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pb-squirrelsOutdated  design, poor  craftsmanship, undiscovered asbestos issues lurking beneath old floors and walls.  If you've ever watched  a real estate makeover show, you'd be able to catch on to the tense process of renovating a home. HGTV's own hit TV show "Property Brothers" does a good job of showcasing these worst case scenarios, whether it's an unexpected $15,000+ repair expense or discovering serious foundation issues. As viewers,  we expect each show to end on a high note. And as always, the wide-eyed new buyer is delighted to walk in to their newly renovated home that is perfectly furnished and remodeled to their own taste. That's the dream, right? Since we can't all get help from the Property Brothers, we've come up with 5 tips to walk away with from  watching  Drew and Jonathan on this hit show:
5. KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND USE YOUR IMAGINATION
Imagination. That's the key to locking in a property with good potential, at a good price. Let's be honest, most of us would probably want a move-in-ready home. That's why staging is so important. It allows potential homebuyers envision themselves living in a particular space. But without the modern furniture and updated crown moldings, homebuyers are often running away from these properties. What Drew and Jonathan do is look for hidden gems, even if they don't show well. Potential homebuyers often focus on criticizing the cosmetic features of the property.   Drew and Jonathan focus on the bigger picture. Is it in a good neighborhood? What's the lot size? How old is this home? Number of bedrooms? At the end of the day, the bigger picture is what makes a home livable. No one wants to move from one house to another for aesthetic reasons. The usual reasons are much bigger than that.
4. STICK TO YOUR REASONS FOR MOVING IN THE FIRST PLACE
A continuing theme we've noticed from show to show is that potential buyers often get caught up in the details, often losing  sight of the bigger picture. As we've mentioned in Tip #5, the bigger picture is what can make  a home a good  deal. What the Property Brothers help their potential buyers do is stick to their non-negotiables.
3. SET ASIDE A CONTINGENCY BUDGET 
Just like the funny meme shown above, you never know what lurks behind your newly purchased property.  A home inspector may give you the OK before purchasing the home, but you won't really find problems until you start tearing down walls. This is a common issue most contractors run into, TV show or not. What homebuyers can do to prepare for these likely issues is to set aside a budget for unexpected projects. It could be anywhere from 25%-40% of your total renovation budget.
2. PLAN YOUR AESTHETIC "MUST-HAVES" AHEAD OF TIME
What we often see if the following scenario: Jonathan is laboring away in the wee hours of the morning to meet a deadline, and in comes a surprise visit from the homebuyers. With a list of last minute changes in mind, Jonathan must somehow find a way to restructure the new kitchen cabinets with his architect so he can fit in new appliances the homebuyers bought online. In comes the stress and uncertainty of making the deadline, as well as finding some room in the budget for these changes. Long story short, the best thing you can do before tackling a home renovation project is to do your research ahead of time. Set some time aside to figure out what you like and don't like. Trust me, it'll be a lot more costly to do it on your own without the help of an entire work team that Drew and Jonathan hires.
1. FINALLY, TRY TO HAVE FUN DURING THE PROCESS
Renovating a home is a trying time for anyone, for many reasons. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to be optimistic and keep calm during the process. The brothers' dedication to maintaining their silly humor throughout the show is one of the reasons this show is such a hit. Perhaps this is why it stands out from other property shows. Property Brothers uses charm and a bit of self deprecation to lighten the drama and tension that many viewers can expect from renovation projects.

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Jim DeRentis
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