Spotlight on Rye Brook in Westchester County!

There are hundreds of suburbs just outside of your city, each with a unique personality, population and reason thousands of people call it home. To help shine a light on some of the unique aspects of some of our favorite ‘burbs, we’ve called in the pros—our Suburban Jungle Locals who live, work and raise their families in these amazing towns. Their task? Tell us why their community is so special, and help YOU start to suss out suburbs like a true insider. THIS WEEK: Rye Brook, a hot suburb in Westchester County, just 40 minutes from midtown Manhattan. POPULATION: 9,553AVERAGE COMMUTE TIME TO NYC: 40-50 minutes via Metro-North WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO RYE BROOK?We loved the easy NYC access and small town feel Rye Brook provided. With family on Long Island and in the city, it was important to be close to both. WHAT ARE THE 3 BEST THINGS ABOUT RYE BROOK?It’s a close-knit community with top-rated schools and a very easy commute to the city—and that’s just the beginning!  

Is Suburbia In YOUR Future? 

If you are one of those people who are not certain if you should move to the 'burbs or not, here are some signs that might help you with your decision. Do these signs ring a little too true? Then the 'burbs might be calling…Maybe you've always known you'd be heading to the suburbs at some point—or, maybe, you're on the fence or 100% not sold on leaving the city. Every family is different and every family has different expectations for their family's future—a future that may or may not involve suburbia. Feel like you might be one of those fence-sitters—not totally sure if you should stay or you should go? Again, while every family is different, there are a few tell tale signs that the ‘burbs are more than likely in your future. If these hit close to home, it might be time to start evaluating life in the city versus life in suburbia—because, before you know it, suburban life might start looking really good… #1. You’re spending more and more time out of the cityMaybe it’s heading to Westchester for grocery shopping and errands, Tiburon for brunch or Downers Grove to that great park you discovered. It could even be a few extra day trips and weekend getaways out of the city. Either way, though, you’re suddenly spending less time in the city and more time in suburbia and beyond. And that’s telling. You’ve got everything from amazing restaurants to incomparable culture to public parks, museums, theaters and shopping all within city limits. If you look forward to “getting away,” maybe it’s time to think about why—and what (maybe) is drawing you to the ‘burbs. #2. You’re elbow-deep in school applications...Maybe it’s the stress of preK placements, the mounting kindergarten applications or getting your kids into the right private schools, but something on the school front is pushing on you a little too much—and that’s making suburbia look pretty good. If the stress is starting to get to you, that could be a sign that suburbia is in your future. While, of course, there will be plenty of school considerations in suburbia, the processes tend not to be as involved, as lengthy or as stressful as they are in the city. Want to put your kindergartener in the local public school? Just register them—no applications, rankings or waiting months for a yay or nay. Thinking private? There’s competition but, often, it’s not as steep as in the city, which can take a huge weight off of your family’s shoulders. Related Posts...5 Signs it's time to move to the SuburbsThe city vs suburbiaFrom an apartment to a house in the 'burbs #3. Your apartment is bursting at the seamsTricycles in the hallway. Wagons that double as toy storage—toys that are in every room of the house, including the living room and kitchen. Scooters tucked into your parking spot—you know, the parking spot meant for your car. Storage that’s about to burst. Closets jam-packed with clothes, shoes and plenty of “miscellaneous.” No matter how you slice it, your home can’t take any more stuff—but your family is showing no signs of slowing down in the “stuff” department. You could upgrade to a bigger apartment but, in the city, that can be a challenge. A one-bedroom in SoHo rents for about $5,900 per month. Move up to a two-bedroom and you’re looking at another $2,000 - $2,500 per month—a huge difference for a growing family. And if you want to buy? In Manhattan the average purchase price hovers around $2 million—it’s a hefty price tag, especially if you aren’t getting the space your family needs. Space is one of the most common reasons we hear city families deciding to make a move. The city, simply, doesn’t fit their life and their lifestyle anymore and they’re ready to spread out in suburbia. If that sounds familiar, don’t just buy another storage bin and hope for the best. Start exploring life outside of city limits, and see how it feels. 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 .

