Email Post to a Friend: Buying a Home: Does Commute Time Matter

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Buying a House Does Commute Time Matter

Drive Time Shouldn't Be Overlooked

When you're in the market to buy a home, there is a laundry list of things to consider in addition to the house itself.  Real estate insiders advise to add factors like the neighborhood, walkability, schools, and commute time to work.  If you do not work from your home, adding commute time to and from your job should be at the top of your wish list when you're house hunting. When you find a home, make sure your drive time doesn't turn your dream home into a nightmare.  

Our REALTORS® are here with this help for factoring your commute time into your house hunt to find the right home for you and your family.

Why You're Buying a House

Many people opt to purchase a home for increased financial security or lower long-term housing costs. If buying a house increases your commute time, make sure you're not canceling out the benefits of homeownership.

How Commuting Impacts Your Lifestyle

Commute time affects your lifestyle, for better or worse. It affects how much time you can spend with family, friends, hobbies, and other activities you enjoy. For some people, long commutes mean higher stress levels and a more sedentary lifestyle, both of which can impact your health. But others use the time to unwind with music in the car or complete work-related tasks on the train. Nobody wants to sacrifice their health or all the things they enjoy in life, so thinking about your daily routine and individual preferences ahead of time can help.

On the other hand, better access to public transportation can make for a more relaxed commute, which can have a positive effect on your lifestyle, even if you're moving a greater distance from work.

Although some people would be hesitant to do it, a shorter commute where you can sacrifice a vehicle entirely could be an option. If you could bike to work or go from two cars to one, you might be able to put that extra money toward your home purchase.

When you begin searching for a home decide what constitutes an unreasonable commute time.  Communicate that information with our REALTORS® so they have a better understanding of your exact home buying parameters.

Job Flexibility

If you have a job where you can set your hours, are self-employed, or can telecommute all or some of the time, good for you! You may be able to time your commute to avoid traffic. If you're only in the office occasionally or never, commute time won't make much difference.

How to Calculate Your Commuting Costs

You may have already included commuting costs in your home buying budget.  Include the cost to commute so you can make an informed decision about your home purchase.  Include the following items in your budget:

  • Car payments. These may already be in your monthly budget, but if a longer commute means you'll need to get a newer or better car shortly after you move, take that additional expense into account.
  • Car maintenance and repairs. Longer commutes mean you will have to pay for maintenance costs sooner and will probably spend more on repairs, especially if you have an older car.
  • Gasoline. If you are using significantly more or less gasoline, add (or subtract) that amount in your budget.
  • Tolls
  • Parking
  • Public transit fares
  • Carpool expenses

Also, include a dollar amount for your time. Extra-long commutes clock in at about 12-15 hours a week or more. You can't use that time for anything else, and you won't be getting paid for it.

At Margaret Rudd & Associates we know the importance of finding a home that fits your budget and lifestyle. Contact us today and get started on your search for Brunswick County homes for sale.