Dani and her family were ready for their next chapter — and they made it happen.
After four years of living in San Francisco, Dani Friedland and her husband knew it was time for a change.
“With both of us working from home since the start of the pandemic — and with two young kids — we wanted more space,” she explains. “We wanted a yard, too — and we didn’t want to keep renting or moving every few years.”
Prior to the pandemic, the couple had thought about leaving the city, going so far as to explore towns in the South, North, and East Bay. By summer 2021 — when they first reached out to Suburban Jungle — they were settled on the East Bay area. But despite narrowing down their search considerably, they weren’t sure what to do or where to look next.
“We knew we wanted strong public schools from elementary to high school,” Dani explains. “We also wanted to be close to outdoor activities and have easy access to the city.”
Exploring the East Bay
With these “must-haves” in mind Pamela Goldman, their Suburban Jungle Strategist, dove in and built out an initial strategy. Based on the family’s specific wants and needs, Pamela suggested Palo Alto, Mill Valley, Tiburon, Berkeley, Rockridge and Piedmont to start.
“As I got to know Dani and learned more about her family, what they wanted, specifically, and some of those ‘intangibles’ — how they like spending weekends, what they do for fun, and things like that, the strategy really came together,” Pamela says. “These are family-friendly towns with A+ schools — and, because they’re a busy, active family, there’s tons to do in these communities, especially outdoor activities.”
Together with Suburban Jungle’s local partner agents, Dani and her family explored each town. When they toured Piedmont, though, they knew they’d found “home.”
“Piedmont really clicked with the family,” Pamela said. “It happens all the time — people tour a town and they just know!”
“The schools in Piedmont are excellent and it’s a very family-friendly town,” she says. “The rec center has a ton of great programming for kids and adults throughout the year — crafts, Judo, music, knitting, dancing, soccer, robotics, summer camps…just about anything you or your kids might be interested in. We also love the proximity to Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and the outdoor recreation in spots like Tilden.”
From urban to suburbban… in two months!
Despite the hyper-competitive market, within two months the family closed on a home in Piedmont.
“Our agent supported us through every step of the process,” Dani says. “Even after closing she helped us find contractors and answered questions about our new home.”
In January 2022 the family made the move from the city to suburbia — and, Dani says, when they aren’t unpacking they’re exploring Piedmont, together. The incredible outdoor and cultural activities, she says, have been a particularly pleasant surprise.
“We thought we might miss the activities and arts and culture after we left the city,” Dani says, “but there are so many community events especially for kids all the time. This weekend we’re heading to Community Music Day in Berkeley, seeing a play at the Bay Area Children’s Theatre and hiking in Tilden.”
Dani adds that her family couldn’t have found this perfect suburban fit on their own.
“We learned so much about what we wanted and didn’t want in a community and in a home by taking the time to explore various towns and houses,” she says. “All of the articles, guidance and ultimately connecting with moms in the towns we were looking at through Suburban Jungle helped so much. I can’t imagine landing on our town or home without their help.”
Also essential? Knowing your priorities — and what you’re willing to compromise.
“It’s really hard to find every single thing you want between the town and the house,” Dani says. “Get crystal clear on your priorities and what you’re actually willing to trade off on. And remember, you might not get the first, second or even third house you bid on. But stick with it and try to enjoy the process.”
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