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Basic living expenses, like mortgage payments and child care, cost families significantly more in urban vs. suburban neighborhoods, according to Zillow and Care.com
Seattle, WA and Waltham, MA -March 6, 2017 (PRNewswire) City living comes with a premium in most major metros, especially for families with kids. Nationally, families spend an average of $9,073 more per year to cover basic housing and child care costs in the city than in the suburbs, according to a new Cost of Living analysis from Zillow and Care.com (NYSE: CRCM; www.care.com), the world’s largest online platform for finding and managing family care.(i)
To help with budgeting this home-shopping season, Zillow and Care.com identified three common living expenses (property taxes, mortgage payments and child care costs based on rates listed on Care.com) and calculated how much they cost around the country.
Nationally, families living in the city spend $43,652 a year on housing and child care. Yet, in the suburbs they spend just $34,579. New York, Chicago and Dallas have the highest variance between urban and suburban living, with city dwellers paying as much as $71,237 more a year, or nearly $6,000 extra a month. However, city living is not always more expensive. In Philadelphia and Baltimore, families could pay up to $14,000 more a year to live in the suburbs.
While high property taxes and rising home prices are usually the reasons why city living is more expensive, child care can also play a part. In Minneapolis, child care is nearly $4,119 more a year in the city, but housing costs are actually $189 cheaper.
“Deciding whether to live in the city or suburbs is a personal choice, but when you do the math, it’s easy to see why moving to the suburbs is about more than just a bigger yard – it can also save you a lot of money,” says Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist. “More than a third of families exceed their initial budget when buying a home, according to the Zillow® Group Consumer Trends Report, so before embarking on a move, consider the cost of living beyond just the home’s sticker price.”
In addition to potentially cheaper living costs, the median suburban home is nearly 280 square feet larger. Meanwhile, reported commute times are roughly the same between urban and suburban residents.(ii)
“Figuring out where your family will live and grow is arguably one of the most exciting and daunting times in a parent’s life,” added Joyce Hodel, data scientist at Care.com. “While moving to the suburbs often brings significant cost savings, city living can still be the right choice for some families and is less expensive in certain metro areas. The Care.com and Zillow Cost of Living Report aims to help families understand how their family’s housing and child care costs may change before making that big family move.”
Zillow® is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. Zillow serves the full lifecycle of owning and living in a home: buying, selling, renting, financing and more. In addition to Zillow.com®, Zillow operates the most popular suite of mobile real estate apps, with more than two dozen apps across all major platforms. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) and headquartered in Seattle.
Zillow and Zillow.com are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.
Since launching in 2007, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers, employers, and care service companies. Today, Care.com is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with 12.4 million families and 9.6 million caregivers* across 19 countries, including the U.S., UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and approximately 1.1 million employees of corporate clients having access to our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more, Care.com provides a sweeping array of services for families and caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment. These include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources members may use to help make more informed hiring decisions – such as third-party background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on hiring best practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via mobile app; and Care.com Benefits, including the household payroll and tax services provided by Care.com HomePay and the Benefit Bucks program, a peer-to-peer pooled, portable benefits platform funded by household employer contributions which provides caregivers access to professional benefits. For enterprise clients, Care.com builds customized benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its Care@Work business, and serves care businesses with marketing and recruiting support. To connect families further, Care.com acquired community platforms Big Tent and Kinsights in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com has offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and the San Francisco Bay area.
*As of September 2016
(i) The Zillow and Care.com Cost of Living Report measured how much families could expect to spend on housing and child care in urban and suburban locations around the country. Zillow’s housing costs factored in annual mortgage payment and property taxes on the median valued home. Annual child care costs are based on rates listed in Care.com child care center profiles in 2016 for two children in the same center. Weekly rates are multiplied by 52 weeks and monthly rates are multiplied by 12 months to calculate annual rates. All Urban and suburban classifications were based off a Zillow survey of U.S. consumers. Survey responses were then used to create a statistical model to predict the classification for a given zip code.
(ii) To calculate the median size of homes in each community, Zillow took the median finished interior square feet of homes in the urban and suburban zip codes for each metro area. Zillow computed commute times by taking the median commute times by zip code as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5-year American Community Survey, which pools data from surveys between 2011 and 2015, and then took the median commute time across suburban and urban communities in each of these zip codes.