The Property Brothers Come Up Against Their Toughest Customer—in 8 Years
"Property Brothers" stars Jonathan and Drew Scott have come across some pretty tough customers in the eight years their reality TV show has been on the air, but they truly meet their match in Carson, a pharmacist and a perfectionist in Nashville, TN.
In the episode aptly named "Overcoming Analysis Paralysis," we meet Carson as she’s huddled over a design binder she’s been compiling for months. She’s painstakingly outlined her hopes and dreams for every square inch of her new home! Since her rental lease expired a few months ago, she’s been living with her best friend, Leah, until she finds the perfect pad. Her all-in budget is $395,000.
Carson may not look "uptight," as Leah describes her, but the Scotts quickly learn that she is a complete and total stickler for details—which is exactly what you want in someone handling prescriptions, but it’s quite challenging to work with when trying to find a suitable home.
But here’s how the Scotts prevail and manage to deliver the perfect house to the ultimate perfectionist—and what we can all learn in the process.
Watch for utility poles
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Watch out for poles!
Drew finds Carson a lovely home in the ideal neighborhood close to where she’s living now, but when they walk out back, they see a huge utility pole with a complicated web of wires connected to it. Not only is it an eyesore, but Drew points out that there will be an awful lot of utility workers tramping through her backyard to care for it. This, among other things, is a deal breaker, and an understandable one at that. Next!
With yards, sometimes smaller is better
"I want more house, less yard," declares Carson after a slew of homes that she feels aren’t quite right. Her request is an odd one that prompts Drew to remark, "That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that." But it makes perfect sense for Carson, who doesn’t want to deal with lawn maintenance.
Find homes before they hit the market
The house two doors down
Leah discovers that the neighbors two doors down from where she lives are planning to sell, but haven’t put their townhouse on the market yet. Since it has all the right assets—near Carson’s friends and work—Leah thinks it might be the right fit. Lo and behold it is: Carson decides she wants this house. And best of all, she’s got a head start on other buyers since the house hasn’t been listed yet.
Bid low on unlisted homes
But how much should Carson bid, since there’s no listing price yet?
"When you make an offer before it goes on the market," Drew explains, "you save them the hassle of listing it, save the hassle of all the showings and everything else."
Although some units in the area have gone for over $300,000, this one isn’t in perfect condition, so he advises offering $290,000. The sellers accept, which leaves the brothers with a $105,000 renovation budget.
Pad the budget for surprises
All of this has to go.
You’d think $105,000 would be plenty of money to remodel a 1,200-square-foot townhouse, but Jonathan wisely padded his budget for any unforeseen problems that always seem to pop up. In this case, they have to dig into the cement floor to move the plumbing, and completely rewire the place to extend the electrical system.
Ask the HOA for help
While Drew’s crew works on the townhouse, excessive downpours reveal that Carson’s unit is at a lower elevation than many of the others in the complex, and overflow from the parking lot pours right into Carson’s yard.
Since it’s a common area issue, the Scotts ask the homeowners association for financial assistance installing a drain pipe to run the water away from the buildings. The HOA board happily grants his request, helping to curb the amount of cash coming out of Carson’s pocket.
Changes midrenovation can be costly
Once renovations begin, Carson’s perfectionist tendencies start to wear at Jonathan. Uh oh.
In the final weeks of the remodel, Carson pops up with a long list of change requests, hoping that they can be implemented without breaking her fixed reno budget.
"She needs to chill," Jonathan declares, and Drew agrees they must get her out of the house, out of her head, and into a fun environment where she can let off some steam. The demolition process had worked wonders for this, but that was now weeks in the rear-view mirror.
"What’s the one thing that’s better than demo-ing?" Jonathan asks.
"Ax throwing!" the identical twin brothers answer in unison.
Apparently, ax throwing is a thing with them; online pictures abound of the brothers engaged in this unusual pseudosport. So Jonathan and Drew whisk Carson and Leah away to hurl hatchets through the air. It works: Carson returns in a much mellower mood, which allows Jonathan to finish the remodel without too much interference.
Do the Scotts deliver?
The new open layout
Once the dust settles and the project is finally finished, Carson is thrilled—especially since Jonathan was able to incorporate many of the decorating ideas from her binder along with some great ones of his own.
In short, the "Property Brothers" stars have made her home even better than she could have imagined, while also proving that a hard-to-please perfectionist can be persuaded to loosen up.
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