HOUSE TO HOME

3 min read

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Nov 2021

Exodus to Exurbs: More Common Than You’d Think

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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The definition of “exurbs”

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Why exurbs are becoming more popular

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Who they’re becoming more popular with

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

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The definition of “exurbs”

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Why exurbs are becoming more popular

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Who they’re becoming more popular with

To some, the hustle and bustle of big cities can be overwhelming. Plus, there may not be many options to purchase your forever home in a metropolitan area where the population surpasses the one-million mark. Just beyond America’s largest cities are the suburbs, and even they aren’t as secluded as they were, say, five years ago. So, where do you move when you want a little more space and privacy for your family but don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere?

The rural area outside big cities and their suburbs, commonly referred to as the exurbs, is quickly becoming the answer for more Americans to this complex question. For years, exurbs were overlooked for sparkling city centers and high-end suburbs, but since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have migrated to the outskirts to better safeguard a healthy work-life balance.

Using United States Postal Service (USPS) mail-forwarding data, Jefferies Group, LLC determined that more than 40,000 people migrated to exurbs between the months of May and June in 2020. The exurb gives you the best of both worlds. You have the room you’re looking for without being too far from the city’s bright lights.

Places like Georgia’s Forsyth County outside Atlanta, Virginia’s Chesapeake County right beyond Virginia Beach and Norfolk, and North Carolina’s Union County just yonder of Charlotte are each examples of exurbs that, in 2021, are seeing an uptick in growth because of migration from their nearby municipalities and suburbs. But now you may be wondering, other than the open spaces, what makes an exurb and exurb?

What is an Exurb?

As mentioned, exurbs are more rural areas outside the suburbs of this country’s largest cities, but they’re still economically attached to the popular metropolitan locations. According to the American Communities Project (ACP), which specializes in analyzing exurb data, they’re generally safe communities with very little criminal activity.

Exurbs experience less than half the national average of crime per city.

There aren’t many houses in an exurb, hence their appeal of seclusion. However, you will need to commit to commuting to work or traveling a little bit further to get to entertainment venues if you decide settling down in an exurb is the right move for you and your family.

Who Moves to Exurbs?

As of 2021, more than 34 million people in the U.S. currently reside in an exurb. While anyone can move to the rural alternative to city life, there are a few common characteristics of those who call the exurb home. Data from the ACP suggests that most exurb homeowners graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree. They’re moderately wealthy, as a 2019 study states the median household income of an exurb home is just over $74,500.

In 2020, people wanted to leave the densely-populated cityscapes behind for a space that is a little more breathable, but they didn’t want to lose out on everything their metropolis had, and still has, to offer once businesses reopened. The exurb was their answer.

Reasons to Move to an Exurb

Apart from the elbow room, there are a few other potential reasons an exurb could be alluring to any searching homebuyer.

  • Avoiding the towering prices of owning or renting city homes

  • Relatively cheaper housing means it’s easier to own property

  • More space for home improvements

  • A slower style of living

  • Safe environment for children

Expert Tip

Moving to or currently living in an exurb and want to tackle some home improvements? You could refinance or use a renovation loan to install that new add-on to your garage.

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Purchasing a home is one of the greatest financial decisions anyone will make in their entire life. There’s a lot to consider when choosing between the city, the suburbs, or an exurb. If you feel a little crammed in your current space, a move to the exurbs may be just what you need this year.