Is Buying a Condo in the City or a Traditional Home in the Suburbs Better for Young Buyers?
The demographics of individuals filling the profile of urbanites are
certainly changing. Today they fall between the ages of 26 and 34 and
are frequently newlyweds. While in the past they might have chosen a
small starter home in the suburbs, today they are opting instead for the
newest and hottest trend; condo-apartments in the city.
Real estate experts are noticing increasing patterns of more young
buyers being attracted to lifestyles which are rich in amenities. This
includes restaurants, shops, city parks and pubs right within their
immediate area. As young, trendy newlyweds this population simply does
not tend to identify with neighborhoods in which sports moms carpool
their families around in minivans.
Suburbs have still managed to retain an appeal with some young adults,
particularly those who continue to believe that a traditional house in
the suburbs will hold value as well as gain value better than a condo.
Many others enjoy the privacy offered by a detached house with their own
garage and gardening area; features which are not possible with a condo
As a result, many young buyers find themselves faced with a choice to
make. Which of the two available options offers the most advantages and
the least drawbacks? This is, of course, a personal choice that no one
else can make.
There are a few tips; however, that can help guide young buyers who are
considering the choice between an urban condo and a traditional suburban
First, it is important to always consider your lifestyle preferences
carefully. For example, buyers who actually grew up in the suburbs may
automatically think that the suburbs provide the best way of living.
Before you automatically make a choice; however, consider your own
preferences carefully. While a home in the suburbs once carried quite a
bit of status, that is not necessarily true anymore. In addition, many
buyers find that the amenities offered by an urban condo tremendously
outweigh the advantages of a suburban home.
Keep in mind though that city living simply is not for everyone. The
same amenities one couple might find appealing could overwhelm another
couple. While one couple might thrive on the active nightlife and easy
walk to access of numerous cultural attractions another might find the
It is also important to give some thought to how your choice will impact
your commute to work. Of course, much of this will depend on where you
work in relation to the neighborhood in which you choose to live. If you
work downtown, for example, living in a downtown can save quite a bit of
time. You could either make a short trip on public transit or even walk
to work. This could potentially save you an hour or two each day which
could then spend on more enjoyable pursuits. In addition, the easy
commute would save on gas as well.
If you work in the suburbs; however, you might find the commute quite a
hassle. Before considering a purchase, always make sure you test drive
the route to be absolutely sure traffic congestion will not present a
In the event you are considering living in an urban area, you should
consider the availability of parking in and around the building in which
you are thinking of buying. In many cases, one or two spaces will be
enough but if you frequently have company over, this could be a problem.
If you are thinking of buying in the suburbs you must also think of how
your choice will impact your social life. If your friends are primarily
city dwellers, will you be able to keep up those friendships given the
distance? The situation is workable provided you take the time to plan
get-togethers for your friends.
You should also give some thought to your own space requirements when
deciding which choice would be best for you. For example, if you are a
first time home buyer, you are probably working with a set budget. This
means that the most you may be able to afford is a midsized condo in a
nice section of the city. If you chose the suburbs; however, you could
probably have 20% more space for the same amount of money. Everyone
varies in their space requirements, so this may not be a huge issue for
you but it is worth considering.
Finally, do not forget to take your future needs and plans into
consideration when buying a home. What works today very well may not
work two to five years down the road.