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The great debate: Living in the city vs. the suburbs

What we'll cover

  • Benefits of property in the suburbs

  • Pros of buying a home within city limits

  • The purpose of jumbo loans

Choosing between living in a city or the suburbs is a big decision — a shorter commute or more space? Close to the action or less noise? Before you start packing, consider the benefits and challenges of each.

Why settle down in the suburbs?

The average price per square foot tends to be lower in suburban areas compared to their nearby cities, meaning you can get a bigger home and more space for the same as what you'd pay in the city. For current or hopeful families, folks who crave a yard and outdoor space or anyone who wants some distance between them and their closest neighbor, the suburbs could provide more room to grow.

While many urban populations decreased during the quarantine era, those trends have slowed and in many cases reversed.

The suburbs also have grown in appeal in recent years as work-from-home has taken over. While some employees have returned to in-person work, many businesses are moving toward more flexible models — meaning commuting to the office isn't as much of a necessity as it once was. With increased flexibility by employers on working from home, homebuyers can more easily relocate to the 'burbs without worrying about daily long train rides or rush-hour traffic.

Why buy within city limits?

While the cost of living in most cities around the country exceeds that of surrounding suburbs, the perks of urban living are compensation enough for many. From neighborhood walkability and easy access to shops, restaurants, entertainment and more, to convenient public transit and quick commutes to work, certain benefits of city life are tough to beat. Cities also tend to host a variety of different cultures, offering more opportunity for new and diverse experiences and activities.

In some areas in the United States, it's actually becoming more affordable to buy a home within city limits. For example, homes in the Washington, D.C. suburbs have been selling at higher prices than those within city limits.

What’s trending?

In 2020, some believed a mass exodus from cities would cause suburban markets to explode in popularity. But while many urban populations decreased during the quarantine era, those trends have slowed and in many cases reversed.

Whether you're in the suburbs or downtown, home prices have cooled since the surge in property values during the pandemic. The good news is, generally, housing markets in both cities and their surrounding towns are getting stronger.

Finding the right home can take a lot of legwork and research. Lighten the load with ComeHome , a house-hunting platform that lets you easily search for the details you want, whether that's in city center or a nearby suburb.

Jumbo loans, jumbo spaces

No matter where you decide is right for you to put roots down, you may need to take out a mortgage to finance the cost of your home.

If you're looking for a home where properties tend to be more expensive, you may need to apply for a jumbo loan . Because jumbo loans are larger than a typical mortgage, buyers must often meet stricter requirements to qualify, like higher credit scores and bigger down payments.

Make your move

Both cities and suburbs offer benefits and challenges worth considering. At the end of the day, it comes down to deciding which kind of neighborhood fits your lifestyle and works best with your needs, wants and wallet.

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