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  • FIRST POST
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 10th Feb 18, 12:17 PM
    • 425Posts
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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 3
    • spirit
    • By spirit 11th Feb 18, 7:11 AM
    • 2,732 Posts
    • 6,244 Thanks
    spirit
    Hi Spirit. Funnily enough, we have just arranged to view a house in Marple

    It's either there, or Disley/Furness Vale - both are nice areas within 40 minutes train journey from Manchester. Thanks for the tip though - it's great to get more ideas of potential areas. Can I ask where in South Manchester you're living?
    Originally posted by KatieDee
    Sure. The area called The Heatons (4 Heatons in total,) h mersey. H moor, h chapel and h norris. I've lived here 10 months and love it.
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 11th Feb 18, 7:51 AM
    • 3,268 Posts
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    tori.k
    I have a 40mile and DH 50, currently we've decided to move slapbang between our commutes like others it's not the driving but the time I can both be home in 35 mins on a good day in the summer it's an hour+, the time I get home cook tea and get everything sorted its 8pm before I've clock off.
    We get less house for our money closer to work but there is better infrastructure and even running the cheapest most fuel efficient cars our budget allows it's still a 6th of our annual income in transport cost a year.
    But.... We are also ( luck holding) on our last stint of employment before retirement and it's also an area we are happy to finish out our days, when we were younger our needs were more closer to family and our support network that helped with the children as jobs changed but that need didn't.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
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    • warby68
    • By warby68 11th Feb 18, 8:04 AM
    • 1,015 Posts
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    warby68
    I've commuted for 30 years, the last 20+ into Manchester from the North.

    Of all aspects of life/work and raising a family the commuting has been the hardest for its drain on time and energy. My journey time has risen from 45 mins to 1h 30 each way over those 20y for the same location - I stuck with it as, since children, I have worked part time and staying with my employer kept me in a 'professional' salary with benefits. More flexible working finally reached my employer last year and some working from home is now possible - I had been requesting it for 15 years lol. THIS is the godsend. My travel, now it isn't every day, is so much less of a grind. You seem to have that perk and a flexible employer so are pretty well placed. However, if you don't commute 5 days a week then it can be hard to take advantage of season tickets for travel and parking - generally speaking the common theme has been 4 days a week min to make a season ticket worthwhile although I'm not up to speed these days as I drive for my sins.

    When my sons were small, we used family and my husband who was usually more local for emergency pick ups. If BOTH of you are 90 minutes away and have noone else, childcare could be tricky unless you use childcare near work rather than home. However it doesn't end there - the school years were actually trickier as there was very limited after school care at the time. Hopefully better now. Still never known anywhere open beyond 5.45/6pm which never worked with a 5pm City finish.

    Plus side, we've always had a decent size home in a nice area and even 20+ years ago when I was making a career move to Manchester, I couldn't afford South Manchester in an area I was comfortable with (single then). With hindsight, staying this side of Manchester was probably the right call - the proximity of family, countryside, nice areas and other connections proved more vital than a swanky postcode.

    I sympathize, it isn't an easy call. I'd probably favour trying an area out these days before committing even if there is some cost as moving after buying is far less easy than it was. That said, nothing ever has to be forever. If you get it wrong something will change be it job or location and sometimes these things are outside your control anyway.

    If I had to call it now, even with all that experience, I'd still probably favour chancing a dodgy commute over a dodgy, inferior living environment. Feeling 'at home' somewhere is very important especially with a family.

    PS Its NEVER distance, its TIME and EASE which make commuting good or bad.
    Last edited by warby68; 11-02-2018 at 8:06 AM.
    • oz0707
    • By oz0707 11th Feb 18, 11:02 AM
    • 545 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    oz0707
    I've just finished a 3 week job. 1hr there 1hr 15mins home. Quite far for the time - 51 miles. Then again I live close to the motorway and the job was also close to a junction. Also it was all m1 so easy driving.

