In the summer of 2018, a group of teenagers from the Jersey Shore took to the beaches of New Jersey to play in the sand.
For a few weeks, they lived on a sandbank, surfing on their surfboards, sunbathing in the sun and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
But in the end, they returned to the mainland.
“It was so much more comfortable, the camaraderie,” said 17-year-old Max, who plays football and is now a freshman at Princeton.
“I didn’t have to worry about any of the stress, and I was able to go home with a lot of people.
It was so fun.”
The teens’ adventures and love of the outdoors soon turned to a more serious undertaking.
They decided to open their own surf shop in a newly renovated sandcastle in Seaside Park, NJ, where they rented out a second floor to host a party for their friends and family.
The plan was to build the shop from scratch, with the aim of providing a better life for its clients, but the construction of the sandcastle, which sits on top of the ocean, became too expensive.
So, the group decided to create a mini-mansion in the ocean that could accommodate the growing number of young people who were looking to live in their own community.
“We had to be flexible and think outside the box,” said Max, whose friends have helped him and his family build the house.
“But we knew that if we did it right, we could afford it.”
The project took about three years to complete, but when it was completed, the family received a standing ovation.
It is unclear what, if any, benefits the family’s success may have brought to their communities.
“If the group had taken the time to plan their plan correctly, they would have found a way to save money, rather than just going to an expensive destination,” said Kate.
The group’s success in finding a home has made it easy for other young people to get involved in the DIY life.
“It’s such a cool community and a lot people are starting to find a place to live, and it’s not too difficult to find,” said 14-year old Ben, who was recently named New Jersey’s Most Promising New Home by the New Jersey Times.
Ben and his friends also hope that their project will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
“The sandcastle is something that’s a lot more affordable than an apartment or a condo,” he said.
With their new home, the New York-based family is currently working on other projects in hopes of becoming a reality.
“Our dream is to build a skate park in the park so people can go out and skate,” said Ben.
“And eventually, maybe, we will build a second sandcastle.”
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