Why Picking The Right Town Matters Most​

Gone are the days of cruising through prospective neighborhoods, hoping to feel an overwhelming connection—and, sitting at the end of the block, the perfect home. Today’s soon-to-be suburbanite has infinite tools at their fingertips, from user forums to comprehensive research tools that help paint a picture you can’t get by quickly scoping the scene. In tandem with Suburban Jungle, prospective buyers can truly dive into the true vibe of a community, and make the most informed move for their families. Here’s where to start: Nielsen PRIZMNielsen’s lifestyle segmentation defines every single household in America by a host of distinct lifestyle types. Together, these segments paint a picture of who lives in the community and what they’re like. The tool was created for marketers to enable more targeted outreach to key consumers—but, today, it’s completely free and used by tons of prospective buyers and real estate pros to get an unparalleled snapshot. Just enter a zip code and find out what household makeups look like, plus age and overarching characteristics—in other words, if you’ll be living within a “Bohemian Mix,” with “The Cosmopolitans,” “Young Digerati,” “Money & Brains” or something else.StreetAdvisorSee what locals say about your prospective neighborhood—right down to the street—with . Users can search by neighborhood, plus drill down on personality type, things to do and more.Neighborhood ScoutLooking for the true nitty gritty? Neighborhood Scout’s got it. The site has everything, from home values and type of real estate to school rating, demographics and more. With a paid premium subscription, prospective residents can even dig into crime rates and home appreciation rates. Just understand, that no matter how much research you do online, or how much data you sift through, there is nothing that can replace a true understanding of a town—which is why Suburban Jungle exists. There are many things that you need to think about that your online searches will not cover, that a local real estate agent will not show you or think to ask.​New York Magazine’s “Science of Us” recently unpacked an interesting concept that’s relevant to anyone who’s made a move or, even, is considering making a move. That concept? That when we pick up and plunk down somewhere else, our own personality shifts to better mesh with the attitudes and behaviors in our new community. From New York Magazine:  “Studies show that character traits, like anxiety and extroversion, vary from one state to another. There’s not only a New York state of mind; there’s also a Montana mentality and an Idaho id…Once a place gains a certain reputation—for example, as an enclave for artists or people of a particular religious tradition—others with similar inclinations move there themselves, thereby helping to cement that place’s character. And that character can stay somewhat consistent from generation to generation.”  In other words, “Where you move…may be a better reflection of who you already are than of who you will become.” It’s an interesting idea and one that many new and soon-to-be-suburbanites don’t fully wrap their heads around until they’ve put down some initial roots in their new ‘burb. But we see it every single day as we’re exploring communities from coast to coast, and helping connect city families with suburbs that match their family’s lifestyle and needs. And this certainly isn’t a new trend. In 2013, The New York Times called out one of the most overt examples of their popular piece “Creating Hipsturbia.” The focus? Westchester’s sought-after River Towns, where NYC transplants were bringing all things Brooklyn with them—think yoga studios, vegan soap shops and a thriving arts scene to these anything but sleepy suburbs. At the time Suburban Jungle founder and president Ali Bernstein explained, “It’s all personality driven. The overall vibe there is very laid back. It’s not very big-box retail-y, not strip-mall-y.” Related Posts...The Town vs. The House: Which matters most?What I wish I knew before I started the house hunt...What to do before you start your search...Your goal? If you’re considering moving from urban to suburban, your focus should be on finding a town that syncs with your personality and your lifestyle, not just the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’re looking for. That will not only help you and your family adjust, but will ensure you’re good to go now and in the future. Because, as New York Magazine explains, “a network of happy people can make a person happier; on the other hand, adults who move to new areas where they are in the ideological minority often feel isolated and become less able to take the perspective of others.”  We couldn’t agree more.  

