If you’ve lived in the city very long, you’re probably already all too familiar with the many, many downsides to city life. Cities like Indianapolis and Cincinnati are noisy, crowded, and often have high crime rates, leading to a less than ideal quality of life. But what can you do? You still have to live and work somewhere, don’t you?
When city life gets you down, it’s time to take a long, hard look at the suburbs and rural areas surrounding you. Often, companies will allow workers to telecommute, especially in the current climate, and you may find that housing is cheaper away from the heart of the action.
Time to Move Out of the City?
Have you been thinking about moving out of the city, but haven’t quite decided? There are plenty of reasons to consider it, depending on where you live and what your domestic situation looks like. Ask yourself these questions:
What are my school districts like? Although some city school districts are pretty awesome, a lot may be lacking, due to student overpopulation and difficulty attracting and retaining skilled teachers. If your schools aren’t living up to your expectations, you might find a suburban school more to your liking.
Are the taxes I’m paying worth it? Face it, the taxes most city dwellers pay are gargantuan in comparison to those paid by people who live outside a city. There’s a lot of stuff to fund when you live in a bustling metropolis, but if you’re not using most of those services, you’re just throwing money into the wind that you could be putting toward retirement or paying off your mortgage.
Could I buy my dream home outside of the city? Tired of your cramped two-bedroom condo or postage stamp yard? One of the huge drawbacks to a city is that a lot of people want to live there, so prices are high and the value you get for your dollar is low. You might be able to trade that wall you share with your neighbors for an acreage with an apple orchard and more space than you ever dreamed of, simply by leaving the city.
Why am I staying in the city? Many city dwellers stay put because they think they should. They like the culture and the nightlife and that means only one thing: they’re trapped in the city forever. But that’s not the case at all. You can still be active in your nearby city without actually living there. A short drive to see your favorite band or museum a few times a month will absolutely not reduce your enjoyment of the experience.
Rates Are Low, But Prices Are Climbing
In both Indianapolis and Cincinnati, housing prices are only going up. Redfin estimates a 12 percent price increase in Indianapolis and a 10 percent price increase in Cincinnati since last year. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
If you already own your home, cashing out your equity now will give you a whole lot bigger down-payment on your rural or suburban home, complete with a big yard, far away from noise and light pollution that makes it difficult to enjoy things like starlit picnics on summer nights. Redfin is estimating that Indianapolis homes can go pending (under contract) in as few as three days; Cincinnati home sellers only have to wait a bit longer – 36 days – for results.
For first time buyers, leaving a string of dilapidated rentals behind in exchange for a minimal commute can not only save money, but salvage your sanity. There’s no more waiting for a landlord to finally get around to spraying for pests or fixing that broken shower when you own your own home. It may be a difficult dream to achieve in the city, due to rising prices and taxes, but homeownership is still very achievable outside that city boundary.
Mortgage rates are as low as they’ve ever been, making right now a great time to buy. The urban markets can’t turn houses over fast enough, but like everything outside of those pressure cookers, the rural markets are more tempered and not as viciously competitive.
Whether you’re buying for the first time or looking for something smaller for retirement, being able to actually afford your house payments for the long haul, no matter what the economy brings, is a really nice feeling. All the money you save can go to travel, college funds, savings, or other projects you may be brewing.
Besides, moving out of the city means you can get a pet goat. And who doesn’t want one of those?