This move is generally spurred by the prospect of trying for baby #2 and the inevitable realization that there is just not enough room in the condo for toddler stuff and baby stuff.
The question: Do I upgrade from a condo to a house in the city, or move to a suburb with award-winning public schools and more square footage for my money? SIGH.
I have made my past preference known for the urban over the suburban. My most comprehensive comparison of the two can be found in a post entitled House. I published this post on August 18, 2010, just weeks after moving into our Highland Park home.
My pro-con list is better informed now that we've been here for a few years, so I figured it was as good a time as any to update my comparison.
To recap, the 2010 points in favor of city condo dwelling were as follows:
1) neighborly anonymity
2) can walk almost everywhere
3) ease of internet grocery shopping
4) taxi cab prevalence
5) accessibility of Midway airport
6) common elements are handled by someone else
7) calming familiarity with urban sounds
Points in favor of the suburban home:
2) more space for stuff in the house
3) free guest parking
My tune has changed since August 2010. For starters, I love my neighbors, a few of whom in particular have become good friends. We walk plenty in the warmer months and make good use of the Green Bay trail, says the girl who trained for and ran two half marathons this past year.
Thankfully, Peapod has beefed up its delivery schedule to HP. I have also converted back to United as my preferred airline (yay O'Hare) and have American Taxi on speed dial, sometimes last minute. Finally, I faintly hear the train in the distance and it's all the reminder I need that I still live quite close to civilzation as I once knew it.
Additional 2013 points in favor of our suburban situation include:
1) close proximity to the commuter train - a stress-free ride to work
2) Ravinia Outdoor Music Festival and the Chicago Botanic Garden are a mile up the road
3) Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and Paper Source are a half mile down the road along with one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants
4) gardening is now my relaxing way to be sustainable - I also have a wormery
5) grilling without having to take an elevator ride to the patio is a bonus - plus our backyard never closes so winter grilling is an option
6) sandboxes and swingsets - we have a little park right in our own yard
7) ability to entertain in our home - we have thrown crazy elaborate birthday parties and even hosted thanksgiving and Christmas this year
8) ability to hang and perpetually admire outdoor lights and Christmas decorations
Finally, one of the most fun things about our suburban dwelling is that it has such potential for greatness. We spend countless hours pouring glasses of wine and poring over Houzz, in an effort to determine exactly how to majorly renovate our house. We'll most likely do a mojor renovation in the next year or two.
If it doesn't happen, it's likely because we've found the perfect "new" house a block or two from here, into which we will move. And the list of things we love about Highland Park will continue to grow.
How about you? Is city living your thing or do you prefer the burbs? Post a comment and share your fuss with us.