Commuting from NH: is it worth it?

smokey-seven

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
4,861
Likes
3,194
Location
North Shore
Add 7-9K a year as costs. Wear and tear, fuel, repairs and replacement costs on the vehicle, insurance and parking fees as well. Round it out to 10-12K a year on the commute.
If you spend that much commuting 3 days a week from So. NH to Watertown, you're doing something horribly wrong, or driving the wrong car for the job. (A bus getting 5 mpg?) to do it, etc. I drive way more than he will and even I don't spend that much!
At last count, between 25-30K a year, sometimes more, and probably 80% of that is commuting or work related driving.
Ahh... so 5 years at 150K and you still drive the same car? Even at 30K for repurchase that comes to 6K a year. Redo the math. That does not even take in what I mentioned.
 

1776

NES Member
Rating - 100%
73   0   0
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
3,694
Likes
1,160
Location
SE MA
Turn off the brain for 3hrs a day, and waste of life pretty much sums it up. Knew a guy that had a local apartment and the NH house for retirement planning. I really miss sitting in a sea of red brake lights for hours. Then being rear ended four times by idiots in stop and go highway traffic added to the fun.
 
Rating - 92%
23   2   0
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
325
Likes
103
Can you find work outside of Watertown closer to 128? I do a lot of work in Bedford MA and that’s 50 minutes from Nashua, but when I need to get to Brookline or Newton it’s 2 hours. Start time for my jobs is about 8am

Also it was totally worth it for me. 128 is such a f***ing joke, even living in Winchester I was spending 40 minutes to get to Bedford and an hour to Brookline.
 

quincy

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
2,180
Likes
577
Location
Quincy MA
Add 7-9K a year as costs. Wear and tear, fuel, repairs and replacement costs on the vehicle, insurance and parking fees as well. Round it out to 10-12K a year on the commute.
Plus psycho therapy, drugs, and other related medical costs from all the stress.
 

Dennis in MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
17,356
Likes
8,671
The continued problem with mAss versus most other areas is that once Area A is congested, other parts of the country create Area B nearby but not TOO close to house more stuff. Then when that's full, they create Area C.

In mAss, we create Area A (128 Tech belt). We sort of create Area B (495 on the same latitudes) but we ALSO pack 8x as much crap in Area A anyhow. When Area B gets crowded, we pack more crap on both of them.

You can't CREATE more roadways to service the 128 belt nor the 495 one. You're tapped out. Better bet is to create a new area. No one wants to do that. The STATE could get involved and stuff, but we are the least progressive state when it comes to economics while being the MOST progressive state when it comes to taxation and government control. :(
 

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
68,293
Likes
26,084
Ahh... so 5 years at 150K and you still drive the same car?
I have two vehicles but yeah, for commuting that car is at 262K. If you don't have cars that can last that long that's 90% of your
problem.

Even at 30K for repurchase that comes to 6K a year. Redo the math. That does not even take in what I mentioned.
Do you use a car for anything other than commuting? Take that into account, too. That's not "free".

With the numbers you provided I could buy an old corolla, road it on minimal insurance, and throw it away every year just for commuting.... [rofl]

-Mike
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AHM

Asaltweapon

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
12,699
Likes
5,536
Location
Northern Mass
Topic well covered time wise and the amount of suck but add some rain, snow or a good smash and all bets are off. No easy in to Watertown.
 

bgoum

NES Member
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
1,068
Likes
542
Location
Salem, NH
I'm debating on hoping right over the border into Salem. I'm on the clock early, so I would have a 30-45 minute AM drive. The drive home would be a bit longer. Any experiences driving out of Boston into Salem?
How early is early? The AM drive from Salem to Boston in 30-45 mins is a bit optimistic in my experience. Luckily now, I only go into the office about twice per month but also start from the Salem, NH area and go down 495 to Rhode Island. I cross over 93 at about 5:30am and often it is already all brake lights and stop and go on 93 south at that hour.
The drive out of Boston, again, only from my experience (even leaving at 3:30pm), can be pretty tough heading north on 93 until at least 128. Seemed to always break up around there and start moving.
 

