The Tolls of Your Commute

March 01, 2019

We've all heard the "location, location, location" mantra when it comes to finding the right home, and there are many good reasons why – including your commute. Where you decide to live can mean the difference between a swift 10-minute drive to work, or a long commute that can make a big dent in your days and wallet.

Today's average commute is longer than ever before, even factoring in the growing number of employees that telework throughout the work week. According to the latest five-year Census Bureau report, the average commute is just over 26 minutes – compared to less than 22 minutes in 1990.

These four minutes may seem insignificant, but when calculating our precious time to spend with family, friends or at the gym, this equals 8 extra minutes a day, forty minutes a week or 2,080 minutes a year. It also means that if you commute five days a week, roundtrip, you're spending nearly 4.5 hours a week or nine days per year in transit.

As you can imagine, the longest commutes are in most populated states and urban cores, where jobs are more plentiful. Among the longest roundtrip commutes to and from work:

  • East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania: 1 hour, 17 minutes
  • New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area: 1 hour, 12 minutes
  • Washington, D.C. metropolitan area: 1 hour, 9 minutes

Whether you're looking to rent or buy, be sure to factor in your commute when making your ultimate decision. Not only can your commute chip away at your 24-hour day, it can be costly with gas, tolls, parking or public transportation fares. 

Visit My Home by Freddie Mac® to learn more about renting, buying and owning a home and all the costs involved.