Post # 1
What would you do if you were me?
Cost to live in our studio apt in the city: $1800/month
Additional Costs: Utilities – $100/month on average
Commute Time: approx 35 minutes door to door
Amount we save each month – $3100
Cost to live in the home we are considering buying: $1700/ month (including taxes which will be deductible), plus the following additional costs:
- Car Payment- $300 (including insurance)
- Monthly Gas- $150
- Monthly train ticket to the city- $300
- Monthly utilities- $300 (average of entire year)
- Annual Maintenance- $2000
- Home is a fixer upper- we will need to put in at least $30K off the bat to make it liveable.
Commute Time: approx 1 hour 35 minutes door to door
Approx Monthly Savings- $2000
I’m also concerned that the 1 hour 30 minute commute time will be challenging for my husband. I just accepted an offer for a position with a company only 20 minutes from the house we are intending to purchase (pending bank approval, it’s a short sale). If we don’t buy the house we would look into renting a place that is a good midpoint between his job as well as my own and would likely be able to save about $3500/month given our current incomes.
My biggest concern is that we are both starting out in our careers and work VERY VERY long hours (my husband in particular). I fear that the long commute will make it impossible for him to move up as he will become tired and frustrated with the commute. When I talk to him about it he acknowledges that it will make it more difficult for him but doesn’t say much else (I wonder if he knows what we are getting ourselves into?)…I’ve been the one pushing for a home so I would feel very guilty if he is miserable all the time just b/c I wanted to move into a house right away. The other thing is that I would like to be a stay at home mom when we decide to have children in a couple of years. If we continue renting, we could have approx $150K saved (assuming no increase in our incomes) by the time I pop a kid out and at that point we would expect my husband’s income to be much higher than it is now… which I think would be enough to allow me to stay at home and not be concerned if an emergency or something else would arise.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this…hoping to hear all thoughts/opinions!
ALSO- we are fortunate enough to be receiving a cash loan from my husband’s parents that would allow us to buy a home at a fixed interest rate so the fact that interest rates are rising will not affect our situation.
Post # 3
There’s no way I’d sign on for an hour and a half commute. I’d keep renting and see where my career takes me. That’s three hours round trip or basically half of your daily quality free time. Totally not a good work/life balance. You’ll end up resenting the house or the job or both.
Post # 4
Honestly, I would not buy now. The increase in commute and the increased costs wouldn’t be worth it to me.
Post # 5
Hey wedding date twin!
I think that number wise it seems to make more sense to keep renting. However, you have to decide if you are happy to stay in the city or really would be happier living in the suburbs, and worth the extra $1100 per month. A lot of people have a knee-jerk reaction that they don’t want to have kids in the city. How do you feel about that? Would you still be able to become a Stay-At-Home Mom if you moved to the suburbs or is that only a reality if you stay in the city?
My initial thought was that an hour 35 minute commute seems pretty bad, however, if it’s on the train that makes it a lot more doable. Your husband might be able to get work done on the train- how does he deal with his commute now? If he feels that 35 minutes is long then obviously adding another hour might make it feel unsustainable for him.
Is the cash loan for just the downpayment or the entire house purchase price? Because if the latter is the case, you still will be effected by rising interest rates, but I don’t think that’s enough of a problem to base your decision on. I don’t think that rates are going to skyrocket anytime soon.
Post # 6
I’ve had a commute that was over an hour before. It was HORRIBLE. Within a year, I hated my job because of the commute!
Post # 7
I wouldn/’t buy. An hour and a half commute would suck. A lot. A whole lot. Plus, why move close to your job/far from his if you’re going to be a SAHM?
Post # 8
thank you everyone for your comments! The commute is a commute that many people do daily (55 min on the train to/from the city) and only really involves 5-10 minutes in the car. I did this commute years ago when I was single but I worked a 9-5 job back then, these types of hours simply don’t exist anymore (atleast in the field we are in) and I even hated it back then…If we get the house at the price we offered, it would be a steal. I considered us living there for a year just to test the waters, fixing it up (it’s a major fixer upper but has a ton of potential) and possibly relisting it if my husband is having a hard time with the commute.
@MmeVT: Thank you for responding! I wouldn’t want to be a stay at home mom in the city….our space is too small (we live in a 600 sq ft studio) so ultimately we would have to move to the suburbs… which would be fine in a couple of years as my husband will have moved into a managerial position (hopefully) which will allow him to have more flexible hours OR if he leaves his current job (a very reputable firm) at that level it will open the door to a MUCH better job elsewhere with normal hours and higher pay.
He loves the 35 minute commute (it doesn’t involve any driving, just taking the bus/subway). The cash loan would be for the majority of the house payment, but we would be covering the balance with our current savings.
@JenGirl: Either way we would have to deal with a commute once we buy a home unless we plan on raising a family in NYC (which is much too expensive). The area we would be relocating too is an area that many people commute to/from everyday and is a great place to raise a family.
Post # 9
Having had that commute, there is no way I would sign up for it again. My commute now is about an hour (to NYC) and 30 minutes each way has made a huuuuge difference.
Post # 10
I guess it just comes down to priorities. If there are 24 hours in a day. 8 for sleep, 10 for work (I’m not ure how much overtime he typically works) and 3 hours for commuting, then you have 3 hours to shower, shave, eat, deal with the house, visit with wife/kids and generally live your life. That would be really tough for me, but if that’s something that you’re used to, then it may work for you. I did train an hour and 15 minute train commute when I lived in Boston for a summer and while it was better than car commuting, I just lost my entire day. I never had time to cook or go to the grocery. So I really value a short commute. Honestly, I’d sooner stay in the city than have that commute But that’s me. I commpletely understand that many other people would prefer the burbs and the commute. Has your husband worked with that kind of commmute before? If he’s okay with it, then I hope it works out for the house!