Moving Families from

Urban to… Suburban​

The Suburban Jungle is an award winning innovative concept in the world of real estate, specializing in moving families from urban to suburban… The firm created the first of its kind “town first” truly objective approach which helps buyers before they make one of the largest investments of their lives, allowing them to ask the right questions and objectively look in the right places.​

The firm specializes in

providing clients the true inside scoop and the hard to see “intangibles” of every town. The fact that the suburban jungle is a completely free service, is just a bonus. Each client works with a personalized deal team, free of charge comprised of the following:​

The Strategist

is a truly objective advisor helping you and your family evaluate all possible options within commuting distance to the city…They work with you personally throughout your home search to not only come up with a home search strategy for you, but to also ensure that you are asking the right questions and looking in the right places.

The Client Concierge

will be working with you from start to finish —to help you set up your town tours, to help you make reservations for brunch. They will help organize strategy sessions with your Strategist, as well as get feedback from you after each town tour! They will also help you with setting any and all things up…from brunch reservations to movers!

The “Local”

This is someone who will be able to help you truly understand the inside scoop of the town. They are not agents, nor are they incentivized to “sell” you anything…they are just folks that live in the town or towns you are considering to help you understand all of the intangibles! A truly objective perspective on life in town and answers to all of the questions you have and more! They also not only educate you from the beginning, but help you get settled in once you have decided on the town!

The Agent

We partner with local agents that have been trained in the suburban jungle way of real estate….they have been handpicked to work as part of our deal team. You will be set up with one agent per town you tour to be able to understand and benefit from the truly local nuances of each area.

Alison Bernstein: Founder/President

 

Alison Bernstein is the founder of the The Suburban Jungle Realty, a real estate firm exclusively focused on buyers leaving the city for the suburbs. Recognizing how different neighboring towns can be from one another and how little families learn about a community during the home search, Alison launched Suburban Jungle, helping buyers navigate suburbia, and understand the ins and outs of towns before making their decision. She had personally experienced these challenges while undertaking her own suburban search, and strived to bring that unique expertise to Suburban Jungle families. Prior to this launch, Alison worked in the industry for more than 15 years, including senior-level roles in sales, leasing, investment banking and corporate strategic work spanning three of the nation’s leading real estate organizations. She has revolutionized the real estate industry by creating this new advisory pre-search component to the home buying process. When she’s not helping families in their suburban explorations, Alison enjoys traveling, skiing and tennis as well as spending time at home with her husband and four young children… and huge dog.

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Discovering Life in DARIEN ​

This Brooklyn family finds community, right on the water  “We needed more space and housing choices can become limited in the city when you get to that level,” mom-of-two MC Hooper says. The family had lived in the West Village before moving to Brooklyn Heights before their first son was born. “The two of us had grown up in the suburbs,” she explains, “and we wanted that for our kids, too. So we started looking outside of the city.” That’s when a friend recommended Suburban Jungle. “We didn’t really know much about the towns outside of the city, except the town in New Jersey where my husband had grown up,” MC adds. “We reached out to Patti [Natiss, Suburban Jungle NYC Strategist] and she was super helpful in helping to determine what our needs were and helping us find good spots to look outside of the city.” Chief among those needs? A good commute—both MC and her husband work in the city. As they started exploring the suburbs, MC says, they were open to anything and everything. “We looked in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Patti suggested Summit and Chatham in New Jersey, Rye in New York and Darien and New Canaan in Connecticut.” Beyond the commute, they wanted strong schools for their growing family. “We really wanted a good school system for the boys—a competitive and highly-ranked school system was important, so that was a big factor.” They also wanted something family-friendly, with lots of young families and year-round activities, as well as strong sports program—the couple were both college athletes. Ultimately, the family landed on two towns: Darien and New Canaan. After digging into the qualities of both communities, MC and her family chose Darien, citing the commute as a key reason. “We also loved the fact that Darien was on the water. My husband grew up with a lake nearby, and we spent summer vacations on the ocean, so we wanted something by the water,” she says. In late June, they made the move from Brooklyn to Connecticut. Her younger son—now two months old—was born post-move. In the six months, the family has lived in Darien, they’ve already quickly adjusted to life in suburbia. “It’s amazing!” MC says. “We absolutely love it. We’re so happy where we are and the location. We can walk to the train station. And one of our really good family friends from Brooklyn is right across the street.” But their connections don’t stop there. “We’re surrounded by young families with kids our kids’ ages. They have a great newcomers group and working moms group, so I’ve very quickly and easily met people around town, and I really appreciate how active these clubs are.” Overall, “it’s been wonderful. Everyone is very open and friendly here.” That said, MC and her family are happy they stayed in the city as long as they did. “We appreciated being in the city when our older son was very young,” she says. “The convenience was great. We had the pediatrician a block away and the grocery store downstairs. The park was a couple of blocks away and the subway was on the corner. It was so easy to navigate things with a very young child.” She advises city families to “stay in the city when your kids are very little,” because “it’s so easy. But now our son loves to be here and be outside, in the yard and playing on the swingset. It’s been so good for him.”The biggest surprise, MC adds, has been an incredible one—the sense of community they feel in Darien. “It’s been incredibly overly above and beyond what the city was in terms of community and in terms of finding families you can connect with and have a support system with,” she says. “The sense of community here is unmatched. If that’s what people are looking for, I’d definitely advise making the move for that reason alone.” 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. ​

