The Pros and Cons of Living in the Suburbs vs. Living in the City
First things first: living in the suburbs is a lot closer to living in the city than living in a small town. Some suburbs have populations nearly as high as entire states. Mesa, Arizona, is America's largest suburb with 472,000+ people. Wyoming has 579,000+ people. Imagine that. Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix in Arizona, is almost 80% of the total population of Wyoming. Trying to decide between living in a suburb and living in a city? Keep reading for an overview of the pros and cons.
Suburbs can be little cities in and of themselves, which is as true in Fort Worth, Texas, as it is in Mesa. In fact, Fort Worth and Long Beach are the largest cities that aren’t the center of a metropolitan area. They’re not quite cities, and they’re not quite suburbs. However, for the purposes of this writing, they fit the definition of “suburb.”
By contrast, it doesn’t matter where you live in a town of 30,000 people; it’s going to feel closer to a suburb than a large city, even in the “downtown” area apart from varying neighborhoods. So when you’re contrasting ‘burbs as opposed to metropolitan life, don’t make the mistake of assuming those ‘burbs are like small towns. The two are totally different. Suburbs have their advantages, as do central urban areas, but both are part of the “city” nearest them. So really, what you’re contrasting is one type of city life against a different kind of city life. We’ll briefly explore the pros and cons that go either way in this writing with that in mind.
City Pro: Everything In One Place
If you’re in downtown Dallas or Fort Worth, you’re going to find fine dining, some of the country’s best nightlife, art exhibits, parks, public transportation, and all the many things people love about cities. These things will be within walking distance of where you live, for the most part, and represent the “buzz” of the community.
City Con: Noise Levels Are Sometimes Higher
One downside to city living is that noise levels are typically higher than in other places. Passing cars, city busses, and a higher population density all contribute to higher noise levels. While there are ways to reduce city noise inside a home, some people struggle to find silence in the city.
City Pro: It’s Easier To Find Nearby, Skilled Movers
When you’re moving to the city, you’ll be able to find insured and qualitative movers much easier. Usually, they’ll be more affordable as well, as you’re not traveling quite as far, and the job doesn’t take as long. For more information on movers in the city, follow the link for strong advice from UmoveFree.
City Con: Properties In The City Are More Expensive For Less
You’re going to pay more for less in the city. If you’re renting an apartment, it’ll be two or three times as expensive as the same unit in the suburbs. If you’re buying a property, things get even more difficult. Not many city properties are available at upper-middle-class rates, at least not without a substantial long-term loan.
Suburb Pro: Quieter Neighborhoods
Suburban neighborhoods typically offer more space between homes, which leads to less noise overall. Additionally, there isn't much through traffic on the streets in suburban neighborhoods. People who prioritize quietness might prefer living in the suburbs over the city.
Suburb Con: Suburbs Have Sparse Attractions
Suburbs are known for neighborhoods, not fine dining, not nightlife, not entertainment. There are usually districts within a few miles that cater to these desires. Still, generally, this isn’t nearly as exciting an alternative as what tends to be available in the cities. You can still drive into the cities, but there’s traffic to contend with.
Suburb Pro: Property Values Tend To Be Higher And Steadier
Comparatively speaking, suburbs tend to give you more “bang for your buck,” as it were. Houses in a suburb representing a “trending” neighborhood in terms of residents and property value are houses that will likely increase in value over time. The same-sized “home” in an urban environment would be two or three times as costly and in disrepair.
Suburb Con: Not All Suburbs Appreciate As Expected
Not all suburbs retain value over the long term. For example, let’s bring up Detroit again. Let’s say you signed up for a thirty-year mortgage at the end of the seventies. Within a few decades, you’re paying money in a way that isn’t even building equity.
Essentially, you might as well rent because the value of your property has dropped so low. That said, a few neighborhoods in Detroit are doing better, so it depends on where you are in that city. All that to say this: suburbs tend to better bet in terms of value, but do buy carefully; not all neighborhoods are the same.
Making Your Choice on Suburbs or the City
So should you live in the suburbs or the central urban areas of the city you’re considering? Ultimately, it’s up to you, and there are pros and cons each way. Hopefully, the details outlined here will give you enough information to weigh options toward what choices are best.