Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Two-Year Journey Back to Hometown

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

A Two-Year Journey Back to Hometown

Article excerpt

Two Pequannock natives wanted their children to grow up in the same township that they had but discovered that going home wasn't as easy as a Bon Jovi song in a community where they said real estate agents knock on doors to find listings.

That Bill and Mindy Casey, both in their 30s, finally hit pay dirt and have a move-up house in the Morris County town they knew and loved is a product of determination and ingenuity.

Sitting in the living room of a new four-bedroom bi-level that Mindy, a Butler art teacher, has already decorated like a country cottage complete with her own farm painting, the Caseys explained how they decided to leave their two-bedroom town house in Butler's Cambridge Heights section and set out to recapture their roots.

"We are both from town, and our parents still live here, and that's who takes care of the kids. We're trying to make it easy for our free baby sitters," kidded Mindy.

Child friendly

But beyond the free baby-sitting while the couple is at work -- Bill is an insurance underwriter -- they valued Pequannock as "great for kids," especially for its flat terrain, which makes it good for cycling, walking and jogging.

"Growing up I could ride a bike to school," Mindy recalled.

That appeal may explain the diminished inventory of homes that met the couple's criteria.

"There was not a lot in this town in our price range. It was either flood-zone stuff or expensive stuff, and everything in the middle not so much," said Mindy.

Having sold their two-bedroom town house, the Caseys moved in with parents, an arrangement, Bill said, "where we could really look."

So look they did -- at some 30 houses -- with their agent Ron Aiosa of Coldwell Banker in Butler, but it was far from the usual search.

"Sometimes we would see houses before the signs went up," Bill said - anything to get an edge on the 20 or so familiar faces they'd see at open houses.

"We even tried to look at houses that were on the market previously," said Bill. …

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