Drew and Jonathan Scott have seen a lot of very strange homes, but in the latest “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling,” they face a truly mind-boggling place, with one of the “weirdest layouts” they’ve ever seen.
In the episode called “Tiny House Switcheroo,” we meet Canadian couple Rob and Michelle, who have been running a day care business out of their itsy-bitsy, two bedroom, one-bathroom home. How they managed to live in this place is beyond comprehension—considering that its kooky layout includes extremely low doorways that seem to have been sized for Hobbits, not people, and also a pint-sized kitchen right in the entryway!
Um, what gives?
The family needs a bigger home—in addition to everything else, this one has gotten too small to continue to run their day care business. But how is Jonathan ever going to be able to renovate this mini mess for a reasonable price, so they can sell it and be able to afford something with more space?
Luckily, this couple has no grand delusions about the value of their current digs. They tell Drew they would expect to sell it for about $650,000, without any renovations.
“I love you guys, because you’re undervaluing,” Drew tells them, adding that this almost never happens. Buyers tend to think their homes are worth far more than the market will bear.
But get this: Drew says because of their home’s excellent location, despite its freaky features, he thinks they could get about $700,000 for it without any work. And once Jonathan has his way with it, he estimates, they could get more than $800,000.
Woo-hoo! That’s more than Rob and Michelle had hoped for—and they’re going to need every cent, because they’re insisting on finding a bigger, nicer home in the same neighborhood, and only want to spend about $900,000. Yikes!
As both Jonathan and Drew attempt to help this family meet their goals, they come up with some fantastic real estate tips that we can apply in our own lives. Watch and learn!
What sells a house? Impressive kitchens and bathrooms
“As we know, impressive bathrooms and kitchens are what sell houses,” says Drew, approving of Jonathan’s plan to move and expand the kitchen from the entry hall into the living room, and to glam up the bathroom. “If there’s only one bathroom, it better be an impressive one,” says Drew, as he outlines plans for adding a double vanity and gorgeous tile.
How to stop water stains on walls
The home’s single bathroom has water stains all over the walls. Jonathan explains that that’s from the humidity that collects in a bathroom that is not well ventilated. There’s no window in that space. Rob explains that he haphazardly tried to install a ceiling fan, but it never worked. Jonathan’s plan is to steal space from an adjacent coat closet to make the bathroom bigger, and put in a fully functioning ventilation system.
It’s good to be grounded
After Jonathan demos many of the superfluous walls that divide up the home in inexplicable ways, he finds that most of the electrical system is not grounded—and so he installs an extra wire to send any dangerous electrical surges into the ground, where they can dissipate.
Ungrounded homes are an extreme fire hazard and not up to code, so the family doesn’t mind spending an extra $3,000 to do it.
‘Plug and play’ homes are a must for people who need to move in fast
This is a term you don’t often hear in real estate, but Drew uses it interchangeably with “turnkey,” which means that a home is move-in ready. It’s of great value to Rob and Michelle, since their day care business is on hold during the move, so they’re willing to pay more for a home that doesn’t need any additional work.
No surprise, then, that when Drew shows the couple a “plug and play” home and advises that they offer $950,000—which is $50,000 over their budget—they agree to do so. It’s worth the extra $50,000 for them to be able to move right in, and if Jonathan does his job as planned, they’ll be making more than they expected on the sale of their current home.
Do the Property Brothers prevail?
Jonathan goes over on the reno budget because of the electrical system improvements, and ends up spending $67,400. But that’s of little consequence, because he totally delivers on his promise to renovate the home so that it sells for a surprisingly high sum. They list at $900,00—and get an offer for $910,000!
Meanwhile, Drew finds them a home that’s perfect for the day care business, thanks to a finished basement with a separate entry, kitchen, and bathroom. Upstairs, there’s a beautiful open kitchen, three bedrooms, two baths, and lots of living space. And best of all, it’s in “plug and play” condition, so the family can move right in.
It may be one of their “weirdest” projects, but it also turns out to be one of their best and most profitable for the owners. Yay Property Brothers!