Transforming decrepit houses into dream abodes - all in a day's work for the Property Brothers!
Apr 14, 2015
Renovating your home is more than just picking out a style and rolling with it. If you're looking for a new home yet stuck with a limited budget, you'll definitely want to check out the Property Brothers in action.
A star pairing, identical twin brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott help homeowners find (and build) their perfect home. On their namesake TV show Property Brothers, Drew's a real estate agent who shortlists suitable for-sale homes while Jonathan tackles the renovation work and transforms it into home sweet home. Tall, dark and handsome, they look like actors but make no mistake -- they're both licensed in their respective professions in real life.
We have a chat with Drew and Jonathan on what it's like being the Property Brothers.
Q. On Property Brothers it looks so easy. Drew, you find fixer-uppers with great potential and Jonathan, you're brimming with exciting yet feasible renovation ideas. Tell us the truth -- how do you guys pull it off?
J: We've been doing this for close to twenty years, so we bring a lot of experience as well as education to the process. Because of that, we're able to see potential fixes and value in properties that others might overlook or reject. But don't be fooled by how easy it may look -- there's a huge amount of work viewers don't see because in the shows we focus on the key elements of each project.
D: We're pros but it still takes a lot of effort to find and renovate properties successfully and an equal amount of effort to put up with Jonathan on a daily basis! But hopefully people who watch our shows can avoid the pitfalls and save time and money.
Q. Jonathan, let's talk about your team. Obviously there's a whole construction crew behind the scenes making things happen. How's your relationship with them? Have you been working together for a long time?
J: Some of my construction team changes when we move from one region to another. But I have skilled workers I can count on in many locations. I've known some of them for years and can trust them to recommend other high-caliber tradesmen if need be. With skilled craftsmen there's always a level of pride and mutual respect. It's also important for me that all clients have local trades available to honor any warranty work that we do. Everyone works hard to keep on schedule and resolve problems. But we also have a lot of fun along the way. Well, as much fun as possible when knee deep in demolition debris, that is!
Q. While you never like to deliver bad news to your clients on the show, you've mentioned that it's important to be upfront about any structural problems you find with their new homes. How have you dealt with clients who reacted strongly to the bad news?
Most people's home is one of their biggest investments, so it's natural that they become upset if we discover a big defect. And structural problems can be costly to correct. Most of our clients quickly calm down once we explain how we can fix the problem. In our renovation budgets we always include a minimum contingency amount of 10% for unexpected issues, if it's an area with known problems that increases. Ultimately, clients know it's worth it to make their homes safe and sound, sometimes they just need to blow off a little steam about it.
Q. I'm sure the Singapore audience would love to see you work your magic on small homes like ours. Would you consider doing a local edition someday?
As our Asian audience grows, it would be great to do a program there!
We'd enjoy working on projects that reflect Singapore's mix of Asian traditions and modernity and its tropical climate. We're big supporters of green design and admire the way Singapore conserves resources, even in high-rise towers. Small-space solutions are relevant in cities around the world.
Q. Share your top three tips for homeowners who want to give their homes a makeover.
Make a wish list, then narrow it down to what's most needed to make the home more livable and attractive.
Use online and other resources to research all your options so you'll be well informed when you interview contractors and get estimates (and get everything in writing!).
Spend smart! Aim not only to make your home more livable for you and your family but to increase its resale value and be careful not to over renovate, every community has a value cap for what buyers are willing to spend.
What we love about Property Brothers is watching how a little fixer-upper magic can make what seems less than satisfactory into a beautiful place to call home. For more of the Property Brothers, tune in to StarHub Channel 437 to catch Property Brothers and Buying and Selling.
On Buying and Selling, Jonathan and Drew team up to help homeowners get their homes spiffed up for a top-dollar sale. Season 2 premieres this Sunday 19 April, so don't forget to mark your calendar!
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