Working closely with their Suburban Jungle Strategist, this city family zeroed in on exactly where they wanted to be.
When it comes to finding the right town to call “home,” getting to your final destination isn’t always direct – or quick. But as Michael Gertner and his family discovered, patience, persistence, and being open to the possibilities pays off.
In 2019, Michael and his wife Lauren connected with Suburban Jungle. At the time, the couple and their young daughter were living in Riverdale, looking for something more permanent.
“We were first-time homebuyers,” Michael says, “and we cast a wide net. We knew what we wanted in a town, but weren’t locked into a specific area.” At the top of their list? A strong sense of community, A+ public and private schools, and, because Michael works in the pharmaceutical industry, they wanted to be near job opportunities. “We even looked outside of the tri-state area. We briefly considered the Baltimore region, where my wife is from.”
A quick shift in plans
The more they searched, the more the New Jersey suburbs seemed right – then COVID-19 hit and the family’s plans changed.
“I went fully remote suddenly, which meant we could consider even more areas,” Michael says. “But, again, we still wanted to be near pharmaceutical jobs and public and private school options, since we hadn’t settled on what we wanted for our daughter.”
Given the uncertainties during the peak of the pandemic, Michael and Lauren decided to hang tight in Riverdale, but stayed in touch with Suburban Jungle the entire time. In the months that followed, the family continued to consider their options and priorities, with Suburban Jungle refining their list and potential next steps along the way.
Then, In 2021, Michael and Lauren welcomed their second child and their suburban search shifted back into high gear. But given the time spent exchanging ideas and sharing sometimes shifting priorities, they were ready to dive back in.
“We originally were looking at New Jersey, mostly, as then we had our second daughter,” Michael says. “We started to think that, maybe, being close to a set of grandparents would be a good move.”
And their Suburban Jungle Strategist Alli Levine was ready to get the Gertners back out and touring.
“They’d built such a strong relationship with the Suburban Jungle team over the years – and they had a good sense of what should come next,” Alli says. “When we jumped back into town tours, Michael and Lauren were super clear on what they wanted and needed in their new community. We started to focus on Long Island, near his family.”
Preparing for a summer move
Michael and Lauren’s search led them to Plainview and Merrick, close to family in Bellmore. Ultimately, they made an offer on a house in Merrick and are moving in later this summer.
“They were so incredibly patient and very, very thoughtful,” Alli says. “Michael and Lauren waited until the time was right and spent a lot of time thinking about what mattered most. Now, they’re moving forward in a community that’s perfect for them – and close to family, which was at the top of their list.”
Looking ahead, Michael and his family are eager to head to Merrick, and are anticipating a late summer close.
“Merrick has everything we wanted,” Michael says. “Strong local schools, an easy commute to the city, a thriving community, plenty of retail, and a Trader Joe’s. Plus, we got a lot more for our investment than we would have in some of the other towns we toured. It wound up being an easy decision.” And, he adds, his daughters are excited to have a big backyard to play in – and, hopefully, to bring home a dog in the not-too-distant future.
Ready to explore? Schedule a free Suburbs Strategy session now.