Lawyers Chris and Ashley are newlyweds who are eager to buy their first home. For the last few years they've been living apart while Chris finished up law school and are currently living with Ashley's parents until they find a place of their own. They're targeting three bedroom homes in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, IL, but that's about the only thing they both agree on. Chris is stating his case for a Craftsman house with a modern interior while Ashley is arguing for a ranch with a cozy cottage style on the inside.
Jen and Nick live in a crowded condo in Chicago with their two young children. Desperately needing more space but facing high home prices in the city, they've secured a mortgage-renovation loan where the costs of renovation are added into the mortgage. They're looking for a "hot mess" fixer and helping them find a good bargain is real estate agent Annie Bauer. Because the homes they're looking at haven't been touched in decades, it won't be easy to see past all the flaws and zero in on what has the right potential.
Mortgage broker John and his wife Audrey, a real esate agent, have been raising their three young kids Tyler, Callie and Courtney in Austin, TX. But with the kids getting older, they are now on the hunt for a larger home, one with lots of space inside and even more land on the outside. Audrey wants an farmhouse in a bright feminine palette but John has his heart set on a Texas-style ranch with a grand fireplace and lots of rustic wood. But once they find a place they both adore, their problems are far from over as they realize their big ideas for remodeling might be far outside the reach of their modest budget. With patience, compromise, and help from their designer Heather Harkovich and contractor Brian Moore, the struggle will all be worth it and John and Audrey will finally settle in to a beautiful new family home.
Comedian Jay and his wife Elizabeth, a writer, are looking to buy a home that they can put their stamp on. They're looking for a place that's chock full of character, history and has that special spark. Growing up, Jay helped his dad take on projects around the house so he's looking to put his reno skills to work and Elizabeth is eager to use her artistic eye to create a magical space. While they both agree they want a unique home, they each differ on how they see the end game. He wants a two-story Craftsman with a plunge pool, she wants a one story Midcentury and a writers retreat. Working with a tight budget, their agent Robert Baer will have quite the task but once they do find the perfect house, the problems aren't over.
Texas transplants Casandra and Gerald moved to California ten years ago and have been renting ever since. After having two sons, they're finally ready to make their move more permanent and are looking to purchase their first home. She wants a cottage-style home like the ones back in Texas but he wants something more modern. While she has her heart set on a pool and rustic finishes inside the home, he insists that everything is new -- including the plumbing. Their agent Cynthia Imani will have her hands full finding something they can both agree on. So when they get the keys, they'll need to renovate their new house to make it exactly what they want.
Chicago residents Michael and Leslie are fitness trainers that recently tied the knot. Now they're looking forward to taking another big step and buy their first home together. They're targeting homes in the heart of Chicago with their $650,000 budget. Leslie is dead set on a townhouse with a brick exterior and lots of character. For interior style she leans toward transitional elements with soft feminine touches but that may push Michael out of his manly bachelor pad comfort zone. Michael is hoping to find a modern, sleek condo in a swanky high-rise with a doorman and tons of amenities.
Erin and Aemon have recently moved from New York City to Austin, TX, to work in the area's growing tech sector and to raise their young son near family. After renting for a few months, they're now ready to find a home. While Erin loves the cozy charm of a bungalow, Aemon prefers the clean lines in midcentury modern homes. Erin would also like to do less reno and move in quickly while Aemon is happy to wait and put more work into a house to get exactly what they want.
Ready for their new life together, newly engaged couple Jordan and Emily have decided to leave their hip downtown city loft in favor for a more suburban Los Angeles home and they want it done before their upcoming wedding. But with a modest budget in an expensive market, they know they will have to do some renovations and with houses selling quickly they will have to act fast. Eager to do get his hands dirty and with reno help from his older brothers, Jordan trusts that he can put his stamp on home that needs some TLC while Emily is a bit more hesitant in tackling big projects. And while she wants a space with great vintage character, he is prone to much more contemporary ideas and clean lines.
Fashion blogger Jenny and her boyfriend Michael are ready to take their relationship to the next level. Currently living in two separate rentals, they're eager to purchase a home in Los Angeles and move in together. He's looking for a Spanish-style home but she'd prefer a Colonial like the ones she saw in American movies while growing up in Shanghai. And while he loves traditional old world details, she likes newer contemporary styles and insists on finding a home with a spa-like bathroom and an oversized, walk-in closet.
Newlyweds Alan and Lucy recently relocated from Minnesota to Chicago. They enjoy all the restaurants and activities that the big city has to offer but they aren't as thrilled about living in a small 280-square-foot apartment. They'd like to buy a spacious three-bedroom home in the suburbs of Chicago. Alan has his heart set on a Victorian-style home with rustic charm on the interior. Lucy would prefer a Cape Cod house that has an updated traditional vibe. While they may not agree on style, they both want the home to have a big yard, a nice entrance for guests to place their shoes and a spacious kitchen to cook and entertain. Lucy would also like one room in the house to be a designated tearoom since her family loves tea.
Tim and Angela live in a small condo near the ocean in Redondo Beach, CA. They love outdoor activities like hiking and scuba diving but they don't have enough space to store their gear. They've decided it's time to look for a single-family home. They want to stay near the beach area and Tim is hoping to find something contemporary while Angela would prefer a home with Spanish touches. With sky-high housing prices in their target area, they know they'll need a fixer no matter what.
Exhausted from their three hour daily commute from the desert to the city, Bryan and Kristine are searching for a new home with their four children somewhere near Burbank, CA. With a budget of $725,000, their dollar will definitely not stretch as far in Burbank as it does in the desert. They know they will have to buy something that needs some updating but just how much work are they willing to put in and how small will they be willing to go?
Chicago couple Cathryn and Jeff feel cramped in their small loft so they're searching for a home in the suburbs. He wants a Spanish-style home and she prefers a midcentury modern but they both would like a big yard for their two dogs to run around. After finding the right home, they must tackle an entire house's worth of work, including gutting the kitchen and updating the master bathroom. When they run into a Chicago cold snap and find a budget-busting structural issue, can they push through to finish their major renovation?
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