The Commute Conundrum: Consider Work Distance When Buying A Home

Among the many things most considered by homebuyers is how far they will have to travel from their new home to their place of employment. A new home can be everything you’ve ever dreamed of, but if the commute is long, you may find you have far less time to enjoy your new surroundings than you may have had in your old neighborhood.

Average Commute Time

According to the United States Census Bureau, your commute time is in the average range if it takes you 25 minutes to get from point A to point B. It also makes sense to consider fuel usage along with your commute time. Factors like rush hour can significantly increase your financial costs as well as result in more time on the road.

Home buyers who are curious about how long of a commute they are facing can get a good idea by driving from the location of the potential new home to their workplace during rush hour.

Commuting Options

Depending on where the new home is located, there may be several options for getting to work. Once you’ve gotten to know your neighbors, joining a carpool can be a great way not only to relieve your stress when getting to work, but saving you money on gas costs as well.

Of course, these days, carpooling doesn’t need to mean knowing anyone, thanks to internet sites like Car Pool World. Simply by creating an account and posting your request, you can find those interested in low-carbon-footprint commuting.

On a similar note, public transportation may be available, which can also be a convenient way to get to work without all of the gas and maintenance costs associated with a vehicle. If this is a preferred method of commuting, then looking for homes that are near bus stops can be a real benefit if the weather is bad.

If an employer allows their employees to telecommute, or work from home on some days of the week, it may make sense to engage in an activity called car sharing. This is a pay-per-use method of getting to work that is gaining in popularity in larger cities around the world. With car sharing, a user can avoid the high costs of vehicle ownership by joining a site like Zipcar and paying a membership fee for access to a vehicle whenever one is needed.

Commute Prediction Technology

These days, it’s all about the apps. And those who wonder how long it will take to get to work from their new homes are taking advantage of the many available commuting apps. A homeowner can even use Google Maps to calculate their commute, although this will require being physically present near the property they’re considering purchasing.

Some real estate companies are using software manufactured by Inrix to help their clients find homes with a reasonable commute.  Inrix is a traffics intelligence company which gathers specific data for all aspects of traffic, including maps, cameras, traffic alerts and eco-driving apps.

Benefits of Understanding the Commute When Buying a Home

When commute time is taken into consideration as a part of buying a home, the homeowner is less likely to lose time. Time is a crucial factor where family is concerned. As well, understanding commute times can go a long way to helping homeowners to feel less frustrated about the high cost of fuel, which is significant in homes with tight budgets.

But perhaps the most important aspect of understanding the commute from a new home is the health benefits that can go along with it. Without the stress and frustration of a long commute being added to a stressful job, a homeowner can be in better health, which means a higher quality of enjoyment of their new surroundings.

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Guest author Sam Dickson writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to the mortgage industry.  His latest project is a mortgage calculator with taxes and insurance that helps consumers budget before they purchase or refinance a home.