At the end of January we closed on our second property. This one is located at 24 Lockwood Ave in Freehold, NJ. The renovation on this property is going to be just a little different than the one in Hazlet. This one is going to be featured on a television show on the DIY Network called First Time Flippers. I think that qualifies as a little more exciting.
Kathy was approached at the New Jersey Real Estate Social Network meeting by members of the production team from the show. They said that if we were interested we needed to submit a 2 minute video to them via YouTube about the project and they would contact us either way. Well, they contacted us. Long story short, after a few more calls and visit to the Freehold property we are going to be on the show. (Shhh! We know it’s our second flip but it’s the first one on television. Technicalities!)
We got the Freehold property through the same agent that brought us the Hazlet property. This relationship continues to grow in positive ways. Linda rocks!
We almost didn’t close on this one. The property has an above ground oil tank. In light of this our lender wanted to be sure there were no old tanks underground. We had the property tested and no tanks were found. However, a positive reading for something metallic was found in a small area in front of the house. We were going to have to investigate this anomaly before the lender would proceed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get clearance from the institution that owned the property to bring a backhoe or any other heavy equipment on the property to dig. It had to be dug by hand… in January… in 25 degree weather. Nothing like a late Christmas present. So my buddy Brendan and I dug out the space. We were supposed to go three feet deep and have the area checked by an environmental specialist. We got to about 2.5 feet and hit something. We uncovered what appeared to be a sign or maybe a barrel of some sort. We weren’t sure what it was. We had it tested and it was determined that whatever it was had to be completely dug up to check underneath it. Yippee!
That morning started off brutal but ended on a very high note. So my friends and I headed off to celebrate in the best way possible on a 15 degree day, bagels and hot coffee!
Anyway, that was pretty cool. The real fun though, was on the second day of filming; the first day of demolition! What a blast (all pun intended)! Kathy and I beat the daylights out of that house. Sheetrock, wood, tile, toilets; it was all getting tossed. We took down sheetrock in 4 different rooms, took down three walls (non-load bearing, of course), removed the kitchen cabinets and counters, dismantled one bathroom and removed the refrigerator. We have a feeling the fridge may get a significant amount of airtime. I‘ll explain later.
This time we felt a little more comfortable in front of the cameras. In fact, after a while I know I forgot they were there. The weird part though was talking about what you were hitting or knocking down and why you were doing it. I don’t normally talk out loud when I work on a project at home and announce what I’m about to do. If it doesn’t go well then everyone knows about it and those outbursts can’t go on TV.
We were cruising along nicely. Sledgehammer here, reciprocating saw there; good times! It was close to midday and we were about to start on the kitchen. At this point it probably would have been wise to take a break, grab a quick bite and start again. But, no. We’re gung ho and wanted to take on the world! The producer suggested we get the refrigerator out the back door so it would be out of the way. Good thinking.
Remember I said we should have taken a break…. It took us about 20 -25 minutes to get the refrigerator out the back door. “Which way should it go?” “Is this the right angle?” “Should we take the door off or leave it on?” ‘What if we take the back door off its hinges?”
Two reasonably intelligent people with college degrees and tons of work experience competing 2 on 1 with a refrigerator. And the winner is…… (drumroll)
Yes, we got it outside but, Holy Cow!
Lesson learned: when in doubt, have lunch. Of course, I learned that lesson after I dropped a kitchen cabinet on Kathy’s head. It wasn’t intentional (honest!). She said she was fine and we kept going. A few minutes later we heard giggles and then someone from the crew came in to make sure she was OK. It was all good but, it was definitely time for lunch.
I was expecting another refrigerator experience. I thought since I was dealing with plumbing connections and all that it was going to be a nightmare. I disconnected the feed line to the toilet tank easily enough. There is no water running in the house so, no worries there either. I started on the bolts holding the toilet to the floor. They seemed to be spinning and spinning without doing anything. Somewhere in my head I was thinking ‘just bust it up and pull it out. That will look great on TV.’ Luckily my rational brain kicked in and I kept working on the screws. With a little extra work they came out. The toilet just lifted out then. Things went just as well with the sink, too. I disconnected the water lines. The small sink just lifted off a metal mount it was slid onto.
Holy crap, that was easy!
Now we could get back to the fun stuff, busting out walls! This house has 5 bedrooms on the second floor as well as another full bathroom. Our plan is to take out the wall between the current master and the one next to it to create a very large master. We are also going to expand that little closet bathroom into a full, attached master bathroom.
The interviews are conducted separately so I continue to chill out while they talk to Kathy. I go next. It’s pretty straight forward. The producer just questions about different highlights from the day to get our reactions. Oddly enough they wanted to talk about the refrigerator again. I don’t get it.
Well the interviews wrapped up and we called it a day completely at 24 Lockwood.
Updates to come soon!