a surburban home with a white fence in Southern California

Moving to the Suburbs: What to Expect

Moving to the suburbs can be a big transition for those who have grown accustom to the city life with all its amenities.

But there comes a time when city dwellers want a change of pace and different scenery.

According to analysis of Census data, more people are choosing suburbia as metropolitan cities have seen a downward growth the past four years.

“You will have a quieter life,” says Colorado Springs-based real estate broker Susanna Haynie about making the move to suburbia.

Why You Need to Save Ahead For a Move?

suburban neighborhood outside of Los Angeles

Timing your move to the suburbs and the end of your apartment lease probably won’t align. And that’s something Massachusetts real estate agent Bill Gassett tells his clients.

“If buyers are actively wanting to find a house then they have to be in a position to go – immediately. They have to make an offer otherwise someone else is gonna grab it,” Gassett said.

It’s usually 6 to 8 weeks from the time someone makes an offer and you close escrow.

“A lot of times I have buyers who are biting the bullet and eating months of rent because if they find something that they want, they know they are not going to be able to request that the seller wait four to five months until their lease ends,” he said.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Living in the Suburbs?

Living in the city obviously has its perks, Gassett said.

“You have the convenience of everything around you, whether it’s shopping, restaurants, or being able to walk from place to place,” he said.

But the metropolitan lifestyle can become cumbersome over time: there’s the noise at night, the traffic, and the parking.

In the suburbs you’re looking for slower pace of life, a big yard, being able to spread out. Find a good school district can also top a homebuyer’s list, he said.

view of an open park in a Los Angeles suburb

That’s not all, Haynie said living outside the city limits provides families with more outdoor space, and not just in your backyard.

“Especially the way the new neighborhoods are planned, you probably have more green space available to you in the suburbs than you do in the city,” said Haynie, owner of Co-Re Group.

One of the other benefits of moving to the suburbs is the affordability, Gassett said. Pricing in the city versus the suburbs when you get further out, can be as Gassett put it: “night and day.”

“It could be the difference in paying millions,” more for a home in city versus the suburbs of Massachusetts, said Gassett, of RE/MAX Executive Realty.

On the downside, someone living in the city maybe never had a need to own a car since amenities were nearby or public transportation was easily accessible.

“All of the sudden the distances to amenities and schools changes,” Haynie said. So moving to the suburbs might mean you reconsider transportation costs.

What is Living in The Suburbs Like?

Moving to the suburbs can mean joining a more close-knit community versus living in urban areas.

“In the suburbs, usually people know each other better and talk more,” Haynie said. “People are more inclined to want to know each other.”

But that also means calculating more time to drive into the city for things such as concerts, trips to the museums, or going to the theater.

Get to know your community before you move in. Haynie suggests you do some research on your new neighborhood and find where the shops, restaurants and schools are located. She also suggests people check their local school district, the crime maps and even visit Google street view and satellite.

“You can walk neighborhoods now with Google street view,” said Haynie, adding it’s especially helpful if you can’t see the neighborhood in person.

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