Moving to the Suburbs: Find Your Dream Home in One of these Nearby Towns!
Looking to move to the suburbs? Or just love browsing dream homes as a pastime? We’ve got the scoop on some of our favorite suburban towns. We all love NYC, but the city life may not be right for every family. The suburbs offer a calm escape from the hustle & bustle of NYC, while still offering you an easy commute route for work or your day trips. We’ve even included some towns a bit further from NYC (such as ones in CT) for those that don’t need to be in NYC every day, and might want to be closer to other cities like Boston. Much like NYC neighborhoods, each suburban town, no matter the distance from NYC, has a unique personality. Get to know what makes these towns special, including fun facts, school district breakdowns and even featured listings!
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Known for their amazing beaches, music and farmer’s markets, Fairfield, CT is a beautiful and vibrant place to raise your family. “Along Fairfield’s 5 miles of LI Sound Coastline are 5 beautifully preserved and pristine beaches.Fairfield also has Lake Mohegan which offers hiking trails, the calm of a lake for swimming, and a sprinkler pad for the little one,”says agent Anne Frewen of the Vanderblue team. Bring your family to one of the over two dozen farmer’s markets on Sundays, right in the center of town. There’s even local farms where your kids can say hi to baby chicks and you can get farm-fresh eggs. As for music, we love the Fairfield Theater Company (FTC), “which hosts everything from jazz to rock to comedy in an intimate setting, a live performance is always within arms reach,” adds Anne.
The downtown area is always busy with locally run boutiques and new restaurants, so you’ll simply never run out of fun things to do as a family or on a date-night. And if you’re a bit history- obsessed like us, then you’ll appreciate that the hamlet of Southport is part of Fairfield: there’s period architecture such as the Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire etc. With the added bonus of being only 50 miles from NYC with 3 Metro North train stations and easy highway access, Fairfield is the perfect suburban escape. There are plenty of education options in Fairfield, both private and public, so you’ll have lots to choose from to make sure that your child is set up for success.
The listing here at 10 Sherwood Farm Rd is the colonial that truly has it all. There’s 4 full bedrooms, 4.5 baths, flex spaces for office/workout, a finished basement, and a 19-foot fireplace! Talk about spacious and cozy. Conveniently located to downtown Fairfield, you have the benefit of enjoying your peace but popping into town whenever you feel like it.
Maplewood is very well-known for its diversity & inclusion. Whether that’s in culture, lifestyle or ethnicity, Maplewood is proud to cultivate a diverse community that welcomes all families.“Maplewood is a town that has everything and is a proverbial melting pot and prides itself for ‘inclusion’”, says agent Mark Slade. Fun fact about Maplewood is that it has the only downtown in all of NJ without a traffic light! The downtown area is a prime destination for shopping and dining at amazing restaurants. Maplewood is also super convenient: the NYC train station is in the center of town and offers Midtown Direct service to NY Penn Station, and you can also switch over to downtown access or drive just a short 20 minutes home later at night. As parents, we know how important the school district is when looking for a home.
A bit about Maplewood schools: Maplewood shares a school district with its neighboring town South Orange. There are several elementary schools distributed across both towns, but then all schools feed into one high school that is centrally located to both towns.Curious about the featured listing at 14 S Pierson? We love the large kitchen with the beautiful center island that is perfect for having other families over. The master bedroom is a nice size, and there’s both a full bath on the second floor and a powder room on the first. With the added convenience of being near the NYC trains and Maplewood Village, this listing is great for smaller families who need easy access to NYC.
When we think of Syosset, family-oriented is the first thing that comes to mind. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, the town and surrounding areas have many restaurants, retail stores and professional services. All of your shopping and dining needs are just a hop away, and you also have quick and easy access to parks, hiking and biking trails for outdoor adventures. Syosset is also a diverse community, which makes it great for raising a family. The school district offers a broad range of programming, including extensive extracurricular activities, excellent sports teams, theater programs, music, art, technology, and more. In total, the district has 7 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school. Having received countless awards and recognition for its schools, Syosset is considered one of the top ranked school districts in New York State. Syosset is also known as having excellent programs specifically for children with special needs. Furthermore, the commute to NYC is easy with 2 convenient LIRR stations nearby, including one right in the heart of Syosset. And a fun fact about Syosset is that Judd Apatow, Idina Menzel and Natalie Portman all went to Syosset high school!
