On “Property Brothers,” Jonathan and Drew Scott always seem to be under the gun to bring their projects in on time and on budget—but it’s especially challenging this week in an episode called “Miles Apart.”
The sitch: George and Jen are looking for a newer, larger home closer to family and friends—a place where their extended family of more than 23 people can meet, greet, and eat in comfort. But the couple can’t seem to agree on much else.
Case in point: Their current home of six years is barely decorated at all. Boxfuls of lamps, mirrors, and other accessories lie around gathering dust, purely because the couple couldn’t agree on where they should go.
Drew and Jonathan realize they have their work cut out for them in finding and remodeling something that will suit both George and Jen. Here’s how they navigate this tricky relationship terrain and steer this couple toward a home they both adore.
A third opinion can save the day
“We both love decor,” says George, “and we both think we’re good at decorating and the other person is not good at decorating. What we need is a referee to help us through.”
Jonathan knows that that’s one of the things he does best: find a way to satisfy everyone. And the couple seem downright relieved to turn the reins over to him and abide by his decisions. Because he’s Jonathan Scott!
Don’t get fixated on one fixture
But the couple quickly hit some snags when they start scouting new homes. As Drew shows them potential places, George seems obsessed with finding one with a formal dining room that can accommodate the massive light fixture he purchased a while back (and never took out of the box).
As he rhapsodizes about the fixture, which Jen says she doesn’t like at all, Drew diplomatically explains that looking for a house specifically to fit a massive light is not the best use of time. This brings George back to the task at hand, and enables him to move on, eliciting major eye rolls from Jen (but they’re loving eye rolls.)
Don’t judge a house by its color
Drew ushers George and Jen into another house, and they’re put off the second they step through the door. It seems the entryway is painted pastel pink. Continuing their tour, they find more dated pastels—cotton-candy pinks, baby blues, butter yellows. But Drew reminds them that painting and removing wallpaper are among the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a house. Instead, they should pay more attention to location and good bones.
When a home’s price is already low, the seller may not budge further
George and Jen can’t believe their good luck! Drew has shown them a 3,200-square-foot house with four bedrooms, three baths, tons of potential, and the biggest, best backyard they’ve ever seen. Plus, the owners are asking only $790,000 for it, well below what this couple can comfortably afford.
There must be something wrong with it, right? Right: The owners disclose there are asbestos issues, and that’s why the price is so low.
George suggests that because of this, Drew should offer $20,000 less than the already very reasonable price. Drew offers $770,000, but the owners come back demanding full asking price.
“They made it clear there are others interested in the home,” Drew tells the couple. If they really want it, they should offer full asking price.
Drew explains that when an owner counters at the original low asking price, they’re indicating in no uncertain terms they’ve already gone as low as they’re willing to go.
In the end, George and Jen offer full asking price—and get the house.
When in doubt, go slow with demo
When you know there are asbestos issues in a home but you don’t know where, you can’t just go swinging a sledgehammer around and knocking down walls at will. The couple help Jonathan take the demolition slow and easy, and sure enough, when they’re working together to carefully remove the appliances, they discover that the insulation is riddled with asbestos. The (ugly) popcorn ceilings, too.
At this point they have to stop and bring a professional abatement team in to remove the deadly material, wearing face masks and hazmat suits. In fact, the asbestos problem is bigger than they’d expected and it drives up renovation costs, while also increasing the time the renovation will take.
How does it all pan out?
When all is built and done, the renovation has taken 10 weeks, rather than the estimated eight, and an additional $16,000 has been added to the original $195,000 allotted for renovations, bringing the entire project in over budget.
George and Jen are absolutely thrilled with their new home. It seems Jonathan and Drew nailed the ideal blend of each individual’s taste.
“It’s perfect!” says Jen.
“It’s beyond my imagination—every detail is beautiful,” says George.
Everyone’s so excited they jump for joy. Now that’s a successful compromise.
Source: Realtor.com Advice