Pros and Cons of Living in the Suburbs

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Buying

When searching for your new home, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to live in a city or in the suburbs. Choosing a house away from the hustle and bustle of an urban center offers several distinct advantages, but depending on your personality and lifestyle, you might find that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.

Housing Options
One of the greatest advantages of living in the suburbs is that you could likely get more bang for your buck. A mortgage for a suburban house could cost less per month than rent for a much smaller city apartment. This can be especially important if you plan to grow your family in the future. In addition to more space, you could have a yard and more privacy and build equity.

Another thing to consider is that since houses in the suburbs are generally larger than city apartments, you would need more furniture to fill a suburban house. That could get expensive.

Transportation
Traffic is generally easier to deal with in the suburbs, but if you work in a city, commuting during rush hour could be a nightmare. Public transportation might be available, but suburban buses and trains likely wouldn’t run as frequently as they would in cities. You might need to walk to a bus stop or drive to a train station, which could leave you with an exhausting daily commute.

If you had a job in a suburban area that you couldn’t get to by taking public transportation, a car would be mandatory. In addition to monthly vehicle payments, you would need to pay for insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs. Driving to and from work could put a lot of wear and tear on your car, so you might need to replace it in a few years.

Lifestyle and Community
The pace of life in the suburbs tends to be slower than in a city. If you enjoy the excitement of city life, moving to the suburbs could be a culture shock. There would likely be fewer concerts, sporting events, and other things to occupy your time. That could mean that you wouldn’t get out as much as you currently do, but you might find other local activities or spend time getting to know your neighbors. You and your kids could develop close friendships with other members of your community.

Cities and neighborhoods vary, but suburbs are often cleaner and quieter than urban areas. With people less concentrated, there is generally less trash, pollution and noise. Suburban life can be healthier than city living, with less stress and more opportunities to enjoy parks and other public spaces.

Is Suburban Life Right for You?
Living in the suburbs has several advantages and disadvantages. How much these should factor into your decision will depend on your personality and lifestyle. Consider your current life circumstances and where you hope to be in several years to decide if moving to the suburbs would be right for you.