The Property Brothers Take On a House That Languished Unsold for Years—Why?

"Property Brothers" stars Drew and Jonathan Scott have been around the block enough times to know that homes that sit on the market for years can be risky bets—but they’re also bargains. Should they bite?

In the latest episode, "Shaky Start," they decide it’s a gamble worth taking, so they purchase a 3,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bath ranch in Nashville, TN, for Karen and Rick. The list price is $649,000, but it’s been sitting empty for two years. Jonathan uses this as a negotiating tool, and offers the sellers $550,000.

The sellers accept, but then the real problems begin. A home inspection reveals that none of the wiring in the house is up to code, so they’re going to have to completely rewire it, to the tune of $10,000. Ouch!

But since the deal isn’t 100% done, Drew says there’s still some wiggle room.

"Because the seller wasn’t forthcoming, I’ve gone back with a lower price," Drew tells Karen and Rick.

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And sure enough, the price comes down again, to $540,000. The gamble paid off.

Now, all the Scott brothers need to do is make some improvements to please the sophisticated older couple and their four rambunctious grandsons when they visit. Here’s how the brothers pull it off, and how we can all follow in their footsteps.

Wary of stairs? Stick with a one-story home

Although many people are impressed with the style, drama, and luxury of a two-story home, stairs can be dangerous and difficult for little kids and older folks to navigate, and could lead to trips and falls. This is why Karen and Rick decide to buy a one-story home where their grandkids can roam freely. Meanwhile, they can safely and comfortably age in place.

Level the playing field

Similar to the danger of stairs, step-down living rooms and step-up entryways may have been popular once, but now they’re just awkward accidents waiting to happen. Jonathan suggests leveling the elevated entryway to prevent trips.

"The only tripping that will be done when I’m through with it will be tripping over how beautiful it is," he jokes.

A bright entryway with a level floor makes a great first impression.
A large great room promotes family togetherness

Karen and Rick are hands-on grandparents who want as much interaction with their grandsons as possible. To do that, they can’t have the boys stuck in a far-off playroom. That’s why the couple are thrilled that their new house has a great room that is large enough to accommodate everyone and their activities at the same time. Togetherness rules.

Raise the roof

The house has a gabled roof, but a dropped ceiling. The attic space above is unfinished, and essentially unusable. So Jonathan naturally suggests raising the ceiling, to make the rooms underneath feel more spacious. Why settle for a low ceiling when you can have max headroom?

Engineered hardwood can help hide scratches in floors

The hardwood flooring that Jonathan selects for the main rooms is absolutely gorgeous, but won’t it get scratched and warped from rough-and-tumble kid usage? The secret, he explains, is to use "engineered hardwood with a rustic finish." Engineered wood is hardy, and the rustic finish covers up the considerable damage kids can do.

It’s worth spending extra to make a great first impression

The double front door of the house is not in bad shape, but it’s poorly hung, and will need some work to keep the critters and drafts from entering through the airspace at the bottom.

"To put in a beautiful, brand-new set of doors that will really make a statement when you come in will probably be about $3,000," Jonathan tells the couple.

But all agree it’s money well-spent.

Do the Scott twins deliver?

When the dust is settled and the home is finished, Rick and Karen are over the moon about their new home.

"It’s just beautiful! We love it!" Karen exclaims.

Drew takes a bit of justified pride in this one, saying that it’s a "great balance of beauty for Karen, comfort for Rick, and durability for the grandkids."

Because with four grandsons, Karen and Rick are going to need all the help they can get.

It’s a bit of a tussle for Drew and Jonathan Scott to please Rick and Karen, as well as the couple’s four grandsons.

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