The decision to purchase a house in the city or the suburbs is not an easy one to make.

This article will list variables to help you decide which home location is right for you.

Which is best - city or suburbs?photo courtesy of gedanstuecke flickr.com/photos/gedankenstuecke/369369823/sizes/zHouse Size
Would you like a larger house?

Homes of the same price are often smaller in the city than the suburbs.

New home builders often build many homes at once on less expensive land in the suburbs making the prices cheaper.

 

Mature Landscaping
The city often has older homes with larger mature trees and landscaping.

Many suburban homes do not have any mature trees.

You can pay more to have mature trees planted in your yard, but you cannot plant them throughout the entire neighborhood.

 

Social Life
Do you have an active social life downtown?

If you love going to museums, bars, clubs, art galleries, and other social events downtown more than once a week, then buying a home in the city may be the right choice for you.

However, if your social events are right after work and you work downtown, then this will be less of an issue.

 

Crime
Suburbs usually have less crime (or perceived less crime) than the city.

There are fewer people per square foot which leads to less probability of crime.

There are also gated communities and communities with 24 hour police patrol in the suburbs.

 

Public Transportation
Do you rely on public transportation?

If so, there are very few options in the suburbs.

There are also few public transportation options for your home helpers, such as a cook or housekeeper.

 

Commute
Do you mind a little extra driving?

Living in the suburbs may increase your drive time by 30 minutes or more per day.

The added commute not only limits your free time after work but also increases your gas bill, toll road fees, and wear and tear on your car.

 

Public School
If you have school aged children, the suburbs usually pride themselves in excellent public schools. 

If you live in the city, the schools may be less desirable and you may feel the need to send your children to expensive private schools.

 

Community
Do you like the idea of living in a cohesive community?

Many suburbs are master planned communities or developments with community centers, community pools, and community retail such as grocery stores and dry cleaners.

Older homes in the city were usually built without such features, unless you join a country club.

 

Noise
Do you mind street noise? Cities are often noisier than the suburbs.

There are more people, cars, and dogs that make more noise.

 

Traffic
Do you mind constant traffic and lots of people?

The city often has streets that cannot accommodate the number of cars and grocery stores that are packed with people.

In the suburbs, there are many stay-at-home moms who shop during the week so the stores and streets are less crowded during the weekend.

 

Pollution
Many cities are packed with people and cars which create pollution.

The air quality in the suburbs is usually less toxic.

 

Energy Efficiency
Do you want an energy efficient house? Homes in the city are often older and less energy efficient.

Homes in the suburbs are generally newer with the latest requirements in energy efficiency and home safety.

New home builders are putting in a lot of green features in new homes, such as extra insulation, energy efficient appliances, and dual paned windows.

 

Deed Restrictions and Home Owner's Associations
Neighborhoods in the suburbs often have strict deed restrictions and a Home owner's Association to make sure your home does not devalue because of a neighbor who does not keep up his home.

Homes in the city do not usually have deed restrictions or a Home owner's Association.

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