7 Suburban Towns
In the last year, moving to the suburbs has been on the rise more than ever. While the pandemic has presented families with challenges, it also has allowed several to take stock of their families’ needs, and for many, this means relocating to ‘the burbs.’
Another result of quarantine is the once uncomfortable ask from a parent to work from home has become the only way for most people to work in the last year. Of course, parents have had huge challenges working remotely (kids, endless Zoom meetings, remote school). Yet several have also found they were just as productive working out of the office, which means the dream of moving to a larger space is more possible than ever.
And to be frank, while the city is beloved to New Yorkers, the housing market has never been more do-able for families than it is now. And yes, countless parents have realized that more space, easy access to nature, and close communities do not have to be just for weekend get-aways or summertime vacations.
Psst…Here are some expert tips on spring cleaning your pantry!
So while you city dwellers consider making a move to greener pastures, we have the top neighborhoods to consider!
If you have recently visited Maplewood and thought for a second that you were in Brooklyn, you’re not alone. Many New Yorkers, including Brooklynites, have moved to this New Jersey town not only for its under an hour commute (or less) but for being recognized for being widely diverse. Known for its cool millennial families mixed with long-time residents — the town is a great choice if a tight-knit community is on your new neighborhood wish list.
Mark Slade of Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty shares what families can find in this close to the city neighborhood, “Maplewood’s Village, its downtown shopping district, is noted as well-maintained in the state of New Jersey that doesn’t have a stoplight and is actually not on a county or main road; you have to make a purposeful trip off a county road to make your destination for this Award Winning Town. Maplewood also can boast that its centralized park, known as Memorial Park, was designed by the Olmstead brothers that designed NYC’s Central Park.”
Agent: Mark Slade, Keller Williams Midtown Direct Realty
Montclair/ Glen Ridge, NJ
Many families move to Glen Ridge and nearby Montclair for the close proximity (12 miles) from the city and the walkable neighborhoods.
Locals enjoy an abundance of culture, arts, and popular restaurants in Montclair while sister town Glen Ridge is a bit more laid back.
While the spacious homes here tend to not stay on the market long, meaning you got to snap your pick fast, many city dwellers love the city meets ‘burbs vibe,” making it a popular moving spot.
Amy Owens, realtor and team leader of Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, shares, “Glen Ridge is a charming and friendly town of less than 8,000 on the south end of Montclair, so close to everything Montclair has to offer. Beautiful tree-lined streets of historic and well-maintained homes. Top-rated schools and frequently on the lists of ‘Best Places to Live in New Jersey.’ The commute to NYC is 30-40 minutes by train or bus.”
Agent: Amy Owens, Realtor/Team Leader Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, 201-396-2927, amyowensteam.kw.com
While many city transplants chose suburb neighborhoods that also have a city feel, Pelham (only 29 minutes by train to Manhattan) is a great choice when you crave that small-town vibe.
You’re cool that the parks aren’t overcrowded and that the town feels quaint — a place where the kids have an easy walk to school.
But charming isn’t to be mistaken with being ‘out of touch’ as Pelham is rich with diversity and a mixing of cultures you love about city life is something you’ll find here.
We asked April H. Monaco of Houlihan Lawrence to describe what she loves about this town, “The Pelhams offer not only a convenient location but it has a terrific vibe! With sidewalks, joggers, runners, walkers, and people from all walks of life – there’s something for everyone. We offer wonderful early childhood nursery school options – from Montessori to play-based learning – your child’s personality will shine. There are fantastic restaurants, fabulous schools, and community-minded initiatives!”
Agent: April H. Monaco, Houlihan Lawrence
A popular Westchester suburb with a diverse community, Scarsdale is always on the list of top places to live in New York. Gorgeous homes, many in Tudor style built in the 1920s, can be found in this picturesque town. An express train taken from a storybook train station will get you to the city in 30 minutes, making this another huge draw for families. The downtown has many locally-owned shops and restaurants where stores feel welcoming and friendly. Five elementary schools lead into one middle school and one high school. The Scarsdale Public Library is a state of the art facility that opened this month after a total renovation and is an amazing asset to Scarsdale! And don’t forget Bronx River Sundays, where bikers of all ages can enjoy a ride on the closed parkway each Sunday during specified months!
Abby Sroka of William Raveis shared that Scarsdale “has a dynamic, social community combined with great lifestyle choices including local shops and restaurants. Visit Current Home, I Am More, Colonial Village Florist, DryLuxe Beauty Bar, Meritage, and Akai Sushi Lounge when you come to town. And of course, families also move here for the top-rated and award-winning schools.”
Agent: Abby Sroka, William Raveis
While many families felt an understandable disconnect during the last year, a town such as Westfield, NJ, is all community. Located in Union County, NJ, this unique town is perfect for families looking for an urban feel in a suburban setting. A rich downtown offers delicious dining, local shops, and arts.
Families also choose Westfield to be close to the city and for its parks (there are nine!) and the many school options.
Frank D. Isoldi of Coldwell Banker listed shared a few of his favorite things about Westfield, “We are located just 22 miles outside of Manhattan and have a train station in town and several places where you can get on the bus. Westfield Schools are consistently top-ranked in the state. We have a Kindergarten Academy where all students attend, six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one High School campus.”
Agent: Frank D. Isoldi, Coldwell Banker
Stamford is when you are ready for ‘the move.’ You are set to leave the city, and living nearby is important, yet you are enthusiastic about your family’s lifestyle change. Stamford is a vibrant community with gorgeous nature and world-class education choices for your kids.
Catherine Richardson of William Pitt Sotheby’s elaborates, “Living in Stamford will offer you the best of all worlds, including a vibrant downtown that provides theatre, culture, world-class dining, shopping, and live music. Just 10 minutes north, and you’re in the suburbs of Glenbrook, Springdale, Newfield, Belltown, and the Ridges, each with distinctive neighborhoods featuring their own individual charm. Head just a bit further north of the Merritt Parkway, and you’ll find yourself among rolling hills, lots of lakes and ponds, and miles of lush greenery, which feature some of Stamford’s most elaborate and elegant larger homes. The Westover section of Stamford is convenient to downtown yet also features larger homes on a full acre. Historic districts boast beautifully restored older homes, while some newer construction homes have a more contemporary feel. South of downtown will bring you to the neighborhood of Shippan, which is where Stamford was first settled in the 1600s. Stunning waterfront properties will wow any visitor! “
Agent: Catherine Richardson, William Pitt Sotheby’s
Armonk is a charming hamlet in Westchester County where the city meets country vibe. At about 40 miles from the city, you are surrounded by nature but can commute to Manhattan by car or train in less than one hour. By itself, the Byram Hills School District is reason enough to consider raising your family in Armonk, given its extraordinary reputation for outstanding academics and extracurricular activities. We all know that NYC parks are one of the things we love most about the city; parents can meet their friends and get to know their community. In this hamlet, kids and parents will not lose this sense of connection, for there are three fantastic community parks where you will find playing fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, and playgrounds. Armonk also boasts a town pool. If moving to a suburban town surrounded by nature that is home to many city transplants is on your wish list, then Armonk is worth checking out. Homes range from Colonials to Mid-Century with more space and land. The charming, walkable town hub, Armonk Square, is filled with locally owned businesses and restaurants. The Armonk Outdoor Art show, summer concerts in the park and an annual 5K run, are wonderful small-town traditions.
Stacey Sporn of William Raveis, who lives, works, and was raised in Armonk, comments, “Armonk is a youthful, vibrant and sophisticated community of suburb living with great shops and amazing restaurants. Many move here for the top schools and rich sense of community.”