COVID-19 has led to major changes in many people’s lives. And one change many have made is to move to the suburbs from the city.
City dwellers have been showing an increased interest in suburban homes for a number of reasons. The suburbs are more spread out, which makes distancing easier. Remote work has opened up the door for more people to work from anywhere. And with people working from home and kids going to school remotely, many people now want more space than they can afford to buy in the city.
But if you’re currently living in an urban area and are contemplating a switch to the suburbs, there are four big things to consider before you start contacting real estate agents or getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Here’s what they are.
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1. Will your commute be longer?
For most companies, remote work won’t last forever. In fact, a growing number of employers are bringing people back into the office, at least part time or once they have been vaccinated.
If you relocate to the suburbs and you have to start going to your job again, will this mean a much longer commute for you? If so, you may be very unhappy with your move since a long commute can make your day more stressful and take time away from your family or other activities.
2. Will your utility costs go up?
Suburban homes are often larger than city ones, and there’s more of a chance you’ll be in a free-standing home rather than some place like a condo or townhouse.
As a result, there may be more expenses of home ownership out in the suburbs. You may have to pay more for utilities such as electricity and heating or cooling. There may also be less competition among service providers for cable and internet. So you could get stuck with higher prices for these services as well.
Higher utility costs could put a strain on your monthly budget if you haven’t planned for them — especially if you are moving to a much bigger place than your current urban residence.
3. Will you need to drive to more places?
The suburbs have a lot going for them, but walkability isn’t typically one of the features that makes suburban living great. In fact, in many suburbs, you’ll need to get into a car to go virtually anywhere.
If you’re used to being able to walk or bike, you may find it annoying that you have to get behind the wheel all the time. And you may see your transportation costs go up — especially if you don’t already own a car and have to buy one.
4. Will you have more maintenance tasks?
Moving from a townhouse or condo to a single family home doesn’t just mean higher utility costs. Chances are good there will be a lot more maintenance you need to take care of. This could range from mowing the lawn and plowing the driveway to cleaning out your gutters.
These tasks can be time consuming if you do them yourself or costly if you hire out for them.
The bottom line is, a change from urban to suburban living is a big shift in how you’ll live your life. You may be excited about this change, but just think carefully about the pros and the cons before you make an offer.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/mortgages/articles/4-things-to-consider-before-moving-to-the-suburbs/