Olive Court Buyers to Save on Transportation and Housing Costs
When most families think about the cost of a new home they usually think most seriously about the mortgage or rent they can afford. Transportation costs are usually thought of secondarily and not as seriously. Unfortunately, having a “we’ll deal with it later” attitude about transportation costs can really put families in a bind. Families in the L.A. region making less than $75,000 are now spending 37% of their incomes on housing and 31% of their incomes on transportation.(1) These two figures are not unrelated—where you live directly affects your transportation costs. Read A Heavy Load to find out more.
Consider two hypothetical families that decide to move to Long Beach. Both families are two-wage households with children. In each household, both parents work with one parent working in Downtown Los Angeles and the other working in Irvine. Both families buy condominiums in Long Beach at the same price. The only difference between the two families is where their homes are located and how they get to work.
Anthony and Veronica Goodchoice are looking to decrease their commuting and traffic headaches. They decide to buy a home at the new Livable Places community Olive Court, located two blocks away from a Blue Line stop. The couple is really excited about their new home, because its location will allow Veronica to take the Blue Line to her office in downtown Los Angeles instead of driving. In addition to putting her traffic woes aside, Veronica will be able to get a little work done on the way to work, and on the way home she can catch a quick nap before picking up the kids. Anthony will still drive to his job in Irvine, but the couple thinks with even one person using transit their quality of life will greatly improve.
Ari and Blake Lovakarr buy their home in another neighborhood which is not convenient to the Blue Line. They think it’s unfortunate that their new home isn’t close to the Blue Line, but in all honesty they aren’t ready to rearrange their lifestyle to use it. They don’t think using public transportation would save them that much. Are the Lovakarr’s correct? Take a look.
The Goodchoice Family Transportation Costs (2)
One car, owned and operated, for 15,000 miles/yr: $7,834
Cost of transit passes for one person for a year: $696
Total transportation costs: $8,530/year ($710/month)
The Lovakarr Family Transportation Costs
Two cars, owned and operated, for 15,000 miles/yr: $15,668
Total Transportation costs: $15,668/year ($1,305/month)
The Lovakarr family is spending almost $600 more than the Goodchoice family every month! If the Lovakarr family knew just how much money they could save perhaps they would have chosen to become neighbors with the Goodchoice family at Olive Court. Perhaps they would have found having two cars really does outweigh the cost of rearranging their lifestyles a bit to use public transportation.
Besides just reducing your transportation costs, Olive Court provides residents with access to many neighborhood amenities. In the immediate neighborhood, there are neighborhood restaurants, a park, a mid-size grocery store, library, and post office. A short ride on the Blue Line will take you to thriving downtown Long Beach where there are many restaurants and entertainment destinations.
1. Housing and Transportation Cost Trade-Offs and Burdens of Working Households in 28 Metros. Center for Neighborhood Technology and Virginia Tech. Chicago: Center for Neighborhood Technology, 2006. 12 Dec. 2006 http://www.nhc.org/pdf/chp-pub-hl06-cnt-report.pdf.
2. Transportation costs are from AAA’s Your Driving Costs 2006 which estimates driving costs for the whole country. We have assumed that both families have medium sedans and each driver drives 15,000 miles per year.