Suburbs vs City...what do you think?

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ChrissLady Posts : 1,352 Registered: 4/5/06
Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 8:52 AM

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/16/suburb.city/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

 

I stumbled upon this article today, and I figured since most of us are married or are getting married, housing will or has come up.  Currently DH and I rent, but the plan is to buy/build a house eventually.  Our families are in the sticks. Nearest Wal-Mart is 30 minutes, nearest mall 1 hour, hell the nearest grocery store was 15 minutes.  Now DH and I live in a town with a major university and a community college, we have a grocery store within walking distance of our apartment, mall, Wal-mart, restaurants, and entertainment less than 5 minutes away. Personally I like it.  I don't have to drive all over creation to do something.  And I didn't realize how much I like it until I go back to the sticks for the holidays.  However, my mom's house has a yard.  I mean at least an acre.  My ILs have about 2 or 3 acres.  You won't get that in the city limits, unless you are willing to pay for it.  And even then I'm not so sure.

 

For all you ladies who are house hunting or own a house, how has the gas and mortgage situtation affected you?  Not to get in you business, but are you searching in suburbia or the city?  We haven't really gotten into the specifics yet, since we don't plan to buy/build for another 10 years.


 

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 9:16 AM Go to message in response to: ChrissLady

Well for us, we just bought. And we're about to pay our first mortgage payment this week! YIKES!! Whats getting us is the gas and food though. Currently, we live in kind of a "deserted" part of NJ. Im sure it will be built up quickly but now the closest thing is a Rite Aid. We have a Wawa too down the road. But Im used to being close to everything since I grew up in a more populated area.

So to offset gas, I try to run my errands on lunch or on my way home since I work in Princeton and we have EVERYTHING within 5 mins. Also, we started shopping at our local farmers market to save on produce. Let me tell you we got 3 lbs of grapes, 3 lbs of red potatoes, 6 green peppers, 2 eggplants, 11 apples and 5 red onions for $21!!! 

I do have to say that the food prices have really been helping us eat healthier. We just stay away from the processed food, in exchange for the cheap produce and bread and normal ground beef and chicken breasts. No more chips or cookies or anything....we're really learning to stretch our buck!


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ChrissLady Posts : 1,352 Registered: 4/5/06
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 9:21 AM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

Food prices are outrageous!! This summer we have my brother (10) and our son (12). They are going through bread at about 1 loaf every three days!!!  And that doesn't include any bread that DH and I eat.  It's ridiculous!  We have a farmer's market, but I don't have a calendar of what they have on what days.  I need to start going.  We spend about $20 on just fruit.  Every week we spend about $120 on groceries, true this includes odds and ends like toilet paper, soap, etc...  I'm having to adjust my bills next month to make up for the extra being spent on groceries. I am just thankfull that I have the wiggle room.  I am also thankful that I got a new job in February.  I can't imagine an 80 mile one way commute at these gas prices!!!

 

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Love2u Posts : 1,661 Registered: 10/24/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 9:30 AM Go to message in response to: ChrissLady

I would love to live in the boondocks, but the reality is that I would have difficulty getting a job that suited my needs and desires.  I need to live near an area with good employment opportunities.

My house is on the outskirts of town & drive 52 miles round trip to work each day - gas is an issue.  A couple of years ago, when gas broke $2.00/gal, I made the decision to trade in my big vehicle (16 mpg) for a smaller car (30 mpg) which I feel has really saved me.  Gas still kills my budget, but not enough to drive me under.  While I do miss the space and comfort of my big vehicle, I figure with today's gas prices and the miles I drive, I probably make my car payments in the difference in gas alone.


Love2uKiss

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 9:30 AM Go to message in response to: ChrissLady

One of my GF's had some free time one weekend so she took a ride to a CVS, grocery store, target and organic market to compare prices on things she normally buys. She compared unit prices and eveything. She said it was actually chaper for her to get her paper products at the grocery store than a target. And that lettuces and fresh herbs were cheaper at the organic market. Go figure. I think its something really interesting to check out.

