Geneseo carpenter courts stardom in Florida real estate
‘Foreclosure 2 Fabulous,’ the creation of Geneseo carpenter Pat Colville, is scheduled to begin airing on My 18 Time Warner and The Real Estate TV networks in July.
“I don’t know one thing about television, but I had this idea and a lot of people who do know about television thought it was great,” Colville explains.
The Colville family are regular vacationers in Delray Beach, Florida. In the depressed Florida real estate market, Colville suspected that owning his own condo year-around might be actually less costly than renting during the vacation season.
Today, Palm Beach County sees 27 percent of homes vacated and under foreclosure, the sorry symptom of a collapsed market in real estate. Many of the mortgage holders have opted to abandon their property rather than pay on a value higher than the property could ever be sold for.
Web resources and the sheer quantity of available properties made locating a condo fitting Colville’s specifications a relatively easy task. The property he selected featured an adjacent heated pool (shared with but seldom used by the seven other residences in the circling villa), proximity to local golf courses, and standard amenities: water, sewer, cable, lawn care, trash pick-up, and carport.
In partnership with his wife Jane, brother John and friends Chris and Holly Forshee, Colville brought the property for $30,000, invested another $12,000 in improvements, and was living in his fully remodeled condo just seven days after closing the purchase.
An interesting and satisfying story in itself — and one Colville thought might have entertainment value. Indeed, people everywhere might be interested in seeing how he came by a ‘fabulous’ real estate bargain — and a few folks might wish to replicate his experience.
It would be similar to shows on HGTV programing (a network enjoyed by Pat’s wife Jane), but instead of watching the ultra-wealthy, TV viewers would see “the average Joe getting a dream house for a bargain.” It would be a show for the common man.
Assembling a show
Elements started to come together almost effortlessly.
When Colville relayed his idea to an acquaintance who heads a Rochester-based video production firm, this man showed up the next day in Geneseo, ready to begin filming.
The Florida realtor who arranged the sale informed Colville that his daughter was a director for the Fox Network. She got on board, along with her fiancé, a producer for ESPN. The Florida Film Commission, seeing the show as an economic boon for the state, connected Colville with agent Mel Meron, who — with noteworthy legwork by Colville himself — made connections with networks and advertisers.
The distribution plan for this year’s summer TV season will put 4 weekly, one-hour episodes of ‘Foreclosure 2 Fabulous with Patrick Colville’ on the air. The show will be locally broadcast on Time Warner Rochester/ Elmira/Corning Cable Channel 18.
It will also be appearing on the Real Estate Network in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Orlando and northern Virginia, as well as national OlympuSat Direct TV channel 319 and Women’s Entertainment TV. OlympuSat has 48.5 million viewers; WE has 77 million.
The show mixes scripted performance with ad-lib dialogue in a reality setting. Colville, who has retained ownership of all rights, is host and executive producer. Pat’s brother John Colville is the show’s carpenter, son Dylan is a carpenter’s assistant, Chris Forshee is associate producer, and son-in-law Tony Hill narrator. Chris and Pat’s wives, Holly and Jane, are the show designers, outfitting the homes with bargains from consignment stores, thrift shops and yard sales.
The best part of the show for Colville “is that it’s real — not some movie star fictionalized thing. It shows the little guy for once getting something.”
The initial 44 minute episode (allowing room for commercial insertions) portrays the search, discovery, fix-up and outfitting of Colville’s Florida condo — including the interior remodeling and furnishing which was accomplished in a mere seven days. It details how Colville purchased his 2-bedroom/2-bath, 990 square foot circa 1970s condo for $30,000, then invested an additional $12,000 in materials and contracted labor. Guest appearances are made by the mayor of Delray, the local Elvis impersonator, and an irascible roofer.
The second episode tells the story of a southern couple who had been living in a parents’ basement, whom Colville assisted in purchasing a Florida foreclosure as their starter home. The third episode features a New England couple who were able to purchase “their little piece of paradise,” a long dreamed-of retirement home in Florida. The still-to-be-filmed fourth episode will be about a Geneseo couple whom Colville will assist in purchasing a Florida tax foreclosure property of a somewhat more upscale sort, bordering a golf course. Their $50,000-to-$60,000 budget will get them a home valued in the range of $250,000, along with the renovations and furnishings, Colville predicts.
A full 13-program season is envisioned for 2013.
All the program participants have the newly purchased properties remodeled and furnished in record time, courtesy of the Foreclosure 2 Fabulous sponsors. Signed-on sponsors whose products and store shelves are being featured prominently are Shanadoah Cabinets, Dupont Corian, Habitat for Humanity, Parksite Supply and numerous local Florida businesses. Also involved will be The Nat King Cole Generation Hope Foundation administered by Cole’s daughter Casey, through which several prominent NFL players will be making cameo appearances.
Plans are now in the works to upgrade the Foreclosure 2 Fabulous website to allow realtors to purchase space showing their foreclosures, while the viewing public will get to see the foreclosures for free. Website data, derived from an estimated 15,000 hits per week, will contain marketing information which a major realtor will also be likely to purchase.
An ‘idea man’
Colville characterizes himself as a carpenter by occupation, with the spirit and heart of an obsessed “idea man,” a ceaseless creator of inventions, songs and notions of every sort (including a universal device to hold your gasoline pump handle down in cold weather)
“Still, I’ve never really been anything else but a working man and a caring dad,” he qualifies.
Pat and Jane have twin daughters age 25 and a son age 20.
“If someone is looking to buy a condo in Florida, the deals are amazing,” Colville reports, citing a waterfront property (one bedroom, 700 square foot) which recently sold for $16,000.
Buyers on the shows are and will be persons and families looking to make an investment, for a vacation home, for a child’s college apartment, or for a permanent or retirement residence.
“We’ll show them how they can find it themselves or with the Real Estate Network. They will have to purchase it and pay labor fees for the carpenters, but they will get a brand new kitchen, new flooring, roofing, siding and furniture all free. The show will remodel it for them and furnish it for them – and the buyers will be ‘stars’ of their episode,” Colville said.
Taxes are in Florida are very low compared with those in New York State, Colville notes: In the case of his recently purchased property under $1,000 for all school and municipal taxes. Adding in the homeowners fees (about $1,600) which pay for the numerous services, and insurance ($600), the total amount is less than just the taxes on Colville’s Geneseo property.
As soon as a home owner has resided in Florida for six months, they qualify for a property ax reduction from the state.
Colville’s exclusively-owned company, Twelfth Child Entertainment, controls all rights and licensing for ‘Foreclosure 2 Fabulous.’
The corporation name plays on Colville’s succession among his siblings: He is the youngest of 12 from a military family which lived all over the United States, including a spell on Second Street in Geneseo during 1978-79 when Pat attended GCS for his junior and beginning of his senior year.
Pat’s mother loved Geneseo, and Pat himself retained fond memories of a wonderful community — where two married sisters, Roberta DiFranco and Susanne Rounding, also reside. So Geneseo became Pat’s destination after he left Virginia in 1996.
Whatever success Colville experiences in his Florida venture, he vows to retain Geneseo as his permanent home base.
Pat and Jane live in a lovely home of Pat’s own design and construction on a five acre parcel along Long Point Road. Sisters and daughters live close by.
Another Colville family cluster lives in Virginia. Both branches are acquiring vacation homes in Florida and recongregating in the winter months.
Twelfth Child Entertainment continues to solicit product and cash sponsors, as well as home purchasing ‘stars’ for its 2013 episodes. More information may be found on the program’s website.