Property wise, Linda Freedman from Douglas Elliman says, “Syosset is a great place to live and offers homes in a wide range of prices, sizes and styles, including single family homes, condos and new construction, to meet your individual needs. Whether you are a first time home buyer, trading up to a larger home, or ready to scale down to a smaller one, Syosset has it all”.
Montclair/Glen ridge, NJ
“Montclair is the closest suburb with a city-like feel, boasting many of the char- acteristics city dwellers fear giving up!” says agent Amy Owens. We couldn’t sum it up better than that. You are literally 12 miles west of NYC, so whether you travel by train, city or bus it’s easy & quick. If you work in NYC, Montclair is a great option for an easy commute because it has 6 train stations and Glen Ridge has 1. The restaurant scene here is also the best in NJ, and the community is incredibly diverse, inclusive and vibrant.
And a fun fact about this area is that it totally boasts the “Garden State” NJ title, because the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is the largest repository of the genus iris in the world, with 3,000 varieties of iris. “It is a must-see every spring and draws thousands from all over the country,” says Amy. And your kiddos will love this one: Applegate Farm is home to the 16-scoop sundae, NJ’s largest ice cream sundae! The school district offers a comprehensive education and nearly 90% of Montclair High School grads go on to post-secondary institutions for higher learning, including Ivy League schools.
The featured listing at 30 Hawthorne Avenue, Glen Ridge is a charming family home with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. “From the sweet window boxes & adorable, low maintenance yard perfect for entertaining; to the wood burning fireplace & cozy family room, this home is as welcoming on the outside as the inside,” adds Amy. You will also be conveniently located near top-rated schools!
One of the best parts about Pelham, NY is how welcoming the community is: your family will absolutely love it! “Pelham is a warm and friendly community. Super easy to feel “a part” of it before you know it,” says agent April Monaco. The other major perk of living here is that it is super convenient: you can literally get anywhere in NYC. Whether you want to take the subway, MetroNorth, the Hutchinson River Parkway or I-95, you have many options for easy travel. Fun fact about Pelham that it is the oldest town in Westchester County, dating back to 1654! Perhaps that is why the town is such a close- knit, welcoming place: because it’s been here for so long, with generations and generations of families living here. And the school district here is amazing, so your kids will surely receive a broad education: “The residents of Pelham consistently vote in our school budgets knowing that this small town really thrives on the strength of our academics, sports and arts! Many of our students matriculate to some of the finest colleges and universities!” adds April.
The featured listing is extremely spacious and architecturally- stunning! There’s 6 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and it sits on .50 acres of land. The home was built in the 1890s but restored in the 2000s, making it feel like newer construction. We’re obsessed with the Calacatta marble island in the kitchen, which is every host’s dream. You’ll also be super cozy in the winter with 2 wood burning fireplaces and a gas fireplace in the large master suite. There’s even a private deck in the master suite and a walk-in closet. This house has something for everyone in your family.
If you’re looking for a friendly, safe, and relaxed environment for your family, then check out Woodstock, CT. The community spirit here is so inviting, and your kids will certainly have a safe environment to play in. The commute to NYC is a bit longer, about 3 hours by car, but you also have easy access to other destinations for fun family trips, such as Boston, Providence, Martha’s Vineyard, and the Connecticut Shoreline. Fun fact about Woodstock is that the Hallmark movie “One Royal Holiday” was filmed here in 2020! As for the school district, many parents and community members have described it on Facebook as “Great school in a beautiful private setting”, “Best time of my life, stellar education” and even “I love working here, great faculty, staff and especially students”.
The district includes Woodstock Academy, which was founded in 1801 and offers a top education. The homes in Woodstock, especially on Lake Bunggee and Witches Woods, are sold quickly, so start your search now! If you are interested in living on the lake or anywhere in Woodstock or the Northeast Corner, please reach out to me with your criteria,” says agent Lisa M. Bellavance. “I will work tirelessly to find you a home in this beautiful area, be it a second home, vacation cottage or forever home, I will find it!”
Parents, you’ll love this one: Westfield is known for its award-winning schools! Just recently, it was named as one of the best school districts in NJ by Niche. But there’s a lot more that Westfield boasts: “Westfield has so much to offer for young families,” says agent Frank D. Isoldi, “I would say the top 3 things that attract buyers to move here are the vibrant downtown, the award winning schools and the beautiful parks and playgrounds.” If your kids love their outdoor time, then Westfield is the place for your family because the parks and playgrounds really are amazing. Westfield also allows easy access to the city, being only 22 miles from Manhattan. There’s a train station right in town and several bus stops. Fun fact about Westfield: did you know that Westfield has a connection to the Addams family? That’s right! Charles Samuel Addams or “Chill” as his friends called him, was born on January 7, 1912 in Westfield, New Jersey.
