What's the real cost of where you live....
One of my favorite books is Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin's Your Money or Your Life which asks you to figure out your relationship with money. One of nine steps in the book is to calculate your true hourly wage by counting all the money you spend to work, and the time you spend to work. This includes commuting time and costs. Well in a recent Bucks blog post there's an article about a site Abogo that calculates the average expenditures for transportation for people who live in your area. They describe themselves this way:
Abogo is a tool that lets you discover how transportation impacts the affordability and sustainability of where you live.
I punched in my neighborhood and the mix of residential and commercial leads to an odd map. But it does highlight for most places that the suburban zoning model of live in one place and work in another and shop in a completely different place adds up. So if you buy a nice house in the 'burbs thinking it's a good value. Once you add in how much it costs to get from your MacMansion to life, maybe it's not such a great deal after all.