"My Home Is An Island" ... Ocean City, New Jersey
My home is a barrier island just off the coast of south Jersey ... a 2.5 mile four land connecton including two bridges links us with Somers Point and Ocean City.
Another 1 mile bridge is at our northern end of the island connecting with Egg Harbor Township leading back to Somers Point again or over to Longport and the back way to Atlantic City.
Two other bridges lead from the southend of the island over to Upper Township (Cape May County) at 34th Street and over to Strathmere, another island south of us at 55th Street.
The entire island is about 5.5 miles long and maybe 5-10 blocks in some parts of the Southend and about 1.5 miles in part of the Northend and Gardens areas.
It is an unusual place in that we have about 100,000 to 150,000 during the summer months from Memorial Day through Labor Day ... and we return to our 10,000 number for the rest of the year with numbers increasing during the weekends and holidays. It's a significant resort community ... part of a lot of other shore communities from the tip of Cape May County all the way north along the Atlantic Ocean shore points.
We have two major "buying periods of time:" the spring from about March 1 to June 15, and the fall from the day after Labor Day until a bit after Thanksgiving. And the rest of the winter period tends to be a very quiet time on the island.
My wife and I moved here after our retirements in education ... she with the PA Dept of Education and he with a school district as a teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal over a 32 year time frame. And I am now starting my 21st year in real estate here in Ocean City, New Jersey.
So what's it like to live on an island ... well, the best part is "after everyone leaves at the end of the summer (which is Labor Day). What else do I do down there ... we walk a lot ... on the beach, on the boardwalk, over the bridges ... and we bike as well (no hills in town). We call our period here on the island as "island time." We read ... with an excellent Library which also serves as a great "gathering place" for the community. Just this past week my wife and I took a "workshop" in making an oil cloth design and sealing it for our house.
Things do slow down in the off season, but we have a
lovely "downtown area," several malls within a half hour of leaving
the island, all sorts of great restaurants from Atlantic City to
Cape May, and Philadelphia just an hour away on the
We have stayed during hurricanes; we have left the island before they arrived on occasions. It is certainly a different sort of living on an island. For example, on our two-block street with about 50 plus single family houses ... only about 15 are full time (maximum) during the off-season. No one shovels snow off sidewalks ... my two neighbors on our sides are "second home" owners. We just make a way for the mail to be taken to our mailbox. Those friends who live here all year round become "special" to us ... my wife has two book clubs all year long. We tend to take vacations during the winter months (slower in the real estate field here ... warmer elsewhere).
We have a couple of breakfasts and lunches out each week to say hello to those still around on our island. We purchased our first house here in 1988 (second homers), built a new one in another location about 2006, may consider downsizing in the next few years. Island life is a great place to spend all or a part of one's life time ... "the pace of things are so very different here."