Millions of Americans in large cities have spent the last couple of months cooped up in small apartments while they wait out the pandemic. It’s always been tough to make the most of a small space. But when you don’t have the option to leave, the small space can start to feel claustrophobic quickly. According to a recent Harris Poll survey, almost one-third of Americans are thinking about moving to less densely populated areas because of the pandemic. If you’re one of those people, then here’s what you should ask yourself. We have certainly seen quite an influx of new buyers to the market in the Maplewood, Short Hills, S. Orange, W. Orange and Montclair markets here in NJ.
Does the suburban lifestyle fit my needs?
While it’s understandable to want more space after enduring months of living in close quarters, you should consider whether a suburban lifestyle fits your needs. The suburbs can be a major change of pace for urbanites that are used to having everything they need close by and available 24/7. Research the towns where you might consider moving and visit them to see what the vibe is like. Spend time in the stores, restaurants, and parks that would become home for you. Talk to the locals. Get a feel for the place before making a major decision.
How will it change my work life?
Another thing to consider is how moving to the suburbs would change your working life. Would you need to get a new job? If so, are there opportunities in the area for someone with your skillset? If you’ll be keeping your current job, then what would your commute be like? Remember – studies show that your commute time influences your happiness levels. The longer your commute, the more unhappy you will likely be. Will you be able to permanently work from home? If so, then you’ll need space for a home office. Keep in mind that working from home in the suburbs can be more isolating than working from home in the city, where distractions of all shapes and colors are right outside your door.
Will I need to buy a car?
Most city dwellers don’t need cars in order to get around. In dense urban centers, public transportation is available on virtually every corner. That may not be the case in the suburbs. Would you need to live near a train line so you can get to work more easily? Or will you need to purchase a car? How far away are amenities like grocery stores? Think about the added cost of owning a car when making your decision about moving out of the city. You’ll not only need to pay for the car itself, but you’ll need to factor in insurance costs, gas, maintenance, and parking fees.
How are the schools?
Finally, be sure to research the schools in the area before making your decision. If you have school-age children at home, then you’ll obviously want to move to a neighborhood that has a good school district. How well will your kids transition to a new school? If you don’t have kids, then it’s still important to look at the quality of the school district. Homes that are located in good school districts typically sell for more money down the line.
Even before the pandemic, my team has been helping families make the transition to “greener pastures”. Want to chat about your family’s needs? Reach out to me so we can see if the move you are contemplating makes sense for you.