'Bargain Block' Full Cast List: Meet Keith Bynum, Evan Thomas and others on HGTV's renovation show
Home renovation takes a whole new meaning as couple Keith and Evan buy houses for as less as $1,000, flip them in a bid to restore Detroit neighborhoods
HGTV has added another show to its family of home renovation and neighborhood restoration. This time, based in a region that is seldom considered as an ideal place to live. 'Bargain Block' will see a couple's attempt to restore some of the most iconic neighborhoods in Detroit aka Motor City — one house at a time.
A number of shows that air on the network has already highlighted some of the best locales around the country, and the neighborhoods surrounding them which are appraised as hot property. But the new show, which can be a gamechanger for Detroit and change the way people perceive it forever, is about to premiere soon. Before it does, meet Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas, the home renovating couple who with the help of a lifetime Detroit resident, Shea Hicks-Whitfield, will be seen working on rundown properties around the city.
Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas
Keith and Evan did not set out to work in real estate and both of them had very stable jobs in their initial state of residence in Denver. It all started when Keith was bitten by the woodworking and carpentry bug. From smaller experimental pieces to ready-to-sell farmhouse tables, Keith came a long way and began making a decent buck for all his creations which he sold on Craigslist.
Soon enough, he began to fix up their home and what followed next was a home in a remote Rocky Mountain town that he bought with an aim to renovate and then flip for a profit. Keith had a lot of fun bringing the whole house together with his acumen for decor, most of the standout pieces in the house made by him. He began to think that selling it would be a piece of cake because of how well it all turned out but he "cried during closing" the sale of the house.
Soon enough, his partner both in business and life, Evan Thomas decided to put his foot through the door and join Keith's business. However, the two wanted to make are sure that they were working with friendlier clients and welcoming markets. The wealthy and fussy Colorado buyers that Keith encountered during his first time selling his Rocky Mountain house served as a lesson to him and allowed him to know the market they were looking to cater to.
With that thought in their head, they scoped out the various markets around the country and felt that their true calling was in Detroit. In August 2017, the couple drove across the country and moved there with their belongings. They had spent time house hunting in the city before moving but it was just a couple of hours with a realtor looking for a home. Bold choice!
Once again, the home they purchased was a fixer-upper with no working plumbing, barely-there electrical, and an unusable kitchen and bathroom. But the couple knew that it was a great find and it worked for them at the time of purchase. However, after moving in, they realized it didn't align with them at all. They took a month to fix it up while they lived at multiple AirBnB's and that was the first house they fixed and sold in Detroit.
Keith Bynum and Thomas Evan buy houses for $1,000 to flip
According to Detroit Curbed, Keith and Thomas have adapted a unique flipping model which involves them buying homes for cheap often through the Detroit Land Bank. These are the homes that require a ton of work which is one of the reasons why they cost the couple as little as $1000 sometimes. They do all the work by themselves right from gutting the whole house to building it right back up using pocket-friendly materials and they rely on Home Depot for cheap fixtures to keep the price down as much as possible.
“It’s all about how you pair things,” Thomas said during the interview to Detroit Curbed. “You can buy the cheap item, but if you accessorize it the right way, it doesn’t feel cheap.” Keith added, “We feel that money shouldn’t stop you from having a great house. All the stuff we do is budget conscious with style.” The two are also owners of furniture store Nine Furniture and Design in Ferndale, pieces from which they use to stage their homes. If the owner wishes to keep the furniture, the cost of the house goes up by a decent $3000.
The couple is grateful to Detroit for helping them find a footing in the business and as a means of giving back, the two are doing so by restoring its iconic neighborhoods without robbing it of their charm. “We live in the neighborhood we work in and try to hire only in the city,” Keith said. “Detroit has been so kind and generous to us. We don’t want to be looked at like we’re plundering and pillaging Detroit."