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Old 06-11-2008, 07:57 PM
SCJ SCJ started this thread
 
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I keep seeing the gas prices spriral up and up. The news media are predicting that the cost of regular unleaded will be at $4.15 very soon. Do you see a change in where people buy houses based on these gas prices? More of a movement to live inside the perimeter?
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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Well, if they WORK inside the Perimeter it will.

I think if anything it will cause people to be much more cautious when researching where they will buy a home based on where their job it. For many years, new residents who are moving into the area have been famous for doing no research, and wind up moving on the opposite side of the metro area as the job they get, which is the major factor as to why our traffic is second worst in the nation. Once gas goes a bit higher, I think people who are relocating will take more time to study where stuff is in relation to potential jobs before plunking down a house deposit - maybe even renting an apartment first before buying until they get the lay of the land, which people really haven't got into the habit of doing when coming here.

Here's an interesting side-note: CNN just did a story that says that more people are riding mass transit now than have done so since 1957. The numbers are only increasing. So, newcomers may also factor in where the transit options are as well, when considering where to buy a home. Right now, most of those options are inside the Perimeter.

That article by the way (text and video) is - HERE.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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My wife and I are moving to Atlanta next month. Our target area was somewhere between Decatur and Grant Park. We wound up with a home to rent in East Atlanta and the price of gas was definitely a factor. We'll be saving 3-4 miles each way... a few years ago it wouldn't even be a thought but it's something we took into account about when looking for a home.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:48 AM
 
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I think it's more of a mental factor than a monetary factor, because when you do the math, you're not necessarily saving money by moving closer. My family is a perfect example- we live in Holly Springs in Cherokee County, and I work downtown. Even with a fairly low MPG pickup truck, I use right around 100 gallons of gas per month, so even at $5/gallon, gas costs me $500/month. To replace our current living conditions in a neighborhood inside the perimeter, I'd pay at least $200k more for same house, so my mortgage payment would increase by $1200/month, and I'd likely see a tax increase as well, so I'd be paying roughly $1500/month more, so even if I was able to walk to work (which I couldn't), I'd still be $1000/month in the hole.

Now, one could argue "but you could buy a smaller house, which would reduce that cost". Sure, but I could do that where I am as well (if I wanted that), so I'm still not gaining saving anything by moving closer to work. Now, I know someone is going to chime in with the "but you spend 10 hours a week in the car" bit, but that's not the topic of this thread, and it's also something I'm willing to live with because of everything else I gain by choosing to live where I do.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:54 AM
 
Location: NY to FL to ATL
612 posts, read 2,540,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
I think it's more of a mental factor than a monetary factor, because when you do the math, you're not necessarily saving money by moving closer. My family is a perfect example- we live in Holly Springs in Cherokee County, and I work downtown. Even with a fairly low MPG pickup truck, I use right around 100 gallons of gas per month, so even at $5/gallon, gas costs me $500/month. To replace our current living conditions in a neighborhood inside the perimeter, I'd pay at least $200k more for same house, so my mortgage payment would increase by $1200/month, and I'd likely see a tax increase as well, so I'd be paying roughly $1500/month more, so even if I was able to walk to work (which I couldn't), I'd still be $1000/month in the hole.

Now, one could argue "but you could buy a smaller house, which would reduce that cost". Sure, but I could do that where I am as well (if I wanted that), so I'm still not gaining saving anything by moving closer to work. Now, I know someone is going to chime in with the "but you spend 10 hours a week in the car" bit, but that's not the topic of this thread, and it's also something I'm willing to live with because of everything else I gain by choosing to live where I do.

I completely agree. Suburbs for me.
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Old 06-12-2008, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,846 posts, read 14,850,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
I think it's more of a mental factor than a monetary factor, because when you do the math, you're not necessarily saving money by moving closer. My family is a perfect example- we live in Holly Springs in Cherokee County, and I work downtown. Even with a fairly low MPG pickup truck, I use right around 100 gallons of gas per month, so even at $5/gallon, gas costs me $500/month. To replace our current living conditions in a neighborhood inside the perimeter, I'd pay at least $200k more for same house, so my mortgage payment would increase by $1200/month, and I'd likely see a tax increase as well, so I'd be paying roughly $1500/month more, so even if I was able to walk to work (which I couldn't), I'd still be $1000/month in the hole.

