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Suburban Jungle’s Alison Bernstein Featured in CEO Blog Nation!​

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Founder & President on Why SHE Started the Business

Something unique inspires every entrepreneur and business leader—and the includes Suburban Jungle’s Founder & President Alison Bernstein. Inspired by her own experience moving her family from the city to the suburbs, Alison started Suburban Jungle. Her goal was simple—after not landing in the right town for her family of six, Alison wanted to ensure future city-dwellers had the insights, intel, and access they needed to decide where to call “home.” And, backed by that unparalleled information, they’d make the right decision every single time.

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE, 21 ENTREPRENEURS EXPLAIN WHY THEY STARTED THEIR BUSINESS, ON CEO BLOG NATION!

 

“The Suburban Jungle creation stemmed from both an industry void as well as personal experience,” Alison explains. “Prior to the business launching, the real estate industry was underserving buyers and was focused solely on listings and sellers. The buyers represent 50% of all transactions, yet they have historically received no love from the industry whatsoever.” The company launched first in the New York City suburbs and, now, is in San Francisco, LA, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, DC, with plans to expand even more in the near future.

 

“[W]e lived this exact experience,” Alison continues. “We were trying to figure out where to go—whether or not to stay in NYC or leave… and if we were to leave—which of the over 500 potential towns would be the right one for our family? Without any direction, or ability to get answers … it was a painful and stressful process. The industry was ripe for a service to solve this problem that affects almost everyone at this particular stage in life.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE, 21 ENTREPRENEURS EXPLAIN WHY THEY STARTED THEIR BUSINESS, ON CEO BLOG NATION!

 

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.

Image Credit: CEO Blog Nation

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Ready for the Suburbs? Read On.

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Suburban Jungle Featured on San Francisco Moms Blog!

It happens to the best of us — we graduate college, we get jobs, we move to the city. Then, suddenly, life kicks into full swing and, in what feels like the blink of an eye, we’re laser-focused on kids and outdoor space and kindergarten admissions. And, often, city families start thinking suburbia around that time.

 

“As great as the city was,” explains San Francisco Moms Blog, “there were downsides to living there.” And, as they explain, it wasn’t just the cramped quarters. “Suddenly, the idea of owning a minivan and having a backyard where the kids could actually go outside to play felt very appealing.” If that rings too true, READ on. These Bay Area mamas have rounded up EIGHT signs it’s time to call the suburbs “home.”

 

Some other clear-cut signals? Your parking ticket “habit” is getting a little OOC. And speaking of OOC, have you seen the cost of private school tuition in the city? Because we have — and so has our blogger friend. In a word: yikes.

 

And besides that, of course, there are the amazing perks to heading to the suburbs — think summer grilling, the allure of having a backyard and having a better sense of your kids’ next steps, at least on the school front. In short, we couldn’t agree with San Francisco Moms Blog more — these are ALL signs it’s time to consider 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

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Suburban Jungle Featured in The New York Post ​

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The Suburbs are for the DOGS…

Often, it’s kids who drive a city family’s move to the suburbs. It makes sense—a couple can comfortably live in the city but, once kids (and all of their stuff…) get introduced to a small apartment, all bets are off. Add another child or two, their stuff and, soon enough, kindergarten admissions, and it’s enough to send even the most devoted urbanites to suburbia.

 

But sometimes it’s not the kids—or at least not in the traditional sense. Because, more and more, city dwellers are heading to the suburbs to give someone else a different lifestyle: their dogs.

 

For the Suburban Jungle Strategy team, this has become the case more and more. In this article, The New York Post quotes recent Suburban Jungle clients Sarah Remington and David Ross. The then-Brooklyn based couple worked with our team to find the right suburb for their lifestyle—and, of course, for their five-year-old Scottish terrier, Titus.

“Having a nice yard was an obvious essential,” the article explains. “They also sought out a home with large windows in the front for the dog to look out of—something he’d enjoyed in an apartment they’d lived in when he was a puppy—and stairs to keep Titus in shape. And, of course, they wanted to be near a park. Such considerations were taken alongside their desire for an older home with historical charm.” Ultimately, Sarah and David settled in West Orange, New Jersey. “[The move] was for the whole family,” Sarah explained to The Post. “[Titus] is an important part of our lives.”

