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Consider This Underappreciated Benefit When You Look for a Place To Live

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You'll save a lot of money and be healthier, too.

Owning a home can be expensive, but if you choose where you live carefully, you could save money in other areas of your life. On a Fool Live episode recorded on March 5, Fool contributors Brian Stoffel, Brian Feroldi, and Brian Withers discuss the advantages of living within walking distance of where you work, play, learn, and shop.

Brian Stoffel: I hear Brian talk about considering moving. I think that's a great idea because that's what your home is for, is for the social, the emotional, the community, the connections. So for us, when we moved, we said by moving, we went from renting to owning. We said it needs to be somewhere that's walkable, needs to be somewhere that's close to nature, and it needs to be somewhere where our daughter will be with a relatively diverse student body. Milwaukee is where I live. It's the most segregated city in the country, so it's difficult, but we did it the best we could with where we ended up.

But I'll also say, and I messaged both of you about this. I think it can save a lot of money if you live, work, play, learn all in the same neighborhood because then your car is not as important and then the gas and the insurance isn't there. You're walking everywhere, it's amazing. I lost like 12, 15 pounds when we moved here and I realize it's because I was walking everywhere. Like that very simple thing.

What is that going to mean for my health bills 20 or 30 years from now? I don't know, but it's certainly not going to be a negative. You just get to know people more. That's my No. 1 big hack and why we moved to where we did, we might not stay forever, but if you live where you work, you play, you go to school, all those things, boy, that can make a big difference.

Brian Withers: Yeah, Brian, I think people underestimate that. I know my son lived in Chicago a couple of summers ago. The apartment we found was literally steps from a grocery store. Not only was it just a regular grocery store, they had those pre-prepared packaged, grab it, throw it in microwave, freshly cooked meals and stuff. [laughs] The kids, they never cooked anything. They just went across the street and just bought as needed. Their apartment was really super tiny anyway.

I think that was a wonderful thing and then he lived with his girlfriend and she ended up working within walking distance of the apartment in a couple of different restaurants. Absolutely, the city living I think. JW, one of the members, is asking about, "Do you think the move out of the big cities is here to stay even after the pandemic is behind us?" I think there will be some people that move. Because of the expense, certainly, some of the larger cities like New York City and L.A. and whatnot and those are just really expensive to live in. But there is a lot of benefit not to have a car and just have walking to most things and using public transportation if there's a good public transportation.

Brian, I remember you were telling me you can bike to the grocery store.

Brian Feroldi: Be more specific when you say, Brian.

Stoffel: Yeah. [laughs]

Withers: I was looking at Brian Feroldi. [laughs]

Feroldi: Oh, you're looking at me. [laughs] Yeah, I have a grocery store, half-mile away.

Withers: That's awesome.

Feroldi: There's no good way to get there because like most towns in America, my town is not built for walking and riding, it's built for cars. So there's actually a pretty main road that I have to go on to get down there and I have to walk on the side, but yeah, I will walk to the grocery store because I try and walk every single day, and I'll sometimes go there and combine that with my shopping, take my backpack with me, get some weird looks when I'm the one that's walking around with a backpack doing my shopping. I'm like, "I don't care." [laughs]

Yeah, that makes a big difference when you have a grocery store nearby.

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