Many people have dreams of living in a high-rise apartment in a bustling city, while others want a quiet life, unbothered by anything besides nature. But big city living and secluded country towns aren't our only options. There's a happy medium that's quieter than the city, but more developed than the rural countryside — that's where suburban neighborhoods come in.
The suburbs are often thought of as quiet, boring areas full of families with small children. While these areas are often filled with families, they aren't always as uneventful and bland as you might think. Here's what you should know about suburban neighborhoods.
A suburban area is a cluster of properties, primarily residential, that are not densely compacted, yet located very near an urban area that is. Also referred to as "suburbs," these areas are often located just outside of larger metro areas but can span even further, according to Pew Research Center.
Suburbs are not urban, but still do not have any of the defining characteristics of a rural area like agriculture or open space. Suburban areas portrayed in popular culture often are familial and slow-paced.
Suburban areas are commonly associated with families, and not single people or young couples. However, this common association is really a misconception.
Especially with recent events leading to remote work environments, many young, single professionals are working from home. This has made living in a more mellow area in a spacious home more attractive since there's room for a separate home office space —much more comfortable than working in a cramped, expensive apartment in the city.
Furthermore, as housing prices in urban areas skyrocket, younger folks are becoming unwilling or unable to pay rent. As a result, they're moving out of the city and into more suburban areas.
It sometimes is difficult to distinguish what is a suburban neighborhood vs. an urban one or a rural area. In fact, depending on which definition you choose, the lines can blur.
Suburban neighborhoods are typically located within a reasonable commute of an urban area. While they aren't as densely populated as urban neighborhoods, they do have a fairly large population, although it's more spread out over areas of single-family homes, rather than stacked-up apartment buildings.
Suburbs are primarily residential areas, although expect some commercial properties and businesses present. Housing is more affordable than in the main city centers and you'll find larger homes with their own private yards, rather than smaller apartments or condos.
There aren't as many amenities, such as restaurants or large shopping centers. However, there are grocery stores and usually a few restaurants and additional stores to provide for residents' needs.
Urban neighborhoods are in the middle of all the action. They're in the busy, downtown areas of a larger metro. With the location typically comes apartments and condos, rather than homes with their own yards.
Urban city centers are full of office buildings and commercial businesses. They also have lots of restaurants, shopping and entertainment options within close distance.
But being at the center of it all comes with a price — the cost of living is higher overall, with everything from rent to groceries costing more. Urban areas provide easy access to ample public transportation, which is almost necessary as owning a car is expensive since parking is often paid and spots often are far and few between.
Living in the suburbs has its benefits and many families choose to reside in such areas for various reasons.
Many suburban areas cater to families specifically and will even have many parks and hiking trails surrounding them. Even if you don't have a larger family with children, but you enjoy the outdoors or have a dog that likes to play outside, the suburbs better provide amenities you'll want.
While there are many pros to living in a suburban neighborhood, it does lack in some areas.
With recent technology, some of these cons aren't as applicable as they once were. Commuting to work is a major pain point for many living in the suburbs, but with so many companies become remote-first, it has eliminated that con for some.
Living in the 'burbs isn't for everyone — but it is perfect for some. If you enjoy peace and quiet, want to live in a house instead of an apartment and don't mind commuting to the office (which isn't an issue if you work remotely), then a suburban neighborhood is a place for you.