The Ultimate Guide to Relocating from the City to Suburbs: Tips for a Smooth Transition

08/7/23  |  Jenna Leggette

Ensure your transition to suburbia is everything you've dreamed of.

The transition from bustling city living to peaceful suburbia is exciting. It will allow you to experience a whole new way of living — one that's filled with chirping crickets, time spent relaxing on your porch, and quiet evenings with family or friends.

As you make your move, it is important to consider all aspects of life outside the bright lights of the city. To help you prepare for the changes you'll experience, here’s the ultimate guide to relocating and tips for a smooth transition.

What to expect in suburbia

There will be lifestyle changes when you move. One of the best aspects of it will be a newfound tranquility that only an open space can provide you with.

Whereas your city dwelling typically has neighbors above, below, and beside your residence, suburban homes provide you with outdoor spaces that you don't have to share. As a bonus, the homes you see outside the city are an upgrade in space, luxury, and style — all at better pricing than you typically pay for your city home.

Other changes to look forward to will include:

A peaceful night's sleep

Unlike the big city, where stores, bars, and other businesses may be open all night long, the suburban areas close to allow for rest.

It's OK to drive your car

In the city, most people rely on public transportation. It is often easier to get around and avoid traffic jams, accidents, and other slowdowns. When traveling from home to the store in your quaint little neighborhood, you can rekindle your love of nature by walking or bike riding.

You'll find money you didn't know you had

How much do you spend each month living in the city? Your house payments, travel expenses, electricity, phones, and more matter. Your expenses when you step away from the city, even with a mortgage, will likely be more affordable, allowing you to fully splurge on the luxury home makeovers you feel are important. With the splurge, you can also save!

Shopping becomes more exciting

When in the city, you may be limited in what you can buy based on space or accessibility. If you walk to the store, you may only buy enough food to cover your necessities for the day because you must carry it home. Now, you don't have to think about that. You can buy grills for outdoor living, a hammock to relax in, and larger furniture that you previously didn't have room for.

Our moving from the city to the suburbs guide

Now that we have covered the benefits of stepping out of the city, we want to discuss our best city-to-suburb transition tips. Our tips and tricks for planning a move will help you choose the best location for finding your happy spot.

1. Choose your neighborhood, the rest will follow!

Too often, we search for the perfect home without thinking about the neighborhood. Even the perfect home with all the checkboxes marked can lose its appeal if it is in a neighborhood that is too far away from the things you enjoy doing.

For instance, you find a home that meets every wish you have, but the neighborhood doesn't have dining, shopping, or other experiences you want. Is it worth the sacrifice, or would you be happier in your new space if you chose an area with all the amenities?

Always remember, a home can change. You cannot change the neighborhood quite so easily.

2. Your daily drive

What would happen if you moved to a suburb with only one way in or out? If there's a slowdown because of an accident, how will you get to work on time? Check routes in and out of the neighborhood to ensure you can make it work to your advantage. Other considerations include:
  • How long will it take to get to work/school from your home?
  • How will rush hour impact your commute?
  • Are other modes of transportation available to you?
In some cases, a quiet suburb with limited traffic may be worth driving further for, even if it is another ten miles away.

3. Focus on your reasons for moving

Changing homes is both exciting and intimidating. Whether you're moving away from good neighbors, adding five minutes to your commute, or something else, doubt is common.

However, when you begin to stress over your decision to make the move, it will be helpful if you find a way to remind yourself why you're doing it. We suggest making a list of things you feel moving to the suburbs will improve or hinder. If the pros outweigh the cons, you should go forward with your new adventure.

4. Does it meet your goals for your future?

People often choose to step out of the city for their families. Will this new home or new area meet your needs for the future? Have you looked into the schools if that might be important? Do you have room to grow?

Your goals for the future can be anything, family-related or not. Consider everything! If you love golf or hope to take night courses to further your job skills, wouldn't you want to live in an area that enables you to pursue your passions?

5. Know you've arrived!

Leaving the city behind means you've finally opened another chapter into uncharted territory. You're leaving rental payments behind and elevating to "forever home" comfort. Now, you can establish your roots in a whole new way. Lawn care, home maintenance, and more will become a part of your life.

The bonus is you'll also have predictability, equity, freedom, and stability!

Don't stress the small stuff

Remember, as you look over our relocation checklist, never worry about the small stuff. When transitioning from city living to a quiet oasis, some changes might be more difficult than others. One of the most common is how suburbia can feel more isolating, especially if you’re coming from an apartment setting where there are constantly people around you.

If you do feel isolated, don’t be afraid to reach out to organizations with community events that help newcomers meet people. Also, spend time at nearby parks, recreational areas, and neighborhood events. Each can make you feel like a part of the neighborhood and allow you to mingle.

Ready to make the move? Jenna Leggette can help you discover the benefits of a particular neighborhood and refine your search. Reach out if you need help at any time during your transition from city dweller to suburban homeowner, or if you’re looking to buy or sell in the Philadelphia area.