Consider The Commute, Among Other Things, When Buying A House

The Commute

In our area, we have some serious rush hour traffic. Nothing like those of you who live in major metropolitan cities experience. But, when we’re used to driving 70 (or higher) on our highways, we’re dismayed to be creeping slowly or at a dead stop during rush hour. So, that’s my next suggestion for your home shopping list.

People Lie and More

No, they don’t all lie. Some folks aren’t bothered by the same things that bother you. If they’re happily singing along with The Eagles during rush hour traffic, they will give you a rosy view of the commute. And, if they want you to be their neighbor – or buy their house, they may make it sound better than it is in reality.

Test the Commute

You may love the house, but you may not love the commute. Drive into the area where you’re considering moving before rush hour, then drive to work during rush hour. If you’re taking public transportation, find out the schedule, then test it out to your job. See how long it takes, what kinds of problems you experience. Then do the opposite for afternoon rush hour. Drive or take the public transportation from your workplace to the area where you may live. Just because traffic is great when you’re house shopping on the weekends, you still need to see how it will be during rush hour.

One Way In, One Way Out

We have one neighboring city in our area, where there’s essentially one way out and one way in. You are literally at the mercy of anything that happens in traffic every day – each way. Personally we don’t mind traffic, but we like to be able to detour around accidents and such. Impossible for this city. That’s the kind of thing you need to know before you buy that house. If that bothers you, as much as it bothers us, you do not want to live in that city – even for your dream house.

What’s Available in the Area?

On top of the commute, you also need to consider whether the places you like to go are available nearby. Check out grocery stores, restaurants, parks, and more. We lived in a beautiful home on a golf course a couple of towns outside the major city where we lived. But everything we did in the evening was in the city. We spent so much time driving back and forth between the city, such a waste of time.

Highway Repairs

One of our major highways is continually growing. There’s frequently a gridlock in this construction zone. That zone between our City on one side and the Towns on the other side can be really frustrating. (For my local friends – you know which highway I speak of – I’ve read your rants on Facebook.)

A simple test drive during rush hour will assure you have no regrets about your new home for that reason anyway.

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What’s the worst traffic areas where you live? In central Arkansas, highway 67/167 is the most frustrating highway, and Maumelle is the city that you can connect with highways on one end or the other.