5 Things to Know About ‘Buyers Bootcamp’ With Scott McGillivray

Scott McGillivray as seen on Buyers Bootcamp (portrait)
Scott McGillivray

Because buying a house is almost as stressful as renovating one, why not mix the two into a big ol’ hour of hard bargaining, construction snafus and interior-design drama?

That’s what real estate investor-slash-contractor Scott McGillivray has done with Buyers Bootcamp, a new home-improvement series in which he partners with amateur flippers hoping to turn their fixer-uppers into cash cows. Here, the photogenic Canadian explains the fine print.

1. The host just wants to have funds.
Each episode opens with two teams of hopefuls pitching their project. “It all comes down to the numbers,” says McGillivray of choosing whom to back. “There were a lot of people I would have loved to work with, but when I crunched the numbers, one opportunity for profit wasn’t as strong as the other.”

2. The house always wins.
Over 10 episodes, “we tackled everything from luxury homes to rundown bungalows to cookie-cutter new builds,” he says, adding that the diversity proves “there’s opportunity to add value in every kind of home­—big, small, new, old.”

3. Old homes equal new problems.
For the former Income Property host, the toughest transformation was a historic building. “Not only can old homes be money pits, but restoring the character—mouldings, coffered ceilings, etc.—costs as well,” he notes. “If you’re not careful, you can price yourself right out of the neighborhood.”

4. Time really is money.
The eight-week schedule for each renovation is “very fast,” McGillivray says. “You have to be diligent about sticking to your timeline and avoiding overages.”

5. Sweat equity comes with the deal.
McGillivray even lends a hand with the actual upgrades: “As long as someone is ready to work hard, I’ll work hard right alongside them.” Or, in the case of one home with a fractured foundation, below them.

Buyers Bootcamp With Scott McGillivray, Saturday, March 10, 10/9c, DIY