Guest Writer: Sally Norton
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There comes a time in everyone’s life when they wonder if they should make life easier and move closer to their workplace. The commute times can become truly excruciating after a couple of years. So, buying a home closer to work might seem like the perfect solution to this problem. However, this can be a difficult decision to make if you are accustomed to living in your current home. For this reason, we will discuss the things you should look for when buying a house so that you can make an informed decision.
For people with families, long commute times can take away the few hours of the day they can spend together. Yet, most parents put their kids’ education first, choosing to live closer to their children’s school. However, most people’s circumstances are not as straightforward as this. There are internal and external factors that may instigate you to cut down the commute time. Let’s see what they may be.
Consider home prices
If you work in a big city, moving closer to your work might be quite expensive. Obviously, the price of the property will be a huge influencing factor when making this decision. If you are unwilling to spend too much money, the second-best option is to purchase a home in the suburbs of the city, but still closer to your workplace than where you currently live. For example, buying a property in Washington DC costs $444 per square foot on average, whereas a square foot in the nearby suburban town of Rockville, MD, costs only around $270.
Obviously, considering property prices is just the beginning, but it is definitely a factor you shouldn’t lose out of sight. Some people become so eager to ditch their painstakingly long commute that they fail to consider that financially they actually cannot handle moving to one of the central neighborhoods. Going into debt is definitely not a viable solution to your commuting problem. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into money-wise before making the final call.
Buying a home closer to work includes more than just the home itself
It is not only the real estate prices in the given neighborhood that delimit your options. Surely, the area you live in should satisfy a number of your needs and preferences. Hence, it makes sense to observe the purchase of the new home as more than just the price of the property.
The safety and accessibility of the neighborhood might be an even better indicator of the actual adequacy of the home. In that sense, if your workplace is located in or near a neighborhood with a high crime rate, then commuting to work is a better option. On the other hand, if commuting involves spending a lot of time stuck in traffic, buying a home closer to work will save time and nerves.
High-density traffic around the neighborhood you live in could be the deciding factor.
Also, take into account the taxes, real estate agent’s fees, the moving costs, etc. It is necessary to see the whole picture. Relocation experts at zippyshellcolumbus.com can provide you with a free estimate so that you can decide if moving house is actually worth it.
Consider the costs of the commute
The average commute in the US amounts to 25.5 minutes, which is relatively manageable. However, over 10 million Americans have to drive more than an hour in one direction to get to work. These hours can take a toll on the commuter’s patience and their wallet. Instead of spending money on gas and car maintenance, you could direct it toward paying off the mortgage of your new home.
According to some estimates, each mile you cross to work costs you almost $800 a year in commuting expenses. In line with this, reducing the duration of the commute from one hour to half an hour would end up saving you an astonishing $24,000 a year. That is why many people decide to take this step and forgo spending more time in their car than necessary.
If purchasing a new home is a big step for you, you might consider renting instead. Renting a place near your office is definitely less of a commitment than buying a home. Whatever you feel more comfortable with, be sure to make the right choice for your family and your future.
Also, if you cannot afford to move at the moment, consider finding friends or colleagues you can carpool with. This will reduce the costs of maintaining your car as well as make your morning drive more cheerful.
Carpooling is a great way to reduce costs and loneliness.
The stress you experience is a tell-tale sign
Of course, financial matters are not the only factor that should drive your decision. In fact, basing your decision solely on how much it will cost you is even a bit cruel to your sense of well-being. Sure, you want to live sensibly, but if you start losing your head because you have to get up before sunrise to make it to work on time is just going to aggravate you and make you feel miserable. And the point of making a living is to enable you to live comfortably, after all.
Rushing to work every morning can eat up your nerves
In that sense, if you see that the levels of stress you experience because of the commute have a bad impact on your mood, sleep, and motivation, the decision should be easy to make. In these cases, buying a home closer to work is a literal lifesaver! Too many accidents happen because the driver didn’t get enough sleep and snoozed off on the highway. Compromising your life in this way just so you can save your money is a bad idea, so do yourself a favor and start looking at property listings as soon as possible.
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the books 'Think like a REALTOR®' and 'Beating The Force Of Average', Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.