Experienced homeowners will tell you that it's all about location when you're thinking about where to buy a home. The good news is that they're partly right; location is a very important component of your decision!
However, a lot of home buyers think a “good location” is one that is located in a nice neighborhood, with nearby amenities such as malls, highways, parks and schools. While these are all good things to have nearby, what also makes a good location is being close to your place of work.
Nowadays a lot of people are telecommuting, allowing them to save on time and gas while working from home. This helps for homeowners who live far from their workspace, but the long commute may still be a factor when you're looking for your next home.
Lenders might consider your commute for the overall debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which can greatly impact the amount of money you can borrow. Whether the seller looks at this ratio or not, buyers should be aware of it. With gas prices and traffic increasing, that extra-long and expensive commute to the office can hurt you financially.
A report from the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology showed that there was a 44% increase in transportation expenses from 2000-2010 for households in large metro areas. According to the U.S. Censes data, many full-time workers (approximately 600,000) have a commute of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles every day.
Many buyers are intrigued by less expensive housing prices, which cause them to overlook the commuting factor. They might also forget to take into consideration how much they'll be spending in gas each month simply because home prices are attractive.
If you purchase a home with a long commute, then you might try asking your company about possible subsidies, carpool arrangements or options for working remotely. You can also use sites that assist with connecting people who live and work in the same area such as Craigslist.com and eRideShare.com.
Some cities do have a sponsored program with free online matching services for carpool or you can try asking your company to adjust hours when you come in and leave to avoid rush hour.
Cities that offer mass transit can be very beneficial to homeowners who have a lot of traveling to do. A bus or train commute gives drivers the chance to relax or even do extra work. Waterway ferries are also an option, offering a very scenic commute to work.
If you're thinking of buying a home, always weigh the pros and cons of your commute.
Do a little research about how far you'll need to go and which option for transportation makes the most sense.
When you buy a home, location is indeed important. Regardless of whether the home is a great price or not, consider the outside factors such as commute to make sure that you're getting a deal that benefits you financially and that you can sustain.
Visit commutesolutions.org for an online calculator that helps to determine how much you may spend a month to help you budget properly.
To assist you with your house hunting, be sure to read 3 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Home. New to the area? Check out Moving to Charlotte: Every Home Buyer Should Know This! to learn more!
Still have a lot of questions? Feel free to call us today at Showcase Realty at 704.997.3794 or send us a message here!