HGTV's 'Property Brothers': Any home can be fixed
By Kate Benz
Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
Question: The guests on your show aren't exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of investing in a fixer-upper. What is it about home renovations that turn people off?
Jonathan: I'd have to say the fact that most people don't have the creative ability to see the potential in a property. We actually came up with a drinking game for every time someone on the show says, “I hate the paint, I don't want this place.” That's why we just try to show people the vision using the 3-D software. Any house can be fixed; any problem can be fixed. You just have to decide whether it's financially reasonable to do it.
Q: How realistic are first-time home buyers about being able to get what they want within their budget?
Drew: Isn't first-time home buyers and realistic an oxymoron? No, they just see a lot of shows showing dream properties, and this is what they want.
Jonathan: That's the thing, too with shows like ours; people are watching HGTV all the time, and it's sort of a double-edged blade. It makes people think they're an expert on everything. Most of the people on our show have never seen it before. We really find education is the most important thing.
Q: How do you feel about the old adage that you can't lose when you invest in the worst house on the best street?
Drew: That's definitely not true. We see it time and time again that people think they're going to get the ugly house on the block and turn it around and make it a great investment. But they don't have a proper inspection done and may find major issues like mold or termite damage and find it's such a cost.
Jonathan: We learned a lot of lessons along the way. One: Never to over-renovate. We soon realized that a lot of the decisions we were making meant putting in more money that we would ever get back. Another thing we learned: When the seller says, “I did the whole thing myself.” Oh, my goodness, that was the worst house I had ever seen.
Q: So, do people tend to overdo it on DIY, thanks to all of the home-improvement shows on nowadays?
Jonathan: If something is outside of your knowledge and your comfort level, do not do it. If something goes wrong, it's going to cost you more. If you're doing painting and trim work and laminate flooring, those are great projects to take on your own. But leave the plumbing and electric and major things to the professionals.
Drew: People want to DIY, which is fine, but they're not valuing their time and money on the project. It might have taken a person a week to put in a tile floor that it took a professional one day to do.
Q: Any words of wisdom for homeowners up to their ears in sawdust?
Jonathan: The big thing is that people say they brought on a contractor and he turned out to be a fly-by-night guy. Do your research, get three contractors to give you estimates and get it all in writing. Confirm that they're associated with reputable organizations. Make sure that they're licensed, but remember that just because they're licensed, does not mean they are good at what they do. If you get that red-flag feeling at all, there's a reason for that.
Drew: If someone says I've been in the business for 30, 40 years — that doesn't mean that they know what they're doing. I know quality work as soon as I walk in. I'll walk in and, 20 feet away, I'll see something. And the homeowner will be walking around and think it's such professional work. So, that's a good thing — I can pick out things that weren't done right. So, when I go into a home, I can negotiate to bring the price of a home down.
Q: Is it true that if a relationship can survive a home reno, it can survive anything?
Drew: Renovations are one of the most stressful things we've seen on relationships. Homeowners often say they want to save money and live through the renos, and that's why we're there. We're trying to de-stress the homeowners. We take the job seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously.
Jonathan: If you're not enjoying the process, then you shouldn't be renovating or don't have the right professionals in the process. We want to make sure these folks have a good time doing it.
Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
- Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
- Franklin Regional seeks waiver of days lost in knife attack; victim improves
- Former Steelers player appeals court ruling on Shadyside event venue
- Financially troubled August Wilson Center attracts four investment proposals
- Penn State researchers help identify planet similar to Earth
- Dick Industrial site in Jefferson Hills sold to road contracting firm
- Connellsville starting early planning for Christmas
- Chelsea Clinton announces she’s pregnant with first child
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Fire destroys Frazer home