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:
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!
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!
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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The TOWN vs. the House: which matters MOST?
The Dream House is a lot like the Dream Wedding. Chances are, you were thinking about The House long before you decided to make a move—long before you had The Family to slot into The House, even. But then the rubber meets the road—you’re finally ready to make the leap from the city to the suburbs and settle into that house you’ve been dreaming about for weeks, months or even years. Before you settle on paint colors and roll out the welcome mat, though, here’s one thing to consider… Is The House REALLY the most important piece of the puzzle? Before you answer, really give it some thought. While, of course, the house you live in is very important—it’s where you’ll raise your family, celebrate holidays and make endless memories for years or even decades—where that house is situated informs a lot of that. And, in many ways, that where will drive your success in the ‘burb you decide to call home. Think about it… You Can CHANGE a House. But a Town…?Want a fourth bedroom? Call the contractor. Need an extension? Tap an architect. Ready for a refresh? Grab an interior designer. Time for a new kitchen, a new coat of paint or a new exterior? There’s someone at the ready to leap into action and get you the home of your dreams now or in the future. And that’s a good thing—and, chances are, that’s something you’ll take advantage of at some point in your homeowner journey, especially if you plan to stay in your house for the long haul. But reverse that for a minute—what if the town doesn’t check all of your boxes? It’s not so easy to shift the vibe or the pervasive personality of an entire community, is it? And while your house could be amazing, not loving life outside could put a major damper on your suburban experience. The better approach? Find that “right fit” town then focus on The House—chances are, you future town has plenty of dream home prospects, even if it takes a little patience to find yours. You Want to GET OUT (In a Good Way…)Finding the right town first will help you and your family makes friends, feel connected and, overall, more easily transition to suburban life. The happier you all are, the more invested you’ll feel in the community. And the more invested you are in the community, the more memories you’ll make within that community—think summer BBQs, block parties, parades, school concerts and more. The easiest way to get there? Find a town that syncs with your family’s lifestyle and personality. Think about your crew. Are they creative and fun-loving? Will your days be spent on the soccer field or the baseball diamond? Are you planning to stay home? Work in the city? Plan on having a nanny or au pair? While these may sound like minor details, they all feed into how well you sync with a community. If you’re the artsy crew in a town of financial professionals, the only SAHM in a sea of au pairs or the sports family with no field in sight, things might not gel as well as you’d like. And there’s no way you’ll be able to connect those dots by just looking at a house. To get to this level, you’ll need to dig into the town itself and the people who live there. Your Family Has Unique Wants & Needs Face it: in the city families are a little spoiled—not necessarily a bad thing, though. You’re steps from world-renowned activities, amenities, arts, culture and much, much more. And, while the ‘burbs certainly have their share of must-sees, must-dos and must-tries, you likely won’t have every single thing as at-your-fingertips as you do in the city. By drilling down on what you, your spouse and your kids want and need—the Mandarin classes, the soccer camps, the horseback riding, the surfing lessons—you’ll be able to find a community that has what you need when you need it. Again, the house matters—and matters a lot—but it’s essential your family have it all. And that includes lots of experiences outside The House. By starting with the town first, you’ll ensure you have both pieces—the amazing suburban life with the dream house at the center of it all. 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.
Scout Suburbia Like a Local: DAY CAMPS
There are countless ways to explore a suburb—check out schools, drive through the neighborhoods, hit up local events, head to the farmers market and, overall, do your best to get in the mix with your (possible) future neighbors. But with summer fast approaching, there’s another simple, fun way to scout suburbia like a local: day camps. While your kids may have hit up local day camps in and around the city—or, even, in a ‘burb you aren’t considering—now is the perfect time to hone in on an area and really roll up your sleeves. By sending your brood to day camp in the ‘burbs, you’ll get tons of benefits—not to mention they’ll have the best summer EVER. But you’ll, hands down, get the inside scoop on a town and be able to better assess whether it’s the right place to call home or not. How? It’s simple. #1. You’ll Meet the Parents—at SOME Point Sure, you’ll probably rely on the camp bus to take kids to and from the great outdoors each day, but at some point—or, more likely, some points—you’ll have a chance to meet other parents. Shibley Day Camp in Roslyn, New York offers a ton of activities in the months leading up to camp, with many geared towards new campers. One mom counted eight activities from the group tour to the Sunday Fundays to the spring fair that brought campers and families together to mix and mingle. The end result? She got to meet the moms and even exchanged numbers with a few. And Shibley is far from alone—many day camps offer ample opportunities to meet campers and families before and during the season. Just chatting with your fellow camp parents will give you a good sense of who’s who and what’s what—and that’s unbelievably important in your suburban search. What’s more, because not all camp families will come from the same town, you’ll start to get a sense for the different personalities in the surrounding