“Home Town” stars Erin and Ben Napier love renovating homes in their small town of Laurel, MS—but is the real estate there a good investment?
On their most recent episode, “Bachelor’s Paradise,” one of their clients, Shuff, sure seems to think so, as he’s hoping to renovate a bachelor pad he’ll live in now, then rent out or sell later as an investment property.
But with a few surprises (like a rotting floor) plus some expensive updates, it seems Shuff is throwing good money after bad. Or is he? Read on to learn how Ben and Erin turn this renovation around, and the pearls of wisdom we can all glean from the process.
A front porch makes a home feel welcoming
When Erin, Ben, and Shuff first see the house together, it’s clear that something big is missing: a front porch.
Erin explains right away that she’d like to build one, with a gable, to make the exterior of this house look more complete and inviting.
When construction is finished, the porch looks so natural on this home, it seems as if it were always supposed to be there.
It’s such a natural addition to the exterior, not only making the home look more visually appealing, but also giving Shuff (and any future owners) a great space for lounging outside.
Cramped kitchen walls must come down
Erin, Ben, and Shuff know they need to open up the cramped kitchen. The original layout prevented a good flow from kitchen to living room, so Erin and Ben decide to upgrade the space and turn it into a perfect spot for entertaining.
The first step? Taking down a wall, and replacing it with a large peninsula bar.
Wow, what a difference: With the wall removed, the space is instantly more welcoming and has better flow. Plus, the peninsula is a perfect spot for bar storage. Ben and Erin decide to install not only wine storage, but also a wine fridge, built into the peninsula. It’s a stylish upgrade that will certainly be enjoyed at the housewarming party!
Match the exterior color to the interior
White cabinets have been extremely popular in the past few years, but the white cabinets that Erin, Ben, and Shuff find in this outdated kitchen don’t work in the space. In fact, Erin thinks they need a splash of color.
So, she chooses a lovely light-green shade that looks strangely familiar. Yup, Shuff has seen it before: Erin explains that she chose the color to match the home’s light-green exterior.
Though perhaps a bit unconventional, the color matching proves to be a big hit. The color ties the charming exterior into the kitchen, and Erin proves that you can’t have too much of a good thing.
How to find affordable tile
While green cabinets may seem like a big statement piece, the kitchen is still rather neutral. To remedy this, Erin decides to install a bold, colorful backsplash that will give the kitchen the personality it needs.
The tile Erin chooses is absolutely stunning in the space. And luckily for Shuff and viewers, Erin shares her secret to selecting the perfect tile: buying tiles in a closeout sale.
She explains that patterned, colorful tiles like the ones she chose are usually expensive, but getting a discount on this backsplash helps her and Ben stay on budget.
The rare scenario when it makes sense to eliminate a bedroom
Usually more bedrooms are better—and since Shuff is planning on using this house as an investment property down the line, the four bedrooms may come in handy.
But, Ben and Erin know that a fourth bedroom isn’t nearly as valuable as a new, beautiful master bathroom.
“A master suite is what make a house [resellable] some day,” Erin explains.
Originally, the master bathroom was a tiny room that just barely fit a toilet and a sink. It didn’t even have a shower! Erin and Ben know that it won’t work for Shuff, or a future renter.
So, they create a door between the master bedroom and the new bathroom and install a free-standing tub, gorgeous vanity, and modern shower.
The bathroom is stunning and definitely a big upgrade!
Is this house a ‘Home Town’ hit?
Luckily for Shuff, Ben and Erin create a masterpiece out of what was once a humble little home.
With the updated kitchen, a glamorous master bathroom, and a porch to be envied, this house makes for a perfect bachelor pad—and an ideal investment property to boot.
With the budget hovering around $250,000, including the $139,000 Shuff paid for the house, Erin and Ben had estimated that a renovation would cost $70,000. Although they run into some serious problems with rotting wood floors, Erin is able to save some cash on the tile backsplash, bringing the total cost of this gorgeous house to only $209,000.
It’s a home, and a price, worth celebrating.