The Addams family moved around but settled on Elm Street, and rumor has it Samuel was caught breaking into a house on Dudley Ave when he was a kid. “That house on Dudley and one on Elm Street is said to be the inspiration for the famous ‘Addams Family house’”, says Frank D. Isoldi. But don’t worry, Westfield is not haunted, but Halloween with your family will surely be an adventure here! The featured home is located at 279 Watchung Fork in the heart of Indian Forest. We’re obsessed with the Colonial style, and if it has always been your dream to have a pool, then you’re in luck! The pool is beautiful on this tiered lot, and the home even has a fully functioning bar. If your family loves hosting holidays and other events, then this is the place for you
Known for its nature preserves and stunning estates, Muttontown is an upscale, but down-to-earth (quite literally as you’ll be surrounded by beautiful landscapes and rolling hills!) place to live. It’s considered one of the wealthiest towns in America by Business Week, and it has over 550 acres of fields, woodlands, ponds and estate grounds. Muttontown prides itself on its history: there’s even an online Kid’s Zone where your kids can catch up on all the fun facts about the town. “A great neighborhood to live in,” says agent Batul Morbi. “There’s hundred of miles of hiking and horse trails, and its libraries are a gateway to a multitude of exciting materials, programs and services of all ages!”.
Located conveniently in Long Island, you’re pretty close to the city and there’s the LIRR and access to parkways. The school district is award-winning, and it’s particularly known for its excellent sports teams and after school activities. The beautiful listing here is located at 2 Pen Mor Drive. The location is great because you’re super close to restaurants, shopping and more, and you can easily access the LIRR. And there’s even a pool and tennis court, so your family doesn’t have to leave the house to have some outdoor fun!
Your family will certainly never be bored in Westport, CT because there is much to do and see. First, there’s the oh-so-beautiful beaches: “Town beaches include the sizable Compo Beach and the quieter Burying Hill and Old Mill beaches. Westport is also the location of Sherwood Island State Park, CT’s first state park with multiple beach areas,” says agent Lori Auerbach of the Vanderblue team. If your family is into art, there’s the Westport Country Playhouse, a nationally recognized theater in the community for 90 years. And for outdoor fun, bring your kids to the Longshore Park, a 169-acre park with a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools and more. Another unique part about Westport is the Wakeman Town Farm, a sustainability center that offers educational workshops, internships and after school activities.
You’ll have easy access for commuting with two train stations that lead directly to Grand Central, as well as I-95 and Merritt Parkway for other traveling needs. And we can’t say enough about the school district in Westport, because their public schools are ranked #1in CT! There are also a number of private schools to choose from. Now on to the stunning featured listing: a 5400+ sq ft smart home just minutes from beaches, trains and the town. “5 bedrooms including a luxurious master suite with a balcony overlooking the private pool and outdoor entertaining area. A vaulted great room brings the outdoors in with walls of glass looking out onto the picturesque property,” adds Lori. This is definitely our dream home for families!
Millburn/Short Hills, NJ
We can’t get enough of the beautiful, natural landscape in this area! “As a real estate agent, it’s a joy to work here,” says Maggee Miggins. Not only is Millburn/ Short Hills absolutely stunning, but it’s also a warm and welcoming community with top-rated schools. As a matter of fact, the Millburn School District was just rated No. 1 Best School District in New Jersey, No. 6 in the New York City Area and 15th in the USA by Niche for 2022. Fun fact: The area is home to the renowned Paper Mill Playhouse, where Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Anne Hathaway got her start! And with two train stations that can usher you to NY Penn Station in less than 40 minutes, you’ll enjoy an easy commute and fantastic access to NYC shopping, dining and nightlife.
It’s no surprise that residences in this verdant region are surrounded by scenic landscapes. While many homes are historic,even newly-built houses also encompass the classic architectural details we love. The featured listing is a new-construction residence at 30 Deer Path in Short Hills. With seven bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms, luxurious finishes, and open living space, this is an incredible home. “It is the perfect blend of traditional inspiration and contemporary convenience,” says Maggee.