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#31

Teague

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Posted Jan 22, 2009 @ 11:21 PM

I wondered the same thing about this week's couple--what in the world were they doing putting a rental suite downstairs, when what they needed was space, and lots of it?

I agree that they were going for a somewhat sneaky fix and flip strategy--that they weren't actually going to rent it out at all, but rather get it fixed up to increase the value of their home on the market, and then sell it and move. Still, I can't help but wonder if they would have even had to move--at least for the sake of space--had they finished the basement so they could use it. I mean, they had a ridiculously low mortgage--$750 a month! They had some pretty good equity in that place already, and the income property in the basement would have made it even more attractive to a prospective buyer.

Speaking of value, though, this must have been in a different part of Toronto than the last few homes. I think they said this house was worth $225K or so? That's the lowest we've seen so far on this show, I think--granted, this was also the smallest place in terms of square footage, but still.
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#32

Suz at Large

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Posted Jan 23, 2009 @ 8:43 AM

Speaking of value, though, this must have been in a different part of Toronto than the last few homes. I think they said this house was worth $225K or so? That's the lowest we've seen so far on this show, I think--granted, this was also the smallest place in terms of square footage, but still.

Teague, $225K was their purchase price for the house several years ago. At the end of the show after the remodel, an appraiser priced it in the upper $300K range. I think the number was maybe $385K?

Unless they've been using their rising equity as an ATM (and with that low mortgage payment, I don't think so), those 2 professors are sitting on a nice pile of equity there.
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#33

Teague

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Posted Jan 23, 2009 @ 11:49 AM

Ah, okay...thanks Suz! I missed that piece of info.

Still, even at $300K, isn't it worth a lot less than the other homes?

The basement re-do in that house, while nice, wasn't nearly as showcase-y as a couple of the others we've seen.
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#34

kewlkat701

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Posted Jan 23, 2009 @ 12:41 PM

There are a lot of "up-and-coming" areas in TO that have decent houses in the $300K range and lower - Leslieville is a good example. The Junction, Upper Beaches, Ossington...it's just that they can be sketchy neighbourhoods, at least as sketchy as Toronto goes. One thing I wish they would mention is that if you live in a low rent neighbourhood and put in a basement apartment no matter how nice it is, your potential renters will be more representative of the area then people who buy and who are willing to wait until the neighbourhood gentrifies itself.

What I mean is that it might make sense for a young couple to invest in a house in the Junction (notoriously icky area at Dundas West & Bloor) because there are signs of gentrification and it's likely that there will be improvements in facilities and schools, with less drug trafficking and other crime over the next few years. However, a high end renter is not going to wait until the area cleans up - they'll stick to areas that are already hip and happening and accessible, like the Annex, the Beaches, Yonge & Eglinton, Little Italy, High Park...Houses in those areas are on the above average price list - $600K to $1mil easily.

I guess in the long run it will increase the house's value, but someone above mentioned a few of the headaches of being a landlord. It's not a very tight rental market in Toronto these days, so waiting for the "perfect" tenant may be a long time coming, especially if you're in a not-so-desirable neighbourhood.
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#35

Teague

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Posted Jan 23, 2009 @ 1:03 PM

Thanks for the info, kewlkat...I have no idea of the housing market in Toronto.

Based on what you say here, all the more reason for them to have turned the basement into living space for them, instead of apartment space for a prospective tenant.
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#36

Teague

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Posted Jan 29, 2009 @ 11:06 AM

Last night's episode was pretty bleh. The original room wasn't so much of a mess, I didn't get the sense of financial urgency with the couple (they seemed pretty well off--the basement seemed like more a $ bonus for them instead of a "help-us-keep-this-house" issue), and the product was just okay. Nice, but just okay.

By the way, is anyone else having the issue that this show runs just a minute or so past the scheduled time? My DVR keeps cutting off half the reveal, and I end up having to record it again. I haven't noticed this with other HGTV shows--maybe it's just that this show pushes the reveal way into the end credits? Sort of frustrating.
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#37

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Posted Jan 30, 2009 @ 4:19 PM

By the way, is anyone else having the issue that this show runs just a minute or so past the scheduled time? My DVR keeps cutting off half the reveal,

My DVR, by default, records an extra 3 minutes for every show I tape.
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#38

taalsi

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Posted Feb 16, 2009 @ 5:54 PM

Anyone still watching?

