It was on her first trip to the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk in 2001, while enjoying a Kohr’s ice cream cone and gazing fondly at Funland, that coastal Delaware Realtor Marianne Schall knew she was home.

Fifteen years later, she’s never left.

“We saw right away everything that was good about Rehoboth, and it just felt like a true east coast beach town to us,” says Schall, who’s originally from New York State but moved to the area from Seattle, Washington. “It felt like home right away and we’re so glad that we stayed here and made a life here.”

The nearly 3,000-mile journey from the Pacific Northwest to the Delaware beaches was a big and often uncertain move for Schall, her husband, Russ, and their two daughters. But that first trip to Rehoboth Beach the day after their arrival was all they needed to alleviate the stress and tension that comes with any major life change.

The “Nation’s Summer Capital” appealed immediately to the New York native’s sense of nostalgia, particularly the existence of the popular rides and games at Funland. The long-time fixture on the Rehoboth Boardwalk reminded Schall of her days growing up in the Empire State, when she and her family would take trips to Rye, a coastal town on the New York coast.

The main draw for children at that time was a mecca of fun and excitement called Playland, which apparently was a lot like the way Funland is and always has been in Rehoboth Beach.

“I hear it’s bigger now, but Playland used to be a lot like how Funland is now, just a small amusement park that you could really enjoy with your family,” says Schall, now a licensed Realtor with the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby’s International Realty in Rehoboth Beach. “I still remember now how I used to take my daughters to Funland years ago and how the younger one kept flying out of her seat while on the Viking ship.

“Those trips to Funland really brought back so many great memories of my youth, and I’m glad I was able to make similar memories with my own children here in Rehoboth.”

Though she grew up in New York, Schall has moved around a few times during the course of her life, attending college in California before later embarking on her real estate career in Seattle.

Though not a licensed agent until earlier this year, she was always “involved in the process” while working in the settlement and leasing arenas. It sparked her interest in real estate, which eventually led to becoming a licensed agent at the Delaware beaches.

“I just noticed how people were so happy when they came in for their settlements and I wanted to be a bigger part of that experience,” says Schall. “I had worked in leasing so I was familiar with the process and I knew what was involved with the work, so it just seemed like the next logical progression for me. And I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Though that day gazing out at the ocean from the Rehoboth Boardwalk was her first time in Delaware’s most well known beach resort, Schall does recall coming to the area as a child and camping along the banks of the Indian River Bay.

She remembered that when it came time to choose a new place to live, one that was within driving distance of her family in New York, but also one that was close to the shore.

Says Schall: “I’ve lived in a few different places, but the one constant has always been the beach, be it in California or Washington or New York, or now Delaware. So that definitely came into play when we decided to move back east.”

Earlier in 2016, Schall became the newest member of what is currently the top real estate team in Sussex County, in terms of buyer-represented sales for the last calendar year.

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.