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Urban to Suburban: Company Opens Shop to Help Families Find Affordable Housing

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As the S.F. affordability crisis continues to surge, people are leaving the city in droves to cheaper territoryBisnow caught up with Suburban Jungle Realty Group founder Alison Bernstein, whose firm looks to help with that.

The relocation firm is in the process of launching in S.F., and Alison tells us the interest level is exceedingly high. She says the idea was born while she was at Columbia Business School. Each family works free of charge with a personal strategist alongside a team of agents and locals who help them through the process. The firm makes money like any other real estate firm. If and when someone buys a home, it gets the buyer's agent commission off the seller. Right now in S.F. the company has two strategists, two business development directors and 68 locals. The company is also currently launching in Chicago, and already has operations in New York, LA and Miami.

She's seeing all different types of families, many with younger children, that are relocating from different areas. Almost everyone she works with has younger kids, she says. The specific areas she's helping relocate include Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, Laurel Heights and Potrero Hill. It's hard to say how much the families are saving because the budget is different for each family. "In San Francisco, you’re still not getting 7k SF and three rolling acres," she says. Timing for the service is subjective. Suburban Jungle can work as fast as clients need—or as slowly. Some families have been with the firm for four years and others for a week.