What to Know First
Commuter towns have long been popular with homebuyers for a variety of reasons. Compared to city living, commuter towns can be quieter, safer, and much less expensive. Many individuals find they are able to afford a much larger, nicer home if they are willing to commute to work. But there are some things you will want to consider before you decide you can handle the daily traffic grind.
What to Do Before Buying a Commuter Home
1. Practice the Drive
Average American commute times are about 1 hour total each day, but this can vary considerably depending on the city you are driving to.
Drive your commute once or twice at peak traffic hours, when you would normally be coming to and from work. Determine how long, exactly, you can expect to be commuting each day. Remember that this is the time spent in ideal conditions. You will spend even longer in the car in the event of an accident or inclement weather.
2. Consider the Cost
With gas prices at an all time high, the cost of driving to work can quickly outweigh any savings in the cost of living in the suburbs. Calculate how much you will be spending on gas and maintenance. Combine this projected amount with your monthly housing costs and determine if you will still be saving by commuting, or if it will be a wash.
Aside from monetary expenses, you will also want to consider the emotional cost of driving each day. If your commute is quite far, you will be losing valuable time for loved ones, physical and mental health, and doing things you enjoy. Talk with your family about the potential impact being away for that long may have on your relationship. Everyone should be in agreement, or you will find your commuter lifestyle difficult to sustain.
3. Research Alternate Transportation
Is there another way for you to get to work in the event your car breaks down, or someone in your family needs to use it? Research public transportation options and their pricing. If public transport options are available, test the route to see how much time will be added to your commute (it can amount to several hours more, in some cases).
An even better option is to carpool. If you live in a commuter town, you are definitely not the only one having to drive to the city for work each day. If possible, chat with neighbors to see where they work and what their schedule is like. Carpooling is a great way to share the mental and financial load of commuting. It is also an eco-friendly alternative to going alone.
4. Consider Your Health
Driving, even for short periods, can aggravate existing health conditions. Research has found that the stress of driving can contribute to high blood pressure, joint pain, and muscle pain, as well as feelings of anxiety and frustration. If you are already dealing with physical and/or mental health issues, a long commute is definitely not going to help.
Ready to Buy a Home in Colorado?
Lucky for Denver commuters, the drive to work is only about 27 minutes. This means that you have a wealth of options for homes in Denver’s sprawling and affluent suburbs. If you are ready to find your dream home in Colorado, contact Brenda Kellogg Meyer. Brenda is a highly experienced Realtor who will find the perfect match for you and your family. Call or go online today to get started.