If you are getting ready to buy your first home, you are probably trying to decide whether to buy in the city or move to the suburbs. There are many reports out that state how millennials want to stay in the city to be where all the action is. Walkability is not just a “catchword,” and the reports out there that detail how being within proximity to a Starbucks, a Trader Joe’s, and/or a Target can raise your home value only strengthen the argument for urban living. However, there are also many reports that show millennials are moving to the suburbs to buy homes.
Some reports show that instead of settling down in urban areas, young homebuyers are increasingly scooping up properties in the suburbs. It may primarily be an affordability issue, which obviously can’t be ignored. However, there are several additional reasons why the suburbs are calling out to millennial buyers.
Being close to what you need
In a city, you can be close to bars, shops, restaurants, and everything else that makes the area so dynamic. Of course, the density can make it hard to find parking, limit open space, and make it unappealing for young families who want to live among other young families. Millennials who have kids or who are thinking of having kids need to weigh the importance of being in an exciting location, against the practicality of being in a more family-friendly area.
The schools may be better in the suburbs. It’s no surprise that urban districts tend to have lower graduation rates than suburban ones. The main reason – they often have more disadvantaged students and fewer resources.
While individual cities and districts continue to tackle this important issue, families move to the suburbs, where they’ll likely pay higher taxes on their home to accommodate newer schools and expanded resources. Stay in the city, and you may have to pony up for private schools or seek out a charter to get a comparable education for your present (or future) kids.
The closer you get to a city center, the smaller the living spaces tend to be. This could be doable for some single professionals or couples, but for families it can be an issue. The suburbs provide more space to spread out, which is part of the reason they are still so popular.
One thing to consider before heading to the suburbs is where you will work. Do you currently work in the city? How long will your commute be, and are you sure you can live with it?
It’s also important to consider asking yourself how much time you are willing to spend in the car every day – and taking a good look at how that translates to options in the area can help you key in on certain areas and ditch others.
While crime rates and data vary depending on the specific location, overall, the suburbs have a reputation for being safer. Obviously if this is an issue for you, you will do what is best to ensure the safety of your family. It is important to keep in mind that transitional neighborhoods can provide a great value for money-conscious homebuyers.
This is when it is important to work with a real estate agent that knows the area. Proximity to downtown, transit, shopping, amenities, and schools are all important. You can also go to the city planning department and find out any major developments that are going into different communities. Also, drive through the neighborhoods that you are considering and look to see if there are a lot of recent sale.
Age of the property
If you want something newer, it may be more difficult to find in the city. Real estate is generally more expensive in infill locations than in outlying areas. This is because land is relatively scarce, and zoning and the market often support uses that have higher revenue potential. However, the assembly process involves additional costs, which then the higher cost is passed on to the buyer.