April 30, 2008

And then people figured out living 50 miles away from work was really, really stupid


You're going to be shocked at how high gas prices will go.

You're going to be shocked at how worthless homes in the Wal-Mart exurbs will get.



54 comments:

Anonymous said...

SUVs and Hummers will plummet like Phoenix condos

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

Even if gas were free, driving 50 miles to work is a piss-poor quality of life that isn't worth any cost.

Anonymous said...

my brother in law tried to trade in his hummer...they offered him 30k trade-in 5 months ago. he took it home and parked it. took in this week, they offered him 25k trade-in. DOH!!

Anonymous said...

Obviously, this is not a solution since most people cannot afford those %500k condos.

Anonymous said...

I drive 35 miles each way - get 15mpg - sux!

I'm a stupid renter! said...

I abandoned a commute over 10 years ago and because my wife is too blind to drive, we were never able to consider a life in the suburbs. Now I feel like a genius for moving into the city when I did. But it was simply our gut feeling at the time given our situation.

My grocery store is a 5 minute walk.
Hospital 10 minute walk.
Accountant 2 minutes door to door.
Police station 5 minute walk.
Department stoor 15 minute walk.
Garage for my unused car 5 minute walk.
3 different parks with swimming pool and nude sunbathing 5, 10 and 20 minute walks respectively.
Restaurants too many to mention all within walking distance.

Total gas bill for 2007 was less than 150 dollars. Total cost for public transport $50 per month.

This has allowed us to save over 30 k in 10 months alone and we are still spending a lot on luxuries, good clothes, furnitre, appliances, vacations, computers and otherhome furnishings, good wine and organic food, going out, buying excellent bikes, etc. We don't miss the big house at all!

And best of all, we have considerably more money to donate to charities!

This is not meant to taunt home buyers who admittedly also went with their gut feeling when they signed the papers on a home loan. I admit being an ignorant renter during the runup in home prices, I missed out on that - no question but I just could not see my life revolving around a house, yard, garage loaded with stuff and the whole nesting/bunker mentatlity that goes along with the suburbs.

Sincerely,

I'm a stupid renter (who feels like a genius)

Anonymous said...

I drive 30 miles each way, but long before gasoline costs soared, began car pooling. The good conversation makes the ride seem shorter, it helps the environment, and reduces our gasoline cost.

Samantha

Paul E. Math said...

Sounds to me like someone is trying to justify outrageous prices on overbuilt condos.

It may make sense for people to move downtown but that doesn't mean they'll actually do it. They love their stupid yards and their McMansions - it will be very difficult for boomers to adjust to downsizing their lifestyles.

Afterthought said...

I might have an hour commute starting in December; driving will cost me 15$ per work day minimum. The alternative? Not living with my wife, which is unacceptable. If I rented any kind of second apartment I wouldn't be able to get anything livable for less than 30 per day.

I'll just pop in Patriot Trading Group (http://patriotarchives.
blogspot.com/) or listen to some tunes and I'll be fine!

Anonymous said...

We bought our house in the city we work, most of our friends live out way out of the city and spend 1 to 1 in a half hours of driving back and forth. I love sitting around drinking my coffee and listening to NRP traffic report and all the mess out there, knowing I don't have to deal with it. We have a 5 mile drive to work, would love to bike it, but there is no way because of all the crazy drivers out there. We they bitch about traffic I tell them to piss off they pick their poison.

Anonymous said...

wait a minute

wait a minute

yesterday you had a piece on that guy in Tampa living alone in a condo building. You mocked him of course and wrote about how condo living sux. Now all of a sudden condo living is the way to go and we should all buy condos.

Come on man have some consistency in your points of view.

As for $1000 a month, I find that suspicious. $1000 at $3.50 a gallon is 285 gallons. Even with a gas guzzling SUV that gets 15MPG that will take you 4250 miles. This guy's doing a lot of driving outside of his commute which won't change if he lives downtown.

What he's also not taking into consideration is the condo fees he'll be paying. Any gas savings will be sent to the condo board. That looks like a fairly high end condo he's looking at so expect at least $500 a month in fees. Poof, there go his gas savings and on top of it he'll be living in an apartment building.

Eric said...

