Think About Your Commute When Buying a New Home!

by Admin Dec 27, 2022

If you are considering buying a new home, you have probably made a list of the essential things you are looking for in a property. As part of our approach to real estate services in Knoxville, we always recommend our buyers make a list of wants and needs. Most people will think about local schools, community facilities, the number of bedrooms, or particular features. These are all important things to consider, but many people neglect how their choice of property will impact their commute to work!

Think About Your Commute When Buying a New Home!

Time Spent Commuting Adds Up!

When you think about how much time you spend commuting, you might only be thinking about how long it takes daily. However, if you make that trip twice a day, 5 or 6 days a week, it soon starts to add up. Depending on the time you travel, and if it is a ‘high stress’ route due to heavy traffic or challenging junctions, even a short commute can end up feeling like too much when it begins to impact your daily life negatively. When looking at properties, you may be interested in buying; it is important to consider these factors. Keep in mind that if you visit an open house at 1 pm on a weekday, you are not getting an accurate representation of how long the commute will be in rush hour. It’s a good idea to head over there and make the journey when you usually travel to get a more realistic picture of the commute. Some of the key factors that might affect the commute include:

  • Access to public transport
  • Traffic patterns during rush hour
  • The proximity of major highways
  • Seasonal factors that may slow traffic

Consider the Expenses Associated with Your Commute

Choosing a home in the suburbs seems like a wise decision as the overall cost of the house may be lower. When working with real estate services in Knoxville, they may also point out specific areas that qualify for USDA Home Loans, which are best known for reasonable interest rates and no down payment requirement. However, while these savings may be attractive, you must weigh whether the high cost of commuting will cancel them out. In a study by FlexJobs, the cost of commuting was estimated at $2000 to $5000 per year for distances 5 to 13 miles. This is based on driving your own vehicle, but the costs soon mount up and maybe even more expensive if using public transport, taxi cabs, or rideshares. It is essential to factor these costs into your budget if you decide to look at houses further from your place of work.

It’s not just a financial expense either. On average, adults in the United States spend 30 minutes commuting each way; for some, it is much more. The more time you need to allow for traveling to and from work, the less time you will have to spend with your family or be dedicated to leisure activities or household chores. This can result in a poor work/life balance that could take away some of the joy of moving into your new home! Work with local real estate services in Knoxville to discuss the drawbacks and the benefits of choosing a home that might be a little further away than you would like.

Why Weigh-Up Affordability Vs. Commuting Time & Costs?

Despite the growing popularity of work-from-home and hybrid working, average commute times are at an all-time high, so this is one of the factors that reputable real estate services in Knoxville should discuss with their clients when drawing up a shortlist of wants and needs in a new property. A long and potentially stressful commute a couple of times a month might be fine if you are a hybrid worker, but it could be a significant downside for those doing it twice a day! It is important to weigh the money saved by buying outside city limits against the potential impact long commutes will have on you and your family. Especially when, over time, you find the expense of commuting mounting significant sums that cancel out any savings on purchasing your home.

The time and money spent on your daily commute are just as crucial in choosing a home as other factors, such as school districts, HOA fees, and local amenities. Make sure you discuss this with your local real estate services in Knoxville when considering the areas where you may want to buy your new home.


Wright Realty is a full-service real estate concierge with a wholistic approach to buying and selling property in East Tennessee. We are your trusted advisor and keep open communication throughout your entire buying/selling process. Real Estate done "Wright" means more than just a 'transaction'.

Finding Your Property the "Wright" Way!

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