Even as winter makes its official debut in Michigan, at least HGTV has given us something to look forward to.
That’s right, the hit Detroit-based series “Bargain Block” is officially returning for Season 3. The upcoming 10-episode season will feature queer couple and home-flippers Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas taking on nine new homes on Detroit’s northwest side.
The homes, purchased from the Detroit Land Bank for an average of $6,500 a piece, are in what’s called the Fitzgerald neighborhood. Fitzgerald, basically bordered by the Lodge freeway between Livernois Avenue and McNichols (Six Mile) Road, is just south of the Pembroke neighborhood the couple worked in during the show’s first two seasons.
“We’re just kind of moving down Livernois,” Bynum told Outlier Media. “We wanted to start working here a while ago because prices were rock bottom. But there was no resale value. That’s changed recently.”
Bynum and Thomas never make a large profit off of their flips. That’s not even the goal. Instead, the couple strive to bring life back to neglected neighborhoods and, in the process, help revitalize the city at large. The Fitzgerald homes will still be a hard sell at first. But with each house the renovators flip in the neighborhood, appraisal values in the area will rise.
Though initially run down — in some cases, pretty much ready for the wrecking ball — Bynum and Thomas transform the houses quickly, taking them down to the studs before turning them into stylish, fully furnished homes. Often, the finished project attracts first-time homebuyers with the aid of local real estate expert Shea Hicks-Whitfield.
“‘Bargain Block’ fans tell me everyday how much they enjoy this series,” said Loren Ruch, group senior vice president, programming and development for HGTV in a press release. “Keith, Evan and Shea’s passion for revitalizing homes in Detroit shines in every episode as they turn forgotten properties into uniquely beautiful homes that feature Evan’s craftsmanship and Keith’s remarkable custom art and design style.”
Starting with Season 2, Bargain Block seemed to incorporate the city, itself, into the show, showcasing Detroit landmarks such as Hart Plaza and MotorCity Casino, perhaps in an effort to show that Motown is much more than just its near-abandoned neighborhoods. To date, the couple has rehabbed and resold more than 30 homes.
“There’s just a whole different world that exists in Detroit on the creative side and it is fascinating to see,” Bynum told Pride Source earlier this year. “It’s been one of the biggest inspirations of being in the city, to be able to literally just look everywhere and find amazing art, amazing food and amazing architecture. It’s chock-full of beautiful things.”