Is it worth moving to shorten your work commute? It certainly sounds reasonable but let’s break it down and see if it makes sense for your situation.
But first, is commuting all that bad? Unfortunately, yes! Some say that long work commutes add unnecessary stress to their lives and may even impact health. Studies have shown that long commutes may be the same as adding an additional 800 calories to your diet! Plus there’s the financial impact. More gas and wear on your car can add up quickly.
Yet, there are others that appreciate a long drive after work. They say that it helps them to “decompress” before getting home.
Is a long commute right for you? Should you move to shorten it? Ask yourself these questions to which way you lean!
Should I Buy I Home Closer to Work?
Is the commute actually saving you money?
If your job is located in an area with high property values, then the commute may be necessary. When you add up the cost of living such as your mortgage payment, utilities, and property taxes, they may add up to less than the cost of gas and car maintenance.
In some situations, employers cover the cost of long commutes and moving closer could mean losing that perk. If moving closer to work doesn’t save you money, then you may want to stay put.
**Hint: if this sounds like you, consider refinancing your current loan to save money!
Will you benefit financially if you move closer to work?
Perhaps the opposite is true! If you live in an area that is more expensive than the property values around your work, then moving to shorten your commute may save you money. Also, some employers consider promotions partially based on your proximity to the office. If this a factor in you moving up in your organization and gaining more money, then moving makes financial sense.
How essential is living close to work?
If you work a few days a week from home, then a long commute may not be that much of a hassle. Then again, if those hours are somewhat unpredictable, then a long commute can add stress and decrease your productivity.
Do you need to live far away from work for family or personal reasons?
Some choose to live in particular neighborhoods because of the schools in that area, and that could mean being quite removed from the office.
Certain careers, like law enforcement, sometimes prefer to live away from the area they serve. For these reasons, homeowners may choose to sacrifice a longer commute for a better family living situation.
Has your health suffered by the commute?
If your answer is yes, then moving closer to the office could be worth it. Remember that health involves more than illness. Sleep deprivation, stress, and poor nutrition are valid reasons to consider buying a home closer to work.
Do you enjoy your work commute?
If you already enjoy the commute and you can find no reason to move (given the questions above) then you probably don’t need to move. However, if moving is not a possibility, then the other solution is to learn to enjoy it.
Here are a few ideas:
Listen to podcasts
Create a music playlist specifically for the commute
When you’re a renter, relocating for a new job isn’t too difficult. You give your current job your two-week notice, your landlord a 30-day notice, put down your deposit on your new place and within a month you have a whole new life.
But things aren’t as easy when you’re a homeowner. Indeed, one of the biggest perks of owning a home is that you can set down roots, so it makes it more difficult to move to a different location and settle down again.
As exciting and welcoming as the new career may seem, as a homeowner, you might start to wonder whether it’s the right choice or whether it’s worth it.
Our office often hears from others in situations just like this –weighing their options for selling their home and relocating for a new job. Here are some things to think about before you decide for or against relocating for work.
Is Relocating for the Job a Good Idea in the First Place?
New city, new career, new home. It all sounds pretty fantastic but remember that there more to life than just work.
How would relocating effect your spouse or partner?
What changes can you expect for schooling for your children? What about daycare?
Does living in a new place move you further away or closer to loved ones –how does that make you feel?
If you’re unable to find a home right away, will your new employer provide temporary housing?
Will they help with the cost of relocating?
How does the move affect your cost of living? Does it fit in your budget?
The decision to relocate your life shouldn’t be made hastily. Try to separate yourself from the romanticism of it and consider all the ramifications that this change would have on your life, as well as the lives of your family.
Should You Sell Your Home if You Relocate?
If relocating makes sense and you’ve decided to take a new position, it’s time to decide what to do about your existing home.
One option is to buy a second home and keep your first home as an investment property. There are specific location requirements when it comes to having two mortgages, one for your primary residence and the other for your investment property. However, since you are relocating, meeting location requirements will unlikely be an issue and applying for a loan for your new home begins the same as the first time around.
What may end up being a problem is the actual management of the property. Managing a rental property in a different location can be difficult. While it comes at a cost, you may want to use a property management company to take care of it for you.
The other option and the one we most often recommend is to sell your first home. Read on to see how to get started.
Tips for Buying A Home and Relocating Quickly
Buying a home comes with a sense of urgency, but when combined with a work relocation, the anticipation doubles. Here’s how you can prepare and make a move quickly and easily.
Get pre-qualified as soon as possible.
Look for a mortgage professional with a history of closing on-time. You’re on a tight timeline so closing on time should be your lender’s priority too.
