To move to suburbia or not to move, that is the real question. Deciding to make the leap from a bustling city life or the rural countryside to the suburbs can be a monumental decision, especially if you don’t know what to expect. From square footage to schools and community life, the suburbs can offer a list of pros for couples looking to start a family, those who already have one, or retirees looking for some peace and quiet. Consider some of these unique benefits before making the blissful trek to suburbia.
1. Quality of life soars through the roof. It’s true, the grass is always greener on the other side, especially if you’re in suburbia. A recent Pew survey found that 42 percent of suburban residents rated their community satisfaction as higher than those living in the city limits, the country or small towns. Suburbia is a pleasant escape from the big city while still in close proximity to other people and necessities than the country. You’ll find less traffic congestion, crowding, and a lower crime rate. Plus, plenty of recreational and outdoor activities to preoccupy yourself with when you’re not at work or taking care of the kids.
2. Weighing the cost of living. Although commuting expenses, homes and property taxes run much higher for suburbanites than for city dwellers, combined housing and transportation costs still make up a smaller percentage of household expenditures for those living in the suburbs than the city. Those in urban places spend 51 percent of their annual expenses on housing and transportation, compared to those in suburbia who spend 50 percent. Even if the difference is minimal, consider this. Only half of city dwellers are homeowners compared to 71 percent in suburban areas, showing that in the end owning a home in the suburbs is more affordable than in the city.
3. Friendly neighbors everywhere. From beaming smiles to baked goods, the suburbs are full of neighbors who are as excited as you are about moving in. Unlike a city where you almost never cross paths with residents living in your building or have to drive for miles to find the closest home in the countryside, here in suburbia you’ll almost always cross paths with a friendly neighbor. Plus, local amenities like parks and shops increase your chances of establishing friendships with community members.
4. Ahh, some peace and quiet. Some may not like the idea of a city that never sleeps, but many can agree that light and noise pollution diminishes their quality of life. Being immersed in noisy environments can lead to stress, increased blood pressure, and sleep disturbances. Suburbia offers an alternative — a life free from horns, sirens and city lights.
5. Where there’s suburbia, there’s better schools. Whether you have children or are planning to, the suburbs typically have better schools. Where there’s larger suburban homes, there’s usually higher property taxes compared to places in the city or the country. And since property taxes usually fund school districts across America, schools in suburbia benefit from bigger budgets. Plus, even if you don’t plan on having kids or they have long moved out, knowing how well your community’s school district is performing can be very helpful when it comes to selling your home.