Monday, March 30, 2009

City or Suburb?

We just extended our lease for another 3 months. Our current lease is up the weekend of my graduation, but we don't really know what is going to happen in the coming months (I still don't have a job lined up), so we didn't want to say for sure whether we were staying in our apartment for another year or not. If I do get a job around here, I would like to live relatively close to my schools to help cut down my commute time. That is definitely priority #1. The other major thing we are considering....whether we want to stay in the city or not.

This weekend we attended a get together at a coworker's house. She lives in a suburb of Baltimore with her fiance in a brand new townhouse. Another one of my coworkers also lives in one of these new townhouses, but in southern Maryland. We attended a get together at coworker #2's place back in November. Spending time in their 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath homes made me incredibly jealous. They have enormous closets, gourmet kitchens, huge bathrooms, and more closet square footage than our current apartment has in total square footage.

On the pro-city side, they both live pretty removed from everything, especially the girl in Charles County. My coworker that lives in Howard County is about 20 minutes away from downtown Baltimore, but still, kind of a hike. They both must drive to the city (or to a park and ride), so that is a big downside. Actually, they have to drive everywhere they want to go, even if it is just to the store or to dinner.

Yesterday Alson and I had dinner at one of the best restaurants in DC, a 4 minute walk from our apartment. We also spent the afternoon "people watching" in Dupont Circle. The nice weather brought out droves of people that have been stuck inside the entire winter. We saw a juggler, the famous chess players, a group of people dancing to music they were projecting through some serious speakers, as well as the city folk and tourists mingling near the fountain. I'm pretty sure there is nothing like that in 'burbs.

We love being able to walk to the farmer's market, amazing restaurants, bars, shopping, Alson's school, etc. But we also want more space. Such a dilemma!

City or suburb? What are other pros and cons of each?

14 comments:

  1. It's definitely a difficult choice--I used to live where I could walk to the gym, grocery store, restaurants, bars, etc. Now we have to drive everywhere, but we got a bit more bang for our buck (hard to do in San Diego). If I had my choice, I would move to NYC and live in Manhattan. Reality then hits me. I could probably buy maybe a 500 square foot apartment.

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  2. It's a tough decision.

    Those Ryan homes are not cheap though.. even in the burbs they'll set you back in the mortgage payment department.

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  3. City, most def. I've lived in both out here, and being in the city is so much better. Being out in the burbs isn't worth the extra space...there are bigger places to be had in the city, that are less expensive.

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  4. I'm telling you that you would love Old Town. It's the small town feel in the middle of the big city. Sure you can't have a gourmet kitchen and 3 bedrooms, but you can have a cute rowhouse with small yard for kona.

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  5. That's a tough one but I would try to do it halfway... like live really close to a city near a metro or something if possible. :-)

    I'm super jealous of your apt and location so maybe I'm not the best to give advice lol :-)

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  6. It's such a hard decision! We lived in Old Town Alexandria and absolutely LOVED IT...but we always say that if/when we move back to DC, we'll live within walking distance to a metro station. Have you thought about Clarendon or in Alexandria, by the King Street metro? I am a total Virginia girl, so I don't know much about the MD suburbs, but...that's my recommendation!

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  7. Not that I promote anyone going farther away, but have you thought about Old Town at all? It's gorgeous, has its own town feel, and it's right by the metro. That's the only other place I will agree to live that isn't DC, heh.

    Otherwise I'm pro-city. Patrick and I waged a great city/VA/Maryland debate. I'm from DC/VA and he's from Maryland (Eastern Shore/Annapolis). I tried living in Maryland. It lasted six months before I couldn't handle it anymore. Thankfully Patrick fell in love with DC and we both moved happily.

    Seriously, if you're a city person or need to be basically five minutes from one, don't remove yourself to the suburbs. It's such a cut off experience. I would watch SATC and feel upset and removed, even though I didn't live near New York. The fact remained that it reminded me that I did not live near ANYTHING.

    Well... near a Taco Bell, University of Maryland and Anne Arundal Mills mall. :|

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  8. I'm all about the City. I can't be in the suburbs for more than a few hours without getting itchy. Sigh.

    xox

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  9. There's a balance I think between burbs and city. When we were in Arlington I felt like we could work to many places and still get to DC easily using public transit.

    I know what it's like to have space envy though - I get it all the time!

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  10. It's a tough decision! I lived in a (small) city during college and loved it and now live in the burbs of DC. I fancy myself as more of a suburbs girl. If I were married and was thinking of starting a family, I would lean towards a nice house in the suburbs. However, if you and your husband are waiting to have kids, Dupont is a great place to be. I love the idea of Old Town - kind of the best of both worlds!

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  11. I gotta say city. I'm used to all the hustle and bustle and tons of things to do. This may change as I grow older though :P

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  12. i hear ya. that's why i moved to the place in between both :)

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  13. This question has been on my mind a lot lately, too, but I'm coming from the opposite side -- I currently live outside of DC but I thinking about moving INTO the city when my current lease is up at the end of the year. (Yeah, I know I have a while, but I have to start thinking about it in advance!)

    I noticed that quite a few people have already mentioned Old Town Alexandria, which is where I currently live. I like it here, but places to live that are located ON King St and/or near the Metro are more expensive than where I live -- and I happen to think that my rent is high enough already! :)

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  14. My brother and his fiance are in exactly your situation! They live right by the National Zoo and she works on Capital Hill. He, on the other hand, drives an hour and half each way to Fredrick, MD. They love living sooo close to great places but his commute is getting nuts. However, as I said to them, you're only young once, so if no kids are in the immediate future, enjoy your time in the city while you can!

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