What is the smarter financial decision?!

Here is the scenario.

We are looking to purchase our first home. Right now we are renting a newer build that is close to where we work (10-15 minute drive for each of us). We are paying $2400 plus utilities for this 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house that is approximately 2700 square feet. For reference, this house cost $700,000 approximately brand spanking new. And as per our landlords real estate agent, it is now worth $820,000.

As much as we would love to stay the reality is its time to move and make a huge step...buying a home.

We cannot afford the same size and style of house where we currently are living. But we definitely need the higher number of bedrooms as we share 5 kids between us.

Based on our budget of $550,000, it seems that in our area that leaves us with 1 plus a den style condos, tiny overcrowded townhomes, or creepy outdated homes where there are only 2 bedrooms and wallpaper that you can taste and smell just by looking online (im shocked that 2 bedroom homes are a thing! Lol)

So now we are looking out east. As are many younger couples with families are. For what we really want, we would have to move about 40-50 minutes way and become highway commuters in order to find homes that are 4 bedrooms, with at least two living spaces, a fully fenced backyard, and two or three bathrooms.

Of course the down side of commuting is the wear and tear on the cars and the extra gas. So even if we find a home out east for $500,000 we will be spending double if not triple on car maintenance and gas. But if we stay in the city close to work, we would be lucky to find a roomy townhouse with 3 bedrooms for $590,000.

What do you think? Look out east and commute? Or settle for something tiny and more expensive close to work?