 

Recently, the trio moved into a Victorian, and add Titus is “settling into it and he’s protective of it as well. It’s his castle.”

 

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.

Logo/Visual: New York Post

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A Town-first Approach Lands this Family of 5 in New Jersey

For nearly 20 years, Amy Ro and wife Ruth, considered themselves “dyed in the wool” New Yorkers. But, after welcoming three kids, “we were definitely outgrowing our two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment,” Amy says. “We just needed more space for the kids to have their own rooms, a basement and a yard to play in.” And besides that, private school tuition was becoming cost prohibitive. With soon-to-be three school-aged kids, towns with excellent public school systems became alluring.

 

With an eye on finding on the right suburb, Amy and Ruth connected with Suburban Jungle Director of Strategy Patti Natiss who helped them craft an initial list of prospective towns. “The main thing was finding a community where we’d feel at home,” explains Amy. “We wanted a town that was very liberal, open-minded and progressive; a place where our kids would feel welcome. That was first on our list.”

 

Ultimately, “it was Patti and Suburban Jungle that helped us identify where we needed to be looking,” she adds. “We actually started our search in Montclair but after not immediately connecting with the housing stock, we moved on to Westchester,” Amy says, “where we explored a half dozen towns touring neighborhoods, schools and houses.  We circled back to Montclair where we started one and half years prior. After seeing what else what out there, we knew Montclair was the right community for us. Once the perfect house came on the market, we grabbed it and haven’t looked back since.” In June, they made the move with their crew—then seven, five and two-and-a-half—in tow.

 

Since day one, it’s been an easy transition for all five of them. “My older two are in the public elementary school here, and my younger one is in nursery school,” Amy shares. “We were certainly nervous about the switch from private school in the city to public school in New Jersey, but they have been so happy. They absolutely love it!”

 

And it’s not just the kids who are easing into suburban life. Amy and Ruth are making friends and seamlessly integrating into the community—Ruth has even come around to the commute. “Initially, she wasn’t so thrilled,” says Amy, “because her travel time went from 15 minutes when we were living in Chelsea, to over an hour.”  Fast forward a few months and “now that she’s used to it, she doesn’t mind it at all. The train line from Montclair is direct to the city and she can walk from Penn station to her office. In fact I think she actually enjoys having some time to herself on the train!”

 

To city families considering making a move, Amy suggests focusing on the town first. “Finding the right town, for us, was the most important thing,” she adds, “and it IS out there. Sometimes it seems like the city is the center of the universe and everything outside just doesn’t live up, but that’s not the case. We were able to find a town that feels very urban with an incredibly diverse, open-minded community.” The only difference? “We just happen to have houses with basements and backyards now.”

 

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.

Photo provided by Amy Ro.

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Suburban Jungle helps another city family make the leap to suburbia!

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See what city families say about Suburban Jungle!

Another AMAZING Suburban Jungle family makes the leap from urban to suburban! Laura D. and her family worked closely with Suburban Jungle’s New York Director of Strategy Patti Natiss to identify suburbs that were in-step with their lifestyle. The end result? The right town for her and her family, and a great experience transitioning from the city to suburbia.

Welcome to the suburbs, Laura D!

 

“Deciding where you are going to live, raise your family and probably make one of the biggest investments of your life is not a decision that should be taken lightly. This is why I am glad I had Patti to guide me through this stressful process.

After one 45 minute phone call, Patti understood what was important to me and my family. Even when I wanted to go astray and look at other NYC suburbs she wisely knew were not a fit for my family, she gracefully steered me back to where we needed to be. We found a home in one of her suggested suburbs.

Looking back, I am scared on where we could have ended up if we had not listened to her feedback. Patti is excellent at what she does and the consummate professional. Not many people can ‘figure you out’ in one call and know where you will ultimately be happy. My husband and I will be forever grateful for her guidance. She is a good listener, extremely trustworthy and truly wants her clients to be happy.”

 

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 www.suburbanjunglerealty.com in visit and click GET STARTED.

 

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From London to Manhattan to Maplewood ​

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A Suburban Jungle Journey Featured in The New York Times!

 

They started in London but, four years ago, wound up on Riverside Drive. And, two years ago, Brad Archer and Ross Haynes decided it was time to make another move — this time, to the suburbs. So they called Suburban Jungle. “The service seemed ideal ‘for people like us who don’t know where to go,’ said Brad.”

