Commuting Costs are an Important Home Buying Factor

Commuting Costs are an Important Home Buying Factor

When buying a home in a Fraser Valley city like North Delta, Langley, Surrey, Abbotsford, Mission or Chilliwack, commuting costs are an important consideration. Buyers of detached houses, townhouses or condos should consider more than just the purchase price of their prospective home. Future homeowners should also factor in the location of their workplace, in relation to a home they are thinking of buying.

There are at least a few things that I encourage my buyer clients to think about:

1) how far is your workplace from your home?

2) how often do you have to travel to your workplace?

3) how much time is the typical commute from your home to work, when aligned with your normal working schedule?

4) if you're fortunate enough to, how often, if ever, do you get to work from home?

5) what is the fuel efficiency of your vehicle like?

The costs of commuting from a Fraser Valley community to a workplace outside of the immediate area (i.e. to Vancouver or Burnaby), can be significant. These commuting costs can be broken out into at least 3 categories.


We are notorious for paying some of the highest prices for gasoline in North America, here in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. High taxation on fuel, that is ever-increasing, doesn't help. We have suffered from price shocks in the form of extreme gas prices more than a few times in recent years. Gas prices are unfortunately expensive. They can form a big part of your monthly expenses and quickly eat into your precious earnings. 


Many people rightfully view time in a vehicle commuting as an opportunity cost. Every minute driving to/from work is time away from other people and/or activities. Your commuting time is lost time away from loved ones like your family, children or friends. Your drive time might cost you precious minutes that you could otherwise use for exercise or walking your pet. Perhaps it would've been hours used for a hobby, education or simply reading a book. Time is the most precious commodity we have; wasting it by sitting in traffic could become regrettable.


A long commute to and from work can take a toll on a commuter's physical and mental health. Driving in heavy traffic or on a busy route like Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway) can be very stressful. It can often take a lot of mental focus and concentration navigating a busy highway prone to accidents, construction delays or aggressive drivers. Physically, being in a car for a long drive day- after-day can really become harmful (i.e. think back, neck, shoulder and joint pain). Speaking from my own experience, the physical toll is even worse for people who are in desk or office jobs. Not only do these workers sit all day, they then would have to sit for an even longer time in their vehicle. Such a sedentary lifestyle or routine might make one prone to greater risk for disease.


Considering the categories of commuting costs that I have outlined above, it is really important for working people and homebuyers in the Fraser Valley to carefully consider the location of their next home purchase. Your next house, townhouse or condo would ideally be within a reasonable range and have good connectivity to your job site. Picking a location or neighbourhood is critical to your overall quality of life as it relates to commuting.

I have extensive experience and knowledge of the different neighbourhoods and communities of the Fraser Valley. I would be happy to connect with you to discuss options, if you are in need of a buyer's agent and looking to buy a home. Whether it is Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford or Chilliwack, I can help guide your choice of location. My service and knowledge can save you a lot of time and money.

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