I often hear homebuyers say they "want more for their money". This
always seems to mean a larger home. Or a home with a yard. However,
since most people are on a budget, getting "more for your money" means
you have to live further away from your job or more of an urban center.
I believe getting more for your money should not be focused solely on the square foot, but on the lifestyle.
cost often not factored in when home buying are your daily health due
to traffic (which includes stress), commute time, gas, wear and tear on
your car, and simply just loss of time.
Overtime, wouldn't sitting in traffic 5 days a
week cause stress, which in turn affects your health? If you work in
downtown LA or on the Westside, is a single family home so important
that sitting in 3 hours of traffic everyday worth it?
at photo 1 on the left with all that traffic. Are you really getting
more for you money sitting in that everyday going to and from work?
if you are looking for a holistic lifestyle, then living closer to work
or some type of city center in my opinion is the way to go. Urban revitalization,
gentrification, whatever you want to call it is happening everywhere.
Think about getting home in 20-30min instead of 1 or 1 1/2hrs. And if
there's an accident...fugetaboutit! Can we just say ROAD RAGE!
deal with enough stress at work, why would you want to add extra
hours by fighting traffic? Not to mention, if you work in an office,
you sit for about 7-8 hours behind your desk. Now add an additional 2-3
hours of sitting round trip in your car.
is at least 5 days a week, about 20 plus days a month and who knows how
many countless years of your life gone because you want a home with a
slightly larger square foot, thinking you are getting more for your
I believe high density living is the future. And, I'm noticing more documentaries that support this. A few that come to mind are The End of Suburbia, Sprawling from Grace and Escape from Suburbia.
if you have the luxury of biking, walking or taking the subway/light
rail to work, then you've dramatically improved your health and reduced
Also, when you live in the
suburbs, it can be challenging just to walk and grab coffee, dinner or
even buy groceries. So, you've just sat in 12 hours of traffic
throughout the week, and now you have to get in your car to do even the
smallest of things. There are some suburban neighborhoods which have
pockets of walkable streets, but the vast majority require you to have a
the flipside, living in a walkable area, you get less square
footage in your condo, but what you lose in space you gain in
time and health, and maybe even some money. Think about waking up Saturday morning
and taking a nice stroll to a neaby cafe. No stress, no use of gas and
no wear and tear on your car. Then maybe doing some errands around your
neighborhood all by walking or maybe even biking. Much more enjoyable
than waking up, getting into your car (AGAIN), driving to a shopping
center, circling around the parking lot to look for space, just for a
cup of coffee. And, since it's getting near Christmas, do you now want
to fight the mall parking lot traffic in addition to rush hour traffic? I don't.
believe you get more for your money when you live in a walkable, denser
neighborhood where you are closer to your job, shops, grocery and/or
resturants. Why do we feel that living as far away as
possible for a larger, less expensive single family home is better than
smaller, pedestrian friendly neighborhood?
Los Angeles, I believe the smaller homes situated near the rail lines
will dramatically increase in price in the near future. Homes in walkable areas will also
become less affordable in the near future as people see
the value in going car-less. Why not get ahead and take advantage of
the trend now before you really become priced out.