Did you see this New York Times article about a 62-year-old Stockton, CA woman who wakes up at 2:15am for a crazy commute that gets her to work at 7am?
The writer points out that the median home value in our heroine’s neighborhood is $300K, versus $1 million near her San Francisco office.
A couple of months ago, the Seattle Times also wrote about mega-commuters, such as a Rainier Valley resident who spends 90-minutes each way getting to and from Bellevue.
At the moment, there are only 12 Bellevue homes for sale with price tags under $1 million, versus 50+ listings in the 7- and 8-figures. As for $300K homes? You won’t find them anywhere near Rainier Valley. In fact, it’s slim pickings unless you’re willing to travel south of Tacoma.
Back in February, King 5 cited a Inrix ranking in which Seattle was #23 out of 1,064 cities worldwide for awful commutes. On the bright side, for now, at least, Inrix says traffic conditions are better here than in LA or San Francisco.
PS – Check out this 2016 rent price study which showed that New Yorkers were willing to pay $56 per month for every minute they can shave from their commute.
At today’s mortgage rates, the monthly payment difference between a $300K and $1M house is around $3,300-$3,500. If you divide these amounts by $56/minute, the point of fair trade-off between owners of $300K and $1M homes is no more than 62.5 minutes of additional transit time.