If you are interested in home, room or yard remodeling projects, or if you enjoy the intricasies and processes of purchasing, staging or selling property, HGTV is and has always been the best source of television programming for this type of content. Now that the obvious has been stated, I wanted to dive a little deeper into one of their shows that I recently caught a few episodes of and took an immediate liking to. The show is not only entertaining, but unique in its concept, which is no easy feat for a show on such a niche focused network. Property Brothers is a show in which a twin brother tandem named Jonathan and Drew Scott bring their respective talents in real estate sales and contracting to people that are looking to buy a new home.
As I eluded to, HGTV has a plethora of shows that feature do-it-yourself and contracted renovations, and there are certainly several shows that document the journeys of people whom are looking for a different place to move into. Shows like House Hunters and Property Virgins are the most popular programs on the network that follow buyers to a few prospective listings, one of which they'll eventually decide to buy based on a number of factors including the location, budget, their wish list and how move-in ready the place is. It is interesting to see the price tags on all the different types of homes based on the style of the architecture, the market in that particular location and how updated the space and appliances are. As interesting as each of these types of show concepts may be, Property Brothers is a show that includes both home renovations and the property purchasing process, but it ties the two together in a unique way that has never been done before.
The new home seekers are typically a couple that is looking to move out of their current place for a number of different reasons. Some need more space, some need less space, while some just want a place that is closer to their job. Regardless of their reason for moving, the common thread that all of these buyers tend to share is the fact that their wish list coupled with their desired location winds up being priced substantially higher than their max budget. But instead of the Scott brothers trying to verbally convince the buyers that they will be hard pressed to find a home within their budget in the location they want with the features they want, Drew (the real estate agent) finds listings that include all of their wants and needs regardless of their max budget. The brothers walk them through this home, showing them all of the features that they are looking for. Most of the time the couple wants something move-in ready and updated, so they are thrilled to see that the house they are viewing has everything they want and seems to be in great shape.
Granite counter tops, a finished basement, a huge backyard, great location and all within their budget! Or is it? As you have probably guessed by now, not only is it over their budget, but by a significant margin, sometimes even doubling the maximum amount of money that the couple has to spend. The buyers assume that the real estate agent is taking them to a home that is within their spending limits, so when they see that the first house has everything they want, it is like a dream come true. But the bliss and excitement that the buyer is experiencing soon turns to crushing disappointment when they find out that what seemed too good to be true, actually was. This part of the show is borderline cruel when you have to watch a couple have their hopes of their dream home get shot down, especially in the deceiving fashion that it is done. Some couples even become angry, but this is in fact the most effective way for the brothers to begin their ultimate pitch.
The idea is to show the buyer a realistic expectation for their future home within the budget they have available to them. This method, albeit seemingly a bit mean, definitely gets the point across. The brothers then bring the buyers to two more homes that are not only within their budget, but in most cases under budget. The problem is, the buyers are not enthusiastic about what they are being shown. The home within their price range is often run down, dirty, old, outdated and in some cases has very obvious issues that need to be addressed before they can even safely move into the house. As they move through these affordable options, Jonathan (the contractor) describes to them some of the renovations that can be done in order to turn the old run down house into their dream home. The problem is, most of the buyers have little faith and not enough imagination or trust to be convinced that these less expensive options can be transformed into the house that they ultimately desire. That's where state of the art computer generated imagery comes in to play. After seeing both options in the buyer's price range, the brothers sit down with the couple and show them how the existing space will look once they renovate it. Jonathan describes the work he will do and how much it would cost them, while Drew explains that the asking price of the house is low enough (and often negotiable) to leave the buyer with enough money to purchase the home, make the renovations and still wind up spending less than their original max budget. The computer generated images of what the home will look like when it is done not only baffles the buyer, but also goes a long way in convincing them that they can have their cake and eat it too.
The rest of the show goes pretty much as you might expect. I have noticed that in almost every episode I've seen, there tends to be a snag in the original plan once Jonathan starts ripping up the walls and floors. The original homeowner either concealed problems without actually fixing them or they may come to find out that there is a structural, electrical or plumbing issue that costs the buyer more money than was planned for the renovation, which in most cases leads to a change to less expensive materials so that they don't have to compromise on the design transformation that they agreed upon when purchasing the house. I don't think I have ever seen a home renovation show in which the recipient wasn't happy with the outcome, kind of like how people are always happy to get something for free even if it's a cheap promotional giveaway, but despite the fact that there are never any unsatisfied people, you have to hand it to these guys for doing what they do so well and combining their skills to create beautiful custom dream homes for people within their budget as long as they're willing to put up with and sometimes even lend a hand with the renovation process.