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How to Shop for a Family-Friendly Home in the Suburbs

U.S. suburbs are experiencing the greatest population growth in the nation. People are more likely to relocate to a suburb from a nearby city than the other way around.

Nearly two million people moved from cities to suburbs in the last year, experts say. As economic conditions improve, many American families are hoping to purchase a suitable house in the suburbs. The challenge is often to find a town that’s right for them, which can be difficult.


Urban families that have spent many years in a big city want to find a place where they’ll have great amenities, yet can still get to work easily. While the homes can look good, a family also has to consider schools and their children’s other needs when they’re looking for a new suburban home.

Suburban Jungle Realty Group, which serves the New York metropolitan area helps its clients identify the best places for a family to settle within the region. The process begins with a questionnaire to address client needs.

This compiles suitable information about what the client family is seeking in terms of child-care options, schools, commute times, and local health care.

Suburban Jungle Realty can connect you with local town consultants to address your questions from a first-person perspective. In other words, they connect clients with local Realtors who know the area.

Although it started in New York, the firm has expanded to the Chicago region. Suburban Jungle receives its fee from a seller-paid commission when the house closes.

How to find family-friendly homes

Families with kids in school are attracted to places with lower-density, affordable housing, and good schools. Parents will undergo longer commute times to find such places.

Start your search by looking for the right town. Don’t focus on specific homes just yet; concentrate instead on schools, commute times, housing affordability, and recreational opportunities. You don’t want to get sucked into a home because it looks great when the other amenities are lacking.

In addition, you shouldn’t let a great suburban downtown center influence your new home search. Main Street might offer great specialty shops, but if it isn’t family-friendly shopping, it might not be the right fit.

Grocery shopping and regular errands might not be so easy to accomplish in some towns that have attractive downtowns.

What’s important in house hunting

You have to get to know the school system. Visit various schools and talk to parents. Check out preschool drop-offs and look into district funding for arts, sports, and other programs. Even if your kids are not yet school age, they will be eventually.

Commute times are also important. Don’t just look at train or bus schedules; find out how long people take to get to the city, and how the highways work. Even driving to a train station can be an important factor, along with parking availability and public transport locations.

Suburbs offer a lot of value to families. The houses generally have bigger backyards and more interior space. They also can be less expensive than urban homes.

Trading commute times for affordability and ambiance is a price families are often happy to pay for better home value, space for kids to play, and more storage space.