 

After exploring a few hand-selected towns in New Jersey, the couple settled on Maplewood and, this fall, they made the move with their story chronicled in a recent edition of “The Hunt,” in The New York Times.

 

READ THE FULL STORY, “A PLACE WITH ROOM TO GROW,” HERE

 

Why Maplewood? For the Archer-Haynes family, the “lively downtown…filled with charming houses,” and the walkability to New Jersey Transit made it a win all-around. And when, in summer 2017, their bid was accepted on a four-bedroom side-hall colonial, all of the pieces finally came together.

 

READ THE FULL STORY, “A PLACE WITH ROOM TO GROW,” HERE

 

Now, months in, Brad and Ross are loving life in Maplewood. “Mr. Ross has even found British treats for sale at a nearby store, the Wine Barrel, ‘so I can get my fill of digestive biscuits,’ he said.” More importantly, though, the couple says they “can actually have a family here and not feel constrained.”

 

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.

Photo credit: Laura Moss for The New York Times, “A Place With Room to Grow.”

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Montclair vs. the Rivertowns

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Suburban Jungle Weighs in for The New York Times

“Call them the least suburban of suburbs,” writes The New York Times“each one celebrated by buyers there for its culture and hip factor, as much as the housing stock and sophisticated post-city life.” They’re the “Brooklyn Triangle” — Maplewood, Montclair and the Rivertowns. And, over and over, they’re the suburban hotspots an overwhelmingly number of Suburban Jungle clients test drive before settling on a final town.

 

READ THE FULL STORY, “Comparing Suburbs: Montclair in New Jersey vs. Dobbs Ferry in New York,” HERE

 

To us and other insiders, it’s no surprise people love them. “They are places where you can easily score a slice of gluten-free banana bread, spend an afternoon at a local farmers’ market,” says the Times, “and board a train with as many people dressed in jeans and sneakers as in suits.”

 

So how do city families choose which of these on-trend towns is right for them? Suburban Jungle Founder & President Alison Bernstein weighed in explaining, “there is a name brand associated with the Rivertowns, and nearly every couple leaving the city takes a look there.” Some love it, but “some are surprised by how tiny the villages are, and how quiet their streets. They see a handful of restaurants in Irvington or Dobbs Ferry, spy a few mom-and-pop shops and wonder aloud if the place is too simple for their urbane tastes.”

In Montclair, though, “That isn’t a problem” since the town boasts “big-name retailers like Anthropologie, Lululemon, the Gap and Whole Foods. There is also an indie movie theater, as well as numerous coffeehouses and more than one well-stocked independent bookstore.”

 

READ THE FULL STORY, “Comparing Suburbs: Montclair in New Jersey vs. Dobbs Ferry in New York,” HERE

 

So where to land? Ultimately, it’s up to you and your family — the goal is to find a town and a community that syncs with your unique wants, needs and lifestyle. Whether that’s the Rivertowns, Montclair, Maplewood or somewhere completely different, the most important thing is finding a place you can — and want to — call “home.”

 

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.

Photo credit: Tony Cenicola, The New York Times

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From the UWS to Irvington​

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Finding an Incredible Community in the Rivertowns!

Ted and Kristin Mann loved life on the Upper West Side but, after welcoming their second child, that 750-square foot apartment started to feel a little tight. When they moved in 2012, “it was the perfect apartment and the perfect place to live for that point in our life, but that time had ended,” Ted explains. “We had two bedrooms but the second was pretty tiny. When our daughter moved into my son’s room—that second bedroom—it was pretty packed. Plus the apartment itself was getting crowded—you start to feel like the walls are closing in on you!” Knowing they wanted their son to start kindergarten in the suburbs, the Manns started searching, with help from Suburban Jungle Director of Strategy Patti Natiss.

 

Working with Patti, the Manns established their must-haves. “For us the driving factors were a mix of practical and more intangible, qualitative things,” Ted explains. “We wanted something that felt right.” On the practical side, the family wanted a relatively close commute since Ted heads into the city each morning. “It’s important for me to see the kids in the morning and be home for dinner,” he says. They also wanted great public schools and a more laid back community.

