Suburbs in America have gotten plenty of stick over the years, with some folks seemingly harboring this notion that suburban life is slow and boring and vacuous and inherently isolating.
Their layout has been castigated for being too bland, and the streets odd and winding and unfit for walking. The homes have been labeled cookie-cutter and the landscape no more than a random smattering of trees.
Really? Is it that bad?
Well, depends on who you ask.
The sworn city slicker will go nowhere near them, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any takers for life in these small communities.
Data from Pew Research Center points to a voracious appetite for suburban life for the best part of this millennium, continuing a trend that goes back to the 90s and 80s.
The decades-long trend continued well into 2010 before a reversal of fortunes saw more people abandoning the suburbs in favor of cities as the economy started picking up again following the housing crisis.
Presently, history seems to be repeating itself as a growing number of Americans have started fleeing the cities again for the less densely populated suburbs.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, residents of large metros like New York, for instance, have been moving to suburbs in Philadelphia and Connecticut, with others venturing even farther out of state.
Between March and July for example, 16,000 New Yorkers hired a NYC moving company to relocate to suburban Connecticut.
Besides the Covid-19 factor, the major driving reasons revolve around the well-known benefits of living in the suburbs.
Here are some five common ones you stand to enjoy.
Lower cost of living
As a general rule, the farther away from the inner city you move, the lesser the overall cost of living you’ll have to put up with.
Rent is generally cheaper in the burbs compared to the city, as are commodities like petrol and groceries.
It is true that commutes from the suburbs take longer (although this depends on where you ply your trade) and will, obviously, be costlier. By and large, though, the costs are nothing like you’ll get in the city.
Value for money
When it comes to square footage and home features, city suburbs promise more bang for buck than the inner city.
If you need a larger home for family, moving to the suburbs will get you more acreage for less, with more high-end home features and upgrades.
More indoor and outdoor space
There is no beating a suburban home when it comes to space, both on the inside and outside.
There are no cramped up quarters like you get in the city, a winning aspect especially if you have family. And for those of us who don’t fancy living close together with neighbors, the suburbia is just the place for you.
There is generally more privacy both between members of the household and the neighbors.
If BBQs are your kind of thing, the suburbs are built for that. Same goes for gardening enthusiasts and those who don’t mind a home pool – all benefits in their own right.
Many suburbs have highly-rated school districts, an aspect that has led to some people arguing that this creates an unequal system.
But if schooling is a big factor for you when settling down with family, the suburbs promise more top-rated public and private schools, with more teachers and less crowded classrooms.
The argument that the suburbs are anti-social is sometimes misguided.
Provided you find a friendly neighborhood with a good sense of community, suburban kids literally attend the same schools with the neighbors’, so playdates and after-school activities are commonplace.
Safety is one of the top reasons some people choose to abandon city life for the suburbs.
Whether it’s garden variety offences like petty theft or more serious violations, crime tends to be more rampant where there are more people, and that is in cities.
In fact, the list of 100 safest places in the US is packed with small towns and suburbs. You can find the 2020 list here.
There are many other benefits of living in the suburbs that you cannot enjoy in the city.
The convenience of navigating on a day-to-day, for example – whether it’s less traffic, cheaper and more available packing, or less crowding in restaurants and other public spaces.
The burbs also have less pollution (in all its forms) and are ideal for anyone who revels in some peace and quiet.