Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't forget transportation costs


Gosh, now everyone wants us to live within our means, which means housing is not supposed to be more than 30% of your income.

Dream.

But if you find a house that cheap, it may be far from your job or a city center. That means transportation must be factored in, making the move ideally no more than 45% of income.

Sean Holsege writes about this in the Arizona Republic (May 7, 2010).

Surprisingly, more Phoenix neighborhoods are out of reach for people making the median income than pertains in NYC, where we think of every apt as prohibitively expensive.

Gas is only part of the cost of operating a car…which seems to come out to $5-7,000 a year, no matter what gas prices are.

Here people are moving into the city and trying to ditch the car entirely for a bike or public transportation.

This isn’t about green, it isn’t about long-range changes in how communities are laid out or where—it’s about moolah.

Remember, if a community has more than eight living units per acre—light-rail is cost-effective.

Something to think about anyway. We live without a car in a car region—it isn’t always a walk in the old park.

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