b'A Couple from the West CoastLands in South OrangeWorking with Victoria CarterBY ELLEN DONKERD I N G H ON MIF EJ essicaBauerandCollinSullivanof the house, it was so beautiful. I loved the neigh-had every intention of moving backborhood. And then we got inside. And Collin was to San Francisco. Like many others,like, Wow, this is incredible. Its just that it had ev-they left their rental and put every- erything we wanted. With eight other bidders, the thing in storage when the pandemiccouple knew they had to submit a competitive offer. hit, deciding to stay with family whileBauer found the process daunting, saying, You working remotely.see [the house] on Saturday or Sunday and you have They were at Sullivans parents house in Colo- to provide your best and final on Tuesday, so you rado in October 2020 when they began thinkingonly have three days to think about this. And as first-about moving to a new city. Both work for largetime homebuyers, that just did not feel like enough corporations and can locate themselves almost any- time to make such a huge decision. Eager for Cart-where. Since Sullivan had grown up in PittsburghThe Bauer/Sullivan couple found everything they wanteders guidance, she says, We were calling and texting and Bauer was from Connecticut, they started con- in this home on Thornden Street in South Orange. Victoria a ton.sidering the East Coast. Googling the best suburbsBy late evening that Tuesday, Carter called them of New York City, Maplewood popped up, and inwith the good news and on March 31, they closed no time they were looking at houses online.on the house. Even though their belongings from On a whim, the couple emailed the realtor for aSan Francisco wouldnt arrive for another 10 days, house they liked and soon enough they were talkingthey spent an entire Saturday following her throughthey were determined to sleep in their home that with Victoria Carter. Bauer says, We just said thatMaplewood, South Orange and Montclair and lis- first night, even if it meant using air mattresses. we wanted to come to Maplewood and see what ittening via speakerphone as Carter gave them back- On July 31, Bauer and Sullivan celebrated an-was like and see if it was as charming in person asground on the towns and showed them a few homesother milestone: they got married, almost a year past people said it was online. that would fit their budget. their original wedding date, which had been post-Bauer and Sullivan were stunned that Carter wasThe couple continued to keep their eye on theponed due to COVID. willing to meet with them after they told her, Weremarket and by January became more serious aboutThrilled to have found the perfect home, Bauer not sure we want to live here. Were not sure werebuying. Whenever they saw a house online that theysays, Victoria deserves all of the praisebecause going to buy a house. You know, we just want toliked, theyd text Carter asking if it was available.she was unbe-check out potential areas to maybe put roots down.Bauer says that even during the crazy market, Shelievable in this In November,was always immediately responsive, adding, Sheprocess.I theyflewtowas always ready to take us to any house we saw.mean,Ido Bauerspar- Narrowing their search to homes with central airnotthinkwe ents home inconditioning, a first-floor powder room, a master bed- couldhave Connecticutroom suite, a wood-burning fireplace, and a flat backdonethis anddroveyard, meant that fewer houses were available. Bauerwithouther. downtosays, It was hard to be optimistic at timesI mean,Wewouldnt Maplewoodwe would go weeks without anything coming on thehave done this tomeetwithmarket that was in the range of what we were lookingwithout her. If Carter.Driv- for. So it was tough at times. And we were kind ofwehadany-ing in separateworried that we werent going to find anything. oneelse,I carsbecauseBy February, after losing out on a house, the cou- dontthink Collin Sullivan and Jessica BauerRealtor Victoria Carter helped Jes-relocated to South Orange from SanofCOVIDple found a beautiful Colonial on Thornden Streetwedbeheresica Bauer and Collin Sullivan find the Francisco. restrictions,in South Orange. Bauer says, Just seeing the outsideright now.perfect house in South Orange.finding home /23'