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    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 12:17 PM
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    KatieDee
    Commuting - how far is too far?
    • #1
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:17 PM
    Commuting - how far is too far? 10th Feb 18 at 12:17 PM
    My partner and I are currently looking to purchase a house in the Manchester/Stockport area. At present we have no children, but this is likely to be something we consider in the near future.

    We both work in the city and have a car. We would have loved to buy in South Manchester where we're currently renting, but we simply cannot justify the cost for the average 3 bed house. We've been looking further out, where the average commute to work will be around 40 miles a day. I currently live around 8 miles from work and although the traffic is bad, it isn't gruelingly so. I am very fortunate as my hours are flexible, so it isn't too big of an issue if I get caught in traffic. It takes me around 40 minutes from my door to my office.

    The properties we are looking at are close to railway stations and only 40 mins into the city via train. It's also marginally closer to my family who live on the other side of the peaks. If we move further out, travel costs will increase significantly, but I have the option of driving or using the train. I will either have more petrol costs to pay, or a £1184 a year rail/tram/bus pass.

    In the past, I've driven a 50 mile round journey, but this was with a small amount of city driving, then a swift zip down the M1/M18, so nowhere near as bad as the A6. I love the area we've looked at, have a house in mind but I have this fear that we'll buy a house there, love it for the first few months while it's all new, then dread the journey to work for the rest of the time I live there. I also worry about the future, if we choose to have children, and the additional time/cost travelling so far will add.

    I hope this is in the right section, but I'm just looking for experiences of those who currently commute more than 30 miles a day to work, how you find this, and if you find it's worth the sacrifice
Page 1
    • ashe
    • By ashe 10th Feb 18, 12:26 PM
    • 334 Posts
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    ashe
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:26 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:26 PM
    I live in Stockton on Tees and work in Leeds, its a 59 mile trip each way to the office.

    They do let me work from home most of the time though
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 10th Feb 18, 12:31 PM
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    unforeseen
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:31 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:31 PM
    I live south of Chester and drive to Liverpool each day. 80 mile round trip. Before that I've worked in Derby, 140 mile round trip. I hated the A50 at Stoke and Uttoxeter after that
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 12:34 PM
    • 407 Posts
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    KatieDee
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:34 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:34 PM
    I live in Stockton on Tees and work in Leeds, its a 59 mile trip each way to the office.

    They do let me work from home most of the time though
    Originally posted by ashe
    Thanks for your response That's quite a distance! How do you find it when you do have to go into the office?

    I too can work from home, although I am expected to be in the office a fair bit. I could make an arrangement with my employer to work from home on certain days of the week to reduce costs, but I would feel a bit cheeky doing this as a result of me choosing to move further away

    I live south of Chester and drive to Liverpool each day. 80 mile round trip. Before that I've worked in Derby, 140 mile round trip. I hated the A50 at Stoke and Uttoxeter after that
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Wow, that is also quite a distance! This is starting to make me realise that maybe I'm worrying about nothing!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Feb 18, 12:42 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:42 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:42 PM
    In the past, on a daily commute, I've driven 50 miles each way each day - BUT - I did it every day KNOWING .... that one day that car would break down and I'd be stranded somewhere in the middle, without the funds to repair the car and ability to get to work every day.

    I was relieved when I was laid off ... as I was going to have to get a job closer to home.

    In short: That job pays for everything - and you need to be AT the job daily. There's no phoning in saying "car's broken, see you in a few weeks"... you need the ability to have the funds available to get the car towed away, get it fixed/pay for that AND the funds for alternative transport -AND- for there to actually be a second way of getting to work for the times you're required.

    If keeping your house relies on your car continuing to work without fault ... and/or if you've got enough spare cash sitting around to be able to buy yourself out of that problem if it happens.... then that's fine.

    If ... your car being off the road for 2-3 weeks will lose you that job, then it's not really doable.
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    • 407 Posts
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    KatieDee
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    In the past, on a daily commute, I've driven 50 miles each way each day - BUT - I did it every day KNOWING .... that one day that car would break down and I'd be stranded somewhere in the middle, without the funds to repair the car and ability to get to work every day.

    I was relieved when I was laid off ... as I was going to have to get a job closer to home.

    In short: That job pays for everything - and you need to be AT the job daily. There's no phoning in saying "car's broken, see you in a few weeks"... you need the ability to have the funds available to get the car towed away, get it fixed/pay for that AND the funds for alternative transport -AND- for there to actually be a second way of getting to work for the times you're required.

    If keeping your house relies on your car continuing to work without fault ... and/or if you've got enough spare cash sitting around to be able to buy yourself out of that problem if it happens.... then that's fine.

    If ... your car being off the road for 2-3 weeks will lose you that job, then it's not really doable.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Thank you for your reply, this is definitely worth thinking about, and I'm sure it's something that not many people think about.

