Homeownership is a marvelous thing. Many folks go to extraordinary lengths to make it happen for their household. One thing that makes ownership difficult is affordability in the same locale as your employment. When that's the case, many potential buyers begin searching outside their comfortable commuting radius to find an affordable house.
Before you commit to a commute, consider a few of the challenges commuting adds to your life. Then, weigh those against the joy of owning a home in a community you love.
Before you take the plunge and buy the house that you have your eye on, make an effort to drive to the neighborhood early one morning and then make the commute to your job. While one day of commuting doesn't give you the full picture, you'll quickly know if traffic is a deal-breaker for you.
Of course, other options exist. If coworkers also live in that community, you could ride-share so that you're not the one behind the wheel every day. Some so-called "bedroom communities" offer group ride-share programs for commuters. In that case, you might thoroughly enjoy relaxing in a luxury van reading the paper or reviewing reports on your way to work.
Often forgotten in the lure of homeownership is the potential "commute" to shopping locations. If your favorite store doesn't have a local outlet or the nearest grocery store is a significant distance, the shopping commute could nix your plans. While it may not seem like a problem now, when you've commuted to work all week, the last thing you want to do with your weekend is drive 45-minutes to the grocery store or make an additional trip into town to buy shoes.
Finally, what you do for pleasure should inform your choice as well. When you find yourself staying late in town to go to the theater or see friends, heading back out to the ’burbs to sleep might get old.
Even if you love the countryside and the chance to own a house, commuting isn’t for everyone. Before you give up on your dreams, though, talk to a knowledgeable real estate agent inside your commute radius. There might be options for ownership that you’re unaware of such as pocket listings or distressed homes.