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While this isn’t directly bike-commuter-related, this is a topic worth sharing. My friend Jefro sent a link to the following article, which discusses housing choice and how that affects transportation costs. Chris Balish also talks about this in his book How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier, and Get More Mileage Out of Life (book review here). Basically — and this should come as no surprise to the money-saving commuters among us — carefully choosing where one lives and works has the potential to be a financially savvy move:
Housing policymakers have long lamented the trend of home-buyers who “drive to qualify.” If they can’t find anything affordable in the city, house hunters wander farther and father out in search of a mortgage or a rent payment that matches their pocketbook. But of course, there’s a serious flaw in this thinking: The farther you go in search of cheaper housing, the more expensive your transportation costs become.
Scott Bernstein of the Center for Neighborhood Technology calls this “the hidden cost of housing location,” and CNT has for several years been trying to illustrate the tradeoff for homeowners and government officials who may not realize gallons of gas add up almost as fast as mortgage payments do. The Chicago-based organization maintains a massive, geo-coded database of location-specific information on average housing costs, driving rates, transportation costs, and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. The online, interactive index is both highly useful in allowing comparisons of typical household costs in different locations and highly revealing as it illuminates the benefits of close-in, walkable neighborhoods in bringing those costs down.
Read the full article by visiting The Atlantic Cities.