Timing is EVERYTHING: Why It’s Never Too Soon To Start Scouting Suburbia​

Considering moving to the suburbs “sometime?” Read this. We hear it ALL the time. The city family with one toddler or preschool-aged child, plus a baby in tow or on the way. They love the city, but know moving to the suburbs are in their not-too-distant future. Maybe they browse houses online when they’re waiting for nursery school pickup, or poke around at moms groups in towns they’re considering. No matter what, though, they’ve got suburbia on their minds—but, still, don’t feel quite ready to take the plunge. In short? We get it. We’ve been there, we’ve done that and we work with families every single day who are feeling the push and pull of urban versus suburban life. And our advice? It’s never too soon to start scouting suburbia. Even if your move feels months or years away, why not start pounding the pavement and exploring what’s just outside of city limits? When you’re ready, suburbia will be there—and, in our experience, it won’t look that much different than when you started your search…if at all. While it may seem like window shopping, the reality is there are tons of perks to starting your search now even if moving to the suburbs isn’t next on your to-do list. For starters… You Can Find the Right Town Right Now  Some families hit on the perfect town right out of the gate—and others don’t. Plenty of city families have zeroanchor when it comes to searching suburbia. Maybe they’ll wind up in Westport, but maybe they’ll wind in Chatham (or Chappaqua or Westfield…) at the end of the day. Who knows?  By starting their search early, they can give themselves the opportunity to really explore and rule out communities that don’t sync. No one likes to feel rushed, especially not when you’re making the most important decision of your life—moving to the suburbs. Why not spend a month digging in Westchester, digest, then take a month to get to know the Garden State? If you spot something that suits, great! If not—or if you want to really get a lay of the suburban land—you can keep plugging away into Rockland County, Long Island, Fairfield County and beyond. And when you do find a ‘burb or two that fits, you can give yourself a chance to settle in and try it on for size. You may discover it’s a perfect match, or you may decide to move on. The good news? There’s no pressure one way or the other You Can Be Out Before the Kindergarten Admissions Process Many families are pretty invested in the preK process long before their child turns four. Whether it’s enrolling in the “right” threes program to ensure admission, or getting into a strategic summer program to move up on the list, parents are focused on the preK enrollment cycle for months or even years before. And, often, that’s enough for them—often, they want out before kindergarten admissions start to loom. By exploring in the toddler and preschool years, you’ll be able to hone in on the right town for your family. And, if you’ve found The Town, it’s easy enough to find The House—which means not having to get so in the mix on the kindergarten admissions process, even if you haven’t closed quite yet… Ahead of your closing date, you’ll be able to spend time getting to know your child’s future school district and, even, start getting some of the residency forms out of the way. And when you do close? Schedule time with the district registrar or principal at your child’s elementary school and get them registered. It’s infinitely easier—and infinitely more hassle-free—than the city process. Easier still? If you’re opting for private school. Once you settle on a suburb, you can start the application process even if you don’t have your housing squared away. This process can take a few weeks or, even, a few months—might as well get a jump on things so you’re good to go after moving to the suburbs. You Can Start Socializing in the Preschool Years The preschool years are an amazing time for moving to the suburbs—or, at the very least, to start integrating in your new community. At this age, parties and play dates still involve the parents, and Mom and Dad are always front-and-center at activities, classes, games and lessons. If you’ve zeroed in on a community, signing your kids up for an activity or two. Not only will this help them get acclimated and make a few friends, but you’ll start to meet your future neighbors and get an even better feel for what life will be like in the ‘burbs. And that will make your transition infinitely easier. You Won’t Be Shocked By the Commute  If you or your spouse work in the city, picking a suburb with good commute is key. By identifying a town or two that fits the bill, you can dry run the AM or PM commute a few times and see what it’s really like. Is it totally painless? Quicker than your city commute? Can you snag a seat? Does the parking lot fill up super early? What’s the commute like once you step off the train—in the city or suburbia?  By test driving the commute a few times, you won’t be shocked on day one in the ‘burbs—something that happens to a lot of city families. You’ll have a sense of who’s who and what’s what before moving to the suburbs, and will be able to navigate the path from home to work and back again like a total pro. Related Posts...I loved Brooklyn, but it was time to move to the suburbs...How we made the move...What to do before you start your search  You’re Ready to POUNCE When “The House” Hits the Market As your desired move-out date gets closer and closer, you’ll have already done the hard work—all that you’ll have left is to find the right house. And, because you’ll have been exploring the town and its real estate trends and patterns for awhile, you’ll know a great house when you see it. This will help you move on the best properties and lock them down. While other city families are still thinking about what’s next, you’ll be confident in your decision and your offer—and that, often, gives buyers a serious edge more competitive markets. You Feel “at Home” From Day One You found the right suburb. Your kids are already elbow-deep in activities. You’ve made a few friends and, maybe, your children have started to hit the birthday party circuit. And, finally, you’re moving to the suburbs. But instead of feeling like you’re jumping into the unknown, you feel like you’re coming home—because, in a lot of ways, this town has been like a second home for awhile. It’s exciting, it’s empowering and it’s filled with endless promise—exactly how any move from the city to the suburbs should be. Considering moving to the suburbs? To find the right suburb for your family based on lifestyle (and not just bedrooms and bathrooms…) CLICK HERE to begin working with a Suburbs Strategist.​ ​