Respond quickly to requests for documentation such as tax returns, bank statements, and W2′s.Take advantage of electronic submission whenever possible.
Travel light. Go through your household and personal items with a critical eye and donate as much as you can to charity.
Make a spreadsheet of who to notify about the move such as your bank, credit card companies, utilities. This will help to minimize disruption to service.
Are you relocating or do you know someone who’s relocating?
Don’t miss Alex Deacon’s final Real Estate Workshop of 2018!!! We’ve opened up the room for extra seating due to our growing attendance. Click below to connect with Alex on MeetUp.com, network with nearly 600 other Real Estate Professionals, and RSVP to the November workshop!
Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops
Carnegie, PA 580Members
Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …
Pittsburghers have a longstanding reputation for being passionate about their city, and the rooftop shouting seems to have finally paid off. After a few decades of reinvention, people moving to Pittsburgh will now find a modern, cultured city built on a foundation of hard work and simple pleasures. If you’re planning to move to The Steel City (and you should), here are some tips and information about the City of Pittsburgh!
Geography:One of the reasons for Pittsburgh’s recent praise is the city’s natural beauty in the form of rolling hills set around three intersecting rivers. It sure is pretty to look at, but can be difficult to navigate in a moving truck, especially in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter.
Setting a Moving Date: Spring, summer, and fall months will be the best times for the physical labor involved in a big move.
Winter Precautions: Snow and ice can make the narrow, winding roads common in Pittsburgh residential areas treacherous. If you can’t avoid moving to Pittsburgh in the winter, consider hiring experienced movers and verify that your belongings are insured.
Summer Heat: The summers are relatively mild and safe for the work of loading and unloading boxes. Do check the weather reports, however, as temperatures can creep up over 100 degrees on rare occasions. Let’s not forget the rabid humidity, either!
Renting in Pittsburgh: If you’re looking to rent, the market for apartments will be best at the end of spring and early summer when students of the many local universities and colleges are moving out.
Moving and the School Year: Competition for reasonably priced rentals will be higher at the end of summer when students head back to town, especially for housing in the Oakland neighborhood where multiple universities are located.
Pittsburgh is divided by three rivers: the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. The Allegheny and Monongahela flow west to form the Ohio, which flows northwest out of the city before turning southwest. Along these rivers are many diverse neighborhoods that offer numerous home and lifestyle options for people moving to Pittsburgh.
The downtown business district (and most of the city’s theater and educational centers) lies between the Allegheny and Monongahela in the Golden Triangle. Across the Allegheny to the north is the aptly named North Shore, home to the city’s football and baseball stadiums, as well as a handful of museums. The popular Spring Hill neighborhood is also on the north side of the rivers.
West and south of the rivers are more residential neighborhoods, including a majority of the city’s single family homes, upscale apartment buildings and more spacious shopping centers. These neighborhoods give way to the outlying suburbs with larger lots and newer homes.
If you’re moving to Pittsburgh and want to zero-in quickly on the best restaurants, clubs and entertainment spots in the city, your best bet is to have a look in the local newspaper or turn on a local TV station. But with so many to choose from, it’s not easy to know where to start. Here’s a list of some popular local news sources in Pittsburgh to help get you started.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The second most widely read newspaper in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette can trace its roots all the way back to 1786. The Gazette (as it was known then) has grown to capture over 180,000 daily readers, with its Sunday edition fetching more than 300,000.
The paper, which locals simply refer to as “the PG,” has won a handful of Pulitzer Prizes over the years and is regarded for its high-quality content. Daily editions contain everything from local and world news headlines to business and jobs listings, sports and entertainment.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review started in 1992 to fill a significant gap left when two of the city’s most prominent publications, The Post-Gazette and The Pittsburgh Press, went on strike for months. In that time, it’s made ground to become one of the most highly respected publications in the state and one of the top-read papers in the country. “The Trib” is published seven days a week and has a circulation of close to 190,000 from Monday to Saturday. Its Sunday edition reaches just over 200,000 readers.
Pittsburgh Catholic Self-described as the oldest Catholic newspaper to remain in uninterrupted publication, the Pittsburgh Catholic is a weekly publication owned by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Released every Friday, the paper was founded in 1844 and today claims over 100,000 readers. Weekly coverage includes local news impacting the Catholic community of Pittsburgh, including happenings within the local Diocese, local news stories, and feature articles highlighting charity programs organized by the church.
Pittsburgh City Paper The best choice for discovering local culture, including arts, entertainment, dining and nightlife, the Pittsburgh City Paper is published every Wednesday and can be found on newsstands and in stores throughout the city. The newspaper is the recipient of numerous awards from local press club organizations, and in addition to arts and entertainment listings, also contains informative news, business, science and human-interest articles.
