Michael Parasmo has humble roots but lofty ambitions. He grew up in a row house in South Philadelphia but dreamed of owning his own international business and a fancy house in the suburbs. It took a lot of hard work and perseverance but today Michael is CEO of Prestige Motion, a company that designs, manufactures and sell furniture to department stores around the world. He's also the proud owner of a luxurious 5,100-square-foot home in Mays Landing's upscale Forest Walk community near the Great Egg Harbor River.

"When I was living in Ocean City I used to drive down Gravelly Run Road for inspiration," Michael says. "I'd heard that's where the affluent people lived, the businessmen who'd made it. One day I saw a "For Sale" sign on this house and thought, 'I'm going for it. I can do this.' I called the Realtor and my accountant and I bought it."

Built in 1983, the neo-colonial style house stands atop a small but steep hill. It occupies a wooded 1.9-acre mostly wooded property and features six bedrooms, four bathrooms and lots of upgrades. But when Michael bought it in 2005 it was in need of some updating.

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"The previous owner was a doctor who was never there so it needed some tender loving care," Michael recalls. "I started redoing everything with a passion. I took out 39 trees that were right on top of the house. I put in new Trex decks, a new Gunite pool, a new roof, new floors, and all new appliances."

From the street, the house appears to be two stories. But the finished basement opens directly to the back yard patio, making it in effect, a three-story structure. A 10,000-square-foot resurfaced circular blacktop driveway winds up the wonderfully landscaped incline to a side-entry garage. In back, behind the fenced patio is a basketball court, a fire pit and a jogging path that snakes through the woods.

"It's a beautiful property and we have total privacy," Michael says.

The interior features hardwood floors, sold wood doors, skylights and extra large bedrooms. There's a grand entry foyer, a sunken formal living room with a wood burning fireplace and French doors to a multi-level rear deck with built-in flower boxes and outdoor speakers. A formal dining room and an eat in kitchen with two walk-in pantries and granite counters, Subzero refrigerator. An office with built in shelving and a huge powder room with cherry cabinets.

The master suite has a cathedral ceiling, a corner gas fireplace, a gigantic walk in closet and a lavish bathroom that includes a porthole window, an oversized multi-jet shower and a whirlpool tub.

The lower level has two bedrooms, a wood burning fireplace, a wet bar, a full bathroom and a sunroom overlooking the back yard and pool.

Amenities also include a whole house stereo system, a 9-zone sprinkler system, an alarm system, and an invisible fence for a dog.

"We don't have a dog, so the invisible fence isn't hooked up," Michael says.

When Michael bought the property, the household included his son, daughter and significant other." The kids are grown now – and out of the house. For Michael, that means it time to tackle the next challenge.

"My lady friend is a businesswoman too and we're always traveling," he says. "I'm all over the place – China, Malaysia, India. We're thinking of going to Florida or the Southwest. We'll probably downsize, maybe buy a condo on the water. We're big fishermen."

For more information on this property, which is listed for $579,900, call Lisa Alper Russo of Coldwell Banker Casa Bella Realtors, 609-601-1009 or direct at 609-289-2384.

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