The 'burbs – is it worth it?

posted 3 months ago in Home
  • poll: Do you like living in the suburbs?
    Yes - we'd never leave! : (56 votes)
    64 %
    No - we miss the convenience of inner-city living! : (13 votes)
    15 %
    Meh - could take it or leave it! : (11 votes)
    13 %
    Other - I'll explain below! : (7 votes)
    8 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    779 posts
    Busy bee

    We left NYC for Paradise and we couldn’t be happier. We live in a new construction gated community and love everything about coastal living. Be careful though…just because it’s the burbs doesn’t make it safe with good schools. I would recommend doing a lot of research before finalizing a location.

    Post # 3
    Member
    6608 posts
    Bee Keeper

    jcud4 :  we are technically the burbs, but we found a location that has the best of both worlds just outside of Boston. We have a house and a small yard but can also access public transit and walk to amenities and restaurants. And we can also walk to some decent hiking trails. When we moved my husband thought we’d never be able to drink a bottle of wine at dinner and walk home again but we still can! 

    Post # 4
    Member
    1279 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’m a suburb gal, though my husband and I live right down the road from the wealthiest part of our side of town (oil and gas). We went and had dinner with our friends who live in downtown area a few weekends ago, and omg our dinner bill alone was so much. Is all I could think is how can people afford to live here!  (Lots more of oil and gas, that’s how 😉). But I was so fascinated at the houses and communities there, it truly is just a different way of living. Maybe if I had my career very early, I would have liked to try it out. But now our goal is to eventually move farther out on a little bit of land. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    3465 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

    jcud4 :  It sounds like we currently have a very similar living situation (own our duplex, rent out the lower and eventually will rent out the whole house). When we were house hunting, I was doing the suburban search and my husband looked in the city. He won lol We will most likely live here until we have school aged children, then move to the burbs that I grew up in for many of the reasons you listed – better schools, safer neighborhoods, more house/land for our money, and also proximity to my family. I miss the quiet of the suburbs and having a bit more space between homes. I live on a busy street and hear a variety of sirens throughout the day along with some commotion with the high volume of foot traffic. I miss having a bigger yard and a driveway and a garage, which are rare for houses in the city. We currently park in our back yard or a parking ramp when it’s snowy. Our house was built in 1900, and while it’s solid and pretty nicely updated, I drool over newer homes on Zillow. I like being in the “cool” part of town and being able to walk to all of the summer festivals and restaurants and bars, but we can always hop in the car and come back if we miss it. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    535 posts
    Busy bee

    I think it depends on the suburb. Exactly how far would you be from the city/your jobs? And what’s the transport situation like? 

    I think the city fringe/inner suburbs would be best later on when kids get a bit older and are going to school. I think it would be helpful to live in the city while the kids are young/daycare age. Not sure if you’re both planning on working when they’re young but if so, it would be convenient to have them in a daycare close to your work for those times when they might get sick and need to be picked up. Also if you have any retired family members perhaps they might be able/willing to babysit sometimes? Haha. 

    Once the kids are out of that difficult stage though it would probably be best to move to an inner suburb and get some more space without losing too much convenience. 

    All I can say is that I grew up in an outer suburb and absolutely hated it. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do! The nearest train was a 20 minute drive and then it took an hour to get to the city from there. So by the time I’d graduated high school i’d only been to the city a few times and I was terrified by the masses of people, small crowded spaces, loud noises, etc. 

    We may have had a nice house and a backyard in the suburbs but none of us were athletic or outdoorsy so we really didn’t use it and spent all of our time complaining about how bored we were. I would have liked to go outside but unfortunately growing up in the 90s and 2000s it wasn’t safe to go out and play on the streets without parental supervision due to pedophiles :/ 

    Anyway, I grew up and moved to the city fringe and I love it. There’s so much to do and everything is so convenient to access. We hope to have a kid in the next 10 years, so we’ll be buying a place a bit further out but still in the inner suburbs so yes we can get more for our money. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    304 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

    We live in a mountain community so it’s a little different, but if we lived in town it’d be in Keystone or Breckenridge in Colorado…Even the “affordable workforce housing” costs close to half a million for a condo, but you can’t make more than $80,000 a year. 

