Starting a family is a joyous event, and an even more momentous decision is deciding where to raise your family. Moving to the suburbs can be a great choice for many families, however, there are pros and cons to consider. Suburban living can offer more space, better schools, and a slower pace of life, but it can also be more expensive, lack cultural diversity, and require more driving. Whether you’re considering a life in Hoboken, New Jersey or Metairie New Orleans, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making the decision to move to the suburbs.
Pros of Living in the Suburbs
If you’re raising a family, the suburbs have many advantages that might put them at the top of your list when deciding where to settle down.
If you find that you and your partner are constantly bumping into each other in a tiny apartment, a house with more space might be a welcome change, especially if you have a growing family. Outside the city, there is more space available for real estate, giving way to wider land parcels and larger homes. So if a home with more bedrooms or a larger backyard is something you desire, you’ll have much better luck finding it in the suburbs.
If you’re raising kids of school age, suburbs also offer better access to public education, which can be a major factor in deciding where to settle down. While there are plenty of great schools, both public and private, within city limits, schools in suburban areas tend to be less populated which could cultivate more one-on-one learning and better-curated coursework.
If you’re worried about the health effects of living in a city, the suburbs might be a better choice. Like any highly populated area, there is greater exposure to people and potential illness when living in the city. Having more space in the suburbs can help combat this. Additionally, there are fewer emissions from vehicles and businesses outside of the city; those which have been proven harmful to some extent. Lastly, the suburbs offer greater exposure to nature, including plants, trees, birds, and other animals. This can benefit one’s physical and mental health greatly.
Lower Crime Rate
Statistically, crime rates are higher in cities as compared to suburban or rural areas. This, however, is a reflection of the higher population, not the character of the residents themselves. While this can be true in some areas, it’s important to keep in mind that suburban areas are more often the site of white-collar crime such as financial fraud and identity theft.
Cons of Living in the Suburbs
While there are plenty of advantages to raising a family in the suburbs, these advantages do come at a cost.
One of the top reasons people choose to live in the suburbs is because they can find bigger houses, but more space usually means more expenses. Taxes on homes and property in the suburbs are often higher than in the city, especially if you’re planning to own a house. Utilities in the suburbs also tend to be more expensive than in the city because larger houses use more energy. Lastly, the cost of gasoline and car maintenance will be greater in the suburbs as you are likely to use your personal vehicle more often and to drive greater distances.
Lack of Cultural Diversity
If having cultural diversity in your neighborhood is important to you, you might find the suburbs a less desirable place to live. Simply put, the suburbs are less populated, and less people means less diversity. If cultural diversity is important to you, you might prefer city neighborhoods that have a higher percentage of residents from minority groups. You can also make an effort to join diverse clubs or volunteer at a nonprofit.
Living in the suburbs usually means driving more than if you lived in the city. This can be a burden for some, especially if you have young children to look after. It can also take up more of your time. If you have a job in the city, you might still be able to take public transportation. While this is usually more cost-effective, your commute will likely take more time.
When deciding between living in the city or the suburbs, you will have to consider your family’s needs and personal preferences. If you are looking for a larger home with more space, a suburban lifestyle might be the perfect choice for you. It is important, though, to keep in mind the additional expenses that come with suburban living, as well as the potential lack of cultural diversity.