Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Small-Town' Ramsey Lures Couple Home

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

'Small-Town' Ramsey Lures Couple Home

Article excerpt

Who says you can't go home? Retracing their roots to New Jersey was a big part of the real estate journey for Rebecca and Charlie Freund, who purchased a home in Ramsey in September.

The couple, in their 30s, were still living in Phoenix, when Charlie saw the sugar maple split-level that eventually became theirs in his hometown of Ramsey. Though thousands of miles away, they had started house hunting as soon as they knew Charlie was getting transferred and were drawn to this house through its online description.

The only problem was it was initially priced out of their reach at $675,000.

"I did want Ramsey," Charlie said. "Of all the places we've ever lived, I felt like it was home to me."

Though Rebecca -- an online writing tutor -- was originally from the Princeton area, she appreciated Ramsey's "small-town family feel," which she says often means running into folks she knows on Main Street.

"It's sort of a rural setting and only 25 miles from New York City so it hit all the points that I like," Charlie said.

From long-distance dreaming to on-the-spot reality, the couple was able to intensify their house hunt when Charlie was transferred to Manhattan for his law-enforcement job and the family moved back to New Jersey in May.

"We hit the ground running right after Memorial Day," Rebecca recalled. "Online we were finding not as much as we expected," although their search covered not only Ramsey, but River Vale, Hillsdale and Allendale as well.

"There wasn't a lot of inventory," Charlie said, and at the same time, prices in this part of Bergen County had started to climb again, making "home sweet home" that much more elusive.

"We were very pregnant with [their youngest, Maggie-Rose] while we were searching," said Rebecca. "The biggest struggle was finding a house with four bedrooms on one level." Considering the ages of their children -- 4 months to 3 1/2 years -- they were not willing to compromise on this. …

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