In the episode titled “Small Budget, Big Sacrifices,” we learn that a Canadian couple, Kylah and Jon, want to buy a bigger home with a larger yard for their three young girls. The problem? They think that they can sell their small, toy-stuffed, semidetached home for about $850,000, before Jonathan works his renovation magic on it. In the Property Brothers’ estimation, their house is only worth about $700,000 as is.
Drew patiently explains to his clients that if they ever hope to buy a new house, they’re going to have to make some sacrifices. Meanwhile, Jonathan attempts to whip their current home into top shape so they can fetch a high price for it—all with only a $60,000 renovation budget.
Can these home-buying dreams and reality meet? As the Property Brothers give it a go, they teach us a ton that may come in handy for other dreamers who are hoping to stretch their renovation budgets, or buy a new place that seems a bit out of reach.
Hide the fire extinguisher
One of the first things Drew spots on display in Kylah and Jon’s old kitchen is a fire extinguisher. Kaylah hasn’t thought about it in years. “It was there when we bought the place,” she says. While all homes should have fire extinguishers, this does not mean they have to be hanging in plain sight.
As Drew rightly points out, there are plenty of convenient places where you can stash a fire extinguisher so that it’s not an eyesore (or a visual reminder of imminent danger), yet is still readily within reach in case a fire breaks out.
Paint it black
Since the home’s exterior looks a little blah, Drew decides to paint the front door and garage door black. And with this plain old can of paint, he transforms this home’s look into something superstylish and unique in the neighborhood.
“It’s simple, it’s clean, and it stands out from the other houses in the area here,” says Drew.
Faux marble looks as good as the real thing
Jonathan is convinced that a fireplace in the otherwise bland living room will really spark things up, but he can’t afford to use real marble—so he finds a cheaper manmade product of crushed limestone and marble that looks smashing. “I can’t believe how realistic this looks,” he says. “Instead of spending a fortune on a real marble surround for the fireplace, we have a manmade product, and it’s perfect for the fireplace.” Seriously, no one would ever know the difference.
Hardwood floors are worth the money
So what is worth splurging on? The floor.
There’s an ugly, grungy grouted tile on the main floor of the house, and it looks as if it came from the bargain bin even when it was first put in 15 years ago. Pulling it up is a cinch, because it wasn’t even installed well in the first place. Jonathan plans to replace it with hardwood flooring. “I want the beautiful hardwood that we’re putting in here to be that extra that buyers will spend extra money on,” he says.
Small yards are OK if there’s a playground nearby
On the home-buying front, one of the family’s big priorities is a decent-sized yard for the girls to play in, but Jonathan shows them a home with a yard that’s not much bigger than the minuscule one they already have. When Kylah questions him about this, he points out that there’s a huge park with play equipment just a few steps away. Knowing that they have to make some sacrifices on their wish list, Kylah and Jon see this as acceptable.
Put guests in a hotel
Kylah says they really want a guest room where her parents can stay when they come to visit. The problem: The only homes big enough to have this extra space are waaaay out of their price range. What to do?
“I have one word for you: hotel,” says Drew. D’oh! Jon wonders why he didn’t think of that before. It could save them about $100,000 on the price of a home.
Do the Property Brothers deliver?
The family decides to sacrifice proximity to Jon’s work for a more spacious home and yard. After some serious negotiating, Drew arranges for them to purchase their favorite home for $715,000, which is $24,900 below asking price. Such a deal!
Meanwhile, Jonathan has done a marvelous job of converting their old, toy-stuffed home into a sleek, stylish, black-and-white oasis, only spending $57,000. When they get an offer of $815,000 for the place, they snap it up. Looks like high hopes and small budgets can actually sync up enough to make home buyers happy!