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Given the Choice: Would You Rather Give Up Time or Money For Your Work Commute?

My daughter, Audrey. I'm biased, but I think she's beautiful.

In August, I took my daughter, Audrey, to New York as a graduation present. It was so much fun - a wonderful experience and one of our last true mother/daughter moments before she goes off to college and begins her life as a young adult.

(Can you hear my heart plummeting to the ground in realization of her upcoming adulthood?)

We were complete tourists. We stayed at a hotel in Times

Audrey and Kristin waiting to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway

Square, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, paid homage to the 9/11 Memorial, enjoyed a Broadway show, rode the subway, ate New York pizza, strolled through Central Park and spent hours walking the City that Never Sleeps. We wandered throughout the neighborhood boroughs, and fell in love with Little Italy, China Town and Soho.

We approached Soho, where apparently Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen own or used to own a muti-million dollar residence. It's the place where every New Yorker wishes they could afford to live. I did a quick Google search to find homes in that neighborhood go for an average of $5.7 Million.

Wowzer. No wonder so many people commute to New York from New Jersey.

On the opposite side of the country were we live, the Pacific Northwest - you could say we are similar to New York in that we attract a few people our way to go to work each day. Think Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, Nordstrom, Expedia, Boeing, Uber, Starbucks - the list goes on and on.

Seattle is a place where those with budding and established careers relocate to for work. A place I hope my children come back to once they are done with their college days.

I think about my children growing up, finishing school and making their way in the real world, with real bills. I think back to my early days, when I bought my first home, which was many moons ago and before my real estate career. We were the epitome of "drive until you qualify." Essentially, if your budget doesn't allow you to live in the city or close to your office, you must trade commute time for housing dollars.

Your commuting time for better/bigger housing. Or your higher budget for an in-city home. The same choice applies today for all consumers, regardless of age, income or city you work in. For New Yorkers, apparently the magic number is $56. NY Residents are willing to spend $56 more in rent per month for just 1 minute saved on their commute time (Check out the article here.)

Time is money, so they say. Time was my equity when I was younger. Now, time is both finite and precious for me, particularly as I watch all of our children go off to college and begin their life outside of our Bushnell household.

So, the question I have for you, knowing that everything has a cost associated with it, what is more important to you - your time or your budget?

Kristin Bushnell is the Designated Broker of Bushnell Real Estate Solutions and Co-owner of Bushnell Craft Brewing Company in Redmond, WA.

If you are ever interested in chatting about real estate, contact me at or call me at 425-559-1355. I'll buy you a beer, and we can chat about real estate until your heart is content.

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