    We live about 35 minutes away in a smaller town, and bought our house for $155,000 so it was a no brainer for us.  We do really miss living in town though, and our social lives have changed a lot. We go out a lot less, and see our friends less.  The commute is the worst part and feels like so much of our free time is taken up by driving. We will be starting a family soon though, and being able to own a home and have a garage, big yard, and stability in housing costs was important to us. 

    It’s a lot to think about, and only you and your husband will know if it’s worth it! We would drive to our new town a couple times after work just to see what it’d be like, and go on weekends to spend time and see if it was a place we liked.  Maybe try that and see how you feel!

    Post # 8
    Member
    1924 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

    We live in the burbs for us it made sense, we work in the area, my in-laws are a five minute walk and my parents are a 10 minute drive 

    Post # 9
    Member
    645 posts
    Busy bee

    We live inner city in a 700 sqft house and sometimes the space really gets to me… but then I think about our commute (we both work in suburbs at opposite ends of the cities so our location prevents one of us from having a 1hr+ commute), the extra time my son would spend in daycare and the distance to pick up my parents. Daycare was definitely something we didn’t think about – it either adds to the time your child will spend at the centre or it will increase their amount of time spent in a car. Either way, that’s valuable time you could spend with your kid. Then you’re back at the house later, trying to get dinner eaten and bedtime routine completed for bedtime at 7 PM. Also, depending on how close in relationship to family will depend on how close you want to live to them. If your family will babysit and help out when you need them then it would be invaluable to be closer to them IMO. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    1188 posts
    Bumble bee

    It depends on a lot of factors. I grew up in the suburbs but it was max 20 min from downtown with public transportation that went there every 15 min. On the weekends I could take the bus home at 2.30 am.  As an adult I lived on suburbs for a while. That was basically it’s own city and I never needed to go downtown unless I wanted and it was 20 min with commuter train. But then again mine and my bfs work was on that side of the city so it made it shorter than living in downtown.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1142 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

    For me I’d love to move back towards the city, my fiancé wanted to move closer to this family and work, so we did that. However this comes with a lot more social isolation than you think, it’s much harder to make new friends as an adult than you first realise. Even though we live in a good part of a commuter belt; seeing our friends is extremely difficult as the trains stop quite early even at the weekend.

     

    its something to consider if you’d be willing to see your friends but especially family less. I love where we live, its a nice quiet area but I wish we’d never moved away from the city, we wont ever be able to afford to go back 

    Post # 12
    Member
    1814 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2016

    We bought a house in the city. In our area, the suburbs actually tend to cost more, and the housing market is way more competitive. We got in a few bidding wars in the city, but it would have been much worse in the suburbs.

    I could not live out there anyway. I want my kids to be raised with lots of diversity, especially since they will be biracial. The suburbs around here are predominately white. I also value being 10 minutes away from downtown, on a transit line, and with access to so many restaurants and things to do. It seems like when I visit people in the suburbs, they spend so much time sitting in their cars. People reference traffic as one reason they leave the city, but now the suburbs are so overcrowded that the streets are packed. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    1076 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    There is not enough money in the world to get me to go back to city living.  The suburbs are where it’s at.

    Post # 14
    Member
    787 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    Your poll asks what I did, not what I think you should do.

    I live in the suburbs and I love it, so I voted “yes”. I’m not much of a city person (I love having a yard, quiet streets, green space and flowers all around), and for us, living in the suburbs was actually quite close to work, and closer to family (our family are even further out in the burbs than we are).

    However, if your poll had asked what I think you should do, I would have suggested that you consider staying where you are for another 2-5 years, at least. Babies don’t take up that much space, and it will be SO HELPFUL for you to have family right nearby while your kids are little. And you’ll appreciate having a short commute, too. If I were you, I’d consider staying put while having your first kid, and once you are ready to have a second, re-evaluate whether you truly need more space for the second baby, or whether you would rather make do with limited space while having family nearby.

    By the way, I’ve known people who did fine having an infant in a 1-bedroom apartment, and I know a family that is perfectly happy as a family of 4 in a 2-bedroom, 1000-sq ft house, because they absolutely love the location. (The 2 kids share a room, and they are perfectly happy, well-adjusted kids.)

    Post # 15
    Member
    382 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

    It really depends how your public transportation system is. I actually have an easier time getting to downtown than other parts of the city… And we’re not far from the main street/can walk there. We only drive to the grocery store/the dog park/if it’s cold and we want to go further down on main street. It’s awesome, and if you could find something like that, I’d recommend it. 

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