    In terms of how this would affect my situation, we are fortunate enough to have savings in the event of issues with the car, not to mention that I would be able to hop on the train in the event that my car wasn't available. I also have very understanding employers and as I said, the option to work from home if required, so this might not be a huge barrier.

    Definitely something to remember though, as I am a born worrier and panic about my car breaking down almost every day on the way to work. I can only imagine the nightmare of the car dying on a busy A6, and the response I'd get from passersby as I delayed them even more
    • Cash-Cows
    • By Cash-Cows 10th Feb 18, 1:04 PM
    • 185 Posts
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    Cash-Cows
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:04 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:04 PM
    Question is is it too far for you. Everyone!!!8217;s different. I would hate losing an hour a day for travelling to work while others think nothing of an hour each way.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • 934 Posts
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    parkrunner
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    You say that you can't justify the cost of a property in South Manchester which makes it appear you could afford one. I'd say your concerns about the daily commute would certainly justify the outlay.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • 2,291 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    It's not so much the distance but the traffic/time it takes.

    Any chance you could drive out to where you want to buy at 'going home time', stay overnight in a B&B and then drive to work in the morning? That would at least give you some idea if it is do-able or not.
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 1:16 PM
    • 407 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    KatieDee
    Question is is it too far for you. Everyone!!!8217;s different. I would hate losing an hour a day for travelling to work while others think nothing of an hour each way.
    Originally posted by Cash-Cows
    Good question!

    I can deal with the commute, as I don't think I've ever lived closer than 10 miles to my office. However, I've mostly rented for the past couple of years, so I've always had the ability to move on if the drive got too much. With buying, I need to be absolutely sure I can handle it, otherwise I'd be unhappy. Having been unhappy in a property I owned before, I absolutely do not want to run the risk of feeling like that again, as it caused me a lot of stress.

    Renting over that way for a while might be beneficial, that way I can experience it without the commitment, but it's unnecessary cost at a time where the market is increasing, and I don't want to end up being priced out.

    This is why I'm really keen on reading other peoples experiences. I know we're all different and some of us have a higher tolerance for commuting than others, but I'm looking for positives or negatives each way, so I can try and relate

    It's not so much the distance but the traffic/time it takes.

    Any chance you could drive out to where you want to buy at 'going home time', stay overnight in a B&B and then drive to work in the morning? That would at least give you some idea if it is do-able or not.
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    This is a great idea - we actually chose to drive over after work to view a property and it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. However, that was just one journey, with no other stresses, so I'd need to do it several times to truly feel the rage of being stuck in traffic!

    You say that you can't justify the cost of a property in South Manchester which makes it appear you could afford one. I'd say your concerns about the daily commute would certainly justify the outlay.
    Originally posted by parkrunner
    We probably could afford one, but it would be the top end of our budget for a very basic house, probably not in the best area either. There are three bedroom houses going in, I hate to say it, less desirable areas that are edging on £240k. For £50k less, we could get the same size property, in a quieter and greener area - the main reason for this being the nightmare commute of course.

    It's such a hard decision to make. Luckily we're not under any pressure to buy immediately, but seeing how fast the market is moving, it's hard not to panic.
    Last edited by KatieDee; 10-02-2018 at 1:20 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Feb 18, 1:21 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ... some of us have a higher tolerance for commuting than others....
    Originally posted by KatieDee
    You're right - and that is, in part, to do with disposable income/ability to buy your way out of things and to have a more comfy car.

    I know somebody whose almost daily commute is 90 miles each way. 1½ hours on a day without road events, each way. 3 hours/day.

    It'd drive me mad.... but then I don't have a music system in the car, nor a really comfy car/ride ... and I'm also not a higher rate tax payer like they are. When their car breaks down they get it dealt with and their local dealer provides them with a car at the drop of a hat .... because it's them.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 10th Feb 18, 1:27 PM
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    HampshireH
    Partner does 88 mile round trip a day. It's tiring. It won't be forever because it's exhausting by the weekend
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 1:31 PM
    • 407 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    KatieDee
    You're right - and that is, in part, to do with disposable income/ability to buy your way out of things and to have a more comfy car.

    I know somebody whose almost daily commute is 90 miles each way. 1½ hours on a day without road events, each way. 3 hours/day.

    It'd drive me mad.... but then I don't have a music system in the car, nor a really comfy car/ride ... and I'm also not a higher rate tax payer like they are. When their car breaks down they get it dealt with and their local dealer provides them with a car at the drop of a hat .... because it's them.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Very true, PasturesNew. I think I need your friends job

    I drive a very bumpy little Mini Cooper which is already close to being on its last legs - I barely trust it to get me to work most days, never mind with double the mileage!

