How much does a home cost? There’s the cost of the place itself, and then there’s the cost of getting around. Knowing in your gut that a “cheaper” place way, way, way out in the burbs will mean a lot more driving is one thing. Putting a price tag on that cost is another.
Luckily, the Center for Neighborhood Technology has done it for you. With the latest version of their Housing and Transportation Affordability Web site, if you live near just about any major metropolitan area, they’ve got your number(s).
Normally when we talk about housing affordability, we don’t take into account the cost of transportation. When you factor it in,CNT says, the story is pretty sobering:
only two in five American communities—or 39 percent—are affordable for typical households when their transportation costs are considered along with housing costs
But as their new report, Penny Wise, Pound Fuelish, points out, it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s a striking difference in how much most folks spend on transportation in sprawling versus smart growth communities:
Household savings from residing in a representative compact neighborhood rather than a dispersed community can range from $1,580 per year in Little Rock and $1,830 in Minneapolis to $3,110 in Chicago, $3,610 in Phoenix and as high as $3,850 in Boston—numbers that resonate with families seeking to tighten their belts during difficult economic times.
Regional savings have also been calculated for 12 metro areas using the same representative communities to highlight the aggregate impact if 50% of projected population growth through 2030 could live in more location efficient places. Such cost savings can total $239.8 million in a small region like
Charlotte which is expected to almost double its population while San Francisco could register savings
of $1.1 billion and Phoenix, $2.1 billion, by changing the way they grow.
One more example of how going Green can save us $$$.