STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
HGTV’s “Property Brothers” agreed to answer questions via email, and even took turns responding. They’ll be appearing in Oaks as part of the first Philly Home + Garden Show Jan. 16.
What topics will you be talking about?
Drew: We’re going to be talking all about people’s dream homes. With the release of our first book “Dream Home” in April, we want to show home owners our process of working with clients and finding ways to keep their budget under control while still giving them everything they want in a home.
GOING TO THE PHILLY HOME + GARDEN SHOW? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For Jonathan, we hear a lot about the open concept, hardwood flooring, tiled backsplashes, etc. What home design trends do you foresee coming in the short and long term?
Jonathan: Durability and technology in the home are hot topics for homeowners. For families who have a lot of foot traffic, they’re looking for durable options for their floors that give them the visual appeal of hardwood with more resistance to wear and tear. Technology is important in every home these days. Whether it’s a tankless hot water system to save on your utilities or smart home access from your mobile. Pretty much anything you saw in “Star Trek” is now available in your home.
For Drew, how would you describe the current state of the real estate market?
Drew: There’s a growing strength in the real estate market today. Price points vary from city to city and even community to community, but we see a strong steady growth in property value and we do see houses selling. This is what we like to see for a healthy market.
What was the most difficult episode of “Property Brothers” that you did, and how did you get through it?
Drew: There are many episodes that are difficult in different ways. Most of the delays in the renovation actually come from homeowners’ actions due to their lack of understanding of the renovation process. Recently we worked with a homeowner who could not stick to the original reno. budget. Every time we turned around, she was out spending money on something or bringing another add-on to the project. It got so bad that we actually had to do an intervention for her. With all of the features they wanted in their home, we wouldn’t be able to complete the project if she kept spending our reno. budget. In the end, it was a simple solution. We took her credit card so she couldn’t spend :-).
Do you guys have any special twin powers, like being able to communicate without saying a word, that brother J.D. (the twins’ other brother) wishes he had?
Jonathan: Obviously we are superheroes :-). We do joke that we can read each other’s minds but I think that comes with being brothers and working together since we were kids.
What are the top five things all home buyers universally should look for when considering their next home?
Drew: 1. You need to look at the community, not just the physical house. Is it a great location for you, close to schools, transit, etc… Is it on a quiet street?
2. Set your budget ahead of time and stick to it. Too many homeowners start to look above their comfortable budget and that sets them up for financial stress.
3. Ensure you’re looking for features in a home that are good for you now and in the future. For example, if you know you’re having more children, will this house sustain the size of your family in a couple of years?
4. If you know you want to do a renovation, have a contractor walk through the home with you to give you a quote prior to putting in an offer. This can give you a better idea if all the things you want to do can be done within your budget.
5. Remember that the aesthetics of a home can easily change, but you want to make sure it has good bones. Do an inspection when you’re looking to buy, and really kick the tires of the house. Do the best you can to ensure it’s a great property that won’t bring you heartache down the road.
Just saw that there’s a “Property Brothers Handbook.” What’s in that?
Jonathan: The Property Brothers Handbook is our design and renovation app. Basically the next best thing to having us come and help you with your renovation in person. You can create inspiration boards using thousands of our images, we give you example budgets for different projects and a whole lot of other tips and tricks.
Saw that you guys have done some TV drama acting. Will either of you ever do any more of that?
Drew: We both love acting and typically do a cameo or two each year. I am definitely pursuing acting more over the coming year and have some great opportunities. It’s nice to be able to go back to our acting roots from time to time.
What projects does Scott Brothers Entertainment (the brothers’ production company) have in the New Year?
Drew: Scott Brothers Entertainment is filming “Brother vs. Brother” season 4 in Las Vegas from January to March. We have a lot of great projects on the go, including TV and digital productions that we are not appearing in as hosts. In the New Year, look for announcements for food, travel and competition shows that we are producing. It’s going to be a busy year!
Where do these gigantic home buying/renovation budgets that we see on TV come from? Inheritance? Cashing in on investments? Amounts already approved for financing? All of the above? None of the above?
Drew: The clients that we work with on “Property Brothers” come up with their budgets in different ways. Some use conventional financing, where they just borrow from the bank; others have saved up, and some borrow from family. It’s different with every client. Keep in mind depending on the city in which we are filming, property prices and cost of living are a lot higher but so are the average earnings. What you would buy for $1 million in Toronto would be about $200,000 in Las Vegas.