Avoid Buyer Remorse From Commuting Woes

June 16, 2016

During the home search process, it's important for buyers to understand the average commute time for each property they're considering. A recent U.S. News & World Report article shared some commuting-related questions home shoppers should consider when deciding where they want to buy.

How much will your commute impact your lifestyle?

"I always ask people how long or how far they are willing to commute," says Judy Moore, a real estate professional for The Higgins Group REALTORS® in Lexington, Mass. "We get a lot of people moving from Boston proper -- younger folks who are starting a family and moving out of the city and the 'burbs. And they figure it's only 11 miles, so it's not too far.” However, in rush hour that typical half-hour trip to the airport can easily be closer to an hour, she says.

What are the pros and cons of living farther out? A longer commute may have some benefits, such as possibly better schools or more land. But do those potential benefits outweigh the longer commute?

How will you commute, and what will the costs be? Will you drive or take public transportation? A survey from HNTB Corp., an infrastructure solutions firm, shows that 55 percent of Americans are willing to pay extra for a home if commuting via public transit is an option. Whether taking public transportation or driving your own, home shoppers should factor in costs, such as parking (some major cities charge $30 a day to park in a garage) and gas fees or public transit rides.

Are you willing to pay more? If you want to be in walking distance to public transportation, be willing to pay more for the home but expect some perks from that at resale too. Homes near a train stop tend to sell for higher prices, found a 2013 study by the American Public Transportation Association and National Association of REALTORS®. Homes near transit stops outperformed homes in the rest of the metro area by 41.6 percent. "The better proximity that a resident has to a good commuting option, the higher the value of the residence," says HNTB senior vice president Mike Sweeney.

Source: “5 Questions to Ask About Your Commute Before You Move to Your Next Home,” U.S. News & World Report (June 6, 2016)