Should You Buy a House in the Suburbs?
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2017
Are you dreaming of a suburban lifestyle?
It's a dream for many, and while it doesn't always involve a white picket fence, buying a house in the suburbs often involves a lot more space, both inside and outside your home. Sometimes a move to the suburbs is the best idea for your family, while other times what seems like an excellent plan is actually disasterous. If you're thinking about moving to the suburbs, what should you consider before you leap into this new lifestyle?
What is the Culture Like?
No one wants to move to a bland suburb, and one that does not fit with your personal style. If you make a choice that's the wrong cultural fit for your family, you could feel bored and frustrated by your lack of a social circle.
For instance, if you move into a neighborhood of senior citizens and you have a young family, you may have lovely neighbors, but you won't have a parent and child peer group. If you love shopping at the farmers' markets and you move into a suburb of strip malls, you won't have a cultural fit. Finding the right neighborhood is important, whether you're in the urban core or in the suburbs.
The suburbs come with new recreational opportunities. Will you take advantage of this outdoor space?
Do You Enjoy Outdoor Time?
The suburbs come with recreational opportunities that you won't find as easily in the city. You can go on walks around the neighborhood or in wilderness areas that are located close by. You and your children can garden or ride bikes. You can have a dog and enjoy time outdoors in the yard with your pet. With those outdoor opportunities come larger gardens and the expectation that you'll keep them looking beautiful. Is this something that you want in your life? If not, consider staying in the urban core or look for a row house in the surburbs.
Do You Love the Urban Buzz?
If you adore the thrum of the city, you may feel less enchanted by suburban living. There is no doubt that cities can provide action and entertainment, which can be hard to come by in the 'burbs. While you could find a suburb with all of the urban feel that you love, you may need to commute into the city to go to plays and concerts. Consider what you're giving up when you move to the suburbs from an urban area.
What Do You Get for Your Investment?
According to US News, "city-loving millennials are making an unexpected choice. They are moving to the suburbs, much as their parents did decades ago." In part, they're making this decision due to their finances. As Millennials start families, the suburbs offers more space for their dollar.
However, it's important to consider your specific suburb rather than relying on generalizations. Take a look at the real finances of your specific deal before you buy. What are you getting for your dollar in that particular suburb, and what would you get if you remained closer to the city center?
How Are the Transportation Connections?
Many people grew up in suburban homes, and they're accustomed to that lifestyle. While a commute may not have seemed like a big deal then, once you're the one doing it, the time can add up. Look at the transportation links from your prospective home, including:
- Bus and subway
- Walkability and bikeability
- Traffic, if you're driving
Try out the commute before you make the decision to buy. How much time will you spend commuting every day? Is the commute pleasant, or is it frustrating? Remember that you'll also be commuting into town for special events as well, such as sports games or the theater.
Are you curious about your home options? Take a look at the blog at Open For Homes. At Open for Homes, we're here to give you a glimpse into your many housing options and to help you make an informed decision about your next home purchase.