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House Hunting: Should You Choose the City or the Suburbs?

House Hunting: Should You Choose the City or the Suburbs?
3 min. read

When you make the decision to buy a home, you’ll find many difficult choices need to be made. One cause for deliberation is whether to live in the city or in the suburbs. Most of us have a preference one way or the other, but this is likely to alter over the years and as circumstances change. 

As with all things related to finding your perfect home, numerous factors will eventually affect your decision. Read on to discover the benefits and disadvantages of city and suburban living and see which might be best for you.

Money Matters

Your budget will play a large role in deciding which area is most suitable for you. While there are exceptions to every rule, house prices in suburban areas are generally lower than in the city – and you’re also likely to get more square footage for your dollar. On the flip side, it’s worth noting that you may have additional costs in the suburb which you might not have in the city – such as running a car or even two.

When looking at which area offers the best potential for investment, urban houses typically appreciate faster than suburban homes. City homes will always be in demand, ensuring a thriving buyers’ market, which can result in a fast sale and a great price. You may not get such a good return on your investment when buying a suburban property.

Breathing Space

For the majority of house hunters, there are far more pressing concerns than making a profit. Life in the suburbs can offer a cleaner, more spacious environment than city living, with generally larger house sizes and more chance of getting a yard. In the suburbs, you can spread out a little more, whereas in the city, you may find yourself sharing space with a lot of other people.

Young and mature families alike, as well as dog owners, generally favor the suburbs for this reason. With the luxury of a backyard, it’s easier and safer to let them play outside. Many parents fear letting the kids out alone in the city and will have to make time to take them to the park or playground.

What’s Nearby?

While city living can be cramped and crowded, it does offer supreme proximity to everything you could ever need, something the suburbs cannot boast. Non-stop shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues are typically a short walk or ride away, ensuring you have everything you want and need at your fingertips. For those who love to socialize and enjoy cultural activities, such as the theater, art galleries and museums, the city provides it all.

On the other hand, the suburbs can seem to be somewhat lacking in convenient local amenities. The nearest shop may be several miles away and you may find the best bars and restaurants are in the city center. However, the suburbs do generally enjoy closer proximity to nature trails, national parks and schools and have more to offer if you’re house hunting with kids.

Health Concerns

More and more house hunters are taking their health more seriously, with health factors playing an important role in choosing where to settle down. While it’s common knowledge that the air quality within the city is generally lower than the surrounding suburbs, that’s not to say that city living is without health benefits. City dwellers are typically more active than their suburban counterparts and are more likely to walk or cycle. On top of that, there’s more access to quality, affordable gyms.

In the suburbs, most people are reliant on a car to get around to reach the nearest facilities and amenities. However, suburbians can enjoy access to hiking trails more readily and have more chance to enjoy the fresh air and the great outdoors.

Ultimately your lifestyle and circumstances will dictate whether city or suburban living is the best choice for you. Young and mature families alike are typically drawn to the suburbs, benefiting from more space, cleaner air and more affordable living conditions. Alternatively, those who crave the buzz and the convenience of city living are mostly drawn to urban centers.

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