Originally from the Midwest, he was eager to dip his toes in saltwater after moving to New York in 2002, but found the Connecticut coast too rocky, and Fire Island too “exclusive.”
In Long Beach, where the family bought a two-bedroom co-op in 2012 for $325,000, the people were friendly and the sand soft, he said. And his daughter can surf. “There is just some kind of peacefulness that you don’t get anywhere else,” Mr. Stoller said.
What You’ll Find
Stretched like taffy across about two square miles, the city of Long Beach has 33,657 people, according to 2017 census figures. In summer, the average daytime population, including renters and day-trippers, can push 50,000, officials say.
In any season, though, the city is dense. Minuscule 30-by-60-foot lots checker the West End, where hipped-roof, single-story bungalows alternate with three-story structures that appear to have more decks than interior space.
Some may not appreciate the houses’ shoehorn-tight spacing; by the looks of it, a snorer might keep the neighbors up at night. But central air-conditioning, residents say, allows for closed windows.
Many tall houses got that way because of Hurricane Sandy, which inundated pancake-flat Long Beach, although no one was killed. Public funds reimbursed owners for lifting buildings, a tab that can reach $100,000 with new foundations, said Kelly Gunn, the chief financial officer of DRG Construction, which has hoisted some 250 houses.