Choosing where to buy a home can be a challenge at any stage in life. Once you decide to have kids, though, you have to consider a lot more than whether or not you’ll enjoy the neighbors. You want to live in a place where your kids will be safe and equipped with everything they need to grow up well. In the past few decades, that has often entailed moving to the suburbs, but recently things have changed. More and more homebuyers are deciding to start a family in the city, and these six benefits are part of the reason why.
1. Cities can be safer
Forget what you think you know about urban crime statistics. According to a recent study by the Annals of Emergency Medicine, injury death rates are 20 percent lower in urban environments. This may be due to lower crime rates and the proximity to police stations and hospitals, but whatever the reason, your children could actually be safer in many cities than they would be in a suburban home.
2. You can spend more time together
If you work and live in the city, you’re probably not going to have to sit in traffic for hours a day like most suburbanites do. You can drive — or bike, or ride public transportation — in much less time, which means more quality time to spend with your kids and spouse in the morning and after work. You also won’t be so bogged down at the end of the day with the high stress and expenses of commuting.
3. They’ll probably be healthier
Obesity rates are much higher in rural areas, where residents are 20 percent likelier to be obese. When you buy a family home in the city, you may be missing out on some of the privacy of a rural or suburban home, but you’re also missing out on isolation. Kids raised in rural areas are more likely to stay inside than go to the park for exercise, and as the parent you’ll be affected too: You’re less likely to go to the gym if it’s a 30-minute drive instead of a 10-minute walk.
4. The food is more nutritious
The same study found city food is also healthier. Urban restaurants and markets tend to have better food options, and you’re rarely very far from a fresh farmer’s market. Paradoxically, when you actually live near the farmers who grow that fresh produce, you’ll have a harder time finding a place that sells it. While less food is actually grown in the cities, buying an urban home will allow your kids a more nutritious diet.
5. Cultural opportunities abound
Exposure to different cultures and ways of life is one of the greatest benefits of starting a family in the city. Your kids will experience food, people, and art that they would never see in a suburb. These diverse experiences will better prepare them for adulthood. Being able to visit museums and art galleries may not make them smarter, but by living in the city they’ll have more opportunities to explore their personal interests and talents.
6. You’ll have more education choices
If you’re in a small town, you usually have to pick between your local public school or maybe one private school a few towns over. In any city, your kids have more diverse education options. While some urban public schools are notoriously underfunded, many of the nation’s most innovative and empowering charter schools reside in urban areas. You’ll also have more choices when it comes to private school, whether secular or religious, so you can have more power in deciding how your kids should be educated.
At First Option, we’re committed to helping you find and finance the best home for you, whether that’s in the city or suburbs. If you’d like to learn more or to meet one of our realtor partners, contact us today!