Finding a Suburb That Checked all FIVE Boxes

This NYC Couple Finds an Affordable, Commutable and Diverse Suburb with THEIR Energy Omar Lopez and his wife Grace O’Shaughnessy were loving life in Harlem. But, he explains, every year or two the couple needed to gut-check and determine if they were going to re-up their one-bedroom lease or make a move to a two-bedroom—or, even, somewhere else. “In New York no matter where you live, every year or two you need to reexamine where you’re going to live,” Omar explains. “We lived in a lovely one-bedroom apartment in a brownstone in Harlem, and we loved it. We loved the community and the owner of the building was great. It was all good.”

Suburban Jungle Featured on Realtor.com! ​

“Sometimes the breaking point comes when you’ve circled the block for hours looking for a parking spot,” writes Realtor.com. “Or when your baby is woken up yet again by the constant wail of sirens invading your street. Or when you start thinking of your nearby urban park as your ‘country space.’ That's it, you say—we're outta here.” And when they happens, they advise, be sure you’re asking these eight questions to help steer your suburban search. READ THE FULL POST, MOVING FROM THE CITY TO THE SUBURBS? ASK THESE 8 QUESTIONS FIRST HERE Realtor.com tapped Suburban Jungle Founder & President Alison Bernstein to weigh in, and provide her expert insights and intel for navigating the urban-to-suburban transition. Her advice? “Check out the logistics of the transportation, including the convenience of the schedules,” for starters. Beyond that, remember that a “great” school is different for every family -- and it’s not just about test scores and rankings. Related Posts...Why Picking the Right Town Matters Most...5 Signs it's Time to Move to the Suburbs... What to do Before you Start your Search...  Some other things to scope out? The childcare scene. Stopping by “a school drop-off and pickup,” helps, as does checking out the town to see “who’s around during the day.” And don’t forget a town’s “summer personality” -- “Were you were envisioning block party barbecues and lemonade stands—when in fact the neighborhood clears out as everyone heads to Nantucket or sleep-away camp? Does everyone belong to a private club?” READ THE FULL POST, MOVING FROM THE CITY TO THE SUBURBS? ASK THESE 8 QUESTIONS FIRST HERE 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.  ​

Suburban Jungle: The Corporate Perk That Brings You Home

Launching its corporate partnership program, is quickly becoming the win-win perk to polish that employee benefits package. The strategic city-to-suburb relocation firm focused on assisting young families leaving urban for suburban is partnering with investment banks, hedge funds, tech companies, law firms and the like to bring their employees home – literally. With worker productivity closely tied to happiness at home, companies are moving beyond the traditional incentives of fancy gym memberships and meditation classes and, now, taking the work/life balance bonus to the next level. Whether an employee is making a move for the promotion, a bun in the oven or a summer cottage closer to the sea, landing in the perfect home is perhaps the most critical factor in reaching the paradigm ratio.

