5 Things No One Tells You About Moving to the Suburbs

5 Things No One Tells You About Moving to the Suburbs by popular Washington D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise:image of two women sitting outside on a patio and grilling up some hamburgers.

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ICYMI, Tom and I got a townhouse and began moving to the suburbs over the weekend! So yes, this is exactly the reason why I’ve been a little MIA on the blog and on social media lately. Mainly because I’m still drowning in a sea of moving boxes. But, I’m slowly but surely getting back to my regular posting schedule.

Transitioning from an apartment complex to the ‘burbs has been interesting, to say the least. I’m almost 30, and I’ve seen so many of my friends move out of the city and into a house, and it always seems so glamorous on social media. To be candid, it felt like something I had to do at my age. While living in a house has its pros, there are also some weird things about living in the suburbs that I was not prepared for. 

Here are five things I wish I knew before moving into our new home!
5 Things No One Tells You About Moving to the Suburbs by popular Washington D.C. lifestyle blogger, Alicia Tenise: image of a man and two women on a patio drinking cocktails and grilling burgers.

5 Things No One Tells You About Moving to the Suburbs

You’re Going to Have a Nosy Neighbor (Or Two)

When I lived in apartment complexes, people minded their own business. Heck, even when I lived in a 14-story high rise apartment, I only knew about five people who lived in my building. I couldn’t tell you what my next-door neighbors looked like!

Moving to the ‘burbs is a little more permanent. Apartment complexes are transient, and folks are moving in and out regularly. In our new neighborhood, there are a lot of people who have found their forever home and plan on staying for the long haul. Naturally, you’re going to want to meet your neighbors — and hopefully, they’ll have your back if you ever need anything in the long run.

I got off to an incredibly awkward start in my neighborhood. I posted about this on my Instagram Stories last week, but TL;DR: one of my new neighbors filmed me driving in the community with his dashcam, posted it onto the neighborhood Facebook page, and accused me of tailgating and speeding (I was going 19 in a 25, by the way). I was able to DM him, he took the video and ended up apologizing, but it left a sour taste in my mouth, and I almost called off the move entirely.

People are friendlier in the suburbs, but they’re also a little more in your business as well. I’m kind of glad that this happened to me before I even finished moving in because now I’m a bit more guarded and I’m conscious of every little thing I do in the new neighborhood. When they go low, you go high, right? 

There Aren’t Many Childless Couples in the ‘Burbs

Admittedly, I’m not sure if I ever want to have kids. I definitely know that I don’t want them anytime soon. But that’s another story for another day.

There are a lot of kids in our new neighborhood, which is completely fine. However, adjusting to living in an area with a ton of families has been a bit difficult. Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to relate to other moms since I know nothing about motherhood. I admire all of the moms out there because they truly have the toughest job in the world!

All in all, it’s kind of difficult for Tom and me, a childless couple, to really relate and befriend some of the neighbors with kids (not all, but some). I am going to miss the old apartment complex because of this, but hey — we’ve moved on to our next chapter of life, and we’re going to make the most of it.

It’s Creepy Quiet. And Dark.

Y’all. It gets DARK at night. Like pitch black, almost need your high beams on dark. Our complex doesn’t have street lights at all, and this is definitely a huge adjustment for me. It also gets super quiet at night as well. I’ve been getting pretty amazing sleep because of this though, not going to lie. However, I don’t think we’ll be able to entertain anyone in our backyard after 9 pm! 

The Amount of Space Can Be Overwhelming

We went from a ~1000 square foot apartment to a ~2500 sq ft, four-story townhome…and I’m very excited but also incredibly overwhelmed. We have a lot more space, and we need a lot more things to fill the space. It’s going to take us a while to design our space and get everything organized, but we’ll get there…one day. Not to mention — we now have two half baths and three full bathrooms in the new space. Five toilets to clean, my friends. FIVE. Talk about a first-world problem.

Our strategy? We’re going to focus on the second floor (kitchen/living room) first so that we can start entertaining and having people over. I’m trying to get this space finished before the end of the month since we have a lot of travel coming up after Labor Day. Our guest bedroom is priority #2, but luckily we already have the bed and just need to make a few small updates. I’ll eventually finish my office and the master bedroom!

You’ll Finally Feel Like A Real Adult

Ugh. Don’t you hate it when millennials like myself talk about #Adulting? Whelp, once you start the process of moving to the suburbs, it hits you that you’re an actual grown-up. Yes, we’re still young, but this is a major life step (that I honestly never thought I’d get to!) Pat yourself on the back and soak it all in.

What are some things you wish you knew before moving to the suburbs? Share in a comment below!

Photos by Tom McGovern

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