We’ve seen it in movies and TV shows. We’ve spent decades watching Homer Simpson and his family navigate various mishaps in the fictional town of Springfield on The Simpsons. We’ve watched Phil Dunphy sell dream homes as a real estate agent while witnessing his own dream home with his wife, kids, and relatives, on Modern Family. These wholesome families have colorful lives in sprawling suburbia.
This kind of life is often called the American Dream. It’s embodied by the standard three-bed-and-two-bath house with a white picket fence around it and a huge tree holding up a treehouse. It’s for the nuclear family that values a certain standard of living, the kind of life that comes from social and financial success.
This makes the appeal of suburban life abundantly clear. But why is it having a resurgence in the last few months?
Growing Population in the Suburbs
Many Americans settled down in bustling cities, the epicenter of business and culture. But most of them returned to the suburban life because of one thing: the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virus overtook U.S. major cities. The most notable is New York City. Well-known for its diverse population, the coronavirus affected a huge chunk of its population, causing New Yorkers to flee to other places in the country.
According to the U.S. News, almost 40 percent of recently surveyed American adults living in the city expressed interest in moving “out of populated areas and toward rural areas.” 43 percent of them admitted that they went as far as browsing real estate websites, looking for new houses to buy or rent.
Spacious Properties for Social Distancing
Amid the pandemic, social distancing has become the norm. It’s hard to socially distance yourself if you live in an apartment building. You can’t even just throw out the garbage or grab your mail without bumping into your neighbors in the hallway.
Space from other people means safety from COVID. As Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema said in Axious, “Space now means something more than square feet. Already beset by high rents and clogged streets, the virus is now forcing urbanites to consider social distancing as a lifestyle.”
Cost of Living
Many believe that buying a house is just too expensive. While it does cost a lot of savings, there are many options such as loans. Many Americans even opt to refinance mortgage to cover previous housing loans.
Buying a house and lot one of the best long-term investments you can have. This is why people moved to the suburbs. Their daily expenses for food and amenities are just cheaper than living in the city.
Now, the economy is slowly opening, and that some public spaces are now accessible to the masses. Offices that aren’t implementing remote work are opening their doors as well. Because of this, some people may find it a bit arduous to travel back and forth from the city to the suburbs.
But what’s appealing is that you get to have a clear separation of work and life. Going home to the suburbs after a long day at work makes all the effort seem worth it. In your mind, home means nothing but rest and recovery.
Connection with Nature
Yes, cities have multiple parks, playgrounds, and other recreation facilities. New York City alone has 1,700. But they are always crowded with strangers. So with the virus still wafting in the air, it’s safer for those living in the suburbs. They could just go out to their backyards to bask in nature.
With people quarantining at home, going outside to get some fresh air is no longer just a recreational activity. It’s become a necessity—for your own peace of mind. It’d be nice if you could do anytime at home.
Supportive and Collaborative Community
The suburbs are the kind of place where you know your neighbors. You go to play dates, PTA meetings, and block parties with them. You send them a plate of cookies when you’ve just baked some. You invite them to your kids’ birthday parties.
While we had to put these activities on hold, for now, it’s even more imperative to have a support system around you. Everyone’s fighting against the threat of COVID. But doing it with your community makes it even more manageable.
Many people claim that living in the suburbs is an outdated lifestyle. City life has its appeal, yes, but suburban life is charming on its own. But the pandemic made it more than just a dream. It has since become a solid objective in the near future.