Moving to the Suburbs: Unexpected Surprises

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Moving to the Suburbs: Unexpected Surprises

You decided that moving to the suburbs will give you a lot more space, a big garden to promote healthy eating, more time enjoying nature, etc.  All of that may have been true for those who left the city behind to move to the suburbs, but many people have discovered some unexpected surprises.

Whether you're considering moving to the suburbs or have recently moved, you'll want to consider a few changes to the lifestyle you were used to leading.  There are more responsibilities associated with living in the suburbs, some of which require some hard work and patience.

Wood Burning Fireplaces

Moving from the city to the suburbs comes with a lot of perks including wood burning fireplaces and wood stoves, some of which can be used to heat your entire home.  But wait, you have to have a stockpile of wood to burn and possibly the tools to cut it into sizable pieces.  Before purchasing a home with a wood burning stove, consider where you’ll get your firewood and how much wood you’ll need.  Many people have felt stranded, burning through the wood that came with the house in a matter of weeks.  Before purchasing, ask the owner where they get their firewood, how much they typically use in the winter, and how much they spend.  You’ll be glad you did and well-prepared for the cold months.

pexels-djordje-petrovic-2975899Property Maintenance

Moving to the suburbs might include having extra space like a large yard, long driveway, and lots of trees.  Who will move the lawn, rake the leaves, and remove debris (ex. large tree branches that have fallen after a storm)?  If you live in the northern part of the country, who will plow your driveway and shovel your walks?  Consider asking the owner for references so you’ll be prepared to tackle the property no matter what time of year it is.

Access to Repair People

Living in a highrise in the city, you may have grown accustomed to someone quickly repairing or replacing an appliance.  Living in the suburbs, you may need to practice some patience when one of your appliances goes on the fritz.  In many cases, it can take weeks to get a repair person to your home.  Many suburban homeowners have resorted to the internet to find ways to fix their appliances vs. waiting for a costly repair person.  Hanging your clothes outside when your dryer is broken takes a lot of time and might not be very appealing. Be prepared to live without an appliance for a period of time when living in the suburbs.


When moving to a suburban area, consider your internet/wifi options.  A friend of mine lives just outside of town along the river.  Her husband is an app and computer program developer who is highly dependent on a fast and reliable internet connection.  Unfortunately, they ran into problems with a slow, intermittent internet connection and could only use their cellphones in certain parts of the house.  Believe it or not, they resorted to having a landline installed.  Seems odd in the era of technology to have a phone hanging on your wall, but it solved their internet problems and made rural living more tolerable.


Get to know your neighbors in the suburbs.  Whether you’re looking for a repair person, need help with firewood, need the gutters cleaned, or want to hire someone to mow the lawn, your neighbors probably know someone who can help.  


Moving from the city to the suburbs comes with many perks including more space and privacy.  On the other hand, you’ll be faced with tasks that were previously handled by a doorman or a building superintendent.  You’ll be in charge of finding a home repair person or handle repairs yourself as you begin your life in the suburbs.  Before purchasing a house in the suburbs, always get a home inspection to avoid hidden surprises like an old furnace or appliance that needs to be replaced.  Oftentimes, the seller will cover these costs and the terms can be added to your contract.  When your offer gets accepted, ask the homeowners to share a list of experts they use for everything from repairs, to property maintenance, to wifi.  Adjusting to your life as a suburban homeowner can be quite easy if you prepare yourself well in advance.

Janelle D.

I've worked in the real estate sector for more than a decade and enjoy sharing my knowledge on the subject and researching the latest trends. In my free time I like to craft, spend time with my family and dog, participate in outdoor activities like hiking, and I'm passionate about photography.

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