Urban vs. Suburban vs. Rural

Urban vs. Suburban vs. Rural.

What you need to know about living in an urban, suburban, and rural place

While Hogwarts is currently not accepting any new applicants, we all gotta settle down somewhere. The question is “where” though. And unless your method involves throwing a dart at a map and moving to wherever it lands, you will need to put some time and thought into this decision. 

After all, where you live will determine a lot of how you live. From how long your commute will be to where you’ll get your weekly groceries, the location of your future home will play a major role in your daily lifestyle. 

Before deciding on a specific location, first decide whether you want to live in an urban, suburban, or rural community. Some things to consider when making this decision are:

  • Costs – How much will it cost to own/rent there? How much of your income will this constitute?
  • Values – What things do you value? For example, privacy, public transportation, or free parking?
  • Lifestyle – What kind of activities do you enjoy? What services do you need or prefer to have nearby? 
  • Commute – Do you have a vehicle? Do you prefer to drive, walk, or use public transportation?
  • Space – How much space do you and your family need? Is land or square footage important to you?
  • Convenience – Are you a self-sufficient person or do you rely on some modern conveniences?

Based on how you answered the questions above, you should have a better idea of what you’re looking for in your dream location. Find out how well urban, suburban, and rural places fulfill your wants and needs.

Urban

Urban areas are densely populated. They are both for living and working. 

Pros:

    • Most eco-friendly option since everything is closer and public transportation is more accessible
    • Easier to participate in different events and more of a night life
    • More culture – museums, libraries, diverse people. Also lots of art, music, and food (everything from escargot to pizza)
    • More convenient since everything is so close-by and on-hand 
    • More job opportunities

Neutral:

    • Community – unless you make an effort, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. At the same time, you will find people are usually more tolerant in cities

Cons:

    • Cost of living is usually high
    • Noise and pollution are more of an issue. What’s that smell, you ask? Probably your neighbor
    • Higher rate of crime
    • Crowds + traffic + zero parking if you don’t want to use public transportation
    • Expensive schooling

Testimonial:

Suburban

Suburbs are primarily for residence. They have limited job opportunities and limited political autonomy. 

Pros:

    • More space. Backyards are actually a thing
    • Free parking most of the time (what’s a parking meter?)
    • Better public schools
    • Less crowded than a city
    • Better infrastructure as seen in better roads, more traffic lights, etc.

Neutral:

    • Not much to do in a suburb, but everything is within driving distance
    • Geared more for families and those trying to settle down

Cons:

    • Less culture, more cookie-cutter
    • Harder to do things spontaneously since there are fewer things going on in the community
    • Longer commute for work (Audiobooks, anyone?)
    • More restrictions if you are dealing with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA)
    • Average monthly suburban rent is actually more expensive than average monthly urban rent, but of course this will depend on which suburb/city you live in

Testimonial:

Rural

Rural areas are spread out and less populated. People live off the land rather than rely on retail stores.

Pros:

    • Can qualify for special funding (USDA loans)
    • Better air quality and less noise (which also contributes to better mental health!)
    • More access to nature (stargazing, anyone?)
    • Tighter-knit community
    • More freedom since there’s nobody around
    • Special consideration for colleges and universities
    • Less crime

Neutral:

    • Have to stock up on food/essentials (cheaper but more inconvenient)
    • Nothing is in your immediate vicinity, but you could probably drive there as long as you have a car
      • If you don’t have a car though . . . rural communities may not be for you

Cons:

    • Farther away from everything(including supermarkets, retail stores, hospitals, etc.) so need to be more self-sufficient
    • Fewer entertainment options like movie theaters, department stores, etc.
    • Poor connectivity, no cell service in certain areas
    • Have to spend a lot on gas since you need to drive so far to get things
    • Fewer job opportunities
    • Less choice in who you can interact with
    • May have to deal with more wildlife and the odd tractor too

Testimonial:


No matter where you choose to live, understand that life is what you make of it. In addition, keep in mind that not all cities, suburbs, and country towns will meet these specifications. Some cities are more like suburbs, some rural houses are actually pretty close to cities, and some suburbs are actually pretty far from downtown. Therefore, make sure you check out some houses in the areas you’re looking into so that you have a real idea of what their locations are like. And, as always, for any help in the home buying process, feel free to reach out to us at Shop Your Own Mortgage.