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Old 08-25-2011, 08:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
I need to clarify that my family does own one paid-off car. It is rarely used during the summer when it is possible to walk or ride most everywhere we need to go. In inclement winter weather, I use it to take my spouse to the station and run necessary errands, so I do not typically need to use grocery delivery. My comment was in response to a poster who noted that carrying groceries sucked.

Regarding our savings, it wracked up when we moved from a exurban town with no mass transit access to a home near the employment center in the city where he works. The car was paid-off and got reasonable gas mileage, but the commute was a bear, so we bought a house within walking distance of a light rail station and took advantage of his employer's mass transit benefit to the tune of about $1500/yr. Between fuel, maintenance, registration, parking, and insurance, the second car cost us a little over $2500 per year to run. Over the course of several years, we invested the savings and watched it quickly add up to a significant chunk of money -- as I said, enough to pay for a year of college, a new roof for our home, or a VERY nice vacation.

Looking back, I have no idea why we didn't do it sooner. There is no way I would go back to a two-car exurban life.

Just curious:

What were your housing costs. In a vast majority of instances, the farther out domiciles are MUCH cheaper than those in Urban centers such as yours. (If you have found the rare exception you are to be congradulated)

...I couldn't live in such a urban setting long term (By choice) but it is good for those who can.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
Just curious:

What were your housing costs. In a vast majority of instances, the farther out domiciles are MUCH cheaper than those in Urban centers such as yours. (If you have found the rare exception you are to be congradulated)

...I couldn't live in such a urban setting long term (By choice) but it is good for those who can.
Our home is in a very typical suburban setting at the south end of one of our metro area's tech centers, and housing costs were about 10% higher than those in the far-flung exurb the year we moved.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 08-25-2011 at 10:06 PM.. Reason: clarified that the price difference was in the year we moved
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Our home is in a very typical suburban setting at the south end of one of our metro area's tech centers, and housing costs are about 10% higher than those in the far-flung exurb.
That's what I thought.

10% higher housing costs, (And many of us would rather even farther out where it's cheaper still) Higher taxes etc...

Add to that the worse living conditions (Although that's subjective)

So much for saving money on the car!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
That's what I thought.

10% higher housing costs, (And many of us would rather even farther out where it's cheaper still) Higher taxes etc...

Add to that the worse living conditions (Although that's subjective)

So much for saving money on the car!
Ah, but in the last few years, housing has dropped 25%, foreclosure rates have sky-rocketed, and sales have ground to a halt in that far-flung exurb. The neighborhood is falling into disrepair and looks abandoned. On the other had, properties in my neighborhood have retained their value and are selling briskly. Two families with whom we are friends sold their homes, and moved to other homes in the neighborhood, for asking and within 2% of asking in less than a month and a little over a month respectively. That's pretty impressive in the current housing market.

If you were to step out my front door and walk about 50 feet, you'd find yourself on a path that connects to hundreds of miles of trails stretching to all parts of the metro area. This isn't the concrete jungle. It's a wooded path next to a beautiful stream where it's not unusual to run across a coyote or a deer. Looking west, past the ten-acre park, you'll see a gorgeous view of the mountains. Walk about a 1/4 mile, and you'll come upon a major supermarket and several restaurants. Hop on your bike and ride a different direction, and you'll quickly arrive at a bookstore, several more nice restaurants, and an upscale mall. Head a third way to board a well-maintained commuter train that will drop you in the middle of the city next to an NFL stadium in about 30 minutes.

Taxes are similar, but the school district is head and shoulders above the exurb, perhaps another reason why our property has retained its value. I'm not sure why you'd consider this poor living conditions.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 08-25-2011 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Ah, but in the last few years, housing costs have dropped 25% in that far-flung exurb, while housing costs in my neighborhood have retained their value and are selling briskly. My neighbors sold their house for asking in less than a month. That's pretty impressive in the current housing market.

If you were to step out my front door and walk about 50 feet, you'd find yourself on a path that connects to hundreds of miles of trails stretching to all parts of the metro area. This isn't the concrete jungle. It's a wooded path next to a beautiful stream where it's not unusual to run across a coyote or a deer. Looking west, past the ten-acre park, you'll see a gorgeous view of the mountains. Walk about a 1/4 mile, and you'll come upon a major supermarket and several restaurants. Hop on your bike and ride a different direction, and you'll quickly arrive at a bookstore, several more nice restaurants, and an upscale mall. Head a third way and you can hop on a well-maintained train that will drop you in the middle of the city next to an NFL stadium in about 30 minutes.

Taxes are similar, but the school district is head and shoulders above the exurb, perhaps another reason why our property has retained its value. I'm not sure why you'd consider this poor living conditions.

If I can't shoot off my deck naked... it's too Urban!

Lifestyle is HORRIBLE. (And I've lived all over)
Smelly, noisy, people all over intruding, no freedom.

May have dropped 25%, but still 10% better according to you. And that can varry all over.
(And as I said, if the other conditions are something you like... good on you. Not for me and many others who dislike that prison)
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
If I can't shoot off my deck naked... it's too Urban!
I guess all that's left to say is: to each, his own.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
I guess all that's left to say is: to each, his own.
WAS my point...

Just had wondered about the true numbers.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
WAS my point...

Just had wondered about the true numbers.
Was your curiosity satisfied?
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
While your comment was not directed at me, I must say you sound like a real stick in the mud. In fact it reminds of one definition of a Puritan: "A Puritan is a person who has a deep, abiding fear that somewhere, someone is happy".
Have I taught you nothing?

Engineers -- especially Electrical Engineers -- tend to be condescending a-holes. Not so much intentional, it is just an identity thing.

They will not issue us the degree without that certification.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Originally Posted by FantasyFootballGuy View Post
I live in Seattle and I am currently not using a car at all to get around. Seattle does not exactly have the best public transportation, yet I have still managed to live without one. It does help that I live in the Downtown area. Anyway, my question is, how come so many people have cars if so many people that have cars don't really need them and can live a perfectly happy life without them? Also, how much better would our air quality and environment be if many people quit driving so much? How much money would people save? How much healthier would they be by doing more walking? How much would the oil companies be affected? I guess it be a huge chain reaction.
I like having several cars thank you very much, they are all in good tune and are not "smog hogs" - but I can appreciate that in an urban setting there are a lot of times that a private car is just not the tool for the job of getting around. When I lived in downtown Atlanta, my old truck only left the townhouse garage on weekends, to go visit my parents. When I visit Seattle, typically we stay at a motel near Sea-Tac, and take the light rail downtown - I hate urban driving, too much risk of damaging the car, too much car theft, prowling, and vandalism, plus no where to park.

Something to think about, is do you want to live car-free on principle, or do you know how to drive, and might use Zip-Car or similar? This gives you a cost-effective way to *use* a car when a car is the tool for the job, without *owning* a car, and all the expense associated with that.

Any car with electronic fuel injection and a *functioning*, not necessarily perfect, but functioning catalyst, and no check engine light illuminated really puts out very little in the way of emissions. Unless you go down the Algorean rabbit hole of considering carbon dioxide a pollutant...
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