My problem with the host is that he sometimes seems to force his opinions on the HOs. Like in the episode where the HO wanted a tub in the bathroom and he wanted a shower. Call me crazy but if she wanted a tub, she should've gotten a tub. It's her house. In the end, he said that a tub wouldn't fit but didn't they pull a tub out of there? How'd that one fit? I'm a woman who prefers showers. Hell, my separate tub has only seen my ass twice in the last year. However, most women I know prefer taking baths to showers, so I agree with her.

Edited by taalsi, Feb 17, 2009 @ 4:55 PM.

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#39

anaximander

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Posted Feb 17, 2009 @ 12:17 AM

Call me crazy but if she wanted a tub, she should've gotten a tub


It's entirely possible that they couldn't do it to code (I haven't seen the episode, but tubs in basements can be a PAIN w/r/t drainage & weight), but didn't feel like explaining that in the editing process, or had an off-camera discussion of cost/benefit.
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#40

biakbiak

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Posted Feb 17, 2009 @ 1:47 PM

In the end, he said that a tub wouldn't fit but didn't they pull a tub out of there? How'd that one fit?



Not very well at all. I mean seriously there was like a postage stamp to stand in, and and no place to put anything, hell the tenants hair dryer had to live on the toilet. If it were a place she was going to live I could understand it but it's a rental property so she does need to divorce her self a little from her wants and needs and in the end she loved it.

I just saw this show for the first time and seriously what on earth were the people who went 100k over their house budget thinking when they bought that house. I wouldn't have wanted to put my washer and dryer in that basement in the before shot much less envision a living space that I could charge people money for!
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#41

chicagosam

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 8:28 AM

Anyone watch last night? Poor female homeowner who bought into a nightmare? I really felt sorry for her (clearly she had been taken advantage of by a contractor who did shoddy work in her basement. (It wasn't clear if the previous homeowner had done her wrong and whether she had a home inspection that should have caught some of the problems she encountered.)

Anyway . . . the host guy (can't remember his name) earned his keep last night not only fixing an unholy mess and probably saving the house for her, but also serving as a very yummy shoulder for her to cry on. (Mr. chicagosam's first comment at the end of the show . . . "so, do you think he got any??)

They did a great job with a VERY troubled property.
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#42

camom

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 5:10 PM

This was my first episode of the show and I was very impressed with what they were able to do. I do wonder, though, about whether or not she had an inspection before buying. If so, I'd think the inspector would be held responsible for some of that mess. I'm guessing she didn't.
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#43

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Posted Apr 30, 2009 @ 10:21 AM

This may fall under "You know you're watching too much HGTV when ..." more than anything, but I swear the episode of this that I saw last night ("Procrastinating Peter"?) gave me nightmares about mold. You would think it'd be the mass dead cows on "UFO Hunters" that did it, but no ... apparently mold is a scarier prospect.
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#44

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 4:42 AM

This may fall under "You know you're watching too much HGTV when ..." more than anything, but I swear the episode of this that I saw last night ("Procrastinating Peter"?) gave me nightmares about mold. You would think it'd be the mass dead cows on "UFO Hunters" that did it, but no ... apparently mold is a scarier prospect


I caught this one last night - all through the ep I kept thinking to myself, "Did this guy hire an inspector before buying this house?". I watched as more things started cropping up - I wondered if the poor guy didn't end up with a money pit! The mold! The flooding on rainy days in the basement! The leaky roof! That place was rife with problems!

I hated the front porch of that place too. The wood was unpainted and looked cheap. I hated saying that because I like porches!

I LOVED the basement apartment once the remodeling was done! I wondered what the attic bedrooms would have looked like if the couple had agreed to rent the house and move into the basement.
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#45

Marla Singer

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Posted May 27, 2009 @ 11:43 AM

Anyone watch last night? Poor female homeowner who bought into a nightmare? I really felt sorry for her (clearly she had been taken advantage of by a contractor who did shoddy work in her basement. (It wasn't clear if the previous homeowner had done her wrong and whether she had a home inspection that should have caught some of the problems she encountered.)


Her HI did tell her there were problems and it seems like she just ignored them. She bought a place that she couldn't afford. Rental income in nice but if you can't afford the place without it, then you shouldn't buy. She's lucky her parents could part with that money to help her out and that things worked out in the end.
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#46

Glass Ocean

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 1:46 AM

Shouldn't house inspectors give you enough info that you could renege on buying that house? I've bought in PA and am looking in MD, and the real estate agents have told me the same thing in both places. My current house did not have proper cement board in the shower stall which was making the tiles loose, so I got $1k at settlement to fix the problem. Is something wrong with these HO's or with the inspectors? Or is the show actively seeking out quirky problem basements to drama-renovate?
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#47

Marla Singer

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 12:05 PM

Shouldn't house inspectors give you enough info that you could renege on buying that house?


