A Chat with HGTV's Scott McGillivray: An Opportunity for Military Families


UPDATE: Deadline for applications has been extended (see below).

SpouseBUZZ talked with Scott McGillivray, host of HGTV's Income Property, earlier this afternoon. When we learned that Income Property would be filming in the United States and that Scott would love to develop an income suite for a military family, we were eager to help in the endeavor to find one. If you're a military family and own a home in San Antonio, Texas; Erie, Pennsylvania; Virginia or Maryland, we could see you on television next fall. Details on how to apply can be found below.

Our interview with Scott covered a variety of topics, and he even gave SpouseBUZZ an exclusive. We love exclusives!

American fans - Rejoice. This spring, Income Property will come to the United States. After the first season of Income Property aired, Scott was "overwhelmed and excited" by the American response to the show. Since then, the fan base in the United States has been growing and Scott "wasn't willing to ignore it." Despite the logistical and financial challenges of moving the show from Canada to the states, Scott and his team were determined to make it happen.

And now they have.

Although this will mark the show's first foray into American territory, Scott has worked in the United States on many occasions. One of the more memorable occasions was when he worked in New Orleans with Rebuilding America. It was there that he was introduced to Sears' Heroes at Home program. As a result of his work in New Orleans, Scott began to receive a lot of email from American military families. One soldier mentioned that he had his wife tape Income Property and send it to him in Afghanistan so that he can watch the show. Scott was humbled and inspired by this story.

After the flood of interest in the show from military families, it clicked with Scott, "Why not help a military family [in the US] if possible?" Scott has worked with two Canadian military families and one American military family (outside of his capacity as Income Property host) in the past and says "it's been such a successful event every time," so he's eager to help other deserving military families and genuinely hopes to find a family to work for when he arrives here this spring.

Income Property makes a huge difference in people's lives. Not only is a space renovated, but the renovation provides revenue for many cash-strapped homeowners. If you've ever watched the show, you've seen countless examples of homeowners who would have had to give up their home without financial relief, couples who have postponed weddings and on and on. Income Property is different from many design shows. When Scott and his team leave, it's not the end of something, it's the beginning. Homeowners get a tenant and begin receiving revenue to help offset their mortgages. In some cases, it leads to them purchasing more rental property and building a real estate portfolio.

Scott and I discussed how Season Three (currently airing) differed from other seasons. The primary difference is that they opened casting up to everyone, not just first-time homeowners, as was the previous criteria. Scott said this made for an interesting season as these homeowners were more experienced and many already knew the pros and cons of real estate and renovation. "We didn't have to teach them much, we just put them to work," said Scott.

About that exclusive.... Fans of the show will be thrilled to learn that in a couple of months, they will see some bonus material. Scott went back to visit homeowners who were featured in Season's One and Two, and I'm told there is one horror story, but also many success stories. I asked Scott for some behind-the-scenes scoops and as it happens, they have put together a blooper reel which will air, too. You heard it here first, folks!

When asked what he'd like to say to his American fans, Scott replied, "Get ready. Get set. We're coming down to see you. We want to help as many people as we can, and the most deserving people we can find." I think we know some deserving people...

I'd never forgive myself if I had a chance to talk to Scott McGillivray and didn't get some renovation, landlord and real-estate tips from him. Part Two of our interview will include some background on Scott, including how he became a real estate entrepreneur and how he got his start in television, some generic advice for landlords and some renovation tips. For now, we want to help Scott find a military family to be featured on Income Property. If you meet the criteria listed below, apply. If not, please spread this casting call information to military families you know who may be interested. You can click "share" at the top of the post to email this article.

Special thanks to the insanely busy Scott McGillivray for taking some time to speak with me today. Scott is as gracious and charming in person as he is on television.

For a feature episode in our 4th successful season, Income Property is now casting for home-owners in San Antonio, Texas; Erie, Pennsylvania; Virginia Beach, Virginia, and in Maryland , where we’ll be filming in May 2011. We’re interested in people from all walks of life who are outgoing, lively and comfortable sharing their story on camera. We look for candidates who are warm, honest and engaging. We are especially interested in hearing from military families who urgently need Scott’s help.

The first step to being considered is to fill out an application, add  photos, and email it to us including the city in the subject heading! Click here for the application. We love lots of information and look forward to getting a sense of the applicants’ circumstances, personality, and character. After reviewing applications, we’ll contact the candidates who we would like to consider and set up a phone interview.  The next step in the selection process would be a meeting with one of our producers and a home site visit by Scott and a member of our design and construction team.

The family selected will need to be available for a few meetings and to sign a contract at the outset of the project. Once filming begins in May, they will need to be available to be on camera for approximately six non-consecutive days, and some part days during the renovation process. The entire renovation should be complete within one month. Candidates do need to own their house and contribute financially to the renovation project, which typically represents approximately 50% of the true cost. This episode will be launched in the summer or fall of 2011 in the USA and Canada.

Interested candidates should apply by February 13, 2011.

I would encourage you to submit your applications even if you are a little beyond the deadline. They may be coming the United States again and your story could grab their attention and be flagged for a future season. Doesn't hurt to get the application in. You never know....

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