than a bicycle for short haul distances.

besides, the idea of giving up bike commuting terrifies me.

becoming a bike commuter nearly a decade ago completely and radically altered my life for the better. i lost 70 pounds my first year, losing the weight made me MUCH more health and fitness conscious overall, being more fit gave me more confidence with the ladies, being more confident with the ladies led to meeting the woman of my dreams, which led to us getting hitched, which eventually led to the two most wonderful, adorable, and lovable (and pain in the ass) little munchkins i've ever known.

so yeah, i'd really, really rather not give it up.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 10-25-17 at 01:09 PM.
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