The Cost of Moving to the Suburbs

The suburbs have always seemed like an extremely affordable place to live, especially when you compare the suburbs to city living.

Suburban houses are generally larger and less expensive, and you can usually expect things like gas to be cheaper as well. However, there are a few things that contribute to some hidden costs of moving to the suburbs.

If you are planning on moving to the suburbs, you are more than likely going to be moving into a larger place than your current abode. The median home in a city center is about 1,238 square feet, and in the suburbs, the median home size is 1,540 square feet or more.

Here are a few extra costs that you will need to keep in mind before selling your current home and moving to the suburbs.

HOA Fees

In most suburbs, you will be required to pay a homeowner’s association (HOA) fee every month. This will cover the costs of neighborhood upkeep and amenities such as a pool or a playground.

If there is an HOA, chances are the home price will be higher as well. Houses in a neighborhood that have an HOA typically sell for 4% more than non-HOA neighborhoods.

Bigger Home, Bigger Yard, Bigger Costs

Even if you are moving from the city and have a yard, chances are it isn’t anywhere near as large as one that is in a suburban community. If you are planning on taking care of the yard by yourself, you will need to invest in the proper equipment to do so.

The proper equipment includes a lawnmower, weed whacker, fertilizer, and more items depending on what you are wanting to do. However, if you are not interested in taking care of the yard yourself, you will need to hire someone else to do it for you. This will be a cost you will need to expect to pay every month.

If you are planning on hiring a cleaning service to maintain your home for you, this will also be more expensive in the suburbs. A bigger house means more to clean, so you will have to consider that as well.

Furniture Shopping

When you move to a house that has more space, you are going to need more furniture to fill the space. This could mean a new bedroom suite for a spare room to be used as a guest room, a bigger couch for your living room, or an entire set of furniture for a basement.

Furniture is not cheap, and these expenses can add up quickly. Typically, a homebuyer will spend more than $8,000 on new furniture and decorations within their first two years of living in a new home. Make sure you have this cost accounted for if you need some new things.


A larger home comes with larger bills, and that doesn’t just mean a larger house payment. There is more space and an open area that will need to be heated and cooled.

You will also likely have larger appliances that will need more energy to power. You will be using more electricity, water, and gas than you would in a smaller place.

For example, if your monthly electric bill costs you about $100 in the city, you can expect to pay about $120 in the suburbs. This seems like only a $20 difference, but these costs will add up quickly before you know it. That extra $20 a month adds up to $240 a year.

You will also need to remember that you will likely be paying for trash removal in the suburbs. This service can cost you anywhere from $30 to $50 depending on where you live.

Car Payments

When you live in a city, there are means of public transportation that are easily accessible from just about anywhere you would need. In the suburbs, there are way fewer options for public transportation, meaning you will need to own a car if you don’t already.

Owning a car is not a cheap expense. In 2019, the average car payment for a new car was over $550. You will also need to think about the costs associated with owning a car like insurance, maintenance, and gas prices. Speaking of gas prices, this will also make your commute to and from work more expensive.

Natural Disasters

In the suburbs, especially in a house with a basement, flooding is a massive problem that is experienced. If the area you are moving to has a higher number of trees, you can expect to have debris blown into your home, and you face a higher risk of trees falling on your property. It’s also possible for tree roots to break pipes that are underneath the yard.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are a major cost to consider because they can be wildly more expensive than you would think. Look at Chicago for example, the suburbs have rates of about 2% in the suburbs and 1.74% in the city. This is common because the suburbs have larger lot sizes than in the city, so you will have more space to pay for.

Sticking with the Chicago example, the property taxes in some counties of Illinois can range between $6,000 and $7,000 per year, costing more than $500 per month. In some cases, this could even be as much as your mortgage payment.

Property tax is one of the largest costs you will need to pay for your home, so make sure you are aware of how much it is going to cost you.


Living in the suburbs seems like an extremely ideal situation because you get more bang for your buck. You get more house and more yard than you do in the city at a lower price. Hard to pass up on, right? However, you will need to take into consideration all of the extra costs that living in the suburbs comes with.

Chances are, the suburb you are moving to has an HOA fee that needs to be paid every month. You will also need to prepare for higher utilities and transportation costs as well. There is less public transportation, so you will have to have a car, pay for insurance on it, and pay for gas to get to and from work. Check out even more details at the link below:

Moving to the suburbs is a great choice if you are wanting to raise a family in a safe, spacious home. As long as you are aware of the costs and you can afford it, absolutely move to the suburbs.

For more great Suburban Finance articles, consider reading these:

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The Unexpected Costs of Moving to a New Home

The Unexpected Costs of Moving

Moving to a new home is an exciting, but also a very expensive transition. Often times you may think you have budgeted enough only to be surprised by additional fees. Here are some of the most common unexpected costs of moving to a new home you may have overlooked.

The Hidden and Unexpected Costs of Moving

1. Packing Supplies

If you decide to take the economic route and pack yourself, you will need packing supplies. Even though it is cheaper than a moving company, they still cost money. Boxes, moving blankets, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and packing tape are just a few of the unexpected costs of moving to a new home. You can borrow from friends and family, but you don’t want to skimp on the materials protecting your belongings. Replacing the damaged items cost way more than spending a few more bucks on quality products.

2. Hiring Movers

Although you may have sticker shock when you receive the moving company’s estimate, it may be worth it in the end. Some people argue that you can’t put a price on peace of mind. This carries even more weight during stressful times, such as moving. When choosing a moving company, be certain to read reviews and call with any questions. Any reputable moving company will also include insurance options. If you have valuable pieces of art or furniture, some movers even delegate special projects. Hiring movers is a significant cost, but could save you headaches later on.

3. Hidden Fees

Some of the most unexpected costs of moving to a new home are the hidden fees for extra services. For example, if you are moving to a building without an elevator, you may be charged a ‘stair fee’. Additionally, movers will usually charge more for oversized furnishings or pieces that are difficult to move. Another oversight is the time it takes the movers to pack and move all your belongings. If you own a lot, they may not be able to complete the job in a day. They can usually store your items in the truck overnight, for an additional cost.

3. Temporary Accommodations

People often over-estimate their stamina during a move. While the job may look small, moving takes more time and energy than you initially realize. You may need to find hotel accommodations if you are unable to finish in a day. If you have pets, this could also include kennel fees. Furthermore, you may decide to rent a storage unit if you don’t have space for everything in your new home. These all require a fair amount of pocket change.

4. Start-up Costs

The deposits or closing costs are not unexpected, but they can add up very quickly. If you don’t stay on top of all the expenses, you can easily become overwhelmed. Make time to calculate the total cost of security, application, and rental deposits. If you are purchasing a home, you need to account for closing costs as well. Moreover, there are also fees associated with your utilities. Be sure to inform your energy providers and discuss any disconnection or transfer fees. The last thing you want is another bill as you are settling into your new home.

5. Furnishing Your New Home

Last but not least are the unexpected costs of moving and settling into a new home. You can count on more purchases to ensure you are comfortable in your new surroundings. This could also include larger items if you are moving to a bigger space. And don’t forget that your first trip to the supermarket will certainly be expensive. You will need cleaning supplies, spices, condiments, and dried goods to stock your pantry. The silver lining is that once you make these purchases, they should last you a while.

The Final Tally

The process of moving has a lot of surprises. They don’t have to be negative one though, if you plan ahead. Sit down and make an accurate budget to help you avoid many of the unexpected costs of moving to a new home.

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