Millennials Hit the Suburbs in a BIG Way  ​

 The millennials are heading to the suburbs, and changing the landscape forever.  If one thing’s clear about this year’s home-buying trends, it’s this: the generation that was never going to leave the city left. In a big way. For years, economists, marketers and real estate insiders have touted millennials as the urban generation—a generation content to stick it out in the city and eschew everything from home ownership to car purchases to traditional means of travel, cooking, grocery shopping and, overall, living.  But then the millennials moved—and they didn’t stop. Today millennials are the biggest piece of the home buying universe, making up about two-thirds of all first-time buyers and nearly two in five total buyers—and they aren’t slowing down. Close to one in 10 millennials expects to buy a home in the next 12 months, and one in four in the next one to two years. Understanding the Millennial Flight A major driving force behind this shift is the fact that the biggest millennial cohort—those born in 1990—represent a unique demographic shift: age 27 or so is when the “millennial flight” seems to start, with more and more of this sub-35 set heading the suburbia. It’s a challenge for many major cities who saw this generation as central to neighborhood revivals—but it’s a huge win for the suburbs, who are getting an influx of young homeowners, young families and, overall, young people ready to roll up their sleeves and dig into their new communities. Related Posts...Millennial Homebuyers are Setting Today's Marketplace Trends​Today's Great Suburban Home Buyer? Millennials.​Buying your First Home? Be Ready for a Few Surprises!   Millennial Peaks and Dips Another reason for the shift? Increased housing prices in major cities. In Boston, for example, there was a “millennial peak” in 2014 and 2015. As the median rental and purchase prices rose to $2,700 and $561,000, respectively, 20- and 30somethings needed to find an alternative—and they found it in the suburbs. The same is true in Chicago, where the peak happened around the same time, with an all-time high of 814,000 millennials in the city. The number dipped by a few hundred the following year, and continued to decline into 2017. LA also lost millennials—about 2,500 millennials, to be exact—between 2015 and 2016. Many attributed this exodus to the increased cost of living and cost of housing, which prevents younger residents from living the lifestyle they’re looking for. So the big question: where are they heading? New York City, LA, Dallas and Washington, DC suburbs all made the top-25 “suburbs where millennials are moving” list, with suburban growth among millennials hovering around 5% to 6%. As they continue to be priced out of the city and, beyond that, to get older, get married, have kids and make the shift just like previous generations, more and more millennials are going to head to suburbia. This “suburban renaissance” will no doubt, then, continue to grow and evolve, as these young couples and families migrate out, and make their mark on suburbs from coast to coast. 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. ​

5 Reasons to Buy in the WINTER  

 Think it's all about spring market? Think again!  Often, homebuyers focus on spring market—and we get it. There’s so much inventory in the spring and, paired with the better weather and, often, optimal timing for families—move-in right before school starts—spring tends to be the go-to, especially for first-time buyers. The reality? Spring is a great time to buy—but so is winter. While, yes, you may be trekking through a little snow (depending on your market…) and there does tend to be less inventory on the market, if you know what you want and, more importantly, where you want to be, winter can be an optimal time to make an offer. Here’s why… #1. Prices are lower In some markets, home prices can dip as much as 10% to 15% in the winter versus the spring. Right off the bat, that’s a huge incentive for many families who can now expand their range and, ideally, get their dream home for a fraction of the price. We’ve seen many city families diligently search and make offers in the winter, ultimately getting more house or getting into a sought-after community that, otherwise, they may not have been able to afford. For that reason alone many first-time buyers continue—or start—searching now, with their sights set on locking down a house before spring. #2. There’s less competition Many would-be buyers who don’t find something by fall tend to freeze their home search until spring. So what does that mean for the intrepid winter buyer? Less competition and a much lower likelihood you’ll find yourself in the midst of a bidding war. One expert said she typically sees 50 to 100 prospective buyers for an open house. In the winter, that number dips to 10 to 12—or even less. #3. Sellers are ready to negotiateThe benefit? Thanks to, again, the relative lack of bidding wars, sellers tend to be more willing to make a deal—even if they’ve already lowered their price. They see fewer buyers come through and they know they’re getting less consideration—and fewer offers—than they would in the warmer months. If they need to sell, then they’ll be more likely to come down and meet buyer demands than they would in the spring. That flexibility can increase even more if the seller’s home has been on the market since spring. If, for one reason or another, a home isn’t scooped up in the spring or summer buying seasons, by winter the seller is often extremely motivated—and that can mean incomparable deals on amazing homes in virtually any suburb anywhere.  #4. You may not have to put down as much With less competition and more open-minded sellers, many buyers wind up not having to put down as much on a property. When bidding wars commence, often it’s the all-cash buyer or buyer with a conventional loan and a hefty down payment who comes out on top. In the winter, that may not be the case. For FHA buyers, for example, or buyers looking to put down less than 20%, winter could be the perfect season to search—without the competition from cash-heavy buyers, you’ll likely be able to snag the house you want on your terms. Related Posts...  Snow Days in the City vs Suburbia  Winterizing your Home: The Next Steps   The Perks of Cold Weather House Hunting   #5. Lenders aren’t as busy…    Besides less competition for properties, there’s also, often, less competition for mortgage lenders and their time. Many buyers report expedited approvals, quicker closers and more individualized attention when the temperature drops. And, given this is such a massive purchase, the more one-on-one guidance, the better. The takeaway? If you’re searching, don’t give up—there could be an amazing deal in your ideal suburb coming your way. And if you’ve put your search on a temporary freeze, it’s time to get back out there—your Strategist can help. Good luck! 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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