She's not a little girl anymore, but Delaware native Jamie Haldas remembers fondly those days as a carefree 7-year-old in the “Nation's Summer Capital” of Rehoboth Beach, short brown hair flapping in the wind while clutching her dollar bill and skipping down the boardwalk to Funland with her three older sisters.
Fast forward to 2015 and you'll find that same energetic 7-year-old telling as many people as possible about the joys of living at the Delaware beaches through her role as a Realtor with the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.
And she has many stories to tell.
“For my entire childhood, my family rented a cottage in south Rehoboth every summer and my sisters and I would enjoy the beach and the boardwalk,” says Haldas, who moved permanently to Delaware's most popular resort town a few years ago. “I still remember going to the boardwalk when I was very young without our parents. We'd each take a dollar with us and would make it last all night, riding the rides and eating ice cream.”
Now making Rehoboth her year round home after a long career in New Castle County, Haldas touts the low taxes and the relaxed atmosphere and the fine dining and everything else that's made the Delaware beaches such a popular year-round destination in recent decades.
Living what she now calls the “second act” of her life at the beach, Haldas has made a name for herself as one of the top real estate agents in coastal Delaware. Her job, she says, is really not all that difficult because she loves living in Rehoboth and finds it easy to sell the area to others who may be considering the Delaware beaches as their new home.
To the grownups, she talks about the lower cost of living, the nightlife and the friendly people. But to the kids, well that's a different story altogether.
“When I see a little one's face light up at his or her first glimpse of the pounding surf, I can't help but smile and remember when I was that age,” says Haldas, with a twinkle in her eye. “I tell them about the snow cones and the rides, and the Skeeball and the ice cream and the Grotto's pizza. I loved all of that stuff as a kid, and I have no doubt they will to.”
Rehoboth Beach, and Delaware in general, has become a haven for retirees in the last 20-30 years, causing the term “Florida of the North” to begin circulating within that demographic. But the Delaware coast has also always been, and continues to be, one of the top family destinations in the United States.
Adding to it's list of accolades, Rehoboth Beach was most recently named one of the top five coastal towns in the country by USA Today, along with Gulf Shores, Ala., Saugatuck, Mich., Little Ogunquit, Maine, and Rockport, Texas.
Headquartered in Rehoboth Beach, the Oldfather Group specializes in real estate sales throughout coastal Delaware, including Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.