Consumers make different, rational choices

Thanks for studying the obvious:

One of the lures of the outer suburbs is more house — maybe even one with a big yard — for less money. But a new study shows that the savings are illusory: The costs of longer commutes are so high that they can outweigh the cheaper mortgage payments.

When Danielle and I bought our house last summer, we specifically considered the impact of living in an outer suburb because we’re intelligent. First, the difference in price was significantly more than the $40,000 to $50,000 listed in the article. Second, the economic impact does not have to include getting in my automobile. Public transportation is still an option for me, and I considered in our decision. Of course, I could also change jobs to live closer to home if they commute becomes burdensome. That’s three factors. How many more could I name if I tried?

The Washington Post story includes this:

Moving closer to their jobs is out, Hannah said, because “there is no way we could move into an equivalent three-bedroom house for the same amount,” she said. “We don’t want to downsize and give up a yard, for instance.”

That suggests a willingness to pay the associated cost of having a large house and yard on a specific budget, namely, higher commuting costs (economic and lifestyle). Bottom line: Buyers aren’t stupid. Don’t bombard us with studies implying that we might be.