When it comes time to buy a home, should you opt to buy one in the city, or in the suburbs? There are a number of pros and cons to both, though it’s often difficult to look at them all in isolation. Today we’re going over some of the reasons you might buy a home in the city, or reason why you might opt to live further out in the suburbs. Let’s talk real estate.
Where to Buy a Home
Consider Your Needs
If you work downtown and can find a home within walking distance, or within walking distance of public transportation, it might be worth buying a home in the city. Also consider how comfortable you are with walking around urban areas all the time. Do you prefer to be out in the world, and do urban crime rates scare you? Or do you enjoy the opportunity to rub shoulders with other people in your daily activities?
Consider, also, that you’ll have less easy access to natural spaces if you live in the city. That is, of course, assuming you don’t live near a public park, which could offer much-needed greenery. While you’re considering recreation, also think about your kids, if you have any. How close is the nearest school? Would your kids have to walk to school, and would you be okay with that?
One of the biggest draws to living in the city is walkability. Younger buyers, especially, love getting to live in an area where they can walk to all the places they want to work and shop. Really, there’s a lot to love about living in a walkable area. For one thing, if you set things up correctly, you might get away with not even owning a car. That saves you a lot of money, as you’ll need no car insurance, pay no car payment and avoid having to gas up.
The flip side, of course, is that buying or renting in the heart of a city can easily offset those costs, and then some. You’ll pay several times as much per square foot downtown than you would in the suburbs. That said, you’ll be close to the action and able to walk outside your front door and find activity any time. That’s priceless for some people.
Meanwhile, not everyone wants to live in the heart of the city. This goes double for people trying to raise children. Living in the suburbs makes it more affordable to have more space for children to grow and play. Likewise, it frees up more money for your child-based expenses, like diapers, food and childcare.
That’s not to mention the upshots of having your own yard. Having friends over for grill-outs, backyard parties and the like becomes much easier when you have your own yard. The drawbacks, however, are still there. If you live far from the city, your commute could become much longer than a more centrally-located home. You will also almost certainly need a car to get around, which adds to your monthly bills.
If you can drum up the down payment to buy a home located in the city, you’re actually making a very sound investment for your future. A home with close proximity to popular businesses like Starbucks and downtown nightlife is worth its weight in gold. These types of homes almost always appreciate in value dramatically, and this makes them ideal investments for younger buyers.
That said, they’re also appreciably more expensive to purchase than homes in the suburbs. Older buyers tend to prefer suburban homes due to their lower up-front costs, quieter neighborhoods and larger square footage per dollar.