    I have the option of commuting on the train as well, which would be far less stressful and tiring. It's around an hour travelling that way, so probably very similar to the drive. You've definitely given me a fair bit to think about though, as after purchasing a house I definitely won't be in the position to buy a new, comfy commuter car!
    • jayII
    • By jayII 10th Feb 18, 1:33 PM
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    jayII
    Have you thought about renting in the prospective area for 6 months or so?

    Since you're already renting where you are, it would make sense to 'try out' the area you're thinking about, before commiting to buying a house there.
    Fighting the biggest battle of my life. Started 30th January 2018.
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 1:38 PM
    • 407 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    KatieDee
    Have you thought about renting in the prospective area for 6 months or so?

    Since you're already renting where you are, it would make sense to 'try out' the area you're thinking about, before commiting to buying a house there.
    Originally posted by jayII
    Great suggestion. Unfortunately, the cost of moving, deposits, landlord fees, etc, would be very expensive and would probably offset our ability to afford to buy as soon as we would like to. It cost us around £2000 to move into the flat we're in now, and I cannot see it being too different in the areas we're interested in.

    I understand the importance of vetting an area before moving to it, and in an ideal world we'd love to rent there for a while, but it isn't really an option

    We're doing all our homework, looking at statistics, schools, driving around at different times, scoping out the area, pretty much everything we can do to make sure it's right for us. It's just the commuting aspect that I'm not 100% on.
    • Nebulous2
    • By Nebulous2 10th Feb 18, 1:45 PM
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    Nebulous2
    I've done 100 miles round trip in the distant past. It was working shifts, so just 4 days a week. Fairly clear country roads, no dual carriageway, so I needed to be alert as I drove quite quickly. I stuck it for 9 months then got a transfer much closer to home. I didn't realise how much of a toll it had been taking until it was no longer there.

    I stay less than 2 miles from my office and cycle there to save parking costs. I've recently changed roles within my organisation for a very modest promotion and a lot more driving.

    I can do 300 miles in a week, including sometimes a 12 hour day with 5+ hours driving. It doesn't bother me at all, but the difference is my employer pays my travelling costs and most of my time. I may work 2-3 hours a week over my contracted hours, but that's my choice to get the job done. I can also control the days I travel, so rarely do so on a Friday or Monday, so it doesn't intrude into my weekend.

    So the difference, as with many things is the level of control you have. I chose to apply for the post, knowing it involved a lot of travel. I can manage that to suit myself. My employer pays me mileage and most of my time.

    I'd absolutely hate doing the same miles spread over 5 days as a commute because I had to. Having to get up in the morning early, leave early, home late would grind because I would feel trapped by it.
    • tiernsee
    • By tiernsee 10th Feb 18, 2:10 PM
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    tiernsee
    I used to work in London and it was a 90 minute bus and tube journey each way daily. I did this for seven years till we moved out and I now have a ten minute drive or twenty minute walk.

    The commuting wasnt too bad as I could read, I wouldnt do a 90 minute drive twice a day but some people would probably prefer the car to the tube/train. However, now I am used to the short distance it would be very hard to start commuting again, being home by 5 is great!
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 10th Feb 18, 2:24 PM
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    jackieblack
    I drive a very bumpy little Mini Cooper which is already close to being on its last legs - I barely trust it to get me to work most days, never mind with double the mileage!

    I have the option of commuting on the train as well, which would be far less stressful and tiring. It's around an hour travelling that way, so probably very similar to the drive.
    Originally posted by KatieDee
    If these were my options, it'd be the train every time - no brainer!
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    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 10th Feb 18, 2:29 PM
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    WibblyGirly
    I always think of it in time rather than distance. It used to take me an about an hour to get to work (walk/bus) so that is the maximum I'm willing to do. Though for the right job and that fact I now have a car, I could stretch that a bit as I love driving alone listening to my music.
    • p00hsticks
    • By p00hsticks 10th Feb 18, 4:24 PM
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    p00hsticks
    I always think of it in time rather than distance. It used to take me an about an hour to get to work (walk/bus) so that is the maximum I'm willing to do. Though for the right job and that fact I now have a car, I could stretch that a bit as I love driving alone listening to my music.
    Originally posted by WibblyGirly
    I'd second this - time is more important than distance. And if travelling by train / public transport, reliability and comfort is also key.

    I used to commute by rail from Stoke to Stockport - the trains were frequent and generally reliable, I could always get a seat and I found the 30-45 minute journey a good wind-up / wind down at the start and end of the day. I really enjoy reading so the journey was a good opportunity to spend time with a good book.

    I've done other journeys where trains were infrequent, often cancelled or late and standing room only - no way could I have done that twice daily for any length of time. And no way would I spend several hours a day driving in the rush hour.
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