Many people commute to large cities for work every day, but few could ever afford to live within their borders. Even a number of suburban areas have become too expensive for average workers to afford. One solution to this work versus life crisis is known as a bedroom community or commuter town. This type of community is generally a smaller city or town located even farther from a major city than the suburbs. The economic base of the community is housing sales and general retail sales, not heavy industry or technology.
While some suburban areas could still be considered bedroom communities, many of them have either been absorbed into the larger metropolitan area or have developed industrial and business bases of their own. A proper bedroom community is generally located in the exurbs, less developed areas separated from the suburbs by green spaces. A commuter town may be located on a major highway into the larger cities, or it may be in a more isolated semi-rural area.
A bedroom community is often an incorporated city with its own municipal government and public services, but the economic emphasis is more about housing and retail sales rather than entertainment or industry. Employment opportunities for younger residents of a commuter town may be limited to low-wage service or retail jobs. Most residents of the community are gainfully employed in larger cities or work in more developed suburbs nearby.
Ironically, housing prices in popular bedroom communities near major cities can be significantly higher than those found in suburban areas. While suburban cities may have a diverse economy, these communities generally offer one major commodity, and that is large houses located far from the city. Prices for homes in them can be very competitive indeed.
A bedroom community located in the exurbs may not receive as much name recognition as the larger suburban cities, but many residents prefer the low-key nature of commuter towns to the constant dynamics of a larger city.