How much does it cost to live there?
My buyer clients are asking more questions than ever – How much is the average electrical bill? Water? Gas? HOA dues?
Discovering Urbanism notes a new site that looks at “How much” as in, how much are the transportation costs of living here?
If Walkscore put walkability on the real estate map (it’s getting better all the time, by the way), the new online tool Abogo might do the same for transportation affordability. Just type in an address and the home gets placed on a map showing average transportation costs for the surrounding neighborhood and the region. This is what you can expect to pay on a monthly basis if you choose to live here. Seeing this number in black and white may help diffuse the old drive-til-you-qualify myth – that you can find more house for the money the further from the city you move. Living in lower densities may pose less up-front costs per square foot, but the ongoing cost of getting to where you need to go on a regular basis is real and likely much higher. Abogo puts a number on that reality.
Transportation costs are more nebulous, hidden in gas prices, insurance costs, saving for the next vehicle, parking, etc. Because of this, they have not typically figured into the home purchasing decision to the same degree.
The numbers look high to me, and my transportation numbers are going to be higher than the average user (I do drive pretty much for a living). Using my house in Crozet, my transportation costs are allegedly $963/month and the regional average is $920/month. From Nest’s office, the transportation costs are $717/month .
Conceptually, I like the tool. Practically, notsomuch. (yet)
Play with it yourself. What do you think?