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Everything to Know About Melissa Gorga's New House and the Homes It Replaced

Now in the RHONJ cast member's real estate portfolio: a brand new Franklin Lakes mansion that Joe Gorga built.

By Talia Ergas
Everything You Need to Know About The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Melissa Gorga

When we first met Melissa Gorga on Season 3 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, her tagline was: "I live a life that most girls only dream of" — which is certainly true where her real estate portfolio is concerned. Over the years, we've watched Melissa, her husband Joe Gorga, and their three children, Antonia, Gino, and Joey, live in some of the most fabulous homes. Together, Melissa and Joe have dreamt up and built some opulent abodes from the ground up as well as share their incredible Jersey Shore vacation house, which is an entertainer's heaven. 

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

Still, as with anyone buying, building, and selling real estate, there have been some hurdles. Melissa and Joe have uprooted their family a few times in the last 12 years, and they even moved back into a former house. They tried many times over five years to sell their Montville, New Jersey mansion, which proved to be a difficult undertaking. Ultimately, extensive renovations helped them unload the property.

Now, after lots of construction and some time in a rental, they're finally in a brand new house that they built from scratch — including a new exterior, which she unveiled on Instagram in June 2023. 

Here's everything you need to know about Melissa's fabulous current and former houses.

Melissa and Joe lived in an opulent Montville estate

Welcome to Melissa's Crib

In the Season 3 premiere, Melissa's first appearance on RHONJ, she described her husband Joe as "one of the best developers in New Jersey." Case in point: The jaw-dropping pad he'd built her in Montville, New Jersey. 

“Joe surprised me with the plans for this 15,000 square foot home for Christmas," Melissa gushed in the episode. "I was beside myself. I was crying. It was like this amazing thing.” 

The mansion, which sat on 2.5 acres of land, included lots of custom details that perfectly suited the Gorgas' luxury taste. (Watch the video above for a closer look.) Among the highlights: a grand foyer with a double staircase made of Italian marble, a great room with an ornate gold ceiling, a warm color palette, and an expansive primary suite.

Another benefit was the location, which was very close to Joe's sister, Teresa Giudice

Melissa and Joe decided to move further away from Teresa

Of course, RHONJ fans are well aware of Melissa's rocky relationship with her sister-in-law, and the benefit of having family nearby quickly became a challenge — so much so that in Season 5, Melissa and Joe decided to put their house on the market to move further away from Teresa.

“We’ve had our house on the market for about six months now," Melissa shared in an episode. "We did move to this town to be five minutes from Teresa, but sometimes when you’re living in the same town and you’re going to all the same dance and the same gymnastics and the same high school, that, in the situation that we’re in, is too close for comfort … I feel like Teresa and I have had enough chances of trying to fix it.”

In the episode, Melissa and Joe met with their realtor, but they weren’t happy due to the lack of showings he was producing. “The upper-end economy is a much slimmer market than it used to be,” the realtor explained, adding that, with a price tag of $3.8 million, the Gorgas' house was one of only three above $3 million in Montville. 

Still, Melissa wasn't giving up hope. “It’s one thing to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to move.’ It’s another thing to actually get what we’re asking for," she explained. "So, I literally go to church and I pray that my house is going to sell. I need to get out of here."

Later in the episode, an open house for pre-qualified buyers further highlighted the issues. Potential buyers pointed out that the house had lots of room for improvement, including cracks in the moldings, outdated features such as keyhole windows in the primary suite, a cracked bathroom vanity, and a faulty faucet handle that broke off when a buyer went to test it. 

“I’m starting to get the feeling that we’re stuck,” Melissa said after hearing the feedback. So, they went back to the drawing board and decided to rent out their house while they built another in Franklin Lakes. 

Melissa and Joe began building in Franklin Lakes

In Season 6, Melissa was over the moon while watching Joe break ground on the property they had purchased in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, which is approximately 16 miles from Montville. 

“Please, Jesus, bless this property. This is where our future home is going to be," Melissa said in an episode. "It’s official: we’re breaking ground today.”

Joe was, of course, in charge of the construction. “I love me a hot construction worker, especially when it’s Joe Gorga,” she quipped in an interview. 

Despite picking the house to be further away from family, Melissa and Joe already seemed to be having some doubts about the move considering Teresa and Joe Giudice's legal troubles. “I’m very happy that we’re in a spot that we want to be in, but what Teresa and Joe are going through really puts everything into perspective because, at the end of the day, it’s not about where we live or how our businesses are doing, it’s about love and family and backing each other up,” Melissa said. 

