The soaring popularity of channels such as HGTV and TLC helped bring out a surge of home renovation programming. One of the more popular shows stars twin real estate geniuses Jonathan and Drew Scott in the renovation focused program Property Brothers.
Working as a team, the two brothers help home buyers find for their dream home. The twist with this show is that buyers usually can't find the perfect home in their price range. Instead, the brothers find a home that is within their range but could use a bit of sprucing up. With a dedicated team and plenty of lavish décor, the brothers successfully convert the house into the dream home. Viewers can't get enough of the success stories and unbelievable renovations.
Though the series brings joy to many families across the country, few fans know of the deeper secrets surrounding Property Brothers and its stars. After all, many reality tv shows are quite far from anything "real. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Scott Brothers and their growing renovation franchise that began with their first house hunting show. Is it all what it seems to be?
Here are the 15 Dark Secrets From Property Brothers You Had No Idea About.
15 Jonathan Went Bankrupt Pursuing His Career As A Magician
While Jonathan seems so at home with construction work, this was not his original career choice. For a year, Jonathan dreamed of becoming a professional magician.
Citing David Copperfield as one of his inspirations, he began craft and even investing in his career. However, his financial mistakes were too much to recover from. After investing in training and equipment, Scott was robbed of his possessions when someone stole his custom trailer. Unable to recover from such a hit, he was forced to file for bankruptcy.
Scott stated that the career choice was “the worst mistake, financially, of my life because I think I really could've held out and over maybe five or six years paid that off.” Thought the incident led to his depression, he still holds on to the dream of being a magician someday.
14 They Used To Work As Clowns
Although we want to believe that everything we see on Property Brothers is true and genuine, these brothers have learned that there must be some acting involved in their show. Interestingly, Drew has a background in acting and even tried to pursue a professional career. Both brothers seem naturally drawn to entertainment field in some aspect or another. Incidentally, they both took an interest in making people laugh for a living many years ago with face paint and fake wigs.
The Scott brothers used to perform as clowns when they were younger. In an interview with Parade, Drew revealed, “Jonathan and I used to design floats when we were younger. We used to actually be clowns. One of our first entertainment gigs – we were clowns at parades and birthday parties.”
13 Jonathan Hid Details of His First Marriage and Divorce
In the brothers’ New York Times best-selling book, It Takes Two: Our Story, they shared many intimate details about their childhood and their early career pursuits. Although some of the stories shared were common knowledge, fans were shocked to learn that Jonathan actually hid the details of a first marriage and their inevitable divorce. Even the details in the book are still vague about the identity of the woman he was married to long before he had become famous.
CountryLiving.com reported, “the two married on July 7, 2007, but things ‘started going downhill’ after the newlyweds moved to Las Vegas the next year. With Jonathan pursuing magic and real estate and his wife working as a waitress and model, the couple gradually grew apart, especially when his then-wife removed him from her relationship status on Facebook.” Now that’s cold.
Eventually, the details of his former wife were revealed: he was married to Kelsy Ully whom he finally divorced in 2013.
12 Drew's revealing scene in a Zombie Movie
Sometimes, there are aspects of our past that we are not proud of. As we struggle to find our place in the world and correct path in life, we may find ourselves making some very questionable choices.
Before becoming a fixed member of the Property Brothers team, Drew Scott had dreams of becoming an actor. During his journey, he fell into many hardships while trying to make it big in Hollywood. One particularly interesting role involved him in the nude in a zombie movie. Yikes.
Scott further shared that although the director ensured that the nude scene would not be cheesy, there were very different results, in the end. He shared, “The cinematography was on a par with proud parents shooting their kid’s recital with a video camera that requires them to hiss, ‘Is it on?’ back and forth for an hour. My bare a** made its screen debut right in the middle of this terrible film.” Oh, the mistakes we make in our youth.
11 Jonathan's North Dakota Bar Fight
Although the Scott Brothers are mainly known for their clean-cut image and charming personalities, there have been times when the ugly truth has slipped out every now and again. Back in 2016, Jonathan got into a bar fight while in Fargo City, North Dakota. Around closing time, it was reported that Scott and his friends were angry that their drinks were being taken away.
This April incident even included footage presented on TMZ of Scott being held in a headlock by one of the bouncers! Though at the center of the fight, Scott was able to avoid both arrest and jail time. After reviewing the footage, police found no evidence of any violations or laws broken. Scott walked away very embarrassed but much wiser about his public behavior.
10 Their Feud with Fixer Upper Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines
As you can imagine, there is usually a high competition between rival shows of the same nature. The Property Brothers made particular headlines regarding their alleged feud with Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Grimes. As initially reported by the New York Times, the Scotts claimed the Gaines' were offered a guest appearance on Property Brothers, but turned it down.
So apparently there is no love between HGTV shows, huh? However, the Scott brothers assured viewers that this was simply not the case. Drew Scott stated that “We’re one big family, which is why we love bringing [fellow HGTV stars] in to judge us… We know a lot of the [HGTV] talent really well. Our show started airing in 2011 and over that time we’ve met [Chip and Joanna] once or twice. They were really nice.”
Incidentally, their rivals are no longer an issue since Fixer Upper was canceled this year.
9 Some Reactions Are False And From Multiple Retakes
Some of the most entertaining moments of the show are the interactions between the brothers and the homebuyers. Whether it was the reveal of their new home or their intense reactions to each other, audiences, love the genuine moments that the show reveals. Well, maybe not so genuine.
