I discovered the term “bridesmaid suburb” used in an Australian context:
A “bridesmaid suburb” is a second-choice postcode and could become a strategic buying trend as ballooning interest rates bite into borrowing capacity…
“Buyers will still have to consider alternatives or the bridesmaid suburbs to their first preference, possibly not because of price but because of diminished borrowing capacity.
”Bridesmaid suburbs are adjacent to higher-profile neighbouring suburbs. They cost less to buy into but share many similarities to the first-pick suburb next door, including access to public transport routes, schools and major shopping hubs…
“A bridesmaid suburb can still allow you to secure a lifestyle with comparable amenities and appeal, and only a short drive down the road.”
While this is used in Australia- a quick Google search suggests this term has been around there for several years – I wonder if it might also apply to suburbs in the United States. Are there many homeowners who would have preferred to live in the most desirable suburb but could not afford it and so settled in nearby communities? There are several assumptions at work here:
- Many people want to live in the most desirable suburbs. If supply and demand is the only factor at work, more people wanting to live in desirable suburbs drives up home prices so much that there is not enough housing. Additionally, my own sense of American suburbs is that some of the most desirable and exclusive suburbs also intentionally limit their housing supply to help maintain their character and status. Are there such suburbs that always stand out above any other location in the region and where most people would want to live?
- Suburban homeowners want to max out their borrowing capacity and get the most they can – a more expensive home – through their mortgage. People can borrow up to a certain point decided by lenders, but how many go all the way to the maximum allowed?
- The exact community in which you live matters less than the clusters of suburban communities you can access. It is less about a particular zip code and more about a cluster of adjacent zip codes. Suburbia offers driving access to a lot of communities so perhaps you do not have to live in a particular place to enjoy the benefits. At the same time, communities that appear similar on certain factors can be quite different in terms of character and everyday experiences.