Urb & Burb Realty
Urb & Burb was born from the life experiences of its co-founders, Karla Thomas and Tammy Rucker. Karla and Tammy were living uncanny similar lives before they met. Both graduated with technical degrees both worked for General Electric, and both got their MBA’s from Northwestern. Their paths never crossed during that time and they were introduced years later by friends. Fast forward to 2013, while in different states and catching up over the phone, we both revealed they had each created business plans for a different type a real estate business, both feeling that the current real estate service model was missing the mark. Uncanny similarities once again! After many conversations, Karla and Tammy blended their original business concepts and Urb & Burb was born. We had each experienced the challenge of finding the right place to live in Chicago. We also know the joy which comes from being in the RIGHT place. We share a passion for helping others find this joy. It took us years and trial and error to get it right. We created Urb & Burb so you to get to that perfect place right now!
As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention. After adopting our first daughter and starting on the path to adopt our second, my partner and I started the long journey of deciding whether to stay in the city or move to the suburbs. It took many grueling conversations, countless hours of internet research on schools, parks, crime reports by area, but we decided that we were going to move to the Northshore. Even though we were lucky enough to be able to narrow the suburb down to Evanston very quickly, we realized that Evanston itself had at least 5 very distinct neighborhoods in terms of feel, amenities and price point. After navigating all these factors, we happily settled into a home, 2 years after we started this process. Throughout the process, I met and commiserated with many other families who were struggling through the same arduous process. As an efficiency expert in my corporate career (Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt), I knew that there must be an easier path…even if I needed to create it myself. As I worked to formulate the a new real estate brokerage model that focused more on the right community than just the house, I was able to draw on my own experiences. Tammy and I crafted a process that would allow families to easily access the information they need to make the best decisions and strategically get to know the neighborhoods that meet their hard criteria (price point, commute, amenities), and their soft criteria (walkability, neighborhood feel). Urb & Burb is a manifestation of all the things I learned in my journey married with a passion for real estate and helping others.
I am passionate about living in the Chicago area. What I love about Chicago is the unique character of its neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs. Every day is a potential adventure in finding a great ethnic restaurant, a talented artist, a beautiful architectural structure. I grew up in Roanoke Va, then lived in Raleigh and New Orleans prior to landing here in 1996. I know first-hand how important it is to personal happiness to find the place where you feel at home. I have lived in Oak Park, Lakeview, Edgewater, Andersonville, and Wicker Park, and have worked in Alsip, Lisle, and Morton Grove. It took me 4 years before I found the neighborhood that was perfect for me which I found by accident on a bike ride one summer afternoon. I love traveling and exploring, and my work has taken me to hundreds of places around the world. On every trip, I was able to find something uniquely wonderful about the place I was visiting. At Urb & Burb I am able to tap into my passion for exploring and my experience in moving to and living in Chicago. All which I can apply to help you find a place uniquely wonderful to you.