Suburbs Versus Urban Areas
The changes in modern real estate
To say that the world has changed in the last year would be an understatement. Certain catalysts have forced the evolution of how we perceive nearly every facet of life. Safety, socialization, and work are prime examples of the massive shift we have all adjusted to over the last several months.
These and other changes have been reflected in the real estate market, as well. As the world grows accustomed to the constant redefinition of normal, real estate has seen its fair share of variance, forcing those in the industry—and those looking to buy—to keep up with the trends.
It’s more important now than ever before to consider the pros and cons of both suburban and urban properties, including how the environment affects work, socialization, and the real estate industry in general. With these distinctions in mind, let’s dive into the current trends influencing the real estate industry, the advantages and disadvantages of suburbs versus urban areas, and how you can determine the best move for you.
There is no doubt about it; the real estate market is hot right now. Excluding a few outliers, such as San Francisco, both suburban and urban areas are seeing tremendous demand. To dismiss one or the other as explosive would be to omit the whole picture. Both are undeniably booming.
However, the data doesn’t lie, and what it shows is that the current trends indicate a larger movement toward the suburbs. This is true of the number of shoppers looking for homes in the suburbs and lower-density areas. Accompanying this growing demand is a limited supply—suburban homes are being bought up very quickly, creating a competitive market and increasing prices.
These and other data points paint a clear picture—while urban areas are not suffering by any means, the growth of suburban areas currently outpaces them. The trend is easy to spot—more and more home buyers, including millennials, are opting for the suburbs.
What is Driving the Trend?
While there are many factors contributing to this trend, including those only the home buyers themselves can know, a handful stands out as being primary motivators. The age-old story of moving away from the hustle and bustle of the city to live closer to family and loved ones is still very much at play. It seems, however, that this urban-to-suburban trend has been catalyzed by the recent health crisis and facilitated by the increasingly common opportunity to work remotely or on a hybrid basis.
The newfound flexibility within the workforce opens the door to suburban living even among those who work demanding jobs that traditionally demanded a consistent in-person presence. With the ability to work from home or split their time between home and an office, this new style of worker can reasonably move to less-populated areas in a different phase of life than past generations.
The Pros and Cons of Suburban Living
As with any meaningful decision, there are pros and cons to living in both suburban and urban areas. In the end, these positives and negatives will be deeply influenced by your personal preferences, lifestyle, and the demands of your work. However, there are a few pros and cons that hold relatively true for everyone, and it is essential to consider them before opting for the suburbs or the city.
The draw of the suburbs is often linked to the peaceful, quiet environment they offer, especially when contrasted with the hectic, crowded nature of the city. They often also give you the opportunity to create a community with your neighbors, giving you a safety net, social circle, and a bit of peace of mind.
Typically, more property can be afforded in the suburbs for less money. That property can then be utilized in more ways. For example, you can become more energy independent and increase the value of your home by adding solar panels. In other words, the “bang for your buck” is higher in the suburbs.
Suburban environments also tend to be safer. There are fewer people, meaning less crime and a reduced possibility of becoming a victim.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the suburbs, though. You will inevitably be farther away from work (if you still have to physically go into an office), making your commute consume more of your valuable time. You will also be removed from the action of the city. If you want to go to a concert, visit a restaurant you love, or otherwise engage in the excitement, you’ll have to make a concerted effort to do so.
Finally, the value of your property could decline if the surrounding neighborhood ceases to thrive. This could negatively impact your investment.
The Pros and Cons of Urban Areas
Cities, too, have their fair share of pros and cons that may influence home buyers. The pros, while there are several of them, tend to share a common theme—convenience. The cons can typically be traced to two central points—cost and population.
Many people thrive in the energetic environment of cities. They enjoy the availability of entertainment, the seemingly endless job opportunities, and the thriving social life they can develop. If you enjoy staying on the go, witnessing the latest and greatest innovations, and meeting new people on a daily basis, city life is hard to beat.
On the other hand, all of those people are competing for homes and resources. Property tends to be harder to come by and more expensive. Traffic is a constant nuisance. Crime is an ever-present possibility. While you are located closer to emergency services than those in the suburbs, escaping the city in emergency scenarios is much more challenging.
Where you choose to buy a home will be solely dependent on your unique set of factors, ranging from your personality to your job and beyond. However, more and more people, including younger generations, are opting for the peaceful world of manicured lawns and open spaces that the suburbs offer.