But we have taken on new mega costs like higher property taxes, home maintenance and lawn care.

Keeping your home up to snuff is no small financial feat. Between our freezer breaking, a small flood in our basement and a patchy lawn, we’ve already shelled out thousands toward repairs in the first few months. Setting aside one to three percent of the value of your home could suffice for annual upkeep, but it’s wise to plan for more if you’ll want upgrades. With more people working at home these days, repairs and projects are having a “moment.”

Public or private schools? The reason our move hasn’t been a total wash for us is that we’re taking advantage of the town’s public schools.

The desire for a reliable and well-resourced school district is one of the biggest reasons families ultimately choose to leave New York - or any pricey city — and head for the suburbs. It is what Kathy Braddock, who runs the New York office for William Raveis Real Estate, calls, “the real cost saver” to moving. 

But whether this proves true depends on what you’re giving up. For us, we estimated a move and switch to public schools will save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years, as our son had been attending private school in Brooklyn to the tune of $45,000 per year. His younger sister was on track to do the same.

When I last did the math, I decided private school dollars would be better saved or invested toward, say, college, retirement or helping my kids start a business one day. Yes, a good chunk of that’s now being eaten away by our new annual property taxes, but it’s still a substantial savings.

Plus, last year we learned that our son would require supplemental resources that his Brooklyn private school would not provide. In Montclair, we’d heard nothing but great things from parents whose kids had received special aid. This sealed the deal.

A new way of living. There is a small cohort of movers who quickly boomerang back to city living. “They didn’t do a good enough analysis up front,” says Braddock. “They went up on a June weekend and saw a house with a swimming pool and thought, ‘Isn’t this amazing?’”

Honestly, that can seem like a great reason to abandon a city right now, but down the road, assuming many of us return to working in high-rise offices, how will that daily 45-minute train ride, followed by 14-minutes on the subway, followed by an 11-minute walk to your desk, twice a day, every day, impact the quality of your life? Some may take advantage of that time to catch up on work, emails or rest. But others could find it intolerable.

Anyone considering a move should practice the suburban lifestyle as best they can before relocating. Maybe that means renting in the town for a year to test-drive things before purchasing. Over the years, we visited Montclair a number of times and stayed with friends. We consulted with a few real estate agents in the county and sought out the pros and cons from many colleagues who’d made the leap.