What kind of car are they driving that they are spending $1000/mo in gas on?

(100 miles a day x 5 days a week x 2 people) / (1000$ / $4.00 per gallon) = 4 mi /gallon

Even assuming the worst possible mileage, $1000 should get you 2500 miles on premium gas.

F*cking Idiots said...

When I see anyone driving a Hummer, I just burst into waves of laughter... I try to make eye contact with each and every one.

Who could be that stupid?

Only a dumb, fat, lazy American.

What a nation of Rubes...

Anonymous said...

Suburbanites are the people who are living on hot dogs, cereal and MickeyD's dollar menu for dinner. Also, ever notice the lack of furniture? All for a highly taxed wooden structure that they really can't afford with their soccer mom vehicles as well. (nor can they retire from)
However, city dwellings in the condo won't work out. It is the same problem with less. The cost of condos is simply too high. What will happen is that certain outer areas of the city will eventually "re-vitalize" due to economic situations. The ones close to public transportation and rail lines. The "row house" culture of the 50s will come back in a slightly different way. If it is close to water and entertainment, transportation and access to other regions you can guarantee success but it is still going to take years. Gas prices plus job tightening plus home dollar values sliding.

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely and utterly no sympathy for anyone who chose to buy a non fuel efficient vehicle and is now paying $3000 per year on gas or more to commute. You didn't opt into a conservative lifestyle by buying a reasonably efficient vehicle, irrespective of gas prices, and now you're paying dearly for it. No sympathy.

Matt said...

From US News:

Last week, we told you that a glut of SUVs on used car lots had led to low prices, making this a great time to buy a recent used sport utility or truck, if you have the need. Throughout the weekend, media reports have focused on the other side of that coin.

If you own an SUV, it's probably losing value.

Gas prices rising steadily toward $4 a gallon have driven million of consumers to buy smaller cars this year. When they buy that small or midsize sedan, a tremendous number have used an SUV as a trade-in -- leading to a glut of SUVs sitting on used car dealer lots this spring.

The AP explains, "Used SUV sales in March were down 14 percent nationally compared to last year, according to data compiled by CNW Marketing Research. That follows drops in used SUV sales of more than 8 percent for the first two months of the year, compared to the same months in 2007." The "has sent used SUV prices plummeting, giving owners a shock when they try to trade theirs in and find out how little they can get."

The Orlando Sentinel says "Used-car dealers don't want the big vehicles on their lots anymore because hardly anyone is buying them. Some won't take them at any price."

Guy Lance, sales manager at Admiral Nissan in Pleasantville, New Jersey, told the Press of Atlantic City that he increasingly sees "people trying to trade in SUVs that are less than a year old." Lance added, "Normally, people don't trade out that quickly," but, "Let's admit it, when you go to a gas station and say, 'Just put $90 in my truck,' that's a little hard to swallow."

Dave Eller, general sales manager of Hurley Chrysler Jeep in DeLand Florida, told that state's News-Journal that "some large vehicles are dropping thousands of dollars in value each month. … Anything diesel has dropped $5,000 in the past five months," he added.

Used car dealers facing lots filled with unwanted SUVs are struggling to figure out how to unload them. Many may be going overseas. Sales manager Al Johnson of AutoNation's Maroone Nissan in Pembroke, Florida told the AP that "the dealership had been exporting about one car a month" in recent years, but "this year they average roughly 10."

Mark said...

Except that most large cities are socialist democrat hell-holes.

High taxes, high crime, poor schools, massive corruption, dealing with unions...the reasons most people moved away in the first place have not changed...

Stuck in So Pa said...

Anybody else noticed that she said that the other big reason to move was that the condo "WAS worth $500,000," but didn't complete the sentence with "but it's only worth $xxxx.xx today."

Wonder Why?

Oh, loved the granite countertop!

Anonymous said...

FYI - Hartland is about 27mi from downtown MKE, not 50mi. Living 27 miles from downtown MKE has been really, really smart for years. Hartland's schools are much better, crime and violence are much lower, it a nice, affluent area surrounded by lakes and until recently there were no luxury condos to lure people downtown. That being said, this guy must have some seriously fuel inefficient cars. So instead of buying a couple Prii, he'll drop $500k to move to a condo that should be work $250k.