DPR

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
938
Likes
692
Location
South Shore
How long does it take to get from Quincy to Watertown for 8am? That’s not exactly a peach of a commute.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
392
Likes
329
How early is early? The AM drive from Salem to Boston in 30-45 mins is a bit optimistic in my experience. Luckily now, I only go into the office about twice per month but also start from the Salem, NH area and go down 495 to Rhode Island. I cross over 93 at about 5:30am and often it is already all brake lights and stop and go on 93 south at that hour.
The drive out of Boston, again, only from my experience (even leaving at 3:30pm), can be pretty tough heading north on 93 until at least 128. Seemed to always break up around there and start moving.
5AM. I can get finished from 12:30-4:30, so I'll get stuck in it going home.
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
9,589
Likes
4,022
Location
Right behind you.
Traded an 8-15 minute one-way commute in MA for a 50-60 minute one-way commute in NH and do not regret it.
50-60 mins isn't terrible but probably most sane people's upper limit.

When I lived in Saugus it took me damn near an hour to get into the financial district, which is like 10 miles away as the crow flies. Combo of driving and T.

My commute now from Agoura Hills to Century City LA is like 55 mins in the morning if I leave at 6am, but anywhere from 1 hour ten mins to 2 full hours going home in the afternoon. It's really starting to wear on me.

When I move back to the northeast I'd really love to live in NH on a border town, but I'm not sure I'll actually be able to deal with that commute assuming I end up working in Boston again. Getting raped on MA income taxes and NH property taxes is another thing to consider as well. NH tax benefits are really only if you live and work in NH.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
8,107
Likes
3,303
Location
Gone to Carolina in my mind...
I've been working from a home office for over ten years now (four different companies). I'm not sure I'd be willing to commute anywhere, ever again. Such a humongous time suck, and all the added expense.

OP - what is it you do for work? Can it be done remotely, or is there a company in NH you could apply to?
 

appraiser

NES Member
Rating - 100%
16   0   0
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
Messages
9,297
Likes
2,705
the only advantage to that commuters that for the two days a week that you're working from New Hampshire all your vacation time and all your paid holidays you can say are exempt from Massachusetts tax is you weren't there you only have to pay the tax on the work that you physically did in Massachusetts
 

dwarven1

Appleseed Instructor
Dealer
NES Member
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
27,671
Likes
1,965
Location
Starksboro, VT
I took a $10K haircut when I left Realogy in Waltham to work closer to home in Vermont. Even with steady raises these past two years I haven't recovered to where I was.

BUT... my commute is down a mountain road, up a two lane blacktop, more back roads, a dirt road... and after 35 minutes I FINALLY see my first traffic light 1/2 mile from my office. Actually, 4 lights within the last half mile. Takes me 10 minutes to clear the last light on the way home... and then no more lights. No traffic worth speaking of. Up here a traffic jam is 3 cars behind a tractor hauling a manure spreader.

You couldn't PAY me to go back to Marxachusetts. (and the headhunters have been trying, too!)

When Luv2BFree and I decided to escape, we were trying to decide between NH and VT. NH had a huge tax advantage, no question. But we decided to go up to Vermont, near Nickle, who got me started with the gun shop. Good thing, too... if we'd moved to southern NH, I'd probably have tried to stay at Realogy and do that awful commute down 3 to 128 every day. And that is a f***ing MISERABLE drive.

OP, whatever you do, try and minimize that commute. Even if you have to take a pay cut. Life is too short to spend so much of it staring at a sea of red lights.
 
Last edited:

Dennis in MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
17,356
Likes
8,671
Takes about an hour and twenty minutes. On good days it can be as short as an hour.
Sadly, it's probably barely 20 miles. 5 miles of local traffic going 15mph (assume lights and crap) is 20 min. That's 40-60 min for 15 miles of highway driving. Gahhhh!!!!
 

shootermcgavin1

NES Member
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
101
Likes
93
Location
Quincy
Sadly, it's probably barely 20 miles. 5 miles of local traffic going 15mph (assume lights and crap) is 20 min. That's 40-60 min for 15 miles of highway driving. Gahhhh!!!!
It’s a 25-30 minute drive with no traffic. But where I am in Quincy, most of the time is lost trying to get on 93
 

shootermcgavin1

NES Member
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
101
Likes
93
Location
Quincy
I've been working from a home office for over ten years now (four different companies). I'm not sure I'd be willing to commute anywhere, ever again. Such a humongous time suck, and all the added expense.

