Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh Canada, How We Love Thee

In my house we are very big on those home improvement shows.  I'm not sure why.  It just makes you want to rip your house apart and re-do it.  Anyway, for the last year or so we have been watching the Property Brothers on HGTV.  If you are not familiar with the show, the hosts are twin brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott.  Drew is a real estate agent and Jonathan is a contractor.  Born and raised in Canada, hence the title of this post.  They help families find their dream home, well sort of.

In the beginning of the show, they take the family to a house that is for sale and it is the home of their dreams.  It usually has every item on their wish list and then some.  Problem is, the price tag is usually a couple hundred thousand over their max budget.  This may seem cruel, getting their hopes up for something they can't afford, but it has a purpose.  The purpose is to show the homeowner they can't afford move-in ready; they need to buy a home that needs renovating which is where Jonathan Scott, contractor, comes in to play.

Drew and Jonathan take them on an excursion trying to find two homes that have enough potential to make the cut.  I am completely amazed at the horrible conditions of these houses.  Junk laying around.  Dirt.  Dust.  I've even seen a sink full of dirty dishes.  Really?  Someone is showing your house to a potential buyer?  Can you not wash a dish or run a vacuum?  Then they drop the price, which is usually substantially below the buyers max budget but still, a half a million dollars for a home that looks like it should be knocked down seems unreal to me. 

But, after Drew and Jonathan draw up plans of what they could do, the owners pick one and Drew gets started on the negotiation to purchase it.  It's funny but the owners have to pick the best of the worst.  They have to look past the ugly and pick a house they want to make their forever home.  Most of these houses they hate but once they put in an offer, they become so competitive and don't want to lose the house--the same house they never wanted to begin with. The same house they cringed at when they first walked in.  There was one episode where the woman REFUSED to enter the home because it was so ugly on the outside.  With a little coaxing, she relented and that turned out to be the house they wanted.  Drew always does a great job and gets the house they want.

In comes Jonathan Scott, and with a little magic and a lot of hard work, the house turns out gorgeous. Jonathan, with the help of his crew and the home owners, knock down walls, guts kitchens and bathrooms, adds, moves or removes windows and doors, completely redoes plumbing and electrical and changes the look of the house on the inside as well as the outside.  The transformation is completely amazing.  It's hard to believe it's the same house.

I had the pleasure of seeing Drew and Jonathan in person at a home and flower show several months back.  At the show I was actually lucky enough to speak with their older brother, J. D. Scott.
J. D. is a hoot, has a great sense of humor, and does much of the behind the scenes work to make Drew and Jonathan shine on camera.  He also does the majority of the writing.  J. D. and I have actually corresponded on several occasions and I would like to count him among my friends.  They have a website: The Scott Brothers.  Check it out and play some games with the brothers.

In addition to the Property Brothers, they also have a couple more irons in the fire.  Brother vs Brother and Buying and Selling.  The premise of both are described in detail on their website.

If you haven't watched the Property Brothers, please check it out.  You will be glad you did!

R. K. Avery