Considering a move from City to Suburbs? Consider this…

Are you considering a move from City to Suburbs?  What should you know?

We all know about the benefits of moving from the city to buying a home in the suburbs.  Fresh air, a backyard, peace and quiet, not sharing walls and floors with neighbors who stomp and scream at 3am.  Well, unless YOU are the culprit, in which case, freedom to stomp and scream at 3am without pesky neighbors complaining 😉

But what are some potential issues with life in the suburbs? What should you be aware of before making the move?  Some may be obvious, such as, potentially longer commute.

Here are a few things you may not know, and should consider, specific to the Cranford/Westfield/Fanwood/Scotch Plains area.

Preschool is private (tuition based).

This is often a surprise to young families coming from the city.  And, there are not-insignificant costs attached to this, upwards of $2500/year depending on which program you choose. The good news is that there are some programs that offer tuition assistance for those who qualify, like the Westfield Y.

No full day kindergarten in some public schools.

As a mom of two young-uns, I’m delighted to report this is changing for the better in our area. Many towns in our area now offer full day kindergarten in public schools (ie, no extra charge), such as Roselle Park, Fanwood, and Scotch Plains. Cranford and Westfield are not there yet.  Westfield offers a tuition-based kindergarten wraparound program for either morning or afternoon, based on lottery pick.  Cranford now offers a lottery, tuition based program. There are also a number of full day private kindergarten options available in the area.

Not as ethnically diverse.

If you’re used to being immersed in cultures and traditions from many countries, and want be part of a melting pot, you may find the area a bit lacking, quite frankly.

Need to have a car/walk less.

No surprise here, getting around town is nowhere near as convenient without a car.  And, depending on which section of town you live in, you may not be able to walk to the end of the block to grab a cup of coffee. You should factor in the expense of owning at least one car if you are moving out to the suburbs.

Downtown pretty much empties out by 11pm, earlier on weeknights.

I’m guessing you probably aren’t moving to the suburbs if you like to head out to the clubs at 11pm, but for those new to town, it can be a bit eerie to be the last couple in the restaurant shutting down the place…at 9:30 pm.  I know it was for me, when we first moved out here from Hoboken. Although these days, 9:30 is bedtime so it suits me juuuust fine 😉

Being a homeowner is time consuming, and has unexpected costs.

For all the benefits of homeownership, and there are many, there are also more responsibilities and well, just plain “stuff” that comes along with homeownership – I talk about some in my blog post here  <end shameless self-promotion>

Fear of being isolated.

Some of my clients worry (as I did when I first moved here) that they will have no one to talk to once they move to the suburbs, and will miss their close-knit group of friends who are only steps away from their apartment.  I have to say this is probably the least of your worries moving to this area!  Each town has a vibrant and very active Newcomers Club that is a wonderful way to make new friends.  You will find not only are folks friendly and welcoming, many have recently moved here as well, many from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Hoboken, and Jersey City.

As you can see, you should consider a number of issues before making the move out to the ‘burbs.  The good news is, especially in our area, many of our downtowns are thriving with shops, restaurants, and friendly faces.  You will feel right at home in no time!

Are you thinking about making the move from “Boroughs to Burbs”? What are your concerns? Or, are you a veteran? If so, what do you wish someone had told you? Leave a comment and let me know!

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