From Urban to Suburban and Back: Strategist Erika Ades on “ReSizing”

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New York Suburb home in Port Washington

Twenty-five years ago the Ades family left NYC for Long Island — now Erika and her husband are making a move to the city! 

  Twenty-five years ago Suburban Jungle Strategist Erika Ades and her husband were raising a three-year-old and one-year-old in the city — and they decided it was time to make a move.    “We’d lived on the Upper East Side then were in Sutton Place,” says Erika. “But we were definitely ready for the suburbs — and we looked everywhere. We looked in Connecticut. We looked in New Jersey. We looked in Westchester and Long Island. It took us two years to figure out where we wanted to live and to find the house.”    Part of that, Erika says, was her own hesitation — she wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted in a community and, at the time, felt like they were making a major leap while their friends and neighbors stayed in the city.    “Now it feels like everyone is leaving the city for the suburbs,” she says. “But when we moved I felt like we were the only ones. We didn’t know anyone going to the ‘burbs back then. It was completely different.”    After landing in Port Washington, though, everything changed. The Ades family quickly slid into suburban living, and made fast friends at preschool drop offs and around the neighborhood.    “Port is such a fantastic town,” Erika says. “The people I met when my oldest started preschool are still some of our closest friends. It’s a great mix of people and a strong sense of community. Plus there’s so much to do — not to mention we’re right on the water and have a 30-minute commute to the city.”    And what isn’t right in town, she adds, is just minutes away. “We’re 10 minutes from Americana in Manhasset if you want to shop. We’re 10 minutes from Roslyn which has lots of great restaurants, too. We’ve got the beach. We’ve got a walkable downtown. It’s great.”   Helping families find (their) Port Now, 25 years later, the Ades family — including their four kids — are still loving life in Port. All of the Ades kids graduated from Paul D. Schreiber High School in town and are in — or have graduated — college. In 2015, Erika joined Suburban Jungle to help other families find their “Port.”    “I love helping families discover the suburbs — and find their suburb, just like I found mine,” she says. “I remember what a daunting process it was when we wanted to leave Manhattan. There was no Suburban Jungle then!”    To help ease her clients’ concerns and help them connect with towns that match, Erika focuses her strategy calls on listening to what families share while trying to understand the “intangibles” — seemingly small details that can have a big impact on a suburban search.    “When you’re leaving the city everything is such an unknown,” she says. “Families don’t know exactly what they want — or they think they do but, once they start exploring, discover they want something completely different. I’m here to help, to support, and to give them the information they need so they can plan for what comes next.”    She also encourages clients to slow down and spend time in each community they’re considering.    “It is so important to like the town and the people that live there,” Erika says. “And you’ll only get a good sense if you spend time exploring. Eat lunch, grab a cup of coffee, see the people and how they interact. There will always be a house in whatever town you decide on. But you can’t change the community.”    What comes next: ReSizing!  Now Erika is in a new phase: suburban-to-urban. .    “My youngest is off to college and we’re actually looking to move back to the city,” she says. “We’ve loved every minute living in Port. We’ve made amazing friends here and we love the community. But…”   Given this experience, Erika has jumped in to support more and more of Suburban Jungle’s ReSizer clients, people ready to make a move after the kids have left home. “ReSizers are in the same lifestage. Their kids are out of the house and they’re ready for what’s next, whether that’s moving to a city, heading to a town near their families, or just making a lifestyle move — living near the beach or on another coast or something new and different,” Erika says. “In many cases it’s full circle — the son or daughter works with Suburban Jungle when they’re heading to the suburbs, then recommends us to mom or dad when they’re making a move!”    Looking ahead Erika is eager to help her clients, whether they’re heading to or from suburbia. At the same time, she’s planning for her next move and reflecting on the last 25 years in the ‘burbs.    “Port Washington is such a special place. We are surrounded by water, beautiful sections to live in and a nice walkable Main Street. My children have had lots of friends from all over the world and there is a very inclusive feel to the community. I love driving down Shore Road everyday and watching the sunset. It reminds me how lucky I am to live here!”   Whether you’re leaving the city for suburbia or “ReSizing” and heading back, Suburban Jungle can help. Schedule your free Suburbs Strategy session now.     Image: Erika Ades

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