Even if you THINK you know the right suburb for your family, it’s important to keep an open mind and explore towns beyond your “must-see” list.
We hear it all the time—a city family knows they want to be in Scarsdale. Or Palo Alto. Or Reston, Brookline or Plano. But, slowly, as we start to dig in and explore, other towns seem like better and better options—better, even, than the must-have town that kicked off their search.
“A lot of times families know other families who moved to Port Washington or Roslyn or Larchmont,” says Suburban Jungle NYC Strategist Maya Konig. “Maybe they even spent an afternoon there and thought it was cute. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right town for you and your family. You need to explore. You need to try things out. You need to see what’s out there and what feels right.”
The reality? There are hundreds of suburbs within commuting distance to your city—and, chances are, the town you’re laser-focused on right now might not be where you land, for a variety of reasons.
“Sometimes the commute isn’t what they expected” explains Erica Tuscano, Head Strategist of the Dallas office. “Sometimes they actually spend a few days in the town they thought they wanted and it doesn’t feel right. Or sometimes they just find something that feels more right!”
It’s a reason many families sync up with Suburban Jungle. “Suburban Jungle worked very closely with us to find a town that would be a good fit,” says Suburban Jungle client Eileen Ryan. “They were honest and direct with answers about our budget, the different town vibes, schools and commute and perhaps most importantly they were always available. Leaving New York City was a tough decision but we couldn’t be more pleased with where we have ended up.”
Justin Feldman agrees. “While assuredly most helpful for those who are searching for the right location to buy a home without any existing preference or connection to an area, Suburban Jungle would be just as valuable for those who already have a particular suburb in mind,” he explains. “All home buyers should be seeking to conduct proper due diligence on the area they initially considered for their home, inclusive of benchmarking their first choice against comparable alternatives that also fit many of their same criteria.”
As families explore, they often start to see the “real” side of a community—and it may or may not sync with their lifestyle or wants. “I had a family who was very settled on a name brand Long Island town recently,” Maya explains. “It’s a great town, too, and seemed to be a good fit. But once they really started looking at it and thinking about the long-term, they noticed things they didn’t like—they couldn’t get parking at the local train station, the houses in their price range were old, small and very close together and they just didn’t get the right vibe once they started exploring without their friends.”
This family, she added, went so far as to enroll their kids in local sports programs, just to get a real taste for the town. “They just didn’t like the other parents,” she said. “To them, they felt very standoffish and not very welcoming. It was a turn-off, and they wound up exploring other towns—two years later they’re in a totally different community that wasn’t even on their list, and they love it.”
There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.