Now, one could argue "but you could buy a smaller house, which would reduce that cost". Sure, but I could do that where I am as well (if I wanted that), so I'm still not gaining saving anything by moving closer to work. Now, I know someone is going to chime in with the "but you spend 10 hours a week in the car" bit, but that's not the topic of this thread, and it's also something I'm willing to live with because of everything else I gain by choosing to live where I do.
Pretty much agree, and also want to point out that many people don't work downtown and many work from home, so it's not necessarily an OTP vs ITP decision.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:35 AM
 
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Good thread. Its an idea that my husband and I have been throwing around. But Bob is right... the cost of an equivalent house in-town would probably be $200K more. We could get a townhouse but we already did that, and moved to GA so we could own a single family home. Then there is the school factor.

There was an article yesterday on the ajc.com about the popularity of Vinings...and it discussed a couple that moved from Forsyth to the area because it was closer. But they send their kids to the private schools in town (Westminster, Pace Academy, Lovett). They weren't sending their daughter to Campbell High School. Point being if I did move into town where would my potential kids go to school ? I would have to add in the cost of private school. I think for people with money, or people who either don't have kids (or don't want any) then moving in town is much more of an option. For our middle class life we will be staying in the 'burbs. But if we don't have kids then ITP I come!

I think the best solution to living OTP is a hybrid car.... I saw a woman in a Toyota Prius this morning and i was actually jealous. Wow how times have changed.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:13 AM
 
269 posts, read 960,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCJ View Post
I keep seeing the gas prices spriral up and up. The news media are predicting that the cost of regular unleaded will be at $4.15 very soon. Do you see a change in where people buy houses based on these gas prices? More of a movement to live inside the perimeter?
It has already happened. Not so much from gas prices, though, as from the expense and time of commutes in ever-worsening traffic.

Former slums are getting gentrified to the point where they hardly even exist. Midtown and Virginia Highlands -- both of them crime ridden slums @ 20 years ago -- have seen skyrocketing real estate prices in the past ten years.

I'd expect the phenomenon to increase as gas prices go up. People will want to take public transportation and/or have a shorter drive to work. Housing density will increase, resulting in increased availability of public transportation. It's really just the opposite of a vicious cycle -- a growth cycle?

Also, people are becoming more willing to pay for cleaner air. Atlanta is historically a rather conservative city, in the sense of trading air quality for cheap power and wanting their cars no matter what. Public transportation, and especially pedestrian and bicycle traffic, have been slow to come. (Even today, riding a bicycle in the city is very bad in most parts, compared to a lot of cities.) And attitudes are slow to change. Still, we're seeing some shift in sentiment.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,846 posts, read 14,850,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmaican View Post
I think the best solution to living OTP is a hybrid car.... I saw a woman in a Toyota Prius this morning and i was actually jealous. Wow how times have changed.
Hybrids aren't the silver bullet many think they are, although as gas prices go up, the ROI gets better. Hybrids typically take several years to achieve a ROI due to their increased purchase cost when compared with a regular car that is good on gas. Hybrids also are really only a savings when you drive in city traffic below 20 mph. If you drive on the highway or in suburban traffic that moves better than 20mph, you are really not getting that much benefit from the electric motor to offset the higher costs to purchase and maintain.

Of course there are the pluses like being able to use the HOV lane and some tax incentives. Still, for most people, something more sensible than these gigantor SUVs that get 10mph would be the best bet. Why do people here in the south need these MASSIVE trucks, especially when they are often single occupants? (not saying you don't have the freedom or right to own one, just not quite sure why so many do)
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:37 AM
 
955 posts, read 3,486,934 times
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Interesting Yahoo Finance article from Dr Charles Wheelan:

Yahoo! Personal Finance: Calculators,Money Advice,Guides,& More

"There's been so much wreckage across the real estate market that we've neglected likely trends. The ironclad law hasn't changed; it's still "location, location, location." But the definition of a good location is certainly different if gas is $4 a gallon -- let alone $6 or $8.

Those giant houses 50 and 60 miles from the metro core now have three strikes against them: 1) Low-density development is rarely near public transit; 2) The resulting commute by car is wickedly expensive; and 3) The whole point of living that far from a metro area is to get a bigger house, which is now more expensive to heat and cool."
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