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Dream House? Or Dream Commute? House Hunting Tips

Dream House? Or Dream Commute? House Hunting Tips

Tips and tricks to help buyers in D.C. determine whether buying their dream house is worth the commute or not.

We’ve all been stuck in traffic, so we all know how important commuting is. But for some reason we often forget to take into account commute times when it comes to house hunting. According the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 11 million people at least drive an hour to work each way. Since 2009 commute times in 50 cities within the United States have increased, D.C. being one of them. The D.C. area has the 2nd-longest average commute in America.

With that being said, this can discourage people in buying their dream home and settling for more reasonable estates that are closer to work or school. As you keep reading, we’ll layout some tips and help you as a buyer to determine whether or not the commute is worth it.

Evaluating the pros and cons of a commute before buying a home. 

  1. Test it out 
  • Ask yourself, “will this impact my day-to-day routine drastically or in a negative way?” Start by using your built in GPS on your smartphone or use other third party applications like Google Maps or Waze, this will help you map out different routes and calculate the distance between work and home. Its best to actually test it out! Find a day during the week to drive your car to see how the commute would actually be, do this going to work and leaving work. Also find a time during the weekend to test out the commute, because traffic isn’t only during the weekdays. Not only should you do it by driving, but its best to try taking a bus, Uber, Lyft, or train to see how long the commute would be for that as well. 
  1. Where are you at in your life?
  • Depending on where you’re at in life this can play a big role into buying a home. Someone single usually don’t have a problem downsizing living in a luxurious condo or townhouse close to their job, but as far as a buyer with a family they tend to go for larger properties which usually means a longer commute. Home buyers with children often have to think about what’s best for their kids for example, school districts. Parents are willing to sacrifice a longer commute to work if in return their kids get better education and are in a safer environment.
  1. Is it really worth it?
  • People tend to get stuck on the financial costs, but forget about everything else. Mental and emotional exhaustion is a result of longer commutes which can then lead to car accidents due to tiredness. Weigh your options out, is it worth having a long commute to work every week and only being able to enjoy your dream house on the weekends? As far as financially, be sure to think about the extra miles on your car, gas, tolls, train or bus tickets, and even parking.


“No matter how much you love a house, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have time to enjoy it.”

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