So you want to live in the city. But you also want to stay under budget. Oh, and you want a little peace and quiet at night…and guaranteed parking and a yard for your dog and a good school district and… All of that sounds great, and they’re all reasonable wants. The reality is you’re probably not going to get all of that living in a larger city. Instead of compromising on your wants and needs for a specific location, you might want to think about looking for a home in a bedroom community.

The term bedroom community is used to describe suburbs and exurbs where much of the population is made up of people who commute to the city for work. They come home to their suburb (or exurb, as the case may be) in the evenings to their primary residence, the place where they sleep. Hence the term “bedroom” community. If you’ve been thinking of buying a home in one of these areas, you might want to weight the pros and cons before you start the search for your new home.

The Pros

Bedroom communities are appealing alternatives to city living because of the potential savings, more space, and lower cost of living. Housing costs, property taxes, and prices of things like food and gas tend to be lower in suburbs than they are in cities. It’s also easier to find peace and quiet outside of the city. Bedrooms communities tend to have less traffic, fewer large construction projects, fewer emergency response vehicles at all hours, and no ambient noise from nearby restaurants and bars. Privacy is a little easier to come by as well. In the middle of a city, living quarters are quite literally right on top of each other. Homes in the suburbs tend to be more spread out. And if they’re not, you can always build a fence, right? That brings us to another perk. Living in a bedroom community usually comes with fewer regulations about what you can and cannot do to your property. There’s no fighting with the Board of Architecture if you want to paint your front door or build a new deck.

The Cons

As with anything in life, living in a bedroom community comes with its fair share of drawbacks. Perhaps the biggest one of all is the daily commute between home and work. Daily traffic usually runs away from the suburbs toward the city in the mornings, and vice versa in the evenings. That means unless you work nights, you’ll be right in there with the rest of the traffic each morning and night. Suburbs often have fewer options to choose from when it comes to dining out, nightlife, and shopping. If you don’t own a car, a bedroom community might not be for you. Public transportation options can be limited as well. If you’re used to lots of action throughout the day and night, moving to a suburb or exurb could leave you feeling cut off, with an outside-looking-in type of feeling.

The pros and cons of living in a bedroom community can honestly be somewhat subjective. Maybe you like some noise when you’re trying to go to sleep at night. Or maybe you find a daily commute a good time to prepare your mind for the workday and a good way to unwind after work. Everyone’s different! The best thing to do is take each pro and con into consideration and decide for yourself if life in a bedroom community is for you.

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