Are You A City or Country Mouse?

Today's topic: where have you chosen to grow your family and why? Do you live in the suburbs? A rural setting? Right in the city?

As most of you know, we moved a couple of years ago to a rental house to be closer to David's dream job. If you missed the entire moving saga (three houses in one year!), you can read a summary here. We're still in our rental house and looking forward to buying, hopefully in the near future. But one question leaves us puzzled on a daily basis: where do we want to live? We're fortunate enough that I work from home mostly and David's job is proximate enough to be sandwiched by Atlanta and some great suburbs... and further out, some beautiful countryside. So WHERE do we want to live? Because we've moved around so much in the past few years, David and I are ready to set roots and we want our next home to be our forever home. Or at least a forever neighborhood. We're putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to get this decision right! 

Here are our lists of pros for each location at this point in time:

Highlights of city living
-lots to do (museums, parks, running trails, festivals, vegan restaurants, etc.)
-adorable old houses with character
-closer to our friends and family
-lots of culture for our kids to learn from and be exposed to
-great neighborhoods with a sense of community

Highlights of suburb living
-could build our dream house for same price as 1400 sf house in city
-amazing public school system
-very little traffic
-day to day life is easier (getting to grocery store or parking anywhere, for example)
-great neighborhoods with a sense of community
-generally much safer than the city
-larger yard for the kids to play in

Highlights of country living
-lots of land for the kids to explore
-could raise a few chickens!
-very inexpensive cost of living

These are certainly not new concepts... I know that families have been weighing these pros and cons since the beginning of time. Obviously, the big ones for us are the cost of a home and the schools. It's really hard to digest that we could build our dream home for the same price as a tiny 3/2 bungalow that likely needs some renovations in the city. But it would be so cool to live in the city! See our conflict?

So, spill the beans. How did you make the decision to live where you do? What were your pros and cons? How did you eventually decide where to set your roots? Would love for you to weigh in because we need insight!

Photo by Michelle Rothmeier, Ten June via Instagram


  1. Obviously we're mountain living but it's still in the "city" so we have access to most everything but we're still remote. You have a tough decision to make!!

  2. Country or Suburb! We live in the country and still find tons to do and drive to the City all the time to do activities. And you just get use to the drive and it doesn't even phase you after time!

  3. if we could, we would choose proximity to family/friends. honestly, i don't care as much about the house size, though i love character. we live in an older suburb, close to shopping, biking/driving distance to downtown in our mid-sized city. it's a smaller home--1200 sq feet, and we have three young boys. we live close to a big park, and walking distance to pools, splash pads and wading pools, for summer fun. i think that affordability is the first consideration, though having less house in the city does not mean that it's less affordable, it just means you'll have a smaller/older home. after affordability, it's a lifestyle choice. good luck with your decision!

    1. Definitely agree! Although clearly I love me a nice house so I would either want to have a new custom build or have an older house renovated... not sure if city home values would give us the flexibility to renovate. Decisions decisions!

  4. We moved to Seattle a few years back and probably will never leave. We live right in the city and walk everywhere. Its so much easier with the kid and there is always something to do. I agree with Wilma, I don't mind living in a small house. It's easier to keep clean and I think it will help in the future with discussions about sharing and community and value.

  5. Suburbs all the way. I live 15 miles outside Boston and love the area. It's close enough that my hubby can take the train to work, and far enough that you get the small town feel. Who would imagine horse barns and apple orchards so close to the city! We still pay higher prices because it's commutable to the city, but totally worth it. I love being able to walk to our little town center or hop on the train for an evening out in the city. Best of both worlds!

    1. If ONLY Atlanta had even an ounce of the public transportation systems that cities like Boston have. We sadly do not... hardly anyone takes our limited public transportation so you have to drive everywhere!

  6. The million dollar question! We live on Capitol Hill (right in the heart of DC) and could not possibly be more in love with our neighborhood. We walk to everything - museums, restaurants, the vendor-market where we buy all of our food, coffee shops, parks, school, church, etc - and we can't walk somewhere without bumping in to at least a few people/families that we know. It is the perfect little small-town feel of a community, within a major city. We are so in love. However, because it's such a desirable place to live, the housing prices are astronomical, and as we are starting to bust at the seams of our 950 sq ft condo that is 150 year olds and filled with charm, and thinking of moving to a bigger space, we are pretty much priced out of our own neighborhood, which is heartbreaking. Plus, there is that pesky problem of crime that is inherent to any urban area, and the fact that there aren't enough seats in the schools for all of the kiddos since there has been such an explosion of young families living and staying in the city. The even greater problem, though, is that moving to the suburbs of DC doesn't help the problem much, since this entire area is so expensive, so housing prices don't really become that much more affordable if you move out. Therefore, we are contemplating either making do with our small space so that we can stay in our beloved community, or picking up and moving to a completely different area of the country, getting out of the rat race that is DC, and moving to an area where cost of living is much more reasonable. Sigh. It is so tough. So, all this is to say, at least you have three really good options that keep you within the same general area! We wish so badly that we had that option!!

    1. Oh my gosh you sound like my brain. I go from one minute of "city! culture! museums! love it!" to defining it as "the rat race" and let's get away! Why can't we figure it out?! it baffles my mind that we could choose either option and be happy. Well, maybe that's a good thing, right? Home is where the heart is, as they say...! : )


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear what you think. I ♥ comments.

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