It’s no secret that Austin’s suburbs are booming. Between 2020 and 2021, small towns surrounding the city experienced significant population growth. Georgetown saw a 10.5% increase, growing by 7,000 residents. Leander saw a similar uptick— 10.1% in just a year.
But it’s not just Austin. Across the country, 60% of all metro areas are experiencing more growth in the suburbs than in cities. This pattern comes as no surprise to many— but some are left scratching their heads.
There are some serious benefits to living outside of urban centers, including affordability, more and newer amenities, more space, and a close community. If you’re looking for a new house but don’t quite get the appeal of the suburbs, this article is for you.
7 Reasons Why People Are Moving to the Suburbs
Here are seven reasons why the suburbs may be the best move for you.
1. Prices are more affordable.
Cities aren’t known for cheap real estate. With a finite supply available, prices are set by a constant demand. According to the Washington Post, homes in the city have historically been 10% more expensive on a price-per-square-foot basis than those in the suburbs.
This is evident in the median home prices for three Central Texas counties.
According to the National Association of Realtors, Travis County, home of the city of Austin, had a median home price of $519,353 at the end of 2021. Williamson County, which contains popular northern suburbs like Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, had a median home price of $430,333. Residents in southern suburbs like Buda and Kyle in Hays County had an even lower median home price of $384,892.
2. You’ll get more space inside and out.
With cheaper prices in suburbs, homeowners can often afford more house. Homes located in suburban areas tend to be larger to meet this need. And, as demand for more space increases, the average new home size only continues to rise.
Interior space isn’t the only thing you’ll get. Suburban homeowners also benefit from something city condo and apartment owners often forgo— a backyard. The outdoor oasis opens the door for all sorts of fun, whether you keep it simple with a cozy patio area or go all out with a luxury pool.
3. You can still enjoy the city— without the cons of living there.
Don’t want to give up your favorite weekend activities like Barton Springs, Zilker, and SoCo? Just because you live in the ‘burbs doesn’t mean that you have to give up all of your favorite activities in the city. Even the farthest suburbs are just a short drive from Central Austin, meaning you can visit your favorite locales any day of the week.
Don’t feel like driving in? Some areas like Leander even have access to the MetroRail, which can take you straight to downtown. CapMetro also offers Park & Ride services, which allow you to park your car and use bus transportation to get around the city.
It’s not just the city coming to you—the suburbs can offer things like the Barton Creek Greenbelt or the King of the Food Trucks Festival. The ‘burbs may have been sleepy in the 80s, but there’s plenty happening now!
4. Build the home you want.
New home construction projects are few and far between in cities. Unless you purchase an existing home, tear it down, and rebuild, it’s unlikely that you will have the opportunity to build a custom home.
As suburbs continue to grow and sprawl outwards, there’s plenty of opportunity to start fresh and build your own custom home from scratch. Even if you decide to live in a master planned community, you can often select from a variety of designs and floor plans to fit your needs.
Best of all, a lot of these communities are actively engaged in adding housing. For instance, Georgetown’s 2030 Plan has outlined a goal of ensuring access to divers housing options, including single-family and multi-family housing.
5. Suburban often means newer amenities.
Because suburban areas are exploding in popularity again, towns are seeing an increase in tax revenue. For residents, this often translates to newer, state of the art amenities like schools, city parks, recreational facilities, libraries, and more. For example, in the fall of 2022 Cedar Park expects to open a new library, and Brownie Neighborhood Park breaks ground.
Pro tip: Got kids and want to explore a potential neighborhood? Park hop through Austin’s suburbs, and try out their amenities before you move!
6. You can be a part of a tighter-knit community.
Feeling like just another face in the city? You may enjoy the tight-knit community aspect of smaller towns. A Pew Research study found that 62% of suburban dwellers were comfortable with their neighbor owning a set of keys to their home, compared with 48% of urban dwellers.
Even the larger suburbs have a strong sense of community, celebrating with local festivals and rallying around local high school football teams. You may even get to know a neighbor or two around your block and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
7. Finally give Fido a place to run.
Dog owners will do almost anything to keep our dogs happy and healthy. For some, this means moving to an area that gives them space to run and play. Dog parks can be few and far between in certain areas of the city, which is less-than-optimal for our four-legged friends. Busy streets pose numerous dangers and hot sidewalks can hurt your dogs’ feet in the heat of a Texas summer. A suburban backyard can give them their own safe area to exercise daily and do their business.
Another bonus for all pet owners? More access to veterinary services! We know of nine in the suburbs south of Austin alone, compared to just four downtown.
Suburbs aren’t perfect, but they definitely have their advantages. When looking for a new house, don’t count these communities out. There’s often more to them than meets the eye and can be a wonderful place to live, no matter where you are in life.