Girl in Backyard at Home in Suburbs

10 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Buying a House in the Suburbs

Are you buying a home in the suburbs? Living in a house in the suburbs is very different from renting or living in an apartment building. There are many things that may take you by surprise that no one tells you about when you buy a home in the suburbs.

What No One Tells You About Buying a Home in the Suburbs

1. It’s Very Expensive to Cut Down Trees

When I first moved to the suburbs after living in my Manhattan apartment for many years, I was shocked at how expensive cutting trees are. I remember when I had a dying tree in my first suburban home, I got a quote and thought I had misheard the amount. 

Looking back, I realized that it was actually a pretty reasonable quote for $300. My landscaper would cut the tree down to the stump and dispose of it for $300. In hindsight, that was actually a bargain, considering it can easily cost $1000 to cut a tree these days. 

2. It’s Nice to Have a Front Porch

Another thing that no one tells you when you buy a house in the suburbs is how important it is to have a front porch. I used to think that front porches were just for show and added to the home’s curb appeal. 

I mean, who sits on their front porch these days anyway? I certainly don’t. 

However, I now realize how valuable having a front porch is. It keeps all of my packages dry and sheltered. Without it, my packages would be exposed to the elements, and I would have to deal with soggy packages if it rains.

Buying a House in the Suburbs

3. Maintaining Your Lawn is a lot of Work (and Expensive)

One thing that I wish someone had told me about buying a home in the suburbs is that maintaining the perfect green lawn is a lot of work. Keeping weeds out and ensuring the lawn’s impeccable look is grueling hard work. Even maintaining the shrubs and flowers is very challenging. 

Plus, the cost of keeping up with a lawn is quite high. Besides mowing it, you have to fertilize, put weed control, overseed and aerate it to maintain the perfect lawn. 

If you have a large yard, hiring a landscaper can be quite expensive since the charge is based on how big your yard is. Ever since I moved to the suburbs, I see a large yard as a money pit!

4. You Should Budget for Unexpected Home Expenses

It’s easy to overlook the fact that owning a house in the suburbs can come with unexpected expenses. From a sudden leaky shower head to a massive water heater leak or even yellow jackets nesting in your home, many things can happen outside of your control, leaving you with a hefty bill. 

This is especially true if you have high end appliances. I was shocked when I recently got a $1500 bill for repairs on my Viking stove. The repair was for two burners not igniting and the oven not heating up properly. 

I have learned that buying a home in the suburbs means you have to prepare for unexpected home expenses.

5. School Districts Can Help with Resale

It’s important to consider school districts when buying a home in the suburbs, and many homebuyers fail to realize this. Even if you don’t have children, it’s worth looking at the quality of schools in your area. 

Good school districts make homes more desirable, and when it’s time to sell, you can expect to sell your home faster and at a higher price. That’s because your home will be more in demand because of the school district since families with children will naturally prefer living in good school districts. That’s why, it’s wise to consider school districts when buying a home, even if you don’t have children.

6. It’s Not Easy to Live on a Busy Street (Especially if you have to turn left)

One thing that no one tells you when you buy a house in the suburbs is how frustrating it is to live on a busy street. Living on a busy street can be a real challenge. 

One of the most frustrating things is getting onto the street from your driveway, particularly if you have to back out. If you need to turn left onto the busy street, you’re going to waste a lot of time waiting for a gap in the traffic. 

This might not seem like a big issue, but if you’re in a rush, especially in the morning, it can be a real hassle and a major time-waster.

Buying a House in the Suburbs

7. Throwing Away Things is Expensive

It’s surprising how expensive it can be to throw things away in the suburbs. You don’t realize the convenience of living in an apartment building until you have to pay for trash disposal. 

In the suburbs, getting rid of things can cost a lot. Hauling away tree branches can set you back a few hundred dollars, and you can’t simply throw out furniture – you need to pay someone to take it away from your home. Throwing away things is expensive in the suburbs! 

8. Driveways are Important

One thing no one tells you about buying a home in the suburbs is how important the driveway is. It’s best to buy a house with a large driveway that allows you to turn around without any hassle. 

But, if you have to back out of your driveway, you should avoid living on a busy street. 

Another important thing that came as a surprise to me is that the driveway’s surface is an important factor to consider when buying a home. It’s best to buy an asphalt-paved driveway since it doesn’t require much maintenance. 

While if you buy a home with a gravel driveway, be prepared for the constant battle against weeds. To keep your gravel driveway looking pristine, you’ll have to be okay with spraying anti-weed chemicals on it.

9. Pay Attention to Parking 

When you’re buying a home in the suburbs, one thing that nobody tells you is how important parking can be. Living in a house with insufficient parking can be incredibly frustrating, particularly if you enjoy entertaining and having guests over. 

It’s important to make sure you have enough parking for all of your guests. But most suburban homes don’t have a driveway that’s spacious enough to accommodate a large number of cars for parking. 

This means that you’ll have to park on the street. But, some homes lack street parking because they are on a busy street!

10. Don’t Assume You Have School Bus Transportation

It wished someone told me this before buying my first home in the suburbs – not all homes are served by the town’s school bus transportation. I had assumed that all homes had a school bus, but that’s not the case. 

Some towns have limitations. If your home is too close to the school, you don’t get a school bus; they expect you to walk to school. In addition, I found out that some towns don’t even have school buses. They cut school bus service from the town’s budget. 

Before you buy a home in the suburbs, check if there is school bus transportation available. Also, find out where the bus stop is because it’s probably not right in front of your house.

House Hunting Checklist

House Hunting Checklist: Free Printable

Below is my house hunting checklist printable. I suggest you print out copies of this checklist and keep it in a binder. Use it to take notes and to keep track of the homes you visit during open houses or when you are out house hunting with your real estate agent.

Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it.

House Hunting Checklist

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