If your commute to work takes 25 minutes, congratulations – you’re average, according to a 2009 study by the United States Census Bureau. Commuting to work is a very real part of American life for lots of people, yet seldom considered when they’re shopping for a new home. This has been something in the back of my head since I was a child as my dad told me that he’s never driven more than 7 miles to get to work in his life!
It’s easy to get distracted by an amazing kitchen or a sexy backyard, but when you are shopping for a new home, this is your opportunity to possibly cut the time it takes you to get to and from work. Below you will find a few things you may want to consider as you choose your new home.
We think it’s a safe bet that not many homebuyers are seeking to increase their commute time to work. The more time we spend on the road, the less time we have to enjoy being at home with our family. Keep in mind as you shop for your new neighborhood that gas prices aren’t as likely to decrease as they are to increase, so the longer your commute, the higher your monthly gasoline expenses will be.
If you really want to know how long it will take you to get to work from a particular neighborhood, make the actual commute before committing to the purchase. I recommend doing this on a day you would actually work so that you correctly judge the commute.
Road conditions, freeways and highways
A freeway through a region actually has a positive impact on home values in the area, according to a study commissioned by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The study also found that homes adjacent to freeways are worth less than those further away. When deciding between neighborhoods, the home in a community with a freeway may hold its value better than the one in a freeway-less area, provided the home isn’t directly adjacent to the freeway.
Especially if you plan on buying in a rural area, be mindful that weather events may impede your commute. If your driveway is steep and there is an ice or snow storm, you may be stuck at home.
If you don’t drive
If you utilize public transportation for your commute, the location of your home becomes an even more important factor. The proximity to the bus line, trains and other modes of public transportation should be considered carefully so you don’t end up with an even more horrendous commute.
Chuck the commute
Working from home provides the ideal commute. There’s just nothing that compares to that short trek down the hallway to the home office. If your employer offers a telecommute option, consider taking advantage of it, at least on a part-time basis. There’s a lot to consider when hunting for a house and location, because it has a direct impact on your quality of life, is one of the most important considerations. If you want someone that can help you with these decisions, please give me a call. I’m always available and have helped many people find the perfect home over the years!
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