“Where are we?” said Michelle Pais, former cast member on “Real Housewives of New Jersey. “What is it and who designed it?”
She and her husband, Jonathan Steingraber, who are partners in luxury real estate brokerage Signature Realty NJ, landed a property in Franklin Township with a commercial storefront and an attached single-family home. It’s an “eyesore and doesn’t have any appeal,” Pais continued. “It’s the bright color of mustard with red. Like a rainbow, and not in a good way.”
But 24 hours later, it was completely renovated. Later this month, it will close with its new owner.
It’s a massive project to take on in just two 12-hour work days — and you can see the power couple in action on the new A&E show “24 Hour Flip,” which airs Saturday noon through mid-May.
Throughout the 12-week series, Pais and Steingraber will complete an arrangement that normally takes several months. In each episode, an entire house is renovated and transformed — exterior and interior — before being resold. The final earnings were also announced.
“24 Hour Flip” was filmed in 11 New Jersey towns: South Bound Brook, South Amboy, Hasbrouck Heights, West Milford, Secaucus, Somerset, North Plainfield, Union, Hopatcong, Green Township and Harmony. But five years before a show, Pais and Steingraber moved houses in just 24 hours.
“We’re trying to shorten the traditional repair time to a shorter period of time because we’re losing so much money in handling costs, property taxes and insurance,” Steingraber said. “We keep speeding the time up to 24 hours.”
To do this, Pais and Steingraber first looked for a property that they thought had potential and profit. Pais selects all materials and finishes — paint colors, tile work, flooring, cabinets, etc. — as long as they’re all in stock and they’re all on budget. They have one person per trade onsite, so problems can be solved quickly.
“Do we have to make decisions very quickly? Yes. Do we pay a premium because the tradesman has to be paid overtime? Yes,” Steingraber said. “It’s the saying, ‘You can do things cheap, fast or good and you have to choose between them.’ We choose fast and well.”
But over the years, Pais and Steingraber know they’ve saved countless dollars — and inefficiencies — in their business model. Something they are proud of, despite the stress.
On the big screen:Amazon Prime’s new movie ‘Goodnight Mommy’ was filmed in a Bedminster home
“Drama is innate,” Steingraber says. “In 24 hours, small problems become big problems. If we’re short of material or the material isn’t the right size, it becomes a big thing that we have to shift gears very quickly because everything is a domino effect in a 24-hour arrangement.”
That happens sometimes — all of that is visible to the audience.
How to save time, money on your home renovation
For those in the business of flipping properties, Steingraber suggests they also work to reduce their adjustment time by doing adequate preparation, research, and making and sticking to decisions.
“We’ve been programmed as a society to accept that renovations take three to six months, and that’s an archaic, inefficient way of doing things,” he said. “In real estate, it’s location, location, location, and in construction, it’s preparation, preparation, preparation.”
To do this, Steingraber suggests that flippers make renovation decisions on everything from door stops to vent covers before presenting plans to a contractor.
Steingraber also suggests that those doing home renovations never ask a contractor for a price. Instead, they should know what they want, research its cost and timeframe, and then ask a contractor, “I have this project, so many yards. I have to do it within this period and my budget is this. Can you do it?
Hunterdon home for sale for $18 million:‘I’ve never seen a house like this in New Jersey’
“It has saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars in my career,” Steingraber said.
Watch: Saturday noon to mid-May in A&E
Please contact: JIntersimone@MyCentralJersey.com
Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member at USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey since 2014, after becoming a blogger-turned-reporter following the creation of her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to his stories about food, drink and funplease subscribe or activate your digital account now.