How Drive Times and Nearby Transit Options Factor Into the Home Buying Process
For many people, a short drive time is an important feature in a home. At times, finding a home with a reasonable commute can be a challenge for home buyers. Knowing what to look for and how to make a commute shorter can help home buyers improve their overall quality of life. The following tips can help them as they look for a home that's an acceptable distance from their workplace or close to public transportation.
Consider Traffic Patterns
Traffic patterns fluctuate throughout the day, and commute times during rush hour can be far greater than commute times during off-peak hours. The only way to determine for sure whether the commute time from a certain home is acceptable is to drive the commute to and from work during a normal work day. This will give the home buyer a sense of how much time they'll spend driving to and from work if they buy that house.
Public Transportation Makes a Difference
Not only does accessibility to public transportation raise a home's value, but it also makes a home more convenient. Home buyers who are thinking of purchasing a house that is far from their workplace can make their commute easier by purchasing a home close to a bus or subway line. Factors they should consider when trying to decide if public transportation is a viable option for their work commute include:
- Cost for a monthly pass
- Whether the commute will be done by train or bus
- Hours the public transportation runs
Don't Forget Road Noise and Street Business
Home buyers who purchase a home that's close to their office sometimes find themselves living on a busy street with a lot of traffic. Even for a homeowner who doesn't have children or pets, streets that have a lot of traffic can also have a lot of noise.
Solutions to a Long Commute Time
Just because a home is located far away from the home buyer's workplace doesn't mean that their quality of life must be sacrificed. Home buyers who want to buy a home that is far from their workplace can find creative ways to change their commute, including:
- Change work hours so the commute will be during off-peak commute times, if possible.
- Start working from home, if given the option.
- Take public transportation to spend less time driving in traffic.
Those who want to minimize the hours they spend on the road should shop around to find the best home for their needs. Homes that are close to centers of business where people work are often more costly than homes located farther away. Buyers can speak with their real estate professional about the drive time they prefer, and explore neighborhoods they might not otherwise consider.