Stepping in to rescue cash-strapped homeowners from a disaster of their own making, the House Poor team lends their support, and with $10,000 up for grabs, offers plenty of motivation to finish the much-needed renovations and make over their bad money habits for good.
Episode 1 – Scott & Amanda
Auto assembly line worker Scott and homemaker Amanda bought a fixer-upper to get into a good neighbourhood for their children. But when the auto industry crashed, so did Scott’s pay cheque and any renovation plans they had. Holes in the kitchen ceiling and unsanitary conditions have driven Amanda to spend over a thousand dollars a month on prepared foods and eating out, while Scott has a propensity to use cash that he doesn’t track. Suzanne needs to issue a recall on their bad habits to let Frank get their house running smoothly again.
Episode 2 – Rob & Diana
Rob and Diana want big renovations and an even bigger wedding but a series of poor decisions have put both in jeopardy. After refinancing their mortgage to the point that they owe more than their house is worth, they rashly went the DIY renovation route. But their DIY skills fell short, leaving them with no kitchen sink and doing their dishes in the bathtub. To top things off, thousands of dollars of reno materials sit in their garage gathering dust. It’s time to call in Frank and Suzanne to straighten out their construction and financial mess.
Episode 3 – Juanita & Steve
Marketing executive Juanita has always flirted with the idea of leaving the rat race behind and starting a cake decorating business. A week after she and partner Steve moved into their house Juanita was laid off, forcing the issue. Steve’s inconsistent pay as a fitness instructor demands that they renovate the basement kitchen for commercial use but old plumbing and inadequate venting has stalled the new venture. Will a pinch of Suzanne’s financial planning and a sprinkle of Frank’s creative renovation ideas help them have their cake and eat it too?
Episode 4 – Warren & Ana
Transit workers Warren and Ana have reached the end of the line with their crumbling bungalow. A fierce bidding war drove Warren and Ana to forego a home inspection leaving them to discover on their own that mold, rats, and dry rot made the basement unlivable. With the seven-person family now squeezed onto the main floor, they sleep in a makeshift bedroom not-so-affectionately called “the sandbox”. It’s time for Suzanne to tame their costly patchwork approach to problem solving, and Frank to see if there’s anything he can salvage from their aborted DIY renovation endeavours.
Episode 5 – Erika & Pete
Limo driver Pete and ambulance dispatcher Erika have a house filled with big-ticket items all bought on credit, not to mention an SUV with an outstanding loan for more than it’s worth. They planned to bring in more income by turning their basement into a rental unit but were stymied by the discovery of dangerous mold. Can Frank and Suzanne detoxify their basement as well as their finances?
Episode 6 – Dora & Christian
Dora and Christian’s spending habits are expensive and impulsive. After overspending on renovations to the rest of their house they never got around to tackling the greatest problem of all – the kitchen. Their kitchen was an embarrassment, to the point that Dora and Christian even stopped using it. Now it’s up to Frank and Suzanne to give this couple a reality check and help them get the kitchen their bank account can afford.
Episode 7 – Marshall & Carolynn
Marshall and Carolynn were long on ambition but short on money and experience when they tried to overhaul an entire basement themselves.
Grossly miscalculating the costs and labour involved, the basement now sits in shambles while their two young daughters have run out of play space.
Budget miscalculations also pervade their daily life as they often spend two, three, or even six times more than they think they did. Totally overwhelmed, they’re waving the white flag and it’s up to Suzanne and Frank to teach them a lesson in thoughtful planning.
Episode 8 – Matthew & Penny
Young urbanites Matthew and Penny lived a carefree lifestyle of cheap rent and disposable income, which did not prepared them for the extra costs of home ownership. The first-time buyers started off on the wrong foot by purchasing a house that was $70,000 over their budget, forcing them to borrow money from family and stalling renovation plans. Despite mounting debt, cash still flies out the window and fine wine continues to flow. If Suzanne doesn’t instill some financial discipline into this pair Frank will be left without a renovation budget to work with.
Episode 9 – Heather & John
When foodies Heather and John moved into their over 100-year-old dream home, they knew it was a fixer-upper. But before they could even start on their grand plans for a modern kitchen, their money was sucked into repairing a century’s worth of unforeseen problems. It’s time for Suzanne to bring their finances up to code by taming John’s expensive tastes and Heather’s rampant spending, and Frank to make their dream kitchen an on-budget reality.
Episode 10 – Duane & Michelle
Newlyweds Duane and Michelle are so used to giving they’ve left nothing for themselves. Caring for three foster children plus a toddler of their own has left them exhausted of energy, and space. They’d planned to create a getaway by renovating their bedroom to an ensuite but their budget got eaten up converting the basement into a rental unit, which sits vacant and was financed by a line of credit to boot. Frank and Suzanne arrive just in time to help them carve out a moment of peace in their home.
Episode 11 – Ryan & Cassandra
Ryan and Cassandra made a first-time buyer mistake when they only put a 5% down payment on their house. Their impatience has left them with a mortgage of close to half a million dollars on top of the mortgage insurance they had to pay for putting down so little. They had planned to overhaul their dilapidated washroom but the money ran out. Although having no money to renovate hasn’t stopped them from indulging on golf, salons, restaurants, clothes, and vacations. Suzanne needs to tame their spending so Frank can get their bathroom back in working order.
Episode 12 – Kristen & Raffaello
Kristin and Raffaello spent every penny they had on the down payment of their house. Within two weeks of moving into the house, the ceiling caved in on Kristen and their daughter – not only did it leave a big and unsightly hole it also exposed a myriad of knob and tube wiring. With the threat of losing their house insurance, replacing the electrical was a priority and it used up any extra money they had. Even though they were completely tapped out they continued to spend on unnecessary items such as home décor, kids stuff, entertainment and hobbies. Before Frank can transform this family’s unusable and dangerous space Suzanne has to figure out the cracks in their finances to find some much needed funds.
Episode 13 – Andrew & Tammy
Andrew grew up in his house, which has been in the family for three generations now, and the Tammy moved in eleven years ago. A toxic oil spill in their basement left them with steep motel and renovation bills but that didn’t stop them from spending money on their four cats and fun stuff. Now that they’ve run out of steam and funds to tackle their next disaster zone, their living room and bathroom, they need Suzanne and Frank to transform their space and their finances.