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How to Size Up in the Suburbs

Photo credit: iStock/Kali9

Photo credit: iStock/Kali9

As the kids hustle back to school in the honking horn cacophony of the early morning rush hour, many city parents are thinking about making the move to the blissfully quiet suburbs. But where should you start?

We talked to Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associates for their advice on how to size up in the suburbs and the perfect plan to bring you and your family one step closer to your picket-fenced paradise.

Consider what you have and what you want – now and in the future.

“Why do you want to move out of the city, what of your current lifestyle do you want to retain and what changes are you looking forward to making?” Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associate Brooke Penders asks of all her clients. “When my husband and I moved, we chose a location that was halfway between our two jobs. Many of my clients cite this same reason. It’s all about matchmaking.”

First, think about what works with your current home. Maybe it’s only a short walk or subway stop away from the office. Or maybe you just love being close to your favorite coffee shops and restaurants. You’ll want to look into nearby towns that won’t tack hours on to your commute and are still buzzing with entertainment.

Next, consider what you don’t have that you’d want in your next home. More bedrooms and bathrooms? Yard space for the dog? A two-car garage? Listing the features you’re lacking will help you compare potential homes – and probably solidify your decision to make the move.

Penders also stresses the importance of homes that can evolve with your family.

“Buyers are often very focused on their immediate needs, forgetting that people can change very quickly,” Penders said. “Playrooms near the kitchen can later become home offices and first-floor bedrooms. A house that has inherent flexibility in the floor plan is one that can meet changing needs.”

Research schools.  

Whether you’re moving with kids in tow or you’re planning ahead for a growing family, an important aspect of any suburb is the performance of the local schools.

Many websites competitively rank schools in the Greater Philadelphia area, but Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associate Kris Gomez urges parents to look beyond ratings and standardized test scores.

“Think about criteria that matters to you,” Gomez says. “Think about classroom size, if you want public or private, how many kids and so on. It’s usually best to use a realtor who really knows the area well.”

Gomez recommends March as the best month to make a settlement and start your kids at their new school – there’s still time to partake in spring sports and activities, get acclimated to their bus route and make friends for the summer.

Schedule a visit with a Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associate.

Even after doing a little background research (and just a bit of soul-searching), the process for finding a new home can still be slightly overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone.

Once you feel ready to make a change, talk to a Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associate to discuss potential neighborhoods, price points and must-haves for your new home. As Coldwell Banker Preferred affiliated sales associate Bob Hoopes explains, they’ll tackle the heavy lifting.

“We take clients from the ground up,” Hoopes said. “We quarterback the whole thing and guide them in the right direction. We answer their questions and take care of all the internal things to get them to settlement. They shouldn’t be stressed during this process. Their job is just to find a house they love – we’ll do the rest.”

For more information about buying or selling a home in the communities of the Greater Philadelphia area and the Delaware Valley, including southern New Jersey and northern Delaware, visit Coldwell Banker Preferred online at www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/philadelphia.