This Family’s Strategy Shift Leads Them Right to Summit  ​

One Upper East Side Family on Making the Move to New Jersey “I grew up in New Jersey,” explains Upper East Side mom-of-two Sharone Poopor. But “when we started talking to Patti (Natiss, Suburban Jungle NYC Strategist) we were just looking in Westchester.” When they first connected with Patti in November 2015, Sharone and her husband Keith believed Westchester was the right spot for their young family—then, an infant son and preschool-aged daughter. Fast forward nearly two years, and things look a lot different. “We completely switched gears,” Sharone explains. “Westchester seemed to fit, but it never really clicked for us. Then, a get-together with a long-time friend changed everything. “I got together with an old childhood friend,” she recalls. “My biggest consideration as a full-time working mom was not being able to get home quickly if I needed to—I hated that feeling of distance. Then my friend reminded me she worked from home and that she and my family and friends could be that support system I was looking for—a support system that was in New Jersey.” When in Doubt...Call Patti!Sharone’s next move? Call Patti. “I said, ‘do you know how we’ve been looking in Westchester for a year and a half? Well, we need to switch and look in New Jersey!” They spent a lot of time talking about their wants and needs in light of this shift and Patti helped pull together a list of towns to tour—a list that included Summit. “We went there and we loved it,” Sharone says. “We loved, loved, loved the downtown. That was something we really wanted. We wanted a train station and Summit had it. We wanted a cute downtown and Summit had it. We knew the schools were great and, after that, we fell in love with a house.” At the end of the day, though, it was a pure gut decision. “It was pretty and, really, it felt RIGHT,” Sharone adds. “It was close enough to friends so I have that support system. But, at the end of the day, it was a gut feeling.” Now, as the family prepares to make the move from Manhattan to Summit, Sharone is eager to set down roots in her new community. Her son is 2 ½ and her daughter is almost five and will start kindergarten in Summit next fall. “It was the hardest decision,” she says, “I sweated it out and sweated it out. But now that it’s done, I’m ready to move NOW!” The Power of Town Tours Looking back on the last two years, Sharone says one of the best pieces of her Suburban Jungle experience was the town tours—and, of course, her “suburban shrink,” Patti. “I like the town tours,” she explains. “By the time we got to Summit, we’d town-toured a lot of suburbs in Westchester and New Jersey, so we knew what we wanted.” She advises city families to really roll up their sleeves and dive into the town tour experience. “I would encourage people who think they only want to see one or two towns to maybe add a third or fourth, just for perspective,” she says. “Then you know what you want when you see it.” “I loved working with Patti,” she adds, “because she’s Patti! But besides that, you want the true scoop if you’re going to move somewhere. I felt like I could ask Patti if I was going to be the only working mom on the train platform—those kinds of questions were really important to me. She was so good at explaining the flavor of a town and not just the things you can look up online. She was so good at giving a description of a town’s personality—the people, the vibe. You can’t get that from an article or a town’s website.” All of this fed into Sharone’s suburban search. “Patti spent a lot of time with me because we shifted gears. After every town tour,” she recalls, “Patti would check in with me and see what we thought and what our gut feeling was. She didn’t skip a beat when we changed the whole thing. She totally rolled with it and was really so open and easy going about our change of heart. That was really great.” Overall, “Patti made me feel like it was OK that it was such a hard decision,” to leave the city. “People in the suburbs can’t understand why it’s such a hard decision,” she says. “They’d say, ‘your apartment is small, you have to spend half an hour getting your kids out of the apartment and to the park.’ But Patti reminded me that it’s OK—this is a major decision!” And now, looking ahead to Summit living, Sharone and her family couldn’t be happier—or more ready to make the leap! Related Posts...What Happens if you Pick the Wrong Suburb?Why I Picked My Town: Meet Lisa PisanoWhy I Picked My Town: Meet Shari Simpson  CLIENT UPDATE: Since chatting with Sharone, the Poopors moved to Summit! We caught up with her and she had AMAZING things to say about their transition to the suburbs. “We have moved, and the transition has been a lot easier than we anticipated,” says Sharone. “The people are super friendly and while the commute is longer, it's more way pleasant and civilized than squishing onto the 4/5 in Manhattan.” And, already, they feel completely at home. “Just last night—date night in super cute downtown Summit after our kids' preK back-to-school night—Keith and I were discussing how much more relaxed we feel coming home weekdays and on weekends than we did in Manhattan.  It's way more tranquil.” Overall, “we are really happy with our decision.” 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.   ​