OP - what is it you do for work? Can it be done remotely, or is there a company in NH you could apply to?
I work from home 2 days a week. I could probably get one more. 5 would be a stretch, but not out of the question I don’t think.
I’m an analyst.
I’d certainly be open to a new job/company, it is not as if I’m in my dream job or getting paid all that much. I just figure if I were to buy a house, I’d probably wanna stay working there for a bit for the sake of financial security.
 

Mother Deuce

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 7, 2019
Messages
257
Likes
153
Location
Shangri La, Live free or Die
It’s a 25-30 minute drive with no traffic. But where I am in Quincy, most of the time is lost trying to get on 93
I do the Hillsborough county shuffle into Quincy quite often. We start at 7. Since a lack of punctuality is viewed as an extreme party foul by my employers I am up at 3 out the door at at 4:20 and in Quincy at 0600. Stuck in traffic is not a excuse that will fly. Arrive early, get a coffee and listen to the radio. Welcome to the trek of the lemmings. It is however better than living Mauraville.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

NES Member
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Messages
20,552
Likes
9,783
Location
Suckachusetts
OP, one thing to keep in mind, depending on what you do, if you lose your job, what are your options?

Also, NH taxes and MA taxes. Ask your company if they will figure out your pay days that you work in NH. Where I work, they do that for employees so the accountant can calculate the correct amount to pay MA. We have a guy that lives in Nashua and comes to the office 2 days per week. I would ask him about his commute but I haven't been to that office in over a month.

At the end of the day, if commuting is already a pretty big concern, it will suck. No way around it.

Living away from the city has its positives ... when I used to live far from the city and commute 1.5hrs, the positive side was getting away from all the noise every day and every weekend I was in the woods. No people, no firetrucks or Starbucks ... so, I was very relaxed.

I also lived in a brand new place that didnt require any work. Part of the yard was all woods, and part of the yard had a Vegas style landscape (all rocks - that looked good, lol). So, I had no work on the weekends. It was totally worth it. I think people today waste way too much time and money on grass.

But now that I live in the city and work from home, I am way healthier. I work out one hour in the morning, one hour at night, then have one hour to eat breakfast and shower ... and I'm in a central location so I can hit most mountainbike trails within an hour drive. Added bonus, I can rent out this place for $500 more than my mortgage and being inside 95, I don't think a recession will have a big impact on home prices.

Downside ... people, Boston, taxes, less space.

Everything has positives and negatives.
 
Last edited:

dwarven1

Appleseed Instructor
Dealer
NES Member
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
27,671
Likes
1,965
Location
Starksboro, VT
I work from home 2 days a week. I could probably get one more. 5 would be a stretch, but not out of the question I don’t think.
I’m an analyst.
I’d certainly be open to a new job/company, it is not as if I’m in my dream job or getting paid all that much. I just figure if I were to buy a house, I’d probably wanna stay working there for a bit for the sake of financial security.
"

Talk to your boss. See what he'd be open to - I'd have probably stayed at Realogy if my boss had been open to me working from home 4 days/week, or even better, 9 out of every 10. Considering that 99.99% my job was remote, I never understood why he wouldn't... but he once told my coworker Jack that since HE couldn't work from home, Jack couldn't, either (Jack was a manager). "My policy is the same as it's been for 10 years: only one day per week working from home."

And yes, you want to keep that job until AFTER the loan is secured.

But seriously, that commute is a killer. Get out of Marxachusetts, yeah, absolutely. But try not to kill your soul doing it. (And pay attention to the advice about taxes!! You don't pay income tax on salary earned while you're not working in MA, so DON'T!! Otherwise those greedy bastards will suck you dry.)
 

citoriguy

NES Member
Rating - 100%
23   0   0
Joined
Dec 14, 2018
Messages
1,795
Likes
1,097
Location
PRM
It all depends. It works for me. I work from home 2 or 3 days a week, and do a 1 hour drive to get to work. I'm in SW NH which is normally considered pretty far away, but my commute doesn't require going all the way to Boston or even 128. I guess most people are more likely to try to commute from a region that starts at Nashua and includes a lot of the towns east and north of there.

