Drawn by the ample space and affordability that Long Island offers, former city dwellers are turning once-sleepy towns into hip, creative havens.
A growing number of young couples and empty nesters are flocking to select towns on the North and South Shores of Long Island, creating trendy enclaves with the cosmopolitan flair of Manhattan.
One of them is Long Beach, a magnet for young couples and singles, not to mention downsizing Long Islanders who are selling their homes elsewhere and want to live by the ocean and make it part of their daily lives.
“People love to walk or ride their bikes or Rollerblade on the boardwalk,” says Joyce Coletti, a real estate salesperson for Douglas Elliman who focuses on Long Beach. “They also like to play beach volleyball, surf, or just sit and watch the waves.” The boardwalk, which stretches for more than two miles, is central to the half- mile-wide City by the Sea, as Long Beach is nicknamed.
Long Beach’s “newness” factor is part of its allure. The barrier island, which Long Beach shares with Lido Beach, Point Lookout, and Atlantic Beach, was rebuilt to a more stringent code after Hurricane Sandy.
“It’s a brand-new city,” Coletti says. “Everything is new—the homes are new, the stores are new, the restaurants are new.”
Randee and Michael Busch recently sold their home and downsized to a large one-bedroom condo next door in Lido Beach. They made their selection in part because their ground-floor unit has a yard, and the building allowed them to bring their two large dogs.
“Everything I do is in Long Beach,” says Randee Busch, a retired teacher who still teaches one day a week there. “I take my yoga/Pilates class there, my friends are there, I go to the farmer’s market and the restaurants. And I walk the boardwalk.”
Downsizing couples are often selling large homes, so they don’t want anything too small, Coletti says. Many of these buyers are in the $700,000 to $1.5 million price range, which gives them a lot of options.
“Very few buy a one-bedroom,” says Coletti. “They’re looking for two or three bedrooms so the grandchildren can stay over.”
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