If your commute to work takes 25 minutes, congratulations – you’re average, according to a 2009 study by the United States Census Bureau. Commuting to work is a very real part of American life for lots of people, yet seldom considered when they are buying a house.

Sure, it’s easy to get distracted by an amazing kitchen or a great backyard, but this is your opportunity to possibly cut the time it takes you to get to and from work. We’ve put together a few things you may want to consider as you choose your new neighborhood.

Consider this

We think it’s a safe bet that not many homebuyers are seeking to increase their commute time to work. The more time we spend on the road, the less time we have to enjoy home and family. Keep in mind as you shop for your new neighborhood that gas prices aren’t as likely to decrease as they are to increase so the longer your commute, the higher your monthly gasoline expenses will be. The Birmingham Area commute is below the national average. For some being away from hustle and bustle is well worth a few an extra minutes in the car. Many people like to take their commute time to prepare for the day ahead or to unwind and listen to music or books on tape before heading into evening chores. Consider your family's after-school and weekend activities as well as the daily drive when choosing your next neighborhood. We have taken the time to get some low traffic estimates for Birmingham Area Commutes from MapQuest but if you really want to know how long it will take you to get to work from a particular neighborhood, make the actual commute before committing to the purchase.

Commute Time to Downtown Birmingham by Area

Homewood to Downtown 7 Minutes 4.6 Miles Est. fuel cost $0.38

Hoover to Downtown 16 Minutes 11.6 Miles Est. fuel cost $0.97

Chelsea to Downtown 29 Minutes 18.9 Miles Est. fuel cost $1.51

Gardendale to Downtown 14 Minutes 12.4 Miles Est. fuel cost $1.00

Vestavia Hills to Downtown 10 Minutes 6.9 Miles Est. fuel cost $0.57

Mountain Brook to Downtown 10 Minutes 7.3 Miles Est. fuel cost $0.61

Helena to Downtown 24 Minutes 20.2 Miles Est. fuel cost $1.21

Pelham to Downtown 21 Minutes 20.7 Miles Est. fuel cost $1.18

Trussville to Downtown 19 Minutes 15 Miles Est. fuel cost $1.21

Alabaster to Downtown 27 Minutes 23.3 Miles Est. fuel cost $ 1.3

(source Mapquest.com)

Share the commute

According to CommuteSmart Birmingham, the “Average Birmingham commuter wastes 32 hours per year in traffic and 21 gallons of fuel.” Go ahead and get that dream house, but find a carpool to save on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. CommuteSmart wants to help everyone have an easier ride to work as well as reduce air pollution in Jefferson and Shelby Counties.

Road conditions, freeways, and highways

The Alabama Department of Transportation is working to improve commutes by improving traffic flow and road conditions. The state has a five-year improvement plan that will help ease commutes throughout the state. The efforts made over the past few years have drastically improved commute times on Highway 280 and future improvements should help even more. The city is currently going through a lot of traffic in the northern part of Birmingham in the infamous 'Malfunction Junction."

Chuck the commute

Working from home provides the ideal commute. There’s just nothing that compares to that short trek down the hallway to the home office. If your employer offers a telecommuting option, consider taking advantage of it, at least on a part-time basis. There’s a lot to consider when hunting for a house and location because it has a direct impact on your quality of life, is one of the most important considerations.

The less time you spend in our car every day has a great effect on your happiness. You need to make sure that you take that into consideration when you are buying a house or if you are considering selling your home in the future. Look around the areas nearer your work or with earlier access to your workplace to when to have a better idea of areas you may want to look into further when you are buying a house.


© Christina James and BirminghamWelcomeHome.com, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christina James and BirminghamWelcomeHome.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.