I mean even when we did get ALL our produce (minus one zuchinni) at the farmers market, we still spent $70 on groceries for a week at the regular Acme. But if we had got the same amount of produce at the Acme it was easily $40 worth or more. So we did save. We're not gunna go hungry, we're just getting more creative....its insane though. Definitely makes me nervous for when we have kids!


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JodiMarie Posts : 185 Registered: 3/5/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 10:09 AM Go to message in response to: ChrissLady

I think it's a matter of preference and what your used to. My husband and I currently live in a small suburb town about 45 min from Chicago or what is known as The Greater Chicagoland area. We both really like it, we have most of what we need in town (5 min car ride), The nearest mall 1/2 hr away, but everything in the Midwest is a 1/2 hr away and if we want to spend an afternoon in the big city it's only a 45 min ride. That's what I like the most we have all the benefits of a major city but we are still have the safety and security and space of a small town.

Currently we are renting an apartment, we just don't have the money to think about buying yet. All that we need to worry about is our rent, electricity and internet. Of course gas and food. It's nice not having to worry about gas, water, sewer, garbage, property taxes and the expense of fixing a house and upkeeping a lawn. Our apartment here in suburbia is alot bigger and cheaper than anything we could even dream about getting in the city. We pay $780.00  mnth for a 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment. We have loads of closet space and a decent sized living room, almost a full sized kitchen, nice sized patio with an additional storage room outside, and the building is only 10 yrs old so they are fairly new. In Chicago you'd be very lucky to even find a decent studio for $1,000 a mnth let alone a two bedroom.

For my husband and I it really wasn't a question, he grew up in a small town (population 5,000) next a river. So that is what he loves and he actually hates going into the city. Now I'm ok with either place, I am both of them really, I like living in a small town but also love going to the city. I used to dream about living in the city, but know that I'm a little older a little wiser, I think I like what we have, the space of a small town while the city is still within reach. I can go up to Chicago for an afternoon of shopping and then come back home to where things are not quite as hectic and people are just a little more friendly.


Married Sept 29, 2007, I am now Mrs. Pollack. 7 months of marriage so far and everything is great.

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B2B999 Posts : 700 Registered: 12/7/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:09 AM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

We are actually trying to make that decision right now. We are trying to choose between living in a small city and living in a medium sized town. I be working in the city but we really like the house and the feel of the town.

Right now my commute is 33 miles, each way, most of which is spent in stop & go traffic. My commute in September would either be 1 mile each way (if I live in the city) or 11 miles each way (if I live in the town). Obviously due to my current commute our biggest financial concern is gas, but I agree that everything seems to be going up. FH now makes our bread rather then buying it at the store and we have gone from eating out once a week to once a month. I go to the store on the way home so that we don't take unnecessary trips and we are trying to be as frugal as possible. Things are tougher now then they were a year ago.


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DawnaCrystal Posts : 990 Registered: 4/7/08
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:23 AM Go to message in response to: Love2u

Love-I am with ya! I woiuld love to live away fromthe city, however, if you want to be employed you need to move where the jobs are. We live in Milwaukee. We sold our house in VA and are renting for a year as things get settled and then we plan to buy agian. We rented for this year because we didn't want to run into the 2 hour commute issue. Or the excessive gas issue.
I love the coutnry, the small towns, that is how I grew up. But the city suits me better now. Not the inner city, but the outskirts. We are looking to buy a place inside the metro area enough to where we have convienences like easy access to the highway and stores, but far enough out to not be on the bus route.


