City or Suburb? How to Choose the Right Fit for Your Family

City or Suburb? How to Choose the Right Fit for Your Family

There comes a time in any metro resident’s life when they must make a critical decision. Do you immerse yourself in the crackling, frenetic energy of the urban centre? Or do you hightail it for the relative tranquillity of the spread-out suburbs?

There is no universally correct answer to these questions. Instead, the answer relies on introspection, circumstances, and personal value analyses.

This article offers a few strategic steps homeowners can take to make an informed decision. Follow these considerations to discover whether the urban thrill or suburban calm is right for your family. When you’re ready to take charge of your decision, hire quality realtors like Harvey Kalles Real Estate to find the best options in either category.

Do a Cost vs. Space Analysis

Let’s start with a simple, analytical approach to the issue. This step involves considering a) your family’s space needs and b) your budget.

With a lower budget and high space needs (a family of four with a pet, for instance), your best bet will probably be suburban areas, as they tend to offer lower costs per square footage. Meanwhile, a higher budget and lower space needs (a family of two or three, e.g.) can put their hard-earned money toward a city-centre penthouse or even a townhouse in a desirable urban area.

Track the Differences in Lifestyle and Amenities

The central difference between urban and suburban living boils down to density – the density of humans, the density of businesses, the density of amenities, etc.

This difference in density equates to significant variation in lifestyle and culture. If you’re the kind of person who loves having five different pizza shops in the area to choose from, and you don’t mind bumping up against other people on the street, a city might be for you. Conversely, if you value personal space, and don’t mind being car-dependent for amenities, suburban living may suit you better.  

Consider the Commute

To complicate matters, consider your (and your family’s) commute. Do you work in the city? If so, how do you feel about an hour-plus of driving or transit each day?

For some, commute time is a natural feature built into suburban living; some even find it contemplative and calming. For others, it’s a deal-breaker. Your task is to decide which camp you belong to.

Compare Educational Opportunities

Next, compare educational opportunities between the urban and suburban areas that fall under your scope of affordability. Consider how vital a good education is to your family’s well-being, and allow your findings to dictate your final decision.

By and large, excellent educational opportunities exist across the urban-suburban spectrum. However, some North American cities are defined by a stark contrast in quality between the two.

Collaborate on a General List of Preferences and Priorities

Lastly, you can’t make the decision in a bubble. If it’s a family matter, you must solicit your family’s input. Their priorities, preferences and personal values should hold water in the decision-making process.

That said, consider collaborating on a “pros and cons” list that begins with each member listing what they want. Create an open dialogue about the above points (cost, education, amenities and commute) alongside other considerations like proximity to friends and extracurricular opportunities. 

Following these straightforward steps should lead you toward a personalized decision that’s right for your family. Once you’ve made up your mind, talk to a quality realtor to get the ball rolling.


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