Melissa and Joe then moved back to Montville

Tour Melissa Gorga's Gorgeous Kitchen

Eventually, Melissa and Joe decided to move back into their Montville manse. "We are back in our house in Montville and we couldn't be happier," Melissa wrote in a blog post for Season 7 in July of 2016. "It is our home! We have been in that house since Antonia was [2 years old] and the boys were born there."

She also revealed what happened to the Franklin Lakes house they were building: "We did build the house in Franklin Lakes and it is currently on the market for sale. It's a beauty!"

Before moving back into the Montville pad, Melissa and Joe made some big changes. (Watch the video above for a look inside the updated kitchen.) "I did recently just do a whole renovation," she told E! News in 2016. No longer feeling the warm color palette with gold touches, Melissa opted for a brighter and airier aesthetic this time around. "I just came in and made everything white," she told the publication. The great room got a "posh" upgrade with white tufted couches. She also got rid of a lot of the gold on the fireplace and the ceiling. Still, some features remained untouched—including the double staircase in the foyer and the elegant blue dining room. 

Perhaps the most exciting upgrade, however, wasn't inside the house at all. After a realtor gave the feedback that they'd never sell the house at such a high price point without a pool, they decided to revamp the backyard. "We finished putting the pool in," Melissa explained, noting that the project took 10 months to complete. "It took a while because Joe is the one who built it."

The Gorgas relisted their Montville Hhouse

Still, it seemed even the newly redone Montville manse wasn't the Gorgas' forever home. In October 2017, Melissa and Joe put the house back on the market for $3.5 million. 

"My family and I have so many amazing memories in this house; Joe and I built and designed it from the ground up," Melissa said in a statement at the time. "However, we decided it was time for a change and we're excited to see where life brings us next."

Unfortunately, even with the upgrades and the lower price tag, they did not have better luck this time around, and they later quietly took it off the market. Then, they put the property back up for sale for $3.29 million about a year later, de-listed it again in February, and re-listed it in April for $2.948 million. In November 2019, it was once again taken off the market. 

The Gorgas bought a Jersey Shore vacation home

Step Inside Melissa Gorga's Stunning Shore House That Features Its Very Own Beach Club!

Meanwhile, although their Montville home wasn't selling, another real estate pursuit was going swimmingly. In June 2019, the couple purchased a beautiful waterfront house in Toms River, New Jersey for $1 million. Located right on Barnegat Bay, the 3,500-square-foot home was bright and airy on the inside—but the selling point was the backyard, which had an expansive deck that was right on the water, complete with a huge pool and multiple fire pits. 

Still, it wouldn't be a Gorga abode without lots of custom touches. About a year after moving in, Melissa gave BravoTV.com a tour of the shore house with substantial changes. "We came in and rehabbed this whole house," Melissa shares in the video, which you can watch above. "I wanted a real nautical feel in here that still has a chic Melissa Gorga flair to it."

The first floor of the six-bedroom 3,500-square-foot house featured an open floor plan accented by pale wooden floors and large windows. The airy front sitting room led directly into a modern all-white kitchen featuring quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. A spacious dining room also oozed beachy vibes, with a rustic chandelier and bay windows that looked out on the shore. The spectacular views continued into the adjacent living room, which featured a marble central fireplace and a large couch.

The Gorgas' Montville house finally sold

Following their unsuccessful attempts at selling their house, Melissa and Joe extensively re-renovated the property, making it even more stunning than before. The couple then re-listed their 6-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom estate for $2.9 million, as Melissa confirmed in a July 2020 Instagram post

“It’s back on the market baby! My Re Done home,” Melissa captioned the post, which featured photos of the mansion, including a fancy new pool, a four-car garage, a movie theater, a billiards room, a library, a gym, and a hair salon. “[Joe] & I built this beauty from the ground up. You should be so lucky to live in it.”

This time, they got to benefit from the fruits of their labor as the house finally sold in December 2020. In January of 2021, Melissa reflected on moving out of her beloved abode. "Officially said goodbye," she wrote on Instagram. "Feels like the end of [an] era or something. But I’m all about new beginnings so I’m very excited. I will update you soon as to where we are going." She also shouted out her movers who "handed [her] tissues when [she] started to cry!"

