In the Season 12 episode “Knock Knock, It’s a Million,” Bromstad meets Mike, who won a million dollars from the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Mike recounted his lucky day, saying he heard the doorbell and knew who was on the other side of the door.
“I got up, and all I could think of walking to that door is, Publishers Clearing House is finally coming to my house,” he says. “I knew it in my head that they were there.”
Now, he and his wife, Barbara, want to use $350,000 of their winnings to purchase a new house in Columbia, SC—which is closer to family so they can have their kids and grandkids over often. Read on to learn which home features catch their eye, one of which might be something you’ve never heard of before.
An open floor plan is great for large gatherings
One thing Mike and Barbara say they need is a home with a great room where they can gather with their kids and grandkids. When they walk into the first house, a four-bedroom, three-bathroom home listed for $319,000, they’re immediately impressed by the living room.
“This is a true open floor plan,” Bromstad says.
“I can see the kids running around and the grandkids,” Barbara says.
It’s a great home feature that would surely make entertaining easy for these buyers. With an open kitchen, big island, and plenty of space for seating, this great room is truly great.
A finished room above the garage is a big plus
While most of Mike and Barbara’s guests will likely spend their time in the living space, these buyers want to make sure there are plenty of bedrooms to accommodate family who want to stay the night. This house happens to have a private bedroom over the garage, though it has a funny name.
“Maybe it’s a South Carolina thing, I’m not sure,” real estate agent Olivia Cooley tells Bromstad. “But FROG is a ‘finished room over the garage.'”
Bromstad seems to like the name, saying, “What else would you call it?”
When Bromstad finally shows his winners this extra room upstairs, they’re thrilled with not only the location, but also the size.
“This is big, unexpected. I love it,” Mike says.
It’s a good reminder that an out-of-the-way bedroom (with an e nsuite bathroom, no less) could be a big selling point.
A formal dining room can make mealtime special
The second home Bromstad shows Mike and Barbara is a bit smaller, with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Still, the home is listed for just $275,000, making it a great value.
These homebuyers love the grand fireplace in the living room, the first-floor main suite, and the separate dining room. While they enjoyed the open concept in the last home, they also appreciate this classic layout, with a kitchen and dining space in different rooms.
Take kitchen cabinets up to the ceiling
While plenty of dining space is important, Mike and Barbara know having a large kitchen is crucial. In the final house—a three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom for $325,000—these winners love the roomy kitchen. The cabinets are clean and white, just like Barbara likes. Plus, there’s a large island, providing extra prep space.
However, Mike knows there’s room for improvement—he suggests taking the cabinets up to the ceiling to create more storage.
“You know what? Thank you for saying that, ’cause I was going to suggest it,” Bromstad says. “When you go to the ceiling with your cabinets, it just feels expensive.”
A private balcony can be a nice perk
While house shopping, Barbara and Mike focus on home features that will work for them when entertaining family. But the third house reminds them it’s also important to consider spaces that are just for the two of them.
Bromstad shows them a spacious upstairs balcony with a view of the front yard and the nearby lake.
“This is where I would sit every night,” Barbara says.
“It’s a great place to hang out,” Bromstad agrees.
Which house is the winner?
After seeing the homes, Mike and Barbara reveal they want to buy the first house, with the large living room and the FROG. Bromstad is taken aback.
“I’m actually shocked,” he says.
Mike says the deciding factor was that this house (which is only a few years old) was move-in ready. They didn’t need to make any changes, although he adds, “We can put a few updates here and there to make it our own.”
Plus, the home has lots of space for family, making it the perfect house to gather for holidays.
“This house is larger than we originally were looking for, but, you know, it has so much space for our family when they come to visit,” Mike explains.