On “Property Brothers,” Drew and Jonathan Scott are rarely thrown completely off-kilter—but there’s a first time for everything, and their latest episode is it!
On “Straightening Out a Sagging Century Home,” the brothers aim to help Katie and Michael, as well as their daughters Brooklyn, India, and Paris (coincidentally named after places the Scotts love to visit, Drew points out). But this family of five is in a jam. They’ve already sold their old home, which was too small, and moved into an even smaller one-bedroom rental until they can buy again. They want to remain in the same school district—and while their $1,060,000 budget seems generous, it’s not quite enough for the hot New York neighborhood where they live.
Drew finds them a 1,800-square-foot home for sale that’s right around the corner from the school. The asking price is only $869,000, but there’s a reason this bargain hasn’t been snapped up yet: It has a faulty foundation. Yet this serious issue does have one upside.
“I guarantee you that a lot of people are going to run away from this house and not make an offer because this scares them off,” Drew tells Katie and Michael.
But shouldn’t the “Property Brothers” stars be scared, too? Here’s how the Scotts handle this issue and, by that same turn, how you can, too.
House hunt with a marble in your pocket
“I was told there were issues with the floor, so I brought this along,” says Drew, as he takes a marble from his pocket and sets it down on the wood floor. Sure enough, instead of just sitting there, the marble rolls toward the door, indicating that the floors are not level, that the hundred-year-old house has settled, and that the foundation is going to need extensive and expensive work.
Pad the budget
Despite fingers and toes being crossed, the structural engineer finds one issue after another with this family’s newly purchased home. First they can’t jack up the house, because they’re afraid the brick walls won’t be able to take it and will crumble. So they have to dig down through the floor to see what the footings are set on, and find the ground beneath them has worn away—which means they’ll have to create new footings and pilings underneath the house. This is going to cost a whopping $45,000! It’s a good thing Jonathan prepared them for that, both mentally and financially, by padding their renovation budget.
Replace knob and tube wiring
What was once a state-of-the-art electrical system (at least in the past century) is now a fire hazard. All this home’s knob and tube wiring must be replaced, and this fix is always pricy. Once again, budget padding comes in handy.
Make sure your new countertops will fit
“This is probably the most difficult kitchen I’ve done this year,” says Jonathan. As with everything else in the home, the kitchen seems to be a collection of mismatched parts: walls are uneven, and there are random protrusions. So Jonathan waits to order the quartz countertops until the cabinets are installed and custom-adapted to the irregular space. It takes the timing right down to the wire, but chances are, if he’d ordered the countertops any earlier, they wouldn’t have fit.
Make full use of the kitchen island storage space
The odd protrusions on the kitchen walls limit storage space, so Jonathan has an island constructed with numerous drawers and cabinets underneath. Tablelike kitchen islands with open space underneath may be hot right now, but wouldn’t be practical in this case.
Don’t cut corners on the kids’ rooms
With all the construction extras costing them time and money, Jonathan worries that he won’t have time for what he considers to be the most important part of the renovation: giving the girls the bedrooms they’ve been dreaming about for months.
But, by working late at night and losing a lot of sleep over it, he manages to finish everything, bedrooms and all, before the family’s time is up when they must move out—and into their new digs.
How does it all end up?
In the end, despite all of the foundation hurdles, the Scotts go only $15,000 over the renovation budget. When you consider all the work that went into this house, it’s rather amazing!
And the family is thrilled with the results.
“Knowing that it’s straight and that the foundation is great is such a relief,” says Michael.
“It’s a dream come true,” says Katie. “It’s so much more beautiful than what we imagined.”
Now, who said foundation problems can’t be fixed?
The post The Property Brothers Tackle a House That Makes Buyers ‘Run Away’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.
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