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Old 04-05-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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NC, what time(s) are you traveling that it would only take 15 minutes to get from Loudoun to Falls Church?
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:24 AM
 
Location: D.C.
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Sorry, not 15 minutes total, I meant that it takes me probably 15 minutes more from Loudoun than falls church. I leave the house at 8:30, and normally in the office at 9:00 - 9:10. I've found the slowest part is just getting into Tysons itself. Getting to Tysons is rarely a problem, and find the flow of traffic is anywhere from 50mph to 75/80 mph. Now, if there is a wreck, then it's a problem and I go for the Garmin in the glovebox.

I leave the office in the 5:30 - 6:00 window, get home around 6 / 6:30 ish respectively. So I'm in the "thick" of things on the toll road, but it flows. I have needed the "cheater" road "airport only lanes" a couple of times to avoid an accident scene further up that had all lanes stopped, but that was only twice in the past several months.

Now, if I had to go past the beltline on a daily basis, then Loudoun would probably not be an option for us. I'd pay that convienence factor to move closer in and save what hairs I have left on my head...
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Ahh, missed the part that you were only going to Tysons.

For the large contingent of downtown DC workers, Loudoun to DC would be 2-3x the trek from FC to DC. If you work in Tysons, FC has a convenience premium (distance from DC, metro access) that you'd be paying but not using.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
I leave the office in the 5:30 - 6:00 window, get home around 6 / 6:30 ish respectively. So I'm in the "thick" of things on the toll road, but it flows. I have needed the "cheater" road "airport only lanes" a couple of times to avoid an accident scene further up that had all lanes stopped, but that was only twice in the past several months.
That's amazing. I used to have classes in Reston that started at 6:00 on Friday nights. It would often take an hour from N. Springfield to get there. The toll road to Wiehle was often 30 minutes from the beltway.

Eventually I gave up and started driving through Fairfax and Oakton to get there. That was 45 minutes, but it was a consistent 45 minutes avoiding 267.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
I think your math is a little high on this one. 20 work days a month, would mean $50 a day in commuting expenses to go from Loudoun greenway to Falls Church. Even factoring in gas (unless you drive an RV), that's still pretty steep. I'd peg it more around $350 a month, or around $75k in morgage change to go toll road.

I'll use my house as a pricing difference. The developer has a small pocket just south of Falls Church that includes the exact same model as mine in Loudoun. Mine has the upgrades and fully finished basement, and an actual yard that allows kids to run wild in, and allowed for a large deck to be built without code violations. The models closer in around Fall Church have very little yard, tightly packed in next to eachother, certainly no room for a deck given lot lines, unfinished basements, fewer upgrades in the finishes and appliances, and yet cost over $200k more. One takes me 35 minutes to get to work + $17 +/- in round-trip commuting expenses. The other, would probably take me 20 minutes given traffic lights and such, with maybe $4 in commuting expenses for gas. Costs me $13 more in money and 15 minutes more in time. Annual commuting costs, say $3,200. $200,000 divided by $3,200 = 62.5 years (0% interest to boot). No argument there is real value in locality convienence, and time is money. But $200k is a steep price for 30 minutes.
My number is based on two commuters in a family, equating to 25 dollars each. 6 dollars one way from Leesburg to 495 is the current price, but it will likely average 8 dollars over the life span of your mortgage (easily). Thats 16 dollars per person. Its let say... 30 miles on average for most commuters into Fairfax/DC (thats generous if you are going to DC or Arlington, and too much if you are going to Herndon/Reston so I figure its about average).

So 60 miles total per person x $0.13 avg cost of gas for sedans per mile for gas alone = $7.80

But what everyone leaves out is the cost of the car and maintenance itself. Every 30,000 miles you can expect atleast 1000 dollars of maintenance, and that is being fair

So $0.033 per mile x 60 miles = $2.00 per day

And finally, the depreciation which is a REAL cost. When you drive a car from 0 to 150,000 miles, this area sees on average a $15,000 depreciation. Thats $0.10 per mile a significant cost every mile you drive.

So $0.10 per mile x 60 miles = $6.00 per day.

Total daily cost of your commute is $16 + 7.80 + 2.00 + 6.00 = $31.80. Considering that people still have commute costs even when they live closer in on average also, I think $25 is a good average for a person in Leesburg when you include ALL costs.