 

Initially, their search led them to two “finalists:” the Rivertowns and the Larchmont/Mamaroneck area. In the end, though, they chose Irvington. “We liked Larchmont,” Ted says, “but we just felt very drawn to Irvington. It felt like the right place for us.” Not only did they love the community, but they quickly found “The House,” sealing the deal for the family. “Patti did a good job getting to know us and our personalities, our interests and our priorities,” he adds, “so her pointing us to the Rivertowns was a good call.”

 

Another perk to Irvington? “We had friends from the city who moved here a year before us, and have a kid the exact same age as our son,” Ted explains. “It made the transition much easier for him. He moved to a town where one of his best friends already lives, and now he’s making more friends. It’s been great.”

 

Since moving in June, it’s been smooth sailing. “It’s pretty new but we’re settling in,” Ted says. “Everything has been absolutely great so far. The house is awesome, the community is great.” This past September, their son started kindergarten and “is doing great,” he adds. “He’s making friends, he’s loving school.” Even the commute has been good. “All else equal it would be amazing to have a two minute commute,” he says. “But it’s really not a big deal at all. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes door to desk, and the train ride itself is beautiful—it’s right along the Hudson River.” Ted has also found plenty of ways to be productive on the train. “I get a solid 40 minutes on the train to read and collect my thoughts on both ends,” he adds, “and I feel like I can make it all work, even with a little bit less time in the office.”

 

On of the biggest surprises so far has been the incredible sense of community Ted and Kristin have discovered in Irvington. “We had this idea that we’d move to the suburbs and not know anyone and feel isolated,” he says. “For us that hasn’t been the case at all. When you find a community that’s a good fit, there tends to be a lot of like-minded people. We have two small kids and want to get to know other families with little kids, and it’s easy to do that—lots of people just moved from Brooklyn or the city and they’re in the same situation. They’re looking to make friends.”

 

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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SUBLURBS: Loving Life in La Grange!

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Laura Schwartz’s family made the move from Chicago to La Grange, and NEVER looked back. See why they love life in La Grange, with this insider peak at one of Chicago’s hottest suburbs.

Historic homes with front porches, trains to the city and a cute downtown — those features jumped right out at us when we first toured La Grange. But, as we quickly discovered, that was just the beginning. Because, while these initial impressions drew us in, the sense of community and the people who call it home helped us fall in love with La Grange.

For our family, La Grange is the perfect balance of a quaint, small town plus a decidedly urban feel. Most of the homes in La Grange are within walking distance of the Metra — another huge selling point for us and plenty of commuting families like us.

Make a Night of It…

Most homes are walkable to La Grange’s vibrant downtown, which has a great mix of restaurants and retail — again, another massive selling point for our crew. Now that we live here we have some local favorites. On a typical Friday night we love walking into town with our kids and picking from one of the many great restaurants, all right there, with ample seating even on a popular night-out. One favorite — Nicksons — has an amazing beef brisket grilled cheese, but also the best tacos in La Grange.

Then after dinner? If the kids have their way, we wind up at Tates, an old-fashioned ice cream shop owned by one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, Maria Marciniec. Every kid who grew up in the area will, no doubt, have fond memories of eating ice cream at Tates. Whether its hosting hula hoop contests outside the store on a Friday night or hiding Tates coins in parks for neighborhood kids to find and redeem for a free cone, Maria thinks of ways to connect the community and provide family fun. Kids especially love going to Tates in the winter to make gingerbread houses and, all year, for birthday parties — not only do you get the best ice cream, but the kids get to make fun crafts while they’re there.

In that vein, my kids also love being able to walk to the La Grange Theater, where we can all catch a movie and eat what is, without a doubt, the very best movie popcorn I’ve ever had. And for date night? My husband and I love Steak and Vine, where the drinks are served by friendly, knowledgeable bartenders and the food is delicious. The shrimp and grits are amazing and my husband raves about their perfectly-cooked steaks every time we go. Rounding out our recs is Vintage Charm, a fashion and home boutique that sells cute clothes, accessories and home decor. It’s virtually impossible to walk out without something new for yourself, too, whether it be a cute pair of earrings or a unique frame — you’ve been warned!

