To Own a Home in the City, Suburbs, or Countryside?
Those wishing to own a home generally have three options as far as where it will be: in the city, in the suburbs, or in the countryside. Each has its own merits and drawbacks, with the decision ultimately being a matter of personal preference as to which balance of pros and cons are preferred.
When it’s all said and done, the costs of each probably average out to the same. It’s simply a question of where the money is going. The basic factors which distinguish these three environments from one another in terms of costs are as follows.
Owning a home in a major urban area has many advantages. Immediate proximity to all the trappings of culture and commerce as well as being where the action is appealing to many people.
Living in the city typically means buying a building approaching 100 years old or older. This means beautiful architecture and a “they don’t make them like they use to” appreciation for the construction, but also the likelihood of renovations and costly upgrades.
Furthermore, the urban environment presents unique challenges to health and safety. Pollution is exceptionally high in cities compared to the suburbs and countryside, giving homeowners the task of monitoring air quality around their house as well as ensuring local businesses aren’t dumping toxins into the streets where their kids play.
Lastly, the increased demand for security in the city will likely lead to expenses not seen by those living elsewhere. The best protection against burglaries and property damage in densely populated environments is a state of the art security system. Finding an affordable option in a particular city will be important.
For many folks, suburban housing provides a perfect balance between city and countryside. Of course, this ideal situation comes with a price.
In general, everything from the value of the property itself to local taxes will be higher in the suburbs versus the city and countryside. It makes sense considering the homes tend to be well made but not particularly old, the neighborhoods tend to be safe, and suburban schools are often superior in terms of resources and academic record.
Another expense which is more likely in the suburbs than anywhere else is homeowners association fees. Many subdivisions essentially require residents to support efforts to maintain property values. In addition to the monthly or annual dues, homeowners may be forced to invest in upgrades and adjustments to their property in order to meet requirements laid out by the association.
Clean air, low to no crime, and low price per acre makes living in the countryside attractive to many people. Not to mention the privacy and freedom built into being relatively isolated from others.
In order to get away from it all, however, the things about civilization we want to keep must be brought out to the countryside. Getting the resources and manpower out to a remote location for the construction of a home is no easy task. While the property itself may be a steal, the price of building upon it may be cost-prohibitive for some aspiring homeowners.
Furthermore, much of the infrastructure we take for granted in the city and suburbs is nowhere to be found in the countryside. Fresh water access, sewage system, drainage, and getting hooked up to the electrical and telecommunications grids will require hefty investment on the part of the homeowner.
Lastly, the maintenance and upkeep required for rural property will be no short order. Homes in the countryside are particularly vulnerable to the elements and need near-constant care and attention to avoid deteriorating into hillbilly shacks.
The decision to live either in the city, suburbs, or countryside will ultimately depend on the person. Each brings their own perks along with their own unique costs. Whichever path is chosen, homeowners have a responsibility to themselves and the land they live on to take care of it accordingly.