Over the last three decades, we've become accustomed to seeing crooner Nathan Morris wreck it on stage with the R&B group Boyz II Men. But with his new project on the DIY Network, the Philly-born baritone is tearing down the house a bit more literally.
Don't worry, though. He'll also be building it back up as host of Hit Properties with Nathan Morris, a four-part limited series that follows Morris, 47, as he designs and remodels a rundown Orlando mansion on a golf course. Filmed last year, the show debuts at 10:30 p.m. Saturday on DIY Network.
"The house was sitting [on the market] for quite a while," Morris said. "We know that houses on golf courses do very well if you do them correctly, so it was a no-brainer for us."
Morris, a Florida resident, bought the house for $1.7 million and hopes to sell it for upwards of $3.2 million after extensive renovations. At 8,000 square feet, the house is massive, with five bedrooms and 6½ bathrooms.
Morris' projects included completing a new kitchen and roof, renovating bathrooms and bedrooms, and putting in an office hideaway. Overall, he estimates he planned some $500,000 worth of renovations.
"There is not one inch of this house that we didn't touch," he said.
This remodeling is not Morris' first. A longtime property investor, he said he had flipped six or seven houses in the last few years, when he started getting involved with actual construction. Filming the TV show, he added, is the newest element to his renovation process, and he said it made sense once he started getting his hands dirty because "financing on the back end doesn't make for great TV."
The Hit Properties house was not without its challenges. Among its various new features, Morris said, the hardest to install was the more than 900 fiber-optic lights at the bottom of the pool. Morris had to dive into the project to get it to resemble stars in the night sky, which he said was "quite the undertaking." Ultimately, all the work paid off.
"I am in love with it," Morris said.
As of last week, the house is on the market, and Morris is waiting for a sale. And though he hasn't written off a DIY TV show career just yet, his work with Boyz II Men remains full speed ahead.
The group is in the midst of a five-year Las Vegas residency at the Mirage that was recently extended three years. The group, Morris said, enjoys the gig for its familiarity and because it has given them a home base after 30 years of road dog-dom.
"Because we are a performing group nowadays more than a recording group, it causes us to go all around the world every other week," he said. "So Vegas is that home base where we know we are going to be at least 20 weekends out of the year."
Still, Morris misses home — a longing that will be alleviated in February, when Boyz II Men come home to Philly for a performance at the Met Philadelphia for the 25th anniversary of their landmark album II. The group played in the city last month alongside Bruno Mars. Morris said he can't get enough of the crowds in the City of Brotherly Love.
"Philly is Philly. It's home," he said. "You get all the family, all the friends, everyone you grew up with. You know how Philly is — we all get together and just have a great time."
Morris isn't particularly fond of the city's newest resident — the Flyers' polarizing mascot, Gritty. Though he's willing to give Philly's favorite and most loathed hockey monster a shot, he notes "this one is a little different."