Drive roughly forty miles outside of New York City into New Jersey, and the congestion, noise and crowding falls behind you—on all sides majestic hills rise that contain quaint, New England-style communities. This is where you'll find Bald Eagle Village, Passaic County's best kept little secret. Located in West Milford, the village is actually an active adult community composed of about ninety-nine acres and comprising 440 units in 59 buildings.
The Simpler Life
Ed Saade, treasurer of the homeowners association for Bald Eagle Village, says most builders today are constructing what he calls "pigeon coops"—prefabricated buildings piled one on top of the other, but at Bald Eagle Village, "The first thing that strikes you as you drive in is that it's wide open, with nice roads, nice buildings, and a totally different landscape." Saade describes the community, which was founded in 1984, as a New England-style development with about twenty-five different styles of units, and that he says, "gives a lot of variety to people who are looking to buy there." Units range from two- and three-bedroom units to one-bedroom units with a loft.
"It's nicely set within the mountains, aesthetically and architecturally," Saade says, though to many residents one of the most attractive features—along with the views and open spaces—is not having to worry about such things as snow removal. "It's appealing to the older individuals because they don't have to maintain the snow removal, and the same goes for young couples, because they're usually both working all the time, and don't have the time to do all that work." Saade says that along with the freedom of not having to maintain the general property, residents also are free to make their own yards and lots more aesthetically pleasing. "[The board and management] allow you be as involved or as uninvolved as you want to be," Saade says.
Linda Schoeppler, secretary of the HOA, says the community—which is named for the Bald Eagles that populate the area—was built in ten different phases, the first of which consisted of three buildings. "The builders were very taken with New England's history and U.S. history, and they wanted to create that feeling here," she says. "All the streets are named after places in New England, and all the different styles of townhouses are named after locations and places in New England."
Schoeppler describes Bald Eagle as a rural community, and says that the "builder must have had great vision, because it started out as woods and fields." Schoeppler says originally there were five private houses in the area, which still exist today and have been incorporated into the community.