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Dover Twp. Fire Department flips house to raise funds
Pancake breakfasts. Spaghetti suppers. Barbecue chicken dinners. Yard sales. Car washes. Bake sales. Bingo.
Last year the Dover Township Volunteer Fire Department was looking for new ways to raise money, said Deputy Chief Brian Widmayer.
"So we thought about doing a real estate fundraiser, like flipping a house," he said.
With the guidance of Ray Abboud, owner of the real-estate firm CASH NOW, the fire department bought a foreclosed house near its station in Dover Township on Oct. 16, Widmayer said.
Last Monday, the fire department listed the home as for sale by owner on its Facebook page. It had taken less than six weeks to fix up the house.
"Structurally it was very good — it just needed some cosmetic work," the deputy chief said.
The house, 3053 Greenfield Drive in Dover, has four bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, according to the listing on the fire department's Facebook page.
The fire department is asking $159,900 for the property, which Widmayer said is on a cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood.
Getting help: It helped to have the volunteer labor of the Dover firefighters.
"Obviously, we have a lot of manpower here that we can draw from," the department's president, Glenn Jansen Jr., said.
Firefighters tore up the carpets and saw to the property's landscaping needs.
Abboud helped the department coordinate the renovation, which included an all-new kitchen, drywall repair and an outside paint job. He also offered to help the department sell the house through Weichert Realtors at a reduced commission.
True Artisan Painters transformed the formerly canary-yellow, white-shuttered house into a tan house with black shutters, Jansen said.
The kitchen got new cabinets and a sink and stainless-steel appliances thanks to free labor provided by Compleat Restoration Co., Widmayer said. Granite countertops will soon be installed as well.
Community: If this sale works out well, Jansen said, he hopes the fundraiser will be an annual event.
"I think the biggest thing for me is that this will directly benefit our area," he said.
Widmayer also relished the idea of sprucing up a vacant house, getting it ready for new residents and potentially bringing new people to Dover.
Thinking safety: Firefighters installed smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors on every floor of the house, and the home's new owners will have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and one in the basement.
"We're all about safety," Widmayer said. "If this is a house we're putting out there for someone to live in, we want them to start off with the right tools to be safe."
— Reach Julia Scheib at firstname.lastname@example.org.