The weather you’ll find upon moving to Pittsburgh will vary significantly depending on what time of year you arrive. Pittsburgh offers visitors and residents four distinct seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Pittsburgh weather is generally moderate, with summer and winter offering the greatest extremes. Summer temperatures average about 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but can spike to over 90 degrees. Winters tend to come with heavy snow, an average of 40.3 inches annually, and cold. The average temperature in the coldest month, January, is 27.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
One 80 degree day, two weeks ago nonetheless, spun the Steel City into a case Spring Fever that can only be cured by one thing…
Ok, so maybe “more cowbell” isn’t always what the doctor ordered. And although statistics show otherwise, Spring is often associated with one of the busiest times for movers. While you’re Spring Cleaning and tossing away that mountain of material possessions you couldn’t get rid of (read below), call the great folks at Bin There Dump That for dumpster rentals. (We hear they’re pretty awesome.) In the meantime, here’s some tips to ease the burden of moving as much as possible.
Determine how much time you have before your move.
Even if you have very little time, a few minutes spent planning and organizing the basics can help you make the best use of the time you do have. If you have more time, you can plan more carefully and possibly save money and time down the road.
Consider the distance you will be moving.
Moving across town may be something you can do yourself, using a rented truck for the largest items. Moving longer distances or moving to a new country may require that you ship items with a mover. Indeed, the farther the distance, the better off you are having reputable professionals take care of everything, including your pets.
For overseas moves, remember there will be such issues as customs and bio-security clearances, appropriate shipping methods, and storage issues on arrival.
Assess your budget.
Will you hire somebody to move your belongings or rent a truck and do the job yourself? Do you have money saved up? Do you still have time to set aside the money you will need? Will an employer cover part of the cost of relocating?
If your employer is assisting you, make sure that everything is in writing, including any variations agreed upon verbally or otherwise. Things do go wrong, and you need the written confirmations to ensure that you get reimbursed appropriately.
Written records are also vital when dealing with professional movers. Be sure that you get a signed-off contract, that you have read all the fine print, and that you have full inventory lists checked and signed off by both you and the removal company.
Allow some overlap.
If your lease or purchase agreement(s) allow, get access to your new residence before you must give up your old one. Even a couple of days will spare you the stress and rush of an overnight move, or the hassle of moving into and out of a storage facility. A time overlap can also help in case of any delays with closing on the purchase of a home.
If you must move via a storage unit or if your dates do not overlap, see if there is a service in your area that will deliver and move storage containers for you so that you do not have to handle your belongings twice. The more moves you have to make in-between arriving at your destination, the higher the stress levels become and the more frustrated you are likely to feel.
If the move came as a surprise, such as if a landlord decided not to renew a lease or you have been posted overseas, you should have at least some minimum amount of notice in which to pack and seek new premises. In this case, your first priority should be to secure new lodgings, but you may still want to multitask the search for a new place with beginning to pack and sort your stuff, otherwise you might find yourself running out time.
Too much overlap can be costly. Don’t pay double rent for longer than you need to. Seek the garages of friends and family before paying for storage options if possible.
Decide how much you will pare down your belongings.
This is a personal choice, of course, but anything you can part with is something you don’t have to move and moving is always a great time to be brutal with things you don’t need or use. Keep in mind that you will have to balance the time spent to sort your belongings with the monetary cost and effort required to pack and move them.
If you move frequently, try to keep a minimum of basic belongings. If you’re downsizing with the move, you will have no choice but to remove things from your life. This can add to the stress initially but the resulting lower level of possessions is often a huge release for your new way of living.
Start right away if you want to give away or sell belongings, rather than move them.
One alternative to taking that old sofa-bed with you is to sell it or give it away to someone else before you leave. Expensive antiques or furniture are great considerations for an auction or estate sale, as well.
Craigslist, LetGo, Facebook, and the like are excellent resources for selling and giving items away. In some places you can leave items on the curb and they’ll disappear of their own accord in no time (check with municipal regulations though). Maybe consider having a garage sale.
Phone local charities to see what used items they can accept. Many can send a truck to pick up items you do not wish to move. Many towns now have recycling centers so that you can have your items resold for the benefit of the community, rather than simply dumping them to be treated as garbage.
Determine how you will dispose of things that cannot be recycled or donated.
If all you have to do is haul stuff by the armload out to the apartment dumpster, there may be nothing to plan. On the other hand, if you will be shredding documents, making a run to the dump, buying extra trash tags, or hiring a hauling company, plan for these activities as soon as you can. Having a dumpster that is easily accessible during your move can make your job much easier. Did we mention we know a really great team over at Bin There Dump That?