    I don't mind a commute like this for a short term but wouldn't want it everyday for a year. Everyones different, it's normal for some people.
    • snowflakes2019
    • By snowflakes2019 11th Feb 18, 1:46 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    snowflakes2019
    Hi, have you thought about Rossendale / whitworth area ? I have been commuting to Manchester for the last 19 years, manage it in 40 minutes.
    Nice rural aspect , villages. Some beautiful old property sale reasonably priced.
    Access to M60 and M62, trains available but I drive so have never used them.
    • MoneySavingUser
    • By MoneySavingUser 11th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    • 1,625 Posts
    • 647 Thanks
    MoneySavingUser
    Hi,

    I haven't read the entire thread, I used to drive 1 hour to work and 1 hour back every week. At the time I got used to it, though one of my coworkers mentioned that in a way all that time in the car is like doing an extra day of work!

    I now live closer to work and it is only 15 minutes.

    My suggestion is that as you have some flexibility at work can you work slightly different hours such as 7-3 or 10-6 and perhaps you would miss some of the traffic by doing this but still be in the office for meetings etc? (not sure what time the traffic starts building up for you). Does your other half have any flexibility?

    I suggest trying to get a house you can afford easily and see if work can be fitted around the traffic!
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 11th Feb 18, 5:41 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 357 Thanks
    KatieDee
    Hi, have you thought about Rossendale / whitworth area ? I have been commuting to Manchester for the last 19 years, manage it in 40 minutes.
    Nice rural aspect , villages. Some beautiful old property sale reasonably priced.
    Access to M60 and M62, trains available but I drive so have never used them.
    Originally posted by snowflakes2019
    Thank you for the suggestion - I had a quick look on Rightmove and the properties there are beautiful and so affordable! However, it isn't the area for us, I'm afraid

    We just got back from a second viewing and I've decided that this property in particular is just too far out for me. It didn't help that it was snowing on the way there and back, but I'm pretty certain that if I'm struggling on a Sunday afternoon, I'd be a wreck in weekday rush hour

    As a side note, the A6 is made infinitely worse by morons who think they're above the law and able to park on double yellow lines!

    Hi,

    I haven't read the entire thread, I used to drive 1 hour to work and 1 hour back every week. At the time I got used to it, though one of my coworkers mentioned that in a way all that time in the car is like doing an extra day of work!

    I now live closer to work and it is only 15 minutes.

    My suggestion is that as you have some flexibility at work can you work slightly different hours such as 7-3 or 10-6 and perhaps you would miss some of the traffic by doing this but still be in the office for meetings etc? (not sure what time the traffic starts building up for you). Does your other half have any flexibility?

    I suggest trying to get a house you can afford easily and see if work can be fitted around the traffic!
    Originally posted by MoneySavingUser
    Thank you! This is a very good idea, and something I would consider if we did choose to move a little further out. Although my partner has far less flexibility than myself, his routes into work are much simpler than mine as he doesn't need to drive. The main issue with us moving out of the ring road is just my drive to work, so arranging to go in earlier and finish earlier would help a lot.

    So at the moment, we're trying to work out the perfect distance between being out of the city and living a quieter, village lifestyle, and not spending hours of my life getting to and from work.
    Last edited by KatieDee; 11-02-2018 at 5:47 PM.
    • mrsammyp
    • By mrsammyp 12th Feb 18, 8:28 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    mrsammyp
    40 minutes on a train seems perfect to me and the season ticket is cheap in reality. Think of the other benefits; cut down to one car (potentially), reduced petrol costs.

    I do an 1hr 20 mins journey into London each day and itís nice to relax, catch up on TV series, read a book/newspaper or even MSE .
    • Mahsroh
    • By Mahsroh 12th Feb 18, 8:38 AM
    • 339 Posts
    • 330 Thanks
    Mahsroh
    Not read the whole thread but seen comments about focusing more on time than distance. 100% agree with this. I've had a 17mile commute in the past that took an hour. I've also had a 50mile commute that took an hour! I then had a 27mile commute where door to door I was lucky if it took less than 1hr 30mins (though that did include a 10/15min walk just to get to the car park!). Fortunate now that I have a 15mile/25minutes journey!


