So you have decided to leave the city for the ‘burbs, but have you thought about how different your life will be when you move?
You’re leaving the city for the suburbs! By now you’ve navigated the prospective home buyer landscape, and tackled everything from mortgage pre-qualifications to town scouting to, maybe, a home tour or two (or ten…)—or, at the very least, you’re working through that laundry list. But for the urban dweller who’s about to call the ‘burbs “home,” there are a few more elements to work through that, likely, you haven’t considered. Living in NYC means you’ve got incredible access to anything and everything 24/7—make a move outside of city limits and some of that will change. But don’t worry—for every drawback there are countless positives to this seismic residential shift.
#1: You’ve got to drive
This tops many urbanites list. Sure, you probably have a driver’s license. And, sure, you’ve probably driven a car at some point.But have you logged any time behind the wheel lately? If you’re moving to the ‘burbs you’re going to have to get comfortable hitting the road and, if you don’t already have one, you’ll likely be buying or leasing a car in the very near future.
Driving is, hands down, a reality of suburban living, as you’ll be driving to and from the train station, the kids’ schools, the grocery store and a host of activities and venues. Say goodbye to yellow cabs, Ubers and incredible public transportation—even in the most walkable town you’ll need a set of wheels. Our advice? Take it slow. Remember when you were on the brink of getting your license 10 or 20 (or more…) years ago? Hit a local parking lot and practice the basics—parking, parallel parking, backing up, taking tight turns. Then start with shorter trips here and there until, in no time, you’re a certified road warrior.
#2: Everything closes—early
There’s no city like NYC. Where else can you get 24-hour Chinese food delivery, dry cleaning in the middle of the night or, even, work out with your trainer after a massively long work day (and night)? The suburbs are different. Sure, there’s always a drug or grocery store with late night access, plus a host of 24-hour walk-in clinics, drive-through windows and, maybe, a pizza parlor that has extended weekend hours. But you won’t be able to Seamless Web-up some grub at all hours, or find a spot for a late night bite, manicure, massage or stretch every single time. It may take a little adjustment, but you’re gaining a lot back in exchange: lower prices, greater variety and the increased convenience that comes with hopping in your car and driving—and not having to run around the city, (literally) hauling bags and kids.
And, face it, how many times did you actually get a facial at midnight? Probably never.
#3: You’ll have real outdoor space, that’s yours
Sure, Central Park is amazing, as is your (tiny) balcony overlooking the neighborhood. But do you know what’s even better? Arealbackyard that’s got ample space for the kids and pets to play, and for you to host a BBQ or outdoor bash. Outdoor space in NYC is the Holy Grail, but in the ‘burbs everyone’s got it, to some extent. While your electric grill, two-person patio table and windowsill herb garden may be massive by city standards, once you get to the suburbs you’ll see what real outdoor living is like—and, no doubt, you’ll love it and wonder what you did without it all of these years.
If you’re getting ready for life in the ‘burbs, keep these in mind—we’ll collect more “surprises” from some recent transplants and share them here, so check back soon!