In Suburbia, Home is (Literally) Everything

Jan 1, 2020

From live studio workouts to grocery shopping from your sofa, there’s nothing you can’t do from home.


In the past, home was everything—a family hub, where holidays happened and the place everyone rallied after school, on weekends and to celebrate anything. While that’s still the case, the modern home—especially in the ‘burbs—has taken on even more meaning. Because today, in this always-on and always-on-demand environment, you can do almost anything from and in your home. And that’s changing the way we search suburbia.

The more people can do at home, the more options you have when it’s time to leave the city. Gone are the days of needing to be near restaurants, gyms and even grocery stores. Now everything can be conjured up with a few quick clicks and be integrated into your suburban experience. Some of our go-tos?

Grocery Shop from Anywhere

Not near a Whole Foods? Want to go big and bulk at Costco, but nothing’s nearby? Or want to keep the fresh produce deliveries, even though you’re far from the city—and far from the farm? No worries. With services like Amazon Now, you can pick your faves from Whole Foods and have them delivered to your doorstep, even if your nearest location isn’t exactly a quick trip. Costco delivers. FreshDirect has extended its borders—and its amazing meats, cheeses and produce—to all of Long Island and throughout New Jersey and beyond.


And that’s just the beginning. InstaCart, Peapod, Amazon Fresh,—if you want it, you got it, all thanks to expert shoppers and couriers who do everything from pick your produce to hand-deliver it within the hour. So even if your local markets leave much to be desired—or if there aren’t any grocery stores in your immediate vicinity—these sites and services have you covered.

Box it Up—Or Order it In…

If you aren’t so inclined to shop and cook—today or any day—that’s no problem either. Subscription services like HelloFresh, Sun Basket, Marley Spoon and plenty of others now deliver nationwide. Once a service for the city and immediate suburbs, there are endless options for families who want the planning and prep part done for them, even if they’re far from city limits.

Same goes for delivery. A few years ago, the ‘burbs—even the super close ones—were lucky to be able to order pizza online. Today, expect dozens of options in suburbia, even if you’re in a more remote spot. Sure, it’s not the 1,500 restaurants that deliver to the Upper East Side but, really, did you ever get past the first page of Seamless options? Exactly.


This delivery deluge has helped ensure former city dwellers have the takeout options they crave, even when they’re far from that amazing Indian place or the sushi they had en route to the beach. With the boom in services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, even farther-away eateries are now accessible to suburban foodies.

Diapers at Dawn

When you’ve got babies, one of the biggest perks to being in the city is being able to scramble down the street to the 24-hour drug store or bodega. In the suburbs? Not so much—but, with services like InstaCart and, it’s easier than ever to get the diapers, the formula, the kids Tylenol and every other thing you can’t believe you ran out of delivered, often within minutes. While most aren’t 24 hours, many deliver until 9pm or 10pm, then start back up as early as 7am or 8am. Is it the midnight run to CVS? No. But it’s pretty close—and way more convenient.

Work. It. Out.

Sure, the gym is a great place to mix, mingle and break a sweat—and, hands down, we’re all about that barre class at our local studio. But, lately, the swell in at-home fitness options has been too amazing to ignore. While workout DVDs have always been a thing, now fitness enthusiasts can get an epic and ever-changing workout from home. And the best part? Many are live studio classes, where the instructors know your name—and where you’re competing with other at-home and in-studio members every time you get your workout on.

Peloton is a perfect example—and its popularity isn’t slowing down. Countless suburbanites are hopping on and participating in on-demand and live spin classes right from their home. If you’re an active SoulCycler or FlyWheel fan, your suburban Peloton will pay for itself in a few weeks, and you’ll have a private studio right in your home.


Mirror, too, has made working out at home simple—and pretty chic. The borderline magical Mirror “mirror” looks cool in any room. Then, when it’s time to workout, choose your personal training session and GO. Follow along with your instructor, right there in the mirror. Choose from a variety of training options, track your progress and continually challenge yourself, just like you would with a “live” trainer.

For an equipment-free experience, there are also services like the new Obe, which offers live and on-demand studio sessions, directly on your TV, laptop or phone. Choose from anything—yoga, Pilates, dance, Zumba, strength training, abs and lots more—then jump right in. Like Peloton—and like a “real” studio—you can scope the schedule and plan your workouts accordingly so you’re breaking a sweat live with gym-goers, or you can queue up your favorites on-demand.

The Other Kind of “Work”

Forty-three percent of Americans work from home at least sometimes—and that number is steadily on the rise. As technology, a greater emphasis on work/life balance and a growing “gig” and entrepreneurial economy take hold, more and more people are finding themselves with the option—or the mandate, even—to turn their spare room, nook or kitchen table into a workspace. And that, too, is changing the way we see “home” and restructuring many suburban searches.


The most obvious shift? If people don’t have to commute into the city daily, many are happy to push their searches out even further. While spending 90 minutes or even two hours on the train five days per week can seem like a lot, making that same trek once or even twice each week may be totally doable—and, if that’s the case, you’ll be able to broaden you search and, potentially, snag a bigger or lower-priced property by being further from the city.

The Doctor Called…

In the city you were PM Pediatrics frequent flyers. In the suburbs, though, there’s a new trend taking hold: house calls. New services like North Shore House Calls on Long Island and Heal in the DC suburbs are turning your living room—or kid’s room or kitchen—into a walk-in clinic, for as little as $99 per visit.


Same goes for vet services—more and more on-demand vets are popping up, ready to swing by for a quick diagnosis or vaccine without having to pack up your pets and haul them to the office.


Impromptu Entertaining HQ

You know the feeling—you’re living in the city, it’s post-soccer and the kids want to hang…but it’s cold. Now, with your go-to playground playdate squashed, you’ve got to find a place to go where the kids can run around and you can relax. But when everyone’s a subway ride or Uber trip away—and when apartments tend to be less-than-accommodating for tons of rowdy kids—often those last-minute adventures get derailed before they even start.


Not so in suburbia. Chances are, your kids are on teams, in classes and hitting up birthday parties with local kids—kids right in town or a quick drive away. And if you want to hang after the main event? Invite everyone over. You’ll have more room for kids to run and play while still ensuring you and the other parents can kick back, open a bottle of wine and enjoy the ease of those impromptu get-togethers.



There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.


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