On the show “My Lottery Dream Home,” one would think that host David Bromstad would help lottery winners buy shiny new mansions with state-of-the-art spaces. Yet in the latest episode, his clients are simply searching for an affordable property that makes sense for their family, proving that even lotto winners can’t have it all!
In “Bangor Bucks,” Bromstad goes to Bangor, ME, to meet lottery winner Jessica and her daughter, Josie. Jessica already lives in a home she loves, so she’s planning to use a portion of her $500,000 winnings to help her daughter finance her first home. While Josie likes her apartment, she needs something bigger to accommodate her husband, two kids, and two cats.
“We’re just outgrowing it,” Josie says.
With some help from her mom, Josie is able to shop for houses with a $250,000 budget, but the homes in her price range in her preferred area are older and need some work. Luckily, Bromstad takes this mother-daughter duo on three house tours while pointing out some important upgrades that can be done to an old home.
Read on to see which house Josie picks, and find out which upgrades Bromstad thinks most old homes need—and what can be left well enough alone.
Old homes often need new kitchens
The first house Bromstad shows Jessica and Josie is a 1940s four-bedroom, one-bathroom home listed at $219,000. Josie points out that neither she nor her husband is into cooking, so they won’t be using the kitchen much.
Still, they’re not impressed with the space as is. The kitchen is dated, with laminate countertops that have seen better days and not much storage.
However, Bromstad points out that it’s the large space, not the finishes, that Josie should be focusing on.
“It does need work, but the space is here, which is nice,” he says.
It’s a smart reminder that old homes usually come with old kitchens. New counters, cabinets, and more can be a big investment, so it’s an important cost to keep in mind when making an offer.
Watch: ‘Renovation Impossible’ Star Reveals One of the Biggest Hidden Costs of Remodeling
Sometimes, carpet is OK
This house has plenty of bedrooms, so Jessica suggests one room, which features green carpet, be used as a playroom.
Josie likes the idea, saying, “I actually would like carpet in a playroom, just when they’re so little.”
Bromstad agrees with the plan, though he suggests replacing the flooring with something even more kid-friendly.
“I’d just put in more plush carpet,” he says.
Older floors may need refinishing
When Bromstad shows the buyers the second home, a three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom listed at $220,000, he can’t help but look down.
“Yummy wood floors,” he says. “You can tell these have been redone recently, but these are original.”
While an old house may come with extra costs and a few things that need to be replaced, there’s sure to be some original features that fill the home with charm and character.
Add more sink space
Upstairs, Bromstad shows off the bathroom, which is dated. But the HGTV star points out one important upgrade that Josie can do to make the room much more functional.
“It’s got great potential, and the size is here, too. And again, while you have your architect here, probably put a double sink in here somewhere,” he says.
Adding a double sink is a great upgrade that will make this old bathroom work better for a busy family.
Open up an old home’s floor plan
The third house Bromstad shows Jessica and Josie is the oldest one on their list (built in 1900) but the $259,000 property has been updated so that the interior looks new.
“It’s fun to see a house that’s built literally in 1900 that is open,” Bromstad says. “Isn’t this an entertainment paradise?”
The home does look open and inviting, making it perfect for a modern family. While some homeowners might want to keep more historical charm in a turn-of-the-century home, this house proves that opening up walls can be a great way to make a place more functional.
Which house is the winner?
After seeing all three homes, Josie decides on the second home, with its wood floors and large bathroom.
“Just from the outside, I pictured raising my kids there,” Josie says.
“And that is a beautiful feeling,” adds Bromstad.