Greenomics and the Value of Living Close to Work August 17, 2008Posted by DustinRJay in Calgary real estate, commute.
Tags: Calgary real estate, carbon footprint, commute, gentrification
I perceive a lot of value in living in downtown Calgary. I love the quick access to Flames games at the Saddledome, downtown nightlife, shopping on 17th Avenue, and jogging along the river pathways. Since recently moving, I have found myself walking to work and my vehicle has sat parked, except for weekend hikes.
My commute time is much shorter and my transportation costs have dropped dramatically. For those that are considering living in the inner city vs. the suburbs I came up with an estimate of the value placed on living in close proximity to your workplace.
I considered various factors that would change if one eliminated the use of one vehicle in their household as a result of living downtown. These include:
- Fuel costs
- Vehicle replacement costs
- Insurance costs
- Maintenance costs
- Parking costs
- Value one places on a shorter commute time
- Carbon footprint
The value I place simply on living close to work over the course of 25 years is about $250,000 at a discount rate of 7%. Also, it would result in having an extra 163 days of life not stuck in traffic over 25 years. Furthermore, over the span of 25 years, my carbon footprint would be reduced by 76,700 kgs. ¡Qué bueno!
By doing this exercise I also found that fuel costs are relatively small in comparison to the other costs associated with owning a vehicle. I believe that fuel costs are still much too small to encourage large fuel-efficiency improvements.
You can access the spreadsheet here and tailor it to your unique situation: