Renting a Home: City or Suburbs Dilemma

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on May 17, 2016

City lovers and suburbanites alike will find plenty of properties to love in today’s rental market. But first, renters need to figure out which location and lifestyle they like best.

Do you dream of a cool townhouse in the city center? Or, do you picture a more relaxed lifestyle – and more space – in suburbs like Southern Maryland?

Renters have had this debate for decades. Suburbs tend to have better schools, more space, and peace and quiet. Cities offer convenience, exciting culture, and the “cool factor” of living near the heart of the action.

There are positives and negatives to each location. In the end, you need to choose the neighborhood that best suits you and your lifestyle.

Monthly rent

Today’s renters are drawn to living in the city, and the cost of renting there can seem more expensive than living in suburbia. Surprisingly, the average monthly rent of an urban property — $1,640 – is actually cheaper than the average cost of renting a suburban property, which is $1,695. Obviously, the monthly rent depends on location. Some cities cost more to live in than their suburbs.

Cost per square foot

It’s no shock that the suburbs offer more space for your money per square foot. Urban properties cost about $1.22 per square foot; suburban properties have an average cost of $1.04 per square foot.

How much space do you need? How many rooms do you want? Think about the way you live. Do you want a big kitchen for cooking, or will something more compact do? How do you feel about neighbors living above, below, or on either side of you? Would you like more privacy?

It’s also important to consider outdoor space. Urban apartments sometimes have a rooftop deck or a pool that tenants can use. Suburban properties frequently have more – and larger – outdoor facilities.

How do you like to relax? Do you like enjoying a sunny afternoon in a spacious yard, or would you rather lounge on a balcony watching the city life below?

While city homes don’t often have large private areas, they are close to parks, museums, and other places to visit.

Transport and commuting

Another consideration is transportation. In the suburbs, you will need a car to get to work and run errands. The costs of fueling and maintaining a car need to be factored in to your decision. Remember your commute as well; how long will it take you to get to work or public transportation?

You’ll also find that parking is cheaper in the suburbs than in the city, but most city residents often do not need a car. Most urban areas have great public transport options and can be cheaper and often quicker than traveling by car.

Suburban and city schools

For families with kids, the quality of local schools will be a major factor in the decision. On average, suburban schools tend to be regarded as better than city schools. This can vary by location, though, and private schools in either location can be an option if your budget allows.

Lifestyle choices

Suburbs used to lack the culture and shopping options of the cities, but times have changed. Suburbs now offer much more than they used to, especially those clost to big cities. These areas have developed into centers for shopping, eating, and more active pursuits.

In the city, you will be within easy traveling distance to museums, nightlight, and culture. If being close to these amenities appeals to you, living in the city may be a better fit. On the other hand, if you are interested in visiting cultural hubs occasionally, you might be happier living in the suburbs.

No matter which is a better fit for your lifestyle, many factors need to be considered when deciding whether to rent in the city or in the suburbs. Decide on the things you want and need in your home and what you would like from the area. Once you know these things, you can find the perfect property suited to your city life or suburban lifestyle.

La Plata MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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