"Property Brothers" stars Jonathan and Drew Scott have had plenty of run-ins with difficult buyers and challenging homes—but how about both in one real estate deal? Talk about double the trouble.
In the episode titled "Hometown Vegas," Nevada natives Lauren and Jeremy need a home for their family, which includes a toddler and a baby. They have a generous budget of $800,000, but it turns out they'll need every penny of it. Read on to find out why—and learn some great tips on how low you can go when you lowball, what an "as is" home could be hiding, and more you'll be glad to know.
Lowballing can backfire, badly
Drew shows Lauren and Jeremy a home that needs a lot of work, but it's in a desirable neighborhood. The house is overpriced at $650,000, but Jonathan says it's not worth nearly that much—he suggests offering $600,000. Jeremy wants an even bigger discount, however, and insists on making a lowball offer of only $580,000. Drew is doubtful, but does as the couple instruct.
Just as he suspected, the sellers scoff at the offer. In fact, they don't even bother to counter! There is complete radio silence, indicating the sellers don't think their measly offer is worth the time to respond.
Lauren and Jeremy want the home so much, they try to pique the sellers' interest with another offer, this time at $610,000. That gets their attention, and they counter at $620,000.
Drew suggests that, if they really want the house, they should take it, so they do. But there would have been more negotiating room and less wasted time if they would have gone into the deal with a more realistic offer in the first place.
Beware when a seller insists on 'as is'
Two words that spell trouble for a home? "As is." An as-is sale means the seller refuses to do or pay for any repairs, as is the case with this particular house.
Already the Scott brothers can see during their tour that there are plenty of obvious problems, let alone the ones that will be revealed as they work. So it's a good thing Jonathan has built a sizable contingency fund into his reno budget.
Tile kitchen counters are a terrible idea
Why were tile countertops ever popular? So much kitchen grime builds up in the grouting that it turns dark gray, no matter its original color. And countless fingernails have been broken trying to scratch the dirt out of those small crevices. Jonathan opts to replace all of the tile kitchen countertops with gleaming white quartz. Not only can you see the grime better, but it's also infinitely easier to remove.
Stained-glass windows aren't always so nice
Stained-glass windows are often a selling point, but ones that seem to have been installed in the 1980s? Not so much. These ones depict wine barrels and grapevines, and they're just not this couple's vibe. Still, they'd look great in a wine shop or bar, which there happen to be plenty of in Las Vegas. So savvy Lauren asks the demo team to be very careful when removing them, and she puts them up for sale on eBay. Sure enough, she finds a buyer quickly, and makes $450, which they desperately need, because this renovation turns out to be very costly.
Save thousands on wood flooring
There are plumbing problems. There are subfloor problems. There are patio problems. The large contingency fund Jonathan has built into the budget gets quickly eaten up, and something's got to give. That would be the solid wood flooring. Instead, Jonathan goes with engineered hardwood flooring, which looks fantastic and, since they install it throughout the home, saves a whopping $8,000!
The ideal piece of furniture for kids
"Poufs are perfect for the playroom," says Drew as he takes Jeremy furniture shopping. They're converting the two-car garage into a sizable playroom for the little ones. Drew points out how poufs not only add color, but also can be moved around so that toys and games can be spread on the floor. Plus, they allow for low seating for adults when kids are playing at ground level.
An inexpensive, uncomplicated way to renew a rock fireplace
Those sparkly white rock fireplaces used to be the epitome of elegance, but these days they just look awkward and dated. So rather than demolishing the bulky thing and replacing it with slick marble or granite, Jonathan has a better method.
"We brought the mortar forward then painted it," he explains. "We wanted to keep the stone, but it looked very nasty and gnarly. Now it looks soft, but it also looks bright and clean."
Do the Scott brothers deliver?
Somehow, Jonathan manages to wrangle the reno back into $180,000 territory, and adding that to the $620,000 purchase price, they come right in at $800,000.
Lauren and Jeremy are ecstatic not only with their all-in price, but also with how their new house looks.
"Is this real life?" wonders Lauren as they see the miracles the brothers have wrought. "I'm shaking!"
"You guys have done an epic job," says Jeremy.
"Lauren and Jeremy now have a home of their own that looks both sophisticated and kid-friendly," says Jonathan.
Who would have ever thought that this sale—which got off to such a shaky start—could ever turn out OK?