There are a lot of people in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s who in their adult lives have never lived in the suburbs.
There’s, of course, a certain appeal to living in a big city. There are the theater, restaurants, walkability, and culture. There’s always a sense of energy and excitement.
This year has put a damper on some of that, however.
A lot of people who a few months ago may have declared their never-ending dedication to cities are now opting to move to the suburbs.
Cities have faced a lot of strain during the pandemic, and most of the things that people love most about living in urban areas have been limited or closed indefinitely. People are working and educating their children from home, requiring more space than perhaps they needed before.
These factors are leading to an influx of home buyers into suburban areas.
Of course, the suburbs aren’t always perfect. For example, you may have to deal with new challenges. For example, there are not many public transportation options. You may have to buy a car in addition to a house. You may deal with traffic during your commute, and you might even find yourself in your first car accident as an adult. When you’re dealing with car accidents, it can be expensive and stressful.
You may find that you miss some of the offerings of the city more than you expected.
Living in the suburbs can mean a lot of your free time is spent on the upkeep and maintenance of your home.
While there are pros and cons to any option, the following are some signs you might use to gauge whether or not you’re ready to move to the suburbs.
You’re Feeling Claustrophobic
Before the pandemic, you might have spent very little time in your apartment, making it a good option for you.
City-dwellers are notoriously known for being out and about all the time, meaning that small, cramped spaces don’t bother them as much. It’s all about the trade-off for what you get in exchange.
Now, however, you may be working from home and limited in your social activities. You probably can’t go to your local gym at work out or head to a café to just sit and people watch. Restaurants are limited in their capacity if they’re open at all. Museums are limited with entrances as well.
There’s a tendency among anyone to start to feel claustrophobic in a small space with very few places to go.
If you’re feeling like the walls of your apartment are closing in on you a bit, it may be a sign it’s time to head to the suburbs.
You Feel Calmer When You Leave the City
In the best of times, cities can be incredibly intense and stressful. There’s never a time when a big city is going to be completely quiet. That can wear on you mentally and cause you to feel anxious—more so than you would otherwise.
With the pandemic, this might be amplified.
If you feel like when you leave the city, even just for a few hours, you’re more relaxed, then maybe it’s a sign you should move.
Not everyone feels more relaxed when they leave the city. Some people find that quiet creates anxiety for them, but if you’re not one of those people, reconsider where you live.
Your Kids’ School Situation is Problematic
If you live in a big city and especially Manhattan, dealing with your kids’ school can be a nightmare. There’s everything from applications and waitlists to deal with to taking tours of private schools. Parents in Manhattan are way ahead of the game when it comes to their children’s education. The competition is intense.
You might find that you’ve put too much time and effort into this.
When you move to the suburbs, it’s typically not like this. Your kids can go straight into public school, or you can pretty easily choose a private school that fits your needs.
Your Kids Seem Unhappy
Along with the school scramble, another reason you might move to the suburbs is if your kids don’t seem happy. Some kids grow up in the city and thrive there, but for others, that’s more challenging.
Maybe you feel like your kids will do better in a more relaxed place with more outdoor space and in some ways, a more traditional childhood.
You Long For Outdoor Space
Speaking of outdoor space, even if you don’t have kids, it may be you that finds yourself dreaming of what that could be like.
Outdoor space is something very few people have in big cities, and it tends to come at a premium if so.
When you have outdoor space, you can exercise, create an entertaining area, or garden. There’s a lot of functionality that outdoor space can bring to your life and home.
If you stay in the city, the most access to outdoor space you might have is your local park.
You Don’t Feel Safe
Cities are high-density, which means with so many people in such small areas, crime rates are inevitably going to be high. That doesn’t mean big cities are inherently dangerous, but if you’re worried about your personal safety than maybe it’s time to think about a suburban shift.
Of course crime happens in the suburbs too, but you may feel better about driving more than you walk alone, for example.
Many neighborhoods have community watch programs, and when there are fewer people in an area, it’s easier to identify any red flags.
Finally, if you can work from anywhere, maybe you want to try out suburban life. Remote work has taken off exponentially this year, sped-up by the pandemic. If you can work from anywhere, maybe you try out a different environment. You might find that it works well for you, and you enjoy it more than you even thought you could.
Certainly, the suburbs aren’t for everyone, but if you find yourself questioning what it might be like, it could be a good time to make a move.