AZDavidPhx said...

That's right - instead of spending 1000.00 a month on gas, buy a 500K condo.

Big savings!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a TV show 30 years ago about some guy who lived in his RV in the parking lot of the place where he worked?

mairca izda debol said...

I live 5 minutes from work. Other people I work with live 90 minutes away. I can't imagine commuting 3 hours each day, 15 hours each week. That's like an extra two days of work fighting thru the traffic.

Banana Republicrat said...

Hopefully, America can also figure out that borrowing the money to maintain those roads, utilities, etc. for so few people has been just as stupid.

I look forward to scavenging the ruins for dune buggy and crossbow parts, not mention fighting the Lord Humongous!

Anonymous said...

To those of you who believe you are much better off than people who have to drive like us South Dakotans who are being slaughtered by this, you are. God help you big city boys when the dirivative bubble blows. You will then understand the nightmare of trying to eat with your food thousands of miles away and no way to get it, much less pay for it. This is an interesting topic of converstion but not one city dwellers want to have. I wish you luck and good health but understand, this energy thing has to be delt with or there will be emense suffering. No one will escape least of all city dwellers.

Reality said...

As fuel prices get higher and higher, city living will face its own problems, namely, what the heck would you do when the truck drivers stop delivering food from California?

Even before that happens, city living subjects a persone to one set of monopolists after another:

(1) The city fathers are all to happy to tax you to buy votes from the dependent crowd;

(2) Everything is more expensive in the city. Fresh produce and cold cuts are twice as expensive in the city groceries as at Walmart Supercenters. If you spend $500 on month on food, the difference in food cost alone would exceed the gas cost.

For $500k+, one should be able to get an acre or two of land with half an hour to one hour drive of the city. Renting would cost even less in monthly payment. Get an energy efficient house, and learn to chop wood and grow vegetables. . . no one knows what will happen when hyperinflation kills the trade system that enables our prosperity.

Arizona Jake said...

Besides high commute costs, you can add $500 a month minimum to cool their Phoenix McMansions in the summer months.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for applying common sense in an era of Bush/Cheney/GOP/Frank/Ed/DOPES, but who in the hell will buy their cancer suburban homes in the boonies so they can make the move to downtown?

Just another commercial for the desperate six-percenters by the corrupt media. Probably the reporter is stuck with money-bleeder in the burbs.

OT, it seems that your pseudo-Messiah Obama is rolling on the ground like an obedient dog, throwing his pastor of 20 years under the bus *wink wink* for a stinky vote. Let it go, that's what I call a man of conviction, that gave in under little pressure. Obama sold his soul and his pastor for a vote. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Obama that copied Rev Wright's original sermon, "Audacity of Hope", on his speeches in Congress and campaign, and for his book? Wasn't Rev Wright's the person who baptized both Obama and Michelle and his two kids? I thought that Obama was a "different" politician. Yeah, right, even Rev Wright called Obama on his politician BS.

Anonymous said...

Except that most large cities are socialist democrat hell-holes.

High taxes, high crime, poor schools, massive corruption, dealing with unions...the reasons most people moved away in the first place have not changed...


Agreed. Don't forget all the soup kitchens that create skid rows filled with Obama's base. The Audacity of Laziness.

LibVet said...

GM Posts $3.3B Losses In First Quarter
Automaker Blames Sagging SUV Sales And Strike By Major Supplier For Dismal Results


http://tinyurl.com/5a5xvt



What a company. They are drowning in debt and make one bad decision after another. Blame the unions if you like, it was management that put all the eggs in one basket.

Anonymous said...

During my early 20's, I lived comfortably on my sailboat located in Marina del Rey, California. The slip cost was only $10 / ft for my 35' Columbia sailboat (=$350/month). The slip allowed for access to Marina City Club Condo amenities such as bathrooms, spa, tennis, etc.

www.marinacityclub.com

Plus, the infamous nightclub Red Onion was steps from my boat slip. Hot European girls galore. Hey Swedish, Norwegian, and British girls out there, if you ever been to a sailboat after partying at Red Onion, I was your captain. LOL

Anonymous said...

Point 1 - Does he expect to sell his current house before he moves? Or is he going to be stuck with two mortgages?

