The term “urban living” has a nice ring to it. It could be the name of a punk album or a conceptual art exhibition. Ironically, many home buyers choose an urban lifestyle because it keeps them close to the local art and music scene. But the benefits go beyond culture. Urban living can lead to a greener and more economic lifestyle as well!
It may seem counter-intuitive that urban living could be a positive economic choice. After all, don’t things cost more in bigger cities? Not always, and an urban lifestyle does have its financial perks. Realtor John-Michael Segyde of Coldwell Banker Roth-Wherly Graber offers some perspective on the financial benefits of urban living, "A housing payment is more than just the mortgage. Many peripheral expenses come into play, like taxes, utilities, and upkeep. Urban dwellings sometimes come with lower tax assessments and smaller lots to maintain."
Segyde is careful not to make sweeping generalizations, as each home is unique. However, he encourages buyers to consider the whole financial picture when shopping. “Home buyers should consult their Realtor on the total cost of buying a home, including the ongoing expenses outside of the mortgage. Transportation comes into play as well. The cost of fuel and the time involved in one’s daily commute also affect a person’s finances,” said Segyde.
The take-away is this: Think about all of the expenses wrapped-up in the home you want. An urban home on a smaller lot might be the right financial choice for you.
Urban living means you’ll be close to the action. Many people choose to live in cities to reduce their time spent traveling to and from work. City life also means you’ll be in closer proximity to arts, culture, shopping, hospitals, and places of worship.
If you’re considering a specific urban location, try doing a Google or Facebook search of events and businesses in the area. Does the area offer the type of entertainment and/or lifestyle venues that match your interests? Do you see a healthy crop of employment prospects within commuting distance from your future neighborhood?
If you want to dig even deeper, try looking up your properties of interest on https://www.walkscore.com/. It’s a website that assesses the walkability, bikeability, and public transportation options of homes all over America.
For many, urban living also means green living. Environmentalism in city neighborhoods has come a long way in recent years. City-dwellers are doing a great job of keeping up with their rural contemporaries when it comes to resourcefulness and homesteading. Farmer’s Markets have become the norm in cities of all sizes and many urban homesteaders have learned to grow their own food in the space they have available.
Rain barrels are a common sight in city lots, and composting only requires a few cubic feet of space. Urban living also keeps residents in close proximity to their destinations, and less drive time means lower carbon emissions. Some urbanites reduce their carbon footprint or eliminate it entirely by using public transportation or even walking/biking as their primary means of transportation!
Our aging population needs access to quality health care and age-related services. For seniors, urban living usually means a closer proximity to hospitals, doctors, and senior day services. Access to public transportation and reduced need for property maintenance also benefit seniors.
Urban living has many perks. Choosing a home in the city can be an economical, green choice and often enhances the home owner’s lifestyle. Watch for future blogs on this topic as we detail the ways you can maximize the benefits of an urban lifestyle.
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