Melissa Barth's Blog
Where to live is as important, if not more so, as choosing the size and type of house that you'll live in. And it's not just the neighborhood that will determine whether or not you like your house. The size of the town that you buy a house in is key.
In fact, you could love a house and a neighborhood, including the schools, retail stores and theaters, but hate where you live because the town's offerings and reputation. Truly knowing a town takes study.
Reasons to move to and stay away from big and small towns
A lot of that study can come through online research and discussions that you have with people who live in towns you're thinking about relocating to. It also helps to pay attention to the below pros and cons that are found in small and big towns:
Small town pros
- Less traffic congestion
- Chance to get to know more people on a first name basis
- Neighbors who have lived in certain areas for decades
- More focus on high school sports and arts
- Shorter lines to grab lunch or make retail purchases
Big town pros
- Greater job opportunities
- Chance to walk to work
- Better public transportation services
- More entertainment options
- Center of social and governmental activities
- Wider variety of food options
Small town cons
- Need to own a vehicle to get to schools, store and work
- Less likelihood that bad neighbors will move soon
- Fewer entertainment options
- Greater distances between houses which could make it hard for young children to make and play with friends regularly
Big town cons
- Higher crime rates
- Longer work commutes due to congested traffic
- Less yard space, especially in big towns that boast a population of more than a million people
- More social temptations
Choosing between a small town and a big town
Small towns have a reputation of being easier to make friends in. Pace of small towns is generally slower than the speed of living in big, thriving cities. As good as it seems, you probably won't find the same excitement, opportunities or social engagements in a small town that you can find in several spots in a big town.
Consider your personality and your lifestyle before you buy a house in a small town or a big city. If you like being at the center of musical concerts, live stage plays, old and modern movie shows, food from diverse cultures and collegiate and professional sports competitions, buying a house in a big town might work better.
Be the type of person who appreciates quiet evenings spent sitting on the front or back porch, regular meals at your favorite diner and greater focus on high school sports, near empty two lane roads and you might be better suited for small town living. Both small towns and big towns offer rewards. The trick is to find a town that fits most of your lifestyle wants.