Point 2 - He was talking about Baby boomers living closer to work. Guess this means no retirement, hm?

Anonymous said...

I also have no sympathy for today's lemmings drving those barges.

Back in the 70's I subscribed to the energy savings mantra. Bought Vw's and crap cars. I was stuck in lines for 5 gallons of gas many times at 6 AM.

Then I saw the oil supply come back in the 80's 90's and 00's and along with that, the soccer moms and their SUVS, Hummers and Excursions.

I along with many others sacrificed a lot of good times so that these gas gusslers could drag their fat a#$ cars around in later decades.

I ain't buying saving gas and energy. I'll burn it while I can, still enjoying driving my Bimmer 750 around town. Screw all the SUV and truck drivers. If we run out of petro molecules, we will all be in the same boat. Since I am retired, I don't give a d#$%. Like I said before on this forum, when all the Corporate jets stop flying and Bellagio turns off its fountains, then I get serious about energy saving. It's all about diverting assets so the rech can continue to have the good life.

Disgruntled Retired Baby Boomer

Anonymous said...

at 17 cents a gallon it sounds like hugo chavez can afford those/and "tanks" and at 15 cents a gallon ditto to iraq

anon e. moose said...

I'm tracking my gas purchases for 3 years now, and my annual cost never been higher than $1,500 for two (30 mpg) cars. That "$1000 a month on gas" statement is BS, sounds like a spin to justify condo purchase.

Anonymous said...

seems "they" "get" you one way or another.......

Anonymous said...

SUVs and Hummers may become condos

Happy Homedebtor said...

Re: 50 miles to work.

Frank, you're as narrow-minded and short-sighted as the people you hate - just so you know.

Driving 50 miles isn't driving 50 miles. I had a 27 mile commute and it was pain. I interviewed a sysadmin who had a 25 mile commute that was 3 hours each way. I have a friend who commuted 75 miles to work and it was a pleasant ride.

The one with the longest commute had a big house on acreage in a great school district and paid far less than a typical generic tract-house on a postage stamp. It's called prioritization: his kids got their schools, the family got a big house with a big yard without paying out the a$$ leaving lots of extra money for other things. And what's funnier is his commute at the time was about the same as my 27-mile one. :)

As usual, hardcore-HP'ers show their ignorance and inability to look at the big picture/see the world for the shades of gray it is, rather than the black and white they want it to be in order to benefit them exclusively.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

wait a minute

yesterday you had a piece on that guy in Tampa living alone in a condo building. You mocked him of course and wrote about how condo living sux. Now all of a sudden condo living is the way to go and we should all buy condos.

Come on man have some consistency in your points of view.

As for $1000 a month, I find that suspicious. $1000 at $3.50 a gallon is 285 gallons. Even with a gas guzzling SUV that gets 15MPG that will take you 4250 miles. This guy's doing a lot of driving outside of his commute which won't change if he lives downtown.

What he's also not taking into consideration is the condo fees he'll be paying. Any gas savings will be sent to the condo board. That looks like a fairly high end condo he's looking at so expect at least $500 a month in fees. Poof, there go his gas savings and on top of it he'll be living in an apartment building.

I think the point that you are missing is that all across our Homeland our citizens are trying to figure out how to keep the Great Consumption Binge going, whether it be Big cars, Big Houses, BIG Condos, Big diamond rings, BIG BIG BIG. (Peter Gabriel sang it so well twenty freakin years ago and no one listened to him).

You can debate the good BIG vs the bad BIG all damn day.

Wait for it....

Wait for it....

It's over.

JaneZ

Happy Homedebtor said...

When the wife and I bought last year, the better of our 2 vehicles got 20mpg avg. Now the worse of our 2 gets 29 (hers pulls 33). Her commute takes maybe 7 gallons/week, mine blows about 10. So 17 gallons comes to $68/week, or $272/mo. Had we continued to rent in a bad county closer to both our jobs with bad schools/crime/etc, she'd get maybe an hour a week back and save 2 gallons/week. I'd save maybe 6. So 8 gallons = $32/week or $144/mo. That's a small price to pay - less than 0.1% of our monthly gross - in order to live safely, 1/4 mile from excellent schools surrounded by trees/farms.

