The episode of the show, which features one brother, Jonathan Scott doing renovations on the family’s old house in Mableton, while the other brother, Drew Scott, scopes out new houses for the family of five, airs Sept. 10.
The Smith family — Kim Smith, Chuck Smith, children Connor and Kaylee, and Kim’s mother, Shirley Pattison — will watch the show from the comfort of their new, bigger home in Acworth.
Kim Smith said she applied to be on the show more than a year ago because she needed to sell her mother’s old house — the one she grew up in — so the five Smiths could move into a bigger house.
On a whim, Kim Smith said she asked for the help of the Property Brothers to sell the old house and buy a new one, and they replied.
“My husband and I were watching their show one day, and we said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if they came to Atlanta?’” Kim Smith said. “Well, I saw it on the Internet, on Facebook, that they were coming here. I just kind of thought to myself, ‘I think I’ll apply.’ I didn’t say anything to anybody. I just submitted a photo and a little bit of our story.”
She told producers her family was cramped in an old house, and she had to spend four hours each day driving her two children to two different schools in Kennesaw.
“I think there’s a lot of families doing that these days — living with their parents — so I guess it was a story (the producers) really thought would appeal to some of the viewers of the show,” Kim Smith said.
Kim Smith said she drove her kids to school for two hours each way every day because she wanted them to go to quality schools, so Connor went to McClure Middle School for seventh grade and Kaylee went to Kennesaw Charter Math and Science Academy for fourth grade.
Shirley Pattison, Kim Smith’s mother, had owned the 2,800-square-foot Mableton house since 1984. She raised her three children with her husband there, and she said she was sad to leave the house full of memories.
“Let’s just say there (were) mixed feelings, because I had lived there for so long, but it was time for a new beginning,” said Pattison, who works as the house manager of the Mable House in Mableton.
When Pattison’s husband of 40 years left her six years ago, Kim Smith and her family decided to move in with her mom to help out. As the years passed and the children grew — Kaylee is now 10 and Connor is now 13 — the family felt crowded in the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath house.
“We needed two separate living spaces,” Kim Smith said. “The kids were playing and watching TV in the same place my mom was trying to read or be on the computer. We also had her treadmill in the living room, and it was this communal room that really wasn’t suitable.”
Renovating and updating
Kim Smith said the Property Brothers knew exactly what needed to be fixed in the house when they arrived in August 2013 to renovate and film the show.
“Everything was the brown trim from the early ’80s, and the kitchen was the same brown cabinets. Everything was just dark, and we had so much in our house because of two families. They saw we were kind of cramped,” Kim Smith said. “For (Drew and Jonathan Scott) to get the house where they wanted it, they had to clean up the whole house and start over.”
After two weeks of renovations totaling $10,000, the Smiths put the old house in Mableton on the market for $200,000.
The renovations were successful. Seven days later, the house was under contract to be sold for $195,000.
“We definitely could not have sold our house for the amount that we needed to without the show,” Kim Smith said.
The selling price was up from $185,000, which is what the Smiths were asking for the house in May 2013 before it was remodeled.
The renovations to the home included an update to the wall color and wood trim to make it brighter and more inviting inside, as well as updated appliances for the kitchen and a new table for the dining room.
“(Drew and Jonathan Scott) spruced up the wall with paint, and that opened the rooms up,” Kim Smith said. “They redid my kids’ bathrooms. Then, they stage it. They bring in all the knickknacks and decorations to make it look like a model home.”
Meanwhile, Drew Scott showed the family three homes that fit their requirements of a larger home near a good school district. The show required the Smith family to choose a home during the filming, but Kim Smith said what happens on the show isn’t the same as what happened in reality.
“You realize reality TV isn’t really reality,” Kim Smith said.
The family chooses a house in east Cobb on the show, but after the show, the family decided not to buy the home because it was out of their price range, said Chuck Smith, Kim’s husband and a recruiter at the Cobb County Department of Public Safety.
The family bought a house in March in north Paulding County in the city of Acworth for $220,000, which has five bedrooms and four bathrooms. In the new 3,500-square-foot home, the Smith family and Pattison have their own living areas.
TV stars same on and off camera
Although the portrayal of the Smith family buying a new home isn’t the same on and off the screen, the family said the show’s stars don’t disappoint.
“Jonathan and Drew were so genuine. They were awesome,” Chuck Smith said. “What you see on TV, it’s not just make believe. From the first day they came in, they were part of the family and they made us feel the same way.”
Kim Smith said living in the old house while it was under construction was “a challenge.”
The family had to move all the furniture and decorations out of the kitchen and dining room, using two storage containers to store it all. Their kitchen was unusable, but Pattison, who does all the cooking for the family, didn’t let that stop her. She made a makeshift kitchen in the laundry room of the house.
“We had a Crock-Pot and an electric skillet, and we did have a microwave. We used the Crock-Pot for a lot of things, but we did hamburgers and soups and pancakes too,” Pattison said.
Kim Smith said her daughter made an especially strong connection with one of the show’s stars while they were filming.
“Kaylee adores Jonathan, and the joke was that she wants to put him in a freezer and freeze him for 30 years until she’s older,” Kim Smith said.
Kim Smith said filming the show was fun because the family participated in a few projects, such as painting her mother’s room. After two weeks, when the crew was done, Kim Smith said she knew the home was meant for another family.
“It was a crazy thing: Even though it was so beautiful, it just didn’t seem like our house anymore,” Kim Smith said. “It almost took doing that to help with closure, I think, to say this is a home for someone else now.”