Reasons Why You’ll Love Living in the Suburbs: Because the bedrooms are actually, you know, bedrooms.

You know why you’ll love living in the suburbs?  Because the bedrooms are actually bedrooms.

If you live in the city, you know what I’m talking about, right?  That “two-bedroom” apartment where they carved up the living room, or put a wall down the middle of one bedroom? You ever live in one of those?  It’s really great if you don’t mind being able to hear EVERYTHING GOING ON IN THE OTHER ROOM.

How do you know when you’re dealing with a fake city bedroom?

  • The bedroom doesn’t have a closet.
  • The bedroom IS the closet.  It’s a bad sign if you can still see the imprint of the brackets for the closet rods.
  • The bedroom doesn’t have a window.  Bedrooms without windows are more properly called “cells.”

On the other hand, it’s also a bad sign if your “two-bedroom” apartment doesn’t have an actual living room.  As in, it’s two bedrooms and a kitchen.  Builders don’t make a lot of apartments like that, so it’s a pretty good sign that your second bedroom is actually the living room.

But it’s not just the fake bedrooms.  You can’t believe anything you read in a Manhattan apartment listing.  Take square footage estimations. Anytime you see square footage listed, just modify it by about 25%. If the apartment is listed at 800 square feet, it’s really 600 square feet.  And the one listed at 600 square feet is really 450 square feet.  If you took out a tape measure, you wouldn’t get to 600 square feet unless you counted the walls.

But the system works, if only because everyone has internalized the inflation.  You go see a “1,000 square foot” apartment that is really 800 square feet, and you marvel at how roomy it is compared to the “800 square foot” apartment that is really 600 square feet.  And once everyone has bought into the “Manhattan Modifier,” you can’t really opt out  If a broker listed apartments at their actual square footage, everyone would complain that they were overpriced.

For example, when we rehabbed our Manhattan place a few years ago, we ended up with about 2,000 square feet.  That was actual square feet.  We had the floor plans and everything to prove it.  So when we sold it, we advertised it as 2,000 square feet, and everyone who came to look at it said they were amazed at how roomy it was.  Why?  BECAUSE IT WAS ACTUALLY 2,000 SQUARE FEET.  If we’d used the “Manhattan Modifier,” we’d have advertised it as 2,500 square feet, and people would have said, “hey, this is so much roomier than that 2,000 square foot apartment we saw yesterday!”

You don’t have that problem in the suburbs.  You don’t have to carve up your bedrooms, because you already have four or five of them.  You don’t have to lie about the square footage, because you have enough space already.

And that’s also why city people are so amazed by the size of suburban homes.  We tell them we live in, say, 3,000 square feet, and they come thinking that it’s a “Manhattan” 3,000 square feet.  So then they’re shocked by how big it is, because it’s ACTUALLY 3,000 square feet.

Real bedrooms with closets and windows. True square footage.  Basically, space.  One of the reasons you’ll love living in the suburbs.


  1. […] for their kids,. Space for their dogs.  Space for all their STUFF.  More space.  People like this guy love talking about all their extra bedrooms, and their closets, and all their square […]