City living comes with a certain level of excitement and convenience that you’d be hard-pressed to find outside of the downtown area. The bright lights, the close proximity to work and entertainment, and the vibrant community that usually characterizes urban living can’t be denied.
But sometimes the need for a little tranquility and space drives people to make a move from the city to the suburbs.
If you’re considering making a move, should you look for another unit in the city? Or is it time for a completely different change in scenery in the form of suburban living? Here are some things to consider before making your final decision.
Commute to Work
If you work in the city, then obviously the proximity from your home to your place of work will be a lot closer than it would be if you lived in the ‘burbs. Commuting is one of the more important factors to consider when moving.
Congestion and traffic can really extend the amount of time it takes to get to work if you’re coming from way outside the city, let alone the stress that comes along with commuting. And if there are no convenient and efficient public transportation options available, the commute can be even more daunting.
If you plan to keep your job in the city, you’ll want to seriously consider your commute. If you’re dedicated to moving out of the city, try to find a suburb that’s as close to the city as possible without compromising all the conveniences that come with suburban living.
If you’ve got school-aged children, then scoping out the school ratings in the area you plan to move to is important. You’ll want your kids to attend a school that’s safe, has a decent student body, and is rated well for academics. In fact, schools are one of the biggest driving factors for people with kids who are considering moving.
Even if you don’t have any kids, you might have some in the future. And even if children are not part of the plan, communities with highly-rated school districts tend to be valued higher compared to those with schools that are low on the list. If anything, choose an area with desirable schools simply to protect your investment.
Urbanites tend to have a slew of amenities available to them at their fingertips. City centers are often filled with all the conveniences of daily life within a short distance from each other, which is one of the conveniences of living in the city.
Whether you need to pick up some groceries, want to hit up a yoga studio, or want to make grabbing your morning cup of joe from a local cafe much quicker, all of these amenities – and more – can usually be found within a short distance from each other in the city.
Generally speaking, amenities in the suburbs tend to be spread out a little more. That usually entails having to drive to do your groceries, meet up with friends, or go to the gym.
That said, there may be certain suburbs that take the urban lifestyle into consideration. City planners are increasingly trying to blend the conveniences of both suburban and city living in order to give residents the best of both worlds. If possible, try to find a suburb that has its own “downtown” that offers a myriad of amenities all within a short distance from one another.
Perhaps the biggest difference between living in the city versus living in the suburbs is the lifestyle. Sure, the commute and the amenities are important considerations to make. But in addition to these, the lifestyle differences are worth noting.
Living in the city is often characterized by convenient and energetic. You can walk to amenities, places are typically open later than they are in the suburbs, and there are usually more options for entertainment. City life is usually more vibrant and exciting, offering a slew of opportunities, both for employment and entertainment. Further, the city is usually much more multicultural in nature.
But living in the suburbs has its own distinct lifestyle that may be more attractive to many buyers. Generally speaking, the suburbs offer a lot more space to enjoy. The neighborhoods are usually quieter without the constant noise of traffic, honking horns, and police sirens. The suburbs are usually considered safer, which is often why parents tend to move outside of the city. Further, the pollution is not as thick as it usually is downtown, giving residents fresher air to breathe in.
Depending on what you’re looking for in a lifestyle, this may sway your decision to make a move to the suburbs or stay put in the city.
City centers are usually characterized by condominiums, apartment buildings, and townhomes. Considering the density of housing and the cost per square foot to be close to all the action, square footage is usually on the skimpy side in downtown cores. As such, you’re usually stuck with living in no more than a few hundred square feet of space. If that’s OK with you, then perhaps staying in the city is not a bad idea.
But if you’re looking for more space to grow, then perhaps a move to the suburbs might be warranted. There are plenty of opportunities to buy a spacious home with a lot of outdoor space at an affordable price in the suburbs, which is typically not something you’ll be able to take advantage of in the city.
In fact, the opportunity to buy a larger home with a big yard for approximately the same price as a much smaller condo downtown is one of the biggest reasons why urban families end up moving outside of the city once they start having kids. If you’re looking for a lot more space, then suburban living might be the right way to go.
The Bottom Line
Everyone has different needs, wants, and aspirations for how they want to live their lives. Depending on exactly what you’re looking for, both the city and the suburbs each have their own set of unique traits for you to take advantage of. Carefully consider what you’re looking for in a lifestyle, both inside your home and in the community, before making the decision to either stay put in the city or make a move to the suburbs.