The Contrasting Worlds of Small Town and Metropolitan Real Estate
The Contrasting Worlds of Small Town and Metropolitan Real Estate
Be it the speeding traffic or the trusted rickshaw, a bustling nightlife or peaceful sunsets, your go-to cafe, or the welcoming corner shop, we all know or are people who have had a fair share of the big city as well as the small-town life. You may be allured by the promises of a metro city or prefer the tranquility of your hometown, but it is just to say that both worlds have their distinct charms that the other is yet to embody. If we just look at the scenario just a few decades back, the dissimilarities were stark. Cities provided better infrastructure and facilities while small towns and villages struggled for basic amenities. In today’s world, owing to rapid development throughout the nation, we can see a propitious change that is bridging the gap between cities and towns.
Even in real estate, location is arguably the most important constraint that determines if a property is worth investing in or buying into. Before we dissect the subject any further, let’s weigh both sides and look at the pros that one has to offer over the other.
Pros of Investing in Small Town Real Estate
Considering their smaller radius, everything that one might need is usually close. Schools, medical facilities, grocery stores, and even workplaces are often located at a 5-7 km distance, making it extremely convenient for residents. Transportation costs are far lower as compared to metro cities, which saves a significant amount of money as well as time. The skyrocketing costs of living in metro cities result in a longer commute, which can get cumbersome, leaving you exhausted at the end of the day to pursue anything else.
Small towns have been romanticized for being the go-to destination for troubled minds. Smoother traffic and abundance of space and greenery are things that are very difficult to find in larger cities. For people who are immune to the charms of the tantalizing city life, settling down in a small town brings them the isolation and serenity that they yearn for. The open spaces and playgrounds are ideal for children and senior citizens, whereas, the precious green spaces in urban areas are insufficient and struggle with constant noise and pollution. Peace is a matter of luxury in such areas.
Although this is quite subjective and many of you will beg to differ, according to crime statistics, urban areas on average have higher crime rates than small towns and rural areas. Making small towns much safer in a lot of aspects, especially if you live in a close-knit community. Small towns are also distinguishable for their demographics, many of which still have a dominant no. of joint families as compared to the nuclear families of urban areas.
We leave small towns in search of better opportunities but it is undeniable that small towns are far more affordable. Rents and property prices are lower, even if you compare a lavish small town villa to a thirtieth-floor apartment in the city. Both of which have their own merits and depend on market demands as well as the buyer’s preference. But even if we look at the lifestyle in a small town, prices of goods, fuel, and services, altogether the day-to-day cost of living is far lower, leaving some room for savings.
Pros of Investing in Metropolitan Real Estate
Ease of Urban Transportation
In small towns getting around can sometimes be tricky. Due to less demand, there are limited options for cabs or buses which do not function 24x7. Private vehicles become a necessity after a certain point, which can’t always be made possible. In metros on the other hand there is a wide variety of alternatives available. Public transportation is easily accessible and usually operates at night as well. You can easily skip owning a car and save that expense. Public transportation in big cities is also much safer for solo commuters, as compared to small towns.
One of the many reasons behind migration from towns to cities is the lack of opportunities in the prior. Be it the quest for better jobs or higher education, cities give you the platform and resources that are not readily available in small towns. Our constant pursuit for success can only be achieved in a place where there are a plethora of possibilities. Cities accommodate international offices which demand a large workforce that small towns simply can’t compete with yet. Although it must be heeded that big cities come packaged with cut-throat competition, every industry working around the clock to overtake the other.
Infrastructure & Amenities
One of the main causes of urbanization in this era is the quality of life that cities offer. Cities house better healthcare facilities, schools, universities, stores, theatres, pubs, etc. that can be tempting for anyone on the lookout for a world-class lifestyle. Easily accessible emergency facilities are still found lacking in small towns. Cities also present better electrical and water supply services as well as drainage facilities. They are more expensive but they can make things far more convenient for its users.
Urban areas are home to millions of people that have migrated from all around the world. All bringing their own culture and ideologies to the table. This cosmopolitan lifestyle allows for a better social life and improved learning. For this same reason, it is easier for them to overcome age-old beliefs and stereotypes that stunt overall growth. Also, people in urban areas are much more exposed to technology, although India is vastly improving on this front.
Small Town Real Estate Boosted by the Pandemic
Small town real estate is a growing trend that is steadily gaining momentum. While it still is not at par with metro cities, the pandemic has helped speed it up. The reverse migration that took place last year and the appealing ‘work from anywhere’ lifestyle has made many employees reconsider their goals. Big cities are admired for their wide scope but the pandemic has proved that you don’t necessarily need to be physically present to get work done. Plus, the swelling property prices and rental costs are making many consider moving to a tier-2 city. The improvement of infrastructure and technological proliferation is narrowing the differences that set cities and towns apart. This overall increase in demand for housing, offices, and industries is bringing renowned developers to small towns.
This new strategy can present itself as a blessing for local talents and alleviate some of the pressure off of metro cities, which is good news for the economy as well as the environment. Tier-II cities such as Kochi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, etc. are likely to experience a rising influx of development in real estate.
Small Town vs Metros: Where should you be investing?
So now coming to the decision making. What should be the ideal choice for you? Sadly for us, we don’t have an answer to this million-dollar question. After juxtaposing both scenarios, it all comes down to you. Your preferences, goals, responsibilities, lifestyle, and economic background- everything matters. Before making a decision you should prioritize your requirements and do thorough research to be able to make an informed choice.
If you are partial to the happening city life and prioritize convenience then metros might be the best fit for you, but it is a sad truth that being a homeowner in a big city is a distant dream for many. If you prefer a secluded life close to your roots then small towns will welcome you with open arms. In real estate, demand is always the main motivation, and since the conception of the pandemic, our metro-centric outlook is changing to realize the untapped potential of small towns.