The Finance Blogger

Living in the Suburbs vs. the City

Living in the SuburbsThis is another post about adult children moving back with their parents. One of the things that our children indicated as an objective when they moved in with us and they were looking for a home to purchase and move to was that they wanted to find out what it was like to live in suburbia as a family versus buying a home that was closer to downtown and being able to walk to work. Living in the suburbs is not the same as downtown, where you can walk to work, and have more selection of restaurants and things to do.

They moved in with us and lived with us for approximately two months. Their commute from our house to downtown consisted of driving to a park-and-ride, catching a bus to the daycare, and then walking 20 minutes to work. Total trip time amounted to approximately one hour in both directions. This was compared to a 20 minute walk in total for them when they lived in their condo at their previous location.

Living in the Suburbs

It quickly became evident that their decision to look for a home in the suburbs was a bad decision. They realized that all of the time spent commuting was not something they wanted to deal with. They quickly narrowed their search for a home to an urban area in the downtown area of Ottawa to be able to walk to work, bike to work in the summertime and also be close to daycare. This made their search much more difficult and took a little bit longer however they were still able to find a home that they liked that met all of their objectives.

They had to pay more for the house that they purchased because it was downtown and commanded a higher price however they reduce their cost of commuting for gas, bus passes, and general frustration. They save approximately $300 a month for bus fares, gas and wear and tear on their vehicle which can be put towards the mortgage.

In addition in our city there is a huge amount of construction going on and the major thoroughfares are blocked at rush hour. That hour of commuting has now stretched further, making their move downtown an even better decision. It is always a trade off, cost of housing vs. time to commute and the cost to commute. Which would you choose?

This was a good deal for them and well worth the effort of moving in with us and then moving to a home that they found that they were both happy with.

For more thoughts and ideas about living with adult children, click here.

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