With so many of “new home buyers” focusing on outdoor spaces as a result of past and perhaps future Covid restrictions, there have been many conversations in our office about what the suburban backyard experience has to offer in Bergen County. 

The conversation often starts with what a special place northern NJ can be in spring and fall with bursts of colors sure to surround anyone lucky enough to be sitting outdoors. Talk of Deer and sightings of whole families from little bambie all the way to 6 point bucks, galloping from one yard to the next are sure to come up… were there always so many deer in this area?

But more and more one hears complaints of noise. How many times over the last 18 months did I sit down outdoors with a colleague, a client or even a cup of coffee and not one second before and not one second after… but the literal moment I sit down, one of my neighbor’s landscapers shows up, or even my own landscaper sometimes. And while I always smile at them I am usually muttering the most delightful thoughts about them under my breath. 

On the rarest of occasions when a landscaper has not arrived don’t worry…. There’s always the 10 min back up generator test that most owners will claim they had no knowledge of when they had their units installed. One agent suggested to me that all the generators in town should be set to go off on Monday afternoon at 2pm. It’s Monday anyway, the thought was, we may as well do it then in one shot and get it all over with so we can enjoy the rest of the week generator free. 

I was talking with a builder who has been curiously watching the “whole house battery” product being produced by Tesla. He has been trying for years to get clients to choose this option over the generator since he feels it is such a quieter and “neighborhood friendy” option, but with the battery only lasting for hours rather than days clients are wary of making the switch. 

He did comment to me that one of his customers may have figured out the secret to making this all work. While the battery only lasts approx 8 hours depending on usage, if the home is also connected to a solar panel roof system, the battery gets recharged with the panels and can now extend the home’s energy source indefinitely.

The good news for home seekers looking to find peace and quiet in the suburbs is that on the whole, most towns in this area have noise ordinances to address these problems. Whether it be limitations of morning and night hours or weekend restrictions, our area is still one that allows for an enjoyable backyard experience one can hopefully share with family, friends and a good book. 

During these last months, I often enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day on my patio. A calming stillness descends and the gentle sound of the crickets clears my mind. Yes, there will be the occasional sounds of the passing freight trains in the distance but that, somehow comforts me, knowing that the “Little Engine” is delivering toys and treats ( cars and lumber) to the good little girls and boys over the hill.

Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and Owner of V and N Group LLC. V & N Realty is located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck, NJ. Feel free to email Nechama at nechamapolak@gmail.com or call 201.826.8809.