5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving to the Suburbs
What to think about when you're moving to the SUBURBS
We’ve made the move and helped thousands of our clients do the same — so we get it.
We get being on the fence about leaving the city — or, even, to be all-in on heading to suburbia.
We get wondering where you belong, and feeling like you’ll never find “your” people, your schools, your grocery store, whatever — and we get what it feels like when you do.
And, more than anything, we get what it’s like to take a breath and take a leap into the ‘burbs. So what have we learned, and what do we wish we knew before we took the plunge? A LOT. Here’s our list of the top five need-to-knows -- check back, as we’ll be updating this list with tips, tricks and must-knows from Suburban Jungle families.
#1. I wish I’d known...that everything closes early
So long, after hours Seamless orders. Hello, pizza joints that close at 7. Yes, 7. So where to go when you need a late night bite? Depending on your town, you may be lucky enough to score a 24-hour diner, open-late Starbucks or other grab-and-go takeout spot. Otherwise, you could be staring down that all-night CVS for any after dinner ice cream cravings.
The reality? You get used to it -- and you get used to it fast. Life in the suburbs isn’t as “all night” as it is in the city, which is a huge draw for many families. But, in the short-term, don’t be shocked when you can’t snag a midnight slice, pick up that book at the library after bedtime, or get that last-minute t-shirt you need for tomorrow’s tie dye event at school. Keep some goodies in the freezer or stashed in the back of the pantry and, we promise, you won’t even miss the endless eating options.
#2. I wish I’d known...where to get great takeout
In that vein, the suburban takeout scene isn’t always as booming -- or as transparent -- as it is in the city. When your family lives in the city, you can grab one of the million menus shoved under your door, or hop online and fire off a super-customized order from thousands of restaurants in your neighborhood and out.
In the ‘burbs? Not so much. Even if yours is a foodie mecca, you’ll likely have to hop in the car and pick up from at least some places. And your delivery options? Since fewer restaurants offer online ordering, you’ll be less likely to get the inside scoop via ratings and reviews. Our advice? Solicit “best ofs” from local groups on Facebook, ask your neighbors or, even, ask us -- our team can always help find the best pad thai (or fish tacos or chopped salads…) in the ‘burbs.
#3. I wish I’d known...the “secret” ways to commute
When you first considered a town you, likely, looked at the most obvious commuting methods -- the train from the center of town, let’s say, or the local park-and-ride you passed en route to the open house. While, yes, that might ultimately prove the simplest, smartest and most time efficient way to get to and from the city, often locals have their own “secret” ways to commute.
Maybe it’s the train in the next town over or a private bus service that doesn’t advertise much but, as you get more and more integrated in a community, you’ll start hearing rumbles about how people move into and out of the city each day. Do yourself a favor and cut through the clutter. Ask your Strategist or a Suburban Jungle Local for the “real” scoop on commuting before you waste your time on the “tourist” version. Trust us, if there’s an alternate route, we know it -- and it could save you tons of time.
#4. I wish I’d known...where the families are
A big part of the Suburban Jungle process is getting to know a community by getting up close and personal with the people and the goings-on. To us, that’s the best way to truly understand where you belong -- where YOU feel at home, where YOUR people are and where, ultimately, you want to build a life.
Going in, make sure you take things a step further and really “get” where the families are. A recent client reported being completely shocked -- in a good way -- after leaving her daughter’s first suburban soccer game. Literally hundreds of kids had poured onto the fields for games, including dozens of her daughter’s classmates -- and their parents. Instantly, this new-to-the-burbs family had the perfect mix-and-mingle opportunity every single week, and that made all the difference. Find your soccer game -- or hotspot playground or go-to diner or popular activity center -- and make sure you’re there often. Not only will your kids have a chance to make new friends, but you will, too. And that’s a win for everyone.
#5. I wish I’d known...that a house is very different than an apartment
It’s no surprise a house is very different than an apartment but, at the same time, there were some things we hadn’t considered when we initially made the move. Some examples? The increased cost of everything from heat and electricity to water, maintenance and general upkeep -- upkeep that, now, we had to tackle versus calling our friendly super…
Granted, we figured it all out and, now, know you have to turn off the sprinkler valve before the first snow and that, yes, the gutters really do need to be cleaned in the fall. At this point, we’re old pros and happy to lend our expertise and insights to our new neighbors and friends -- just say the word!
Suburban Jungle is an award-winning firm that specializes in moving families from urban to suburban. The company’s innovative “town first” approach helps buyers find the right suburb for their family based on personality and lifestyle, not just the house. Services are FREE and fully customized to each family and their unique journey. To learn more and to connect with a Suburbs Strategist, and find the place your family truly fits in visit www.suburbanjunglerealty.com and click GET STARTED.
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