I thought this was relevant to threads in the past... In today's WSJ...
Moving to an area with lower housing costs often doesn't pay off for low-income Americans, according to a study to be released today by the Center for Housing Policy, a nonprofit research group based in Washington.
The study, which looks at families with low to moderate incomes in 28 metropolitan areas, found that transportation costs in places with cheaper housing are often so high that they wipe out the savings from lower rent or mortgage payments. Such places tend to be farther from employers or short on public transportation, which makes commuting costlier.
The findings contradict the common notion that many people would be better off financially if they moved from areas with high housing costs, such as California, to states like Texas or Georgia, where housing is much cheaper.
The study also found that moving to an inexpensive outer suburb, but continuing to work near a city center, often backfires. Typically, a move that adds more than about 12 miles to a one-way commute will result in a rise in transport costs that outweighs the savings on housing, the researchers found.