Suburban Jungle is one of our favorite (new to us) resources for families relocating from cities to the ‘burbs. It’s a real estate business founded by mom and real estate veteran Alison Bernstein, totally focused on helping buyers learn about different towns before making the leap. We spoke to the Greenwich mom of four about her family life in Back Country, her growing brand and her favorite spots in the area.
Can you please tell us a bit about your family and where you live? We have four kids all one year apart…and a huge dog named Walter. He looks bigger than he is as he has a lot of hair (mandatory blow outs twice weekly!). We live in Back Country Greenwich. However, part of our property cuts into Westchester and so our children go to school there.
Why did you choose your neighborhood? Our thought was that if we were going to leave the city, we were really going to leave! We wanted tons of land, and to feel as if we were on vacation when we were home.
What is your favorite part of living in the ‘burbs? I love the space and also the ability to do what we love the most—truly spend time together as a family, whether playing tennis, golf, boating and being in closer proximity to skiing. On a beautiful weather day we can really experience the seasons. My kids go to a school where everyone knows everyone and all of the kids go up through the years together.
What is Suburban Jungle and why did you start it? Suburban Jungle is a free service that helps families find the right suburb based on true personality of the town and the family—not just bedrooms, bathrooms and home price. Our incredible and innovative strategy team uses our proprietary technology, on the ground research and personalized know-how to formulate a personalized home search strategy for each family and personally work with each family through the process of selecting the right suburb.
All is served up to the family on their personalized dashboard or app, eliminating countless hours scouring various sources for commute times, school info, private school questions and other questions. There are over 500 towns in the NY area alone, and our team does the work of sifting through these towns to create a curated process from start to finish, all free of charge.
What is the biggest challenge for most families when they are making a move like this? The biggest issue is fear. They truly don’t know the questions to ask, or what to expect. The other issue is they really don’t know where to start. Before our business came into existence, people were just asking around, Googling— and really focused on the wrong things. They were focusing on bedrooms, bathrooms, house, land…when in reality you needed to understand where you should move first and then focus on those details.
What is the thing you hear most often from families you work with? We don’t want to leave the city! Or they don’t want to be in the “suburbs.” They also want to walk everywhere, and are scared about being isolated. Or they are nervous about meeting people and making friends.
Where do you see Suburban Jungle heading? We continue to have exponential growth. We have built out an incredible proprietary technology platform, an AI platform and continue to launch new cities and products. We see ourselves really rolling out these incredible products to the masses and continuing to grow our strategy team!
If we are ever in your area, which local businesses should we check out? What are your favorite places to:
- Eat with/without kids – Meli Melo (with) , and though I take my kids everywhere…we do weekly date night at Inn at Pound Ridge (Jean Georges’ restaurant) or L’escale in Greenwich.
- Grab a drink with friends – Modern Barn in Armonk
- Spend time together as a family – On the water by L’escale, playing golf and tennis, etc.
- Shop for yourself or kids – Online 🙂 Also, Lester’s and Ruby and Jenna for the kids. For me, True Grace in Armonk, Saks in Greenwich and Intermix in Greenwich.
- Go to the spa/salon – I get my nails done at Greens Nails.
- Grab coffee – Tazza in Armonk