Why It Really is 'Location Location'

Jan 13, 2014

Think living outside the city will leave more change in your pockets? If you’ll be commuting to work, and driving long distances to frequent destinations (like the bank and grocery store), you may be spending more than you realize.

How much more? HUD’s My Transportation Cost Calculator can help you find out. By choosing a location and entering information about your income, housing, cars, and travel patterns, you’ll see how where you live and how far you regularly must drive can impact your bottom line.

New Age

In past decades people tended to live close near to where they were employed and transportation was not a large percentage of household cost.

But according to a recent study of 28 metropolitan areas done by the Center for Housing Policy, the average household now spends 20% - 50% of its income on transportation—to and from work, running the kids around, and going to everyday destinations, like the mall, grocery store, etc.

“People may think they are saving money by buying a house that is cheaper, but the transportation costs could end up making their total costs more expensive in the long run,” explains Shelley Poticha, Director of the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at HUD.

The calculator provides estimates of both housing and transportation costs which can, in turn, help homebuyers make more informed purchase decisions, she notes.

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