By: Kathy Raborn

We were headed to Bluffton, South Carolina to meet with a realtor about purchasing a second home. We had been there several times and felt we were ready to put a stake in the ground. On our way down from New Jersey, we decided to take the “road less traveled,” and got off the highway for lunch when my husband saw an Albemarle Plantation billboard. He recognized the name from Facebook ads and convinced me to take a look at the property. Gail Brady and the folks at the Sales Office were so welcoming despite our unscheduled visit. Three hours later we were writing a contract for our home. We continued to Bluffton and visited over 20 homes, both new construction and resale. This just confirmed that we had already found our next home, here in Hertford.

Albemarle Plantation is a beautiful property and everyone that we encountered in our short visit was so nice, but honestly it was more a feeling than anything else, like trying on the perfect wedding dress, it just felt right … like home. Writing that contract was one of the most impulsive things we ever did, but we knew if the house sold while we were in Bluffton, we would be very disappointed.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and met Joe, a New Jersey boy, at Rutgers University. We raised our family in Flemington, New Jersey, which is still our fulltime residence. We plan to be there at least one week per month during the milder weather months in the northeast and hunker down in Albemarle Plantation during the winter months. We do not plan to bring a snow shovel to Green Court West.

Joe and I are still working full time, which is why we continue to maintain our New Jersey home. Joe has his degree in chemical engineering and works for BYK USA Inc. in technical sales. His territory includes the Carolinas. I work for Bank of America in a marketing role.

My team creates the content for the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch public websites. However, I just completed my MBA in healthcare management and hope to turn that into my second act when I retire.

Joe and I have a 30-year-old son who lives in Raleigh. He and his fiancée work for Duke Healthcare. Matt is an industrial engineer and works as a Lean Coach. His fiancée, Carmen is an RN, specializing in oncology and studying to be a nurse practitioner.

Our 25-year-old daughter is finishing up her veterinary degree in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. She has a job waiting for her in New Jersey when she graduates.

Our family also includes my 35-year-old niece Diana, a social worker, and her twin brother JP, a teacher, his wife Kim, a CPA, and their two precious daughters, Olivia, 3, and Camille, 6 months.

Joe enjoys golf and is “working on” his game. Being here at AP allows him to get out on the links much more frequently. I’ve been consumed with our house renovations and decorating. This has been both frustrating and fun, but I’m really proud of the almost finished product. I’ll have to figure out what to do with myself when I’m finally done.

We love to travel and had hoped to see lots of Europe during the four years our daughter studied in Scotland. But due to COVID, our wings were clipped. Hopefully, we can pick that back up again once we retire.

Our family also enjoys college football. On a fall Saturday you can find us at a Rutgers home football game with our college friends or cheering on the Auburn Tigers, our daughter’s alma mater.

Joe and I have always been good stewards of our community. Among other things, Joe served on the board of our local youth soccer program for over 20 years, and I was an elected member of our local school board. Once we are here full time, we’ll take a serious look at what we can do to give back to AP and the local community.

We have an 8-year-old Springer spaniel and 3-year-old brown tabby (indoor) cat. We also have lots of pets that come to visit along with our family members. We are so happy to be here and look forward to our first holiday season in our new home.