Considerations when moving from the city to the suburbs

For many people, life in a city is a wonderful experience. It's often an easy commute from your home to your job. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, parks, and other attractions to visit. And there always seems to be something going on.

Even those who swear they'll never tire of the city might eventually find themselves looking to get out of this living situation, however. The noise, the cost of renting an urban apartment, or some other factor will cause them to consider a move to the suburbs.

Those who are used to city life might worry that they will be simply be trading some of the annoyances of downtown living for new frustrations, such as cookie cutter homes and burdensome homeowners association rules. A suburban lifestyle can be beneficial, but you'll also want to carefully consider whether a home in this type of neighborhood is suitable for you.

When looking at homes in the suburbs, it's important to consider the area as a whole and not just the property being listed. Vincent Abbatecola, writing for the New Jersey brokerage Rand Realty, says you should make a list of all of the things you hope to find in the community. Marian White, writing for Moving.com, says you should thoroughly research the neighborhoods you're considering. It is also helpful to visit them in person, taking a stroll to meet people and see what amenities are nearby.

One major shock when moving from the city to the suburbs is a change in your transportation needs. Many urban dwellers won't even need a vehicle, since they can get to their workplace and other destinations using public transportation. In addition to purchasing a home when moving to the suburbs, you might have to buy a car to get around more easily.

Even if you already have a vehicle, you'll need to consider how your commute will change. It will take more time to drive from a suburb into a city, which makes many residents' daily drives longer and more stressful. This will not only eat up more of your free time each day, but also increase the amount of money you'll have to spend on gas.

City residents moving to the suburbs might miss the easy access to events, shopping, and other things to do. However, suburban neighborhoods are not without their attractions. Abbatecola recommends checking out Main Street to see what's available. Cathie Ericson, writing for the National Association of Realtors, says you might also find that the suburb has a wide range of interesting activities, ranging from farmers markets to local clubs.

People often choose to move to the suburbs because their family is expanding. If this is the case, it's essential to find out more about the schools in the community you're moving to.

Look beyond the test scores when assessing a school. You should also consider factors such as child care provided before or after school, specialty educational programs, and after-school activities such as clubs and athletics.

Consider how a move to the suburb might affect your access to other places you visit frequently. These might include a daycare center, doctor's office, or restaurants if you dine out frequently.

Be aware of some of the added costs and responsibilities that come with moving from the city to the suburbs. Unicorn Moving & Storage, a company in Austin, Texas, says suburban homes tend to be larger than urban ones. This can be a major benefit, but can also result in unexpected costs due to the need to furnish this space.

Don't go overboard when deciding what amenities your home will need. White says it can be tempting to seek out a big lawn, swimming pool, and other features you're less likely to find in the city. However, you'll also need to be prepared for the work necessary to maintain these features.

Maintenance can also be a surprise if you're moving from an apartment to a suburban home. You'll want to budget to put some money aside each year for unexpected repairs or regular upkeep, and you'll also need to be ready to do everything from mowing the lawn to checking the condition of the water heater.

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