How to Factor Your Commute to Work into Your Home Search

When looking for the perfect home for you and your family, many factors need to be considered such as price, school district, neighborhood, etc. Another major consideration is how close the home is to your job. The average commute to work in the U.S. is 25 minutes. 

How important is this aspect to you when buying a home? It can be difficult finding that perfect balance between price and convenience, but if the commute to work is important to you, here’s how to factor that into the search for your new home. 

Calculate the Cost of Your Commute

The cost of your commute includes gas, car insurance, maintenance, parking and toll fees, etc. If you use public transportation, these costs include bus passes, subway fees, and the like. 

Many people don’t realize how expensive commuting costs are, especially if they fall in love with a home that’s further away from work than they anticipated. It’s important to factor in your time spent traveling to and from your job, too, as it’s valuable as well. 

How Flexible is Your Job?

If you hold a rigid 9-5 position, buying a home further away from work may not make sense. However, if your job is such that you can make your own hours or even work from home, buying a house in the suburbs may be a good idea as it will allow you to purchase a less expensive home and not have to deal with rush-hour traffic or the expense and hassle of commuting. 

Consider Your Lifestyle

How you live and the things that are important to you should be huge considerations in the home you choose. For example, Millennials tend to prefer homes close to entertainment, restaurants, and retail, while the older generation looks for homes that are near their jobs and quality school districts. 

Your Commute and Its Impact on Your Health

For some people, the wear and tear of commuting to work is something they take seriously. A long commute can cause both physical and mental problems including neck and back pain, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, and anxiety. It can also lead to poor sleep quality and a lack of exercise. 

While some people find their commute to work relaxing as it gives them time to do things they otherwise don’t have time for (listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.), the round-trip eventually has adverse side effects. 

Your Work/Life Balance

Ultimately, a long commute may impact your work/life balance. When you spend more time working and traveling back and forth to work, it leaves you less time for time with family or doing the things you love. This can create feelings of resentment or of being unimportant in other family members. It can also place a financial burden on the household, especially if other members are commuting long distances as well. 

If you’re looking for a new home, you may want to put more thought into the commute to your job when deciding on which home to buy. A long commute could negatively impact you and your family both financially and emotionally, so don’t ignore this important part of your home buying decision.