This particular home owner didn't say exactly what the HI told her, but she also didn't give the impression that she was mislead because she still bought the place and immediately hired lousy people to correct the mistakes.

I got the impression she was a little too enthralled with the idea of renting the space and having the renters pay her mortgage .
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#48

merlinmerry

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

I really enjoyed the way she kept stroking and petting the host's arm. I got the feeling that her friend was brought in to protect the host (Scott?).
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#49

Willow2tree

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Posted May 28, 2009 @ 4:05 PM

I really enjoyed the way she kept stroking and petting the host's arm. I got the feeling that her friend was brought in to protect the host (Scott?).


Heh. I kept thinking that, given time, she would have gotten to out-and-out molestation.

Of course, I would pet Scott too, if I could...
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#50

magicdog

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Posted May 29, 2009 @ 5:19 AM

The homeowner Tai was annoying! First he buys a potential money pit but is so certain he can make the basement liveable and save money by digging a hole (literally and figuaratively) by himself. Then whe the calvary arrives to fix things properly he keeps interupting asking shouldn't we use "this type of insulation" or "that type of heater" like some self styled expert. He was lucky the crew did such a great job on the unit they could rent it for more than they originally proposed.

I love the way the apartments come out on this show - it makes me almost want to run to Canada to move in!
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#51

Suz at Large

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Posted May 29, 2009 @ 9:57 AM

The homeowner Tai was annoying! First he buys a potential money pit but is so certain he can make the basement liveable and save money by digging a hole (literally and figuaratively) by himself. Then whe the calvary arrives to fix things properly he keeps interupting asking shouldn't we use "this type of insulation" or "that type of heater" like some self styled expert. He was lucky the crew did such a great job on the unit they could rent it for more than they originally proposed.

Word. I sympathized when watching Scott deal with Tai's interruptions and suggestions based on internet research, to "improve" the project. Uh, yeah, and hugely increase the cost of it. When the whole mission is to get the homeowner out of a financial hole by creating an income property. The operative concept being "income property" - not "this is your personal dream home."

I think my jaw dropped open when after the project was so far along that the walls had been framed in, Tai looked at a central masonry post supporting the foundation (duh) and said but wouldn't the layout feel more open without this? The post had been integrated into the walls, it wasn't sitting out in the middle of a room. So Scott ended up explaining to Tai - and later on camera to the world - that although they *could* have taken out that support post and replaced it with steel I-beams, it would have added hugely to the cost.

I agree, it was a lovely apartment when finished. I'm sure Tai is an intelligent guy, but based on this show his forte is probably not real estate investing. Unless he figures out when he needs to hire professionals, does so, and then lets them get on with their jobs minus his second-guessing and backseat driving.
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#52

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Posted Jun 3, 2009 @ 4:12 AM

Another annoying homeowner alert!

Shawn knows how to make a baby but apparently knows zippity doo dah about getting other business done! Another HO who never had an inspector (with all that mold and the bad wiring!) to check out the place before spending nearly half a million dollars! When they pointed out the mold, I hoped they kept the pregnant wife a fair distance! I was also annoyed that with less than 2 months to go before the baby's arrival, the baby's room wasn't even near completion.

Now, who decided Shawn's mother got facetime anyway? First we see how upset she is when she sees the apartment gutted (as if she was living there) then bringing her back to see the finished result. I know it was mentioned she'd probably move into the apartment eventually - but it wasn't as if the place was exclusively hers! What a waste! I would have rather seen more of the demo and decoration process than her exaggerated mannerisms.
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#53

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Posted Jun 5, 2009 @ 5:43 AM

With the librarian who had flip job, she should have gone after the sellers HARD. People think that a home inspector can find every possible problem and they cannot. They can't rip open walls or pull up carpet or move furniture. Everything that the look for and find has to be visible to the naked eye, essentially. So, if the inspector says, "This might be and issue and you really need to follow up on it," the time to follow up is before you buy, not after. The sellers, however, failed to disclose a ton of problems, including the stop work order, so they are on the hook, in my opinion. I hope she pursued that avenue, and I'm not generally a lawsuit happy type.

