The contrast between the city life in the USA and it’s counterpart-suburbia is stark! Question “downtown vs. suburbia-which is best for you?”, comes naturally to anyone who is starting a new chapter in their life, meaning- moving to a new state or country. Don’t forget one other biggie, which of these two is a better long-term investment? When we decided to tackle this topic we didn’t realize how big the question is and how many different researchers have been done in the field. This is why we will try with this article to give you a simple base to start building upon yourself.
What is your lifestyle?
Your lifestyle is the cornerstone of your decision on which to pick, downtown vs. suburbs. If you are a single guy or a girl, common sense entails you to choose the city living. This decision might come as a must, even though you prefer the country. Downtown offers smaller, more affordable apartments. You will be closer to an abundance of job opportunities plus there are more single people like you. This also means you’ll probably spend more on rent, which means you will have to save on other things. How does decorating your new home on a tight budget sound to you?
If you have a family, small children, a dog, you would have to look towards the lights of suburbs. They offer a safer environment, more space, bigger houses, high-quality schools etc. This choice also comes with many new responsibilities. Check out this checklist of things to look for when buying a house, for example.
A lot of people would assume that living in the suburbs is cheaper, but actually, this is not the case. Looking more closely at different cost factors you will realize that competition between downtown and suburbia will end up as a draw in most cases. That is why your lifestyle will be more of a deciding factor than the cost of living.
Do you “love” long commutes?
When husband and I relocated to Boston, MA for his new job, we were trying to decide what would be better. Living in New Hampshire in a big house, or close to his work in one of Boston’s beautiful neighborhoods, in a much smaller place. At first, we loved the “big house in the woods’ scenario, who wouldn’t? Then we realized it will take him an hour-and-a-half-long commute each way. Consequentially we wouldn’t be able to spend any quality time together during work days. This tilted our decision in favor of downtown Boston. The decision maybe killed our budget, but we had so much more time before and after work, which we valued more in the end. So the big question underlining the decision which one to choose downtown vs. suburbia, is how much do you care about long commutes?
Personal living space preferences
There is always more active in the city vs. suburbs. Everything from cultural events, art galleries and museums to bars and clubs, you will find more of it in downtown. Job opportunities, as well as dating opportunities, are in abundance. To get around, you can always save on gas and use public transport. On the plus side, you don’t have to care as much about home repairs, because your landlord will take care of it for you. If you have kids, they will grow to be more resilient than the kids from suburbs, you just have to teach them street smarts.
Benefits of living in the suburbia are that you will get more out of your money, in terms of living space. Your kids will have more play space and just think about that big backyard! Perfect for entertaining your friends or making BBQ. The downside of living in a big house is DIY projects, which you will surely have to perform every weekend. If you can’t imagine yourself shoveling snow, mowing the lawn or repairing leaks than forget about the house option. These and many more other factors you need to take into consideration to be able to choose between downtown vs. suburbia.
Downtown vs. suburbia-which is better for your dog/child?
Many would jump to conclusion that surly suburbia is a better choice for your dog’s/child’s lifestyle, but is it? Yes, when you think about all that extra space, and that big backyard for your dog/child to run around. It makes sense to pick this option over city living. But as I mentioned earlier, kids who grew up in big cities get an edge over suburban kids. They are street smart and more independent, less gullible. City life also offers many opportunities to experience different cultures, art, music… My family dog lived in cities all of his life and he is well adjusted as well! On one hand he doesn’t get to run around a big backyard but on the other hand, he enjoys long urban walks and many doggie parks our neighborhood has to offer.
Downtown vs. suburbia is an age-old battle, a question that cannot be fully answered. We can discuss it for hours on end and never get to the bottom of it. Or we can break down city living costs vs suburbs living costs for you, and realize it’s basically a tie. Why not talk about what is better for your family and get into a heated argument. My personal opinion is that every person is born with its own preference. That almost genetic characteristic will decide where that person will end up. So instead of a rational approach, try diving deep inside and listen to your heart. Let it lead the way.