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Living the urban lifestyle: Is it for you?

Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

When people contemplate what it would be like to live in a downtown area of the city, many questions come to mind:

Would the urban lifestyle be a “fit?”

Is it within close proximity to employment, shopping, medical facilities, and entertainment?

Is the downtown area a safe place to reside?

Is it more expensive to live downtown than to live in other, more remote, areas of the city?

As with any type of residential living, the answers to these questions are varied. And the first question only you can answer for yourself. However, it is still an interesting subject to entertain.

How much fun is it to think about living in different parts of the city – in different housing styles. How about an urban-chic condo, or a restored home? Are you adventurous?

But there could be other reasons for relocating. One might be that you just want to simplify your lifestyle.

That’s what we did. We initially moved to shorten the workday. By that, I mean we spent too much time commuting. Five days a week we drove to our separate places of employment. For me, the round-trip drive added almost two hours to my already hectic schedule.

So how did we address this issue? We decided to take the leap and move within minutes of our employment . . . and within walking distance of sports venues, theaters, and glitzy restaurants.

Although we still drive on a regular basis, we don’t spend much time in the car. Grocery stores are within minutes (depending on which store you favor). And large retail centers are just a few miles away.

Several doctors and dentists’ offices are located down the street, and specialty medical clinics and some of the city’s finest hospitals are within minutes of our door.

There’s probably no need to tell you about how many great restaurants are located downtown. Some are trendy and chic . . . some are gastropubs . . . most all of them have their specialty dishes. But our favorites are eateries located in what were previously historic residences – a distinctive feature not available in other areas of the city.

Safety is a factor when living in just about any neighborhood, but we believe that downtown is probably one of the safest areas of the city. We know many of the city’s finest police men and women on a first-name basis because we see them on our nightly walks around town. Our city thrives on tourism. And the outstanding convention facilities, hotels, and cultural and sporting events, not to mention dining and entertainment venues, mean that police presence and assistance is the norm rather than the exception.

Would it be cost beneficial to live closer to your place of employment? Put pen to paper and calculate the true costs associated with commuting to work. Include your personal time as well as transportation expenses. The outcome may surprise you -- and it doesn't even take into account the convenience.

So, is it worth living in an urban setting? My family and I have lived downtown for many years, and, for us, it is the best place in the valley to reside.

Please leave your comments and let me know your thoughts!

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