communities, which could help inform your process. #2. You’ll Get Invites Tons of kids have summer birthdays—and that means tons of your child’s camp friends will have summer birthdays. Like family activities before and during camp, birthday parties are a great way to get a feel for a town. If your child is in preschool or kindergarten, chances are these won’t be drop-off parties—and, in this case, it’s a plus. Take advantage of these parties and use them to ask questions, talk to area parents and get a feel for life in that particular ‘burb. People are always happy to talk about where the live and their experiences in the community—so don’t be afraid to ask. #3. You’ll Hear it From the Kids…While it’s not always easy to get the full scoop from your kids after a long day at camp, you will be able to suss out their demeanor after the bus drops off. Are they energized and excited, eagerly chatting away about their new friends and all of the fun they had that day? Are they going on and on about teams they want to join and places they need to check out—in the ‘burbs? Are they quiet? Missing their city friends? Not really into it? These behaviors can say a lot about how well they’re acclimating and if it feels like a natural fit—to them at least. If it’s the former—if your kids can’t wait for the next day and can’t stop talking about their amazing new friends—you might be onto something. At the very least, this is a good indicator that your child’s transition into a suburban school will likely be a smooth one. #4. You’ll Have an Excuse to Test Drive a Town Again, you’ll likely lean on the camp bus to take your kids back and forth each day but, with your crew in the ‘burbs all day, you’ll have a perfect excuse to test drive the commute and, even, the community. Head out via car, train, bus or whatever your preferred commute method would be and pick the kids up at camp one day. Or drive out to pick up on a Friday, then spend that afternoon and evening checking out local restaurants, parks, beaches and hotspots—your fellow camp parents or Suburban Jungle Strategist can give you tips on the must-sees. Just remember, every town has a “summer personality”—what the community looks and feels like after school lets out. Be sure you get a handle on that so you can determine if it syncs with your family’s wants and needs. But, likewise, don’t forget that towns look a lot different when school’s in session, so what you see in July and August might not be what you’ll get come September. #5. You’ll Get the Inside Scoop From your kids telling you what activities they have to sign up for, to hearing about weekend concerts, events and open houses from camp moms, you’ll get the inside scoop on where families hang out, what the do for fun and the general vibe of a community. Take those cues as you continue exploring that town and other popular towns that surround. This paired with your Strategist’s insights and intel will ensure you’re scouting the suburbs like a total pro—and that you can quickly and easily find the ‘burb that’s right for YOUR family. And in the meantime? Your kids will no doubt have the best summer ever. 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.
In the ‘burbs with Suburban Jungle Strategist PAMELA GOLDMAN!
This Bay Area mom of two didn’t just leave the city for the suburbs, she also made the leap from East Coast to West Coast—and she’s never looked back.MEET PAMELA GOLDMAN, San Francisco Strategist for Suburban Jungle! COLLEGEUniversity of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia FIRST REAL JOBThe Limited clothing store MOST RECENT JOB BEFORE SUBURBAN JUNGLECommercial Real Estate Lawyer WHAT SHE APPLIES FROM HER PREVIOUS CAREER TO HER WORK WITH SUBURBAN JUNGLE“The ability to understand what a client really needs and wants. In negotiating contracts you can't always get everything you want, just like a house hunt, but the key is focusing on what is really important.” WHAT SHE LOVES MOST ABOUT WORKING AT SUBURBAN JUNGLE“Calls with clients! As a lawyer I spent most of my day in front of a computer writing and reading contracts. It could get lonely!” WHAT SHE LOVES MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH SUBURBAN JUNGLE FAMILIES“I love helping families find their forever town!” ABOUT HER FAMILYPamela’s husband Dan works in private equity for a real estate fund. He’s an avid runner and hiker. Her son Noah (7) loves art, building with blocks and Legos and is a big fan of parkour and the beach. Her younger son Justin (4) is also a big beach-goer and builder, who loves books and reading. WHERE SHE MOVED FROMNew York City—Manhattan, specifically. WHERE SHE CALLS HOMETiburon, California WHEN IT ALL HAPPENEDPamela and her family moved cross-country in the summer of 2013 WHY SHE CHOSE TIBURON“The proximity to San Francisco and the water, the beauty of the area and access to running, biking and hiking trails were all big reasons behind choosing Tiburon.” WHAT SHE’D TELL CITY FAMILIES CONSIDERING MAKING A MOVE“As your kids get older and are going to activities and friends’ houses, you’ll discover that living within walking distance to coffee shops and restaurants might not be as important as you thought...” WHY SHE WORKS FOR SUBURBAN JUNGLE“I love helping families realize that a town is more than the commute and school scores. What if everyone in the town is obsessed with sports but your son hates sports and your husband hates watching sports? Or, what if most of the moms don't work and are always volunteering in the schools? Do you see that as a plus, that there's so much help in the school, or would you feel guilty that you can't help as much? Is the community environmentally conscious? I want my clients to think about all the intangibles and focus on what is important to them and what would really bother them. Nothing is perfect, but assuming the commute, house prices and schools are within your comfort zone, it's about asking the right questions so you can determine what can you live with and what will drive you crazy. I've lived this move to the ‘burbs after thinking we would never move, so I know that the intangibles can really add up.” 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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