Anyone who has moved a family recently can tell you they hope never to do it again. Memories fade, however, and many do it over and over again. If you land a new job that is, say, 40 miles away, it may be tempting to move closer to work. Here are some considerations to help you decide:
Rent or own?
If you are renting your current residence, the cost of moving is much smaller, and the opportunity to save enough to pay for the move is much more likely. If you own your home, it could take decades to save enough in transportation costs to pay for the move.
Car or train?
If you will have to drive to your new job every day, the costs of the commute will add up more quickly than if you can take the bus or train most or all of the way.
Graveyard or 9 to 5?
If you will be working normal hours, leaving the new job around five and can still be home for dinner every evening, the pain for your family may be small. On the other hand, if you work shift work that makes time with the family scarce already, you may be willing to make a financial sacrifice by moving to have more time with your family.
Fast or slow?
Your commute being 40 miles long now could take anywhere from about 40 minutes to an hour and forty minutes, depending on the speed of the commute. The longer the time required for the commute, the more it will wear on you and your family.
Telecommuting, yes or no?
Will your new employer allow you to telecommute some of the time? The less often you need to make the new, longer trip to the office the more sense it makes to stay where you are.
, yes or no?
If your new job isn't 50 miles farther from home than your old job, the move isn't tax deductible in the United States. If your move is tax deductible, it makes much more sense than otherwise.
What's best for the family?
It is important in most circumstances to ask yourself what is best for the family, all things considered. That includes thinking about non-financial considerations. For some people, buying a new home is pure pleasure and they are always looking for an excuse. Don't ignore the financial considerations in making your final judgment, but don't overweigh them either.
Finally, consider some simple math. Selling a home and buying a new one could easily cost 10 percent of the value of the homes. With a typical home costing about $250,000 in many parts of the country, a move costs $25,000. That cost is not recaptured in any way, ever. It's gone for good. The cost to drive a car you'd own anyway is quite roughly 25 cents per mile. You'd have to drive 100,000 on your commute to make up for the cost of the move. If your commute is 60 miles longer per day, 300 miles longer per week, 6,000 miles longer per year, you'd need to work at the new job for about 15 years to save enough on gas and car maintenance to pay for the move.
As you can see, it is difficult to justify selling a home because of a long commute simply based on financial considerations. You may find that quality family time is so rare that it is justified in your case.