When it comes to moving from the city to the suburbs, many families focus on one thing: THE HOUSE. And that makes sense — finding a great house for your brood is incredibly important. It is, after all, where you’re going to make memories for years, if not a lifetime. Where you’ll celebrate holidays and milestones, and mark endless moments.
But here’s the thing — it’s not the be all, end all. Yes, you read that right. Where you live is unbelievably important — but that where is so much bigger than just the house. Because, as any suburban family will tell you, the neighborhood is what matters most. Finding a community that’s totally in-step with your crew and their lifestyle is essential to truly feeling at home now and in the future.
And that’s exactly where Suburban Jungle comes in. This New York City-based firm has helped countless families moving from the city to suburbia. And, on the heels of their massive success in NYC, the company has expanded to include San Francisco, L.A., Chicago and, now, Boston — and city families are definitely taking notice.
So how does it work?
Suburban Jungle pairs Boston families with a local Suburbs Strategist who knows the ins and out of every ‘burb in the area. Based on an in-depth questionnaire and ongoing conversations, town tours, and feedback, Strategists continue to hone in on spots that could be a great fit for that individual family. These suburban pros take a lot of info, intel, and insights into account — details that go way beyond the number of bedrooms and bathrooms a family is looking for. Some of those key pieces?
What are your family’s interests and passions?
Are you an active, outdoorsy family? Do your kids participate in any competitive sports? Is it all about arts, music, and culture in your house? Maybe you’re a foodie family or are all about eating local or, maybe, vegan? Beach goers? All about the nightlife? Calm and casual?
There’s no right or wrong here, just what works for your family. Your Strategist will help zero in on your family’s unique personality and can suggest communities that could align. Maybe it’s that town with the amazing farmer’s market and CSAs, or a community with a bustling downtown. Or it could be the neighborhood that’s known for its burgeoning cultural scene, or one close to great hiking and biking trails. There are endless possibilities and, hands down, your family will be happier if you find a town that syncs up with your interests and passions.
Do Mom and Dad work? And, if so, where?
Where you work — and if both parents work — can make a huge difference in finding the right suburb. If you plan to take the MBTA or some other public transportation to and from the city every day, you want to make sure it’s convenient to your new town. That doesn’t mean you need to be a straight shot to the city, but it is important to ensure your commute won’t be a total time suck. If one parent stays home, you may have some flexibility there — it ultimately comes down to you, your family, and your lifestyle.
And, beyond that, you want to make sure you have a comfortable, relatively pleasant to-and-from, no matter where you work. A long, unreliable train ride with no free seats and commuters packed shoulder to shoulder can get really old really quickly.
What is your childcare plan?
What are your childcare plans post-move? In suburbia, different towns — and even different neighborhoods — tend to have different norms as far as childcare goes. While you can certainly buck the trends, many families prefer to find a spot that syncs with their childcare choices. Many don’t love the idea of being the only working mama in a sea of SAHMs, for example, or spending their days hanging out with the neighborhood nannies because all the other moms are in the city from 9-5. Same goes for the kids — no one likes to see their kid excluded from after-school activities and playdates because they go to daycare and their friends have nannies or au pairs. Your Strategist can help you survey the scene and figure out who’s who and what’s what.
What do you consider a “good school”?
Every parent wants to send their kid to a great school. But ask 10 parents what constitutes a “great school” and you’ll get 10 different answers. You may be on the hunt for a powerhouse school district anchored by a huge high school with tons of electives, AP classes, sports, and clubs. Or you may want your kids to be in a smaller school with more individualized attention — to you that may be a “great” school.
You may also be looking for a specialized school — private, independent, parochial, language immersion, or charter, let’s say. By narrowing down your preferences and priorities you’ll be able to focus in on school districts and towns that support your educational decisions. And that’s always an A+.
What can’t you live without?
Soul Cycle? Barre classes? Whole Foods? Farmer’s market? Kids activities and classes? Doggie daycare? Every family has some must-haves. While they don’t necessarily have to be in town — that’s what cars are for, after all — you’ll want to make sure all your faves are accessible once you move.
Anywhere you’re already considering?
You could have a close friend or relative in that particular town or, maybe, have just heard great things. Either way, there’s no harm in adding those towns to your must-see list!
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 to find the place your family truly fits in, visit www.suburbanjunglerealty.com and click GET STARTED.