We’re All About WALKING

Clearly, La Grange is a walking town — and that comes with huge perks. Besides the obvious — hitting all of these hotspots on foot — it’s so easy to get to know your neighbors when you’re all moving about town, sans cars. I attribute that to La Grange’s deep sense of community which, hands down, you’ll see on any summer or fall weekend. Everyone is out and about, on their bikes and zigzagging to block parties or stopping by their neighbor’s for a cup of coffee and a quick chat.

All of this comes back to one thing: community. I’ll never forget when I had my third child and my husband went back to work. My neighbors immediately brought over a delicious lunch and offered to take my older two — both toddlers at the time — to the park so I could have alone time with the new baby. It was an amazing gesture and a true lifesaver as I struggled to balance three little ones who all needed my attention.

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Where Everyone Knows Your Name

I have so many examples just like that, and I know my friends and neighbors do, too. People take care of each other in La Grange, and treat neighborhood kids like their own. One of our favorite community events in the summer is the Pet Parade, which is the first Saturday in June. Local businesses and organizations create floats and the whole town lines the streets to watch the fun. In December, we never miss Hometown Holiday, which is hosted by the La Grange Business Association the first Saturday in December.

The first year we went I looked around and saw kids on their dads’ shoulders trying to get the best view of Santa as he arrived on a fire truck while the entire town sang, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” In that moment, I knew we were in a special place — a place that values tradition, family and small business. We walked around and saw ice sculptures, stopped in the shops to start our holiday shopping and got treated to hot chocolate and candy canes. We made so many memories that night and, now, it’s become one of our very favorite annual traditions.

Now that we’ve made a home and a life here, it’s hard to imagine being anywhere else. We love living in La Grange, and are always eager to welcome new people to this bustling, community-first ‘burb.

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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Choosing Chappaqua and Never Looking Back​

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The family wanted a laid-back community – a description that fits Chappaqua

Randi Rosenblatt and her family had spent nearly a decade in the city when they decided to make the move. “I’m originally from the New York suburbs and my husband is from LA,” she says, “but we had been in New York City together since 2008, after grad school.” The couple spent two years in Chelsea before heading to the Upper West Side, where they lived for seven years—four of them with their young son. But with baby #2 on the way, it was time to start exploring the suburbs.

Working with Suburban Jungle NYC Strategist Patti Natiss, the family dove right in. “We knew we wanted Westchester or Connecticut,” Randi says, “and Chappaqua was on our list. We knew a few people in Chappaqua and had always enjoyed our visits so it was definitely included on our list.” Patti, she adds, “reaffirmed it.”

Soon after their search started, the family decided to focus solely on Westchester. While they liked Connecticut, the towns they leaned towards didn’t sync with their school and commute goals. They regrouped with Patti and refined their list, focusing on Chappaqua, Briarcliff, Rye Brook, Dobbs Ferry and Irvington. “We wanted to go as far as we could yet still be comfortably commutable,” Randi explains.

Randi says the family wanted a community that was more “laid back,” and that included plenty of families with two working parents. “We didn’t want to land somewhere too intense,” she adds. “We wanted a top-ranked school district that wasn’t massive but that wasn’t minuscule. So the fact that Chappaqua has three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school was very appealing.”

In June, Randi and her husband closed on their home in Chappaqua. They moved in two months later and, this past Fall, their four-year-old son started Pre-K. Baby #2 turned one this month. “We’re all thrilled and we haven’t looked back,” she says. For Randi, the biggest changes and challenges have centered on childcare and commuting. Randi’s husband commutes to the City daily and, while she typically works from home, she heads into the City a few times per week. She’s also discovered that it’s not minutes on the train that matters most but, instead, the quality of that commute. In fact, she says, her husband has come to embrace the commute. “He’d rather be home sooner,” Randi says, “but I think he enjoys the time to decompress a bit. There are definitely some pros to it.”

To City families, Randi offers this piece of advice: “Do it when you’re ready.” She’s happy to have stayed in the City during her older son’s early years and touts the convenience of urban living with a baby and toddler. She also reiterates Suburban Jungle’s town-first approach. “It’s the Suburban Jungle mantra and I totally believe it,” she adds. “Pick your town before you pick your house. We picked our town long before we picked our house. It was a tight market, and we would have considered renting before we’d have considered going to a different town.” That perseverance paid off. “We are really happy we stayed in the City for as long as we did, but we’re so happy we’re in Chappaqua now.”

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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