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Suburban Living in the Times of Pandemic

Services for Real Estate Pros

Suburban Living in the Times of Pandemic

I live in a “right-to-farm” community about 20 miles outside of Boston.  Despite the fact that it has been more than 15 years since I moved out of my condo in Boston, I have often found myself reminiscing about city living.  The restaurants! Bars! Culture!  All of it seems bucolic as I order takeout from the same pizza place like we do every Friday, because takeout options are slim and delivery options are non-existent.


However, the current pandemic has put Suburban living in a whole new light.  Many of the draw-backs to small-town living have become assets, and the stay-at-home orders have helped to draw some of the big-city conveniences past the city limits. 


Pandemic living has made our home our whole world.  My three kids each use their separate rooms for their endless Zoom calls and to have some space and quiet to complete schoolwork or read alone. Our guest room has transformed into my husband’s home office. My office is where I can close the door and work on my blog.  Our kitchen is an all-day snack buffet, and our yard is getting the attention homeowners always dream it will, with kids on the swingset and new chalk art daily. 


Our quiet neighborhood is suddenly bustling with the activity associated with times past.  I take a three-mile walk with our dog every morning, passing the same people every day.  I have met neighbors that I have never seen in the 8 years we have lived in this house.


In this time of social distancing, our home, surrounded by our yard, in the middle of our sprawling neighborhood, is our safety bubble. 


The real estate trend in my neighborhood tells me that I am not alone.  Currently on my small street there are 5 houses under contract.  These homes are owned by empty nesters who have been waiting for the ideal time to sell.  If my neighborhood is any indicator, the time to move is now.  


People are recognizing the value in having space, in or out of a pandemic. In particular, young families are trading their city condos for a yard that can hold a swing set or pool.  Aging parents are moving in with their adult children. This is more important now than ever, in a time when grocery stores and public transit are a serious risk for the elderly population. Families want walkable neighborhoods where they can teach their kids to ride bikes and wave at neighbors walking by while sitting on their porch.  


My family has found new value in our quiet, suburban life in this time of pandemic. As Covid-19 fades into memory, hopefully sooner than later, will society continue to value homes that offer space inside and out? Will families return to their condo city-living, or will we see a rare drop in the demand for the big city scene, opening the doors to the next wave of college graduates and empty-nesters looking to be closer to the bustle of a city?


Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

aI live in rural Maine and have a daughter we just help find a home in Jamica Plain. The cost of houses, the Harvard arboretum next door make it a challenge price and space wise. I own a 300 acre farm and the land is used to feed the city using Boston Organics and Whole Foods, Good Bell. Country living with high speed Internet and telecommuting to work online make this a super place to raise your family in a crime free setting.

Jun 28, 2020 03:29 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Is your neighborhoo a member of NextDoor.com  ? It adds great value to Farming !

Jun 28, 2020 04:58 PM
Realtyna Inc
Realtyna - Newark, DE
WordPress Real Estate - IDX, RESO Web API, CRM

Hi Catherine Ehret, you pose some heady questions. Not bad for your first AR blog ;) You'll fit right in here, I can tell.

Jun 29, 2020 03:17 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I grew up in a small town and miss many aspects of it.  There are always positive things that come out of negative situations and you have highlighted quite a few.  Welcome to ActiveRain, I hope that you will indeed be active.  I look forward to reading more of your posts and I hope that you will check out some of mine.

Jun 29, 2020 06:51 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I have lived in Denver for a long time, but live in the suburbs, and getting back home with take-out before it gets cold is tough.  Welcome to Activerain.

Jun 29, 2020 07:33 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Welcome to the ActiveRain community. Congratulations on your first post.

Jun 29, 2020 03:02 PM
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

Welcome to Active Rain and congratulations on your first post. An Excellent post for your first one here in the Rain.  I can see you will do great here, there's a lot of awesome people here in the rain, so much to learn and glean from. Wishing you the best.

Jun 29, 2020 08:24 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello  Catherine - welcome to ActiveRain and for publishing your first post.  Actually, I think the theme of it fits quite nicely into this month's challenge hosted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana! and Carol Williams .  You have found the way to thrive.  Suburban-style!

Jun 30, 2020 07:19 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Catherine,
I think many of us are making adjustments and finding the positive in change.  I suspect many people are re-evaluating where they want to live long term. 

Michael Jacobs is right. This would be an excellent entry into the June Challenge. Post a link in the comments section here. 

Jun 30, 2020 07:44 AM