The average person spends 46 minutes on a typical day commuting.  That’s almost 200 hours a year in the car.  So when home buyers  ask about how long it takes to get to work, it’s an important buying factor and you need a good answer.

In fact, when Krishna Malyala moved from Hawaii to New Jersey, he had the same question.  Mr. Malyala wanted to know how much it would cost him to commute from potential new homes to work.  Yet, no real estate agent was able to tell him.

Without an answer, Malyala, a Keller Williams agent and former Vice President of technology at Citigroup, decided to partner with Ravi Sreekakula, a former marketing director for Hawaiian Airlines, to create a solution themselves.  Malyala and Sreekakula cofound TLCengie, “True Lifestyle Costs.”  TLCengie helps homebuyers gauge the actual cost of living in a particular home, including commuting costs.

In February, TLCengie pushed their collective vision a step further and announced the app tripTLC at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York.  The app arms leasing agents with personalized commuting cost reports.

Never get stuck without an answer to the two frequent asked questions: “How long it takes to get to work and how much will it cost?  Using more than 9 variables such as real-time gas prices, tolls, type of car and parking, tripTLC will calculate personalized results that are a great way to compare multiple homes and commute information with clients.

“Mortgages only account for 50 percent of the cost of owning a home – we do the rest of it,” Sreekakula said.

According to an October 2012 report from the Center for Housing Policy, the cost of living can change dramatically when commuting expenses are considered along with monthly mortgage payments.

Real estate agents can assist clients with budgeting and using tripTLC to see what’s truly in their price range and reap the benefit of increased loyalty and referrals.  Subscriptions to the service cost $9.99 per month or $99 per year.