In fact, many of the reaction moments are not the genuine article. The New York Times reported on one moment in the show that had to be filmed several times to create the perfect take. In the article, they revealed that “At the end of the day, it has to be interesting television, Jonathan told the Times. But when we find a load-bearing wall, we are really finding a load-bearing wall.” Well, at least the house itself is real…
8 The Final Decorations May Not Come With The Renovated Homes
After being given the go-ahead to redecorate the couple’s potential home, the Scott brothers go to work to make some of the most lavish rooms around. Known for their keen sense of style and taste, they incorporate beautiful decorative pieces, furniture, accent pieces, and other elements to create a home that reflects the couple’s tastes and interested. However, this may just be another case of smoke and mirrors for the show.
After revealing that some of the home reconstruction shows may not let the couples keep some of the exceedingly decadent decorum, E! Online concluded that “there probably aren't a bunch of families all over North America still enjoying the immaculate décor picked out by Property Brothers' contractor-interior designer Jonathan Scott, either. Boo.”
While the show maintains on their FAQ page that everyone gets to keep the décor, there is no direct information that the couple can keep the décor at cost.
7 The Full Homes Aren't Really Renovated
One of the most exciting moments of the Property Brothers episodes is “the big reveal.” After almost an hour of house hunting, negotiating, and tough decision-making, the showcasing of their new dream home makes it all worthwhile. Or it would if they were getting a fully renovated home, but that is not the case!
As noted in the application for the show, participants can only choose four rooms in their house to be renovated. That’s right, guys, only four. If that weren’t enough, couples were made to choose between a renovated kitchen or bathroom. Although they are not required to select one of these rooms in the process, if they do, they have to decide which one is more important.
It’s interesting how the final reveal always feels like the entire home has been renovated.
6 Staged Drama and Questionable Real Estate Licenses
While on the search for their new home, buyers are often depicted as being on opposite sides of their big decision. While a compromise is eventually reached, viewers definitely get drawn into the drama of potential buyers struggling to find the perfect home that everyone involved loves. Guess what? This, too, is staged.
Referring to the application process, participants must already have a home in mind when applying for the show. So many of the house-hunting aspects have been staged for TV. Yes, we understand that reality TV is often far from reality, however, that brings into question the validity of their real estate licenses.
As MoneyInc.com pointed out, "Real estate agents are required to be licensed in the state where they are involved in the purchase or sell of a home. Seasons 9 and 10 of the show were filmed in Greater New York, yet Drew is not listed as holding a NY real estate license. Additionally, general contractors are required to be licensed by the state they are working in. Well, Jonathan is not listed as holding a NY Home Improvement Contractor license or General Contractor license." Hmm.
5 You Can't Apply If You Are Single
The process to find the perfect home can be long and tedious. On many occasions on Property Brothers, the participants that signed up for the show were newlyweds, engaged couples, and a few friends and family members. While this may not be that unusual, the show actually mandates that you cannot be single for the application process.
There are certain specifications in the process that ask for the name of your “sidekick, ” or the person who will apply with you. They even ask about what aspects of your relationship that make you “memorable and unique.” So, if you are single and house hunting, this is not the show for you… unless you have that special quirky someone in your life who can make for the best entertainment on Property Brothers.
4 Jonathan Doesn't Really Complete The Renovations Himself
Often seen on the Property Brothers leading the charge to demolish the chosen rooms, Jonathan is never far away from a sledgehammer. To be honest, the female viewers of the show have never complained about seeing him hard at work, sweaty, and, on occasion, in just a tank top. However, the progress of the construction of the show often continues under the watchful eye of, well, someone else entirely.
The Scott brothers are actually in the background as a local construction crew takes the lead. One particular Reddit user took to the forum to reveal that “They use local contractors in the areas they are working in. They get referrals (not sure from whom) and then narrow down the crews they use to 4 different ones. I'm assuming we won't get to choose which crew is working on our home.”
It seems Jonathan is more for decoration than demolition. Sad…
3 Participants Only See The Brothers 8 times During 6 Weeks of Renovations
Viewers of Property Brothers particularly enjoy the relationship between the homebuyers and the Scott brothers. They take special care to ensure as many of the buyers’ desires are met to the best of the ability. They also help them through the tough decision process and celebrate with them when their dream home is finally revealed. Although it seems they never leave their sides, the Scott brothers are actually barely around.
As detailed in the application process for the show, the couple must be available for filming eight days out of the 6-week construction process. So those deep conversations and moments of comforted are actually scattered across a month and a half. Although they may truly care for each couple that they work with, their deep relationship is merely created for entertaining television.
2 The Bickering Homebuyers Are Preplanned
When potential home buyers applied to take part in the Property Brothers, you can imagine their excitement to be on TV. However, some red flags should have gone off as they filled out the application for the show. Not only are they expected to provide details about their background and their significant other (or sidekick), they must also recount the aspects of the home buying process.
The application specifically asks questions targeting different in house-hunting history, spending and money decisions, and the most stressful issues of a fixer-upper. Sounds like the makings of one perfect drama or, at the very least, some very memorable high-tension moments that will keep viewers glued to their TV sets. Never underestimate what people will go through to create entertaining programming for “reality” shows.
1 There Is A 25% Contingency Fee For Applicants
Known to have its fair share of dramatic and stressful moments, the Property Brothers show often depicts some form of an issue with the reconstruction. Actually, it happens more often than most of us really paid attention to. However, the couples in questions can pay big time if there is an issue with the construction - with a minimum budget of $70 000. Wow.
Unfortunately, that is not the least of their problems. To be on the show, you must agree to a 25% contingency fee that can occur if “things inevitably go wrong (leaky roof, termite infestation, bad electrical wiring) and when they do, the Property Brothers want a homeowner who can survive the unbudgeted overages.” Makes you wonder how many “real” problems they truly ran into in almost every home.
Do you have any other Property Brothers trivia to share? Leave it in the comments!
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