    If it takes you 40mins now, and will be 40mins by train from your new location.... I wouldn't worry about it too much.... As long as the extra travel costs are budgeted for.
    • lovehols
    • By lovehols 12th Feb 18, 9:51 AM
    • 214 Posts
    • 122 Thanks
    lovehols
    I use to travel from Northwich to Wolverhampton, 120 miles a day down the grueling M6. The amount of times my travelling has taken me longer than I've actually been at work. The M6 between J15-18 was horrific but I was faced with redundancy so had no choice.

    I stuck it for 3 years. I was lucky to get a promotion and I now work from home two or three days a week but do have to spend 1 or 2 nights in London every week. It means catching the train but from Crewe to London is good and work pay for travel and a hotel. If you're on a good train route you should be much better. I couldn't imaging driving the M6 again, though I don't particularly enjoy spending 1-2 nights away from home every week.

    Good luck.
    • JaffaC
    • By JaffaC 12th Feb 18, 10:13 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    JaffaC
    We were quite similar to you 6 or so years ago. Renting in Didsbury but not able to afford to buy there so looking at somewhere further out.


    We ended up in Hazel Grove which was fine as a stop gap but wasn't somewhere I wanted to stay long term. I would have liked to be in Disley as I think it's a much nicer area but decided that I didn't want the extra hassle of a commute from Disley over Hazel Grove.
    With regards to the train, although Disley is just one stop further the trains only run to Disley hourly whereas they are more frequent at Hazel Grove just something to bear in mind. I know a lot of people who live in Disley drive to Hazel Grove and you might be ok with that but that was too much faffing for me in the morning!


    I have friends who live in Marple who love it there (they alternate between driving and getting the train into town and that seems to work for them).
    Despite my journey to work being much shorter now (I've both moved area and job!) I much preferred a slightly longer commute that was train rather than my current car based commute so something else to consider. Time in the car I see as completely wasted time but on the train I could usually at least read a book/the paper which seemed a more productive use of my time.
    • KittenChops
    • By KittenChops 12th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    • 126 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    KittenChops
    <snip>... or a £1184 a year rail/tram/bus pass ...<snip>
    Originally posted by KatieDee
    My commute used to be almost 2 hours each way (door to door) consisting of 2 trains and a tram each way. If you might end up doing a commute with more than one leg each way, consider that even a small delay at the beginning could mean you miss a connection later on...

    I was in my early thirties when I started and did it for about 7 years. I wouldn't even consider doing it again.

    I'm in the south east so not sure how public transport costs compare to where you are, but the cost of my season ticket went up 40% in that time.
    • Robots
    • By Robots 12th Feb 18, 1:45 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 939 Thanks
    Robots
    I just left a high-paying job in Birmingham because of the commute. On paper, it should have been a 45mins-1hr journey, in reality, it was almost 2hrs each way.

    I tried every which way to try and cut the commute down but nothing worked - setting off at different times, going by different routes, etc.

    You should try the journey yourself, at rush hour, then see how you feel.
    Veteran gamer and clean freak
    • bamgbost
    • By bamgbost 23rd Feb 18, 3:02 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    bamgbost
    Hi KatieDee

    2 Weeks on what are you thinking? You reckon you can hack the commute?

    Just a brief update from me. I am doing a 95mile round trip commute each day. I am 3 weeks in and I must admit you have to enjoy driving to do it! And luckily I do..!

    Its been taking me anywhere from 1hr5 to 1hr 20 e/w. Luckily theres been no accidents along my route so far. Only roadworks and loadsa roundabout traffic!

    Its ok. But I admit, when you first get it to work or home, you do need "extra time" to perk up. Its a change from previous commutes of 35mins ish. But none the less doable!

