For us, it was a choice between a SFH and a townhouse because there are zero SFHs within a few miles of my office (but several townhome communities). We chose lifestyle, of which not being dependent on cars was a large part, over a larger home. We're in a very middle-class community, where we earn 2x-4x most of our neighbors (and we are not high-income by Boglehead standards); cost is not the issue, priorities are (and if you prioritize a bigger house, good for you - different strokes).tibbitts wrote: ↑Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:25 amAnd what percentage of people do you think could find both affordable housing and walkable employment within walking distance of mountain trails and several parks (well other than tiny neighborhood "parks")? I would guess probably a few more now than before the pandemic, but we're already seeing some reversal of that. Of course we have Bogleheads declaring they'll now only work from home forever, but that's Bogleheads, and I'm talking about the population at large.stoptothink wrote: ↑Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:01 amWell, that's a choice. As a family with two working professionals, we're <12k miles of driving total (we share a single car) per year, with a significant amount of that being vacations and road trips. We're never in the house, but that doesn't mean we have to drive to wherever we are going. We have several parks and mountain trails within a few miles of our home, but that's part of the reason we bought where we did.tibbitts wrote: ↑Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:26 pmFor many years I lived a few hundred feet from work. But I drove far more miles then than I did at any other time in my life, because I had so much free time without having to spend nearly a couple of hours a day commuting. So instead of plugging along at an average 25mph commuting, I could spend that time driving to the mountains and lakes at ... well back then I drove too fast, so I won't say how fast, but let's just say living a few hundred feet from work wasn't a win from a motor vehicle safety standpoint.stoptothink wrote: ↑Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:58 pmAnother great Ron post. The single best thing I ever did to improve "car safety" was to buy a home that allowed me to walk to work and pretty much everywhere else. Like most things, such a nuanced topic; paying for the newest safety tech is not the only answer and may not be the most effective (definitely not most cost-effective).Ron Ronnerson wrote: ↑Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:45 pm
Maybe the latest safety features provide the illusion of safety. Instead of driving into work, one could own a pogo-stick and live right next to their job. Whatever would have gone into paying for the cars can now be used toward increased housing cost. Another option is to continue to commute from far away in an old car but retire years earlier. Either way, the result is less time spent in these death traps known as automobiles. Safety could potentially be enhanced by not paying for the safety features.
Just saying, you increasing driving when you no longer had a long commute was 100% a choice, and something that probably greatly improved your QOL overall.