When to move to the suburbs: 4 reasons people are headed there…pre-kids

Dec 6, 2023

When to Move to the Suburbs: Why More & More People are Moving Pre-Kids 

When Suburban Jungle clients Elizabeth and her husband Mike bought a six-bedroom Victorian in a popular Boston suburb, they didn’t have kids—in fact, they weren’t even married yet. But that didn’t stop when they decided to move to the suburbs.

“We had been in Boston for years—since college, for me,” Elizabeth, a high school art teacher, explains. “I was teaching in the suburbs, Mike was working from home most of the week, we were engaged, and we knew we’d eventually have kids and want to be in the suburbs. So why wait? Why get more settled in the city and just wind up leaving?”

From the city to their perfect suburb
With that mindset, they spent an entire summer searching for the perfect place to make their suburban move—ultimately choosing Somerville.

“It’s like a little close-knit community,” Elizabeth enthusiastically shares. “Our block is just 10 houses, and everyone is incredibly friendly and well-connected. We fell in love with the neighborhood and our house right away, and that love has only grown over the years. People frequently drop by, help each other with kids, grab drinks on the porch—and speaking of the porch, we have the best spot for Porchfest every year!”

The couple moved in 2014, tied the knot the following summer, and welcomed their daughter Vivi in 2016. Now, they are firmly settled and can’t envision living anywhere else. “Vivi loves it here,” Elizabeth says. “There are so many kids around. She’s growing up in this extended family of neighbors, and we couldn’t be happier.”

Weekenders turned full-timers
Elizabeth and Mike share a similar story to many others. Anna and her husband made their move to Sea Cliff, New York in 2010, years before their first daughter, Amelia, was born.

“My husband grew up on Lond Island,” says Anna, now a mother of two elementary-aged girls. “Not exactly here, but close enough that he was familiar with the area. Before we moved we’d come out a lot for drinks, dinners, or live music.” Then one day, they realized it could be time to make a move. 

“We thought, ‘Why are we still in the city when we’re constantly out here?'” A few weeks later, Anna and her husband embarked on their search, and approximately a year later, they made Sea Cliff their full-time residence. “We laugh -, our mortgage is $15 less per month than our previous rent, which didn’t even include parking. So that was another advantage.”

That, though, is just the beginning—because these couples are far from alone. Nearly half of millennials plan to buy in the suburbs. And when considering how, why, and when to move to the suburbs, more and more millennials are postponing parenthood, it’s no surprise they’re coming to the ‘burbs without kids.

Why couples are making the leap pre-kids
Have you ever wondered about when to move to the suburbs, especially if you’re like these couples who’ve jumped into suburban life before the kids arrived? Let’s dive into some reasons why making the move now might just be the right choice for you, even if kids aren’t part of your immediate plan.

#1. Cost Savings
If you’re in that phase of getting ready to sell and decide when to move to the suburbs, you have no doubt considered this at least a few (million) times. The average purchase price for a city condo or co-op is $1.16 million. The average price for a single-family home in Essex County, New Jersey? Just over $580,000. It’s hard to resist those numbers, especially as rents and purchase prices are on the rise in virtually every city from coast to coast.

While popular suburbs are seeing spikes, too, it’s not as dramatic—and, chances are, they’re starting from a lower jumping-off point to begin with, making the end result more affordable overall.

#2. Setting Down Roots
While hitting a town with a toddler in tow is a great way to make connections and make new suburban friends—impromptu park playdate, anyone?—there’s something to be said for finding your tribe earlier on. Before you consider when you should move to the suburbs, you may consider how you’re going to get settled and build a support circle. And suburbs are a great place to do this.

Choosing to relocate before your family expands can be a win, giving you an opportunity to get well-acquainted with your new surroundings pre-baby. You can establish friendships with fellow families and become a pro at ordering takeout even after 7pm. When you eventually have children, you’ll seamlessly integrate them into your suburban lifestyle. There’s no need to juggle the challenges of motherhood while figuring out where to find organic, locally-sourced blueberries. You’ve already got the berries, allowing you to concentrate on caring for your baby.

#3. When Baby DOES Come…
“We had our first baby and moved…that weekend,” says Larchmont mom of two Lauren. “It was chaos. I was in the hospital and my husband was moving stuff from our apartment in the city to our house in Westchester. I couldn’t even think about it—it was so stressful.”

And when they did get into the house, they knew no one. “I’d wave to people and they were very nice, all of them,” she says. “But I wished I had someone to come over and have a cup of coffee while the baby was sleeping—I would have had that in the city.”

By establishing your network and connecting to neighbors pre-baby, you’ll have a circle of people eager to bring snacks, bring takeout and lend an extra set of hands to watch your new addition while you (finally…) take a shower…or a nap.

“Two years later we had our second daughter,” Lauren says, “and it was totally different. We got home to tons of chicken parm and lots of people ready to hold the baby so I could relax—or run to preschool when I needed to.”

#4. They’re Just READY
While millennials are delaying marriage and parenthood, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are committed to urban living. Maria, a former San Francisco resident and soon-to-be first-time mom, shares her perspective, “We simply reached a point where we were ready for a change.” She and her husband, Kevin recently made the move to Petaluma.

“Kevin was actually commuting from the city to the suburbs for work, and I work as a freelancer, so my location can be flexible. We were spending a significant amount to live in the city, and we found ourselves not going out as much or enjoying the neighborhood as we used to. The suburbs just seemed to match our current lifestyle better. And it does.”

There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team and we can help you find a great fit and decide when to move to the suburbs. All services are completely free.

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