From the RIVER to the PORT: How This NYC Family Found HOME on Long Island​

 The Dunleavys share their journey from New York City to Port Washington and how Suburban Jungle helped them find their dream home.  Suburban Jungle has helped countless clients make a move from urban to suburban—and once they’re settled in suburbia, they love it. The Dunleavys—one of our incredible and newly-minted suburban families—left New York City for Long Island and, months later, they haven’t looked back. Learn more about their journey from the city to suburbia and why, for this young family of four, Port Washington was the place to be.THE FAMILYElyssa and Vinnie Dunleavy, parents to Emilie (5) and Shane (2), now living in Port Washington. THEIR LIFE IN THE CITYThe family called Riverdale home for more than seven years and, in August 2016, made the move. Now they’re living in Port Washington on Long Island. In Riverdale the family lived in a two-bedroom apartment with sweeping views of Manhattan—and loved every second of it. “I remember walking into the apartment and just falling in love with it,” Elyssa says. “It was where we started our family and it was our first purchase after getting married, so it held a very special significance for us.”The family had initially planned to stay in Riverdale for five years but, like so many families, the timeline kept extending. “Five years turned into six and then seven,” Elyssa remembers. “But the lifestyle wasn’t really working out.” WHY THEY LEFT THE CITYLeaving the city was tough for the Dunleavys who loved Riverdale. “We were in Riverdale in the Bronx, which we also loved so much,” says Elyssa. “It was really hard to leave there.” But, eventually, it was time. “We had just outgrown it,” she adds. “We needed more space. One day it was like, ‘we’re bursting at the seams!’”She was also tired of being so reliant on the train, and of making the long journey to visit family “out East.” Vinnie’s parents live in Riverhead, also on Long Island, and going back and forth was exhausting. And when they visited the family, it wasn’t any easier. “We didn’t really have a comfortable space for guests to stay and my dad comes to visit quite frequently,” Elyssa explains. “My poor son didn’t even have his own bedroom and he was sleeping in our bed.”It wasn’t an immediate decision, though. Elyssa was ready, but Vinnie had to be convinced. “I definitely had to nudge my husband a little bit,” she recalls, “but he tells me all the time, ‘I’m so happy,’ now.”With Emilie on the brink of kindergarten, the family had to move quickly. “I didn’t want to disrupt her too much,” Elyssa adds. “I thought if we had to make a move, the perfect time would be right before she has to start a new school, when everybody else is starting a new school.” Her son would also be starting a nursery program that fall, so the timing was exactly right. “Everything happened when it should,” she says. THEIR LIFE IN THE CITY—NOWElyssa and Vinnie still work in NYC, both in advertising roles. The pair commute daily via Long Island Railroad to Penn Station, then heading to their nearby offices. WHY THEY CHOSE PORTPort Washington has one of the best suburban commutes around. With express trains clocking in under 40 minutes and no transfers needed to get to and from the city, the Dunleavys were immediately drawn to Port—and it wound up being a great fit.Before landing on Port, though, the family explored towns in Westchester and New Jersey, but eventually ruled them out because the commute didn’t sync with their lifestyle. They then zeroed in on some Long Island spots, looking for a town near the water with a quick, easy, comfortable commute and, beyond that, a vibrant family and vibrant restaurant scene. “All of those things were factored into our decisions,” Elyssa explains, “and also schools and how well the schools perform.” Port Washington checked all of the boxes instantly. WHAT THEY LOVE ABOUT SUBURBIA“School has been fantastic,” says Elyssa, “we’ve been so happy. The town keeps showing us more and more of how amazing it is.” They’ve also felt very welcomed by the community as a whole. “I don’t feel like I’ve had to really change to fit in,” she says, a huge plus for this now-suburban mama. WHAT THEY MISS ABOUT THE CITYWhile they’re in love with Port Washington, the Dunleavys still miss certain things about life in Riverdale. “It was definitely convenient,” Elyssa says. “If you work late and want to get home relatively quickly. We sometimes forget how far out we are and we sort of miss that convenience factor.” She also misses the quick walk to everything—the grocery store, parks, and close friends they made in Riverdale. “But we’re making new friends and there is a lifestyle adjustment,” she adds. “But I have to say, Port was a very seamless transition.” Related Posts...In Port Washington with Erika Ades...The City vs SuburbiaSimplify your move with these hacks... HOW SUBURBAN JUNGLE CONNECTED THE DOTSElyssa and Vinnie worked closely with Robin Hoberman, an NYC Strategist at Suburban Jungle, to explore towns and, eventually, explore Port Washington in a big way. “The one feature I really like about Suburban Jungle is that you can be put in touch with locals,” she explains. “And I think that talking to people who are there and asking questions was hugely helpful. You get first-hand knowledge about the place—the good, the bad and the ugly.”The family also found great value in the town tours. “Going on multiple tours of the neighborhood really helped us, too,” she adds. “We saw different sides and every time we went we saw something new and something we liked—or didn’t like.” And it didn’t end with the move. “As you’re settling in it’s great to have that foundation of support.” ADVICE SHE’D GIVE TO CITY FAMILIES“If you’re considering moving to a new town and you’re ready to embrace the suburban lifestyle,” Elyssa says, “you just have to be open-minded. And, also, really take time to explore. Go a few times. Go different times of the year, if you have that opportunity.”  

