If you’re considering moving from the suburbs into downtown, then you’re probably trying to be closer to the heart of all urban activities or escape a hellish commute. Living in the city has a lot of appeal, from its proximity to restaurants, shops, cultural attractions, as well as your workplace, to saving money on transportation.
Yet there are also some things to consider, from higher living costs, to how your family life may be impacted. So if moving downtown is on your mind, read on to find out what you will need to adjust to.
Higher costs for renting or buying a home
Let’s face it: living in the city is expensive, and you may find that your money won’t go such a long way as you’re used to. Both rent and property prices are higher the further you move from the suburbs. Not only that, but eating out or shopping will also cost more, as businesses need to charge higher prices to make up for their own high rents.
Less space in your home
Studies suggest that homes in the suburbs are, on average, 300 sq. ft. larger than those in the city. While living downtown may bring you closer to work, as well as the social and cultural hub of the city, you will need to be prepared for downsizing.
If you have pets or kids, you will need to make arrangements for fitting everyone and everything within the confines of an apartment or be prepared to spend a bit more for a larger spot. On the flip side, downsizing can reduce the amount of maintenance that needs to be done in your home, and can even prompt you to declutter and maybe simplify your life a bit.
Fewer parking spaces
The average family in the U.S. owns two cars, which can easily fit in the driveway and garage of a suburban home. Yet even if you possess just one car, chances are you may encounter difficulties finding somewhere to park, as not all downtown homes have parking facilities.
On the plus side, your commute time can shorten drastically, and you may even find that public transport can make you less reliant on your vehicle.
Fewer green spaces
Due to the way downtowns grow and expand, every stretch of land can become a prized spot for real estate. You will still find tree-lined streets and parks, yet compared to the lush greenery of the suburbs, they can seem few and far in between. Maybe you count yourself among those who prefer a skyline of steel, glass, and brick, but if not, one way to combat nature blues is by decorating your home with houseplants.
Not all downtown areas look like New York City in an 80s movie, with dark alleyways and trash cans tipped over. Yet the truth is that the city is sometimes on the untidy side and that pollution can be a real concern. Traffic in downtown areas is the main culprit for decreased air quality, which can cause respiratory diseases, as well as aggravate existing ones. Noise and even light pollution are also something to bear in mind, as they can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
Fewer amenities for families
The big city life may not be best suited for those looking to start a family or those who already have one. When moving downtown, you may find that there are fewer kid-friendly amenities. There are indeed parks in the city center, but rather than letting your kids play in the yard, you have to dedicate your time on a daily basis to take the kids out for some fresh air.
Not only that, but downtown school districts may not be the best, as they are often overcrowded, meaning that your child’s education may be hindered. As public schools rely on taxes for funding, if you move to a poorer district downtown, you may notice that the amount of funds the school benefits from is lower than what it would get in a middle-class suburb.
Moving downtown is an excellent choice if you’re looking to live in the heart of the action. Yet suburbs also have their appeal, and there’s no right or wrong. At the end of the day, it’s all about preference, so if you decide that downtown is the place for you, take a moment to think about how your lifestyle will fit with the hustle and bustle of the city.