When buying a new home, the transition from city life to the suburbs may not be your first choice. Yet, the trend is clear: more homebuyers are leaning suburban in an attempt to gain more space at a lower cost, and in many cases, improve their quality of life. Not convinced suburban living is for you? These are some of the top benefits of living in a suburban area.
Money is one of the biggest contributors to the shift toward suburban living that has emerged in recent years. While the younger generation is still pursuing career opportunities in larger urban areas, more and more millennials are transitioning to the suburbs, exurbs, and smaller metropolitan areas. The transition is typically a choice to reduce the cost of living, especially as urban housing prices continue to increase.
Housing prices have gone up in 95% of cities across the U.S. Buying a home downtown is not always an option, so home buyers have gravitated toward areas where houses are more affordable, offering them the means to not only purchase a house but put their money toward other things as well.
According to a survey conducted by Credit Karma, suburban dwellers have nearly 4 times more in their savings account as compared to their city counterparts. Suburban respondents were also more likely to have a 401(k), more (on average) in their bank account than urban respondents, and lower expenses on essentials.
For those who opt to transition to suburban areas that are still growing (or exurbs, the areas out beyond the main metro suburbs), you can say goodbye to constant traffic and overall congestion. Suburban areas that offer great public transportation mean you can leave the car at home and still enjoy the ease of a public commute—or shorten your commute entirely with a job in the burbs. On weekends, forget navigating city traffic and instead enjoy the calm of suburban or rural roads, fewer traffic lights, and a much shorter wait at your new favorite brunch spot.
While some urban schools are beginning to thrive—make sure to ask your real estate agent about the school districts in your desired area—the overall trend in the United States shows that suburban and rural public schools typically receive more funding than urban public schools. This increase in funding allows for significant upgrades to facilities, equipment, curriculum, and access to further educational opportunities such as sports, arts, and music. As you consider making a move to the suburbs, and you have a family or will in the near future, then reviewing the school districts will certainly be top of your list.
It should come as no surprise that buying a house in the suburbs allows you to get more bang for your buck. Just a few years ago, the average rent in a U.S. city was $1,848 per month compared to $1,269 per month in the suburbs. This trend holds true for housing prices as well, as a report from Zillow revealed that urban homes across the nation were valued at 25% per square foot than suburban homes. As urban housing prices continue to increase at a rapid pace, this gap in prices continues. While some may still opt to stay in cramped city dwellings in order to avoid commuting, many new home buyers are looking for larger suburban spaces: yards, extra bedrooms for future kids, and space to truly call their own.
Cities are fun, lively, bustling, and fast. Things are always moving. And pollution extends into categories other than the air as we become surrounded by noise and light. In the suburbs, everything seems to slow down. The quiet, calmer pace of life stems from more green space, fewer buildings (apart from residential buildings), and fewer people. Shopping is typically sequestered to a few main areas, and the outlying residential districts consist of quiet neighborhoods, open spaces, and the opportunity to actually step outside and enjoy the stars at night, thanks to limited light pollution.
One of the hardest things to leave behind when you say goodbye to city life is the abundance of restaurants at your fingertips. But don’t give up hope just yet. Homebuyers aren’t the only ones leaving the city behind. Restauranteurs and business owners are also looking to the suburbs for new business opportunities, lower rent, and a suburban audience that is excited about new places to eat and shop.
The suburbs are well-known for being a haven for box stores and accessibility, and now they are becoming a destination for local eateries, boutique shops, and all the amenities in one place. In fact, many city dwellers end up driving into the suburbs on the weekend to shop and run errands at stores that don’t have locations in the city. Instead of driving from place to place in and out of the city (and dealing with city parking), the suburbs are home to shopping centers where you can easily get everything you need all in one place.
Cities certainly have their own semblance of community, it is not uncommon to spend several years in the same apartment complex and never get to know your neighbors. In the suburbs, however, building a community with your neighbors, co-workers, and other parents with school-aged children is an inherent part of the lifestyle. With suburban life comes smaller centers of community, and the chances of running into your neighbors at the library, the grocery store, or the coffee shop are much higher. Community events abound with holiday markets, school plays, farmer’s markets, and movies in the park—all of which are hosted and attended by your neighbors and members of the local community. This close-knit lifestyle is also reflected in events such as block parties, fundraisers for charity, and neighborhood associations. Suburban life is rich with opportunities to get involved, connected, and make friends with other members of the community.
Are you ready to find your next home in the suburbs? Get matched to your LemonBrew agent, a local expert in your area who is perfectly aligned to make your home buying goals a reality. Once you find your home, get your LemonBrew rebate and save money on the closing costs of your new suburban home.