By Dave Enscoe, Advertising Department

The elegant home in Linwood was nine years old when James and Denise Flink bought it in 2006. For Denise, that meant it was time for a major makeover. "Even though it was built in the 1990s it had more of a 1980s look," Denise recalls. "It was peachy and pink, white and gray. It wasn't me."

Denise did more than change the color scheme; she embarked on a $300,000 project that completely transformed the interior. Acting as her own general contractor, she remodeled the kitchen and the four existing bathrooms and added another full bathroom to the 1,400 square floor finished basement. She also had most of the floors ripped out and replaced with Brazilian cherry and porcelain tiles.

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"We put in all new custom trim, crown molding and some new windows," says Denise, who comes from a family of building contractors. "The bathrooms were all redone with all new lighting, plumbing fixtures, sinks, shower enclosures and toilets. "I also put in all the landscaping, every bush – every tree."

Jim, who sells high-end software and Denise are both South Jersey natives (Jim grew up in Linwood and Denise was raised in Manahawkin). But they spent five years in Annapolis, MD, before Jim's job brought the couple and their 10-year-old son, Jonathan, back to New Jersey eight years ago. The stately all-stucco house they purchased in Linwood's ultra-desirable Gold Coast neighborhood was built by a casino executive.

"We always liked the Gold Coast," Denise says. "It's like Leave it to Beaver. Kids ride their bikes and can walk to Belhaven Middle School. Families jog. It's a nice place to be."

The Flinks' home on East Cheltenham Avenue is just a block from the meadows and bay that separate the mainland from Absecon Island. It now features 5 bedrooms and 5½ baths and a two-car garage. A new front door with leaded glass panels and sidelights opens to a two-story foyer with an oak staircase covered with a Peristan carpet. Flaking the foyer are a family room with a gas fireplace and a bedroom with access to a full bathroom.

The remodeled kitchen has an abundance of cherry cabinets with pull-out drawers, Golden Persa granite counters and upscale appliances including a Thermador cooktop, and a Bosch stainless steel dishwasher; custom lighting, Italian tile backsplashes and a huge center island. Glass doors in the kitchen lead a patio with an in-ground swimming pool TimberTech composite deck and an outdoor shower.&rtab;The second floor features three bedrooms including a large master suite with a walk-in closet that has crown molding and a window. The master bath has Swarovski crystal fixtures and an oversized shower chamber tiled with tumbled marble from Italy and a Jacuzzi tub. A second large bedroom has a private bath. A full attic is accessed from pull-down steps.

The basement now has a full bathroom, Pergo flooring and a laundry room with commercial strength front-loading washer and dryer. There's also a bedroom that Jim uses as an office.

Denise did retain the porcelain planks found in the mudroom, hallway and a first-floor bedroom.

Other upscale amenities include a whole-house water filtration system and a Bose surround sound systems on the first floor and at the pool. There are two zones of natural gas heat and air conditioning, custom wood blinds and a sprinkler system.

When Jim and Denise sell the house, and Jonathan, now a senior at St. Augustine Prep, heads off to college, the soon-to-be empty nesters plan to downsize.

"We're going to get a condo," Denise says. "We're looking at Cape May, a place on the water. We're boaters. We just want a little place and a boat.

For more information on this property, which is listed for $749,000, call Carlo Losco of Balsley Losco Real Estate, 609-646-3207.

Fast Facts:

Where: Linwood

Built: 1997

Size: 5 bedrooms, 5 baths

Taxes (2012): $16,551

Price: $749,000


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