The reasons we choose where to live are as unique as the communities in which we live. As recently as 2019, more young people were choosing to live in major Canadian cities than people were moving out of major cities. Subsequently, COVID-19 significantly affected our way of life. Suddenly, people began to leave the cities in large numbers, in search of large spaces to live and work. But is a move to or from the city right for you. Let’s quickly discuss urban life or suburban life which is better for your.
To help you decide, we have prepared a list of four considerations to keep in mind when choosing between city living and suburban living.
The price of housing for urban life or suburban life
For many years, the cost of home ownership in major Canadian cities was a significant barrier to buying a home. COVID-19 has not changed that since real estate prices in major cities are still quite high. However, increased demand in surrounding communities has caused housing prices in suburban areas to also see a significant rise over the past year. The municipalities of Ajax, Burlington, Brampton, Clarington, Essa, Halton Hills, Innisfil, Mississauga, New Tecumseh, Oshawa, and Scugog and Whitby all experienced record house prices last year.
Although it is still possible to buy a less expensive house far from the city center, other factors could mitigate the effect of a lower purchase price, such as travel costs.
Travel time and costs
While many of us will continue to enjoy huge transportation savings by working from home, life will ultimately return to something closer to normal. For example, in 2019, CMHC observed considerable variations in travel costs from areas surrounding Montreal.
However, if telecommuting arrangements continue in a post-COVID-19 world, these additional costs may no longer be an issue.
In terms of travel time and costs, the key factor to consider when choosing between city life and suburban life is whether or not telecommuting arrangements will still be in place in the future. This is something that only you and your employer can decide.
The size of the house and the yard
Although not always the case, one of the downsides of city living is that it is often associated with small living spaces. Some would say that a smaller living and yard area also means less house and yard work. This is a valid argument, especially for employed workers. However, if entertaining at home or having plenty of space for the kids is important to you, broadening your outlook by moving away from the city center can be helpful.
Access to resources
Due to the nature of population density alone, resources are often more abundant in larger cities. Your decision between urban and suburban living should consider access to libraries, health services, cultural activities, and community centers. The relative importance of each of these resources will vary according to your individual needs. Newcomers to Canada may find this Government of Canada article helpful in clarifying their options. The choice to live in an urban or suburban community is less a matter of walk-able neighborhoods or nightlife than a careful consideration of a homeowner’s needs for the foreseeable future. By taking the time to evaluate your options, you can ensure that your choice will meet your expectations for years to come. When you are ready to move on, Home Trust will be there to help make your home ownership dreams come true.