Is it worth moving to shorten your work commute? It certainly sounds reasonable but let’s break it down and see if it makes sense for your situation.
But first, is commuting all that bad? Unfortunately, yes! Some say that long work commutes add unnecessary stress to their lives and may even impact health. Studies have shown that long commutes may be the same as adding an additional 800 calories to your diet! Plus there’s the financial impact. More gas and wear on your car can add up quickly.
Yet, there are others that appreciate a long drive after work. They say that it helps them to “decompress” before getting home.
Is a long commute right for you? Should you move to shorten it? Ask yourself these questions to which way you lean!
Should I Buy I Home Closer to Work? Is the commute actually saving you money?
If your job is located in an area with high property values, then the commute may be necessary. When you add up the cost of living such as your mortgage payment, utilities, and property taxes, they may add up to less than the cost of gas and car maintenance.
In some situations, employers cover the cost of long commutes and moving closer could mean losing that perk. If moving closer to work doesn’t save you money, then you may want to stay put.
**Hint: if this sounds like you, consider refinancing your current loan to save money!
Will you benefit financially if you move closer to work?
Perhaps the opposite is true! If you live in an area that is more expensive than the property values around your work, then moving to shorten your commute may save you money. Also, some employers consider promotions partially based on your proximity to the office. If this a factor in you moving up in your organization and gaining more money, then moving makes financial sense.
How essential is living close to work?
If you work a few days a week from home, then a long commute may not be that much of a hassle. Then again, if those hours are somewhat unpredictable, then a long commute can add stress and decrease your productivity.
Do you need to live far away from work for family or personal reasons?
Some choose to live in particular neighborhoods because of the schools in that area, and that could mean being quite removed from the office.
Certain careers, like law enforcement, sometimes prefer to live away from the area they serve. For these reasons, homeowners may choose to sacrifice a longer commute for a better family living situation.
Has your health suffered by the commute?
If your answer is yes, then moving closer to the office could be worth it. Remember that health involves more than illness. Sleep deprivation, stress, and poor nutrition are valid reasons to consider buying a home closer to work.
Do you enjoy your work commute?
If you already enjoy the commute and you can find no reason to move (given the questions above) then you probably don’t need to move. However, if moving is not a possibility, then the other solution is to learn to enjoy it.
Here are a few ideas:
- Listen to podcasts
- Create a music playlist specifically for the commute
- Carpool with a friend
- Meditate using mobile apps
- Read or listen to an audiobook.
Looking to buy a home for a better work commute? Contact us!
If moving closer (or even further away) from work is on the horizon, get started by seeing how much you can afford. Apply today for a home loan and get your home-buying questions answers by a mortgage expert.