Personal Favorites 5 months ago by Liz Adams

Why and How We Decided To Move to the Suburbs

Shop the post:
On Liz: Sezane Cardigan, 1 State Cami, Anthropologie Headband, Just Black Denim, Chanel Flats
On Charlie: J.Crew Polo, Old Navy Cardigan, Old Navy Denim, Native Shoes

One of my most frequently asked questions is about our decision to move to the suburbs, why we made the move and how we knew we were ready! We have officially lived in the suburbs for one year (how did that happen?) so I thought it would be a good time to break it all down.

So a little background – I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and Dave grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. We lived in Lincoln Park for 10 years, had Charlie in September 2015 and moved to the west suburbs in June of 2017. Dave and I had discussed that moving to the suburbs was probably in our future but we had our lease until August 2017 and were really in no rush. We weren’t ready to ditch our city living days. 

We were very casually exploring homes on Zillow and in January 2017, my girlfriend (who is a realtor) had heard about a cute house going on the market that she thought we needed to see. She sent over an exterior photo and the next day we drove out to the suburbs to check it out. Let me set this story up by saying on this day Dave was deathly hungover. The last thing he wanted to do was see a home or even discuss the idea of a home. I forced him to humor me and we made the trek to the house. I fell in love the second we walked through the door (Dave was sweating and all he wanted to do was take a nap). I love old homes and the idea of making something old, new again. My parents home (and the house I grew up in) is almost 120 years old and is so so charming – I’ve always wanted the same.

We left the house and drove to my parents house (1 mile away) and sat in the driveway to discuss what we just saw. I was overcome with emotion and started crying (I am not a very emotional person so this was bizarre!) and told Dave “I feel like this is our house.” In the meantime Dave was like wtf is going on right now, I’m hungover, I just want to sleep, blah blah blah. We walked into my parents house and Dave asked me dad what we should do and my dad said “if you want it, go get it.” The next day we put in an offer – with a little stress, there was another offer on the house – and in February we closed. We actually rented the house back to the previous owners for a few months and made the move from the city to the suburbs in June. 

I was so sad to leave the city but I honestly haven’t missed it one day since we left. Sure I miss our walks along the lake, Saturday mornings at the Green City Market, our friends and all of the amazing restaurants – but I do not miss living in the city. Ease of living is night and day in the suburbs. I always tell people that a driveway feels like the biggest luxury in the world (we could not afford a driveway in the city) and being able to seamlessly get to and from anywhere is a dream. It used to take me 30 minutes to drive 2 miles to Charlie’s swim lessons in the city. Now we have a backyard and the sweetest neighbors and our beautiful tree lined block. It just feels like it is exactly where we should be at our stage in life. 

I always get asked how we knew we were ready to leave the city and the answer is we didn’t! If you had asked me when we closed on our house in February if I was ready to move I would have said no. I really really wasn’t which is why it worked out that we rented our home back to the previous owners for a few months. We got to enjoy another Spring in the city and almost all of June before we said goodbye. When June rolled around – I was readyyyy. I had found out I was pregnant with Jack (I was 5ish months pregnant when we moved) and I remember waking up one day and it was time. Every one has different experiences and although I loved ours I was over climbing of 3 flights of stairs with a baby, a dog, groceries, a pregnant belly, spending 20+ minutes looking for street parking. I was so over it. If we had had a yard, a garage, a driveway – honestly any of those things, then I would have probably stayed longer but that dream wasn’t going to be our reality. 

There are pros and cons to every decision we make in life. The perk about where we live is that we are a 20 minute train ride away for the city and now when we go downtown we get to enjoy it so much more. Our last 1.5 years living in the city were consumed by toddler activities and early bedtimes. We never actually enjoyed the beautiful city that we lived in as much as we did in our younger years, before kiddos. Those were some of the best days but building our little footprint in the suburbs has been so much fun. It is the changing seasons of life and I have to say that this season is my absolute favorite. 

SHOP THE POST

On Liz: Sezane Cardigan, 1 State Cami, Anthropologie Headband, Just Black Denim, Chanel Flats
On Charlie: J.Crew Polo, Old Navy Cardigan, Old Navy Denim, Native Shoes

 

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  1. Thanks for this post! our transition has worked very much the same and we dont’ have kids. After living in the city for 8 years I was sad to leave the city too, but we’ve enjoyed so many of the simple luxuries of the subrubs and it was our time. I’m looking forward to more posts about your updates to the house!

    Thanks! Kelly

  2. I love the benefits of living in my own house, like the driveway, garage, large space that I can decorate however I feel like. But I do miss our apartment so close to the city. And you’re right, your realtor can make all the difference. We worked with a fabulous realtor who made the process really easy.

  3. Laughing at your driveway comment… I drove around the block for thirty minutes looking for a parking spot to unload groceries and nearly cried dreaming of a driveway 😂

  4. Firstly, these photos are divine and secondly the way you describe your move, knowing the time, Dave struggling with a hang over & then building your footprint in the burbs had me almost in tears! So beautifully done Liz & I’m so happy your family has found the perfect home!

  5. Thank you Liz for sharing this! My husband and I talk about when we would move to the ‘burbs but I have been struggling seeing myself make the move. But it is good to know that it is not something timed and just happened. P.S. I love that you found an old home. I want one too. I love their charm!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  6. I really love this post. I’ve also made that transition from young city life to family suburban life and agree with those pros and cons! We just sold our big beautiful home and moved to Charleston (just for a year), and I’m struggling with not having our first home anymore. It’s the home both of my daughters were born into. Like you said, it’s all about changing seasons in life, and this season will be an interesting and hopefully good one!

  7. Yes, once you have children and combine that with being self employed and you can live almost anywhere and not notice because your life has become that much busier. Plus, the bars and restaurants are not quite as enticing since you probably enjoyed that to the fullest when you didn’t have children and now many of your friends are probably having kids and have less time too. The interior of you home looks lovely and as you said, the train can take you into the city anytime you need a big city fix. Sounds like the perfect balance. Enjoy!

  8. I can’t imagine city living with kiddos! We moved from Chicago to Atlanta two years ago now (time flies) and I was definitely not ready, but things lined up – like a job offer for my husband and just completing a reno on our place – so the time just worked out. I miss Chicago every time I am there and miss the city life, but when I am home I’m happy to have things like a yard, an actual master bedroom and bath, and ease of getting in and out of my car.
    You’re so lucky your just a short drive or train to the city still – best of both worlds!
    xx Taylor
    The Sarcastic Blonde

  9. I grew up in the Chicago burbs too! (Glenview, but my cousin is from Hinsdale so spent a lot of time there growing up 🙂 The Chicago burbs are honestly the best and it is so easy to get into the city from most towns. I live in NYC now and it’s so different here in that from the vast majority of towns it’s going to take you minimum 45 minutes to get into the city, oftentimes more like an hour. The suburbs are so great, definitely not my time yet as I’m 25 / single / childless but I know I will make my return one day!

    x Diana // Pearl Girl