Buying a Home in Dallas? What's Your Commute Time Worth
There are a lot of factors people take under consideration when buying a home. Schools, neighborhood, and nearby amenities are some of them, but one that has increased in importance is commute time. In an area like Dallas, traffic can be a problem. While not as bad as Houston, Dallas still has issues that lands it in rankings. In addition, studies have shown that the congestion isn’t going to decrease anytime soon, but rather increase. This makes proximity to work an important factor for many people buying a home in Dallas area.
The Effects of a Long Commute
What does it mean to have a long commute? It means you sit sedentary in a vehicle for a long periods of time, often with a high stress level. According to an article by Time, excessive commutes can have a far-reaching effect on your life. Both physical and mental states are affected, which makes where you choose to live an important part of your housing decision. Some of the things the article shines a light on are the potential negative health impacts from long commutes like higher rates of depression, higher blood pressure over time, back aches, and a less sunny outlook on life in general.
How to Check Commute Times When Considering a Home
You may work in Dallas or any of the surrounding areas, and each commute will have its own set of issues. What you may face driving from Las Colinas is going to be different than what you encounter from Flower Mound, Coppell, Carrollton, Plano or Frisco. The key when looking at neighborhoods and houses is to test out the commute if possible during the times you know you’ll be on the road. It’s important that it is the exact time you expect to go to work, because it may be lighter or heavier depending on time of day. If you have the time, try different days of the week as well. If a house is a popular listing, your best bet may be to ask the neighbors or people in the community what their commute is and how long it takes. There are also online tools that estimate commutes.
What’s a Commute Worth in Real Estate?
Because the world is a fast-paced place where every minute you have counts as something special, it’s no surprise that houses in areas with shorter commutes to the major employers are valued higher. For people buying a home, this can mean a couple things. It can influence what neighborhoods they can afford, or it can make the investment in a "commutable" neighborhood worth it for the added value.
It All Comes Down to Personal Choice
Although a good real estate agent will talk with you about commutes and ask you to consider it when buying a home, the choice is yours. You’ll have to decide if the lower price, bigger house, or larger parcel are worth it, or if an extreme commute would put too much strain on family time and your overall well-being. When you create a list of what you’re looking for in a location and home—for example, a family-friendly community, good schools, enough room to grow—make sure to add commute to the list. Prioritize which factors are the most important, it will help you make the final decision. There are always positive ways to spend your commute, and perhaps the company you work for has commuter benefits in particular neighborhoods—make sure to ask.
Work with an Experienced REALTOR®
If you’re ready to find an ideal home in the DFW area, contact RE/MAX DFW Associates today.