Why Picking The Right Town Matters Most​

New York Magazine’s “Science of Us” recently unpacked an interesting concept that’s relevant to anyone who’s made a move or, even, is considering making a move.  That concept? That when we pick up and plunk down somewhere else, our own personality shifts to better mesh with the attitudes and behaviors in our new community. From New York Magazine:“Studies show that character traits, like anxiety and extroversion, vary from one state to another. There’s not only a New York state of mind; there’s also a Montana mentality and an Idaho id…Once a place gains a certain reputation—for example, as an enclave for artists or people of a particular religious tradition—others with similar inclinations move there themselves, thereby helping to cement that place’s character. And that character can stay somewhat consistent from generation to generation.”  In other words, “Where you move…may be a better reflection of who you already are than of who you will become.” It’s an interesting idea and one that many new and soon-to-be-suburbanites don’t fully wrap their heads around until they’ve put down some initial roots in their new ‘burb. But we see it every single day as we’re exploring communities from coast to coast, and helping connect city families with suburbs that match their family’s lifestyle and needs.And this certainly isn’t a new trend. In 2013, The New York Times called out one of the most overt examples of their popular piece “Creating Hipsturbia.”The focus? Westchester’s sought-after River Towns, where NYC transplants were bringing all things Brooklyn with them—think yoga studios, vegan soap shops and a thriving arts scene to these anything but sleepy suburbs. At the time Suburban Jungle founder and president Ali Bernstein explained, “It’s all personality driven. The overall vibe there is very laid back. It’s not very big-box retail-y, not strip-mall-y.”Your goal? If you’re considering moving from urban to suburban, your focus should be on finding a town that syncs with your personality and your lifestyle, not just the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’re looking for. That will not only help you and your family adjust, but will ensure you’re good to go now and in the future. Because, as New York Magazine explains, “a network of happy people can make a person happier; on the other hand, adults who move to new areas where they are in the ideological minority often feel isolated and become less able to take the perspective of others.”We couldn’t agree more.Read the full New York Magazine article, “Your Personality Changes When You Move to a New Place”here.

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