I’ve heard it said, and have often repeated, that one can get used to living in a smaller house (or condo or apartment), but you never get used to a long commute. After decades of continued car-dependent sprawl, maybe we’re all finally cluing in. Or maybe not.
According to the 2011 Community Preference Survey that outlines what Americans look for when deciding where to live:
Six in ten (59%) would choose a smallerhouse and lot if it meant a commute time of 20 minutes or less. Four in ten (39%) would stick with the larger houses even if their commute was 40 minutes or longer
OK, so we’re not exactly all on the same page here.
A couple other interesting factoids from the survey:
1) We want to walk. More than three quarters of Americans consider having sidewalks and places to walk one of their top priorities.
2) In fact, 6 in 10 people said they would sacrifice a bigger house to live in a neighborhood that featured a mix of houses, stores, and businesses within an easy walk. (Probably the same six in ten that would sacrifice space for a shorter commute?)
3) Even more important than walkability is sense of neighborhood. 88% of respondents would choose a good neighborhood over a larger home. What that means I’m sure is up for discussion.
I know these things are true for me personally, but I wonder about the 39% of people who would rather live in a larger home for 40 minutes extra commute. 40 MINUTES!!! That’s a long time to be on the highway, or on the train. I’m sure it’s a matter of scale, for some. I’d love some more detail on what those numbers mean for people individually.
Check out the full survey results here. And let me know what you think. Does size matter?