Oh yeah - our power company is about 20% cheaper than the one that does the city/nearby suburbs, ours is significantly more energy-efficient, and we got about 60% more house for 15-20% more to boot...and 40 years younger. :)

So to recap:
Increased gas costs: $144/mo
Decreased power costs: $30-60/mo
Efficiency savings: $20/mo (despite being 60% larger)
Decreased *heating gas* costs: $25-30/mo annualized

So $35-70/mo extra for a beautiful, large new house in a good, safe neighborhood, with excellent schools, surrounded by trees and deer...yeah, losing out BIGTIME! ;)

As for lost time - I lose about 4 hrs/week and my wife loses about 1. If your life is so packed that this significantly impacts it, seek professional help...I'm taking 9 gradschool creds and working fulltime and I can manage it.

Anonymous said...

Folks, you've got to work wherever you can so if driving is the way to do it then so be it. And even with a 50 mile commute, a well maintained Corolla still gets 30 mpg on the highway. Even brand new, that's a $14K capital investment which can last 15 or more years with less than $500 per year on maintenance (including brake pads, belts, tires, the occasional starter, the water pump, and oil changes [but sans blowing out the main transmission]).

I think the question here is whether or not the home is worth it when being able to move: 4 yrs in Philly, 2 yrs in St Louis, and 3 yrs in Houston becomes the norm for a white collar professional? I'd say, rent in a safe town (or if in a city, a secured facility thus paying for that armed guard), drive a fuel efficient car, and keeping the idea of moving for a better position at the back of your mind.

Anonymous said...

so they can make the move to downtown?


Who wants to live downtown by skid row and all the traffic and pollution?

Anonymous said...

Spend $500/mo on the condo HOA to buy an apartment. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Re: I.m a stupid renter

You certainly don't live in California.......what city are you in?

-AF

Anonymous said...

on the flipside of Frank's comment...they could give condos away for free and I wouldn't want to live in one. I've lived in enough apartments to never want another again. And for all the fancy talk, that's all a condo is, an apartment. Although it's even worse since with an apartment you pay rent and you're done. With a condo you pay a mortgage, condo fees, property tax and if the fridge breaks you pay for the repairman too. And on top of that when you step outside the front door you are greeted by bums, gangs, garbage and grafitti.

Thanks but no thanks.

I'll gladly spend an hour in my car to live in a house with acreage as I do now. I live 18 miles from work and on a bad day that takes me an hour. On a good day 40 minutes. And with my 32 MPG commuter car the total cost of my commute works to about $4 a day. No way in hell I'd chance my life around to live in some shitty ass apartment so I can save $4 a day.

As someone else said, this is just the latest NAR marketing ploy. I would expect HPers to be a little less gullible than this.

Anonymous said...

Don't want to be in the city - or even the 'burbs - WTSHTF. Best to be out with a well, land to grow a garden, and guns.

Anonymous said...

Again, probably not that dire. I think the dwellers on this site might have a depression problem, go to a MD and get some zoloph before you off yourselves. Yikes.

Stuck in So Pa said...

Mark said...
Except that most large cities are socialist democrat hellholes.

High taxes, high crime, poor schools, massive corruption, dealing with unions...the reasons most people moved away in the first place have not changed...
===========================

Take out just the high crime part, and you just described living in the "sticks".

Our property taxes are outrageous for what little (read: nothing) we get.

Our school system is an education establishment controlled joke ("But you want good education, don't you? After all, the kids come first".)

The good-old-boy cronyism and corruption from the York county board of supervisors on down is enough to gag a maggot.

And of course, there's always the good old teacher's union and state worker's union, whose tentacles reach even out here.

The ONLY plus is the low crime rate. But I believe that's going to change as well once the scum level realizes that there’s no real police protection (state police are all we got and they are stretched thin) out in the “sticks”!

long beach,ca said...

i live in a downtown condo and take the bus to another downtown for work. save money on parking, gas, and maintenance.

pa_dweller said...

My drive is 100 miles (2 hours) each way which I drive round trip twice per week.

I drive in Monday morning and leave Tuesday night. I return to the DC area Thursday morning and leave early Friday. On Wednesday, I work from home which means forwarding my office phone and muting my Xbox if ever anyone really tries to call me on Wednesday.

