In an ideal world you'd pay a little more for rent in order to get a much more convenient commute to work. Yeah? No.
Not in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles you pay a little more rent, period. Rental and home-buying site HotPads recently compared commute distances to rental costs and found that L.A. gave you the least bang for your buck in America. Here's how the site explained its process:
For each metro, HotPads compared zip codes with the 25 percent shortest one-way commutes against zip codes with the 25 percent longest one-way commutes. HotPads then found the median rental price for these areas to calculate a rental premium that zip codes with shorter one-way commute-times command over those with longer one-way commute-times.
What's our problem? Well, we are in the midst of a housing crisis, with the most unaffordable rents in the United States.
HotPads says that "renters in Los Angeles pay one of the biggest differences, more than $600 more in rent for an average one-way commute savings of just under 7 minutes."
To be precise, the site found that $635 in extra rent will slice 6.7 minutes from your commute. That was the highest price for the second-weakest time savings on HotPads' Top 11 list.
Only Philadelphia, ranked 11th the "Rental Premiums vs. Commute Time Savings" list, had a lower commute savings. But it only took $12.50 in extra dough each month to shave 6.5 minutes from your drive time in the City of Brothery Love.
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Looked at another way, Los Angeles also saw the highest rents paired with the longest commute times in the nation. HotPads found that a median L.A. rent of $1,462.50 would get you to work in 30 minutes, on average. A rent of $2,098 would get you that magical 23.2 minute commute.
Here's the thing HotPads failed to consider, though: Living in your car is practically free. And you can park so close to work that your commute time is virtually zero. Boom! Problem solved.