COVID-19 is Creating a Shift to the Suburbs—and for Many, That’s a Plus

Aug 13, 2020

Now more than ever, home is everything—and that’s redefining the next step for city families.


COVID-19 has caused many couples and families to rethink their next steps and reset their timelines. From wedding dates getting pushed to school registrations up in the air, we’ve all heard the challenges and uncertainties coming on the heels of the pandemic.


The silver lining? For many, this experience has positively reset expectations, inspiring people to reimagine their futures and, with it, where—and even what—to call home.


We see it every day with our Suburban Jungle families—people whose plans pivoted and are now searching suburbia with a different timeline or set of expectations. And we’re here, helping them tackle those twists and turns.


So what trends, specifically, are we seeing—and what should you consider if your timeline is changing by the minute? Start here.


#1. Making the move pre-kids


One of the biggest shifts we’re seeing: couples moving to the suburbs pre-kids. While we’ve worked with many couples heading to suburbia, it’s common for city families to opt to wait until kids #1—or even kid #2—are approaching preschool or kindergarten age before packing up and heading out.


Many people, now, are anxious to get out of their apartments and into bigger houses and backyards in the ‘burbs, whether they’ve got kids or not. Because let’s face it, that pull for more space, more privacy and a more driveable lifestyle is a plus for anyone—and given the city still isn’t fully open for business, many couples are telling us there’s just not as much of a reason to stay put.


#2. Investing in the future


COVID-19 showed us all that home is everything. For most of us, these last few months have been spent in our houses, our backyards, our driveways, even. While it’s undoubtedly been a challenge, it’s much easier to tackle quarantine in a bigger space where families can spread out. And with some added suburban amenities—a great yard, a pool, an outdoor grill, a veggie garden—hanging home isn’t so bad.


Many city families recognize that and, as a result, are making the leap and investing in their future now. The pandemic isn’t over so that investment will, without question, be a great one—but even post-COVID-19, these families will have an amazing place to call “home” and be well acclimated in their new communities.


#3. Rethinking their searches


For those just starting to search and those continuing the process, we see significant shifts in “must-haves.” For example, many couples and young families began their suburban searches with an eye on walkable downtowns and a fast commute from a “train town”—and they were willing to trade space for those perks.


Now, though, it’s the opposite. Remote work is here to stay, which is enabling many former commuters to extend their search. That often opens up a host of perks, from more abundant inventory and affordability to larger properties. Other families are finding they can now check more “lifestyle” boxes—if they don’t need to be so close to the city, they can now live at the beach or closer to family.


#4. Making it their own


With the expanded searches and people accelerating their timelines comes another exciting trend: couples taking on fixer-uppers, investing the sweat equity in creating their dream home in their dream community.

One recent Suburban Jungle couple left the city during COVID-19, looking in close-by ‘burbs assuming they’d be commuting again in a few weeks. Now, though, they’re both going remote permanently—and, with that announcement, they quickly expanded their search. They found an amazing house that, with some work, will far exceed what they had initially planned for—all for less than they would have paid had they stuck to their original search parameters.


While COVID-19 has forced us all to readjust, for many families, it’s been an opportunity to rethink one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make: where to call home. These accelerated timelines and quick pivots, for many, have led to some incredible outcomes, and an opportunity to explore suburbia like never before.


Considering making a move—or just want to explore your options? Get in touch! Schedule a Suburbs Strategy session now.

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