Sorry but most people just dont include the fact that a car is a finite product. It eventually dies and always needs upkeep as well, costs that are real and dependent on length of travel.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
My number is based on two commuters in a family, equating to 25 dollars each. 6 dollars one way from Leesburg to 495 is the current price, but it will likely average 8 dollars over the life span of your mortgage (easily). Thats 16 dollars per person. Its let say... 30 miles on average for most commuters into Fairfax/DC (thats generous if you are going to DC or Arlington, and too much if you are going to Herndon/Reston so I figure its about average).

So 60 miles total per person x $0.13 avg cost of gas for sedans per mile for gas alone = $7.80

But what everyone leaves out is the cost of the car and maintenance itself. Every 30,000 miles you can expect atleast 1000 dollars of maintenance, and that is being fair

So $0.033 per mile x 60 miles = $2.00 per day

And finally, the depreciation which is a REAL cost. When you drive a car from 0 to 150,000 miles, this area sees on average a $15,000 depreciation. Thats $0.10 per mile a significant cost every mile you drive.

So $0.10 per mile x 60 miles = $6.00 per day.

Total daily cost of your commute is $16 + 7.80 + 2.00 + 6.00 = $31.80. Considering that people still have commute costs even when they live closer in on average also, I think $25 is a good average for a person in Leesburg when you include ALL costs.

Sorry but most people just dont include the fact that a car is a finite product. It eventually dies and always needs upkeep as well, costs that are real and dependent on length of travel.
Actually, your numbers are low. The federal reimbursement rate for mileage is currently $0.555/ mile. this number is carefully calculated to cover gas, wear and tear, and depreciation.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
And if you are commuting to Falls Church/McLean you are spending 1000 dollars per month on commute, which is a 200,000 dollar mortgage change in budget. Therefore they are correctly priced so that they are comparable. I think the edge still goes to living closer to where you work.
Leesburg to Falls Church = 33 miles one way = 1,320 miles per month / 15 mpg = 88 gallons x $4/gallon = $352 in gas (time to buy a Prius!).

Each trip = $7.05 in tolls x 40 trips = $282.

Therefore, $634 a month.

If you calculate based on price per square foot rather than median sale price, a 2,000 sq ft 4BR SFH in Falls Church will likely cost over $300K more than a similar house in Leesburg (and $470K more for such a house in McLean). So in terms of house for the money, it is most definitely worth it to live in Leesburg - but what is your time worth?
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:01 AM
 
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While people say they avoid living along or past the 267 corridor due to tolls, I specifically ruled out living along the 66 corridor due to traffic and delays at all hours, day and nights, weekdays and weekends. At least the Toll Road moves fine when it's not peak rush hour.

That said, I had a hard time stomaching the Greenway fees, so we eventually settled East of 28. So we usually take 7 to get to Tysons, back roads to Reston, have easy access to 28 (which then gets us to a lot of the County via 66 / FCParkway, etc.). The only time we need to get on the toll road is if we're going to the places in the County accessed via Beltway and don't want to fight through Tysons.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:04 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,772 posts, read 10,677,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehuster View Post
Leesburg to Falls Church = 33 miles one way = 1,320 miles per month / 15 mpg = 88 gallons x $4/gallon = $352 in gas (time to buy a Prius!).

Each trip = $7.05 in tolls x 40 trips = $282.

Therefore, $634 a month.

If you calculate based on price per square foot rather than median sale price, a 2,000 sq ft 4BR SFH in Falls Church will likely cost over $300K more than a similar house in Leesburg (and $470K more for such a house in McLean). So in terms of house for the money, it is most definitely worth it to live in Leesburg - but what is your time worth?

the house price differential will be higher the larger the house is and the larger the lots its on, and SFH vs TH vs condo - but the commute cost stays the same - so the larger the house, the more incentive to commute further - wait, we've just rediscovered basic urban economics theory!
standard urban model locational equilibrium - Google Search=
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: D.C.
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Don't really want to start a math class here! I see the point if you have two cars doing the toll road shuffle a day. But then again, that's two sources of income coming in too probably. It's all relative to what you want and what you're comfortable paying for it. In my mind, car maintenance is just part of owning a depeciating asset that has a short life span in general. Whether you're cruising up and down the toll road, or hitting stop signs every 150 yards, brakes need replacing one way or the other. I combat the commuting blues with buying a car that I actually enjoy driving and being in. I'd rather spend more time with something that I enjoy, than less time with something that I don't enjoy.

Lehuster - 15 mpgs? Good lord! I hope whatever is in your driveway came with a turret and a few free rounds for fun!
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