Knock-knock, HGTV fans! Good Bones ventured into risky real estate waters this week by plunking down six figures for a big, busted bungalow, nearly the highest purchase price in the show’s history. Here to draw out the suspense of whether they made or lost money are your regular recappers, contributing editor Megan Fernandez and art director/DIY queen Kristin Sims.
This house is in Holy Cross, just beyond the east edge of downtown. It is an established neighborhood, well past its transition years, and a “before” house on Michigan Street set Two Chicks and a Hammer back $140,000. Host Mina Hawk is nervous. Even though homes can sell for well over $400,000 in Holy Cross, Two Chicks will have a lot of money tied up in this reno once they sink $220,000 into it. They hope they can list it while the market is still red-hot. Let’s see who wins, Two Chicks or the real estate reaper.
Megan: The plan is to be all-in at $360,000 and list it for $420,000 for a $60,000 profit, but the foundation has other ideas. At stake is a new office Two Chicks desperately needs to fund. It looks like they have blown their budget on Mina’s gorgeous plaid cocoon coat, which makes a second appearance for the season. (Psst: It’s from Vici, and it’s not very expensive. But it is waitlisted.)
Kristin: It’s the outerwear version of this house—big. They have to make the bungalow a five-bedroom to list it for $420,000. Five bedrooms seems like a lot in that area. But I guess everyone is looking for more space. The kitchen is a good size, and it looks like the attic has plenty of room for three bedrooms.
Megan: They can keep the siding, which would cost $20,000 or more to replace. But when Cory and Mina venture into the dungeon-y basement on the walk-through, we get an “oooooh, dear Lord” from the project manager.
Kristin: Mina is going into the dungeon in flip-flops again! And the one brick support is balanced on only one brick. Plus, the knob-and-tube wiring seems like an expensive overhaul. But maybe they do that with every house, and we just don’t see it on camera.
Megan: They have to fix the foundation, which they do all the time, so they move on to sunnier scenes as the demo crew and Karen show up. Sunnier in spirit, but it’s an unseasonably cold spring day. Karen is cheerful in her furry hat that has waist-long sides with attached mittens, tied under her chin like a bonnet. She says, “Being retired means I just get to show up and do the fun stuff.” Inside they go for demo, where Tad promptly destroys some of the siding Mina specifically said to keep while he specifically said he wasn’t listening. He blames the cold weather.
Kristin: What about the last 97 episodes? To what does he attribute those faux pas? On the bright side, I love in the interviews that everyone is covered in soot, but MJ is suave and clean in his hoodie and jacket.
Megan: He might be the most stylish person on HGTV. Meanwhile, Cory has made an executive decision to add a fireplace, and Mina is much more concerned that the floors are still sloping after the foundation was supposedly fixed. Long story short, it wasn’t, and it needs another $30,000 in repairs.
Kristin: To make matters worse, Cory and MJ continually troll Mina about the fireplace. This week’s drinking game is every time they mention the word.
Megan: In Mina and MJ’s design meeting, they decide that the finishes will be “basic bombshell”—simple, but not boring, to appeal to a wide market for a fast sale. They chose a black-and-gold peacock wallpaper for a statement in the entry. Do you have this one, too, like the swan wallpaper they used in the season premiere?
Kristin: I love the wallpaper—and no, I don’t have that one. They have the luxury of utilizing wallpaper each week in a different “bird” house.
Megan: This kitchen has room for an epic island, and that means Iron Timbers is on the job!
Kristin: I would love to have all of that space!
Megan: But did they cheap out on “in-stock, budget-friendly white cabinets”?
Kristin: I would guess every week has stock cabinets. Plus, it’s all dressed up with the custom Iron Timbers work.
Megan: At the Iron Timbers workshop, they unveil the long island and save the work of cutting out the sink for the camera. They hate to waste the cutout material, so they keep the piece and turn it into a sink cover! Give these guys the Sagamore of the Wabash award.
Kristin: Since the house is low on luxuries, MJ is on a mission to have a fun, affordable design moment in every room. He and Cory go shopping at French Pharmacie Flea in Broad Ripple. Guess what they found? One guess.
Megan: A fireplace. Drink!
Kristin: Actually, this is a great solution. It’s a freestanding midcentury-modern one with a tall flute, and it’s electric so it won’t require installing a gas line. I was afraid of what cheesy “joke” fireplace they might find. This could be cool. Fingers crossed.
Megan: The look on Cory’s face when MJ says Mina doesn’t know about it!
Megan: Back at the house, bad news—they actually didn’t get away with using the existing siding. The needed repairs would have cost the same as new siding, so there goes another $30,000. The new white siding and black brick porch look sharp. Whose coat do you like better, Mina’s plaid one or Karen’s dog’s rainbow one?
Kristin: Both are cute, but I love the rainbow sweater. It had a mohawk feel with the fringe down the back.
Megan: Inside, the design isn’t as colorful. It has a lot of black and white to appeal to the most buyers.
Kristin: Well, not so fast—outside, I wish that they had spruced up the old metal railing by the street. It’s the first thing you see, and after so much work, the rust stands out against the fresh, new house paint.
Megan: Mina walks in stunned to see a fireplace installed. Brace yourself … does she like it?
Kristin: She does. I do. All are happy! Which is good because even these electric midcentury ones aren’t cheap.
Megan: The potential buyers are young parents and they are pro-fireplace, too. They also like the vinyl floors that run through the whole house to make it feel cohesive.
Kristin: Yay, dining room! Yay, big kitchen! So nice to see a house with some space to move around!
Megan: I like the primary bedroom. It feels roomy and restful. They took some square footage from the entryway to enlarge it. Black faucets certainly are in style now.
Kristin: Some houses they have reno’d barely had space to move around the bed. This one is huge and airy. So comfortable. Loving the simpler style this season. It lets the house shine more.
Megan: I love the French doors to the backyard. We get to see one upstairs bedroom. I wish we got to see all three.
Kristin: I would have also liked to have seen the size of the first-floor guest room. But I know they can’t stage it all.
Kristin: The backyard is also a great size. There’s plenty of room for a family, which is important with the traffic on Michigan.
Megan: It’s a gorgeous house, but the foundation and new siding were budget-killers. They ended up putting in $280,000 instead of $220,000, and they accepted an offer for $422,000 because they had to recoup their investment fast. Two Chicks took a loss on this one. If only MJ hadn’t bought the fireplace.