Meet the Blackfords – Our Featured Boomers

One of the reasons the Blackfords call Coastal Delaware home is because the area has such similar vibes to their familiar community on the North Shore of Long Island.

Relocating to Delaware has been the best choice for Terry and Bill Blackford, transplants from Long Island. Keep reading to get to know them better and understand why they enjoy living in Milton which comes with a familiar feeling.

Meet the Blackfords - This month's featured boomers!

From RVC to MOBC

Coastal Delaware and the North Shore of Long Island have such a similar vibe and this is part of what made the move so alluring for Terry and Bill. Moving from Rockville Center (RVC), Long Island to The Meadows of Beaver Creek (MOBC) in Milton, Delaware felt very comfortable. They have already made great friends. Terry shared “We settled on the house in July of 2018 and actually moved down in September 2019 but it feels like we have lived here much longer.”

“At a recent Happy Hour in the MOBC Community Center, several of us were talking about how similar Coastal Delaware is to the North Fork of Long Island. The potato farms in Patchogue and surrounding areas are now popular wineries. The small towns, the beaches, and the wineries around Long Island feel so similar to the growth we are seeing now in Milton and the Delaware Beaches.” It felt familiar right away and made the transition so easy.

Timing Plus Planning

Timing is everything but what do you do when the community you’ve fallen in love with is getting low on lots? Especially good lots in a desirable location? With Bill Bell’s help due to his knowledge of the community and the builder, the Blackfords were fortunate enough to be able to make it work. By planning ahead, they were able to secure the lot and home they wanted in the right community.

Ready, Set, Go!

The Blackfords have been on the move since their retirement in 2019. Terry shared:

“We really didn’t consider any other area to relocate. We contacted Active Adults Realty and met with Bill Bell in 2014 after having vacationed in the area for a few years. We chose Delaware because of the favorable tax situation and the location convenient to our four children—two still on Long Island, one in Virginia, and the other in Annapolis.”

Terry admitted that the pull on her heartstrings back to Long Island has been an issue for her but it helps that they are close enough to travel back every 6-8 weeks for a visit. Their daughter in Annapolis is expecting this April and they are thrilled to have another grandchild on the way.

Bill retired from Financial Services after 33 years in estate planning, insurance, and executive positions with firms like New York Life, Mutual of New York, and the big banks. He spent most of his career in regional sales management on the road.

Terry retired from teaching after 20 years. Prior to teaching, she sold real estate on Long Island for 10 years. Terry’s sister, Joanne Wagner Harms, took over the family real estate business in the early seventies. Her grandmother-in-law started the business in the forties. Harms Real Estate continues to serve the Rockville Centre community since Joanne’s retirement a few years ago. “She sounds like someone I would love to meet,” said Kathy Sperl-Bell.

How has real estate changed? “Well, there was no MLS back in the 1990s in New York. If you weren’t at your desk when a client called or walked in, they bought a house with another agent.”

Are you a China Egg?

Her experience in real estate is when Terry learned some of the pitfalls of being a REALTOR! “Some customers are like a China Egg,” she told me. China egg refers to a customer you work with for a long time that never buys ….a China egg never hatches! When working with Bill Bell, she assured him that she was not a “china egg!”

Terry became a teacher in 1998/99, as their children became active in school activities and sports.. Although she kept her license active, as a teacher she was on the same schedule as her children. The kids grew up in the real estate business, however, helping Terry and her sister Joanne, the broker/owner, with the maintenance of their listings, cutting the grass, placing signs and more.

What’s next for The Blackfords?

Our immediate plans are to enjoy the spring and summer here and see what life has to offer next. We are blessed with wonderful new friends and neighbors and are never for want of something to do. The camaraderie in the community is real and people rally for each other when a neighbor is in need.

Bill’s major hobby is his cars—a Mustang Convertible and a vintage Lincoln Town Car as well as his fish tank! Terry loves antiquing, refinishing furniture, and visiting her children and grandchildren.

As far as a bucket list: continue to travel and enjoy this wonderful time of our life. Bill summed it up this way, “It’s like being freshmen in college but this time we have money!”