Short Commutes vs Cheaper Housing

A small town or big city is a huge decision when deciding where to live. When moving, is it smarter to choose an expensive housing option with a shorter commute or a cheaper housing option with a longer commute? The pandemic has altered the way most of our communities work, with many employers offering remote work options. However, what about workers who are still required to go to a physical location? Below is a list of factors when determining shorter versus longer commute times in relation to housing prices. 

  • Verify your employer’s work from home policies. If you’re more productive in an autonomous work environment, you may be able to avoid a commute by working from home. Check with your employer on options, as even a few days a week from home will give you more flexibility when choosing where to live.
  • Don’t just consider how much wear & tear your car will be taking on or how much gas, it’s best to consider how much time you’ll be sitting in traffic. There are a lot of resources online that will give you an indication of traffic flow during specific days and times. If possible, test the commute out a few times to experience the natural flow of traffic yourself.  
  • How close are you to other significant locations? How far is your doctor, the grocery store, a mall, automotive shops, etc.? Cheaper housing may come with a longer commute to work and other stops for necessities. City living may also come with a more substantial insurance premium due to the higher volume of vehicles. 
  • Time isn’t just money; time is quality of life. Lifestyle matters when making a decision. Time on the road takes you away from time with a book, a hobby, or the gym. These aspects may be easy to overlook for cheap rent if you’re a singleton, but harder to swallow if you have a family or pressing obligations.

Before closing where to live, make sure you consider all the facts. Long commutes take a toll on your chance and may come with costly repairs. Time on the road may take you away from family. While a five-minute commute may save you time, it may come with higher housing prices that can hurt your pockets. Choosing the best option requires research on what’s best for your specific needs. And depending on your industry, it’s worth asking your employer about work from home options.


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