Should You Live in the Suburbs or the City? 4 Surprising Advantages of Urban Living
by Arina Smith Real Estate 06 February 2019
As a successful young professional, it’s likely that you encounter many choices on a regular basis. In addition to making decisions during the workday that will impact your career for years to come, you’re faced with an array of often-overwhelming options. Cold brew or pour-over? Thai, Indian, or Italian for lunch? Should you bike to work and back, or put in an hour-long lifting sesh at the gym? Even deciding on a show or movie to watch on Netflix (or Hulu?) can be too much, especially at the end of a long day of “adulting.”
One important decision that you might be grappling with is whether to move to the suburbs, buy your first home, and become a commuter — or to stay in the city center or an up-and-coming neighborhood. We’d like to make the case for urban living.
4 Advantages of Urban Living That May Surprise You:
You’re probably already aware of many advantages to living in a city. When you live in an urban area, you have greater access to cultural activities, the performing arts, a broad range of dining opportunities, festivals, and other entertainment events. City living, quite simply, places you closer to the action!
And lest you are worried that city living means living in a dark, smelly, pest-filled, four-floor walkup, today’s urban residences are actually more luxurious than ever. Lead Designer Ari Irfano of OZ Urban Design firm explains that many new residential properties “feature separate entryways, amenities, and gathering spaces for the condo owners and for the apartment tenants. Fitness and wellness amenities on-site are substantial, and high-end interior design elements run throughout.”
Still not sold? Take a look at some science-backed benefits to city life that may surprise you!
Living in the City Is Safer:
Is there really safety in numbers? When it comes to city living, it turns out that the answer is yes. According to research published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, in fact, the odds of a fatal injury are 1.22 times lower in urban counties than in rural ones.
The fact that there are more emergency medical care facilities in more densely populated areas definitely contributes to cities’ safety. So if your mom expresses anxiety about whether or not you’ll be safe in the bright lights of the big city, just tell her this statistic.
People Who Live in Cities Are Thinner:
City slickers are 6% less likely to be obese than their country cousins. That’s partially because they tend to walk more than rural dwellers, who are more dependent on their cars to get around. It may also have to do with the prevalence of a higher-fat diet among rural populations, says researcher Christie Befort, an associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Life in an Urban Area Is Healthier, Too:
In part because of lower obesity rates, those who make the concrete jungle their home have a lower risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, emphysema and COPD, and arthritis.
All that hustle and bustle can, however, take a greater toll on the downtown denizen’s mental well-being. It’s important to practice self-care, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercises, and seek out fresh air and green spaces — or just to get the heck out of Dodge every once in a while.
Transportation Costs Are Lower:
Living in a major urban area, it’s more likely that you can get around without owning a vehicle. Between walking, biking, availing yourself of public transportation, or using ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber, it’s pretty easy to get where you need to go, at least locally. If you don’t often travel out of the city, you can probably get by without even owning a car.
The cost savings of not needing to buy gas totals just over $1,000 a year, and that’s a conservative estimate based on fuel prices of about $2.80 per gallon. Of course, without a car, there’s no car payment, no parking fees, no insurance costs, and no wear and tear to budget for, either. In most cases, you will be able to get around easily and cheaply, and still, have money to splurge on cabs or car rentals every now and then — or to sock away in your savings account.
It’s pretty clear that choosing to live in an urban area is a no-brainer. You will be able to enjoy restaurants, coffee shops, bars and clubs, theatre performances, festivals, concerts, art galleries and shows, and much more in your free time. You’ll save money by not owning a car, stay healthier and more fit, and be able to do it all without sacrificing your safety.