Having difficulties deciding whether your next home should be an urban flat or suburban house? It may help to take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
Advantages of Living in an Urban Flat
It is possible to find urban flats with asking prices well above £1milllion but on average, they are a lot less expensive than suburban houses. And besides being less expensive to buy, urban flats are also less expensive to maintain. Likewise, electricity, water and gas bills are typically lower as well.
Flats usually require a lot less maintenance and cleaning, providing their owners with more time (and energy) for more enjoyable activities. Equally important, most urban flats are conveniently close to shopping centres, schools, hospitals, libraries, restaurants, theatres, sports facilities, etc.
Good transportation links
Since urban flats are typically built in or near city centres, their owners enjoy good transportation links to work, school and other daily activities. Those living in the very city centre thus often don’t even need their own vehicle.
Though urban centres are usually associated with higher crime rates, the actual security inside flat complexes is often at a very high level. This is because there are typically multiple security checks to enter the actual flat. And since the building is shared by multiple residents, there is always someone there which makes flat complexes very unattractive to burglars and other “unwanted visitors”.
Disadvantages of Living in an Urban Flat
More noise and less privacy
Unsurprisingly, urban dwellers have considerably less privacy than their suburban counterparts. Also, they have to put up with higher noise levels not only because there are more people living in urban centres but also due to the higher concentration of traffic.
More traffic doesn’t only mean more noise but it also means more pollution. Furthermore, there are usually less green spaces and trees in urban areas which means that the concentration of air pollutants is even higher than it would be in a suburban or rural settlement with comparable traffic volumes.
Less open and green spaces
There are usually parks and other open spaces where urban dwellers can escape from the city hustle and bustle, feel closer to nature and enjoy various outdoor activities. However, city parks sometimes can’t accommodate everyone who would like to relax or recreate themselves there due to the restricted space available. What is more, some urban centres have almost no or very little open and green spaces.
Problems with parking
Unless the flat comes with a designated parking space, parking in an urban centre can be a nightmare. Also, it is virtually impossible to receive visitors arriving with their own vehicle due to the highly limited number of parking spaces available.
Advantages of Living in a Suburban House
More space – both inside and outside
The average square footage of a suburban house is typically higher than that of an urban flat, not just outside but inside as well. This gives their owners much more private space to enjoy and relax as well as to recreate themselves.
More peace and tranquillity
Life in suburban areas is much more peaceful and tranquil than in city centres. Not only there are a lot less people and traffic but the people who choose to buy a home in a suburb are typically also more tranquil themselves.
Lower crime rates
Compared to city centres and densely populated urban settings, suburbs have much lower crime rates. This makes suburban houses especially desirable among home buyers with children and those planning to start a family in the near future.
Stronger sense of community
Unlike people living in large flat complexes who usually don’t say “Hello” to each other, those living in suburban areas typically know their neighbours (by their names!). Furthermore, they are usually also happy to provide advice or a helping hand, which gives suburban areas a stronger sense of community and in a way, make the residents feel more closely connected.
Disadvantages of Living in a Suburban House
More square footage automatically means higher purchase price. Also, more square footage means higher running costs. In addition, private outdoor space requires quite a lot of maintenance which in turn requires various tools (which can cost a lot of money) or ground maintenance workers who don’t come cheap either.
More maintenance and cleaning
In comparison to an urban flat, a house is a lot more demanding and a lot less convenient when it comes to maintenance and cleaning. You can always hire professional help but that will further increase the already quite high running costs.
Longer commute time to work
Living in a suburb usually translates into a longer commute time to work because most jobs are either in the very city centre or on its fringes. Also, transportation links are usually not that good as in neighbourhoods closer to the city centre.
Fewer opportunities for entertainment, dining, shopping and similar activities
These usually aren’t far away but every time they want to go to the cinema, theatre, fine restaurant, shopping centre, etc. suburban dwellers need to hop into their vehicles and drive to the city centre.