Roman Barsky’s Long Road: From Russia to Real Estate

Right after Roman Barsky finished high school, his family emigrated from Russia. His father, a factory manager, wanted more opportunity for his children, says Barsky, a residential builder well known for his upscale single-family homes, which often rise on lots recently occupied by 50 or 60-year-old houses that affluent Princeton house hunters now consider seriously under-sized.

Shored up today by 20 years as a successful builder, Barsky, 48, was completely at sea soon after he arrived in Newark as an 18 year old. He had left a happy life in Odessa. “I enjoyed playing sports,” he recalls. “I loved my school.” His family was prosperous. His mother stayed at home to tend to him and to his younger brother, Igor, who now works for him.