We’ve finally moved! The two year goal of moving closer to work has at last come to fruition. The stressful commute of 40 minutes each way is out of our lives. And we didn’t just move to a place that’s 15 minutes from work, we lucked out and found an apartment just five minutes away! Mrs. Enchumbao and I both work for the same company, which is a plus, since we get to carpool. While others might view living five minutes away as being too close to work, we see this as an opportunity to be almost home, the minute we leave the company campus.
Many friends assumed that moving meant that we were going to buy a home. The expected path is that you get married and buy a startup home. Once you outgrow your home then you sell it and buy a bigger home for a growing family, stay in it for a few decades and then downsize when the kids are gone. After all, that’s the preferred path for banks, real estate companies and the government. Of course, we do things differently here.
We follow the path that makes the most sense for us regardless of the blueprint that society lays out. We understand that a home is a place for you to live and not an investment. If we were to look at it as an investment, after you count all the expenses, the investment return can be extremely low.
Purchasing a home comes with a hefty down payment, sales taxes, interests, a ton of fees, and may bring lots of maintenance and upkeep costs. During this stage of our lives, we can get the positive emotional return of home ownership from the place we rent. If we felt the need to buy a house, we would have saved a substantial amount to make it a cash purchase. For now, we happily own a profitable rental property in another area that subsidizes part of the rent we pay to our landlord.
The main reasons for our move was that we outgrew our first rented apartment and wanted to move closer to our workplace, so that we could avoid the nasty commute. Now, we’re so close to work that on snow days we can walk a couple of blocks and take the company-provided shuttle from the local train station, instead of driving. Of course, that is only if we deem it necessary to physically show up at the office during a storm, since we have the flexibility to work remotely.
Our new place is surrounded by a public park which feels like an extension of our backyard and provides lots of room for the future Enchumbao Junior to run and play. We also got an awesome upgrade! We’ve been looking forward to having this incredible electrical invention for a while. We couldn’t wait to hear the sounds of these dirty objects being blasted with water by rotating spray arms. It was a-must-have for our new apartment – that’s right, the one, the only, the amazing dishwasher! The former dishwasher, Mrs. Enchumbao, spent countless hour doing hard labor and has been promoted to Just Pots and Pans Scrubber. I wonder what she’s going to do with so much free time on her hands?
Aside from getting a bigger apartment that allows us to grow our family, this move is saving us time. Those of us that are pursuing financial independence understand how precious time is in our lives. In commuting time, we’ll be able to save about an hour and 10 minutes a day on average. That translates to 5.5 hours a week!
We’re now able to go home right after work instead of waiting for traffic to die down, and put that commuting time to valuable use such as cooking an early dinner, doing some hobbies, having more intimate activities, sipping a glass of wine, having a beer on the porch with friends or having fun working on this blog. With the time that we’re getting back in the morning, we can sleep in more, have breakfast at home and make time for meditation. The additional improvement in the quality of life that this move brought to us is priceless.
How long is your commute to work and what do you do to improve your experience?