On “My Lottery Dream Home,” David Bromstad is used to showing clients move-in ready houses. But on the latest episode he meets lotto winners who still want to save money by buying a fixer upper.
In the episode “Blended Bliss in New Hampshire,” Bromstad meets with Becky, her daughter Elizabeth, and Becky’s fiancé Greg. Becky won $2 million on a scratcher, so this family is looking for a home in Manchester, NH, that is close to both Becky and Greg’s work, and has space for Becky’s three kids and Greg’s two sons to visit.
Still, their future home doesn’t need to be perfect. Because Greg is a mechanic and handyman, they’re happy to buy a more affordable house with potential. So, Bromstad shows this family three homes for sale within their budget of $350,000. Find out which house they pick, and get ideas on what type upgrades are smart investments.
Extend the cabinetry
The first house Bromstad shows his clients is a four-bedroom, one-bathroom home listed at $285,000. There’s a sizable kitchen, but Bromstad says there’s room for more storage by taking out the hutch.
“These are good cabinets,” he says. “And if you wanted more room you could take this hutch out and do floor to ceiling, like a nice pantry here.”
It’s a good reminder that a kitchen doesn’t need to be perfect when you buy the house. Switching out or adding cabinetry can make a big difference.
Add a bathroom
While Becky, Greg, and Elizabeth love this first house, they’re concerned about the fact that it has just one bathroom. That may be fine for two or three people, but when all Becky and Greg’s kids are in town there, could be seven people under one roof.
However, Becky is sure she can find a solution. She and Greg make plans to turn the unfinished basement into a game room, and they see a space that would be perfect for a small bathroom.
“Could you put a bathroom right here?” Becky says when examining the space.
“Honey, you’ve got money—you can do whatever you want,” Bromstad says.
Becky’s foresight in scoping out whether this house can accommodate their desired upgrades is smart homebuying at its best.
A copper sink can elevate a kitchen
The second house—a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home listed for $339,900—has some great upgrades, including an eye-catching copper sink in the kitchen.
“This is the sink?” Becky asks, delighted.
“Copper is gorgeous, right?” Bromstad replies.
It shows how switching out an everyday item, like a sink, with a more stylish version can make the whole space feel more updated.
Make sure the dining area is large enough to entertain
This house also has a roomy dining area, which thrills Becky.
“I’d love to have one so I can invite people over,” Becky says.
Many homeowners these days find dining rooms stuffy. But this lotto winner proves that for buyers who like to entertain, having enough room for large gatherings is still a priority.
Knock down a wall for an open floor plan
The third house is an updated three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhome for $325,000. This home is beautiful, but Bromstad knows that the living room feels disconnected from the kitchen.
“Now, you had said [you wanted an] open floor plan,” Bromstad says. “Honestly, this wall right here can come right out and we could expand the kitchen just a little bit more.”
It’s a smart suggestion that could open up the living space and make it easier for Becky and Greg’s family to spend time together.
Which house is the winner?
In the end, Becky, Greg, and Elizabeth choose the first house. They’re impressed with the ample bedroom space and the big kitchen, and they aren’t afraid of the challenge of building a second bathroom.
“I’m not surprised. One, you like a challenge. Two, I think you’d like to see this man work,” Bromstad says, gesturing to Greg. “I’m excited for you. It’s gonna be a great experience for all of you.”