9 Things No One Tells You About Moving to the Suburbs

Ready to swap city life for solitude in the suburbs? Here are some unexpected things that might happen.

By Alexa Erickson | Published Jan 20, 2021 10:59 AM

Escaping to the ‘Burbs

Overhead shot of Suburban Neighborhood

For years people have traded the bustling city life for moving to less-populated areas with wide-open spaces. Whether it’s to enjoy more land with children and pets or avoid rush hour traffic and noise pollution, the sudden uptick in suburban living has led urban dwellers to face some serious realities, both good and challenging. There’s a lot to love: more land, cleaner air, small-town charm, and a slower pace of life to spend time focusing on nature and family. But if you’ve come from a fast-paced lifestyle, you might be in for an interesting awakening when you make the move. Here are nine things no one tells you about moving to the suburbs.


There’s a Strong Sense of Community

Woman walking past a home waving at an older couple

You may have never gotten to know your next-door neighbor in your apartment building. Still, in the ‘burbs, your neighbors know your name, say hello every day, and go out of their way to help you—whether needing a ride, advice on what color to paint the front door, or just having someone nearby to share a sunny afternoon on the patio.


You Become Savvy at Avoiding Small Talk

Black woman looking out of window

Despite how kind, helpful, and available everyone seems to be, you value your “me time.” It becomes habitual to peek out the window before going to the mailbox or taking the dog on a quick walk. As nice as it is to have built-in friends in the neighborhood, avoiding small talk is essential for those who want to steer clear of lengthy conversations about the weather or a recent sporting event.


Space Can Be Overwhelming

Family sitting in a room that is partially painted in green

A move to the suburbs fulfills your dream of having a bigger home and more land to enjoy. But when your vision becomes a reality, you may get unexpectedly overwhelmed by how much space you actually have! There’s more room in the house to decorate, clean, and fix. And let’s not forget all the upkeep in the yard!


Nights Are Very Dark and Very Quiet

Suburban neighborhood at night

For some, the sound of motorcycles zooming by or the constant whaling of ambulances can shake them to their core. Oftentimes, in densely populated areas, there seems to be no amount of blackout curtains to keep out the city glare. For long-term city dwellers, those sights and sounds have become mere hums and glow to which they've grown accustomed. But moving to the suburbs offers its own environment that may require time to get used to. Nights are pitch black, and the lack of sound can be unnerving for those used to background noise. But come morning, the birds chirp louder than you ever imagined!

Related: Your Most Common Home Security Questions, Answered


You’re Responsible for Putting Your Own Bins Out

Older man wheeling out a trash bin

Trash and recycling isn’t something you simply toss into dumpsters and let the city manage. There are actually trash days to be mindful of, and you’re responsible for dragging all of your bins out to the end of the driveway in time for them to be emptied. And if you forget to bring your containers back in in a timely manner, you can bet it will be a popular conversation topic among the neighbors.


Businesses Close Early

Closed sign hanging on a shop door

A late night at a lively restaurant is something only urban dwellers can enjoy. Expect restaurants to close by about 10 p.m. And as for daily activities, like grocery shopping and a visit to the pharmacy, prepare to get them in before nightfall!


There’s A Lot of Garage Sales

Garage sale in a driveway

Somehow, everyone has something to sell in the suburbs. Weekends on warm days are sure to transform a garage or yard into a suburban flea market. And no matter how hard you try, you may find it very tempting to peruse the offerings.

Related: 16 Reasons to Always Stop at Garage Sales


You’ll Experience Yard Envy

Front yard of a suburban home

In the city, passersby couldn’t get a read on how put together someone’s home was. How you lived was neatly tucked behind an apartment door in a big building. But now that you’ve moved to the suburbs, everything is out in the open. No matter how well you keep your yard, the moment your neighbor mows their lawn, you suddenly see the blades of grass in your yard as too long. In a blink of an eye, you’re battling for curb appeal.

Related: 10 Easy Curb Appeal Updates


If You Didn’t Have a Pet Before, You Do Now

Couple walking a dog through neighborhood

With all that home and all that yard, you’re starting to realize you finally have space for pets. Your next-door neighbor’s labradoodle is suddenly the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, and before you know it, you have one of your own and you’re setting up playdates.


Don't Miss!


Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newslettertoday!