A New York Firefighter Left the City for the Long Island Suburbs. Which House Did He Choose?


“It was an ordinary, impoverished area, and I didn’t like living in such close quarters,” said Mr. Shepherd. I always wanted to be a homeowner. After graduating from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, he moved back to New York City and started his career as a New York City Firefighter. Mr. Shepherd is currently stationed in Crown Heights.

“Where I was growing up, there were always fires, and I would see firefighters running into buildings saving people they didn’t know,” he said. As they walked home, they’d wave at me. This stuck with me. “I work in these firehouses and I always wave to the kids.” His landlord complained when he opened a window to cool down. But Mr. Shepherd was determined. I sacrificed a great deal. I had a dream, and I knew paying low rent would help me achieve it.”

His ideal was a suburban home and yard surrounded by nature. He said, “I didn’t grow up with grass.” In my mind, that’s middle-class success.” I consider that middle-class success. I want him to have an easier life.”

Through Realtor.com, he connected with Danielle Jernigan, a saleswoman with Keller Williams NYC. The initial idea was to move to Westchester, but he discovered that his budget of $500,000 would buy only a co-op or condominium there, not a house.

Besides, his son lived in Nassau County. He then turned to Long Island. He wanted to be close to the city, but not sacrifice size. He did not want to compromise the size of the house for the proximity to the city.