New website feature allows home buyers to search for listings by drive times

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Tired of that long drive to work? If you are buying a new home, there's a new way to calculate your commute.

The Houston Association of Realtors has added a new feature that allows you to search for homes based on drive times. It allows you to add your work address, the time of day you drive to work, and the maximum amount of time you want to spend in traffic. The website then calculates all available homes for sale, within those criteria.

HAR developed the technology because they say consumers asked for it.

"Seventy-four percent of the participants said that their drive time was a major factor in where they selected a home," Nancy Furst, Chair of Houston Association of Realtors, said.

For homebuyers who are not familiar with Houston traffic, the website can be especially helpful.

Jared Matthews and Yuriko Kajiya have relocated to Houston from New York to join the Houston Ballet. They are searching for a place to call home that will keep their commute less than 15 minutes.

"We want to be close to where we work and we work in downtown, because Houston has a lot of traffic," Matthews said.

Between rehearsals and performances the couple usually spends six days a week at work, and just bought their first car.

"We are driving now, because before in New York, we never had a car," Matthews said.

The website helped them locate a newly-listed townhome that would keep their work commute to just ten minutes.
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