In five seasons, the Napiers have rehabbed over 80 turn-of-the-century homes in the small Southern town. They’ve shown a spotlight on the area and its architecture.
Folks from across the country have kept a close eye on the Laurel housing market, many dreaming of settling down in the town made famous by “Home Town.” But this is where supply runs short of demand.
Laurel currently has 123 homes on the market (with a median list price of $136,500), and very few are available in the historic district where the Napiers focus their attention. So when a Napier-renovated gem lands on the market, a frenzy ensues.
The 1910 Craftsman-style home in the town’s historic district was featured in the show’s second episode ever. The stylish makeover included opening up the covered porch to create an open-air living space and using a color palette to reflect the period architecture.
The 2,950-square-foot, four-bedroom home was refreshed with new paint, wainscoting, and colorful tile around the wood-burning fireplace.
The kitchen is now highlighted by quartz counters, a gray tile backsplash, a dining nook, and restored built-ins.
The half-acre lot includes a sweet back porch and grassy backyard.
Busy open house
The owners purchased the fixer-upper for an undisclosed price in 2016. On the episode, viewers are told the home was listed for about $140,000. It recently came back on the market for $390,000.
“We put it on a one-week listing” and held an open house, says Davis. “Turnout for the open house was phenomenal.
“We logged 72 or 73 people all from out of state,” adds Davis. “The majority of people who are shopping in and around Laurel are people who watch the show.”
The potential buyers have been smitten by the town’s charms as shown on the popular HGTV show, says Davis.
“They want to be part of it. They’re coming in in droves and investing in the area, buying houses, buying and starting businesses,” says Davis. “There’s definitely a lot going on in the area, a lot of money coming through and investing in Laurel. It’s mainly because of the show.”
The sellers received three written offers and picked the all-cash offer for full price, minus $5,000 in seller concessions.
“That was full price in a weekend,” notes Davis.
Based on the sale price, the Warren House sold for $132 per square foot. That’s a bargain in most parts of the country, but it’s a splurge in Laurel where the median price per square foot is $100.
To help meet buyer demand for cute Craftsmen as seen on TV, Davis has a plan. He’ll be strolling up and down the historic downtown in search of home sellers.
“I’m probably going door-knocking next week down Sixth Avenue,” he says. “I have clients who are dying to live on Sixth Avenue.”
Hot in Laurel
The housing boom Laurel is seeing is similar to other parts of the country, Davis notes. But there’s a huge difference.
“Mississippi has the lowest property values in the U.S. It’s why we’re getting such an influx of people from other states. People can move in here and get anything they want for substantially less,” he explains.
While other small towns are set to get the “Home Town” treatment in HGTV spinoffs, the improvements in Laurel go beyond renovated homes, Davis notes.
The show has revitalized the town, he says. “To see the transformation that has been made in the area, it’s absolutely amazing.”