It Adds Up
You already know it's wise to scout outside the metro borders of Dallas and Fort Worth if you're looking to stretch your housing dollar, but where should you settle if you have a family? Is living in the suburbs really the better plan?
Absolutely, says Zillow and Care.com. The two websites looked at housing (home values and property taxes) and child care costs for 30 metro areas and their surrounding suburbs, and it turns out it's not just a little more affordable to live in the DFW 'burbs — we actually share the top three with New York City and Chicago for the highest variance between urban and suburban living.
Nationally, the Cost of Living Report shows that families spend $9,073 more a year to live in the city compared to the suburbs. For DFW, that number is a staggering $14,128. It breaks down like this: Families living in the urban parts of the Dallas metro spend $44,843 a year on housing and child care. In the suburbs, they spend just $30,715. That’s an extra $1,177 that urban families spend every month.
DFW city dwellers are shelling out roughly $10,000 a year more for homes that are about 250 median square feet smaller than their suburban counterparts. To rub salt in the wound, our urban commute time isn't that great: not even two median minutes shorter.
Suburban Austinites save $11,522 by not living in the city, while Houstonians can sock away $5,368 a year by settling in the 'burbs. San Antonio is the only Texas city in the study where it's cheaper to live in town: $2,474 can be saved annually.
But the study found that not all suburbs are coming out on top. Those surrounding Philadelphia will cost you $13,849 a year more to enjoy, while the urban parts of Baltimore, Cleveland, and Milwaukee are also significantly cheaper in which to raise a family.