As for Procrastinating Peter, he may have had a bad inspector because the warped and water-damaged baseboards in the basement were a major red flag. I was a little surprised that Scott didn't incorporate the possibility of mold and foundation damage in his original estimate because it seemed obvious that the possibility was quite high. Unless he did and we didn't see it on camera for the DRAMA FACTOR! Also, I would have gone with the second option. For $1000, I would have put closets in the attic rooms to make them legal bedrooms and rented out the upstairs house for $3000/month while living in the basement for a year. That way, I could save money and then after a year, the tenants could move, I'd move back upstairs, ask the girlfriend to marry me and rent out the basement. He had NO furniture, traveled all the time and the girlfriend had her own place, so such a sacrifice wouldn't have been impossible for him in the short-term. It would have made a ton of financial sense too, because that house needed a lot of work and having a nest egg for repairs would be smart.
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#54

Suz at Large

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Posted Jun 5, 2009 @ 7:14 AM

Now, who decided Shawn's mother got facetime anyway? First we see how upset she is when she sees the apartment gutted (as if she was living there) then bringing her back to see the finished result. I know it was mentioned she'd probably move into the apartment eventually - but it wasn't as if the place was exclusively hers! What a waste! I would have rather seen more of the demo and decoration process than her exaggerated mannerisms.

Glad I'm not the only one who thought that whole business was bizarre. But of course it provided DRAMA - in the form of a Drama Queen right there in the homeowner's family - so I guess it was a no-brainer for the producers to put her in.
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#55

queasy

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Posted Jun 5, 2009 @ 12:34 PM

Special props to whoever does Scott's staging -- every basement we've seen has been fairly-to-majorly cramped and low-ceilinged but they all end up looking spectacular, with great furniture placement/space planning.
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#56

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Posted Jun 5, 2009 @ 11:12 PM

Of course, I would pet Scott too, if I could...



Get in line. I know a few straight guys who would probably like to pet Scott.
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#57

Glass Ocean

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Posted Jun 6, 2009 @ 4:09 PM

The sellers, however, failed to disclose a ton of problems, including the stop work order, so they are on the hook, in my opinion. I hope she pursued that avenue, and I'm not generally a lawsuit happy type.


This show could definitely benefit from a legal advice squad on call. Even though it would take away from Scott-time, it would add to the enjoyability of the segment.

I know I spend half my viewing time scratching my head in wonder as to how all these major problems were previously ignored. Hello, do Canadian house buyers not have the brains to look around before they buy? Maybe they don't have flash lights and magnifying glasses up North? If I see any minute signs of wetness in any basement of any house I'm looking at, I would demand a full explanation and inspection. My real estate agent is in complete agreement with this perspective. I don't have a handyman in the family anymore, but I swear I can hear my dad's voice saying "watch out! If the floor isn't level, you don't know what's going on with the foundation."

It's just common sense, people.
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#58

Suz at Large

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Posted Jun 6, 2009 @ 4:29 PM

I know I spend half my viewing time scratching my head in wonder as to how all these major problems were previously ignored.

So. much. word.

I can't remember which episode it was, but there was one where there was obvious water damage in the basement, I think it was along the baseboards on an outer wall, and I understood that was there when they bought the house. And I also remember a scene where in the "before" segment, Scott just pushed on the tiled wall above the bathtub, and it was flexibie. Egads. That's not rocket science.
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#59

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Posted Jun 6, 2009 @ 9:18 PM

Wow, that was some manufactured drama with Shawn's mom. Not necessary at all, but since the show was newer then, perhaps the producers thought it would be necessary. I was a bit surprised that they didn't go for option two, which meant that the living room would be switched with the kitchen. It was only $5000 more and it made a more appealing space.
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#60

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Posted Jun 8, 2009 @ 8:29 AM

This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite HGTV shows. At first I wasn't sure why, but I think it is because I actually learn things from it. Scott is pretty good at explaining what he is going to do about mold or electrical or heating/cooling problems, the why and how of egress windows, floor leveling, lots of good stuff. During a home reno, we recently found mold behind two walls, and I wasn't quite as freaked as I might have been because, while I know the problem can be serious and needs to be addressed, I also remembered some of the stuff that Scott and his crew did and I thought, well, we can handle this (with help!). I also like that the show doesn't seem to cut corners, but want to make the apartments legal and up to code. I seem to remember one episode where the HO wanted to cut corners on one part of the project and Scott said, "No, I'm not comfortable with that. I'm not going to go against legal code." Speaking of Scott, I have to say I think the show has a great host in him. He seems very knowledgeable, low-key, affable and he's certainly telegenic! He's always so excited when the HOs are pleased with the final result. I wonder who his interior designer is? He or she does a great job with sometimes very cramped conditions!
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