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ChrissLady Posts : 1,352 Registered: 4/5/06
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:23 AM Go to message in response to: B2B999

Once DH graduates from college next December, we will be back in the moving limbo again.  If he winds up back in the military, we are hoping to get stationed somewhere in MS to be closer to our son and family.  If he doesn't get back in, we still plan to move back until our son graduates high school (hopefully 2013).  It's kind of a good thing, that way I don't have to think too hard about having a baby.  We will be closer to home and have way more help than if we got pregnant out here. (We're in NC).  I just hope I never have to go back to long commute.  The only reason I did it for almost a year was because he was in school, and didn't need to be the one to have to spending 3 hours driving everyday.

 

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:43 AM Go to message in response to: ChrissLady

I live in the City, I have almost always lived in the City I prefer it.  I have a house with a nice size yard.  It is big enough to have plenty of grass, my flowers, several seating areas, a pool and a patio. 

We are both within walking distance of our jobs so no commute.  Even though we have a car we rarely drive.  If we want to go to the theatre or the musuem they are just a 10 minute train or bus ride away. 

There are several malls within a 30 min. drive.  The casinos and NYC are only about an hour to an hour and a half away. 

We do have some crime but doesn't everybody?  The pluses far outweigh the negatives for me.  I will stay in the City.


Kenny and Me Perfect Together,  10 years and counting.

 

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 11:56 AM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

Born and raised in the city, and plan on dying in the city as well.  Hopefully not from violent crime :-)  (I'm from Detroit, so I frequently make violent crime jokes).

Anyways, I've never had any desire to live in the 'burbs.  The only advantage I can see right now is the schools -- once I have kids.  Still, I'd rather send them to a private school in the city then a public school outside of it, if I could afford it.

I don't drive -- don't even have a car.  I've never had the desire for a big house because I don't want to clean it.  A yard sounds nice, but doing yardwork does not (I'll settle for a spot in a community garden). 

Right now, I've got my choice of 5 different grocery stores, plus local food co-op with super cheap fruits and veggies, that are less than a 10 minute drive. The movie theater and several museums are all just a metro ride away. The community center is across the street.  A good gym is down the block.

Gas prices will just continue to go up.  We will reach $6/gallon sooner rather than later.  Which is still cheaper than the $8/gallon that they pay in Europe.  We're all going to have to find some way of adapting, and staying close to the city is a good way to start.


__________________________________________
"I'm asking you to believe.  Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington. . .I'm asking you to believe in yours." - Barack Obama

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DawnaCrystal Posts : 990 Registered: 4/7/08
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 1:47 PM Go to message in response to: B2B999

This is exactly why I fell in love with Milwaukee. it is the only city I have ever been too where you can feel like you are in the country/small town. Just outside of the city (in Oak Creek or Franklin) we can get a huge yard next to a corn field and still be within 20 minutes of downtown. Or we can get a place at one of the many parks (and these parks are acres and acres, not little ones at all) and have the entire park as a back yard. That is what we are looking for now. A house in one of those areas, off the bus line (cuts down on riffraff), within our budget. Which shoiuldn't be a problem at all since we are expecting to pay about 200,000 on our next house. (Thank God we made 37 grand off the last house!)

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Del3 Posts : 113 Registered: 11/1/06
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 3:52 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

Just out of curiosity NJ, where do you live?  My FI and I live in Belle Mead, NJ just north of Princeton and i'll starting working in Princeton come fall.  We are looking to buy in our area (Somerset County) sometime in the next few years but the prices are scary!  Gotta love NJ. :P

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 4:39 PM Go to message in response to: Del3

Wow you are way north.  You should look in Mercer or Burlington Counties if possible. 

Kenny and Me Perfect Together,  10 years and counting.

 

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Suburbs vs City...what do you think?
Posted: Jun 17, 2008 4:45 PM Go to message in response to: Del3

Belle Mead, I've heard of it. I didnt realize it was near Princeton though. I just google mapped it and I know kinda where it is. I live in Burlington County now...north Burlington County so technically NOT south jersey! LOL. If I were you I'd def check out Mercer but DEF Burlington. I'm only 20 mins from Princeton. Its not a terrible commute and the taxes AND the housing costs aren't too terrible.
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