When Does a More Expensive Home Cost Less?

While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s true; purchasing a more expensive home in an urban neighborhood could actually wind up costing you less than a home with a smaller price tag in the suburbs.

In more ways than one.

That’s largely because of the high cost of transportation. When shopping for a home, many people who choose to live far from the core and commute to city jobs often neglect to factor in transportation costs.

The ever-increasing price of gas is not the only consideration. Regular maintenance, higher car insurance rates due to the longer drive, simple wear and tear, and vehicle replacement costs all need to be considered when calculating the cost of living far from where you work.

Given that suburban living also typically requires the use of a vehicle for everything from taking the kids to school to quick trips to the grocery store, you could also be looking at adding a second vehicle.

Whereas city dwellers – who benefit from better transit options and from being within walking distance of many amenities – may get by with one car or none at all.

Something else to consider if you’re weighing the pros and cons of urban versus suburban living: according to research, health benefits – such as lower rates of obesity, hypertension and diabetes – are associated with the increased physical activity (primarily walking) that comes with being a city dweller. And that could translate into both lower medical costs and a longer, healthier life, which we’d all agree are priceless.