As a homebuyer, one of the first things you need to decide is whether you want to purchase a home in an urban or suburban area. For example, do you want plenty of yard space for your kids to run around in, or is being close to work and places to dine out more of a priority?
A few decades ago, people started migrating out of cities en masse to live in the suburbs. Since then, the number of people living in cities vs. suburbs has evened out. Homes in the suburbs tend to cost less and are likely closer to excellent schools. Homes in the city are likely to be closer to top-notch restaurants, shops, and places to work. Especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many people are finding themselves weighing the pros and cons of suburban vs. city living. There are quite a few more considerations to make when deciding between living in the city or the suburbs, and we’ve outlined a few to get you thinking.
The pandemic has made many people more interested in living in the suburbs. Since early 2020, most people have felt they are safest in areas that aren’t densely populated. While this will likely not be a factor that needs to be considered for too much longer, you should identify how comfortable you feel living amongst crowds of people in your day-to-day life. Space is a huge priority for many, so consider how much space you can be comfortable living in. Do your evening walks depend on the peace and quiet of your neighborhood, or would they be just as pleasant in a city surrounded by the hustle and bustle of commuters and street performers?
You need to figure out your priorities for educating your children. Suburban public schools are more likely to have a smaller student-to-teacher ratio than schools in the city. Many parents prioritize this as it typically allows for more individualized education and increases the academic performance of most students. It’s also possible to get an excellent education through a private school when you’re in the city. Still, it will cost significantly more than free public schools available in the suburbs.
Another key factor to consider is the method of transportation that best suits you. Living in the suburbs might take you longer to commute to work every day. This could be a dealbreaker for some people, but others may enjoy an hour a day to listen to their favorite podcast on their way to work. You also may find yourself traveling further to go out to eat or attend concerts and sporting events. The suburbs are also less walkable, so a car is usually necessary. There are many more modes of transportation in the city, such as buses, subways, and walking. You may not like taking public transit, so this factor is very much a personal decision.
On average, just about everything costs more when you live in a city. However, the city is a great option if you’re willing to sacrifice a lower cost of living for convenience and being adjacent to work, shopping, and events. Typically, you will get less square footage in the city compared to the suburbs, but some people are willing to pay the price to live within walking distance from everything they need.
Job availability is universally higher in cities. If you opt to live in the suburbs, you may be facing a long daily commute. Living in a city can offer a diverse number of career options in various industries. However, it’s also possible to land your dream job working remotely, as many companies have opted to shift many positions online during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To decide where you want to live, you have to start by evaluating your lifestyle and what parts are most important to you. Affordability, education, and general comfort levels in the suburbs vs. urban areas are all factors that will help you decide where you want your next home to be. Do you have questions about urban vs. suburban living? Contact us today; we’d be happy to talk more about it!