By Dave Enscoe, Advertising Department

Donald and Bobbi Lapinson never thought they could afford a retirement home directly on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Especially not a brand new single-family home with 5 bedrooms, 3½ baths and an elevator.

But that's what they ended up with. Thanks to an attractive deal on a vacant beachfront lot, the couple was able to build a lavish custom home with 3,750 square feet of living space and phenomenal ocean views. It's one of the few single family homes in Atlantic City with a Boardwalk address.

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"I lucked out and bought the property very reasonably," says Don, a retired businessman. "And I subcontracted out the work on the house myself."

The Lapinsons, who raised their family in Cherry Hill, decided to move to Atlantic City in 2003 after Don left his real estate and car dealership businesses to his two sons. They sold their summer home in Ventnor and bought the oceanfront lot between Elberon and Dover avenues, a block from The Enclave high-rise condominiums.

Don hired architect Stan Casey to design a house that would maximize the ocean views and was strong enough to survive a hurricane. Two levels of decks, each 50-feet long and 12-feet wide, took care of the views. The building materials included 12-inch beams, CertainTeed siding, stainless steel screws and roof shingles that Don says can withstand 150-mile-an-hour winds.

"It's built so that it will be the only thing left standing in Atlantic City on case of a monster storm," he says.

Don also wanted plenty of parking for when his family and friends came to visit, even if it meant sacrificing a landscaped yard.

"I covered every inch of ground around the house with pavers which gives us parking for nine cars," he says. "That makes me very popular during the air show, when we have big parties for 75 or 85 people."

Don and Bobbi also wanted plenty of room to accommodate visiting family members.

"The house can sleep 14 people," he says. "I called it my grandchildren insurance because as long as I owned it I would have grandchildren visiting every weekend."

The interior features an upside down floor plan with a garage, storage area and workshop on the lower level. The second level has four bedrooms, one of which has a private bath and sliding glass doors to the covered oceanfront deck. There's also a full hall bath and a family room with access to the deck. The third level has a spacious kitchen with granite counters that's open to a dining room and family room, and a master suite with a full bath and whirlpool tub. The partially covered deck can be accessed from both the family room and the master bedroom.

The top level is devoted to a huge loft that overlooks the family room. Don uses it as an office but it could be converted into two more bedrooms. An elevator provides access to all three upper floors.

The floors are a mix of ceramic tile and carpeting.

"I love ceramic tile," Don says. " It's easy to maintain."

Other amenities include two zones of heat and air conditioning and Andersen windows.

When they sell the house the Lapinsons plan to move to a home they own in Boynton Beach, FL.

"I'm going to be 70 years old," Don says. "I'm an avid golfer and an avid fisherman. It's time to move on. We'll probably rent an apartment up north for a month or two every year or stay with the kids."

"For more information on this property, which is listed for $1.37 million, call Jerry Barker of Weichert Realtors Asbury Group-AC, 609-481-7745."

Fast Facts:

Where: Atlantic City Built: 2002 Size: 5 bedrooms, 3½ baths

Taxes (2013): $29,500 Price: $1.37 million

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