I was cleaning out my inbox today and ran across an article courtesy of Planetizen: Commuting. This is a brief post discussing happiness research as related to commuting and big houses. The suprising finding: you have to earn a LOT more money (40% more) to be happier with a bigger house and a long commute than a smaller house and a short commute. Check out The Commuting Paradox to see more detail supporting the Commuting article.
It's interesting to apply this to my life - I live in a medium sized townhome with a reasonable-ish commute to my job in the city (~35-40 minutes for 11 miles most days). I personally would LOVE to live closer to my job and would be fine taking a place that is the same size or slightly smaller than what I have today. Fortunately, my husband is on board with this long-term plan. Conversely, some of my neighbors and also some family members are moving out further into the burbs where they can afford a big single family house with a yard.
While the space (both indoor and outdoor) is definitely appealing, I could not handle the commute. Those few days that my 35 minute commute takes 2.5 hours (I could walk it that fast!) are enough to tell me that moving out is NOT an option for me.
Where do you stand on the house/commute balance? Are you considering moving?
Image source: Beachwood Historical Alliance