    Also, dont forget additional Fuel costs, and car maintenance that would come from the extra distance!
    • chunkytfg
    • By chunkytfg 23rd Feb 18, 4:23 PM
    • 291 Posts
    • 355 Thanks
    chunkytfg
    PS Its NEVER distance, its TIME and EASE which make commuting good or bad.
    Originally posted by warby68
    THIS!!!

    I used to commute into london from THe middle of Norolk 100miles each way by car and it was never a pain! The lack of 1 single motorway having sections of single carriageway A roads and then the bit of town driving at the end should have been enough on paper to make it horrible. It never was!

    I work shifts so never travelled in rush hour. The roads were so quiet that it would take me 1hr40 each way every time!

    Before that I lived 25 miles away coming into town from the other direction and it was a nightmare. I would have to be 30 mins early because to arrive on time meant leaving barely 5 minutes later the traffic built up so fast! Constant delays and accidents and then for nearly 2 years 50mph speed cameras on the motorway while they widened it!

    Would take the easy 100 miles over the difficult 25 any day
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    • MissMarble
    • By MissMarble 1st Mar 18, 5:37 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    MissMarble
    Hi KatieDee,

    Did you manage to find somewhere or are you still looking? We ventured to Macclesfield last weekend via car and found a lovely house that needed a big hug but we were unable to go back for a second viewing! Hope you're having better luck finding a place than us!
    • bamgbost
    • By bamgbost 17th May 18, 3:16 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    bamgbost
    THis threads been buried in the list of posts. thought to revive it.

    Any updates KatieDee?
    • KatieDee
    • By KatieDee 17th May 18, 6:10 PM
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    • 357 Thanks
    KatieDee
    Unfortunately not!

    We viewed a few more properties in and around Disley but the commute to view there and back has really put me off. I just don't think I could handle that day in, day out, regardless of how beautiful the area is. If something amazing came up there, I can't say I wouldn't be tempted, but it really made me think about the ongoing stresses of a long drive ten times a week.

    We started looking around the Glossop area and really fell in love with it. It's very similar, if a little more "League of Gentlemen" in some parts. Very affordable too.

    The commute is of course a total nightmare, but it's somewhat more convenient than Disley was for us both, especially regarding public transport. In terms of mileage, it's a fair bit shorter too. We've also been advised about the bypass (which to be fair, there have been talks of for a least a billion years) so I can see room for an increase in house prices in the next few years.

    So we're just keeping an eye out for that perfect forever home. We've seen a few that have tickled our fancy, but nothing which ticks every box. We're happy where we are, so we're in no rush.

    I am so glad we didn't put an offer in on the original house though - I still love the design of it, but it was just too far out. It's still for sale now, several months later!
    Last edited by KatieDee; 17-05-2018 at 6:13 PM.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 17th May 18, 8:29 PM
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    theartfullodger
    I was living in the Highlands of Scotland but working, contractor, in Belgium, Brussels: 3 days a week & small-flat paid-for. Drive/Train to Inverness or Glasgow, fly Brussels.

    Do I win?

    Highest ever per day rate.
    • thelem
    • By thelem 18th May 18, 1:51 PM
    • 755 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    thelem
    I'd consider the time and money separately.


    Time - typical work day (adjust to your own timings)

    Sleeping - 8 hours
    Breakfast etc - 1 hour
    At office (inc lunch) - 9 hours
    Other - 6 hours


    If you have a minimal commute, then you have 6 hours each evening to spend how you want.
    If you have a 90 minute commute, then you only have 3 hours. If your commute is too long your future young kids may be in bed when you leave, and in bed when you get back home.


    Money
    How much money will the commute cost you per year? If driving, remember to include maintenance and depreciation, not just petrol.
    How much more per year would your mortgage be if you bought a more central property?
    How would you feel if you had to have a smaller property because of the location?
    Note: Unless otherwise stated, my property related posts refer to England & Wales. Please make sure you state if you are discussing Scotland or elsewhere as laws differ.
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