Walking to Work Worth It?

In my house search, I have encountered a condo for sale very close to my work. To illustrate just exactly how close it is to my work, I’m including this image from Google Maps directions:

Pros:

  • Close to work
  • Condo = no yard work
  • No driving to work
  • 4-minute commute by foot
  • Walkable to restaurants, groceries
  • Pool
  • Close to work

Cons:

  • Small, only one bedroom
  • No room to grow
  • Little room for guests
  • No garage
  • Shared walls with neighbors
  • Monthly condo association fees
  • Expensive for the size

It sure would be nice not to have to drive to work at all. I would regain 2 hours/day of my life for other endeavors. My commute time currently works out to (10 hours/week, 40 hours/month, 480 hours/year, or 20 days per year! Plus I’d save over $100/month on fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.

However, it doesn’t come with a garage  and I have to share my walls with my neighbors. Are they noisy? Do they have loud pets? And what about the condo association fees? Are there special assessments? Will the fees go up?

So… thoughts, anyone?

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Author: PhilRW

software engineer, pianist, polymath

2 thoughts on “Walking to Work Worth It?”

  1. Do. It.

    Absolutely. You don’t have to own it forever. You can grow later. It’s a starter place, and condos are easier to rent out than houses if you find you can’t sell it when you are ready to expand. Meanwhile, dropping a one hour commute is an absolute dream. I totally love our walkable neighborhood, my lack of commute, being able to go anywhere I need to on foot, and saving the dolla billz from dropping from two cars down to one.

    I would do it.

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  2. You bring up a number of good thoughts and questions Phil. I think one of the hugest and most important questions you have to ask yourself is “how well do I like my job, and do I see myself staying in this job for 3+ years?” If that answer is a fairly emphatic “really like it” rather than just sticking with this employer until something better comes along, then it tips the scales heavily towards the condo. (If not, I’d be hesitant.) I also think I would get a feel for how coveted these one-bedroom condos are (via the location and the past stats), to surmise how easily they might be to rent out or sell in the future. They could be both. Have you actually been inside the place already? Never underestimate your gut level feel concerning the question “can I truly see myself here?” You also should ask yourself “how private a person am I?” (Is it my chance an end-unit, as that helps.) For me, sharing walls and a building with others was not a comfortable thing. But even so, less than ideal places can have great value as stepping stones to the future. I’m rambling, but these are my thoughts. Good luck and keep us posted. 🙂

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