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Buying Real Estate: City vs Suburban Living

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 at 4:04pm Engel & Völkers Seattle Eastside

Today, we are going to dive into the ever-present question, should I invest in real estate in the city or in the suburbs? Spoiler alert: there is not one right answer! The answer will vary from person to person and really depends on your personal goals and priorities.


Are you looking for a big yard for your kids & dog to play in or do you want to be walking distance from your favorite restaurants? These are the types of questions you need to be able to answer as you make the decision. We're going to look at the long-term investment potential of both options, as well as explore some other important issues.

Home is where the heart is, regardless of whether you live in the city or in the suburbs. But, where are homes holding their value best? In Seattle, urban homes are appreciating the fastest. From 2015 to 2016, urban home prices increased by 29.6% while suburban home prices only increased by 13.9%. Most of this growth is due to new construction and Seattle's transformation into a high-tech epicenter. However, does this data mean you should rush to buy a home in the city? Not necessarily... let's consider some quality of life factors. 

It seems rather obvious, but you will have far more room to spread out in the suburbs! Suburban homes, on average, have 300 more square feet than urban homes. Additionally, a higher number of suburban homes have large backyards, garages and family living rooms. Suburban residents also get to avoid the fumes of the city and often are closer to parks & trails. You are more likely to find good public schools in the suburbs, as well. Urban residents find themselves closer to amenities such as restaurants, museums and a nightlife scene.

Another factor to consider is crime statistics. Cities are indeed more dangerous, but less than you might think. According to crime stats from the FBI, cities have twice the property crime rate and 2.5 times the violent crime rate of the surrounding suburbs. However, the number of deaths from unintentional injuries are 15 times greater than those form homicides. City residents are 20% less likely than suburban residents to die from unintentional injuries caused from motor vehicle accidents, firearm accidents and poisoning. 

Whether you find yourself in the city or suburbia, there is little to no disparity in access to health services. If environmental conditions are a concern, though, urban settings are far from ideal. In the city, you will be exposed to more viruses, a higher level of stress from the fast-paced lifestyle and dirty air quality. But there are also health drawbacks to living in the suburbs. Because of the lack of public transportation, suburban dwellers spend about 18% more time driving which can contribute to higher levels of obesity and blood pressure. 

We hope these statistics and questions help shed some clarity on your decision! Wherever you choose to call home, it will be the right place for you!



Engel & Völkers Seattle Eastside

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