Okay. I’ve lived in the suburbs all my life, so I don’t really know any better. It seems that every time I change jobs or meet new people outside of my own area, people are surprised I live in the Outer Suburbs of Melbourne. They always want to know why I would live in such a desolate place.
Here’s the kind of things I tell them to justify my living arrangements:
My friends and family are here
Most of my friends are from around here. I’ve seen many friends move to the other side of the city only to fall off my social radar. Whenever this happens, we usually keep in touch and make an effort to see each other for about a year and then we just drift apart. I don’t really want to drift away from everyone.
I don’t want to move far away from my parents. I’d like to have kids one day, and I would like a free babysitter. This will be a great use of their time when they retire. I’m only half joking. I also fear that if I moved too far from them, I wouldn’t see them as much and I don’t want to be the kind of son that only sees their parents on Christmas.
Living near lots of people you know is handy. Also if you have pets and go on holiday there are plenty of people who can feed them whilst you’re away.
It’s much better if you have a car
No 2 and 4-hour parking zones, permit zones or paid parking in our suburban streets. In our streets everyone parks wherever they please and for as long as they like. It takes so much stress off of you and makes having guests visit more convenient. People should be able to visit their friends without having to worry about a parking ticket.
Most shopping centres have free parking. Paying money to spend money seems like a rip off to me. I know multi-level car parks are expensive to build. I know they make it expensive to park all day to discourage non-shoppers such as people going to work nearby, but I’m used to parking for free. The risk of parking tickets and stress about shopping within a time limit before the cost gets too high isn’t a great shopping experience.
If you don’t have a car and don’t live near a train station, it can be a bit harder to get around. Some buses only run hourly and we don’t have trams. I imagine it is easier now that ride-sharing apps are around, but I can see how people without cars would find it hard to get around out here.
The homes are bigger
You would need to be a millionaire to own a spacious 4 bedroom home close to Melbourne. Unless you inherited it or bought it decades ago. There’s nothing wrong with being a millionaire. I wish I was one and if I was, maybe I’d live further East. If you are looking to buy, a house to live in, you will get more space for your money. I know the property value won’t rise as quickly as higher demand areas, but I’m not interested in moving house, so this suits me.
I find it stressful driving on narrow roads. Especially when cars are parked on each side. It makes you feel like your car can’t drive through the road. It’s also irritating when there are lots of single lane roads. I know you might be geographically closer to the city, but there are a lot of traffic bottlenecks at peak times in these areas. So, therefore, you might actually get to the city faster if you just head up the freeway from the suburbs.