HGTV: Cristy Lee Helps a Couple Increase Their Home’s Value With a Kitchen Renovation

HGTV’s Cristy Lee helps a couple find a home that meets their storage, location, and layout needs. With a simple home renovation, they’re able to build a living space that’s exactly what they want. Here’s what happened last time on the new HGTV show, Steal This House.

Matt and Hilary need a bigger home

A renovated kitchen with new appliances, white countertops, and overhead lighting, similar to one renovated on HGTV by Cristy Lee.
Renovated kitchen | Sidekix via Unsplash

HGTV star Cristy Lee is helping Michigan residents Matt and Hilary find their new home. Lee says they have been looking for homes longer than most of her clients (it’s been more than a year). She finds this surprising because they aren’t looking for anything unusual.

One of the things Matt and Hilary want is a bigger kitchen because cooking is important to them. They also want to be able to watch their kids while they’re in the kitchen, so they desire an open concept. In addition, Matt and Hilary want a formal dining room because they would like to be able to host holiday dinners.

Matt hopes Lee can find something for his family because, like many, they have outgrown their current home. “We can’t stay where we’re at,” says Matt. “It’s not big enough for us.” Their homebuying budget is roughly $300,000. Lee’s goal is to find a suitable home within the $200,000 range.

Cristy Lee shows Matt and Hilary a colonial house

The first home Matt and Hilary see is a colonial house listed for $220,000. This would give them $80,000 to put into renovations. The house is only 15 minutes from the grandparents, which is helpful because they occasionally look after Matt and Hilary’s children.

The home has almost everything the couple wants, but they don’t like the kitchen, which looks like it hasn’t been updated in years. Lee says the kitchen is the main reason the home hasn’t sold. According to her, kitchens increase the value of a home, so that’s why the list price is so low. Once they renovate the kitchen, the home will increase in value.

Cristy Lee shows Matt and Hilary a ranch house

The second home Matt and Hilary see is a ranch house. The list price for the ranch home is $249,000, which leaves the couple about $50,000 for renovations.

Lee says it has a lot of potential but there are a lot of red flags that come along with the house. One major issue is that it looks like there was water damage in the basement. Matt thinks they could still work with that, but Hilary is concerned about the potential for another flood in the basement.

After a few conversations, Matt and Hilary decided to go with the colonial house. Hilary liked the layout and Matt was happy to have a space for all his music equipment.

A kitchen and basement renovation increased the home’s value

Finally, HGTV fans saw Cristy Lee start renovating the kitchen. Her team removed the cabinetry, appliances, and flooring. The next big project was the basement. Lee and her team placed new flooring on top of the existing flooring and added cabinets for Matt’s music equipment.

Lee says Matt and Hilary found a great deal with this house because it already fits their needs. They just needed the home to fits their style. The couple was impressed when they saw the result. Lee says after the renovations and based on current market value, their newly renovated home is now worth about $325,000.

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