Author Topic: First Home: City or Suburbs?  (Read 737 times)


  • Stubble
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First Home: City or Suburbs?
« on: May 09, 2018, 12:41:22 PM »

I am looking to buy my first home.  I am 28, recently married, 2 dogs and plan to have kids in 1-2 years.  I prefer the walkability of cities but go out less and less every year.

I am conflicted between the following:

Option 1 (1st Ring Suburb)
40 minute walk/bus to work (Most practical)
20 minute drive to work
50 minute bike
**Lots of corporations in area that would be 5-10 min commute if I switched jobs

One of best public school districts in state
Still good diversity which is important to us

Not huge but bigger than city

$330k for 2300 sqft (3 bedroom / 3 bath)


Option 2 (City)
28 minute walk/bus to work (Most practical)
15 minute drive to work
35 minute bike

Average schools, undecided on private vs public

City lot

$450k for 2300 sqft (3 bedroom / 3 bath)

What would you choose and why?  Also, if you have chosen one option over the other, what has been your experience?

Thank you in advance!

Jon Bon

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Re: First Home: City or Suburbs?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 12:56:55 PM »
Please tell us distance, time spent traveling is irrelevant.

This is why.

Sure you move into the burbs its fine takes 40 mins to work its all good. Accept you move in when its only 50% developed. 5 years later you are dealing with 100% more cars, people, etc etc. These suburban areas rapidly get built up and completely overwhelming the infrastructure. Whats worse is the  local government will never say no to more development and tax revenue. So despite the traffic nightmare they green-light 3 new apartment structures, a mall, and 2 new shopping centers. It not takes you over an hour to get to work daily. YMMV

Whats also fun about the burbs is they are NEVER walkable. Best case you can hope for sidewalks in the neighborhood but you are never going to run an errand on your own two feet. So you get to get into your car and fight traffic.


Obviously I live in the city.... good luck out there!


  • Stubble
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  • Location: Milwaukee WI
Re: First Home: City or Suburbs?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 11:59:59 AM »
I like the city (a lot) but the first ring suburb doesn't sound much worse, for a lot less money.

Two thoughts:

1. Amenities are nice, but you want to think about the ones you will actually use in a few years.  For my part, I want to be able to walk to 1-2 decent bars/restaurants (mostly so I have the option to drink w/o driving, I rarely go), a good park and a grocery store.  Grocery store is probably the most important one on there, followed by park, but think about your list.

2. School ratings do a much better job telling you how rich the neighborhood is than how good the school is.  If you are mainly thinking about moving for the schools, try to talk to parents, meet with teachers, get a tour, etc. before making a decision.  There are obviously exceptions (you don't want your kids going to a school filled with violence or enough disruptive kids that the teachers can never teach) but in general your kid's success has a lot more to do with you than it does with the specific school

All in, if it has the amenities you need within walking distance I'd probably go (very close in) suburb in your case.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:02:04 PM by MilwaukeeStubble »