Choosing where to live is a big decision. There’s a lot to take into consideration and one major decision might be whether to choose city life over suburban life. Depending on what stage of life you are in (just graduated or about to start a family) then this choice might seem obvious. But for a lot of people, it’s a difficult one. You might already be living in the city but growing tired of its hectic and busy lifestyle. Or you could have a family but find the commute times to work each day too much. Truth is, the grass always looks greener on the other side. Whether you choose city or suburban living, both come with their own pros and cons. To help you decide, here are four main points to consider.

Daily Commute

For many people, the length of their daily commute can make or break their decision to accept a new job or move to a new home. Most suburban living will mean having at least one car. If you have children, then they’ll be dependent on their parents for getting around. That means you’ll probably need at least two cars, with all the costs in gas and insurance that owning two cars comes with. That’s not to mention either the problems with traffic or the lack of convenience. Even if you can make use of public transport from the suburbs that’ll still mean relinquishing some control over when you can begin your commute. That said, those who travel a lot for work might find suburban living more convenient. 

By contrast, city living will mean full access to all its public transport options and the freedom to walk or cycle where you want. If you don’t have your own car then this is a strong argument for city living. Just remember, not all US cities have great public transport so do some research on your chosen city before deciding.

Size and Type of Living Space

Deciding where to live also means deciding on the type of housing. Do you want land to expand on or do you prefer a simplistic life with little home maintenance? Living in the city will mean much higher housing costs and usually far less space compared to what you could get for the same amount in the suburbs. Families can certainly live in a small apartment. But this type of living is more ideally suited for those who don’t have many processions. Still, city living will also mean less home maintenance, a major bonus if both parents work.

Those on a tighter budget with a growing family will be more suited to the suburbs. Your dollars will stretch further, and your children will benefit from lots of space, quiet and clean air. Suburban living will also suit you more if you want some land to call your own that you can renovate over the years.

Proximity to Entertainment

How do you like to spend your free time? If your idea of a good time is Friday night drinks with friends, trips to museums and regular concerts then the city is your place. Now that’s not to say you can’t enjoy that with suburban living too. It just means less access to these options and commute times might mean you can’t have a late night. You’ll always be happier if you live close to those things that bring you joy. You being happier will also make your kids happier. If green spaces, regular hiking, and days in the park are more your thing then suburban living will suit that perfectly.

School Districts

If you have kids or are planning to in the future, then the quality of local schools will be a big consideration. Generally speaking, schools outside major cities provide a better education than those in the inner city. The high quality of many suburban schools is a major reason for many people relocating to the suburbs. Inner-city schools tend to be more crowded which can hinder the quality of education.

Just make sure to research any local schools thoroughly. Everyone’s definition of a ‘great’ school can be drastically different. There are also plenty of examples of high-quality inner-city schools and lower quality suburban schools. Do your research and check school zones to be sure your chosen home is in your preferred one.