January 8, 2018 | Phil Aitken
As an aggressive home shopper, your work commute should be on the top of your list of priorities while hunting for your new home.  Do not let the temptation of "the perfect house" entice you into an hour drive to work each morning.  Such extravagance could cost you more time on the road rather than inside your comfortable new abode.  

Experts encourage buyers to place first priority on schools and commute time should follow closely on your list at number two.  While common desires include a short work commute, award winning schools, luxurious lifestyle and affordable taxes, one simply cannot have it all.  

The Aitken Home Team presents five tips for factoring that tedious work commute into your house hunting process:

1. - Affordability

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If you've hit the "big time" and you need to work in a major metropolitan city, consider exploring suburban neighborhoods in order to get a more reasonable price per square foot.  Even though the work commute might be shorter in the more populated cities, affordability is key.  Try to find a balance between affordability and your desired shorter commute.  Start your search here!

2. - Travel Expenses

For most people, the average work commute is roughly twenty-five minutes.  While these times can vary based on traffic, accidents, weather and many other factors, 10.8 million Americans spend over an hour each day in the car just trying to get to work.  The longer the commute, the greater the travel expenses and more often and costly and the maintenance expenses.  Were you to reduce your commute from one hour to thirty minutes each day, you would likely see a $23,850 annual savings resulting in the ability to afford a heftier down payment on your new home.

Related: "2018 Introduces Increased Interest Rates"

3. - Work Schedule

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If you are able to set your own work hours, you could adjust your schedule in order to avoid rush hour.  Perhaps you are employed by one of the sixty percent of companies which now offer telecommuting perks.  If so, you could consider purchasing a home further from the office.   

4. - Family Priorities

Ask yourself what matters most to you.  While outdoor recreation, local bars and fantastic restaurants might be appealing, you might want to consider how much time you will have to spend with your family.  You will likely want to maximize time with your children by shortening your work commute.  If you are set on a specific neighborhood, you might prefer the longer commute in order to make that particular dream come true. 

5. - Stress Level

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How frustrated do you get when driving to work?  Can you feel your blood pressure rising, your impatience growing and road rage setting in?  Longer commutes can have a dramatic effect on one's level of stress.  In fact, most people who have lengthy commutes are generally more dissatisfied in life due to more stress than those with shorter commutes.  Such stress can results in a higher risk for hypertension, obesity and increased risks for chronic illnesses.  This is where point #4 comes into play.  Perhaps you should think about wear and tear on your body rather than on your vehicle.  

Your experienced realtor will be happy to sit down with you in order to discuss the pros and cons of your work commute and help you prioritize your search list in order to yield the happiest, healthiest results in your house hunting adventure.

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For more information, contact The Aitken Home Team today!



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