But, their new house wasn't quite ready for them just yet. While Melissa and Joe worked on building their latest dream house, they resided in a temporary rental with their kids. “I’m gonna design my new house kinda like this outfit and my persona,” she wrote on Instagram teasing the new spot. “Classy, with a little spicy mixed in.”

Melissa and Joe listed the Jersey Shore house, but got "cold feet" 

Despite their love for the Toms River getaway, Melissa and Joe got an itch to find a new location for a vacation property. "They are looking to buy in the Hamptons," a rep for Melissa told BravoTV.com in September 2021. "They have spent summers down the shore since they were married and are looking to change it up."

This attempt at a sale had a very different outcome from the one in Montville. "We put it on the market [and] within three days we got three full-price offers. I got cold feet, and I did not take the offers, and I pulled it off the market," Melissa told BravoTV.com. "So for everyone who is asking, I'm not selling the shore house. Not this year. Yes, I would eventually love to work our way to the Hamptons. But it's just, I'm not ready."

The Gorgas moved into a Franklin Lakes home they built

Melissa Gorga's New House Is "Costing Us Double" and "Taking Triple the Amount of Time"

In February 2022, Melissa gave BravoTV.com an update on the status of their new home build — and it wasn't all going to plan. "With COVID, there are just so many delays," she explained. "It took us so long just to get the permits to frame, you have no idea. First of all, it's costing us double the amount of money and it's taking triple the amount of time to get the materials. So, we're probably building a house in the absolute worst time possible, but we're doing it anyway."

Despite the hurdles, the Gorgas finally moved into their Franklin Lakes abode in November 2022.

The finished interior is everything Melissa ever dreamed of — because she designed it herself, of course. "Big closet, big kitchen, that's all I asked for," she told BravoTV.com of the project. "I designed the whole house."

Melissa's vision included a chic black-and-white exterior, a massive white and bright kitchen fit for entertaining, a neutral-hued living room with a fireplace and fancy chandelier, two bars, and a glamorous 1920s-inspired bedroom with custom lighting — all of which are completed and looking gorgeous.

It also included a set of black-fabric chandeliers in the foyer that fans said resembled jellyfish, according to the New York Post.

“Love waking up here,” Melissa posted on Instagram of her new space in January 2023.

She ultimately replaced the chandelier, unveiling a new brass-and-crystal chandelier in its place in March 2023. At BravoCon 2023, she explained her decision.

"People thought they looked like flying jellyfish," she said. "I kind of liked them. But I said, 'You know what?' After you called them a jellyfish I can't frickin' unsee it.' But I'll be honest with you, they were a great conversation piece. Everybody wanted to talk about the chandeliers. I've never seen people talk about chandeliers more than this in my life."

But at The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 13 reunion, Melissa admitted the house was “not even done yet,” and she and Joe were “still doing a lot of work to the outside.” 

“People were, like, coming after your design,” Andy Cohen said during the show.

“First of all, I’m the one that has to live there,” Melissa replied to the criticism. “So I don’t care what anybody says.”

The Gorgas finally finished the exterior of the Franklin Lakes Home

The pool and firepit in Melissa and Joe's backyard.

Although the Gorgas officially moved into their new home in November of 2022, it wasn’t until June 2023 that their vision was fully complete. On June 24, Melissa revealed the home’s newly updated facade on Instagram, which included a remodel of the roof, new windows, and a section painted black.

“Finally finished,” she wrote in the post. “I’m so happy I found Dan [and Plan Architecture, LLC] so that when we could FINALLY resubmit our plans after all the COVID chaos that my true vision for this house could come to life.”

Melissa concluded with a note to her husband: “I know you wanted to kill me but I’m so grateful for you to make this happen so soon after moving in.”

Melissa Gorga Reveals at BravoCon Whether Her Franklin Lakes House is Her “Forever Home”

Though the Gorgas have moved around a bunch, Melissa doesn't plan to move again... except in one specific circumstance, she told the audience at BravoCon 2023.

"For me, yes," she responded to the host's question about whether the current house is her "forever home."

"But, you never know, because I really like the lake across the street, if something opens up right across the street, I will buy that," she added. "But only on my same street across the street."

Her husband, however, disagreed.

"I say no. Every time you can turn a profit, you sell. And you do it again," Joe said. "You never fall in love with anything. You only fall in love with your wife."

Originally published Apr 22, 2023.

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