More often than not, home buyers forget to factor in their commute time when they are looking for a new home… Your Savvy Realtor should help you determine what commuting options will work best for you.
Raise your hand if you have ever spent over 90 minutes getting from your front door to the reception desk at your office because traffic was insane. Ok, lots of you raised your hands there. Now, raise your hand if you have to drive for 90 minutes every day to and from work? Oh, that is no good. The US Census Bureau calls a commute of over 90 minutes an extreme commute. In the DC Metro area, sometimes a so-called extreme commute can just have you going less than 15 miles.
I will never forget my first trip into DC from Springfield that took over 3 hours to go 14 miles. It was frustrating to say the least, but something I now know and value and try to drive home to my clients- punny, I know- is that if we start to think about your commute before we start looking at properties, we can find a happy medium that will give you the quality of life that you deserve once we find your new home.
We often find that you can get more for your money the further away from “town” that we get. “People affected by housing costs tend to go to the periphery of metro areas,” says Falls Church transportation expert Alan Pisarski in a recent article by G.M. Filisko. This also means that commute time will go up for these folks who seek to live on the periphery. What we need to discover is the balance between where you work, where you live, and how much time you want to spend commuting in the DC Metro Area. Commuting can be any number of options, too. Do you want to ride the Metro, the bus, drive your car or even walk when you have to commute? It is good to know your limits and understand your options when looking for real estate and wanting to lessen your commute or move further out to get more for the money, so to speak. It isn’t just knowing your limits, but also your options.
At a condo showing yesterday, I had to let my client know that there wasn’t a parking space associated with the purchase of the condo unit; however, this drove the unit’s condo fees down significantly, and the condo is located on the Orange Line between Ballston and Virginia Square and in my opinion is prime real estate near desirable Clarendon. The future owner of the unit can either rent a parking space at the condo garage, or utilize the other many commuter options available: walk, bike, Metro, bus or get a zip car contract. The possibilities are endless, but knowing the transportation situation for the sale of this property is imperative for the future owner.
If you have ever been car dependent, because there wasn’t convenient access to a bus system or the Metro, you know that walking to get around was probably out of the question. Understanding that your commute time may be longer than average is something that is really important when you’re starting a home search. If it is important to you that you be able to spend more quality time with your friends and family; we can take a look at some of the awesome resources available to ensure we find that perfect commuter option for you when searching for a home in Northern Virginia. There are some great resources that we have now such as WalkScore.com and SpatialMatch.com much like what we utilize at Arbour Realty.
I’d love to discuss your current situation and help you come to a happy solution when searching for your perfect home in Northern Virginia.