Millennial Homebuyers are Setting Today's Marketplace Trends​

Today, millennials are the most dominant force in real estate. So what does it mean for these first-time buyers and EVERYONE else? Millennials were slow to start in the home buying game. But now that they’ve hit the market in full effect, they’ve quickly become the driving force in the marketplace—in 2016, they made up 34% of home buyers, the largest group for four consecutive years. Their decisions set the trends. Their preferences set the tone. And, beyond that, their approach to every aspect of home buying from down payments to renovations to specific wants, needs and neighborhoods has set the bar for all things real estate.  So, then, what does this new millennial buyer look like—and what trends is she driving in the marketplace? According to the 2017 Zillow Group Report: Less than TWO IN FIVE submit offers with 20% down. A whopping one in five opt for the minimum: just 5% down or less. 43% of millennial buyers aren’t clear on what they can afford—not surprising, considering 71% are buying a home for the very first time. More than three in five search properties to rent AND properties to purchase at the same time—many know finding the right home in the right community at the right price will be a challenge, and looking for a rental gives them some breathing room. Millennial buyers are also keen to get creative in coming up with their down payment—the biggest hurdle for the majority of buyers. Nearly one in three ask friends and family for help, and many pull from a variety of sources to get the cash together. HALF make multiple offers, and close to two in five veer off their financial plan at the end of the day—especially if it means making their dream home a reality! Because rents in major urban markets are at an all-time high, it’s been tougher than ever for new buyers to save for their down payment AND afford sky-high rents in the meantime. This has shifted the way millennial families think about their next steps—and the suburbs in general. Now the big question: what, specifically, are these buyers looking for? According to a recent Realtor.com survey, the suburbs are still number, with 43% of first-time buyers naming the ‘burbs their preferred location. Half of millennial buyers want “near” or “outlying” suburbs, while 11% are looking for small-town living. And those houses? Two in five are in search of a single-family home, while 34% are planning on a townhouse and 10% on condos.  Related Posts...Today's Great Suburban Homebuyers? Millennials.Bidding WarsCommon Homebuying Myths - Debunked! And after these buyers? It’s all about Generation Z, the generation right behind the millennials. These teens and tweens—born in the mid-90s through the late 2000s—seem to be mimicking their millennial parents and siblings in their views of home buying. Zillow predicts, “These tech-savvy yet risk-averse,” students “are bringing their social personalities home, desiring communal amenities geared toward bringing people together.” We’ll have to wait a few years to see—but, for now, it’s all eyes on the millennial buyers and how they’re shaping suburbia. 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. 

How Kindergarten Cut-offs Can Inform the Suburban Search ​

Your child's birthday could impact when they start kindergarten—and THAT could impact your suburbs search When considering the suburbs, most city families focus in on one thing FIRST: finding A+ schools for their kids. While every parent’s definition of “great schools” is different, at the end of the day, the K-12 experience is often what draws parents to one suburb over another—or drives them away from a town that, otherwise, checks all the boxes. But there’s another school-centric consideration many families may have forgotten about: cut off dates. School- or district-wide cut off dates dictate when kids start kindergarten and, ultimately, their entire academic path. While there may be some wiggle room district to district, it’s important to understand the deadlines and requirements early on in your suburban search. If you think your child could benefit from another preK year, a district with an earlier cut off—September 1, for example—may be a good fit. Likewise, if you’ve got a preschooler who seems ready to hop on the big yellow school bus, a school with a December 31 cut off—or some flexibility when it comes to kindergarten enrollment—could be the way to go. The truth? There’s no right or wrong here—pushing a younger child into “big kid school” early on has its benefits, as does “redshirting” kids with late birthdays. Today, about 20% of six-year-olds are in kindergarten versus less than 12% two decades ago. The advantage? “New research into the age of children as they start found that students who are older than most of their classmates had an academic edge over their younger peers,” explains Today, quoting the National Bureau of Economic Research. “Data showed that the September-born children were 2.1% more likely to attend college compared to their August-born classmates. They also were 3.3% more likely to graduate from college, and 15.4% less likely to be get into trouble with the law while underage.” The flip side? Potential loss of income down the road. Delaying school for a year means graduating high school and college a year later—and that means one less year in the workforce. And, because “today's children have far more chances to advance academically thanks to auxiliary programs offered in reading, math or other subjects,” explains USC professor Gary Painter—programs that weren’t offered in previous generations.” Related Posts...Preschool in the Suburbs? A+! Helping your Kids Adjust to a New School: KindergartenThe Best 4 Things about Suburban Back to School  Ultimately, again, it comes down to your child and his or her unique needs. But if it is a factor is either direction, your choice could inform the suburbs you search. While before that meant countless calls to schools, school districts and other local resources, cut-offs have become more and more central to the Suburban Jungle process—and are key pieces of intel our Strategists can integrate in your suburban search. 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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