Fleeing the city: Here’s what new homeowners are looking for in suburbia


Kristina and Grayson Dove enjoyed all the city life San Francisco had to offer from their two-bedroom condo in a high-rise residential tower downtown. Great restaurants, nightlife, theater, music and arts events lay just outside their door. Kristina’s office was an easy BART stop away.

Then came March of 2020. The pandemic sent employees home to work remotely. The city rolled up its sidewalks and pulled the shades. And Kristina, an event and food director for Twitter, began working out of her bedroom…

“Once COVID hit, the luster of the city was really gone,” Kristina said…

“We saw an influx of petty crime and a loss of the culture that made the city so great,” she said. “Homeless encampments were growing because of the downturn in business. I no longer felt safe or welcome. All the things that kept us here ― the restaurants, nightlife, art scene, music ― were gone. The city became a ghost town.”

That change, the need for space and the fact that she no longer had to commute to work led the Doves to do what many families across America ― those upended by the pandemic and re-evaluating their lives ― have done: They left the city for suburbia.

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