I spend 65 dollars per week going 400 miles in my pre-owned Camry.

I spend two nights per week at hotels or friends houses which are very close to the office (about 15 minutes). At maximum of 8 nights per month, the cost is less than 700 dollars per month. My total driving time is 9 hours per week and I get one day off per week (Wednesday) and two nights living far away from the nagging wife and household chores.

All told I pay 1000 and give up being at home two nights per week (- which I kind of enjoy!)

It's not a perfect solution but here's where I live:

A 5 acre wooded mountain lot in a nice neighborhood (conservation zone) in an energy efficient house (custom built 3 story, 3000 sq ft cape code built in '02 with walk out basement and detached garage). We have a great view of nature, the mountains, and the ski slopes from our many decks. 5 minutes from the house is the state park with a big lake and and tons of trails. Lots of oppurtunities for hunting and fishing nearby, free firewood and gardening in my backyard. I am also close to my family, 25 minutes from the PA state capital (where my wife is going to work), and 10 minutes from cheap abundant shopping.

Like I said, it's not perfect but my mortgage is 1000 per month (not including property taxes). I paid 230 (just recently) and am spending another 10K or so finishing the basement, doing landscaping.

If I tire of the driving, I can change jobs and work near the house (albeit for less money). Life is simple where I live, relaxed, peaceful, no illegals, no keeping up with the jones, very little traffic, nice friendly folks everywhere, stable housing market.

I just though your readers would be interested in my approach to dealing with the crazed life of working in the nation's capital.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Again, probably not that dire. I think the dwellers on this site might have a depression problem, go to a MD and get some zoloph before you off yourselves. Yikes.

Ignorance is bliss.

The drug is zoloft, not zoloph. Is that what you take to maintain your happy, skippy, little world?

JaneZ

The Housing Bubble Ate My Balls said...

I ditched my 3 hour 200 mile daily commute for a new job, new apartment and, new city with an 25 minute 8 mile commute using public transportation. Did it before prices went nutty and now I am glad I did.

Even though my car gets 43 miles per gallon of diesel I am very glad to not be making that drive anymore now that it's ~$4.30 a gallon.

Old commute would be $100 a week plus tolls, plus car costs..

New Commute $140 a month, done! no tolls no wear and tear. Oh and commuter pass is paid for pre-tax, so my taxable income is lower.

Yeah I give up some freedom and have to share space with other commuters but, the price is right and it is a whole lot less hassle!!

I will never live in a burb and make that kind of commute again.

Anonymous said...

When I see anyone driving a Hummer, I just burst into waves of laughter...

Especially if they're going to a recycling center and have a "STOP GLOBAL WARMING!" bumper sticker.

Back when I used to take Santiago Canyon (two-lane mountain back road in OC), I used to get stuck behind blinged-out Hummer after blinged-out Hummer, all driving 20 UNDER the limit as timid as possible. Always a Hummer that cost more than my house, always with a "BUSHITLER STOLE THE ELECTION!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!" bumper sticker.

Anonymous said...

What sort of jackass is spending over $1,000 a month in gas?

Hey idiot, rather than buy the $500,000 one-bedroom downtown "apartment," get a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder sedan like I did.

I commute 45 miles each way to work and it takes about 50 minutes. I get a nice quiet time with some coffee and Sirius satellite news to unwind, and my daily gas price is about $12. If I spend $300 a month on gas, that's a lot, and the rent I pay for a nice downtown apartment in an older town 44 miles from the city is 1/3 of what one would pay for a cramped, crumbling studio downtown.

I also have the option to telecommute once a week.

All this talk about how we're all going to crowd into overpriced, crime-ridden city slums simply due to gas prices is laughable. Chrysler, Ford and GM all sell sub-$19K midsized comfortable 4-cylinder sedans that can slash the fuel consumption of the average commuter by 2/3. Anyone who would keep the Hummer and buy an overpriced $600K house to "save money," instead of dumping the Hummer and getting a real car with good mileage, is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

I hope gas goes to $10 a gallon. I am sick of these over sized monstrosities on the road. I would be hurt, but people who drive those tanks would be hurt more, this would give me satisfaction.