Tips and Advice from Suburban Jungle on Moving to Westchester
Thinking about moving to Westchester? Many families took the leap during the pandemic, finding a new life in Westchester, or the nearby area. But there are always many families pondering the “should I stay or should I go” question when it comes to life in suburbs. If you find yourself on that journey, you may be overwhelmed by all of the options, especially if you are not familiar with Westchester.
Enter Suburban Jungle, a concierge service that helps homebuyers find the perfect town/suburb for their next home. To learn more, we spoke with Suburban Jungle and Westchester-based strategists, Robin Hoberman and Eleanor Johnson. Robin has been working at Suburban Jungle since 2015 and Eleanor was a previous client of Robin’s who used Suburban Jungle to find her home in 2017. Below, they are sharing their wealth of knowledge about the Westchester market and how they can help clients find the perfect new hometown.
Westchester Family: What are some things people should do before they move to Westchester?
Suburban Jungle: As Suburban Jungle strategists, we work with our clients to create a list of “must see” towns in Westchester based on their lifestyle and preferences. Then, we recommend our clients begin taking town tours, while we provide strategic guidance along the way.
Each tour is fully customized so that our clients can focus on the factors that are most important to them, whether that’s the local schools, restaurants, farmer’s markets or even the commute to the city.
Suburban Jungle’s tours provide our clients with a hands-on understanding of the inner workings of a town so they can take everything in and envision what it would be like to live in that community. Most of our clients are moving to Westchester from New York City and do not realize everything the suburbs have to offer!
Westchester Family: How can families find their “perfect” town?
Suburban Jungle: Through our town tours, our clients will find the perfect place for their next home in Westchester. On these tours, we recommend that our clients immerse themselves in the culture of a community.
If they can, we recommend making a weekend out of it so they can stay at a local hotel or Airbnb. While there, they should check out the community’s hot spots and talk to the people who live there, whether at a popular local café, a high school sporting event, or a farmer’s market. Visiting towns during the fall is ideal because so many events happen during this time of year, and you can often get the best sense of what it’s truly like to live in a community.
Westchester Family: What’s the best way to see if a town is right for them?
Suburban Jungle: Finding the right town involves a lot of discovery, both internally and externally. Our clients must not only discover a community that resonates with them and aligns with their interests, but they also must discover their priorities. We find that some of our clients don’t really know what they want until they see what a town has to offer, and they may even shift their priorities in the middle of their search.
Once the town search is in progress, a client often gets an emotional feeling where they know that a town is the place they belong. Similar to dating, clients must sort through a few towns before finding their forever home. It often comes down to the vibe, comfort and familiarity they find within the town. We often hear of our clients having an “a ha!” moment when they’ve found the perfect town because it just feels right.
Westchester Family: Where are area in Westchester many families are moving now?
Suburban Jungle: Westchester is a very popular destination to move right now. We have Suburban Jungle clients living all over the county, but some areas that we have been seeing more families move to include Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Chappaqua, Rye Brook and Pleasantville. Each of these communities has its own unique charms and amenities!
Westchester Family: Anything else to add?
Suburban Jungle: Lots of people don’t realize that many towns in Westchester have Newcomers Clubs, where they can meet other people who recently moved to the area. Joining these groups can be a great way to meet new people in the community who they may have a lot in common with—we highly recommend them to our clients! Finally, many of our clients are really surprised by what the communities of Westchester have to offer.
Just because you’re moving out of the city, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all the urban conveniences that you have come to depend on. Many communities in Westchester have excellent restaurants, breweries, and cultural offerings. Additionally, you can use services like Uber, Fresh Direct, Equinox, and much more.