After 13 years in Boston, Stuart and Patti Rosenberg made a radical lifestyle change: They moved to rural Virginia and became farmers.

For Mr. Rosenberg, now 76, who had served as the president and CEO of a Harvard-affiliated medical organization, the move to Burkeville, Va., (pop. 419) marked a post-retirement homecoming: His mother’s family lived in the area, and one of the town’s streets bears the family name.

“They were the farmers,” he said. “My other grandparents were Lithuanian Jews who emigrated to Boston.”

Ms. Rosenberg, now 66, had reservations. “The joke has always been that when I died I wanted to be cremated because I wouldn’t want a bug touching me,” she said.

But as Ms. Rosenberg, who works as a health care consultant, learned about food systems in the United States — “and was just appalled” — the farm became not just a project, but a calling. The couple transformed the 230-acre property, which had belonged to Mr. Rosenberg’s uncle, into a organic-focused farm and agritourism destination, with sheep, goats, chickens, horses, hogs, cattle, a C.S.A., an Airbnb and three employees.

“Now the joke is when she dies, we’ll throw her on the compost pile,” Mr. Rosenberg said.

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But as the years passed, the Rosenbergs began to miss city life, especially the access to culture. “I’m really good on tractors, hay baling, cutting, mowing — that was exciting,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “But after 10 years, maybe I’ve done that enough.”

Last summer, they traveled to New York City so Ms. Rosenberg could meet with a client. On a stroll through the Upper West Side, Mr. Rosenberg found himself browsing the window listings in real estate offices. One apartment, in the region of $650,000, caught his eye.

Nicky Rosendorff, an interior designer and real estate agent with the Corcoran Group, stepped outside and asked if she could help. “And I said, ‘Who, me?’” Mr. Rosenberg recalled.

“We had no idea of ever buying a place,” he said, figuring it was too expensive. “It’s a million dollars or something.”

But the couple had always loved their visits to New York, and the idea of putting down some roots there was exciting. They had recently begun scaling back the farm operation, reorienting it as a destination for native plants and wildlife.

“It’s not really about escaping Burkeville, because we’ll always be there,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “But coming to New York is very special for us.”

Ms. Rosendorff encouraged them to look around, and they suddenly found themselves in a full-throttle search for a Manhattan pied-à-terre.

“Buyers were uncertain about getting into the market at the time because of the higher interest rates,” Ms. Rosendorff said. “So in a slower market, it actually gave buyers opportunities to make educated decisions. And there was actually so much to show them.”

With a budget of up to $800,000, the Rosenbergs wanted easy access to arts institutions and green spaces. And because they would be driving to and from Virginia, parking was a must.

Ms. Rosendorff had just one remaining question: Did the pair have any pets? “Well, we actually have 200,” Ms. Rosenberg replied.

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