This home at 1320 Ocean Ave. in Ocean City was a featured property on HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunts. (Photos Courtesy Ellen McGonigle) By Maddy VitaleAn Ocean City realtor and a Bucks County, Pa., couple put Ocean City in the national spotlight for its family-friendly attractions, clean beaches and Boardwalk filled with eateries and amusements.Ellen McGonigle, a realtor with Long and Foster on Ninth Street, and the couple, Ashlee and Brooks Hall, made their television debuts while shopping for an affordable vacation retreat in “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”The trio appeared on HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt, filmed in June and aired Sunday night.“The couple was referred to me. Ashlee had already applied to be on the show. When she first asked me in January of 2018 to do the show, I was terrified,” McGonigle, of Ocean City, admitted. “I have never been on TV.”Ocean City realtor Ellen McGonigle in the HGTV segment.McGonigle, a realtor for 16 years, said she watched the show before she decided to appear on it.“I realized what an opportunity it was to showcase Ocean City,” she said.But she had a task ahead of her. The married mother of three had to find properties to accommodate and please a family of four.The Halls have two young children and also had a list of must-haves in their vacation property.They needed ample space, wanted to be close to the action, needed a spacious kitchen with counter space, two bedrooms or more, and preferably two bathrooms, all under $350,000.McGonigle, who said she has sold many beachfront properties and bayfront properties over the years, including many multimillion-dollar properties, had to get to work.She took the Halls to look at three distinctive properties, all under $350,000.This home, which was featured in the show, has four different condo units.The first property was a condominium in a large building in the heart of the action near the Boardwalk at 1320 Ocean Ave.The listing price was $300,000. The property had a beachy feel with shore décor, boasted two bedrooms, two baths and two parking spots. It was close to all the amenities and attractions. This was the home the Halls chose, for the aesthetics, space and rental value.The second property was still in the action at 920 Ocean Ave. It was also a condominium, but in a home with three other units. The listing price was $339,900 and featured 1,260 square feet, two bedrooms and was fully furnished.The third property was like the first property because it was another multi-unit building. But this one was in the Gold Coast, a quieter, upscale part of town at the corner of 21st Street and Asbury Avenue. The listing price was $299,000 for the two bedroom, two bath condominium.“The couple was very excited to buy an investment and second home here,” McGonigle noted. “They are the epitome of what Ocean City is all about.”The Halls selected this property for its proximity to attractions and beachy décor.The last scenes in the segment show the couple walking with their children on the beach. McGonigle joins them and two of her sons make a cameo.“My phone is blowing up,” McGonigle said of the public’s reaction since the show aired. “My email is blowing up. I got hundreds of replies on Facebook from people saying how great the show was.”She isn’t sure when television people will come calling again, but she was happy that she did the HGTV show.“It really was so much fun,” she said. “I am so thankful for the experience.”To watch the HGTV segment of Beachfront Bargain Hunt go to: https://watch.hgtv.com/tv-shows/beachfront-bargain-hunt/full-episodes/achieving-that-beachy-dreamOcean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian noted Monday that the show, the Halls and McGonigle really highlighted the benefits of owning property in the resort and what Ocean City is all about.Gillian commended McGonigle’s work promoting the resort.“Ellen did such a wonderful job representing Ocean City in the nicest way,” Gillian said. “She showed all of the fun things to do in Ocean City as well.”Gillian pointed out that the show provided a look at many of the reasons vacationers, especially families, want to invest in Ocean City.“We were really thrilled to see that HGTV highlighted Ocean City for a place to find a bargain, because I think sometimes people don’t see the bargains like the ones presented,” she explained.She also said McGonigle’s choice of properties in different areas of the community was a perfect way to show what makes the locations unique and special.“It gave us more exposure. It showed the different neighborhoods where you could find some good buys in Ocean City, where there was an opportunity to invest,” Gillian said.The Halls, she said, are proof that young families not only like to visit Ocean City, but also want to make it a vacation home or year-round residence.“It makes us so happy that new generations want to invest in Ocean City. They see all the opportunities,” Gillian said.She added that since the show aired, the Chamber of Commerce has received a lot of positive feedback.During the show, the couple commented about the town’s slogan, trying to recall the exact wording of “America’s Greatest Family Resort.” The next clip flashed the words on the sign at the entrance to town from the Ninth Street Bridge.“Young families are investing in Ocean City,” Gillian said. “It shows the future is bright in Ocean City.”To reach realtor Ellen McGonigle at Long and Foster in Ocean City call 609-602-7507. Despite multimillion-dollar properties nearby, this building featured on the show includes condo units well under that price point.
If you are wondering what is open and closed on the 4th of July, we have the answers for you right here:FOOD STORES:Aldi: Open with limited hours. See your local store’s hours on the Aldi store locator.Costco: ClosedPublix: Open regular hoursSam’s Club: Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.Target: Open regular hoursTrader Joe’s: All stores closing at 5 p.m.Walmart: Open regular hoursWhole Foods: Open with limited hours at some locations. Check your local store.Winn-Dixie: Open regular hoursMost retail, home-improvement and pharmacy stores, such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, J.C. Penny, Home Depot, Lowe’s, CVS and Walgreens are open.PALM BEACH COUNTYGOVERNMENT: offices in Cloud Lake, Haverhill, Hypoluxo and Riviera Beach will be closed Thursday and Friday.TRANSPORTATION: There will be no Palm Tran bus service on Thursday, and Tri-Rail will operate on a weekend schedule.LIBRARIES: Public libraries are closed Thursday.GARBAGE: Pickups are on a regular schedule in unincorporated Palm Beach County and most municipalities. Exceptions include: Boca Raton, where Thursday pickups will be Wednesday, a day early; and Lake Park, where Thursday pickups will be Friday. There is no residential garbage pickup Thursday in Palm Beach; the regular schedule resumes Friday.BROWARD COUNTYGOVERNMENT: Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center will be closed. In the event of animal attack or bite, call 911. For lost or found cats or dogs, call 954-359-1313, ext. 9273.All offices and programs at the Florida Department of Health will be closed.TRANSPORTATION: Broward County Transit is operating on a Sunday schedule.LIBRARIES: Public libraries are closed Thursday.GARBAGE: There is pick up of garbage, bulk and recycling, as regularly scheduled. The Broward County Landfill at 7101 SW 205th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, will be closed.PARKS: Broward County regional and neighborhood parks, nature centers and natural areas will be open with the exception of Deerfield Island Park, which will be closed per normal operating schedule.Happy and Safe 4th from all of us at 850 WFTL!