Watertown? I'm not sure. It may be possible to take Route 2 in most of the way but I don't know how difficult the rest would be. I can actually take 2 into Alewife relatively easily if I had to, from out west here. Although my commute ends before I get that far.

Living out here in the woods with the animals and the neighbors having fun shooting their guns, is way better than where I used to live in MA. I was getting really sick of my idiot neighbors having their daily drunken parties all night, standing outside in the yard literally just screaming for no reason while having gay sex in their cars in front of my house and dumping beer bottles and condoms all over the place. That sucked.
lol Route 2. It’s a Parking lot at 4AM on a Saturday for Pete’s sake. I go from Acton/Concord to the Seaport, and when school is in session, I’m averaging 90 minutes each way. The earlier I leave in the morning, and the later I leave in the evening, the commute gets worst. It’s all stop and go too, so it’s not like it’s fun. 26.4 miles each way.

To put that in perspective, my wife did my first Maine half marathon with me, and left me early on because I was too slow, and finished in 1:21:39, and she had already had 2 beers and food by the time I staggered across the line begging for oxygen, a cookie, and alcohol. If you remember that crappy Boston Marathon when it was cold and windy, just a couple years ago, she finished in 3:18:24 (2018?).

I have to correct all of my friends who try to remind me that I like to drive. Yes, I love to drive, but at high speeds on a track, against other drivers who know how to maintain their vehicles at high speeds in tight windows without traction control on, or on what I know are unmonitored stretches of highway, or coast-to-coat drives.

I don’t enjoy driving down Route 2 only to get cut off by a Stepford Wife in a White Escalade with Gold trim when I’m coming up my lane, and proceeds to go 30 MPH slower than what I was going. How do these [beeping beep’s] not understand the concept of closing speed? That’s right - they have to update Insta or FB which their children will regret much later in life (there was a recent Globe article: Are you sure you want to post that about your kid on Facebook? - The Boston Globe). Those kids are going to need more therapy than the previous three generations combined. Hell be damned to roadway safety.

I could take the commuter rail to North Station and then take a bus, or a series of trains, or even walk, and are all within a relevant range of my driving so I do with that so I wont be beholden to the Commuter Rail schedule.

Miserable? Yes. Tolerable? Not for the long run.
 
Last edited:

garandman

Instructor
NES Member
Rating - 87.5%
7   1   0
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
13,862
Likes
3,895
Location
Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
I'm debating on hoping right over the border into Salem. I'm on the clock early, so I would have a 30-45 minute AM drive. The drive home would be a bit longer. Any experiences driving out of Boston into Salem?
You can check the commute with Waze by picking “find the best time to leave.” Late afternoon it says 1:20.

If I have to drive to our place in NH, I leave before 2 or after 6:30. Except Friday - more like 1.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: AHM

garandman

Instructor
NES Member
Rating - 87.5%
7   1   0
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
13,862
Likes
3,895
Location
Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
Well the fiancé and I are looking for our first home purchase. We plan to take our time on this but we’ve been shopping to see what’s realistic. We have both expressed interest in NH— We like the woods and would love to escape Maura’s kingdom. She works remote, but I need to be in Watertown 3 days a week. 8-5. How bad is the commute?
I play hockey at 6:30am with a lot of guys who commute in early, skate, then go to work. They fight it out on the way home.

Mass Pike is usually the best of the three routes in, so Metrowest to Watertown would probably be a lot shorter.
 

drgrant

Moderator
NES Member
Rating - 100%
59   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
68,293
Likes
26,084
Miserable? Yes. Tolerable? Not for the long run.
I've been doing rt 2 for 16 years, although with commuter rail here and there. Probably going to end up back on the f***ing thing (with all the diseases) but mostly because my employer is willing to subsidize most of that, and also because the rt2 corridor has gotten considerably worse over the past year or so... then also because I am basically being forced into going in early, because if I flex it by the time I normally would get in (9:30-10ish) I'm being bombarded by people at work with random other bullshit and I can't do the other half of my job as well. I think most of the traffic increase because a lot of people are dumping their UrbanBullshit cup region houses, keeping the profit and upgrading out west a bit. If I was smarter and didn't have a broad in my life back then I would have bought a 2-or-3 family in Arlington and just kept the smallest apartment and rent out the other.

-Mike
 
Top Bottom