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Search by commute, not price

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 14, 2014 08:46 AM

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If there is a traffic misery index out there, Greater Boston has to rank right up at the top.

Not only are our major commuting highways like 128 and the Pike jammed much of the time, but our secondary and even scenic back roads have become parking lots during rush hour as well.

It takes my wife a good 45 minutes to go drive 11 miles from Natick to Newton during rush hour - that's about 15 miles an hour!

We are practically back to horse and buggy speeds.

And sadly, that's hardly untypical.

So instead of searching by price first, house hunters might be better off by first figuring out how much commuting they can stand and then then looking at what's available inside that circle on the map.

As luck would have it, home buyers will soon get a chance to search listings by their commuting requirements under an online platform being rolled out by one of the nation's largest real estate brokerages.

Prospective buyers will get a chance to search by commute time when looking for homes on a new INRIX house hunting platform being rolled out by RE/MAX in New Jersey, Inman News reports
.

(I'm checking this morning on the plans for Mass roll out and will update you later when I get word.)

Of course, unless you are lucky enough to work in the boonies, you are likely to have to pay up to find a house or condo closer to work.

The closer you get to 128 and Boston, the more you will pay for a house.

But there is also a high cost to be paid in misery if you are stuck in traffic two or three hours a day as well, hoofing it down from Southern New Hampshire or in from Central Massachusetts.

That can amount to 10 to 15 hours a week of full-bore traffic madness, or the equivalent of one or two workdays stuck in your car.

Are you ready to pay more to ditch the commute? Or would you rather have a bigger house, even if it takes more time to drive home in the evening after work?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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