It might be more expensive to buy a home that's located closer to your job. But when you factor in the financial, emotional, and health costs of commuting, you may want to consider the idea of living closer to your workplace.
Between long transit delays, crowded thoroughfares, and the exhaustion that comes with a long commute, you might find that your quality of life improves if you "stay local." Consider the hidden costs of commuting:
1. Commuting can add another layer of stress to your day
When you have to travel a long distance, you have to factor in a "cushion" of time to avoid potential delays. If there's a lot of traffic or congestion clogging up the roads, you can be late even when you allot a hefty amount of time for your travels. This rushed feeling can make your busy morning feel like a burden. For the commute home, you might find that extra traffic holds you up, causing you to be late to your child's daycare or a medical appointment.
2. Commuting gives you less exercise
All of those hours spent commuting adds up to a lot of sitting. Current physical activity recommendations call for 10,000 steps a day. If you live close to your workplace, you might be able to walk and meet that quota without any trouble. But if you're spending your travel time in a vehicle, it's going to be harder for you to maintain a good fitness level. Your travel to work should facilitate your healthy lifestyle... not detract from it. A good pair of walking shoes can be your vehicle to health. Living closer to work can bring you closer to your exercise goals.
3. Commuting can cost you more
If you're driving a long distance to work each day, you're spending a lot of money on fuel. You're also putting a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle. You might also spend money on unexpected costs: if you get a flat tire, a crack in your windshield, or a dent in your bumper. If you live closer and take the bus, you can save some money, with bus passes costing $70 for unlimited rides. If you live closer to work, you might be able to save $150 or more in fuel costs. You might even be able to get rid of your vehicle entirely—saving you a few hundred or even thousands of dollars once you factor in insurance payments, car payments, and additional costs.
4. Commuting a long way can isolate you
Commuting a long distance takes you away from the people who you love. It also takes you away from your community. Why live in a place unless you're going to take the time to enjoy your experience there? Consider the amount of time you spend travelling. If you have a long commute, you might spend over 12 hours a week by yourself. Consider the community interactions you could have enjoyed instead of commuting! You could grab a leisurely coffee, chatting with the barista or with a friend. You could join an adult sports league, getting exercise and making new friends. You could join a book group at your library. Or, you could simply spend more time with your friends and family! Living closer to your job can connect you to what matters in your life.
5. Commuting a long distance is worse for the environment
Have you ever contemplated the environmental impact of a long commute? Every extra mile you travel takes a toll, with gasoline burned, oil burned, or similar automobile fluids expended. Even if you drive an electric vehicle, while less than fuel-powered vehicles some pollutants are still emitted to power the car. With a shorter commute, you can feel better about your environmental impact, knowing that you're not doing undue harm to the environment. If you live close enough to your job to walk to work, you'll feel absolutely golden, knowing that you're keeping your individual carbon footprint as low as you can.
6. A long commute gives you less quality time to explore hobbies and interests
With an hour or more taken out of your already jam-packed evening, you'll find that you don't have much time for "me time." A shorter commute will allow you to participate in the activities that interest you... or to take up a new hobby. Consider all of the things that you currently want to do, but there's not enough time in the day. With all the extra minutes on your personal clock, you could learn a new language, take up a new sport, join an interest group, work on your creative hobbies, and more.
7. When you commute a long distance, your food and beverage choices might not be as healthy
With less time available to prepare meals and set a healthy menu, you'll likely reach more quickly for "convenient" choices that will raise your energy levels in the short term. But sugary drinks and carb-loaded snacks can add up to a burden on your waistline... and can raise your risk of heart disease and other dangerous health conditions. It can also be tempting to fuel up with copious amounts of caffeine, which can make it more difficult to sleep at night.
8. A long commute makes you lose out on valuable sleep... and the commute itself can make you more groggy
Consider how you might perform at work with a clear head, rested on a full night of sleep. If you have a long drive to work, however, it's likely that your performance might be affected, as you skip out on sleep to accomplish every item on your to-do list. And even the very act of commuting can make you tired, sapping your energy with all of the travel.
The costs of commuting can really add up. Consider purchasing a home that's more convenient to your work, and stop paying all of those hidden costs. REALTORS® in the area can situate you with a home that puts you in the best of all worlds, with their focused attention to your life and work needs. REALTORS® will take the time to find you a home that makes your job easier!