Knock knock So many new famil our towns this sum thanks to these loca Photos by Jamie Meier, livelovele Caroline Farnsworth Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct, Maplewood 973-698-0737 “I was the buyer before I represented sellers,” says Caroline explaining how she’d been living in Manhattan before she found Maplewood. She then commuted for 8 years in the marketing/business world before she realized that the travel and the hours were no longer fun. She was a single parent then and felt she needed to make a change that kept her local. Now 11 years in the business she can’t imagine working anywhere else. Her children are in college and she takes advantage of “girl time” with her friends, catching up at Coda or seeing a local performance at the Luna Stage or SOPAC. She’s an avid tennis player and the one to call for outdoor experiences. “I love to hike, kayak, anything where I get to be outside.” Caroline describes herself as resourceful and creative. “Figure it out Farnsworth,” is her motto and she does just that for her clients. One of her favorite shops in town is Lotus Petals, “Peggy does beautiful flowers,” she adds. And she loves to explore little towns, out of the way places. It makes her coming home to Maplewood all the sweeter. Cathy Knapp Towne Realty Group, Short Hills (201) 259-7102 Maplewood has been part of Cathy’s life forever; her mother grew up here so she remembers when Pietz’s Hardware was on the corner where Arturo’s is now, and when the Maple Leaf was on the corner of Inwood Place. “I still love the Maple Leaf,” she says. It’s where she often meets her WOB (Women of Burgdorff) friends. “Many of us began our real estate careers under the remarkable tutelage of Jean Burgdorff, and have remained great friends.” After college in Ohio, Cathy spent 20 years in municipal bonds on Wall Street where she met her husband who now supports her real estate business. They say they love their Euclid Avenue home and plan to stay forever. Cathy enjoys shopping local, “where I know who is working there,” she admits. The Tenth Muse and Perch Home on Maplewood Avenue are her favorites. “You can usually find my husband, John, at The Gate,” she says referring to St. James Gate in Maplewood Village. What Cathy values greatly is her friends. From college, from first jobs, from real estate. “I love to spend time with these girls.” ” Debbie Rybka-Howard Team Coldwell Banker, Short Hills 908-591-4886 A third generation Maplewoodian, Debbie has assembled a team of carefully chosen like-minded professionals. “I followed a path set out by my father who was a successful realtor,” she says. Christine, like Debbie, graduated from Columbia High. “My mother was the school nurse in town for decades,” Christine explains. After attending Smith College and NYU for graduate school, Christine was a Public Art Curator before reconnecting with Debbie at Burgdorff Realtors. The team includes Susan, who grew up in Brooklyn and studied at FIT; Pam, who has been a NJ resident for 20 years and specializes in short sales; and Jiin, who trained as a mechanical engineer at MIT and now excels at marketing and negotiation. Bruce Howard and Candace Snyder are the backbone of the team, handling the administrative details of the transactions.           Collectively they are passionate about animals and organizations that support animals. They often go away as a team and recharge. “We genuinely like and respect each other, and treating our clients like family has allowed us to surpass our goals,” Debbie notes.            The team counts Falafelly Yours and Town Hall Deli as their South Orange favorites. And Maplewood’s Bagel Chateau remains one of Debbie’s best memories with her son since he sas a little boy (he’s now in college) and with all her nieces and nephews. “Having grown up in Maplewood, I have fond memories of many places,” Debbie says. “Maplewood will always remain special to me, as I have very deep roots here.” The Debbie Rybka Howard Team left to right: Christine Lassiter, Susan Lugashi, Pam Webb, Debbie Rybka-Howard, Candace Snyder, Jiin Kang and Bruce Howard.